9-1-1

From the first 9-1-1 call placed in Haleyville, Alabama in 1968 to today, a whole lot of people have been helped through life-threatening emergencies. A big THANKS to all those who do the responding!!

 

“Help!”.  Something we hear often at KHT.  Mostly from loyal customers and new prospects unhappy with their distortion sensitive thermal processing results.  Sometimes their materials under-perform, then production slows, impacting costs.  Sometimes they are just trying to keep things on schedule. Often, it’s my favorite – those PIA (Pain In The @%$) Jobs! – the ones that cost you time and money, bringing everything to a screeching halt and just wrecking your day.  About 60 years ago, the President’s Commission understood the importance of HELP, and decided it was time to create a national “single number” people could call. Just like our PIA call to action, people jump right on it – fire, police, and other emergency responders. This weekend marks the anniversary of the first call 9-1-1 – that amazing universal number we often take for granted.  It’s managed by the NENA – 13,000 members and 47 chapters strong – dedicated to saving lives, by providing an effective and accessible 9-1-1 service for North America. Here’s some trivia to learn more 9-1-1, NENA, and how it all got started.  Big high five to those great people, always on the front lines, ready to respond.  Thanks Wikipedia and NENA for the info.

 

  1. The three-digit telephone number “9-1-1” has been designated as the “Universal Emergency Number,” for citizens throughout the United States to request emergency assistance. It is intended as a nationwide telephone number and gives the public fast and easy access to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).
  2. The NENA organization has been connected to 9-1-1 every step of the way.  Serving as a link in the delivery of emergency services, 9-1-1 has, throughout its evolution, become recognized as a great asset throughout the country.
  3. The first catalyst for a nationwide emergency telephone number was in 1957, when the National Association of Fire Chiefs recommended use of a single number for reporting fires.
  4. In 1967, the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice recommended that a “single number should be established” nationwide for reporting emergency situations. The use of different telephone numbers for each type of emergency was determined to be contrary to the purpose of a single, universal number.
  5. Other Federal Government Agencies and various governmental officials also supported and encouraged the recommendation. As a result of the immense interest in this issue, the President’s Commission on Civil Disorders turned to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a solution.  In November 1967, the FCC met with the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) to find a means of establishing a universal emergency number that could be implemented quickly.
  6.  In 1968, AT&T announced that it would establish the digits 9-1-1 (nine-one-one) as the emergency code throughout the United States. The code 9-1-1 was chosen because it best fit the needs of all parties involved. First, and most important, it met public requirements because it is brief, easily remembered, and can be dialed quickly. Second, because it is a unique number, never having been authorized as an office code, area code, or service code, it best met the long-range numbering plans and switching configurations of the telephone industry.
  7. Congress backed AT&T’s proposal and passed legislation allowing use of only the numbers 9-1-1 when creating a single emergency calling service, thereby making 9-1-1 a standard emergency number nationwide.
  8. On February 16, 1968, Senator Rankin Fite completed the first 9-1-1 call made in the United States in Haleyville, Alabama. The serving telephone company was then Alabama Telephone Company. This Haleyville 9-1-1 system is still in operation today.
  9. In March 1973, the White House’s Office of Telecommunications issued a national policy statement which recognized the benefits of 9-1-1, encouraged the nationwide adoption of 9-1-1, and provided for the establishment of a Federal Information Center to assist units of government in planning and implementation.
  10. In the early 1970s, AT&T began the development of sophisticated features for the 9-1-1 with a pilot program in Alameda County, California. The feature was “selective call routing.” This pilot program supported the theory behind the Executive Office of Telecommunication’s Policy.
  11. By the end of 1976, 9-1-1 was serving about 17% of the population. By ‘79, approximately 26% of the population of the United States had 9-1-1 service, and by ‘87, those figures had grown to indicate that 50% had access.  Today, pproximately 96% of the geographic US is covered by some type of 9-1-1.
  12. Over 80% of 911 calls in the United States are placed from wireless phones, and the rate is increasing. About 240 million calls are made each year.
  13. Some Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) report that 15%–20% of incoming 911 calls are non-emergencies. An emergency is a life-threatening situation where every second counts, such as a heart attack, uncontrolled asthma attack, child birth in progress, any event involving large amounts of blood, uncontrolled fire, a life-threatening event such as a knife fight, an armed robbery in progress, or a serious car accident (not a fender bender).
  14. While North America uses 911 as an emergency number, other countries dial 999. For all members of the European Union and several other countries, 112 is an emergency number that can be dialed for free of charge.
  15. The world’s oldest emergency phone number is the U.K’s 999 number that was introduced on June 30, 1937. It was implemented after a call to the fire brigade was held in a queue with the telephone company. The delay cost five women their lives in the fire.
  16. The first arrest due to an emergency call happened on July 8, 1937, at 4:20 a.m. when the wife of John Stanley Beard dialed 999 to report a burglar outside her home in England. The burglar, 24-year-old Thomas Duffys, was arrested.
  17. North America’s first emergency telephone number, 999, was first introduced in Winnipeg, Canada. There were originally eight women Emergency Telephone Operators.
  18. In 1996, a teenager in Sweden hacked into a Southern Bell computer system. He created a computer code that made simultaneous 911 calls to several counties in Florida. He managed to jam several 911 switches.
  19. Known as the “The City Where 911 Began,” Haleyville, Alabama, holds a 911 festival every year that honors all police, fire, and emergency personnel.
  20. The phone used to answer the first 911 call in the United States is in a museum in Haleyville, Alabama. A duplicate is still used at the police station there.
  21. A woman in Deltona, Florida, was arrested after she called 911 four times to complain about a nail technician doing a poor job on her nails. Even with a police deputy sitting next to her, she still called 911 to complain that her nails were too short.

Click here to read other silly calls – thanks People Magazine

(top left) The very first 9-1-1 call was made to this red phone. (top right) floor graphic at Haleyville city hall. (row two) Commemorative plaque at Haleyville, AL. (row three left) Senator Rankin Fite. (row three right) Haleyville, Alabama, holds a 911 festival every year. (bottom) An early 9-1-1 dispatch center and today’s typical look. 

 

Live to be a hundred minus one day…

 

Remember the one(s) you love…Happy Valentines’ Day!

 

Love.  The universal, magical and amazing emotion we all know, (and love).  Of country, of family, of children, of grandchildren, of spouses, of those we choose to spend time with and of the work we do (did I tell you we love your PIA (Pain In The @%$) Jobs!)  I searched for words of wisdom and came across a great quote, by the prognosticator of knowledge and all things wise – love words to live by … Winnie the Pooh.

If you live to be a hundred, 
I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, 
So I never have to live without you.

Dang.  Sort of nailed it for me.  With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought I’d share some of the great love songs of days gone by.  Searching online, of course, you can find tons of songs, but I decided to pare it down a bit to just some classics.  Men, be sure to remember to get a card to go along with that chocolate or special gift … or wait, just be sure to remember!!  (ladies too).  Light some candles, crank up the volume, and sing along.  And special thanks to Good Housekeeping for their list, and the amazing You Tube channel for the music.  Enjoy.

Classic Top 10 Love Songs

  1. Unforgettable– Nat King Cole
  2. That’s Amore– Dean Martin 
  3. What Is This Thing Called Love– Frank Sinatra
  4. One In A Million– The Platters
  5. Twelfth of Never– Johnny Mathis
  6. At Last– Etta James
  7. I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You– Elvis Presley
  8. My Girl– The Temptations
  9. L-O-V-E– Nat King Cole
  10. All You Need Is Love– The Beatles

BONUS
Steve’s Favorites: You can ask Jackie and the girls!

  1. Butterfly Kisses – Bob Carlisle
  2. If – Bread
  3. That’s How You Know  – Amy Adams – movie – Enchanted

Find other great Love Songs HERE

(clockwise from top left) Nat King Cole; The Platters; The Temptations; The Beatles; Johnny Mathis; Dean Martin; Frank Sinatra; Elvis Presley; Etta James.

 

 


 

Cravings

Mmmmmm, comfort foods….

 

OK, so we’re done talking about the cold weather, right? (last time I checked, it’s what happens about this time of year in these parts of the country). With that being said, -35F with wind chill is still flipping cold! To help us all deal with it a little better, I decided to write about some of my “feel better/warmer” cravings – those yummy foods I eat to feel better on cold days – and some to eat just because. -What some like to call comfort foods.  As a foodie, my list is long, and very flexible – tomato soup (with crackers of course), mashed potatoes with hot gravy, steamy macaroni and cheese, or just out of the oven creamy chocolate chip cookies (pass the milk please). Getting hungry?  Researchers tell us we’re mentally attracted to foods that not only warm us up, but also ones we associate with a positive social memory. For example, many of my favorite indulgences are often the very same meals Mom used to whip up when we were kids, like a 20 quart pot of hot chocolate (with those little floatie marshmellows) after being outside all day. Dad would make us ground meat on toast after church on Sunday mornings knowing we all loved the leftovers also! For fun, here’s info about our cravings, and some “feel better” recipes – special thanks to realsimple.com and shape magazine for the info.

SWEETS
When you’re jonesing for chocolate, experts say to stop and evaluate how your sleep has been lately. “When tired, many people crave carbohydrates for a quick energy boost, since carbs are our main source of fuel,” says explains Elizabeth DeRobertis, R.D., who practices in Westchester, New York. Simple carbs, such as sugar and white bread, are digested quicker than complex ones such as whole grains and beans, so the energy kicks in sooner.  Unfortunately, that sugar “high” doesn’t last that long, and you’ll be back in the kitchen searching the pantry for more goodies.

CRUNCHY
A handful of nuts a day can be a healthy snack, but it can also hint to an inner frustration and irritation. “The act of chewing and cracking the food in your mouth can momentarily release that angst, but the problem is the second that the crunching stops, the frustration returns”—and too often we go back to eating more and more – (ever polish off an entire bag of chips? – only if there’s Dairyman’s French Onion dip with it, right?).  A better way to release that tension is to punch a punching bag, do any kind of exercise, or put in your earbuds – several studies have shown that relaxing music really does relieve stress.

CREAMY
Dishes such as ice cream, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese (must have pepper on top) are called “comfort foods” for a reason: “Craving them possibly points to worrisome thoughts, and what you really need is to be soothed.”  These are also high-carb, high-fat foods. “Carbs boost the ‘feel-good’ hormone serotonin, and when you eat something high in both carbs and fat, it can trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure and reward.” While a bowl of butter pecan may make you feel better in the moment, “usually the worries return when we realize how many calories we just consumed, and then guilt sets back in.” Instead of reaching for these fattening fixes, experts suggest trying a warm bath, a foot massage, or just enveloping yourself in soft, cozy clothing for instant calming.

CAFFEINE
Anytime the coffee shop or a soda machine calls your name, you’re likely more than just thirsty. “You may feel discouraged or dissatisfied with your job and reach for these ‘quick fixes’ to perk you up and get you through the day.”  It could also mean you’re dehydrated. “Not drinking enough water leads to a lack of energy,” says DeRobertis. So instead of a latte, you may just need some H2O. “Picture a wilted plant that needs water,” DeRobertis says. “Shortly after you water it, it will perk back up. With people, it’s the same thing!”

CARBS
While cravings for pasta, bread, and other carbohydrates can come from a number of physiological reasons, including a high insulin level or low blood sugar, DeRobertis says it’s more likely that you’re depriving yourself. “Typically, when someone is on a strict eating plan or has declared certain foods ‘off-limits,’ they will want them that much more.”  All foods can fit into a healthy eating plan. Having a good time or rewarding yourself doesn’t have to come in the form of food: “Clear your schedule and go on a weekend trip by yourself or with friends. Don’t bring a watch and don’t be on a schedule; just get into the day and enjoy it.”
After learning about all of the reasons above, I also conducted my own really-really scientific poll of myself and my family.   We have come to the conclusion that we love food- all kinds and are basically pretty happy folks!

25 Fun Comfort Foods to pick from this weekend.———> CLICK!!

 


 

Brilliant

(top, l to r) 1914 ,Queen Mary wearing Cullinans I and II as a brooch on her chest, III as a pendant on the Coronation Necklace, and IV in the base of her crown, below the Koh-i-Noor; Queen Elizabeth II wearing the same Cullinan diamonds brooch more than 100 years later.  (row 2 left) The raw diamond (row 2 right top) The nine rough cut diamonds (row 2 right bottom) The nine Cullinans in all their glory. (row 3) The Cullinan Mine in South Africa; Inside the mine. (bottom left) The Cullinan I, or the Great Star of Africa, 530.2 carats of beauty and fun for some lucky enough to touch it. (bottom right)  Joseph Asscher ready to take the first whack at splitting the Cullinan diamond. No pressure there.

This past weekend, I had the pleasure, along with my neighbors, of shoveling and snow blowing after our first major storm of the year hit us hard.  As a native northeast Ohioan, I was ok with lacing up my boots, throwing on the hat and gloves, and tackling the task. The little kid in me still enjoys firing up the snow blower and slowly blasting it up in the air and out across the lawn.  Of course, with the wind, and driving snow, I had to revisit the driveway and do it all over again on Sunday.  During my time in the cold, the sun came out, and the snow turned to an amazing layer of sparkles and light, shimmering in front of me as I worked along, like a field of diamonds.  Once I finished, I came inside, warmed back up, and started poking around on the computer, looking for cool and fun facts for this week’s blog.  I discovered the Cullinan, and a great article on Wikipedia about the world’s largest diamond ever found.  Turns out, it celebrates its 114th year birthday this weekend.  And, sorry Jackie, I inquired, but looks like the Queen’s not gonna give ‘em up soon.  Enjoy!

The Cullinan Diamond is the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found, weighing 3,106.75 carats (621.35 g), discovered at the Premier No. 2 mine in Cullinan, South Africa, on 26 January 1905.

It was found 18 feet below the surface at Premier Mine in Cullinan, Transvaal Colony, by Frederick Wells, surface manager at the mine. It was approximately 10.1 centimetres (4.0 in) long, 6.35 centimetres (2.50 in) wide, 5.9 centimetres (2.3 in) deep.

Four of its eight surfaces were smooth, indicating that it once had been part of a much larger stone broken up by natural forces. (wonder just how big that was) It had a blue-white hue and contained a small pocket of air, which at certain angles produced a rainbow, or Newton’s rings, a phenomenon in which an interference pattern is created by the reflection of light between two surfaces—a spherical surface and an adjacent touching flat surface.

Newspapers called it the “Cullinan Diamond”, a reference to Sir Thomas Cullinan, who opened the mine in 1902.  It was three times the size of the previous largest Excelsior Diamond, found in 1893 at Jagersfontein Mine, weighing 972 carats. Shortly after its discovery, Cullinan went on public display at the Standard Bank in Johannesburg, where it was seen by an estimated 8,000–9,000 visitors.

In April 1905, the rough gem was deposited with Premier Mining Co.’s London sales agent, S. Neumann & Co.  Due to its immense value, detectives were assigned to a steamboat that was rumored to be carrying the stone. A parcel was ceremoniously locked in the captain’s safe and guarded on the entire journey. It was a diversionary tactic – the stone on that ship was fake, meant to attract those who would be interested in stealing it. Cullinan was sent to the United Kingdom in a plain box via registered post.

On arriving in London, it was conveyed to Buckingham Palace for inspection by King Edward VII. It drew considerable interest from potential buyers, but Cullinan went unsold for two years. In 1907 the Transvaal Colony government bought the Cullinan to formally present to the king.

Initially, Henry Campbell-Bannerman, then British Prime Minister, advised the king to decline the offer, but he later decided to let Edward VII choose whether or not to accept the gift. Eventually, he was persuaded by Winston Churchill, then Colonial Under-Secretary. (For his trouble, Churchill was sent a replica of the diamond, which he enjoyed showing off to guests on a silver plate).  The Transvaal Colony government bought the diamond on for £150,000 or about US$750,000 at the time, which adjusted for pound-sterling inflation is equivalent to about £20 million today. Unnoticed, due to a 60% tax imposed on mining profits at the time, the Treasury received most of its money back from the Premier Diamond Mining Company.

The diamond was presented to the king at Sandringham House on November 9, 1907 – his sixty-sixth birthday – in the presence of a large party of guests, including the Queen of Norway, the Queen of Spain, the Duke of Westminster and Lord Revelstoke. The king asked his colonial secretary, Lord Elgin, to announce that he accepted the gift “for myself and my successors” and that he would ensure “this great and unique diamond be kept and preserved among the historic jewels which form the heirlooms of the Crown”.

The king chose Asscher Brothers of Amsterdam to cleave and polish the rough stone into brilliant gems of various cuts and sizes. (talk about your PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs!  Abraham Asscher collected it from the Colonial Office in London in January 1908.  He returned to the Netherlands by train and ferry with the diamond in his coat pocket. Meanwhile, to much fanfare, a Royal Navy ship carried an empty box across the North Sea, again throwing off potential thieves. Even the captain had no idea that his “precious” cargo was a decoy.

On 10 February 1908, the rough stone was split in half by Joseph Asscher at his diamond-cutting factory in Amsterdam.  At the time, technology had not yet evolved to guarantee the quality of modern standards, and cutting the diamond was difficult and risky. After weeks of planning, an incision 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) deep was made to enable Asscher to cleave the diamond in one blow. Making the incision alone took four days, and a steel knife broke on the first attempt, but a second knife was fitted into the groove and split it clean in two along one of four possible cleavage planes.  In all, splitting and cutting the diamond took eight months, with three people working 14 hours per day to complete the task.

“The tale is told of Joseph Asscher, the greatest cleaver of the day,” wrote Matthew Hart in his book Diamond: A Journey to the Heart of anObsession (2002), “that when he prepared to cleave the largest diamond ever known … he had a doctor and nurse standing by and when he finally struck the diamond … he fainted dead away”.  Lord Ian Balfour, in his book Famous Diamonds (2009), dispels the fainting story, suggesting it was more likely Joseph would have celebrated, opening a bottle of champagne.

Cullinan produced 9 major stones of 1,055.89 carats (211.178 g) in total, and 96 minor brilliants weighing 7.55 carats (1.510 g) (on average, 0.079 carats each) – a yield from the rough stone of 34.25 per cent.  There are also 9.5 carats (1.90 g) of unpolished fragments.

  • Cullinan I, or the Great Star of Africa, is a pendeloque-cut brilliant weighing 530.2 carats (106.04 g) and has 74 facets.  It is set at the top of the Sovereign’s Scepter with Cross which had to be redesigned in 1910 to accommodate it.
  • Cullinan II, or the Second Star of Africa, is a cushion-cut brilliant with 66 facets weighing 317.4 carats (63.48 g) set in the front of the Imperial State Crown, below the Black Prince’s Ruby (a large spinel).
  • Cullinan III, or the Lesser Star of Africa, is pear-cut and weighs 94.4 carats (18.88 g). In 1911, Queen Mary, wife and queen consort of George V, had it set in the top cross pattée of a crown that she personally bought for her coronation.
  • Cullinan IV, also referred to as a Lesser Star of Africa, is square-cut and weighs 63.6 carats (12.72 g). On 25 March 1958, while she and Prince Philip were on a state visit to the Netherlands, the Queen Elizabeth II revealed that Cullinan III and IV are known in her family as “Granny’s Chips”. They visited the Asscher Diamond Company, where Cullinan had been cut 50 years earlier. During her visit, she unpinned the brooch and offered it for examination to Louis Asscher, nephew of Joseph Asscher, who split the rough diamond. Aged 84, he was deeply moved by the fact the Queen had brought the diamonds with her, knowing how much it would mean to him seeing them again after so many years.
  • Cullinan V is an 18.8-carat (3.76 g) heart-shaped diamond set in the center of a platinum brooch that formed a part of the stomacher made for Queen Mary to wear at the Delhi Durbar in 1911. The brooch was designed to show off Cullinan V and is pavé-set with a border of smaller diamonds. It can be suspended from the VIII brooch and can be used to suspend the VII pendant.
  • Cullinan VI is marquise-cut and weighs 11.5 carats (2.30 g).  It hangs from the brooch containing Cullinan VIII and forming part of the stomacher of the Delhi Durbar parure. Cullinan VI along with VIII can also be fitted together to make yet another brooch, surrounded by some 96 smaller diamonds. The design was created around the same time that the Cullinan V heart-shaped brooch was designed, both having a similar shape.
  • Cullinan VII is also marquise-cut and weighs 8.8 carats (1.76 g).  It was originally given by Edward VII to his wife and consort Queen Alexandra. After his death she gave the jewel to Queen Mary, who had it set as a pendant hanging from the diamond-and-emerald Delhi Durbar necklace, part of the parure.
  • Cullinan VIII is an oblong-cut diamond weighing 6.8 carats (1.36 g).  It is set in the center of a brooch forming part of the stomacher of the Delhi Durbar parure. Together with Cullinan VI it forms a brooch.
  • Cullinan IX is smallest of the principal diamonds to be obtained from the rough Cullinan. It is a pendeloque or stepped pear-cut stone, weighs 4.39 carats (0.878 g), and is set in a platinum ring known as the Cullinan IX Ring.

 


 

Let’s Keep Trying

(left column top to bottom) Remember hay fever season? If you can’t get relief from a box of Zyrtec you could at least have a lot of tissue on hand … or on head;  Do you live alone? This pillow buddy is for you;  New shoes? This cool device will save them;  This is how to clean small messes without bending over; The eco minded can collect rain water on the way to work;  Eye drop glasses. Brilliant!;  An extender for your umbrella will keep your nice clothes nice and dry;  Solve this Rubics cube in one turn;  Never be late for work with this anti-snooze feature for your alarm; (right column top to bottom)  Now be stylish and prepared for rain;  Ahh, the solar flashlight;  Hey, kids are cute and now they can help keep the floors dusted;  Pets can help with the dusting, too;  This device will keep your lipstick off your face;  This device will keep your hair out of your noodles;  And this device will cool your noodles;  The shoe brush;  The commuter’s nap hat;  And the head prop for office naps. All wonderfully stupid devices.

 

Running a 24-7 business, focused on solving our client’s PIA (pain in the @%$) Jobs!™ is a blast.  All of my teams understand the importance of thinking, problem solving, testing and retesting, and just trying different approaches until we get it just right.  I encourage everyone to “free their mind” and challenge the status quo. Although, Jackie often tells me that I should focus more! Sometimes we “nail it” early on, or end up with extra solutions that don’t quite have an application. Sometimes, the solutions are so close we think we’re there, only to get a curve ball when not expected.  I was wondering what we could do with those “extras” and found a group out of Japan, that not only encourages inventive thinking, but actually developed a whole movement for those inventions that make sense on paper, but most likely will never see the light of day.  It’s called Chindōgu (www.chindogu.com) – (translated means “unusual tool”) and the definition fits it perfectly … ideas that lie in that gray area – “not exactly useful, but somehow not altogether useless”.  So remember for that someone who has everything!  Just some of my favorites…

  • A combined household duster and cocktail-shaker, for the housewife who wants to reward herself as she is working along.
  • The all-day tissue dispenser (basically a toilet roll fixed on top of a hat) for hay fever sufferers.
  • Duster slippers for dogs and cats, so they can help out with the housework too.
  • The all-over plastic bathing costume, to enable people who suffer from aquaphobia to swim without coming into contact with water.
  • The baby mop outfit worn by babies, so that as they crawl around, the floor is cleaned.
  • And my “laugh out loud favorite” – a solar powered flashlight (stop and think about this for a second).

Chindōgu it turns out, is a prank originating from Japan, which is done by a person seemingly inventing ingenious everyday gadgets that seem like an ideal solution to a particular problem but are in fact nothing more than a useless gag.  And there are thousands of them.  So, for this week, I pulled together a little history, and some meaningless examples – ENJOY, and thank chindogu.com and Wikipedia for the info.

  • The movement was started by Kenji Kawakami, Japanese gadget guru extraordinaire and anarchic progenitor of chindogu, inventions that are almost completely useless, or to borrow Kawakami’s word, “unuseless.”
  • He has created more than 600 examples of chindogu — a made-up word literally meaning strange tools’ in Japanese — and has built an international cult following of thousands through his books about them and appearances on TV, the Internet, in magazine columns and museum exhibits.
  • But what exactly is a chindogu? They’re more easily defined by what they’re not: neither useful, political, patented, or for sale. But they are seemingly serviceable, certainly silly and always analog. Like Zen koans of invention, chindogu are designed to be both profound contradictions and simple tools to awaken the heart and mind.
  • Kawakami began dreaming up doodads in the 1980s while editing popular home shopping magazine Tsuhan Seikatsu and has since produced such unuseless wonders as the Solar-Powered Flashlight, the Rotating Spaghetti Fork and the Velcro Jogger. Yet he doesn’t own any patents and has never made a single yen by selling his creations.
  • Said Kawakami, “In the modern, digital world, everything is so quick,” he says, picking up paper and electronic dictionaries to illustrate. “With the electronic one, it only takes two seconds to find a word, but it gives us no mental or spiritual satisfaction. Yet if you use your own hands to find it, you can enjoy the process. It’s a spiritual act.”
  • There are roughly 8,000 chindogu practitioners in Japan and 1,000 overseas, their ages ranging from 10 to 70, according to Kawakami.
  • Good chindogu happens when – You don’t need to have it explained to you. It’s just in you. It shakes you in a funny way that you can’t help but get in touch with the basic human quality of being alive. “Cause when you’re laughing and smiling, you’re alive,” he says.
  • People outside Japan have had mixed reactions to chindogu. In North America, they’re viewed as amusing Japanese party gags, in Europe as a new art form, and in Hong Kong and Taiwan as potential moneymakers. But because of their universal appeal, Kawakami doesn’t see chindogu as ‘Japanese’ at all. “Being free is the most important thing in life. Chindogu is the symbol of freedom, a free soul is needed to think of chindogu, to think of stupid, crazy things. You can never do it with common sense alone.”

 


 

Cozy Warm

Knitted or printed, store bought or hand-made, there’s nothing like a cozy warm scarf on a winter day.

After enjoying an amazing string of beautiful weather days this past holiday season, and another week of sunshine (got up to almost 60 here on the north coast), I found myself this morning reaching into the closet and grabbing a scarf since it was 20F when I got up!  What a simple, amazing invention.  Then, of course, when I got to the office, I decided to poke around on the internet and get the skinny on where these came from, and just how far back the historians can track them.  I’m guessing Mr. Caveman saved a piece of fur for his lovely wife, so she’d be warm on the trek to the hinterlands. This had to be much better than the bark one he first gave her!

  1. A scarf, plural scarves, is a common piece of neckwear, typically a single piece of fabric worn around the neck for warmth, sun protection, cleanliness, fashion, or religious reasons. Scarves are made in a variety of different materials such as wool, linen or cotton.
  2. Scarves have been worn since ancient times. The Statue of Ashurnasirpal II from the 9th century BC features the emperor wearing a shawl. In Ancient Rome, the garment was used to keep clean rather than warm. It was called a focale or sudarium (sudarium from the Latin for “sweat cloth”) and was used to wipe the sweat from the neck and face in hot weather and were originally worn by men around their neck or tied to their belt.  Think of the American Cowboy!
  3. Historians believe that during the reign of the Chinese Emperor Cheng, scarves made of cloth were used to identify officers and the rank of Chinese warriors.
  4. In later times, scarves were also worn by soldiers of all ranks in Croatia around the 17th century. The only difference in the soldiers’ scarves that designated a difference in rank was that the officers had silk scarves whilst the other ranks were issued with cotton scarves. Some of the Croatian soldiers served as mercenaries with the French forces.
  5. Men’s scarves were sometimes referred to as “cravats” (from the French cravate, meaning “Croat”), and were the precursor of the necktie.  We’ve heard the term used even today, often associated with formalwear. Scarves that are used to cover the lower part of face are sometimes called a cowl and can be colloquially called a neck-wrap.
  6. The main manufacturer of fashion scarves used today is China; India, Hong Kong and Indonesia close behind. The most common materials used to make fashion scarves are silk, fleece, cotton, modal and pashmina or other cashmere wool in three basic scarf shapes: square, triangular and rectangular.
  7. The longest knitted scarf measures 14,978 ft 6.16 in. long and was achieved by Helge Johansen (Norway), in Oslo, Norway, on 12 November 2013. It’s taken nimble-fingered Norwegian 30 years to knit his neck-warmer to an incredible 4,565.46 m –sufficient to stretch the entire length of Central Park in Manhattan, New York. In order to measure his knitwear for Guinness World Records Day 2013, Helge unraveled his scarf – which he usually keeps in a ball – in a sports center in Oslo, Norway, snaking the scarf in dozens of tight loops. Cambodia’s longest hand-woven scarf, or krama in Khmer language, was included in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest scarf in the world in 2018.  The 88-cm-wide and 1,149.8-meter-long krama was taken nearly five months to be made by weavers from 20 krama weaving communities, and thousands of visitors had also added a few centimeters to the large krama when they visited its weaving site in front of the National Museum in Phnom Penh.
  8. The scarf became a real fashion accessory by the early 19th century for both men and women. By the middle of the 20th century, scarves became a most essential and versatile clothing accessories.
  9. In cold climates, a thick knitted scarf, often made of wool, is tied around the neck to keep warm. This is usually accompanied by a heavy jacket or coat.
  10. In drier, dustier warm climates, or in environments where there are many airborne contaminants, a thin headscarf, kerchief, or bandanna is often worn over the eyes and nose and mouth to keep the hair clean. Over time, this custom has evolved into a fashionable item in many cultures, particularly among women.
  11. In India, woolen scarfs with Bandhani work are becoming very popular. Bandhani or Bandhej is the name of the tie and dye technique used commonly in Bhuj and Mandvi of the Kutch District of Gujarat State.
  12. Scarfs can be tied around the neck in many ways including the pussy-cat bow, the square knot, the cowboy bib, the ascot knot, the loop, the necktie, and the gypsy kerchief. Scarfs can also be tied in various ways on the head.  Several Christian denominations include a scarf known as a Stole as part of their liturgical vestments.
  13. In uniforms, silk scarves were used by pilots of early aircraft in order to keep oily smoke from the exhaust out of their mouths while flying. These were worn by pilots of closed cockpit aircraft to prevent neck chafing, especially by fighter pilots, who were constantly turning their heads from side to side watching for enemy aircraft. Today, military flight crews wear scarves imprinted with unit insignia and emblems not for functional reasons but instead for esprit-de-corps and heritage.
  14. At graduation, students traditionally wear academic scarves with distinctive combinations of striped colors identifying their individual university or college.
  15. Members of the Scouting movement wear a scarf-like item called a neckerchief as part of their uniform, which is sometimes referred to as a scarf. In some Socialist countries Young pioneers wore a neckerchief called a red scarf.
  16. Since at least the early 1900s, when the phenomenon began in Britain, colored scarves have been traditional supporter wear for fans of association football teams across the world, even those in warmer climates. These scarves come in a wide variety of sizes and are made in a club’s particular colors and may contain the club crest, pictures of renowned players, and various slogans relating to the history of the club and its rivalry with others. Now you know why all four houses at Hogwarts had different color scarfs!
  17. At some clubs supporters will sometimes perform a ‘scarf wall’ in which all supporters in a section of the stadium will stretch out their scarves above their heads with both hands, creating an impressive ‘wall’ of color.  This is usually accompanied by the singing of a club anthem such as “You’ll Never Walk Alone” at Liverpool F.C., “Grazie Roma” at A.S. Roma or “Africa” by Toto at Columbus Crew matches.  This was initially solely a British phenomenon, but has since spread to the rest of Europe, North and South America. Some clubs supporters will perform a scarf ‘twirl’ or ‘twirly’ in which a group of supporters hold the scarves above their heads with one hand, and twirl the scarf, creating a ‘blizzard’ of color. This is usually accompanied by a club anthem such as “Hey Jude” at Heart of Midlothian F.C.
  18. Scarf wearing is also a noted feature of support for Australian rules football clubs in the Australian Football League. The scarves are in the form of alternating bars of color, usually with the team name or mascot written on each second bar.
  19. The craft of knitting garments such as scarves is an important trade in some countries. Hand-knitted scarves are still common as gifts as well.
  20. Printed scarves are additionally offered internationally through high fashion design houses. Among the latter are Burberry, Missoni, Alexander McQueen, Cole Haan, Chanel, Etro, Lanvin, Hermès, Nicole Miller, Ferragamo, Emilio Pucci, Dior, Fendi, Louis Vuitton and Prada.

 


 

Let’s Go

(left column top to bottom) Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad; Authentic family recipe Greek baked goods in Cincinnati; The World’s First Beer Hotel — With In-room Taps and Shower Mini-bars in Columbus (Really!); In any season Medina is so darn charming; The spectacular Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal; Our beautiful state flag! (right column top to bottom) The wedge salad at Ninety One Wood Fired Oven in Jackson Township (the steaks are awesome, too); The famous “Y” bridge in Zanesville; Visit Milan and the birthplace museum of one of the greatest minds of the 20th century; When you’re in Cinci, get your coffee fix at Felix; Amish Country is great for scenic drives, wonderful food and interesting shopping opportunities;   Exploring the parks in Ohio can take up a lot of your free time.

 

As we all turn the page to 2019, I took some time this week and reflected on those things that I really enjoyed this past year, those things that gave me pause, and those things I wanted to continue to do.  Morning runs, foodie experiments with my kids, sampling craft beers and tasty coffee, a plate of hot tater tots at my favorite stop, breakfasts with my golf buddies, and most of all my day trips with Jackie.  Of course, we didn’t do enough of them, but when we did, we always enjoyed exploring and experiencing things we knew were nearby, but never took the time to go visit. I came across a neat website called Ohio Explored, https://www.ohioexplored.com filled with “tons” of cool ideas – food, wine, breweries, crafts, hotels, parks, trails, and a bunch of small businesses throughout the state.  As a small business owner, I salute these brave souls – both the start-ups and the established entrepreneurs.  Seemed like the more I explored on the site, the more cool ideas I came across – handmade jam, vintage clothing, retreat spaces, live music, wine spots and of course food – lots of food – best tacos, best pizza, best coffee and some of the best things made in Ohio – ceramics, art, crafts, cookies, jewelry – and the list goes on.  So, for my New Year’s resolution, after I solve your pesky PIA (pain in the @%$) Jobs!, I’ll be jumping in the heat mobile and hitting the road, reporting back on the great things I find.  And I hope you do the same – as you explore, be sure to shoot me a note on the visits, with any photos I can share with our readers.  All the best in 2019.

 

MORE LINKS TO EXPLORE BEFORE YOU EXPLORE OHIO:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Bubbly

One of my favorite parts of New Year’s Eve, aside from the eating, and the hugging and the kissing at midnight, is a sip of Champagne. I’m not much of an expert, but I do love the sweet bubbles and clean taste.  I did some digging and found a fun website filled with trivia and information to share.

Before you read on, here’s a toast from our family to yours:

Our Best to All – May You Have the Most Glorious New Year
—All The Gang at Kowalski Heat Treating

Special thanks to champaigne-booking.com for the info.  Enjoy your family and friends, and remember, safe driving is no accident!  Be Smart and Be Safe this New Year’s Eve and throughout the year.

  1. The sparkling version of the Champagne wine was discovered by accident. It all began when the wine growers (today’s famous Champagne Houses) from the Champagne region of France were trying to equal the Burgundy wines. However, they did not succeed due to the cold winters in the region that caused the fermentation of the wine, lying in the cellars, to stop.
  2. The cold climate ensured that the sleeping yeast cells awoke again in spring and started fermenting causing the release of carbon dioxide gas, which was coming from the wine in the bottle. At first, the bottles were weak and exploded but the ones that survived contained the sparkling wine.
  3. The King of France, Hugh Capet, started serving the sparkling wine during official dinners at the Royal Palace. In the years after 1715, the Duke of Orléans introduced the sparkling version of the Champagne wine to the rich and famous.
  4. One of the many different stories about the history of Champagne is that the monk Dom Pérignon had invented the Champagne. This story is doubtful because several documents that have been found, show that an Englishman had already produced the sparkling wine and that Dom Pérignon at first tried to eliminate the bubbles in the wine, because the bottles would break under the pressure of the second fermentation.
  5. Dom Pérignon started with the production of wines in the Champagne region in 1668. He is the inventor of the second fermentation in the bottle what makes him for sure the founder of the Champagne as we know it. Dom Pérignon was also the first winemaker who produced white wine of blue grapes; he also developed the regulated Méthode Traditionelle (before 1994 named the Méthode Champenoise). Besides this, he is also the founder of various techniques for producing sparkling wine as is still known by people.
  6. Champagne is a sparkling wine which is exclusively produced in the Champagne region by the regulated Méthode Traditionelle. Only wines that are made by this procedure and grown in this area are allowed to carry the name Champagne. Most drink Champagne as an aperitif, accompanying your meal or just on a normal weekday when you are in the mood to drink Champagne. A large part of the appeal of Champagne is due to the bubbles that spill forth when the bottle is uncorked.  For some, it is always Champagne time!
  7. The grapes that are used to produce Champagne include Chardonnay: white grape, Pinot Noir: black grape, Pinot Meunier: black grape (white juice).  Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are the only two black grapes permitted to produce Champagne. Of note: Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc and Arbane are grapes that still exist and are also used for the production of Champagne. However, they cannot be replanted again.
  8. The characteristics of the grapes are Pinot Noir: power and structure, is well cultivated in cool regions with chalky limestone soil. Pinot Meunier: smooth, fruitiness, floral aromas, little time to ripe in the bottle, quicker to consume.  Chardonnay: fresh, delicate, elegance and finesse.
  9. When buying champagne, don’t just grab a bottle and run – look for:  AOC: Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (the French quality mark, the name “Champagne” should be clearly visible), the logo, the brand, the name of the producer or brand name, the location and country of origin (France), the type, the percentage of alcohol, the volume of the bottle, the ingredients: if not mentioned on the bottle, the Champagne is a Non-Vintage Brut and almost certainly blended with the three primary grape varieties, the vintage: in case it contains 100% grapes from one specific year, this will be indicated on the bottle, the village of origin: village names explicitely mentioned denote the sole origin of the Champagne; otherwise, place names merely indicate the location of the producer. As qualified, it will indicate whether it is from Grand Cru or Premier Cru vineyard and information about the vines, date of dégorgement, the characteristics of the aroma and taste, associations with meals.

And, for the enthusiast (or snob as you may prefer…)

  1. More than 15,000 wine growers are responsible for the cultivation of 90% of the Champagne region. Some produce their own wines; some sell their grapes to other (bigger) Champagne Houses. According to the law of 1927, the part of the appellation Champagne covers 34,000 hectares.
  2. Terroir is how a particular region’s climate, soils and aspect (terrain) affect the taste of the wine. Some regions are said to have more ‘terroir’ than others.
  3. Champagne is best to be stored at a temperature around 7-12°C.  Champagne is best to be served at a temperature around 8-10°C.
  4. The size of the bubbles of Champagne is a result of how cold it was in the cellar. The colder the cellar, the smaller the bubbles and the better the quality.
  5. 1 bottle of Champagne contains about 1.2 kg grapes.
  6. Only wine of grapes that are cultivated in the Champagne region by the Méthode Traditionelle are allowed to carry the name Champagne.
  7. About 90% of the Champagnes are a blend of 2/3 black grapes and 1/3 Chardonnay.
  8. Sparkling wines such as Prosecco, Cava and Sekt are made of another quality and variety of grapes than the ones used in the Champagne region.
  9. A Riddler is a person who shakes, turns and moves the bottles in order for the sediment float into the bottleneck. A Riddler normally handles 20,000 to 30,000 bottles per day.
  10. Grand Cru or Premier Cru refers to the best-rated villages of the Champagne region. There are 17 Grand Crus, for example: Ambonnay, Avize, Aye, Bouzy, Cramant, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Tours-sur-Marne and 41 Premier Crus, for example: Chouilly, Hautvillier, Marcel-sur-Ay. Champagne varies in price. However, a good Champagne does not have to be expensive, just let your personal taste decide which type of Champagne fits your budget.
  11. Cuvée: the first pressing. Taille: the second pressing. Débourbage: undoing the impurities from the pressed grape juice.
  12. Chaptalization process: adding sugar to the juice to increase the alcohol percentage. The yeast in the barrels transforms the sugar into alcohol.
  13. Malolactic fermentation: the bacteria’s that change the malic acid into lactic acid.
  14. The reserve wine gives Champagne the taste of consistent stability.
  15. After the main production process, the Champagne wine has to be kept in the cellars for a few years in order to get the mild taste.
  16. Non-Vintage Champagnes have to be stored in the cellars for a minimum of 15 months and Vintage Champagnes for a minimum of 3 years.  The longer the Champagne ripens in the cellars, the better the taste. However, this is only applicable when the yeast is in the bottle.
  17. Dead yeast cells give the Champagne the taste of bread dough and brioche.
  18. In the early days the Champagne was drunk with the sediment still in it.

And, for my process engineers out there:
The production process of Champagne

1. The Harvest
The grapes are picked by hand between August and October, the harvest time depends on how ripe the grapes are. The wine producers, such as Champagne Roger Constant-Lemaire in Villers-sous-Châtillon, are not allowed to pick the grapes with a machine. The grapes have to be picked by hand so that only the best and ripened grapes are contributed to the Champagne. After picking the grapes, they are pressed carefully to keep the juice clear white.

2. The First Fermentation
The juice is put into a tank and the first fermentation takes place. The result is an acidic still wine that has been fermented dry completely. (The wine producer sees to it that all the natural sugar present in the grapes is fermented out of the wine). Some wine producers, like Champagne Alfred Gratien in Epernay, choose for fermentation in a barrel, a technique that is more difficult to master with sparkling wine.

3. The Assemblage
This is the art of blending. Still white wines combined with some reserve wines to create the base wine for Champagne; Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay are combined together. The assemblage starts in the early spring, about 5 months after the harvest.

4. The Second Fermentation
A mixture of yeast, yeast nutrients and sugar (liqueur de tirage) that is added to the wine in the second yeasting, the wine is put in a thick glass bottle and sealed with a bottle cap. The wine bottles are placed in a cool cellar to ferment slowly and to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. This is the most important part; the carbon dioxide cannot escape from the bottle and solves in the bottle; you will get the sparkling wine because of the carbon dioxide.

5. The Aging
As the fermentation proceeds, yeast cells die and after several months, the fermentation process is complete. However, the Champagne continues to age in the cool cellar for several more years resulting in a toasty, yeasty character. During this aging period, the yeast cells split open and spill into the solution imparting complex, yeasty flavours to the Champagne. The best and most expensive Champagne is aged for five years or more. This process completes the second fermentation.

6. The Riddling
After the aging process is completed, the dead yeast cells are removed through a process known as riddling. The Champagne bottle is placed upside down in a holder with a 75-degree angle. Each day, the riddler gives the bottle a 1/8th of a turn whilst keeping it upside down. This procedure forces the dead yeast cells float into the bottleneck where they are subsequently removed.  The bottles are placed in racks with the bottlenecks facing downwards. Madame Veuve Cliquot is the inventor of the bottle rack in which the bottles are put downwards.

7. The Disgorging
The disgorgement is the final step in the production of Champagne. The Champagne bottle is kept upside down while the neck is frozen in an ice-salt bath. This procedure results in the formation of a plug of frozen wine containing the dead yeast cells. Finally, the bottle cap is removed and the pressure of the carbon dioxide gas in the bottle forces the plug of frozen wine out (“disgorging”) leaving behind clear Champagne. By doing so, a little bit of wine gets spilled out of the bottle.

8. The Dosage
A mixture of white wine, brandy and sugar (Liqueur de tirage/Liqueur d’expédition) is added to adjust the sweetness level of the wine and to top up the bottle. This procedure decides whether the Champagne will be Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry, Dry, Semi Dry or Doux. This mixture is differs per Champagne House and is a well-kept secret.

9. The Corking
The bottle is corked and the cork is wired down to secure the high internal pressure of the carbon dioxide in the Champagne.

10:  The Drinking
POP – Happy New Year !!

 

 


 

Understanding Ho Ho Ho

How DOES he do it??

It used to be that people took it on faith that Santa Claus and his reindeer could fly. Long before we became the skeptics we are today, no one really cared how the big guy accomplished his seemingly impossible trek through the atmosphere every Christmas Eve.  We just believed.  But, alas, times have changed.  Now people want to know exactly how – or even if – Santa does it each year. And the only way to keep them happy is to demonstrate through reason, logic, and pure, hard science that maybe, just maybe, old St. Nick can actually get in the air with his sleigh and reindeer, zip around the globe and deliver his toys of joy.  So, I decided to look at what Santa purports to do each year, and realized he’s harnessed some basic rules of physics, aerodynamics, thermal dynamics (my favorite), a little reindeer biology. Let’s just say it’s a combination of air speed, lift, fairy dust and the magic Christmas spirit.  (the exact combination is a trade secret that Santa does not even share completely).

His Sleigh
It all starts with the sleigh.  While most contemporary artists draw Santa’s sleigh as the classic 19th century wooden carriage, that can’t be accurate. It just doesn’t fly, you might say.  In order to get airborne, I found out the sleigh is constructed of super-thin aluminum alloys (Santa calls it “elfluminum”) that cuts down on weight (and when Santa’s inside, reducing weight is very important).

Very important is the curved front end, that creates lift – putting more pressure under the sleigh than over the top.  To make sure the wind beneath his sleigh exerts more pressure than the wind above it, Santa has designed it much like the folks at the airlines – curved on top and flat on the bottom. That design increases the air speed above the wings, which is vital since, faster air speed results in lower air pressure and contributes to that much-desired lift.

It’s called Bernoulli’s Theorem https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernoulli%27s_principle, discovered by 16th century Swiss mathematician Daniel Bernoulli. His observations of fluid dynamics are at the heart of flight lift.  But let’s just say someone else a little further to the north might have known about it centuries earlier.

With the properly designed sleigh underneath his jelly belly and bag of endless toys, Santa then has to generate enough speed to get the lift needed to take off. Airplanes do it with powerful engines. But engines, of course, are very loud and would wake the children of the world as Santa makes his rounds.  That’s where his reindeer come in.

The Reindeer
Reindeer are hearty enough to survive conditions at the North Pole but quiet enough so as not to disturb his young customers as the big guy flies over their homes and lands on their rooftops.  Normal reindeer can run fast – by animal standards, at least – about 35 mph. That’s a lot slower than the 150 mph threshold when most jumbo jets take off but, of course, the reindeer have something else helping them out – their antlers.  These appendages also create lift.  With the air rushing underneath those antlers at a higher pressure than the air above, the nine reindeer can generate lift of their own and get airborne at lower speeds than otherwise needed.

Once in the air, some other parts of the reindeer’s anatomy help Santa stay up without crashing or destroying all those toys. On the ground, the reindeer generate the force needed to move forward by stomping their extra-wide hooves as they run. Normally, that force only sticks around for as long as there is something – like the ground – to react to the force of the reindeer’s kicking.  But this is Christmas, so, once in the air, to help keep them airborne, some scientists observe “good for kicking and paddling through the air.”  Scientists also think that the reindeer’s hollow hair is something special – which helps insulate their bodies in winter time – and allows the wind to blow right through the animals’ fur without creating that dreaded drag or slowing Santa down.

The Delivery
Based on census data, there are about 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. But, since Santa doesn’t visit all the children, that reduces his workload to about 15% of the total – 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average census rate of 3.5 children per household, that’s 91.8 million homes – assuming of course there is at least “one” good child in each home.

Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth (he travels east to west which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Makes perfect sense to me.  Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, (not counting “necessary” stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours), plus feeding the reindeer.

This means that Santa’s sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. (For purposes of comparison, the fastest man- made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second) but hey, he’s Santa.

The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets one small gift (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying about 321,300 tons, not counting the reindeer or Santa, who is invariably described as “overweight”. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds (we’d need 214,200 reindeer).  This is precisely why Santa sprinkles them with magic Santa dust.

Basic Science Proves it All
So, let’s see – over 300,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance – this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. A lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Now, of course normal reindeer could not withstand this amount of heat (the entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second) – that’s why Santa put Rudolf and his shiny red nose at the lead. (Duh!)

And, if Santa didn’t have his special red suit that Mrs. Claus made for him, he would be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force. But of course, he’s protected by his magic suit, and the air barrier around him (second duh!)

According to Arnold Pompos, a really smart guy at Purdue University, Santa would have to travel a total of 160,000,000km – further than the distance from the Earth to the Sun –  at a speed of 4,705,882km/h, far slower than the speed of light, but still fast enough that the air resistance would likely to vaporize Santa, along with all the children’s gifts… if he wasn’t riding a magic sleigh of course – (third duh!)

All in all, I still enjoy the love and joy and magic of Santa and his reindeer – on behalf of all the KHT Elves, loving every minute of your PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs, Merry Christmas to All and to all a good “flight”

To track Santa, go to www.noradsanta.org .

 

 


 

You have to see these photos!

Some of the 100 best National Geographic photos for 2018:(top) The world’s largest colony of black-browed albatrosses is in the Falkland Islands. PHOTOGRAPH BY PAUL NICKLEN; (Row two left) Moon jellies, found all over the world. PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID LIITTSCHWAGER; (Row two right) Puma courtship. PHOTOGRAPH BY INGO ARNDT; (Row three) A man floats on the north arm of Utah’s Great Salt Lake. In the hypersaline water, he found it hard to sit up and hit the bottom in water only a foot deep. PHOTOGRAPH BY CAROLYN DRAKE; (Row four left) Snowball, a sulphur-crested cockatoo, dances in time to the Backstreet Boys’ tune “Everybody”. PHOTOGRAPH BY VINCENT J. MUSI; (Row four right) This young elephant, lovingly cared for at a retreat in Nairobi. PHOTOGRAPH BY CHARLIE HAMILTON JAMES; (Row five left) The Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti holds the record for the second longest uninterrupted spaceflight by a woman at 199 days. PHOTOGRAPH BY MARTIN SCHOELLER; (Row five right) A polar bear family at the Beaufort Sea. PHOTOGRAPH BY FLORIAN SCHULZ. See all 100 of these great photos HERE.

Chosen as the best. It’s an honor, fleeting at times, yet important.  At KHT, we’re always striving for “best” – best solution to you PIA (pain in the @%$) Jobs!, best response time, best delivery, best product performance – and on and on.  We, like most of you, pride ourselves on striving to be the best, then resetting the bar.

Every year National Geographic invites travelers from around the world to submit photographs from their adventures – and, wow they are amazing.  Each selected image has a backstory, on where it was taken and how it happened.  We thought we’d share some of our favorites, and also provide you the links to explore on your own.  Enjoy, and thanks to Nat Geo for these awesome “bests” – we salute you, the judges and all the winners.