It’s World Emoji Day

Yes, it really is.

World Emoji Day.

Why today? Because the wee little calendar emoji has a date on it …. and that date happens to be July 17.

So, when “World Emoji Day” was born, they just used the day on the calendar emoji. Ha!

Oh, yes … there are lots of other emoji details to ponder. For example …. any idea what is the most commonly used emoji? The answer to that question is “tears of joy”.

You can find more emoji fun facts here.

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Why is it called “Bluetooth”?

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-8-54-30-pmBluetooth technology gives us a wireless connection within a short distance. Small speakers and many headsets, for example, often use Bluetooth to connect with our iPhones and iPads. But, think about it. This wireless technology isn’t blue. And it certainly doesn’t resemble a tooth ….. so …… ?????

The answer is that Bluetooth technology is named after a Scandinavian King.

Of course.

Wait.

….. What????

Back in the 1990’s, the technology world was looking for a way to unite various devices with a wireless system. This meant uniting devices made by different companies.

(Note the key word: UNITE)

One of the inventors of this wireless technology just happened at the time to be reading a book about Vikings. He learned that the 10th century King of Denmark, King Harald Bluetooth, was famous for uniting Scandinavia.

Ahhh…… there we go. They were inventing a uniting technology. King Bluetooth was a famous uniter.

And so they cleverly called this new wireless connector “Bluetooth”.

One more thing: The Bluetooth symbol? It’s King Harald’s initials, in ancient Scandinavian Runes.

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Find Safe, Healthy and Socially Responsible Products with Good Guide

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 8.23.48 AMThis app was promoted on our latest Earth Day. I learned about it then, and downloaded it immediately.

I’m delighted!

With a massive database of over 210,000 products, this app rates them on a scale of 1 to 10 on health, environmental and social impact.

You can search for a product or you can browse through categories such as pet products, oral care, food, household cleaners and more. I especially like seeing the ingredients listed with ratings on EACH ingredient about its safety (or not). You can even scan the barcode of a product while you are shopping.

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I searched for several products that I use regularly and was surprised to see a very low rating for one in particular that I use all the time (oh my ….. a change will happen. ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

This app has been featured in the NY Times, USA Today, TIME, Oprah, InStyle, Newsweek, TechCrunch, ABC, CBS, and more. Truly a valuable resource at your fingertips.

Good Guide is FREE in the iTunes store.

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Use the “Near” Feature on Google Maps to Find What you Want

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 6.05.37 PMNot a day goes by that I don’t click on Google Maps. I use it ALL the time.

I use it for directions, of course, and daily for traffic. I use it to look for shortcuts, and I use it for street view so that I can recognize my destination when I get there.

Another great feature of Google Maps is the “near” feature. I was not very familiar with it, but now that I’m using it …… well, it’s simply invaluable.

Let’s say you are standing in Manhattan, near the Empire State Building. You want to visit a book store, but you have no clue of the name of any local book store let alone where one might be.

Google maps to the rescue.

Simply search for “book stores near (your location)” In this example case, I searched for “book stores near the Empire State Building” and the map below shows the result of that search. A bunch of book stores to explore!

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This is obviously a great feature to have when you’re away from home, but lately I find myself using this trick at home, too, to discover unknown-to-me restaurants and other places.

Just search using your own address (or “me” if Google maps knows your home address):
“Mexican restaurants near me,” for example, and, poof! All kinds of new places to explore. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Weekend Distraction: Bonza: An Addictive Word Game

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 6.00.18 PM Bonza is a word puzzle game that’s a bit hard to describe.

The finished puzzle looks like a crossword puzzle, but that’s not how it starts.

You are presented with assorted pieces of the puzzle and it is up to you to slide those pieces around until you make the words that match the theme.

This quick video will show you clearly what I struggle to explain.

Once you download this app, you will get a set of ‘starter’ puzzles to complete. After that, if you want more, you’ll have to buy packs.

** OR **

you can return to the app each day and find a new puzzle …. for free. This is the one-free-puzzle a day model that is also used in the Daily Crossword. I like this. One a day is enough for my rather short ‘game-attention’ span.

Bonza works on your iPhone or iPad and is free in the iTunes store. (I downloaded this a while ago and paid 99ยข for it. As I write this blog post, it appears to be free.)

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How to See All the Photos You’ve Sent via Text

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 10.09.57 AM Text picture sending is something we all do. A lot.

It’s so easy to send a text photo that today most people share not only the extraordinary moments of their lives, but also the most ordinary everyday stuff. (Food pics? We’ve all done it. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

I was astonished to learn that you can SEE all the pics you’ve sent to an individual without scrolling back through eternity.

Just open a text thread, and take a look at the TOP, next to the person’s name.

See the word “details”? Tap on that. Poof!!!

A collage of photos, both sent and received!

From Skitch

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Weekend Distraction: Daily Celebrity Crossword

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 7.37.58 AMFinally! A crossword puzzle I can complete! (translation: very very easy)

Notice that in the title it says “celebrity” ……. I actually found that off-putting, since I am not one who knows much about actors, sports figures etc.

BUT, to my delight, the celebrity part is usually only two or three clues throughout the entire puzzle, and completely solvable with the cross-clues.

I really enjoy doing crossword puzzles. But I’m also REALLY bad at it. I’ve tried so many, and it’s so discouraging. I love that I can almost always complete this one. I know it’s easy, but that’s ok with me. I still get a happy feeling when I get my completed star and digital confetti as I type in the last word. ๐Ÿ™‚

There is absolutely no learning curve to complete the puzzle. The clue is highlighted along with the blocks you have to fill. Just tap and type. (there are some other nuances. You earn coins when solving, and you can use these coins to buy hints, etc. This is something I’ve never needed to do, so I just ignore the whole coin thing. I just do the basic puzzle. Perfect in its simplicity.)

You get ONE puzzle per day. Just one. At first I craved more, but over time I’ve found that one is just enough. This way I don’t over-do and it keeps my interest.

Occasionally you’ll get a bonus free puzzle. As I type this, I noticed that the app is offering a free bonus puzzle for Valentine’s day. So today I’ll do two. Yay!

Daily Celebrity Crossword is FREE in the iTunes store.

Sample puzzle page:

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