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Monday, June 29, 2015

Clickjacking!

This morning on Facebook I was greeted with this post: 



Clicking on the link could lead to disaster. It's an old trick that's been around for a while, but it never fails to catch the unwary!

Clickjacking is a malicious technique of tricking a Web user into clicking on something different from what the user perceives they are clicking on, thus potentially revealing confidential information or taking control of their computer while clicking on seemingly innocuous web pages. A clickjack takes the form of embedded code or a script that can execute without the user's knowledge, such as clicking on a button that appears to perform another function.  

What it is 
About Clickjacking on Facebook PC Magazine article

ZoneAlarm – Clickjacking on Facebook

Brain Food

    New research has found that New Zealand black currants may help keep us mentally young and agile. The study’s findings could have potential in managing the mental decline associated with aging, or helping people with brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease or depression, according to scientists at the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research. Read the article
     You might also want to pay a visit to the Institute for Plant and Food Research site. The interests of the institute are based in horticulture, arable and seafood research, specifically in the areas of sustainable production, bioprotection, elite genetics & intelligent breeding, food and health science and biomaterials. 

10 Foods to Boost Your Brain Power 
Brain Food is Real 
6 Snacks that are good for the mind. Good news! Dark chocolate is on the list! 
Food Porn

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Fix Scratches with WD-40

Monday, June 22, 2015

Tux Paint – Free Drawing Program for Kids




This free program is a multi-platform kid's drawing program that works on Mac OS X (10.4 through 10.9), Windows (Windows95 through Windows 8), Linux and other systems. It has a simple interface that's suitable for kids age 3 – 12. They don't need any knowledge of sizes (e.g. pixels or inches) and it saves their drawings as thumbnails so no knowledge of drawing types (bitmap, jpeg, etc.) are needed. Additionally, size and layout are kept simple. The features are actually considerable so older kids can get quite creative with brush sizes, rubber stamps, filpping, rotating, shapes, etc. Recommended. Download


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How to Butcher and Cook a Rat...PLUS...

...other fun rat facts.


     What animal can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter? What animal has teeth so sharp they can grind through cinder block, wire or even glass? If you guessed the rat, you’re right. These rodents are smart and agile. 

  • They are usually about 10 to 14 inches long, including their tails. 
  • Rats eat almost anything. They like meat, grain, seeds, fruit and vegetables. 
  • Norway rats are big and aggressive. They fight with each other and will even attack humans. Rats have sharp teeth that constantly grow. They chew on wood to keep the teeth short and sharp. 
  • Pet rats live about 3 years. 
  • Rats can have up to 20 babies at once. 
  • Rats have a good memory and sense of taste. They can recognize and remember the taste of rat poison. 
Rats are various medium-sized, long-tailed rodents of the superfamily Muroidea. "True rats" are members of the genus Rattus, the most important of which to humans are the black rat, Rattus rattus, and the brown rat, Rattus norvegicus. Rats are typically distinguished from mice by their size. Generally, when someone discovers a large muroid rodent, its common name includes the term rat, while if it is smaller, the name includes the term mouse. The muroid family is broad and complex, and the common terms rat and mouse are not taxonomically specific.  

Rats are edible! They are available street food in some Southeast Asian countries, but rodents have fallen out of favor in most Western cuisines, relegated to mere vermin. So how would you go about cooking a rat if you'd never tried it before? Here's how... We Ate Rat Salad...Includes details on to butcher and cook a rat.

Rat Facts:
Wikipedia 
Ten Worst Cities in the World for Rats 
Rat Behavior and Biology 
Rat Management 
Equador's Rat Battle 
Rat Facts 
17 Loveable Facts About Rats

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Amazing Hippopotamus


   These mammals are herbivores with head and body dimensions ranging from 9.5 to 14 ft (2.8 to 4.2 m) and a tail from 13.75 to 19.75 inches (35 to 50 cm). Their weight ranges from 5,000 to 8,000 lbs (2,268 to 3,629 kg) and they can live up to 40 years.
    Hippopotamuses love water, which is why the Greeks named them the "river horse." Hippos spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in rivers and lakes to keep their massive bodies cool under the hot African sun. Hippos are graceful in water, good swimmers, and can hold their breath underwater for up to five minutes. However, they are often large enough to simply walk or stand on the lake floor, or lie in the shallows. 
     Their eyes and nostrils are located high on their heads, which allows them to see and breathe while mostly submerged. Hippos also bask on the shoreline and secrete an oily red substance, which gave rise to the myth that they sweat blood. The liquid is actually a skin moistener and sunblock that may also provide protection against germs. 
     At sunset, hippopotamuses leave the water and travel overland to graze. They may travel 6 miles (10 kilometers) in a night, along single-file pathways, to consume some 80 pounds (35 kilograms) of grass. Considering their enormous size, a hippo's food intake is relatively low. If threatened on land hippos may run for the water—they can match a human's speed for short distances. Hippo calves weigh nearly 100 pounds (45 kilograms) at birth and can suckle on land or underwater by closing their ears and nostrils. Each female has only one calf every two years. Soon after birth, mother and young join schools that provide some protection against crocodiles, lions, and hyenas. 
     Hippos once had a broader distribution but now live in eastern central and southern sub-Saharan Africa, where their populations are in decline. Hippos may look like oversized harmless cows to some people, but truth be told they are one of the most dangerous beasts in Africa and kill more humans that any other animal there... They can weigh up to 9000 pounds and have teeth that are as sharp as razor blades. These beasts are vegetarians and don't eat people. The hippo is responsible for more human fatalities in Africa than any other large animal. Male hippos actively defend their territories which run along the banks of rivers and lakes. Females have also been known to get extremely aggressive if they sense anyone coming in between their babies, who stay in the water while she feeds on the shore. 
     Hippos can run at speeds of over 20 miles an hour and they have enormous jaws which host up to 20 inch canines. 

Fun Facts: 
  • The hippo's closest living relative is the whale 
  • Hippos can kill crocodiles 
  • The hippo is in danger of becoming extinct 
  • Hippos can't jump 
  • Hippopotamuses can go underwater and hold its breath for as much as half hour.
  • The huge jaws of Hippos are studded with spike-like teeth. It can bite a crocodile in half. 
  • Believe it or not but these massive mammals can also swim underwater, walk and run on the river bottom. They are capable of doing these due to their specific gravity. 
  • This is really amazing, a Hippo can sleep underwater. While sleeping, the process of surfacing and breathing is automatic, it will rise and breathe without waking. It closes its nostrils when it submerges. 
  • Most mammals mate and give birth on land. For Hippos, reproduction and childbirth both occur in water. 
  • Hippos are herbivores. They do not graze in group. Instead, each Hippo eats alone because eating is private for them. Each night, a Hippo spends 4 to 5 hours grazing and consumes 68 kg of grass. 
  • People used to think that Hippos sweat blood. A Hippo’s natural skin oil is red. It keeps the skin from cracking in the heat. 
  • Hippos are territorial in waters but not territorial on land. A bull Hippo marks its territory by spinning its tail while defecating to distribute its excrement over the greatest possible area. 
  • The Hippo is the third-largest land animal by weight. It can weigh as much as 3 tonnes. Only the Elephant and the Rhino are heavier than the Hippo. 
  • Although it is regarded as one of the largest animals in the world (only whales, elephants, and rhinos are larger – making it the world’s 4th largest) and despite having relatively short legs, a Hippo can easily outrun a human. It had been clocked at 30 km/h or 19 mph over short distances. 
  • Hippopotamuses are amongst the world’s most dangerous and aggressive creatures. They are often considered as one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. They often attack human beings without any reason or apparent provocation. 
  • Female Hippos or Cows reach a maximum weight at age 25 but male Hippos or Bulls appear to continue growing throughout their lives. 
  • When a Hippo opens its mouth, it is not yawning. An open mouth signals that the Hippo feels threatened. 
  • Along with Whales, Porpoises, etc… and Dugong, Manatees, etc… Hippos are one of the few mammals that give birth under water. A baby hippo is born underwater at a weight between 25 and 45 kg and an average length of around 127 cm. 
  • A newly born Hippo must swim to the surface to take their first breath. The young often rest on its mother’s back when in water and swim underwater to suckle. 
  • This is quite bizarre, although its occurrence is very rare, when hippos become overpopulated, male Hippos will sometimes attempt to kill baby Hippos or Calves.
Man swallowed by hippo during African river mauling lives to tell the tale - New York Daily News article
Wikipedia
African Wildlife Foundation 
Animal Danger – the Most Dangerous Animals in the World  (Note: does not include man)

Hippo Facts

Monday, June 15, 2015

HouseCall

    HouseCall is a free antivirus program that does an online scan for viruses. Note: HouseCall is excellent for diagnosing if you already have a virus, but it will not protect you from getting a virus. HouseCall 7.1 recognizes malware by consulting their "Smart Protection Network" in the cloud. 
     To start, you download a small launcher utility that will download the latest components. There's no installation as such, but it does is store components and scan results in your TEMP folder. You can save the launcher and use it over and over and it will download newer codes if available. A full scan will take about 40 minutes. 
     One tester did observe that the malware on his test actually prevented HouseCall from downloading all its components so it couldn't remove any of that system's malware. Normally though after the scan is finished HouseCall lists the threats it found along with their threat type and severity level and for each threat it recommends what action to take - Fix or Ignore. 
     HouseCall is not a perfect solution so why use it? It can be used as a back up if you suspect your anti-virus program may have let something slip through. Another reason: if you are one of those people who don't keep their anti-virus software up to date (NOT RECOMMENDED, but I am surprised at how many people will invest hundreds of dollars in a computer and then refuse to spend a few dollars to protect it) or who use free programs, this is a good back up just see if you do have an infection.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Advertisers Think We Are Village Idiots

    We see them all over the place and we all hate them! They are technically what is known as an advertorial...an advertisement in the form of editorial content or a legitimate news story. They have actually been around a long time because Merriam-Webster dates the origin of the word to 1946. 
      In printed publications the advertisement is usually written in the form of an objective article and designed to look like a legitimate and independent news story. In television, the advertisement is similar to a short infomercial presentation of products or services. These can either be in the form of a television commercial or as a segment on a talk show or variety show. In radio, they can take the form of a radio commercial or a discussion between the announcer and representative. 
     Advertorials differ from traditional advertisements in that they are designed to look a genuine article on a particular subject. Usually there is a disclaimer, such as the word "advertisement,” but not always. Advertorials can also be presented as an entire newspaper section inserted within a newspaper as store fliers, comics sections, and other non-editorial content. 
     A related practice is the creation of material that looks like traditional media (for instance, a newspaper or magazine) but is actually created by a company to market its products. One example is airline in-flight magazines which may feature reports about travel destinations to which the airline flies. 
    The way things are today, it's getting worse! It can be hard, especially on the Internet, to distinguish between news, serious articles and advertising. They start out with interesting or informative material but then morph into ads camouflaged as news. Google and Yahoo are rife with advertorials; to me, somehow, it seems deceptive and...immoral. You see an article that looks interesting, click on it, the story comes up on a legitimate website but when you read it, it becomes apparent that the purpose was to drive readers to an advertisement. 

The Truth About False and Deceptive Advertising-How to keep ads from getting the best of you (and your wallet)
The Art of Deceptive Advertising: Quick Review of False & Misleading Tricks Used In Advertising

The mentality of Advertisers: 

Viewers Are Morons-A common belief among film and TV executives is that everyone who watches media has the intellect of Beavis and Butt-Head. Article 
Why your readers might be dumber than you think 
Why I Think E-Ink Readers Are Dumb 
Why Smart People Are Stupid

Thursday, June 11, 2015

ABC Roster Employee Scheduling Program

Years ago my job involved trying to create an employee schedule for a 24/7 operation where I had not only full time employees but many part timers and many had limited availability. That was pre-computer days and scheduling was a nightmare. ABC Roster is a FREE, easy-to-use program that can take some of the hassle out of this task. The program's interface is fairly intuitive, with an optional wizard that can walk you through the steps of creating a schedule for the first time. 

Some of the features:
assign skill levels to each employee
set the minimum and maximum number of supervisors per shift
set parameters for the number of back-to-back shifts
hours worked per week, days off per week
...and more. 

    You can enter each employee's weekly availability and have the program automatically create the schedule. This is the best feature! Trying to do this manually can give you fits and in some cases can actually cause your head to explode! 
    You can enter each employee's pay rate and the program will calculate the anticipated weekly payroll. Plus, get this...ABC Roster lets you e-mail schedules to employees. 
    You can export the schedules to Excel, pdf and HTML documents. The program comes with a pdf Help file that includes plenty of screenshots and the program installs and uninstalls without issues. Impressive! Download from their site

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Muzzleloaders

    Blackpowder guns are another enjoyable hobby. It's not always about just shooting, but you can learn some history or, if you're a do-it-yourselfer, you can build your own. The loud noise and the big cloud of smoke...can't beat it! 
     A muzzleloader is any firearm into which the projectile and usually the propellant charge is loaded from the muzzle of the gun. The term "muzzleloader" may also apply to the marksman who specializes in the shooting of muzzleloading firearms. The term of art includes rifled muzzleloaders and smoothbore muzzleloaders. Muzzleloading can apply to anything from cannons to pistols but in modern parlance the term most commonly applies to black powder small arms similar in the main to the weapons used. It usually, but not always, involves the use of a loose propellant and projectile, as well as a separate method of ignition or priming. 
    Some muzzleloaders are also into rendezvous. During the era of the fur trade in North America, the word came to mean gathering of fur trappers and fur traders. In modern times a Rendezvous is a gathering of people who try and re-create the living conditions and life style of people living in the 1740's to 1840's. They sleep in shelters that were common at the time and cook meals over open fires, using cookware, and utensils of the era. They also dress in clothing that is period correct. 
 
Brown Bess


My favorite target!

1851 Navy Colt

Muzzleloader Magazine 
National Muzzleloading Rifle Association 
Old Guns 
Lyman Products – my personal favorite 
Cabela's Catalog 
Sportsman Warehouse

Getting a Pilot's License




Learning to fly is not cheap! I got my pilot's license many years ago and never regretted the money it cost even though, technically, there was never any reason I needed to fly an airplane. It was just challenging and...fun! 

Finding a Flight School 
FAA Site
How do I become a pilot? 
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association 
Safety 

Don't want to jump through all the hoops? Fly ultralights! 



What is an Ultralight? 
Ultralight Sport and Aviation Website - Ultralights are used mostly for sport and recreation. Therefore, since ultralight pilots are subject to fewer rules and operational systems, those who seek to fly for fun will find ultralight operation less restrictive. Ultralights, however, are not necessarily less expensive as a hobby than conventional aviation operations.

The Only Technique To Learn Something New


An article from Lifehacker, a ten step technique for learning.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Talking Tom



I was shown this site by an 8-year old nephew and I don't know why, but even though I am WAY over 8 years old, I find it amusing. Approaching second childhood perhaps?!
Talking Tom

Monday, June 8, 2015

How to Stop Smoking...in Five Days

     This world-famous Five Day Plan to Stop Smoking by J. Wayne McFarland, M.D. includes valuable hints everyone can use. I came across it on a Seventh-day Adventist church website while researching something else and thought it might be helpful for some readers. 
     It got me curious and somehow I ended up getting sidetracked from the thing I was originally searching for and got to reading about the benefits of quitting and discovered some bad things happen when you quit that I never heard anybody mention before. 
     One person observed that for about two weeks after quitting, their blood pressure actually went up. His physician said it is because every system in our body is affected by the chemicals in tobacco. So once it is out of our systems the body has to do sort of a reboot which means all sorts of things from BP to liver functions to nerve endings will be off kilter as the body begins to re-regulate itself. Also, overcoming an addiction is stressful and people get stressed out which increases blood pressure. 
     Another thing some quitters reported was shortness of breath! Your lungs are repairing themselves and the little hairs inside your lungs are growing back. This makes your chest feel itchy and stressed and makes it feel like you are not breathing properly. You may actually wake up some mornings with a tobacco taste in your mouth; this is the tar moving up and out of your lungs! For some people this problem with shortness of breath was also accompanied by an inability to cough up the gunk that had accumulated in their lungs. This is not uncommon because mucus gets trapped in the lungs and ends up blocking small airways. 
     Apparently some smokers are addicted to deep breathing aside from nicotine. Inhaling smoke is basically a form of deep breathing like yoga. When we quit we tend to not do deep breathing anymore like we were previously as a smoker. Your chest finds this change strange and the muscles in your chest spasm giving you a 'tight' feeling. 
    Stress. Anxiety can be exacerbated by quitting then your chest muscles can get tense which makes you feel like you can't breath. 
    One fellow observed that when he smoked he was mildly asthmatic and smoking actually suppressed it. When the tar and chemical sludge breaks down in your chest it can leave irritated and sore parts in your bronchial tubes that haven't felt clean air for years. So temporarily your chest may be irritated more than normal. 
    Most people reported things cleared up in a couple of weeks and a few were tempted to to return to smoking just so they would feel better.

 

Friday, June 5, 2015

File Shredding

     Simply deleting files on your computer, or even reformatting the hard drive does NOT erase all data stored on the drive. When you delete a file it isn't really removed from the disk. The file content remains on the disk until another file is written over it. Basically the same thing happens when you re-format a hard drive. Most of the data remains; the space on the drive is just made available to be written over. The Windows delete command only removes bits of information from files so they appear deleted in OS, but those files are easy to retrieve using specialized file recovery software. In order to remove, or shred files permanently from your system, you have to use a program that is capable of rewriting the files with random series of binary data multiple times, thus the term "shredding."
     To be really safe, you have to overwrite/erase/wipe everything. Also, the Windows swap file could contain data you wouldn't want to have fall into the wrong hands.
    A good, and easy, program that has both free space wiping and file shredding capabilities is File Shredder. It has a small download size, simple interface, and is very easy to use. Minor drawbacks are it lacks scheduling, a help file and the online help is very limited, but normally, you won't need any help. 
     File Shredder uses something called a DoD erase pattern by default, but it also has four other patterns to choose from, each one stronger than the previous one. With File Shredder you can remove files from your hard drive without fear they could be recovered. 
     File Shredder was developed by the author to shred company files but he released it free under the GNU license.  Recommended.