Hosted by Renée G.
Group active since Wed, Dec 09, 2015

We're here for fun, frolic and friendship - not for bullying or bully baiting.

Offenders will immediately be tossed out of the room.

Renée G.
5 Hours Ago

Beautiful Wall

I sat with my friend in a well-known coffee shop in a neighboring town recently. As we enjoyed our coffee, a man entered and sat at an empty table beside us.

He called the waiter and placed his order saying, 'Two cups of coffee, one of them for the wall.'

We heard this order with interest and observed that he was served one cup of coffee but he paid for two.

As soon as he left, the waiter pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying 'A Cup of Coffee'.

While we were still there, two other men entered and ordered three cups of coffee, two on the table and one for the wall.

They had the two cups of coffee but paid for three and left.

This time also, the waiter did the same; he pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying, 'A Cup of Coffee'.

It was something unique and perplexing for us. We finished our coffee, paid the bill and left.

After a few days, we had a chance to go to this coffee shop again. While we were enjoying our coffee, a man poorly dressed entered.

As he seated himself, he looked at the wall and said, 'One cup of coffee from the wall'.

The waiter served coffee to this man with the customary respect and dignity.

The man had his coffee and left without paying.

We were amazed to watch all this, as the waiter took off a piece of paper from the wall and threw it in the waste basket.

Now it was no surprise for us – the matter was very clear.

The great respect for the needy shown by the inhabitants of this town made our eyes well up in tears.

Ponder upon the need of what this man wanted...He enters the coffee shop without having to lower his self-esteem ... he has no need to ask for a free cup of coffee and without asking or knowing about the one who is giving this cup of coffee to him.

He only looked at the wall, placed an order for himself, enjoyed his coffee and left.

Don’t you think more restaurants and coffee shops should have such a beautiful wall?

Renée G.
5 Hours Ago

4 Trivia Questions about Louise Brown

On this day in 1978, Louise Joy Brown, the world’s first baby to be conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF) was born in Manchester, England. Celebrate her 39th birthday by answering these trivia questions...

• What Was Inaccurate about the Moniker "Test-tube baby?"
The then-experimental in vitro fertilization process generated its first successful birth on this day in 1978. Louise Brown was called the world's first test-tube baby, a label soon applied to all children born through in vitro fertilization (henceforth IVF because we really don't like writing long phrases). There's only one issue: the process didn't involve a test tube. In the original IVF process, a woman's egg and a man's sperm were combined on a Petri dish, then implanted into the woman's body.

• How Was IVF Initially Received?
This initial success has paved the way for millions of IVF births over the last few decades, giving children to many parents who otherwise struggled to have them. But back in the 70s, it was incredibly controversial. Religious groups opposed the procedure, saying doctors were playing God. Others referred to the children as frankenbabies. And even the scientific community had their objections. Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe, the two IVF pioneers, had been denied a grant by the Medical Research Council and quickly learned that they'd have to operate without the help of the NHS. In an article for the Guardian, Peter Braude, head of the Department of Women's Health at King's College London, said "If you talk to people today about human reproductive cloning, the feeling you get that it is playing God is just how it was in 1978 with IVF."

But the procedure did have its supporters. Particularly the parents who had thought they would never have kids before IVF came along. Said Grace McDonald, the mother of the first boy baby born through IVF, "There had been so much controversy. I never looked on going there as being anything to do with courage though, it was just determination."

• In 1999, Louise's Sister Natalie Became the First IVF Baby to Do What?
After Louise, her parents had a second child through IVF named Natalie. But there were other questions beyond whether or not IVF would lead to successful births. Like what would the reproductive process be for children born through this method? Could they even have children? Well in 1999, Natalie became the first woman born through IVF to conceive naturally when she gave birth to her daughter, Casey.

• What Was Significant about the Birth of Connor Levy in 2013?
In 2013, Marybeth Scheidts and David Levy gave birth to Connor Levy, the first IVF baby to have every letter of his human genome screened before birth. You don't have to be a scientist to realize the implications. The IVF process involves creating multiple embryos and then choosing which ones to implant. Through the screening process, doctors can better predict which embryos will lead to successful pregnancies. "It is hard to overstate how revolutionary this is," said the couple's doctor. "This increases pregnancy rates by 50% across the board and reduces miscarriages by a similar margin. It will be much less expensive. In five years, this will be state of the art and everyone who comes for IVF will have it."

Of course, the genome can be used to predict much more than chances for a successful birth. Everything ranging from eye color to chances of developing terminal diseases later in life. For now, it is illegal for doctor's to choose embryos based on such factors, but as with all things scientific and medical, who knows what the future holds?

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Renée G.
9 Hours Ago

July 26 - National Coffee Milkshake Day

I didn’t find many recipes for Coffee Milkshakes on this site. Do you happen to have one? Have you ever had a Coffee Milkshake? I don't believe I have...something else for the Bucket List. ;-)

R.I. Coffee Milk or Coffee Milkshake

Renée G.
9 Hours Ago

Tuesday Trivia

What is the only state capital that shares no letters with the state it is capital of?










Answer: South Dakota is the only state whose capital city, Pierre, does not share any of the same letters with the name of the state. The population of Pierre, South Dakota was 13,646 at the 2010 census, making it the second least-populous state capital after Montpelier, Vermont. Founded in 1880, Pierre has been the state capital since South Dakota gained statehood on November 2, 1889. It was chosen for its location in the geographic center of the state. Pierre was named after Pierre Chouteau, Jr., a major fur trader and entrepreneur.

Renée G.
9 Hours Ago

Humid Tuesday

Good morning ladies & gents,

It's so humid this morning, the windows are completely fogged over "between" the two pieces of glass. Can't see a thing outside for all the collected condensation, and you can't wipe it's between the glass, we wait for Mr. Sun to shine long enough to dry them off. I get the scientific reasoning for this, but still it's something of an anomaly I don't see very often.

Oh well...moving right on along.

What are your plans for today? I'm going with a group of children from Sunday school, as one of their chaperones to a peacock ranch. We visited a goat farm back in the spring and the owner gave us a baby goat. Goat still lives on his farm, but we collect donations every Sunday morning to contribute to his room and board. We never settled on a proper name for Goat, so...that's what we call him. Maybe we will go visit him once again before school begins. :-) We've seen pictures, but haven't been out there.

I hope the peacock owner doesn't follow suit and give us a peacock. We might not be able to keep up with the care and feeding of too many animals.

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Renée G.
Yesterday at 2:33 PM

Can You Rediscover the Answers to These Historical Trivia Questions?

On July 24, 1911, Yale archeologist Hiram Bingham gets his first look at Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in the Andes Mountains in Peru. Try answering these trivia questions about one of the world's top tourist destinations...

• How large is the site of Machu Picchu?
Machu Picchu's location and size make it an engineering marvel. Tucked away in the rocky countryside northwest of Cuzco, Machu Picchu is believed to have been a summer retreat for Inca leaders, whose civilization was virtually wiped out by Spanish invaders in the 16th century. For hundreds of years, its existence was a secret known only to the peasants living in the region. That all changed in the summer of 1911, when Bingham arrived with a small team of explorers to search for the famous “lost” cities of the Incas. Led by an 11-year-old boy, Bingham got his first glimpse of the intricate network of stone terraces marking the entrance to Machu Picchu.

The site itself stretches an impressive five miles, with over 3,000 stone steps linking its many different levels. One section, called the Temple of the Sun, has not only a massive view of the valleys and mountains surrounding the site, but it also has a window that lets the summer solstice sun line up with the tip of a boulder in the center of the temple. The site is on a mountaintop ridge and showcases just how advanced the landscaping skills of the Inca were, with what should have been a difficult site tamed into a walkable, open design. In addition to the visible engineering, the underground engineering -- foundations and drainage -- is considered a marvel. The site was also more proof that there was a huge Inca empire spanning the Andes.

• How Has the Associated Tourism Affected the Region?
Large numbers of tourists mean an increased risk of damage. Machu Picchu became very popular with tourists after it was opened to the public, and it has been named both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Modern Wonder of the World. However, this publicity and continued marketing of its importance has led to a substantial increase in the number of people visiting the site with nearly 2,500 visiting daily in 2007 (and you can bet that in 2017, the popularity of the site hasn't waned). So many have been there that the site has sustained damage. Over the past decade or so, the Peruvian government has taken steps to preserve the site including limiting the size of tour groups, specifying the fuels that can be used by nearby campsites, increasing the entrance fee, suspending plans for a proposed cable car, and requiring trash be hauled out by those who brought it in. UNESCO has also recommended that the number of daily visitors be capped at 800 and that all visitors wear soft-soled shoes (hard-soled shoes can damage the surface of the site).

• How Did Bingham Almost Mess up His Find?
Bingham's visit to Machu Picchu occurred when he was trying to find the site where the city of Vilcabamba had been located. This supposed "Lost City of the Inca" would have been a major find because it was supposed to be where the Inca fled to escape Spanish invaders. Locals had told him about a site known as Machu Picchu, or "Old Peak," and brought him to the location. Bingham became convinced the site was actually Vilcabamba and continued to advocate for that interpretation for years, even though he was eventually proved wrong. Had he managed to convince people that he'd found Vilcabamba, though, the current interpretation of Inca history might be very different and very wrong. Archaeologists now think Vilcabamba was located about 50 miles from Machu Picchu.

Plus, it's crucial to note that Machu Picchu wasn't exactly "lost." Westerners might not have known about it, but locals sure did; they were the ones who led Bingham to the site. Plus, there were apparently a few families living there when Bingham arrived.

• What May Have Been Machu Picchu's Real Purpose?
Bingham was convinced the site had great religious significance, claiming that the majority of bodies found there were female. He said the site was the location of the Virgins of the Sun, women who spent their days worshipping the sun, and that the site was incredibly sacred.

However, modern-day archaeologists think the site was actually just a retreat -- in other words, Club Machu Picchu. It may have been built for aristocracy. Bingham's assertion that the majority of the bodies found were female was wrong; later analysis found that about half were male. There are areas of Machu Picchu that held temples, such as the Temple of the Sun and the lesser-known Temple of the Moon. But overall, the place may have just been a nice spot to relax, rather than a religious site.

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