Dads (and Granddads)

You want to know something? It’s fun being a dad!!!  And a granddad!!!!!!
Happy Father’s Day, dads!

 

This Sunday marks a special day on the calendar – Father’s Day.  For me, it’s filled with current and past memories of my Dad growing up, not just his wisdom helping me transition into the business through his leadership and counsel but also the absolute wonderfully crazy times I had with Dad growing up.  Then the joy of having 4 incredible daughters of my own to help raise and now the thrill of being a “grandpa”.  Dads are special people throughout – caring, protective and loving – but also clumsy (I can’t braid hair to save my life!), silly and patient.

As I read this list below, there are lots of items that bring back so many wonderful memories of both having a great Dad and the joy in being able to help raise four fantastic daughters who love both Marvel movies and Hallmark!  Sports and the Arts!  Plus food, all kinds of great food!  The fact that my children are all within 15 minutes of Jackie and I is so fantastic! Needless to say I could go on for a long time.

Simply put, being a Dad is an incredible joy and blessing!

To all the dads and granddads out there, we salute you.  Enjoy your day and your loved ones.  Here a list of great “dad” attributes – I’m sure you can easily add to the list

Why Dads Are AWESOME – (thanks mom365.com for the insights)

1. Dads are Rough and Tumble – play wrestling, running around like maniacs, or tossing their little ones high into the air, dads tend to be the parent less afraid of pushing the limits. It can make some moms cringe to see just how far dads and their kids can go, but we always know that everyone is having fun and will (probably!) be OK in the end. Some mild roughhousing may teach your kids to be resilient and brave – and as Mom reminds us – “it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt”

2. Two Words: Dad Jokes – Dads are kings of corny jokes. Even though we groan and roll our eyes, you know we love it. Keep on being awesome, dads.

3. Dads are Great Coaches – whether they’re coaching the whole team or just offering some one-on-one advice on how to play the game, dads are amazing at sharing their love of the game. Football, baseball, and soccer are their usual fare, but we’ve known lots of dads who help with ballet and cheerleading, too. We know it’s a little bit love of the sport, but mostly it’s love for their kids.

4. He’s a Fierce Protector – there’s a reason that boys are terrified of meeting their love interest’s dad; dads are protective and unafraid of instilling fear in anyone they think might wrong their child. From chasing away the bogeyman to making sure nobody picks on you at the playground, it’s always comforting to know that dad has your back.

5.  Dads Hide Emotions – there is no sound more amazing than your baby’s heartbeat. Moms can hear the whoosh of the Doppler running over her belly until finally you find it–the fast, rhythmic beat of life from inside. It’s expected that moms-to-be find themselves overwhelmed with emotion the first time they hear it, so don’t be afraid to cry–it really is a miracle.

6. Dads Get Creative at Mealtime – when dad is in charge during dinnertime it can get creative. You know the kids will get fed—but some dads will think outside of the box for meals. Buttered bread and pickles, cereal over ice cream, carrot sticks in peanut butter, or sandwiches stuffed high with every ingredient in the house, dads are great at making dinner an adventure.

7. They’re Gracious Gift-Receivers – every dad eventually receives the dreaded ugly neck-tie. And what does he do? He puts that bad boy on and he rocks it. He rocks it because he loves his kids and isn’t afraid to show it—even if the tie is really, truly, awful. And that’s why we love you.

8. Dads are the Best Nap-Buddies – we all have pictures of our little ones napping with daddy. It’s hard to deny that seeing a dad napping with his mini-me is about the cutest thing in the world. You can see that your little dude knows that dad is the most comfortable sleep surface around, and that’s why you let them rest, no matter how badly you wish you were the one napping instead.

9. They Love to Share Their Hobbies – all dads look forward to the day their kids can carry on the tradition. Dads love to have a common interest with their child. It doesn’t matter so much what his hobby is—the day that he can finally share his expertise and have a little buddy join along is a good day for any dad.  Fishing, sports, hiking, cooking, antique cars – the list is endless.

10. Dads Teach us Discipline – whether it’s quite time in church, saying our “please and thank yous” or just helping someone in need, Dads set the example, and then reinforce it.  Their patience and consistence sets the bar, and shows us where to draw the line.

11. Dads Know About Tools – this one’s a real blessing if you’ve got a fix-it leaning guy. Sure, moms can fix a toy, change a doorknob, or get a crib together, but do they really want to? Dads love to show off their building skills, even if it’s the smallest job ever. It’s fun to see him working hard, plus it sets a good example for kids that you should fix something that’s broken instead of throwing it away. Dads are especially fearless when it comes to get under the sink to fix the drain – that’s when the adventure begins.  Especially once I start yelling that this is a stupid design!!  Just ask my ladies!

12. What Happens with Dad Stays with Dad – Dad doesn’t mind a little mischief and he knows that sometimes it’s really okay to not tell mom (as long as it isn’t important or too hazardous). Having fun secrets with dad doesn’t make mom the bad guy – but sharing some wild times on the down-low helps strengthen the bond that he shares with his kids. Who can forget the visits to Hot Dog Inn before dinner!

13. And Grandpas get to break ALL THE RULES!  Being a Grandpa is a really special time – holding the babies and promising them the world – and no rules apply – skip the restricted diets, spoil them with gifts and just get down on the floor and play – (harder getting up these days).

Love You Dad – thanks for EVERYTHING!!

 

 

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DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.

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

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Slowly I Turned, Step by Step…

(top) What-the-??? Who turned off the water?? Read on and find out. (row 2) Free flowing Niagra Falls.  (row 3) Thousands of tourists come every year to see this natural wonder.  (row 4) Many, many daredevils have tested the falls. Here, Daredevil Nik Wallenda makes his historic tightrope walk across the Horseshoe Falls on June 15, 2012. Zeesh!!  (row 5 left)  There’s daredevil Karel Soucek with his barrel before going over the Horseshoe falls in 1984.  (row 5 right)  There’s Karel being fished out of the river after going over the falls. (row 6 left) There’s Karel being wheeled out of the hospital after surgery. (row 6 right)  And there’s Karel a year later, after a barrel drop at the Astrodome in Houston, TX.in 1985.  R.I.P. Dear Karel Soucek.  (row 7 left)  Skylon Tower observation decks. (row 7 right) Getting up close to these incredible falls. (row 8 left) Niagra Falls is one of the greatest places for a memorable family vacation.  (row 8 right)  Apparently you can go zip-lining across the falls now. Yikes!!  (row 9) This looks like the place to stay on your visit. Remember to ask for a room facing the falls, though. (bottom)  A wonderful oil painting by American artist Thomas Cole in 1830 titled “Distant View of Niagara Falls”.  Looks like a couple of native Americans in the foreground. Probably Iroquois.

As we plan our summer breaks, I have great memories of Mom and Dad loading up the car, piling in the kids and heading off on adventures. One of my favorites is the trips we took to Niagara Falls. My lovely wife is from the Buffalo area and could never really understand my infatuation with “THE FALLS”   My memories of the Maid of The Mist ride, overlooks by the falls, and visiting Canada round out “going to see the Falls” – (I can still taste the fudge and feel the roar of the water). One year Jackie and I took our very young girls for a visit and as we walked into the hotel room, the wall facing the falls was floor to ceiling glass!  You felt like you were going to fall in. The girls dropped to their knees and crawled over to the window!  They still laugh about it to this day. This year marks the 50th anniversary of when engineers constructed a temporary dam at the mouth of the Niagara River to shut off the water flow and clear out the bedrock that had fallen at the foot of the falls (talk about a PIA Job!). Here’s some fun trivia about the project and the Falls.  Enjoy, and thanks Smithsonian and streetdirectory.com for the info.

  1. Niagara Falls has seen plenty of dramatic stunts over the centuries, ever since a local hotel owner sent a condemned ship with a “cargo of ferocious animals” over the falls in 1827 (only the goose survived the plunge).  But no feat has attracted more visitors than a scientific survey conducted in 1969, the year the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers actually turned off the American Falls.
  2. The engineers wanted to find a way to remove the unseemly boulders that had piled up at its base since 1931, cutting the height of the falls in half. The first weekend after the “dewatering,” about 100,000 people showed up to see this natural wonder without its liquid veil.
  3. It is estimated more than 250,000 tons of shale and dolomite sit at the base of the Falls.  To turn off the water, dump trucks pushed nearly 30,000 tons of earth across a 600-foot-wide opening in the river.  Instead of trying to divert all the water around to the Horseshoe Falls, engineers used the International Control Dam to redirect more than 59,000 gallons per second in to the nearby hydroelectric plants.
  4. The amount of electricity the power plants at Niagara Falls have the capacity to output is close to 4.9 million kilowatts – enough to power 3.8 million homes. On the US side, plants have a capacity of roughly 2.7 million Kilowatts, while the Canadian side’s combined capacity is close to 2.2 million kilowatts.
  5. With the river down to a trickle, a sprinkler system was installed to keep the rock face wet and prevent heat and wind damage.  After six months of study, engineers decided to keep the rocks at the base in place.
  6. The 1969 dewatering was another aesthetic intervention, but the engineers decided, surprisingly, to leave the fallen boulders alone. “Recent emphasis on environmental values has raised questions about changing natural conditions even for demonstrated natural and measurable social benefits,” they wrote in their final report.
  7. The falls—American Falls, Horseshoe Falls and the small Bridal Veil Falls—formed some 12,000 years ago, when water from Lake Erie carved a channel to Lake Ontario (see map).
  8. The name Niagara came from “Onguiaahra,” as the area was known in the language of the Iroquois people who settled there originally.
  9. After the French explorer Samuel de Champlain described the falls in 1604, word of the magnificent sight spread through Europe. A visit to Niagara Falls was practically a religious experience for many – two famous visitors stated:
    “When I felt how near to my Creator I was standing,” Charles Dickens wrote in 1842, “the first effect, and the enduring one—instant lasting—of the tremendous spectacle, was Peace.”
    Alexis de Tocqueville described a “profound and terrifying obscurity” on his visit in 1831, but he also recognized that the falls were not as invincible as they seemed. “Hasten,” Tocqueville urged a friend in a letter, or “your Niagara will have been spoiled for you.”
  10. In 1894, King C. Gillette, the future razor magnate, predicted Niagara Falls could become part of a city called Metropolis with 60 million people. A few years later, Nikola Tesla designed one of the first hydroelectric plants near the Falls. He saw it as a high point in human history: “It signifies the subjugation of natural forces to the service of man.”
  11. One and a half million gallons of water flow through the Niagara River (it’s not really a river, but a strait) every second – or one cubic mile every week and helps drains 255,000 square miles of mid-continental North America.  The water starts off in North America, coming from streams and rivers that empty into 5 out of the 6 Great Lakes; Michigan, Superior, Huron, St. Clair and Erie. These lakes drain a large part of North America, flowing down through the Great Lakes basin from West to East. The entire volume of water in those lakes is enough to cover the whole of North America in about 3.5ft (1 meter) of water.
  12. The drop from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario is 330 feet depending on seasonal water levels. The water depth of the lower rapids is 45 – 60 feet, with currents of up to 30 m.p.h. The famous whirlpool at the bottom of the Falls is 126 feet deep at the water level and spins around in a counterclockwise direction.
  13. Seven people have gone over the Horseshoe Falls in a barrel. Four lived, three died.  Only two living things have been actually seen to go over the Falls safely without special protection – a dog over the American Falls in the 1800’s and a boy over the Horseshoe Falls in 1960.
  14. Five large boats and innumerable small ones have gone over the Falls, many with people in them.  A free swimmer has never conquered the lower rapids
  15. Niagara Falls today is the result of the push and pull of exploitation and preservation. The Free Niagara Movement successfully lobbied to create a park around the site in the 1880s, but the changes continued. In 1950, the United States and Canada decided to divert 50 percent of the water from Niagara Falls through underwater tunnels to hydroelectric turbines during peak tourist hours.
  16. At night, the water flow over the falls is cut in half again. Engineers manipulate the flow using 18 gates upstream. The engineers who built the diversion tunnels also made several modifications to the actual falls, excavated both edges of the Horseshoe Falls to create a visually pleasing crest.
  17. At some point, the United States and Canada will face the same dilemma again: Do they intervene to maintain the falls or let natural processes unfold? Even with the decreased rate of deterioration, the falls regress a little every year. In about 15,000 years, the cliff edge will reach a riverbed of soft shale—and then Nature will upstage any human efforts. Niagara Falls will crumble and irrevocably disappear.

 

Fun links:

Three Stooges!!
Fun music and video of the falls.
Relaxing Nature: Niagara Falls.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

(row one left) The 1918 patent drawing for Cleveland engineer James Hoge’s traffic signal he invented in 1914 that said “stop” and “move.” (row one center) America’s first electric traffic light made its debut at the intersection of E. 105th and Euclid in Cleveland, Ohio on August 5th, 1914. (row one right) In 1923, another Clevelander, Garrett Morgan patented the electric automatic traffic signal which he later sold to General Electric for a whopping $4,000. For perspective, a new Ford in 1920 cost $265 and a loaf of bread cost nine cents. (row two) 1920, at W. 25th Street & the entrance to the Detroit Superior Bridge. Yea, a traffic light there would be a good idea. (row three left) The traffic light might become useless old technology if all the vehicles on the road are self-driving. Here’s VW’s concept of a self-driving car. (row three right) The Smart Car’s autonomous EV just has seats. No steering wheel, accelerator or brakes. (row four left) Jaguar’s self-driving car concept. (row four right) Apple’s self-driving car concept. Kind of looks like their computer mouse. (row five) And by 2030 I’ll have a fleet of these Mercedes self-driving trucks to deliver your PIA (Pain In The @%$) Jobs! Oh, yeah.

The other day I was out for one of my leisurely morning runs, zipping around downtown while most of you were getting ready to be stuck in your cars waiting in traffic (yep, I’m an early bird).  What a difference running at this time of year – while still a bit chilly from the breeze off the lake, I really enjoy the spring sights and smells – flowers in bloom, bright green grass and tiny leaves beginning to pop, and just the positive vibe one gets now that spring has peaked above the horizon here on the north coast.  Heading back to the plant, I came across an intersection, and had to make a “runners” (and walkers) decision – do I push the button (do that silly jog in place thing while looking at my imaginary running time) and wait for the light or try and make it across the street… now at 5 AM you know which course of action I took! It got me to thinking about traffic lights, and how someone solved a PIA (Pain In the @%$) Job back in their day (and still do today).  I did some digging, and found two of our favorite Cleveland engineers, James Hoge, who is credited with testing, patenting and rolling out the first traffic light, some 100 years ago this year and Garret Morgan, who is credited with the three light approach we still use today.  Special thanks to Wikipedia, Washington Post, CityLab, Smithsonian and US Patent office for info and images.  Enjoy, and as Mom always says, “remember to always look both ways before crossing.”

  • Arriving home from a dinner party in 1913, the oil magnate George Harbaugh turned on to Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue, one of Cleveland’s busiest streets, jam packed with automobiles, horse-drawn carriages, bicyclists, trolleys and pedestrians, all believing THEY had the right of way.  Harbaugh didn’t see the streetcar until it smashed into his roadster.
  • In the same year, over 4,000 people were killed in automobile accidents, as Henry Ford, supported by many parts suppliers in the “rustbelt” region, started rolling Model T’s off the assembly line.  The nation’s roads were originally designed to manage people, horses, and trolleys – but not fast-moving cars.
  • A Cleveland engineer named James Hoge had a solution.  Borrowing the red and green signal lights used by railroads and tapping into the electricity used by the streetcar trolley lines, Hoge created the first “municipal traffic control system” – a precursor to the ubiquitous stoplight we still use today.
  • Receiving credit for the “first electric traffic signal” Hoge’s system was based on his design (installed in Cleveland on the corner of Euclid and 105th Street in 1914 and patented 100 years ago in 1918). The traffic signal used the alternating illuminated words “stop” and “move” installed on a single post on each of the four corners of an intersection. The system was wired such that police and fire departments could adjust the rhythm of the lights in case of an emergency.  Said the City’s Public Safety Director at the time, “The public is pleased with the operation, as it makes for greater safety, speeds up traffic, and largely controls pedestrians in their movement across the streets”.
  • The history of managing “crossings” is quite interesting.  In 1860, a British railway manager, John Peake Knight, suggested adapting a railroad method for controlling traffic. Railroads used a semaphore system (still used today) with small arms extending from a pole to indicate whether a train could pass or not. In Knight’s adaptation, semaphores would signal “stop” and “go” during the day, and at night red and green lights would be used. Gas lamps would illuminate the sign at night. A police officer would be stationed next to the signals to operate them.
  • The world’s first traffic “signal” was installed on Dec. 9, 1868, at the intersection of Bridge Street and Great George Street in the London borough of Westminster, near the Houses of Parliament and the Westminster Bridge, according to the BBC. It was a success and Knight predicted more would be installed.  Only one month later, a police officer controlling the signal was badly injured when a leak in a gas main caused one of the lights to explode in his face. (the project was declared a public health hazard and immediately dropped).
  • The first electric traffic light using red and green lights is credited to Lester Farnsworth Wire, a police officer in Salt Lake City, Utah. Wire’s traffic signal resembled a four-sided bird-house mounted on a tall pole. It was placed in the middle of an intersection and was powered by overhead trolley wires. A police officer had to manually switch the direction of the lights.
  • In 1920, William Potts, a Detroit police officer, developed several automatic traffic light systems, including the first three-color signal, which added a yellow “caution” light.
  • In 1923, another Clevelander, Garrett Morgan patented an electric automatic traffic signal. Morgan was the first African-American to own a car in Cleveland (he also invented the gas mask). Morgan’s design used a T-shaped pole unit with three positions. Besides “Stop” and “Go,” the system also first stopped traffic in all directions to give drivers time to stop or get through the intersection. A benefit of Morgan’s design was that it could be produced inexpensively, thus increasing the number of signals that could be installed. (Morgan later sold the rights to his traffic signal to General Electric for $40,000).
  • Pedestrian signals began to be included on traffic signals in the 1930s, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. A “Walk/Don’t Walk” signal was first tested in New York in 1934. Its design used an upright palm to indicate “Stop.”
  • In 1919, a Cleveland teacher, focused on teaching the “new rules of the road”, invented a game to teach children how to recognize traffic signals, and today, kids still play the game on their front lawn … (remember playing “red light, green light”??).  Red, yellow and green imagery is still used on flashcards, lunch room monitoring lights, and even the soccer pitch – (ever get a “yellow or red” card?).
  • Interestingly, during 1920s, there was fierce competition over the legitimate use of streets. Irritated drivers, convinced of the supremacy of the automobile’s claim to the streets, coined an epithet: “jay walker.” A jay at the time was an unsophisticated person; “jay,” the Oxford English Dictionary suggests, was a common insult in American slang.  To jaywalk was to cross the street in an unsafe way, the way a country dweller unfamiliar with city traffic might. The term was also controversial. The New York Times called the term “jaywalker” shameful and “highly shocking.” It rang of a pejorative class term, one used by wealthier drivers to refer to the carless.
  • In spite of initial reluctance to use the term, it stuck, particularly due to advertised anti-jaywalking shame campaigns and the interests of the auto industry. In an April 1920 social campaign in San Francisco, pedestrians were taken off the streets — to the amusement of the onlookers — and lectured in mock courtrooms on the perils of jaywalking. Behind the scenes, the shame tactics were backed by auto interests, like Ford. The Packard Motor Car Co., for instance, entered what would become a prize-winning float in a 1922 Detroit safety parade; the float was a mock tombstone, with an epitaph that read “Erected to the Memory of Mr. J. Walker: He Stepped from the Curb Without Looking.”  People were shamed into crossing at the intersection … fast-forward today – authorities in Shenzhen, China, have set up artificial intelligence-powered CCTV cameras to scan the faces of those who jaywalk at major intersections and display their identities on large public LED screens for all to see.  If that isn’t punishment enough, plans are now in place to link the current system with cellular technology, so offenders will also be sent a text message with a dollar fine as soon as they are caught crossing the road against traffic lights.)
  • John S. Allen, an American inventor, filed one of the earliest patents in 1947 for a dedicated pedestrian traffic signal. Allen’s design had the pedestrian signal mounted at curb level. Allen also proposed that the signals could contain advertisements. In his application, he explained that the words “Stop” and “Go” could be followed by the word “for,” which in turn would be followed by a brand name (gotta love advertising thinkers!)
  • With self-driving cars becoming more of a reality, many improvements to traffic signals (there are about 2 million in use in the US today) are considering the new and upcoming technologies. Researchers at the MIT Senseable City Lab published a scenario where traffic signals are essentially nonexistent. In this potential future, all autonomous cars are in communication with each other in what is known as a “slot-based” intersection in which cars, instead of stopping, automatically adjust their speed to pass through the intersection while maintaining safe distances for other vehicles. This system is flexible and can also be designed to take pedestrians and bicyclists into account. This certainly reminds me of those Blade Runner films!
  • Another innovation called Surtrac out of Pittsburg is from a company called Rapid Flow Technologies. In pilot tests underway since 2012, the traffic signals use artificial intelligence to adapt to changing traffic conditions. The company says travel times have been reduced by more than 25 percent and wait times at red lights down an average of about 40 percent decreasing emissions. The system takes into account second-by-second real-time conditions and is scalable to larger areas since each intersection makes its own decisions instead of a single, central system.
  • Drivers traveling the Alameda corridor in Albuquerque, NM are finding their commute time reduced on average 5 to 6 minutes shorter in each direction thanks to the completion of the second phase of the Alameda Boulevard Adaptive Signal Project. Using cameras and “a bit of artificial intelligence,” the cameras monitor the traffic and read real-time traffic patterns, and then adjust the traffic lights accordingly. The goal is to keep traffic moving so motorists spend less time sitting at red lights and more time driving through the green lights.
  • Auto makers and regulators believe self-driving vehicles have the potential to be so transformative, once driverless cars are on the roads in large numbers, experts believe there will be no need at all for traffic lights, as cars will communicate with one another and intuitively know what’s a safe speed to travel based on traffic and road conditions. Human errors such as failing to stop at a stop sign or mistakenly driving through a red light will become nonissues. According to Brandon Schoettle, a researcher at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute who studies autonomous driving, “Self-driving vehicles are constantly monitoring the roads, and they’re never confused, or distracted.  There are, of course, a huge number of unknowns,” says Schoettle, who predicts it could be a decade before self-driving vehicles are available for sale and an additional 20 to 30 years before most drivers own them.
  • It remains to be seen whether the safety benefits will pan out as expected and when they will begin. Researchers say it depends on how quickly driverless technology evolves, how long it takes the public to embrace self-driving cars and what happens in when we actually take away the crossing systems, especially when autonomous cars and those driven by humans are sharing the roads. We certainly can’t forget about the bikes or Jaywalkers!  Finally, I still want to be able to drive my car!

We’ll be back Monday inventing new ways to deliver all of your PIA (Pain In the @%$) Jobs™

Honey, Are You Sure We’re Going the Right Way?

(top) How we used to pinpoint our location was with a push pin, marker, crayin, etc. (second from top) How we do it now. GPS satellites cost billions of dollars more than a push pin but, these days, both are at our finger tips. (left column) Maps aren’t totally out of style. (or are they?) What people are doing with maps these days: Umbrella graphics, paper dress art, a guy in Germany is selling crumpled maps in a bag of major world cities (haha…), incredible paper sculpture art and of course…wrapping paper. (right column) Go to Google Maps, put in 3611 Detroit Ave Cleveland, Ohio 44113. Those satellites will triangulate the location of Kowalski Heat Treating. Then you can go from maps to satellite view and keep zooming in to my location in 3D and finally the street view. Technology is simply and literally out of this world.

 

When we were kids, Mom and Dad were really superheros.  They’d think nothing of packing up the car, loading in the kids, and heading off for our end of the summer vacation.  I can remember Mom fussing with the road maps, trying to follow the red line they drew on the maps.  Of course, Dad at the wheel, we’d occasionally hear “are you sure this is the way”? By the time my baby brother and sister were 21 years old, they had actually visited all 50 states on family vacations!  It was nothing for us to go on cross country trips of exploration and wonder!  Thinking back, I can say that I have been blessed to have been able to visit 38 states across this incredibly beautiful country that is filled with caring and generous people along with being able to sample amazing food!  Today, we are blessed with amazing GPS technology, in our cars, on our phones, or stuck to the windshield.  We can preprogram the routes, and then listen to a nice lady tell us where to turn, or even suggest shortcuts.  So, with my investigative curiosity peaked, I dove in to learn more, and of course, share with you. Enjoy, and thanks to howthingswork.com and Wikipedia for the extended history lesson.

  1. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a network of about 30 satellites orbiting the Earth at an altitude of 20,000 km. The system was originally developed by the US government for military navigation but now anyone with a GPS device, be it a SatNav, mobile phone or handheld GPS unit, can receive the radio signals that the satellites broadcast.
  2. The GPS system does not require the user to transmit any data, and it operates independently of any telephonic or internet reception, though these technologies can enhance the usefulness of the GPS positioning information. The GPS system provides critical positioning capabilities to military, civil, and commercial users around the world. The United States government created the system, maintains it, and makes it freely accessible to anyone with a GPS receiver.
  3. Wherever you are on the planet, at least four GPS satellites are ‘visible’ at any time. Each one transmits information about its position and the current time at regular intervals. These signals, travelling at the speed of light, are intercepted by your GPS receiver, which calculates how far away each satellite is based on how long it took for the messages to arrive. Once it has information on how far away at least three satellites are, your GPS receiver can pinpoint your location using a process called trilateration.
  4. The technology works this way – Imagine you are standing somewhere on Earth with three satellites in the sky above you. If you know how far away you are from satellite A, and do the same for satellites B and C, you can work out your location by seeing where the three circles intersect. This is just what your GPS receiver does, although it uses overlapping spheres rather than circles. The more satellites there are above the horizon the more accurately your GPS unit can determine where you are.
  5. GPS satellites have atomic clocks on board to keep accurate time. General and Special Relativity however predict that differences will appear between these clocks and an identical clock on Earth. General Relativity predicts that time will appear to run slower under stronger gravitational pull – the clocks on board the satellites will therefore seem to run faster than a clock on Earth.  Furthermore, Special Relativity predicts that because the satellites’ clocks are moving relative to a clock on Earth, they will appear to run slower.  The whole GPS network makes allowances for these effects –  proof that Relativity has a real impact.

This animated GIF is from a fabulous learning site for kids 14 and under called MOCOMI. Check it out HERE. It’s great for adults (parents, teachers…) who want to help kids understand the world around them.

 

  1. The GPS project was launched in the United States in 1973 to overcome the limitations of previous navigation systems, integrating ideas from several predecessors, including a number of classified engineering design studies from the 1960s. The S. Department of Defensedeveloped the system, which originally used 24 satellites for use by the United States military and became fully operational in 1995. It was allowed for civilian use in the 1980s. Roger L. Easton of the Naval Research Laboratory, Ivan A. Getting of The Aerospace Corporation, and Bradford Parkinson of the Applied Physics Laboratory are credited with inventing it.
  2. The design of GPS is based partly on similar ground-based radio-navigation systems, such as LORAN and the Decca Navigator, developed in the early 1940s and used by the British Royal Navy during World War II. Friedwardt Winterberg proposed a test of general relativity — detecting time slowing in a strong gravitational field using accurate atomic clocks placed in orbit inside artificial satellites.
  3. When the Soviet Union launched the first man-made satellite, Sputnik 1, in 1957, two American physicists, William Guier and George Weiffenbach, at Johns Hopkins’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), decided to monitor Sputnik’s radio transmissions. Within hours they realized that, because of the Doppler effect, they could pinpoint where the satellite was along its orbit. The Director of the APL gave them access to their UNIVAC to do the heavy calculations required.
  4. The next spring, Frank McClure, the deputy director of the APL, asked Guier and Weiffenbach to investigate the inverse problem — pinpointing the user’s location, given that of the satellite. (At the time, the Navy was developing the submarine-launched Polaris missile, which required them to know the submarine’s location.) This led them and APL to develop the TRANSIT system
  5. The first satellite navigation system, TRANSIT, used by the United States Navy, was successfully tested in 1960. It used a constellation of five satellites and could provide a navigational fix approximately once per hour. In 1967, the U.S. Navy developed the Timation satellite, which proved the feasibility of placing accurate clocks in space, a technology required by GPS.
  6. In the 1970s, the ground-based OMEGA navigation system, based on phase comparison of signal transmission from pairs of stations, became the first worldwide radio navigation system. Limitations of these systems drove the need for a more universal navigation solution with greater accuracy.
  7. During the Cold War arms race, the nuclear threat to the existence of the United States was the one need that did justify this cost in the view of the United States Congress. This deterrent effect is why GPS was funded. It is also the reason for the ultra-secrecy at that time. The nuclear triad consisted of the United States Navy’s submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) along with United States Air Force (USAF) strategic bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Considered vital to the nuclear deterrence posture, accurate determination of the SLBM launch position was a force multiplier. Precise navigation would enable United States ballistic missile submarines to get an accurate fix of their positions before they launched their SLBMs.
  8. The USAF, with two thirds of the nuclear triad, also had requirements for a more accurate and reliable navigation system. The Navy and Air Force were developing their own technologies in parallel to solve what was essentially the same problem.
  9. To increase the survivability of ICBMs, there was a proposal to use mobile launch platforms (comparable to the Russian SS-24 and SS-25) and so the need to fix the launch position had similarity to the SLBM situation.
  10. In 1960, the Air Force proposed a radio-navigation system called MOSAIC (Mobile System for Accurate ICBM Control) that was essentially a 3-D LORAN. A follow-on study, Project 57, was worked in 1963 and it was “in this study that the GPS concept was born.” That same year, the concept was pursued as Project 621B, which had “many of the attributes that you now see in GPS” and promised increased accuracy for Air Force bombers as well as ICBMs.
  11. Another important predecessor to GPS came from a different branch of the United States military. In 1964, the United States Army orbited its first Sequential Collation of Range (SECOR) satellite used for geodetic surveying. The SECOR system included three ground-based transmitters from known locations that would send signals to the satellite transponder in orbit. A fourth ground-based station, at an undetermined position, could then use those signals to fix its location precisely. The last SECOR satellite was launched in 1969.
  12. With these parallel developments in the 1960s, it was realized that a superior system could be developed by synthesizing the best technologies from 621B, Transit, Timation, and SECOR in a multi-service program. During Labor Day weekend in 1973, a meeting of about twelve military officers at the Pentagon discussed the creation of a Defense Navigation Satellite System (DNSS). It was at this meeting that the real synthesis that became GPS was created. Later that year, the DNSS program was named Navstar, or Navigation System Using Timing and Ranging. With the individual satellites being associated with the name Navstar (as with the predecessors Transit and Timation), a more fully encompassing name was used to identify the constellation of Navstar satellites.
  13. The effects of the ionosphere on radio transmission through the ionosphere was investigated within a geophysics laboratory of Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory. Located at Hanscom Air Force Base, outside Boston, the lab was renamed the Air Force Geophysical Research Lab (AFGRL) in 1974. AFGRL developed the Klobuchar Model for computing ionospheric corrections to GPS location. Of note is work done by Australian Space Scientist Elizabeth Essex-Cohen at AFGRL, concerned with the curving of the path of radio waves traversing the ionosphere from NavSTAR satellites.
  14. After Korean Air Lines Flight 007, a Boeing 747 carrying 269 people, was shot down in 1983 after straying into the USSR’s prohibited airspace, in the vicinity of Sakhalin and Moneron Islands, President Ronald Reagan issued a directive making GPS freely available for civilian use, once it was sufficiently developed, as a common good. The first Block II satellite was launched on February 14, 1989, and the 24th satellite was launched in 1994.
  15. Since its deployment, the U.S. has implemented several improvements to the GPS service including new signals for civil use and increased accuracy and integrity for all users, all the while maintaining compatibility with existing GPS equipment. Modernization of the satellite system has been an ongoing initiative by the U.S. Department of Defense through a series of satellite acquisitions to meet the growing needs of the military, civilians, and the commercial market.

If you have any “fun” map or GPS stories, be sure to send ‘em to me at skowalski@khtheat.com.


 

OOOOOOO – AAAHHHH!

(middle image) The Anatomy of a Rocket: see explanation below. (all other still images) Fireworks are soooo great!! (bottom image via giphy.com) A short animated gif from drone footage. The full video can be seen HERE.

 

The Fourth of July weekend for me is one of the highlights of the summer.  Not only do I get to see family and friends, and eat tons of my favorite foods (dogs, burgers, salads, watermelon, chips, cupcakes, ribs, grilled chicken, potatoes, beans, corn on the cob – I could go on…), but I get to watch awesome fireworks displays.  When we were kids, Mom and Dad used to pack us all up in the car (we had 18 in the family remember) and drive over to Clague Park. I have such great memories of laying on a blanket and watching the light and sound shows.

So, here are two treats for you – some fireworks trivia and a list of some of the best fireworks shows in greater Cleveland.  Enjoy, and special thanks to explainthatstuff.com and fireworksinohio.com.

  • A firework is essentially a missile designed to explode in a very controlled way, with bangs and bursts of brightly colored light. The word “firework” comes from the Greek word pyrotechnics, which means, very appropriately, “fire art” or “fire skill.

The Anatomy of a Rocket

Fireworks can be quite complex and different types (rockets, Catherine wheels, lady fingers and so on) work in different ways. Simply speaking, though, aerial fireworks (ones designed to fire up into the sky) have five main parts.

  1. Stick (“tail”): The first thing you notice is a long wooden or plastic stick protruding from the bottom that ensures the firework shoots in a straight line. That’s important for two reasons. First, so that fireworks go where you intend to and don’t fly in a random direction (which can ruin your whole day!) and second, because it helps display organizers to position firework effects with accuracy and precision. Some fireworks now have hinged plastic sticks so they can be sold in smaller and more compact boxes.
  2. Fuse: This is the part that starts the main part of the firework (the charge) burning and ignites other, smaller fuses that make the interesting, colorful parts of the firework (the effects) explode some time later. In a basic firework, the main fuse consists of a piece of paper or fabric that you light with a match or cigarette lighter. In a complex public firework display, fuses are lit by electrical contacts known as wirebridge fuseheads. When the firework technician pushes a button, an electric current flows along a wire into the fusehead, making it burn briefly so it ignites the main fuse. Unlike manual ignition, electrical ignition can be done at a considerable distance, so it’s much safer.
  3. Charge (“motor”): The charge is a relatively crude explosive designed to blast a firework up into the sky, sometimes a distance of several hundred meters (1000ft or so) at a speed of up to several hundred km/miles per hour (as fast as a jet fighter)! It’s usually made up of tightly packed, coarse explosive gunpowder (also known as black powder). Traditionally, gunpowder used in fireworks was made of 75 percent potassium nitrate (also called saltpeter) mixed with 15 percent charcoal and 10 percent sulfur; modern fireworks sometimes use other mixtures (such as sulfurless powder with extra potassium nitrate) or other chemicals instead. Note that the charge simply sends the firework high into the air and clear of any spectators; it doesn’t make the spectacular explosions you can actually see.
  4. Effect: This is the part of the firework that makes the amazing display once the firework is safely high in the air. A single firework will have either one effect or multiple effects, packed into separate compartments, firing off in sequence, ignited by a relatively slow-burning, time-delay fuse working its way upward and ignited by the main fuse. Though essentially just explosives, the effects are quite different from the main charge. Each one is made up of more loosely packed, finer explosive material often fashioned into separate “stars,” which make up the small, individual, colorful explosions from a larger firework. Depending on how each effect is made and packed, it can either create a single explosion of stars very quickly or shoot off a large number of mini fireworks in different directions, causing a series of smaller explosions in a breathtaking, predetermined sequence.
  5. Head: This is the general name for the top part of the firework containing the effect or effects (collectively known as the payload—much like the load in a space rocket). Sometimes the head has a pointed “nose cone” to make the firework faster and more aerodynamic and improve the chance of it going in a straight line, though many fireworks simply have a blunt end.

  • An exploding firework is essentially a number of chemical reactions happening simultaneously or in rapid sequence. When you add some heat, you provide enough activation energy (the energy that kick-starts a chemical reaction) to make solid chemical compounds packed inside the firework combust (burn) with oxygen in the air and convert themselves into other chemicals, releasing smoke and exhaust gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen in the process.
  • Fireworks get their color from metal compounds (also known as metal salts) packed inside. You probably know that if you burn metals in a hot flame (such as a Bunsen burner in a school laboratory), they glow with very intense colors— that’s exactly what’s happening in fireworks. Different metal compounds give different colors. Sodium compounds give yellow and orange, copper and barium salts give green or blue, and calcium or strontium make red.
  • The solid chemicals packed into the cardboard case don’t simply rearrange themselves into other chemicals: some of the chemical energy locked inside them is converted into four other kinds of energy (heat, light, sound, and the kinetic energy of movement).
  • According to a basic law of physics called the conservation of energy (one of the most important and fundamental scientific laws governing how the universe works), the total chemical energy packed into the firework before it ignites must be the same as the total remaining in it after it explodes, plus the energy released as light, heat, sound, and movement.
  • Physics also explains why a firework shoots into the air. The charge is little more than a missile. As it burns, the firework is powered by action-and-reaction (also known as Newton’s third law of motion) in exactly the same way as a space rocket or jet engine. When the powder packed into the charge burns, it gives off hot exhaust gases that fire backward. The force of the exhaust gases firing backward is like the blast coming out from a rocket engine and creates an equal and opposite “reaction” force that sends the firework shooting forward up into the air.
  • Ever notice how fireworks most always make symmetrical explosions? If one part of the firework goes left, another part goes to the right. You never see a firework sending all its stars to the left or a bigger series of explosions to the left than to the right: the explosion is always perfectly symmetrical. Why is that? It’s because of another basic law of physics called the conservation of momentum: the momentum of a firework (the amount of “stuff moving” in each direction, if you like) must be the same before and after an explosion, so explosions to the left must be exactly balanced by explosions to the right.
  • Surprise and variety are the key to any good firework display: if all the fireworks were exactly the same, people would quickly get bored. Although all fireworks essentially work the same way—combining the power of a missile with the glory of burning metallic compounds—there are lots of different types: Rockets or skyrockets produce the most spectacular displays high in the air; Catherine wheels and pinwheels work closer to the ground, with a number of small fireworks mounted around the edge of a wooden or cardboard disk and make it spin around as they fire off; Roman candles blow out a series of small fiery explosions from a cylinder every so often; Firecrackers are fireworks designed to produce sound rather than light and they’re often incorporated into the upper effects of rockets.
  • We think of fireworks as entertainment, but the same technology has more practical uses. Flares used by military forces and at sea work in almost exactly the same way, though instead of using metallic compounds made from elements such as sodium, they use brighter and more visible compounds based on magnesium and they’re designed to burn for much longer. Even in an age of satellite navigation and radar, most ships still carry flares as a backup method of signaling distress.
  • Chinese people believed to have made explosive rockets in the 6th century CE during the Sung dynasty (960–1279CE).
  • Arabian world acquires rocket technology from the Chinese around 7th century. During the mid 13th century, English monk and pioneering scientist Roger Bacon experiments with the composition and manufacture of gunpowder.
  • Rockets similar to fireworks are used during an invasion of China by Mongolian forces in 1279.
  • The Mongols introduced firework technology to Europe and it spreads during the Middle Ages. Fireworks are produced in Italy around 1540 and spread to England, France, and other European countries the following century.
  • Guy Fawkes attempts to blow up the English houses of parliament on Nov 5, 1605 with gunpowder buried in the cellar, giving rise to the popular British custom of huge public firework displays on November 5 each year.
  • The custom of using fireworks for elaborate celebrations gains popularity in Europe in the 17th century. Prompted century by the need to produce ever more spectacular displays, firework manufacturers introduce new chemicals and more sophisticated ways of packaging them.
  • Fireworks become popular in the United States during the 19th century, initially as a way of celebrating Independence Day on July 4th.
  • 20th century: American scientists Robert Hutchings Goddard swaps the solid fuel in fireworks for a liquid fuel system, pioneering modern space rocket technology that ultimately lands men on the Moon in 1969.

 

Greater Cleveland Fireworks Shows

July 1 – Mayfield Fourth of July

July 1&2 – Brecksville Home Days

July 2 – Warrensville Heights Fireworks & North Olmstead Boom

July 3 – Independence 4th of July & Bratenahl Fourth of July

July 4 – Lakewood, Bay Village, and Solon Independence Day, Berea, Strongsville, Westlake

July 6,7,8 – Broadview Heights Home Days on the Green

July 8 – Fairview Park Summerfest & Orrville Fire In the Sky

July 9 – Brook Park Home Days

 

Also, let’s be sure to honor our country again this 4th – our vets, our speech, and our way of life.  Say a prayer for those who came before us and thank them for their commitment to freedom, leadership, friendship and the great US of A.

 

 

Spoiler Alert: Holiday & Vacation is Over.

If you’re like most entrepreneurs and business owners, you’re right back at it tackling an overflowing inbox, scheduling production and juggling an already crammed calendar, while trying to mentally check back into the “flow” of work.  Surprising how we can all relate.  For some reason, this holiday break, as wonderful as it was, seems like a blur to me – cookies, parties, family, kids, friends, great food, more great food and still more great food and fun.  I did my best to “go dark” a bit, and try and break away from the business, but probably like you, found myself checking emails, responding to the cell phone and in my home office, just “checking things”, to be sure no “hidden opportunities” has popped out!

In fact, according to a Glance Networks study, most businesses don’t get back to normal productivity levels until about three weeks after New Year’s.  That sounds ok, but just doesn’t work for us, as we’re running 24/7 on your PIA Jobs! TM – product still coming in, and trucks still rolling out.

That said, I came across an article in Forbes magazine I thought I’d share.  The perspective was from Brian Scudamore, the founder and CEO of O2E Brands, best known for 1-800-GOT JUNK fame.  According to Brian, here are three things you can do right now to hit the ground running in 2017 – (thanks for tips! – full article HERE)

1: Paint a Picture for Long-Term Success

Over 45 percent of people make personal resolutions, but few of us make resolutions for our businesses. The new year is a perfect time to set goals for all aspects of your life. People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to achieve their goals than those who don’t, and those odds for success increase to 50 percent when you write those goals down.

I personally experienced the power of visualization when I wrote my first “Painted Picture” — a crystal-clear snapshot of the future I wanted for 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. In the early days, it was just a scrappy startup with three trucks and a lot of potential. Since achieving most of the goals in the first Painted Picture, I craft a new one every few years, and share the updated vision with our employees. It’s a powerful way to get your team fired up and working together towards a goal, not just settling into another year of the status quo.

The new year is also an opportunity for our team to look at our Can You Imagine? wall and their 101 Life Goals lists with fresh eyes. These are two ways we ask employees to dream big all year round. And when someone’s in a post-vacation slump, these tools are potent reminders about the exciting things that can happen when you intentionally set goals.

2. Snap a Leadership Selfie

How often do you take an audit of your strengths and weaknesses? A new year is a great time to reflect on what’s going well, and what could use work. Self-awareness is truly one of the greatest skills for success: not only does it make you a better, more empathetic leader, it’s also positively correlated with your company’s bottom line.  So how does a leadership selfie work? For me, it’s as simple as writing down my skills and what needs improvement. I make a list and solicit feedback, both formally and informally, with coffee meetings, chats with coworkers, and more structured surveys. And what better time to break old habits than those first few days when your work routines haven’t yet reformed?

3: Strip Away Productivity Blockers

What was holding you back or frustrating you last year? I’ve found it’s the little things that end up wasting the most time. But the good news is that identifying time-sucks is the first step to eliminating them.  For me, unproductive meetings are a big pet peeve and I’m not alone: 59 percent of people hate meetings that don’t stay on topic. So in 2017, set meetings with one direction, clear outcome goals, and only invite people who need to be there. Another simple trick is to schedule 22-minute meetings instead of half-hour ones. The idea, pioneered by Nicole Steinbok, is to make everyone hyper-conscious of start and end times.

Email is another productivity blocker. In fact, the average office worker spends 28% of their week managing their inbox. I learned long ago to tame this beast. Now, I sort every email into one of three folders (personal, end-of-day, and end-of-week) so I can power through later in one focused, productive chunk.

Ultimately, the best thing you can do for your business is start 2017 with a positive attitude that will set the tone for the rest of the year. Having fun in the workplace, (a MUST here at KHT) is the real key for being engaged, creative, and super productive.

Hope some of these ideas help – feel free to give me a call to discuss – I’m working on my list right now.

 

 


 

Curious?

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KHT people are a naturally curious lot. As many of you will loudly attest, I am certainly full of it!!

We love finding answers to your PIA (Pain In The %@$) Jobs. And we’re always excited to get on to the next challenge. Learning new things is a natural inclination we Kowalski Heat Treaters share.

So, want to know something that you didn’t know you need to know?

Well, if you like discovering interesting things like we do, try typing the phrase i’m feeling curious into Google’s search window. The card at the top will deliver a random question and answer with a link to the more detailed answer. After reading, click the “ask another question” button for more factoids. I burned an hour the other day and learned, among other things, that humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas. (I love bananas. Especially with p-nut butter dabbed on each bite.)  Here are some other random things I learned:

What percentage of DNA do humans share with bananas?
This is evidence that humans are related to every other species on Earth. The genes of organisms that look very different are surprisingly similar. For example, human DNA sequences are over 95% identical to chimpanzee sequences and around 50% identical to banana sequences.

Why do you vote on Tuesday?
In 1845, the United States was largely an agrarian society. Farmers often needed a full day to travel by horse-drawn vehicles to the county seat to vote. Tuesday was established as election day because it did not interfere with the Biblical Sabbath or with market day, which was on Wednesday in many towns.

When did Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd get married?
Mary Todd married Abraham Lincoln on November 4, 1842, at her sister Elizabeth’s home in Springfield, Illinois. She was 23 years old and he was 33 years of age.

Where is the world’s oldest operating amusement park located?
Bakken, located in Klampenborg, North of Copenhagen (Denmark), opened in 1583 and is currently the oldest operating amusement park in the world. The park claims to have over 150 attractions, including a wooden roller coaster built in 1932.

How long ago was the formation of the moon?
The moon was formed ~ 4.5 billion years ago, about 30–50 million years after the origin of the Solar System, out of debris thrown into orbit by a massive collision between a smaller proto-Earth and another planetoid, about the size of Mars.

Why is it called ebay?
Originally, the site belonged to Echo Bay Technology Group, Omidyar’s consulting firm. Omidyar had tried to register the domain name echobay.com, but found it already taken by the Echo Bay Mines, a gold mining company, so he shortened it to his second choice, eBay.com.

Who was the first person to win two Nobel Prizes?
Marie Curie was the first person to win two Nobel Prizes, and is one of only two people in the history of the Nobels to win in two different fields. She and her husband Pierre, along with Henri Becquerel, won the Physics Prize in 1903 for their discovery of radioactivity.

What element is a diamond made of?
Diamonds are made up of the element carbon. Also, graphite is also made up of carbon. The only difference between the two is the way that the atoms are bonded together.

Which planet has the fastest rotation?
Jupiter is the fastest spinning planet in our Solar System rotating on average once in just under 10 hours. That is very fast especially considering how large Jupiter is. This means that Jupiter has the shortest days of all the planets in the Solar System.

Who was the first Spaniard to set foot on what is now the United States?
Ponce de Leon had sailed with Columbus on his second voyage. He explored and conquered Puerto Rico and became its governor. He later sailed to North America landing in present day Florida searching for the Fountain of Youth. He was the first Spaniard to set foot in what is today the United States.

What are Taylor Swift’s fans called?
Taylor Swift Fans: Swifties. Taylor Swift fans refer to themselves as Swifties, a cute play on the singer’s last name. While some celebs like to bestow the nickname upon their fans, it looks as if the Swifties of the world came up with this one all on their own.

What percentage of species have been discovered?
Even after centuries of effort, some 86 percent of Earth’s species have yet to be fully described, according to new study that predicts our planet is home to 8.7 million species.

What makes up all living things?
The six most common elements in living things are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur. Atoms of these elements combine and form thousands of large molecules. These large molecules make up the structures of cells and carry out many processes essential to life.

How many dreams does the average person have in one night?
The average person has about 3 to 5 dreams per night, but some may have up to 7 dreams in one night. The dreams tend to last longer as the night progresses. During a full 8-hour night sleep, two hours of it is spent dreaming. It is not at all unusual for a person to have more than one dream per night.

How many glasses of milk does a cow produce in its lifetime?
One cow can produce 200,000 glasses of milk in its lifetime. In one year, a dairy cow produces 1,500 gallons, or 6,000 quarts of milk. The average U.S. dairy cow produces 22.5 quarts of milk per day.

Is the tongue a muscle or an organ?
The tongue is a muscular organ in the mouth. The tongue is covered with moist, pink tissue called mucosa. Tiny bumps called papillae give the tongue its rough texture. Thousands of taste buds cover the surfaces of the papillae.

How is food cooked in a microwave?
Microwaves are produced inside the oven by an electron tube called a magnetron. The microwaves are reflected within the metal interior of the oven where they are absorbed by food. Microwaves cause water molecules in food to vibrate, producing heat that cooks the food.

What state has the longest name?
The country’s smallest state has the longest official name: “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.”

How many people have ever lived on earth?
Others have estimated the number of human beings who have ever lived to be anywhere from 45 billion to 125 billion, with most estimates falling into the range of 90 to 110 billion humans.

What part of the body never stops growing?
Bones, stop growing after puberty and muscle and fat cells also stop dividing. But cartilage – that’s the plastic-like stuff in ears and noses – cartilage continues to grow until the day you die. Not only does cartilage grow, but the earlobes elongate from gravity.

What does the S stand for in Ulysses S Grant’s name?
The congressman who appointed Grant mistakenly believed his first name was Ulysses and his middle name was Simpson (his mother’s maiden name). Grant never amended the error and went on to accept Ulysses S. Grant as his real name, although he maintained that the “S” did not stand for anything.

Who invented liquid paper?
Bette Nesmith Graham. Bette Claire Graham (March 23, 1924 – May 12, 1980) was an American typist, commercial artist, and the inventor of Liquid Paper. She was also the mother of musician and producer Michael Nesmith of The Monkees.

Who was the first woman to graduate from college?
Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive a medical degree from a regular American medical school, Geneva Medical College. Nancy Elizabeth Talbot Clark was the first woman to graduate from Western Reserve’s nine-year-old medical school. CWRU’s First Women – Case Western Reserve University

Have fun. Gain a little more knowledge. Be a little smarter than you were a minute ago. And, bet you can’t click just once.


Curious how we can help with your PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs! Call me: 216-631-4411. Or email SKowalski@KHTheat.com.

 


 

 

We’re All Feeling It!

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Thanks to the CAVS for a fabulous season. A thrilling playoff series.

And an incredible seven game PIA comeback championship!

We couldn’t be more Cleveland proud.

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“Hi! Steve Kowalski…”

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                                                                                                                                                                  Our old phone system.

One of the projects we’ve recently completed here at Kowalski Heat Treating is updating our phone system. Like many of you have likely discovered at your place, our phone system and actual phones themselves were dated and not performing very well. So we met with a bunch of vendors, talked about options, features and cost savings, installation, and a whole host of options: IOP, VolP, cloud-based mobile integration, 3rd generation this, A2DP that, HSCSD’s, Multi-Touch, USB ports WAP, call forwarding, and more. Eventually, somehow working through all the options, we “pulled the trigger” on our new system.

And boy, I’m glad we did. We now have an integrated system, with more “do-dads” and buttons than I care to understand (still working on that “interoffice instant messaging” thingie).

But with all the new features, something that hasn’t changed is me answering my phone when it rings. Since I’ve been in business, I’ve always enjoyed picking up the phone and talking with customers, vendors, and friends. It may seem a bit old-fashioned, but I never want to stop doing this.

Unlike emails, calls for me are immediate, “real-time”, more personal and most often center around helping customers solve their PIA (Pain in The @%$) Jobs! I love it. Phone calls allow me to focus, listen, advise, problem solve, chit chat and best of all, just let out a good laugh.

So next time you want to talk, have a heat treating problem, need to connect with someone here at KHT, or just wanna catch up, do the old fashioned thing and give me a call. I’ll make sure I set aside what’s on my desk, and spend some good old-fashioned phone time with you.

216-631-4411 ext. 2211

 

 


 

Daylight Saving Time

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At Kowalski Heat treating, we’re always “on the clock”, watching over your jobs day and night. Like you, this weekend is when we will observe Daylight Saving Time (not “savings” time), which officially begins on Sunday, March 8, 2015, at 2:00am., until Sunday, November 1st, 2015, at 2:00am., when we shift our clocks back to what we call Standard Time (ST). But it’s not always been this way. Here’s some history and trivia for you to share with friends and family:

HISTORY:
The idea of daylight saving was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin during his sojourn as an American delegate in Paris in 1784, in an essay, “An Economical Project.” Some of Franklin’s friends, inventors of a new kind of oil lamp, were so taken by the scheme that they continued corresponding with Franklin even after he returned to America. Said Franklin, in his zest to live by sunlight hours, “Every morning, as soon as the sun rises, let all the bells in every church be set ringing; and if that is not sufficient, let cannon be fired in every street, to wake the sluggards effectually, and make them open their eyes to see their true interest.”

Many years later, the idea was more seriously advocated by London builder William Willett (1857-1915) in the pamphlet, “Waste of Daylight” (1907) that proposed advancing clocks 20 minutes on each of four Sundays in April and retarding them by the same amount on four Sundays in September. In his pamphlet he wrote: “Everyone appreciates the long, light evenings. Everyone laments their shortage as autumn approaches; and everyone has given utterance to regret that the clear, bright light of an early morning during Spring and Summer months is so seldom seen or used.”

Early Laws
About one year after Willett began to advocate daylight saving, and spending a fortune lobbying, he attracted the attention of the authorities. Robert Pearce – later Sir Robert Pearce – introduced a bill in the House of Commons to make it compulsory to adjust the clocks. The bill was drafted in 1909 and introduced in Parliament several times, but was met with ridicule and opposition, especially from farming interests. Generally lampooned at the time, Willett died on March 4, 1915.

Daylight Saving Time more formally began in the U.S. and in many European countries during World War I. At that time, in an effort to conserve fuel needed to produce electric power, Germany and Austria took time by the forelock, and began saving daylight at 11:00 p.m. on April 30, 1916, by advancing the hands of the clock one hour until the following October. Other countries such as Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, and Tasmania with Britain following suit three weeks later, on May 21, 1916. In 1917, Australia and Newfoundland began saving daylight.

The plan was not formally adopted in the U.S. until 1918. ‘An Act to preserve daylight and provide standard time for the United States’ was enacted on March 19, 1918. [See law] It both established standard time zones and set summer DST to begin on March 31, 1918. Daylight Saving Time was observed for seven months in 1918 and 1919. After the War ended, the law proved so unpopular (mostly because people rose earlier and went to bed earlier than people do today) that it was repealed in 1919 with a Congressional override of President Wilson’s veto. Daylight Saving Time became a local option, and was continued in a few states, such as Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and in some cities, such as New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

Energy Savings
After World War I, the British Parliament passed several acts relating to Summer Time. In 1925, a law was enacted that Summer Time should begin on the day following the third Saturday in April (or one week earlier if that day was Easter Day). The date for closing of Summer Time was fixed for the day after the first Saturday in October. The energy saving benefits of Summer Time were recognized during World War II, when clocks in Britain were put two hours ahead of GMT during the summer, and became known as Double Summer Time. During the war, clocks remained one hour ahead of GMT throughout the winter.

During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt instituted year-round Daylight Saving Time, called “War Time,” from February 9, 1942 to September 30, 1945. [See law] From 1945 to 1966, there was no federal law regarding Daylight Saving Time, so states and localities were free to choose whether or not to observe Daylight Saving Time and could choose when it began and ended. This understandably caused confusion, especially for the broadcasting industry, as well as for railways, airlines, and bus companies. Because of the different local customs and laws, radio and TV stations and the transportation companies had to publish new schedules every time a state or town began or ended Daylight Saving Time.

Inconsistent use in the U.S.
In the early 1960s, observance of Daylight Saving Time was quite inconsistent, with a hodgepodge of time observances, and no agreement about when to change clocks. The Interstate Commerce Commission, the nation’s timekeeper, was immobilized, and the matter remained deadlocked. Many business interests were supportive of standardization, although it became a bitter fight between the indoor and outdoor theater industries. The farmers, however, were opposed to such uniformity. State and local governments were a mixed bag, depending on local conditions.

Efforts at standardization were encouraged by a transportation industry organization, the Committee for Time Uniformity. They surveyed the entire nation, through questioning telephone operators as to local time observances, and found the situation was quite confusing. Next, the Committee’s goal was a strong supportive story on the front page of the New York Times. Having rallied the general public’s support, the Time Uniformity Committee’s goal was accomplished, but only after discovering and disclosing that on the 35-mile stretch of highway (Route 2) between Moundsville, W.V., and Steubenville, Ohio, every bus driver and his passengers had to endure seven time changes!

The Uniform Time Act
By 1966, some 100 million Americans were observing Daylight Saving Time based on their local laws and customs. Congress decided to step in and end the confusion, and to establish one pattern across the country. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 [see law], signed into law on April 12, 1966, by President Lyndon Johnson, created Daylight Saving Time to begin on the last Sunday of April and to end on the last Sunday of October. Any State that wanted to be exempt from Daylight Saving Time could do so by passing a state law.

The Uniform Time Act of 1966 established a system of uniform (within each time zone) Daylight Saving Time throughout the U.S. and its possessions, exempting only those states in which the legislatures voted to keep the entire state on standard time. In 1972, Congress revised the law to provide that, if a state was in two or more time zones, the state could exempt the part of the state that was in one time zone while providing that the part of the state in a different time zone would observe Daylight Saving Time

On January 4, 1974, President Nixon signed into law the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act of 1973. Then, beginning on January 6, 1974, implementing the Daylight Saving Time Energy Act, clocks were set ahead. On October 5, 1974, Congress amended the Act, and Standard Time returned on October 27, 1974. Daylight Saving Time resumed on February 23, 1975 and ended on October 26, 1975.
Under legislation enacted in 1986, Daylight Saving Time in the U.S. began at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of April and ended at 2:00 a.m. on the last Sunday of October.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended Daylight Saving Time in the U.S. beginning in 2007, though Congress retained the right to revert to the 1986 law should the change prove unpopular or if energy savings are not significant. Going from 2007 forward, Daylight Saving Time in the U.S. begins at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday of March and ends at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of November.

F U N   F A C T S
Chaos of Non-Uniform DST
Widespread confusion was created during the 1950s and 1960s when each U.S. locality could start and end Daylight Saving Time as it desired. One year, 23 different pairs of DST start and end dates were used in Iowa alone. For exactly five weeks each year, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia were not on the same time as Washington D.C., Cleveland, or Baltimore–but Chicago was. And, on one Ohio to West Virginia bus route, passengers had to change their watches seven times in 35 miles! The situation led to millions of dollars in costs to several industries, especially those involving transportation and communications. Extra railroad timetables alone cost the today’s equivalent of over $12 million per year.

Oil Conservation
Following the 1973 oil embargo, the U.S. Congress extended Daylight Saving Time to 8 months, rather than the normal six months. During that time, the U.S. Department of Transportation found that observing Daylight Saving Time in March and April saved the equivalent in energy of 10,000 barrels of oil each day – a total of 600,000 barrels in each of those two years. Likewise, in 1986, Daylight Saving Time moved from the last Sunday in April to the first Sunday in April. By adding the entire month of April to Daylight Saving Time is estimated to save the U.S. about 300,000 barrels of oil each year.

Radio Stations
AM radio signals propagate much further at night than during the day. During daytime, more stations in neighboring areas can broadcast on the same frequency without interfering with each other. Because of this situation, there are hundreds of stations licensed to operate only in the daytime affecting the bottom line of these daytime-only radio stations: during parts of the year it can cause the stations to lose their most profitable time of day–the morning drive time. The gain of an hour of daylight – and thus broadcast time – in the evening does not fully compensate for the morning loss.

Amtrak
To keep to their published timetables, trains cannot leave a station before the scheduled time. So, when the clocks fall back one hour in October, all Amtrak trains in the U.S. that are running on time stop at 2:00 a.m. and wait one hour before resuming. Overnight passengers are often surprised to find their train at a dead stop and their travel time an hour longer than expected. At the spring Daylight Saving Time change, trains instantaneously become an hour behind schedule at 2:00 a.m., but they just keep going and do their best to make up the time.

Antarctica
In Antarctica, there is no daylight in the winter and months of 24-hour daylight in the summer. But many of the research stations there still observe Daylight Saving Time anyway, to synchronize with their supply stations in Chile or New Zealand.

Indiana
Indiana has long been a hotbed of Daylight Saving Time controversy. Historically, the state’s two western corners, which fall in the Central Time Zone, observed DST, while the remainder of the state, in the Eastern Time zone, followed year-round Standard Time. An additional complication was that five southeastern counties near Cincinnati and Louisville unofficially observed DST to keep in sync with those cities. Because of the longstanding feuds over DST, Indiana politicians often treated the subject gingerly. In 1996, gubernatorial candidate Rex Early firmly declared, “Some of my friends are for putting all of Indiana on Daylight Saving Time. Some are against it. And I always try to support my friends

Births and Birthdays
While twins born at 11:55 p.m. and 12:05 a.m. may have different birthdays, Daylight Saving Time can change birth order — on paper, anyway. During the time change in the fall, one baby could be born at 1:55 a.m. and the sibling born ten minutes later, at 1:05 a.m. In the spring, there is a gap when no babies are born at all: from 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. In November 2007, Laura Cirioli of North Carolina gave birth to Peter at 1:32 a.m. and, 34 minutes later, to Allison. However, because Daylight Saving Time reverted to Standard Time at 2:00 a.m., Allison was born at 1:06 a.m.

Bombing Thwarted
In September 1999, the West Bank was on Daylight Saving Time while Israel had just switched back to standard time. West Bank terrorists prepared time bombs and smuggled them to their Israeli counterparts, who misunderstood the time on the bombs. As the bombs were being planted, they exploded–one hour too early–killing three terrorists instead of the intended victims–two busloads of people.

Halloween Trick-or-Treaters
In 2007, a new law to extend DST to the first Sunday in November took effect, with the purpose of providing trick-or-treaters more light and therefore more safety from traffic accidents. For decades, candy manufacturers lobbied for a Daylight Saving Time extension to Halloween, as many of the young trick-or-treaters gathering candy are not allowed out after dark, and thus an added hour of light means a big holiday treat for the candy industry. Anecdotally, the 2007 switch may not have had much effect, as it appeared that children simply waited until dark to go trick-or-treating.

Voter Turnout in Elections
Through 2006, the Daylight Saving Time period has closed on the last Sunday in October, about a week before Election Day, which is held the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The extension of Daylight Saving Time into November has been proposed as a way to encourage greater voter participation, the theory being that more people would go to the polls if it was still light when they returned home from work. The U.S. law taking effect in 2007 pushes the end of Daylight Saving Time to the first Sunday in November. In some years (2010, 2021, 2027, and 2032), this will fall after Election Day, giving researchers the opportunity to gauge its effect on voter turnout.

Violent Crime
A study by the U.S. Law Enforcement Assistance Administration found that crime was consistently less during periods of Daylight Saving Time than during comparable standard time periods. Data showed violent crime down 10 to 13 percent. It is clear that for most crimes where darkness is a factor, such as muggings, there are many more incidents after dusk than before dawn, so light in the evening is most welcome.

Further Reading
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Wikipedia
Content – WebExhibits.org