should kids learn to code?

Uh….yes, of course they should!

Kids learning to codeKids in school should absolutely learn how to code. Really, there are a lot of people who should learn how to code, but let’s start with the kids so they are ahead of the game. Well, really they are already behind in the game if they are not coding, but we won’t focus on the negative.

It is time however, to get the ball rolling and get people coding. Computer technology is the thing. That’s it folks. Technology is only going to get better and better and even more a part of our daily lives than it already is.

And now, the UK has made computer science a part of its national curriculum. Sadly, they are one of the only countries that has done so. But hopefully they will lead the way and others will follow soon after.

Of course one of the main problems is the fact that there are too few teachers that can teach children how to code.

To get things moving, however the tech start-up, Codeacademy is looking to step in. They recently opened offices in London (they are based in New York). They have also just announced the launch of a coding program for Estonia. Estonia along with Buenos Aires have also made computer science part of their national curriculum. Codeacademy does not plan to stop there. They have very big, international plans and hope to reach globally.

A home run for this tech startup! We need everyone on board. You can read more about this on wired.

want your wine to taste better?

Change the lighting in the room…

Researchers in Germany (Institute of Psychology at Johannes Gutenberg University) studied how the lighting in a room effects how we judge a wine to taste.

Here is an overview of the study:

500 subjects were asked to judge a wine and also indicate how much they would be willing to pay for it. The researchers exposed tasters to red or blue ambient lighting. They also exposed tasters to green or white ambient lighting.

The results?

Keeping in mind that all tasters had the same wine. The tasters rated the wine higher ‘when exposed to red or blue ambient light rather than green or white light’. Not only that, they were willing to pay more for the wine when the ambient lighting was red as opposed to green.

This would certainly be information that a restauranteur might want to know.

It is known that ‘the color of a drink can influence the way we taste it’. And now it seems the lighting in which it is presented also has an impact on taste.

Subjects said that wine in red light was sweeter and fruitier than in other light.

There really is no clear explanation for why this type of lighting alters taste. One thought is that the simple psychology of being in what we think of as a pleasing environment with pleasing lighting will make our wine taste better.

yawning. why?
dinosaur yawning

Why do we yawn?

It is a mystery. Or is it? You may have once been told that yawning serves to get extra oxygen into our body. That sounds great, but the fact is, there is nothing scientifically that supports that. It’s almost like Descartes’ explanation of where the mind meets the body (the pineal gland – epic fail).

To the rescue however is some new research that offers a bit more proof. It seems as though we may yawn in order to cool off our brain.

It seems that your human brain is most effective when near a particular temperature (around 68-70 ºF). If we are in temperatures that will allow the human brain to cool down, they we yawn.

But when we are not in temperatures that can cool our brain down, we should yawn less (or really not at all?).

Scientists looked at yawning behaviors in diverse parts of the world to learn more. They looked in Vienna (where conditions reach freezing during the cold seasons) along with Tucson, AZ (where temperature conditions get super hot in the summer months).

The actual thinking was that when the temperatures are at the extreme conditions (very cold within Vienna and scorching in Tucson) there is going to be a lesser amount of yawning. And this is in fact what they found. That is, during a Tucson summer season, folks yawned significantly less (yawning wouldn’t serve to cool the brain down in these extreme hot temperatures). Furthermore, within the very cold air of Vienna, individuals yawned less because they don’t have to cool their brain in this environment.

Guess there is some additional investigation to do into the mystery of yawning.

speaking of dinosaurs….
Largest Dinosaur

(the name of this blog that is)… a fossil from a 90-million year old dinosaur was found in Argentina. The claim is that it belonged to the largest dinosaur that has been found thus far.

So how big was it? The estimates are that is was about 130 feet tall and could weigh as much as the size of 14 grown elephants. I’m pretty overwhelmed by one grown elephant, but 14.

Can you even image an animal walking the land that big?

See a picture of its femur bone (which is much larger than a full grown man) here. The smaller portion of its leg is bigger than the size of a man!


life expectancy around the world
life expectancy around the world

What countries have the highest life expectancy? You might be surprised.

The number is going to change depending on whether you are a man or a woman, but there are a few countries that seem to do pretty well for both (pretty well meaning people are living longer).

Spoiler alert: the US was is in the top 10.

So who were the winners? For men – Iceland (with an average live expectance of 81.2 years). For women – Japan (with an average life expectancy of 87 years.

The life expectancy of women is always higher.

But what are some countries that both sexes do well in?
Switzerland is the best for both sexes.
Then there is Singapore, followed by Italy then Japan.

The best places for women are Japan, Spain and Switzerland (expectancy from range is 85.1 – 87).
While the best for men are Iceland, Switzerland and Australia (expectancy range from 80.5 – 81.2).

So how does the US stand up? The average life expectancy for men is 76 years and women 81 years.

As a point of reference, life expectancy for the world population is 68.1 for men and 72.7 for women.

See page 9 on the report from The World Health Organization for a chart that outlines the top 10 countries for both men and women.

Thinking about moving?

traveling with a buddhist tattoo? – you may have problems

This is interesting. Especially given all of the Buddhist tattoos I have seen on people.

I found this in one of my favorite news sites, The Guardian. A British tourist was in Sri Lanka when detained by the police for a tattoo she had on her arm. She was ordered to be deported from Sri Lanka because of a tattoo of Buddha on her arm.

The arrest was made because the tattoo was insensitive to the religious feelings of others.

This is apparently not the first time this has happened.

Travelers be aware of where you are going, the laws in the region, and any insensitivities you may unknowingly display. Yes, it may interrupt your travel plans and you may not understand ‘what the big deal is’, but every culture is different and they must be respected.

This is not to suggests one shouldn’t travel if they have a buddhist tattoo, just be aware and respectful.

mail on sunday??
mail delivery on sunday

Are you one of the 15 cities that will be getting deliveries from Amazon via the USPS on Sundays?

Amazon has offered Sunday delivery to New York, LA, and London already. But now they will be opening this service to the following new cities:

Indianapolis; Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky; New Orleans and Shreveport, Louisiana; Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; Oklahoma City; Philadelphia; Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Waco and College Station, Texas

Next on the list may be Arizona cities.

The question is, how do the postal workers feel about this? Are they angry about the Sunday hours or does this open up more opportunities for work?

What are your thoughts on getting mail on Sunday?

most expensive homes sold in the u.s.
dollar sign

What are the priciest homes sold in the United States to date?

Here is a run down from lowest price to highest…..

A New York penthouse overlooking Central Park
Details: 11K square feet
Access to a 65 foot pool
$90 million

Bel Air estate
Details: 28K square feet
7 bedrooms
15 car garage
Full sized basketball court and putting green
$94 million

Palm Beach (Donald Trump’s estate)
Details: 69K square feet
50 car garage
$95 million

Silicon Valley mansion
Details: 30K square feet
Tennis court
$100 million

Upper East Side New York townhouse
Details: 20.5K square feet
$100 million

Los Angeles Fleur de Lys estate
Details: most expensive home ever sold in LA County
Movie theater, tennis courts, 9 car garage
$102 million

Details: 40 acres
No house yet
$103 million

Woodside, California
Details: 9K square feet
360 degree views of the Woodside Mountains
$117.5 million

Cooper Beach Farm Connecticut
Details: 50 acre estate, 15K square feet, grass tennis court
$120 million

Montana Ranch
Details: 124K acres
$132.5 million

Hamptons estate
Details: 18 acre with formal gardens and a pond
$147 million

See some pics here.

guess what country drinks the most booze
alcohol consumption

Is it the US? Not even close, although they are certainly not shunning the bottle.

Maybe you guesses Russia? You would be right. Russia and those closest to it (contagious?) are the heavy drinkers of the world. This is according to the World Health Organization. Check out the map below for the details.

It seems the alcohol consumption in Russia is of big concern (early deaths causes by accidents and disease).

It actually appears as if Europe overall drinks a considerable amount of alcohol as compared to the rest of the world.

What was surprising is the fact that Canadians drink more than Americans.

Consumption seems to be low in northern Africa (gets heavier in the south)and also through parts of the middle east and Indonesia.


what country drinks the most alcohol




superpowers we don’t need
comicsoundefffect2_opt (1)

comic book characters that have superpowers
that are really not needed

Things you need to know: Superpowers from Superheros that the world does not need. Here they are:

the power to eat things

Matter-Eater Lad could eat anything and once saved the world by eating a machine that was about to destroy the world!

the power of having eyes on your fingers

This was a Batman bad guy (Ten-Eyed Man). You probably guess that he was unable to see out of the eyes on his fact. You would be right. He was actually blinded by an accident. Thanks to an evil doctor, optic nerves were placed in his fingers. One would think moving your hands around would cause vertigo.

the power to talk loudly

Able to cause destruction with his voice – this is Black Bolt. Apparently he did not talk a lot. Thank goodness.

the power of detachable body parts

I actually like this one. Captain Marvel (one of the 7) can yell at his body parts and they can fight evil doers while separated from his body. This is super cool. It’s not like his body parts just come off and do nothing. That would seem to be a superpower that one would not need. But they kick, punch, slam, and are just badass. This is a cool power.

the power of rainbow breathsuper hero power

What? I’ve got nothing.

the power to stop a watch

Not the power to stop time (which would be cool), but the power to stop a watch. This is dumb.

the power of super ventriloquism

With the ability to throw your voice…think of what you could do. Hmmm…yeah not much.

independence day powers

This is kinda cool. It is a dial (like an old rotary phone – google it if you are to young to know what that is) that you can dial the word ‘hero’ on and it turns you into a different kind of super hero every time you dial. It doesn’t seem like you would know what kind of hero you were going to be thought. Wouldn’t be so cool if you turned into the Rainbow Breath Hero.

the power to accurately imitate sounds

I actually have this power. At least a little bit. Yet all this time I did not know it was a super power. I’m sure the powers of the real superhero were far beyond mine however.

the power to see in the dark

Don’t they have special masks for this? Plus what sucks for this hero is that he can’t see anything if there is any light present. I wonder if this one could have been thought through a bit more.

the power of squirrels

AKA Squirrel Girl. There are so few female superheros and when there is one, it has to be dumb, really? Anyway, she has squirrel like abilities. I had no idea they were so powerful. But come to think of it, they do scare me a bit. They’re so unpredictable. They seem powerful.

Check out the original article here at mental floss.


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