FLATTMANN FILES “Quality Is No Accident”
February 2020 FROM THE DESK OF Grady Flattmann
‘Tis the season for foggy windows.
Why do car windows fog up? When it’s cold outside, the air inside the car is often warmer than outside, causing moisture to condense on the inside of the windows. This is especially true when it’s raining and the outside air is cooler than the dew point inside the car. When it’s warm outside, especially on stormy days, water can condense on the outside of the windows for the same reason — the outside temperature is below the dew point of the air inside the car. How do you fix fogged up windows fast? When it’s cold outside, you have two options. One is to turn on the heat to high (this captures moisture), then turn on the air conditioning and make sure to turn off the recirculation button. The second option is to turn on the defroster and blow warm air on the windshield to evaporate the moisture (also remember to turn off the recirculate feature). When it’s warm outside, turn on your wipers and lower the air conditioning (make it less cold). Remember to also turn off recirculate feature.
A LEAP ABOVE Celebrating Leap Day’s Unique and Storied History
that astronomers would discover that the calendar system was still about 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds short. It would last this way until 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII introduced a better method for calculating leap year. This method has become the system we use today, and it led to Feb. 29 being the standard leap day. Since then, we make up for lost time with one “free” day every four years. Folklore and superstitions surrounding leap day have
What would you do with one extra day? Every four years, we are confronted with that very question. The first leap day originated in 46 B.C. when Julius Caesar learned from the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria that the 355-day Roman calendar was about 10 and 1/4 days shorter than the solar calendar. He introduced the 365-day Julian calendar and added an intercalary day — leap day — every four years to cover the extra 1/4 day. It wouldn’t be for another 200 years
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THE DARK SIDE OF LEAP DAY Many people view leap day and leap years as bad omens. For example, many Greeks believe marrying during a leap year is bad luck, so much so that USA Today predicts as many as 1 in 5 Greek couples avoid marrying during those years. But the dark history of leap day may have more weight than old superstitions. The first arrest warrant during the dramatic and deadly saga of the Salem Witch Trials was issued on Feb. 29, 1692. The trails would end in May 1693, but by then, more than 200 people had been accused of witchcraft, 30 of those were tried in court, and 19 people were killed. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LEAPLINGS! … UNLESS IT’S THE YEAR 3000 The odds of being born on a leap day are relatively good, at 1 in 1,461 chances. Every four years, “leaplings,” as they are affectionately called, enjoy a “real” birthday along with the more than 4 million people who share a birthday with them. In Norway,
one family celebrates three siblings who were all born on leap day. The Henriksen siblings, Heidi, born in 1960; Olav, born in 1964; and Leif-Martin, born 1968, share this birthday every four years. They were joined by the Utah-based Estes family in 2012, who are raising leaplings born in 2004, 2008, and 2012. And, despite how few birthdays leaplings get, some have even fewer. Leap day may appear to happen every four years, but that isn’t always the case. In general, leap year does not happen during years that are divisible by 100. The only exception is if the year is also divisible by 400. So, the years 1600 and 2000 had leap days, but the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 did not. Likewise, in the year 3000, for example, we won’t celebrate an extra day in February. Luckily, 2020 will have this unique and special day. The question is, how will you celebrate?
continued to be passed down throughout history. Here are just a few of the quirkiest and most interesting stories about this phenomenon. FEBRUARY’S OTHER ROMANTIC HOLIDAY Legend claims that in 1288, St. Bridget approached St. Patrick with a unique problem. It was customary for men to propose to women, leaving many women waiting impatiently for their men to make a commitment. St. Patrick, ever the generous man, agreed to allow women one day every four years when they could propose to their beaus. Thus, leap day became known as “Bachelor’s Day” for many Europeans. Some legends claim that if the man refused, he would have to buy the woman silk or furs, which might have been reason enough for women to pop the question in the first place. Historians believe this leap day tradition inspired Sadie Hawkins dances in the U.S., during which girls are encouraged to ask boys to accompany them to the dance.
FROM ZERO TO 300
Meet the Women Who Pioneered Motor Sports
Guthrie became a well-known figure among racing gurus. In 1976, she became the first woman to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series when she finished 15th in the Coca-Cola 600, then called the World 600. To date, Guthrie’s storied career has landed her in the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, and the Automotive Hall of Fame. DOROTHY LEVITT Dorothy Levitt is known for her driving skills on both land and water, setting the first water speed record and an early women’s world land speed record. Her motor racing career started slow in 1904 due to illness and various car troubles, but Levitt eventually went on to garner a reputation for her speed and earn the nickname “The Fastest Girl on Earth.”When she wasn’t racing, she spent her time writing. In her book “The Woman and the Car,” Levitt recommended that women carry a small mirror with them for driving in traffic, effectively inventing the rearview mirror five years before it went into production. If you want to learn more about these women and others in motor racing, pick up Todd McCarthy’s book “Fast Women: The Legendary Ladies of Racing.”
While Danica Patrick and Courtney Force are well known as modern faces in motor sports, they’re far from the first women to cross the finish line. Since the early 1900s, women have been a constant fixture of automotive racing, including the following three who each left their marks on the sport. SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY Shirley Muldowney is professionally known in the drag racing community as “The First Lady of Drag Racing.” In 1973, she was the first woman to earn a Top Fuel license from the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and, despite backlash from competitors, went on to win the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series an unprecedented three times. Twentieth Century Fox documented her trials and accomplishments in the 1983 biopic “Heart Like a Wheel.”Muldowney famously loathed her own characterization but still lauded the film as required viewing for anyone interested in the sport of drag racing. JANET GUTHRIE Janet Guthrie had her sights set on the stars from day one. A skilled aerospace engineer, she began her racing career in 1963. After taking home two class wins in the famed 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race,
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CONNECTING MIND AND BODY How Somatics Can Offer Healing for Longtime Pain Sufferers
Studies show that 1 in 10 Americans lives with chronic pain for more than one year. When you’re in pain, you seek a way to cope. Some might attend regular physical therapy appointments to find the source of the pain and resolve it. Others might ignore the pain and adapt their lifestyle to avoid making it worse. Either way, the body continues to sustain real damage with these adaptations, which compounds pain and can make things worse. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean healing is a lost cause. Somatic exercises can offer a solution to long-term pain sufferers. Dr. Thomas Hanna taught the first class on somatics in 1990. He had discovered a disconnect between the industrialized world and healthy, pain-free living. Many people in industrialized countries have accepted pain as a natural part of aging and don’t understand that the body can heal from everyday pain and ailments.
Somatics involve short, hands-on movements to correct the body’s posture and mobility, which can then stimulate proper healing through further movement and therapy. The technique retrains the brain on proper movement, function, and positioning to align your body and your mind so you can heal instead of just living with pain. Somatic exercises come in two forms. The first method is done with the help of a physical therapist — or in some instances, a massage therapist —who pinpoints the areas of tension and guides you through hands-on exercises that relieve the pain and align the body. The second method involves exercises patients can do at home according to their physical therapist’s guidance. You don’t have to live with pain. Healing is possible, and somatics may help you get on the road to recovery. To learn more about this therapeutic technique, visit Somatics.org or talk to your physical therapist.
Inspired by The Blond Cook
Take a Break!
Easy Shrimp Scampi
Make date night simple with this easy shrimp scampi recipe.
1/2 tsp oregano
4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp minced garlic
8 oz cooked linguine
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup parsley
Directions 1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. 2. Add shrimp and oregano, stirring frequently until shrimp is pink. Remove shrimp from skillet. 3. Add wine and lemon juice to skillet and bring the mixture to a boil.
4. Stir in remaining butter and olive oil and cook until butter is melted. 5. Add cooked shrimp to skillet and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. 6. In a serving bowl, top cooked linguine with shrimp mixture. Garnish with parsley and serve.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Grady PAGE 1 HowWill You Celebrate Leap Day? PAGE 1 Fearless WomenWho Pioneered Motor Sports PAGE 2 Don’t Live in Pain Any Longer With Somatics PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Easy Shrimp Scampi PAGE 3 A Slippery Crime PAGE 4
STEALING MISS HELEN ‘Ocean’s 3’ Attempt a High-Stakes Heist
kidnapping. The penalties for stealing animals vary depending on each state’s laws, and some states have specific laws regarding animal theft. In Texas, larceny law designates the theft of property valued between $1,500–$20,000 as a felony. In the case of Miss Helen, who’s valued by the aquarium at $2,000, the thieves committed a felony. Also, transporting certain animals requires special permits, which led to additional charges against the three thieves. The Animal Welfare Act, which was adopted in 1966, is the only federal law that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. Interestingly, it only applies to warm-blooded animals, so if Miss Helen had needed further protection, she would be left out in the cold.
by aquarium staff, later confessing to their involvement. Thanks to some observant witnesses and aquarium surveillance, police were able to identify the third thief and obtain a warrant to search his house. As it turned out, he had an extensive aquarium in his home and possibly hoped to add Miss Helen to his collection. After being identified, Miss Helen was returned home safely. The aquarium staff was grateful to have Miss Helen back unharmed, despite her ordeal. “She’s a tough little horn shark, I’ll tell you that,” affirmed Jamie Shank, the assistant husbandry director at the aquarium. NO MINOR CRIME While many animal lovers might disagree, animals are considered personal property, so stealing them is a crime of theft, not
On a hot summer day in late July 2018, three people entered Miss Helen’s home, forcibly removed her, put her in a stroller, and ran toward their getaway vehicle. This might sound like a typical kidnapping story, but Miss Helen is no ordinary person. She is a 16-inch horn shark living at the San Antonio Aquarium. Fortunately, their fishy behavior didn’t go unnoticed, and someone alerted the aquarium staff. One perpetrator drove away with Miss Helen in tow, but the other two were stopped
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