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Monday, April 20, 2015

How Things Work!

     Are dogs colorblind? Why is it rude for someone to point? Who are some of the most storied circus families still under the big top today? Some persistent myths that are keeping us from getting the best possible rest. What are 10 spots that no amount of cleaner can ever wash away? Can you make a living on YouTube? Want to know about airplane contrails? Can animals predict death? What would happen if you never took a bath?
     These are just a few of life's important questions and if you're just dying to find out the answers to them and many more check out How Things Work!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Good News Network

     An article by the BBC published online last year asked the question, "Why are newspapers and TV broadcasts filled with disaster, corruption and incompetence?" and the answer according to psychologist Tom Stafford, "It may be because we’re drawn to depressing stories without realizing."
     When you read the news, sometimes it can feel like the only things reported are terrible, depressing events. Why does the media concentrate on the bad things in life, rather than the good? And what might this depressing slant say about us, the audience? "Many people often say that they would prefer good news: but is that actually true?" — Tom Stafford It isn't that these are the only things that happen. Perhaps journalists are drawn to reporting bad news because sudden disaster is more compelling than slow improvements. Or it could be that newsgatherers believe that cynical reports of corrupt politicians or unfortunate events make for simpler stories. But another strong possibility is that we, the readers or viewers, have trained journalists to focus on these things. Many people often say that they would prefer good news: but is that actually true? Read the article
     If you really do prefer good news there is the Good News Network. This website is a clearinghouse for the gathering and dissemination of positive news stories from around the world. The site says, "While it’s important for us to remain informed citizens...depressing stories can create a perception of a ‘crime- and greed-filled community’ out of proportion with reality. People need a well-balanced media diet, but broadcasters serve too much junk food — local TV news in the U.S., especially."
     So, the Good News Network was created in order to report on outstanding citizen action, innovative solutions to the world’s problems, and to shatter negative stereotypes in the public regarding race, governments, politicians, religion, corporations, Hollywood, public schools, and inner cities. The site features links to stories around the world and original news articles by the Good News Network editors, and contributing authors and columnists. Readers can also submit stories. 
     Hollywood?  Can anything good come out of Hollywood? In a Washington Times article back in 2012, columnists Dan Gainor wrote, "If you are a Hollywood star, you can do drugs, get arrested, cheat on your spouse or say foul things about women, and Hollywood opens its heart to you. Even child rapist Roman Polanski got a standing ovation during the Oscars. Dare to call out the disgusting CBS show "Two and a Half Men" though, and your days in Tinseltown are numbered. The entertainment industry can take just about anything except honesty." 
     I have never watched the show but according to the article the program consists of "juvenile sex jokes filled with every kind of sexual misbehavior and innuendo imaginable. Prostitution, lesbianism, sex in every location imaginable, illegal drug use and mocking of religious faith fill the screen and millions of American homes each week." 
     Throw in fake-staged-phony reality programs, talent contests with little or no talent, false history on history programs, fake documentaries...sounds about right for Hollywood. Still, occasionally the people inhabiting Hollywood do some things that are decent.  Like the "the Bieb" picking up the dinner tab for New York City police officers or Jay Leno surprising a veteran with a hot new car or Barbara Walters shelling out $10 million to a New York hospital for a new care facility.  
     In any case if you need a break from the depressing top news stories of the day, try the Good News Network.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bible Analyzer

Download from cnet
Developer's Website

Bible Analyzer is a Bible study and analysis application developed to aid in the study of the Bible.

System Requirements:
•Microsoft Windows XP-8, Macintosh OS X 10.5-10.8, Ubuntu Linux
•60 Meg Hard Drive Space
•512 Meg Ram

This program doesn't work on a 64-bit computer!

     The program features Bible text comparison, proximity range searches, and textual statistical analysis, cross-reference panel, related verse searches and text-to-speech and audio features, harmony/parallel text generator, advanced related phrase search, multiple Bible search capabilities, exporting of study data and a session manager which allows the user to configure different sessions of modules for various types of studies.
     Along with the optional Authorized Version People Edition Bible, Bible Analyzer can search for specific individuals. For instance, any one of the Marys in the Bible can be found at the exclusion of the others.
     There is also a Download Manager with which all free and premium modules can be downloaded directly into the program. Bible Analyzer utilizes Bible, Commentary, Dictionary, Book and Image modules in an open-source database format so users can easily create custom modules with the built in "Module Creator."
     There are scores of free and premium modules available from the Bible Analyzer website: Works as E. W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes and Appendices in fully searchable, digital format, the 11 volume Understanding The Bible Commentary by David Sorenson, Books and Charts by Clarence Larkin such as Dispensational Truth, the 23 volume Pulpit Commentary, the 43 volume Expositor's Bible, the 56 volume Biblical Illustrator, and many more.
     Bible Analyzer is a tool that can help you with your Bible studies, whether you're preparing a sermon or just trying to deepen your understanding. Its interface is a little overwhelming and it will take a little time to familiarize yourself with it.
     You can view the King James Version, the American Standard Version, or both versions side by side. The commentary module lets you view notes from The People's New Testament or the Scofield Bible Reference, as well as record your own notes, and the dictionary module gives access to the American Tract Society Dictionary, the Scofield Reference Bible Notes Index, and Torrey's New Topical Textbook. The ScripturePad is a built-in word processor with which you can take notes or create lessons or sermons from within the program.
     Also included are a built-in text reader, daily devotions, a quiz function, and much more. You can even create new modules to customize Bible Analyzer's appearance and content. The program's built-in Help file is comprehensive and includes plenty of screen captures. Overall, the Bible Analyzer is a powerful and flexible tool that's appropriate for anyone who's serious about Bible study. It installs a desktop icon without asking and uninstalls cleanly The basic program is free but the program can be expanded with the purchase of add-ons from the developer.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Legal Theft

They Are Worse Than Payday Loans. Hard to believe...a cash-strapped borrower uses their car as collateral for a short-term loan, typically 30 days. A typical title loan comes with a $250 upfront fee and loans have to be repaid in full within 30 days. If borrowers can’t come up with the cash, they either sacrifice their car, or they can pay another $250 to get their loan extended. You can get them online.  

Yahoo Report - Report by NBC News - Ads Gloss Over the Risks - Consumer Complaints and Reviews - Fraud Guides


This site is a collection of links to dumb web pages and an assortment of other things to keep you amused. Dumbdotcom

Popular Old Time Radio Shows from the 1930s, 1940s etc.
Everyday Objects Dancing On Sound
Funny trick questions you can ask your friends
Silly jokes...
If Baby Names Were Chosen Based On Parent's Profession
Over 400 free classic movies that you can watch online, forwards and backwards...
Play more than 3500 Free Online Games!
Spot the difference in two images
Translate English to upside down typing (Klingon, Morse code, reverse text, sign language, and more)
Over 400 classic films you can watch for free
Wacky and strange names of real cities, towns, and villages
A list of strange and unusual streets
Texting codes for the elderly
Silly photos of cats with things on them:

Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world? Answer: Mt. Everest; it just wasn't discovered.

Insult: What are you going to do for a face when the baboon wants his butt back? 

...and that's just to name a few. I especially enjoyed the old time radio broadcasts.

Monday, March 16, 2015

High Efficiency Washers

About a year ago we purchased a front load high efficiency washer and the handyman I had install it cross threaded the cold water intake so it was leaking pretty badly. Thinking it was a cracked plastic fitting, I called a repairman who fixed it for a nominal charge and gave me a lesson on high efficiency washers and detergent use. First, he said that with just two of us we really had no need for the high efficiency washer because they are designed for loads that are probably much bigger than anything only two adults are likely to have. A simple top loader would have suited our needs at a fraction of the cost. He also suggested that we use only about 1/3 of the "recommended" amount of high efficiency detergent because we rarely have any laundry that is heavily soiled...the results have been satisfactory and the detergent lasts three times as long!

I recommend the Cleaning Institute's 16-page pdf booklet you can download HERE for complete information.  Other recommended reading:

Difference between HE detergents and regular detergents
Which Washer? Regular or high efficiency? Straight Dope
Consumer Reports Buying Guide
Consumer Reports Pros and Cons
Worth the Expense? How Stuff Works

Friday, March 13, 2015

Japanese Battleship Musashi Located

     Ever since I lived in North Carolina and visited the battleship North Carolina, I have been fascinated by those behemoths.
     I recently noticed a story on Yahoo about the discovery of the Japanese battleship Musashi which was, along with a sister ship, the heaviest and most powerfully armed battleship ever constructed.
     The Musashi was commissioned in mid-1942, modified to serve as the flagship of the Combined Fleet, and spent the rest of the year working up. The ship was transferred to Truk in early 1943 and sortied several times that year with the fleet in unsuccessful searches for American forces. She was used to transfer forces and equipment between Japan and various occupied islands several times in 1944.
     Torpedoed in early 1944 by an American submarine, Musashi was forced to return to Japan for repairs, where the navy greatly augmented her anti-aircraft armament. She was present during the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June, but did not come in contact with American surface forces.
     Musashi was sunk by an estimated 19 torpedo and 17 bomb hits from American carrier-based aircraft on 24 October 1944 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Over half of her crew was rescued. Her wreck was located in March 2015 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and his team of researchers.
     Mushasi's size and armor is hard to imagine. Its waterline armor was 16.1 inches thick and below that its armor ranged in thickness from 10.6 to 7.9 inches over the magazines and machinery spaces respectively and tapered to a thickness of 3.0 inches at its bottom edge.
     The deck armor ranged in thickness from 9.1 to 7.9 inches. The turrets were protected with an armor 25.6 inches thick on the front and 9.8 inches on the sides. Musashi contained 1147 watertight compartments (1065 underneath the armor deck, 82 above) to preserve buoyancy in the event of battle damage. 
Visit the live stream HERE
You will also want to visit the investigator's site HERE