Category: "Useless Information"

Coupon Cash Value

January 4th, 2007

I figured I could not be the only person to ever wonder why the back of my coupon read that it had cash value. I also figured that I could not be the first person who for a brief moment considered that to be the solution to my money woes: gather up all of the Burger King coupons I can find and send them in, redeeming them for that 1/100¢ each. Before you know it, I will have amassed a king's ransom. I was immediately disappointed in myself for not having a handle bar mustache that I could twist between my fingers while I schemed.

But wait. 1/100 of one cent. That means 100 coupons equals one penny. 3900 coupons covers postage. I would probably need another 500-1000 coupons to cover the cost of my envelope. But 5000 coupons will not fit in a regular envelope. This is simply not economically feasible. My plans have been thwarted again...

If it is inconceivable that anyone would ever attempt to redeem the coupons for their stated cash value, why are they even given cash value in the first place?!

Well I did some digging around. Here is some of what I found.

Q: I HAVE NOTICED THAT THE BOTTOM OF MANY COUPONS SAY, CASH VALUE ONE TWENTIETH OF A CENT. WHY IS THAT STATEMENT IS ON COUPONS?

A: WE CALLED THE COUPON COUNCIL FOR YOUR ANSWER. AND IT SAYS, SOME STATE LAWS REQUIRE THAT IF A CONSUMER DOES NOT WANT TO PURCHASE THE PRODUCT ON THE FACE OF THE COUPON, THAT THE CONSUMER CAN REDEEM THE COUPON FOR ITS CASH VALUE.

AND SINCE MANY COUPONS ARE PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED ON A NATIONAL BASIS, MOST MANUFACTURERS HAVE DECIDED TO PUT THE CASH VALUE ON THE COUPON TO SIMPLIFY THE PROCESS. THINK OF IT AS A PROMOTION THAT HAS TO HAVE A STATED VALUE.

http://www.nbc4.com/answerstoaskliz2002/1448491/detail.html

Who knew there was such thing as a Coupon Council? Cool.

Another site suggests that the whole thing started around the Depression when the government provided books of stamps (not-so-distant relative to today's coupon) to the citizens. Rather than redeeming the stamps for items one did not necessarily require, he or she could redeem the stamp for its stated cash equivalent. It was then state laws around the country that have predominated over the issue.

More information on this story and more is available at the following sites: http://www.geocities.com/srivathsajoshi/lukuchap53.html
http://ask.yahoo.com/20030808.html

Hi, My Name is Peter and I Am a Sun Sneezer.

August 23rd, 2006

Sun sneezing

Do you have a tendancy of sneezing when you walk out of your front door into the sunlight? Do you sneeze when you look up towards the sky? Not everybody does but apparently up to about 1 in 4 of us sneeze as a result of bright light - usually the sun. Have you ever wondered why? Read on to find out...

What is sun sneezing?

Sun sneezing or photic sneezing is a genetic condition (sometimes called 'ACHOO Syndrome') in which the signals from your eye to your brain are somehow also received by the part of your brain which deals with the sneeze reflex. This means that when your brain is being told to contract your iris in response to increased light it also thinks that it is being told to produce a sneeze. - DanKarran.com

Other resource:
Madsci.org

Difference between bake and roast.

August 18th, 2006

Q. What is the difference between baking and roasting in an oven?

A. There is no difference. If you want to be finicky or traditional, you can't actually roast food in an oven — to roast traditionally meant to cook food (meat) with an open flame, as on a spit in front of a fire (as opposed to grilling on a grate over a fire). But the fire and its radiant heat were the essential components of roasting. Nowadays, roast is bake and bake is roast. -Ochef

How Long to Keep Open Wine

July 31st, 2006

From Cellarnotes.net

There are lots of variables regarding the wine type, method of production, age of bottle and on and on. There are all those considerations and exceptions but for 95% of the wine that most people drink, the answer is pretty simple.

Three (3) days. Around here, we keep wines up to 3 days after the bottle has been opened. Once a bottle of wine is opened, the oxygen in the air starts a process that initially softens the flavors and opens up the aromas of the wine. As this process (oxidation) continues over many hours and days, the wine is ultimately made undrinkable. The trick is to use the wine before it becomes unpalatable or to pour it out before bad wine is served to guests.

You can (and usually should) refrigerate recorked bottes. You can buy stoppers and gadgets to create a slight vaccuum in the bottle. You can get systems that put a layer of inert gas in the bottle. All these items and efforts are aimed at slowing the oxidation that will eventually destroy the wine.

What makes the whole thing tricky is that the wine will not go immediately from good to bad. The wine will, at a point, begin to progressively develop tastes that are unpleasant. Just like milk that is going bad, each person has a different point at which they identify the beverage as having gone bad.

If you want to play it safe (and who doesn't with either milk or wine), then just use the 3 day rule. Recork and refrigerate the bottle for up to three days. With red wines, pull the bottle from the refrigerator at least 1/2 hour before you want to use it so it will warm to a desirable serving temperature in the mid 60's F. With white wines or roses, just pull and pour when you need them.

Keeping opened wines beyond 3 days is like playing golf in a lightning storm. You may get through but you are tempting the fates. If you keep a table wine for more than 3 days, you will be serving a wine that has lost most of the characteristics that are prized. The aroma will start to change and much of the fresh fruit smells and tastes will subside. At worst, you'll be serving a wine that has oxidized too much and is partly or entirely bad.

Dessert wines like Sauternes, most everyday Ports and most Sherries can last much longer but those are special cases. Just play it safe with the 3 day rule. It is a good practice to write the date the bottle was opened on the label if there is a chance of confusion.

Decaffeinate your own tea.

August 2nd, 2005

HOW TO DECAFFEINATE YOUR TEA AT HOME:
Avoid commercially packaged teas labeled "decaffeinated." Many decaffeinated teas use potentially-harmful chemicals to remove caffeine. If you wish to lower the caffeine level of your tea naturally, it is best to do it yourself--without the use of chemicals

Because caffeine is highly water soluble, tea leaves release the majority of their caffeine content in the first 30 seconds of steeping. Therefore, “pre-brewing” tea for 30 seconds and then discarding the water will lower the level of caffeine in your cup by about 80%.

1. Brew your tea for 30 seconds.
2. Pour off the water completely.
3. Start again with the used ‘decaffeinated’ leaves, and brew according to taste.

*For best results, do not exceed 30 seconds of pre-brewing or you may wash away too much of the tea's flavor and healthy components. - Octavia Tea

Cure for Hiccups

April 12th, 2005

Allegedly a "surefire" way to rid yourself of your hiccups is to suck on a wedge of lime that has been covered in bitters. (Bitters is an ingredient used in bartending mixology.)

This comes from a waitress we had at a restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona. She said she was a long time bartender and this trick never failed.

I am yet to try this one, myself, but it is now out there for your information.