Monday, December 28, 2015

Imagine A Better 2016

Where did 2015 go??
As I searched for end of the year recaps or videos to share with you, all I seemed to come up with were negative stories: this shooting happened, this bombing, this refugee story, that injustice. We had to offer our "thoughts and prayers" far too many times.
I wondered: Where are the good stories? Where are the stories about people helping people without being asked? What about positive "Stories of 2015"? Good things had to have happened...but where were they?

What were some good and positive things that happened to you this past year? Stuff like:
  • Making progress on a goal you've set
  • Making a new friend
  • Learning something cool
  • Going somewhere you never went before
  • Creating something
  • Doing something that scared you, and then you liked it
  • Enjoying time with friends and family
What if we stopped and thought about the possibilities of the new year and focused on that?

UPDATE: Finally, a list of good things that happened this year, via Senator Amy Klobuchar and Buzzfeed:  Read them and smile. I knew they were out there somewhere:

Most of us can't accomplish peace in the world. But we can...
  •  Remember to be grateful for our lives
  •  Learn about other cultures and appreciate that we are actually pretty similar. 
  • Care about what's going on around us. 
  • Notice when a friend is struggling and offer help. 
  • Accept help when we need it.

And, we can imagine a better world starting right now. Have a great 2016!!!
"Imagine" by John Lennon, sung by Eva Cassidy
 It's In Our Hands


Monday, December 21, 2015

How To Decorate A Tree: A Step By Step Guide

Order your tree from

Rest assured that any tree can be beautiful with enough lights.

Proudly display ornaments received  through the years, basking in their sentimental value.

Let the little ones decorate the tree.

 Perfection is overrated. Take tinsel, for example: Just throw a handful at the tree and call it good.

Decorate the tree with edible items such as cookies, candy canes, popcorn, or cranberries.

Don't ignore the tree trends of the year. 

Try something new for a tree topper.

Encourage your pets to enjoy the tree. Or not.

  Hang a few carefully placed larger ornaments on the bare spot of the tree. 


  Hang all the really heavy ornaments towards the back. You know, to protect them.

 Put up a festive tree at work.

But remember, it's not about the tree. It's about family and warm wishes.

Have a wonderful holiday season, from Triogenius!!!!

Monday, December 14, 2015

$33,822: The Math of the 12 Days of Christmas, The Gift of People, And Why All The Birds??

That dollar amount, my friends, is the cost of buying every thing on the 12 days of Christmas song.

The song was probably written in French and had no music when it was first published in 1780.
In 1909, music was added and it became the song we are familiar with today.
  • "4 "Calling Birds" was originally 'Colly' birds, meaning coal colored, or blackbirds.
  • 5 gold rings originally meant 5 ring-necked pheasants. This makes the first seven gifts to be birds.
  • Aside from the maids a-milking, the rest of the gifts are people who dance or play an instrument. You could give people as gifts?? That's not right.
  • If you gave the total with repetition, you would be giving  364 gifts.
Because: Day 1- receives 1 gift
Day 2- receives 3 additional gifts, making 4 total
Day 3- receives 6 additional gifts, making 10 total
Day 4- receives 10 additional gifts, making 20 total
Day 5- receives 15 additional gifts, making 35 total
Day 6- receives 21 additional gifts, making 56 total
Day 7- receives 28 additional gifts, making 84 total
Day 8- receives 36 additional gifts, making 120 total
Day 9- receives 45 additional gifts, making 165 total
Day 10- receives 55 additional gifts, making 220 total
Day 11- receives 66 additional gifts, making 286 total
Day 12- receives 78 additional gifts, making 364 total gifts received.

Here is what these things cost today, one day at a time...
1 Partridge                $25             in a pear tree, $190.00
2 Turtle doves          $290
3 French Hens          $182.00
4. Calling Birds     (Canaries) $600
5 Gold Rings          at least $500 *if using pheasants, then only $28
6 Geese         $360
7 Swans         $13,125

**Wait, that's 28 birds of various types, or 33 if you count the 5 golden ringed pheasants....Why???**

8 Maids (working for an hour at minimum wage) $58
9 Lady dancers  (ballerinas at $75 per hour each, for an hour) $675
10 Lords who leap $5509 (apparently not as valuable as ballerinas)
11 Pipers piping   $2635 (even bagpipers charge about this much)
12 Drummers  $2855   (although if you're talking rock star drummer, it would probably be more)

And how much, with repeating as in the song (3 French hens, two turtledoves, and a partridge in a pear tree....)? That would run about $115,000. Good math practice, what total do you get?

The cost of these things in 1913, the earliest we could figure using an inflation calculator, was about $1450.00. The price of a 9 room house at that time was under $3,000.
Some people over-think. They feel that the song's gifts are hidden meanings to the teachings of the faith, and the "true love" mentioned in the song doesn't refer to an earthly suitor, it refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person. They hold that a partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The other symbols could mean the following: 
2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles

Monday, December 7, 2015

Microblog: Careers With Minnesota Companies: General Mills

General Mills was founded in 1866 as Washburn Flour Mills. In 1928 the name was changed to General Mills. Corporate headquarters are in Minneapolis, but there are offices worldwide. Today, General Mills is owner of the following brands:

  • Bisquick
  • Betty Crocker products
  • Cereals: Cheerios, Wheaties, Kix, Trix, Chex
  • Pillsbury
  • Gold Medal Flour
  • Green Giant
  • Yoplait Yogurt
  • Gardettos Snacks
  • Nature Valley Granola Bars
  • Wanchai Ferry
  • Hamburger Helper
  • Haagen Daz ice cream
  • Totino's Pizza
  • Progresso Soup
  • Old El Paso

and also
  • Play Dough
  • Easy-Bake Oven
  • Parker Bros. board games
  • Red Lobster restaurants
  • Burger King restaurants

Learn more about the history of the company here:

You may find a career at General Mills in the following areas:
  • Engineering
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Research
  • Quality Control
  • Marketing
  • Sales

Here is a job description and requirements to be a Snack Scientist (Yes, that's a real job title)