Horace Fletcher (1849-1919), nicknamed "The Great Masticator," was a well known and influential food and health faddist in early 20th century North America. As a man of virtually limitless energy, Fletcher became a world traveler, millionaire businessman, amateur painter, speaker, and author, and self-taught nutritionist who perfected and fanatically distributed his doctrine of "Fletcherism," for 24 years (from 1895 to 1919). This dogma taught that all food must be deliberately masticated and not swallowed until it turned to liquid. Fletcher believed that prolonged chewing precluded overeating, led to better systemic and dental health, helped to reduce food intake, and consequently, conserved money. People were cautioned not to eat except when they were "good and hungry," and to avoid dining when they were angry or worried. They were also told that they could eat any food that they wanted, as long as they chewed it until the "food swallowed itself." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9693596 See also Chew, Chew, Chew! by at https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2009/07/chew_chew_chew.html
How to Make Parched Corn Americans spend millions of dollars on pricey power bars, but Native Americans and the early pioneers already knew how to make an easy nutritious snack. Parched corn was staple of early Americans and today it is the perfect pick-me-up for any outdoor activity. Follow directions to whip up a batch of the original American energy food at https://www.ehow.com/how_2100129_make-parched-corn.html See also Parched Corn and Rye Coffee: Eating as a Civil War Soldier by
helter-skelter In chaotic and disorderly haste. Also the name of an English fairground attraction with a spiral slide. The term long pre-dates the fairground ride and has been used to mean disorderly haste or confusion since at least the 16th century. Thomas Nashe used it that way in his 'Four letters confuted', 1592: "Helter skelter, feare no colours, course him, trounce him." ('To confute' is, or rather was, as it has been used only rarely since the 17th century, 'to render futile', 'to prove an argument to be false'.) Helter-skelter has been in common use in England for the past 400 years and has been known in the USA since the 1820s. Neither helter nor skelter had any meaning in themselves. Like many word pairs of this sort (called rhyming reduplications), they only exist as part of the pair--although skelter was used alone later, but only as a shortened form of helter-skelter. Read more at https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/helter-skelter.html
Christmas Stories (over 100 stories, books, poems, and carols) includes short descriptions and graphics https://americanliterature.com/christmas
"CHRISTMAS COMET" COMETH You can expect a ghostly green blob to grow brighter in the sky near Orion in the coming days, as Comet 46P/Wirtanen makes it closest approach to the Earth in 20 years. Shining just bright enough , this fuzzy visitor of ice and rock will be easily visible through late December 2018. NASA has even sponsored an observing campaign (led by the University of Maryland) to track the comet with professional and amateur astronomical groups. The comet will make its closest approach on Sunday (December 16), flying by just 7,199,427 miles from our planet. That's about 30 times the distance to the moon. It sounds far away, but in celestial terms, this is a close flyby—among the 10 closest cometary approaches since 1950, according to Space.com skywatching columnist Joe Rao. Wirtanen is one of three comets that astronomer Carl Wirtanen discovered in 1948. It makes flybys of Earth every 5.4 years, cycling in a short orbit that makes it a part of the Jupiter-class family of comets. These constant swings by the sun come with a cost. Wirtanen is largely made up of ices, and with the comet's repeated passes by our star, that ice has bled off over the eons—eliminating any hope of a bright tail caused by lots of material released at once. Also, Wirtanen has a small nucleus. The Hubble Space Telescope examined Wirtanen in 1996 and found a tiny core of only seven-tenths of a mile, one of the smallest cometary nuclei we know of. Elizabeth Howell Read more and see pictures at https://www.space.com/42751-see-comet-46p-wirtanen-earth-flyby-december-2018.html
EASY CRANBERRY SAUCE - MICROWAVE Recipe by Kittencalrecipezazz at https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/easy-cranberry-sauce-microwave-73874 I had this last night at a buffet, and it is very good--beautiful too. A note from the hostess: "Mine = 1 cup of sugar. I used plain water, but the recipe does allow orange juice substitution. I have done both. I did not use any orange rind. It can be microwaved (8 min approx) or brought to a boil covered on the stove top. I recommend using a pan larger than you think it looks like you should need because it wants to really bubble up. If it boils over it is an incredible sticky mess for clean up. I have another recipe from a long ago trip to Napa that calls for zinfandel or pinot noir. I've done it a few times but prefer the simplicity of the original 3 ingredient recipe we had Sunday."
TRIVIA The Times of London reports Rocco, an African grey parrot, has been using Amazon Alexa to shop online while his owner was away. https://www.wfla.com/news/viral-news/sneaky-parrot-uses-amazon-alexa-to-shop-while-owner-is-away/1662596515 The Largest Known Diamond in North America Has Been Found Below Canada's Arctic
https://www.sciencealert.com/north-america-s-largest-known-diamond-has-been-unearthed-in-the-canadian-arctic Bankrupt Sears to pay $25.3 million in bonuses to executives
https://www.ajc.com/news/national/bankrupt-sears-pay-million-bonuses-executives/ynm2Dcmd08rbztrBDB8DPP/ Kiwibot delivery robot catches fire after 'human error'
http://librariansmuse.blogspot.com December 17, 2018 Issue 2005 351st day of the year