Feb 2

On This Day In Black History: February 2

BHM 17


1897; Alfred L. Cralle invented the ice cram scooper, patent #576,395


1862; District of Columbia abolishes slavery

1948; President Truman sent Congress a special message urging adoption of a civil rights program, including a fair employment practices commission and anti-lynching and anti-poll tax measures.

1839; Inventor Edmond Berger patented the spark plug.

1915; Biologist Ernest E. Just receives the Spingarn medal for his pioneering in cell division and fertilization.




Tags: ,
Dec 2

A Guy Is Using His Frequent Flyer Miles to Fly Strangers Home for Christmas

Photo: http://shoutitforlife.com/

Photo: http://shoutitforlife.com/

There’s a 44-year-old guy in New York named Peter Shankman who does business seminars all over the world.  So he racks up a lot of frequent flyer miles, and uses most of them to get plane tickets for his friends and family.


But he’s also using a bunch of them this year to buy tickets for complete STRANGERS who can’t afford to fly home for Christmas. He’s been asking people to explain why they deserve a free ticket on the site Imgur.com.  (Pronounced image-er.)

The ones who get the most votes by 5:00 P.M. Eastern today will get the tickets.  So HE’S not choosing who gets them, the Internet is.  (It’s probably too late to get in on the action, but this story explains how to apply for a free ticket.) He says he has enough miles to fly three or four people round-trip.  Or more depending on where each person’s going.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because he did the same thing last year.  And he also sent six people home for the holidays back in 2013, which inspired OTHER people to do it.  So about 25 people ended up getting free tickets that year. By the way, if YOU have a bunch of frequent flyer miles you want to donate to someone, there’s actually a website you can go through now called Abroaders.com.



(Imgur / Lansing State Journal)

Tags: ,
Nov 30

10 Interesting Facts About Christmas Movies

omorrow is the first day of December, but there’s a good chance you’ve already started watching Christmas movies, especially if you have kids.  And no matter how many times you’ve seen them, you may not know everything.




“People” magazine has a list of “30 Surprising Facts About Your Favorite Christmas Movies,” and while some of them aren’t exactly shocking . . . there are some interesting ones.  Here are 10 highlights:


1. Natalie Wood was eight when she filmed “Miracle on 34th Street”, and she thought her co-star Edmund Gwenn really WAS Santa Claus.


2.  The supervising animator for “The Nightmare Before Christmas” says the movie was shot at 24 frames per second, meaning that technically the characters had to be posed 24 different times for each SECOND.  And it took It took a whole week to finish shooting each minute of the movie.


3.  An episode of “MythBusters” proved that a person’s tongue CAN instantly get stuck to a freezing pole like in “A Christmas Story”.


4.  Will Ferrell ate so much sugar while filming “Elf” that he had trouble sleeping.  He said, quote, “I constantly stayed up.  But anything for the movie, I’m there.”


5.  Jim Carrey was originally supposed to star in “Elf”.


6.  “The Santa Clause” joke involving ‘1-800-SPANK-ME’ caused massive problems for parents when kids discovered that it connected them to an actual phone sex hotline.  Some people who dialed the number reportedly racked up hundreds of dollars in phone bills.


7.  The Grinch was black-and-white in the original Dr. Seuss book . . . and it was the director of the 1966 animated movie who had the idea to make him green.


8. After the release of “Home Alone 2″, the Plaza Hotel in New York City was swamped with families wanting to recreate Kevin’s adventure in Suite 411, a.k.a. ‘Kevin’s Suite,’ for $1,100 a night.  Donald Trump owned the Plaza back then, and as you probably know by now, he has a cameo in the movie.


9.  “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” creator Robert May considered the names ‘Reginald’ and ‘Rollo’ before settling on ‘Rudolph.’  He ultimately thought Reginald sounded too British and Rollo sounded too carefree.


10.  Some of the Jean Shepherd stories that made up “A Christmas Story” were first published in “Playboy”.  Of course, they weren’t R-rated.  As you probably know, aside from the pictorials, “Playboy” has a long history of featuring short stories.  In fact, that’s why most people say they read it.  (???)


The director of “A Christmas Story”, Bob Clark, also directed the sex comedy “Porky’s” and the not-so-family-friendly movie “Black Christmas”, which is a classic horror movie from 1974.  (Hit up People.com for the whole list.)

Tags: , ,
Nov 22

Five Random Facts For Tuesday



Here are some random facts for you . . .


1.  People produce an average of 0.28 pounds of feces per day, or around 100 pounds a year.



2.  When Milton Bradley invented the Game of Life in 1860, one of the possible outcomes was suicide.



3.  There are 4,700 species of frogs, and only one makes a “ribbit” sound.  But we associate it with all frogs, because the frog that “ribbits” is native to California, so it’s the one that sound engineers originally recorded for movies.



4.  Cashews are the only nut that you can’t buy in its shell . . . because the shells are toxic.



5.  During the American Revolution, GEORGE WASHINGTON swore he’d never set foot on British soil.  So when a statue of him went up in London in 1921, the state of Virginia sent over some dirt and the statue was erected on top of it.



(Wikipedia / New Yorker / Oregon State / Evil Mad Scientist / About)

Tags: ,
Nov 21

The Six Most Popular Thanksgiving Foods

Photo: tarrantscaferva.com

Photo: tarrantscaferva.com



A new survey found 96% of Thanksgiving dinners will include turkey this Thursday.  So only 4% of us AREN’T serving it.


Here are the five most popular Thanksgiving foods BESIDES turkey . . .



1.  Stuffing . . . 86% of us are planning to serve it.


2.  Mashed potatoes, 83%.


3.   Dinner rolls, 80%.


4.  Pumpkin pie, 74%


5.  Green beans or green bean casserole, 71%.




Tags: ,
Nov 17

The 10 Most Dangerous Toys of the Year


The website ToySafety.org posted its list of the ten most dangerous toys of the year.  And they’re all sold at places like Walmart, Toys R Us, and Amazon.

So in other words, here are the ten presents you probably DON’T want to buy your kids for Christmas . . .


1.  Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddles Family.  They’re action figures for toddlers, but they have tiny parts kids can choke on.



2.  Kids Time Baby Children’s Elephant Pillow.  It’s a big pink pillow that looks like an elephant.  It can end up suffocating your baby if you leave it in their crib.



3.  Slimeball Slinger.  It’s a slingshot that shoots little green balls hard enough to cause serious eye injuries.



4.  Banzai Bump N’ Bounce Body Bumpers.  They’re like those big inflatable sumo suits, where you run around and bounce off each other.  Obviously not the safest idea.



5.  The Nerf Rival Apollo Blaster.  It’s a Nerf gun that shoots little yellow balls.  So again, you have to worry about your kids shooting an eye out.



6.  A “Galloping Butch” doll from the movie “The Good Dinosaur”.  It has small parts that could be a choking hazard.  And the plastic tail is pointy enough to do some damage too.



7.  Peppy Pups dolls.  The pull string can get wrapped around your kid’s neck.



8.  The Flying Heroes Superman Launcher.  It’s a plastic Superman doll that spins around and flies like a helicopter, but you launch it with a pull string.  They also sell Batman and Spider-Man versions, and they can all cause face and eye injuries.



9.  The Baby Magic Feed and Play doll.  It comes with a bunch of small parts that could be choking hazards, including a tiny spoon that can get lodged in your kid’s throat.



10.  The “Warcraft” Doomhammer.  It looks like Thor’s Hammer, but it’s from the video game “World of Warcraft”.  And it’s heavy enough to actually hurt someone.  So if you give it to your kid, it’s like asking them to shatter your kneecap.




Tags: , ,
Nov 16

The Top 10 Lies Parents Tell Kids


This is the time of year when you can get a LOT of mileage out of reminding your kids that Santa is watching them.  Of course, deep down you know the truth.  And to any kids listening, the truth is . . . yeah, he’s totally watching.

A new survey found the top 10 LIES parents tell their kids.  Check ‘em out . . .


1.  “Santa Claus is watching.”


2.  “We’ll see.”


3.  “We’re almost there.”


4.  “We’ll come back another time.”


5.  “Carrots help improve your eyesight.”


6.  “I always know when you’re lying.”


7.  “We can come back and buy that toy next time.”


8.  “I didn’t bring my purse with me today.”


9.  “If you keep making that face, it will freeze like that.”


10.  “Your pet went to live on a farm out in the country.”



(Daily Mail)

Tags: , ,
Nov 15

Five Random Facts For Tuesday

Here are some random facts for you . . .




1.  The “X” in “Merry Xmas” is actually the Greek letter Chi, which is an abbreviation for Christ in Greek.  (Chi is pronounced like “kai”.)


2.  The first ever cell phone call was placed on April 3rd, 1973, when one of the engineers at Motorola who built the phone walked out onto the street and called a competitor at AT&T to brag.


3.  The guy who invented “Pokemon” got the idea for a game where you collected rare monsters because he collected bugs as a kid.


4.  There’s no word for “blue” in ancient Greek.


5.  One month before “Seinfeld” debuted in 1989, Jason Alexander won a Tony for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for the “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway”.



(Wikipedia / Bloomberg / Time / Clarkesworld / Wikipedia)

Nov 14

A 90-Second Shower Trick That Wakes You Up

Photo: theguardian.com

Photo: theguardian.com


A recent survey found the average person takes 227 showers a year, or right around four a week.  But this is for everyone who feels like they HAVE to shower every morning to wake up.

It’s a 90-second trick that supposedly wakes you up even better than a normal shower.  The downside is it kind of sounds like torture.  So maybe just try it when you’re REALLY tired.

First, shower like normal.  But then before you get out, blast yourself with COLD water for 30 seconds . . . switch back to hot water for 30 seconds . . . and end with another 30-second blast of cold.

So that’s 30 seconds of cold . . . 30 seconds of hot . . . and 30 seconds of cold again.

Obviously the cold water alone would wake you up.  But switching back and forth between hot and cold supposedly works even better, because it increases blood flow.  So you end up feeling even more energized.




Tags: , ,
Nov 4

Cyber Monday Is Now More Popular Than Black Friday

Photo: hercampus.com

Photo: hercampus.com

It looks like we’ve finally realized shopping in our underwear is way better than going to WAR with each other over a $10 toaster . . .



According to a new survey, Cyber Monday will be more popular than Black Friday for the first time ever.



69% of people said they’re planning to shop on Cyber Monday this year, compared to 66% on Black Friday.  It was basically a tie last year . . . 55% for Black Friday, and 54% for Cyber Monday.



And even ON Black Friday, online shopping is just as popular now.  36% of people said they’ll go to at least one store on Black Friday, and 36% also said they’ll shop online.



The survey also found 45% of us plan to spend up to $400 total on Christmas presents this year.  25% will spend up to $800 . . . 13% will spend up to $1,200 . . . 8% will spend more than that . . . and 9% don’t plan to buy anything.



But 94% of people who ARE buying presents will get at least one of them online.



(PR Newswire / Offers.com)

Tags: , ,