Black SheepBlack Sheep
“A “black sheep” is an outcast from a family or from society.”
*What does this term bring up for you?
*Can you think of a person who has been so labeled?
*Who do you identify with more: the person who gets described as the “black” sheep or the family that has given him/her that label?
*How do these ideas resonate with you and what is one small action you might want to take today (or so) on that basis?
My Answer in Brief
I think of people who don’t quite fit with those around them or their surroundings. As well, I think of people who too easily get written off as wrong or odd because you’re less likely to hear their side of any story. Perhaps this would include some judged as outcasts because of extreme or unpopular views, only to be vindicated in the long run. So, who do I identify with more? I tend to too quickly write off the so-called extremists as in politics and at the same time, in a family situation, at least for me, I relate more to the person who gets the label than the people who are likely to label her. An action I want to take over the next couple of days: it would be interesting to look for a quick biography of someone considered to be outspoken for their time, e.g. a Ralph nader before consumer protection came in vogue, and learn a little about what motivated him to step outside the box to get out in front on an issue they cared about.
Black BeltBlack Belt
Black belt: the highest awarded belt in the martial arts
*Do you know anyone who has an actual martial arts black belt and what did they have to do to earn it?
*In what would you like to have a metaphorical “black belt” to show you have been really dedicated to something you’re doing?
*How more generally do you feel about becoming really good at something and becoming recognized for it?
*How do these ideas resonate with you, and what is one small action you might want to take today (or so) on that basis?
My Answer in Brief
I do happen to know people who have earned black belts, and I feel mixed about some of them. I admire their work ethic and dedication because I know how much time and effort is involved in this achievement. On the other hand I have some stereotypic views about my associations with black belts. They conjure up images of undue authority and power. They can actually kill you! As well, although a black belt implies a lot of training and expertise, it also strikes me as training and expertise in a really narrow area; so for myself a martial arts black belt is something I genuinely do not aspire to. What’s an action I could take on this basis? What resonates with me is actually the negative association I seem to be expressing with the idea of achieving excellence with a really narrow focus. I’m not sure there’s a specific action I want to take on this basis; this short exercise though has provided me with some really interesting food for thought.
In The BlackIn The Black
In the black: having money or profiting and doing well in business.
*What comes to mind when you think of this phrase?
*How financially well are you currently doing in this regard and how happy are you with where you are?
*If your monthly income suddenly doubled, what would you do with your newfound gains?
*How do these ideas resonate with you, and what’s one small action you could take today (or so) on this basis?
My Answer in Brief
The first thing that comes to mind for me is that this is an incongruous phrase. It’s hard for me to think of “black” in positive terms, so it surprises me that “in the black” really means something this good. That said, I of course like this concept. Doing well economically means to me I have put in the investment, the time and the commitment to stick to doing something I like and to make money at doing it. It also means a certain degree of stability and financial security. Of course, it’s not always that simple; we know the economic system isn’t always fair, and we have all known people who on the one hand workas hard as the next guy and still struggle to make ends meet. But, on average, this is a simple phrase pointing each of us toward a concrete goal. It urges us to just stay a little bit ahead on the financial end or even to take some big new leap on a new and exciting financial endeavor. What action do I want to take on the basis of these thoughts? What comes to mind in the moment is to think of a couple of ways to cut back and to actually save just a little bit more each week, making it just that much easier to come out ahead and in the black.
Black HoleBlack Hole
Black hole: “objects of extreme density, with such strong gravitational attraction that even light cannot escape from their grasp if it comes near enough.” www.space.com/15421-black-holes-facts-formation-discovery-sdcmp.html xx how do you make that a link
*What comes up for you when you read about this idea?
*Do you feel like there are things in your life that are just sucking you in and from which you can’t escape?
*When you do feel like you’re getting drawn into things you don’t particularly like or when you’re just plain feeling really bad, what do you do to bounce back?
*How do these ideas resonate with you, and what is one small action you could take today (or so) on this basis?
My Answer In Brief
When I first read this definition, actually, it fell pretty creepy. Here’s this great astronomical black hol just waiting to suck in everything around it. Like some kind of great monster. No matter what you do, you can’t get out! But moving away from the astronomy, this seems like a great metaphor for how we sometimes feel: sucked in to some work we don’t want to do or into hanging out with people we don’t particularly like. So, if you think about it, it’s actually a pretty wonderful metaphor. And ok, we can’t escape gravity or change the placements of the stars or the planets. But, we do have a different kind of power: if we think about it hard enough, each of us does have the capacity to figure ways to get out of our own personal black holes and even more to find ways to avoid becoming trapped in them in the first place. What’s an action I might take after thinking about these ideas? The concept of black hole helps identify some specific situations (I won’t discuss them here) where I feel sucked in, And I will start to think about specific strategies to lessen my involvement.
Top 10 Black Sand Beaches Top 10 Black Sand Beaches
Posted by Ash Grant on November 12, 2008
When you think about going on vacation or to a getaway trip, you probably pick somewhere warm with inviting weather, people, and beaches. Once you pick that perfect beach you want to visit, you can’t picture anything else but a warm breeze and a clear blue sky that engulfs a beautiful brown sandy beach, with minimal rocks of course.
Think about this. Try picturing a beach with blue water, a crystal clear sky, and black sand. Sounds a little crazy huh? In any case, these beaches do exist. So, the next time you’re planning a vacation or looking for a new place to go to for a few days, try heading to a black sand beach. If you can’t pick just one or you aren’t sure of any, here is a list of the top 10 black sand beaches.
10. Vik Beach, Iceland
Vik Beach is located in a small village located in the southern part of Iceland. Though you may think Iceland isn’t the prettiest place on Earth to go to enjoy a beach, Vik Beach was nominated one of the most beautiful beaches on Earth in 1991. Vik is also the wettest village in Iceland, so you want to make sure that you get to the beach on a day that isn’t so rainy. Though this beach isn’t the best one to lie out and soak up some sun, it is definitely a marvel to see.
9. Black Sand Beach, Prince William Sound, Alaska
This beach is located just 60 miles from Anchorage. At this beach, you will see tidewater glaciers, waterfalls, green hillsides, and wildlife you won’t find at the zoo. If you look into the water or around you, you will see that the ten-thousand-foot peaks are reflected in the beautiful icy blue water. At this beach, one of the most popular things to do is to go kayaking. Remember, you’re in Alaska so this isn’t the beach that you want to go sport your new bikini at. Bring warmer clothes than you generally would to this beach. Thank me later.
8. Pololu Valley Beach, Hawaii
Pololu Valley Beach is located at the end of Highway 270. At this beach, you will find that you have access to an excellent view of the Kohala Mountains as well as the coastline. This beach is probably one of the smallest in Hawaii, and it requires you to hike from the 400-foot lookout area to actually get to the beach. This means about 20 minutes of hiking. At this beach, activities such as snorkeling and swimming aren’t recommended because the currents are generally extremely strong and high surf conditions make the water dangerous. If you do visit Pololu Valley Beach, try hiking and just taking in the scenery.
7. Kehena Beach, Hawaii
If you plan on going on vacation, this isn’t the place to take your family, especially if you have young children. The beach is said to be a nude beach, though this is illegal in Hawaii. At Kehena, you aren’t alone. Here you will find dolphins, which is why this beach is sometime called Dolphin Beach. You can even swim with these dolphins if the current isn’t too bad. Most people that go to Kehena just sit in the sand and enjoy the weather and water.
6. Kaimu Beach, Hawaii
Kaimu Beach, though somewhat dangerous, is another great black sand beach that is a must see. During the 1990s, the beach was covered in about 20’ of lava. Recently, those who live near the beach have begun planting new trees and flowers to bring the beach back to life, so to speak. Ferns, palm trees, and other plants can be seen popping out of the cracks in the lava. It is advised that you don’t swim at this beach because of the strong currents, but standing in the water for a little won’t do much harm.
5. Black Sand Beach, Lost coast, California
The Lost Coast of California stretches about 80 miles long. It is one of the lightest traveled coasts. If you have the courage and skill to master this coast, you will be greeted by peaks that are more than 2000 feet high. The highest is King’s Peak at 4,087 feet. You will also be greeted by a beach named Black Sand Beach. Though you can swim in this beach, most people don’t. It isn’t a beach that attracts a large crowd, except for those that are hiking along the coast and stop to take pictures and such. This beach brings about an extremely dramatic scene, with beautiful water, sand, and peaks all around it.
4. Oneuli Beach, Maui
Oneuli Beach is one of the beaches in Hawaii where you probably won’t ever see large crowds of people. However, while on the beach, you will always have a great time while you are there. The water is perfect and the land so great that you can even camp at this beach. If you are just planning on staying for a few hours, you can go swimming, hiking, fishing, and boating. If you’re a natural-type of person, you would love hiking on the Lower Trail as well as the Maluaka. You can also try snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking. The sand here gets extremely hot when the sun is out. Don’t forget your shoes!
3. Honokalani Black Sand Beach, Maui
Honokalani Black Sand Beach is located in the Wainapanapa State Park. The beach offers lava pebbles that are smooth and small. Around the beach you will find lava cliffs. You will also find sea caves, a sea arch, as well as seaside lava tubes. From the beach you can walk the King’s Highway, which is a path from the beach along the coast that takes you to Hana. As well as enjoy the beach, you can go diving and snorkeling at this beach.
2. Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach, Maui
Waianapanapa Beach is a great black sand beach that was formed by waves crashing against volcanic rock over decades and decades. At this beach you can find some of the most beautiful sites you’ll ever see. You can look and go into sea caves, bridges made of natural stone, and you can look at the old King’s Highway. This highway used to encircle the island. If you are bringing your family to this beach, make sure that you try to visit during the summer months. In winter, the surf becomes extremely high, so swimming, surfing, and diving are all very dangerous here. When the surf is calm, you can kayak, swim, and scuba dive.
1. Punaluu Beach, Hawaii
The top black sand beach in the world is Punaluu Beach, which is located on the Big Island of Hawaii. The beach is surrounded by black sand that was created by lava from volcanoes flowing into the ocean and then cooling. The ocean is said to be rocky, so be aware if you plan on going into the water. At this beach you will find Hawksbill turtles as well as Green sea turtles. Though the black sand is beautiful, it is illegal to take the sand off of the beach. Sometimes you just can’t take a piece of everything with you.
Would you like to see some more beautiful beaches? Not beautiful because of their color, but because of the landscape art pictures that have been painted on them. See landscape sand art pictures at Toptenzpictures.com.
Black Diamonds Characterization of Black Diamonds
Little has been written about what characterizes color in Natural Colored Black Diamonds. Some information is contradictory and even incomplete, while other sources will claim 'true black diamonds' don't exist and can only be found in detective novels.
Rare Investment can assure you that Natural Black Diamonds do infact exist however are extremely rare. The color black in a diamond is as definite and unique as red, blue or white.
In Collecting and Classifying Colored Diamonds Stephen C. Hofer notes "From a visual viewpoint, the color black denotes the absence or negation of color; from a psychological viewpoint black is the darkest sensation evident to the eye and mind…associated with foreboding events such as mystery, death, and superstition" (1998).
In Gems & Gemology In Review, Colored Diamonds John M. King says people believed black diamonds might be hematite, having no visible inclusions and being deeply colored throughout (2006). It was speculated that the black coloring may be due to partial changes in the crystal structure and the formation of finely dispersed graphite particles that are invisible even at extremely high magnifications (Gems & Gemology In Review, Colored Diamonds, 2006).
Another incomplete reference of black diamonds describes them as having gray spots attributed to a very large number of very small sub-microscopic black inclusions caused by light falling on the stone and being absorbed into the diamond (Gems & Gemology In Review, Colored Diamonds, 2006)
The Truth About Black Diamonds
Determined to get to the bottom of these speculations, Rare Investment experts found the following information based on an indepth examination into black diamond jewelry titled An Investigation of a Suite of Black Diamond Jewelry conducted in 1990 by Robert C. Kammerling, Robert E. Kane, John I. Koivula and Shane F. McClure (Gems & Gemology in Review, 2006).
Robert C. Kammerling, Robert E. Kane, John I. Koivula and Shane F. McClure show "the color of Black Diamonds is caused by numerous graphite inclusions lining cleavages and fractures in the diamond" (Gems & Gemology in Review, 2006).
The black diamonds examined in the study display many different colored zones. These zones consisted of a few transparent areas surrounded primarily by opaque zones caused by dense concentrations of black inclusions (2006). Small cavities and irregular interconnecting fissures on the surfaces of these stones are visible to the un-aided eye (Gems & Gemology in Review, 2006).
In his book Le diamant Edmond Boutan describes black diamonds as having a black 'kernal' enclosed inside a well- crystallized colourless diamond, known to the Malays as the "soul of the diamond"(Hofer, 1998).
Kammerling, Kane, Koivula and McClure show that "[black diamonds] are extremely difficult to cut and polish, and require great care in setting" (Gems & Gemology in Review, 2006). They explain true black diamonds can be seperated from artifically treated dark green-black appearing diamonds and from other black appearing materials based on their visual and gemological features" (Gems & Gemology in Review, 2006).
Treated Black Diamonds
Artifically irradiated black diamonds are distinguishable because light can not pass through them. These diamonds show a very dark green color at thin edges, such as in the cracks or girdle (Gems & Gemology in Review, 2006).
However, when viewed face up in daylight these very dark green diamonds appear black. Some treated black diamonds will show residual radioactivity that is not linked to inherent inclusions in the diamonds.
In fact, it is associated with metallic dust from the diamond polishing wheel (scaife), which accumulated in the numerous cracks and was later subjected to neutron irradiation. External radioactivity can be eliminated by boling the diamonds in acid before the stones are neutron irradiated (Gems & Gemology in Review, 2006).
The Black Orlov Diamond
The Black Orlov is a 67.50 carat cushion-cut stone and possibly the most famous of the black diamonds.
The National History Museum displayed the diamond in 2005 and explains the diamond is thought to have been cursed which allegedly began when a monk removed the original 195 carat diamond from The Eye of the Idol of Brahma, a Hindu shrine in southern India (2005).
Since then it is claimed to be responsible for a series of mysterious deaths.
In 1947, Princess Nadia Vyegin-Orlov (who the diamond is thought to be named after) and Princess Galitsine-Bariatinsky – both former owners of the Black Orlov leapt to their deaths (The National Museum, 2005). Fifteen years earlier the diamond dealer who imported the stone to the USA, J.W. Paris, jumped to his death after the sale of the jewel (The National Museum, 2005).
In order to break the curse, it was cut into three separate gems and since has been owned by a number of private owners (The National Museum, 2005).
Alan Hart, the exhibition curator says, "The intriguing legend of the Black Orlov highlights the powerful way that diamonds have captured human imagination for thousands of years" (The National Museum, 2005).
The 67.5 Black Orlov is now set in a 108 diamond brooch suspended from a 124 carat diamond necklace.
JCK diamond news reporter, Gary Roskin, G.G., FGA says that the Black Orlov's traceable history begins in 1951, when owner Charles F. Winson, a New York dealer, leant the diamond to the American Museum of Natural History. Winson exhibited the stone at the 1964 Texas State Fair and the Diamond Pavilion in Johannesburg in 1967.
Interestingly, in 1990 the Black Orlov sold for $90,000 and when it re-appeared at Sotheby's five years later - it sold for $1.5 million! In 2005 it was featured at the Natural History Museum in London and then made an appearance at the Oscars. Since then it was purchased by a private buyer from Christies.
Other famous black diamonds include the Black Star of Africa, the largest black diamond weighing 202 carats which was seen was in Tokyo in 1971 and the Table of Islam, an emerald cut diamond that weighs 160.18 Carats.
With the decreasing supply of world's black diamonds, these magnificent gems are potentially some of the greatest investment diamonds on the planet and they are currently still affordable.
The Night's Watch Night's Watch
Commander Cotter Pyke
First Ranger Benjen Stark
Ser Alliser Thorne
Less than 100 men
The Shadow Tower
Date of founding
8,000 years ago (according to legend)
"Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come." ―The Night's Watch oath
Jon, Sam and Pye
Grenn, Jon Snow, Samwell Tarly and Pypar, new recruits to the Watch training at Castle Black.
The Night's Watch is a military order which holds and guards the Wall, the immense ice structure which separates the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms from the lands beyond. At the onset of the War of the Five Kings, the order is currently led by acting Lord Commander Alliser Thorne from the stronghold of Castle Black.
The Night's Watch consists of three groups: the Rangers, who fight, defend the Wall and patrol the Haunted Forest; the Builders, who maintain the Wall and the castles; and the Stewards, who support and feed the members of the Watch.
According to legend, the Night's Watch was founded 8,000 years agoThey now protect the Seven Kingdoms from threats beyond their northern border, such as white walkers, wildlings and giants. They man a vast structure known as the Wall, a 700 foot tall and 300 mile long barrier which separates the Seven Kingdoms from the lands to its north. It is formed mostly from ice. The Watch have built several castles along the southern edge of the Wall to house their men. They also control a region south of the Wall known as the Gift, from which they obtain supplies and provisions. The region was donated to them by House Stark, the Kings in the North, at the time.
Members of the Night's Watch swear an oath of duty that is binding for life and prohibits marriage, family, and land ownership. Recruits renounce all past allegiances and birthrights. Joining the Watch provides absolution for past crimes and immunity from further punishment. Brothers start with a clean slate and can rise within the ranks whatever their origins. They describe one another as "sworn brothers" because of the oath. Men of the Watch dress entirely in black, giving rise to the nickname "crows" - which is what the Free Folk commonly call them - or "black brothers." Members of the Night's Watch are not specifically forbidden from seeing their families, but they cannot leave the Wall without permission. Desertion is punishable by death. First Ranger Benjen Stark would often visit his family at Winterfell while representing the Night's Watch.
Castle Black - largest of the three occupied castles.
The Watch was once highly regarded and their ranks were filled with volunteers from noble houses, as serving was a sign of selfless devotion to the protection of the realm. However, most recruits are now criminals avoiding punishment, nobles avoiding scandal, orphans and other social outcasts. Men known as wandering crows, such as Yoren, travel around the Seven Kingdoms gathering recruits for the Watch, offering them escape on the Wall. For the highborn, the Wall is a convenient place to exile embarrassing or disgraced family members. Samwell Tarly was disowned by his own father and ordered to join the Watch. Tywin Lannister had plans to exile his own son Tyrion to the Wall.
By the time of the TV series, the institution has fallen into disrepute and is largely ignored by the throne. It is severely undermanned; dwindling numbers have led to all but three of the Wall's nineteen castles being abandoned. The Night's Watch is now led from its stronghold at Castle Black. The Shadow Tower and Eastwatch-by-the-Sea are the only other castles that are still manned. Meanwhile, trouble is stirring beyond the Wall. A large wildling army under a new King Beyond the Wall, Mance Rayder, is advancing south, and there are rumors that the White Walkers, long since thought to be extinct, have returned.
At the start of the TV series, the Lord Commander of the Watch is Jeor Mormont. The Night's Watch engages in the first open conflict between men and white walkers in eight millennia, and suffers heavy casualties. Mormont himself is then killed by his own men when they mutiny at Craster's Keep; Alliser Thorne succeeds him as acting Commander. Their strength now reduced to about 100 men, the remainder of the Watch manage to fend off a wildling attack on Castle Black. Stannis Baratheon then unexpectedly arrives to relieve them, and defeats the wildling army.
Chief Black Elk As a young member of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) tribe in 1876, Black Elk witnessed the Battle of Little Bighorn, in which Sioux forces led by Chiefs Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse dealt a crushing defeat to a battalion of U.S. soldiers led by Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer. In the 1880s, Black Elk toured with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show before returning to the Pine Ridge Reservation established for the Oglala in South Dakota. After the massacre of more than 200 Sioux at Wounded Knee Creek in late 1890 effectively put an end to Native American military resistance in the West, Black Elk remained at Pine Ridge, where he later converted to Christianity. In 1930, he began telling his story to the writer John Neihardt; the result was “Black Elk Speaks” (1932), a vivid and affecting chronicle of Lakota history and spiritual traditions.
Black Elk as a Young Man
Black Elk was born in 1863 on the Little Powder River, in what is now Wyoming. Like his father before him, Black Elk would become a warrior, as well as a medicine man or priest of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) tribe. Both of them would follow Chief Crazy Horse, a second cousin of Black Elk’s, who as early as 1865 acted as a leader of Sioux resistance to white settlement in the northern Great Plains region. In 1874, after gold was discovered in the Black Hills of the Dakota Territory–long revered by the Sioux as Paha Sapa, a sacred land–prospectors flooded the region, ignoring earlier treaties made with the Native Americans. The Sioux resisted a government ultimatum to sell the Black Hills territory and forces led by General George Crook marched into the region in the spring of 1876.
Did You Know?
By the time he met John Neihardt in 1930, Nicholas Black Elk was nearly blind. He was also illiterate, and spoke no English. He and Neihardt communicated through an interpreter.
In mid-June, Crazy Horse and his followers (including the young Black Elk), surprised Crook’s men in the Rosebud River Valley and forced their withdrawal before heading north to join the main Sioux encampment led by Sitting Bull on the banks of the Little Bighorn River. It was there on June 25 that the Sioux soundly defeated a U.S. battalion led by Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer, whom the Sioux called “Long Hair.” In the wake of this historic battle, the Sioux came under even more military pressure from U.S. forces; they also grew increasingly short on food, due to the diminishing number of buffalo in the region. In May 1877, Crazy Horse was induced to surrender to General Crook with promises of a reservation for his people. On May 6, however, the great chief was killed during a struggle with soldiers who were seeking to lock him into a guardhouse at Fort Robinson in Nebraska.
From Canada to Pine Ridge
Rather than be forced onto reservations, Black Elk and other Sioux headed north in the fall of 1877 to Canada–or “Grandmother’s Land”–where Sitting Bull had decided to make a home for his followers the previous spring. Despite efforts to force the chief’s return, Sitting Bull remained in Canada for four years, long after many other Sioux, including Black Elk, had returned to the United States. In late 1881, Black Elk moved to the new Pine Ridge Reservation, which was being established for the Oglala in the southwestern Dakota Territory; he eventually settled near Wounded Knee Creek and from the age of 19 became known as a healer within his tribe.
In 1886, Black Elk left the reservation to tour with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and would perform in cities ranging from Omaha and Chicago to New York and Manchester, England. After returning to Pine Ridge Reservation in 1889, he became involved with the Ghost Dance movement, which held that spiritual rituals such as dance and song would cause the white men to leave, the buffalo to return and the Native American way of life to be reestablished. This movement swept across the Great Plains, reaching the Sioux at Pine Ridge by early 1890.
Wounded Knee and Beyond
Concerned about the Ghost Dance movement’s growing strength, U.S. government officials arrested some of its leaders, including Sitting Bull, who was killed in mid-December 1890 in the process of being captured. Two weeks later, the U.S. 7th Cavalry division surrounded and attacked a Sioux encampment at Wounded Knee Creek, brutally killing more than 200 men, women, children and elders. The Battle of Wounded Knee effectively marked the end of Native American military resistance in the West, as well as the decline of the Ghost Dance movement.
After being wounded in an attempt to retaliate after Wounded Knee, Black Elk was convinced to surrender by another Sioux chief, Red Cloud. He remained living on the Pine Ridge Reservation and later converted to Catholicism, taking the name Nicholas Black Elk. In 1930, the writer John Neihardt (whose earlier work had dealt with the Omaha tribe of Nebraska) met with Black Elk, by then a tribal elder, at Pine Ridge. Neihardt would record Black Elk’s life story, along with his extensive knowledge of Lakota history and traditions, in “Black Elk Speaks” (1932). Celebrated as a great spiritual text, the book became the bestselling work in history by a Native American.
In its final chapter, Black Elk poignantly reflects on the moment Red Cloud convinced him and others to surrender in the wake of Wounded Knee: “I did not know then how much was ended….I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people’s dream died there. It was a beautiful dream.”
The History of Black FridayWhy Is Black Friday Called Black Friday?
Question: Why Is Black Friday Called Black Friday?
Answer: Black Friday is the name given to the shopping day after Thanksgiving. It was originally called Black Friday because so many people went out to shop that it caused traffic accidents and sometimes even violence.
This was first recorded in 1966 by Earl Apfelbaum, a dealer in rare stamps. In his ad, he said "'Black Friday' is the name which the Philadelphia Police Department has given to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day. It is not a term of endearment to them. 'Black Friday' officially opens the Christmas shopping season in center city, and it usually brings massive traffic jams and over-crowded sidewalks as the downtown stores are mobbed from opening to closing." The Police Department coined the phrase to describe the mayhem surrounding the congestion of pedestrian and auto traffic in the Center City downtown area. (Source: The Chicago Tribune, "Black Friday - Why and When?)
Black Friday crowds hunting bargains can still give the police headaches. The most violence seems to occur at Walmart. In 2012, two people were shot outside of a Walmart in Tallahassee Florida. They were fighting over a parking space.
Walmart's consumer electronics department seems to be the most dangerous place. In 2011, a woman pepper-sprayed a crowd at a Walmart in Los Angeles. She was trying to get a Wii for 60% off. The year before, crowds at a Sacramento Walmart forced the store to evacuate when they started pushing and shoving to get deals on consumer electronics at 5:30 am.. On Black Friday 2009, another California Walmart, this time in Rancho Cucamonga, needed police protection from unruly crowds -- again, in the early-morning hours in the consumer electronics department. The store was briefly closed a few hours after another store in nearby Upland was closed.
The worst Black Friday occurred in 2008, when a man was trampled to death. Despite being 6'5" and 270 pounds, temporary worker Jdimytai Damour died of asphyxiation when crowds stampeded into another Wal-Mart (this time in New York). At least 2,000 people broke down the doors, trapping Damour in a vestibule where he suffocated. Eleven other people were also injured, including a pregnant woman. It seems the police have a right to call Black Friday by a negative name.
Retailers did not appreciate the negative connotation associated with a black day of the week. They had a good point. For example, Black Monday was given to October 19, 1987. On that day, the Dow Jones Average fell 22%, the largest percentage drop on one day in stock market history. Another dark day, Black Thursday, occurred on October 24, 1929. It was the day that signaled the start of the Great Depression. It was followed the next week by Black Tuesday. On that day, the stock market lost 11% despite attempts by major investors to support stock prices. This destroyed any confidence investors had in the stock market, which in those days was perceived to be the economy. Many had invested their life savings, and were totally wiped out.
No wonder retailers wanted to make the name "Black Friday" mean something positive. And, to them, the Friday after Thanksgiving is a very profitable day. To compensate, they decided to follow the old adage, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." They used the name to reflect their success. Accountants generally use black to signify profit when recording each day's book entries. Red is used to signify loss. Therefore, Black Friday means profitable Friday to the retail industry and to the economy. Article updated November 9, 2013
Fire Flies Fun Facts1. Fireflies, also called lightning bugs, are neither flies nor bugs.Fireflies are actually beetles. Like all other beetles, they have hardened forewings called elytra, which meet in a straight line down the back when at rest. In flight, fireflies hold the elytra out for balance, and rely on their membranous hindwings for movement. These traits place fireflies squarely in the order Coleoptera.
2. Fireflies are the world's most efficient light producers. Have you ever touched a light bulb that's been on for a while? If you did, you probably burned your finger! An average electric light bulb gives off 90% of its energy as heat, and only 10% as light. If fireflies produced that much heat when they lit up, they'd probably incinerate themselves. Fireflies produce light through an efficient chemical reaction that allows them to glow without wasting heat energy. All 100% of the energy goes into making light.
3. Fireflies "talk" to each other using light signals. Fireflies don't put on those spectacular summer displays just to entertain us. You're actually eavesdropping on the firefly singles bar. Male fireflies cruising for mates flash a species-specific pattern to announce their availability to receptive females. An interested female will reply, helping the male locate her where she's perched, often on low vegetation.
4. Fireflies are bioluminescent throughout their life cycles. We don't often see fireflies before they reach adulthood, so you may not know that all stages of the firefly glow. Bioluminescence begins with the egg, and is present throughout the entire life cycle. In fact, all firefly eggs, larvae, and pupae known to science are capable of producing light. Scientists believe that larvae use the light to warn predators away, but we don't know this for certain. Some firefly eggs will emit a faint glow when disturbed.
5. Not all adult fireflies flash. Fireflies are known for their blinking light signals, but not all fireflies flash. Some adult fireflies, most notably those that inhabit the western areas of North America, don't use light signals to communicate. Many people falsely believe that fireflies don't exist west of the Rockies, since flashing populations are rarely seen there.
6. Firefly larvae feed on snails. Firefly larvae are carnivorous predators, and their favorite food is escargot. Most firefly species inhabit moist, terrestrial environments, where they feed on snails or worms in the soil. But a few Asian species use gills to breathe underwater, where they feed on aquatic snails. Some species are arboreal, with larvae that hunt tree snails.
7. Some fireflies are cannibals. We don't know much about what adult fireflies eat. Most don't seem to feed at all, while some are believed to eat mites or pollen. We do know what Photuris fireflies eat, though – other fireflies! Photuris females enjoy munching on males of other genera. How do they catch their lightning bug cousins? See fact #8.
8. Female fireflies sometimes mimic the flashes of other species. The well-known femme fatales in the genus Photuris use a trick called aggressive mimicry to make meals of other fireflies. When a male firefly of another genus flashes its light signal, the female Photuris firefly replies with the male's flash pattern, suggesting she is a receptive mate of his own species. She continues luring him in, closer and closer, until he's within her reach. Then she eats him!
9. Firefly luciferase is used in all kinds of medical research. Scientists have developed remarkable uses for firefly luciferase in the research lab. Luciferase can be used as markers to detect blood clots, to tag tuberculosis virus cells, and to monitor hydrogen peroxide levels in living organisms (hydrogen peroxide is believed to play a role in the progression of some diseases, like cancer and diabetes). Fortunately, scientists can now use a synthetic form of luciferase for these research purposes, as the commercial harvest of fireflies could put our native species at risk for population decline.
10. Some fireflies synchronize their flash signals. Synchronous fireflies are one of the seven wonders of the insect world, in my opinion. Imagine thousands of fireflies lighting up at precisely the same time, over and over, from dusk to dark. This simultaneous bioluminescence, as its called by scientists, occurs in just two places in the world: southeast Asia and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, right here in the U.S.A. North America's lone synchronous species, Photinus carolinus, puts on its light show in late spring each year.
Health Benefits of Black Coffee
Health Benefits of Black Coffee
by Sara Ipatenco, Demand Media
Black coffee gives you a jolt of caffeine in the morning.
Your morning cup of joe gets you going and gives you the energy to start your day, but how you drink it plays a role in how beneficial it is for your health. Black coffee is low in fat and calories and supplies a wealth of antioxidants that help protect your health. Certain risks have been linked to drinking large amounts of black coffee, but rest assured that you can safely drink a cup of coffee every morning.
Fat, Calories and Nutrients
An 8-ounce cup of black coffee contains just 2 calories and 0 grams of fat. The same cup of coffee contains tiny doses of calcium for strong bones and potassium to keep your heart beat regular. When you add cream and sugar to a cup of coffee, it increases the fat and calorie content of your drink.
The compounds in coffee might help prevent cancer. The Harvard Health Letter reported in its February 2006 issue that researchers at Harvard Medical School found that drinking coffee might reduce your risk of liver cancer by 50 percent compared to people who don't drink coffee. The compounds in coffee might also reduce your risk of colon, breast and rectal cancer.
The antioxidants that a cup of black coffee contains offers you many protective benefits. A 2006 study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" reports that drinking coffee reduces inflammation levels in your body, which can reduce your risk of heart disease. A 2004 article published in the "Journal of Nutrition" notes that the antioxidants in coffee can help reduce your risk of certain degenerative diseases. The article also reports that the level of antioxidants in coffee is higher than the levels in wine, tea, fruits and vegetables. Coffee might also protect you against Parkinson's disease and Type 2 diabetes, according to MayoClinic.com.
Caffeine and Other Risks
Black coffee contains caffeine, which can be harmful to your health in large doses. You can safely consume between 200 and 300 milligrams of caffeine per day, according to MayoClinic.com. This translates to between two and four cups of coffee. Regularly consuming 500 or more milligrams a day can cause you to have trouble sleeping and can lead to irritability, restlessness, upset stomach and a rapid heartbeat, according to MayoClinic.com. Drinking unfiltered coffee and coffee drinks, such as lattes, can cause your cholesterol to increase, MayoClinic.com notes. The clinic also notes that people who have a hard time metabolizing caffeine can be at an increased risk of heart disease.
The Man in Black Johnny Cash 10 Surprising Things You Might Not Know About Johnny Cash On The Man In Black’s Birthday
By Joel Stice / 02.26.14 #Fascinating Facts
Today would have been Johnny Cash’s 82nd birthday. The country music legend passed away 11 years ago at the age of 71, but his music and outlaw legacy live on. Few musicians have had a career filled with as many setbacks and triumphant returns to the spotlight as The Man in Black. And even fewer will ever amass the number of recordings he had under his belt (55 studio albums, 104 compilation albums, and 6 live albums).
In honor of Johnny Cash’s legacy, I’ve rounded up 10 facts about one of American music’s greatest recording artists — three of which involve strange incidents involving birds. Yeah, the guy had a rocky history with fowl.
1. Roy Orbison was Cash’s neighbor for 20 years. Besides being longtime neighbors and collaborating on several projects together, Cash reached out to his friend after Orbison suffered a devastating tragedy. When the singer was on a European tour in 1968, a fire broke out in his home, killing two of his three sons. Cash bought the abandoned lot where the house had stood and turned it into a memorial grave, promising Orbison that he would never sell it.
2. The ostrich attack incident. Investing in weird sh*t is a tradition in the music business, and back in the 1980s energy drinks weren’t a thing yet, so Johnny Cash did the next best thing and started an ostrich farm. While tending the ostriches one afternoon, Cash was kicked in the upper torso by a male and sent to the emergency room with five broken ribs and internal bleeding. To make matters worse, Cash developed a morphine addiction after being given the drug during his recovery.
3. Johnny Cash had a cousin in the White House. Cash became a cousin through marriage to President Jimmy Carter, who was a distant cousin to Cash’s wife, June Carter-Cash. The two remained friends throughout the rest of Cash’s life.
4. “Walk The Line” came from hearing Bavarian guitar music backwards. One of Cash’s most iconic songs came about in a very strange way as explained to Larry King in a 2002 interview:
“I had a Wilcox Gay Recorder — a tape recorder in the Air Force in 1952. And I was always — only guitar I was going do-do-do-do-do — well it got turned around. The tape got in there backwards. And hen I played it, it went sh-sh-sh-sh and it had a kind of a drone sound like I finally had on the record.
But I couldn’t figure out where that sound came from when I played it. When I took that sound — when I got home — when I was home from the Air Force, I was on the road and that sound was haunting me again. And then — but then the line “because you’re mine, I walk the line.” It kept coming to me, you know?”
5. Johnny parodied his own hit with the song and video “Chicken In Black.” Cash’s record sales had slowed considerably in the 1980s and his label, Columbia had basically placed him in the bargain bin of nostalgic acts. In order to get the label’s attention, Cash parodied “Man In Black” with a song about his brain being transplanted into a chicken. The chicken-brained idea worked and Columbia dropped him from their label shortly after the song’s release.
6. Cash was the first person to ever be sued by the U.S. Government for starting a forest fire. Johnny Cash enjoyed the great outdoors, but he also had a fondness for amphetamines. During one of his binges in 1965 he drove his camper out to the Los Padres National Wildlife Refuge where he got high and nodded off. An overheated wheel bearing triggered a forest fire and burned 508 acres. When asked by the judge why he did it Cash responded, “I didn’t do it, my truck did, and it’s dead, so you can’t question it.” The fire also killed a number of endangered California Condors to which Cash was not concerned about and made this known by telling the judge, “I don’t care about your damn yellow buzzards.” The government sued him and he was forced to pay $82,001.
7. The hotel chicken incident. At this point, I think it’s fair to say that Johnny Cash had a thing for birds and his 1950’s hotel chicken stunt only highlights this. While on tour with his band The Tennessee Three in Omaha, Nebraska, Cash bought 500 baby chicks and released 100 on each floor of the hotel.
8. He was hesitant to sing “A Boy Named Sue” at his San Quentin Prison show. Cash had only performed the song once before at a party when his wife June recommended he take the song with him to his show in California. In his interview with Larry King, Cash revealed that he was reluctant to perform the song:
“I’d only read it the first time — sung it the first time the night before and I read it off, you know, as I sing it. I still didn’t know the words to it. So reluctantly I put them in my briefcase and took them to California. And I got out there to do that show. As a last resort, I pulled those lyrics out and laid them on the music stand, and when it came time that I thought I was brave enough, I did that song.”
9. Johnny Cash could translate Morse Code. Before taking up showbiz, Cash served in the military and worked as a Morse Code intercept operator in Germany with the Air Force Security Service.
10. He never performed in anything but black. If you’re going to have the moniker of “The Man in Black” then you had better live up to the title and Johnny did. Johnny would wear light blue during the hot summers in Tennessee, but on stage it was black, almost all the time.
KING: I don’t think I have ever seen you in light blue. Do you ever record — you ever do a concert in light blue?
CASH: No. Never done a concert in anything but black.
KING: Are you a clothes freak?
CASH: You walk into my clothes closet. It’s dark in there. It’s dark.
Not to call the man out, but how would he explains this? Perhaps his black suit was at the dry cleaners.