Test your education; Recreating smallpox; What's Next? How Much Caffeine Do You Need? American Nations; Where the STEM Jobs Are


Online Quiz Says It Can Guess Your Education Level

A humor website has a quiz that says it can guess your level of education by the number of right answers to a range of questions. Depending on your correct answers to questions such as 'In which Shakespeare play does Ophelia appear,' you then pick from a   choice of four plays. I did not score 100%, but I scored enough right answers to rise to the Ph.D level. If you wish to try your luck and knowledge, visit  http://offbeat.topix.com/quiz/17308/qidx1?tr=recirc/recirc-bottom-click///17308//,1499713672,9h2j1slr. The test is too long to be really interesting.

Canadian Researchers Recreate An Extinct Pox Virus

In the why did they do this category, Canadian scientists recreated an extinct smallpox-like virus. The work took about half a year and cost about $100,000. The article didn't specify whether the dollars were U.S. or Canadian. The very scary part is that the team used commercially available DNA purchased on the Internet. The stated goal is to learn more about the disease so that a cancer treatment may be developed. To learn more about this, click on  http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/07/how-canadian-researchers-built-poxvirus-100000-using-mail-order-dna.   Since eradicating smallpox took years and billions of dollars, let's hope that none of the new virus spores get out of the lab. Let's also hope that terrorists don't get a hold of this. Additional information may be accessed at

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/07/07/scientists-synthesize-smallpox-cousin-in-ominous-breakthrough/. For those who dismiss the warning, just remember that killer African bees escaped from a lab in South America and are now found in the southern U.S. as well as all the countries in between. Just so you know.

Cool Web Shopping Site

For those of you who just have to have the latest and greatest, a website called Grommet is just the site for you. At my most recent visit, the site featured a cool butter dish, a cup holder for the beach, a Notabag (backpack) and a corn-on-the-cob butterer.   To view these new, cool products, click on  https://www.thegrommet.com.

Some Coffees Have More Caffeine Than Others

In the is this research really necessary category, Huffpost recently released a study of caffeine amounts in major coffee brands. The Center for Science in the Public Interest found that caffeine amounts in milligrams ranged from 9.1mg in McDonald's coffee to an awe-inspiring 54.2mg in an 11 oz cup of Deathwish Coffee. To learn more about caffeine highs, surf over to  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thrillist/caffeine-in-coffee_b_3671665.html. I don't think that reading this study will keep you up at night, although the Deathwish Coffee might.

Collin Woodward Discovers Why America Is Divided

The Business Insider Australia recently posted a book review of Collin Woodward's new book 'American Nations: A History of the Eleven Regional Cultures in North America.' Woodward's thesis argues that North America, including Canada and Mexico, developed separate cultures depending upon the nationality of those who settled the area. For example, Woodward defines Yankeedom as all of the Northeast north of New York City as well as parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Shared values of this group include: education, intellectual achievement, communal empowerment and citizen participation in government as a shield against tyranny.

Another area defined by Woodward is The Midlands. This includes parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska. Values of this group include a welcoming middle-class society and moderate political opinion with restrained governmental regulation. Of course, this section was profiled before the Trump election. To find out more about this interesting work, visit  https://www.businessinsider.com.au/the-11-nations-of-the-united-states-2015-7.

Where The STEM Jobs Are

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 10 areas of the country with the highest percentage of STEM job range from 22.2% of jobs in the California-Lexington Park, CA area to a tie for 9th place between Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. and Washington – Arlington-Alexandria, DC-MD, VA. WV at 11.6%. The US as a whole includes a 6.3% STEM job percentage. To find out more about the location of STEM jobs, click on  https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/8-point-8-million-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-stem-jobs-in-may-2016.htm.   And so it goes.