The Bizarre History of Cereal

One of the things that really attracted me to the Anglican church is their mellow approach to the minutiae of everyday life. In the Anglican worldview, most “things” aren’t inherently bad, but rather what’s bad is the way people apply those things to their lives. Thus, alcohol isn’t bad, but being a drunk is. Sex isn’t bad, but being promiscuous is. Red meat isn’t bad, but being a glutton is. This “middle of the road” philosophy kept a “militant vegetarian wing” or “teetotaler wing” from forming in the Anglican faith.

Other religions, of course, disagree. Seventh-Day Adventists, for example, discourage the use of alcohol or tobacco and promote vegetarianism. Strict Seventh-Day Adventists even shun caffeine drinks like coffee, tea and soda.

But there was one Seventh-Day Adventist who took it even further. This man thought that red meat and pork were literally evil, not just in the “it causes heart disease” sense, but in the “it’ll make you rape women” sense. And he also thought that most forms of sexual intercourse were evil, too… even between married couples! He especially hated masturbation, and felt that it caused urinary diseases, epilepsy, insanity and mental and physical debility in general, as well as uterine cancer in women and impotence and nocturnal emissions in men… and yes, even “reduced vision”.

Continue reading “The Bizarre History of Cereal”

Tuesday’s News Dump

I’m actually working on a new History Blog post today, but in the meantime, here’s a quick news dump to tide you over:

– You’ve probably heard about the mysterious stranger who left roses and cognac on Edgar Allen Poe’s grave on his birthday every year… well, this year he (or she) didn’t show up. Or at least, he hasn’t shown up yet. For the past sixty years, he’s shown up every January 19th before 5:30 am… but there’s been no sign of him so far.

– The folks over at Audioholics have noticed something interesting: the Lexicon BD-30, a high-end ($3,500!) Blu-Ray player is nothing more than a $500 Oppo BDP-83 Blu-Ray player stuffed into a fancy case. Apparently the people over at Lexicon didn’t even bother taking the Oppo out of its chassis: the Lexicon is literally an Oppo (chassis and all) stuffed into a fancy aluminum chassis and marked up $3,000. Nice. Read more here.

Speaking of disc players, here’s Stereophile Magazines’ very first review of a CD player from 1983: the Sony CDP-101. It’s kind of funny how they worried whether there’d be enough “software” (music) to make the purchase worthwhile! Also interesting: the player’s $1,000 list price is $2,134.47 in 2008 dollars. To think that you can buy one for $13.96 these days.

– Baltimore football fans are a special kind of crazy.

– Want to make sure that your luggage arrives safe and sound on your next flight? Pack a gun in your bag. As you might know, carrying a handgun in checked luggage is not only not a crime, it only involves filling out a simple form at the check-in counter at the airport. And once your hand your bag over, your bag is placed in a high security area that’s constantly monitored (TSA really doesn’t want to lose a bag with a gun in it). What you may not know is that starter pistols are included on the list. Yes, those blank-firing “guns” used to start track and swim meets are considered “firearms” by the FAA. So you can buy one – no background check or waiting period needed, and legal in every state – and stuff it right into your bag. Even better: a used starter pistol should only set you back around $20.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-01-17

  • Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3… Check two… Check.. check #
  • Haiti PM: "Hundreds of thousands dead". 🙁 #
  • Text "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti! #
  • @wagnerofficial Happy Birthday, Jill! 🙂 #
  • Geaux Saints! #
  • HAHA! Kurt Warner sucks! #
  • Go Jackets! Way to beat UNC! #
  • You're still Cleveland and you still suck!!!! #
  • At the moment of my death… I hope there's bacon! #

Powered by Twitter Tools

Cuteness Overload!

Here’s Au Revior Simone’s new video for “Another Likely Story”, one of my favorite songs from 2009:


It’s not the best video I’ve ever seen, but the girls are super cute in it!


Georgia Tech hires Groh

I think this is good news. Opinions may differ:

Al Groh says he’s heading to Georgia Tech to be the Yellow Jackets’ defensive coordinator.

The former Virginia coach told The Associated Press on Friday that he set out several criteria before deciding where he wanted to coach in 2010, and Georgia Tech meets them. The top priority was taking a job where there’s a chance to win championships.

The Yellow Jackets are coming off their first outright ACC title since 1990 and played in the Orange Bowl. But they struggled on defense, firing coordinator Dave Wommack shortly after the season.

via Groh heading to Georgia Tech to run defense.

Disaster News Dump

– First of all, let me just say that my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti. I’ve been watching CNN all day, and it appears that the death toll will be in the hundreds of thousands (500,000 is not impossible here). It’s heartbreakingly sad, and I hope that rescue workers can get there as soon as possible.

– Speaking of disasters, a mystery object flew by Earth yesterday. The object, which was no larger than 50 feet across, came within 76,000 miles of our planet, or roughly a third of the way to the moon. That’s pretty close in planetary terms! Astronomers disagree about what it might have been. Italian scientists Ernesto Guido and Giovanni Sostero think it’s space junk, but NASA is not so sure. Given the object’s trajectory, the space agency thinks that it’s unlikely to be space junk and is more likely to be a small asteroid.

– Fast food giant KFC is suing itself. Sort of. It’s complicated.

– A lost and hungry pig made her way to the drive-through at a Quizno’s in Lake of the Pines, California last week and attracted the attention of employees by oinking into the microphone. They fed her some Quizno’s while they waited for Animal Control to arrive. The pig was malnourished, but is now doing fine and should have no problems being adopted.

– I’m not a big fan of “emotional distress” in lawsuits, but I think I agree with this one: a family is suing two funeral homes… because they included a mother’s brain in the personal affects given to the family. The woman (named only as “M.F.R.” in the suit) died in a car accident in Utah. The body was prepared there, then returned to her home in New Mexico for the funeral service and burial. During the embalming of someone who died from trauma, organs in the damaged area are typically removed from the body and placed in plastic bags (which makes sense: if someone died from a bullet wound to the head, it would be kind of gross to have brains leaking out everywhere). Somewhere along the line, the bag containing the woman’s brain was mixed in with the bag of her personal items (clothes, purse, etc.). The two funeral homes blame each other, and the family is presumably having nightmares about the entire incident.

– Speaking of gross, I guess you’ve heard by now that a Mexican drug cartel killed an opponent, skinned his face, and then stitched it to a soccer ball.

– Lastly, in lighter news, fans of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia might like this pic from a local newscast, where the dreaded Dick Towel made an appearance:

Dick Towel

Yummy Cupcakes!

The Steelers season might be over, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t drool over the cupcakes at Coco’s Cupcake Café in Pittsburgh… specifically this cupcake:

Steelers Cupcake

That looks delicious! You should check out the other flavors of cupcakes this place makes – I’d kill for the recipes for the Banana Peanut Butter, Snickerdoodle and Chocolate Stout cupcakes!