Thursday, June 2, 2016

Leave the Office Earlier Day June 2, 2016

DIANE'S CORNER .. Celebrate Leave the Office Day

Who doesn’t dream of leaving the office earlier, in time to enjoy the afternoon? Who gets frustrated, especially during the winter months, by the fact that it’s still dark when they go to work, and already dark when they leave? These are just the people that Leave The Office Earlier Day was created for!
This day was the invention of Laura Stack, a specialist in employee productivity, among other things. Stack noted that Americans work about 49 hours a week, and a grand total of about 350 more hours a year than most Europeans. This can prove detrimental for many reasons.
First off, the quicker things get done, at optimal levels, the more productive (and profitable) a business will be.
Secondly, the truth is that the nature of work is that for the most part, employees would rather be somewhere else, doing something else, which can lead to distractions which result in lower productivity. Thirdly, interminable working days can prove disheartening, acting as a demotivational factor, causing employees to work at a sluggish pace and get much less done than they would if they were feeling better about themselves. This is turn is connected to the fact that inflexible working hours and excessive overtime can turn any hare into a tortoise. Although the latter won the proverbial race, the former would have achieved the same in less time had it only applied itself to the task.
Leave the Office Earlier Day is an incentive for employees to complete tasks before schedule, making a conscious effort to increase their efficiency and productivity so they can go home sooner. Basically, the perspective of leaving the workplace earlier acts as a carrot for the hare inside all of us, compelling employees to perform his or her tasks to his or her maximum potential, reducing levels of idleness among workers.
This managerial strategy—that is, allowing people to go home as soon as they have properly completed their tasks—has been shown to be beneficial to both employees and employers, a real win-win situation for both parties. Over and over again, it proves true the theory that happy workers are more efficient and productive, and that people in general respond better to positive rather than negative reinforcement. More work done in less time is beneficial to the business seeking to increase its profits as well as society or humanity at large, and Leave The Office Earlier Day is another chapter in the quest for maximum productivity that is as old as human industry itself. Another positive side effect of this managerial strategy is the creation of a sense of empathy between co-workers, as well as between workers and their bosses, which leads to much better co-operation. And this, in turn, leads to increased productivity. Yes, this truly seems to be a win-win situation for all involved.


Word of the Day


Definition:(adjective) Cut low at the neckline.
Usage:She wore a decollete dress that many of the guests deemed inappropriately revealing.


Idiom of the Day

a life of its own

 — The state of something that exists and thrives outside and beyond the control of the point of origin.



Edward Elgar (1857)

Elgar was an English composer whose oratorio The Dream of Gerontius is considered one of the finest examples of English choral music in history. He received his training from his father and succeeded him as organist of St. George's Church, Worcester, in 1885. He earned recognition for his Imperial March, composed in 1897 for Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee, and for hisEnigma Variations

St. Elmo's Day

The day known as St. Elmo's Day is actually St. Erasmus's Day, in honor of a third-century Italian bishop who is thought to have suffered martyrdom around the year 304. Erasmus was a patron saint of sailors and was especially popular in the 13th century. Sometimes, at sea on stormy nights, sailors will see a pale, brushlike spray of electricity at the top of the mast. In the Middle Ages, they believed that these fires were the souls of the departed, rising to glory through the intercession of St. Elmo. Such an electrical display is still referred to as "St. Elmo's Fire."

Schrödinger's cat just got even weirder (and even more confusing)

Everyone's heard of Schrödinger's cat, and if you're not a physicist or a liar, you can probably admit that you don't really get it. Well, hold onto your hats: A new study pushes the thought experiment into even stranger territory. 

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1835 - P.T. Barnum launched his first traveling show. The main attraction was Joice Heth. Heth was reputed to be the 161-year-old nurse of George Washington. 

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1883 - The first baseball game under electric lights was played in Fort Wayne, Indiana

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1886 - Grover Cleveland became the second U.S. president to get married while in office. He was the first to have a wedding in the White House. 

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1896 - Guillermo Marconi's radio telegraphy device was patented in Great Britain. 

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1897 - Mark Twain, at age 61, was quoted by the New York Journal as saying "the report of my death was an exaggeration." He was responding to the rumors that he had died. 

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1933 U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt accepted the first swimming pool to be built inside the White House.

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1953 - Elizabeth was crowned queen of England at Westminster Abbey. 

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1966Surveyor 1, the U.S. space probe, landed on the moon and started sending photographs back to Earth of the Moon's surface. It was the first soft landing on the Moon. 

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2003 - In Seville, Spain, a chest containing the supposed remains of Christopher Columbus were exhumed for DNA tests to determine whether the bones were really those of the explorer. The tests were aimed at determining if Columbus was currently buried in Spain's Seville Cathedral or in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.



If You Were Born Today, June 2
You are a true companion who comes alive in any one-to-one relationship. Thoughtful, kind, funny, and warm, you can also be very stubborn! Your desire for security and reliability is so strong that at times you may try to control your life and those in it. You are an excellent mediator or go-between as you not only crave peace and balance, you also intuitively understand how to resolve conflicts fairly. You are extremely sensitive and imaginative, and possess quirky charm. Famous people born today: Thomas Hardy, Jerry Mathers, Dana Carvey, Bo Diddley.

Picture of the day
Shelter (video game)
A promotional poster for Shelter, a survival video game developed by Might and Delight for Windows and Mac released on 28 August 2013. In the game, players control a mother badger who must protect and feed her cubs while travelling from their burrow to a new one. The game was received positive reviews for its graphics and sound, as well as the emotional impact that it evoked. Reviewers gave mixed reactions regarding the game's difficulty and length.

Picture of a boy playing on a basketball court in Hong Kong

Child's Play

Photograph by Wing Ka H., National Geographic 
Against the backdrop of a high-rise as colorful as the ball court, a child in Hong Kong lets off some steam after school, says Wing Ka H., who submitted this image. Colors are vibrant throughout the city: In addition to its candy-colored high-rises, Hong Kong’s taxis are color-coded by service region, and the city’s Pearl River Delta is home to the uniquely hued Chinese white dolphin.

thanks, heide




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thanks for the smiles, elaine
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crochet, FATHER'S DAY




believe it or not! until meeting ray, i lived my entire adult life in park slope! mmm
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Greek Chicken
Greek Chicken

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Minion                                                            11

Minion                                                            14
There is no greater impediment to the advancement of knowledge than the ambiguity of words. - Thomas Reid

Minion                                                            13

Nile catfish swim upside down! -------------------- Helium-filled furniture was patented by William Calderwood of Peoria, Arizona, in 1989—when not in use, it could float to the ceiling to provide extra floor space! -------------------- Each year, the New York Public Library adds nearly a million items to its collection!

thanks, patty


Minion                                                            12

10 Essential Products 
You Can Make Yourself

Grocery shopping can be exhausting when it comes to choosing the right product brands and juggling between prices. Well, I have good news for you because I've found that most of the essential products we all buy can actually be made in the comfort of your own home, in a couple of simple steps. You'd never have guessed how easy products like butter, mustard, deodorant and Greek yogurt are to DIY. The following instructions for common grocery products are sure to come in handy for you!
  1. Mustard 
10 Grocery Products You Didn't Know You Can DIY!

Here's how you can make some delicious homemade spicy mustard, perfect for your upcoming dinner or barbecue party.
Yield: around 6 ounces of mustard
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds (also called white mustard seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, or coconut vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  1. Grind mustard seeds (using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder).
  2. Place ground mustard seeds into a glass storage jar with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Stir ingredients well.
  4. Store at room temperature for up to 8 hours before refrigerating.
Extra: Add honey or coconut crystals to enhance the flavor.
Recipe source:
  2. Butter
10 Grocery Products You Didn't Know You Can DIY!

Making homemade butter is much easier than you thought! Check out this simple recipe.
Yield: 16 servings
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)  
  1. Process the cream in a food processor for 10 minutes, or until it separates.
  2. Strain the liquid from the mixture.
  3. Season with salt if desired.
  4. Using the back of a spoon, press your butter into a small container to ooze out any remaining liquid.
Recipe source:
 3. Raisins
10 Grocery Products You Didn't Know You Can DIY!
If you have excess grapes, why not make your own raisins? You can either use a dehydrator or simply an oven for the drying process. Here's how they're made. 
Yield: approximately 1 1/4 cups
What you need:
  • 2 pounds grapes
  1. Wash the grapes and remove their stems. Discard any rotten ones.
  2. Fill a large pot of water and bring to boil. Add grapes and cook for around 30 seconds. Drain and transfer to a large bowl of ice water immediately. Allow to chill.
  3. If using a dehydrator: Set your machine's suggested temperature (most probably around 135 °F). The drying process will take around 24 hours, unless grapes are very small. Store raisins in an airtight container or plastic bag after making sure they've completely cooled down. 
  4. If using an oven: Set temperature to the lowest possible setting on your oven (between 140 and 170°F). If allowed, use the convection setting. Place grapes over 2 rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper and put inside the oven. Monitor the grapes and toss them every now and again to make sure they dry evenly. When dried, allow raisins to cool before storing in an airtight container or plastic bag.
Recipe source: 
  4. Cold Remedy
10 Grocery Products You Didn't Know You Can DIY!

Instead of buying expensive medicine, try out this simple recipe for a cold remedy drink. Drink it once a day as needed. Although it has a strong taste, it's super effective for days when you're taken over by a cold, sinus infection or a sore throat.
Yield: 1 serving
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey (organic wild flower honey is the best)
  • 2 tablespoon organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  1. Mix ingredients all together in a glass. 
  2. Heat in a microwave for about 10 seconds.
  3. Stir the mixture and drink it. You may want to add some water to dilute it since the taste is very acidic. This remedy will also prevent your teeth from losing their enamel if you make it part of your daily routine.
Recipe source: 
  5. Greek Yogurt
10 Grocery Products You Didn't Know You Can DIY!

Create yummy, creamy Greek yogurt made with just 2 ingredients and a thermometer! Start experimenting with the following easy steps.
Yield: 6 cups
  • 8 cups milk
  • 4 tablespoons plain yogurt with live and active cultures or freeze-dried yogurt starter
  1. Place milk in a heavy-bottomed pot and bring it to 180°F (using a thermometer) over a medium heat. Remember to stir regularly to avoid scorching. When the temperature has been reached, allow the milk to cool to 110°F.
  2. Add yogurt to the milk and combine the two ingredients by whisking them.
  3. Pour the mixture into 2 quart-sized jars and close them. Put them in a small insulated cooler filled with 120°F water and close. Leave undisturbed for 6 hours.
  4. Remove jars from water bath and place in refrigerator for 6 hours.
  5. Before consuming, place the yogurt in a fine mesh strainer, lined with 2 cheesecloth layers, to allow it to strain and achieve the typical consistency of Greek yogurt.
Recipe source: 

  6. Deodorant  
10 Grocery Products You Didn't Know You Can DIY!

Have complete trust in the quality of our deodorant by creating it yourself. It's unbelievably easy to make, and you can even play around with different aromas by varying oils. Try it out by following these simple steps.
What you need: 
  • 3 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 3 tablespoons Baking Soda
  • 2 tablespoons Shea Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Arrowroot (optional)
  • Essential Oils (optional)
  1. Place the butter and coconut oil together in a double boiler over medium heat and bring to slightly melted consistency, not fully. 
  2. Remove from heat and add it to baking soda and arrowroot. Make sure you mix them together well.
  3. Add essential oils.
  4. When it cools completely, store in a glass container or an empty deodorant stick, not necessarily in the fridge.
Recipe source:
  7. Hot Dog Buns
10 Grocery Products You Didn't Know You Can DIY!

Bread is not particularly expensive in comparison to other products, but nothing beats a homemade batch, fresh from your own oven. It only takes a couple of steps to fill your home with an irresistible smell, and of course, a fresh supply of tempting hotdog buns.
Yield: 9 hotdog buns
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp (1 pkg) yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 - 4 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • sesame seeds (optional)
  1. Place the sugar in warm water and dissolve. Sprinkle the yeast over it and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Add milk, oil and salt, and beat everything with a dough hook until combined.
  3. Add flour, 1 large tablespoon at a time, until the dough separates from the inside of the bowl. Knead the dough well for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Place dough in an oiled bowl and coat it all around. Leave it to rise for about 1 hour.
  5. On a slightly oiled surface, divide the dough into 9 equal pieces, rolling them into balls and then into cylinders. The recommended length for each one is 4.5 inches. Flatten them slightly.
  6. Place the buns slightly apart on a baking sheet and cover with a light towel. Leave to rise for another 45 minutes.
  7. After preheating the oven to 400, brush the buns lightly with the egg wash (1 beaten egg and 1 tablespoon water). Sprinkle sesame seeds if desired.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.
Recipe source: 

  8. Cream Cheese
10 Grocery Products You Didn't Know You Can DIY!
Cream cheese becomes much more affordable with this great recipe. Get to making your very own cream cheese as follows.
Yield: 13 ounces of cream cheese
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 drop liquid vegetable rennet dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
1/8 tsp. (one packet) mesophilic starter culture OR 1 ounce buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon salt or other flavorings (optional)
  1. Combine milk and cream in a pot and heat to 75°F, stirring regularly in the process.
  2. Remove pot from heat and add the buttermilk (OR sprinkle the mesophilic starter culture over the milk's surface and allow to dissolve for 2 minutes). Stir gently and add the diluted rennet. Use an up-and-down motion with your spoon just below the surface of the mixture to ensure an even mixture. 
  3. Cover pot with lid and wrap in a few kitchen towels before placing it in a warm location (70°F-75°F) to incubate. Leave for about 14 hours.
  4. Allow the mixture to drain over a bowl using a muslin, for 7-10 hours.
  5. Place in a container and refrigerate.
Extra: You may want to add 1/4 teaspoon salt or any other flavorings to give it more taste, before refrigerating.
Recipe source:   
  9. Bug Repellent
10 Grocery Products You Didn't Know You Can DIY!

There's a simpler way to repel bugs than spraying chemical-loaded commercial products with strong smells. Here's how to do it the natural and DIY way.
What you need:
  • 1 empty spray bottle
  • 8 oz. water
  • 14 drops Citronella essential oil
  • 14 drops purification essential oil
  1. Mix all the ingredients together and pour into the spray bottle. Add any essential oils of your choice to improve the scent and effectiveness (such as Rosemary, Clove, Cajeput, Lavender, Cinnamon and Eucalyptus).
  2. Shake well before use.
Recipe source:  
  10. Stain Remover
10 Grocery Products You Didn't Know You Can DIY!
Have you ever looked for a stain remover and failed to find one around your home? Keep one handy without paying a penny. The following recipe includes common ingredients you'll find in your cupboards.
 What you need:
  • 1 empty spray bottle
  • 2/3 cup dish detergent
  • 2/3 cup ammonia
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 6 tablespoons baking soda
  1. Combine all ingredients and pour into the spray bottle.
  2. Shake well before use. Apply to stains, let sit, and scrub if needed. 
Recipe source: 

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