Monday, January 28, 2013

Here we go Loop De Loop

On January 10, 2013, Jacob Joseph “Jack” Lew was nominated by President Obama to be the replacement for retiring Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. He has served in a variety of roles in both the Clinton and Obama administrations. Most recently, he was the White House Chief of Staff until January 25, 2013.

He seems to be qualified for his new position, but still needs to be confirmed by members of Congress. One source of concern about him, though, is one that doesn’t come up often when discussing nominees for government positions:

His signature.

When I first saw a picture of his signature, my first thoughts were of a song that was first released 50 years ago, and performed by a singer (Gil Hamilton) who used the stage name of Johnny Thunder. Shortly after its release, the song rose to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1963. Even though Gil in now 80 years old, he still performs on a regular basis:

Loop De Loop

Jack Lew’s signature has been compared to the icing on the top of a Hostess cupcake, and I have to admit that there IS a resemblance:

The fact that his signature could wind up on ALL of our paper money is a concern for some folks. If he actually gets confirmed, he has promised President Obama that he will make at least one letter of his signature legible.

His signature has become an internet sensation, and Yahoo! got into the action recently with a Jack Lew Signature Generator. To see what YOUR NAME would look like if Jack Lew signed it, the link to the generator is listed below:

looks like chicken scratchin’ to me

His signature actually brings up a broader question. What DOES our handwriting say about us, and is it even still important today, even view of the fact that most of us communicate by typing on some type of keyboard ?

Believe it or not, schools STILL teach cursive today, but it’s largely limited only to the third grade, and it’s not likely to expand beyond that.

If you Googled “handwriting analysis”, you’ll discover that you’ll get 2,800,000 results (in .18 seconds) so apparently it’s a topic that many people still feel is important. I’ve never had my handwriting analyzed, nor do I plan to do so, but it WOULD be interesting to find out what my handwriting says about my personality.

Even though few us use handwriting on our jobs anymore, we all know that if “the handwriting is on the wall” you’re probably going to be thrown for a loop - and that’s been true for a long, long time.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Older than dirt

This morning, I read an article in the Chicago Tribune about a new entrée that the Cheesecake Factory had called the Bistro Shrimp Pasta.

This “heart attack on a plate” was listed as having 3120 calories, 79 grams of saturated fat, and 1500 milligrams of sodium. The article also mentioned a few other dishes at other chains that should give you pause, which included the Bacon Cheddar Double Cheeseburger at Johnny Rockets.

This monster burger has 1770 calories, 50 grams of saturated fat, and an astonishing 2380 milligrams of sodium. It actually has more calories than THREE Quarter Pounders with Cheese. Believe it or not, though, this is NOT the largest hamburger sold in America. That 'honor" goes to Denny's Beer Barrel Pub, which can sell you a FIFTEEN POUNDER. A man named Brad Sciullo, a chef from Pennsylvania, consumed one in October of 2008 - in one sitting.

By now, most of us know that a healthy diet, combined with a healthy lifestyle, can extend our lives longer than what would normally be expected. I’ve done some “tweaking” recently in both my diet and my lifestyle, so I re-took the RealAge test again this morning to see how old I am from a health standpoint. Chronologically, I’ll be 66 in August, but my “Real Age” is actually 60.6 years old. If you’d like to find out YOUR Real Age, just click on the link below, set up a password, and take the test:

how old AM I?

We’ve all heard stories about why the Mediterranean diet is good for you, and that Japanese people all live longer because they eat a lot of fish, but what IS the secret to a long life?

The link below will allow you to look at a verified list of the 100 oldest people in the world, and you’ll find quite a few surprises.:

who are you calling an old geezer?

For one thing, of the oldest 25 people ever recorded, only 2 of them were Japanese, and only 2 others lived in areas that would normally follow the “Mediterranean Diet”. The country that has the MOST people (14 out of the top 25) living past 100?

The United States, home of the Quarter Pounder with Cheese.

The world’s oldest human, Jeanne Calment, lived a life of leisure, and survived on a Mediterranean Diet, but the ages of most of the other old folks on the list often defied logic.

Although she took up fencing at the age of 85, and rode her bicycle until she was 100, there are other parts of her lifestyle that will make you scratch your head. For one thing, she smoked from the time that she was 21 until she was 117, ate over two pounds of chocolate every week, and frequently consumed port wine.

America's oldest living veteran ((Richard Overton) recently met with President Obama in the White House. He is now 107 years old, and has survived by taking no medicine other than aspirin, drinking whiskey with his morning coffee, and smoking up to 12 cigars a day.

Sarah Knauss, number 2 on the list, was born in an impoverished coal mining town in Pennsylvania, and was a homemaker for most of her life. She confessed to a fondness for chocolate turtles, cashews, and potato chips. Her daughter (who lived to be 101 herself) attributed her mother’s long life to the fact that “she was a very tranquil person, and nothing fazes her”.

Lucy Hannah, number 3 on the list, was one of the eight children born to slaves living in southern Alabama. After she and her husband moved to Detroit to work in the auto factories, they also had 8 children. Two of Lucy’s sisters lived to be 100, and her mother (who was whipped every day when she was a slave) lived to be 99.

Elizabeth Bolden, number 7 on the list, was born in southern Tennessee, and was the daughter of freed slaves. She and her husband had 7 children, most of whom passed before she did. She is survived by a LARGE NUMBER of relatives, including 75 great-great-great-great-children.

Besse Cooper, number 8 on the list, was the third of eight children born to her parents in a tiny town in Tennessee. She was a school teacher for many years, and her husband was a farmer. After her husband’s death, she lived alone on their farm for 48 years, and finally moved into a nursing home when she was 105.

Finally, Maggie Barnes (number 9 on the list) was also the child of slaves. She married a tenant farmer, and they had 15 children together, 11 of whom preceded her in death.

If you want to live a long life, it’s good to watch what you eat, and to live a healthy lifestyle, but now you know the REAL SECRET to living to a ripe old age:

Be poor - and stay calm.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The most famous person in the world

Have you ever wondered who the most famous person in the world is?

If you had to put together a list, you’d probably include Barack Obama, Pope Benedict XVI, Chinese President Hu Jianto, or Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

How about Park Jae-sang?

Say what?

His name may not be familiar to you, but you already know who he is. His “stage name” is PSY, and he actually IS one of the best known people in the world.

He’s a musician, and his official video “Gangnam Style” has the distinction of being the first video EVER to achieve over 1 BILLION views on YouTube. That’s a pretty remarkable feat in itself, but what’s even MORE amazing is the fact that the music is performed in Korean, a language that is not widely spoken outside the Korean peninsula. Even in Korea, there are only about 78,000,00 people that speak the language.

To create a popular song, it’s not actually necessary to produce something where the words can be understood, and at least some of the “heavy metal” music that’s been produced is evidence of that. One of the most popular foreign language songs released in my lifetime was a French song titled “Dominique”, released in 1963, and performed by “the singing nun”:

To date, it’s had over 600,000 views on YouTube.

Park Jae-sang is a 35 year old man from South Korea. Although he briefly studied business administration at Boston University in the late 1990’s, he quickly lost interest in that field, and returned to Korea to pursue a musical career. One of the strongest influence on his career was the song “Hungarian Rhapsody”, by the English group Queen.

In spite of his HUGE popularity on YouTube, he actually hasn’t made a pile of money from that venue, although TV commercials and YouTube ads pushed his earnings to over $8,000,000 in 2012.

(In case you're wondering, the founders of YouTube have done pretty well for themselves. The company was started by three former employees of PayPal in February of 2005. On October 9, 2006, the company was purchased by Google for $1.65 billion. At the time of the purchase, the OLDEST of the three founders was 29 years old, and his net worth increased IMMEDIATELY - to $395 million. The website is the third most visited website on the internet (after Google and Facebook) and 75% of its contents comes from outside the United States.)

His popularity also gave him the chance to rub shoulders with some other very well known people. He met with UN secretary General Ban Ki-moon in October, performed with MC Hammer at Times Square on Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Years Eve, and his Christmas in Washington charity concert in Washington D.C. was attended by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Is he actually the most famous person in the world? Maybe not, but let me ask you this:

How many people know who Lee Myung-bak is ?

세계에서 가장 유명한 사람

지금까지 세계에서 가장 유명한 사람이 누구인지 궁금해 적이 있습니까?

당신이 목록을 함께 넣어이 있다면, 당신은 아마, 버락 오바마 후보를 포함 할 교황 베네딕토 16 세, 중국의 후진타오 Jianto, 또는 인도 총리 Manmohan 싱 (피지).

어떻게 공원에 대한 재 노래?

who is PSY?

무슨 말을?

그의 이름은 익숙하지 않을 수 있습니다,​​하지만 당신은 이미 알고 있소. 그의 "무대 이름은"싸이 있으며, 그는 실제로 세계에서 가장 잘 알려진 사람들 중 하나입니다.

그는 음악가, 그리고 자신의 공식 동영상 '강남 스타일'YouTube에 10 억의 전경을 달성하기 위해 최초의 비디오 것의 구별이 있습니다. 그건 그 자체로 매우 놀라운 재주 만, 어떤 더욱더 놀라운 것은 음악 한국, 널리 한반도 밖에 말을하지 않는 언어로 수행되는 사실입니다. 심지어 한국에서, 언어를 약 78,000,00 사람들이 있습니다.

Gangnam Style

Korean language

인기있는 노래를 만들려면,이 단어가 이해 될 수있는 무언가를 생산하기 위해 실제로 필요가 없습니다, ​​그리고 최소한 생산 된 "중금속"음악의 일부가 그 증거입니다. 내 일생에 발표 된 가장 인기있는 외국어 노래 중 하나는 1963 년에 출시 된 "도미니크"라는 제목의 프랑스 노래하고, "노래 수녀가"에 의해 수행 :


현재까지,이 YouTube에 600,000 전망을 통해 있었죠.

공원 재 노래는 한국에서 35 세의 남자입니다. 그는 잠시 1990 년대 후반에 보스턴 대학교 (Boston University)에서 경영학을 공부했지만, 신속하게 해당 필드에 대한 관심을 잃어, 그리고 음악 경력을 추구하기 위해 한국으로 돌아 왔습니다. 그의 경력에 가장 강한 영향 중 하나는 영어 그룹 여왕의 노래 "헝가리어 랩소디"입니다.

Hungarian Rhapsody

TV 광고와 YouTube 광고는 2012 년 이상 8백만달러 자신의 수입을 밀어하지만 YouTube에 자신의 큰 인기에도 불구하고, 그는 실제로 그 장소에서 돈 더미를 만들어하지 않았습니다.

그의 인기는 그에게로 어깨에 문지르 할 수있는 기회를 준 다른 잘 알려진 명. 그는 워싱턴 DC에있는 워싱턴 자선 콘서트에 UN 사무 총장 딕 클라크의 춤추 '신년 이브에 타임스 스퀘어 (Times Square)에서 MC 해머와 함께 수행 10 월 반기문, 그의 크리스마스를 만났다는 버락 오바마 대통령과 영부인 미셸 오바마들이 참석했다 .

그는 실제로 세계에서 가장 유명한 사람인가요? 아마도,하지만 이것 만 물어 보죠 없습니다 :

얼마나 많은 사람들이 이명박이 누군지 알아?

the Prez

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog

Like many people, I took a typing class when I was in high school. This was a time, of course, that was long before the advent of personal computers. In fact, I took my typing class shortly after the introduction of the IBM Selectric, but our Catholic boy’s high school only had MANUAL typewriters.

Because the phrase shown above used ALL of the letters in the alphabet, it became a favorite training aid for our instructors.

Although it’s been almost 50 years since I took that typing class, the phrase came to mind just yesterday, due to a website called BING, which is on my list of “favorites”. Each day, a new subject is the image of the day. On January 1, the image was of the creature shown at the link below:

the little red fox

The various links tied to the picture also revealed the fact that the red fox is listed as “least concern” for extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and is included in the IUCN’s list of the world’s 100 worst invasive species.

Since the little guy is considered such a nuisance, the species has long been considered a target in sport hunting. Fox hunting originated in the United Kingdom in the 16th century, and usually involved the use of fox hounds. Although the fox hunt isn’t always fatal to the fox, the sport has become controversial in recent years because it is sometimes considered inhumane, and the sport was banned in all of the countries in the U.K. between 2002 and 2005.

Although fox hunting is not currently permitted in the People’s Republic of California, the California legislature banned the use of hounds in hunting bears and bobcats in the fall of 2012 - because the practice was considered “inhumane”.

I actually went fox hunting once in Wisconsin, more than 40 years ago, In view of my inexperience with handling guns (then and now), and my poor vision, the target of our hunt was in absolutely no danger.

The bans in the United Kingdom and California exemplify an outlook on life that could be termed “politically correct”. Even though I’m probably closer to the “enlightened man” represented by Alan Alda, even I will admit that sometimes political correctness can sometimes be taken to extremes.

Governor Rick Perry (aka Governor Bonehead) is never going to be considered politically correct by almost anyone, with the exception of a few of the folks in the Lone Star State. In the spring of 2010, he was out on an early morning jog with his dog when he encountered a coyote. He could have turned around and gone the other way, or he could have waited until the coyote went on his way on his accord, but he reacted like any Red Blooded Texan would have - he shot him.

Raising kids, of course, brings political correctness to an entirely new level. You’ve undoubtedly run into situations where your own children became problematic, and virtually ALL of us have encountered parents who “just aren’t raising their kids in the right way”. Although there are often times when all those kids can get us all “wound really tight”, there ARE times when the child rearing experience can be absolutely hysterical.

On New Years Day, Sharon and I saw “Parental Guidance”, starring Billy Cyrstal, Bette Midler, and Marisa Tomei. I’m not going to tell you much about the plot, but you can watch the trailer at the link below:

click on this spot

Go see the movie and enjoy yourself. After all, it’s a brand new year.