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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

IOCELL External Hard Drive Enclosure

     Technically it's called the IOCELL Networks USB 2.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure - i-251U2B and about the only place I've seen them is on Amazon, sometimes used, but new ones cost about $10 plus shipping. 
     I've been using one of these little gems for years ever since I had a laptop crash. When my old laptop hard drive was replaced with an SSD I just snapped the old hard drive into my IOCELL External Hard Drive Enclosure and was able to salvage all my files. You can also save files to it like a huge flash drive if you want. The only thing you can't do is run programs off of it. 
     I originally purchased mine from Radio Shack for about $20 and it came with a cable and even a small screw driver to remove the screws from the laptop. Note: you will have to remove the laptop's hard drive from its aluminum case, hence the screwdriver. Highly recommended! Buy from Amazon

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Online Calculator Site


     Gigacalculator is an online site with every imaginable calculator and converter. As one example, I was able to calculate that I am 16 years old in dog years. Just a small sampling of other things you can calculate: Calories, Means, Medians, Modes, Exponenst Calculator, Fractions Volume,Trigonometry, Metric Converter, Percent to Fraction, Km to Miles, Inches to cm, Height, Length, Area, Volume, Speed, Roman Numerals, Random Numbers, Random Passwords, Random Team Generator plus many more. 

 Check it out

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Is Human Mulch Bizarre?

     Human remains are now being legally composted and turned into mulch in the state of Washington. It’s also the only legal way for residents of the state to be laid to rest on their own property. 
     The body is placed in a "cradle" that looks like a big barrel along with 200 gallons of wood chips. Then a mix of bacteria, protozoa and fungi is added to speed up the process. Oxygen is repeatedly added to to keep the temperature at 145-155 degrees. The cradle is periodically tumbled to help disperse oxygen throughout the chamber. 
     At the end of the process unnatural materials like dental fillings, screws and pacemakers are filtered out after the decomposition is complete and the bones are crushed to release the phosphorus. 
     And, presto! They have four 55-gallon drums full of compost which the family can have or in the case of Herland Forest Cemetery, it will be used to help grow new trees.
Read more at Recompose

They Don't Make 'Em Like That Any More

     These days US bills come in $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. but the $2 bill is rare. The first $2 bills were printed in 1862 and originally featured a portrait of Alexander Hamilton but were later redesigned to portray Thomas Jefferson. The reverse side features a reproduction of one of the most famous paintings in American history, Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull. The $2 bill was printed without interruption since the Civil War except for the decade from 1966 to 1976. Even though the $2 bill is still in circulation and it as legal tender, it is the rarest currency denomination in the US. There were still 1.3 billion of the bills in circulation. 
     There were several versions of the $500 bill, featuring a portrait of President William McKinley on the front. The last $500 bill was printed in 1945 and it was formally discontinued in 1969. Today both the $500 and the $1,000 bill are worth more than its face value because of their rarity. It remains legal tender, but most of them are in the hands of dealers and collectors. 
     The original $1,000 bill featured Alexander Hamilton on the front, but he was replaced by Grover Cleveland to avoid confusion because Hamilton was originally on the $2 bill. The $1,000 bill was discontinued in 1969. There are only slightly over 165,000 bills with Cleveland's picture on them still in existence. 
     The $5,000 bill was initially issued to finance the Revolutionary War and was only officially printed when the Civil War began and it had James Madison's picture on it. President Nixon ordered that the bills be recalled in 1969 due to fear of criminals using them for money laundering activities. Fewer than 400 are believed to exist. 
     Salmon P. Chase was never president, but he was a governor and senator from Ohio, he served as Secretary of the Treasury under Lincoln and became chief justice of the Supreme Court. He was on the $10,000 bill which was the largest denomination ever printed for public use, but it never got much use. That's because during the time it was in circulation it was worth more than the net worth of the average American. The bill was first printed in 1918 and was part of the 1969 purge. Only a few hundred of them have survived. 
     Woodrow Wilson was on the $100,000 bill which was actually a gold certificate and it was never circulated or issued for public use. They were created during the Great Depression in 1934 and used for conducting official transactions between Federal Reserve banks. Only 42,000 were ever printed. These bills can not be legally held by collectors, but some institutions display them for educational purposes. 
     Some think the $500 and the $1,000 bills should be brought back because of inflation. In 1969, the Consumer Price Index was at about 36.8. In 2019, it was at over 256. That means that today a $1,000 bill would be the equivalent of only $153 in 1969 because the value of a dollar has gotten progressively smaller! The Treasury's argument is that keeping the denominations inconveniently small minimizes the possibility of money laundering.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Blank Startup Screen in Windows 10

     I have a small HP laptop that was working fine until one morning when I turned it on and got nothing but a blank screen. 
     Searching for a solution to the problem revealed that this is, apparently, not an uncommon problem. You may get a black or blank screen or even a blank screen with a loading circle at any time, however its likely to occur after startup, after login or it could happen randomly! 
     The cause could be anything from Windows acting up to a faulty device driver to actual hardware defects, but a blank screen at startup is most commonly caused by corrupted or missing dynamic-link library (DLL) files. Errors related to it usually occur when a program mishandles the file during use. The most common problem happens within the Windows registry, where applications look up the location of DLLs they need and because these are critical files, when one becomes unavailable, there's no telling what could go wrong. 
     Most commonly, you will experience program lock-ups, slow PC performance, system freezes, blue screen errors, startup or shutdown problems, and installation errors. In the worst case, if the DLL is required by Windows, your entire system could become unstable. 
     I recommend trying the fixes recommended in THIS Youtube video. In my case I was able to get the laptop up and running quite easily by following the method described at 1:58 in THIS Youtube video by the same author.

Two Editorial Cartoons


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Old Geezers Really Do Get Shorter

     Vision, hearing, memory and hair are a few things that tend to disappear as we get older. 
     Another thing on the list is height. In fact, according to some research people can begin shrinking as early as their 30s! Men can gradually lose an inch between the ages of 30 to 70, and women can lose about two inches. After the age of 80, it’s possible for both men and women to lose another inch. Why? 
     Shrinking too fast can be an indication of a much serious problem. Losing one to two inches within a year may mean a person is at a higher risk for spinal and hip fractures as well as heart disease in men. If this occurs, you should consult your doctor. 
     There are some habits that can help prevent losing height. Avoid slouching, engage in physical activity, quit smoking, quit drinking alcohol, avoid excessive amounts of caffeine, avoid extreme dieting, avoid taking steroids and avoid poor nutrition. In fact, a good diet reduces the risk of osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease and certain cancers. 
     The fact is though, if you imagine that you are getting shorter you probably are. When the discs between our vertebrates lose fluid they flatten a bit and our vertebrates come closer together and that makes our spine a little shorter.
     Additionally, the arches of our feet end to flatten a bit as we age. Then, too, beginning as early as age 30, age-related muscle loss, known as sarcopenia (the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength), can cause us to lose as much as 3-5 percent of muscle mass each decade. These weakened torso muscles can cause stooped posture, making us appear shorter. 
     How much do we shrink? On average, we shrink about a quarter to a third of an inch (some estimates put it as high as half an inch) per decade for every decade after 40. Thus, men will get about 1.2 to 1.5 inches shorter and women will lose up to 2 inches, by age 70. And, if you’re blessed to make it to age 70, that gradual loss becomes even more rapid. It's possible to end up one to three inches shorter when you were at your maximum height. 
     This shrinkage can come with a psychological price especially for men who tend to put more of a premium on height than do women. The consensus is that tall men are seen as leaders with more prestige and better health, while tall women are perceived as being smarter. In that case loss of height could cause a psychological problem. 
     Losing height does not mean a person will weigh less! Those lost inches may cause your BMI, a measure of your body fat based on your height and weight, to shift. However, this is not necessarily a reason to panic or go on a diet, since various studies say that a slight increase in BMI that its based solely on shrinkage doesn’t much matter. 
     Bottom line...if you're over 30, you're probably getting shorter.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Terry Bradshaw Shares His Food



Terry Bradshaw (born September 2, 1948) is a former professional football player who was a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the National Football League. Since 1994, he has been a television sports analyst and co-host of Fox NFL Sunday. Bradshaw is also an actor, having participated in many television shows and films.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Is This the Dumbest Man in Congress?

Emanuel Cleaver
     With President Trump, Vice-President Pence, et al still making ridiculous claims that Trump won the election we are now faced with even more stupidity from our politicians.
     This time from Democratic Representative Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri who finished the first daily congressional prayer of the new session with the words "amen and awoman" on Sunday. 
     This incredibly stupid man did not know that "amen" has nothing to do with gender. Amen is a Latin word that means “truly” or “so be it.” Awoman is a nonsense word that means nothing. 
     This incident is made even more ridiculous coming from a man who is a United Methodist pastor; one must assume he is Biblically illiterate.
     Our politicians are becoming an embarrassment to the country.