Thursday, 30 December 2010

How to Determine Your Hat Size

Before you purchase the perfect hat to complete your wardrobe, take careful measurement of your head to ensure that the fit is just right.

  1. Place a flexible tape measure around the circumference of your head, 1 inch above your eyebrows and around the widest part of your head.
  2. Measure the circumference at least twice to be sure that you are getting an accurate measurement.
  3. Record the measurement in inches and/or centimeters.
  4. Use a hat-sizing conversion chart to determine your exact size. These are available at hat stores, or at


Monday, 20 December 2010

Who's Got the Biggest Pencil?

Faber-Castell has a significant history in the pencil industry and has several entries in the competition for the Worlds “___est” pencil. A “Grip 2001 “ measuring 12 meters is displayed at the company’s headquarters in Stein, Germany.

Not to be outdone Faber-Castell’s Malaysian subsidiary has the Guinness Book of World Records certification achieved in November 2002 for the World’s “Longest” Pencil at 19.75 meters.

See full article at

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Coin condition and the Sheldon Scale

In coin collecting, the condition of a coin is paramount to its value; a high-quality example is often worth many times more than a poor example. Collectors have created systems to describe the overall condition of coins. In the early days of coin collecting-before the development of a large international coin market-extremely precise grades were not needed. Coins were described using only three adjectives: "good," "fine" or "uncirculated". By the mid 20th century, with the growing market for rare coins, the Sheldon system was adopted by the American Numismatic Association and most coin professionals in the North America. It uses a 1-70 numbering scale, where 70 represents a perfect specimen and 1 represents a barely identifiable coin. The Sheldon Scale uses descriptions and numeric grades for coins (from highest to lowest) is as follows

  • Mint State (MS) 60-70: Uncirculated (UNC)
  • About/Almost Uncirculated (AU) 50, 53, 55, 58
  • Extremely Fine (XF or EF) 40, 45
  • Very Fine (VF) 20, 25, 30, 35
  • Fine (F) 12, 15
  • Very Good (VG) 8, 10
  • Good (G) 4, 6
  • About Good (AG) 3
  • Fair (FA, FR) 2
  • Poor (PR, PO) 1

While the Sheldon Scale is universally acknowledged, coin experts in Europe and elsewhere often shun the numerical system, preferring to rate specimens on a purely descriptive, or adjectival, scale. Nevertheless, most grading systems use similar terminology and values and remain mutually intelligible. Damage of any sort (e. g., holes, edge dents, repairs, cleaning, re-engraving or gouges) can substantially reduce the value of a coin. Specimens are occasionally cleaned or polished in an attempt to pass them off as higher grades or as uncirculated strikes. Because of the substantially lower prices for cleaned or damaged coins, some enthusiasts specialize in their collection. When evaluating a coin, the following-often subjective-factors may be considered:

  1. "eye appeal" or the aesthetic interest of the coin;
  2. dents on the rim;
  3. unsightly scratches or other blemishes on the surface of the coin;
  4. luster;
  5. toning;
  6. level of detail retained, where a coin with full details obviously is valued higher than one with worn details.

If the coin is judged favorably in all of these criteria, it will generally be awarded a higher grade.


Sunday, 12 December 2010

Alfred Hitchcock quotes

The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.

If it's a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on.

Someone once told me that every minute a murder occurs, so I don't want to waste your time, I know you want to go back to work.

In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director

When an actor comes to me and wants to discuss his character, I say, 'It's in the script.' If he says, 'But what's my motivation?, ' I say, 'Your salary.'"


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Man Changes Name to "Captain Awesome"

In a move that seems like it was lifted straight out of an episode of 'The Simpsons,' an Oregon man has legally changed his name to Captain Awesome. The name change wasn't in homage to lovable oaf Homer's brief stint as Max Power (a name so great it vaulted him into Springfield's power elite), but was instead inspired by the television show 'Chuck.' That show features a character named Devon "Captain Awesome" Woodcomb.

Australian news site reports that Douglas Allen Smith Jr. , an unemployed cabinet maker, appeared before an Oregon judge to make it official last month. After verifying that Smith was 100% serious about the name change (and really, could anyone who wanted to be known as Captain Awesome be anything less than totally committed?), the judge approved Smith's new moniker.


Sunday, 5 December 2010

Cognitive Dissonance

According to cognitive dissonance theory, (developed by Leon Festinger, 957) there is a tendency for individuals to seek consistency among their cognitions (i.e., beliefs, opinions).
When there is an inconsistency between attitudes or behaviours (dissonance), something must change to eliminate the dissonance. In the case of a discrepancy between attitudes and behaviour, it is most likely that the attitude will change to accommodate the behaviour.
Two factors affect the strength of the dissonance: the number of dissonant beliefs, and the importance attached to each belief. There are three ways to eliminate dissonance:
(1) reduce the importance of the dissonant beliefs,
(2) add more consonant beliefs that outweigh the dissonant beliefs, or
(3) change the dissonant beliefs so that they are no longer inconsistent.
Dissonance occurs most often in situations where an individual must choose between two incompatible beliefs or actions. The greatest dissonance is created when the two alternatives are equally attractive. Furthermore, attitude change is more likely in the direction of less incentive since this results in lower dissonance. In this respect, dissonance theory is contradictory to most behavioural theories which would predict greater attitude change with increased incentive (i.e., reinforcement).

Consider someone who buys an expensive car but discovers that it is not comfortable on long drives. Dissonance exists between their beliefs that they have bought a good car and that a good car should be comfortable.
Dissonance could be eliminated by

    * deciding that it does not matter since the car is mainly used for short trips (reducing the importance of the dissonant belief) or
    * focusing on the cars strengths such as safety, appearance, handling (thereby adding more consonant beliefs).

The dissonance could also be eliminated by getting rid of the car, but this behaviour is a lot harder to achieve than changing beliefs.


Thursday, 2 December 2010

Black tie

Unlike white tie, which is very strictly regulated, black-tie ensembles can display more variation. In brief, the traditional components are:

  • A jacket with ribbed silk facings (usually grosgrain) on a shawl collar or peaked lapel (while a notched lapel is a popular modern choice, it is not traditionally considered correct)
  • Trousers with a single silk or satin braid covering the outer seams
  • A low-cut waistcoat or cummerbund
  • A white dress shirt with a turn-down or wing collar collar, shirt studs (optional), and cufflinks (a marcella front is traditional, but other styles are also accepted. A black ribbed silk bow tie matching the lapel facings (self-tie bow ties are preferred but not necessary)
  • Black dress socks, usually silk or fine wool
  • Black shoes, highly polished or patent leather Oxfords, or patent leather court shoes


White tie

White tie, or formal evening dress is strictly regulated, and properly comprises:

  • Black tailcoat with silk (grosgrain or satin) facings, horizontally cut-away at the front
  • Black trousers with a single stripe of satin or braid in the US or two stripes in Europe; trousers are fish-tail back, thus worn with braces instead of a belt.
  • White plain stiff-fronted cotton shirt (usually cotton marcella (US: piqué))
  • White stiff-winged collar
  • White bow tie (usually cotton marcella (US: piqué))
  • White low-cut waistcoat (usually cotton marcella (US: piqué), matching the bow tie and shirt, which should not extend below the front of the tailcoat)
  • Black silk stockings (long socks)
  • Black court shoes