GGGGGOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!!!

The World Cup is probably the biggest tournament in the world!!! Have fun watching and GO USA!!!!!

Next Monday marks the kickoff of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and it’s going to be something special. The World Cup is the biggest international soccer tournament in the world, and the most watched sporting event in the world. Thirty-two teams compete to be crowned World Cup winners every four years.  It will be played in Qatar, marking the first time it’s being hosted in the Middle East. Qatar beat out the United States, South Korea, Japan and Australia to win the bid in 2010, under controversy on how the actual voting took place.  Here are a whole bunch of fun facts to help you get ready for the action.

Here is soundtrack for the games:  Hayya Hayya (Better Together)

  • This is the first World Cup to be played during our winter months to beat the heat of June and July that Qatar experiences and avoid the potential health risks of playing in such extreme heat. (The average high in July is 106 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average in November is 84 degrees Fahrenheit and 75 degrees Fahrenheit in December.)
  • To combat the heat, though it figures to be fairly comfortable during the tournament, the stadiums at the 2022 FIFA World Cup will also have air conditioning.
  • For Americans, traveling on a U.S. tourist passport, the government of Qatar does not require prior visa arrangements. Travelers will obtain a free visa waiver upon arrival, according to the State Department.
  • How small is Qatar compared to past hosts? – Qatar is ranked 164th in area and 148th in population when it comes to the world’s sovereign states. The United States is about 849 times bigger than Qatar. The U.S. state of Connecticut is the closest comparison to the size of Qatar, and even then Connecticut is 8% larger than the host nation and with a higher population (1.1 million more people live in Connecticut).

  • Drinking alcohol in public, as well as being drunk in public, is illegal in Qatar. You can face a six-month prison sentence or be fined as much as $850. Stadiums will not be selling alcohol during the matches, however, fan zones will be set up around the country allowing fans to have a drink in a designated area. Qatar will also have “recovery areas” for those who may overindudge.
  • There have been 21 men’s World Cups, with Qatar being the 22nd World Cup. FIFA has been organizing World Cups since 1930, when Uruguay hosted the first ever World Cup and beat Argentina in the final, 4-2. The United States finished third that year.  It’s taken place every four years since 1930 aside from 1942 and 1946, which were canceled due to World War II.
  • Teams place stars around their country’s logo when they win a world cup – you can count the stars on their crest.  If you look closely, you’ll see Brazil has five stars/titles (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002). Italy and Germany are right behind with four each.
  • The United States men’s national team has never won the competition. The United States women’s national team has won four World Cups. The men made the semifinals in 1930 and the quarterfinals in 2002.
  • There are eight different venues for the tournament in five different host cities. They are as follows: Qatar 2022 will show some brand-new portable and removable stadium to enhance sustainability 

1 Khalifa International Stadium 
2 Al Bayt Stadium 
3 Al Janoub Stadium
4 Ahmad bin Ali Stadium 
5 Education City Stadium 
6 Al Thumama Stadium 
7 Ras Abu Aboud Stadium
8 Lusail Iconic Stadium 

  • Teams qualify from different regions around the world. Four years after hosting, the Russians became ineligible following the invasion of Ukraine. They are barred from FIFA competitions, while clubs of the country were also booted from UEFA tournaments.
  • Most of us are used to a different kind of football on Thanksgiving. While there will be NFL on Thanksgiving ( Bills / Detroit Lions at 12:30 p.m. ET live on CBS) and Paramount+, there will also be four World Cup matches that day for the very first time.
  • The ball that will be used at the 2022 World Cup is from adidas, and it’s called Al Rihla Pro. The mascot for the 2022 World Cup is La’eeb https://www.fifa.com/fifaplus/en/articles/laeeb-is-revealed-as-qatars-fifa-world-cup-tm-mascot  The official song of the 2022 World Cup is “Hayya Hayya,” which means “Better Together,” performed by Trinidad Cardona, Davido and Aisha https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyDjFVZgJoo.
  • Video Assistant Referee will be used at the 2022 World Cup after being used in 2018. Among the incidents it will be used for are dangerous challenges, penalty kick decisions and offsides.  Stephanie Frappart from France, Rwandan Salima Mukansanga and Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan became the first female referees to be appointed to a men’s World Cup.
  • A Semi-auto offside system will also be used – A new support tool for video match officials and on-field officials will be used at the World Cup. The system helps them make faster, more accurate decisions when it comes to offside. The new system uses 12 dedicated tracking cameras underneath the roof of the stadium to track the ball and up to 29 data points for players to calculate their exact position. The ball will also have a sensor for measurement.
  • France are the reigning champs – Les Bleus won the 2018 tournament in Russia, defeating Croatia in the final. It was their second ever World Cup title, and they are once again reloaded and viewed as contenders to take home the crown. If they manage to win again, they will be the first back-to-back champs since Brazil in 1962.
  • The opening match is a doozy – Qatar opens the tournament on Nov. 20 versus Ecuador, and what a match that will be. Both teams know that in a group with Senegal and the Netherlands, this one is so crucial in the battle of head to head. Expect an open game between two teams with technique and speed.
  • USMNT schedule – The United States men’s national team’s schedule at the tournament is as follows: Wales – Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. ET, England – Nov. 25 at 2 p.m. ET, Iran – Nov. 29 at 2 p.m. ET
  • The Group of Death is the often referred to as the hardest group, one that could very well see a giant slayed before the knockout stage even begins. While Group E with Spain, Costa Rica, Germany and Japan is great, Group H does have Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea and a whole bunch of stars. Also, in Group A you have host Qatar, and they are formidable, but you also have underrated Ecuador, mighty Netherlands and Africa’s best team, Senegal. Every single one of those games are intriguing in the Group, and something tells me it’s going to deliver some shockers.
  • Squad regulations have changed – FIFA approved a 26-man squad, up from the normal 23.  Coaches will now be allowed to make five substitutions at the 2022 World Cup. These five subs can be made in three different windows during the game. In the event a knockout stage match goes to extra time, teams will have an additional sub and another opportunity to make that change.
  • If you want to skip all the fuss, the final will be played on Dec. 18 at Lusail Iconic Stadium at 10 a.m. ET.

 

 

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DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!

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Sparkle

Can you name all 88 constellations? If you had that t-shirt you could!!  :))))))))
By-the-way, there are also 88 counties in Ohio. Coincidence? I think not. :)))

Not sure if you were outside late the other night, but here in Cleveburg we had the most perfect, clear night.  It seems no matter how many times I’m outside late, I love to look up at the sky and search for planets, constellations  and stars. And not just the common ones – Big Dipper, Cassiopeia, Orion, but some of the more discrete constellations. I’m lucky where I live – we have a Nature Center, with a spectacular planetarium inside – fun to catch a show or speaker and learn more. I especially like to hear about the children with their oohs and aahhs! I did some digging to see if I could find out more about the more popular constellations and get the stories and myths behind the designs.  Seduction, goddesses, queens, romance, serpents and more – Enjoy, and thanks to interestingfacts.com for the details and YouTube for a couple fun tunes to enjoy while you read.

Listen To This
Then Listen To This

While reading this:

Each constellation of stars in the night sky has a fascinating origin story. From the 48 constellations named by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in his 2nd-century book The Almagest to the dozens established by astronomers in the 16th and 17th centuries, their names reflect heroic tales from Greek myths, gods and goddesses, and various animals. Today, the International Astronomical Union recognizes 88 principal constellations in the northern and southern skies. Here’s how a few of them got their names.

Here’s a guide to help you track the constellations below: CLICK HERE

Ursa Major
Seven stars make up the hindquarters and tail of Ursa Major, the Great Bear, but you may know them better as the Big Dipper, named for their resemblance to a ladle or drinking gourd. In his book Metamorphosis, Ovid tells of how the huntress Callisto took a vow of chastity to the goddess Artemis, but Zeus, turning himself into Artemis’ likeness, tricked and seduced Callisto. She gave birth to their son, Arcas. When Zeus’ jealous wife Hera got wind of the affair, she turned Callisto into a bear. Years later, Arcas hunted the bear, not knowing it was his mother. To avoid further tragedy, Zeus turned Callisto into Ursa Major and Arcas into the constellation Boötes, the Herdsman.

Cassiopeia
Listed by Ptolemy in the Almagest, Cassiopeia is a constellation named for the infamously vain queen of Greek myth. Cassiopeia claimed that she was more beautiful than the sea nymphs known as Nereids, a bit of hubris that angered the sea god Poseidon. He sent a monster (recorded in the sky as the constellation Cetus) to punish Cassiopeia and her husband, King Cepheus. They tried to appease the monster by offering him their daughter Andromeda (a legend with its own constellation). Cassiopeia is one of the most recognizable and visible constellations in the northern sky: Its five bright stars form a W shape, representing the queen seated on her throne.

Andromeda
Poor, virginal Andromeda had the misfortune of being the daughter of Queen Cassiopeia and King Cepheus. They chained her to a rock in the sea as a sacrifice to the monster Cetus. Things looked bleak for the beautiful Andromeda until Perseus, a demigod hero who had just slain the gorgon Medusa, swooped down from the heavens and rescued her in one of the most romantic scenes in Greek mythology.

Pegasus
Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek legend, has quite the origin story. After Perseus slayed Medusa by cutting off her head, Pegasus sprang from her bloody neck and flew off. Some say Perseus was actually riding Pegasus when he rescued Andromeda, but in myth the horse is more closely associated with the hero Bellerophon. Zeus also employed Pegasus in carrying his thunderbolts. Though the constellation usually depicts only the front half of the horse, Pegasus is the seventh-largest group of stars in the northern sky.

Orion
The famous celestial Hunter is easy to spot in the night sky thanks to the three closely spaced stars of his belt, as well as the bright stars Betelgeuse and Rigel at his right shoulder and left foot. The constellation Orion faces Taurus, the Bull — suggesting that Orion may be based on the Sumerian hero Gilgamesh or the Greek hero Heracles, both of whom fight bulls. Orion boasted that he could kill any beast on Earth, which offended the Earth. The Earth opened to send forth a scorpion, which fatally stung Orion. As a result, the constellations Orion and Scorpio are at opposite ends of the sky so it appears that Orion is fleeing the sky as the scorpion rises in the east.

Hydra
Ptolemy identified Hydra, the Water Snake, as one of the longest constellations in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as the largest. In Greek myth, Hydra is a fearsome water serpent with multiple heads, one of which is immortal. (Five stars at one end of the linear constellation represent the heads of the snake.) The hero Heracles was tasked with killing Hydra as the second of his 12 labors, but every time Heracles cut off one of the monster’s heads, two more grew in its place. Heracles’ nephew Iolaus suggested they burn the necks after cutting them off to prevent them from regenerating. They eventually slayed the beast by burying its remaining immortal noggin under a rock. Heracles then dipped the points of his arrows in Hydra’s blood to render them lethal.

Centaurus
According to Greek mythology, centaurs were half-horse, half-human creatures with a bad reputation as rowdy drunkards, but the centaur Chiron was an exception. The wise Chiron taught medicine and music, and his pupils included Greek heroes like Achilles and Jason. Chiron was mortally wounded when Heracles accidentally shot him with an arrow — one that he had dipped in Hydra’s blood to make its strike fatal. But because Chiron was immortal, he couldn’t die from his injury. Zeus took pity on Chiron and released him to the sky, where he became the constellation Centaurus.

Phoenix
Navigators Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman accompanied the first Dutch voyage to what is now Indonesia in 1595. Petrus Plancius had trained and instructed Keyser to chart stars in the Southern Hemisphere, and de Houtman served as Keyser’s assistant. They eventually identified 12 new southern constellations and named some after the natural history of the region. The Phoenix, located near the constellation Eridanus, refers to the mythical, multicolored bird that is able to rise from the ashes of its predecessor. The Dutch duo may have been inspired to record the Phoenix after seeing birds of paradise, a group of spectacularly plumed birds native to Indonesia and first described by Europeans in the 16th century.

Leo
When Heracles was made temporarily insane by the goddess Hera, he killed his wife and children. To atone for the murders, he was assigned 12 seemingly impossible labors. The first: to kill the Nemean lion, a fearsome beast with an impervious hide that relished attacking the local villagers. Heracles succeeded in overcoming the lion by gripping him in a bear hug and squeezing him to death. The constellation Leo echoes the lion’s ferocious attitude: A group of six stars are arranged in an arc representing the animal’s front torso and head, preparing to pounce. The brightest star in the arc is named Regulus, meaning “little king.”

 

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DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!

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Turnover

Most things in, on and under water can be seen. But probably the biggest thing that happens in a lake of any size goes unnoticed by all but a select few people. Interested? Read on, my friend.

 

I really love looking out my office window and watching the lake.  Brilliant sunshine makes it sparkle.  Fall cloud formations make me reach for my cell phone camera, and incoming sweeping rain and thunderstorms are a treat every time. I’m not a big fisherman (those of you who know me truly understand why!), so I don’t follow the different fishing seasons, but one thing I learned recently is that my great, beautiful Lake Erie actually turns over – specifically in the spring and fall. A buddy of mine said I should think of turnover much like a dog learning to roll over: As he pushes himself to one side, his underbelly begins to show.  It made me think of my brothers on the couch trying to roll over after a massive Kowalski thanksgiving dinner).  Wanting to learn more, I jumped online and found some really cool info.  For my fishing fanatics out there, I’d love to hear how you adjust to the changing weather and water temperatures (email me at skowalski@khtheat.com).  Special thanks to cleanlakesalliance.org, lakes.grace.edu and outdoornews.com for the info.

Simple Video

Lake masses consist of three layers – epiimnion – the upper layer of water in a thermally stratified lake consists of the warmest water and has a fairly uniform (constant) temperature; the hypolimnion – the cold bottom waters, and the metalimnion (or thermocline) layer – a stratum of rapidly changing temperature water.

Fall and spring turnover are natural phenomenon that cause the top layer of the lake to trade places with the bottom layer. This turnover is critical for lake health – like folding chocolate chips into cookie dough (yep, I eat the dough when Jackie isn’t looking!!).  In the fall, this phenomenon happens when the temperature in the air drops. The epilimnion then cools to a temperature that balances with the density of the hypolimnion, allowing them to “intermingle.” (The opposite occurs in the spring: the air temperature rises, warming the surface water while the bottom grows cooler).

Water is unique in the way it changes density at different temperatures. Unlike almost all other liquids, water is most dense at 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) and is lighter at both warmer and colder temperatures. In other words, when water reaches the critical temperature of 39 degrees Fahrenheit, further cooling causes the water molecules to become less dense and rise to the surface. This unusual characteristic allows water to form distinct layers within an otherwise uniform liquid. This phenomenon explains why ice forms at the surface and does not sink.

Warmer and less dense water floats on the top of cooler, denser water at the bottom. This allows the lake to mix when temperatures equalize throughout the water column, as water from the bottom of the lake rises to the top, and water from the top of the lake sinks to the bottom. The process allows for oxygen to be replenished and nutrients to be distributed throughout the lake.

The two layers could not intermingle without the wind. As the Fall winds blow and winter approaches, a constant breeze begins to move over the surface of the lake. The wind pushes the surface water from one shore to the other, and as this happens, the hypolimnion moves upward to replace the water that is moving across to the other shore. Once it reaches the other shore it gets pushed downward to replace the hypolimnion that moved up to the other side of the lake.  The lake “rolls over” in this way in an ongoing cycle until it freezes over.

In both the fall and the spring, turnover affects three major aspects of the lake environment: oxygen, algae, and phosphorus.

The hypolimnion routinely runs low or out of dissolved oxygen, as decomposition, such as bacteria breaking down organic matter.  The turnover breaks down the temperature boundary and moves oxygen-rich surface water to the bottom and oxygen-starved bottom water to the top. Moving dissolved oxygen to the hypolimnion is not only crucial to the lake, but also to the fish who live there.

Fish and most other aquatic critters rely on dissolved oxygen to survive. If too much muck builds up and dissolved oxygen is not replenished, fish will be forced to move toward the surface.

Turnover also helps our lakes clean up harmful bacteria and algae. It carries dead algae down into the depths of the lake where there is less sunlight, helping to prevent algae growth where it is eaten or decomposed at the lake bottom.

Turnover also helps clean up excess phosphorus. As turnover forces iron (which naturally exists in our lakes) toward the hypolimnion, the iron interacts with phosphorus. As it falls to the bottom, the compound is deteriorated by oxygen and anaerobic bacteria. This process is similar to a Ferris wheel as the phosphorus and iron “ride” to the epilimnion and back down to the hypolimnion. Algae blooms are fueled by phosphorus, so the mixing cycle can reduce the conditions for a bloom.

Lake Erie’s western basis turns over frequently, but the larger lake takes more time to cycle.  Anglers talk of seeing tiny bubbles on the surface, and also a gray color to the water.

For any angler who ventures out on the water during the cooler temps it can be a make or break time. Finding fish right after turnover can be challenging.  Bass, pike, perch, bluegills, walleyes… all may need time to adjust to turnover, but usually the reason fisherman are not catching fish post-turnover is because they’re fishing the same spots as they did before. Baitfish are willing to seek deeper depths, and when their forage goes deep, so do the sportfish. Learn more here.

 

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DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!

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Leafy

Autumn really is a wonderful time of year.  You can even eat it!!!  : )))))))))))

As you can tell by my posts lately, there are many things I love about fall — from the brisk air to the deluge of football to the tantalizing scent of pumpkin spice — but there’s one striking visual that sets autumn apart from any other season: the brilliant hues of red, orange, and yellow foliage.  Jackie and I love to go for long walks in the parks and long drives on the weekends, soaking in the incredible beauty of the northeast Ohio landscapes.  I know I’ve written a bit in the past about leaves and colors, but I thought it’s a good time to touch on the science (and beauty) that surrounds us.  So, here’s a little science, a little history, and a whole lot of fun in salute of the season – enjoy and be sure to click on the music link below to set the mood while reading – one of my favorites.  Thanks to you tube, interestingfacts.com, ssec.si.edu, esf.edu, canr.msu.edu, fs.usda.gov, harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu, redbookmag.com, grammarist.com, livescience.com, goodnet.org, slate.com, wiley.com, nowthisnews.com, atlasobscura.com, and dictonary.com.

An Autumn Listen

Deciduous Trees Change Color, But Coniferous Trees Don’t
The bright crimson and gold tones of fall foliage are found primarily on the branches of deciduous trees, an arboreal subset that includes oaks, maples, birches, and more. The word “deciduous” itself stems from the Latin decidere, meaning “to fall off,” and the term is used to describe trees that — unlike conifers and other evergreens — lose their leaves during the autumn as they transition into seasonal dormancy.  So, now you can impress the kids by saying – “Yea, that’s a deciduous tree” … (just watch the leaves!).

Deciduous trees have broadleaves: flat, wide leaves that are more susceptible to weather-induced changes compared to the thin needles of their coniferous counterparts.  As sunlight decreases and temperatures drop, chlorophyll production in these broadleaf trees ramps up, which in turn gives way to other pigments that produce the red, orange, and yellow tones of autumn. There are some geographic exceptions to this rule, however, as deciduous trees in the southern United States are more likely to maintain their green color than those in the North, primarily due to the region’s milder winters.

A Leaf’s Color is Determined by It’s Tree Type
There are three different pigments responsible for the coloration of autumn leaves: chlorophyll, carotenoids, and anthocyanin. Chlorophyll, the most basic pigment that every plant possesses, is a key component of the photosynthetic process that gives leaves their green color during the warmer, brighter months. The other two pigments become more prevalent as conditions change. Carotenoids are unmasked as chlorophyll levels deplete; these produce more yellow, orange, and brown tones.

Though scientists once thought that anthocyanin also lay dormant during the warmer months, they now believe that production begins anew each year during the fall. The anthocyanin pigment not only contributes to the deep red color found in leaves (and also fruits such as cranberries and apples), but it also acts as a natural sunscreen against bright sunlight during colder weather.

During the transformative autumnal months, it’s easier to discern the types of trees based on the color of their leaves. Varying proportions of pigmentation can be found in the chemical composition of each tree type, leading to colorful contrasts. For example, red leaves are found on various maples (particularly red and sugar maples), oaks, sweetgums, and dogwoods, while yellow and orange shades are more commonly associated with hickories, ashes, birches, and black maples. Interestingly, the leaves of an elm tree pose an exception, as they shrivel up and turn brown.

The Etymology of the Word “Fall” Refers to Falling Leaves
Prior to the terms “fall” and “autumn” making their way into the common lexicon, the months of September, October, and November were generally referred to as the harvest season, a time of year for gathering ripened crops. Some of the first recorded uses of the word “fall” date back to 1500s England, when the term was a shortened version of “fall of the year” or “fall of the leaf.”

The 1600s saw the arrival of the word  “autumn,” which came from the French word automne and was popular among writers such as Chaucer and Shakespeare. By the 18th century, “autumn” became the predominant name for the season in England, though over the following century, the word “fall” would grow in popularity across the Atlantic. But while some proper British English linguists consider fall to be an Americanism, the term actually originated in England, and both “autumn” and “fall” are used interchangeably today.

When English poets started using the phrase “the fall of leaves” it became very fashionable to call the season fall. But by the mid-1800s, after the split of the colonies from England led to language change,  England reverted back to Autumn and the American upstarts retained fall.

American Trees Produce Redder Leaves Than Northern European Ones
While America is home to a wide array of both reddish and yellow autumnal hues, trees in Northern Europe are more universally yellow in color. One fascinating theory for why that is goes back to 35 million years ago. During the ice age of the Pleistocene era, America’s north-to-south mountain ranges allowed for animals on either side to migrate south to warmer climates, whereas the east-to-west Alps of Europe trapped many animal species that became extinct as freezing conditions took hold in the north. The result was American trees producing more anthocyanins — and thus a darker red color — to help ward off insects, whereas European trees didn’t need to do the same, since extinct insect species no longer posed a threat. This phenomenon also occurred in East Asia, where forests bear a similar resemblance to those in America, as opposed to the uniquely yellow forests of Northern Europe.  (USA!  USA!  USA!)

——> Bonus Trivia <——

More People Fall in Love in Fall
Does cold weather make you want to cuddle with someone? You are far from alone. According to Redbook, the cooler weather in fall makes people want to get closer to others and not be alone for the winter. So get ready to snuggle in the fall.

You Can See the Brightest Full Moon in Fall
The full moon in the fall that occurs during the equinox is much brighter (almost orange) and rises much earlier than a typical full moon. This full moon, called the Harvest Moon) occurs sometime in September or October and it was very helpful for farmers who used the moonlight to help harvest their crops.

Try Tempura-Fried Maple Leaves – A Japanese Delicacy
While most Americans rake up autumn leaves and throw them into a garbage bin, in Japan, they are the main ingredient of a delicacy. Momiji tempura is a popular snack that originated in the city of Minoh, about 10 miles north of Osaka, where the first commercial fried leaf vendor opened in 1910. Legend has it that around 1,300 years ago, a traveler was so taken by the beauty of the autumn maple leaves in the region that he decided to cook them in oil and eat them. Fear not if you’re a germaphobe, though — the leaves used in momiji tempura are freshly picked off trees, never scooped up from the ground. Preparation involves soaking the maple leaves in salt water (sometimes for up to a year), frying them in a tempura batter, and coating them with sugar and sesame seeds for a sweet, crunchy treat.

 

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DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!

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FIRE!

Fire hydrants are important in any community. But they are also kind of funny looking. And with a little imagination they can really be something else!!!  :)))))))  Trivia follows…read-on! 

Recently, out walking with Jackie the other night in the small village I live in, I noticed a whole bunch of new construction improvement projects going on.  New bridges being built, roadways getting resurfaced, condos going up and new hiking paths connecting our beautiful parks to the lakefront.  I also noticed something I never really pay much attention to – someone had repainted all the fire hydrants along the road – all the rust and old paint was gone, now shimmering with a nice navy-blue color on the bottom and a clean white cap on the top.  It got me to look a little closer at the hydrants – and I realized I really didn’t know much about the history or design of these vital city assets. Not much technology here – cast iron pipes with valves, chains and bolts. Although my entire career has been spent working with stuff like this. It’s always fascinating how stuff is made! Back at the ranch I searched the web, I collected some fun information, and uncovered some very cool inventors/designers whose original designs (pretty much what we have today) date back to the early days of our country’s founding.  Special thanks to American-usa.com, bmefire.com, YouTube, asme.org and Wikipedia.com for the info.  Enjoy!

Fun tune while reading

  1. Because I love his name, I would like to be able to share that Birdsill Holly, Jr. (holder of 150 patents, second only to Thomas Edison), is universally recognized as the inventor of the fire hydrant (he was something of a heat expert using steam). But, while the National Inventors Hall of Fame credits him as the inventor of the “modern-day fire hydrant,” the origins of the fire hydrant precede him, dating to the early 19th century in Philadelphia, where engineer Frederick Graff, Sr., may well have designed the first of them.
  2. As far as historians know, Frederick Graff, Sr., Chief Engineer of the Philadelphia Water Works, was the inventor of the fire hydrant. They think he received a patent for his ground-breaking invention in 1801, and suspect he is the person to thank for protecting countless homes and communities from the ravages of an uncontrolled fire. (the reason they don’t know for certain is because the evidence relating to the firefighting technology was destroyed … wait for it … yup, by fire!)
  3. If only this innovative firefighting system had been in operation near the U.S. Patent Office on December 15, 1836, we might not have to wonder about the true inventor of the fire hydrant. On that day, a fire broke out in the building where all U.S. patents were stored. An estimated 9,957 patents were destroyed in the blaze, wiping out official evidence of inventors’ contributions and rights to technological progress, including all records pertaining to the true inventor of the fire hydrant.
  4. The government sought to restore its records. Many patent holders came forward with their copies of the official paperwork, and from those copies, the official records were recreated. Unfortunately, out of the 9,957 patents that were destroyed, only 2,845 were able to be restored. All patents on record from prior to the 1836 fire are officially classified as “X-Patents.”
  5. The deployment of water-containing caldrons for use in firefighting reaches back to ancient China. Using the same approach, scattered cisterns (storage vessels) stored water in colonial American cities to battle blazes. Hollowed wooden logs provided underground main water lines (like the lines we still have today).
  6. The term “fire plug” dates from the time when water mains were made from hollowed out logs. The fire company (usually volunteers) would head out to the fire, dig up the cobbles in the road down to the main water line, then bore a hole into the main so that the excavation would fill with water which they could draft using their pumper. When finished fighting the fire, they’d seal the main with — you guessed it — a “fire plug”. The next time there was a fire in the neighborhood, they’d dig up the plug and not have to cut into the main.
  7. In London, after the Great Fire of 1666, water mains were preemptively equipped with holes and plugs that were accessed above ground. In many places, wood mains gave way cast iron replacements, which began to be outfitted at intervals with branched fittings that drew water from the mains, acting like underground hydrants.
  8. In about 1801, where someone at the Philadelphia Water Works–most likely Frederick Graff, its senior engineer–created the first “post” or “pillar” hydrant, which rose above ground. It was topped with a valve and featured an outlet that acted as a faucet but also could be attached to a hose. Water was always present in its “wet barrel”.  To prevent freezing and bursting in cold climate locales “dry barrel” hydrants were later designed in which the hydrant remained empty until it was necessary to access the water flowing beneath the frost line.
  9. Prior to the invention of the fire hydrant, fight-fighting techniques consisted of maintaining large cauldrons of water in strategic locations near population centers or filling underground tanks with water, both systems entirely dependent on whether sufficient water had been stored up to combat whatever nearby fire might break out. The fire hydrant was revolutionary in that it allowed for a continuous flow of water, guaranteeing that firefighters would not run out before the blaze was fully quenched.
  10. In 1802, the first order for cast iron hydrants was placed with cannon maker company named Foxall & Richards, who used cast iron to make them. In 1803, Frederick Graff Sr. introduced an improved version of the fire hydrant with the valve in the lower portion. These were inserted into wooden mains with a tapering joint. In 1811, Philadelphia claimed to have 230 wooden hydrant pumps and 185 cast iron fire hydrants.  See different barrel designs here
  11. Today, many valves and hydrants are produced by AMERICAN Flow Control, all are provided with 2-D bar codes. Using an app called AFC Mapper, these bar codes can be scanned by an iOS or Android smart phone or tablet. The app works to integrate the information on the AFC 2D barcodes to help water utilities automate mapping functions, locate and manage assets, and improve field operations efficiency.
  12. Using the app, field personnel have quick access to information such as fire hydrant thread specs, or the depth of bury of their hydrant. This information is invaluable in troubleshooting a problem or planning for future changes and/or system expansion.
  13. This information is critical to the utility technician trying to troubleshoot a problem or locate a valve or hydrant. Take for instance, a weather-related event like Hurricane Katrina or Sandy – these storms literally changed the landscape of the affected areas forever. Locating the valve or hydrant and having access to previous records, as well as all of the manufacturing attributes proved to be a real difference-maker during those instances.
  14. Brief History of fire trucks

How They’re Made!!

 

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DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!

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Traditions

The pictures follow the text below. Enjoy!!!!  :)))))

How it’s Fall already is sort of surprising… just sort of snuck up on us… but here it is.  As with many of the seasonal and holiday transitions throughout the year, Fall brings with it some interesting traditions (and chores – leaf raking – I actually love using my backpack blower!). I find myself looking forward to many of these, like our drives in the country for fresh apples, watching the grandkids pull the apples off the trees – magic! There’s more to autumn than just pumpkin spice — it’s also filled with good stuff like pumpkin pie (yum!! – ice cream and Cool Whip too) pumpkin patches, harvesting and even a semi-obscure sport known as “punkin chunkin” (not to mention other non-squash-related customs). I’ve often wondered why I have the sudden urge to wander through a corn maze in the fall, or what it is about October that’s so conducive to bobbing for apples and eating different shaped candy.  Below are the surprising origins of eight autumn traditions that I’m guessing you like too – enjoy, and thanks to interestingfacts.com, foodnetwork.com, tailgating magazine and You Tube for the info.

Corn Maze

  • Mazes and labyrinths (elaborate and confusing circular maze structures) date back over 4000 years ago to the time of ancient Greece and Rome.  During Roman times, mazes and labyrinths were seen in artwork, home flooring, pavement on streets, and dug into the earth.
  • It was believed that although beautiful and puzzling, the mazes were actually used for rituals and processions.
  • Garden mazes began to pop up throughout Europe in the wealthiest castles and palaces as a way to amuse their inhabitants.  Louis XIV’s palace at Versailles included an elaborate labyrinth in the garden, which is said to have been inspired by Aesop’s fables.
  • One of the finest examples of garden mazes can be found in the gardens at Hampton Court Palace in England, which was first planted by William III in 1690.
  • By the 18th century, hedge mazes became increasingly popular in England and Europe, but it took some time before the concept came to America, at which point it took the form of a corn maze.
  • In 1993, the first modern elaborate corn maze was created by Don Frantz and Adrian Fisher, which inspired a worldwide fad of corn mazes.  Their corn maze was constructed on only 3 acres of land and had 1.92 miles of pathway.  The maze received accreditation in the Guiness Book of World Records for being the world’s largest corn maze.
  • The record now belongs to Cool Patch Pumpkins for their 60 acre maze in Dixon, California in 2014.

Leaf Peeping

  • This one goes back more than 1,200 years, which is another way of saying it didn’t originate in America. Rather, it appears we have Japan to thank for the custom. Their version of it, which carries the considerably more evocative name of momijigari (“autumn leaf hunting”), dates back to at least the Heian Era of 794-1185. A renaissance of sorts, that epoch brought about both visual art that celebrated the vibrant colors of fall and the endlessly influential Tale of Genji, which explicitly mentions “an imperial celebration of autumn foliage.”
  • As for how it became an American tradition, a professor of Asian art history has a theory: Japan and New England were connected via shipping routes, resulting in New Englanders being exposed to Japanese lacquerware featuring a maple-leaf motif that made them more inclined to seek out gorgeous leaves without traveling halfway across the world.
  • Best places to see Fall leaves include Rocky Mountain National Park, Sonoma Valley, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Michigan, Acadia National Park, Maine and pretty much anywhere in Ohio and Pennsylvania

OKTOBERFEST

  • Beginning in the third weekend of September and lasting until the first Sunday in October, Oktoberfest has long served as an excuse for revelers to do as the Germans do and wet their whistle at the local beer hall (lederhosen optional).
  • The first Oktoberfest was a wedding reception: On October 12, 1810, the citizens of Munich gathered at the city’s gates to celebrate the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The event (known locally as d’Wiesn) was so popular that it took place again the following year — and the year after that, and so on and so forth until it became the world-famous festival of Bavarian culture that it is today.
  • You can’t start drinking until the mayor opens the first keg.  The festival officially begins when the mayor says “O’ zapft is” during the opening ceremony on the first day of the event. There’s only one place to be to witness this; the Schottenhamel tent. Here you’ll get to experience the Bavarian tradition where the Mayor of Munich will have the honor of tapping the first keg of Oktoberfest beer at noon. Once the first barrel of beer has been opened, then everyone else can get their beers in and officially start Oktoberfest… AND, only beer from Munich is sold at Oktoberfest.  CLICK FOR A TOUR!
  • And Check THIS Out————> The Oktoberfest in 4k Time lapse & Tilt shift

Election Day

  • Though rarely thought of in the same way as apple cider and leaf-peeping, American elections take place in autumn for a reason. Out of consideration for farming schedules, Congress chose November (when the harvest was finished but it hadn’t usually begun to snow yet) in its 1845 decree establishing the date.
  • As for Tuesday? Weekends were a no-go due to church, and Wednesdays were off the table because farmers usually went to the market to sell their goods. Thus, Tuesday emerged as a sort of compromise, and the tradition stuck.
  • It’s a blessing we can enjoy free and open elections …be sure to vote!

BOBBING FOR APPLES

  • It may not be as popular now as it was a century ago, but bobbing for apples persists as an autumnal activity, especially on Halloween. Long before kiddos dressed up on October 31, however, British singles played the game as a sort of courting ritual. Each apple represented a different eligible bachelor and, if the young woman bobbing for said apple bit into it on her first try, the two would live happily ever after.
  • Succeeding on the second attempt meant that the two would be together for a time but the romance would fade.
  • Not getting it right until the third try foretold doom – yikes!  Click For Video

Punkin Chuckin

  • For the past two decades, “chunkers” have created slingshots, trebuchets, and even pneumatic cannons to hurl pumpkins as far as possible. The World Championship Punkin Chunkin Contest has taken place in Bridgeville, Delaware, every November since 1986, with First State native Bill Thompson claiming credit for inventing the sport.
  • The Guinness world record shot is held by a pneumatic cannon dubbed “Big 10 Inch”, at 5,545.43 feet (1,690.25 m), on September 9, 2010 in Moab, Utah. (for you math majors out there…that’s over a mile!!)
  • Enjoy this “chuckin” link – made me just laugh out loud seeing the machines and the people

Tailgating

  • The history of tailgating dates all the way back to the start of the Civil War. In 1861, civilians gathered in Washington DC, to watch the first battle of the Bull Run and cheer on their “team,” the Union or the Confederates.  People brought picnic baskets filled with minced meat, apple pies, and plum puddings. This time in history marks the beginning of aged whiskey and wine production, so we can assume the colonists were also celebrating with adult beverages.
  • Tailgating is now a year-round activity at sporting events and concerts, but it’s always been especially popular at football games. One theory posits that it dates all the way back to the first college football game, a contest between Rutgers and Princeton that took place in 1869, when some in attendance sat at their horses’ “tail end” while grilling sausages before the game began.
  • Another theory centers around the Green Bay Packers, whose fans are said to have coined the term “tailgating” when the “cheeseheads” first began supporting the team in 1919. Ever industrious, they positioned their trucks around the field and sat in the beds for comfortable viewing while enjoying their food and drinks.
  • Today tailgater’s across the country come early, set tables and tents, and serve all sorts of grilled and “crock pot” goodies, along with snacks galore.
  • “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” takes place around the college football games between the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs, where fans meet in the parking lot, RV lot and local marina, entertaining nearly 200,000 fans.

Candy Corn

  • It may be the year’s most polarizing candy, but its history is long and sweet. Candy corn dates back to the 1880s, when a confectioner at the Wunderle Candy Company began producing it under the even-less-appetizing name of Chicken Feed.
  • The corn-shaped sugar molds were then manufactured by the Goelitz Confectionery Company, who made the product famous (you may now know Goelitz as Jelly Belly too). More than 35 million pounds (or nine billion individual pieces) of candy corn are produced every year, so someone must like the stuff.
  • California residents consume more of the orange, yellow and white confection than any other state. To be fair, it is a big state, and so is the state that comes in second in the eats-the-most-candy-corn lineup: Texas! Florida, in third place, takes the proverbial bronze, followed by New York, Michigan and Illinois.

I have to admit, this candy does not even make my top 100 list!

I saw this New Yorker cartoon on Twitter…couldn’t resist sharing.  :))))) @NewYorker

 

 

 

 

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Sticky

It’s sand. Who knew there was so much info on sand. Especially the kind that works best for great sandcastles. Well, good thing you stopped by today. Read on, then impress your friends and family this weekend.  :)))))

Now that I hold the title of “grandpa”, I get to do all sorts of fun things with the grandchildren. Silly hide and seek, playing with toys, and taking them to fun places.  In my neighborhood, I have access to one of our beloved Metroparks, Huntington Beach.  Jackie and I love taking the kidos down there, splashing in the waves, watching sunsets and of course playing in the sand. I get to lug the gear – towels, blankets, chairs, sunscreen, snacks, and of course I had to bring some shovels and pails and molds to make shapes.  We have been constructing sand “castles” since the girls were able to stand – one of our ladies actually learned to walk on the beach!  The majority of our structures had to also have an elaborate moat for protection.  Little water, little sand, and presto, a castle. I have to say once finished with the castles,  their next choice would be to bury me in sand!  That did make for a nice nap!   My curiosity got to me back at the office, to learn a bit more about why the sand sticks sometimes, and crumbles other times.  I went online and found this cool article written by Joseph Scalia – Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University (to understand why some sandcastles are tall and have intricate structures while others are nearly shapeless lumps of sand, it helps to have a background in geotechnical engineering). I also found some amazing designs from beaches all over – must say WAY more than my pail domes. Thanks to theconversation.com and YouTube for the info and song.

Beyonce’ 

  • The size of particles, or grains, also determines the way sand looks and feels. The smallest sand grains have a texture almost like powdered sugar. The largest grains are more like the size of small dry lentils.
  • Most sand will work for building a sandcastle, but the best sand has two characteristics: grains of sand in several different sizes and grains with angular or rough edges.
  • Sand grains that are more angular, with sharp corners on them, lock together better, making the sandcastle stronger. It’s the same reason a pile of angular wooden blocks will stay in a pile, but a pile of marbles will go everywhere.
  • This is also why, surprisingly, the best sand for sandcastles is not typically found on an island or a coastal beach. More angular grains of sand are usually found closer to mountains, their geologic source. These sand grains have not yet had their edges rounded off by wind and water. Professional sandcastle builders will go so far as to import river sand for their creations.
  • Water is key – Without water, sand just forms a pile. Too much water and sand flows like liquid. But between dry sand and saturated sand lies a wide range of moisture levels that enable sandcastle construction.
  • Water is cohesive, meaning that water likes to stick to water. But water also sticks to or climbs up certain surfaces. Look at a half-full glass of water and you will see the water going up the insides of the glass a little. This tiny power struggle is what makes sandcastles possible.
  • If the glass were much skinnier, like a straw, the water would rise higher and have more surface tension. The narrower the straw, the higher the water would rise. This phenomenon is called capillarity (think celery stalk).
  • Water behaves the same way in wet sand. The pores, or spaces, between the sand grains are like a bunch of very tiny straws. Water forms tiny bridges between the grains. The water in these bridges is under tension, pulling the grains together by a force we geotechnical engineers call suction stress.
  • Just enough water – The quantity of water in the sand controls the size and strength of the water bridges. Too little water equals little bridges between the sand grains. More water, and the size and number of bridges grows, increasing the suction holding the sand grains together. The result is perfect sandcastle sand.
  • Too much water, though, and the suction is too weak to hold the sand together.  A general rule of thumb for building great sandcastles is one part water for every eight parts dry sand. Under ideal conditions in a laboratory, though, with dense sand and zero evaporation, one part water for every one hundred parts dry sand can produce wonders. At a beach, sand with the right moisture level is near the high tide line when the tide is low.
  • Incidentally, salt from seawater can also be a boon for sandcastle stability. Capillary forces hold sand grains together initially, but capillary water will eventually evaporate, particularly on a windy day. When sea water dries up, salt is left behind. Since the seawater was forming bridges between the grains, the salt crystallizes at these points of contact. In this way, salt can keep a sandcastle standing long after the sand has dried. But be careful not to disturb the salt-bonded sand; it’s brittle and collapsible.
  • To build a strong sandcastle, compact sand and a little water as tightly as you can. I prefer to create a dense mound and then scoop and carve away to reveal the art within. You can also compact the sand into buckets, cups or other molds, and build from the ground up. Just be sure to get the sand dense and place the mold on a compacted foundation. Hands make for both a great compaction and carving tool, but a shovel or a seashell will allow for more precision.

Have fun, and don’t be afraid to get sandy!

Oh, and check this out before you go:
5 cool sandcastles in the making

 

 

 

 

Corn

Maize, cob, sweet-corn, kernel, corn-on-the-cob. However you refer to it, it’s just plain good food with plenty of history!!! Read on, and prepare to be amaized!!!!!!!  (Oh, there I go again)  :)))))))) 

Driving out to the country this past weekend, Jackie and I marveled at the extensive amount of corn.  It seemed like in all directions corn was growing everywhere.  I’m so impressed by the farmers and ranch hands who can plant, care for and harvest corn. Talk about PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs! Prepping, clearing, turning, planting, fertilizing, harvesting, storing, and all along praying that this year’s crop will be great again. We of course stopped at a roadside country market and filled up on fresh vegetables, tasty fruits, and lots of corn.  I love it boiled some and roasted some on the grill, all black and tasty, smothered in butter and touch of salt… (sounds good, eh?). I thought it would be fun to see what “corny” info is out there – boy did I get an earful (get it?). Seeing the list, it’s unlikely that a day goes where we don’t encounter corn in one form or another. While we enjoy sweet corn as a side dish, it’s also something we all rely on in more ways to count – from washing our hands, brushing our teeth, having a soda  to fueling our cars.  Here’s a hitlist of corn info I thought you’d enjoy – and some facts that all I can say is … now you know!  Be sure to get your fill of sweet country corn from the markets over the next few weeks – it truly is amaizing (ok I’ll stop).  I added some corn recipes at the end for my foodies out there… special thanks to kidadl.com and loveandlemons.com for the info. Enjoy!

 

  • The average ear of corn has 800 kernels in 16 rows. Corn cobs always have an even number of rows. An ear of corn has one silk stand for every kernel and each corn plant produces one to three cobs each.
  • Only 1% of corn planted in the United States is sweet corn – the full list grown in America includes dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, popcorn, flour corn, and sweet corn. Usually corn is yellow, but it can also come in colors such as green, red, or white.
  • The world record for the tallest corn stalk is more than 35 feet.
  • An acre of corn eliminates 8 tons of carbon dioxide from our air – with about 90 million acres planted, let’s see,  that’s about 72 million tons eliminated (yea!)  91 gallons of water is needed to produce one pound of corn.
  • Corn was first domesticated in southern Mexico more than 10,000 years ago. Humans bred field corn from an ancient grass called teosinte. Corn became more widely popular in the late 1700s when it became accessible to Europeans. Corn is grown on every continent, with the exception of Antarctica.
  • Early pioneers planted four corn plants to harvest one. There was even a rhyme about it: “One for the maggot, one for the crow, one for the cutworm, one to grow”.
  • Corn is used in foods like cereal, potato chips, soft drinks, cooking oil, and more. It’s also used in non-food items like fireworks, glue, fabric, crayons, fuel, paint, laundry detergent, cosmetics, and plastics.
  • All corn is technically a grain, a fruit and a vegetable. The ear, or cob, of corn is a vegetable, each kernel is a grain, and all grains are fruits.
  • Sweet corn becomes starchy easily, so it should be eaten within a few days after picking.  The husk of fresh corn should be bright green, with a golden tassel. If the stalk end is brown, the corn is not fresh.
  • The first mechanical corn harvested was invented by Gleaner Harvester Combine Corporation in 1930. (bunch of corn harvester videos – wow)
  • Most countries outside of the United States call corn maize.  Maize is a Taino word that means “sacred mother” or “giver of life”.
  • CLICK HERE!
  • THEN CLICK HERE!
  • THEN CLICK HERE!
  • AND THEN…CLICK HERE!!!!
  • Corn leaves may only be 4 inches wide, but they can measure up to 4 feet long.  The average corn stalk is 8 to 10 feet tall. Corn stalks look like bamboo canes, with 20 internodes of 7 inches each. Although most corn kernels are quite small, they’ve been seen to grow as big as 1 inch.
  • Corn plants have both male and female flowers. The tassel is the male flower while the ear is the female flower.
  • Any variety of maize grown for production of livestock food, ethanol, cereal or processed food is called field corn.
  • Dent corn gets its name from its dented kernels. It’s mostly for animal feed, in processed food, or to produce ethanol.
  • Flour corn, as its name suggests, is usually used to make corn flour and cornmeal.
  • Flint corn’s hard, colorful kernels make it too tough to eat. It’s mainly used like dent corn.
  • Pod corn has extra leaves that cover up each individual kernel.
  • Corn plants had only one ear of corn until Native American farmers crossed different varieties to produce more food.
  • Farmers collectively produce over 45 billion bushels each year.  Corn is measured in bushels. One bushel of corn weighs 56 pounds. The United States is the biggest corn producer in the world, followed by China, Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine and India.  Over a third of the world’s corn is grown in the United States, where it is a major crop.
  • Iowa is the biggest corn producer in the United States and produced over 2.5 billion bushels of corn last year.  Iowa produces so much corn, it’s called the Corn State.
  • Corn grows best in subtropical and temperate climates, which is why it grows so well in Iowa.  Iowa may grow the most corn, but Japan buys the most: in 2019, it spent $3.5 billion on the yellow stuff.
  • 30% of all the corn production in the USA is for livestock feed, while 40% goes for biofuels like ethanol.
  • Corn has over 3,500 uses in cookery, industry and more. That’s a lot of corn products!  Things as diverse as cosmetics, laundry detergent, soap, antibiotics, fireworks, glue, paint and chewing gum are produced from corn – there is even corn in drywall.
  • Corn is used to supply ethanol production. Ethanol is added to gasoline to make it burn more cleanly, reducing air pollution.
  • A major ingredient in many soft drinks is corn syrup. One bushel of corn can sweeten 400 cans of soft drinks.
  • Your toothpaste has corn in it. Sorbitol, a corn product, is used to bulk up toothpaste.Corn is used to replace oil as a major ingredient in new bioplastic products. It’s less harmful to the environment.
  • Corn oil is produced when a kernel is processed to make cornmeal or cornstarch. Companies then bottle it and sell it for cooking.  As well as frying food, corn oil is used in skincare because of its high levels of Vitamin E.
  • In the USA, corn makes up 95% of all livestock feed as well as being the main ingredient in dry pet food.
  • Corn is a good source of vitamins A, B and E as well as minerals and antioxidants.  Grains like corn are also a good source of carbohydrates, protein and fiber.
  • Almost every food in Mexican cookery uses maize. It’s the main ingredient in tortillas, tamales, pozole, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, tostadas and more.
  • Many cultures like corn porridge. Italy calls it polenta, it’s angu in Brazil, mamaliga in Romania, kacamak in Serbia and cornmeal mush or hominy grits in the US.
  • Maize was first grown about 7,000 to 10,000 years ago in southern Mexico. ‘Maize’ is a Taino word that means ‘sacred mother’ or ‘giver of life’ and was once considered so valuable that people traded things like meat and furs for it instead of money.
  • Sweet corn is only about 1000 years old and was first found in Brazil.  The Iroquois called sweet corn ‘papoon’. The sweet grain spread to Europe when the Iroquois gave some to European settlers in 1779.
  • Archeologists found some corn kernels at a dig on the east coast of Peru. Despite being over 1,000 years old, the kernels still popped when cooked.  5,600-year-old ears of popcorn were found in the Bat Cave of West Central New Mexico.
  • Native Americans used corn leaves as chewing gum. Corn is still used in gum production today.
  • Asian countries like China and Korea use soft corn silk to make a nutritious tea packed with vitamin K and potassium.
  • Popcorn is exploding food. The puffy snack is made when a certain variety of corn heats up and explodes.  Americans eat around 17 billion quarts of popcorn each year, enough to fill the Empire State Building 18 times.
  • Fun recipes

 

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DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.
As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))  
Have fun!!

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Spinning Wheel

We’ve all been there. Waiting and staring at your computer screen while that little animated thingy spins. Read below of its origin and see some more interesting animations that very talented people have made to keep us entertained while … we … w-a-i-t.

Waiting.  It’s something we encounter every day.  Waiting for the traffic light to change.  Waiting for the driver in front of you to make a left turn.  Waiting in line for your double americano frapalino no fat no foam half calf iced coffee (actually not a thing for me!!). I think, overall, we’re all pretty good at waiting. With technology, we’ve been blessed with really fast processing – log on and you are off and running, click a link, and bam, it’s there – search for an item and it pops up, typically with nine additional options. Music at our fingertips. Instant purchases on Amazon and other retailers. The speed is fantastic. The other day, I was searching for an item online, and watched one of those little circle thingies pop up on my screen.  It told me the site I was going to was “loading” and would come up soon. I patiently watched it go round and round and round and thought to myself … I wonder where this came from and who invented it. So, like I like to do, I jumped on the web, did some research, and found out. The spinning icon is called a throbber (also known as a loading icon). Hats off to the gang who invented it back in the day – as it’s become part of our visual language today.  Here’s some info on throbbers thanks to Wikipedia.  Be sure to click on the music link here while you read along – I think you’ll enjoy that too.

BS&T Hit

 

 

 

 

 

  • throbber, also known as a loading icon, is an animated graphical control element used to show that a computer program is performing an action in the background (such as downloading content, conducting intensive calculations or communicating with an external device). In contrast to a progress bar, a throbber does not indicate how much of the action has been completed.

 

 

  • Throbbers take various forms but are commonly incorporated into the logo of the program. Throbbers are typically a still image (known as its resting frame), unless the program is performing an action, during which time the throbber is animated in a loop to convey to the user that the program is busy (and has not frozen). Once the action is complete, the throbber returns to its resting frame.

  • Somewhat surprisingly, it’s possible for the user to continue interacting with the program while the throbber is animated; one such possibility may be to press a “stop” button to cancel the action. Clicking the throbber itself might perform another action, such as opening the program’s website, or pausing or canceling the background action.

  • One of the early uses of a throbber occurred in the NCSA Mosaic web browser of the early 1990s, which featured an NCSA logo that “animated” while Mosaic downloaded a web page. As the user could still interact with the program, the pointer remained normal (and not a busy symbol, such as an hourglass turning); therefore, the throbber provided a visual indication that the program was performing an action. Clicking on the throbber would stop the page loading; later web browsers added a separate Stop button for this purpose.

  • Netscape, which soon overtook Mosaic as the market-leading web browser, featured a throbber. In version 1.0 of Netscape, this took the form of a big blue “N” (Netscape’s logo at the time). The animation depicted the “N” expanding and contracting – hence the name “throbber” (now you know!!). When Netscape unveiled its new logo (a different “N” on top of a hill), they held a competition to find an animation for it. The winning design (featuring the new-look “N” in a meteor shower) became very well-known and almost became an unofficial symbol of the World Wide Web Later. Internet Explorer‘s blue “e” enjoyed similar status, though it only functioned as a throbber in early versions of the browser.

  • Initially, throbbers tended to be quite large, but they reduced in size along with the size of toolbar buttons as graphical user interfaces developed. Their usefulness declined somewhat as most operating systems introduced a different pointer to indicate “working in background”, and they are no longer included in all web browsers.

  • Often browsers shipped with ISP CDs, or those customized according to co-branding agreements, have a custom throbber. For example, the version of Internet Explorer included with AOL disks has an AOL throbber instead of the standard “e”.

  • Throbbers saw a resurgence with client side applications (such as Ajax web apps) where an application within the web browser would wait for some operation to complete. Most of these throbbers were known as a “spinning wheel”, which typically consist of 8, 10, or 12 part-radial lines or discs arranged in a circle, as if on a clock face, highlighted in turn as if a wave is moving clockwise around the circle. (These are my favorite).

 

  • Susan Kare, a pioneer of pixel art and of the graphical interface, gets credit as the original designer for the Apple Macintosh icon set that includes the stopwatch. Learn more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Kare.

  • Loving the one below. Let me know your favorite. And if you see a cool throbber, sent it to me. I’ve got a nice collection going!!  🙂

 

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DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.
As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))  
Have fun!!

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