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

  1. The Bloody Mary Burger

  1. Gingered Burger w/Lime Slaw

  1. French Onion Soup Burger

  1. The Mediterranean Burger

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!

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)

IEC Standard 60900 was just published.

IEC 60900The fourth edition of IEC Standard 60900 Live working – Hand tools for use up to 1,000 V AC and 1,500 V DC was just published.  This standard is applicable to insulated, insulating and hybrid hand tools used for working live or close to live parts at nominal voltages up to 1000 V AC and 1 500 V DC.

This fourth edition cancels and replaces the third edition, published in 2012. This edition constitutes a technical revision. This edition includes the following significant technical changes with respect to the previous edition: Continue reading

Effective Training Presentations – A Few Tips From Jim’s 35+ Years Of Experience.

Bull by the HornsFor many, it is nightmare scenario.  Your department manager just came by and asked you to prepare and present a short training program for a client.   It doesn’t matter if it is about Electrical Safety, Arc Flash, the latest National Electrical Code or any one of an infinite number of topics, your reaction could range anywhere from feeling faint to watching your life pass before your eyes or any number of other responses.  Today, training has become more important than ever and there is an increasing likelihood that someday you may be called upon to put on the show – if you haven’t already.

I conducted my first training program “under duress” back in the very early 1980’s.  It was exactly the scenario above – the department Continue reading

Electrical Safety Training – More then just “Checking the Box”

Jim Phillips, P.E.

One word.  Deadly!  If someone performs energized electrical work without being properly trained, the results can be catastrophic – and deadly!  I have seen this play out regularly during accident investigations and legal cases.  The victim was either not properly trained, or perhaps ignored a few steps from the electrical safety training program.

Many companies are very pro-active and make sure their employees are not only trained, but that they receive refresher training at least every three years based on NFPA 70E requirements.  Many even use shorter intervals for refresher training or updates.  Either way, refresher training is important for staying up to date with current standards and it can be a reminder to those that pick up bad habits along the way.

Electrical Safety Training – More than “Checking the Box”

However, a looming problem is that for some companies, training is either way down the list for various reasons or was not very thorough.  I have seen many companies that simply want to “check the box” i.e. state they had training without much regard to what the content was and check it off their to do list.  after all, what could possibly go wrong?

Continue reading

2015 NFPA 70E – 10 Item Check Up

With the 2015 Edition of NFPA 70E being published and all of the changes that it brings, it is time to review your arc flash study, labels and overall practices.  There are many key areas that should be evaluated.  Here ten of the more important areas to look at to give your site a check up. Continue reading

Working Distance and Arc Flash Protection Boundary

Greater Distance = Greater Safety

Download FREE Arc Flash Calculations

When a bomb goes off, the further you are from the explosion, the safer you will be.  This same concept also applies to the arc flash hazard.  Whether you are a properly protected qualified person performing the work or just an observer, the distance between you and the arc flash can make all the difference in the world. Continue reading

X/R Ratio

How to perform a short circuit study.

Learn more about the x/r ratio as part of short circuit studies

Background of X/R
Short circuit calculations are actually just an elaborate version of Ohm’s Law. One of the key components in the calculation process is to determine the total impedance of the circuit from the utility/source, through the transmission system, transformers, conductors, down to the point in question such as a panel or switchboard location. The impedances of the various circuit elements, Continue reading

How to Perform a Power Factor Study – kVA Demand Rate

Jim Phillips, P.E.

DSC02142A power factor study is a key to properly determining a system’s power factor correction requirements. A study determines capacitor size and location as well as the number of steps and incremental sizes to be switched. A study also provides an economic analysis of the proposed installation based on the forecast reduction in electric utility bills. A power factor study can be divided into three major steps.

▪ Review of the electric utility company’s rate structure.

▪ Development of a graphical profile of the facilities kVA, kW and kvar.

▪ Determination of the required capacitor kvar additions for the desired power factor improvement level.

The power factor study begins with a utility rate structure review together with a historical sample (six to 24 months) of electric bills. This information is used to evaluate present use patterns and to determine the potential economic benefits of improving power factor. Utility rate structures usually provide significant economic incentives to reduce total kVA demand.

Typical demand charges can vary from minimal to $20 per demand kVA, so for reducing a demand by just 100 kVA with a demand charge of, let’s say, $10 per kVA could save $1,000 per month. It’s easy to see that larger demand reductions and higher demand charges could potentially large savings. After reviewing the rate structure and billing history, a detailed graphical profile of the facility’s use over typical 24 hour operating periods should be developed.

The profile could be created from recorded kW and kVA data and either calculated or recorded power factor and var data. This data is obtained from on –site monitoring over several 24 hour periods. Some utilities are prepared to provide this data. However, independent monitoring usually is necessary using a commercially available energy analyzer to record demand, power factor and total energy use. The data is used to develop the graphical profile which is plotted with respect to time to provide a representation of a complete operating cycle. This profile can then be used to determine the required kvar of capacitors necessary and the number of Switching steps to offset the inductive kvar.

The minimum reactive kvar determine the amount of capacitors that can be used without switching to provide close to 100 percent power factor during minimum load conditions. Additional capacitor requirements can be determined based on the profile and sized as needed. Capacitance is introduced into the facilities electrical distribution system to balance inductance due to equipment operation. When equipment load, and subsequently inductance decreases, capacitance also should be reduced. For more erratic demand patters, more switching steps may be required.

NFPA70E 2018 Update video by Jim PhillipsAbout Jim Phillips, P.E.: Electrical Power and Arc Flash Training Programs – For over 30 years, Jim Phillips has been helping tens of thousands of people around the world, understand electrical power system design, analysis, arc flash and electrical safety. Jim is Vice Chair of IEEE 1584 and International Chairman of IEC TC78 Live Working. He has developed a reputation for being one of the best trainers in the electric power industry, Learn More.

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