Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Top 10 Comfort Zones

We all have them and they aren't all the best choices. There are alternatives, to get you in the right zone.

1. Food

2. Alcohol

3. Smoking Tobacco

4. Drugs (prescription and non-prescription)

5. Social Networking

6. Hobbies

7. Meditation

8. Glued to the Tube (watching television)

9. Participating in sports or watching (coaching from the armchair)

10. Exercising

Monday, January 30, 2012

Top 10 Hot Topics with Tea

1. After water, tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world. It is sixth in the United States.  Colonists were just as big on tea as the rest of the world until the other “T” word, taxes, mixed up its own brew and caused a revolution with the Boston Tea Party and as they say, the rest is history. Tea really has made us who we are today. We drink soft drinks, water, coffee, beer and millk before we choose a cup of tea.



2. There are six different types of tea black, green, oolong, yellow, white and post fermented. The three main ones are black, green and oolong and all come from the camellia sinensis plant. The differences lie in the way they are processed. The basic steps in processing tea are plucking, wilting, disruption, oxidation,fixation,sweltering, rolling, drying and aging.

3. Folklore has it that tea first originated in China around 2737 B. C. with legendary Emperor Shennog who liked to have his water boiled before drinking it to remove any impurities.  The story goes a dead leaf fell into his water unnoticed. That leaf was a tea leaf. Shennong is also known as the Father of Chinese Medicine.

 
4. The tea bag was invented by Thomas Sullivan a salesman that sent out samples of tea in silk pouches to perspective tea buyers to cut costs in hard economic times during the war.

5. Many studies through the years have suggested health benefits to drinking tea.  Green tea seems to be in the forefront having more antioxidants then the most popular black tea. As soon as an ailment enters our house the first thought that comes to mind is tea. Have a cold? Drink some tea. Lemon and honey are thought to add a boost to a speedier recovery.

6. Tea has also had a reputation for being a social drink, perhaps Facebook or the IPhone should add it as an app. When is the last time you offered a guest a cup of tea? We are more opt to say, ya want a beer? In London one of the things to put on your to do list is "High Tea" at the Ritz.  It is the "proper" thing to do and you must dress accordingly, no jeans. Teach your kids some social skills, have a tea party, invite the bears. Create an environment where all views and open dialog is welcome and stick around, you might learn something.

7. The top producing tea countries in the world are The Peoples Republic of China, India, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Turkey. There are a lot of tea companies and you can see a list by country at wikipedia and drill down on that list to see who is behind that tea you are drinking.

8. Iced tea is more popular in the United States then hot tea.  I have read a ratio of 20/80 but also have seen a percent as high as 85%.  It is  popular choice as an alternative beverage in restaurants. Sweetened or unsweet seems to be a common question when ordering, except in the southern states, sweet tea seems to be an unquestioned staple in the southern diet.  It is commonly known as sweet tea.  I do remember having a craving addition to the Southern Brew myself.
9. Tea seems to follow the most popular unfollowed rule, if you can't say anything bad about something, don't say anything at all.  I have heard and believe there are a lot of good things about tea to date I can not recall anything bad but there is always something.  Before you go digging for trouble relax and have a spot of tea. It is said to have soothing qualities. UGH!  I knew somebody would find it so I sought it out first, it's in wikipedia....Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago stated that tea phenolics help inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause bad breath.  If you want people to avoid you, don't drink tea, have coffee.
10. I have read to make the proper cup of tea you should let tea sit in just boiled water for 3-5 minutes and for iced tea at least 5 minutes.  I am by far over processing my iced tea.  I also read that if you make sun tea in a glass container outside the process could cause.



The ceremonial Japanese tea house at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of my favorite exhibits at the museum. Sunkaraku is inscribed above the door it means Evanescent Joys. The area is bright and joyful and very peaceful. It was designed by Ogi Rodo and originally came from Tokyo. It is a must see.

January is hot tea month and just one way of presenting some of the good things is life.

A great website to challenge your tea knowledge and learn something new is teausa.com take the Tea Test and learn how to read Tea Leaves. Also check their artile What the Tea Leaves Say About Industry GrowthGrab a cup of tea and read.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Top 10 Congratulating the XLVI Super Teams

Just because our team is not in the Super Bowl, we can still sing their praises.
(I am embarrassed to admit I know fans that say "no" we can't, but I can.)

Congratulations to the New England Patriots and the New York Giants making it to the big dance Superbowl XLVI. Best of Luck!!!

Here are a few links to area specific songs.
1. I Am A Patriot Jackson Browne

2. New York State of Mind Billy Joel

3. Massachusetts Bee Gees

4. A Heart in New York Simon and Garfunkel

5. We Will Rock You starring the Cheers cast on Youtube

6. In a New York Minute Don Henley

7. Please Come To Boston Kenny Loggins

8. I'll Take New York Tom Waits

9. More Than a Feeling Boston

10. I Love New York Madonna

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Top 10 Notable Obelisks Around the World

Vatican Obelisk




An obelisk is a tall four sided stone structure that slants in on the sides and is topped off with a pyramid shape. Ancient Egyptians were known to carve these building creations out of one piece of stone right at the quarry. Obelisk can contain hieroglyphics inscribed on the sides telling their story. See the unfinished obelisk link. It is the largest obelisk in the world and you can see how it was formed. It is located in Aswan, Egypt.



The tallest standing Egyptian obelisk known to exist resides in Rome at St. John Lateran Basilica. It is known as the Lateran Obelisk it weighs approximately 455 tons. Originally it was commissioned by Thutmose III and it was erected by Thutmose IV before the great Karnak temple of Thebes, Egypt. It was requested by Constantine I to be shipped to Constantinople, but he died before it was sent. Constantius II had it shipped instead to Rome, where it was re-erected in the Circus Maximus in 357. At some time it broke into pieces and was buried under the Circus. In the 16th century it was located and dug up, and Pope Sixtus V had it re-erected on a new pedestal on August 3, 1588 on this location. You can click on this Vatican link which brings up an aerial map click on #12 and use your mouse or arrow keys to bring the obelisk into view. Obbserve the special thanks on this page to Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania for their contribution to the virutal reality tour.



In Paris, France at the Placede la Concorde  is a giant Egyptian obelisk decorated with hieroglyphics exalting the reign of the pharaoh Ramses II. It is one of two the Egyptian government gave to the French in the nineteenth century. This obelisk once marked the entrance to the Luxor Temple in Egypt. The Ottoman viceroy of Egypt, Mehmet Ali, offered the 3,300-year-old Luxor Obelisk to France in 1829. King Louis Philippe had it placed in the center of Place de la Concorde, where a guillotine used to stand during the Revolution. If I have my facts correct this is the same location that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette lost their heads.

Luxor Obelisk


The obelisk at St. Peter's Square outside St. Peter's Basilica has quite a reputation and you can read additional information about it on Wikipedia and also on saintpetersbasilica.org. This obelisk which comes from Heliopolis, Egypt, was commissioned by Pharaoh Mencares in 1835 BC in honor of the sun. It is an authentic Egyptian obelisk brought to Rome by Emperor Caligula in 37AD. It was transported by sea erected at the circus of Gaius and Nero.  It was moved to Saint Peter’s Square in 1586. The cross on top was added then and the urn just below the cross was rumored to contain the ashes of Julius Caesar. The cross is said to contain remnants of the “true cross”.  It is also said this obelisk was standing and witnessed the upside down crucifixion of Saint Peter.  The obelisk also serves as a sundial which is not something you would immediately notice if  you are not privy to an aerial view. To look up more information you can google the Vatican Obelisk.  There is a great photograph the shows the sundial effect at Wikipedia.

Vatican Obelisk


The obelisk at Narvona Plaza in Rome a copy according to wikipedia was erected by Domitian after the fire which had destroyed a large part of Rome in 80 AD. In AD 309 Maxentius moved the obelisk to the Circus Maximus. The obelisk fell in the twelth century and it broke into five pieces and was buried. In 1648 the obelisk was dug up, repaired and in 1649 it was erected on top of the fountain designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the Fountain of the Four Rivers for Pope Innocent X

Domitian Obelisk


A memorial for the Dover Patrol a Royal Navy Command during World War 1 was set in July 1921, the memorial at Leathercote Point near St Margaret's Bay can be found atop the Cliffs of Dover. Similar memorial obelisks stand at Cap Blanc Nez on the French Coast and at Fort Hamilton, overlooking New York harbor. This is a modern obelisk structure.

Dover Patrol Memorial


The earliest temple obelisk still in its original position is the 20.7 m / 68 ft high 120 tons red granite the Obelisk of Senusret I of the XIIth Dynasty at Al-Matariyyah part of Heliopolis. He also rebuilt the important temple of Re-Atum in Heliopolis which was the centre of the sun cult.   



The Obelisk of Buenos Aires is a national historic monument and icon of Buenos Aires. Located in the Plaza de la República, in the intersection of avenues Corrientes and 9 de Julio, it was built to commemorate the fourth centenary of the first foundation of the city. Construction began on March 20, 1936 and was inaugurated on May 23 of the same year. It was designed by architect Alberto Prebisch (one of the main architects of the Argentine modernism who also designed the Teatro Gran Rex, in Corrientes and Suipacha). The construction, cost 200,000 pesos moneda nacional, 680 m³ of concrete and 1360 m² of Olaen white stone from Córdoba were used.

Obelisk of Buenos Aires Photo courtesy of J. Acree


The most recognizable structure in Washington D.C. the Washington Monument is an obelisk near the west end of the National Mall. It was built to honor the first U.S. president, George Washington and is one of the most visited tourist sites in the United States. The monument is made of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss, from the top it offers views of over thirty miles. It is considered a modern shaped obelisk. It is both the world's tallest stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk, standing 555 feet 5+18 inches (169.294 m). Taller monumental columns exist, but they are neither all stone nor true obelisks. A difference in shading of the marble, visible approximately 150 feet (46 m) or 27% up, shows where construction was halted for a number of years. If you have been flowing news reports in the last few days, philanthropist David M. Rubenstein has donated 7.5 million dollars towards the repair of damages done to the monument when an earthquake struck Washington, D. C. and surrounding areas in August 2011. I thought this was interesting, The Washington Monument was originally intended to be located at the point at which a line running directly south from the center of the White House crossed a line running directly west from the center of the Capitol. Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant's 1791 "Plan of the city intended for the permanent seat of the government of the United States ..." designated this point as the location of the equestrian statue of George Washington that the Continental Congress had voted for in 1783. However, the ground at the intended location proved to be too unstable to support a structure as heavy as the planned obelisk. At that site, 390 feet (119 m) WNW from the Monument, there now stands a small monolith called the Jefferson Pier. I have probably passed this smaller monument on several occasions on my many trips to Washington. Has anyone ever seen it? The next time I am there I will have to find it.



In Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., an obelisk stands in front of the Luxor Hotel, a pyramid-shaped hotel along The Strip. This is not an authentic ancient Egyptian obelisk but I include this in the list because of some of the other unique features and structures surrounding it and prior to seeing the one in Rome and Paris it was th closest I ever got to an almost official obelisk, Sphinx and pyramid. The casino is pretty cool inside too.



The hotel is marked by a 140-foot (43 m)-high obelisk and a 110-foot (34 m)-tall re-creation of the Great Sphinx of Giza. The tip of the pyramid contains a fixed-position spotlight that points directly upward and is claimed to be the brightest beam in the world at over 42.3 billion candle power. The tip of the pyramid hiding just behind the Sphinx contains a fixed-position spotlight that points directly upward and is claimed to be the brightest beam in the world at over 42.3 billion candle power.



Researching and searching the internet I came across another obelisk at this Earth and Science website. The Penn State obelisk was constructed in 1896 as a learning model.  It consists of stones from all over the state of Pennsylvania and other neighboring states.  It is one of the oldest landmarks of the Penn State Campus. Check out this this website link.  I think it is one of the coolest interactive examples of an obelisk.  It states the location the rock came from, the probable geological era it came from and the type of rock.  Does anyone remember being able to write to the state of Pennsylvania for a sample of rocks that are known to be native in Pennsylvania?  I remember doing it in my younger years and getting them in the mail in a plastic container all partitioned and label. In was many, many years ago but it was free.  You didn’t even have to pay shipping and handling.  It was much later the 1896 though.  It was such a big deal to get the packet in the mail.  I don’t know what ever happen to mine but I still have a passion for rocks even the ones in my head.



Symbolism:  According the Seminarians guide at saintpetersbasilica.org for pagans, the obelisk was a solar symbol that represented a vital flow between heaven and earth, a way of communicating to the divine.  As a pagan monument in the greatest Christian square, it is a symbol of humanity reaching out to Christ.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Top 10 Things You Use a Key For

Keys are tools and should be used with caution and responsibility.

1.  Unlock a door

2. Undo a padlock

3. Open a Safe deposit box.

4. Roll top desk or filing cabinet

5. Unlock a car, turn the key to start it.

6. Key to the city

7. Key to someones heart, touching their emotions.

8. Key to solving the puzzle

9. Key ingredients make up the core of any recipe

10. Figuratively speaking a keystone is something that holds things in place.

Has anyone ever found a key and wondered what it was for and never found out?
Or have you lost a very important key?

Troubling, isn't it?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Top 10 When Did Snow Days Stop Being Fun?

1.  When your number wasn't called on the radio or running across the bottom of the television screen?

2.  The dilemma do you take a personal day or take your life in your hands? Not everyone can work from home.

3. When you look out the window at all the pretty white stuff and your car is buried under it. UGH!
You have to shovel a path to your door and to your car BEFORE you clear the driveway and dig out your car.

4. When the excitement that you are exercising and burning off calories wears off, this stuff is heavy!

5. When you know you better taken Tylenol or ibuprofen now cause you are gonna be hurting later.

6.  When the car in front of you makes it half way up the hill and stops, you are stuck.

7. When you get out of work early due to road conditions, yet it takes at least that extra 15 minutes to clear your car and double the time to drive home because every body is getting out early.

8.  When you spend all that time clearing every speck off your car and the snow from the car across the lane from you who forgot to clear their roof suddenly slides onto your windshield and  you temporarily can't see driving down a four lane, which is now only two lane highway..

9.  Arrive home and either there is no parking  space on the street and or you have to dig your driveway out to get in.   There is no guarantee the space you dug out this morning belongs to you. People can get shot for moving trash cans.
 
10. Normal exercise gets hampered you can't walk safely in the street and running especially if it is icing is not the wisest thing to do.


Days like this global warning doesn't sound all that bad!

Sorry kids it is always just a little bit better for adults if snow falls over the weekend IF you ar not on the schedule.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Top 10 We Are........ "saddened"

1. Sorry to hear of the passing of Joe Paterno, Joe PA to the inner circle.

2. Sorry that cancer takes so many lives.

3. Sorry that such a horrific scandal came and tarnished an impeccable reputation of honor.

4. Sorry that he will not be able to stand and defend himself at a trial where he did what he thought was the right thing to do.

5. Sorry that the accused actions of one man can bring down another.

6. Wondering if these allegations helped to advance his condition.

7. Wondering how many more victims will be affected before this case is solved.

8.  Wondering why he seemed to be the hardest hit with the exception, of course of the children involved in the scandal.

9.  Wondering if some one is out there gunning for every one or just the popular ones, looking for a scapegoat or a deflection.

10.  Wondering how a lifetime of great achievement and reputation can be shattered by a mistake made by someone else.


We are, of course sorry for the loss to the Paterno family and the entire Penn State family and alumni that lost one of their own. Joe Paterno now is to go down in history as an "unsung hero".  There still remains quite a volume of people that will sing his praise.  To many Joe Paterno put them on the map and on the path to recognition and greatness.

 He was  Penn State.  I guess he is a lesson to us all.  At the end of our days, who is our support system.  Those are your friends and the ones that matter,the ones that will stand by you. Shame on us all, really. How often do you see or hear about an injustice, make a comment about it, maybe mention it to a few people and shrug and say "what could I do'?  Turns out we are all capable of doing a lot of damage by doing nothing.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Top 10 Songs About Clouds

We get a lot of information from clouds nowadays.  It just used to be the weather.

Hey You Get Off Of My Cloud Rolling Stones (such a classic)

Both Sides Now (Clouds) Joni Mitchell

Heavy Clouds No Rain Sting

Clouds in My Coffee (You're So Vain) Carly Simon

From the Clouds Jack Johnson

I Can See Clearly Now Jimmy Cliff

Cloud Nine Temptations (Concert alert, The Temptations are playing at the Keswick Theater May 10, 2012.) The Youtube link says March but I double checked it's May.

Cloudy Average White Band

Obscured by Clouds Pink Floyd

Secrets/Far Above the Clouds Mike Oldfield

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Top 10 Reasons To Go See Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

1. It is a film about one family dealing with "the worse day ever", September 11th.



2. There can not be enough of these stories told.  Each family has their own unique story.

3.  You can not even fathom how these people feel or felt but you can feel for them.

4.  It is a chilling story and one that will bring you to tears.

5. It is a story of disconnects and connections.

6. Tragedy very often happens from a senseless act of violence that is incomprehensible, yet we struggle to try and understand.

7. We all possess our own key. Every one must find their own key and unlock the door

8. Many times the things you keep to yourself only do more harm.

9. You must forgive yourself to allow others and yourself to move on.  There many relationship lessons.

10.  Superb acting performance from the immediate family and the tambourine. Thomas Horne who plays Oskar does a tremendous job as the only child of one of the people who lost their life on  September 11th.  It is based on a book by Eric Roth. It easily could be the true of any one of the many families that lost loved ones that day. It is very moving. Be prepared to cry.  It just means you border on the side of a person with feelings and that is a good thing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Top 10 Views of Twilight (not the movie)

Nine times out of ten, when you look up at the sky and say, that is beautiful, it is Twilight.

1. Twilight Time by the The Platters is a little mood music. Without a doubt the colors radiate a  beauty that emulates love and a peacefulness at this time.


Twilight, as a backdrop to a bridge across the Seine River in Paris, France.
2. Twilight Time by The Moody Blues reminds me of my routine at beach week.  I'll read the local newspaper for the sunrise times and give myself 10 minutes to get there. The pre-game show can be just a spectacular.

Long Beach Island, New Jersey just before the sun came up

3. Twilight is the time between dawn and sunrise. It is a very contemplative time, especially on a beach with hardly a soul around.


Another beautiful day about to begin on Long Beach Island, New Jersey.

4. Or it can be between sunset and dusk, during which time the sunlight in the upper atmosphere illuminates the lower atmosphere. The surface of the earth is neither completely lit nor completely dark.
The sun has set overlooking Toms River in New Jersey.

5. The sun is not visible because it is below the horizon.

Ships and barges become visible on the horizon just before the sun appears.

6. Twilight has long been popular with photographers and painters, who refer to it as the "blue hour", after the French expression l'heure bleue.

A view of the next bridge down from Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy.  It was here that I realized just how beautiful twilight can be and how much we take these free views for granted. I paused for quite a while.  It has a feel all it's own.

7. Morning civil twilight begins when the geometric center of the sun is 6° below the horizon (civil dawn) and ends at sunrise.



8. Nautical twilight is the time when the center of the sun is between 6° and 12° below the horizon.


9. The Twilight Years, I believe are often referred to as the later years in life, just as the sun has passed over the horizon. After reading further at wikipedia a valuable source to me, I am glad to know Twilight is also just before the sun rises again and the new day begins.

10. I've read at wikipedia that Twilight is sacred in Hinduism. Hindus believe that this time is ideal for study and education.

Cellini statue in the center of Ponte Vecchio with twilight as the backdrop is an ideal time to study the beauty of Florence, Italy.



It is always a good thing to tune into what is happening in the world around you or without your knowledge you could enter the Twilight Zone.

 

Today January 18, 2012, the English wikipedia will be blacked out globally in protest against the proposed SOPA Stop Online Piracy Act, pending legislation in the United States. It is something we should all be aware of, read about, pay attention to and voice our opinions.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Top 10 January Awareness Month

1. Blood Donor Month

2. Financial Wellness Month

3. Cervical Cancer Awarness Month



4. National Birth Defects Prevention Month


5. Thyroid Awareness Month

6. Family Fit Lifestyle Month

7. National Poverty in America Awareness Month

8. National Glaucoma Awareness Month

9. National Radon Awareness Month

10. National Soup Month, no links here for I have never met a soup I didn't like.  There are tons of recipes in cookbooks, online, family hand me downs, neighbor and friend suggestions but I always find the best ones are the ones you just make up yourself with what you have on hand.  It is also International Creativity Month. What a better way to celebrate both, get in the kitchen and let your Julia or Julian Child shine.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Top 10 Holiday for The Man Who Would Be King

1. Martin Luther King was born on January 15th, 1929. He would have been 83 years old. His birthday is celebrated every year on the third Monday in January. This year, we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 16th. It is a United States federal holiday.


2. The Martin Luther King Commemorative Mural that resides at 1616 West Second Street in Chester, PA near the Calvary Baptist Church. was dedicated on June 20, 2009. Paul Downie lead artist along with community volunteers painted it at Widener University on Martin Luther King Day 2009. The project was lead by the MLK Commemorative Committee of Chester and Vicinity, Calvary Baptist Church, and the Community Arts Center in Wallingford, PA.



3. Stevie Wonder was one of the main figures in the campaign to have the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. become a national holiday. His song Happy Birthday was used to promote the campaign. Wonder was the headliner at the first official commemoration concert in 1986 and also performed October 16, 2011 at the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D. C.

 

4. Martin Luther King Jr had very definitive ties to the city of Chester and it's community. During the three years he attended the seminary school in Upland, he was associated with the First Calvary Church in Chester through Pastor Rev. Barbour a former student and mentor at the Crozer Theological Seminary. Pastor Barbour would allow the students to preach and he would critique them. Martin Luther King was also a Sunday school teacher there.


5. The Crozer Theological Seminary was a multi-denominational religious institution located in Upland, Pennsylvania.  The schools most famous student was Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. He graduated in 1951 with a Bachelor of Divinity degree.



6. Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Nobel Peace Prize lecture and “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” are among the most revered orations and writings in the English language. There is a link on YouTube US National Archives March on Washington. you can view the speech in full.  It is powerful.  The speech was made August 28, 1963 at the March on Washington on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The 1963 march was an important part of the rapidly expanding Civil Rights Movement. It also marked the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln. Singer, songwriter Bob Dylan, Joan Biaz and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson were on hand to lend their support.  Charlton Heston, Marlon Brando, Harry Belefonte and Sidney Poitier were also in attendance.


7. King spoke in an interview of hearing Howard University President, Mordecai Johnson speak in Philadelphia after returning from a visit to India and seeing Gandhi. This engagement prompted him to go and purchase several books on Gandhi and Gandhian technique and the power of passive and non-violent resistance.



8. Dr. Martin Luther King was the youngest person at 35 years of age to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He was just 39 years old when he was assassinated.  The National Martin Luther King Day of Service began in 1996. Since 1996, the annual Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service has been the largest event in the nation honoring Dr. King.



9. The King Center Imaging Project goes live today. It will contain thousands of never seen before documents. Today January 16th, 2012 a wreath lying ceremony will take place at the Washington D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial to honor his birthday. The event is free and open to the public.

10. In 2010, the city of Chester unveiled a bronze bust of Dr. King.  It is located in an open air park at 6th and Engle Streets. The five foot statue was created by renowned sculptor Zenos Frudakis at his Glenside studio.  The eyes are deep and intense, a true likeness.



Martin Luther King JR. made huge strides in this country against social and civil injustice but we still have a  long road to go, hopefully someday "we shall overcome".



Friday, January 13, 2012

Top 10 Music Alert James Maddock live in Newtown Square January 21

James Maddock is coming to town................. 


I first mentioned James Maddock in one of my first blogs in March of 2010 "Top 10 Indie Artists To Be On the Lookout For".  Here is your opportunity, he will be appearing at Burlap and Bean in Newtown Square, PA on  Saturday, January 21st. Good stuff. You can reserve tickets at the Burlap and Bean website link.

A sampling of some of his songs.....




1. Chance

2. When the Stars Align James Maddock with David Immergluck of Counting Crows

3. Too Many Boxes

4. When You Go Quiet

5.When the Sun's Out

6. Fragile

7. Prettier Girls

8. Sunrise on Avenue C

9. Together

10.Never Ending


Wake Up and Dream selected as #13 Album of the Year 2011 by Listeners of wfuv.org in New York City.

http://jamesmaddock.net/
http://www.jamesmaddockstore.com/
http://twitter.com/jamesmaddock

You can also follow James Maddock on Facebook.  He has a fan page.

January 14th, 2012 at the Light of Day Concert, Asbury Park on stage with Willie Nile, Joe D'Urso and Bruce Springstein!!!






Thursday, January 12, 2012

Top 10 True Uses for Baking Soda

1. "Baking soda", is primarily used in cooking (baking), as a leavening agent. True Not to be confused with baking soda, both produce carbon dioxide when added to baking items and cause them to rise. Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate, baking powder is a mix.

2.Baking soda can put out grease fires. True but you need a lot, read more to the story at firstaid.about.com Sodium bicarbonate powder may be used to smother a small fire, as heating of sodium bicarbonate releases carbon dioxide.

3. Sodium bicarbonate can be added as a simple solution for raising the pH balance of water (increasing total alkalinity) where high levels of chlorine (2–5 ppm) are present as in swimming pools and aquariums. True http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/index.php

4. Make a paste with baking soda and water and put it on minor burns and bee stings to take the sting out. That's what my mother used to do when we were kids. Can't remember how we got the burns tho!! But that was the remedy!!" Mayoclinic agrees about the stings and Sunburn magazine agrees with the minor burns.

5. Sprinkle a little in your shoes for  a little freshening up! True it is an odor eater. Askville.com also says it helps with cat liter odor.


6. Years ago I spilled a mixture to make home made ice cream all over the rug in my car.  Milk can leave a nasty smell in an enclosed space especially in the summer. I tried a lot of things and baking soda was the final solution. True verified at ehow.com

7. Whitens Teeth with a demonstration from wikihow My dentist once recommended baking soda and peroxide for brushing your teeth. There is a toothpaste like this on the market now.  In order to get the exact combo I would either purchase that or talk to your dentist about it.


8. Deodorize in the refrigeratorTrue, open a box of baking soda, tear off the lid and leave it in the refrigerator no longer then three months, date the box.  It absorbs the odors.

9. I take the same box and dump it down the drain but maybe I have been doing it wrong all these years.  This link has a few other suggestions, housekeeping.about.com.


10. Without a doubt and the winner is and I have been saving the best for last. "1950's Rice Krispies giveaway, Submarine fill the bottom with baking soda it sank to bottom of the tub baking soda melted then the submarine would rise! I can provide a picture!!"  I didn't need  a picture but I found a bunch of links, check these two out. Kellogg's.com facts and Torgo.com


Source: Facebook Friends, Shirley, Lesile, Patty, H.J.,Joanne, Lauren and Mary and verified on the web.  Recommendations just for fun use caution with everything you read on the internet and always do your own research.

ArmandHammer has a most extensive and informative website on the uses of baking soda. Check 'em out.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Top 10 Famous Last Words

1. Nothing soothes pain like human touch.
  • Who: Chess Grandmaster Bobby Fischer
  • Note: Said while dying of kidney failure.
2. I've had a hell of a lot of fun and I've enjoyed every minute of it.
3. One never knows the ending. One has to die to know exactly what happens after death, although Catholics have their hopes.
4. Die, my dear? Why, that's the last thing I'll do!
5. I give my soul to God, my body to the earth, and my worldly possessions to my nearest of kin, charging them to remember the sufferings of Jesus Christ.
6. The taste of death is upon my lips…I feel something, that is not of this earth.
7. Tomorrow, I shall no longer be here.
8. Drink to me, drink to my health, you know I can’t drink any more.
9. I have not told half of what I saw.
10. Good bye. If we meet-
  • Who: Mark Twain
  • Note: Spoken to his daughter Clara.
More quotes can be found at wikiquote/lastwords

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Top 10 Animals Used in War

The first time I saw the Animals In War Monument  in London, I thought it was peculiar but it certainly made me think and the latest box office release, War Horse has made me think again.

The inscription under "Animals in War"

"This monument is dedicated to all the animals
that served and died alongside British and allied forces
in wars and campaigns throughout time"
The second, smaller inscription simply reads:
"They had no choice"

How many can you name without looking at the list first?

1.  Domesticated animals such as dogs, pigs, oxen, camels and horses are used for functions such as transport and bomb detection.

2. The horse was the most widely-used animal throughout the recorded history of warfare. Early mounts could pull a chariot or carry lightly armored skirmishing forces. With the appearance of heavier mounts and the invention of the stirrup, the horse-mounted cavalry became the most prestigious military arm in Europe for several centuries. A knight's warhorse was trained to bite and kick. The combination of the horse-mounted warrior armed with a bow made the steppe people's armies the most powerful military force in Asian history. With the appearance of modern ranged weapons and motorised vehicles, horse use for military purposes fell into decline. However, the horse and the mule are still used extensively by various armies today for transport in difficult terrain.

3. Elephants can be trained to serve as mounts, or for moving heavy loads. Sanskrit hymns record their use for military purposes as early as 1,100 B.C. A group of elephants was notably employed by Hannibal during the Second Punic War. They were employed as recently as World War II by both the Japanese and Allies. Elephants could perform the work of machines in locations where vehicles could not penetrate, so they found use in the Burma Campaign. War Elephants were used by India, Burma, Persians, the Hellenistic kingdoms, Carthage, the Numidian Kingdoms, and Rome and Carthage


4. Camels have typically seen use as mounts in arid regions (Camel cavalry). They are better able to traverse sandy deserts than horses, and require far less water. Camels were employed in both world wars. Camels are used by the Indian Army and Border Security Force for patrolling in the desert regions of Rajasthan.


5. Mules were used by the U.S. Army during World War II to carry supplies and equipment over difficult terrain. Pack animals that are innately patient, cautious, and hardy, mules could carry heavy loads of supplies where Jeeps and even pack horses could not travel. Mules were used in North Africa, Burma, and in Italy. They are also used for transporting supplies in mountainous regions.

6. Oxen have been used widely in war as beasts of burden, especially to transport heavy or siege artillery through heavy terrain. Oxen are commonly castrated adult male cattle; castration makes the animals more tractable, this I did not know.

7. Dogs were used by the ancient Greeks for war purposes, and they were undoubtedly used much earlier in history. During their conquest of Latin America, Spanish conquistadors used Mastiffs to kill warriors in the Caribbean, Mexico and Peru. Mastiffs, as well as Great Danes, were used in England during the Middle Ages, where their large size was used to scare horses to throw off their riders or to pounce on knights on horseback, disabling them until their master delivered the final blow. More recently, canines with explosives strapped to their backs saw use during World War II in the Soviet Army as anti-tank weapons. In all armies, they were used for detecting mines. They were trained to spot trip wires, as well as mines and other booby traps. They were also employed for sentry duty, and to spot snipers or hidden enemy forces. Some dogs also saw use as messengers.


8. Pliny the Elder wrote about the use of war pigs against elephants. As he relates it, elephants became scared by the squeal of a pig and would panic, bringing disaster to any soldiers who stood in their path of flight.


9. As living bombs, the Soviets used dogs to carry explosives to tanks and armored vehicles. During World War II, Project Pigeon (later Project Orcon, for "organic control") was American behaviorist B. F. Skinner's attempt to develop a pigeon-guided missile. Bat bombs were bomb-shaped casings with numerous compartments, each containing a Mexican Free-tailed Bat with a small timed incendiary bomb attached. Dropped from a bomber at dawn, the casings would deploy a parachute in mid-flight and open to release the bats which would then roost in eaves and attics. The incendiaries would start fires in inaccessible places in the largely wood and paper construction of the Japanese cities that were the weapon's intended target. According to Pr. Shi Bo, in "Trente-six Stratagèmes Chinois" (in French, ISBN 2-911858-06-9), monkeys were used in the beginning of the Southern Song Dynasty, in a battle between rebels of the Yanzhou province and the Chinese Imperial Army, led by Zhao Yu. The monkeys were used as live incendiary devices. The animals were clothed with straw, dipped in oil and set on fire. They were set loose into the enemy's camp, thereby setting the tents on fire, and driving the whole camp into chaos.

10. In 1871 during the Franco-Prussian War, when Paris was surrounded by Prussian troops, the French military used hot air balloons to transport homing pigeons past enemy lines. Microfilm images containing hundreds of messages allowed letters to be carried into Paris by pigeon from as far away as London. More than one million different messages travelled this way during the four month siege.  Pigeons


Without looking this up in wikipedia, I would have said, horses, pigeons, mules and camels strictly from my recollections of movies.  It was definitely something I have overlooked and never even took into consideration. It seems, we owe a lot to these creatures who were our allies and in many cases saved a lot of lives.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Top 10 What's Happening in 2012

Astronomically speaking, January 9th will be the first full moon of the year, followed by February 7, March 8, April 6, May 6, June 4, July 3, August 2, August 31, September 30, October 29, November 30 and December 28.



If you are star struck, meteor showers, weather permitting are scheduled for January 3,4 Quadradtids. The skies were clear, but the early morning was cold in the Northeast United States. I only lasted about 10 minutes outside and I saw nary a one.  I hope to catch, Lyrids April 21-22, Eta Aquarids, May 5-6, Southern Delta Aquarids, July 28-29, Persids, August 12-13, Orionids, October 21-22, Leonids, November 17-18 and finally Geminids, December 13-14.  Best advice: Be patient and just keep looking up!  Google it!

 The 1st Winter Youth Olympics will be held in Innsbruck, Austria, 13 to 22 January, 2012. Viel Glück an alle. The Medals Plaza and Music Festival will be take place at Maria Theresian StraBe.
Maria Theresa Street Innsbruck, Austria

This year, 2012 is a leap year.  A leap year occurs every four years most of the time.  One day, February 29th is added to the calendar.  Depending on your perspective, it could be a long year or you have been granted an extra day to get it right. A year that is not a leap year is called a common year, so this one is special. Leap year is a human invention to keep the calendar on track with the seasons. A person born on February 29th is known as a leapling or leaper.  There are a few folk traditions that women may propose marriage on leap years, Sadie Hawkins day is unofficially February 29th.

Relax fellows this one is married.  You are safe!


Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea the next World's Fair (Korean: 2012 여수세계박람회) is an International Exposition recognized by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) to be held in Yeosu, South Korea from May 12 to August 12, 2012. The theme of the Expo is “The Living Ocean and Coast” with subthemes of “Preservation and Sustainable Development of the Ocean and Coast,” “New Resources Technology,” and “Creative Marine Activities.” The Yeosu Expo is anticipating participation of more than 100 countries and international organizations, and 8 million visitors.

The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II will be a forth coming international celebration.  It will mark the 60th Anniversary of  the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne. The official celebration will take place over June 2, 3, 4, and 5. More information is available at direct.gov.uk

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad or "London 2012 Olympic Games", are scheduled to take place in London, England, United Kingdom from 27 July to 12 August 2012. London will become the first city to officially host the modern Olympic Games three times, having previously done so in 1908 and in 1948. More information is available at london2012.com.

Queens Gate an entrance to Hyde Park. This venue will host the triathlon and the 10 km open water swimming events. The park is also planning on holding the 2012 Iron Man competition.


The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission with the aim to land and operate a rover named Curiosity on the surface of Mars. Currently in transit to Mars, it was launched November 26, 2011 and is scheduled to land on Mars at Gale Crater on August 6, 2012 (about 10pm in the evening of August 5 PDT, the time used by the mission controllers in Pasadena, California).  You can follow with Curiosity on Twitter.

The United States presidential election of 2012 is the next United States presidential election, to be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. It will be the 57th quadrennial presidential election in which presidential electors, who will actually elect the President and the Vice President of the United States on December 17, 2012, will be chosen. Barack Obama, who is eligible for a second and final term as President, has announced that he will seek nomination to be the Democratic Party's candidate in this election.  The Republican candidate is yet to be decided.  Originally, 10 candidates were vying for the position, to date there are 6 interested candidates. Third Party and independent candidates can be viewed at the United_States_third_party_and_independent_presidential_candidates,_2012 wikipedia link.


The 2012 phenomenon comprises a range of  beliefs according to which cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on December 21, 2012. NASA addresses 2012: Beginning of the End or Why the World Won't End? You can follow the link. A New Age interpretation of this transition is that this date marks the start of time in which Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era. Personally, I like the sounds of door number 2 "the new age" where Earth's inhabitants will undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, they both sound good.

Things are looking up!