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Friday, January 25, 2008

Flash Back Friday - McDonald's

Welcome to this weeks article of Flash Back Friday! When I was looking over last years articles I had to laugh when I stumbled across this one about McDonald's. This really strikes a funny bone for me because in our small town in Kansas our McDonald's has been closed for about 2 months. They completely tore it down and started over. It opened last Sunday. It hasn't even been open a week and let me tell you, they have probably served over 99 billion customers already. It is out of control how constantly busy it is. People didn't seem to be able to handle no McDonald's for 2 months. The next closest McDonald's is a half hour away and so perhaps all these people didn't care to make the drive so their McDonald's cravings have been building up. Anyway, it is pretty funny that people can't seem to live without McDonald's.

How many people really have been to McDonald's?

Some McDonald's signs say "Millions and Billions served" others just say "Billions Served" and some like this sign give an actual number.

In the blogosphere visitors (traffic) are a huge thing for the survival of our websites. We speak of unique visitors compared with return visitors, or subscribers. I love my subscribers and appreciate all the return visitors I get. A place like McDonald's would only be able to survive with return visitors, people who keep coming back multiple times. My question about McDonald's is this: How many people have really been to McDonald's? When your sign says 99 billion served, that is repeat business. How many unique visitors have they actually received? If only there were a site meter at McDonald's, then we might know the answer to this question. I'm afraid the answer to this question will be left up in the air through the ages.

Please leave a comment with a link to your own flash back Friday and share what was going on with your blog one year ago!

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Myth Busting Monday - Alligators in the Sewers

MYTH: Alligators in City Sewers

This favorite supposes that colonies of alligators are milling about the NYC sewer network, released there by people when they realized the cute baby 'gators they bought in Florida do, in fact, grow bigger. Experts say it's unlikely an alligator could survive in the cold of New York, however, let alone the toxic bacterial stew of its sewers.[source]
I am a big super hero fan and there have been occurrences where a hero finds himself in a sewer and ends up battling sewer gators, so the whole notion of alligators in the sewers has definitely entered into pop culture.
Looking into the history behind this myth I found that there have been 13 stories in the New York Times related to alligators in the sewer.
The New York Times itself lists 13 stories involving NY alligators between 1905 and 1993, 12 of which are in a veritable rash between 1927 and 1942. All 13 reports total up to 16 gators found in the New York area, dead or alive, in the sewers or elsewhere, most of them fugitives from various zoos and private collections. One 1933 report gives a little extra credence to the idea that Benny Profane (the Pynchon character) could possibly get paid to hunt alligators -- it reports a squadron of riflemen being organized to hunt down an alleged 6 escaped alligators.[source]
I think it is more believable that the alligators found were escapees rather than victims of the porcelain whirlpool. One of the news stories that I found that I enjoyed was from 1935.
An article dating back to 1935 helped feed the legend. According to New York Times on Feb. 10, 1935, two boys found a six-foot-long alligator as they were shoveling snow into a manhole near East 123rd Street in Harlem. They dragged the animal out, but ended up killing it [by beating it with their snow shovels] after the alligator tried to attack them.[source]
Even though it may seem plausible that there could be colonies of alligators surviving in the NY sewer system there some major factors that makes this story dead in the water (quite literately).
For all its power as a rumor, though, the alligator colony in the sewer couldn't survive for long. The NYC sewers get too cold -- alligators survive well at temperatures from 70 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, they don't do so well when exposed to salmonella and E. coli as are commonly found in sewers.[source]

What are your thoughts about this myth, let us know in the comments

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Myth Busting Monday - Yawning is Contagious

MYTH: Yawning is "contagious"

I have always wondered 'what is the purpose of yawning other than a sign of being tired'. In doing research about this myth I found that yawning is a reflex of deep inhalation and exhalation associated with tiredness, stress, over-work, lack of stimulation, or boredom.[source] I also found out that many parts of the body that are in action when you yawn. First, your mouth opens and jaw drops, allowing as much air to be taken in as possible. When you inhale, the air taken in is filling your lungs. Your abdominal muscles flex and your diaphragm is pushed down. The air you breath in expands the lungs to capacity and then some of the air is blown back out. [source] Yawning is just one of those strange things that people and animals do that no one can quite explain, but one of the most interesting things about yawning is that is seems to be contaious.
Empirically, this is tough to deny; perhaps you'll yawn while reading this. The real question is whether there's actually something physiological at work here, and the answer is likely yes: even chimpanzees mimic each other's yawns.[soucre]
One of the episodes of the TV show Mythbusters tested this myth. They concluded that this myth is plausible. Here is what they did:
In a test pool of 50 people those who were influenced into yawning by the MythBusters yawned 29% of the time. However, those who were not influenced yawned only 25% of the time. Despite this supportive evidence, the 4% difference between the experimental and control groups was not large enough to constitute a statistically significant difference (at alpha = 0.05), and therefore no definitive conclusion could be reached based on these results.[source]
I have been yawning a lot while I have been writing this post. I decided to conduct an experiment, as suggested by the howstuffworks article on 'What makes us yawn'. At the beginning of my Monday morning engineering meeting last week I was planning on yawning in front of everyone to see if it would make anyone else yawn; I was waiting for the right moment when one of the other guys in the meeting yawned, which made me yawn but no one else. I guess I was really tired that day because I continued to yawn throughout the rest of the meeting but it had no affect on anyone else, I was the only yawing.

What are your thoughts about this myth, let us know in the comments

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Flashback Friday- Making Money!

Welcome to this weeks edition of Flashback Friday! Last year at this time I was very "gung ho" about making money. I was using several different programs and every month my revenue increased, and things were awesome. Since my page rank catastrophe in November I have not had one single offer. Having a page rank of zero is nothing special because that's what most people have. As you can tell from my lack of posting that I'm really struggling with this. Some days I was to completely give up and other days I want to try, but I don't know what to try. I have decided we will keep doing Mythbusting Monday and Flashback Friday until I can get myself back to wanting to succeed on the internet. Any comments or suggestions to help my situation would be greatly appreciated.


There are a couple blogs that I regularly check that are about making money on the internet. These blogs tend to give updates on how they are doing and how much money they make from each site they are members of. A common name among them is Blogsvertise. This is a site where you get paid to post. Once approved you will have offers given to you. You write posts about these offers and mention them with a link three times in your post and then Blogsvertise pays you. I have chosen to get paid by paypal as it is the easiest thing for me. Since I am new I can't rate this positively or negatively, but it is worth a shot. It seems an easy enough way to earn a little extra money. I would recommend checking out Blogsvertise if you are looking for another way to earn money with your blog. Also, as with most programs if you refer people you receive a percentage of their earnings as well. So if you'd like to help me out with a referral use this link for Blogsvertise.

I now invite you to add a comment and feel free to link to your favorite Flashback Friday post on your blog. Pick your favorite article from this week one year ago and write a little bit about what you were thinking, or doing then and how things are different now. Happy Flashback Friday!

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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Myth Busting Monday - Hearing Sound in Space

MYTH: You can hear sounds, like explosions, in space

I found the answer to this myth on a blog entitled Tell Me Why? that answers a lot of interesting questions on a vast verity of topics. Here is what the author says about sound in space:

Sound can only travel through a medium (solid, liquid or gas) by making their molecules vibrate. This therefore means that sound need any one of the three states of matter (solid, liquid or gas) in order to travel. Space being nearly a perfect vacuum, means sound waves can not travel from its vibrating source through the vacuum to another point in space or to the ear of an individual. In order for one to hear sound it must travel through gas particles which space has very few per cubic centimeter. This is very much less than that in the Earth’s atmosphere. So, can you hear sound in space ? or does sound travel in space? The answer is no, space is silent.

So do not be fooled by space movies where you can hear the loud explosion in space of a space ship or planet, spaceships engine giving off sounds or the firing of guns. This myth of sound in traveling in space, is spread mostly by Hollywood space movies and also by TV. This is only added for special effects as sound effects and music greatly enhance the psychological effects that movies have on an audience thus, making the movie a lot more interesting and entertaining.[source]
The Tell Me Why blog goes into more detail about sound in space here.

Before I read this article I never really thought about being able to hear sound in space; I am a huge Star Wars fan and after I read about this I imaged what it would like to see the Death Star explode without the big explosion sound and concluded it wouldn't be as spectacular.

Lynn Carter, a graduate student in astronomy at Cornell University has this to say about hearing sound in space:
We wouldn't be able to hear the sound because our ears aren't sensitive enough. Maybe if we had an amazingly large and sensitive microphone we could detect these sounds, but to our human ear it would be silent.
Although it is true that there is enough gas in space to propagate sound, but not enough for us to hear the sound. So even though space movies are propagating the falsehood of being able to hear explosions and laser cannon fire, I am glad they do it; otherwise space movies would be dull and boring, and Star Wars wouldn't have been the second highest grossing film of all time.

What are your thoughts about this myth, let us know in the comments

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Friday, January 4, 2008

Flashback Friday- Vacation

Welcome to this week's edition of Flashback Friday! Last year at this time we were on vacation in Boston with all of my husband's family because his brother got married. It was a very fun vacation. It was our first time to Boston so we had a good time seeing all the historical sights.

Boston's Freedom Trail

On December 28 was our family's first day of touring downtown Boston. We decided to do the Freedom Trail since that would take us to the most popular sights. This first picture is us driving past Fenway Park. We didn't stop or look around, just drove by.

This is Paul Revere's grave.
This is Paul Revere's house. It was very interesting to go inside. I loved all the furniture and such that was inside.
Also on the freedom trail was the Capital building, Boston Massacre site, Old South Church, Faneuil Hall (which was very pretty inside, and had very interesting artifacts from history and signatures of past presidents and other important people) and the Old North Church. We were very excited to see the old North Church because it was on the end of National Treasure.

It was very interesting and inspiring to see the beginning foundations of our country. I couldn't help but get a little teary eyed knowing I was walking where some of this country's founding fathers walked. It was a very memorable experience and I'm glad to have shared it with my family.

It is now your turn to comment on this week's flashback Friday. You may also post a link to your favorite flashback post on your blog from one year ago!! Happy Flashback Friday!

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