From Loren Nelson, NelsonEcom
Internet Solutions | Visual Design
Web Sites, Podcasts, Multimedia, & Usability Engineering

November 9, 2007 – Vol. XI, No. 29


NetBits is the weekly newsletter keeping your informed of various chatter and other tidbits of potential relevance.


In This Issue:

Item One: How to Decorate a Thanksgiving Table
Item Two: How to Decorate the Entrance of Your House for Thanksgiving
Item Three: Nutrition Tip – Late Night Workouts Hit the Suburbs
Item Four: Word of the Week
Item Five: Video Blending & Video Meta Search
Do you know…

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1. How to Decorate a Thanksgiving Table

Bring the beauty of the fall season indoors for your Thanksgiving table decorations. Use autumn colors, fall foliage, and colorful fruits of the season to set a spectacular Thanksgiving dinner table.


Step One:
Make or purchase an appropriate autumn-themed or Thanksgiving centerpiece. Use a traditional cornucopia centerpiece or an autumn floral arrangement. Scatter fall leaves and nuts around your centerpiece.

Step Two:
Use autumn-colored candles set in wooden or rustic metal candleholders to decorate your table and to use as a centerpiece. Arrange fall foliage, wheat sprigs, clusters of berries, nuts, and mini pumpkins and other seasonal vegetables around the base.

Step Three:
Use a large, hollowed-out pumpkin instead of a vase to display a fall floral centerpiece. Scatter sprigs of wheat, clusters of berries, nuts and autumn leaves around the base of the pumpkin.

Step Four:
Set your table with a tablecloth, table runner, place mats and napkins done in autumn-themed prints and coordinating solids. Use prints sparingly to avoid giving your table a "busy" look and to keep attention focused on your centerpiece.

Step Five:
Use napkin rings that reflect the season as well. Hand-paint leaves onto plain wooden napkin rings or use purchased napkin rings that have a similar motif.

Step Six:
Use your good china or dishes done in autumn motifs and/or colors that coordinate with the colors used in other elements of your table’s decoration.

Step Seven:
Use clean autumn leaves as place cards. Rinse leaves and pat dry. Write each guest’s name on a leaf with a black or gold felt-tip pen. Place one leaf in the center of each plate.

2. How to Decorate the Entrance of Your House for Thanksgiving

Create a warm and thankful holiday mood by decorating your doorstep with nature’s bountiful harvest.


Step One:
Buy a plain wooden wreath and decorate it with artificial autumn leaves, nuts, pinecones and berries. Add a fall-colored velvet bow. Hang the wreath on the door.

Step Two:
Create garlands of autumn leaves and orange and gold Christmas lights and wrap them together around any poles or columns.

Step Three:
Place pumpkins, stalks of Indian corn and gourds along the edges of walkways and steps. If there is room, set them up on a hay bale.

Step Four:
Buy a cornucopia (horn of plenty) basket and arrange pumpkins, corn, gourds, apples and nuts inside so that some of them are spilling out onto the walkway.

Step Five:
Twine orange and gold lights in any trees or plants near the doorway.

3. Nutrition Tip – Late Night Workouts Hit the Suburbs

Gyms in the suburbs are starting to pull all-nighters just like big-city cousins New York Sports Club and 24-Hour Fitness. The Wisconsin Athletic Club in West Allis, a suburb of Milwaukee, is open around the clock. And two megagym chains plan to open 24-hour locations in the suburbs over the next year: X-Sport Fitness will open clubs outside of Chicago, and Lifetime fitness will hit towns near Atlanta, Austin, and Omaha. This is great for 2nd shifters and night-owls to get their workouts in on their own time schedule.

4. Word of the Week

octothorpe • \AHK-tuh-thorp\ • noun

: the symbol #

Example Sentence:
Barry noticed the pound sign on the telephone and remarked about how much the octothorpe resembled a tic-tac-toe grid.

Did you know?
Stories abound about who first called the # sign an "octothorpe" (which can also be spelled "octothorp"). Most of those tales link the name to various telephone workers in the 1960s, and all claim the "octo-" part refers to the eight points on the symbol, but the "thorpe" remains a mystery. One story links it to a telephone company employee who happened to burp while talking about the symbol with co-workers. Another relates it to the athlete Jim Thorpe, and a third claims it derives from an Old English word for "village." If the plethora of theories leaves your head spinning, you might want to take the advice of the wag who asked (poetically), "Can we simply just say, / Ere it spoils your day, / It’s the thorp between seven and nine?"

5. Video Blending & Video Meta Search

There’s nothing new about Google listing links to video content in its regular search results, including links to pages in Google-owned Google Video and YouTube. However, Universal Search is changing things. Instead of considering that content as part of its web pages index, Universal Search will run a video search query across an enhanced version of Google Video.

What’s enhanced? Google Video is morphing into a meta video search site, similar to how Blinkx operates. Eventually, Google Video will list content that’s hosted at Google Video, YouTube or anywhere on the web.

Today, Google Video itself will remain listing only Google Video and YouTube content. The enhanced version will only be accessible through Universal Search. In the near future, Google Video itself will shift over.

6. Do You Know…
On this day:

  • Napoleon Bonaparte Leads the Coup of 18 Brumaire (1799)
    During this coup d’état, General Bonaparte overthrew the weakened government of the Directory, replaced it with the Consulate, and secured his own election as First Consul. This marked a major turning point in the history of the French Revolution, replacing earlier experiments in democracy with a more stable but autocratic rule. The coup was instigated by Emmanuel Sieyès as an attempt to prevent a return to Jacobinism, but Bonaparte soon seized control.
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