Cozy Warm

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10:  The Drinking
POP – Happy New Year !!




Understanding Ho Ho Ho

How DOES he do it??

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To track Santa, go to .





Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on the 19th of November, 1863.

Over 150 years ago, powerful words were delivered to the nation.  May we rejoice on Monday when we recognize the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

  • The Gettysburg Address, in which President Abraham Lincoln spoke of all men being created equal and “government of the people, by the people, for the people” was delivered on Nov 19th, 1863.  It took place at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the pivotal American Civil War battle there.
  • Following the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1–3, 1863, the removal of the fallen Union soldiers from the Gettysburg Battlefield graves and their reburial in graves at the National Cemetery at Gettysburg began on October 17. In inviting President Lincoln to the ceremonies, David Wills, of the committee for the November 19 Consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, wrote, “It is the desire that, after the Oration, you, as Chief Executive of the nation, formally set apart these grounds to their sacred use by a few appropriate remarks.”
  • On the train trip from Washington, D.C., to Gettysburg on November 18, Lincoln was accompanied by three members of his Cabinet, William Seward, John Usher and Montgomery Blair, several foreign officials, his secretary John Nicolay, and his assistant secretary, John Hay. During the trip Lincoln remarked to Hay that he felt weak; on the morning of November 19, Lincoln mentioned to Nicolay that he was dizzy. (Hay later noted that during the speech Lincoln’s face had “a ghastly color” and that he was “sad, mournful, almost haggard.”)
  • The short speech had more dynamic impact following, as it did, a two-hour oration (yawn!) by Edward Everett, one-time Secretary of State.
  • John Hay, a close friend of the President, recorded how Lincoln wrote and delivered the speech:

“Lincoln was very silent all the previous evening after dinner. No one else being present he walked to and fro’ in his room apparently thinking deeply. He went to bed early, and when he came down to breakfast, he looked unwell, and said he had slept little.  On the train to the cemetery, he was silent for a considerable while, and then he asked me for some writing paper. On his knee he then wrote out his speech in full, exactly as it has come down to us.  The impression left on me was that Lincoln was merely transcribing from memory the words he had composed during the night.”

“When we reached the battlefield, Lincoln was nervous and apparently not well. Everett spoke eloquently but very long. Then Lincoln rose, holding the papers he had written on the train.  He did not read, but spoke every word in a clear, ringing, resonant, vibrating voice. His speech occupied only a few minutes in delivery. It was listened to with breathless attention and when it came to an end there was at first no cheering, but an audible indrawing of deep breath as from an audience that had been profoundly moved.”

“In the silence of the next moment, Everett leapt to his feet again and said, as nearly as I can remember, this: ‘We have just listened to a speech that will live through the ages’.”

  • Despite the historical significance of Lincoln’s speech, modern scholars disagree as to its exact wording, and contemporary transcriptions published in newspaper accounts of the event and even handwritten copies by Lincoln himself differ in their wording, punctuation, and structure.  Of these versions, the Bliss version, written well after the speech as a favor for a friend, is viewed by many as the standard text.  Its text differs, however, from the written versions prepared by Lincoln before and after his speech. It is the only version to which Lincoln affixed his signature, and the last he is known to have written.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. 

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

  • After the speech, when Lincoln boarded the 6:30 pm train for Washington, D.C., he was feverish and weak, with a severe headache. A protracted illness followed, which included a vesicular rash; it was diagnosed as a mild case of smallpox. It thus seems highly likely that Lincoln was in the prodromal period of smallpox when he delivered the Gettysburg address.
  • In an oft-repeated legend, Lincoln is said to have turned to his bodyguard Ward Hill Lamon and remarked that his speech, like a bad plow, “won’t scour”. According to Garry Wills, this statement has no basis in fact and largely originates from the unreliable recollections of Lamon.  In Garry Wills’s view, “[Lincoln] had done what he wanted to do [at Gettysburg]”.
  • In a letter to Lincoln written the following day, Everett praised the President for his eloquent and concise speech, saying, “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.” Lincoln replied that he was glad to know the speech was not a “total failure”.

Download the speech in Lincoln’s handwriting HERE.
Watch this short Ken Burns PBS piece on the Gettysburg Address HERE.



Soup’s On!

Soups!  Enjoyed at any age and are as much fun to make as they are to eat.

With the flip of the calendar, it’s Fall – in all its glory.  Around here, that means brilliant outdoor colors, breaking out the sweaters, an extra blanket for chilly nights, and my favorite … soup! This means all kinds of soups!  It’s the time of year when we spend less time grilling and more time hovered over a steamy hot bowl of soup (crackers and cheese and lots of black pepper of course). Jackie has so many incredible recipes. With the help of the internet, I found this link at Ready, Set, Eat – and just listen to some of these names: slow cooker butternut squash & sausage, white bean and kale minestrone, wagon wheel turkey vegetable, southwestern creamy chicken, ramen noodle (brings back memories of younger days! and mushroom … oh yea – Now to be perfectly honest,  I will / would not be allowed to partake in some of the above soups…unless someone wants a temporary house guest!   Be sure to pick a few and give them a try – or better yet, if you have a family favorite, email it to me at so I can enjoy as well.  Here’s a little soup trivia, some different soups from around the world and a yummy recipe.  Enjoy!!

  • Evidence of the existence of soup can be found as far back as about 20,000 BC.  Boiling was not a common cooking technique until the invention of waterproof containers (which probably came in the form of clay vessels). Animal hides and watertight baskets of bark or reeds were used before this. To boil the water hot rocks were used. This method was also used to cook acorns and other plants.
  • The word soup comes from French soupe (“soup”, “broth”), which comes through Vulgar Latin suppa (“bread soaked in broth”) from a Germanic source, from which also comes the word “sop”, a piece of bread used to soak up soup or a thick stew.
  • The word restaurant (meaning “[something] restoring”) was first used in France in the 16th century, to refer to a highly concentrated, inexpensive soup, sold by street vendors, that was advertised as an antidote to physical exhaustion. In 1765, a Parisian entrepreneur opened a shop specializing in such soups. This prompted the use of the modern word restaurant for eating establishments.
  • In the US, the first colonial cookbook was published by William Parks in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1742, based on Eliza Smith’s The Complete Housewife; or Accomplished Gentlewoman’s Companion, and it included several recipes for soups and bisques. A 1772 cookbook, The Frugal Housewife, contained an entire chapter on the topic.
  • English cooking dominated early colonial cooking; but as new immigrants arrived from other countries, other national soups gained popularity. In particular, German immigrants living in Pennsylvania were famous for their potato soups. In 1794, Jean Baptiste Gilbert Payplat dis Julien, a refugee from the French Revolution, opened an eating establishment in Boston called “The Restorator”, and became known as the “Prince of Soups”.
  • The first American cooking pamphlet dedicated to soup recipes was written in 1882 by Emma Ewing: Soups and Soup Making.
  • Portable soup was devised in the 18th century by boiling seasoned meat until a thick, resinous syrup was left that could be dried and stored for months at a time. Commercial soup became popular with the invention of canning in the 19th century, and today a great variety of canned and dried soups are on the market.
  • Doctor John T. Dorrance, a chemist with the Campbell Soup Company, invented condensed soup in 1897.  Canned soup can be condensed, in which case it is prepared by adding water (or sometimes milk), or it can be “ready-to-eat”, meaning that no additional liquid is needed before eating. Condensing soup allows soup to be packaged into a smaller can and sold at a lower price than other canned soups.
  • Today, Campbell’s Tomato (introduced in 1897), Cream of Mushroom, and Chicken Noodle (introduced in 1934) are three of the most popular soups in America. Americans consume approximately 2.5 billion bowls of these three soups alone each year.
  • In French cuisine, soup is often served before other dishes in a meal. In 1970, Richard Olney gave the place of the entrée in a French full menu: “A dinner that begins with a soup and runs through a fish course, an entrée, a sorbet, a roast, salad, cheese and dessert, and that may be accompanied by from three to six wines, presents a special problem of orchestration”.
  • “From soup to nuts” means “from beginning to end”, referring to the traditional position of soup as the first course in a multi-course meal. “In the soup” refers to being in a bad situation.  “Tag soup” is poorly coded HTML.

Test your knowledge – here are some of my favorites and some that I will be trying in the future:

  1. Chè– a Vietnamese cold dessert soup containing sugar and coconut milk, with many different varieties of other ingredients including taro, cassava, adzuki bean, mung bean, jackfruit, and durian
  2. Ginataan– a Filipino soup made from coconut milk, milk, fruits and tapioca pearls, served hot or cold
  3. Shiruko– a Japanese azuki bean soup
  4. Sawine– a soup made with milk, spices, parched vermicelli, almonds and dried fruits, served during the Muslim festival of Eid ul-Fitr in Trinidad and Tobago
  5. Salmorejo– a thick variant of gazpacho originating from Andalusia
  6. Asopao– a rice soup very popular in Puerto Rico. When prepared with chicken, it is referred to as asopao de pollo
  7. Bánh canh– a Vietnamese udon noodle soup, popular variants include bánh canh cua (crab udon soup), bánh canh chả cá (fish cake udon soup)
  8. Bouillabaisse– a fish soup from Marseille, is also made in other Mediterranean regions; in Catalonia it is called bullebesa
  9. Cazuela– a Chilean soup of medium thick flavored stock obtained from cooking several kinds of meats and vegetables mixed together
  10. Clam chowder– is found in two major types, New England clam chowder, made with potatoes and cream, and Manhattan clam chowder, made with a tomato base
  11. Egg drop– a savory Chinese soup, is made by adding already-beaten eggs into boiling water or broth
  12. Egusi– a traditional soup from Nigeria, is made with vegetables, meat, fish, and balls of ground melon seed. It is often eaten with fufu
  13. Gumbo– a traditional Creole soup from the Southern United States. It is thickened with okra pods, roux and sometimes filé powder
  14. Kuy teav(Vi: hủ tiếu) – a Cambodian/Southern Vietnamese pork rice noodle soup, often in combination with shrimp, squid and other seafood, topped with fresh herbs and bean sprouts
  15. Kyselo– a traditional Bohemian (Krkonoše region) sour soup made from sourdough, mushrooms, cumin, potatoes and scrambled eggs
  16. Lagman– a tradition in Uzbekistan, is made with pasta, vegetables, ground lamb and numerous spices
  17. Mulligatawny– is an Anglo-Indian curried soup
  18. Nässelsoppa(nettle soup) – is made with stinging nettles, and traditionally eaten with hard boiled egg halves, is considered a spring delicacy in Sweden
  19. Nkatenkwan – a heavily spiced soup from Ghana based on groundnut with meat, most often chicken and vegetables added
  20. “Peasants’ soup”– a catch-all term for soup made by combining a diverse—and often eclectic—assortment of ingredients. Variations on peasants’ soup are popular in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Africa
  21. Scotch broth– is made from mutton or lamb, barley and root vegetables
  22. Snert(erwtensoep) – a thick pea soup, is eaten in the Netherlands as a winter dish, and is traditionally served with sliced sausage. (“Jackie – more snert please”)
  23. Soupe aux Pois Jaunes– a traditional Canadian pea soup that is made with yellow peas and often incorporates ham
  24. Svartsoppa– is a traditional Swedish soup, whose main ingredient is goose and, sometimes, pig’s blood, and is made in Skåne, the southernmost region of Sweden. The other ingredients typically include vinegar, port wine or cognac and spices such as cloves, ginger and allspice. The soup is served warm with boiled pieces of apple and plums, goose liver sausage and the boiled innards of the goose. (“Jackie – I’m good…no more goose innards…”)
  25. Tarhana– is from Persian cuisine and is made with fermented grains and yogurt
  26. Mirepoix– consists of carrot, onion and celery and is often used for soup stocks and soups

Savory Black Bean Pumpkin (A MUST TRY!)

  • 3 15 oz. cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1-2 cups chopped onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 4 cups organic chicken broth
  • 1 15oz. can of pumpkin puree
  • ½ tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • Fresh cilantro and plain Greek yogurt for garnish
  • Saltines or favorite soup crackers

Drain 2 cans of black beans and pour into food processor along with tomatoes. Puree. Set aside.
Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper.  Cook and stir onions until softened.  Stir in bean puree, remaining can of beans, chicken broth, pumpkin puree, allspice, chili powder and cumin.  Mix until well blended, then simmer for about 25 minutes.  Serve hot, sprinkle with cilantro garnish, dollop of yogurt and crackers.




What’s Your Favorite Treat?

Halloween, what a fun time of year. Especially if, like me, you love candy. And nothing says Halloween quite like candy corn. You can eat it, of course but you can also wear them. You can get that hoodie at the top HERE. Or those socks HERE (gotta get me a pair of those).  And a plush candy corn to hug (or let your dog play with) HERE. Check out your favorites. And if you have a few minutes check out these oddly wonderful candy commercials: Sour Patch Kids HERE and HERE. Skittles HERE. And Jolly Ranchers HERE.

It’s that time of year when we venture off to the store to pick our favorite Halloween candy.  Some of us go for a specific item/brand, while others default to the “mixed grab bag” approach.  What seems like a simple task, becomes a PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job! to solve.  I can remember as a kid, with my brothers and sisters, running from house to house, trying to see who got the most goodies. Part of our tradition was to walk very, very, very fast to each home, wait for the stragglers to catch up then yell “TRICK OR TREAT” as loud as we could. Our neighbors came to expect and look forward to our arrival!  We’d come home and sort out our bounty into piles – my favorite was of course (Snickers, followed by Reeses Peanut Butter Cups).  If my siblings were game, we’d horse trade, so I got more of the things I loved.  Mom and Dad made us, or at least tried to keep it fair. I happen to be good at trading!  Jackie and I of course carried on the tradition of yelling “TRICK OR TREAT” with our girls.  I was always amazed that the girls would have to stop back home to empty their pillow cases before continuing on!  We would then just sit back and watch them sort and trade, unfortunately I often was given the leftovers – Taffy (Not my favorite!)

A very good friend of mine sent me this cool map link, showing the candy sales by state – the map for Ohio says M&M’s but newer data says it might be Blow Pops.  Of course, I’m hit with questions … what flavor gum inside, how big, peanut or regular, big or little, ugh.  For all of my goblins out there, I hit the internet, and captured some fun tips about Halloween candy – thx History Channel, People, and CandyStore.comand all the candy sites for the info.  Enjoy, and don’t open those bags until it’s time!!

  • For most American kids, it wouldn’t be Halloween without trick-or-treating for candy; however, that wasn’t always the case. When the custom of trick-or-treating started in the 1930s and early 1940s, children were given everything from homemade cookies and pieces of cake to fruit, nuts, coins and toys.
  • The earliest known reference to “trick or treats”, printed in the November 4, 1927 edition of the Blackie, Alberta Canada Herald, talks of this, “Hallowe’en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.”
  • The first Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar was produced in 1900 and Hershey’s Kisses made their debut in 1907. Company founder Milton Hershey was a pioneer in the mass-production of milk chocolate and turned what previously had been a luxury item for the well-to-do into something affordable for average Americans. In the early 1900s, he also built an entire town, Hershey, Pennsylvania, around his chocolate factory.
  • In the 1950s, candy manufacturers began to get in on the act and promote their products for Halloween, and as trick-or-treating became more popular, candy was increasingly regarded as an affordable, convenient offering.
  • The Kit Kat bar was first sold in England in 1935 as a Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp and in 1937 was rechristened the Kit Kat Chocolate Crisp. The name is said to be derived from a London literary and political group, the Kit-Cat (or Kit Kat) club, established in the late 17th century. The group’s moniker is thought to be an abbreviation of the name of the man who owned the shop where the group originally gathered. Since 1988, the brand has been owned by Nestle, maker of another perennial trick-or-treat favorite, the Nestle Crunch bar, which debuted in the late 1930s.
  • In 1917, Harry Burnett Reese moved to Hershey, where he was employed as a dairyman for the chocolate company and later worked at its factory. Inspired by Milton Hershey’s success, Reese, who eventually had 16 children, began making candies in his basement. In the mid-1920s, he built a factory of his own and produced an assortment of candies, including peanut butter cups, which he invented in 1928 and made with Hershey’s chocolate. During World War II, a shortage of ingredients led Reese to pull the plug on his other candies and focus on his most popular product, peanut butter cups. In 1963, Hershey acquired the H.B Reese Candy Company.
  • Today, America spends about $2.7 billion dollars on candy.  When it comes to Halloween candy, a number of the most popular brands are enduring classics. Here is a link to a fun interactive map with detailed listings by state.
  • In 1923, a struggling, Minnesota-born candy maker, Frank Mars, launched the Milky Way bar, which became a best-seller. In 1930, he introduced the Snickers bar, reportedly named for his favorite horse, followed in 1932 by the 3 Musketeers bar. Frank’s son Forrest eventually joined the company, only to leave after a falling out with his father. Forrest Mars relocated to England, where he created the Mars bar in the early 1930s. In 1941, he launched M&Ms. Mars anticipated that World War II would produce a cocoa shortage, so he partnered with Bruce Murrie, son of a Hershey executive, in order to have access to a sufficient supply of ingredients; the candy’s name stands for Mars and Murrie.
  • No Halloween would be complete without candy corn, which was invented in the 1880s by George Renninger of the Wunderle Candy Company of Philadelphia. Other companies went on to produce their own versions of the tricolor treat, none longer than the Goelitz Confectionery Company (now the Jelly Belly Candy Co.), which has been doing so since 1898.

Here is a “top selling” candy list by State and links to their history:

  1. Candy Corn:  Alabama, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, Rhode Island, South Carolina
  2. Twix:  Alaska
  3. Snickers:  Arizona, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Virginia
  4. Jolly Ranchers:  Arkansas
  5. M&Ms: California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia
  6. Milky Way:  Colorado, Maryland, Missouri, Vermont
  7. Almond Joy:  Connecticut
  8. Life Savers:  Delaware
  9. Skittles:  Florida, Hawaii, New Jersey
  10. Swedish Fish:  Georgia
  11. Sour Patch Kids:  Illinois, Maine, Nebraska, New York, Massachusetts
  12. Hot Tamales:  Indiana, North Dakota
  13. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups:  Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, Wyoming
  14. Tootsie Pops:  Kentucky, Minnesota, Tennessee, Washington
  15. Lemonheads:  Louisiana
  16. 3 Musketeers:  Mississippi
  17. Double Bubble Gum:  Montana
  18. Hershey Kisses:  Nevada
  19. Blow Pops:  Ohio, West Virginia
  20. Starburst:  South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin
  21. Jolly Ranchers:  Utah




Searching for Answers

It used to be that finding answers meant going to the library. No more, my friend! Even a seven year old at can find the answers to anything.  A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G. For better or worse, we can all find answers to our questions in an instant. (bottom two rows)  There are the kids, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, at their garage office in Palo Alto where they moved the company from their Stanford dorm room. The boys today. Google headquarters sign in Mountain View, CA.


Over the weekend I was on the laptop, digging around for some information to help me on a project. It’s was so easy to type in my questions, or just words to “search”, and BOOM, tons of options appear instantly on the screen.  It got me to thinking about search and the history of Google, and I found out that Google is celebrating twenty years in existence (how can that be??).  Google of course was an outcome of great research and experimentation by scientists and programmers who came before them.  For fun, “google” the term “inventor of search” and the world’s most popular search engine will, unexpectedly, fail you. Nowhere among the algorithmically organized results will you find the names of the two men who, in the fall of 1963, sent the first known long-distance computer query (six years before Arpanet) and long before the launch of the world-changing Google.  Here’s some fun facts, surprising trivia and a bit of history.  Thanks Smithsonian, Wikipedia and Google for your amazing products.  Enjoy!


Here’s a fun site Goggle has set up where you can venture back in time and see the most popular search topics by year (and more).

  1. The story starts when Doug Engelbart began the Augmented Human Intellect Program at Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, California. In June 1962 Charlie Bourne, who had been a student of Engelbart’s at the University of California Berkeley in 1957, joined the AHI team. In 1963 Bourne started work on a project funded by US Air Force Electronic Systems Division to investigate remote online computer access to databases. The total funding was $39,000, which was quite a sizeable project in 1963.
  2. Charles Bourne (a research engineer) and Leonard Chaitlin (a computer programmer) built the first online search engine, then referred to as automated information retrieval. At the time, retrieval was physical, capturing data stored on punch cards.  Bourne’s vision was a user could search for any word in the files, much the same way Google works today, using a Q-32 computer developed by Systems Development Corporation. The Q-32 was one of the first computers to support online remote access and computer-to-computer communication.
  3. The database consisted of seven memos typed onto punched paper tapes and then converted to magnetic tape.  Chaitlin drove to Santa Monica, some 350 miles away, and input the files onto a massive military computer.  From a bulky computer terminal with a screen just 32 characters wide, they sent a “search” query (the precise question is lost to history).  The data lurched over a telephone line and after some time, the answer popped up, proving that online search was possible.
  4. Despite the success, the project was shut down.  The inventors later said, “We just didn’t know what it would become. You really couldn’t imagine, at that time, doing a lot of things with a computer.”
  5. Google, worth hundreds of billions, took two men with a big dream to turn a small idea into a reality and has made a significant contribution to how the world uses the internet. Larry Page and Sergey Brin were both PhD candidates when they met in 1996 at Stanford and came up with the concept for a search engine that they named BackRub.  One year later, in 1997, they renamed it and officially registered as a domain name. A man named Milton Sirotta was responsible for coming up with the term from which Google was derived (googol – refers to the number 1 with 100 zeros following it).
  6. The main aim of both men was to organize all of the information that could possibly be gathered around the world and present it in the form of an index.  When the team received its first $100,000 check, Page and Brin moved the operation to a garage in Palo Alto.
  7. Over the years millions of webmasters have tried their best to obtain a high PageRank, which is one of many indicators of the ‘authority’ and ‘link weight’ of any given website, however the term itself was only patented in September 2001 by the Google team. PageRank was an integral part of the core algorithm upon which the Google search engine operated, enabling it to ‘rank’ sites according to authority. It was in the same year that Larry Page, the namesake of PageRank, stepped down as CEO and Eric Schmidt took his place.
  8. The web-based email service that is now commonplace to Gmail fans was launched in 2004 and it quickly began to outrank the services being offered by companies such as Microsoft and Yahoo. The storage capabilities were set at 1 GB – a storage capacity that was unheard of at the time. 2004 was also the year that Google Earth was launched which allowed the earth to be mapped to the desktop using satellite imagery.
  9. In 2005, Google joined up with NASA to produce Google Moon and Google Mars in which two applications allowed individuals to navigate both entities from the comfort of their own computers. The project was brought to fruition after a 1 million sq ft development center was built within the Ames Research Centre.
  10. In 2006, Google Video was introduced to the public, and users were able to search for videos, rather than be restricted to content, through the search engine. This is the same year that the company acquired YouTube, which has in a very real sense become a massively popular ‘alternative’ search engine in its own right. In addition, the very popular Google Docs service was launched.
  11. Today, Google is estimated to have around well over 50% of the market share for search engines with Yahoo! as its closest rival. The search engine gets more than 1 billion search requests each day, and with the incorporation of Google Ads, every click makes the company money. The business is now a household name, and there is no telling where or how they plan on expanding in the future; after all, for Google, the sky is no longer the limit.




Before Google, came a host of web crawling “engines” – see how many you remember.

WebCrawler (1994). Of all still-surviving search engines, WebCrawler is the oldest. Today, it aggregates results from Google and Yahoo.
Lycos (1994). Born out of Carnegie Mellon University and still alive today. Also owns several other nostalgic Internet brands, including Angelfire, Tripod, and Gamesville.
AltaVista (1995). This was one of the most popular search engines in the 1990s, but was acquired by Yahoo in 2003 and subsequently shut down in 2013.
Excite (1995). One of the most recognizable brands back in the 1990s, but has since fallen out of the spotlight.
Yahoo (1995). Definitely one of the strongest pre-Google brands to still exist today. In fact, according to Alexa, Yahoo was the 4th most globally-visited website in June 2015. Impressive!
Dogpile (1996). It has a terrible brand name, but maybe that’s what made it memorable. Today, Dogpile aggregates results from Google, Yahoo, and the Russian search engine, Yandex (which is also older than Google!).
Ask Jeeves (1996). This engine was unique due to its question-and-answer format, plus it had a memorable mascot in Jeeves the Butler. Sadly, Jeeves was eventually phased out and the site rebranded to (Not to be confused with AskBoth.)



Pre-web search engine           
The Archie search engine, created by Alan Emtage, Bill Heelan and J. Peter Deutsch, computer science students at McGill University in Montreal, goes live. The program downloads the directory listings of all the files located on public anonymous FTP (File Transfer Protocol) sites, creates a searchable database of a lot of file names.

Pre-web search engine         

The rise of Gopher (created in 1991 by Mark McCahill at the University of Minnesota) leads to two new search programs, Veronica and Jughead. Like Archie, they search the file names and titles stored in Gopher index systems. Veronica (Very Easy Rodent-Oriented Net-wide Index to Computerized Archives) provides a keyword search of most Gopher menu titles in the entire Gopher listings. Jughead (Jonzy’s Universal Gopher Hierarchy Excavation And Display) is a tool for obtaining menu information from specific Gopher servers.

Virtual library of the web     
Tim Berners-Lee sets up the Virtual Library (VLib), a loose confederation of topical experts maintaining relevant topical link lists.

First web robot                       
Matthew Gray produces the first known web robot, the Perl-based World Wide Web Wanderer, and uses it to generate an index of the web called the Wandex.  However, the World Wide Web Wanderer is intended only to measure the size of the web rather than to facilitate search.

First web search engine          
W3Catalog, written by Oscar Nierstrasz at the University of Geneva, is released to the world. It is the world’s first web search engine. It does not rely on a crawler and indexer but rather on already existing high-quality lists of websites. One of its main drawbacks is that the bot accesses each page hundreds of times each day, causing performance degradation.

Second web search engine     
Aliweb, a web search engine created by Martijn Koster, is announced. It does not use a web robot, but instead depends on being notified by website administrators of the existence at each site of an index file in a particular format. The absence of a bot means that less bandwidth is used; however, most website administrators are not aware of the need to submit their data.

First crawler and indexer 
JumpStation, created by Jonathon Fletcher, is released. It is the first WWW resource-discovery tool to combine the three essential features of a web search engine (crawling, indexing, and searching).

New web search engine 
Infoseek is launched.

New web search engine
The World-Wide Web Worm is released. It is claimed to have been created in September 1993, at which time there did not exist any crawler-based search engine, but it is not the earliest at the time of its actual release. It supports Perl-based regular expressions.

New web search engine         
The WebCrawler search engine, created by Brian Pinkerton at the University of Washington, is released. Unlike its predecessors, it allows users to search for any word in any webpage, which has become the standard for all major search engines since.

New web directory                 
Yahoo! launches its web directory.  Yahoo! would not build its own web search engine until 2002, relying until then on outsourcing the search function to other companies.

New web search engine         
Lycos, a web search engine, is released. It began as a research project by Michael Loren Mauldin of Carnegie Mellon University’s main Pittsburgh campus.

New web directory                
LookSmart is released. It competes with Yahoo! as a web directory, and the competition makes both directories more inclusive.

Natural language queries       
Altavista is launched. This is a first among web search engines in many ways: it has unlimited bandwidth, allows natural language queries, has search tips, and allows people to add or delete their domains in 24 hours.

New web search engine      
Larry Page and Sergey Brin begin working on BackRub, the predecessor to Google Search. The crawler begins activity in March.

New web search engine         
Inktomi releases its HotBot search engine.

New web search engine         
Gary Culliss and Steven Yang begin work at MIT on the popularity engine, a version of the Direct Hit Technologies search engine that ranks results across users according to the selections made during previous searches.

Natural language search         
Ask Jeeves, a natural language web search engine, that aims to rank links by popularity, is released. It would later become

New web search                     
The domain is registered. Soon, Google Search is available to the public from this domain (around 1998).

New search(non-English)        
Arkady Volozh and Ilya Segalovich launch their Russian web search engine and publicly present it at the Softool exhibition in Moscow. The initial development is by Comptek; Yandex would become a separate company in 2000.

New web directory                 
Gnuhoo, a web directory project by Rich Skrenta and Bob Truel, both employees of Sun Microsystems, launches.  It would later be renamed the Open Directory Project.

New web search portal          
MSN launches a search portal called MSN Search, using search results from Inktomi. After many changes to the backend search engine, MSN would start developing in-house search technology in 2005, and later change its name to Bing in June 2009.

New web search engine         
Direct Hit Technologies releases their popularity search engine in partnership with HotBot, providing more relevant results based on prior user search activity.

New web search engine         
AlltheWeb, based on the Ph.D. thesis of Tor Egge at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, titled FTP Search, launches. The engine is launched by Egge’s company Fast Search & Transfer, established on July 16, 1997.

New web search portal          
Baidu, a Chinese company that would grow to provide many search-related services, launches.

Web search consolidation      
Yahoo! buys Inktomi (2002) and then Overture Services Inc. (2003) which has already bought AlltheWeb and Altavista. Starting 2003, Yahoo! starts using its own Yahoo Slurp web crawler to power Yahoo! Search. Yahoo! Search combines the technologies of all Yahoo!’s acquisitions (until 2002, Yahoo! had been using Google to power its search).

Backend providers                  
Microsoft starts using its own indexer and crawler for MSN Search rather than using blended results from LookSmart and Inktomi.

New User experience            
Google Suggest is introduced as a Google Labs feature.

Webmaster tools                    
To combat link spam, Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft collectively introduce the nofollow attribute.

New web search engine         
Overture Services Inc. owner Bill Gross launches the Snap search engine, with many features such as display of search volumes and other information, as well as sophisticated auto-completion and related terms display. It is unable to get traction and soon goes out of business.

New human-curated search   
Wikia launches Wikia Search, a search engine based on human curation, but then shuts it down.

New web search engine         
Cuil, a web search engine created by ex-Googlers that uses picture thumbnails to display search results, launches.  It would later shut down on September 17, 2010.

Search consolidation              
Microsoft and Yahoo! announce that they have made a ten-year deal in which the Yahoo! search engine would be replaced by Bing. Yahoo! will get to keep 88% of the revenue from all search ad sales on its site for the first five years of the deal, and have the right to sell adverts on some Microsoft sites. Yahoo! Search will still maintain its own user interface, but will eventually feature “Powered by Bing™” branding.  All Yahoo! Search global customers and partners are expected to be transitioned by early 2012.

Search algorithm update        
Named Caffeine, this update is announced on August 10, 2009. It promises faster crawling, expansion of the index, and a near-real-time integration of indexing and ranking. The rollout is made live on June 8, 2010.

New User experience            
Google launches Google Instant, described as a search-before-you-type feature: as users are typing, Google predicts the user’s whole search query (using the same technology as in Google Suggest, later called the autocomplete feature) and instantaneously shows results for the top prediction.  Google claims that this is estimated to save 2–5 seconds per search query.  SEO commentators initially believe that this will have a major effect on search engine optimization, but soon revise downward their estimate of the impact.

New web search engine         
Blekko, a search engine that uses slashtags to allow people to search in more targeted categories, launches.

Webmaster tools                    
Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft announce, a joint initiative that supports a richer range of tags that websites can use to convey better information.

Search algorithm update        
Google launches Google Panda, a major update affecting 12% of search queries. The update continues with the earlier work of cracking down on spam, content farms, scrapers, and websites with a high ad-to-content ratio. The rollout is gradual over several months, and Panda will see many further updates.

Search algorithm update        
Google launches Search Plus Your World, a deep integration of one’s social data into search.  SEO commentators are critical of how the search results favor Google+ and push it to users, compared to more widely used social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Search algorithm update        
Google launches its “Webspam update” which would soon become known as Google Penguin.

Sidebar User experience         
Microsoft announces a redesign of its Bing search engine that includes “Sidebar”, a social feature that searches users’ social networks for information relevant to the search query.

Search algorithm update        
Google starts rolling out Knowledge Graph, used by Google internally to store semantic relationships between objects. Google now begins displaying supplemental information about objects related to search queries on the side.

Search algorithm update        
Google releases Google Hummingbird, a core algorithm update that may enable more semantic search and more effective use of the Knowledge Graph in the future.






(top) From the documentary “Elvis Presley: The Searcher” (2018). Watch the trailer HERE  (row two)Presley performing live at the Mississippi-Alabama Fairgrounds in Tupelo, September 26, 1956. (row three) Presley’s birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi; Elvis, about three years old, posed with mom Gladys and dad Vernon; Ten-year-old Elvis, second from right and wearing glasses, with talent show winners. Elvis came in fifth. (row four) Promo photos for “Jail House Rock” (row five) Young man Elvis. (Row six)some of his many album covers. (row seven) Signing autographs. (bottom) And this famous photo. Elvis, 21, and his mystery blonde caught in “The Kiss”—one of 48 shots taken by freelance photographer Alfred Wertheimer (assigned by RCA Records to follow Elvis on his first tour) in a stairwell at the Mosque Theatre in Richmond, Virginia, minutes before a concert, June 1956. 

Check out these videos with the sound as high as you can possibly crank it:
WATCH Elvis at his peak. This is GREAT!!!!!!
Goofing around having fun. Elvis Presley Heartbreak Hotel (1968)
WATCH Elvis Presley – Return To Sender [Video]
WATCH Elvis Presley – Hound Dog 1956 LIVE
WATCH Elvis Presley – Blue Suede Shoes 1956 (COLOR and STEREO)
Most of us remember our “firsts”.  Our first time playing a sport and scoring a goal/run/basket, our first friendships, our first kiss, our first breakup, our first time away from home, and our first job. My first job outside of KHT was “THE BAGEL SHOP” in Oxford, Ohio.  Imagine,  me and food! Don’t worry this will be for another post!  Getting back to my first job,  I was 13 with my brothers and sisters helping Dad as he started KHT. I can still remember my first day of work here at KHT. Growing up in a family business I was lucky to be “allowed” to do all sorts of jobs – welding, driving forklifts (lots of fun when you’re little!), packaging parts, although I was always in trouble because I would read the newspaper that we used to wrap parts in, which slowed things down! I even helped Dad with the processing.  . Something clicked for me, and I knew then I was destined to be a “heat treating” man. At the time, little did I know that one day  I’d be sitting on top of the organization, running five thermal processing divisions, supervising 6 plants and dozens of employees, juggling millions of investment dollars into new technology and infrastructure, solving thousands of PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs! and forever looking to the future with my team  for better ways to delight our customers. In celebration of my “firsts” I looked to an American icon.  Over 70 years ago this week, in his “first” known public musical performance Elvis Presley appeared in a talent show in Tupelo, Mississippi on October 3, 1945. He was just ten years old. Here’s a little history on how he got started, some “random” trivia, and fun links to video and songs.  Crank up the sound and shake it!  And thanks to Wikipedia, You Tube and

  1. As the story goes, standing on a chair at a microphone, Elvis first public appearance was when he sang “Old Shep” at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show. The show was broadcast over WELO Radio, though no recording of it now exists. Some reports say that he came in second and won a prize of five dollars in fair-ride tickets. Interviewed years later, however, Elvis recalled that he actually came in fifth and his most vivid memory of the day was receiving “a whipping from my Mama” for misbehaving.  (A photograph taken of some of the contestants seems to bear out his recollection of the result. Wearing glasses, Elvis is standing empty-handed next to two other youngsters, both proudly clutching a trophy).
  2. Elvis purchased his first guitar when he was just 11 years old. He wanted a rifle, but his mama convinced him to get a guitar instead.  At age 12, a local radio show offered a young Elvis a chance to sing live on air, but he was too shy to go on.
  3. His next known public performance was on November 6, 1948 when he played guitar and sang “Leaf On A Tree” as a farewell to his fellow students at Milam Junior School in Tupelo. The poverty-stricken Presleys then packed their belongings into a trunk, strapped it to the roof of their 1939 Plymouth car, and headed for Memphis, Tennessee, in search of a better life.
  4. Notoriously shy, Elvis could still be persuaded to perform and in 1953 he nervously sang in a student talent show at Humes High School in Memphis – his next step on the educational ladder. Much to his own amazement, he received more applause than anyone else and won.  Pleased, he then performed an encore.
  5. Soon after, wanting to hear what his voice sounded like on a record, he called the Memphis Recording Service, home of the Sun label and made a private demo acetate of “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” at a cost of about four dollars. Excited, he took the acetate home and gave it to his mother as a birthday present.
  6. When Sam Phillips, owner of the studio, heard the recording, he called the boy in to hear more. And the rest, as they say, is a part of our history.
  7. One of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, Elvis helped establish the emerging Rock and Roll sound, incorporating blues and gospel influences. He was also a leader in popularizing both the rockabilly sound and the four-man band line-up which would later dominate the music industry.
  8. His first single, “Heartbreak Hotel” (1956), a song inspired by a newspaper article about a local suicide, began a string of number-ones that radically reshaped American music and put Presley at the forefront of rock and roll.
  9. When performing on TV in 1956, host Milton Berle advised Elvis to perform without his guitar, reportedly saying, “Let ’em see you, son.”  Elvis’ gyrating hips caused outrage across the U.S. and within days he was nicknamed Elvis the Pelvis.  A Florida judge called Elvis “a savage” that same year because he said that his music was “undermining the youth.”  He was subsequently forbidden from shaking his body at a gig, so he waggled his finger instead in protest.
  10. In 1958, he was drafted into the army and served in West Germany, earning $78 per month, unable to access his musical fortune back home. Following this he began a much-derided acting career and did not perform live for seven years.  In 1968 he returned to the stage with the acclaimed “Elvis” special, and then took up an extended Las Vegas residency which became iconic in its own right.
  11. In 1959, while serving overseas in Germany, Elvis (then 24 years old) met his future wife, 14 year-old Priscilla Beaulieu.  They were married 8 years later.
  12. Elvis’ 1960 hit “It’s Now or Never” so inspired a prisoner who heard it in jail that he vowed to pursue a career in music upon his release.  The artist, Barry White, was then serving a 4-month sentence for stealing tires.
  13. A series of successful concert tours followed, as did the 1973 live concert special “Aloha from Hawaii”, which was a technological first.
  14. Elvis and Priscilla’s only daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, was born in 1968.  Lisa Marie later married Michael Jackson and actor (and Elvis obsessive) Nicholas Cage.  Mr. Cage is reportedly the only person outside of Presley’s immediate family to have ever seen Elvis’ Graceland bedroom.
  15. Elvis’ popularity faded in the 1960’s with the rise of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and others.  He successfully relaunched his career with a 1968 television special that came about because Elvis had walked down a busy Los Angeles street and had no one recognize or approach him.
  16. Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977 of a heart attack at his Graceland estate in Memphis, often considered to be the result of an accidental prescription drug overdose. He is buried in the Meditation Garden at Graceland mansion at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis, Tennessee. It receives more than 600,000 visitors from around the world each year, making it one of the top attractions in the city and one of the most-visited private homes in the world.
  17. Presley is one of the best-selling artists in music history, recording over 600 songs (none of which he wrote) and sales of over 600 million units.




Marvel “ous”

(Top) One of the proposed 747 designs in the Kowalski fleet. We’ve named this one Rudolph. (row 2) Yes, you do need to be a rocket scientist to fly one of these babies. (row 3) Artist depiction of the comfortable and roomy passenger seating. (row 4) The actual passenger area without seats and with seats. (row 5) The passenger seating areas. (row 6) This cargo version landing in Hong Kong. (row 7) The Hindenburg vs the Boeing 747-400. (row 8) The 747 has starred in more movies than Harrison Ford, Bruce Willis, Kurt Russell, Jack Lemmon, George Kennedy and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr combined.


Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by airplanes.  I love watching them take off, and land, and glide in the air with ridiculous ease – giant, massive structures just floating along.  I can remember as a kid going out to the airport and crouching down  when the planes flew over the car, thinking they were almost close enough to touch. As our heat treating aerospace business has grown, and now complimented with our latest NADCAP heat treating accreditation, I just love it when customers call with their aerospace PIA (Pain in the @%$ Jobs)!  My guys jump at the chance to solve customer’s problems, and deliver consistent, “reliable” (ever think how important that is for aircraft) parts, that end up in components, and then on aircraft.  Seeing planes in the air still makes me smile, because I know part of KHT is also riding along.  50 years ago this month, a marvel was introduced to the world, that changed the aviation landscape – the introduction of the Boeing 747.  Bigger and better than anything at its time, it took the industry by storm, but more importantly, has been a global workhorse for airlines and a delight for passengers.  I found a fun article in Smithsonian magazine, and also pulled some facts and history from Wikipedia to share.  Hats off to Boeing, and all the designers, engineers, pilots, employees and maintenance crews who built over 1,500 planes, and have kept her flying all these years – Enjoy!

  1. The Boeing 747 is an American wide-body commercial jet airliner and cargo aircraft, often referred to by its original nickname, “Jumbo Jet”. Its distinctive hump upper deck along the forward part of the aircraft has made it one of the most recognizable aircraft and the first wide-body airplane produced.
  2. Rolled from the hangar in Everett, Washington 50 years ago this weekend, onlookers were stunned.The aircraft before them was more than double the size and weight of any existing airliner.  Its instant fame came with its size – two aisles, two floors, four massive engines and a six-story tail fin, allowing millions of passengers to travel the globe, it changed aviation forever.
  3. The four-engine 747 uses a double-deck configuration for part of its length and is available in passenger, freighter and other versions. Boeing designed the 747’s hump-like upper deck to serve as a first–class lounge or extra seating, and to allow the aircraft to be easily converted to a cargo carrier by removing seats and installing a front cargo door. Boeing expected supersonic airliners—the development of which was announced in the early 1960s—to render the 747 and other subsonic airliners obsolete, while the demand for subsonic cargo aircraft would remain robust well into the future. Though the 747 was expected to become obsolete after 400 were sold, it exceeded critics’ expectations with production surpassing expectations.  By July 2018, 1,546 aircraft had been built, with 22 of the 747-8 variants remaining on order.
  4. The 747-400, the most common variant in service, has a high-subsonic cruise speed of Mach 0.85–0.855 (up to 570 mph or 920 km/h) with an intercontinental range of 7,260 nautical miles (8,350 statute miles or 13,450 km).[14] The 747-400 can accommodate 416 passengers in a typical three-class layout, 524 passengers in a typical two-class layout, or 660 passengers in a high–density one-class configuration
  5. In 1963, the United States Air Force started a series of study projects on a very large strategic transport aircraft. Although the C-141 Starlifter was being introduced, they believed that a much larger and more capable aircraft was needed, especially the capability to carry outsized cargo that would not fit in any existing aircraft. These studies led to initial requirements for the CX-Heavy Logistics System (CX-HLS) in March 1964 for an aircraft with a load capacity of 180,000 pounds (81,600 kg) and a speed of Mach 0.75 (500 mph or 800 km/h), and an unrefueled range of 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km) with a payload of 115,000 pounds.
  6. Featuring only four engines, the design also required new engine designs with greatly increased power and better fuel economy. In May 1964, airframe proposals arrived from Boeing, Douglas, General Dynamics, Lockheed, and Martin Marietta; engine proposals were submitted by General Electric, Curtiss-Wright, and Pratt & Whitney. After review, Boeing, Douglas, and Lockheed were given additional study contracts for the airframe, along with General Electric and Pratt & Whitney for the engines.
  7. All three of the airframe proposals shared a number of features. As the CX-HLS needed to be able to be loaded from the front, a door had to be included where the cockpit usually was. All of the companies solved this problem by moving the cockpit above the cargo area; Douglas had a small “pod” just forward and above the wing, Lockheed used a long “spine” running the length of the aircraft with the wing spar passing through it, while Boeing blended the two, with a longer pod that ran from just behind the nose to just behind the wing. In 1965 Lockheed’s aircraft design and General Electric’s engine design were selected for the new C-5 Galaxy transport, which was the largest military aircraft in the world at the time.  The nose door and raised cockpit concepts would be carried over to the design of the 747.
  8. The 747 was conceived while air travel was increasing in the 1960s. The era of commercial jet transportation, led by the enormous popularity of the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8, had revolutionized long-distance travel.  Boeing was asked by Juan Trippe, president of Pan American World Airways (Pan Am), one of their most important airline customers, to build a passenger aircraft more than twice the size of the 707. During this time, airport congestion, worsened by increasing numbers of passengers carried on relatively small aircraft, became a problem that Trippe thought could be addressed by a larger new aircraft.
  9. In April 1966, Pan Am ordered 25 747-100 aircraft for US $525 million. During the ceremonial 747 contract-signing banquet in Seattle on Boeing’s 50th Anniversary, Juan Trippe predicted that the 747 would be “… a great weapon for peace, competing with intercontinental missiles for mankind’s destiny”. As the first customer, and because of its early involvement before placing a formal order, Pan Am was able to influence the design and development of the 747 to an extent unmatched by a single airline before or since.
  10. The original design included a full-length double-deck fuselage with eight-across seating and two aisles on the lower deck and seven-across seating and two aisles on the upper deck. Concern over safety, evacuation routes and limited cargo-carrying capability caused this idea to be scrapped in early 1966 in favor of a wider single deck design.  The cockpit was, therefore, placed on a shortened upper deck so that a freight-loading door could be included in the nose cone; this design feature produced the 747’s distinctive “bulge”.  In the early models it was not clear what to do with the small space in the pod behind the cockpit, so it was initially specified as a “lounge” area with no permanent seating
  11. One of the principal technologies that enabled an aircraft as large as the 747 to be drawn up was the high-bypass turbofan engine by Pratt & Whiney. The engine technology was thought to be capable of delivering double the power of the earlier turbojets while consuming a third less fuel. General Electric had pioneered the concept but was committed to developing the engine for the C-5 Galaxy and did not enter the commercial market until later
  12. Boeing agreed to deliver the first 747 to Pan Am by the end of 1969. The delivery date left 28 months to design the aircraft, which was two-thirds of the normal time. The schedule was so fast-paced that the people who worked on it were given the nickname “The Incredibles”.  Developing the aircraft was such a technical and financial challenge that management was said to have “bet the company” when it started the project.
  13. As Boeing did not have a plant large enough to assemble the giant airliner, they chose to build a new plant. The company considered locations in about 50 cities, and eventually decided to build the new plant some 30 miles north of Seattle on a site adjoining a military base at Paine Field near Everett, Washington.
  14. To level the site, more than four million cubic yards (talk about a PIA Job!) of earth had to be moved. Time was so short that the 747’s full-scale mock-up was built before the factory roof above it was finished. The plant is the largest building by volume ever built, and has been substantially expanded several times to permit construction of other models of Boeing wide-body commercial jets.
  15. The prototype 747 was first displayed to the public on September 30, 1968. Before the first 747 was fully assembled, testing began on many components and systems. One important test involved the evacuation of 560 volunteers from a cabin mock-up via the aircraft’s emergency chutes. The first full-scale evacuation took two and a half minutes instead of the maximum of 90 seconds mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and several volunteers were injured. Subsequent test evacuations achieved the 90-second goal but caused more injuries. Most problematic was evacuation from the aircraft’s upper deck; instead of using a conventional slide, volunteer passengers escaped by using a harness attached to a reel.  Tests also involved taxiing such a large aircraft. Boeing built an unusual training device known as “Waddell’s Wagon” (named for a 747 test pilot, Jack Waddell) that consisted of a mock-up cockpit mounted on the roof of a truck. While the first 747s were still being built, the device allowed pilots to practice taxi maneuvers from a high upper-deck position.
  16. On September 30, 1968, the first 747 was rolled out of the Everett assembly building before the world’s press and representatives of the 26 airlines that had ordered the airliner. Over the following months, preparations were made for the first flight, which took place on February 9, 1969, with test pilots Jack Waddell and Brien Wygle at the controls and Jess Wallick at the flight engineer’s station. Despite a minor problem with one of the flaps, the flight confirmed that the 747 handled extremely well. The 747 was found to be largely immune to “Dutch roll”, a phenomenon that had been a major hazard to the early swept-wing jets.
  17. First Lady Pat Nixon ushered in the era of jumbo jets by christening the first commercial 747 at a ceremony at Dulles International Airport on January 15, 1970 and the First Lady then climbed aboard and visited the cockpit.
  18. The huge cost of developing the 747 and building the Everett factory meant that Boeing had to borrow heavily from a banking syndicate. The firm’s debt exceeded $2 billion, with the $1.2 billion owed to the banks setting a record for all companies. Allen later said, “It was really too large a project for us.” Ultimately, the gamble succeeded, and Boeing held a monopoly in very large passenger aircraft production for many years.
  19. Following its debut, the 747 rapidly achieved iconic status, appearing in numerous film productions such as Airport 1975 and Airport ’77 disaster films, Air Force One, Die Hard 2, and Executive Decision. Appearing in over 300 film productions the 747 is one of the most widely depicted civilian aircraft and is considered by many as one of the most iconic in film history. The aircraft entered the cultural lexicon as the original Jumbo Jet, a term coined by the aviation media to describe its size and was also nicknamed Queen of the Skies.

Design Specifications based on age and size of aircraft:

Models:              747SP,747-100, 747-200B, 747-300,747-400ER, 747-8
Typical seats:  276 – 467
Cargo:                 3,900 cubic feet – 6,345 cubic feet
Length:               184 ft 9 in to 250 ft 2 in
Cabin width:    239.5 in to 241 in
Wingspan:        195 ft 8 in to 224 ft 7 in
Wing area:        5,500 ft² to 5,960 sq ft
Wing sweep:    37.5°
Tail height:       65 ft 5 in
Fuel capacity:  50,359 US gal to 63,034 US gal – (that’s over $200,000 at the pump!)
Turbofan ×4:   Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7 or Rolls-Royce RB211-524 or GE CF6
Thrust ×4:         46,300–56,900 lbf
Cruise:                econ. 907 km/h (490 kt), max. 939km/h (507kt), Mach 0.855 (504 kn; 933 km/h)
Range:                5,830 nmi to 14,320 nmi
Takeoff:             9,250 ft  to 10,200 ft


Crank up the sound and WATCH THIS! Maho beach St. Maarten, KLM Boeing 747 landing.


DOWNLOAD and read this spread from The Big Book of Airplanes. You’ll learn things like the exterior paint adds about 595 lbs. to the plane’s weight and find out what happens to toilet waste.   🙂


(top left) The cargo nose on this Nippon 747 gives it a nice smile. “Feed me!” (top right) “Open wide and say ahhh.” (bottom left) TIME LAPSE VIDEO Two GoPro views of a 60-ton riser package for oil and gas operations in Asia being loaded aboard a Cathay Pacific Cargo 747-8F at George H. W. Bush Intercontinental Airport on 05 July 2013. (bottom right) TIME LAPSE VIDEO of Panalpina air freight cargo loading of Atlas Air 747-400 first flight from Huntsville, Alabama to Viracopos, São Paulo, Brazil.







(top) If you were at the first official Homecoming football game watching the Kansas vs. Missouri rivalry, besides being 117 years old, you saw it end in a 3-3 tie. Look! There’s the tying kick in the air. That kicked-off (pun intended) what was to become “Homecoming Week” with all of the fun events at colleges and high schools all across America.


One of my favorite events in the small town I live in is homecoming weekend – this year scheduled for tonight.  It takes me back to memories of when the girls and Jackie would march in the parade. Where we live, homecoming includes a parade down the center of town – and it seems like everyone comes out, including the police dept, fire dept., HS marching band and cheerleaders, scouts, dignitaries, and numerous volunteer organizations.  Participants in the parade have a tradition of tossing candy to the kids and adults lining the streets. On more than one occasion I have had the opportunity to be one of those folks throwing the candy. It’s amazing how far you can throw a Tootsie Roll or Jolly Rancher especially at people you know! Our service department has the PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job of cleaning up afterwards.  Floats are handmade and include some really fun ideas.  I hope you can attend the homecoming events in your town – here’s some fun trivia I came across in Wikipedia – Enjoy!

  1. Homecoming is an annual tradition in the United States. People, towns, high schools, and colleges come together, usually in late September or early October, to welcome back alumni and former residents. It is built around a central event, such as a banquet or dance and, most often, a game of football, or, on occasion, basketball, ice hockey, or soccer.
  2. When celebrated by schools, the activities vary widely. They usually consist of a football game played on a school’s home football field, activities for students and alumni, a parade featuring the school’s choir, marching band, and sports teams, and the coronation of a homecoming queen (and at many schools, a homecoming king and queen). A dance often follows the game or the day following the game. The game itself, whether it be football or another sport, will typically feature the home team playing a considerably weaker opponent to be an “easy win” and thus weaker schools will sometimes play lower division schools.
  3. The origin of homecoming dates back to the 1911 Kansas vs. Missouri football game, one of several claimed to be the first college football homecoming game.  Of course, many schools including Baylor, Southwestern, Illinois, and Missouri have made claims that they held the first modern homecoming. The NCAA, Trivial Pursuit, Jeopardy!, and references from the American TV drama NCIS give the title to the University of Missouri’s 1911 football game during which alumni were encouraged to attend.
  4. In 1891, the Missouri Tigers first faced off against the Kansas Jayhawks in the first installment of the Border War, which was also the oldest college football rivalry west of the Mississippi River. The intense rivalry originally took place at neutral sites, usually in Kansas City, Missouri, until a new conference regulation was announced that required intercollegiate football games to be played on collegiate campuses. To renew excitement in the rivalry, ensure adequate attendance at the new location, and celebrate the first meeting of the two teams on the Mizzou campus, Mizzou Athletic Director Chester Brewer invited all alumni to “come home” for the game in 1911. Along with the football game, the celebration included a parade and spirit rally with bonfire. The event was a success, with nearly 10,000 alumni coming home to take part in the celebration and watch the Tigers and Jayhawks play to a scintillating 3–3 tie.
  5. Baylor’s homecoming history dates back to November 1909 and included a parade, reunion parties, and an afternoon football game (the final game of the 1909 season), a tradition that continued and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2009.
  6. The event usually includes a homecoming court, a representative group of students that, in a coeducational institution, consists of a king and queen, and possibly prince(s) and princess(es). In a single-sex institution, the homecoming court will usually consist of only a king and a prince (for an all-male school) or a queen and a princess (for an all-female school), although some schools often choose to join with single-gender schools of the other gender to elect the homecoming court jointly.  Generally, the king and queen are students completing their final years of study at their school (also called “seniors”), while the prince and princess are underclassmen, often with a prince/princess for each grade.
  7. Many homecoming celebrations include a parade. Students often select the grand marshal based on a history of service and support to the school and community. The parade includes the school’s marching band and different school organizations’ floats created by the classes and organizations and most of the sports get a chance to be in the parade. Every class is expected to prepare a float which corresponds with the homecoming theme or related theme of school spirit as assign by school administrators. In addition, the homecoming court takes part in the parade, often riding together in one or more convertibles as part of the parade. Community civic organizations and businesses, area fire departments, and alumni groups often participate as well. The parade is often part of a series of activities scheduled for that specific day, which can also include a pep rally, bonfire, snake dance, and other activities for students and alumni.
  8. At most major colleges and universities, the football game and preceding tailgate party are the most widely recognized and heavily attended events of the week. Alumni gather from all around the world to return to their alma mater, reconnect with one another, and take part in the festivities. Students, alumni, businesses, and members of the community set up tents in parking lots, fields, and streets near the stadium to cook food, play games, socialize, and even enjoy live music in many instances. These celebrations often last straight through the game for those who do not have tickets but still come to take part in the socializing and excitement of the homecoming atmosphere. Most tents even include television or radio feeds of the game for those without tickets.
  9. Many schools hold a rally during homecoming week, often one or more nights before the game. The events vary, but may include skits, games, introduction of the homecoming court (and coronation of the king and queen if that is the school’s tradition), and comments from the football players or coach about the upcoming game.

Some homecoming bonfires are better than other homecoming bonfires. This 2016 Texas A&M, Aggie Student Homecoming Bonfire is some homecoming bonfire.

  1. At some schools, the homecoming rally ends with a bonfire (in which old wood structures, the rival school’s memorabilia and other items are burned in a controlled fire.) Students are encouraged to come together, share in songs and cheering for the teams.  Many schools include the marching band for music and fun.
  2. The alumni band consists of former college and university band members who return for homecoming to perform with the current marching band (usually made up from recent graduates to members who graduated years or decades before) either during halftime as a full band or a featured section, e.g. the trumpet section or the tubas and drumline squads, as well as performing with the current band during the post-game concert.
  3. High schools in the south of the United States, especially in Texas, often have a tradition of the girls wearing “mums” and boys wearing “garters” to the Homecoming football game. Mums usually consist of artificial chrysanthemums (real chrysanthemums were originally used) surrounded by decorated floor-length ribbon and little trinkets. The tradition is that the boys create a personalized mum in their school colors, making white and silver for seniors only, for their date. Girls make garters for their date which are similar to mums but shorter and worn on the boy’s arm. The size of the mums and garters tend to grow in proportion to the grade that the receiver is in. Depending on the school, mums can get quite competitive, expensive, and drastically bigger than they previously were intended to be. Different items are also placed on mums than there previously were, such as LEDs, bubble containers, cow bells, feather boas, stuffed animals of all sizes, etc. The tradition is to make the mum and garter after the couple is asked to homecoming, and exchange them on the night of the homecoming game and wear it throughout tailgating and the game. Couples often take group pictures with their mums and garters the evening of or the evening before the homecoming game to showcase them.
  4. The homecoming dance—usually the culminating event of the week (for high schools)—is a formal or informal event, either at the school or an off-campus location. The venue is decorated, and either a disc jockey or band is hired to play music. In many ways, it is a fall prom. Homecoming dances could be informal as well just like standard school dances. At high schools, the homecoming dances are sometimes held in the high school gymnasium or outside in a large field. Homecoming dance attire is less formal than prom.