Monday, March 2, 2020

Through the Keyhole - March 2020

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MAR 2020
Through the Keyhole
Take a break from your day...

Not your typical company OR newsletter
Can you guess the location?
"Mostly billionaires are the ones that can afford to live and play here in this next level city.  The yachts are amazing and the Oligarchs are aplenty.  A couple of beers at the cafe in casino square will cost you $40 euros. Oh, and there is a really cool race here.  Can you name it?"
Send your guess HERE Credit: GETTY - CONTRIBUTOR

We are all a little IRISH this month.

We find ourselves in the month of March which means most of us will be looking forward to warmer weather, spring break, St. Patrick's Day, March Madness and Spring Training.

Here's some casual observations about the month of March::

It’s the best month for basketball (but worst for productivity)

For normal people, March is known for one thing above all others: brackets. March Madness, as the NCAA calls it, runs from March 19 to April 6 this year, and the safest bet you can make is that lots and lots of people will be distracted. One number-crunching firm predicted last year that American companies would lose $1.9 billion in wages paid to unproductive workers spending company time on betting pool priorities. How to recoup these costs? Go into gambling. According to the American Gaming Association, fans wagered more than $8.5 billion on March Madness brackets for the 2019 tournament. Each one of those 70-million-or-so brackets has a one in 9.2 quintillion (that’s 9 followed by 18 zeroes) chance of predicting the correct winners of every game. Good luck!

It’s also the best month for vasectomies

March Madness is a cherished time to reacquaint oneself with the couch, especially during the early tournament days when dozens of games unfold consecutively. In other words, it’s the perfect week to recover from a vasectomy!

According to doctors at the Cleveland Clinic, the number of vasectomies surges by 50 percent during the first week of March Madness. Why? Patients typically need “at least a day with ice” to keep swelling down, says urologist Stephen Jones, MD, “So if they’re going to spend a whole day doing nothing, it’s not hard to figure out that they’d want to do it on a day they’d like to be sitting in front of the television.”

Smart clinics even offer incentives, like the Cape Cod urologists who offered a free pizza with every vasectomy since March 2012. That deal is certainly a cut above the rest!

March was named for war—and lives up to its title

So, if so many months were named for their Latin numbers, why wasn’t March called… unumber? First, because that sounds ridiculous, and secondly, because the Gods had dibs on it. March was actually named for the Latin Martius—aka Mars, the Roman God of war and a mythical ancestor of the Roman people via his wolf-suckling sons, Romulus and Remus. With the winter frosts melting and the ground becoming fertile for harvest again in the Northern hemisphere, March was historically the perfect month for both farmers to resume farming, and warriors to resume warring.

Incidentally, the Pentagon still seems to agree with this Roman tradition: with the exception of the recent War on Afghanistan, almost all major US-NATO led military operations since the invasion of Vietnam have begun in the month of March. You can see a full list here, but to name a few: Vietnam (initiated March 8, 1965), Iraq (March 20, 2003), and Libya (March 19, 2011) all follow the trend.

Guess the Location Game

Last month the winner of the guess the location game was George Paulson who guessed the right answer.  I appreciate all of the participation.  THANKS FOR PLAYING!
ANSWER: Budapest, Hungary
"This capital city (not always) is the most populous in its country is home to the Police College for its home continent. It's chock full of hot springs and has a really old subway system.  The city also makes in on a lot of travel magazine covers and commercials for river cruises.  Can you name it?"

Budapest was created when three cities joined together: Óbuda, Buda and Pest.

Because of this, you get to enjoy three cities, all in one place. While Buda is usually associated with stately quarters and high class, Pest is where you will find the largest part of the population and so-called urban living. Both cities are connected by the construction of the magnificent bridge of Széchenyi (known as the ‘Chain Bridge.’)

It's an unlikely place for a beach holiday

Yes, Hungary is landlocked. However, at almost 600 square kilometres, Lake Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe – so big, in fact, that it's often referred to as the Hungarian Sea, and sunseekers have flocked to its shores for decades. The nearby sulphuric waters of Heviz, meanwhile, are said to have medicinal qualities, and are believed to cure rheumatic ailments, aches and pains.

You can make the most of the healing waters indoors, too

Thanks to an abundance of natural hot springs, Hungary can boast around 450 public spas and bathhouses. A prominent bathing culture has existed since Roman times; it is supposedly the best cure for a hangover – or “cat’s wail” as the Hungarian term macskajaj translates.

Hungarians are mightily inventive

Notable inventions include the Rubik's Cube (by sculptor and professor Erno Rubik, 1974), the krypton electric bulb (by physicist Imre Brody in 1937), and the biro, patented in 1938 by journalist László Bíró.

And Nobel, too

Hungary has produced 13 Nobel laureates to date - more per capita than the likes of Finland, Spain, Canada and Australia - bagging every category except peace.

And the master of escapology

Erich Weisz, better known as illusionist Harry Houdini, was born in Budapest in 1874 before earning his fame escaping from handcuffs, strait jackets and a Chinese Water Cell.

It is considered rude to clink your beer glasses

Legend has it that when the 1848 Hungarian revolution against the Habsburgs was defeated, 13 Hungarian generals were executed, with the Austrians clinking their beer glasses after each execution. As a result, Hungarians vowed not to cheers with beer for 150 years - and while the time has passed, the custom remains. Eye contact is a must when Egeszsegedre-ing anything else, though.

Water polo is a national sport

Quite possibly the most famous game of water polo in history was the bloody play-off between Hungary and the USSR at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, in which Hungary won 4-0 before the game was called off to avoid a riot. The 2000 Olympics (held in Sydney) also introduced a women’s tournament to the sport.

The number 96 is very important

The crowning of Arpad as first king of the Magyars (Hungarian people) marked the beginning of the Hungarian state in 896. Budapest’s metro was built on the country’s millennial anniversary in 1896. By law, buildings in Budapest must not exceed 96 feet, and the Hungarian national anthem should be sung in 96 seconds - if done at the proper tempo.

Budapest has continental Europe’s oldest metro

Beginning operations in 1896, it is also the second oldest electrically operated underground railway in the world, predated only by the London Underground.

And some of the most intriguing watering holes

A beer in one of Budapest’s ruin pubs is a must when visiting the city. The pubs or kerts quite literally sit inside the many bombed out and bullet marked “ruins” of buildings, and as well as being an interesting place for a Palinka, many hold farmers’ markets and community gatherings too.

It has some real railway children

The Gyermekvasut Railway that runs through Buda hills between Széchenyi Hill and Hűvösvölgy stations is run almost exclusively by 10-14 year-olds from local schools who make up the ticket sellers and conductors, man the switch points and sell station memorabilia.

 Hungarian names are regulated by law

Parents are subject to a naming law when it comes to choosing what to call their children. Names must come from a pre-approved list - any deviations from which must be approved by application to the Research Institute for Linguistics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. No Apples or Brooklyns there, then.
Great video of Budapest that is kind of fashionable...~6 minutes
Top 10 attractions in Budapest ~5 minutes
3 things you must try when eating in Budapest ~6 minutes
3 crazy things about Budapest ~3 minutes
Living in Budapest from an American perspective ~6 minutes
What is a deepfake video?
Watch this deepfake video that substitutes Michael J Fox's FACE with Tom Holland's and Christopher Lloyd's face with that of Robert Downey Jr.  REALLY CREEPY use of Artificial Intelligence.  
The term “deepfake” refers to videos that have used artificial intelligence techniques to combine and superimpose multiple images or videos onto source material. The process can be used to make it look as if people did or said things they did not.

Some, however, believe concern over the dangers of deepfakes has been overstated. A March 5 report published by The Verge argued serious deepfake hoaxes haven’t yet materialized, even though the technology is widely available.
In December, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., introduced a bill criminalizing the creation and distribution of harmful deepfakes — the first federal legislation of its kind. The bill died at the end of the 115th Congress on Jan. 3, but Sasse’s office said he plans to introduce it again in the current session of Congress.
“Washington isn’t paying nearly enough attention…” Sasse said. “To be clear, we’re not talking about a kid making photoshops in his dorm room. We’re talking about targeting the kind of criminal activity that leads to violence or disrupts elections. We have to get serious about these threats.”
Complete Article HERE
Shark Tank Star hit by Phishing Scam
Shark Tank‘s Barbara Corcoran has been scammed out of almost $400,000 after her office unknowingly became a victim of a phishing scheme, PEOPLE confirms.
The incident unfolded last week when Barbara’s bookkeeper received an email about an invoice “approving the payment for a real estate renovation,” Corcoran tells PEOPLE.
“I lost the $388,700 as a result of a fake email chain sent to my company,” Corcoran says. “It was an invoice supposedly sent by my assistant to my bookkeeper approving the payment for a real estate renovation. There was no reason to be suspicious as I invest in a lot of real estate.”
The bookkeeper continued to communicate with whom she thought was Corcoran’s assistant and went ahead with the wire payment on Tuesday.
The error wasn’t noticed until the bookkeeper sent a follow up to Corcoran’s assistant’s actual address, informing her of what she had just done. That’s when the company became aware of the scam and the assistant noticed the hacker had altered her email.

Estate Planning
My buddy Dave was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business.

He knew that he would inherit a fortune once his sickly father died.

Dave wanted two things:

• to learn how to invest his inheritance and,

• to find a wife to share his fortune.

One evening at an investment meeting, he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
Her natural beauty took his breath away.
Two weeks later, she became his stepmother.

Women are so much better at estate planning than men…
You have to use a Wheelchair
Hospital regulations require a wheel chair for patients being discharged. However, while working as a student nurse, I found one elderly gentleman already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet, who insisted he didn't need my help to leave the hospital.
After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let me wheel him to the elevator.
On the way down I asked him if his wife was meeting him.

'I don't know,' he said. 'She's still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown.
Just for fun
Priceless Photos...
Just going for a test drive...
Hilarious. ~1 minute
The Amazing Story of Elon Musk and SpaceX
This is an amazing video and one you should watch ~8 minutes
The Queen is pissed...
Try Paying Someone's Rent...
This is a great video and will warm your heart. ~ 8 minutes
How Amazon Fulfillment Centers Work
This is very interesting how it all works together with human help.
Uh Oh...
A School With No Desks?
In September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a History teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks in her classroom. 

When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks. 

'Ms. Cothren, where are our desks?' 

She replied, 'You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.' 
They thought, 'Well, maybe it's our grades' 'No,' she said. 
'Maybe it's our behavior.' She told them, 'No, it's not even your behavior.' 
And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom. Kids called their parents to tell them what was happening and by early afternoon television news crews had started gathering at the school to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room. 
The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the desk-less classroom. Martha Cothren said, 'Throughout the day, no one has been able to tell me just what he or she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.' 
At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it. Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned. 
Martha said, 'You didn't earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. They went halfway around the world, giving up their education and interrupting their careers and families so you could have the freedom you have. Now, it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don't ever forget it.'   

By the way, this is a true story. And this teacher was awarded the Veterans of Foreign Wars Teacher of the Year for the State of Arkansas in 2006. She is the daughter of a WWII POW. 
People are Savages...
Memories from the 80s...

Pollo Splendido


  • good olive oil (Partanna brand preferred)
  • white flour
  • corn starch
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large bag of fresh spinach (washed and de-stemmed)
  • 4 large cloves of garlic (finely chopped or pressed)
  • 1 shallot (diced)
  • 2 small white onions (diced)
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • chicken stock
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (Kerrygold preferred)
  • 1 cup of Kraft parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of blue cheese (Maytag preferred)
  • fresh, shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb. angel hair pasta
  • 4 boneless skinless split chicken breasts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Boil a pot of water and salt it generously.  The water should be like salty sea water.  Cook the pasta al dente in this water after you have made the sauce (below).

Lightly flour chicken breasts one each side.  No egg drench is necessary simply flour the raw chicken breasts.  In a large saucepan, saute the chicken breasts in olive oil. Lightly salt when browned on each side.  Do not worry if the chicken is not cooked all the way through.  Set aside.

In the same pan, deglaze it with some white wine until you get the bits off the bottom of the pan and the alcohol has cooked off.  Add the butter and melt.  Add the shallots and onions to the pan and cook until translucent.  Add the washed spinach to the pan and cover until the spinach has cooked down.  Add the fresh garlic at this point and cook for 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream, parmesan and blue cheese. Simmer on low and add chicken broth until you have a nice amount of sauce in the pan.  Add corn starch in small amounts to thicken.  At this point, salt and pepper the sauce until it tastes good to your liking.  Once you are satisfied with this sauce, turn to super low and continue to stir.

Cook the pasta but not too long.  You want it to be just cooked but not soggy.  Strain.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and generously coat and mix.

Generously grease a baking tray and place half of the chicken breasts on the tray.  Heap pasta onto these chicken breasts and then place the other chicken breasts on top making a "chicken breast sandwich".  Place in the oven for 20 minutes and clean your kitchen.  Keep the remaining pasta warm.

Take the chicken out of the oven and cut each "sandwich" in half.  Place on a plate and top with extra pasta and fresh shaved parmesan. If there is any sauce in the pan also place that on top.

Serve with a side of well seasoned broccoli or cauliflower.  Your guests will be impressed.


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