Monday, January 26, 2015

The Origins of 8 Nearly Obsolete Phrases!

The Origins of 8 Nearly Obsolete Phrases!

Image credit: ThinkStock

There are some phrases and clich├ęs that were once common, but are now hopelessly dated thanks to changes in technology. Yet we still hear them somewhat frequently due to the preponderance of nostalgia-based cable TV stations that keep mining those dusty studio vaults for daily content. As a result, a lot of viewers born after the Reagan administration might be able to divine the meaning of these old-school expressions from the context, but they probably don't have an inkling as to why the old folks said them in the first place. As always, mental_floss is here to assist!

1. The rabbit died -

Up until the early 1980s, announcing the death of a bunny was the standard method of coyly hinting that a TV or movie character was with child. In the 1920s, way before home pregnancy tests were the norm, a woman who had suddenly started throwing up every morning had to visit her doctor rather than the drugstore to find out whether it was a bundle from heaven or a bad clam that was causing her distress. She would then have to fret for a few anxious days from that initial visit before finding out the results—her doctor had to inject her urine into the ovaries of a female rabbit and then wait 48 hours or more for the telltale changes which signaled the presence of the hCG hormone. Interestingly enough, the phrase "the rabbit died" itself was a misnomer because, as a rule, the bunny was already deceased prior to its ovaries being removed for testing purposes. (In later incarnations of the test, doctors were able to examine a rabbit's ovaries without killing it first.)

2. Drop a dime -

The phrase "dimed me out" is sometimes used today to indicate that someone has been ratted out or otherwise turned in to the authorities. It's a twist on slang from the 1960s and '70s, when we "dropped a dime" on someone. Prior to the big Ma Bell deregulation in 1984, the cost for a regular, local, standard-issue telephone call was ten cents. If you wanted to make an anonymous, untraceable call—say, to report nefarious activity of some sort to law enforcement personnel—a public telephone (or payphone) was the obvious solution. Phone booths were so ubiquitous that no one would give you a second glance as you inserted a dime into the slot to call the local cops to squeal on a neighborhood kid who was all hopped up on goofballs.

3. Don't know [excrement] from Shinola -

Shinola (pronounced shy-no-la) was a brand of wax-based shoe polish that was on the market from 1907 until 1960. The classic phrase that used the product to describe a person's intelligence—or lack thereof—gained popularity during World War II (GIs can always be counted on to coin a colorful phrase or two while dodging enemy fire). Appearance-wise, Shinola didn't look any different than any other shoe polish paste, but somehow "He doesn't know crap from Kiwi" doesn't have the same ring to it.

4. You sound like a broken record -

Literally speaking, a broken record would be cracked or fractured so that it was unplayable on a turntable. What the exasperated speaker meant when he called you a broken record was that you were repeating yourself, which is what a record with a deep scratch would do. Such a flaw would not only prevent the needle from progressing, it would also cause it to bounce backward a groove or two on the record and replay the same piece of the song over and over and over, until you lifted the tonearm up and manually advanced it. Bill Withers purposely repeated "I know" 26 times on his 1971 hit "Ain't No Sunshine," but nevertheless it is a good example of what your mom meant with her "broken record" simile when you asked for the umpteenth time in a row if you could please, please, please go to Mt. Splashmore.

5. More ______ than Carter's has liver pills -

New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell confounded many viewers during his 2013 appearance on The Rachel Maddow Show when he stated that in the 1996 election his opponent "had more money than Carter had liver pills." The more senior audience members realized that Mr. Pascrell was referring not to President Jimmy Carter, but rather to a patent medicine originally formulated by one Samuel Carter in 1868. Thanks to saturation advertising campaigns that promoted the tablets as a cure for everything from "overindulging" in liquor consumption to headaches to indigestion to a sallow complexion, Carter's Little Liver Pills were once as common as aspirin in American medicine cabinets. Carter-Wallace stopped hawking their little pills (in which the active ingredient was a laxative) in 1961 after the FTC forced them to remove the word "liver" from the product name, but that didn't stop folks from rolling their eyes during an argument and exclaiming "You've got more excuses than Carter's has liver pills!"

6. Don't touch that dial!

This admonition started out back in the days when radio was the main source of entertainment in U.S. households; in order to change the station, a person needed to turn a dial rather than push a button or type in a station number. So it was common for stations to promote upcoming shows or news broadcasts with great fanfare, warning listeners in stentorian tones, "Don't touch that dial," hinting that if you changed the channel you would miss something of life-altering importance. Once entertainment and news moved from radio to TV, the announcer's warning remained the same, since television sets were likewise equipped with a rotary dial to switch from station to station. That is, of course, until push buttons and digital tuning were developed and slowly became commonplace in the early 1980s.

7. Film at eleven -

Local news stations still regularly use "teasers" in between commercials to entice viewers with breaking stories, but as a rule they accompany those teasers with a snippet of actual video footage of the highlighted event. That wasn't the case before the invention of videotape; prior to that time, camera crews that were on the scene of a major fire or dramatic hostage situation recorded the happenings on 16mm film, which then had to be transported back to the station for developing and editing. Thus, many significant events that occurred during the afternoon—such as earthquakes or riots—were often only talked about during the 6pm broadcast, with film footage of the event not shown until the late night news.

8. One lump or two?

This question, when posited in Looney Tunes cartoons or a Three Stooges short, always ended in a welt-raising bonk to the head. While still available today, sugar used to be predominantly served in individual compressed cubes, or "lumps." This particular innovation was the brainchild of Jean Louis Chambon, who invented the technique to humidify, dry, and compress the equivalent of one teaspoon of sugar into a convenient lump in 1949. It was far more sanitary and convenient than the use of a communal spoon in a dish of granulated sugar, as had previously been the practice in restaurants and at tea parties and coffee klatches. The person serving coffee or tea would, at the time, graciously inquire as to how much sugar the guest preferred by asking "one lump or two?" and then would place the requested cubes onto the saucer before serving the beverage. Benjamin Eisenstadt invented the sugar packet in 1945 (and 12 years later, he created Sweet 'N Low), making portioned sugar not only easier to distribute around the table but also to discreetly slip into your purse. Not that we'd ever do such a thing.

Monday, January 19, 2015

USAF Veteran Needs Knees Replaced, ASAP! - GoFundMe

USAF Vet Needs Knees Replaced Yesterday! - GoFundMe

MY Campaign is about me trying to raise funds from friends and family, and even caring strangers, for knee replacement surgery for both my knees , so I can go out and live a full, enjoyable and rewarding life, with the years I have left.

I'm a 59 years old US Air Force Veteran and I live just above the poverty level on Social Security Disability.

I have been trying to work with my local VA Hospital here in Sheridan WY for over 6+ years now in an effort to get my knees replacement surgery done here in Sheridan Wyoming.  There response- you can have it done here with the VA's contracted orthopedic surgeons, but I have to pay for it through my Medicare, and it's 20% co-pay.  Or, go to the Cheyenne VA Hospital and have their orthopedic department do the surgery. It would
be numerous 700 mile round-trips, and after the surgeries, I wouldn't be able to drive home, but that logic matters not to the VA Hospital in Sheridan. Finally, I have a 24 year old Aerostar minivan that I do not trust for these numerous journeys, as the last time I went to Cheyenne was 6 years ago to see the orthopedic surgeon after my initial MRI back
on February 12, 2009.

It all started years ago, when my primary-care doctor here in Sheridan, after looking at some x-rays he ordered of my knees because I hurt one somehow, said to me that I have
5, maybe 10 years left on my knees before they would need a knee replacement surgery. That was 23 years ago. The escalation of the destruction and deterioration of my knees happened when I tore the ACL in my left knee Tuesday evening prior to Thanksgiving in 2008. It's been downhill ever since, with the VA's obstinance increasing exponentially
as the last 6 years have come to pass.

The idea 'Veteran's 1st' is just a fantasy some ad man dreamed up, because it sure isn't my reality.

 Because I am disabled, and getting Social Security Disability, I do have Medicare, but I need to come up with 20% of the total cost of the knee replacement surgery, which for both knees is in the $90,000 to $140,000 range, so my cost are between $18,000 to $28,000, if there are no complications.
Besides the knee issues, I have many other health issues, including neurological issues, which encompass an inoperable brain tumor, severe spinal cord compression in both the C-Spine and L/S-Spine, which the Denver VA Neurosurgery Dept. has handled
excellently over the last 12 years.

Just a few facts about my knees:

Here are the MRI written impressions of my knees- the latest ones: Radiologist: DR. WEIN,GREGORY 
Report: MRI of the left knee. Aug 22, 2013
The study is limited due to patient motion -
Osseous structures: No acute fracture. Gross narrowing medial joint compartment with bone-on-bone appearance and complete denudation of large areas of medial femoral condyle and medial tibial plateau cartilage. Severe grade 2 and 3 chondromalacia lateral compartment. The multiple large peripheral osteophytes.
Moderate joint effusion..
Cruciate ligaments: The anterior cruciate ligament is severely degenerated but
probably not torn. The posterior cruciate ligament intact..
There is severe maceration of the body and posterior horn of the medial
meniscus which is displaced into the medial gutter. Moderate
degeneration lateral meniscus without tear..
Collateral ligaments:
The tibial collateral ligament is effaced by the large medial osteophytes are grossly intact. The tibial collateral ligament intact.
Patella and extensor mechanism: Diffuse grade 2 and 3 chondromalacia and patella with a superficial blistering and fissuring. similar chondromalacia of the trochlear cartilage with multiple large peripheral osteophytes. Patellar retinaculum intact. Quadriceps tendon and
patellar tendons grossly intact with tendinosis of the distal patellar tendon. Edema of Hoffa's fat pad..
Surrounding soft tissues: No cyst or mass.
Posterolateral corner: Degenerative change. No acute fracture. There is popliteus tendinosis..
Advanced degenerative change detailed above.
Maceration medial meniscus.

 Reason for request: x-ray to be done in conjunction with MRI: Radiologist: DR. MOUBRY,RONDLE M.
Left knee: Medial compartment space narrowing is noted. A collar and then spurring is seen. Posterior patellar spurring is also noted. No fracture or dislocation. Bone mineral density is grossly normal.
Impression: Degenerative changes.
Degenerative changes. Heterogeneous bone marrow signal. Does the patient have a chronic illness?
Degenerative changes of the knee with tear of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus.
Partial tear/tendinosis of the anterior cruciate ligament.

MRI Radiologist: DR. BEST,ALAN C
Report: Comparison of MRI and radiographs of right knee from 4/20/2012 , which was 10 months prior to above MRI, which is dated Feb 13, 2013 -
Impression: Progression of severe medial compartment degenerative changes and joint space loss.
Since the time these MRIs and X-RAYS of both knees were taken, they have only gotten worse.

Here was the 1st MRI of my Left Knee on Feb 12 2009 after I felt the pain 2 1/2 months earlier -
Maceration posteriorly horn medial meniscus with almost total displacement of the medial meniscus into the medial gutter. Opposing joint surface bone marrow edema and marginal osteophytes. There is extensive grade IV chondromalacia of the medial joint compartment.
Synovitis medial gutter.No tears of the lateral meniscus. Extensive low-grade chondromalacia and marginal osteophytes.
Chronic ACL tear, intact PCL Medial and lateral collateral support structures intact.
Extensor mechanism is intact. Patella anatomically aligned with extensive low-grade chondromalacia of patellofemoral joint with marginal osteophytes about the patella. Patellofemoral ligaments intact. Small popliteal cyst. No joint effusion.
Severe osteoarthritis medial joint compartment, moderate osteoarthritis patellofemoral joint.
ACL deficient knee, see above comments

I just want to say the VA Healthcare system has been great to me 95% of the time, from working with the neurosurgeons at the Denver VA Hospital, to my excellent primary-care doctor, Dr. Yapuncich (And most of my previous Primary-Care docs I've had over the last 33+ years have been great.) who has advocated for my knee surgery for years. And I can't forget the great folks in the Physical Therapy Department, who are all excellent and also advocating for my knee surgery. So this bump in the road is mainly directed at the
bean-counters who are not putting "Veteran's 1st".

I would greatly appreciate any help you can give me. My dream is to have a fully ambulatory life for the years I have remaining on Planet Earth, so that's why I'm asking for your generous support.
Thank You All for your time, and prayers and anything you can do to help.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mario Cuomo Long Island Pine Barrens Speech!

On July 14, 1993, then-New York Gov. Mario Cuomo stood before a congregation of environmentalists, civic leaders, and lawmakers amid the lush landscape of Southaven County Park in Shirley and delivered what one environmental activist there that day believes to be the late governor’s best oratorical performance of his political career.

The event was held to celebrate the signing of the Long Island Pine Barrens Protection Act, which effectively banned construction on more than 50,000 acres of Pine Barrens land. The passing of the law capped a bitter legal battle that pitted environmentalists and the Long Island Pine Barrens Society against developers, whom were eager to build on the 100,000 acres of land that stretches across the towns of Brookhaven, Riverhead and Southampton. Environmentalists, concerned that the more than 200 proposed projects on the Pine Barrens site could damage LI’s sensitive drinking water supply, brought the suit.

The lawsuit, initially filed in November 1990, made it all the way to the State Court of Appeals, where it was dismissed, exactly two years after it was first filed. The court said construction could continue without the three towns conducting an environmental impact study, the basis for the suit. The court, however, called on the state Legislature to protect the Pine Barrens.

Lawmakers and environmentalists got to work soon after the ruling. A bill, sponsored by state Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) and then-Assemb. Thomas DiNapoli (D-Great Neck), passed unanimously.

A celebration was planned for Southaven County Park the next summer. Cuomo, who was not instrumental in the bill’s passage, according to Dick Amper, executive director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, was nevertheless invited.

Cuomo, who died last week, “delivered a more eloquent speech on the environment, certainly than I’ve ever made and that I’ve ever heard in terms of capturing why the environment is so important,” Amper told the Press. “He was a master orator, even on matters in which he was only peripherally involved.”

“I have delivered at least 500 speeches on the subject of protecting water and open space,” Amper added, “and the best of them put together couldn’t hold a candle to what he said and what he did to that audience that day.”

With his elbows pressed against the podium, and fingers interlocked, as if in prayer, Cuomo tried to paint a glowing picture of New York—not the misconstrued version that many outside the state believed in.

“This is an environmental state, and the Pine Barrens now is its latest, most glorious expression,” Cuomo boomed. “This is what the state is the best at; nobody thinks of us that way. Because if you’re anywhere in the United States, and someone says to you ‘New York,’ the instant Pavlovian response is for your mind to summon up a subway mugging in Manhattan—that’s what happens when you say New York. Nobody thinks of us as environmentalists, but that’s what we are.”

The Long Island Pine Barrens Society replayed the speech at its 36th Annual Environmental Awards Gala in 2013, where it celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Long Island Pine Barrens Protection Act. Honored that night for their roles in the successful passage of the law were LaValle and DiNapoli.

But it’s Cuomo speech that Amper, and other environmentalist present at Southaven County Park that summer day, will never forget.

“I know that way down deep we’re always looking for something bigger than we are, something more beautiful, something we can throw our arms around and wrap our souls around, and say this is right, this is good, this is something I can believe in with passion, this is something I can give myself to,” Cuomo said. “

“Sometimes it’s a person, and then they take them away, they shoot them down and they murder them and they break your heart and you give up on people and you look around for causes, and you run out of them,” he continued. “And you get into public life and you’re not even allowed to say the word morality or God or religion, they rule all of that out. And you find this truly barren land, if you’re looking for something larger than yourself and then it occurs to you: Niagara Falls, the Adirondacks, the Pine Barrens, the water under Long Island, the rivers, the chestnut tree in the park in South Jamaica, Queens, the environment—ecology, preserving it, saving it, fighting for it.”

“With sureness,” Cuomo said, building toward the conclusion, “I go to bed tonight having signed a bill and made it a law knowing that I did the right thing.”

The video was shared with the Long Island Press by the Long Island Pine Barrens Society.
Originally posted here: