Fun Facts

Should you be offended if someone calls you one?

Probably. It’s possible they’re comparing you to a mighty king and hunter of yore, but it’s more likely they’re calling you a nitwit. The dictionary defines a nimrod as either a hunter, or a person who is foolish. The second meaning probably originated with Bugs Bunny. Bugs used the term in referring to hunter Elmer Fudd, who he called “poor little Nimrod.”

In August 1969, the Woodstock Music & Art Fair took place on a dairy farm in Bethel, NY. Over half a million people came to a 600-acre farm to hear 32 acts (leading and emerging performers of the time) play over the course of four days (August 15-18). Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, the Who, Janis Joplin and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were among the line-up. Woodstock is known as one of the greatest happenings of all time and perhaps the most pivotal moment in music history.

Joni Mitchell said, “Woodstock was a spark of beauty” where half-a-million kids “saw that they were part of a greater organism.” According to Michael Lang, one of four young men who formed Woodstock Ventures to produce the festival, “That’s what means the most to me – the connection to one another felt by all of us who worked on the festival, all those who came to it, and the millions who couldn’t be there but were touched by it.”

By Wednesday, August 13, some 60,000 people had already arrived and set up camp. On Friday, the roads were so clogged with cars that performing artists had to arrive by helicopter. Though over 100,000 tickets were sold prior to the festival weekend, they became unnecessary as swarms of people descended on the concert grounds to take part in this historic and peaceful happening. Four days of music … half a million people … rain, and the rest is history.

http://woodstock.com/themusic.php

Ingredients:

  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Filling of your choice:
  • Pie filling
  • PB&J
  • Pizza sauce, pepperoni and cheese
  • Ham, eggs and cheese  

(Not all of these together! Pick one.)

Directions:

Butter two slices of bread on one side. Put the bread in a Pudgy Pie Maker, buttered sides out. Place the filling between the two slices of bread. Clamp and lock the Pudgy Pie Maker, trimming any excess bread on the outside.  Place the Pudgy Pie Maker over hot coals or embers, and hold it there until your arm gets tired, and then flip it over.

Clayton J. Howell included the word “crush” in the original soft drink’s name to refer to the process of extracting oils from oranges. In fact it was all the way back to 1916 when Clayton J. Howell partnered with Neil C. Ward to create the Orange Crush Company (you can look even farther back to find J.M. Thompson of Chicago as the original inventor of Orange Crush in 1906). Ward was a beverage and extract chemist who perfected the process of blending ingredients to create an exclusive formula that yielded the zesty, all-natural orange flavor of Orange Crush. Soft drinks of the time often carried the surname of the inventor along with the product name and Ward was given the honors – Crush was first premiered as “Ward’s Orange Crush.”

Orange Crush was the first flavor but others followed. Crush was Lemon. Crush was Lime. By the late 60’s Crush was Grape, Cherry and Pineapple too. In the 90’s Crush was Tropical Punch and Crush was even Peach. Crush, however, was never Bacon, Butter or Crème Brulée, and thankfully, still isn’t…

Building on all that history, today Crush is part of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc., an integrated beverage business marketing more than 50 beverage brands throughout North America. Crush Cherry made its debut in 2010, continuing Crush’s spectacular growth. Crush Cherry was the first pure Cherry flavored soda that had entered the market in the past four years, and nicely rounded out Crush’s amazing lineup of beverages, ensuring that Crush truly has a flavor for everyone in the family.

Look at it this way. For all we know, Great-Great-Great Grandma was slamming down Crush as she listened to the first radio broadcast ever. Marilyn could have had an ice-cold Crush waiting in her trailer after her lips scorched the celluloid right out of the cameras. Britney may even rush to the nearest store to pick up her favorite Crush before a big performance. And you could be sucking back a Crush before you nail the world’s first switch backside 1080 at the skatepark. We can dream can’t we? Clayton J. Howell did. So why don’t you grab a Crush and make some history?

What’s in a name @Crush Soda.com

We were sure Benjamin Franklin invented the kite. But when we googled the event, lo and behold we came to learn it was the Chinese who invented it. Dang it! They already own our country, thanks to the trillion dollars of debt they’re holding over our heads. So we’re just going to discuss Benjamin Franklin’s part of the kite story.

In 1752 Benjamin Franklin flew his kite during a thunderstorm to prove that lightning and electricity had the same properties. His kite had a sharp pointed wire attached to the kite to attract electrical charges, like a lightning rod. He attached a key with a silk ribbon kite string for insulation. He then attached a thin metal wire to the kite that was inserted on the other end into a Leyden jar, a container that stored electrical charges. He waited for a thunderstorm, and then let the kite fly. The kite was struck by lightning which flew through the string to the key, and into the Leyden jar. This caused the loose string fibers to stand at attention. He then touched the key and received an electrical shock. (Admit it, even when your mom tells you not to touch the stove because it’s hot, there’s this insane desire to see for yourself if it’s true.) This experiment proved that lightening is an electric phenomenon.

If we had paid attention in school, we wouldn’t have had to look this up. Kids, let this be a lesson to you.

When I was growing up, we always seemed to have a can of the Hormel meat-product Spam® in the cupboard, though I’m not sure we ever ate any. Our can collection grew slightly in the early 1960s when most families in America put aside a few gallons of water, a first-aid kit, some powdered milk, and Spam® so they could survive the coming nuclear attacks. These stockpiles were mostly stored in basements, but living on the West coast (where basements are not as common), our make-believe bomb shelter was in a hallway that had no windows. So the Spam® cans sat in a linen closet. Every time I needed a towel, the cans were a subtle reminder that we would be among the lucky ones. We had enough food to last at least a week, which by all accounts would be plenty of time to get past the radiation effects of a nuclear bomb hitting Los Angeles. My father also had a gun so he could shoot less-prepared neighbors trying to steal our Spam®.

Whether you actually eat it or simply store it for emergencies, Spam® has been a staple of American food larders since its introduction by Hormel in 1937. The Spam® logo and can are among the most successful package designs in history, and whether it was from tremendous insight, neglect, or chance, the Hormel Company managed to leave those things virtually intact for more than 60 years.

The Miracle Meat for Everyman

In 1891 George A. Hormel founded his meat-products company in Austin, Minnesota, specializing in pork processing. Being the man who introduced the world’s first canned ham, you can imagine the rapid success George enjoyed. By 1924 the company was slaughtering more than 1 million pigs a year and supplying people around the world with inexpensive canned meat products. One of Hormel’s early innovations was a distribution system of his own, which had salesman driving “Sausage Trucks” around the country delivering meat where needed.

By 1936, George Hormel had retired, and his son Jay was running the company. Always mindful of efficiency, Jay was looking for a way to use more of the pork “shoulder” meat that was not currently being consumed. (Why more people weren’t eating tasteless, boney pig shoulders is a mystery to me.) He came up with a way of grinding the meat to conceal the real texture and added other pork products and spices (salt seems to be the main ingredient) to give it flavor. Thus, Hormel Spiced Ham was born. It was sold in the shape of a loaf for easy sandwich slicing.

There was one small problem, however. The United States government agency that controlled meat products wouldn’t allow Hormel to refer to Spam® as “ham,” since it was not made from pork hindquarters. Because of this and the fact that other companies were coming out with similar canned meat products, Jay Hormel decided he needed a distinctive name for this new invention.

Jay Hormel used a New Year’s Eve party as an opportunity for naming the new luncheon meat. Hormel asked his party guests to “buy” their drinks by proposing a name for each cocktail they consumed. In addition, he offered a $100 prize to the person whose product name was chosen.

After three or four drinks, the brother of one of Hormel’s vice presidents, a New York radio actor named Kenneth Daigneau, submitted the name Spam®, presumably a contraction of “spiced ham.” It stuck, and Daigneau went home with the hundred bucks and a mighty hangover. As he awoke on the first day of 1937, it’s unlikely Daigneau knew that he had coined a brand name that would eventually be credited with helping to win World War II. (Nikita Kruschev once remarked that Spam® had saved the Soviet army from starvation.) And no one could have dreamed that an alcohol-induced, made-up word would become the title of a hit Broadway play or enter the lexicon as one of the most recognizable slang terms of the twenty-first century.

Written by Gene Gable on August 22, 2005

The first walkie talkie was invented in 1938 by Alfred J. Gross. As a boy growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, Gross was presented with the opportunity to take a cruise on a boat, where he was inspired by the ship’s radio. Gross was a pioneer in wireless communications.

During World War II, Motorola walkie talkies were produced by Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. These early walkie talkies had a range of 10-20 miles. At that time walkie talkies were kept classified by the U.S. Government until 1976.

You should not discuss confidential things on walkie talkies. Walkie talkies can scan frequencies, and you never know who might be listening in on your conversation.

Whoooo is this owl with such a strange name? Let’s find out. Look closely at the feathers, you’ll see horizontal bars around the neck and vertical streaking on the body. This owl also has large horizontal bars or bands on the tail which you may see in flight against its grey-feathered background. This is how the owl got its name, “bar–ed” owl. It stands about 21 inches tall, has a bulky head and neck with dark eyes and no ear tufts. Barred owls live in most of North America in wet woodlands, wooded swamps, and floodplains in the cavities of snags (old dead trees). These owls are usually long-time residents of the same snag, with an address 80-feet in the air and a 20-inch doorway.

Barred owls have an easy call to identify. Listen for a hoot that sounds like someone saying, “Who-cooks-for-you, who-cooks-for-you-all?” You may hear the whole phrase or only a part. If you hear a cat-like scream or a barking sound, check it out, there may be a barred owl nearby. In February and March keep especially alert for these owls, they’re courting and going wild, making all kinds of noises to impress a potential mate. These owls may also be spotted in the daytime being mobbed and teased by a flock of scolding birds.

From dusk to the predawn hours, owls hunt for prey, waiting from their tree snag to hear or spot an unsuspecting mouse, snake, frog, or bird. Their eyes are their best secret weapon, large and able to bring in lots of light to see in the darkness. Barred owl ears, like other owls, are long slits on the side of the face. The owl’s keen senses allow it to quickly navigate through low branches and forest treetops and zero in on its prey. It swoops down with four-foot long stealth wings, captures, and squeezes its prey with sharp talons. Then it flies back to its lair for dinner. The owl’s sharp beak makes a great knife and fork to rip the meat apart. If the prey is small enough, it gets eaten in one single gulp, bones and all. About every 6 hours the owl will spit up a “pellet,” a 1-2 inch hairball with bones and skulls in it, things the bird’s stomach can’t digest. Sometimes you’ll find them at the base of the nesting tree along with a few grey feathers.

DNR/WI/GOV

It’s true that not everyone knows what a s’more is. You have something … and then you have s’more. It’s a really complicated recipe, so pay close attention:

You stick a marshmallow on a long stick and hold it over the hot embers of a campfire. If you don’t like burnt marshmallows, then don’t allow your marshmallow to sit there too long, and be sure to hold it at a respectable distance from the flames.

When your marshmallow gets toasted to perfection, carry it to your picnic table, being careful not to touch any other campers with your sticky mess, as they are not the intended targets for your treat.

Place a flat chocolate bar on top of the toasted marshmallow, and place it between two graham crackers. For a fun variation, you can use cinnamon or chocolate graham crackers, white chocolate candy bars, and chocolate or strawberry flavored marshmallows – if you’re lucky enough to find them at your local grocery store. If our special marshmallows are not available at our grocery store, things can get pretty ugly. 

Now if you’re one of those people who cannot be forced to venture away from the tried and true, then stick to what you know. We wouldn’t want to marsh your mellow with too many variations. And remember:  if you eat your treat and you want a second helping, you can have s’more!

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