National Online Learning Day!

 

National Online Learning Day

September 15th is National Online Learning Day! This day recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of online and blended learning institutions. As we all know, Covid has forced many of us to rethink how we work and also how we learn.  Many of us are working and learning from home. We can’t think of a better day than today to tell you all that we have put all of our courses online! We have interactive live-streamed courses, as well as courses on the go. Some of them are even FREE! (Yes, you read that correctly. FREE!)  You can earn your continuing education units while lounging around in your pajamas at home, camping in the woods, chilling by the pool, or maybe even sitting next to your child who’s also learning from home. You can learn at your own pace from anywhere in the world! 

But enough about us.  Did you know that the first online high school was created in 1994? With the internet growing in popularity, more online schools were established.  Eventually, colleges and universities added online courses as flexible learning options. Virtual classrooms have become more technologically advanced since their humble beginning in the 1990’s.  Now, there are more programs and apps available to make learning on the go much more convenient. 

 

Here are just a few ways to celebrate Online Learning Day:

  1. Take an online course – Whether it’s from us at Brainfiller or from your local university, now is the perfect opportunity to learn the latest and greatest in your field. Or maybe you’re interested in learning something new? That’s the beauty of online learning. You can learn anything at any time from anywhere!
  2. Learn a new skill – Have you ever wanted to learn how to crochet? Or maybe you would like to learn how to build a desk for your home office? Luckily, we live in an era with endless Youtube tutorials that can teach us whatever we’re interested in!
  3. Create a Youtube Tutorial – Do you have a skill that you would like to share with the world? Help others by creating a YouTube tutorial video!
  4. Become an online teacher – Have you been in your field for awhile and now you’re looking for a way to help others? Try teaching online! Many universities are looking for online instructors for various fields of study. You may also consider teaching ESL to children from around the world. The possibilities are endless.
  5. Thank your online teachers (and teacher friends!) – It’s not always easy, but they sure make it look like it is.  Send a thank you to your favorite online teacher to let them know that they are appreciated.

Happy Learning!

National Hot Dog Day!

 

It’s National Hot Dog Day! In 1871, a German baker named Charles Felton opened the first hot dog stand on Coney Island.  Originally called dachshund sausages (named after the dog), he sold 3,684 in his first year.  Thanks to this culinary innovation, the hot dog has become an American staple in food culture.  Not only are there many toppings to choose from, but there are also many different types of hot dogs.  Beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and even vegan options have gained in popularity.  Here are some of our favorite hot dog recipes that we would like to share with you!

 

  1. Quesadogas – Get your tex-mex fix with this perfect combination of a hot dog and a quesadilla. 
  2. Campfire Pigs in a Blanket – Are you going on a camping trip?  Or maybe you’re just hanging out around the fire pit in your backyard?  This is the perfect campfire meal for this summer!
  3. Homemade Gourmet Vegan Hot Dogs – Looking for something plant-based?  This yummy recipe also includes a recipe for cashew-almond cheese sauce.  Short on time?  Most grocery stores have fantastic veggie dogs that you don’t need to make from scratch.  Toppings not included.
  4. Hot Dog Bar – Is your family picky?  Do they each like different things?  Set up a hot dog bar and let them create their own hot dog creations!
  5. Garlic Bread Hot Dog – Want something that’s a little more Italian?  Try out a hot dog stuffed in garlic bread!
  6. Mac and Cheese Dog Casserole – If you’re not in the mood to eat a hot dog in a bun, you can try putting it into a casserole!  I mean, who doesn’t love mac and cheese? 
  7. Pizza Hot Dogs – Here’s a recipe that combines two of the best foods on the planet!
  8. Bánh Mì Hot Dogs For an amazing Vietnamese flare on a traditional meal, try out the Banh Mi Hot Dog!

 

Enjoy your hot dogs!

 

It’s Not All Bad…

Photo by Good Good Good on Unsplash

 

We’re almost halfway through 2020!  It’s no secret that this year has been challenging for most of us and that it is sometimes difficult to stay positive.  However, with all of the bad there’s also a lot of good in the world.  In the wake of our pandemic, actor John Krasinski from the show The Office created an entire online news program called Some Good News, which was dedicated to sharing good news that’s happening in the world.  This has inspired us to share some good news with you. 

Here are a few positive things that have happened so far in 2020:

  1. 7-year Old Holds Prom for His Babysitter:  When Rachel Chapman’s prom was cancelled due to Covid-19, young Curtis decided to take matters into his own hands.  He surprised her with dinner and a dance.  Curtis dressed up and picked out a menu based on what they would eat together when she babysat: peanut butter and apples, Chick-fil-A, and smoothies.
  2. 99-year-old Veteran beats Covid-19 and Surprises Granddaughter on Wedding Day:  WWII veteran, Vincent Simeone, was hospitalized for Covid for two weeks.  When he recovered, he was able to surprise his granddaughter, Amy Zimmerman at her wedding on May 24th.  This also would have been his late wife Millie’s 100th birthday. 
  3. Iowa Teen Launches Free Grocery Delivery Service for Seniors:  Seventeen-year-old Tenner Kenin has a mission to keep senior citizens safe during the pandemic.  He started T’s Angel Hands to help out seniors who are struggling to find delivery times and aren’t able to go to the store for fear of getting sick.  He and dozens of volunteers are not only helping seniors, but they are also helping people with underlying health issues and pregnant women.  
  4. Canadian Company Aims to Plant 1 Billion Trees by 2020 Using Drones: Flash Forest, a Canadian startup, is using drones to drop seed pods into areas that may otherwise not be reached.  They are currently able to plant 10,000-20,000 trees per day, but are hoping to reach 100,000 trees per day.
  5. Singer Rents Cherry Picker to Sing to a Senior Center: Since nursing homes currently do not allow visitors, Colette Hawley of Chicago decided to take matters into her own hands.  She rented a 30 foot cherry picker bucket truck to lift her up to sing through the windows of Chicago Methodist Senior Services.  The grateful residents were seen clapping and waving through the windows.  Some were even brought outside to dance.

Hang in there.  

 

 

 

National Electrical Safety Month

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

May is National Electrical Safety Month!  This month is a great time to double check all of your electrical equipment in your home.  It’s also a great time to learn about electrical hazards and how to avoid them.

Electrical Safety Checklist:

  1. Check all electrical cords for fraying and replace any that may be damaged.
  2. Keep all electrical appliances away from water.
  3. Don’t nail or tack cords to the wall or floor.
  4. Use outlet covers to protect children from electrical outlets.
  5. Never touch a downed powerline!  Stay at least 35 feet away and call 911.
  6. Don’t plant trees near utility equipment or under power lines.
  7. Stay at least 10 feet away from all overhead power lines.
  8. Do not touch anything that’s touching a powerline.
  9. Check your extension cords.  These are meant to be temporary and not a permanent fixture.  All appliances should be plugged directly into the wall and not into an extension cord.
  10.  Don’t overload your electrical circuits.  Flickering lights, warm or discolored wall plates, and mild shock from appliances or switches can all indicate overloaded circuits.

   Have a safe day!

National Lineman Appreciation Day

 

Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash

National Lineman Appreciation Day 

Imagine being quarantined without power.  No Netflix.  No refrigerator.  No video games to keep your kids occupied while you’re trying to work.  No computers to allow you to work.  No power or technology of any kind.  Thanks to linemen, we are able to have all of these things.  Saturday was Lineman Appreciation Day.  Linemen work around the clock to make sure that we have power.  They work under high risk conditions on a daily basis.  Without them, we would not be able to function in our high-tech world.  How did this appreciation day come to be?  On April 10, 2013, U.S. Senate Resolution 95 declared April 18th as Lineman Appreciation Day.

Here are a few facts about the history of linemen:

  1. The profession began in the 1840’s due to the invention of the telegraph.  Lines were originally strung on trees, but eventually wooden poles were put in place.  There was very little training available and the job was extremely dangerous.  They were responsible for connecting communities to the ever growing power grid.
  2. Between the 1890’s and 1930’s, line work was considered one of the most dangerous jobs in existence.  One in 3 linemen were killed on the job, typically from electrocution.
  3. In the 1940’s and 1950’s, electricity became more publicly dependent.  Maintenance of power lines and quick repairs became more important.
  4. In the 1950’s, some electric lines began to be installed underground.
  5. Now, industry standards and best practices have been put in place to protect our linemen.  There are 3 organizations leading lineman health and safety: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, National Electrical Contractors Association, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

If you see a lineman, thank them.  If you see anyone on the front lines, thank them, too.  There are many essential workers on the frontlines right now.  We at Brainfiller appreciate ALL of you who are still working to keep life as normal as possible for us during this time.

Stay safe!

 

A Socially Distant St. Patrick’s Day – Virtual Celebrations

Photo by Hoan Vo on Unsplash

What a week! Like everyone else, we at Brainfiller have been following the COVID-19 news closely.  For many of us, we are so used to the hustle and bustle of life that when we are forced to stay home and slow down, we are unsure what to do with ourselves.  If you’re like me, you’re home with your kids trying to entertain them and make sure that they are staying happy and healthy.

Today is St. Patrick’s Day.  A day when many of us would be out socializing and celebrating.  Just because we are social distancing, that does NOT mean that we can’t still celebrate!  Here are some fun activities that you can do to celebrate from home:

  1. Dropkick Murphy’s Livestream: Every year, the iconic Celtic-punk band Dropkick Murphy’s puts on a live show to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. This year, they will be doing a livestream concert for the entire world to watch.  You can watch it on their YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.  For more information, please visit Dropkick Murphys.
  2. Virtual Milwaukee Irish Fest: With the trend of putting everything online, the Milwaukee Irish Fest will also be live streaming for your enjoyment. They will also be featuring artist-curated videos, Irish Fest throwback videos, and more.  For more information, please visit Irish Fest.
  3. Shamrocks & Shenanigans Virtual 4 Miler: Just because you’re social distancing, doesn’t mean you can’t go outside and run (from a distance). This virtual race will be held all month long. To sign up go to Shamrocks & Shenanigans.
  4. Virtual St. Patrick’s Day Parade: The parades have been cancelled, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun! People all over Twitter have announced that they will be having their own virtual parades in their homes. Dress up in green and orange and have a parade in your own living room!
  5. LemonAid – St. Patrick’s Day Virtual Festival: This virtual festival has several artists performing and will have two virtual stages – one on Facebook and one on Instagram Live. This is taking place from 1pm – 10pm ET and has no cover charge. However, they will be suggesting ways to support the artists.   Check it out at their Facebook event page: LemonAid – St. Patrick’s Day Virtual Festival.
  6. Gardening: This is a great day to try out your green thumb and start planting some flowers and vegetables for the summer. You can do this indoors if it’s still too cold, or outside if the weather is nice. You can even plant shamrocks for a fun St. Patty’s Day addition.
  7. Green Volcano: If you’re at home with your kids, you should create a green volcano! This is a fun experiment for kids of any age.  You can get instructions at: Science Fun! Don’t forget to add some green food coloring.
  8. Tie-Dye Fun: Another fun project for today would be to tie-dye T-shirts! Use green and orange for a fun St. Patrick’s Day project.
  9. Green Food: Try to eat only green foods today. Turn it into a game for your kids by telling them that the Leprechaun’s rule is that they must only eat green today.  It can be a fun way to get them to eat their green vegetables.
  10. Virtually Tour St. Patrick’s Cathedral: There are many museums and tourist attractions available to view online right now. One of them is St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. You can view it on their app or on their website at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

We hope that you all stay safe and healthy.  Have a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day!

 

National Love Your Pet Day

 

February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day!  We at Brainfiller have many fur babies whom we love and adore.  From cats and dogs to ferrets and lizards, we love them all.  Above is a picture of our pug Skittles dressed up as Thor.  Did you know that about 85 million households in the U.S. own at least one pet?  Although most of them have dogs and cats, there are many other types of animal companions.  As if we need another reason to love our pets, today is the day to give them some extra love and attention.

Here are some ways to celebrate your pets today:

  1. Make a special treat: Here is a link to recipes for homemade dog treats: Good Housekeeping Pet Treats
  2. Spoil your pet with a new toy: Visit your local pet store to buy a new toy for your pet. If possible, visit an independently owned store.
  3. Give them some extra play time: Take your pet to the park or play in your home. Either way, your pet will love and appreciate the extra attention they are getting from you.  You can also try to teach them a new trick.
  4. Arrange a pet playdate: If your pet loves to socialize, this is the perfect day to let them play with or make new friends. Dog parks are the best places to help socialize your pup.
  5. Take them to a pet spa: Take your pet to get a nice massage and grooming.
  6. Give them some extra cuddle time: Fuzzy or scaly, all animals love to get cuddles from their favorite humans.
  7. Take your pet to a pet friendly restaurant: This one is typically just for dogs, but that’s not always the case. I was recently at a restaurant in Las Vegas, NV and saw a girl carrying around her bearded dragon on her shoulder.
  8. Take your pet for a walk in a new place: Or maybe go hiking! Animals love getting to explore new places and smells.  Just remember to bring plenty of water for your pet.
  9. Drink with your pet: Companies like Pet Winery and Apollo Peak make pet-safe mocktails, beer, wine, and champagne so they can celebrate life with you.
  10. Share pictures of your pet on social media: Tag #brainfillerpets so we can see your adorable pets!

Have fun with your pets today!

 

Grey Matter (the brain not our newsletter)

Grey Matter Facts

The human brain consists of 60% white matter and 40% grey matter.  But what is grey matter? And why do we call this lovely newsletter by that name?

Grey matter includes regions of the brain involved in muscle control and sensory perception.  It is also vital to our intelligence and memory.  We at Brainfiller have a primary goal to fill all brains with as much knowledge as possible.  Your grey matter will help you to remember it.  Thus our reason for calling this newsletter, “Grey Matter.”

Allow us to fill your brain with these fun facts about your brain:

  1. Your brain produces enough energy to power a light bulb. Your brain can produce enough energy to power a 25-watt light bulb, even while sleeping.
  2. Brains are busier when you’re sleeping. We’re always told to get a good night’s sleep before a big test. This is why!  Brains spend your sleeping hours organizing and storing information you come across throughout the day, including all of that information you just studied for a big test.  Your brain is so busy when you’re sleeping that it has to produce a hormone that keeps you immobilized so you won’t react to any of the ideas that are going through your head.
  3. Grey matter isn’t actually grey. Don’t let the name fool you. Grey matter doesn’t turn grey until it dies. It is actually a healthy pink due to all the blood that’s constantly flowing through it.
  4. Humans use much more than 10% of their brains. We aren’t sure where this information about only using 10% came from, but we do know that it’s not true! Although you may not be using every part of your brain at every moment of the day, you will use every part at some point during the day.  Each part of our brain has a different purpose, but they’re all essential to function.
  5. Your brain doesn’t feel pain. Even though our brain will tell us loud and clear when we’re in pain, the brain tissue itself doesn’t contain pain receptors and thus cannot feel pain.
  6. Your brain is addicted to oxygen. Our brain makes up less than 2% of our body weight, and yet it consumes 20% of the oxygen in your bloodstream. The brain divides that oxygen up between grey and white matter, with white matter getting just 6% and gray matter taking in 94%.
  7. Your brain is mostly water. The average brain is about 73% water. Much of that water comes from blood. About a gallon of it flows through every four minutes.
  8. A fat brain is a healthy brain. The brain is the most fatty organ in the body and you want it to be! The fat is necessary to insulate neurons and allow messages to travel through the brain and the body without getting lost.

Have a brainy day!

 

National Maple Syrup Day!

Photo by nikldn on Unsplash

Pass the syrup, please!  Yesterday was National Maple Syrup Day!  Yep, we will celebrate anything here at Brainfiller HQ.

This natural sweetener was first discovered and processed by the indigenous people of North America.  European settlers later refined the art of making syrup.  Up until the 1930’s, the United States were the world leaders in maple syrup production.  Now, Canada has taken the maple syrup throne.

Did you know that a maple syrup production farm is called a sugarbush or a sugarwood?  Here are some other fun facts about maple syrup:

 

 

  1. Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States.
  2. Sap is boiled in a sugar house which is also known as a sugar shanty, sugar shack or a cabane à sucre.
  3. Although not limited to these maple species, it is usually made from the xylem sap of sugar maple, red maple or black maple trees.
  4. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.
  5. Quebec produces about 2/3 of the world’s syrup.
  6. A quarter cup of syrup is high in minerals.
  7. The first written account of maple syrup production comes from 1606.
  8. A tree takes about 40 years before it’s large enough to tap.
  9. The International Maple Syrup Institute was founded in 1975 and their meetings include breakfast buffets.
  10. Sap is usually preferred to syrup in Korea. Since the ninth century, the gorosoe, or “tree good for the bones,” is a Korean maple that’s been tapped by southern villagers. Locals drink over 5 gallons in one sitting as a common practice.

Enjoy this day with some pancakes or waffles.  Or you can be like Buddy the Elf and try some syrup on your spaghetti.

Have an extra sweet day!

 

Hooray – It’s National Cheeseburger Day!

September 18th is National Cheeseburger Day and we are all very excited here at Brainfiller. However, in all fairness it doesn’t take much for us to get excited!

Cheeseburgers have been a staple of American culture since the 1920’s.  In 1926, Lionel Sternberger got the brilliantly cheesy idea to add a slice of cheese to his burger while working as a fry cook at his father’s Pasadena, California sandwich shop, “The Rite Spot.”  Today, that basic cheeseburger has been re-created into a variety of mouth-watering recipes.

Here are our top 5 favorite creative burger recipes for you to try:

  1. The Pizza Burger

https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a47675/pizza-burgers-recipe/

  1. The Bloody Mary Burger

https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a22730056/bloody-mary-burger-recipe/

  1. Gingered Burger w/Lime Slaw

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a9310/gingered-burgers-lime-slaw/

  1. French Onion Soup Burger

https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a47646/french-onion-soup-burger-recipe/

  1. The Mediterranean Burger

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/mediterranean-burgers

Not a fan of meat?  No problem!  With so many vegan options available these days, you can still make each of these burgers without meat.  Try them with the Impossible Burger or your favorite black bean burger.  There are also many options for vegan cheeses, vegan bacon, and even vegan pepperoni!

Indulge!
Just in case I made you lose your mind over cheeseburgers, here is a super cheesy list of deals that I found where you can indulge yourself!

Red RobinGourmet Cheeseburger with Bottomless Steak Fries
Purchase any regular-sized beverage when you dine in and get a Gourmet Cheeseburger with Bottomless Steak Fries for $5.

Black Angus SteakhouseGuacamole Cheeseburger or Steakhouse Bacon Cheeseburger
Black Angus diners will receive a 16 oz. draft beer and a side of fries or coleslaw when they order a cheeseburger for just $12.99 (prices vary in Hawaii and Alaska).

Burger 21 Super Cheesy 
The “limited edition” B21 Super Cheesy has returned for National Cheeseburger Day (naturally). 

Halo Burger QP Burgers 
Halo Burger, the pride of Flint, Michigan, will celebrate its 96th birthday by serving up $1.96 QP Burgers on National Cheeseburger Day. The chain, with eight locations in and around Flint, remains committed to sourcing “fresh, local Michigan ingredients.” The offer’s good from 2pm to 7pm on September 18th.

Black Tap Free All-American Burgers
Black Tap’s All-American is a classic cheeseburger topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and house-made special sauce. The first 100 customers at each restaurant receive one free! U.S. locations include Southern California (Downtown Disney), Las Vegas (The Venetian), and New York City.

MooyahFree Cheeseburgers
All Mooyah locations will offer a free cheeseburger to Rewards App members — with purchase of fries and drink (or shake). Note: Anyone can download the app and get the offer on the spot.

Smashburger – BOGO
Smashburger will offer a BOGO (buy one, get one) deal on their double classic Smashburgers.  That’s two burgers for $6.99.

White Castle Sliders
And…if you really want to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day, order 10 Cheesy Sliders for only $6.99. Available NOW!

Have a Super Cheesy Day!

 

 

 

(Disclaimer – Brainfiller, Inc. and it’s employees are not responsible for the accuracy of these deals)