Saturday, August 1, 2020

Weird August Holidays

Every month has its collection of strange, weird, and obscure holidays, sometimes more than one per day, many of which are unknown to the general public. And, needless to say, holidays that are not government recognized—days where the schools, banks, government offices, and post office are not closed. But still holidays to be celebrated and enjoyed in their own quirky fashion.

Let's start with month long celebrations.  For August you have:  Admit You're Happy Month, Family Fun Month, National Catfish Month, National Eye Exam Month, National Golf Month [I'd better make sure my brother knows about this one], Peach Month, Romance Awareness Month, Water Quality Month, and National Picnic Month.

And then there are the week long celebrations. The first week of August is National Simplify Your Life Week. The second week of the month is National Smile Week. The third week is Friendship Week. And the fourth week is Be Kind To Humankind Week.

And the daily celebrations:  I found it interesting that 10 of the 31 days in August had holidays connected to food [are we seeing an ongoing theme here?]. Some of the dates had more than one holiday attached to them.

August 1)  National Mustard Day (the first Saturday in August)

August 1)  National Raspberry Cream Pie Day

August 2)  Friendship Day (the first Sunday in August)

August 2)  International Forgiveness Day (first Sunday in August)

August 2)  Sisters Day (first Sunday in August)

August 2)  National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

August 3)  National Watermelon Day

August 4)  U.S. Coast Guard Day

August 5)  Work Like A Dog Day

August 6)  Wiggle Your Toes Day

August 7)  National Lighthouse Day

August 8)  Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day

            Apparently zucchini is one of the most prolific plants with a single plant producing what seems to be an endless supply of zucchini. By the time August arrives, home gardeners have far more zucchini than they can possibly use. After giving away as much as they can to family and friends, desperate growers seek desperate measures to rid themselves of the overflow. And that gives us the name of the holiday…sneak some zucchini onto your neighbor's porch day.

August 9)  Book Lover's Day

            Book Lover's Day encourages you to find a comfortable place, relax, and enjoy a good book. If you happen to fall asleep in that gently swaying hammock while reading, that's perfectly okay. There is some disagreement about when this holiday is celebrated. August 9th is the most widely accepted date. Some celebrate it on the first Saturday in November. My suggestion? Celebrate both days.

August 10)  Lazy Day

August 10)  National S'mores Day

August 11)  Presidential Joke Day

August 12)  Middle Child's Day

August 13)  Left Hander's Day

August 14)  National Creamsicle Day

August 14/15)  V-J Day (end of World War II)

August 15)  Relaxation Day

            For people with a hectic lifestyle, this is the day to kick back and do nothing…just relax. Take a break from your busy work and personal schedule. If something stresses you out, this is the day to ignore it.

August 16)  National Tell A Joke Day

August 17)  National Thrift Shop Day

August 18)  Bad Poetry Day

August 19)  Aviation Day

August 20)  National Radio Day

August 21)  Senior Citizen's Day

August 22)  Be An Angel Day

August 22)  National Tooth Fairy Day (and/or February 28)

August 23)  Ride The Wind Day

            This is a carefree day, a time to soar above the earth. Catch a ride on the breeze or float like a cloud. Summer will soon be over. Take advantage of this day to relax and leave your worries behind. Fly a kite. Enjoy the final days of summer.

August 24)  Vesuvius Day

August 25)  Kiss And Make Up Day

August 26)  National Dog Day

August 26)  Women's Equality Day

August 27)  Global Forgiveness Day

August 27)  Just Because Day

August 28)  Race Your Mouse Day [but in today's world are we talking rodent or computer?]

August 29)  More Herbs, Less Salt Day

August 30)  Frankenstein Day

            There are 3 versions of this day. This one is in honor of Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, who was born August 30, 1797. There is also Frankenstein Friday and National Frankenstein Day, both celebrated in October. Confused? Celebrate all 3 days.

August 30)  Toasted Marshmallow Day

August 31)  National Trail Mix Day

Saturday, July 25, 2020

THE ROCKY ROAD TO ROMANCE Release date July 27, 2020

THE ROCKY ROAD TO ROMANCE, scheduled to release in ebook on Monday, July 27, 2020. A contemporary romance novella by Shawna Delacorte from The Wild Rose Press, part of the One Scoop Or Two series.

One Scoop Or Two is a summer series, quick reads of no more than 35,000 words to enjoy while relaxing in the back yard or on your patio. And One Scoop Or Two certainly implies ice cream. How many scoops do you want on that cone, one or two? The series encompasses both contemporary stories involving an ice cream shop or stand and historical stories with the ice cream parlor of the time. Fun fact: each novella title includes a specific flavor of ice cream.

My contribution to the series is a contemporary novella set on the boardwalk at a lake marina.

BLURB:
History teacher Sarena Fallon has leased the ice cream shop at the Colton Marina for the last three summers. And every year, she looked forward to spending time with her friend, Drew. Only this summer, she wants their relationship status to move beyond the friend zone he seems to prefer.

Drew Braden was taken with Sarena the first time he saw her. But a disastrous marriage to a scheming woman has left him seriously commitment phobic. Then there's also the matter of his true identity. If she discovers who he really is, he could lose her forever.

G-Excerpt #1: (story opening)
Sarena Fallon entered the ice cream shop and set her purse on one of the chairs. A quick glance around told her everything appeared to be in order. She ran her hand across the counter, then rubbed her fingers together. She wrinkled her brow into a scowl. It definitely did not feel very clean. I have the uneasy feeling a more detailed inspection is going to discover—

“Hi. I hoped I’d find you here.”

She turned at the sound of the smooth, masculine voice. She couldn’t stop the smile that came to her lips as her gaze fell on Drew Braden, all six feet one inch of him. Her breath came a little quicker, and her heart beat a little faster. His blue eyes sparkled as he blatantly looked her up and down. He wore his medium brown hair longer than last summer, but it was a length that looked good on him. It gave him a sexy appearance—even more sexy than she remembered from last year. She liked it longer. She definitely liked it.

“Hi, yourself.” Her smile widened, conveying her pleasure at seeing him. “I just unlocked the door. If you had arrived five minute ago, you would have beaten me here.”

He looked even more desirable than he did at the end of last summer, right before she returned to her teaching job at the beginning of the school term, when he had suddenly pulled her into his arms and captured her mouth with the hottest kiss she had ever experienced. A kiss that curled her toes and confirmed how much she wanted more of him. But more apparently wasn’t to be, much to her disappointment.

Fall, winter, spring—not a word from him, as if he had totally forgotten she even existed. But now, here he stood, as if he had been waiting for her to show up. The situation left her slightly perplexed. She briefly touched her fingers to her lips. All these months later, his parting kiss still burned hot against her lips. “You’re looking well. I like your hair longer like that.”

“Thanks…I think it might be the result of a bit of mid-life crisis. Trying to recapture a little youth.” His teasing grin said far more than his words.

“Mid-life crisis? You can’t be old enough for that.”

“I’ll be that dreaded forty in a couple of months.”

“There’s nothing old about forty.” Especially considering that I’m thirty-five.

He winked. “How would a sweet young thing like you know anything about old?”

“You’re incorrigible.” Her laugh surrounded her words. “It looks like you managed to survive the winter without any mishaps. Your brittle old bones didn’t snap?”

His spontaneous laughter filled the air. “No broken bones from slipping on the ice or falling into any snow drifts if that’s what you meant. And no broken bones from being thrown off a bucking horse, either.” His smile slowly faded as he pulled her into his arms. “I’ve missed you. I’m so glad to see you back this summer.”

“I have a phone, you have the number, and I only live fifteen miles from here in Coltonville. It’s not like you need to drive for several hours to get there.” She teased, but her comment contained a lot of truth.

A hint of something darted across his features but disappeared before she could read it. He slowly released her without kissing her, almost reluctantly so. After the goodbye kiss from last summer, she had anticipated more than just a hug.

“I haven’t checked the shop to make sure it’s been properly cleaned.” She touched the counter again. “And from what I’ve found so far, I suspect it hasn’t been.” A scowl darted across her face. “At least not adequately. Do you want to help me with my inspection?”

“Sure, I can handle that.” Drew nodded, pleased with the opportunity to check out the management office’s efficiency without it appearing to be his objective.

Drew Braden—Andrew Braden Colton V, to be exact—was fifth generation of the wealthy and powerful Colton family and at thirty-nine years of age, the corporate head of all the family holdings. He went by his nickname and middle name to separate himself and his personal activities from the family name and business empire. He found he accomplished more if people didn’t know he was one of the Coltons, specifically president of Colton Enterprises, Chairman of the Board, primary share holder, and in control of all the family businesses and investments of the privately held corporation.
THE ROCKY ROAD TO ROMANCE, a contemporary romance novella by Shawna Delacorte from The Wild Rose Press.   www.thewildrosepress.com 

Scheduled for release Monday, July 27, 2020. Available in ebook at:
And other online vendors.

Excerpts and other information available on my website:  www.shawnadelacorte.com  

Saturday, July 18, 2020

THE ROCKY ROAD TO ROMANCE—A Character Chat with Sarena Fallon and Drew Braden

She wants more than friendship…he's afraid of repeating the worst mistake of his life.

THE ROCKY ROAD TO ROMANCE by Shawna Delacorte is a contemporary romance novella that's part of the One Scoop Or Two summer series from The Wild Rose Press. This book is scheduled for release July 27, 2020.

Let me introduce you to Sarena Fallon and Drew Braden. Their story is one of good friends moving toward a romance, but their journey is marred by a deception that nearly destroys a blossoming romance and true love.

Good morning Sarena and Drew. Thank you for taking time from your busy schedules to share your story with my readers.

Sarena:  Thank you for inviting us.

Drew:  I'm ready. Hit me with your first question.

Okay, Drew. You sound eager so let's start with you. How did the two of you meet?

Drew:  That's an easy one. Three years ago when the summer businesses at the lake marina were preparing to open for the boating season, I saw this beautiful woman inside the ice cream shop. She was unpacking boxes and putting things away. I tried to meet all the summer business operators each year, but usually on an informal basis after they open their doors for customers. This time, I immediately went to the marina property management office and obtained a full list of all the marina summer tenants and there she was—Sarena Fallon, history teacher at Coltonville High School. Unfortunately, due to business needs, I was out of state for the next month. I didn't have an opportunity to actually meet her until I returned to the ranch.

You said 'the ranch.' That's another of the Colton properties?

Drew:  The place where we are now, the original start of the Colton Dynasty five generations ago, is the cattle ranch.

Colton dynasty? That sounds a little over the top.

Drew:  [slight frown followed by laughter] It's totally over the top and definitely pretentious, but that was my father. He's the one who declared the family history a dynasty. The acquisition of additional land two generations after the start of the cattle ranch allowed for the expansion of the operation to include a dude ranch as a separate operation. From there, came the purchase of the large lake already being enjoyed by boating enthusiasts and water skiers. And finally the addition of a boardwalk and businesses as part of the boat marina. And along the way came expansion into many different types of businesses around the state, in other states, and finally internationally. We eventually constructed a corporate headquarters building on the property as a separate facility from the cattle ranch and the dude ranch. My house is also on the property. It's been in the family for three generations. I recently remodeled and updated the house.

Sarena:  I'm a high school history teacher with my summers free. I thought leasing the ice cream shop at the marina would be a good way to spend my summers and earn some extra money. I distinctly remember the day he came into the ice cream shop. He was dressed in jeans and a work shirt, certainly not the type of summer casual clothes being worn by the people who used the marina for their boats. And most definitely not how I assumed a high-powered business executive would be dressed. I assumed he worked at the ranch. He introduced himself as Drew Braden. It was an instant friendship, very comfortable and fun. He seemed to just appear almost every day. Sometimes just for a few minutes. Other times he'd buy an ice cream cone—rocky road was his favorite—and stay for a couple of hours. [embarrassed chuckle] And every time he stopped by, I secretly wished he'd ask me out on a date. The second summer that I leased the ice cream shop, he showed up opening day to welcome me back. Then on the third year, he showed up a week before opening, the day I was checking everything out and making a list of what I needed to do before opening.

It sounds as if he was always around yet you two never had a relationship beyond just friends in spite of what you secretly hoped for?

Drew:  Totally my fault. I had…uh…well, I guess you could say I had a bad case of commitment phobia—emotional baggage that basically scared me when it came to pursuing any type of personal relationship that had the specter of an emotional attachment connected to it. My biggest fear was repeating the worst mistake of my life.

Sarena:  Drew wasn't alone in the emotional baggage department. My ex-husband lied to me about everything. It turned out that I didn't even know who he really was. I swore I would never become involved with someone who didn't tell me the truth.

Well, Drew—even though you didn't know that about Sarena, I guess the most logical question is why did you present yourself to her as someone you're not, even to concealing your real name?

Drew:  Actually, Drew Braden is my real name—just not all of it. Andrew Braden Colton V to be exact. I use Drew Braden with everyone who isn't a business associate or employee. I'd been doing it for fifteen years, the result of the emotional baggage I mentioned. As to my job, I never said exactly what I did. It was that third summer when she finally asked me directly.

Sarena:  I had assumed he worked at the ranch, but not as a cowboy. It was obvious that he was highly educated. I had him pegged for some sort of mid management position like ranch foreman. Who he really was remained his secret. Even when he finally asked me out on a real date, he did not correct my erroneous assumptions. But reality crashed around me when a horrible situation happened right after I opened the ice cream shop for the summer season.

Drew: I had already been wrestling with the reality of knowing that I had to tell her who I was, wanting to tell her, needing to tell her. I knew I couldn't pursue the serious relationship I wanted without telling her the truth. What I didn't know was how to tell her…what to say that wouldn't alienate her. Then that disastrous Saturday morning hit.

That sounds ominous. What happened? Sarena…what was this horrible situation?

Sarena:  [glances at Drew as a hint of a grin tugs at the corners of her mouth] I think you need to read the book to find out.

Drew? Can you tell me what occurred that disastrous Saturday morning? What kind of incident threatened to destroy your relationship?

Drew:  [makes overly obvious show of checking his watch] Will you look at the time! I didn't realize it was so late. I'm sure I must have some sort of really important meeting that I need to attend.

In other words, you're not going to tell me what happened?

Drew:  [allows a mischievous chuckle] That sounds about right.

Well, I guess that leaves me with nothing to say other than to thank the two of for being my guests today. The book is THE ROCKY ROAD TO ROMANCE published by The Wild Rose Press and scheduled for release on July 27, 2020.
BLURB:
History teacher Sarena Fallon has leased the ice cream shop at the Colton Marina for the last three summers. And every year, she looked forward to spending time with her friend, Drew. Only this summer, she wants their relationship status to move beyond the friend zone he seems to prefer.

Drew Braden was taken with Sarena the first time he saw her. But a disastrous marriage to a scheming woman has left him seriously commitment phobic. Then there's also the matter of his true identity. If she discovers who he really is, he could lose her forever.

G-Excerpt #1: (opening)
Sarena Fallon entered the ice cream shop and set her purse on one of the chairs. A quick glance around told her everything appeared to be in order. She ran her hand across the counter, then rubbed her fingers together. She wrinkled her brow into a scowl. It definitely did not feel very clean. I have the uneasy feeling a more detailed inspection is going to discover—

“Hi. I hoped I’d find you here.”

She turned at the sound of the smooth, masculine voice. She couldn’t stop the smile that came to her lips as her gaze fell on Drew Braden, all six feet one inch of him. Her breath came a little quicker, and her heart beat a little faster. His blue eyes sparkled as he blatantly looked her up and down. He wore his medium brown hair longer than last summer, but it was a length that looked good on him. It gave him a sexy appearance—even more sexy than she remembered from last year. She liked it longer. She definitely liked it.

“Hi, yourself.” Her smile widened, conveying her pleasure at seeing him. “I just unlocked the door. If you had arrived five minute ago, you would have beaten me here.”

He looked even more desirable than he did at the end of last summer, right before she returned to her teaching job at the beginning of the school term, when he had suddenly pulled her into his arms and captured her mouth with the hottest kiss she had ever experienced. A kiss that curled her toes and confirmed how much she wanted more of him. But more apparently wasn’t to be, much to her disappointment.

Fall, winter, spring—not a word from him, as if he had totally forgotten she even existed. But now, here he stood, as if he had been waiting for her to show up. The situation left her slightly perplexed. She briefly touched her fingers to her lips. All these months later, his parting kiss still burned hot against her lips. “You’re looking well. I like your hair longer like that.”

“Thanks…I think it might be the result of a bit of mid-life crisis. Trying to recapture a little youth.” His teasing grin said far more than his words.

“Mid-life crisis? You can’t be old enough for that.”

“I’ll be that dreaded forty in a couple of months.”

“There’s nothing old about forty.” Especially considering that I’m thirty-five.

He winked. “How would a sweet young thing like you know anything about old?”

“You’re incorrigible.” Her laugh surrounded her words. “It looks like you managed to survive the winter without any mishaps. Your brittle old bones didn’t snap?”

His spontaneous laughter filled the air. “No broken bones from slipping on the ice or falling into any snow drifts if that’s what you meant. And no broken bones from being thrown off a bucking horse, either.” His smile slowly faded as he pulled her into his arms. “I’ve missed you. I’m so glad to see you back this summer.”

“I have a phone, you have the number, and I only live fifteen miles from here in Coltonville. It’s not like you need to drive for several hours to get there.” She teased, but her comment contained a lot of truth.

A hint of something darted across his features but disappeared before she could read it. He slowly released her without kissing her, almost reluctantly so. After the goodbye kiss from last summer, she had anticipated more than just a hug.

“I haven’t checked the shop to make sure it’s been properly cleaned.” She touched the counter again. “And from what I’ve found so far, I suspect it hasn’t been.” A scowl darted across her face. “At least not adequately. Do you want to help me with my inspection?”

“Sure, I can handle that.” Drew nodded, pleased with the opportunity to check out the management office’s efficiency without it appearing to be his objective.

Drew Braden—Andrew Braden Colton V, to be exact—was fifth generation of the wealthy and powerful Colton family and at thirty-nine years of age, the corporate head of all the family holdings. He went by his nickname and middle name to separate himself and his personal activities from the family name and business empire. He found he accomplished more if people didn’t know he was one of the Coltons, specifically president of Colton Enterprises, Chairman of the Board, primary share holder, and in control of all the family businesses and investments of the privately held corporation.

Available in ebook at:
And other online vendors.

Excerpts and other information available on my website:  www.shawnadelacorte.com 
 

Saturday, July 11, 2020

The English Language part 2 of 2

As pointed out in last week's blog, the English language (or at least the American branch of the language) is often confusing even to those who were born here with this being the only language they speak.

Here is a list of 20 common errors. Some are spelling/using wrong spelling of word with same pronunciation, some are different pronunciations of words spelled the same way, and others relate to literally using the wrong words in popular phrases.

1)  It didn't phase me, should be: It didn't faze me.

2)  For all intensive purposes, should be: For all intents and purposes.

3)  He has another thing coming, should be: He has another think coming.

4)  Escape goat, should be: Scape goat.

5)  One in the same, should be: One and the same.

6)  Given free reign, should be: Given free rein.

7)  Low and behold, should be: Lo and behold.

8)  Case and point, should be: Case in point.

9)  Peak your interest, should be: Pique your interest.

10)  Hunger pains, should be: Hunger pangs.

11)  Suppose to, should be: Supposed to.

12)  Should of, should be: Should have.

13)  Nipped that problem in the butt, should be:  Nipped that problem in the bud.

14)  Mute point, should be: Moot point.

15)  Piece of mind, should be: Peace of mind.

16)  Beck on call, should be: Beck and call.

17)  On accident, should be: By accident.

18)  Expresso, should be: Espresso.

and tied for most commonly misused:

19)  I could care less, should be: I couldn't care less.

20)  Irregardless, should be: Regardless.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

The English Language—part 1 of 2

The English language (or at least the American branch of the language) is often confusing even to those who were born here.  I can't imagine learning it as a second language.  Where other languages seem to have set rules, English has rules that are filled with exceptions and sometimes even those exceptions have exceptions.

A good example is the spelling rule for the order of i and e within a word. 'i before e' is the rule. 'Except after c' (exception to rule), 'or when sounded as a, as in weigh' (exception to the exception).

We'll begin with a box and the plural is boxes, but the plural of ox became oxen, not oxes.

One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese, yet the plural of moose should never be meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice, yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men, why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?

If I spoke of my foot and show you my feet, and I give you a boot, should a pair be called beet?

If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth, why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

One may be that and three would be those, yet hat in the plural would never be hose. And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.

We speak of a brother and also of brethren, but though we say mother, we never say methren.

The masculine pronouns are he, his and him, but imagine the feminine as she, shis and shim.

Some reasons to be grateful if you grew up speaking English rather than learning it as a second (or even third) language. Imagine needing to figure out the differences in pronunciation and meaning of these identically spelled words:

1)         The bandage was wound around the wound.
2)         The farm was used to produce produce.
3)         The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4)         We must polish the Polish furniture.
5)         He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6)         The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7)         Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8)         At the army base, a bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9)         When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10)       I did not object to the object.
11)       The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12)       There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13)       They were too close to the door to close it.
14)       The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15)       The seamstress and the sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16)       To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17)       The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18)       After a number of Novocain injections, my jaw got number.
19)       Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
20)       I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
21)       How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
22)       I spent last evening evening out a pile of dirt.

How many of you had to go back and read any of those 22 examples a second time to get it right?  :)

Let's face it – English is a crazy language.  There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.  English muffins weren't invented in England.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.  And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?

If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it, an odd or an end?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?  Ship by truck and send cargo by ship?  Have noses that run and feet that smell?  How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

If dad is pop, how come mom isn't mop?

Are you totally confused yet?  Check back next week when I continue with the eccentricities of the English language in part 2.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Fourth Of July Holiday—Some Trivia And A Fireworks Safety Quiz

July 4, Independence Day—on this date in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. The U.S. Constitution, the document that emerged from the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, is the oldest national constitution in the world.

This most American of holidays is normally marked by fireworks, parades, and backyard barbecues, but the coronavirus pandemic will have an impact on this year's celebration. Fireworks displays are common throughout the world and are the focal point of many cultural and religious celebrations. Fireworks were invented in ancient China to scare away evil spirits, as a natural extension of the Chinese invention of gunpowder.

With 4th of July fireworks comes the concern for safety. A reality for the holiday is that fireworks cause thousands of injuries, and even some deaths, in addition to enough fires to make July 4 the day with the most reported fires across the United States according to the National Fire Protection Association.

So…how much do you know about fireworks safety? Here's a 9 question quiz to test your knowledge. Correct answers are at the end.

1)  How hot does a sparkler burn?
            a:  212 degrees
            b:  600 degrees
            c:  950 degrees
            d:  1200 degrees

2)  What portion of 4th of July fires are caused by fireworks?
            a:  10 percent
            b:  35 percent
            c:  50 percent
            d:  90 percent

3)  Which age group has the most injuries reported from fireworks?
            a:  under 20
            b:  20 – 40
            c:  40 – 60
            d:  60+

4)  You should skip buying fireworks in brown paper packaging as that could be a sign that they're made for professionals, not consumers.
            a:  true
            b:  false

5)  If a pack of fireworks has not fully functioned, you should cautiously relight it.
            a:  true
            b:  false

6)  What's the best way to dispose of used fireworks?
            a:  throw in trash
            b:  use hose or bucket of water to soak them then throw away
            c:  bury them

7)  Last year what was the most common fireworks injury?
            a:  fractures and sprains
            b:  contusions and lacerations
            c:  ear injuries
            d:  burns
            e:  eye injuries

8)  According to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission investigation, which of these were common reasons for fireworks injuries?
            a:  holding fireworks in the hand
            b:  mischief
            c:  debris or smoke from a malfunction
            d:  errant flight path from a malfunction
            e:  early or late ignition from a malfunction
            f:   all of the above

9)  Never light more than how many fireworks at a time?
            a:  1
            b:  2
            c:  3

And now, for those of you who want to see how well you did on the quiz—

1)         the correct answer is d…1200 degrees F, hot enough to burn certain metals and ignite clothing.

2)         the correct answer is c…50 percent, when shooting fireworks keep a bucket of water or sand available.

3)         the correct answer is a…under 20, children 10 – 14 are more than twice as much at risk for fireworks injuries.

4)         the correct answer is a…true.

5)         the correct answer is b…false, any malfunctioning fireworks should be soaked in water and then thrown away

6)         the correct answer is b…use hose or bucket of water to soak them and then throw them away

7)         the correct answer is d…burns

8)         the correct answer is f…all of the above

9)         the correct answer is a…light just 1 at a time.

Happy…and safe…holiday to everyone.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

9 LOST INVENTIONS…

There are inventions through the ages that could have been very beneficial to mankind, but before they reached fruition, they were lost. I discovered this list of lost inventions and thought it would make an interesting blog.

1)  FLEXIBLE GLASS
Lots of stories from ancient times describe incredible inventions, some purported to be real and others attributed to magic and wizards.  It's fair to say that most of them are nothing more than fanciful tales with no relationship to reality.  However…when three separate historians describe something, it wouldn't hurt to take a closer look.  One such story comes from the reign of Emperor Tiberius Caesar and tells of a glassmaker who came to his court with a drinking bowl. The Emperor threw it on the stone floor where it merely bent rather than shattering. He had the man beheaded because he feared the flexible glass would undermine the value of gold. Some speculate that this tale presages the development of tempered glass, but even that doesn’t bend, leaving the truth lost to the ages.

2)  STARLITE
Some truly great inventions came from unlikely sources which is how you’d explain Starlite. Jane's International Defense Review contained the first announcement of Starlite, a revolutionary insulation created by hobbyist Maurice Ward in the 1980s. Live TV tests showed the material keeping an egg completely raw after 5 minutes of a blow torch. Several noted scientists vouched for its incredible ability to resist heat and impact. Unfortunately, Ward died in 2011 before sharing the secret of Starlite to anyone and the material hasn't been seen since.

3)  THE OGLE CARBURETOR
Ever since the invention of the automobile people have been looking for ways to improve fuel efficiency. Most of them are worthless or scams (i.e., the dozens of "gasoline pills"), but every so often one comes along that's more believable. In the 1970s, a man named Tom Ogle developed a new type of carburetor that pressurized gasoline into a vapor and injected it into the firing chambers. After installing it in his Ford Galaxie, the car got a verified 113 miles per gallon. Unfortunately, Ogle died in 1981 before revealing the design of his carburetor.

4) SLOOT DIGITAL CODING SYSTEM
Here's a lost invention that's very modern, one that fascinates data storage experts. In the late 1990s Romke Jan Berhnard Sloot, a Dutch electronics technician, announced the development of the Sloot Digital Coding System. He described it as a revolutionary advance in data transmission that could reduce a feature-length movie down to a file size of just 8KB. Sloot demonstrated this by playing 16 movies at the same time from a 64KB chip. After getting a bunch of investors, he mysteriously died on September 11, 1999, two days before he was scheduled to hand over the source code.

5)  WIRELESS POWER TRANSMISSION
An entire book could have been written about the inventions that Nikola Tesla took to the grave with him. One such invention was the ability to distribute power wirelessly on a global scale. Tesla had dazzled crowds with demonstrations of short-range wireless power through the air, using coils to light the bulbs as far as 100 feet away with no physical connection between the coil and the light bulbs. Tesla claimed he had a significant upgrade on that technique that allowed for electricity to be transmitted through the Earth’s atmosphere, using high-altitude receiving stations. He began constructing a prototype in 1901 but funding fell through and it was never completed.

6)  GREEK FIRE
Warfare has always been a driving force for the development of technology. Apparently we humans never tire of coming up with faster and more painful ways to kill each other. In the 7th century, eastern Roman (Byzantine) emperors were purported to have deployed an incendiary weapon exceptionally effective in naval warfare, as it could be shot from siphon-like devices and continued to burn even when it came in contact with water. The substance has come to be known as Greek fire, and although we've certainly invented other similar weapons, the composition and manufacture of this one was such a closely-guarded military secret that no records remain.

7)  INCA STONEWORK
Some lost technologies don't seem all that impressive on the surface, but modern man still can't figure them out. A good case in point is the stonemasonry of the ancient Inca people of Peru. Working with huge, rough-hewn stones is extremely difficult especially without modern machinery. But the fit of the blocks in Inca structures in Macchu Picchu is so tight and precise that it's been said you couldn't fit a razor blade between them. It's still unknown how the Incas of the time were able to transport the massive stones—some weighing as much as 300,000 pounds—and place them with such precision.

8)  SILPHIUM
This item is a plant rather than an actual invention.  It's what the ancient Romans did with it that makes it notable. This member of the fennel family grew wild in North Africa and was used as a primitive contraceptive, with its leaves ground into a resin and used as a spermicide. The settlers of the area quickly began exporting silphium in large quantities resulting in the plant quickly being rendered extinct. To this day, we don’t know what in silphium's biological makeup allowed it to serve as birth control.

9)  TESLA DEATH RAY
Another Nikola Tesla creation. This one never saw the light of day. In the late 1930s, Tesla approached the U.S. military with a proposal.  He would create a new style of weapon for them that could be fired great distances. The exact blueprints for this weapon have never been revealed, but there are a number of speculations. Some believe it might have been a primitive laser, while others think it was an electrostatic generator that blasted microscopic pellets of tungsten at intense force a distance of over 300 miles. Tesla’s death device has since been lost forever.