Today’s Funny: Home Remedies That Really Work

Home Remedies That Really Work

  1. If you are choking on an ice cube, don’t panic! Simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat and presto! The blockage will be almost instantly removed.
  2. Clumsy? Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.
  3. Avoid arguments about lifting or lowering the toilet seat by simply using the sink.
  4. For high blood pressure sufferers: Just cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins.
  5. A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.
  6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives, and then you will be afraid to cough.
  7. Have a bad toothache? Smash your thumb with a hammer and you will forget about the toothache.
  8. You only need two tools: WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn’t move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn’t move and does, use the duct tape.

Note: When applying these home remedies, remember to be really nice to your family and friends. You never know when you might need them to empty your bedpan.


Turok’s Cabana


The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Mar. 24: USING WOOLLY WORMS FOR A WINTER FORECAST




The woolly bear caterpillar—also called woolly worm and fuzzy worm—has the reputation of being able to forecast the coming winter weather. Whether this is fact or folklore, learn more about this legendary caterpillar and how to “read” the worm.

Here’s the legend: The Woolly Bear caterpillar has 13 distinct segments of either rusty brown or black. The wider the rusty brown sections (or the more brown segments there are), the milder the coming winter will be. The more black there is, the more severe the winter.


  • In the fall of 1948, Dr. C. H. Curran, curator of insects at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, took his wife 40 miles north of the city to Bear Mountain State Park to look at woolly bear caterpillars.
  • Dr. Curran collected as many caterpillars as he could in a day, determined the average number of reddish-brown segments, and forecast the coming winter weather through a reporter friend at The New York Herald Tribune.
  • Dr. Curran’s experiment, which he continued over the next eight years, attempted to prove scientifically a weather rule of thumb that was as old as the hills around Bear Mountain. The resulting publicity made the woolly worm the most recognizable caterpillar in North America.


The caterpillar Curran studied, the banded woolly bear, is the larval form of Pyrrharctia isabella, the Isabella tiger moth.

  • This medium-size moth, with yellowish-orange and cream-colored wings spotted with black, is common from northern Mexico throughout the United States and across the southern third of Canada.
  • As moths go, the Isabella isn’t much to look at compared with other species, but its immature larva, called the black-ended bear or the woolly bear (and, throughout the South, woolly worm) is one of the few caterpillars most people can identify.
  • Woolly bears do not actually feel much like wool—they are covered with short, stiff bristles of hair.
  • In field guides, they’re found among the “bristled” species, which include the all-yellow salt marsh caterpillar and several species in the tiger moth family. Not all are ‘woolly bears!’
  • Woolly bears, like other caterpillars, hatch during warm weather from eggs laid by a female moth.
  • Mature woolly bears search for overwintering sites under bark or inside cavities of rocks or logs. (That’s why you see so many of them crossing roads and sidewalks in the fall.)
  • When spring arrives, woolly bears spin fuzzy cocoons and transform inside them into full-grown moths.
  • Typically, the bands at the ends of the caterpillar are black, and the one in the middle is brown or orange, giving the woolly bear its distinctive striped appearance.


Between 1948 and 1956, Dr. Curran’s average brown-segment counts ranged from 5.3 to 5.6 out of the 13-segment total, meaning that the brown band took up more than a good third of the woolly bear’s body. The corresponding winters were milder than average, and Dr. Curran concluded that the folklore has some merit and might be true.

But Curran was under no scientific illusion: He knew that his data samples were small. Although the experiments legitimized folklore to some, they were simply an excuse for having fun. Curran, his wife, and their group of friends escaped the city to see the foliage each fall, calling themselves The Original Society of the Friends of the Woolly Bear.

Thirty years after the last meeting of Curran’s society, the woolly bear brown-segment counts and winter forecasts were resurrected by the nature museum at Bear Mountain State Park. The annual counts have continued, more or less tongue in cheek, since then.

For the past 10 years, Banner Elk, North Carolina, has held an annual “Woolly Worm Festival” each October, highlighted by a caterpillar race. Retired mayor Charles Von Canon inspects the champion woolly bear and announces his winter forecast.

If the rusty band is wide, then it will be a mild winter. The more black there is, the more severe the winter. 

Most scientists discount the folklore of woolly bear predictions as just that, folklore. Says Ferguson from his office in Washington, “I’ve never taken the notion very seriously. You’d have to look at an awful lot of caterpillars in one place over a great many years in order to say there’s something to it.”

Mike Peters, an entomologist at the University of Massachusetts, doesn’t disagree, but he says there could, in fact, be a link between winter severity and the brown band of a woolly bear caterpillar. “There’s evidence,” he says, “that the number of brown hairs has to do with the age of the caterpillar—in other words, how late it got going in the spring. The [band] does say something about a heavy winter or an early spring. The only thing is … it’s telling you about the previous year.”

Every year, the wooly worms do indeed look different—and it depends on their region. So, if you come across a local woolly worm, observe the colors of the bands and what they foretell about your winter weather.


The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Mar. 24: HOW INSECTS PREDICT WEATHER



January 29, 2019

Next time you see an insect, check out what it’s doing! It could let you know something about the upcoming weather. Check out our weather proverbs about insects and other creepy-crawlies.


Observe ants, bees, fireflies, and you’ll see they give us cues about upcoming weather, too! Here is folklore from our Almanac archives:

  1. If ants their walls do frequent build, rain will from the clouds be spilled.
  2. Ants are busy, gnats bite, crickets sing louder than usual, spiders come down from their webs, and flies gather in houses just before rain.
  3. When bees to distance wing their flight, days are warm and skies are bright; But when their flight ends near their come, stormy weather is sure to come.
  4. Fireflies in great numbers indicates fair weather.
  5. When hornets build their nests near the ground, expect a cold and early winter.
  6. When cicadas are heard, dry weather will follow, and frost will come in six weeks.


This actually isn’t folklore. Crickets’ chirps are proven to measure temperature. They chirp more frequently in warm weather. The equation for calculating the temperature from a cricket involves counting the chirps for fourteen to fifteen seconds. Then, an amount is added to the count to calculate a temperature in Fahrenheit degrees.


Of course, spiders are not insects (which have six legs). They are arthropods. Observe their motion and their webs closely to gauge weather.

  1. When spiders’ webs in air do fly, the spell will soon be very dry.
  2. Spiders in motion indicate rain.
  3. When spiderwebs are wet with dew that soon dries, expect a fine day.
  4. Spiderwebs floating at autumn sunset bring a night frost, this you may bet.


Certainly, many of you may have heard of the woolly bear’s claim forecast winter weather (also called woolly worm). These caterpillars have black and brown bands; according to folklore, more black than brown indicates a harsh, cold winter while more brown than black points to a mild winter.


Observe reptiles as weather predictors, too!

  • The louder the frogs, the more the rain.
  • Frogs singing in the evening indicates fair weather the next day.
  • Hang up a snakeskin and it will bring rain.

Cows, sheep, cats, and mammals have their cues, too.


The Old Farmer’s Almanac






Back in 1897, a scientist named Amos Dolbear published an article “The Cricket as a Thermometer” that noted the correlation between the ambient temperature and the rate at which crickets chirp.

The formula expressed in that article became known as Dolbear’s Law. It’s surprisingly simple:

To convert cricket chirps to degrees Fahrenheit 
Just count the number of chirps in 14 seconds, then add 40 to get the temperature.

The number you get will be an approximation of the outside temperature.

Example: 30 chirps + 40 = 70° F

To convert cricket chirps to degrees Celsius

Count the number of chirps in 25 seconds, divide by 3, then add 4 to get the temperature.

Example: 48 chirps /(divided by) 3 + 4 = 20° C

Use the method you prefer and then convert to degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit using our temperature converter.

To find out this week’s weather in your region, see our seven-day forecast. (See which one’s more accurate! 🙂


So, how do crickets make that chirping sound? Chirping is a cricket’s way of communicating. Male crickets use chirping to attract females, scare off other males, or warn of danger.

Contrary to popular belief, crickets do not use their legs to chirp! In fact, crickets produce the iconic sound by rubbing the edges of their wings together. The male cricket rubs a scraper (a sharp ridge on his wing) against a series of wrinkles, or “files”, on the other wing. The tone of the chirping depends upon the distance between the wrinkles.

There are several reasons why crickets chirp. They may be:

  • Calling to attract a female with a a loud and monotonous sound
  • Courting a nearby female with a quick, softer chirp
  • Behaving aggressively during the encounter of two males
  • Sounding a danger alert when sensing trouble

Crickets are part of the family Orthoptera (grasshoppers and katydids).


The Old Farmer’s Almanac

The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Mar. 24: PREDICTING WEATHER WITH ANIMALS



Observe animals and you’ll see that they, too, have their own ways of predicting weather. Here are some animal weather proverbs and prognostics.

Perhaps the most folklore is about cows. Certainly, their bodies are affected by changes in air pressure.  This is also true of sheep, cats, and other animals.

  • If a cow stands with its tail to the west, the weather is said to be fair.
  • If a cow grazes with its tail to the east, the weather is likely to turn sour.

This is some true here. Animals graze with their tail toward the wind so that if a predator sneaks up behind them, the wind will help catch the scent of the predator and prevent an attack. The cow’s prediction might also be wrong during a hurricane


  • Expect rain when dogs eat grass, cats purr and wash, sheep turn into the wind, oxen sniff the air, and swine are restless.
  • If the bull leads the cows to pasture, expect rain; if the cows precede the bull, the weather will be uncertain.
  • When cats sneeze, it is a sign of rain.
  • When cattle lie down in the pasture, it indicates early rain.
  • When horses and cattle stretch out their necks and sniff the air, it will rain.

Woolly bear caterpillars are famous for their winter predictions. Photo by sillyputtyenemies/Wikimedia.


  • Woolly bear caterpillars are said to be winter weather predictors: The more brown they have on their bodies, the milder winter will be.
  • If the mole digs its hole 2½ feet deep, expect severe weather; if two feet deep, not so severe; if one foot deep, a mild winter.
  • When pigs gather leaves and straw in fall, expect a cold winter.
  • When rabbits are fat in October and November, expect a long, cold winter.



  • If sheep ascend hills and scatter, expect clear weather.
  • Bats flying late in the evening indicates fair weather.
  • Wolves always howl more before a storm.


Birds and insects may be the best weather predictors of them all.

Did you know that you can also predict the temperature by measuring how often crickets chirp?


The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Holidays Around The World for Mar. 24: National Cherry Blossom Festival

National Cherry Blossom Festival

Between late March and early April

The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., is held whenever the cherry trees planted around the Potomac River Tidal Basin bloom—usually between March 20 and April 15. The 3,000 trees were a gift to the city of Washington from the city of Tokyo, Japan, in 1912, and today they are the focal point of a two-week festival celebrating the friendship between the two countries. Most of the original trees died because the water in the Basin flooded their roots. Their replacements were more carefully planted and now thrive. Dates for the festival are set a year in advance to avoid coinciding with Easter and Holy Week observances.

The festival has been in existence since 1948, although earlier celebrations included re-enacting the original planting and crowning a Cherry Blossom Festival Queen. Today the festivities include formal receptions for the 52 festival princesses (representing the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territory of Guam) and a Cherry Blossom parade through downtown Washington.

Official Website of the National Cherry Blossom Festival
1250 H St. N.W., Ste. 1000
Washington, D.C. 20005
202-661-7584; fax: 202-661-7599
National Mall & Memorial Parks
900 Ohio Dr. S.W.
Washington, DC 20024
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 262
AnnivHol-2000, p. 72
GdUSFest-1984, pp. 43, 203

This Day in History, March 24: Robert Koch Announces Discovery of Tuberculosis Bacterium (1882)

Robert Koch Announces Discovery of Tuberculosis Bacterium (1882)

Historical Perspectives Centennial: Koch’s Discovery of the Tubercle Bacillus

On March 24, 1882, Robert Koch announced to the Berlin Physiological Society that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis. Three weeks later, on April 10, he published an article entitled “The Etiology of Tuberculosis” (1). In 1884, in a second paper with the same title, he first expounded “Koch’s postulates,” which have since become basic to studies of all infectious diseases. He had observed the bacillus in association with all cases of the disease, had grown the organism outside the body of the host, and had reproduced the disease in a susceptible host inoculated with a pure culture of the isolated organism.

Koch continued his studies on tuberculosis, hoping to find a cure. In 1890, he announced the discovery of tuberculin, a substance derived from tubercle bacilli, which he thought was capable of arresting bacterial development in_vitro and in animals. This news gave rise to tremendous hope throughout the world, which was soon replaced by disillusionment when the product turned out to be an ineffective therapeutic agent. Tuberculin later proved to be a valuable diagnostic tool.

In 1905, when Koch was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine, he devoted his acceptance speech to promoting greater understanding of tuberculosis and its causative agent. Koch died in 1910, leaving the scientific community and the world in general with a valuable inheritance of knowledge and understanding resulting from his seminal work on anthrax, cholera, trypanosomiasis, and especially tuberculosis.

In the wake of Koch’s discoveries, subsequent progress in conquering tuberculosis has been relatively slow. In the laboratory, recognition of the avian bacillus by Nocard in 1885 and differentiation of bovine and human tubercle bacilli by Theobald Smith in 1898 laid the groundwork for identification of other (nontuberculous) mycobacterial species. Diagnosis of tuberculosis was aided by discovery of the acid-fast nature of the bacillus by Ehrlich in 1882, discovery of X rays by Roentgen in 1895, development of the tuberculin skin test by Von Pirquet and Mantoux in 1907-1908, and preparation of purified protein derivative (PPD) of tuberculin by Seibert in 1931.

In the 1930s, the epidemiologic work of Wade Hampton Frost led to a better understanding of the epidemiology of tuberculosis. In the 1940s, using Seibert’s PPD administered by the Mantoux method and chest X-ray examinations, the United States Public Health Service began a series of studies that elucidated further the epidemiology of tuberculosis and made apparent the distinction between tuberculous infection without disease (a positive skin test in the absence of signs and symptoms) and overt clinical tuberculosis.

Treatment has progressed from bed rest, special diets and fresh air, through pneumothorax and other lung-collapse procedures and surgical resection, to specific chemotherapy (streptomycin in 1947, para-aminosalicylic acid in 1949, isoniazid in 1952, and drugs such as rifampin in recent years). With combinations of modern drugs properly administered, tuberculosis is now virtually 100% curable.

Prevention of tuberculosis has been approached in 2 ways. In 1921, Calmette and Guerin developed an attenuated strain of Mycobacterium bovis, which many countries throughout the world have used, with variable results, as a vaccine. The other major approach to prevention has been the treatment of persons with subclinical tuberculous infection (tuberculous infection without disease) with isoniazid.

There have been recent improvements in tuberculosis-control methodology. Effective treatment regimens of 9 months’ duration are now available, and research continues in attempts to further shorten treatment. Fluorescence microscopy has made the examination of sputum smears faster, easier, and more accurate. Phage typing is a useful tool for studying the epidemiology of tuberculosis. Newer immunologic techniques offer promise of improved diagnostic tests, and rapid radiometric methods of identifying M. tuberculosis and testing for drug susceptibility are being developed.

In the century since Koch’s discovery, advances in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of tuberculosis–especially treatment–have produced a spectacular decline in tuberculosis mortality and a striking decline in tuberculosis morbidity–primarily in technically advanced countries (Figure 1). Progress has been less dramatic in developing countries. Tuberculosis stubbornly persists as a major worldwide health problem. It is estimated that as many as 10 million cases of tuberculosis may occur throughout the world each year–4-5 million of them highly infectious, and 2-3 million resulting in death. Eradication of tuberculosis, although possibly attainable in technical terms, remains an elusive goal. Reported by Tuberculosis Control Div, Center for Prevention Svcs, Mycobacteriology Br, Bacterial Diseases Div, Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC.


  1. Koch R. Die Atiologic der Tuberkulose. Berliner Klinische Wochenschrift 1882; 15:221-30.

Published on CDC

Inspiration for the Day for March 24: Judgment Versus Opinion



Judgment Versus Opinion


Judgment closes us down and is final, whereas opinion leaves us open-hearted and open to change.

Most of us understand that when we judge someone, or someone judges us, it is a negative emotional experience. As a result, we naturally want to avoid being judgmental, but this gets confusing when we feel we have to suppress thoughts that could actually be offering us guidance. For example, we may meet someone new and suppress a negative feeling about them, thinking that we don’t want to fall into the trap of being judgmental. Later, though, it may turn out that paying attention to that thought could have helped us take care of ourselves or someone else.

It is important to learn to distinguish inner guidance, and having an opinion, from judgment, otherwise we run the risk of not listening to our intuition and not allowing ourselves to form opinions. Inner guidance and opinions both help us to interact more intelligently in the world, so we don’t want to throw them out in an effort to avoid being judgmental. Our intuition usually makes itself known to us in a flash, and often has a physical component–a flutter in our stomachs, sweaty palms, or a chill. When we use this information to help us navigate a situation, we always benefit. Similarly, having an opinion about a person or an idea allows us to converse about it in a focused way with intention. Listening to our intuition and forming opinions are both positive outcomes of our ability to interpret the information that comes our way.

When we make a judgment, on the other hand, we attempt to have a final say on whether someone or something is inherently good or bad. Judgments close us down instead of opening us up; opinions have a lighter quality and are amenable to change. Once a judgment has been made, there is no more conversation or consideration, whereas opinions invite further debate. Intuition guides us from moment to moment, but, unlike judgment, never makes a final decree. In other words, it is only healthy to be open to the information we receive and to allow ourselves to process that information. As long as we stay open and fluid, we can trust that we have not fallen prey to the trap of judgment.


Get A Jump on Tomorrow, Your Horoscopes for Monday, March 25

Get A Jump on Tomorrow…

Your Horoscopes for Monday, March 25


Moon Alert

We have the “all clear” today to shop and do business. The Moon is in Sagittarius.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

This is a lovely day to start your week. The Sun in your sign gives you lots of energy and good fortune; while the placement of the Moon makes you want to seek adventure and do something different! Do something out of the ordinary. Travel or meet new people.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

This is a feel-good day and you have a warm feeling in your tummy. You will enjoy hanging out with younger people as well as creative and artistic types. Friends from the past might still be in the picture. It’s a strong day to focus on taxes, debt and shared property.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

This is a popular week and today is a very popular day! Sit down with friends or partners to discuss your dreams and hopes for the future so you can identify specific goals, perhaps with deadlines (always the litmus test). Relations with bosses and parents are congenial.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

The Sun is at the top of your chart casting you in a flattering spotlight, which is why bosses and parents admire you. Obviously, this means things at work will go smoothly, especially today. You will feel nurturing and supportive to a coworker. (Gosh.)

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

Your urge to travel and explore the world is still strong this week. Basically, you want adventure and a chance to encounter new ideas, new places and meet new people. (Yeah!) You will love to take a course or learn a new language. Today you feel romantic and playful!

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Have you noticed that your feelings are more intense about practically everything lately? They are, believe me. This intensity applies to sexual intimacy as well as disputes with others about shared property and your views about financial matters.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Your dealings with close friends and partners will be excellent today. Likewise, you will be skilled when relating to members of the general public. Work issues will flow smoothly because coworkers will be supportive; however, disputes about shared property, taxes and inheritances might occur.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

This is a great day for work, which means it’s a wonderful way to begin your week! You are strong, focused, motivated plus friendly and easy going, which means you will gel with coworkers and clients. Admittedly, both Mercury and Venus make you want to play instead of work. (Take a long lunch.)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

This is a strong day for you because the Moon is in your sign dancing nicely with the Sun. However, you don’t feel super productive. Instead, you would rather be on vacation or playing somewhere with your pals. Sports events, the arts and fun times are great choices.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

This is an excellent day to deal with parents or authority figures within the family or to discuss domestic matters because things are flowing smoothly. You might want to explore real-estate opportunities. It’s a playful week and you are particularly charming!

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

This is a fast-paced week filled with errands, appointments plus increased reading, writing and studying. You want to enlighten others about something. Today a conversation with a female friend or acquaintance will be productive.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

You’re focused on money and possessions this week. Some of you might see ways to boost your earnings or get a better paying job. You will be forceful about going after what you want because Mars energizes your speech and your communication style right now. Fortunately, Venus softens and makes you gracious. Awww.

If Your Birthday Is Today

Singer Aretha Franklin (1942-2018) shares your birthday today. You are resilient and can handle life’s obstacles. You also make friends easily. This year all your hard work will start to pay off. Now you can begin to simplify your life and channel your energy to build solid foundations. Work with purpose. Physical exercise will be important this year. Explore yoga, martial arts or jogging — any physical discipline you enjoy.