Category Archives: Articles

The Man Who Put the Chicle in Chiclets

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The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader CHEWING THROUGH HISTORY People have been chewing gum (and gumlike substances) since ancient times. The Greeks chewed mastiche, made from the resin of the mastic tree. The ancient Mayans first chewed chicle, the sap of the sapodilla tree, over 1,000 years ago. American Indians chewed the sap from spruce trees, […]

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The Curious Case of the Fruit That Transforms Sour to Sweet

Growing on tall shrubs with dense foliage, the small, red, mildly sweet berries known as miracle fruit seemingly magically can turn sour flavors sweet. The plant that produces the berries, Synsepalum Dulcificum, is native to West Africa, where the fruit was traditionally used to sweeten palm wine and make soured cornbread more palatable. Growing best in acidic soil in tropical […]

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The Many Myths Surrounding the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving

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Myth: Pilgrims wore black and white clothing with buckled top hats. The myth that they dressed like this stems from a popular clothing style in England in the late 17th century, which carried over to 18th and 19th century artist depictions of Pilgrims. In fact, historical records of Pilgrims’ clothing, such as the passenger list of the Mayflower, wills, which […]

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Why Do We Eat Turkey on Thanksgiving?

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Katie H. asks: Why do we eat turkey on thanksgiving when the pilgrims didn’t? Every year on the fourth Thursday in November, over three hundred million Americans sit down at a table filled with culinary delights. From overstuffed turkeys to whipped-cream-topped pumpkin pies, it’s probably not a shock to learn that many of the traditional foods we eat on Thanksgiving […]

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What Caused the Red Rain of Kerala?

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Between July 25 and September 23, 2001, the people of the southern India state of Kerala witnessed, on numerous occasions an extraordinary sight: blood colored rain. Although most reports limited the color of the rain to that striking red that resembled blood, some people also reported seeing green, black and even yellow rain as well. Eye-witnesses also reported that accompanying […]

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