Stayin’ Alive

Just WOW!!!! If you’ve never seen this movie, get it. Watch it five times…then shoot me an email with your thoughts. Soooo much fun!!! At the bottom is John Travolta in “Welcome Back Cotter”

Sometimes the songs of our youth ring true, even today.  With all the pain, isolation, coughing, tests, headaches and heartache, I got thinking about the times when we could just go out, be free, dance and have some fun.  Today marks the anniversary when the album Saturday Night Fever hit #1 on the billboard charts – and those silly songs still play in my head.  When “Saturday Night Fever”, starring John Travolta, was released in 1977, few could have expected the cultural phenomenon it would become. The soundtrack by British band the Bee Gees (how did he hit those high notes??) was also an enormous hit: You would not believe the looks and faces that Jackie and my girls give me when I try to hit those notes!  its songs, including “Stayin’ Alive”, “How Deep Is Your Love”  and “Night Fever”, epitomized the disco era and the album hit #1 on billboard charts, spending 24 consecutive weeks at No. 1, selling more than 45 million units. Like I do, I dug into the internet and found some great info – so click on the links, crank up the music and “dance” – Enjoy!  And thanks to Wikipedia and YouTube for the info and videos.

Video – Stayin’ Alive
Video – More Than A Woman

Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 American dance drama film directed by John Badham and produced by Robert Stigwood, staring John Travolta as Tony Manero, a young Italian-American man from Brooklyn who spends his weekends dancing and drinking at a local discothèque while dealing with social tensions and general restlessness and disillusionment with his life, and feeling directionless and trapped in his working-class neighborhood. The story is based upon “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night”, an article by music writer Nik Cohn, first published in a June 1976 issue of New York magazine. The film features music by Bee Gees and many other prominent artists of the disco era.

A major critical and commercial success, Saturday Night Fever had a tremendous effect on popular culture of the late 1970s. The film helped significantly to popularize disco music around the world and made Travolta, who was already well known from his role on TV’s Welcome Back, Kotter, a household name. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, becoming the fifth-youngest nominee in the category.

Disco was already a popular genre by 1977 but the film’s success broke it into the mainstream, and it would remain dominant for the next three years. According to Rolling Stone, top three disco songs are Stayin’ Alive, Gloria Gaynor “I Will Survive” and Donna Summer “I Feel Love”

The album revitalized the Bee Gees. They had experienced significant success in the 1960s with songs like “Massachusetts” and “New York Mining Disaster 1941” but Saturday Night Fever took them to another level, and their sound was virtually inescapable for months after the album’s release. The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, featuring disco songs by the Bee Gees, is one of the best-selling soundtracks of all time.

Just look at this musical line up – (bet you know almost all of the songs).
Stayin’ Alive” performed by Bee Gees – 4:45
How Deep Is Your Love” performed by Bee Gees – 4:05
Night Fever” performed by Bee Gees – 3:33
More Than a Woman” performed by Bee Gees – 3:17
If I Can’t Have You” performed by Yvonne Elliman – 3:00
A Fifth of Beethoven” performed by Walter Murphy – 3:03
More Than a Woman” performed by Tavares – 3:17
“Manhattan Skyline” performed by David Shire – 4:44
“Calypso Breakdown” performed by Ralph MacDonald – 7:50
Night on Disco Mountain” performed by David Shire – 5:12
“Open Sesame” performed by Kool & the Gang – 4:01
Jive Talkin’” performed by Bee Gees – 3:43 (*)
You Should Be Dancing” performed by Bee Gees – 4:14
Boogie Shoes” performed by KC and the Sunshine Band – 2:17
“Salsation” performed by David Shire – 3:50
K-Jee” performed by MFSB – 4:13
Disco Inferno” performed by The Trammps – 10:51

The film’s relatively low budget ($3.5 million) meant that most of the actors were relative unknowns, many of whom were recruited from New York’s theatre scene (for more than 40% of the actors it was their film debut). The only actor in the cast who was already an established name was John Travolta, thanks to his role on the sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter. His performance as Tony Manero brought him critical acclaim and helped launch him into international stardom. (he would repeat the success the following year with another musical smash, Grease).

Travolta researched the part by visiting the real 2001 Odyssey discotheque , rehearsing his choreography with Lester Wilson and Deney Terrio for three hours every day, losing 20 pounds in the process.

Karen Lynn Gorney was nine years older than Travolta when she was cast as his love interest Stephanie. (Jessica LangeKathleen QuinlanCarrie Fisher, and Amy Irving were all considered for the part before Gorney was cast – good decision!).

The film was shot entirely on-location in Brooklyn, New York at the 2001 Odyssey Disco – a real club located at 802 64th Street, which has since been demolished. The interior was modified for the film, including the addition of a $15,000 lighted floor, which was inspired by a Birmingham, Alabama establishment. Since the Bee Gees were not involved in the production until after principal photography wrapped, the “Night Fever”, “You Should Be Dancin'”, and “More Than a Woman” sequences were shot with Stevie Wonder tracks that were later overdubbed in the sound mix. During filming, the production was harassed by local gangs near of the location, and was even firebombed.

The film grossed $25.9 million in its first 24 days of release and grossed an average of $600,000 a day throughout January to March going on to gross $94.2 million in the United States and Canada and $237.1 million worldwide This would be worth $1,090,800,000 today!!

In 2010, Saturday Night Fever was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

“…. You should be dancin’, yea … dancin’ – dance the night away….”  

 

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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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Chips

Chips are wonderful!!! But who made the first chip???? 

Supply chain mishaps.  Stranded shipping containers.  Logjams at the terminals. Millions of products waiting on the shelf.  Consumer frustration on low inventory.  All because of chips.  That’s not good for business or customers.  So, how did America respond?? – by increasing chips sales by over $400 million dollars in ’21, with a global projection to be four-fold that by 2026. According to people who track things, when Covid-19 forced people to stay home, many of us found solace in a snack: potato chips. I guess you can say, when the chips are down, American’s gobble them up. So, I did some digging, got some sound history and good explanations on the category.  So, grab a bowl, pour out some chips, and enjoy. Thanks to Brandon Tensley from Smithsonian, YouTube, Cleveland.com, thoughtco.com and foodandwine.com for the info.  Now, if we can only find enough dip!!  My favorite dip is still French Onion from Dairymens here in Northeast Ohio.  It pairs perfectly with ridged or kettle chips!

Traditional chips
Stackable chips

  1. Potato chips are thin slices of potato that have been either deep-fried or baked until crunchy. They are commonly served as a snack, side dish, or appetizer. The potato chips market is segmented by product type (fired or baked), flavor (plain, salted and flavored), distribution channel (supermarkets, convenience stores, online, etc.), and geography – think globally.
  2. Americans consume about 1.85 billion pounds of potato chips annually, or around 6.6 pounds per person. (just one more reason for all those early morning runs!)). Add to that worldwide crunching, with explosive growth in Asian countries – and that’s a lot of chips!
  3. Any search for the origins of this signature finger food must lead to George Crum (born George Speck), a 19th-century chef of Native and African American descent who made his name at Moon’s Lake House in the resort town of Saratoga Springs, New York. As the story goes, one day in 1853, the railroad and shipping magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt was eating at Moon’s when he ordered his fried potatoes be returned to the kitchen because they were too thick. Furious with such a fussy eater, Crum sliced some potatoes as slenderly as he could, fried them to a crisp and sent them out to Vanderbilt as a prank. Rather than take the gesture as an insult, Vanderbilt was overjoyed. (think this is where “crumbs” came from??)
  4. Other patrons began asking for Crum’s “Saratoga Chips,” which soon became a hit far beyond Upstate New York. In 1860, Crum opened his own restaurant near Saratoga known as Crum’s House or Crum’s Place, where a basket of potato chips sat invitingly on every table. Crum oversaw the restaurant until retiring over 30 years later; in 1889, a New York Herald writer called him “the best cook in America.”
  5. Still, historians who have peeled the skin off this story have hastened to point out that Crum was not the sole inventor of the chip, or even the first. The earliest known recipe for chips dates to 1817, when an English doctor named William Kitchiner published The Cook’s Oracle, a cookbook that included a recipe for “potatoes fried in slices or shavings.”
  6. And in July 1849, four years before Crum supposedly dissed Vanderbilt, a New York Herald reporter noted the work of “Eliza,” also, curiously, a cook in Saratoga Springs, whose “potato frying reputation” had become “one of the prominent matters of remark at Saratoga.” Yet scholars are united in acknowledging that Crum popularized the chip.
  7. For a long time, chips remained a restaurant-only delicacy. But in 1895 a Cleveland, Ohio entrepreneur named William Tappenden found a way to keep them stocked on grocery shelves, using his kitchen and, later, a barn turned factory in his backyard to make the chips and deliver them in barrels to local markets via horse-drawn wagon. Countless other merchants followed suit.
  8. In 1926, Laura Scudder, a California businesswoman, began packaging chips in wax-paper bags that included not only a “freshness” date but also a tempting boast—“the Noisiest Chips in the World,” a peculiarly American marketing breakthrough that made a virtue of being obnoxious.
  9. The snack took another leap the following year, when Leonard Japp, a Chicago chef and former prizefighter, began to mass-produce the snack—largely, the rumor goes, to serve one client: Al Capone, who allegedly discovered a love for potato chips on a visit to Saratoga and thought they would sell well in his speak-easies. Japp opened factories to supply the snack to a growing list of patrons, and by the mid-1930s was selling to clients throughout the Midwest, as potato chips continued their climb into the pantheon of America’s treats; later, Japp also created what can be considered the modern iteration by frying his potatoes in oil instead of lard.
  10. When Lay’s became the first national brand of potato chips in 1961, the company enlisted Bert Lahr, (famous for playing the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz), as its first celebrity spokesman, who purred the devilish challenge, “Betcha can’t eat just one.”
  11. The U.S. potato chip market—just potato chips, never mind tortilla chips or cheese puffs or pretzels—is estimated at $10.5 billion. And while chips and other starchy indulgences have long been criticized for playing a role in health conditions such as obesity and hypertension, the snack industry has cleaned up its act to some extent, cooking up options with less fat and sodium, from sweet potato chips with sea salt to taro chips to red lentil crisps with tomato and basil.
  12. Still, for many Americans, the point of chips has always been pure indulgence. Following a year of fast-food buzz, last October Hershey released the most sophisticated snack mashup since the yogurt-covered pretzel: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups stuffed with potato chips. Only history can judge whether this triple-flavored calorie bomb will be successful. But more than a century and a half after Crum’s peevish inspiration, the potato chip isn’t just one of our most popular foods but also our most versatile.
  13. For those who plan ahead, National Chip Dip Day is Wednesday, March 23rd

 

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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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BRAVO ON PIA JOB!

Exploring space is cool!!! Humans of all ages have been wondering what’s out there for a very long time. If you can’t physically be there, a super high-powered telescope in space is the next best thing. When the James Webb Space Telescope is fully deployed in June, we’re going to be in for some really interesting info. IMAGES: (second from top) The Hubble Telescope; (third from top) Rendering of the James Webb Space Telescope being deployed; (fourth from top) Size comparison of adult human to the Hubble mirror to the Webb mirror; (fifth from top) rendering of the Webb telescope fully deployed. (bottom left) The Webb logo; (bottom right) My logo. :))))

Happy New Year to all.  Hope you had a fun and safe holiday break – I sure did!  Over the past few weeks, I’ve been geeking out a bit, and following the amazing story and success of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).  Talk about a PIA Job! – a project that began over 25 years ago and will exceed $10B in costs.  Think about the logistics, planning, coordination, problem solving, creativity, and final solutions – (I thought the rover on Mars was something, until I learned more about this project).  Several thousand scientists, engineers, and technicians spanning 15 countries have contributed to JWST – a total of 258 companies, government agencies, and academic institutions are participating in the project; 142 from the United States, 104 from 12 European countries, and 12 from Canada (so glad I’m not in the accounting dept for this one).  Solving PIA Jobs! is at the heart of everything here at KHT.  Our ongoing “mission” is to recruit and train our teams to not only perform their jobs, but to also bring a fresh perspective of problem solving and creativity to the job.  While our solutions are not “cosmic” they often follow the same pattern – challenge, experiment, trial and error, test, solve, engineer, produce and deliver.  Hats off to the amazing engineers, project managers, builders and thinkers on the JWST project – we marvel at what’s been accomplished so far and look forward to seeing the amazing images.  Here’s just a bit of information on the project – be sure to click on the links that can take you further into the story – NASA and Space.com really have this tracked and covered.  And thanks to wikipedia.com, youtube.com, webbtelescope.org and iflscience.com for the info and links.

Quick Overview Video

Full JWST Story

Cool Deployment Video  (Filmed from Ariane 5’s upper stage, the video was transmitted in near real-time during the launch on Christmas Day)

Neil deGrasse Tyson Explainer Video

What is the James Webb Space Telescope?
The JWST a space telescope developed by NASA with contributions from the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) named after James E. Webb, who was the administrator of NASA from 1961 to 1968 and played an integral role in the Apollo program. It is designed to provide improved infrared resolution and sensitivity over the Hubble telescope, and will enable a broad range of investigations across the fields of astronomy and cosmology, including observations of some of the most distant events and objects in the Universe such as the formation of the first galaxies, and detailed atmospheric characterization of potentially habitable exoplanets.

When was the James Webb Space Telescope launch and how long to reach orbit?
Webb launched at 7:20 a.m. EST (1220 GMT) on December 25, 2021.  Webb travels for about a month to reach its orbit at the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point (L2), 1.5 million kilometers (940,000 miles) from Earth.

How big is the Webb telescope?
The sunshield dimensions are 21.2 by 14.2 meters (69.5 by 46.5 feet) and the height of the entire observatory is 8 meters (28 feet).

How does Webb deploy in space?
Webb’s deployment in space involves unfolding the sunshield and mirrors, a process that must be carefully conducted over nearly a month. The sequence is best explained visually in this deployment animation.

What is the size of Webb’s mirror?
Webb’s segmented primary mirror has a diameter of 6.6 meters (21.7 feet). Each of the 18 segments is 1.32 meters (4.3 feet) across. The area of the mirror is approximately 25 square meters (270 square feet) and the mass is 705 kilograms (1,550 pounds on Earth).

Why does Webb need a sunshield?
To accurately and precisely detect faint infrared light from distant objects in the universe, Webb must be shielded from the strong infrared light emanating nearby from the Sun, Earth, and Moon. The sunshield’s five layers block the light from these nearby objects.

How is Webb powered?
The Webb telescope is powered by an on-board solar array. It also has a propulsion system to maintain the observatory’s orbit and attitude. The solar array provides 2,000 watts of electrical power for the life of the mission, and there is enough propellant onboard for at least 10 years of science operations.

What is the destination for Webb?
By the end of January 2022, the telescope is set to reach its final destination – L2, the second Lagrangian Point, around 1.5 million kilometers (932,056 miles) from Earth. This is significantly further from Earth than its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope, which orbited just 547 kilometers (340 miles) above Earth.

Which cameras (instruments) are on the Webb telescope and what do they do?
Webb has four scientific instruments, the Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), the Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec), the Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS), and the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI). Each of these instruments uses infrared detectors to capture light from distant astronomical sources.

How much data will Webb transmit each day?
Webb can downlink at least 57.2 gigabytes of recorded science data each day, with a maximum data rate of 28 megabits per second.

How are Webb’s mirrors aligned after the rigors of launch?
The primary mirror segments and secondary mirror are moved by six actuators that are attached to the backs of the mirrors. The primary segments have an additional actuator at the center of the mirror to adjust their curvature. Those seven spots are adjustable to align the 18 segments of the primary mirror to each other, and adjust the primary and secondary mirrors to the fixed tertiary mirror and the instruments.

How much gold is used to make the Webb telescope?
A little more than 48 grams of gold are used in the Webb mirror. This is equivalent to the mass of a golf ball, which would fill a volume the size of a marble. This gold is a thin (100 nanometers) layer that is vacuum vapor deposited on each of the 18 primary mirror segments and the single secondary mirror. Gold is a highly reflective material at infrared wavelengths, helping to focus light from distant objects onto Webb’s sensitive instruments.

How much of the sky can Webb see?
Over the course of six months, as Webb orbits the Sun with Earth, it has the ability to observe almost any point in the sky. Webb’s field of regard is limited to a 50-degree swath of the celestial sphere: About 39% of the sky is potentially visible to Webb at any given time. Because Webb must face away from objects that are warm and close enough to interfere with its ability to observe faint infrared light, it cannot observe the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, or the Moon.

When will we see the first images from Webb?
After reaching its orbit, Webb undergoes science and calibration testing. Then, regular science operations and images will begin to arrive, approximately six months after launch. However, it is normal to also take a series of “first light” images that may arrive slightly earlier.

Who was James Webb?
The Webb telescope is named after James E. Webb (1906–1992), NASA’s second administrator. James Webb is best known for leading Apollo, the series of exploration programs that landed the first humans on the Moon. He also initiated a vigorous space science program that was responsible for more than 75 launches during his tenure, including America’s first interplanetary explorer spacecrafts. Read more about the life and impact of James Webb.

Which areas of science will Webb explore?
Webb will explore: Early Universe, Galaxies Over Time, The Star Lifecycle, Other Worlds

 

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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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Lick and Stick

No matter how you receive your mail, it’s always nice to receive a card to hold in your hand. Read on to see how this wonderful tradition got started. 

In this digital, video screens, “always on” world we live in, there’s still something special about going to the mailbox and receiving a stack of holiday greetings.  Whatever your religion, holiday blessings or new year’s wishes, I just like getting and sending folks cards.  Now of course, I’ll admit, it’s Jackie’s organizational skills that gets the cards out – with over 100 brothers, sisters, in-laws, babies, grand babies, cousins, aunts and uncles, AND an extensive friendship circle, it’s quite the chore to keep everybody straight. Some families like to tuck an “update” recap in with their cards (not really for me) – you know the ones – “after completing our 2nd climb to the peak of Kilimanjaro last month, we sauntered through the French wine region and ended up meeting the kids, vacationing in the Alps, for an eco-ski-dinner.  Jimmy, receiving his third PHD in nuclear medicine, and his lovely wife and astronaut Becky, just had their third child, Einstein, and are struggling to decide which e-Land Rover buggy to get him – couple that with Billy surfing in Hawaii, Sandra walking the Appalachian Trial and Fluffy the Cat competing in online meoworamma competitions ….”  You get the picture.  I’m pretty traditional in my cards (kids and grandkids are great!), I’m more about the “reason for the season”– birth of Christ, love of Jesus, all things family and doing my best to pass along my heartfelt blessings and prayers for a fun filled holiday and a safe, prosperous New Year.  I found some fun tips about Christmas cards and just had to share.  Enjoy, and thanks to smithsonianmag.com and usps.com for the info and history.

  • Christmas cards were originally penned in England by boys who were practicing their writing skills and would present these handmade cards to their parents.
  • Postmen in Victorian England were called robins because their uniforms were red. Many Christmas cards from that time depicted a robin delivering Christmas mail.
  • Sir Henry Cole commissioned the first Christmas card in London, featuring artwork by John Callcott Horsley. The hand-colored card was lithographed on stiff, dark cardboard with the message: “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.”  It provoked controversy in England because it pictured a company of people holding glasses of wine. Putting alcohol and holy Christmas in one picture was deemed offensive. (In 2001 it became world’s most expensive Christmas card when it was sold for $35,800 at auction).
  • A prominent educator and patron of the arts, Henry Cole travelled in the elite social circles of early Victorian England and had the misfortune of having too many friends. During the holiday season of 1843, those friends were causing Cole much anxiety.  With the introduction of the “Penny Post,” it allowed Henry to send a letter or card anywhere in the country by affixing a penny stamp to the correspondence.  He took Horsley’s illustration—a triptych showing a family at table celebrating the holiday flanked by images of people helping the poor—and had a thousand copies made by a London printer with the word “TO:_____” at the top – allowing Cole to personalize his responses, which included the generic greeting “A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year To You.”
  • While Cole and Horsley get the credit for the first, it took several decades for the Christmas card to really catch on, both in Great Britain and the US. Once it did, it became an integral part of our holiday celebrations—even as the definition of “the holidays” became more expansive, and now includes not just Christmas and New Year’s, but Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the Winter Solstice.
  • In 1875, Louis Prang, American printer, lithographer and publisher, brought Christmas card production to the US at his workshop in Boston, Massachusetts. By 1881 he was printing more than 5 million Christmas cards per year.
  • The modern Christmas card industry arguably began in 1915, when a Kansas City-based fledgling postcard printing company started by Joyce Hall, later to be joined by his brothers Rollie and William, published its first holiday card. The “Hall Brothers” company (which, went on to become …. come on …. you know …. think, think, think – Hallmark!) soon adapted a new format for the cards—4 inches wide, 6 inches high, folded once, and inserted in an envelope.
  • Between 1948 and 1957, Norman Rockwell (one of our favorites here at KHT) created 32 Christmas card designs, including Santa Looking at Two Sleeping Children (1952) for Hallmark.
  • The introduction, 59 years ago, of the first Christmas stamp by the U.S. Post Office perhaps speaks even more powerfully to the popularity of the Christmas card. It depicted a wreath, two candles and had the words “Christmas, 1962.” According to the Post Office, the department ordered the printing of 350 million of these 4-cent, green and white stamps. However they underestimated the demand and ended up having to do a special printing.
  • There are more than 3,000 greeting card publishers in America, with an unknow number of amateur writers and designers.
  • 15% of Christmas cards are purchased by men (ok, do the math, that means ____ % are purchased by ______. Nice)
  • Over 2 billion Christmas cards are sent in the US each year, with around 500 million e-cards sent as well.
  • Werner Erhard of San Francisco set a world record for sending 62,824 Christmas cards  in December of 1975 (that’s a lot of licking!) At $.58 per stamp this would amount to $36,437.92 worth of stamps in today’s dollars!
  • The most popular Christmas card of all time, however, is a simple one. It’s an image of three cherubic angels, two of whom are bowed in prayer. The third peers out from the card with big, baby blue eyes, her halo slightly askew.
  • Today, much of the innovation in Christmas cards is found in smaller, niche publishers whose work is found in gift shops and paper stores. “These smaller publishers are bringing in a lot of new ideas,” says Peter Doherty, executive director of the Greeting Card Association, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group representing the card publishers. “You have elaborate pop-up cards, video cards, audio cards, cards segmented to various audiences.
  • For me, I’ll stick with the classic.

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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!!

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

Stew

Anyone can make stew. But not like my wife, Jackie, who doesn’t use a recipe. (I get hungry just thinking about it.) She’s just got the touch! Don’t worry though, I found some recipes at the end that will help you cook-up some real tasty stews in your own kitchen. 

It’s right about that time of year for me when I crave another “feel good” food item – (you may have noticed this happens multiple times throughout the year).  With the thermometer going down, and the chilly skies with complete darkness driving home from work, my mind gets focused on thick and steamy, golden delicious, melt in your mouth, give me another helping – stew.  Now, I must admit, I’m REALLY spoiled, as my wife Jackie has a stew “to die for”.  You know, the kind of stew that “sticks to your bones” – sort of like a little internal heater pack.  From my “non-culinary” observations, she puts a whole bunch of browned meat and potatoes and vegies and spices in a big roasting pan, adds water and lets it “gurgle” all day – (that’s my professional cooking term) for a bazillion hours in the oven.   A magical transformation takes place – sort of like my ovens here when we’re solving your PIA (pain in the @%$) Jobs!  The house fills with the pan’s aroma, as the meat and carrots and celery and onions and spices and potatoes all do their thing.  What’s so cool – I asked her for the recipe, and she said – “I don’t really have one – just sort of make it up each time – and throw in what looks good” – (man, did I hit the amazing cooking spouse jackpot or what!).  And throughout the day, I get in trouble for simply wanting to “test” the product! (I think as an officer, I should be able to test what’s in the oven….right?).  When it’s time, I’m so anxious to sit down and do what I know how to do best -EAT!, and remember to have a chunk of your favorite bread so you don’t miss a drop! So, here’s a little history on “stews”. If you have a family favorite, please email it to me at skowalski@khtheat.com – and I’ll be sure to share with the gang and give it a try. Special thanks to one of my favorites – Shel Silverstein for his delightful poem, and delishably.com, tablespoon.com, sunset.com, gimmesomeoven.com, foodnetwork.com, and tasteofhome.com for the info and recipe links. Enjoy!

I have nothing to put in my stew, you see,
Not a bone or a bean or a black-eyed pea,
So I’ll just climb in the pot to see
If I can make a stew out of me.
I’ll put in some pepper and salt and I’ll sit
In the bubbling water—I won’t scream a bit.
I’ll sing while I simmer, I’ll smile while I’m stewing,
I’ll taste myself often to see how I’m doing.
I’ll stir me around with this big wooden spoon
And serve myself up at a quarter to noon.
So bring out your stew bowls,
You gobblers and snackers.
Farewell—and I hope you enjoy me with crackers!

    — Shel Silverstein

Stew (the noun) is “a dish of meat, fish, or other food, cooked by stewing.” (this reads like a definition a kid would make up when they didn’t know the answer).  So, for you newer chef’s out there … basically, any combination of two or more ingredients simmering in a liquid (broth) is a “stew.”

On the other hand, Soup is “a liquid food made by boiling or simmering meat, fish, or vegetables with various added ingredients.”) – when asked, I’m a “stew” guy for sure!

Many people and cultures present soup as an appetizer—a clear broth with or without a few beautifully prepared vegetables simmered within, or a cold vegetable or fruit appetizer (great in summer!).  Stew is not an appetizer, nor a light introduction to the main course.  It is the main course, the star of the show, and the perfect comfort food for those days when there is more darkness than daylight, when outdoor temperatures begin their descent toward freezing.

Historians agree, there is no way to come up with a definitive answer of when stew was invented, but the advent of combining ingredients in a pot to create a nutritious, filling, easy-to-digest meal (“stew”) probably occurred some moments after the discovery of fire, or perhaps more precisely, when prehistoric man took that first step in learning how to cook—learning how to boil water.

In her book, Food in History, Raey Tannahill states that we knew about boiling water long before the invention of pottery (about 6,000 B.C.). She believes that prehistoric men used reptile shells or the stomachs of animals they had killed as vessels in which to boil liquid.

After learning to boil water, humans made another discovery. Boiling foods not only makes them taste better, it creates new flavors. Cereal grains and some root vegetables, when heated in water, break down, soften, and release starchy granules. These starches then thicken the cooking liquid, the flavors of the individual ingredients combine, and a stew is created.

Couple passed down through the ages:  Beef Stroganoff, Coq au Vin, Paella, Hungarian Goulash — in essence, all of these are a stew.

Archeological remnants have been found to show that stew was a common food for Vikings and our European ancestors throughout the Middle East. Stew was eaten by princes and paupers alike, carried to the New World, and travelled across the Great Plains to the Pacific Ocean. It sustained cowboys on the cattle drive, nourished a generation through the Great Depression, and has been a part of human existence for millennia.  And still today, it makes this “heat-treater” a happy man!

Links to some favorites:
All-American Beef Stew (jampacked with 13 “Must Do” Tips for great stew – be sure to read it!)
Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon (she’s genius – and so fun to watch)
No Meat – Earthly Mushroom Potato Stew/Soup

 

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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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SNAP!

To get to the wishbone, one MUST do some serious, serious turkey eating. Then once found, it must dry out for a day or two for the ritual to work properly. So, good luck with your wishbone. And don’t forget the fabulous leftovers! If you’re reading this on the afternoon after Thanksgiving, I’m on my second helping. Enjoy yours!!  :-)))

By now, I hope you have recovered from your Thanksgiving coma – (see science on tryptophan), patched up the inappropriate conversation damage done with the relatives, and gotten your fill of football, stuffing and pie (never enough pie! Pumkin and Apple Caramel!).  Now, as you decide just how much and which of the leftovers you plan to consume today (turkey mayo sandwich, stuffing and gravy, potatoes and jellied cranberry sauce, or just the green bean casserole), I wanted to share a little history and fun facts on the wishbone tradition.  Growing up in the Kowalski house, Thanksgiving is quite the undertaking – making all the food, heading down to the metro parks for the pick-up football game and associated trips to the ER, enough pie for 20.  Today, with all the kids and grandkids and great grandkids, we need an offsite location to feed the 88 who will be able to make it back to Cleveland this year!?.  One of my favorite memories is the breaking of the turkey wish bone.  Mom used to pull it out of the “bird” and set it on the kitchen windowsill to let it dry.  On Friday, she had to choose who got to do the wish ceremony (come to think of it, this could be where Dad got his inspiration for PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs!).  The wishbone ritual is much older than you probably suspect, even though it came to America with the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. In fact, it began thousands of years earlier in the ancient Etruscan civilization.  Enjoy the info below, and thanks to makeitgrateful.com and backyardpoultry.com. Now go get some more pie!

  • Thanksgiving is one of America’s most beloved holidays and is full of traditions. Some are relatively modern additions — but others, like the breaking of the turkey’s wishbone (technically known as the furcula), have ancient origins.
  • Though wishbones are commonly associated with turkeys, all poultry have them — chickens, ducks, broad-breasted vs. heritage turkeys, and even geese — and people have been using these domesticated birds to grant wishes or tell the future since ancient times.
  • The Etruscans were a civilization in ancient Italy (from at least 800 BC) who practiced bird divination — the practice of using birds as oracles to predict the future. Chickens were allowed to peck at Etruscan letters on the ground to divine the answers to questions about the future. When a chicken was killed, the Etruscans laid the wishbone in the sun so the people could touch it and continue to use the chicken’s oracle power even after its death. People who touched the bone made wishes as they did, which is why we now commonly call it the wishbone.
  • Poultry have a long history of being used to grant wishes and tell the future. Ancient Greeks used to place grain on marked cards or mark kernels of corn with letters and carefully record which ones their chickens pecked first. The Roman army carried cages of “sacred chickens” with them — the designated chicken keeper was known as the pullarius. Once, as Andrew Lawler writes in Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?, the sacred chickens suggested a Roman general stay in camp. He fought instead and “he and most of his army were slain within three hours as a devastating earthquake shook Italy.” Obey the chickens, or else became the cry, as  poultry premonitions became so important that many advisers began to game the system. Chickens were often kept hungry or overfed the day before “divining” desired answers.
  • Over time, instead of wishing on bones on the ground, the Romans grappled over the wishbone to break it, with the victor being the person who broke off the larger part of the bone. The Romans brought their culture and traditions with them to the British Isles, and the wishbone tradition caught on there.
  • The first recorded practice of wishbone divination in Britain dates back to 1455; a goose wishbone (called a merrythought) was used to divine the weather on St. Martin’s Day, a harvest celebration that fell in November. Merrythoughts were sometimes broken between two single people, and the person who got the longer side of the bone was then predicted to marry first. The English colonists then brought the poultry bone tradition along with them to America and included it in the first Thanksgiving celebration.
  • The first known mention of the word “wishbone” as it refers specifically to a turkey bone was in an 1842 article in The Sun newspaper of Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Other religions also have ceremonies that involve poultry, many of them controversial. During Yom Kippur, some Jews practice kapparot where a live chicken is swung overhead in a circle three times, taking on that person’s sins, before the bird is slaughtered and given to the poor.
  • Geese helped foretell how bad the coming winter would be in European and Scandinavian traditions. Tate writes that after St. Martin’s Night, a dried goose’s breastbone would be examined to determine “whether the coming winter would be cold, wet, or dry.”
  • Many children like to study the wishbone long and hard before deciding which side they think will win a coveted wish. Today the internet has taken a bit of magic out of the wishbone tradition with tips on winning like choosing the thicker side (obvious) or ones that use the physics of pulling apart a two-pronged bone to your advantage like holding the wishbone closer to the center or letting the other person do most of the pulling.
  • When you face off with someone to break a wishbone, you carry on a tradition that harkens back thousands of years and spans continents. Here’s wishing that you break off the bigger piece this post-Thanksgiving Day!

 

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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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Now That’s Hedy

My friends, the incredible beauty of Hedy Lamarr is her brains. In that second photo from the top is Hedy Lamarr on the left, Louis B. Mayer (Metro Goldwin Mayer) who introduced her to America and Rita Hayworth. Below that on the right she’s with Spencer Tracy. Second image from the bottom is her & arranger George Antheil’s patent drawing for frequency hopping. And, not to worry, there are no shortages of t-shirt options for Hedy Lamarr fans. Also check out the terrific video links at the end and a really great podcast made just for kids. 

I was chatting with a friend of mine the other day, and we started to discuss the genius behind great inventions.  Reflection, pondering, trial and error and sometimes just straight-out incredible ideas – it’s usually pretty tough to know where they come from.  Now, combine the mind of a great natural genius inventor with the beauty of a global superstar actress – and you get Hedy Lamarr – considered by some as the greatest looking actress of all times – and one of the greatest natural inventors.  Hats off to all the engineers out there – handsome, beautiful, or just another face in the crowd, I marvel at your ideas and passion.  Here’s a fun little recap of an amazing woman and an incredible life – filled with travel, inventions, movies, drama, marriages and more.  Enjoy!  And be sure to catch one of her great movies. Thanks Wikipedia, PBS and womenshistory.org.

  • Hedy Lamarr (/ˈheɪdi/; born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler; November 9, 1914 – January 19, 2000) was an Austrian-born American film actress and inventor.
  • Her father was born to a Galician Jewish family in Lemberg (now Lviv in Ukraine) and was a successful bank director.  Trude, her mother, a pianist and Budapest native, had come from an upper-class Hungarian Jewish family. She had converted to Catholicism and was described as a “practicing Christian” who raised her daughter as a Christian.
  • As a child, Lamarr showed an interest in acting and was fascinated by theatre and film. At the age of 12, she won a beauty contest in Vienna.  While taking acting classes in Vienna when one day, she forged a note from her mother and went to Sascha-Film and was able to get herself hired as a script girl. While there, she was able to get a role as an extra in Money on the Street (1930), and then a small speaking part in Storm in a Water Glass (1931). Producer Max Reinhardt then cast her in a play entitled The Weaker Sex, which was performed at the Theater in der Josefstadt. Reinhardt was so impressed with her that he brought her with him back to Berlin.
  • In early 1933, at age 18, Lamarr was given the lead in Gustav Machatý’s film Ecstasy. She played the neglected young wife of an indifferent older man.  The film became both celebrated and notorious for showing Lamarr’s face in the throes of pleasure as well as close-up and brief nude scenes, a result of her being “duped” by the director and producer, who used high-power telephoto lenses. As you can imagine, it caused quite a sensation.
  • Although she was dismayed and now disillusioned about taking other roles, the film gained world recognition after winning an award in Rome. Throughout Europe, it was regarded an artistic work. In America it was considered overly sexual and received negative publicity, especially among women’s groups and was banned there and in Germany.
  • Fredrich Mandl, an Austrian military arms merchant and munitions manufacturer, was reputedly the third-richest man in Austria. He was obsessed to meet her. She fell for his charming and fascinating personality, partly due to his immense financial wealth. Her parents, both of Jewish descent, did not approve, due to Mandl’s ties to Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini, and later, German Führer Adolf Hitler, but they could not stop the headstrong Lamarr.  On August 10, 1933, Lamarr married Mandl. She was 18 years old and he was 33.
  • Mandl had close social and business ties to the Italian government, selling munitions to the country, and although like Hedy, his own father was Jewish, had ties to the Nazi regime of Germany, as well. Lamarr wrote that the dictators of both countries attended lavish parties at the Mandl home. Lamarr accompanied Mandl to business meetings, where he conferred with scientists and other professionals involved in military technology. These conferences were her introduction to the field of applied science and nurtured her latent talent in science.
  • Lamarr’s marriage to Mandl eventually became unbearable, and she decided to separate herself from both her husband and country. In her autobiography, she wrote that she disguised herself as her maid and fled to Paris, but by other accounts, she persuaded Mandl to let her wear all of her jewelry for a dinner party, then disappeared afterward.
  • After arriving in London in 1937, she met Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM, who was scouting for talent in Europe.  She initially turned down the offer he made her (of $125 a week), but then booked herself onto the same New York bound liner as him and managed to impress him enough to secure a $500 a week contract. Mayer persuaded her to change her name to Hedy Lamarr, choosing the surname in homage to the beautiful silent film star, Barbara La Marr, on the suggestion of his wife, who admired La Marr. He brought her to Hollywood in 1938 and began promoting her as the “world’s most beautiful woman”.
  • Mayer loaned Lamarr to producer Walter Wanger, who was making Algiers (1938), an American version of the French film, Pépé le Moko (1937). Lamarr was cast in the lead opposite Charles Boyer. The film created a “national sensation.”  According to one viewer, when her face first appeared on the screen, “everyone gasped … Lamarr’s beauty literally took one’s breath away.”
  • Her off-screen life and personality during those years was quite different from her screen image. She spent much of her time feeling lonely and homesick. She might swim at her agent’s pool but shunned the beaches and staring crowds. When asked for an autograph, she wondered why anyone would want it.
  • She participated in a war bond-selling campaign with a sailor named Eddie Rhodes. Rhodes was in the crowd at each Lamarr appearance, and she would call him up on stage. She would briefly flirt with him before asking the audience if she should give him a kiss. The crowd would say “yes”, to which Hedy would reply that she would if enough people bought war bonds. After enough bonds were purchased, she would kiss Rhodes and he would head back into the audience. Then they would head off to the next war bond rally.
  • Although Lamarr had no formal training and was primarily self-taught, she worked in her spare time on various hobbies and inventions, which included an improved traffic stoplight and a tablet that would dissolve in water to create a carbonated drink (think Coca Cola) for the soldiers.
  • Among the few who knew of Lamarr’s inventiveness was aviation tycoon Howard Hughes. She suggested he change the rather square design of his aeroplanes (which she thought looked too slow and boxy) to a more streamlined shape, based on pictures of the fastest birds and fish she could find. He actively supported her “tinkering” hobbies and put his team of scientists and engineers at her disposal, saying they would do or make anything she asked for.
  • During World War II, Lamarr learned that radio-controlled torpedoes, an emerging technology in naval war, could easily be jammed and set off course by the Nazis. She thought of creating a frequency-hopping signal that could not be tracked or jammed. She contacted her friend, composer and pianist George Antheil, to help her develop a device for doing that, and he succeeded by synchronizing a miniaturized player-piano roll mechanism with radio signals.  They drafted designs for the frequency-hopping system, which they patented.  Antheil recalled: “Although the US Navy did not adopt the technology until later, the principles of their work are incorporated into Bluetooth and GPS technology and are similar to methods used in legacy versions of CDMA and Wi-Fi.”
  • “We began talking about the war, which, in the late summer of 1940, was looking most extremely black. Hedy said that she did not feel very comfortable, sitting there in Hollywood and making lots of money when things were in such a state. She said that she knew a good deal about munitions and various secret weapons … and that she was thinking seriously of quitting MGM and going to Washington, DC, to offer her services to the newly established Inventors’ Council.”
  • In 1997, Lamarr and Antheil received the Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award and the Bulbie Gnass Spirit of Achievement Bronze Award, given to individuals whose creative lifetime achievements in the arts, sciences, business, or invention fields have significantly contributed to society. Lamarr was featured on the Science Channel and the Discovery Channel. In 2014, Lamarr and Antheil were posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
  • During her film career, she was featured in over 30 films. For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Lamarr has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6247 Hollywood Blvd adjacent to Vine Street where the walk is centered.
  • Lamarr was married and divorced six times and had three children.

 

An interview with Denise Loder-DeLuca, Hedy Lamarr’s daughter.

A very old TV game show called “What’s My Line?”  Go to about 14:56 for the “MYSTERY GUEST: Hedy Lamarr”

And one podcast:
Have you heard of this Podcast: “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls”? If you have kids, listen to it with them. This one is on Hedy Lamarr read by Tatiana Maslany.Gives a lot of great info in kid level writing. Runs 19 minutes.

 

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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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SNAP

Throwing the Perfect spiral isn’t easy but it can be learned. The pros do it. Kids and dads do it, too. It just takes practice, practice, practice. Don’t forget to check the videos at the bottom. Especially that last one with Drew Brees. WOW!!!

Hope you are enjoying this seasonal transition to fall and the upcoming … (can’t say it).  I’m guessing like you, I was drawn to the television this past weekend and watched my beloved Brownies lose another heartbreaker to those demons out east.  During the game, I was reminiscing on my much earlier days playing quarterback on the high school and college levels, and still marveled how the pros throw a football.  I went on line, and did some digging – for my engineering buds out there – and found some great info on the physics and details of throwing a perfect spiral.  (One of my favorite tips was “the final finger flip). One of my daughter’s can still throw the “perfect” spiral! On top of this, I considered what it takes to make a “perfect play” – when all 11 execute perfectly – and it reminded me of my great team here at KHT – everyone doing their job, in harmony, with perfect results (talk about a consistent delivery on your PIA (Pain in the @%$)Jobs!  Like the pros, we also consider the obstacles, plan a solution, practice/practice, all execute together, and bingo – touchdown!  Here’s some cool info on that crazy football pass and what it takes to make a perfect throw.  Enjoy, and thanks to cps digital.org, yahoo.com, wikipedia and You Tube for the info.

  • You may think throwing a football is one simple motion, but you would be wrong. When you release a football, if thrown well, it should spin at about 400-600 RPM’s, or revolutions per minute.
  • This spin creates a gyroscopic torque, which is when the axis of a spinning body is tilted. This creates a third axis that is perpendicular to the spin and the tilt axis. Gravity will try to pull the nose of the ball downward but will have a hard time, the ball is aerodynamic so the forces of wind counteract gravity and keep it in the air longer.
  • Newton’s laws help dictate the pattern of all moving objects, including footballs. The path of a football’s flight is not random, it is the result of the physical forces of inertia, air resistance and gravity. Newtons first law of motion states that an object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. the basic flight pattern of a football is the shape of a parabola, this shows that there is a bend in the football’s movement through the air. Newton’s first law applies here because there are outside forces like air resistance to keep the ball from traveling in a straight line.
  • Newton’s second law states that the total change of an objects motion or position is equal to the sum of all forces acting on that object. As a football flies through the air the forces acting on it are constantly changing, except gravity. As the quarterback releases the ball inertia is the greatest force acting on it, that is why it travels upward. as the football reaches its high point inertia weakens due to air resistance. Gravity then takes over and pulls the ball back towards the earth.
  • Newton’s third law tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is shown through a football’s lift which helps it fly higher and longer, lift occurs when air is moving around an object. As a football moves sideways through the air, its upward motion forces more air under the ball which creates a buoyant force which is why quarterbacks throw at an upward angle.
  • (Did Newton play in the NFL??)
  • Looking back to some basic physics classes, we can understand that the way a ball flies depends on the launch angle and the speed it is thrown at. However, you can throw a football as hard as you want, that doesn’t guarantee that it will fly in a perfect spiral. In order to get a football to fly perfectly, we have to be a little more concerned with inducing gyroscopic precession.
  • Due to the gyroscopic effects of a spinning football, the way the ball behaves in the air actually varies based on whether the quarterback is right or left-handed. A ball thrown by a right-handed quarterback will curve slightly to the right, and one thrown by a left-handed quarterback would do just the opposite. Understanding this is essential to throwing an accurate pass.
  • Now, adding more spin to the ball isn’t all that throwing a good spiral needs. A faster-spinning ball will take up more proportion of the imparted energy to continue spinning than to continue moving forward. This means that quarterbacks can actually lose yardage when they impart more spin to a ball. It’s all about finding a happy medium. The ball needs the necessary amount of spin to attain proper gyroscopic motion, while also maximizing the forward velocity to maximize range.
  • The launch angle is another fairly simple aspect of a football pass, but one that is essential to mastering the game. Like any other trajectory, the maximum distance can be achieved with a launch angle of 45 degrees. At higher than 45, height will be maximized, and at lower angles, the ball will likely not travel as far as you need it to.
  • Throwing a perfect football may be easy to understand from a mathematics and physics perspective, but mastering the art is a completely different challenge. If you were to give any random physics student a problem involving a quarterback and a running receiver, it would likely be one of the most difficult parabolic motion problems they ever completed. Yet, good quarterbacks can perfectly take into account launch angle, velocity, and spin to perfectly place a football in the hands of a receiver down the field.
  • Baker Mayfield threw an absolute rocket of a Hail Mary on Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens.  Mayfield threw the ball from the Browns’ own 40-yard line and wound up overthrowing the end zone.  While it was ultimately incomplete, the pass landed in the history books as the longest ever recorded by Pro Football Focus.
  • The longest pass completion of 99 yards has been achieved on 11 occasions in the National Football League (NFL) and has always resulted in a touchdown. The most recent occurrence was a pass from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz, for the New York Giants against the New York Jets (all USA) on 24 December 2011.
  • In a given year, NFL quarterbacks throw about 20,000 passes, with a completion rate of 64.9%.
  • An average ball being passed travels about 60 mph.

Longest Passes in History
Browns Fans, Plug in your earphones & crank the audio. Watch Baker!!
Best NFL Passes 

The Physics of a Football Pass – UC Irvine 
How to Throw the Perfect Football Spiral – According to Physics 
Very, VERY Entertaining to Watch: Drew Brees Edition | Dude Perfect 

 

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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!!

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

 

$1,500 A Pound?

If you’re hunting truffles, the nose knows. And you need to get a good one on your side. It used to be pigs that did most of the truffle hunting but they tended to want to eat them. So, man’s best friend, as it turns out, could be trained to sniff-out those ripe underground fungi. And dogs do it for the thrill of the hunt (and maybe a few treats). But they won’t eat the profits! Awesome!!  :-))))  So, you see, it only looks like poop. To truffle hunters those balls are 24 carat gold.

What in the world could cost fifteen hundred dollars a pound?  For those of you who are gourmet cooks, you’ve probably already guessed it.  I was listening to the radio this week and heard a report that it’s “truffle season” in Europe, and prices for the rarest white truffles are over $1,500 per pound.  As a curious sort, I had to learn more about this – and as a foodie, I was intrigued.  I’ll admit I’ve not eaten real truffles before and now my interest is peaked (but my commonsense wallet is not).  Special thanks to Wikipedia. If the weather cooperates  this weekend plan to head out to the beautiful parks with Jackie for a little hiking – never know when I may stumble upon some rare white “ohio” beauties. Now,  in full disclosure I really wouldn’t know what to look for!

  • truffle is the fruiting body of a subterranean ascomycete fungus, predominantly one of the many species of the genus Tuber. In addition to Tuber, many other genera of fungi are classified as truffles including GeoporaPezizaChoiromycesLeucangium, and over a hundred others. These genera belong to the class Pezizomycetes and the Pezizales order. (yep, I paid attention in science class)
  • Some of the truffle species are highly prized as food. French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin called truffles “the diamond of the kitchen”. Edible truffles are used in French and numerous national haute cuisines.
  • Phylogenetic evidence suggests that the majority of subterranean fruiting bodies evolved from above-ground mushrooms. Over time mushroom stipes and caps were reduced, and caps began to enclose reproductive tissue. The dispersal of sexual spores then shifted from wind and rain to utilizing animals.
  • The first mention of truffles appears in the inscriptions of the neo-Sumerians regarding their Amorite enemy’s eating habits (Third Dynasty of Ur, 20th century BC) and later in writings of Theophrastus in the 4th century BC.  .
  • A truffle’s substance is pale, tinged with rose. Unlike truffles, terfez (known as the desert truffle) have little inherent flavor. The Romans used the terfez as a carrier of flavor, because the terfez tend to absorb surrounding flavors. Because Ancient Roman cuisine used many spices and flavorings, the terfez may have been appropriate in that context.
  • Truffles were rarely used during the Middle Ages. Truffle hunting is mentioned by Bartolomeo Platina, the papal historian, in 1481, when he recorded that the sows of Notza were without equal in hunting truffles, but they should be muzzled to prevent them from eating the prize.
  • During the Renaissance, truffles regained popularity in Europe and were honored at the court of King Francis I of France. They were popular in Parisian markets in the 1780s, imported seasonally from truffle grounds, where peasants had long enjoyed them. Brillat-Savarin (1825) noted that they were so expensive, they appeared only at the dinner tables of great nobles and kept women.
  • For discovering how to cultivate truffles, some sources now give priority to Pierre II Mauléon (1744–1831) of Loudun (in western France), who began to cultivate truffles around 1790. Mauléon saw an “obvious symbiosis” between the oak tree, the rocky soil, and the truffle, and attempted to reproduce such an environment by taking acorns from trees known to have produced truffles, and sowing them in chalky soil. His experiment was successful, with truffles being found in the soil around the newly grown oak trees years later.
  • These successful attempts were met with enthusiasm in southern France, which possessed the sweet limestone soils and dry, hot weather that truffles need to grow. In the late 19th century, an epidemic of phylloxera destroyed many of the vineyards in southern France and an epidemic killed most of the silkworms there, too, making the fields of mulberry trees useless.
  • Thus, large tracts of land were set free for the cultivation of truffles. Thousands of truffle-producing trees were planted, and production reached peaks of hundreds of tons at the end of the 19th century. In 1890, 75,000 hectares (190,000 acres) of truffle-producing trees had been planted.
  • In the 20th century, with the growing industrialization of France and the subsequent rural exodus, many of these truffle fields (champs truffiers or truffières) returned to wilderness. The First World War also dealt a serious blow to the French countryside, killing 20% or more of the male working force. As a consequence, newly acquired techniques of trufficulture were lost.
  • Between the two great world wars, the truffle groves planted in the 19th century stopped being productive. (The average lifecycle of a truffle-producing tree is 30 years.) Consequently, after 1945, the production of truffles plummeted, and the prices have risen dramatically. Today, they are a rare delicacy reserved for the rich, or used on very special occasions.
  • In the 1970s, new attempts for mass production of truffles were started to make up for the decline in wild truffles. About 80% of the truffles now produced in France come from specially planted truffle groves.
  • In 1999, the first Australian truffles were harvested in Tasmania, the result of eight years of work. Trees were inoculated with the truffle fungus in the hope of creating a local truffle industry. Their success and the value of the resulting truffles has encouraged a small industry to develop.
  • In June 2014, A grower harvested Australia’s largest truffle from their property at Robertson in South Wales.  It was a French black perigord fungus weighing in at 1.1172 kg (2 lb 7+716 oz) and was valued at over $2,000 per kilogram.
  • Tom Michaels, owner of Tennessee Truffle, began producing Périgord truffles commercially in 2007.  At its peak in the 2008–2009 season, his farm produced about 200 pounds of truffles, but Eastern filbert blight almost entirely wiped out his hazel trees by 2013 and production dropped, essentially driving him out of business.
  • The black truffle or black Périgord truffle (Tuber melanosporum), the second-most commercially valuable species, is named after the Périgord region in France.  Black truffles associate with oakshazelnut, cherry, and other deciduous trees and are harvested in late autumn and winter.
  • Tuber magnatum, the high-value white truffle or trifola d’Alba Madonna (“Truffle of the Madonna from Alba” in Italian) is found mainly in the Langhe and Montferrat areas of the Piedmont region in northern Italy, and most famously, in the countryside around the cities of Alba and Asti.  A large percentage of Italy’s white truffles also come from Molise.
  • In Spain, per government regulation, white summer truffles can be harvested only in May through July.
  • In the U.S. Pacific Northwest, several species of truffle are harvested both recreationally and commercially, most notably, the Leucangium carthusianum, Oregon black truffle; Tuber gibbosum, Oregon spring white truffle; and Tuber oregonense, the Oregon winter white truffle. Kalapuya brunnea, the Oregon brown truffle, has also been commercially harvested and is of culinary note.
  • The pecan truffle (Tuber lyonii) syn. Texense is found in the Southern United States, usually associated with pecantrees. Chefs who have experimented with them agree “they are very good and have potential as a food commodity”.  Although pecan farmers used to find them along with pecans and discard them, considering them a nuisance, they sell for about $160 a pound and have been used in some gourmet restaurants.
  • Because truffles are subterranean, they are often located with the help of an animal possessing a refined sense of smell. Traditionally, pigs have been used for the extraction of truffles.  Both the female pig’s natural truffle-seeking, and her usual intent to eat the truffle, were thought to be due to a compound within the truffle similar to androstenol, the sex pheromone of boar saliva, to which the sow is keenly attracted. Studies in 1990 demonstrated that the compound actively recognized by both truffle pigs and dogs is dimethyl sulfide.
  • I am simply letting everyone know,  I will not be walking a female pig through the forest looking for truffles anytime soon.   I would much rather be walking down a beautiful golf course looking for my ball!
  • If you are so inclined, here’s a recipe.

 

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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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Please STOP

There are a lot of things we take for granted in this world but “stop signs” have got to be near the top of the list. And these marvelous inventions have kept a lot of us out of accidents! Trivia: Did you know that in Hawaii some of the stop signs are blue? Well, they are. Read on my friend. And never stop learning.  : )

On one of my runs the other day, I noticed a rather familiar sign up ahead – the STOP Sign.  Simple in design, easy to read, and clear of its intent. As I approached the intersection, I found myself “following directions” (something my lovely wife Jackie says I don’t consistently do – but that’s for another story). When I got to the office, I of course started searching for info on the design, and of course, was quite impressed with the thought, time and effort put into “managing” our road systems – talk about a PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job!  Today we have something like 160,000 miles of highway roads and about four million miles of public roads – just in the US.  Here’s some great information on STOP signs, road signs and road sign directional management I think you’ll enjoy – I for sure learned way more than I expected – and kudos to the designers, engineers and just “smart” folks who helped figure all this out. What’s cool is, we’re at a point in automobile management where the visual control systems we’re so accustomed to are gradually being replaced with “smart cars”, and “self-driving cars” – wonder if they read the signs like we do.  Special thanks to 99% invisible, Wikipedia and Dornbos Sign & Safety Company for the info and YouTube for the Mix.  Enjoy!

Put the Top Down, Crank It Up and just Drive Mix

  • Signs telling drivers to STOP are easy to identify in the United States — aside from the big block letters, their red backgrounds and octagonal shapes give them away (at least until you spot a blue one – Hawaii). But to understand why most are red, one needs to go back a bit further, to a time when stop signs were a wild new idea.
  • Road signs have been used since the time of the Roman Empire. Roads can be traced back to the Bronze Age, but the Romans were the ones who took the idea and ran with it. The system of roads they’ve built, including bridges and tunnels from Portugal to Constantinople, enabled them to move armies faster. This also allowed them to bring in more people and goods. This means that with a strong road system, Rome was able to become successful.
  • The very first road in Rome was the Via Appia, or also known as the Appian Way. This road was built in 312 B.C. At regular road intervals, milestones were placed, and these often stated who was in charge of the maintenance of that road portion and as well as the completed repairs. Aside from that, the Romans also built mile markers at intersections to specify the distance to travel to Rome.
  • During the Middle Ages different sign types were placed at crossroads to point or direct people toward different towns. However, after the fall of Rome, roads were no longer maintained, which made transportation more challenging.
  • Many inventions and progress in industry and transportation were seen in the 19th century. During this time, many travelers no longer need to ride horses to get across different towns. New modes of transportations enabled them to travel further and faster. These include bicycles 1418-1817 and automobiles about 1885.
  • One of the earliest organized signing systems was developed by the Italian Touring Club. By the early 1900s, the Congress of International Touring Organizations in Paris started considering standards for road signage. Nine European governments in 1909 chose four pictorial symbol signs to be used as a standard in those areas.
  • Born in 1848 in New York City, William Phelps Eno grew up in a world without stop signs. He saw firsthand the chaos of city intersections packed first with horse-drawn carriages and later with cars. As an adult, he wrote a key article on traffic issues in 1900 advocating for signage and other safety measures, then went to work on traffic plans for New York as well as Long Island and Paris. Eno is broadly credited with a number of traffic control innovations, including rotary junctions, pedestrian sidewalks and stop signs.
  • Early stop signs still were not the red-and-white affairs we are most familiar with nor were they all octagonal. Instead, they varied — one of the first recorded signs to go up in Detroit, for instance, had black lettering on a white background, presumably to maximize contrast.
  • Then, in 1923, the Mississippi Valley Association of State Highway Departments formalized the octagonal shape we associate with these signs to this day. The distinctiveness of the octagon was useful, but there was more to the decision than that — the designers making the call wanted to create and reinforce associations between geometry and safety.
  • Traffic shape designs were based on a simple, albeit not exactly intuitive, idea: the more sides a sign has, the higher the danger level it invokes. By the engineers’ reckoning, the circle, which has an infinite number of sides, screamed danger and was recommended for railroad crossings. The octagon, with its eight sides, was used to denote the second-highest level. The diamond shape was for warning signs. And the rectangle and square shapes were used for informational signs. (how cool is that!)
  • According to the Department of Transportation, each street sign must have an individual and varying shape. The DOT’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices actually defines the symbology of shapes. For example, the octagon is a cross-breed between a square and circle, which suggests power and complexity (so cool – now it all begins to make sense).
  • Still, even with the shape decided, it would be years before an official background color was designated. And when the time came, the first color chosen was not red but yellow. While red was often associated with stop and thus a logical choice, material science of the 1930s had not yet caught up — reflectivity was deemed more important than color, so yellow was chosen as it would work at night. Red took its place only when retroreflective reds became available.
  • Finally, in 1954, a red background with white letters became the new standard, which in turn brings us back to another color. Blue is much rarer, but there are some blue stop signs out there for one simple reason: they aren’t really stop signs, at least not officially.
  • In some places, laws or ordinances prevent the use of public signage on private property, so in parking lots or other privately owned paved spaces, blue is used as a differentiating tactic. The solution is simple, clever and effective — whatever color the sign may have, the distinctive lettering and shape will always send a clear message to stop.
  • Researchers found different shapes have different effects on our brains. People perceive the depth and forms of shapes in strange ways, as each shape conveys a different feeling and gives off a different message. By recognizing different patterns of various shapes, people are able to become more aware of how to interact with their surroundings and gain a better understanding of traffic flow on the road.
  • Early on, signs were dipped into paint, and the letterings, symbols, and borders were painted black. This made it possible for the signs to be created in larger quantities. The machinery used to make these signs, however, could only create signs up to 24 inches. Therefore, this became the standard size for road signs.  (now that’s great trivia!)
  • In 1948, after the 2nd World War, the round letter alphabet was used on road signs, and sign legends were simplified by eliminating unnecessary words. In 1954, the use of secondary messages on stop signs was prohibited, and the yield sign was introduced. It’s a sign that features a yellow triangle with the black wording “Yield Right of Way.”
  • In 1971, the use of symbols on signs expanded and has increased international uniformity. The color red was allowed to be used for additional regulatory signs. For guide signs, the colors white on green were made standard. The color orange was used for construction signs and work zone devices. School areas were also addressed, and the school sign with the pentagon shape was introduced.
  • The manual for road signs is always being revised to improve the safety and efficiency of travel. Today, you can see many different colors and shapes of road signs everywhere you go. And these differ in every place or country you visit. In the United States, here are some of the present-day road sign colors that you might encounter – see if you can guess the background colors:

White – for regulatory signs

Red – for stop, yield, and prohibition signs

Blue – for road service, evacuation routes, and tourist information

Green – for directional guidance and permitted traffic movement

Yellow – for general warning messages

Fluorescent yellow or green – for pedestrian and school crossing

Brown – for guides to recreational or cultural interest areas

Orange – for warnings and guides in construction zones

  • It’s amazing to know that road signs have been used for thousands of years, even before automobiles were invented. With the standardization of road signs, the roads and highways we have today are organized and safer to drive on. Thanks Mr. Eno!

 

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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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