Useless Trivia Facts

  1. NPP

    Nobel Peace Prize Medallion

    The Nobel Peace Prize medal depicts 3 naked men with their hands on each others shoulders.

  2. Fortune cookies were actually invented in America, not China!
  3. Of the 17,000+ words used by Shakespeare, more than 1,700 are recorded for the first time.
  4. During our lifespan the average human grows approximately 590 miles of hair. How do we know?  Well, consider this, hair grows approximately 6″ annually and the average lifespan is 67.2 years. So we multiply: 6 x 100,000 x 67.2 = 40,320,000 inches = 636 miles. Hair growth is not uniform however this calculation would be a highly likely average.
  5. The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days when the fire engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and soon figured out how to walk up straight staircases.
  6. A hurricane releases more energy in 10 minutes, than all the world’s nuclear weapons combined.
  7. The cigarette lighter was invented before the match.
  8. According to one study, 24% of homes with lawns have some sort of lawn ornament in their yard.
  9. 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321.  Go ahead, grab your calculator and verify it.
  10. The Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia, has twice as many bathrooms as is necessary. When it was built in the 1940s, the state of Virginia still had segregation laws requiring separate toilet facilities for blacks and whites.
  11. The chances of you dying on the way to get your lottery tickets is greater than your chances of winning.
  12. If you have three quarters, four dimes, and four pennies, you have $1.19.You also have the largest amount of money in coins without being able to make change for a dollar.
  13. Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people do. (Sorry for that news sis.)
  14. In ancient Egypt, Priests plucked every hair from their bodies, including their eyebrows and eyelashes.
  15. More people have a phobia of vomiting than death.
  16. The human brain holds between 1 and 7 terabytes (1 and 7 million megabytes) of data.
  17. Men buy an average of 3.4 pairs of underwear in a year.
  18. Testosterone in males decreases 10% every 10 years.
  19. MonkeyFlower

    Monkey Flower

    The monkey flower, looks like a monkeys face.

  20. The location of the Mars face on Mars matches the location of Stone Henge in England.
  21. Venus’s day is longer then its year.
  22. The rotation of the Earth will eventually slow down to match the moon. So they say.
  23. President George W. Bush was once a cheerleader! Give me a G-E-O-R-G-E!
  24. The most popular boy’s first name in the world is Muhammad.
  25. Sound does not travel in space.

Speaking English and Using the Correct Word

english-department-welcomeAre Americans becoming lazier with each passing generation when it comes to understanding the correct context of words and when they should (or should not) be used?

Does the language from the “olden days” sound pretentious in today’s relaxed society (such as “whom” vs “who”?)  To this day, I continue to say “To whom it may concern…” when starting a letter and no particular person is addressed.

Between my personal and professional life, it is safe to say I read quite a bit and talk to a lot of people. Lately I’ve noticed an increase in the improper use of English words as many are very close in pronunciation and/or spelling, yet have different meanings.

What’s really astonishing is some of the people who flub on the word they have elected to use are regarded as highly educated people or journalists who have studied English in-depth for their career.

On the other hand, I realize a number of “everyday Joes” who would say “English” was not there they’re their best subject; but dude…you speak it, learn how to use it properly.

In an effort to help those of us who sometimes have difficulty understanding the difference of those crazy English words, I have listed the more irritating ones below along with their meaning or how they should be used in a sentence.  I hope this helps clarifies some of those confusing and pesky English word choices for you.

Adverse or Averse

Adverse means harmful or unfavorable.  Averse means dislike or opposition.

Affect or Effect

Affect means to influence. Effect means to carry out or accomplish something.

Arbitrator or Mediator

Arbitrate appears in many contracts. An arbitrator is like a judge; he/she hears evidence, reviews documents, etc, and then makes a decision. A mediator does not make decisions but tries to help two opposing parties work out their differences and reach a compromise or settlement.

Can vs. May

Can is used to indicate what is possible. May is used to indicate what is permissible.

Compliment vs. Complement

Compliment is to say something nice. Complement is to add to, enhance, improve, complete or bring close to perfection.

Discreet or Discrete

Discreet means careful, cautious, showing good judgment. Discrete means individual, separate or distinct.

Elicit or Illicit

Elicit means to draw out or coax.  Illicit means illegal or unlawful.

Farther or Further

Farther involves a physical distance. Further involves a figurative distance.

Imply vs. Infer

A speaker or writer implies while the listener or reader infers.

Insure or Ensure

Insure refers to insurance and Ensure means to make sure.

Precede or Proceed

Precede means to come before. Proceed means to begin or continue.

Principle or Principal

principle is a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.  Principal means primary or of first importance.

They’re or Their

They’re is the contraction for “they are.”  The apostrophe does not own anything. We’re going to their house, and I sure hope they’re home.

You’re and Your

You’re is the contraction for you are. Your means you own it; the apostrophe in you’re does not own anything.

I hope  you have a gr8 day!

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus (and don’t you know it)!

9781435118645_p0_v1_s260x420My friend and I planned a girls night out for this past Wednesday night (March 26th).  We decided to see the one-man comedy show at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” which is based on the book of the same name written by John Gray.

As we sat in the auditorium waiting for time to pass and the show to start, we chatted about everything from the Salvador Dali Museum, to family and dating, as well as any musical concerts and stand up acts we’ve previous attended.  I looked around the theater as the seats were filling up and thought to myself that my friend and I might very well be the only “female” couple in the theater as many seats were occupied by male/female couples.

Its Showtime

The lights dimmed and the noise level lowered as darkness fell over the crowd.  Our entertainer of the evening “Peter Story” comes on stage doing some sort of a “I can’t really dance so I’ll just move and be funny about it” dance.  I think he may have actually thrown in a 1970s “robot” move or two.

Men are from Mars - Women are from VenusAs the evening progressed we laughed, learned a lot about Peter and Megan’s (his wife) relationship. Peter did an excellent (an quite entertaining) job in explaining the differences between men and women’s brains and how we process information.  Without giving too much away, I’ll share a little piece of info Peter shared with the audience.

Women need and want from men: Attention and Understanding

Men need and want from women: Trust and Approval

Guys, Peter gave an easy way for you to remember what a women needs; and that is done by referring to the Periodic Table of Elements where Attention and Understanding = AU which is the chemical symbol for “gold.”  Guys, treat your ladies like gold and you’ll be good to go.

Ladies, oh ladies…you already know how to be in the continual good graces of your guy.  Yes, yes you do, it is right there in their needs/wants of Trust and Approval = TA.  Girls, give your guy a little T&A and you’ll forever be treated like gold? 😉

A Little Explanation Please

I have to share with you a quick story about the elderly couple sitting to my right.  As Peter explained the AU and TA examples the audience was roaring with laughter.  Then in my peripheral vision I noticed the lady sitting on my right lean closer to her partner (who I would safely say was well into his 80s) and in a loud whisper she said “it means T-s and A-s.”  I lost it!  I laughed so hard my stomach started hurting, I had tears running down my face and found it somewhat challenging to regain my composure.  Peter’s explanation was hilarious, but hearing the old gal explaining it to her fella….that was priceless!!

Group Picture

We are somewhere in the center. Look for a blue scarf around my neck.  My friend is sitting to my left. (Photo: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus Facebook page at


Highly Recommend

I recommend that you get online and get tickets for this show, grab your partner or make it a girls night out.  You won’t regret it!  I promise!!!

Have we lost our mind in naming our children?


I just heard another wacky stupid out-there baby name which was donned on another poor child by their celebrity parent(s).  I could do nothing more than just hang my head and think…what are these people doing to their children?  Do they not realize the kid will be “stuck” with it until they are of legal age and can then and only then make a formal name change?

I get it!  I understand people want their kid to be unique and different and that difference sometimes starts with their name; but if the parent(s) would give it a few years, they’ll realize their child is different and they did not need the far-fetched name after all.

I’m sure some parents are trying to incorporate some of their favorite things in life into their child’s name, while others are playing on a what would go well with their surname/family name. (As I’m guessing would be the case for “North West.”)

What about names like:

  • Robert Roberts or Robertson, I actually worked with a guy named Robert Robertson.
  • Peter Peterson
  • William Williamson
  • Michael Michaels

I wonder if on the other hand some parents trying to outdo other parents in the naming of their children? “Hey, let’s see who can come up with the most outrageous, insensible, and idiotic name for our kid.  Betcha (so-and-so) would never think of naming their kid ______!”

Interest Piqued?

Here are some examples of what I’m talking about, I’ve added the (pronunciation in brackets), should you need a little help in figuring out how it sounds.  Imagine that…needing assistance in pronouncing a child’s name.  And, sometimes the name is so out there and spelling is so “off”, that a proper pronunciation cannot be found.

  • Aleph (ah-l eh f), proud parents: Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied
  • Ickhyd (pronunciation is unknown), proud parents: M.I.A. and Ben Brewer
  • Apple (daughter) and Moses (son), proud parents: Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin (I’m wondering if Gwen & Chris are religious.)
  • Coco, proud parents: Courteney Cox & David Arquette (Really??  Coco?)
  • Phinnaeus (pronunciation is unknown), Walter, and Hazel, proud parents: Julia Roberts & Danny Moder (What did poor Phinnaeus do to you?)
  • Audio Science, proud parents: Shannyn Sossaman & Dallas Clayton (Who are these people?  I wonder if they’re connect to the field of science in any way)
  • Daisy Boo and Poppy Honey, proud parents: Jools Norton & Jamie Oliver
  • Johan Riley Fyodor Taiwo, proud parents: Heidi Klum & Seal (Guess you could expect that with a parent named “Seal.”)
  • Indiana August, proud parents: Summer Phoenix & Casey Affleck (I’m guessing it is a girl and she was born (or conceived) in Indiana in August?)
  • Alabama Gypsy Rose, proud parents: Drea de Matteo & Shooter Jennings
  • Pilot Inspektor, proud parents: Beth Riesgraf & Jason Lee (Did they really mean Inspector Gadget?)
  • Fifi-Trixbelle, Peaches, Little Trixie, and Honeyblossom, proud parents: Paula Yates & Bob Geldof (Well, at least it isn’t just one kid with the odd name in the family.)
  • Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, proud parents: Paula Yates & Michael Hutchence (Now we know who is behind the strange naming of the children with this mother.)
  • Lyric Sonny Roads (son), Poet Siena Rose (daughter) & Jagger Joseph Blue (daughter..yes, daughter), proud parents: Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster) & Jason Goldberg (No comment!)
  • North, proud parents: Kim Kardashian & Kanye West

Suggested Names Outside The Box Circle

In my stint of research, I  ran across some of the following names as “cool” outside of the box name suggestions for today’s kids first names.  Here are a few; no, really…these are legit and out there as suggestions.

Baby Names

Really, would someone seriously consider naming their child “Thorn?” Guess there’s no better way to let them know they’re a “thorn” in their parent’s side (well, at least until they’re eighteen, then the kid is on their own.)

How about Ember, Andromeda, Slate, or Hawk.  Really…REALLY???  Parents, before labeling your kid with a name that will make life much more difficult than it could/should be for them, please consider our society and how tough life is already…even for those who have somewhat common names.

Do you have an unusual name?  If so, please share with us if you like it or not and if you know the reason behind the name.

Climbing The Proverbial Hill


For me, birthdays are a time of reflection. I usually think about what has been, what is, and that which is yet to come.

VintageOne thing for sure, I no longer have to wonder about where I will be (physically or spiritually), who will be in my life, or what I will look like when I’m forty-eight, yes that’s right…48 years old young.

Really, considering the grand scheme of things, forty-eight is not necessiarily that old, is it?  Yet I have seen and experienced much in my life. Just to name a few…I:

  • gave birth to three terrific children
  • have been blessed with three grandchildren, with a fourth due in July
  • have experienced what marriage should be like and what it shouldn’t be like
  • have four siblings I adore and couldn’t imagine my life without them
  • lost my oldest brother (Rick) in 2004 to pancreatic cancer when he was only 42-years old (beyond devastating for our family)
  • told my mom “I love you” for the last time, ten years ago this month, when we laid her to rest
  • shared five wonderful years with the love of my life
  • was a co-owner/operator of a family restaurant
  • have seen cellphones evolve from a huge contraption into a small device that I continually misplace
  • now have one remote control that operates my television, DVD player, VCR player (yes, I still have one of those), and my cable box, when in my teen years we only had a 4-button clicker for our T.V.
  • uprooted my child and moved 1,000 miles north to be closer to and care for my dad
  • have had some amazing people enter and exit my life, some by choice, others…not

What is this “hill” anyway, and where is it?

Hill of Life

Proverbial Hill of Life

As we trek through this thing called life, some of us have a planned our path but have had to make adjustments, some just go with the flow while others merely exist with no true form, fashion, no hopes, and no desire.

When I was little I remember hearing that my mom “turned 40” and though “man, she’s old!” Ohh, what I now know. Times have significantly changed during my stint thus far on earth.  Sixty year old women look like they’re barely in their 40s (Lord, please let this be me when I hit sixty.)

Last July, when my brother “T” turned the big 5-0, I began to wonder if he reached the peak of the ‘proverbial hill;” thinking 50 is a good goal to have as the halfway mark.  Then after reading an article written by the Huffington Post which quoted the OECD on life expectancy rates in the U.S., It hit me that I may have already reached the peak of the hill and without realizing it I am now on the downward slope! YIKES!

U.S. expectancy in 2011 was 78.7 years, which is slightly below the OECD average of 80.1. For U.S. men, the average life expectancy is 76, while it’s 81 for U.S. women. (At five years, this gap in life expectancy between men and women is smaller than the OECD average of six years).

Livin’ life and making the most of it!

In all honesty, I knew when entering my 40s that I was already halfway to my expiration date. However, if you know an Aquarian, you realize that we live life to the fullest and with optimism, we have a ton of friends (although only a few make our “short” list of “close” friends), we are outgoing and enjoy people in general. According to TLC’s Birthday Astrology Guide, those born on February 11th love challenges, are goal oriented, enjoy life, grow up early, are loyal, trusting, faithful, and honest (all these things I already knew.)  Here’s some more about those born on Feb. 11th.

  • February 11 people seem to feel that no one can have too many friends. They may have a colorful love life, even if it plays second fiddle to their professional goals during their twenties and thirties. Despite their reputation for enjoying the good life, they have a domestic side.
  • February 11 individuals grow up early. They have tremendous emotional resonance and often show a marked precocity in their childhood. They often put off starting a family until later in life because of career commitments. When they become parents, they’re more than equal to the task.
  • Men and women born on February 11 are highly competitive by nature. They’re determined to make it to the top of their profession and will go to great lengths and endure hardship to achieve their aims. They are adept at making money and even better at handling it.
  • February 11 people are among the most goal-oriented of the yearly cycle. They often begin to prepare for their chosen career while children. During the intervening years, they learn lessons about sacrifice and focus. Once they achieve career goals, they are likely to set greater goals. They are all about commitment and find it hard to walk away from a challenge.

Some well known individuals who also share my birthday are Eva Gabor (1919-1995); Jeb Bush, 61; Jennifer Aniston, 45; Cheryl Crow, 52; Burt Reynolds, 78; Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931); Sarah Palin, 50; Tina Louise, 80 (Ginger from Gilligan’s Island); and Leslie Nielsen (1926-2010)

Facing the future, planning for the retirement years.

As my dear cousin Steven reminded me this morning during his birthday wish, I only have two more years to wait until I will qualify for AARP (like I’m chomping at the bit to add that title to my repertoire of accomplishments.) Question: Can you be considered a “retired person” at the age of 50 if in the United States we have to work until we are at least 62.5 years  of age before we can consider retiring and collecting our earned benefits?  How exactly does that work?  It may be the onset of dementia, but I’m a bit discombobulated on how this works.

Although I bid farewell to the close of my 48th year of life last night I do not foresee many changes for my future.  I am who I am and that’s who I am.  I guess I should get serious about retirement and how all that stuff works but that’s another topic.

I will create my new chapter entitled “My 49th Year” doing what I’ve always done. Perhaps, I’ll add a sprinkle of new adventures, skills, and accomplishments.  There are some goals I’ve been working on, so maybe one or two of them will come to fruition this year.  Regardless of what my new year holds for me…I AM READY and say “Let the adventures continue!

I will close with an email I received from my dear friend John.  He said:

  • Happy birthday, you’re not getting older you’re just a little closer to death.
  • Birthdays are like boogers, the more you have the harder it is to breathe.
  • Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that people who have the most live the longest!
  • Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
  • Better to be over the hill than buried under it.
  • So many candles… so little cake.
  • We know we’re getting old when the only thing we want for our birthday is not to be reminded of it.
  • Happy birthday on your very special day, I hope that you don’t die before you eat your cake.
  • and last but not least; Happy birthday to a person who is smart, good looking, and funny and reminds me a lot of myself.