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.
November 4, 2016
She is a piece of art. She was a gift. She means so much more.
See if you knew these facts-
- She is hit by lightning over 600 times per year.
- Her torch was refurbished in 1984 with a new copper base and then overlaid in 24 carat gold leaf.
- The 7 spikes on her crown represent the 7 continents and 7 oceans of the world. Peace is a global desire that knows no boundaries.
- The statue’s full name is Liberty Enlightening The World.
- Lady Liberty has a size 879 shoe and a 35 foot waistline.
- The face was said to be modeled after the sculptor’s mother, Charlotte.
- Her feet are not easy to see but she is, in fact, standing among a broken shackle and chains. Her right foot is raised like she’s walking away from slavery and oppression.
- In 1984 she was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Two people have committed suicide by jumping of the statue. The first was in 1929 and the other in 1932. (I wonder if it had anything to do with the economic crash.) Many others have jumped and survived!
- Andy Warhol painted this great lady as part of his “Pop Art” series in the 1960s. The painting is said to be worth more than 35 million dollars today!!
- **I never knew this!** In 1916, the statue sustained damage when Germans saboteurs set off an explosion during World War I. The torch-bearing arm sustained the most damage with $100,000 in repairs! (That was a HUGE amount of money back in 1916) The stairs in the torch were closed for safety and has never been re-opened.
- During a storm, once winds reach 50 mph, the statue can sway up to 3 inches while the torch can dance around up to 5 inches.
- The most famous movie going shot of the statue was in Planet of the Apes. She’s broken and all we see is her head buried on the beach. Chilling moment.
- In 1944, the lights in her crown signaled dot-dot-dot-dash. That’s Morse code for V, Victory in Europe!
- For many years she also served as a lighthouse with lights that could be seen for 24 miles.
- She is 130 yrs. old this year.
- If the statue were to be built today, it would cost over 10 million dollars. (Yet, a painting of it costs over 35 million??)
- The statue was inspired by the pagan Roman goddess, Libertas.
October 21, 2016
I’m not sure why, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the presidency of the United States. Call me crazy, I just can’t get it off my mind. (Note the heavy sarcasm)
I don’t want to talk about modern politics, but it sent me searching about Lincoln last week and Kennedy this week. Check out what I discovered.
- John F. Kennedy was obsessed with his weight and traveled with a bathroom scale everywhere he went. Seriously?
- This is a shout-out to the author, Will Graham who is a Bond aficionado and faithful MuseTracks follower! President Kennedy was a Bond fanatic and To Russia With Love was his all-time favorite book! He even tried writing his own Bond like book about a coup d’etat headed by Lyndon Johnson!!
- He was the first president to dance with black women at the Inauguration Ball.
- His last year in office is when his son, Patrick, died.
- A month before his death, he created a “James Bond” movie about his own assassination! The grieving widow was played by Jackie and frazzled Secret Service agents were, indeed, played by his very reluctant Secret Service agents. Now that is creepy.
- He spent time in the company of his mistresses, but after Patrick’s death, he never had sex with any of them. He drew much closer to Jackie and was determined to “keep the White House, white”.
- On Nov. 11, 1963, he laid a wreath on The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington. He would be buried at that cemetery two weeks later.
- The open top limo that he rode in on that fateful day was flown in from Washington. .
- Lyndon B. Johnson became president 99 minutes after the shooting.
- Jackie removed her wedding ring and put it on his finger to be buried with him.
- One of his legs was shorter than the other which caused life-long back pain.
- Kennedy desperately wanted to learn to speak French. Jackie was fluent and he often turned to her and their daughter Caroline for help. It was…a struggle never mastered.
- President Kennedy bought 1200 Cuban cigars the day before he set a ban on them. Hmmmm…….
- Taken from ABC’s article on President Kennedy: “Kennedy had been the target of at least four assassination attempts before Dallas, one barely a month after he was elected president, when a retired postal worker, his car loaded with dynamite, followed the president-elect from Hyannis Port to Georgetown to Palm Beach. “Brother, they could have gotten me in Palm Beach. There is no way to keep anyone from killing me,” Kennedy told a Secret Service agent shortly after the suspect was apprehended, recounted Thurston Clarke in “JFK’s Last Hundred Days.” Two more assassination plots — one in Chicago, one in Tampa, Fla. — were uncovered in the weeks before Nov. 22, 1963.”
- President Kennedy gave his entire $100,000 salary to charity every year.