Take time to reflect

Contemplation. Itrospection. Pondering. This is a really good time to reflect.

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of bigger and better things. Society often encourages us to set ambitious goals, reach for the stars, and constantly strive to become better. While these are very important, it’s equally important to appreciate all of the little things that bring joy and contentment to our lives. Counting our blessings and cultivating a positive mindset will enhance our overall well-being and happiness.  Give it a try and keep it going in the New Year – and thanks to a good buddy of mine for helping find these  words of wisdom.

Appreciate: You can appreciate the small, everyday moments that often go unnoticed. Take a moment to savor the aroma of your morning coffee, feel the warmth of the sunlight on your skin, or listen to the soothing sounds of nature. Say a prayer. By immersing yourself in these simple experiences, you can develop a deeper sense of gratitude for the present.

Say Thanks!: Take a few minutes each day to reflect on the positive aspects of your life, no matter how small they may seem. Whether it’s a kind gesture from a friend, a moment of laughter with loved ones or the hug of a child. Shift your focus away from what you lack and towards the abundance of blessings that surround you.

Change  your perspective: Instead of dwelling on setbacks and difficulties, try to find the silver lining in every situation. By approaching challenges with a positive mindset, you can turn them into opportunities for learning and resilience.

Share life with others: Enjoy the little things in life. Share your joys and challenges with friends and family and take the time to celebrate their successes as well. Celebrating life’s achievements, big or small, of those around you can contribute to a positive and uplifting atmosphere.

Sometimes it can be all about you! Begin the New Year maintaining a positive outlook on life. Take time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation, whether it’s reading a book, taking a leisurely walk, playing with kids or grandkids or indulging in a hobby. Taking care of your physical and mental well-being allows you to approach life with a renewed sense of energy and appreciation for the little pleasures that make each day special.

Let’s all count your blessings and appreciate the small joys God has put in our lives.

All the best from your Friends at KHT.

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas

 

 

 

 

Two Quintillion

Doing research has been getting faster and faster and faster. Now, with the push of a button, answers are coming back in a single second, to the people researching daunting topics like the universe, neuroscience, aerospace, cancer, drugs, clean fusion and more. That’s faster than I can type the letter ”K”.   :))))))))

Depending how old you are, you likely remember when you used your first computer, first laptop or mobile device. Clunky in scale, it amazed each of us with the capacity to make “at the time” lightening fast computations.  Type in a search, bang, the info was there.  Crunch a spreadsheet, and the data appeared before your eyes. Call a friend and they answered within seconds.  I can remember here at KHT when we first added connected computers to our campus, the team was thrilled.  Each iteration and improvement made us even more efficient in solving your PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs! … something we enjoy doing every day.  I was reading the WSJ the other day and came across an article about a new “exascale” computer named Aurora.  Inside a vast data center on the outskirts of Chicago, the most powerful supercomputer in the world is coming to life. The supercomputer’s high-performance capabilities, matched with the latest advances in artificial intelligence, will help scientists research challenges like cancer, nuclear fusion, vaccines, climate change, encryption, cosmology and other complex sciences and technologies.  Special thanks to WSJ writer Scott Patterson for the article and Google for the history.

Aurora is housed at the Energy Department’s Argonne National Laboratory and is among a new breed of machines known as “exascale” supercomputers. In a single second, an exascale computer can perform one quintillion operations—a billion billion, or a one followed by 18 zeros… (it looks like this 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 – yeeeowsa!).

An exascale computer refers to a computing system capable of performing one exaflop, which is a quintillion (10^18) floating-point operations per second (FLOPS). In simpler terms, it signifies the ability to execute a billion billion calculations per second. This level of computational power is a significant milestone in high-performance computing (HPC) and represents a thousandfold increase in performance compared to the previous generation of supercomputers.

Aurora is the size of two tennis courts, weighs 600 tons. Behind Aurora’s computing muscle are more than 60,000 graphics processing units, or GPUs, technology developed for advanced videogaming systems that has become the powerhouse of supercomputers. (that compares with the nearly 40,000 GPUs in Frontier – Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Frontier, which came online last year and was the first operational exascale computer, retained its title as the world’s No. 1 computer. Aurora will likely “exceed Frontier…when finished.”)

Aurora, built by Intel and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, is slowly being turned on, rack by rack. Unlike regular computers, these high-powered machines take months to bring online as technicians look for flaws like mechanics testing a Formula One car before a race. Aurora is expected to become fully operational in 2024.

Just some of what it can do …

  • increase the accuracy of climate forecasts (the more-accurate estimates will allow planners to better prepare for the potential impacts of floods, wildfires or storms on a facility or neighborhood).
  • screen 22 billion drug molecules to accelerate drug discovery.
  • mapping connections in the brain, a task so complicated it could take Aurora a full day to process a tiny sliver of the brain
  • handle the biggest large language model—a predictive AI system similar to ChatGPT—ever deployed.
  • deploy automated labs that will let the computer conduct real-world experiments using robots. It can analyze the results and modify the experiments, speeding up the research process.
  • help with the design and production of batteries that hold more power and charge faster. Batteries run on chemical reactions. Rather than test new battery chemistries in labs, scientists can use Aurora to model billions of combinations at high speed, providing scientists new insights into potentially breakthrough technologies.
  • leverage Argonne’s massive X-ray machine, the Advanced Photon Source, or APS, to examine materials at the atomic-scale level and feed the data into Aurora. The upgraded APS increases the brightness of the X-rays, that means experiments can be much faster … In fact, they can be so fast that humans can’t control them anymore.

There are more of these powerful machines coming soon. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California is building a $600 million exascale supercomputer called El Capitan, after the famed rock formation in Yosemite National Park. It is expected to be deployed next year and could eventually exceed Aurora’s computational firepower.

According to Elon Musk, Tesla is spending more than $1 billion to build an exascale supercomputer called Dojo. China might have exascale machines, but it doesn’t provide them to outsiders for testing. Computer scientists in the U.K. and elsewhere are trying to produce their own exascale computers.

History of supercomputers, searched using Chat openai (how cool is that!)

1950s-1960s: The concept of supercomputing emerged in the 1950s with the development of the first electronic computers. However, the term “supercomputer” was not widely used until the 1960s. Early supercomputers like the Control Data Corporation (CDC) 6600, introduced in 1964, were characterized by their exceptional processing speed and capability for scientific and engineering applications.

1970s: Seymour Cray, known as the “father of supercomputing,” played a crucial role in the development of supercomputers during this period. Cray founded Cray Research and introduced a series of supercomputers, including the Cray-1 in 1976, which was the first supercomputer to use vector processing.

1980s: Vector processing became a dominant feature in supercomputers during the 1980s. Cray continued to produce successful models like the Cray-2. Other companies, such as IBM with its IBM 3090 and 390, also contributed to the supercomputing landscape.

1990s: Parallel processing, where multiple processors work together on a task, gained prominence. This era saw the development of massively parallel supercomputers. Thinking Machines Corporation introduced the Connection Machine, and Cray Research produced the Cray T3D and T3E.

2000s: The rise of clusters and distributed computing marked this period. Clustered systems, composed of multiple interconnected computers, became a cost-effective way to achieve supercomputer performance, such as IBM’s Blue Gene series and Cray’s XT5.

2010s: GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) acceleration gained popularity for certain types of computations, and heterogeneous computing became more common. China’s Tianhe-1A and later the Sunway TaihuLight were among the world’s fastest supercomputers during this period.

2020s: The race for exascale computing intensified, with countries and organizations aiming to build supercomputers capable of performing one exaflop or more. Frontier and Aurora supercomputers in the United States are part of this exascale push.

The supercomputer’s high-performance capabilities will be matched with the latest advances in artificial intelligence, with hard to imagine outcomes. Together they will be used by scientists researching cancer and other diseases, nuclear fusion, safer vaccines, climate patterns to avoid disasters, financial and data encryption, cosmology and other complex sciences and aid technologies to provide better products and services which in the past would take longer to develop.

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

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!!

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

Dedication

It’s all about love, friends and family.  

With all the “dashing” we’re doing these days, it’s good to pause and reflect on some of the more commonly observed holiday traditions. History has always fascinated me. My blog today lands on the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, a celebration that commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the second century B.C. The festival lasts for eight nights and days and holds significant historical and cultural importance in the Jewish tradition with its origins rooted in a tale of resilience and religious freedom.  I thought it would be fun to explore the history behind Hanukkah and how the observance has lasted for so many years. Enjoy, and thanks to Google and Wikipedia for the info. Shalom.

Music

The story of Hanukkah begins with the Seleucid King Antiochus IV, who ruled over the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire from 175 B.C.to 164 B.C. The Seleucid Empire was one of the successor states to Alexander the Great’s vast empire, encompassing parts of Asia and the Middle East.

Antiochus IV is particularly known for his controversial and oppressive policies toward the Jewish people, as highlighted in the story of Hanukkah. He ascended to the throne after the death of his brother, Seleucus IV Philopator. Antiochus IV sought to strengthen and expand the influence of Hellenistic culture throughout his kingdom, including the territories that included Judea, where a significant Jewish population resided.

In an attempt to Hellenize the region and consolidate his power, Antiochus IV took drastic measures against the Jewish faith. He outlawed Judaism, desecrated the holy Second Temple in Jerusalem, and imposed severe restrictions on Jewish religious practices. The king went so far as to place a statue of Zeus in the temple, an act considered sacrilegious by the Jewish people.

These oppressive measures sparked widespread discontent and resistance among the Jewish population. The Maccabean Revolt, led by a priest named Mattathias and his five sons, known as the Maccabees, fought against Antiochus IV.. The Maccabees initiated a guerilla warfare campaign against the powerful Seleucid army., The Maccabees managed to reclaim the temple after a series of strategic victories and the establishment of the festival of Hanukkah.

Upon entering the temple, the Maccabees discovered that there was only enough oil to light the menorah, a seven-branched candelabrum, for one day. However, a miracle occurred, and the small amount of oil miraculously burned for eight days, allowing the Jewish people to rededicate the temple. This miraculous event is at the heart of the Hanukkah celebration and is symbolized by the lighting of the menorah over eight nights.

Hanukkah, which means “dedication” or “consecration” in Hebrew, became a symbol of Jewish resistance against religious persecution and the fight for religious freedom. The festival’s customs and traditions evolved over time, incorporating both religious and secular elements.

One of the central customs of Hanukkah is the lighting of the menorah. Each night, an additional candle is lit until all eight candles, plus the central or “shamash” candle, are lit by the eighth night. Families often gather around the menorah to recite blessings, sing traditional songs, and exchange gifts. The menorah’s lights are placed in windows to publicize the miracle and symbolize the triumph of light over darkness.

Traditional foods associated with Hanukkah include latkes, which are potato pancakes fried in oil, and sufganiyot, jelly-filled doughnuts. The consumption of fried foods during Hanukkah serves as a reminder of the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days.

The themes of religious freedom, cultural identity, and resistance against religious oppression is embedded in the Hanukkah story and continues to resonate with people across generations. As a result, the festival has retained its relevance and continues to be observed with enthusiasm and devotion still today.  The triumph of light over darkness holds a special place in the hearts of Jewish communities worldwide, providing a time for reflection, gratitude, and the sharing of joy with family and friends.

 

 

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

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!!

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

 

Transformed

Technology. The future is here. And the future is coming. So, hang on to your hat, baby!!!!!!!!!!

There’s no question that technology has profoundly changed the way we live — how we pay for groceries, watch our favorite shows, browse restaurant menus, communicate and so much more. While these are all seemingly ordinary interactions in modern day, they are woven with extraordinary innovation, transforming how we interact and make decisions. It’s easy to forget the level of technology involved in simply “tapping” a card to pay a bill or uploading a photo to social media. Pretty amazing, right? I get such a kick out of new inventions and new ideas.  My gang here at KHT really goes out of their way to solve problems (you know, your PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs! One of our favorite solutions is to 3D print prototype fixtures to better rack parts before we treat them. It’s concepts to completion in a matter of hours. It is amazing how designs don’t always translate into success, with actual fixtures our team can see first hand!   Below, is a list of several technological inventions that have transformed many of our day-to-day lives.  And with all the excitement about AI, it’s tough to guess just what’s in the pipeline.  Much of this technology has incredible benefits for us,  we just need to be cautious!  Thanks to nicenews.com and wallstreetjournal.com for the info. Enjoy!

Personalized Algorithms 
Looking for a new show to watch? Netflix has a rec for that based on your personal preferences. According to Netflix, “Recommendation algorithms are at the core of the Netflix product. We continually seek to improve them by advancing the state-of-the-art in the field. We do this by using the data about what content our members watch and enjoy along with how they interact with our service to get better at figuring out what the next great movie or TV show for them will be.”  It’s reported that people discover more than 80% of the shows they watch on the streaming platform through this recommendation system, which speaks to the power of personalization. The system works by using “machine learning and algorithms to help break viewers’ preconceived notions and find shows that they might not have initially chosen.” The goal: Keep finding people new things to watch.

Contactless Payments 
Changing the way we make purchases, contactless payments allow for data transfer and wireless communication between devices. Nerd Wallet explains, “Near-field communication, or NFC, technology is used for contactless payments and allows wireless communication between two devices — a contactless card and a card reader, for example. Technology, like NFC, that uses radio frequency identification, or RFID, has been around for decades.”  RFID “sends information between a tag to a scanner. The scanner, or reader, emits radio waves that pick up signals from nearby items with RFID tags, which also send out radio waves,” per the outlet. “With its ability to store and send huge amounts of data, RFID technology has been implemented in a number of sectors, including health care and the military, in a variety of applications.”  This type of technology allows for “tap” payments, in which a card or device is held above a reader to make a transaction-now used in 79% of worldwide transactions.

QR Codes
Invented in 1994, Quick Response, or QR, codes were initially designed by a Japanese company to track automobile parts moving through the assembly process. Fast forward to 2020, and these scannable bar codes boomed in popularity. In a 2021 CNBC article, it was reported that Bitly, a link management service, saw a 750% increase in QR code downloads over the prior year and a half. Today, QR codes are seen everywhere, from menus and boarding passes to coupons and business cards. And growing in popularity are QR code tattoos, with scans of the body ink taking viewers to songs, images, and more. In my neighborhood, a local candidate put one on his yard signs, providing a fast link to his info page.  Brilliant!

Facial Recognition
Though facial recognition technology has its roots in the 1960s, the software was popularized in 2010 when Facebook started using it to identify faces in user-uploaded photos. In the decade since, the social media platform has scaled back its usage of the system, but the technology is increasingly being employed for good in other ways. These include securing access to phones, laptops, and passports; finding lost pets; aiding in solving crimes; and going through airport security. While the technology has its drawbacks, the Pew Research Center reported the public is “more likely to see facial recognition use by police as good, rather than bad for society.”  Here in Cleveland, they are using it at Browns Stadium for beer purchasing … not sure that’s a good idea. This is one technology we all have to be careful with.

Payment Sharing Apps 
A hero for group dinners, Venmo started in 2009 as a way to digitally pay friends. More than a decade later, it’s still known to be one of the best apps for splitting bills and sending money without a fee. It’s so ubiquitous that there are even Venmo etiquette rules!  I use it often to send or receive money from my girls, or pay my golf debts – not that I have any … PayPal — founded in 1998 — remains the most popular payment sharing platform, used by 57% of U.S. adults, according to Pew Research Center.

Statistical Machine Translation
In 2006, Google launched Google Translate, which utilizes statistical machine translation: an approach that uses “large volumes of bilingual data to find the most probable translation for a given input.” While the service doesn’t always give ideal translations for the correct context, it is useful for travelers trying to read a menu or anyone seeking to better communicate with someone who speaks another language. It has steadily expanded to over 100 languages and has upgraded its features with additions like instant camera translations. And the tool reached a major milestone in 2021, marking 1 billion installs on Android devices.

Global Positioning System 
Chances are you use Google Maps, Waze, or a similar app to get from point A to point B, and you have the Global Positioning System, or GPS, to thank for that. Although GPS has its origins in the 1970s and was initially used for military purposes (my friends uncle worked at Bell Labs and used it for guidance systems), it went mainstream in 2007 —  in cars, cell phones, and other gadgets. GPS is “a space-based radio-navigation system consisting of a constellation of satellites broadcasting navigation signals and a network of ground stations and satellite control stations used for monitoring and control,” per the Federal Aviation Administration. “Currently 31 GPS satellites orbit the Earth at an altitude of approximately 11,000 miles providing users with accurate information on position, velocity, and time anywhere in the world and in all weather conditions.”

Zoom and Video-Calling Services
Practically synonymous with video chat, Zoom has changed the way many of us work and communicate with loved ones. The platform facilitates remote work, meetings, and catchups from afar by allowing people to connect virtually in calls of up to 300 participants. While it may seem like the platform became an overnight success in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the platform was actually founded in 2011. Today, there is countless competition in the video conferencing space, but Zoom continues to be a top choice for its functionality and popularity.

ChatBots
We all are amazed at chat.ai. Likewise, an early-stage startup backed by Gates’s private office, is launching a chatbot that offers users personalized recommendations for books, movies, TV shows and podcasts. The chatbot, called Pix, runs on Open AI’s natural-language processing technology and will learn users’ preferences over time. It will be free to users. The Gates-backed startup plans to use its 600 million consumer data points to distinguish its media-recommendation platform from the one-size-fits-all chatbots that are already available. Unlike the recommendation software available within streaming services, Pix will suggest content across platforms to users who text, email or ask it questions via its app. Watch it explode!

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

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!!

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

I Wish…

The day after Thanksgiving I’m still giving thanks for so many things, especially leftovers. Then there’s the competition to see which two people get to break the wishbone! Now, that’s fun!!!  :)))))))))))))))))

Ok so Thanksgiving is over – you’ve stuffed yourself (two or three times yesterday), did the double dip on the stuffing, while adding gravy and jellied cranberry sauce ( just the way God intended!) way too many pre-dinner snacks, and then of course rammed a few pieces of pie.  Now, add to that a few adult beverages! So………., today is for resting, and recovery – unless you are one of those nuts that runs out and searches for bargains at the local retailers. One tradition we hold to is who gets to test their luck with the turkey wishbone.  Sitting on the windowsill, it’s slowly drying out, to be tested by two of us from the family. Of course, sometimes we wish for our unpredictable Brownies to pull out another last-minute victory, or goodwill for our family and friends, or pulling that “lucky” lottery ticket, we quietly say our wish, and then give the bone a pull.  The turkey wishbone, also known as the furcula, has a fascinating history deeply rooted in ancient superstitions and traditions. For those who chose to have ham or pasta, sorry, no bone to pull.  Special thanks to Google and Wikipedia on the info – have fun and good luck with your pull!

Music from Slaid Cleaves

  • The turkey furcula bone is a slender, Y-shaped bone found in the chest of most birds, but it is most commonly associated with turkeys in modern times. The tradition of making wishes on a turkey wishbone dates back centuries and spans across various cultures.
  • The tradition of making wishes on a wishbone is believed to have originated with the Etruscans, an ancient Italian civilization that predates the Roman Empire. They would use chicken wishbones for divination and wished upon them as part of their belief in the power of birds.
  • The Romans, who adopted many Etruscan customs, incorporated the tradition of breaking a wishbone into their celebrations. They believed that the wishbone possessed magical properties, and they would break it in the hope that their wishes would come true.
  • The word “furcula” itself is a Latin term, meaning “little fork” or “forked bone.” This name aptly describes the bone’s Y-shape and is consistent with the Roman fascination with its form.
  • The custom of breaking the wishbone found its way to the British Isles, where it became a popular tradition, especially during the holiday season. Turkeys were introduced to Europe after Christopher Columbus’s voyages to the Americas, and it was then that the larger turkey wishbone became associated with this practice.
  • As European settlers brought the tradition to North America, it gained popularity, especially during Thanksgiving celebrations. By the 18th century, the turkey wishbone had firmly established itself as a symbol of hope and luck.
  • In the modern era, the practice of making wishes on a turkey wishbone involves two people each holding one end of the bone and pulling it apart. The person who ends up with the larger piece is said to have their wish granted.  Some also believe that the wish must be made before breaking the bone (makes sense to me).
  • In some cultures, particularly in the US, there is a competitive aspect to breaking the wishbone. People might compete to see who gets the larger piece, which can lead to some humorous and lighthearted contests during holiday gatherings.
  • In the 20th century, the popularity of the wishbone tradition even led to its use in advertising. Various companies used the symbolism of the wishbone to promote their products, adding a touch of superstition to their marketing campaigns (think Wish Bone Dressings).
  • The tradition of making wishes on a turkey wishbone may have its origins in ancient civilizations, but the breaking of the wishbone remains a charming and lighthearted custom that brings an element of fun and hope to the festivities. It serves as a reminder of the enduring power of traditions, no matter how old or quirky they may be.
  • 46 million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving, 22 million on Christmas and 19 million turkeys on Easter. Dat’s a lot of wishes!
  • Be sure to share your traditions – email me at skowalski@khtheat.com

 

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

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!!

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

I’ll Take It

Indian Summer is called Indian Summer for a reason. Why? Read on.  :)))

The past few weeks has been anything but amazing.  One day we’re battling frigid mornings and blustery winds, and then a few days later the suns out and we’re (at least me) are trying to figure out how to get that last/best round of golf in. Then when I clear my calendar… the heavens open up and waters the lawn.  I’m guessing like you, my favorite days are when the sun comes out, the thermometer spikes and the leaves show their fall brilliance. Jackie and I love the long walks in the Metroparks!  I’m so blessed to live on the beautiful North Coast, where we experience every last bit of color the trees have to offer.  Indian summer, often referred to as “the last gasp of summer,” is a fascinating meteorological phenomenon that has captured the attention of people around the world. This weather pattern has a rich history and is filled with facts and trivia that highlight its unique characteristics and cultural significance. Here’s some fun info on what’s been called “Indian Summer”.  Thanks to Google and Wikipedia and for the info.  Enjoy – and be sure to get out and enjoy every last minute of it before the gales of November head our way.

Click here to enjoy great music while reading …

  • The term “Indian summer” is believed to have originated in the United States in the late 18th century. It is often attributed to early American settlers who experienced this warm, sunny weather during the autumn months.
  • The late 19th-century lexicographer Albert Matthews made an exhaustive search of early American literature in an attempt to discover who coined the expression. The earliest reference he found dated to 1851. He also found the phrase in a letter written in England in 1778, but discounted that as a coincidental use of the phrase. Later research showed that the earliest known reference to Indian summer in its current sense occurs in an essay written in the United States circa 1778 by J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, describing the character of autumn and implying the common usage of the expression:
  • Great rains at last replenish the springs, the brooks, the swamp and impregnate the earth. Then a severe frost succeeds which prepares it to receive the voluminous coat of snow which is soon to follow; though it is often preceded by a short interval of smoke and mildness, called the Indian Summer. This is in general the invariable rule: winter is not said properly to begin until those few moderate days & the raising of the water has announced it to Man.
  • Indian summers can vary in duration and intensity. They typically occur in the fall, usually from late September to mid-November, but the timing can vary from year to year. So far, we’ve had a nice couple of weeks…hopefully it will last.
  • Indian summers occur due to a specific set of weather conditions. Typically, a high-pressure system will settle in, leading to clear skies, light winds, and a warming effect. This high pressure inhibits the movement of cooler air, creating the warm, sunny conditions that characterize an Indian summer.  These systems are areas of descending air that tend to inhibit cloud formation and precipitation. As a result, they create clear skies and stable weather conditions.  The prevailing winds often come from the south or southwest, bringing warm and dry air into the region, contributing to the increase in temperatures.  The sun is lower in the sky during the fall, which can lead to cooler temperatures but can also provide above average heat.
  • While the tern is most commonly used in North America, similar phenomena occur in other parts of the world. For instance, the British Isles experience a similar phenomenon known as “St. Martin’s Summer,” referencing St. Martin’s Day on November 11th.
  • Indian summers have found their way into literature, poetry, and art. Many poets and writers, including William Dean Howells novel about a newspaperman’s love in Italy have drawn inspiration from the unique beauty of this season.
  • Indian summers have historical significance. In the early days of the United States, they provided additional time for farmers to complete their harvests, which was vital for ensuring a sufficient food supply during the winter months.
  • Various cultures have associated Indian summers with folklore and myths. For example, Native American legends often attribute the warm weather to the breath of the Great Spirit. In other cultures, they are seen as a time of transition and change.
  • Despite their charm, Indian summers can pose challenges for meteorologists. Predicting the onset and duration of Indian summers is often difficult, as they depend on the interplay of multiple weather factors. They often coincide with astronomical events. The autumnal equinox, a celestial event marking the beginning of fall, frequently occurs during this period.
  • Indian summers are often celebrated for their influence on fall foliage. The warm, sunny days and cool nights during this period can lead to vibrant and long-lasting displays of colorful autumn leaves.
  • Interestingly, India itself doesn’t commonly experience an “Indian summer” as it typically enjoys a warm climate throughout the year. However, the term has made its way into Indian English and is sometimes used to describe an unseasonably warm period in certain regions. They have seen some record-breaking temperatures. In 1971, many parts of the United States experienced an exceptionally warm Indian summer, with some areas reaching temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s Fahrenheit in November.

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

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!!

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

Veteran’s Day

           Thanking all veterans for their service to our great country!
            CLICK

Image © HistorySkills.com

 

 

 

Steve’s Day

I’ve been thinking about this…if I could rename every day of the week, I’m thinking food might be a good idea. Hey, why not?  :)))). Read on to see why the days of the week are named what they are.  (But I still think food might be good.)

 

Wouldn’t that be cool – to have a day named after you? It turns out, as times have changed, so have our names for the days of the week. Dating back to the Babylonians (and Samarians) as the system was fairly simple – they gave a day of the week to each of the seven celestial bodies they knew – the sun, moon, and five planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn). Our current naming system comes from an amalgamation of the Babylonian, Anglo-Saxon, and Norse mythologies for those seven main celestial bodies — one of the last remaining vestiges of Norse mythology in our regular vernacular. Special thanks to Google, Wikipedia, interestingfacts.com, and all those cool gods and their respective virtues. Enjoy!

The seven-day week originated from the calendar of the Babylonians, which in turn is based on a Sumerian calendar dated to 21st-century B.C. Seven days corresponds to the time it takes for a moon to transition between each phase: full, waning half, new and waxing half. Because the moon cycle is 29.53 days long, the Babylonians would insert one or two days into the final week of each month.

Monday – The first day of the week got its name from the first object we see in the night sky: the moon. Formerly spelled monedæi, which comes from the Old English words mōnandæg and mōndæg (literally “moon’s day”), it’s traditionally considered the second day of the week rather than the first. That links it back to our Nordic friends, who reserved the second day of the week for worshipping Máni, their personification of the moon. The name Mona is also part of a related tradition: It’s the Old English word for “moon,” and girls born on Monday in ancient Britain were sometimes given this name as a result.  Moon symbolism often carries associations with femininity and emotions, which might explain why Monday is often associated with a case of the “Monday blues.”

Tuesday – Whether you consider it the second day of the week or the third, Tuesday is named for the god of war. For the Anglo-Saxons it was Tiu, while the Vikings called him Tyr; split the difference and you come up with something close to Tuesday. That also explains why Romance languages have similar-sounding names for the day: mardi (French), martes (Spanish), and martedi (Italian) all come from Mars, the Roman god of war. Týr’s association with war makes Tuesday a fitting day for taking action and tackling challenges.

Wednesday – Another day, another mythological god. Traces of the Latin term dies Mercurii, or “day of Mercury,” can again be found in the Romance languages: mercredi (French), mercoledì (Italian), and miércoles (Spanish). “Wednesday” itself is derived from the Old English Wōdnesdæg and Middle English Wednesdei, which means “day of Woden” — another form of Odin, the god of all gods in Norse mythology. (Anglo-Saxon paganism owed some of its practices to Nordic culture, hence the crossover.). Odin was associated with wisdom and poetry, making Wednesday a day often associated with intellect and communication.

Thursday – If you’re familiar with a certain hammer-wielding god of thunder, you already know for whom Thursday is named: Thor, the popular Norse god (I’m a big fan!). Thursday was called Þūnresdæg in Old English, whereas the Romance languages (like French, which has it as jeudi) deriving from Latin (dies Iovis) name the day after Jupiter. That’s no coincidence, as Jupiter was the Roman god of the sky and thunder, not to mention the king of all gods.  Thor’s association with thunderstorms and strength and Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir, is a well-known symbol of this day.

Friday – The last day of the traditional workweek derives its English name from a Norse deity, but its origin is a bit murkier than the others. Coming from the Nordic goddess Freyja and the Germanic goddess Frigg, it was called Frīġedæġ in Old English. Confusion sets in when you delve into the theory that the two goddesses are actually one and the same. Frigg was known to be wise and have the power of foresight, while Freyja rode a chariot led by two cats and personified everything from love and beauty to fertility and war – she’s the most important Nordic goddess. This day has often been associated with love, romance, and social gatherings.

Saturday – This one’s simple: Saturday is named for Saturn. That’s because, according to second-century astrologer Vettius Valens, the ringed planet controls the day’s first hour. The heavenly body itself is named after the Roman god of wealth and agriculture, and various languages’ names for the day are more similar than most: Sæturnesdæg in Old English, dies Saturni in Latin, samedi in French. A slight exception is German, which has two terms for Saturday: Samstag is the more commonly used, but Sonnabend (“Sun-evening”) is sometimes used in northern and western Germany. Saturn was associated with agriculture and time, making Saturday a day for both work and leisure.

Sunday – You guessed it: Sunday is named for the sun. In German, Sonntag is Sunday, which derives from sonne, their word for sun. In Latin, dies solis translates as “day of the sun” or “day of Sol,” a Roman sun god. Similarly, Norse mythology personified the sun in the form of Sól, a goddess also known as Sunna (who happens to be the sister of Monday’s Máni, the moon). Sun worship was prevalent in these societies, and Sunday was reserved as a day of rest and celebration.

Steve’s Day – if it did happen, it would be known for very high intellect of course (hey, it’s my day ok??) from the god Coeus (smarts for solving your PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs!, fun, family and food. Derived from the ancient gods Venus (love and beauty), Gelos (fun and laughter) Zeus (god of family) and Dionysus (food, feast, festival). No one would have to work of course on  my day – but must spend time frolicking with family and friends. Here’s to Steve’s Day!!

 

 

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

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!!

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

BOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Scary movies are ok at home…alone. But in a theater with a bunch of screamers might be even more fun. Not to mention a big tub of popcorn and a super sized coke is there for comfort.  :)))))))

With Halloween around the corner, I’ve noticed a whole bunch of scary movies popping up. Seems like everyone knows about Freddie Krueger and Linda Blair (that’s for my gray haired friends). I’m not a huge fan of scary movies … believe it or not, they scare me.  I’d much rather spend my hard-earned money on action films and adventures flicks – and with the grandkids I’m a sucker for anything vintage Disney (not loving the new stuff). A bucket of popcorn, 15 minutes of previews and then the action starts, and I’m good to go. I put together my list of scary movies, and also a bit of trivia to go along – a late addition to the list below is my daughters all-time favorite Halloween movie,  HOCUS POCUS (1993).  Enjoy, and remember to avoid black cats, don’t walk under ladders and be sure not to go out at night if it’s a full moon. Boo!

Halloween and horror movies go together like witches and broomsticks. Every October, horror enthusiasts and casual viewers alike gather around their screens to enjoy spine-tingling tales of terror. From classic black-and-white thrillers to modern masterpieces of the genre, Halloween movies offer a unique blend of fear and fun. Here’s some fan favorites:

1. “Psycho” (1960):

  • Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” was groundbreaking in many ways, but one of the most iconic scenes is the shower scene – the music really makes it. How many camera angles were used to create this memorable sequence? (also, ever see Mel Brook’s spoof on this scene – it’s the paperboy!)

2. “The Shining” (1980):

  • Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel features a chilling hotel. Jack Nicholson is awesome … “here’s Johnny” is classic. When What’s the name of the hotel in the film?

3. “Halloween” (1978):

  • In John Carpenter’s “Halloween,” while being transferred for a court date, a 21-year-old Michael Myers steals a car and escapes Smith’s Grove. He returns to his quiet hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, where he looks for his next victims.  The suspense is great. “What is the name of the character portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis, who becomes the primary target of the relentless killer Michael Myers?

4. “The Exorcist” (1973):

  • “The Exorcist” is notorious for its disturbing and intense scenes. We all know Linda Blair is the actress … but in the movie, What is the name of the possessed girl at the center of the story?

5. “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991):

  • Anthony Hopkins’s portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter is legendary. The scenes of him in the cell are disturbing and sort of “stick with you” years later.  What dish does Lecter famously describe as having “an exquisite taste”?

6. “Night of the Living Dead” (1968):

  • George A. Romero’s film is a cornerstone of the zombie genre. And just how many zombie knock off movies do we really need. What is the name of the main character, portrayed by Duane Jones, who fights to survive the zombie apocalypse?

7. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984):

  • In this Wes Craven classic, Freddy Krueger haunts the dreams of teenagers on Elm Street. What actor played the iconic role of Freddy?

8.  “The Omen” (1976):

  • American diplomat Robert (Gregory Peck) adopts Damien (Harvey Stephens) when his wife, Katherine (Lee Remick), delivers a stillborn child. After Damien’s first nanny hangs herself, Father Brennan (Patrick Troughton) warns Robert that Damien will kill Katherine’s unborn child. The graveyard scene with the dogs haunts me to this day. What happens to the priest Father Brennen outside the church?

9.  Bonus Question: “The Blair Witch Project” (1999):

  • “The Blair Witch Project” was celebrated for it’s found-footage style. What was the name of the fictional town where the filmmakers set out to investigate the legend of the Blair Witch? – Answer: Burkittsville.

10 Kowalski Family favorite:   Hocus Pocus  (1993)

  • You can’t go wrong with Hocus Pocus. The family-friendly comedy stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy star as three ____, Massachusetts witches, resurrected just in time for Halloween.  What famous city did they come from?

If you have a favorite, be sure to email me at skowalski@khtheat.com and I’ll make it a point to see it – unless it’s too scary!!  Yikes.

Even more movies HERE

  1. 78 camera angles were used to shoot the shower scene
  2. The Overlook Hotel
  3. Laurie Strode
  4. Regan MacNeil
  5. Fava beans and a nice Chianti
  6. Ben
  7. Robert Englund
  8. Burkittsville
  9. Lighting strikes church and falling steeple kills him
  10. Salem

 

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

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!!

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