Sep 24, 2020

National Monte Cristo Day, September 17

National Monte Cristo Day recognizes the indulgent and delicious sandwich. A Monte Cristo is a fried ham, turkey, and Swiss cheese sandwich. The French sandwich called the croque-monsieur inspired the Monte Cristo. However, the sandwich goes by other names, too.

Bennigan’s founded National Monte Cristo Day in June of 2015 to celebrate a delicious sandwich loved across the country. The restaurant is renowned across the globe for its World Famous Monte Cristo.

While the Monte Cristo is typically a savory sandwich, sometimes powdered sugar and jam preserves sweeten it. To achieve the crispy outer coating, chefs dip the prepared sandwich in an egg batter. Then they either pan-fry or deep-fry the sandwich to perfection.

Some like to serve a grilled version. Another version may be served open-faced and heated under a grill or broiler. Monte Cristo is one of my all time favorite sandwiches.

Movie Theater Popcorn

The secret ingredient is in almost every bucket of movie theater popcorn. Manufactured by Gold Medal, Flavacol is the “secret sauce” most movie theaters use in order to produce that popcorn flavor only found in cinemas, stadiums, etc.

Flavacol is a butter-flavored, popcorn seasoning salt made of extra fine salt flakes. The product is made of four ingredients: salt, artificial butter flavor, and Yellow #5 and Yellow #6. The latter are what give movie theater-style popcorn that signature yellow color.

As MTV explains, “Flavacol is used by theaters when cooking the popcorn, not as a topping; it is basically salt with other stuff to give the popcorn that movie theater flavor and color.” It gets added during popping to give popcorn the yellow buttery color. It is essentially just a super-fine salt with some coloring agents. Flavacol contains a proprietary diacetyl-free butter flavoring.

I get mine on Amazon and it is good, but very salty. You can also use in on top of popped popcorn. Start easy, little goes a long way.


Dr. Pepper

If you want a drink to go with popcorn, Dr. Pepper is great. It is actually a blend of 23 flavors. All the flavors mixed together supposedly make up the smell of how a pharmacy smelled.

The shelf life of Dr. Pepper depends on the container the soda is in. In glass or cans it is about nine months, and in plastic bottles is about three months. A lot of this depends on how long you had the Dr Pepper, and if it has been opened or not.

The 23 flavors are cola, cherry, licorice, amaretto (almond, vanilla, blackberry, apricot, blackberry, caramel, pepper, anise, sarsaparilla, ginger, molasses, lemon, plum, orange, nutmeg, cardamom, all spice, coriander juniper, birch and prickly ash.

These flavors combined made up the smell of the pharmacy where Dr Pepper was created. Charles Alderton created Dr Pepper in 1885. He worked at a drugstore in Waco, Texas and wanted to recreate the smell from his pharmacy, because he liked how it smelled so much. He successfully recreated the smell of his pharmacy which ended up becoming the smell of Dr Pepper. People say there are still places you can buy the original Dr Pepper made with real cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup, but supposedly it does not taste as good as people have reported. They say it tastes strange and does not taste like the Dr Pepper we all love today.

Not only can Dr. Pepper be served cold but it can also be be served hot. Serving Dr. Pepper warm was created as a winter time drink. To make this drink you will need: Dr. Pepper, a lemon, a mug and a saucepan. First you pour the soda into the saucepan and heat it to 180 degrees. Once the soda is heated up you pour it into a mug that has a slice of them lemon in it to give it flavor.


Origin Teddy Bear

November 16, 1902, after President Teddy Roosevelt refuses to kill a tied-up bear during a hunting trip, Washington Post political cartoonist Clifford Berryman satirized the event by drawing a cute fuzzy teddy bear. Morris Michtom and his wife soon decided to create a stuffed bear as a children's toy, calling it "Teddy's Bear."

Tootsie Roll Facts

Tootsie Rolls were included in soldiers field rations during World War II to give American troops “quick energy.” They could also hold up under changing weather conditions.

In 1950, U.S. and United Nations troops in Korea put out a call for Tootsie Rolls, a code name for mortar shells. When they opened the airdropped box, they discovered they were actually sent Tootsie Roll candies. Luckily, they turned out to be pretty useful. Because of its malleable consistency, they used it to patch up holes in vehicles and equipment, and it was one of few foods soldiers could easily eat in cold temperatures.


Origin of Pop

Soda was patented in the United States in 1809. It created bubbles by mixing water, bicarbonate of soda and an acid to make what was called "soda water."

The word "pop" was added in the mid-nineteenth century and supposedly reflects the popping sound that is made when a carbonated beverage is opened.

The original sparkling waters were naturally bubbly spring waters.  The most notable of these may be Seltzer water from Germany. Generic carbonated water, particularly the kind made at home with what is now referred to as a soda siphon, became commonly known as Seltzer even though it had no connection to the German origins.

Inventors from several countries tried to imitate natural sparkling waters by adding bubbles to still water. Various techniques were invented using different chemical and mechanical methods.

Since then, the simpler technique of combining water with pressurized carbon dioxide gas has come to predominate the commercial market. Despite the fact that sodium bicarbonate is no longer used in their manufacture, the term "soda" has remained attached to the name for drinks made from carbonated water.


NBC Chime Origin

The three notes that identify NBC are G, E, C, which represent the original owner, General Electric Corporation.

More Myths Debunked

When a person is livid, they are ashen (pale) not red.

Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize, not for his theory of relativity, but for his less well known work on the photoelectric effect of light.

Most black bears are black, but they also come in white, brown, cinnamon, and blue, depending on where in the world they are found.

Julius Caesar didn’t really say, “You too, Brutus?” when he was assassinated. This is a quote from Shakespeare, written 1,600 years after Caesar’s death. According to Roman historians, the real quote is, “Kai su, teknon?” (“You too, child?”). By “child,” he was referring to Brutus. So paraphrased, his last words were, “You too, Brutus?”

US ship captains may not perform weddings on board unless they are a priest, rabbi, minister, etc.

Black boxes in planes are not black, they are orange. This is to help investigators locate it by sight, if necessary after a crash. The name was chosen entirely for humor reasons.

The glow surrounding the head of a saint in religious imagery is more technically known as a nimbus or gloriole.


Gigantic Barnacle Facts

 There are more than 1,000 known species of barnacles spread out in virtually all marine habitats. They are actually crustaceans, related to lobsters, crabs, and shrimp. They typically live for between 5 and 10 years, but some of the larger species are known to be much older.

Barnacle cement, the substance they use to glue themselves in place, is one of the strongest known natural adhesives. It is stronger even than epoxy cement and does not readily dissolve.

Barnacles have evolved some of the longest penises, relative to body size, of any creature. Barnacle penises can stretch to up to eight times the length of their bodies.

Most barnacles are hermaphrodites that may act as either a male or a female. They can't self-fertilize, so they need to find a partner. They are aided by chemosensory bristles that allow barnacles acting as males to detect the chemical signals given out by barnacles acting as females. Once the male barnacle "sniffs out" a receptive partner, it uses its long, stretchy penis to reach out and mate with her.

Alcohol and Prostate

 A study shows men who drink four or more glasses of red wine per week have a nearly 50% lower risk of prostate cancer than non-drinkers. In addition, researchers found that red wine's protective effects appear to be even stronger against the most dangerous and aggressive forms of prostate cancer.

Drinking alcohol, even more than six drinks a week does not make the symptoms of an enlarged prostate any worse. In fact, men who drink more than is otherwise good for them have fewer prostate symptoms and better sexual function than teetotalers. A low-carb/high-fat diet slows the growth of prostate tumor cells. As with all studies, one isolated cause does not equal a silver bullet.

Generations Explained

The only recognized generation (from the census bureau) is the baby boomers. All others are made up by the media and roughly overlap. Attached is a chart, including the next generation To Be Determined.

Greatest Generation - These are the people who fought and died in World War II for our freedom, which we appreciate. Tom Brokaw made the name up.

Baby Boomers - This is the agreed-upon generation that falls within DiPrete’s punctuated time frame.

Generation X - George Masnick, of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, puts this generation in the time frame of 1965 to 1984.

Generation Y - Masnick addresses this group too, putting it “anywhere from the mid-1970s when the oldest were born to the mid-2000s when the youngest were.” Mostly Generation Y is a made-up generation.

Millennials - In October 2004, the researchers Neil Howe and William Strauss called Millennials “the next great generation.” They define the group as “those born in 1982 and approximately the 20 years thereafter.” In 2012, they affixed the end point as 2004.

TBD - Children in the past 10+ years lack a designation. They are not Millennials.


Roosters on Weather Vanes

Originally, people tied strings or cloth to the tops of buildings so that they could see which way the wind was blowing. Later, banners became a popular ornament, and that is where we get the “vane” in weathervane; an Old English word that meant “banner” or “flag.” They all served the same purpose, which was to turn and point in the direction of the wind.

The components of a weathervane are the vane, the mast, and the directionals, which display the four points of the compass — North, South, East, and West. The vane usually resembles an arrow shape (with the rooster on top), which rotates freely and points in the direction the wind is coming from while the directionals remain stationary.  So if the rooster and arrow are pointing north, that means the winds are coming from the north, and is referred to as “a North wind.”

In the biblical passages describing these events, it was said that Peter would deny Jesus three times “before the rooster crowed.” Because of this, the rooster became known to Christians as the symbol of St. Peter. Sometime between 590 and 604 A.D., Pope Gregory I, took this a step farther, declaring that the rooster, emblem of St. Peter, was the most suitable symbol for Christianity. It is thought that this declaration led to the first roosters appearing on top of weathervanes.

In the 9th century, Pope Nicholas made the rooster official. His decree was that all churches must display the rooster on their steeples or domes as a symbol of Peter’s betrayal of Jesus. In accordance with the decree, churches started using weathervanes with the rooster.

As centuries went by, the rule about placing roosters atop churches went by the wayside, but roosters stayed on weathervanes. European settlers brought weathervanes wherever they traveled, including to the New World. Now you will find weathervanes — mostly with roosters, but sometimes with other symbols — topping buildings throughout the United States, Europe and elsewhere.

Fig Newton Origin

 Until the late 19th century, many physicians believed that most illnesses were related to digestion problems, and recommended a daily intake of biscuits and fruit. Fig rolls were the ideal solution to this advice. They were a locally produced and handmade product until a Philadelphia baker and fig lover, Charles Roser, invented and patented a machine in 1891 which inserted fig paste into a thick pastry dough. F.A. Kennedy Steam Bakery in Cambridge, MA, is where the Fig Newton, named after the nearby town of Newton was first conceived and produced in 1891.

The Kennedy Biscuit Company had become associated with the New York Biscuit Company, and the two merged to form Nabisco, after which, the fig rolls were trademarked as "Fig Newtons". Since 2012, the "Fig" has been dropped from the product name. They are now just named "Newtons."

Eating Before Exercise

 A new study has finally solved the dilemma of whether to eat before or after you exercise. Researchers at the Universities of Bath, Birmingham, Newcastle, and Stirling analyzed the energy expenditure of twelve healthy physically active men between the ages of 20 and 26. Each of the men completed three different trials: eating a breakfast of oats and milk and then resting (no exercise), eating the same breakfast two hours before cycling for 60 minutes, and skipping breakfast completely before doing the same 60 minutes of exercise.

The study revealed that when the men skipped breakfast, they had a greater calorie deficit throughout the day of about 150 calories on average, implying that fasting before exercise is the best for weight loss.

The study’s authors concluded, “These results suggest that for healthy young men a short-term energy deficit may be more easily attained if breakfast is omitted before exercise.”  When you work out on an empty stomach, your body does not have readily accessible energy from food so it draws from other sources, like stored body fat, which makes your exercise more effective at burning fat and helping you lose weight.

Additionally, exercising in a fasted state keeps your insulin levels low, allowing your body to produce more growth hormone which also burns fat. “When insulin is elevated, as is the case after you eat, your body will be in a state of wanting to store fat, not burn it,” Phoenyx Austin, MD, a certified Sports Medicine Specialist, explained to MindBodyGreen. “It doesn’t matter if you exercise like a mad man after a meal, you won’t be able to burn body fat until insulin levels drop, which can typically take two-to-three hours, if not longer.

Veg Fact

According to a poll of 11,000 Americans, 84 percent of vegetarians and vegans return to eating meat.

Sep 16, 2020

Walmart Free Drive-in Theaters

Walmart is transforming some of its store parking lots into a free drive-in movie experience from now through October as a way to let customers still have a movie-going experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign will span across 160 supercenter store parking lots in states like Texas, Utah, Florida, Nevada, and many Midwestern and Southern states. The pop up events are completely free, but you must claim tickets in advance at since there are no tickets available upon entry. Gates open at 6:00 pm and the film begins at 7:30 pm. No late entry is allowed.

Walmart will show classic films like Wonder Woman (2017), Spy Kids (2001), Space Jam (1996), Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018), Ghostbusters (1984), The Wizard of Oz (1939), Black Panther (2018), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and Friday Night Lights (2004). Bring your own popcorn.

Why Barns Are Red

 According to The Farmers’ Almanac and LiveScience, there is a very practical reason why farmers have traditionally painted their barns red, simple economics.

Most of America’s early farmers did not have money they could spend on paint to cover their barns. In fact, many of them could not even afford to paint their houses. Still, they needed to protect their barns from the elements so they experimented with various concoctions until they found one that worked.

Once it was developed and proven to work, word quickly spread that a proper mixture of skimmed milk, lime,
and ferrous oxide (rust) to kill fungi and as an extra sealant, and linseed oil would protect barn wood from rotting due to moisture. Luckily, those ingredients were in abundant supply on most farms of the day so they were available even to the poorest farmers. Incidentally, many houses in Sweden are red for the same reason.