February 10, 2017
The only fact you need to know today is that Moms are AMAZING!
I love this!! Moms are pretty special people. I know because I’m one of them…just kidding, just kidding. Well, I mean, I am a mom but I wasn’t claiming the “special” part. 🙂
My son is coming home from college for the weekend and I probably won’t get to see him again until Spring Break. I’m so excited, I can hardly sit still to write this! I will get to do extra loads of laundry (because he saves it up for me), cook many extra pounds of meat, wash a ton of extra cups and protein shake (nasty) bottles, and many of my kitchen towels will be mixed in with the car rags and will be covered in oil and axle grease (the boys are restoring a 1970s 280Z).
But…I wouldn’t have it any other way. Enjoy the video.
I love you, Mom and I miss you everyday.
February 3, 2017
Yes, you read that correctly. I bet you didn’t know there was any interesting information about potato chips! Check this out-
- The United States potato chip industry employs over 60,000 people. Let’s hear it for crispy jobs!!
- There’s a tale that says the lowly potato chip was born out of frustration. A New York chef who worked for Cornelius Vanderbilt was so fed up with the mogul complaining about his potatoes being soggy, or bland, or mushy, he decided to teach him a lesson. He shaved the potato paper thin and then let it fry until it was golden colored and too stiff to eat with a fork and knife. To his surprise, Mr. Vanderbilt loved it and the first potato chip was born. Great story, but there are numerous folks who say that it’s a folk tale.
- That may be a great story but Americans do own the chip! We had them around before the UK had their crisps. In 1822, there was a found recipe, but it calls for the potatoes to be 1/4″ thick. Chips really do trace their roots back to Saratoga, New York, but it wasn’t until a man by the name of Herman Lay brought it to his Nashville company that it became a national phenomena.
- Frederic Baur, the inventor of Pringles, died in 2008. He was cremated and his ashes were buried in one of their cans.
- In the UK, numbers show that a ton of crisps are eaten every 3 minutes. A telephone box could be filled with eaten chips every 43 seconds and an OLympic sized pool could be filled every 14 hours………..that’s a lot of crisps!
- When the US entered WWII, potato chips were declared non-essential food and production was called to a halt! Manufacturers were not happy and set on a campaign to convince the government chips were necessary. They won (Phew) and chips sold better during and after the war than they ever had before.
- You’ve heard of the Hatfields and the McCoys’s feud, right? That was nothing compared to Pringles vs. the potato chip industry. Pringles had the gall to make their product from dried potatoes and not from a slice of fresh potato. After 10 years of fighting they lost the right to call it a chip so it is a crisp. Whoa.
- Your bag of chips doesn’t just have air in it. It’s pumped full of nitrogen to keep it fresher longer.
- The largest single bag of potato chips was 18 ft. tall and had more than 2515 lbs. of potatoes in it- all of which were cooked in a single batch to fulfill the Guiness Book of Records’ requirements! It took over 17 hours to fry.
- Flavored chips came to be in the 1950s. We have our usual barbeque, sour cream etc., but there are some unusual flavors for sale! Have you ever tried OLd Bay crab seasoning chips? How about fried pickle flavor? Got to Greece and you might get Oregano, Japan, there’s soy sauce flavor and seaweed. Other countries might sell you mayonnaise, paprika, or mint, but I know you’d really like the hoisin duck or Cajun squirrel ones the best!!!!
- Laura Scudder came up with the idea to put chips between 2 pieces of wax paper and ironing the ends shut. Voila! The first bag of chips.
- Some engineer spent 6 years studying the “crunchiness” of chips……….I got nothing…….
January 27, 2017
Happy Friday, everyone! Today is January 27, 2017. Have you ever wondered if this date was special? I thought it’d be fun to check out the 27th and see how it stacks up in history. Let’s see what happened:
- American born sumo wrestler, Akebono Taro, was the first foreigner to be promoted to the highest rank of Yokozuna. 1993
- Germany observes International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 1996
- Western Union discontinues its Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. 2006
- The U.S. Congress approves Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) clearing the way for forced relocation of the Eastern Indians on the “Trail of Tears”. Not our finest moment. 1825
- Lenigrad was liberated from Germany after 880 days. The loss? 600,000 killed. 1944
- The US and North Vietnam come to a “cease fire” thus ending the longest US war and military draft. 1973
- 3 astronauts aboard the Apollo 1 die while still on the launch pad. They were practicing for a two week mission in space. 1967
- 60 countries signed The Outer Space treaty which stated that no country would place nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction into orbit around earth. If any country were to do this, no country would be safe again. 1967
- Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire while he filmed a Pepsi commercial. 1984
- The Red Army liberates Auschwitz in southern Poland. It was the largest of all the concentration camps and is believed that 1,000,000 people were killed there. 1945
- The US government conducts the first nuclear bomb tests in Nevada. 1951
- Coca Cola starts distribution in the Soviet Union. 12 years after Pepsi, I might add. 1985
- The first sorority is created- Kappa Alpha Theta. 1870
- After accepting the 15th Amendment, Virginia is readmitted to the Union. 1870
- Thomas Edison patents the first electric incandescent lamp. 1880
January 13, 2017
We all know it’s coming. No matter if you voted, or who you voted for in the U.S. presidential elections, we know it will be a moment to remember. Good or bad.
I’ll bet you didn’t know some of these wild facts about past inaugurations!
(Please. This is not for political commentary on current politics.)
- George Washington’s inaugural speech came in as the shortest. The brief, and I mean brief, time at the podium consisted of 135 words. Boom! He’s done.
- John Quincy Adams was fashion forward. He was the first president sworn in wearing long trousers.
- Thomas Jefferson was the first to be inaugurated at the Capitol. He’s also been the only president to walk to and from his glory moment! (Jimmy Carter walked to it, but rode home.)
- Abraham Lincoln was the first to include African-Americans in his parade-1865.
- Women weren’t included in a parade until the 2nd inauguration of Woodrow Wilson- 1917.
- Harry Truman’s was the first to be televised-1949.
- Lyndon Johnson was the first and only president to be sworn in by a woman, US District Judge Sarah Hughes-1963.
- All presidents until 1937 were sworn in in March to avoid potential bad weather. An amendment to the Constitution changed the date to January 20th.
- Theodore Roosevelt has been the only president not sworn in with a Bible.
- In 1953 Dwight D. Eisenhower was lassoed by a cowboy who rode up to him on a horse! Bet that’ll never happen again!
- No one throws a party like Old Abe!!!! His inaugural party was so wild, they had to call the police in! Whoa- now that’s a party.
January 6, 2017
I apologize for not creating our Friday Fun Facts for several weeks. Life took over with the clean up and sale of my parents’ house, trips to New Mexico, Dallas, Nacogdoches, and Fredericksburg, Tx., Christmas, and far too much fun!
Let’s see what’s in store for us today about thumbs:
- 6,000,000 years ago hominids developed thumbs.
- Ancient Rome spectators decided the fate of gladiators by giving a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. Not a good position to be in!
- In The Middle Ages, merchants sealed business transactions with a thumbs-up.
- During World War II, American soldiers spread the gesture throughout Europe as a means of communication.
- In the Twenty-first century, thumbs turn horizontal for testing purposes.
- The man with the largest recorded hand is from China. His thumb measured 10.2 inches in length.
- “Under someone’s thumb” means to be in their control. Who knew the thumb was so powerful?!?
- Scientist think that one of the reasons we have moved to the top of the animal kingdom is because we have truly opposable thumbs.
- Thumbs only have 2 bones.
December 9, 2016
Jenn’s post on Pearl Harbor earlier this week got me to thinking about World War II. It was a terrible time with terrible atrocities. Did you know Jewish American GIs and other GIs were sent to a special camp where they were worked to death?
- 1945- More than 4000 soldiers were at Stalag IX. It was notorious for having the worst conditions out of all the Stalags.
- One day they were all ordered out on to the field. The commandant decreed all Jewish soldiers to step forward and identify themselves. Others whispered for them not to do this. He then stated they had until 6am to declare themselves. After that, all Jews found in camp would be shot as would anyone who tried to help.
- About 130 stepped forward. They were put in segregated quarters. 50 other non-commissioned officers were also taken. Any others that were deemed trouble makers were also taken. They left camp never to return.
- Berga was a special camp for the creation of underground tunnels leading to a munitions dump located deep in a mountain.
- They were placed in train cars like so many others going to concentration camps.
- After 5 days, they arrived at Berga, a quaint little town on the Elster River. There is almost no mention of these concentration camps in the history books.
- Stalag IX seemed like a hotel when they discovered life in Berga.
- Each day they walked nearly two miles each way to these shafts cut deep into the earth. Cruel overseers forced them to work until they literally dropped dead.
- The tunnels were made by explosions. They wouldn’t even let the air clear before they sent them back in. Sometimes they couldn’t see more than a few inches in front of their face.
- They huddled together to survive the cold at night. Their meager food rations were sometimes mixed with saw dust or ground glass.
- On April 4, 1945, the commandant received orders to evacuate the camp because the allies were closing in.
- He gathered the survivors and forced them on a death march. If they stumbled, they were shot.
- When they were rescued, most men only weighed 85 lbs or so.
- The American government has never publicly acknowledged they were mistreated. In fact, one survivor was told he should go to a psychiatrist. Officials at the VA told him he had made up the whole story.
- 2 of the men responsible for these atrocities were tried and found guilty of war crimes- even though there was no witnesses there. The case was reviewed later and the verdict was upheld. Even so, a few years later, it was reviewed again and decided there was insufficient evidence and they were released with time served. Many believe it was a trade made for intelligence that they may have had.
- Only 63 of the original 350 US GIs returned home after Berga. 23% were Jewish.