Thursday, 31 October 2013

C & H

Calvin and Hobbes

Heading UK's Way?

New York City has voted to ban the sale of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and tobacco to anyone under the age of 21, raising the previous threshold of 18.
New York is the first large city in the US to raise the age limit so high, a resolution that follows years of increasingly stringent laws on tobacco.
The federal age requirement for buying cigarettes is 18, which some states previously raised to 19.
A spokeswoman for New York City council said the proposal was approved by 35 votes to 10.
New York was the pioneer of a ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and public places - initially criticised - but since adopted in cities across the West.

More at TTel

Tottenham Report

Tottenham Hotspur's home troubles might not be wholly solved, based on this, but at least they gave their fans something exciting and enjoyable after an exhausting 8-7 penalty shoot-out win over Hull City. Reaching the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup - where Spurs will host West Ham United - should not have been this difficult.

Over the first two hours of tiring, competitive football, which was drawn 2-2, Spurs started well, taking the lead with a brilliant Gylfi Sigurdsson goal. But Hull, switching from massed defence to gung-ho cup football, equalised and went ahead. They were 12 minutes away from a place in the quarter-finals before Harry Kane equalised and the shoot-out was probably the most surprising part of the whole night; Spurs winning on spot-kicks for the first time since 1994.

“If you want to see predictable endings, or happy endings, go to the opera or the theatre,” said Andre Villas-Boas afterwards, revelling in the fact that his players had scored eight out nine spot-kicks despite not practicing them for months. “That is the nature of football.” Erik Lamela was the only man to miss but the rest were all perfect, even into four rounds of sudden death, before Ahmed Elmohamady hit his straight at Brad Friedel and Spurs went through.

Villas-Boas was understandably relieved after coming through an evening that nearly went very badly. After his comments on Sunday night, following the 1-0 defeat of Hull in the Premier League, the fans were behind the team, but there was some disquiet at half-time in extra-time, when it looked like Spurs might go out. The fact that Spurs turned it round, and went through, Villas-Boas ascribed to the crowd giving the support he had always hoped for.

“The supporters today were absolutely fantastic for us,” Villas-Boas said, “to see us suffer the setbacks of 1-1 and 2-1 and to see their response was very pleasant - they can make that difference for us. The atmosphere was excellent because the supporters really want to bond with this team.”

For the first half, before they lost their grip, Spurs did put on a good show. With Bruce sticking with his 5-4-1 system that ought to have earned him a point on Sunday afternoon, Spurs had the task again of picking their way through.

They looked, from the start, brighter and sharper than they had in the league game, pressing the ball harder and passing it faster. Younes Kaboul and Jan Vertonghen, two real tempo-setters, were paired at centre-back for just the second time this season.

There was pressure on the Hull defence and Paulinho dragged a shot just wide but what broken them open, in the end, was a piece of individual skill that would have beaten any team currently playing the game. Kyle Naughton, at left back, passed the ball to Gylfi Sigurdsson, 25 yards out and with his back to goal. With one movement, Sigurdsson trapped the ball, dragged it back and spun towards goal and away from Curtis Davies. That was brilliant enough, regardless of what followed but, as it happened, Sigurdsson drove the ball right-footed into the near top corner of the net. No better individual goal will be scored at White Hart Lane this season.

Spurs could not find a second, though, and it was Bruce who took the initiative, withdrawing defender Alex Bruce for striker Nick Proschwitz after 33 minutes. It nearly made a swift difference, as Friedel palmed out Elmohamady's volley and needed Kaboul diving in to stop Danny Graham from converting.

In the second half, though, Hull were far superior, forcing Spurs back with aggressive, fearless cup football. Aaron McLean had replaced Danny Graham and his energy was obvious, dragging a shot just wide with his first touch.

Spurs were unsettled, though, and soon helped their guests to an equaliser. George Boyd's backheel freed Elmohamady down the right and his cross to the far post found Curtis Davies with an open goal. He, somehow, could only skew the ball back to Friedel, who did what Davies could not and clumsily diverted the ball into the net. In the 42-year-old's long professional career, this was not his finest hour. McLean could have made it 2-1 but headed Stephen Quinn's cross over the bar.

“We made it into a cup tie and put two up front,” Bruce explained. “It was tough towards the end but they're a delight to manage, for their effort, after what happened here, and, for me, they deserve to be in the hat.”

Villas-Boas threw on Vlad Chiriches, Nacer Chadli - for 10 minutes - and Harry Kane, and the youngster's shot against the bar in added time was the closest they came to scoring in a second half in which they had the momentum wrested from them.

In extra time, Hull continued to push and eventually took the lead. McLean forced a corner, Boyd took it and Paul McShane leaped past Chiriches to meet the ball, heading it past Friedel and into the roof of the net.

That could have been it but Spurs - who might prefer chasing games - came back and Kane held off McShane on the edge of the box and shot into the bottom corner. They could not be separated over two hours of football and so it was penalty kicks which had to do instead.

Man of the match Sigurdsson. 
Match rating 7/10.
Referee Jonathan Moss (Horsforth).
Attendance 35,617.


Spoilt Brats

Newspaper regulation
The newspaper industry is taking defeat in the High Court over plans for new industry regulation about as well you would expect by threatening scream until it makes itself sick.
The High Court rejected their appeal that the government is “not the boss of us”, but they have already said they will tell on the High Court to the Court of Appeal for not doing what it wants.
A spokesperson for the press industry spoke outside the court, fighting back the tears to tell us, “We don’t understand this situation because we are newspapers and we get what we want all of the time.”
“It seems as if we actually have to take ‘no’ for an answer. Which feels wrong in so many ways.”
“Normally we just ignore the rules and do what we like.”
“Can we go back to that? Pleeeeeeease?”

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It's never too early to start impressing your friends with worthless knowledge about Halloween.

Halloweeni- 1



Pinocchio is Italian for "pine eye".

Go On, Try It

Google has injected a few fun Easter eggs into its search for Halloween including facts about what witches eat and how to defeat the Grim Reaper.
Searching for terms such as “ghost”, “witch”, “skeleton” and “Grim Reaper” now produces new amusing hidden messages taking the form of Halloween-themed fact boxes along with the traditional Google search results.
The interesting little Easter eggs flow from new entries in Google’s Knowledge Graph – an encyclopaedia of about 570m concepts and relationships that allows Google to anticipate facts and figures users might want to know about their search term.
Google's Halloween Easter Eggs explain what a skeleton likes to eat, where it came from and how to defeat one
Google's Halloween Easter Eggs explain what a skeleton likes to eat, where it came from and how to defeat one
It is unknown precisely how many of thes Easter eggs that Google has inserted into the encyclopaedia, but there are at least 10 to find, each with their own interesting results.
Google has a history of including hidden messages and inside jokes within its products for people to find, as well as having some fun around public holidays and notable events with its Google Doodles.

New Gaff at the Lane

Link to video: Tottenham Hotspur get new stadium but local businesses lose out
The full extent of public contribution to Tottenham Hotspur's planned new stadium project can be revealed for the first time, with the club positioned to benefit from controversial council plans to develop an area opposite the new ground involving the demolition of existing local businesses.
Spurs have bought substantial land in that area, now proposed for residential development, and recently moved ownership of the property offshore, raising the possibility of avoiding corporate capital gains tax when it is sold at a profit – although Spurs deny the transfer was motivated by tax avoidance.
The development, proposed by Haringey council, follows a renegotiation of Spurs' planning permission last year, when the club was released from a £16m commitment to improve transport and community infrastructure, and to build 50% affordable housing in the apartment blocks planned on the site of the current ground.
Tottenham's chairman, Daniel Levy, argued that those requirements were making it difficult to raise the £400m necessary to build the new stadium, and called for the wider development to boost land values and investor confidence in the Tottenham project. The council, determined to bring regeneration to an area which is vibrant but deprived and suffered the riot of 2011, shares the club's belief that their investment will be a major "catalyst" to improve the area, so the concessions were worth making.
A council housing tower block and rows of shops with people living above are to be knocked down to create a wide walkway for Spurs fans from a relocated White Hart Lane station straight to the new 56,000-seat stadium, with its shops, bars and food outlets; the council says on non-matchdays the walkway will be a "mini-town centre" public space.
Tottenham's redevelopment plansTop, the property owned by Tottenham is shown in red; below, the council’s preferred option for redevelopment alongside the new stadium. Graphics: Guardian staff
The council "masterplan", which proposes wholesale flattening of property behind Tottenham High Road West, to be replaced by the walkway, 1,650 new flats and houses, shops, cafes, a library and promised cinema, has been met with utter dismay from business people whose premises would be knocked down.
Spurs stand to profit from the residential development because of the property they have bought in that area in recent years, including the Carbery enterprise park and some 20 shops and flats.
On 27 March, just before the council made the "masterplan" public, for consultation with local residents in April, Tottenham transferred all their property in the High Road West area to TH Property Ltd, a company registered in the Bahamas. That is the Caribbean tax haven home of Joe Lewis, the billionaire currency trader who owns a majority of Spurs via his holding company, Enic International, also registered in the Bahamas. Levy is, with his family, a potential beneficiary of a trust that owns 29% of Enic International in the Bahamas. Levy's salary, £2.2m in 2011-12, is paid by Enic International, which is then repaid by Spurs.
Richard Murphy, the anti-tax avoidance campaigner of Tax Research UK, said this arrangement gives clear potential for corporation tax to be avoided. He said: "It depends on the precise arrangements, but if property here is owned by an offshore company, there is no corporation tax on the gain when the property is sold."
A Spurs spokeswoman confirmed that TH Property Ltd is owned by Enic International, but said the transfer of the properties in Tottenham to a Bahamas-registered company was not to avoid paying UK tax on any profit made when the property is sold, potentially with residential development value.
"The transfer was to clear debts out of our UK companies which had bought the properties, so the club itself is not carrying the debts," she said. "That will help with the bank financing required for the new stadium. Both this and the club are UK operating organisations and UK tax will be paid on all UK transactions."
Business owners whose shops, workplaces and, for those who live above the shops, their homes have been targeted for demolition under the council's "masterplan," have accused Haringey of going too far to please Spurs, in the effort to keep the club in Tottenham and build regeneration around the new stadium.
Hard-pressed local councils are increasingly keen to help Premier League clubs, which have become stand-out multimillion pound success stories in often impoverished neighbourhoods.
Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City's occupation of the Etihad Stadium, originally built as the City of Manchester stadium for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and converted for the club afterwards, at a total cost of £127m public and lottery money, is regarded by Manchester City council as key to hopes of regenerating post-industrial east Manchester. Liverpool city council is currently threatening to use compulsory purchase orders on remaining property owners refusing to sell and make way for an expanded Anfield football ground; West Ham are benefiting from more than £150m public subsidy for their occupation of the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.
In February 2012, after Levy had sought to move his club out of Tottenham by challenging West Ham for occupation of the Olympic Stadium, Haringey agreed to release Spurs from the £16m commitment to local infrastructure and the 50% affordable housing requirement. The council itself and the mayor of London's office are instead to provide public money for the works, and a 22-storey tower block, Brook House, is being built to the north on Tottenham High Road, all of affordable housing.
When renegotiating with the council, Levy insisted major regeneration had to take place across Tottenham High Road, where Spurs had bought property, if staying in Haringey was to be viable.
"We have long said we could only invest in the area if we could see our commitment supported by others and that there was a real need to maximise the regeneration benefits and lift the wider area," Levy said.
The council agreed then, in February 2012, to produce an "area-wide regeneration masterplan", and that is the one now launched, proposing as its most ambitious option mass clearance of the existing homes and businesses, largely for new apartments.
Tottenham HotspurThe site of Tottenham's proposed new ground, next to White Hart Lane. Photograph: Jonny Weeks/The Guardian
In the summer, Levy secured €100m (£86m) from Real Madrid for selling Gareth Bale, and spent £93m on new players, including Roberto Soldado from Valencia and Erik Lamela from Roma (both cost £26m). Spurs argue they had to reinvest the Bale money in players to keep the team competitive while they press on with the new stadium project.
Brian Dossett, whose family-run timber and wood-machinist business has been on High Road since 1948 and employs 20 people, has joined other businesses to fight the plan. "They can't just take our factory and our land, which we have built over so many years' work, to build flats to make money; surely that is theft?" Dossett said.
Haringey council has said it has not yet discussed compensating or relocating businesses in line for demolition, because the "masterplan" is still only a proposal. The redevelopment could take 15 years to achieve, the council said, and Spurs point out that any money potentially made from it forms no part of the funding being assembled to build the new stadium itself.
That, approximately £400m to build a 56,000-seat stadium, stores and a podium around it, will be raised by selling naming rights and bank borrowing. The Spurs spokeswoman said the club is now confident enough about securing the funding to envisage putting the construction out to tender in early 2014, and have "cranes on site", beginning to build the new stadium, by the end of next year.
Spurs are emphasising huge benefits to Tottenham, and the council and local MP David Lammy hope the stadium project will prompt wider regeneration. A new primary school has been built at Brook House, and a university technical college for pupils aged 14-18, sponsored by the club and Middlesex University, is being built above a giant new Sainsbury's supermarket, due to open next month with 250 new jobs, mostly for local people.
Spurs own the supermarket site too, having assembled it from properties bought gradually over the years. On 27 March, it too was transferred to TH Property in the Bahamas, which is leasing the site to Sainsbury's.


The Official Dilbert Website featuring Scott Adams Dilbert strips, animations and more

Spooky Factuals

13, of course...

1. There's a $1,000 fine for using or selling Silly String in Hollywood on Halloween.

The prank product has been banned in Hollywood since 2004 after thousands of bored people would buy it on the streets of Hollywood from illegal vendors and "vandalize" the streets. The city ordinance calls  for a maximum $1,000 fine and/or six months in jail for "use, possession, sale or distribution of Silly String in Hollywood from 12:01 AM on October 31 to 12:00 PM on November 1."

2. Dressing up on Halloween comes from the Celts.

Celts believed Samhain was a time when the wall between our world and the paranormal world was porous and spirits could get through. Because of this belief, it was common for the Celts to wear costumes and masks  during the festival to ward off or befuddle any evil spirits.

3. The moniker "Halloween" comes from the Catholics.

Hallowmas is a three-day Catholic holiday where saints are honored and people pray for the recently deceased. At the start of the 11th century, it was decreed by the pope that it would last from Oct. 31 (All Hallow's Eve) until Nov. 2, most likely because that was when Samhain was celebrated  and the church was trying to convert the pagans.
"All Hallow's Eve" then evolved into "All Hallow's Even ," and by the 18th century it was commonly referred to as "Hallowe'en ."

Carved Turnips
Turnips need carving love too.
4. We should carve turnips, not pumpkins.

The origin of Jack-O-Lanterns comes from a Celtic folk tale of a stingy farmer named Jack  who would constantly play tricks on the devil. The devil responded by forcing him to wander purgatory with only a burning lump of coal from hell. Jack took the coal and made a lantern from a turnip, using it to guide his lost soul.
The myth was brought over by Irish families fleeing the potato famine in the 1800s, and since turnips were hard to come by in the U.S., America's pumpkins were used as a substitute to guide lost souls and keep evil spirits like "Jack of the Lantern" away.

5. Halloween symbols aren't random.

Black cats, spiders, and bats are all Halloween symbols because of their spooky history and ties to Wiccans. All three were thought to be the familiars of witches in the middle ages, and are often associated with bad luck.
Bats are even further connected to Halloween by the ancient Samhain ritual of building a bonfire, which drove away insects and attracted bats .

6. Fears of poisoned Halloween candy are unfounded.

One of parents' biggest fears is that their child's Halloween candy is poisoned or contains razor blades.
In reality, this fear is almost entirely unfounded. There are only two known cases of poisoning, and both involved relatives, according to LiveScience . In 1970, a boy died of a heroin overdose. The investigators found it on his candy, but in a twist they later discovered the boy had accidentally consumed some of his uncle's heroin stash, and the family had sprinkled some on the candy to cover up the incident.
Even more horrifically, in 1974 Timothy O'Bryan died after eating a Pixy Stix his father had laced with cyanide to collect on the insurance money, according to Smithsonian Magazine .

7. Halloween and the candy industry supposedly influenced Daylight Savings Time.

Candy makers supposedly lobbied to extend daylight savings time into the beginning of November to get an extra hour of daylight so children could collect even more candy (thus forcing people to purchase more candy to meet the demand).
They wanted it so badly that during the 1985 hearings on Daylight Savings they put candy pumpkins on the seat of every senator, according to NPR . (The candy industry disputes this account, according to The New York Times .)

kids halloween candy
Remember doing this?
8. Candy Corn was originally known as "chicken feed."

Invented by George Renninger, a candy maker at the Wunderle Candy Company of Philadelphia in the 1880s, Candy Corn was originally called "butter cream candies" and "chicken feed" since back then, corn was commonly used as food for livestock (they even had a rooster on the candy boxes).
It had no association with Halloween or fall, and was sold seasonally from March to November. After World War II, advertisers began marketing it as a special Halloween treat  due to its colors and ties to the fall harvest.

9. A full moon on Halloween is extremely rare.

Though a common trope in horror movies and Halloween decorations with witches flying across the full moon, the next full moon on Halloween won't occur until 2020 .
The most recent Halloween full moon was back in 2001, and before that it was in 1955.

10. Halloween is still the Wiccan New Year.

Halloween originates from a Celtic tradition called Samhain , a festival that marked the end of the Celtic calendar year in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. They believed it was a time that spirits or fairies could enter our world, and the Celts would put out treats and food to placate the spirits — sometimes, a place at the table was even set for the souls of the dead.
Wiccans still celebrate Samhain  as a New Year celebration today.

11. Trick-or-treating has been around for a long time.

Versions of trick-or-treating have existed since medieval times. In the past, it was known as "guising " where children and poor adults went around in costumes during Hallowmas begging for food and money in exchange for songs or prayers. It was also called "souling."

Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown
12. Trick-or-treating as we know it was re-popularized by cartoons.

Trick-or-treating was brought to America by the Irish and became popular during the early 20th century, but died out during WWII when sugar was rationed. After the rationing ended in 1947, children's magazine "Jack and Jill," radio program "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," and the "Peanuts" comic strip all helped to re-popularize the tradition  of dressing up in costumes and asking for candy from door-to-door.
By 1952, trick-or-treating was hugely popular again.

13. Halloween is the second-most commercial American holiday of the year.

The candy industry in America rakes in an average of $2 billion annually  thanks to Halloween (that's 90 million pounds of chocolate).
Americans spend an estimated $6 billion on Halloween annually , including candy, costumes, and decorations, according to (The most commercial holiday in the U.S. is obviously Christmas.)
Business Insider

Letters of Note

In March of 1961, nine years after the publication of Charlotte's Web, author E. B. White received a letter from a young fan named Cathy Durham who wanted to know when, if ever, his next children's book would see the light of day. He replied, in part:
"I would like to write another book for children but I spend all my spare time just answering the letters I get from children about the books I have already written. So it looks like a hopeless situation unless you can start a movement in America called 'Don't write to E. B. White until he produces another book.'"
White's letter soon found its way into the hands of Cathy's librarian, who immediately sent it back to him and complained of his "cruel" tone. Some weeks later, White responded to the librarian with the following letter.

(Source: Letters of E. B. White; Image: E. B. White, via Caroll Bryant.)

North Brooklin, Maine
May 7, 1961

Dear Miss B.,

I'm sorry this letter has been put off for so long, but there has been serious illness in my family and I have let things slide in consequence.

I was surprised when my letter to Cathy Durham was returned to me by you. Of the thousands of letters I have written to children, it's the only one that has bounced, and I don't feel quite sure what happened. I assume you were disinclined to exhibit it, but I think the letter belongs to Cathy and if you'll send me her address I'll return it—she might like to have it about twenty years from now when she can fully understand what it is all about.

Cathy, as I recall it, asked me why I had not written another book for children, so I told her. (I don't always tell the exact, whole truth to children, but my tendency is to do just that.) Then I made what I considered was a little joke: I suggested a movement in America called "Don't write to E. B. White until he produces another book." In all this I see nothing ungracious or cruel. I do see that I raised a question that should be of interest to librarians and school teachers, namely, should they, in their zeal to put children in touch with books, also attempt to put them in touch with authors?

The practice of having youngsters write to authors is now widespread. It is an innocent, and perhaps laudable, diversion; but it has arithmetical consequences that teachers and librarians seem unaware of. The author is hopelessly outnumbered. You, as a librarian, tend to think of your exhibit as an isolated case, but it is one of thousands. The result is the author swamped with mail. Letters now come to me faster than I can answer them. Many of the letters contain requests—for an autograph, for a dust jacket, for an explanation, for a photograph. This to me presents a real problem. I have no secretary here at home, and if I am to deal with my mail I must do it myself; if I am to mail a book I must find the wrapping paper, the string, the energy, the right amount of stamps, and take the parcel to the post office up the road. This can occupy a whole morning, and often does.

I haven't solved this problem and don't really know what I shall do. I may give up answering letters, or, as some writers do, throw them back on the publisher—which seems to me evasive and unsatisfying.

About four years ago, I had an idea for a story for children. It seemed like such a pleasant idea that I spent my spare time for several weeks doing research and making notes—the raw material of a book. I put everything in a folder and there it still lies, awaiting a spell when I feel enough caught up with life to tackle the writing. Every once in a while I take this folder out and examine it, hungrily. But then I look at my desk where the unanswered letters and the undone things lie in accusing piles, and I stick the folder back in its corner.

When I was a child, I liked books, but an author to me was a mythical being. I never dreamed of getting in touch with one, and no teacher ever suggested that I do so. The book was the thing, not the man behind the book. I'm not at all sure that this separation of author and reader isn't a sound idea, although there are plenty of teachers and plenty of writers who would disagree. It is somewhat a matter of temperament, I guess. A lot of writers thrive on a rich diet of adulation and inquiry and contact; they like to read from their works, sign their name on flyleafs, and take tea. Other writers are very anxious to do anything that will promote the sale of their book, and they spend much time and energy fanning any spark of public interest. As for me, as soon as I get a book out of my system, I like to forget about it and get on with something else. So in the long run, although I'm not immune to praise and to friendliness, I get impatient with the morning mail, because it is, in a sense, my enemy—the thing that stands between me and a final burst of creative effort. (I'm sixty-one and working against time.)

Margaret Mitchell once remarked: "It is a full-time job to be the author 'Gone With the Wind.'" This remark greatly impressed me, as being an admission of defeat, American style. (Miss Mitchell, incidentally, was not overstating the matter—she never produced another book.) I don't want being the author of "Charlotte's Web" to be a full-time job or even a part-time job. It seems to me that being an author is a silly way to spend one's day.

If I caused Cathy any uneasiness by telling her a literary truth that is perhaps beyond her immediate comprehension, I am indeed sorry. But the letter, I think, properly belonged in your exhibit and you should have boldly stuck it on the wall, where it might have stirred the interest of visitors concerned with school and library practice.


E. B. White
Letters of Note

No Thanks

Down in the Mouth

Brushing your teeth after every meal, visiting the dentist for cleanings, and having a relatively painless mouth is not just desired but expected in the year 2012. However, that was not always the case. Dentistry has come a long way since its inception and is often overlooked for other scientific advancements.
The earliest history of treating tooth related problems goes all the way back to 7000 BC, where the Indus Valley Civilization shows evidence of treating the mouth for tooth decay. The first method of treatment was bow drills, which were ancient primitive tools used for woodworking and treating tooth problems.
Moving forward into 5000 BC, the Sumerians blamed tooth worms as the cause of any dental issues, with the worms boring little holes in your teeth and hiding out inside. (Reportedly some ancient doctors even mistook nerves as tooth worms and tried to yank them out.  Ouch!)   The idea that a worm traveled through your mouth and was the cause of dental pain lasted until it was proven false in the 1700s. (Yes, you read that right, the 1700s).
In ancient Greece, Hippocrates and Aristotle wrote about treating decayed teeth as well as having teeth extracted to keep mouth pain away. The concept of having a tooth extracted from the mouth through using forceps was often used to treat many diseases into the middle ages.
Interestingly enough, the professionals who were doing these extractions during the middle ages were not medical authorities, but barbers. These partially trained hair cutters began using a “Dental Pelican” in the 14th century and then a “Dental Key” to extract teeth from their patients’ mouths. Both of these tools were similar to and the precursor to modern day forceps. These barbers were not full time dentists, but in fact, their work was focused solely on removing any infected teeth for alleviating pain purposes, not preventive care.
It was between 1650 and 1800 that the concepts behind what we now think of as dentistry got its start. The man behind the science was 17th century French Physician, Pierre Fauchard. He is called “The Father of Modern Dentistry”, and he was the brains behind many of the procedures still used in today’s society. For instance, he was the man behind the thought process for dental fillings, and he also helped to explain that acids from sugar are a major source of tooth decay.
From here, the rest is history. In 1840, the first dental college was opened, called the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. This led to more government oversight, and eventually regulation through the American Dental Association (ADA).
In 1873, Colgate mass-produced the first toothpaste in a jar, and, just a few years later, in 1885 the first tooth brush was mass produced in America by H.N. Wadsworth. The first real electric toothbrush was produced in 1939, but it was developed in Switzerland.
Surprisingly, most Americans did not pick up on the dental trend to brush their teeth until after World War II. The soldiers stationed abroad brought the concept of good dental health back to the states. Now, most Americans not only focus on the health aspects of keeping their teeth clean, but many are just as concerned with the cosmetic appearance as well. Times have changed!
Bonus Teeth Facts:
  • During the Civil War, not only did the South secede, but the southern dentists did as well. They left the ADA, and formed the SDA (Southern Dental Association) in Atlanta in 1869. They joined back up with the ADA to form the National Dental Association (NDA) in 1897, and, in 1922 when all was forgiven, the NDA became the ADA again.
  • Dental researchers (they do exist) have been surprised to find that there are grooves in the teeth of prehistoric humans that seem to be similar to those caused by current day dental floss and tooth picks.
  • Paul Revere was not only known for warning that the British were coming, but he also trained as a dentist under America’s first dentist, John Baker.
  • It is said that the ancient Chinese were the first to use toothbrushes. They made them from pigs’ necks or used pieces of wood to create “Chew Sticks”.
  • Invisalign braces were first made public in May of 2000, but centuries before, orthodontics were being perfected. Edward H. Angle created a simple classification for crooked teeth in the late 1800s, and that system is still used today. He also started the first school of orthodontics in 1901.
  • Contrary to popular belief, George Washington’s teeth were not actually made from wood. Researchers in Baltimore found that his false teeth included gold, ivory, human, and animal teeth. In that time, horse and donkey teeth were often used to supplement the real thing.
  • Novocain was originally invented around 1905 to be a quick acting anesthesia to use on soldiers during war time. It never quite caught on in that respect, but it was picked up for dental use.
  • One of the first known professional dentists was an Egyptian named Hesi-Re who lived around 3000 BC.  His tomb included the inscription, “the greatest of those who deal with teeth…”
  • If you had a toothache and when to Roman doctor, Archigenes, around 15 A.D., he’d make an ointment of roasted earthworms, crushed eggs of spiders, and spikenard.  Next, he’d drill a hole in the tooth causing you pain and place this ointment inside to relieve it.  Presumably he didn’t get many repeat customers.

Word of the Day

  • sere
  • audio pronunciation
  • \SEER\
: being dried and withered
The sere winter garden gave no hint of the profusion of flowers that would bloom in the spring.

"Where some people might see only a sere landscape and crumbling stacks of bricks, he sees a civilization that became increasingly hierarchical and income-stratified, held together by ritual that came unglued when a series of droughts left too many people with not enough food." — From an article by Jackie Jadrnak in theAlbuquerque Journal News, September 15, 2013
"Sere" has not wandered very far from its origins—it derives from the Old English word "sēar" (meaning "dry"), which traces back to the same ancient root that gave Old High German, Greek, and Lithuanian words for drying out and withering. The adjective "sere" once had the additional meaning of "threadbare," but that use is now archaic. The noun "sere" also exists, though it isn't common; its meanings are "a dry period or condition " or "withered vegetation." There are also three unrelated nouns spelled "sere." They refer to a claw or talon; a series of ecological communities; and a Hebrew vowel point.



An Italian mayor sent smoke signals from the town square in protest at having no internet or mobile phone coverage.
Appeals to telecoms firms by the 500 residents of Nughedu Santa Vittoria, a small town in central Sardinia, have fallen on deaf ears, reports La Stampa. It means they've nothing but landlines to connect to the outside world. So the mayor, Francesco Mura, took to the streets in protest, armed with an old blanket and some cuttings from a shrubbery. After building a bonfire in the town piazza, he set about sending smoke signals to call townsfolk together. "We are 20 years behind," Mura reportedly complains. "What entrepreneur would open a business if you cannot use the internet?"
It seems shops in the town don't take credit cards or sell mobile phone top-ups and while Mura owns a smartphone, he can't use it. The mayor says his town is so technologically cut-off that young people are forced to leave. "How can young people live here if they can't even email their CVs?" he's quoted as saying. If the smoke signals don't get the message across, Mura has another idea. "He is already thinking about carrier pigeons", the newspaper says.

Clever Chap

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas says his side's fans were the difference in the home Capital One Cup victory over Hull, days after questioning the atmosphere at White Hart Lane.

The Portuguese accused his supporters of "negativity" after Sunday's 1-0 league win over the same opponents.

"Great credit to the fans. They were the difference, inspiring us - always cheering, always supporting," he said.

Spurs overcame Hull 8-7 on penalties to make the League Cup last eight.

The hosts fell behind to Paul McShane's header in extra-time, but were loudly supported as they fought back to level through substitute Harry Kane and then win the tie from the spot.

"To see their response after we suffered a setback was very pleasant," added Villas-Boas.

"It was a great atmosphere and it was great for the team to feel that empathy with the supporters."

It was Tottenham's first win on penalties since 1994 - having lost seven shoot-outs thereafter - but Villas-Boas said his squad had actually practised less than when they lost to Basel in the Europa League in April.

"We practised and practised penalties for the Basel game last year, but we didn't this time," he added.

"We haven't practised them for three or four months!"

Their reward is a home draw against London rivals West Ham in the next round which is likely to guarantee another raucous atmosphere.


Last Eight

We all know it as the League Cup but it's been decades since it was last called that, what with sponsorship and selling tradition down the river.  So why do the BBC still insist on its old name and not the new Crapital Cup?

We're still doomed, either way.

TUEsday 17 DEC 2013 - LEAGUE CUP
  • LeicestervMan City19:45
  • StokevMan Utd19:45
  • TottenhamvWest Ham19:45

Yet Another Close Call

Spurs squeak through with another close game against Hull in the Crapital Cup, this time on penalties but sadly the Toon get dumped by Man City after extra time.  We face West Ham in the last eight and wonder if we can bury our humiliating 0 - 3 reverse recently?  Nah, I doubt it.


The longest words in the English language with only one syllable are the nine letter "screeched" and "strengths".


"The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any."

-- Russell Baker

Happy Halloween

Another bollocks American tradition of "trick or treat" which thankfully we missed out on in our youth.  Begging with menaces is what it really is, although "penny for the guy" is almost on par.

Looking Good

And our new routers seem to have done the trick- all well this morning and working nicely.  :o)

Packing Up

We're making progress in that we're about half way through our long term packing and should be done by the weekend.  One final laundry, five bags for storage and we'll be good to go on Monday.

How's Your Luck

No sooner did I mention that we'd had no joy in hiring "Despicable Me 2" when there it was in the shop.  It's bloody brilliant, funny on so many levels and I loved it.  I'm going to have to buy a copy.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

C & H

Calvin and Hobbes

Midsomer Murder

Is tonight.




In 1963, baseball pitcher Gaylord Perry remarked, "They'll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run."  On July 20, 1969, a few hours after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, he hit his first (and only) home run.

Lifesavers- 2

7. Needles

Lost in the woods with nothing but a sewing kit?
Build a makeshift compass with a needle and a leaf. Rub the needle on your shirt, place it on a leaf, and place the leaf in still water. The needle will spin and point North.
Windell Oskay (CC BY 2.0) / Flickr: oskay

8. Crayons

Power went out and you’re locked in your kid’s playroom?
Crayons will burn just like candles. Giant crayons work too — they’re like torches.
Loren Sztajer (CC BY-ND 2.0) / Flickr: lorensztajer

9. Chapstick

Got into a scuffle with a post-apocalyptic beast?
After cleaning the wound, rub chapstick over it to help stop the bleeding. Use a non-scented stick to avoid irritation.
Steve Polyak (CC BY-SA 2.0) / Flickr: spolyak

10. Soda Cans

Hungry but not thirsty?
Turn your soda can into a full-blown fishing rod. Break the can’s tab to make for a sharp hook, attach it to fishing line, and wrap the line around the can to make a reel.
USDF Forest Service Alaska Region (CC BY 2.0) / Flickr: alaska_region

11. Bar Soap

Worried you have a gas leak and there’s no handyman to call?
Rub bar soap over the pipes. If things start to bubble, you probably have a leak. If not, you just have soap on your pipes.
Christian Senger (CC BY-SA 2.0) / Flickr: 30928442@N08

12. Mouse Traps + Glow Sticks = Alarm System

Worried someone has been trespassing on your post-apocalyptic property?
If you have a mouse trap, a glow stick, and some string, you can build your own alarm system. Place the glow stick on the base of the mouse trap, and attach the string to the mouse trap’s trigger. Pull the string tight across the door. If the door is opened, the mouse trap will trigger, and hit the glow stick. A lit glow stick will prove someone tried to break in.