(middle image) The Anatomy of a Rocket: see explanation below. (all other still images) Fireworks are soooo great!! (bottom image via A short animated gif from drone footage. The full video can be seen HERE.


The Fourth of July weekend for me is one of the highlights of the summer.  Not only do I get to see family and friends, and eat tons of my favorite foods (dogs, burgers, salads, watermelon, chips, cupcakes, ribs, grilled chicken, potatoes, beans, corn on the cob – I could go on…), but I get to watch awesome fireworks displays.  When we were kids, Mom and Dad used to pack us all up in the car (we had 18 in the family remember) and drive over to Clague Park. I have such great memories of laying on a blanket and watching the light and sound shows.

So, here are two treats for you – some fireworks trivia and a list of some of the best fireworks shows in greater Cleveland.  Enjoy, and special thanks to and

  • A firework is essentially a missile designed to explode in a very controlled way, with bangs and bursts of brightly colored light. The word “firework” comes from the Greek word pyrotechnics, which means, very appropriately, “fire art” or “fire skill.

The Anatomy of a Rocket

Fireworks can be quite complex and different types (rockets, Catherine wheels, lady fingers and so on) work in different ways. Simply speaking, though, aerial fireworks (ones designed to fire up into the sky) have five main parts.

  1. Stick (“tail”): The first thing you notice is a long wooden or plastic stick protruding from the bottom that ensures the firework shoots in a straight line. That’s important for two reasons. First, so that fireworks go where you intend to and don’t fly in a random direction (which can ruin your whole day!) and second, because it helps display organizers to position firework effects with accuracy and precision. Some fireworks now have hinged plastic sticks so they can be sold in smaller and more compact boxes.
  2. Fuse: This is the part that starts the main part of the firework (the charge) burning and ignites other, smaller fuses that make the interesting, colorful parts of the firework (the effects) explode some time later. In a basic firework, the main fuse consists of a piece of paper or fabric that you light with a match or cigarette lighter. In a complex public firework display, fuses are lit by electrical contacts known as wirebridge fuseheads. When the firework technician pushes a button, an electric current flows along a wire into the fusehead, making it burn briefly so it ignites the main fuse. Unlike manual ignition, electrical ignition can be done at a considerable distance, so it’s much safer.
  3. Charge (“motor”): The charge is a relatively crude explosive designed to blast a firework up into the sky, sometimes a distance of several hundred meters (1000ft or so) at a speed of up to several hundred km/miles per hour (as fast as a jet fighter)! It’s usually made up of tightly packed, coarse explosive gunpowder (also known as black powder). Traditionally, gunpowder used in fireworks was made of 75 percent potassium nitrate (also called saltpeter) mixed with 15 percent charcoal and 10 percent sulfur; modern fireworks sometimes use other mixtures (such as sulfurless powder with extra potassium nitrate) or other chemicals instead. Note that the charge simply sends the firework high into the air and clear of any spectators; it doesn’t make the spectacular explosions you can actually see.
  4. Effect: This is the part of the firework that makes the amazing display once the firework is safely high in the air. A single firework will have either one effect or multiple effects, packed into separate compartments, firing off in sequence, ignited by a relatively slow-burning, time-delay fuse working its way upward and ignited by the main fuse. Though essentially just explosives, the effects are quite different from the main charge. Each one is made up of more loosely packed, finer explosive material often fashioned into separate “stars,” which make up the small, individual, colorful explosions from a larger firework. Depending on how each effect is made and packed, it can either create a single explosion of stars very quickly or shoot off a large number of mini fireworks in different directions, causing a series of smaller explosions in a breathtaking, predetermined sequence.
  5. Head: This is the general name for the top part of the firework containing the effect or effects (collectively known as the payload—much like the load in a space rocket). Sometimes the head has a pointed “nose cone” to make the firework faster and more aerodynamic and improve the chance of it going in a straight line, though many fireworks simply have a blunt end.

  • An exploding firework is essentially a number of chemical reactions happening simultaneously or in rapid sequence. When you add some heat, you provide enough activation energy (the energy that kick-starts a chemical reaction) to make solid chemical compounds packed inside the firework combust (burn) with oxygen in the air and convert themselves into other chemicals, releasing smoke and exhaust gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen in the process.
  • Fireworks get their color from metal compounds (also known as metal salts) packed inside. You probably know that if you burn metals in a hot flame (such as a Bunsen burner in a school laboratory), they glow with very intense colors— that’s exactly what’s happening in fireworks. Different metal compounds give different colors. Sodium compounds give yellow and orange, copper and barium salts give green or blue, and calcium or strontium make red.
  • The solid chemicals packed into the cardboard case don’t simply rearrange themselves into other chemicals: some of the chemical energy locked inside them is converted into four other kinds of energy (heat, light, sound, and the kinetic energy of movement).
  • According to a basic law of physics called the conservation of energy (one of the most important and fundamental scientific laws governing how the universe works), the total chemical energy packed into the firework before it ignites must be the same as the total remaining in it after it explodes, plus the energy released as light, heat, sound, and movement.
  • Physics also explains why a firework shoots into the air. The charge is little more than a missile. As it burns, the firework is powered by action-and-reaction (also known as Newton’s third law of motion) in exactly the same way as a space rocket or jet engine. When the powder packed into the charge burns, it gives off hot exhaust gases that fire backward. The force of the exhaust gases firing backward is like the blast coming out from a rocket engine and creates an equal and opposite “reaction” force that sends the firework shooting forward up into the air.
  • Ever notice how fireworks most always make symmetrical explosions? If one part of the firework goes left, another part goes to the right. You never see a firework sending all its stars to the left or a bigger series of explosions to the left than to the right: the explosion is always perfectly symmetrical. Why is that? It’s because of another basic law of physics called the conservation of momentum: the momentum of a firework (the amount of “stuff moving” in each direction, if you like) must be the same before and after an explosion, so explosions to the left must be exactly balanced by explosions to the right.
  • Surprise and variety are the key to any good firework display: if all the fireworks were exactly the same, people would quickly get bored. Although all fireworks essentially work the same way—combining the power of a missile with the glory of burning metallic compounds—there are lots of different types: Rockets or skyrockets produce the most spectacular displays high in the air; Catherine wheels and pinwheels work closer to the ground, with a number of small fireworks mounted around the edge of a wooden or cardboard disk and make it spin around as they fire off; Roman candles blow out a series of small fiery explosions from a cylinder every so often; Firecrackers are fireworks designed to produce sound rather than light and they’re often incorporated into the upper effects of rockets.
  • We think of fireworks as entertainment, but the same technology has more practical uses. Flares used by military forces and at sea work in almost exactly the same way, though instead of using metallic compounds made from elements such as sodium, they use brighter and more visible compounds based on magnesium and they’re designed to burn for much longer. Even in an age of satellite navigation and radar, most ships still carry flares as a backup method of signaling distress.
  • Chinese people believed to have made explosive rockets in the 6th century CE during the Sung dynasty (960–1279CE).
  • Arabian world acquires rocket technology from the Chinese around 7th century. During the mid 13th century, English monk and pioneering scientist Roger Bacon experiments with the composition and manufacture of gunpowder.
  • Rockets similar to fireworks are used during an invasion of China by Mongolian forces in 1279.
  • The Mongols introduced firework technology to Europe and it spreads during the Middle Ages. Fireworks are produced in Italy around 1540 and spread to England, France, and other European countries the following century.
  • Guy Fawkes attempts to blow up the English houses of parliament on Nov 5, 1605 with gunpowder buried in the cellar, giving rise to the popular British custom of huge public firework displays on November 5 each year.
  • The custom of using fireworks for elaborate celebrations gains popularity in Europe in the 17th century. Prompted century by the need to produce ever more spectacular displays, firework manufacturers introduce new chemicals and more sophisticated ways of packaging them.
  • Fireworks become popular in the United States during the 19th century, initially as a way of celebrating Independence Day on July 4th.
  • 20th century: American scientists Robert Hutchings Goddard swaps the solid fuel in fireworks for a liquid fuel system, pioneering modern space rocket technology that ultimately lands men on the Moon in 1969.


Greater Cleveland Fireworks Shows

July 1 – Mayfield Fourth of July

July 1&2 – Brecksville Home Days

July 2 – Warrensville Heights Fireworks & North Olmstead Boom

July 3 – Independence 4th of July & Bratenahl Fourth of July

July 4 – Lakewood, Bay Village, and Solon Independence Day, Berea, Strongsville, Westlake

July 6,7,8 – Broadview Heights Home Days on the Green

July 8 – Fairview Park Summerfest & Orrville Fire In the Sky

July 9 – Brook Park Home Days


Also, let’s be sure to honor our country again this 4th – our vets, our speech, and our way of life.  Say a prayer for those who came before us and thank them for their commitment to freedom, leadership, friendship and the great US of A.



Antediluvian or Xanthosis?

(top row l) Scrabble really is a fun casual game. (top row r) One of a many many package designs; A tournament in progress. (row two l to r) A more serious side of the game, 2013 National SCRABBLE Champion Nigel Richards (New Zealand) receives a winning check of $10,000; In September of 2016, British man, Brett Smitheram, 37, from Chingford in east London, wins the World Scrabble Championship with an obscure word for a parasitic wasp, Braconid. (rows three, four & five) People all over the world use Scrabble tiles to express their feelings. (bottom row l to r) People love Scrabble so much, there’s an industry making products out of the tiles or inspired by them; The game’s inventor, Alfred Mosher Butts, sitting in hundreds of tiles. Thanks, Al!


Isn’t it funny how we’ve learned to write, word after word, sentence after sentence and then, all of a sudden, stop, wondering if we are spelling a word correctly (sorry Sister Mary. I do, and often use my computer or cell phone to check my best guess attempts. (recieve / receive!) It got me to thinking about an old board game I loved as a kid, named Scrabble. Jackie and my daughters and son in law play this often! – Unfortunately for me, Colleen almost never loses! So, I went online to get a little history on the game, and found that the game was patented in June nearly 80 years ago. I found the history info intriguing and worth sharing. Enjoy, and special thanks to for the details.

  1. Alfred Mosher Butts, an out-of-work architect from Poughkeepsie, New York, decided to invent a board game. Analyzing games, he found they fell into three categories: number games, such as dice and bingo; move games, such as chess and checkers and word games, such as anagrams.
  2. – Attempting to create a game that would use both chance and skill, Butts combined features of anagrams and the crossword puzzle to create Scrabble, a real word which means “to grope frantically (first called LEXIKO and CRISS CROSS WORDS).
  3. To decide on letter distribution, Butts studied the front page of The New York Times and did painstaking calculations of letter frequency. His basic cryptographic analysis of our language and his original tile distribution have remained valid for almost three generations and billions of games played.
  4. Established game manufacturers were unanimous in rejecting Butts’ invention for commercial development. When Butts met James Brunot, a game-loving entrepreneur, he became enamored of the concept. Together, they made some refinements on rules and design and, most importantly, came up with the name “SCRABBLE”, and trademarked the game in 1948.
  5. For production the Brunots rented an abandoned schoolhouse in Dodgington, Connecticut, where with friends they turned out 12 games an hour, stamping letters on wooden tiles one at a time. Later, boards, boxes and tiles were made elsewhere and sent to the factory for assembly and shipping.
  6. The first four years were a struggle. In 1949 the Brunots made 2,400 sets and lost $450. As so often happens in the game business, the SCRABBLE game gained slow but steady popularity among a comparative handful of consumers.
  7. In the early 1950s, as legend has it, the president of MACY’S discovered the game on vacation and ordered some for his store. Within a year, everyone “had to have one” to the point that SCRABBLE games were being rationed to stores around the country.
  8. In 1952, the Brunots realized they could no longer make the games fast enough to meet the growing interest. They licensed Long Island-based Selchow & Righter Company, a well-known game manufacturer founded in 1867, to market and distribute the games in the United States and Canada.
  9. Even Selchow & Righter had to step up production to meet the overwhelming demand for the game. As stories about it appeared in national newspapers, magazines and on television, it seemed that everybody had to have a set immediately.
  10. In 1972, Selchow & Righter purchased the trademark from Brunot, thereby giving the company the exclusive rights to all SCRABBLE® Brand products and entertainment services in the United States and Canada.
  11. In 1986, Selchow & Righter was sold to COLECO Industries, who had become famous as the manufacturers of the Cabbage Patch Dolls. Three years later, COLECO declared bankruptcy, and its primary assets — most notably the SCRABBLE game and ParchesiTM — were purchased by Hasbro, Inc., owner of Milton Bradley Company, the nation’s leading game company.
  12. Today the game is found in one of every three American homes, ranging from a Junior edition to a CD-ROM with many versions in between including: Standard, Deluxe with turntable, Deluxe Travel, Spanish and French. I have the turntable edition – and yes you can spin too fast!
  13. Competitive SCRABBLE game play is widely popular much in the manner of chess and bridge. Every year, a National SCRABBLE® Championship is held in a major US city, and on alternate years the World SCRABBLE® Championship is hosted between Hasbro and Mattel.
  14. In addition, the National SCRABBLE® Association sanctions over 180 tournaments and more than 200 clubs in the US and Canada. The next generation of SCRABBLE players is steadily growing with over a half million kids playing the game in more than 18,000 schools nationwide through the School SCRABBLE Program.
  15. Hundreds of these students currently compete in state and regional championships across the country. The first annual National School SCRABBLE® Championship was held in Boston on April 26, 2003.
  16. Classrooms can also subscribe to the School SCRABBLE® News which includes a teacher edition complete with tested ideas and a lesson plan designed to meet nationally mandated educational goals, and a student issue chock full of feature stories and puzzles.
  17. Alfred Mosher Butts enjoyed playing the SCRABBLE game with family and friends to the end of his life. He passed away in April 1993 at the age of 93.
  18. Even though it’s a word game, the real story behind SCRABBLE® Brand Crossword Game is numbers. One hundred million sets sold world-wide. Between one and two million sold each year in North America.
  19. Experts estimate over 120,000 words that may be used in your scoring arsenal.
  20. Antediluvian (an-ti-də-ˈlü-vē-ən) means “of or relating to the period before the flood described in the Bible” and Xanthosis (zānthō’sĭs) is “a yellowish discoloration JUNE 23 2017of degenerating tissues, especially seen in malignant neoplasms.” (now you know)





Tea for Two

(top row l to r) French explorer and botanist, Andre Michaux brought tea to the Carolinas in the late 1700s; Judy Garland was born on National Ice Tea Day, June 10 in 1922; There she is in The Wizzard of OZ; There she is with Toto; And there she is on the set of a later movie having a refreshing…yep…iced tea. (middle row l to r) In a plastic cup, in a glass, with lemon, raspberry and other fruits iced tea can’t be beat. (bottom row c to r) Since 2000, Ice-T can’t be beat either in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; And more recently, Ice-T’s having lemonade in a light hearted GEICO commercial.


Moving mulch in the yard the other night (my favorite spring PIA (Pain In The @#$) Job, I worked up a good sweat, and headed for the house for something to cool me down. I filled a glass with cubes, and poured a big splash of fresh, sweet iced tea. Ahhhhhhh! Recently, I was lucky enough to play in a charity fundraising outing, guest of my attorney pal Ken, and yep, you guessed it, we both enjoyed a glass or two or three at the club during the 90+ degree heat. Like I often do, I paused to think (you know me!) about the genius who came up with this flavorful and refreshing “distortion temperature thermal processing solution”, and hit the internet to capture some info I thought you’d find interesting, topping it off with a few “classic” and “adult” recipes to try. Special thanks to Wikipedia, Bustle, and Mother Nature.

  1. – While tea has an impressive history stretching back 5,000 years, iced tea has a history stretching back only as far as the discovery of preserving ice – special thanks to Fredrick and William Tudor – early pioneers of capturing and shipping ice.
  2. The plant arrived in America in the late 1700s by the French explorer and botanist, Andre Michaux. Michaux brought many showy plants to South Carolina during this time to satisfy the tastes of wealthy Charleston planters.
  3. While popular lore has iced tea being discovered by accident in the early twentieth century, there are documents dating the use of iced tea in the seventeenth century. In 1795, South Carolina was the only colony in America producing tea plants and was also the only colony to produce the plant commercially.
  4. Once the plant arrived, accounts of iced versions of tea began to appear almost immediately in cookbooks of the day. Both English and American cookbooks show tea being iced to use in cold green tea punches. Heavily spiked with alcohol, these punches were popular and made with green tea, not black as iced tea is made today. One popular version was called Regent’s Punch, named after George IV, the English prince regent in the early nineteenth century.
  5. The first version of iced tea as we know it today, albeit made with green tea leaves, was printed in 1879. Housekeeping in Old Virginia published a recipe by Marion Cabell Tyree calling for green tea to be boiled then steeped throughout the day. Finally, “fill the goblets with ice, put two teaspoonful’s granulated sugar in each, and pour the tea over the ice and sugar.” Ms. Tyree also called for lemon in her drink.
  6. The oldest printed recipes for iced tea date back to the 1870s. Two of the earliest cookbooks with iced tea recipes are the Buckeye Cookbook by Estelle Woods Wilcox, first published in 1876, and Housekeeping in Old Virginia by Marion Cabell Tyree, first published in 1877.
  7. In 1884, the head of the Boston Cooking School, Mrs. D. A. (Mary) Lincoln, printed her recipe for presweetened iced tea calling for cold tea to be poured over cracked ice, lemon and two sugar cubes. Mrs. Lincoln’s recipe called for the black tea used today in iced tea as well as sugar proving sweet tea is not just a southern tradition.
  8. Many other accounts of iced tea exist prior to 1904 when many historians mistakenly believe iced tea was invented. While it has been shown that the beverage had existed for a century prior to the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Richard Blechynden is said to have realized that an iced version of his free hot tea would be more appealing on a summer day. It was, and with so many fair goers from around the country looking for cold drinks, the popularity of iced tea skyrocketed and the beverage became immediately well-known and eventually common throughout North America.
  9. Iced tea’s popularity in the United States led to an addition to standard cutlery sets: the iced tea spoon – a teaspoon with a long handle, suitable for stirring sugar into glasses.
  10. It is a common stereotype of the Southeastern United States that, due to the popularity of sweet iced tea in the region, unsweet iced tea is not available or is frowned upon; it is often the case, however, that the term “iced tea” is assumed by default to mean sweetened iced tea in that region.
  11. National Iced Tea Day is observed annually on June 10th – a day set aside to celebrate one of summer’s favorite drinks.  Whether it is sweetened or unsweetened, with or without lemon, it is loved by many and enjoyed by the glass full all summer long. Homemade and commercially manufactured iced tea can be found in many flavors including lemon, peach, raspberry, lime, passions fruit, strawberry, cherry and more.
  12. An alternative to carbonated soft drinks and quite popular in the United States, iced tea makes up about 85% of all tea consumed.
  13. Green tea has been suggested to be used for a variety of positive health benefits including reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer, oral health, reduce blood pressure, weight control, antibacterial and antiviral activity, protection from solar ultraviolet light, anti-fibrotic properties, neuroprotective power. Personally, I still stick with black

Fun Recipies (special thanks to Jamie Ritter at Bustle)

Sweet Tea Bourbon Cocktail With Fresh Mint And Orange  
This infused sweet tea cocktail from Joy the Baker balances the woody flavor of bourbon with lighter, summery notes of citrus and mint.

Spiked Iced Soy Chai Tea
Add this spicy iced tea from The Kitchn to the menu, and we will be the first to RSVP to your porch party.

Tipsy Lemonade and Peach Iced Tea
This beautiful tincture from The Comfort of Cooking combines fruit juice and adult mixer for a flavor profile that’s all grown-up.

Just Good Old Fashion Iced Tea
In a large pot, combine six black tea bags tied together, and strips of lemon and orange zest, and boiling water. Let steep 8 minutes. Remove tea bags and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Add sugar to taste and serve over ice with lemon and orange slices if desired.

Classic Arnold Palmer
Named after the famed golfer, mix equal parts of lemonade and iced tea in a big glass filled with ice. Then, throw on the shades, kick back and enjoy the summer.

If you have a favorite recipe, send my way and I’ll share it with the group, and send you a collector’s addition KHT “chillin” summer t-shirt.



Did you get my message?

(row one left) Curiosity leads many people to throw notes in bottles into the sea to see where they might land. To others it’s a last desperate attempt to communicate with someone somewhere; (row one right two images) The old beer bottle that skipper Konrad Fischer plucked from is nets in 2014 contained a postcard dated 17 May 1913; (row two left two images) message in a bottle that reads “From Titanic. Goodbye all. Jeremiah Burke of Glanmire, Cork” washes ashore in Dunkettle, Ireland in 1913; (row two right two images) 1999. A bottle is discovered in the River Thames sent from World War I private Thomas Hughes, who wrote a message for his wife and tossed it into the English Channel as he left to fight in France in 1914. He was killed in battle two days later. The bottle is delivered to his 86-year-old daughter in New Zealand; (row four middle) Keep your messages on this 16GB Drift Bottles USB 2.0 Flash Memory Stick in drift bottles style. Get it HERE; (row four right) Social networking in its oldest form. Harold Hackett has sent out over 4,800 messages in a bottle and has received over 3,100 responses; (bottom right) In 1979 Event – “Message In A Bottle” by Police peaks at #1 in UK; (bottom left) In 2012, a note written by Sidonie Fery, who died at 18 in 2010, washes up in the Hurricane Sandy debris. The message, written when Fery was 10, reads: “Be excellent to yourself, dude.”


Ever start a conversation like that? Ever think about how many times in a week we are sending and leaving messages. Email, cellphone, Facebook, Intragram, Twitter, and more. Some days it seems like that’s all I do, or all we talk about in the national news. If I’m not reading and sending emails, I’m on the phone responding to voice messages, calling my awesome customers to talk about their latest PIA (Pain In The @#$) Jobs. I was wondering about how things “used to be” a long time ago before technology (I grew up in an era when yellow sticky notes used to be the way we “left a message”) and It got me to thinking about casting off a message and hoping for a return, long before telegraphs, mail and technology. So for my trivia buffs, here’s some info I think you’ll dig. Special thanks to nymag, national geographic and

And to get you in the mood, HERE is one of my favorite tunes you can listen to while reading – ENJOY!

  1. The earliest known message in a bottle was sent by the Greek philosopher Theophrastus, one of Aristotle’s pupils, in 310 B.C., as a way of testing his hypothesis that the Atlantic Ocean flows into the Mediterranean Sea.
  2. In the 1500s, Queen Elizabeth appointed a royal “Uncorker of Ocean Bottles” and makes the unauthorized opening of an “ocean bottle” a capital crime.
  3. In 1846, The United States Coast & Geodetic Survey begins releasing messages in bottles into the ocean en masse to gather data on ocean currents.
  4. Ensconced in a plain glass bottle, a scrap of paper drifted in the North Sea for 98 years. But when a Scottish skipper pulled it from his nets near the Shetland Islands, he didn’t find a lovelorn note or marooned sailor’s SOS. “Please state where and when this card was found, and then put it in the nearest Post Office,” read the message. “You will be informed in reply where and when it was set adrift. Our object is to find out the direction of the deep currents of the North Sea.”  Sorry, romantics.
  5. A message in a bottle that reads “From Titanic. Goodbye all. Burke of Glanmire, Cork” washes ashore in Dunkettle, Ireland in 1913.
  6. In 1915, as the ocean liner Lusitania is sinking—after being torpedoed by a German U-boat—one passenger has time to pen this message: “Still on deck with a few people. The last boats have left. We are sinking fast … The end is near. Maybe this note will—”
  7. The message in a bottle found by Andrew Leaper is certified as the oldest ever recovered—belonged to a century-old science experiment. To study local ocean currents, Capt. C. Hunter Brown of the Glasgow School of Navigation set bottle number 646B adrift, along with 1,889 others, on June 10, 1914.
  8. A passenger aboard the steamship “SS Arawatta wrote a message which was placed in a bottle and thrown overboard between Cairns and Brisbane in 1910.  It was found June 6th, 1983 – 73 years later almost to the day – on Moreton Island off the Queensland Coast.
  9. The 73 year record was broken in 1996 when a fisherman found a bottle in the North Sea which had been in the water 82 years and which made the offer of a small reward if returned.  The fisherman collected £1 from the British Government.
  10. And in the 18th century, a treasure-hunting seaman from Japan named Chunosuke Matsuyama, shipwrecked on a South Pacific island with 43 shipmates, carved a message into coconut wood, put it in a bottle, and set it adrift. It was found in 1935—supposedly in the same village where Matsuyama was born.
  11. In 1979 Event – “Message In A Bottle” by Police peaks at #1 in UK.  And in 1973, Jim Croce, vocalist of the hit song “Time in a Bottle”, dies in a plane crash at age 30.
  12. Amateur fisherman Harold Hackett of Prince Edward Island, Canada, sends the first of over 4,800 messages in bottles. He’s since received more than 3,100 responses.
  13. In 1999, a bottle is discovered in the River Thames sent from World War I private Thomas Hughes, who wrote a message for his wife and tossed it into the English Channel as he left to fight in France in 1914. He was killed in battle two days later. The bottle is delivered to his 86-year-old daughter in New Zealand.
  14. In 2005, after being abandoned at sea off the coast of Costa Rica, 88 South American refugees are rescued when a fishing vessel receives their plea for help in a bottle tied to one of the boat’s fishing lines.
  15. In 2009, in a land-based discovery, workers near Auschwitz find a message in a bottle written by prisoners of the Nazi camp dated September 9, 1944, and bearing the names, camp numbers, and hometowns of seven men.
  16. In 2011, after the Italian bulk carrier Montecristo is hijacked by Somali pirates, the crew is rescued when NATO warships receive a message stating that it is safe to board the ship.
  17. In 2012, a note written by Sidonie Fery, who died at 18 in 2010, washes up in the Hurricane Sandy debris. The message, written when Fery was 10, reads: “Be excellent to yourself, dude.”
  18. There have been some amazing paths followed by sea bottle messages.  Three that were dropped into the Beaufort Sea (map), above northern Alaska and northwestern Canada, became frozen in sea ice.  Five years later, melting Arctic ice had flushed the bottles all the way to northern Europe. Another bottle circled Antarctica one and a half times before it wound up on the Australian island of Tasmania. Some have made it from Mexico to the Philippines. And others have demonstrated that oil spills and debris from development in Canada’s Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay could end up on Irish, French, Scottish, and Norwegian beaches.
  19. Today drift bottles are still used by oceanographers studying global currents. In 2000 Eddy Carmack, a climate researcher at Canada’s Institute of Ocean Science, started the Drift Bottle Project, initially to study currents around northern North America.  In the past 12 years, he and his colleagues have launched some 6,400 bottled messages from ships around the world. Of those, 264—about 4 percent—have been found and reported.
  20. Bloomberg reports that June 1 is the 20th anniversary of text messages – with well over 8 trillion messages sent yearly.  Wonder how many of those are responded to?

Send me a message if you enjoyed this week’s post, and I’ll be sure to respond.








Who doesn’t love the occasional donut? There are some real artists out there making them at 4:00 in the morning. About the right time for me to swing by for a warm one on my way into the office. (bottom) The lovely Snicket. This one’s from Fragapane Bakery.


If you are like me, then you will understand how some days are just “made for a doughnut.” Too often (says my lovely wife), I’ll jump in the car and ride up to my neighborhood doughnut shop to get my favorite treat. Like Norm on the TV series Cheers, it’s a great feeling when you walk in and they already know your name and what you’re ordering. Give me a snicket and they let me to pick out that very, very, special one! After that, I’m good for pretty much whatever comes my way that day. Think “PIA” Jobs! Preparing for my post this week, I realized that today is national Doughnut Day, and this weekend is often celebrated as National Doughnut Weekend. Here’s some trivia to help you be the smartest connoisseur at the breakfast counter. Enjoy, and thanks Wikipedia and

  • National Doughnut Day started in 1938 as a fund raiser for Chicago’s The Salvation Army. Their goal was to help those in need during the Great Depression, and to honor The Salvation Army “Lassies” of World War I, who served doughnuts to soldiers.
  • The holiday celebrates the doughnut (a.k.a. donut) – an edible, torus-shaped piece of dough which is deep-fried and sweetened.
  • The doughnut supposedly came to us from the eighteenth century Dutch of New Amsterdam and were referred to as olykoeks, meaning oily cakes. In the nineteenth century, Elizabeth Gregory fried flavored dough with walnuts for her son Hanson Gregory, hence the name doughnut. By the late nineteenth century, the doughnut had a hole.
  • Soon after the US entrance into World War I in 1917, The Salvation Army sent a fact-finding mission to France. The mission concluded that the needs of US enlisted men could be met by canteens/social centers termed “huts” that could serve baked goods, provide writing supplies and stamps, and provide a clothes-mending service. Typically, six staff members per hut would include four female volunteers who could “mother” the boys. These huts were established by The Salvation Army in the United States near army training centers.
  • About 250 Salvation Army volunteers went to France. Because of the difficulties of providing freshly baked goods from huts established in abandoned buildings near to the front lines, the two Salvation Army volunteers (Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance) came up with the idea of providing doughnuts. These are reported to have been an “instant hit”, and “soon many soldiers were visiting The Salvation Army huts”. Margaret Sheldon wrote of one busy day: “Today I made 22 pies, 300 doughnuts, 700 cups of coffee.”
  • Soon, the women who did this work became known by the servicemen as “Doughnut Girls” and the soldiers earned the nickname “doughboys”.
  • In the Second World War, Red Cross Volunteers also distributed doughnuts, and it became routine to refer to the Red Cross girls as Doughnut Dollies as well.
  • There are three other doughnut holidays, the origins of which are obscure. International Jelly-Filled Doughnut Day is June 8, National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day is Sept. 14, and Buy a Doughnut Day occurs on October 30.
  • The birthday of the United States Marine Corps was once referred to as National Donut Day, in a successful ruse by American prisoners of war at Son Tay prison camp to trick the North Vietnamese into giving out donuts in honor of the occasion.
  • More than 10 billion donuts are made every year in the U.S.
  • Per capita, Canadians eat the most doughnuts compared to all world countries.
  • Doughnuts vary depending on whether you use yeast or chemically leavened ingredients. Homemade doughnuts generally include far few ingredients than mass- produced or those made from mixes. Chemically-raised doughnuts are made with ingredients such as flour, baking powder, salt, liquid, and varying amounts of eggs, milk, sugar, shortening and other flavorings using baking powder in the batter to leaven the dough. Yeast-leavened doughnuts are made with ingredients that include flour, shortening, milk, sugar, salt, water, yeast, eggs or egg whites, and flavorings.
  • And I’m sure you’re wondering, after snickets, my top three doughnuts are peanut, blueberry glazed and Boston cream.

(email me your top 3 doughnut choices, and I’ll send you a collector KHT coffee mug)


Doughnut Dollies 1918 France.