Goes Surprisingly Well With Sauerkraut

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Most people don't realize that peanut brittle was invented for the Nazis. Nothing sinister of course; just a cheap food to pack as rations for the military. Invented by peanut farmer Eli Fraunhofer in 1944, peanut brittle was one of the first economical methods for removing the poison from raw peanuts - one of Germany's most plentiful crops due to the soil's high fluoride content. The Nazis saw the usefulness of such a cheap food source, and their soldiers soon found peanut brittle to account for the majority of their rations. Some of the "special ops" guys were even taught to make the nourishing candy in the field. It was a few of these soldiers who, after the war, brought the recipe to the southern U.S., where, needless to say, it was a smash hit.

One for the Ladies

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Update: In order to avoid an international incident, I have to iron out a few diplomatic issues before I can post the Adventure of Vampire Island. The vampires are especially sensitive about international relations, and they're real sticklers for protocol. In the meantime I'll crank the fact engine back up.

Everyone knows that the easiest way to distinguish a man from a woman without looking at the face is to count the ribs; women have 12, while men have 11. But fellas, where did our extra rib go? To answer that question, we need to look far back at our ancestors to understand the evolution of man.
Turns out that our most recent ancestors, Homo Medivicus (the humans of the middle ages), faced an unprecedented challenge when hunting: the rise of constrictors. This family of snakes - including boas, vipers, and and pythons - acquired an impressive adaptation which allowed killing of prey by strangulation. Of course, walking upright left man at an exceptional disadvantage against this new threat. Homo Medivicus's soft fleshy neck was susceptible to quick strangulation and hunting was therefore no picnic. As always, evolution stepped in to even the scales. Slowly, the bottom rib migrated up through the chest, forming a shield bone - known informally as the "Adam's apple", or simply the "throat bone" - in the throat. The adaptation was, of course, male specific, since hunting was traditionally carried out by men, and the last rib plays a crucial role in child bearing.

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