George Rucker's Newsletter for September 6, 2016

Well Met Everyone,

Finally I received a duck joke.  However, one joke is not enough . . . Here is the duck joke then once more off to the chickens as one does not cut it.

You asked for it!

Duck who fly upside down have quack up!

Sent from my iPhone

My question is what if the duck is a drake?  Oh wait, I just looked up what a female duck is called . . . Result is now posted and forgive me as I am Polish . . .  A male duck is called a drake or sometimes a mallard and the female duck is called a duck, or in ornithology a hen.  Your joke is correct as stated please accept my apology.

Well, well, well . . . a couple of more duck jokes just under the wire.  These are from a friend who was also in the Viet Nam War.   I usually try to finish the letter by Friday so that Patty can spend the weekend checking my spelling and English.

What does a duck with hiccups say?
Quick, quick.

How do you get down off a horse?
You don’t get down off a horse. You get down off a duck!

Perhaps this lack of duck jokes is everyone is just thinking about the upcoming election.  OK here it comes some chicken jokes:

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: To prove to the possum that it could be done!

Q: Did you hear about the chicken who could only lay eggs in the winter? A: She was no spring chicken.

The devout cowboy lost his favorite Bible while he was mending fences out on the range.  Three weeks later, a chicken walked up to him carrying the Bible in its mouth.

The cowboy couldn't believe his eyes. He took the precious book out of the chicken's mouth, raised his eyes heavenward and exclaimed, "It's a miracle!"

"Not really," said the chicken. "Your name is written inside the cover."

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Just a note to my readers, I can keep these chicken jokes coming almost forever . . . so send me some more duck jokes.

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The other day while leaving the YMCA after exercise, one of the people I exercise with mentioned that upon entering a hot closed car there is the possibility of a gas buildup that is unhealthy, particularly that of benzene and would I mention it the problem in one of my future letters.

I thought about the statement in general, especially the benzene part, as for 13 of my life’s working years I was an environmental protection specialist for the Department of Defense.  My experience with benzene is that it was mostly used to increase the flashpoint of fuels, although I thought it might be also used in a drying agent in some plastics or other car parts.  The military uses benzene as an additive to jet fuel, which is added to the fuel just as it is pumped into the aircraft so the flash point will make the fuel easier to burn in the plane.  This addition is added at the last point for safety reasons, so the loading of fuel into the trucks won’t be so dangerous.

When in Viet Nam and we wanted a hot shower we used immersion heaters to heaters the water and JP-4 fuel from the Phantom Jets was readably available but very hard to light.  To get the heater working, we had no pure benzene so we would use gasoline from one of our vehicles to ignite the JP-4 in our heaters.  I now need to Google the information and then see how this interesting story started.

Claim: Automobile components emit dangerous levels of cancer-causing benzene fumes.

Origin:  This item about the dangers of benzene supposedly emitted by automobile components has been widely misunderstood. Many readers have come away from the article with the impression that it warns drivers not to use their cars' air conditioning because the A/C system itself is producing benzene, but what the article actually cautions against is the practice of turning on the air conditioning immediately upon entering an automobile. Motorists should instead, it says, roll down their windows in order to allow accumulated benzene fumes (allegedly emitted by other components, such as dashboards and upholstery) to vent from the car first before closing the windows and turning on the A/C.

But do automobiles really produce potentially cancer-causing levels of benzene? No studies have yet documented that claim to be true.

A 2001 study of commuter exposure (in both cars and buses) in Korean urban areas found some relationship between automobile use and exposure to benzene, but its observations differed from the warning quoted above in some significant areas:

The study found that traveling by automobile increased exposure to a number of deleterious compounds, including benzene, but the primary factor in this regard was the fuel used by the vehicles, not internal components such as dashboards.

The study found that benzene levels were higher in older cars than newer cars, which suggests that the primary factor in automobile benzene levels was not associated with the "new car smell" emitted by components such as dashboards and upholstery.

The study found that exposure levels were significantly higher during the winter months, which suggests that automobile air-conditioning use is not a major factor in benzene exposure.

The Korean study itself did not establish a connection between commuter exposure to benzene and the onset of cancer.

A 2007 German study on "Toxicity of Parked Motor Vehicle Indoor Air" which specifically tested the health effects of emissions from one new and one three-year-old vehicle exposed to "parked in sunshine" conditions found "no apparent health hazard of parked motor vehicles indoor air":

Buters and his colleagues first collected molecules from the air inside a new car and a three-year-old vehicle of the same brand placed under 14,000 watts of light, where temperatures reached up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. They next exposed these compounds to human, mouse and hamster cells grown in lab dishes. These are commonly used to test toxicity.

New car smell does not appear to be toxic, the scientists found. Air from the new car did cause a slight aggravation of the immune response that could affect people with allergies, but the same was not seen with the older vehicle.

(The German study also found the total amount of volatile organic compounds in a new car to be one-tenth the level claimed in the e-mail for benzene alone.)
The ACS similarly noted of this e-mail that:

We found no published studies that confirm the claims of this e-mail. Benzene levels that exceed recommendations for chronic workplace exposures have been observed in some moving cars, but these levels seem unlikely in properly maintained cars.

The e-mail did get one thing right, though: Upon returning to a closed car on warm days, you should open the windows for a minute or so rather than immediately turning on the air conditioning. The reason has nothing to do with benzene levels, however; rather, it's because when a car is parked in the sun with its windows rolled up, that condition can create a greenhouse effect which causes the interior of the vehicle to warm up to a temperature considerably higher than that of the outside air. Opening the windows for a few moments allows for the exchange of hot air from inside the vehicle with cooler air outside, speeding up the process of cooling off the car more than air conditioning alone would.

Last updated: 22 May 2016

Buters, Jeroen T.M. et al.   "Toxicity of Parked Motor Vehicle Indoor Air."
    Environmental Science & Technology.   2 March 2007.

Choi, Charles Q.   "That New-Car Smell? Not Toxic, Study Finds."
    LiveScience.com.   6 April 2007.

Lee, Jin-Woo et al.   "Commuter Exposure to Benzene While Traveling in Urban Areas."
    The Science of the Total Environment.   May 2002   (pp. 219-228).

One last item . . . the whole benzene thing with automobiles started in a chain letter started in 2009 and the benzene part of the email was exaggerated  by a factor of 10 or 1000 times more than test results showed.  Perhaps this all started just from an  error in the interpretation of the 2001 test study result findings.

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I guess we should write about another one of mankind’s great inventions.  This week we will talk about Cloning.

In the late 1800s, scientists began experimenting and debating weather the genetic information of an animal cell would diminish with each cell division, and weather there was enough DNA inside the resulting split cells to generate new specimens.  In the early 1900s German embryologist Hans Spemann split a two-cell salamander embryo, which then grew into two complete organisms, proving that cells retain the genetic info required for life as they divide.

In 1914, Spemann transferred the nucleus of one cell into an egg without a nucleus, performing the first successful nuclear transfer experiment.  He earned the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1935 for his work, which provided the foundation for the study of cloning.  Over the next three decades, scientific advancements in the field of molecular biology increased public awareness of cloning.

In 1984, using an advanced version of the kind of nuclear transfer first tested by Spemann, Danish scientist Steen Willadsen successfully cloned a sheep from embryonic cells.  It was the first substantiated case of the cloning of a mammal.

Two years later Willadsen cloned a cow using differentiated cells taken from week-old embryos.  The same year, scientist’s Neal First, Randal Prather and Willard Eyestone at the University of Wisconsin also cloned a cow from embryonic cells.

Up to this point, experimentation had centered on embryonic cells.  In 1996, however after 276 unsuccessful attempts, Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell at the Roslin Institute in Scotland made a ground-breaking team; they cloned the first animal from adult cells.  Dolly the sheep was born on July 5, 1996.  The little lamb made history, the cover of Time magazine – and a lot of people nervous.  Replicating an animal from adult cells had opened a universe of possibilities and perhaps perils.  Many feared the ethical implications of cloning adult cells and worried that cloning humans was just a few years away.

In 1997, the United States declared a five-year moratorium on the appropriation of federal funds for human cloning.  Wilmut and Campbell didn’t live in the United States, however and their experimentation continued.  That same year, the pair cloned a Dorset lamb named Polly from skin cells genetically altered to contain a human gene.

In spite of these successes, scientists remained skeptical about the breakthrough without proof the animals had been recreated from differentiated cells (specialized cells from a specific kind of tissue) and not, accidentally, stem cells – that is, undifferentiated cells.  This question was resolved in 2002 when scientists at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology successfully cloned mice from cell specific to the immune system.  Since the cells contained a built-in marker system, scientists were able to distinguish these cells from existing stem cells, thus determining that it is possible to produce a clone using the nucleus of a fully differentiated cell.

Today, in spite of relatively limited success rates, scientists envision one day using cloning to reproduce animals genetically engineered with organs suitable for human transplantation; to help endangered species avoid extinction – or revive an extinct species; and to harvest stem cells from embryos in order to fight disease.

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There might not be a Christmas this year as a lightning strike killed 323 of Santa’s reindeer.  He may have to bring the second string or something.  It was reported on the day of the posting of my last letter.

Published August 30, 2016 Associated Press

Lightning strike kills 323 wild reindeer in Norway

The Norwegian Environment Agency has released eerie images showing a jumble of reindeer carcasses scattered across a small area on the Hardangervidda mountain plateau. The agency says 323 animals were killed, including 70 calves, in the lightning storm Friday.

Agency spokesman Kjartan Knutsen told The Associated Press it's not uncommon for reindeer or other wildlife to be killed by lightning strikes but this was an unusually deadly event.

"We have not heard about such numbers before," he said Monday.

He said reindeer tend to stay very close to each other in bad weather, which could explain how so many were killed at once.

"I don't know if there were several lightning strikes," he said. "But it happened in one moment."

Knutsen said the agency is now discussing what to do with the dead animals. Normally, they are just left where they fall to let nature take its course, he said.

Thousands of reindeer migrate across the barren Hardangervidda plateau as the seasons change.

I personally find the death of all these animals to be kind of sad . . .  However some of the comments on this article are rather funny.

Why couldn't this have happened to Democrats?

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE! WE'VE MADE THE LIGHTNING MAAAAAD!!

They must have blasphemed Jesus.

Hillary said she will make sure all reindeer are safe from now on

Shame this couldn't happen at a Trump rally.

          A whole lot more than 300 people show up at Trump rallies

YEAH,, BUT WE'RE TALKING REINDEER,, NOT WABBITS !!! SANTA'S SCREWED ROYALLY THIS YEAR....

That'll teach em' for not letting Rudolph join any of their games!

And on and on and on . . . I guess some people have a sense of humor, at least it seems that Americans do.  Perhaps our glass is more than half full except for that one Trump comment.

Personally I think we have a lot of closet Trump fans.

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Politics at it's best!

I TOLD MY SON, "YOU WILL MARRY THE GIRL I CHOOSE."
HE SAID, "NO."
I TOLD HIM, "SHE IS BILL GATES DAUGHTER."
HE SAID, "YES."

I CALLED BILL GATES AND SAID, "I WANT YOUR DAUGHTER TO MARRY MY SON,"
BILL GATES SAID, "NO"
I TOLD BILL GATES, "MY SON IS THE C.E.O. OF WORLD BANK."
BILL GATES SAID, "OK"

I CALLED THE PRESIDENT OF WORLD BANK AND ASKED HIM TO MAKE MY SON THE C.E.O.
HE SAID, "NO"
I TOLD HIM, "MY SON IS BILL GATES SON-IN-LAW"
HE SAID, "OK"

THIS IS HOW POLITICS WORKS.

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IFAW confirms sightings of manatee in Cape waters

Posted Aug. 27, 2016 at 6:53 PM

    Although the International Fund for Animal Welfare has yet to see the manatee that has been spotted around the Cape for the past two weekends, it has confirmed sightings off Dowses Beach in Osterville and Oyster Pond in Chatham after receiving photographs and videos of the marine mammal.

    The earliest unconfirmed reports of the manatee came last week when it was spotted off Nantucket, before it was seen off Dowers over the weekend, said Misty Niemeyer, a necropsy coordinator and marine mammal rescue and research member with IFAW.

    After the sightings, IFAW has looked for the manatee but rescuers have yet to see it for themselves. Manatees are normally found off Florida, but this is the third sighting since 2008, Niemeyer said.

    “Here on the Cape it’s not very common,” Niemeyer said of manatee sightings. “We aren't really quite sure what they are doing.”

    The water temperatures are currently warm enough for manatees, she said, so it is not in any immediate danger, other than from predators it could normally see off the coast of Florida. Manatees can stay in groups, but it is not abnormal for them to be found by themselves, Niemeyer said.

    Niemeyer said people should keep a safe distance if they see the manatee and call IFAW's hotline at 508-743-9548.

    Even if IFAW does find the wayward manatee, they will only monitor it and keep track of water temperatures because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has jurisdiction over manatees.

    “We will definitely keep a close eye on the situation,” she said.

    Manatees can grow up to more than 14 feet long and weigh more than 3,000 pounds, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service. Manatees cannot tolerate extended periods of time in waters that are lower than 68 degrees, which largely keeps them in peninsular Florida.

    The West Indian manatee, which is the one commonly found off Florida, is currently listed as endangered, but the wildlife service has proposed to reclassify them to threatened, lower on the endangered species list.

This is from my thoughts. . . 2016 has been an interesting year for the waters around Cape Cod.  We have orcas in our water, the seal population is over 20,000, whales swimming around here earlier than normal, two blue whales spotted to the north and they can grow as long as 100 feet, just an interesting year if you like that sort of thing.  Oh yes, and a pod of dolphins traversed the canal.

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Finally reached my goal of page nine, I will see you next week.

George

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For copies via e-mail send grucker@capecod.net with “letter” in subject line

You can see some older letters at www.capecod-beaches.com towards the bottom.

Once again on the road,

From Orlando we went north to the Florida town that is farthest to the west, so far west it is in the next time zone, which is central. With Patty retired we are both now on a fixed limited income so to save money we decided to stay in government quarters. Our first try is with the Navy and I must say it is very nice, both clean and comfortable. We are located on the Naval Air Station, of Pensacola, Florida (www.dodlodging.net) ; we reserved three days using the Navy Gateway, Inns and Suites. What is great about this base is the location is right on Pensacola Bay so we have a beach. It is home to the Naval Air Museum, and a lighthouse. Another great thing is the Navy’s Blue Angels practice here probably twice a week. I will need to take a few pictures and Patty wants to get some autographs for the grand kids.

Last night we went into the city of Pensacola to eat at one of America’s great steakhouses, McGuire’s Irish Pub. Many of my friends would like this place as many drinks are in the $3 to $4 range. The walls were covered with money; my estimate is over 1 million, every square inch of the ceiling and walls down to about 3 feet. The money is not flat on a flat surface but hung perpendicular. There is so much money that sound does not carry and the Irish music is muted. They make all their beer and I had a red lager named, McGuire’s Irish Red. Patty drank something called an Emory Chenoweth, not sure what it contains but probably 10 inches high and only $3.50. My taste of it was delicious. There was a drink with a limit of 3 per person, served in an old fashion quart size Mason jar from the local cemetery, called “The Irish Wake” at a cost of $9.99. The seating capacity of this place was very close to 800 or 900 people. The parking lot was perhaps five acres. Many pictures of famous people are on the walls, more than one can imagine.

Day two: We went to the Naval Air Museum. It is huge and extensive, over 150,000 square feet and four stories high. One day is not enough, as there is so much history from WW1, through today. If I was going to say which is bigger the USAF or the USN, I would go to the USAF at Wright Patterson AFB.  Pensacola trains most of the Naval Aviators if not all, some became very famous and some were our past presidents. Their planes and log books will be enshrined here forever.

There is a lighthouse on the base which posed nicely for some pictures. You can look up http://www.pensacolalighthouse.org/  there is also a museum attached. This is still a working lighthouse kept up by the Coast Guard.

The last day was a visit to a fort. It was Fort Pickens National Park. From the fort we watched the Blue Angels practice maneuvers, our very own private air show. There were six planes and they kept passing over and around the fort then back to the base and up into the sky. A great day especially after we left the fort for a nearby beach that gets 4.9 stars out of five. It was not crowded at all and many have said it is the best beach in the Eastern United States, Langdon Beach. If I return to Pensacola, I would stay at the Naval Lodge as it is closer to the museum and lighthouse with its own private beach. The beach used by the Inn I was in although also on base but perhaps two miles away, without the seclusion afforded by the lodge.

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The next day we are off to stay on Joint Base Charleston, currently commanded by the A.F... We are staying at an Air Force Inn once again; it will be the least expensive nights of our trip. Unlike the old days when there were many clubs, the military has sort of made drinking out of vogue. Only one club on base now and this one had Bingo on the evening we arrived, however our arrival was an hour late to catch the entire evening’s game. There were two guaranteed $1,000 prizes included this evening along with all their normal prizes. We just ate in the Grill portion of the club, ran to the commissary and then back to our room. If anything was funny, we saw many open parking spaces in front of the club. Only trouble was the first 2 were for General Officers, the next 4 were for Colonels, then a few for Commanders of local units and the club manager. There was a group set aside for the E-9 enlisted also.  I parked in the back.

We made our reservation again by using www.dodlodging.net  for those active or retired military members with proper identification.  I tried to read the regulation (AFI 37-135 24 September 2014) to see if DoD Civilian guests are authorized, as in the past I have stayed with DoD Civilians with Temporary Duty Orders while we were having required environmental training and could not decipher the policy.  There are so many exceptions and rules I feel DoD Civilians with DoD ID cards might be eligible.

I did notice that rule 39 includes: Other DoD ID card holders not on official business to include disabled veterans.

It almost looks like many people are authorized so probably the best thing is just check and confirm eligibility.

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Ok, off to Fort Sumter, the place where the American Civil War Began. Decades of growing strife between north and south erupted in civil war on April 12, 1861, when confederate artillery opened fire on this Federal fort in Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Union forces would try for nearly four years to take it back. You can’t drive to it so we took a ferry. The place where the ferry started there were two naval ships the USS Yorktown (CV/CVA/CVS-10) is one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy. She is named after the Battle of Yorktown of the American Revolutionary War, and is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. I did not catch the name of the destroyer.

This is a National Park so once again I got to use my park pass. If you are 62 or over you should spend the $10 for one of the passes. Once you pay the fee all National Parks are free for life, this includes the National Seashore on the Cape. I have got my $10 back many times over already and I bought it 3 or 4 years ago.

This is also the area my father went to college, he attended the U.S. military Academy called, “The Citadel.” His study was chemical engineering. This was also the start to get his commission and join the army’s, 101st Screaming Eagles and become a paratrooper during WWII. I did not have time to visit the Citadel museum so I might have to return on another trip.

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I am not sure if I can call these vacations anymore. Where we are retired now I would say they are just trips, excursions or adventures.

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Many of my friends know I was once a Democrat who was a McGovern supporter. While I was stationed in Texas I shook McGovern’s hand by the Alamo, in San Antonio , during a rally. This particular political party left me behind many years ago.

Great Orators of the Democrat Party – PAST:

"One man with courage makes a majority." ~ Andrew Jackson

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

"The buck stops here." ~ Harry S. Truman

"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for country." ~ John F. Kennedy

AND NOW...

Great Orators of the Democratic Party today:

"It depends what your definition of 'is' is?'' President William Jefferson Clinton

"Those rumors are false. I believe in the sanctity of marriage." ~ John Edwards

"What difference does it make?" (Re: Benghazi) ~ Hillary Clinton

"I invented the Internet." ~ Al Gore (he did however vote to provide tax payer money for it’s startup)

"America is, is no longer, uh, what it, uh, could be, uh, what it was once was, uh, and I say to myself, uh, I don't want that future, uh, for my children." ~ Barack Obama

"I have campaigned in all 57 states." ~ Barack Obama (Quoted 2008)

"You don't need God anymore; you have us Democrats." ~ Nancy Pelosi (Quoted 2006) (A really, really stupid remark.)

"Paying taxes is voluntary." ~ Sen. Harry Reid

"Bill is the greatest husband and father I know. No one is more faithful, true, and honest than he is." ~ Hillary Rodham Clinton (Quoted1998)

"You have a business. You didn't build that. Someone else did!" ~ Barack Obama (Quoted 2012)

And the most ridiculous gem of wisdom, from the "Mother Superior Moron": "We just have to pass the Healthcare Bill to see what's in it." ~ Nancy Pelosi (Quoted March, 2010)

(As one Doctor said: “That is also the perfect definition of a stool sample.”)

A Great Republican: "Life is tough! It's even tougher when you are stupid.'' ~ John Wayne

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Now I am on the Delmarva Peninsula and staying with a Navy Inn again. The internet and password are the same so my computer is happy. We drove all day (8 hours), had breakfast when we left but decided to have a nice dinner after we checked into Wallops Island, home of Surface Combat System Center (SCSC). It is located on a 6 square mile island with NASA.  There are so few people around it is weird.  The gate guard would open the gate electronically from his guard shack to let us in and out.  The gate was roughly a 10 foot high fence on rollers.  On my arrival there were about 8 men cooking on a bar-b-cue grill before they disappeared.  This was the most people I saw during my entire stay.  No base exchange, no club, no gas station, no commissary, just 3 or 4 buildings, a parking lot and a guard shack. The big building being what looked like a school for Navy training of Combat Systems.  The gate guard could jog around all the buildings in probably 5 minutes.

One funny thing, other than the ghost base item above.  A room is $70 and a suite is $70.  I took the suite, being the bargain hunter, penny pincher that I am.  All suites are on the second floor and all rooms on first floor.  The furniture in the rooms was sort of early Virginian, which was ornately carved cherry wood, no fiber board here, not even plywood.  Much better furniture than I have in my own house and those of the people I know.  The bed was a sleigh bed also cherry and carved.  I counted the drawers in the room in the 4 rooms of the suite, there were 21.  I was only sleeping there for two nights, our arrival and the one night after our day of exploring, so I did not unpack my suitcase as we would be leaving in the morning.  Not using all these drawers made me feel guilty so I put my glasses and wallet in one just before I went to sleep.  The Air Force would say we would be leaving at zero dark thirty.  There were probably only 4 or 5 other people and/or couples staying at the Inn but I did not see any of them, just their vehicles.

We had dinner at Ray’s Shanty on Chincoteague Road. If you drive the coast heading south after using the Cape May ferry this restaurant would be well worth the stop. https://www.raysshanty.com/ I had ½ pound of steamed shrimp from North Carolina; it came with fries, slaw, and hush puppies. This meal was incredible and only $17.95. Patty had 2 crab cakes made in the facility with the same sides that I had for $21.95. Just an FYI my shrimp size was XL, probably 16 – 20 per pound. Another thing I noticed was this place also sells fresh seafood; the sign said uncooked North Carolina  shrimp the size I just ate, goes for $35 for 10 pounds (head and shell on). In New England we pay way too much for seafood and it is not as fresh. Patty and I were taken on a tour of the restaurant/facility while waiting for our table by the owner’s wife,.  The owner, her husband, Captain Ray Twiford we met on our way out of the restaurant.

Adjacent to this base is a NASA installation that commands the oldest rocket launch range in the U.S. This might be interesting as they do offer tours, but we are visiting Chincoteague National Park tomorrow to visit and photograph the wild horses on nearby islands.

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We did get to go to the NASA museum on our way back from Chincoteague. I was becoming paranoid with all of the “Restricted Area,” signs on this base, plus those of the NASA and was wondering what they were hiding. There were probably nine parabolic dishes pointed toward the sky, some at least five stories high. More rockets are shot from this base then Cape Canaveral, Kennedy’s Space Station, approximately 30 per year. The next one is May 31. If you are an engineer in the field this would be the place to be. https://www.nasa.gov/centers/wallops/home . Why might you ask, great food, low cost homes, incredible ocean views and parks and beaches everywhere.

I have always thought that buying a home on the Delaware portion of this three state peninsula as the state of DE has the 46th lowest tax rate of the lower 48 states. I guess taxes are most important to me anyway.

I did learn that the next full solar eclipse of the sun will be on August 21, 2017. A total solar eclipse will take place on Monday, August 21, 2017. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. Let us hope for good weather and no clouds as this phenomenon does not happen very often.

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Having returned to my home once again I can return to my writing about inventions that changed mankind.  This week we will talk about the Stethoscope.

Many people have heard their stomach growling or listened to their heartbeat in the middle of the night.  But few know that inside the human body is a cacophony of sounds– from the gurgle of the intestines to the whisper of the lungs to the rush of the arteries and low rumble of other organs.  Doctors can draw conclusions about patient’s health depending upon the sounds they hear through a stethoscope.  The word “stethoscope” comes from the Greek words stehos, meaning “chest,” and skopein, meaning “to explore.”

Modern stethoscopes feature a round chest piece containing a hollow cup (bell) with a plastic disk, or diaphragm, inside it.  When the piece is placed on the patient’s chest, body sounds vibrate the diaphragm, creating sound waves that travel up hollow rubber tubes to the listener’s ears.  The bell transmits low-frequency sounds, while the diaphragm transmits higher-frequency sounds.

Rene Laennec invented the stethoscope in France in 1816.  Reportedly, while walking in Paris, Laennec saw two children sending signals to each other using a long piece of solid wood and a pin.  With an ear to one end, the child received an amplified sound of the pin scratching the opposite end of the stick.  After much experimentation, Laennec came up with the first stethoscope.  It consisted of a wooden tube and was connected to one ear only.  The tool was very similar to the ear trumpet, a device used by the hard-of-hearing to listen to conversations.

Flexible-tube stethoscopes for one ear arrived in 1840.  They were called ”snake ear trumpets.” In 1851 Irish physician Arthur Leared invented a binaural (two-eared) stethoscope which greatly improved the ability of a doctor to hear internal bodily sounds.

Today, physicians use many types of stethoscopes.  The acoustic stethoscope is the most familiar, but there are also electronic stethoscopes (stethophones) that electronically amplify body sounds.  They use a PC-based software that converts the sound into visual graphs that can be transmitted for remote diagnosis.

The invention of the stethoscope marked a major step in the redefinition of disease.  Formerly identified as a bundle of symptoms, disease in the current sense is considered a bodily problem even if there are no noticeable symptoms.  Using a stethoscope, a doctor can quickly tell the health of the lungs, heart, stomach, and intestines even if the patient notices no pain.

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Here is another summer crockpot recipe. . .

Roasted Summer Squash with Pine Nuts and Romano Cheese

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped yellow onion
1 medium red bell pepper chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 medium zucchini, cut into ½ -inch slices
3 medium summer squash, cut into ½ -inch slices
½ cup chopped pine nuts
1/3 cup grated Romano cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cubed
Springs of fresh basil (optional

1.  Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook and stir 10 minutes or until onion is translucent and soft.  Remove to Crockpot slow cooker.  Add zucchini and summer squash; toss lightly.

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I hate it when people forward bogus warnings, and I have even done it myself a couple times unintentionally... but this one is real, and it's important. So please send this warning to everyone on your e- mail list.

If someone comes to your front door saying they are checking for ticks due to the warm weather and asks you to take your clothes off and dance around with your arms up

DO NOT DO IT!! THIS IS A SCAM!!

They only want to see you in your birthday suit.

I wish I'd gotten this yesterday. I feel so stupid.

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Billy Graham was returning to Charlotte after a speaking engagement and when his plane arrived there was a limousine there to transport him to his home.

As he prepared to get into the limo, he stopped and spoke to the driver.

"You know" he said, "I am 87 years old and I have never driven a limousine. Would you mind if I drove it for a while?"

The driver said, "No problem. Have at it."

Billy gets into the driver's seat and they head off down the highway.

A short distance away sat a rookie State Trooper operating his first speed trap.

The long black limo went by him doing 70 in a 55 mph zone.

The trooper pulled out and easily caught the limo and he got out of his patrol car to begin the procedure.

The young trooper walked up to the driver's door and when the glass was rolled down, he was surprised to see who was driving. He immediately excused himself and went back to his car and called his supervisor.

He told the supervisor, "I know we are supposed to enforce the law...But I also know that important people are given certain courtesies. I need to know what I should do because I have stopped a very important person."

The supervisor asked, "Is it the Governor?"

The young trooper said, "No, he's more important than that."

The supervisor said, "Oh, so it's the President."

The young trooper said, "No, he's even more important than that."

The supervisor finally asked, "Well then, who is it?"

The young trooper said, "I think it's Jesus, because he's got Billy Graham for a chauffeur!"

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Two nuns were shopping in a food store and happened to be passing the beer and liquor section.

One nun asks the other if she would like a beer.

The other nun answered that would be good, but that she would be queasy about purchasing it.

The first nun said that she would handle it and picked up a six pack and took it to the cashier.

The cashier had a surprised look and the first nun said, "This is for washing our hair."

The cashier without blinking an eye, reached under the counter and put a package of pretzel sticks in the bag with the beer saying, "Here, don't forget the curlers."

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Sorry had to finish up with the jokes as it is Monday night and I have been very busy.

See some of you at exercise.....  George

for a copy with your morning coffee, put letter in subject line and email grucker@capecod.net

older copies available with Walters additions as he thinks it makes the letter easier to read.

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