Showing posts from November, 2014

Artificial sweeteners will kill you...pre 1878.

     You see an awful lot about the dangers of sweet things in the media today. Whether you are chugging down a cola laden with high calorie high fructose corn syrup or its diet version loaded with an artificial sweetener like will find all sorts of information telling you how horrible it is for you. One will give you diabetes and obesity related issues, the other has claims to cause all sorts of ailments. But...feel fortunate that we live in a society where sweeteners are so plentiful and safe in comparison to what they once were.     You see in the old days sweeteners were not plentiful or cheap . Sugar and honey were the natural options of the day in ye olden times. And well neither was produced in significant quantity to make them affordable to the unwashed masses. But there was indeed a sugar substitute out there that was easy to get/make and did make terrible tasting things more pleasant on the palate. And as much as you hate aspartame, I am sure you would prefe

The Prophet of the Frozen Pizza- Ralph Kramden

     In 1955 America was introduced to the show The Honeymooners on CBS starring Jackie Gleason as the grouchy bus driver Ralph Kramden. Ralph was never happy with his limited success as a driver for the fictional Gotham Bus Company, and was always looking for a way to lift him and his wife Alice out of mediocrity. He searched for a get rich scheme to skyrocket him to wealth. One of the episodes he comes up with the "crazy" idea that you could take an uncooked pizza, freeze it, and then sell it to people who could bake it at home. At the time this seemed like a far out hair brained scheme and earned many laughs from the in studio audience as well as viewers across the country.    Of course now America eats the living hell out of frozen pizzas. This is really a case of life imitating art. When the episode first aired in the mid 1950s, America was going through a revolution of sorts. Name brand packaged foods had been around since the roaring 20's, and in the economic eng

Let's Never Fight Again!

     Sometimes we say things and make promises we know that we cannot possibly keep. Usually it is a New Years resolution to cut carbs, write a book, or be nicer. Sometimes it is after a weekend bender when we promise we will never drink again. And sometimes it is while making up with a significant other that we promise to never fight again. Well...governments are just as dumb and naive as the people they are composed of and represent. And perhaps nothing better exemplifies this fact than the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact.       The First World War was bad...really bad. The world had never seen warfare on such a wide and destructive scale. It was truly the first fully industrialized total war where the flower of a generation was taken on both sides. Indeed the Germans often refer to the war as "Der Kindermord" which literally translates to the murder of the children or more figuratively as the slaughter of the innocents. Such a horrific conflict is perhaps why they called it not