Thursday, December 15, 2011

Back to the History Fact Posts!

Don't expect these too often - I would hate to get my Mom's hopes up too high! - But my afternoon ASL class was cancelled, and I found myself sitting in my apartment bored and missing blogging. So here is what I have to offer today!

(For those who just want to read cool facts, you can skip this part!)
First of all, for those who care about what I am up to, a quick recap on what's been up! I have transferred to the University of Minnesota - Duluth, and I absolutely love it. I miss all of my friends back at Winona, (and all of their heckling to update this blog!!) but hopefully I will get to visit them soon.
I have been busy getting into my major (Teaching Social Studies) - gearing up for taking the MTLEs sometime this spring or summer, getting through volunteer hours working at a charter school in downtown Duluth as a tutor and a mentor (yeesh, they even have me tutoring geometry and algabra! Winona friends - I am sure you NEVER thought you would see the day, eh?!) But I love it, it is a great little school and it has only made me want to work in a high school even more.
This semester has been a little boring on the academic side - I've been more focused on taking the random courses I need to graduate or get into the classes I want, so not many classes that have me really excited as of right now. I would recommend for anyone looking for a social science class, look into international relations. I ended up really enjoying the subject - very difficult, but very interesting to see how diplomacy and foreign relations work and the theories behind it. :)

Sooo, that is what is up with me. Now let's move on, shall we?

1) PMS effects around 15% of women in the USA, and many types of treatments have been made available to help combat the symptoms, but one of the oldest "cures" for PMS was used by Queen Victoria of England - marijuana! It is recorded that Queen Victoria used all sorts of "medicines" to help her symptoms, including Opium, Coca (raw cocaine), wine and chloroform (Yikes!!) When she was introduced to marijuana around 1850, the Queen liked it so much, she used continued to use it for PMS, morning sickness, and it is rumored even for giving birth - with no harm to the fetuses.

2) Peter the Great of Russia was a very jealous man, and when he found out his wife had been cheating on him, ordered to have her lover's head cut off and put into a jar of preserving alcohol. He then ordered for the jar to be put at his wife's bedside table.

3) Although most have assumed this to be false, it turns out that a South African monkey did, in fact, fight in World War I alongside the 3rd Transvaal Regiment of the 1st South African Infantry Brigade. In August of 1915, Albert Marr of Pretoria, South Africa, signed up to join the war and requested to bring along his beloved pet baboon, Jackie; he ended up getting permission.
Private Marr and Jackie the baboon apparently made quite the dynamic duo, and the baboon quickly stole the hearts of the entire regiment. Jackie's acute hearing, keen eyesight, and overall good behavior earned him both a custom uniform and cap, as well as a solid place within the regiment. Jackie first saw action during the Senussi Campaign of 1916 in Egypt, where Albert was unfortunately wounded. Jackie, like the good baboon he was, did his best to nurse Albert back to help until medical aid came.
Jackie continued to be an integral part of the regiment as he participated in exercises and marches with his fellow comrades, fought alongside his brigade in the front lines, and even assisted Private Marr on guard duty. By the time the war came to a close, Jackie had lost a leg in battle, but had gained an international reputation as both a trusty member of the 3rd SAI and a loyal companion to his friend and master, Private Albert Marr.
On July 31, 1920, Jackie received the Pretoria Citizen's Service Medal for his valiant efforts during World War I.

4) You know those pedestrian traffic buttons you push so you can cross the street? Many of them are placebo and do not work, they are just there to calm frustrated and impatient pedestrians. Over 2,000 of the 3,250 "walk buttons" in New York City are this way.

5) My new favorite poem that I have found. (Read it, and then read it in reverse)
"Lost Generation"
I’m a part of a lost generation
and I refuse to believe that
I can change the world
I realize this may be a shock but
“Happiness comes from within.”
is a lie, and
“Money will make me happy.”
So in thirty years, I’ll tell my children
They are not the most important thing in my life
My employer will know that
I have my priority straight because
Is more important than
I tell you this
Once upon a time
Families stay together
But this will not be true in my era
This is a quick fix society
Experts tell me
Thirty years from now I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my divorce
I do not concede that
I will live in a country of my own making
In the future
Environmental destruction will be the norm
No longer can it be said that
My peers and I care about this Earth
It will be evident that
My generation is apathetic and lethargic
It is foolish to presume that
There is hope
And all of this will come true unless we reverse it.

I'll be back eventually... ;)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sorry Guys - another Education Class Post!

For those of you wondering what on earth this is, it is a very cool program called/web address:! It is great if you need to make maps like this.
This map is focusing on the theory of multiple intelligences, and out of those different types of intelligences, I have listed three types of technology or sites that could benefit students that learn the best through that way.
Very cool idea of multiple intelligences, I recommend looking it up if you are interested!

Monday, November 28, 2011

For My Computers In Education Class - Sorry!

For anyone who is wondering, I am currently in a Computers in Education class, and that is why I am updating my blog, as part of an assignment. It is all about the 1st Amendment, and you are more than welcome to view and comment and click on the various links to powerpoints and quizzes!

The PowerPoint (On GoogleDocs)

Make sure you have watched the powerpoint on the 1st amendment before reading this - this is part 2!
For the next part of our lesson, we will be looking at why the Founding Fathers decided to put in the five parts of the 1st amendment. These will be important on the TeacherWeb quiz at the end of this lesson, so make sure to take notes!
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
1) Freedom of Religion
           This was very important to the Founding Fathers because some of the first settlers who came the new world were coming to escape religious persecution. Europe had been in a constant state of wars and political strife because of religious intolerance, so to protect the new nation from that, this amendment was included.
2) Freedom of Speech
           The Founding Fathers wanted the ability to have freedom of ideas, something that Europe had censored for a very long time. Once the printing press was invented, many authorities in Europe, especially the Catholic Church, tried to censor out some ideas, including Pope Alexander VI's Index Expurgatorius, or List of Prohibited Books. The list included many books written by philosophers who helped inspire the patriots during the American Revolution, including John Locke. Many people also link freedom of speech with democracy, saying without freedom of speech that democracy will be corrupted or fail to exist.
3) Freedom of Press
           This protects the American's right to knowledge, meaning there can be less propaganda by the government because anyone who wants to publish information can. This was another way to give the government less power over the country as a whole. Going back to before the Revolutionary War, the English government had to license anything that was published. In particular, it was against the law to print anything that sounded like seditious libel - anything that criticized the government or its officials. The fear was that this could lead to public rebellions.
          An interesting fact: Most states requested freedom of press before freedom of speech, and many states have a freedom of the press clause in their state constitutions as well because of how important it was to the revolutionaries.
4) Freedom of Assembly
           This gives the American people the right to peacefully protest/demonstrate to show their views. It also means that people who want to join and associate with certain groups can without interference. It is important to remember that this is the only clause that is specifically pointed out that it must be peaceful - if there was a group about to start a riot or overthrow the government, this clause would not apply to them. This clause stems back to the pre-colonial days when the English monarchy would often restrict the right of English citizens assembling in public in fear of them overthrowing the government in response to new taxes. According to the website Revolutionary War and Beyond, "[. . .] the advocates of American liberty began to see that the right to assemble was of key importance to those who wanted to correct wrongs done by their government. If they could not assemble, they could not achieve their goals."
5) Freedom of Petition
           This guarantees that Americans have the right to petition the government to redress their grievances without fear of punishment. This was very important to the Founding Fathers because of their failed attempts to King George III and the English Parliament to redress their grievances. In the Declaration of Independence, Congress included a list of grievances against the British government. The very last grievance mentioned was:
"In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."

For the next part of this lesson, please take a very quick survey at SurveryMonkey.
Click here for the link! 

Please leave a comment here to bring up anything you find important - maybe a link to a picture or an article that relates to this topic (please take your time in responding to explain the connection!) or if you have an opinion about one of our guaranteed freedoms, you are welcome to share!
For the FINAL part of this lesson, please follow the assignment on my "whiteboard" and then take the quiz on my TeacherWeb site. For those of you who need to do this, please search for my page as always.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Ahh! I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Family and friends have heckled me for almost a month now to update my blog, and I have just been dragging my feet! I now understand how my sister Megan feels when she disappears for a little while!
Well, everyone has been bugging me, so let’s get down to it!

1) We all know disease has been a key point in various wars, but it was especially prevalent in the American revolutionary war. Small pox was over-taking the American force (which was already pretty small compared to those Red Coats!) In 1777, George Washington understood that the small pox virus was worth more fear than “the Sword of the Enemy.” On any given day, about a fourth of all American troops were deemed unfit for duty.
The reason we got past this? Inoculation. George Washington made the drastic move of inoculating all of the troops in the middle of a war – AND kept it a secret from the British. This is considered as one of the main reasons America won the revolution.
Stop complaining about your shots.
2) Ulysses S. Grant was a great military general – there is no doubt in that. He won over half of the Union victories in the Civil War, and it is told that during the Mexican-American war that he rode down the street filled with snipers “just for the hell of it.”
What most people don’t know is that Grant was afraid of a lot of stuff! While being at war with bullets flying around didn’t phase him, many things did: blood, raw steak, being naked with other men (think military showers), and at his own daughter’s wedding it is said that Grant was so overcome with wedding day jitters that he locked himself in a room while crying hysterically. Don’t you wish you learned this is history class?
This is a walk in the park compared to a
wedding with steak served at the reception.
3) One more random president fact. Gerald Ford, Nixon’s VP that was promoted after Nixon’s scandal, once had a job before politics: as a male fashion model. He worked with John Robert Powers part time, and after ten years of working with them, married a John Robert Powers model named Elizabeth Bloomer Warren, whom you may now know as Betty Ford.
Gerald Ford
Oh, and he was kind of a big deal. He was even of the cover of Cosmopolitan.
I promise you - this is not a fake cover.
4) Since St. Patrick’s Day was just a few days ago, I thought it would be interesting to fill in some of your knowledge. First off, the color of St. Patrick was actually blue, but in the 19th Century people started to associate it with green to encourage crop growth. Green also represents faeries and immortals.

5) The myth goes that St. Patrick expelled Ireland of snakes – but what the snakes symbolize are the pagans he converted to Christianity. You see, St. Patrick was sold into slavery as a young child, escaped later on and joined a monastery.  After 12 years he came to Ireland to convert the pagans. He died in 461 AD, and is buried in Downpatrick, Ireland.

Thanks for being so patient guys! I’ll be back soon (for real this time!)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Nine - OMG a new post already?!

Hey guys and gals. I was feeling bored today and found a bunch of funny facts and stories, so I figured, why not update today? Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day!

1) The face of Uncle Sam, the fictional personification of the United States, was modeled after a door-to-door salesman from Canada.
Handsome devil, he is.

2) Professional sumo wrestlers pay income tax based on body weight.

Hey kid, just remember he is paying a lot more than you are.
3) Boris Karloff, Frankenstein’s monster from the iconic 1931 movie Frankensteinsurvived a lightning strike.

4) The terra cotta army unearthed in Xian, China, contains a sculpture of a male soldier with large, round breasts.

Mulan? I thought she taped those down!

5) Jim Henson, the creator of The Muppets, developed an allergy to fleece.

Well, they are short and to the point today, but come on. I updated 24 hours later. :]
I’ll be back!

Monday, February 14, 2011

8 - Happy Valentine's Day!

Here is to a themed day for Valentine's Day! I can't be with my sweetheart today, so hopefully silly facts will make him feel like I am blabbering on like I usually do about history. I hope you all have a wonderful day, either with your sweetheart or single and enjoying an inexpensive day with delicious chocolate in abundance. :]

1) Cupid, the face of Valentine's Day, was the son of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. He is depicted as a a chubby angel-child with a bow and arrow, which the arrows are supposed to cause a magical feeling of love for those hit in the heart.

2) Verona, the Italian city where Shakespeare's lovers Romeo and Juliet lived and died, receives about 1,000 letters every year sent to Juliet on Valentine's Day.
Juliet's balcony and statue in Verona, Italy.
3) The oldest surviving love poem till date is written in a clay tablet from the times of the Sumerians, inventors of writing, around 3500 B.C.

4) In the Middle Ages, to find your Valentine you would draw a name out of a bowl a week before Valentine's Day and pin that name to your sleeve, so your true feelings could be easily seen by others. Thus came the phrase "wearing your heart on your sleeve."

5) In colonial America, sugar was an expensive commodity to have, so sugared treats were a very special gift on Valentine's Day - popular treats for your sweetheart included sugar plums and sweetmeats. After the late 1800's beet sugar became widely produced, and sugary treats continued in popularity for the holiday.
This is the reason we can afford our favorite candies.
Thank you sugar beets!

Happy Valentine's Day! I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Seven - Finally!

Sorry for the long wait on this post! I've been busy with classes and being sick, and this last weekend I had the chance to visit my boyfriend in Duluth - granted, blogging was not my top priority, especially with late night Perks runs and the Superbowl!
I didn't take any pictures while there, but I love canal park. Always a fun place to go.
But I'm back now after much heckling from my friends and family for your history lesson, so here it goes!

1) Ever wonder where the phrase "Chairman of the Board" came from? It goes back to colonial times. Colonial homes were centered on a main room with a fireplace where the meals were cooked, and instead of sitting at a 'table' they would call it a 'board'. Everyone either stood or sat on benches, except the husband who occupied the only chair. And there you go - chairman of the board.
2) In 1751 in New England, paper money was outlawed by the British parliament and was later applied to all British colonies in 1764. This was because the colonies were in an unfair trade balance with Britain, taking on too much debt. When the colonies started printing off money the colonists were happy because they could pay off their debts, but the inflation hurt the British creditors who were not receiving their full money back. (Whew - going back to macroeconomics as I try to explain this!) Needless to say, British parliament took the side that would benefit the mother country and paper money was discontinued, causing the colonists to have to pay with hard currency.
3) Many people view the Puritains as dour, strict, and viciously against anything that gave pleasure - but this is incorrect. Many Puritains in colonial times (especially in the upper class) wore brightly colored clothing, enjoyed secular music, and enjoyed drinking rum - (all of these must be done in moderation, but it was okay.) This also applied to sexual activity. Even though any sexual act outside of marriage was strictly forbidden, it was quite popular and there are many cases still on record for these offenses. The reason for the high rates of adultery and sexual intercourse before marriage is attributed to the disproportionate ratio of men to women in colonial times. As the textbook says: "Many [men] were unable to find  [wives] and were therefore tempted to satisfy their sexual desires outside of marriage."
Aww, cute little Puritains.
4) In the 14th through the 18th century in mainland Europe, a strange disease occurred many times, coined as "Dancing Mania." During an outbreak of dancing mania, groups of people, sometimes thousands at a time, would dance uncontrollably and bizarrely.  Many strange incidents of dancing mania have been recorded.  During these events, men, women, and children dance through the streets of towns or cities, sometimes foaming at the mouth until they collapse and die from fatigue. One of the most infamous cases of dancing mania was the dancing plague of 1518, which occurred in Strasbourg, France.  In July of 1518 a woman named Frau Troffea began to dance wildly through the streets.  Within a week, 34 others had joined her, and within a month, there were around 400 dancers.  Most of these people eventually died from a heart attack, stroke, or exhaustion.  Historical documents have made it clear that the people in Strasbourg danced, but it remains unclear as to why they willfully danced to their deaths. The funny catch? When authorities and nobels tried to find a cure, they encouraged more dancing - night and day - believing they just had to get it out of their system. The authorities even paid musicians to play music for them, hoping it would help the cure.

5) Aokigahara, also known as the Sea of Trees, is a forest that lies at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan.  Over the years, Aokigahara has become a popular place for tourism and human suicide.  In fact, it is the world's second most popular suicide location after San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.  Numerous signs have been posted in the forest urging people to reconsider their actions. Since the 1950's over 500 people have lost their lives in the forest, mostly suicides. Japan has actually stopped posting the numbers of deaths to hopefully downplay the popularity of Aokigahara, and has started an annual search of the forest with volunteers to find bodies. No one knows why the forest is so popular for suicide, and it remains as one of the intriguing mysteries of the world.
One of the signs in the forest urging people to reconsider their actions.

I'll be back! Hopefully in a week or less. :]

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Hello all! I felt so special after a couple people asked me when I was updating next. I felt so wanted!
I've been busy lately with my American history class, and since I'm not particularly enjoying my other classes, I have been focusing on this, going above and beyond to really learn my American history. One of my goals by next week is to learn all of the capitols of the fifty states. It sounds dorky, but the last time most of us were tested on it was 7th grade... and I didn't like history and geography back then - so I never actually learned them! I figured it was just one of those basic things I need to know to be a teacher someday, so flashcards are made and I have already started testing myself.
This is my fun thing - try to learn a Wakko song to help me!

Anyways, back to what I have learned lately.

1) In the colonial times, the Europeans brought over their domestic animals, including cows, horses, and pigs. By 1650, English farm animals outnumbered the colonists. Since labor was so expensive, the animals ran wild, devastating local plant life. One historian called this the "greatest known loss of wild species" in our continent's history.

2) In the 17th century Virginia, there were so many more men in the colonies that the sex ratio was thrown off. It was 3 men to 1 woman, but if you just counted unmarried folks, it was about 8 men to 1 woman.

3) England is old and small, and they started running out of places to bury the dead. So, they would dig up coffins and would take their bones to a house and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, one out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on their wrist and lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night to listen for the bell. Hence on the "graveyard shift" they would know that someone was "saved by the bell" or he was a "dead ringer."

If you have seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail...

4) At Andrew Jackson's funeral in 1845, his pet parrot, named Poll, had to be removed because it was swearing.

5) Christmas did not become a national holiday in the US until 1890. The founders of the United States did not believe a Christian holiday should be so important to our country when initially founded.

Have a good weekend guys!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Hey guys! Sorry the posts are spread out so much. All of my classes this semester are reading intensive, so my textbooks usually take precedence over my blog - well, and it was the weekend! Before I start with my list, I wanted to add this video of Allyson Townsend, who was chosen to be the person of the week by ABC News. She is a 2nd grade teacher going for her ASL (American Sign Language) license, and she has brought music to life for the deaf community. Next year I plan to go to the University of Minnesota - Duluth to attempt an ASL license as my minor, and I can honestly say that was sparked by translating music in my high school ASL classes. Here is the video. Allyson Townsend - Bringing Music to Life for Deaf Ears I hope by sharing it, more people become involved with sharing new media with the deaf community.

Back to the list!

1) John Smith and Pocahontas were never in love. At the time of her saving his life, he would have been around the age of 29, and her 11. Pocahontas actually ended up marrying John Rolfe, converting to Christianity and changing her name to Lady Rebecca. She moved to Europe where she died when she was 20 years old of a lung infection.
Please tell me you feel slightly awkward,
looking at this 11-year old with the body of a 22-year-old.
2) Her husband, John Rolfe, was the man who stole some of the tobacco seeds from the Spanish and started growing tobacco in America.
Yeah, I would choose this hot old guy over John Smith, too.
Good choice, Pocahontas.
3) The first nation to settle in New York was the Dutch, not the English. Because the region was so diverse in cultures and religions and no one backed the Dutch government in place there, the English conquered it with no bloodshed. The good part is is that the Dutch left many imprints on America, including the New York names "Wall Street" (named after the wall that was erected to keep the Indians out), "Broadway" (Literally Breede Wegh) also words like cookie, boss, spook and crib, and the legendary Santa Claus.
Dank je wel, Dutch.
4) The first Jewish settlers came to America in 1654 after being exiled from Europe because of the Catholic Inquisition and then Brazil after the Portuguese took control. The Jews were accepted - begrudgingly - to America, but because of the less than favorable treatment, the population of Jews did not grow. In 1773 - over 100 years after the first settlers came to America - only 242 Jews resided in New York, and represented only one tenth of one percent of the entire colonial population.

5) Now to get away from American Colonial times and just to tell you something that will probably make you laugh... To take an oath, ancient Romans put a hand on their testicles. (Now this part isn't true, but it makes me laugh - where do you think the word testimony came from?!)

I'll be back!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The 4th: Columbus

Alright - so you all remember that I have mentioned I am in an American history course this semester at college. It is weird to be back in this area of study! I was fortunate with my high school curriculum being very diverse, so my American history classes ended in sophomore year and then I took A LOT of classes in humanities, Europe, politics, and world history.
So being back in an American history class is AWESOME. I forgot so many of the interesting stories I had learned, and now at a college level, you finally get to wipe out some of the crap stories people tell you that aren't true at all.

Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492.

1) Christopher Columbus did NOT think the world was flat. No one did, unless you were very uneducated.  The Greeks had already figured out that the earth was round in the 6th century B.C., and almost the exact size of the Earth in the 3rd century B.C. The reason so many people doubted Columbus's plan was the fact few believed India (the intended destination) would be reachable by sailing east, and assumed they would run out of supplies before they reached land.
2) Another old (fake) story was that the Spanish monarchy had to sell some of the royal jewels to finance the trip - not true at all.
A statue of Leif Eriksson by the St. Paul capitol! Goooo Vikes!
3) There is complete evidence now that it was not Columbus who found America, but the Viking, Leif Eriksson around 1001AD - about 491 years before Columbus.
Amerigo Vespucci... maybe we don't celebrate him
because him name just doesn't roll off the tongue
as easily as Christopher Columbus.
4) Even though Columbus gets a celebration day on our calendars, he was left out of the best part - naming the new land! Since he was convinced he had landed somewhere in India, it wasn't until Amerigo Vespucci came to the New World in 1499 that he realized it must be a new continent - thus, the name America is modeled after Amerigo.
5) When Columbus returned to America for the second time in 1493, he was told by the Spanish monarchs to "treat the Indians very well." But when Columbus got to America, he realized the unsupervised soldiers created chaos by raping women and robbing villages. When the Natives retaliated and killed 10 of the Spaniards, Columbus had them murdered with crossbows, guns, and dogs. He then loaded up roughly 550 natives on a boat to be introduced to the Spanish slave trade.

Seems like a nice guy, huh?

I'll be back with more!

(As for the funny picture, I couldn't find it with a good resolution - but I have decided I need the T-shirt that proclaims: "HISTORY MAJOR. YOU WOULD BE MORE INTERESTING TO ME IF YOU WERE DEAD."  --Awesome.)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 3.

How about some more random pop culture facts?

1) Elvis once wrote a letter to President Nixon asking to become an undercover narcotics cop. Nixon responded by personally giving Elvis a Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs badge. During Elvis’s autopsy, doctors found 10 different drugs in Elvis’s blood stream.
At least there were good intentions?

2) Soccer balls were originally painted with the now classic black and white checkered look in order to make them more visible on black and white TV during the 1970 FIFA World Cup.  Naturally, people wanted to buy balls that looked like those that the professionals used on TV and thus everybody bought the black and white checkered soccer ball instead of the previous traditional solid color ball.

3) The total number of American deaths during the Civil War were about 292,000 in battle, which was about 2% of the population, and about 625,000 total killed as a result of the war (including those dead of disease and the like, which was a major problem in soldier’s camps).   That is a total of about 4.3% of the U.S population.  By today’s population numbers that would be about 13.32 million Americans. (If you want a better picture of that, according to the 2010 US Census, Pennsylvania has a population of 12.7 million people. All of Pennsylvania - gone, and then some.)
Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest battle of the Civil War

4) The 1960 movie Psycho is thought to be the first movie where a toilet is shown being flushed.  The momentous flushing took place just before Janet Leigh’s character takes a shower and subsequently gets stabbed to death.
Janet Leigh in Psycho

5) Oreos are considered to be America's favorite store bought cookie. After debuting in 1912 (almost 100 years ago!) Oreo has made over 345 billion cookies since 1912. That is enough cookies to reach to the moon and back 5 times. That is also enough cookies to reach around the earth 381 times.
As a college student, I have personally witnessed thousands of these cookies
being eaten by friends at parties. I am proud to say I am a part of this statistic.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The 2nd Post

I'm back already! So much to share with you all.

I was asked by the family to recount the story of why I added this fact to my last post:
5) Many people believe that food items cooked with liquor will be non-alcoholic, because alcohol's low boiling point causes it to evaporate. However, a study found that much of the alcohol remains: 25% after 1 hour of baking or simmering, and 10% after 2 hours.
The reason is that when I was younger (I think in 4th or 5th grade) I went to a Christmas party at my aunt's house. They had this delicious chips and dip combo, and I was munching away at it - until my brother-in-law, Mike, told me it was beer cheese dip. This caused me to burst out crying, thinking I had something with alcohol in it that I wasn't supposed to have. (I keep wondering if I was in a health unit at school or something - who knows.) Pretty sure this happened again when I learned why my slice of tiramisu was so soggy.

Needless to say, it is still a fun joke in the family for whenever we have a meal that you cook with some sort of alcohol. "Now don't worry Kayla - you won't get drunk from the tequila chicken!"

Back to the list now!

Lucretia, Rembrandt 1666 (At the Minneapolis Art Institute)
It is even better in person.
1) This is my favorite painting - probably of all time - not just for the amazing beauty and artistic skill it must have taken to create, but for the story.
This story is romanticized, but I want you all to know there is some fact to this. Historians have found that a woman, named Lucretia, was involved in an incident like this, which led to the revolution and the eventual overthrow of the Roman monarchy.
Lucretia was the wife of a distinguished man of Rome, as well as a daughter of a well bred family. She was very true to her husband and loved him with all her heart. When her husband was off at war, she hosted the current king of Rome and his son at her house.
At the bar that night, the king and his son quarreled over the values of wives and if they were true. The king decided to place a bet by visiting Lucretia to see what she was doing - the king won the bet, for Lucretia was found weaving with her ladies.
The following night, the king's son snuck into her bedchamber, and gave her two options: to sleep with him and become his queen some day, or to be killed along with one of her servants and live in shame after he told her husband he found her having adulterous sex. Lucretia, fearing what her husband would think, slept with the king's son.
The next day (this is what the picture depicts) Lucretia stabbed herself in the stomach and called her father and brother up to her chamber. While she lay dying she explained why she did this to herself, and to tell her husband she loved him. With her last breath, she proclaimed: "Pledge me your solemn word that the adulterer shall not go unpunished."
It is said that this rage against the prince's actions led to the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, and the installation of the Roman Republic.

Isn't that such a haunting picture now that you know the sad story?


This is SO COOL. This history teacher makes all sorts of music videos to modern music, with lyrics about important historical events! This is the French revolution video, to the tune "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga. I had to show this because in my American history class, one of our main focuses is how to teach history in a cool new way. Um - this is COOL. If you like it, she has some other great videos, including "Black Death", to the tune of "Hollaback Girl" and "Mary, Queen of Scots" to the tune "Jenny from the Block".

3) While Plato is considered one of the preferred philosophers for the Catholic Church, I am convinced none of the Catholics actually read his works. What few people choose to not realize in his works is when he refers to a lover, he is speaking of a younger boy (Hmm, I think the Church has something against that!) In ancient Greece, homosexuality was a common act, that was actually recommended and embraced. In tradition, an older man would take a younger boy to "teach him the ways of the world" - now, not JUST sexually. They were also usually apprentices and educated by these older men. But sex was apart of it - and in some of Plato's writings on beauty and love, he refers to this union between two men as something much more pure and lovely than just a human seed in a woman's belly.
Take that, church.

I'm sorry, you will have to speak into my good ear. It is in my pocket.
4) Vincent Van Gogh (the artist who cut off his ear, for those who don't remember!) suffered from epilepsy and manic depression. For his 'medication' Van Gogh relied on absinthe, but the toxin in it actually worsened his epilepsy more than if he went unmedicated. 

5) Johnny Carson once caused a near month long toilet paper shortage in the U.S. in December of 1973.  During his show, he said, “You know what’s disappearing from the supermarket shelves? Toilet paper… There’s an acute shortage of toilet paper in the United States.” Americans promptly went out and bought up every piece of toilet paper they could find. Supermarkets tried to ration it, but to no avail. By noon the next day, pretty much all the nation’s supermarkets were sold out.
After several days of toilet paper shortages due to this hysteria, Carson went on the air to try to explain it had been a joke and apologized. But because the shelves were almost always empty of toilet paper at this time, whenever some would come in, people would buy it all and hoard it. This toilet paper shortage lasted a full three weeks.

I'll be back with more random knowledge soon. :]

Remember, if you need a cheat for remembering artists, this is awesome.
(I hate to say this, but I actually think of this picture in my college art class)