Joe Reginella’s Memorials to Disasters That Never Happened…!!!


Most remember October 29th, 1929—also known as Black Tuesday—as the day when the New York stock market crashed. However, it was also the day when one of the most horrific tragedy involving human-animal conflict happened at the Brooklyn Bridge.

On that awful day a trio of three circus elephants, including the star attraction—a thirteen-foot-tall African elephant named Jumbo, was to cross the Brooklyn Bridge and into New York. The event was greatly publicized and crowds of people came from miles around to see Jumbo. While crossing the bridge, something caused the animals to panic and what was to be a slow and deliberate cross suddenly became a deadly stampede as the three elephants charged into the cheering crowd. Aside from scores of human casualty, two of the elephants died in the stampede, while Jumbo escaped to freedom through the Holland Tunnel and lived out his days at an elephant sanctuary.

 The memorial to the 1929 Brooklyn Bridge Elephant Stampede. Photo credit: Joe Reginella

When a new bronze memorial to the tragedy was unveiled at the Brooklyn Bridge Park last month, it left visitors scratching their heads because no one ever remembered hearing or reading about the Brooklyn Bridge Elephant Stampede of 1929. That’s because the tragedy never happened. It’s a satirical piece of art by sculptor Joe Reginella.

Last year, the prankster-artist erected another memorial to yet another fabricated tragedy—the so-called Staten Island Ferry Disaster—in Battery Park. The story goes, that on November 2nd, 1963, a Staten Island Ferry with over 400 people onboard was attacked by a giant octopus and was pulled beneath the water resulting in the death of all passengers. According to Reginella, the disaster went almost completely unnoticed by the public because it was overshadowed by another more “newsworthy” tragedy that occurred that day—the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

As part of the hoax, Reginella created a fake documentary, fabricated newspaper articles and distributed flyers to puzzled tourists sending them to a nonexistent museum on Staten Island.



The memorial to the 1963 Staten Island Ferry Disaster. Photo credit: Ula Ilnytzky

The idea for the hoax came to him when Reginella was taking his 11-year-old nephew on the ferry between Manhattan and Staten Island. To satisfy the kid’s curious questions, such as if the waters were infested with shark, Reginella fabricated the story of a giant octopus attack.

“The story just rolled off the top of my head,” he told The Guardian, and it evolved to become “a multimedia art project and social experience – not maliciously – about how gullible people are”.

In the early few days after the memorial was unveiled, Reginella sat close by with a fishing pole pretending to fish so that he could eavesdrop on the conversations. Sometimes he overheard people wondering why nobody ever heard of it. Others simply stared out at the water and walked away.

While the Staten Island Ferry Disaster never happened, there is actually a bit of interesting history behind Reginella’s latest hoax—the Brooklyn Bridge Elephant Stampede. Elephants belonging to the Barnum and Bailey’s Circus did actually cross the Brooklyn Bridge in 1884, when the circus came to town. One of the elephants, a thirteen-foot and seven-ton African, was actually named Jumbo. He was accompanied by twenty other elephants, seven camels and ten dromedaries in what was known as Barnum’s legendary “elephant walk.”

Neither memorials are permanent, and are displayed only on specific days and times. Consult the memorials’ websites for timing before you decide to visit.

Source….Kaushik in




12 of the Late Jerry Lewis’ Funniest Sketches….


Many people will have a heavy heart having heard the sad news that comedy legend, Jerry Lewis, has passed away at the age of 91. Although he fell in and out of favor with his adoring public throughout his career, there’s no denying that he was both immensely talented and incredibly generous – he ran a Labor Day telethon each year from 1966 to 2010 in order to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, raising some $2.5 billion in the process. Enjoy 12 of the most famous sketches and songs from his career below:





It was March 14, 1932 when George Eastman, famed inventor, philanthropist, and founder of Eastman Kodak, invited a few loyal friends over to witness the rewriting of his will. He had made the decision to give a good portion of his money and prized possessions, including his enormous mansion, to the city he called home for his whole life- Rochester. To this end, he bequeathed his house and a $2 million endowment (about $34 million today) to the University of Rochester. Eastman also donated a large sum of money to dental dispensaries across the city, attempting to ensure that no child in Rochester would go without proper dental work. Finally, he left $200,000 (about $3.4 million today) to his beloved niece, Ellen.

Cheerfully signing the will, he assured his friends this was just a matter of ensuring his wishes. Later, it was thought that he also wanted his friends to see him mentally alert so the credibility of the will wouldn’t be questioned. After all the t’s were crossed and i’s were dotted, he asked if everyone could excuse themselves for a moment. When they did, George took out paper and pen and wrote a note, which read,

To my friends,
My work is done.
Why wait?

Then, he took a pistol out from his nightstand and shot himself in the heart, ending his life at the age of 74.

So who was this captain of industry and why did he, quite cheerfully, suddenly choose to take his own life?

George Eastman, and his company, turned photography from a complicated, expensive, unwieldy, and potentially dangerous hobby (due the chemicals needed to develop the film) into one that, quite literally, a child could do. He was not only a genius inventor, but a brilliant marketer.

His story begins as it ended, in Rochester. The Eastmans always put a priority on education. In fact, George Eastman Senior founded Eastman’s Commercial College in 1854, the same year George Junior was born. The family was middle-class and living pretty comfortably, but this was short-lived. In 1862, when George was only eight, his father passed away from a “brain disorder.” His mother, Maria, was a now a widow with three small children, one of them (George’s youngest sister Katy) suffered from polio and other illnesses. Life was hard for the Eastman family after George Senior’s death and self-reliance became a necessary trait.

At age of 14, George dropped out of high school to support his family. He worked at a local insurance company and as a clerk at Rochester Savings Bank. Then, in 1870, tragedy struck again when his sister, Katy, passed away from complications related to polio. She was buried next to her father.

George, even at an early age, was meticulous, detailed, and controlling of every aspect of his own business. Starting when he got his first job at 14, he began keeping ledgers to detail his finances. Due to his careful planning and earning enough working at the bank, Eastman was able to afford certain luxuries. It was in one of these ledgers, under January 27, 1869 to be exact, that “photography” was first mentioned. As the months passed, besides helping to support his mother, George spent more and more money on “photos” or “photograph materials.”

In 1878, Eastman learned an important lesson – photography (at least at the time) was hard. The legend goes that he wanted to treat his mother to a vacation in Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic (other sources say he was looking to buy land in the newly independent nation). Either way, to document his trip, he bought a photographic outfit. Cameras then are not what we think of cameras are today. An outfit included the camera (constructed from several parts that must be put together before taking pictures), a stand, a light, and wet glass plates (with chemicals) in order to preserve the picture. As Eastman later put it,

In those days, one did not ‘take’ a camera; one accompanied the outfit in which the camera was only a part. I bought an outfit and learned that it took not only a strong, but also a dauntless man to be an outdoor photographer.

Eastman, so fed up with everything he had to bring, not only didn’t take a camera, he didn’t take the trip at all. At this point, Eastman thought to himself that there had to be a better way.

For the next several years, while still working at the bank, Eastman developed a new kind of dry plate, one made out of gelatin (the same ingredient used in Jello, which would be invented twenty years later in a small town thirty miles from Rochester), not glass. Glass was heavy, fragile, and expensive. Gelatin was an improvement on all of these things. By 1880, he had patented a dry-plate coating machine made out of gelatin, making the process of preserving film negatives simpler, cheaper, and less dangerous.

While developing this process, he came across another innovation that would allow photography and, eventually, cameras to become something that wasn’t just for the professional. As described by Eastman,

I also made experiments by using paper as a temporary support and coating the Cellulose immediately upon the paper, and afterwards coating with the emulsion. I had no difficulty stripping the Cellulose from the paper, the cellulose adhered to the emulsion and separated from the paper.

He patented this film on March 4, 1884. That same year, Eastman and his associate William Walker developed a roll holder to hold the film. The invention of this revolutionary film wasn’t enough, though. What he really wanted to do was, “to popularize photography to an extent as yet scarcely dreamed of.”

In 1888, the name “Kodak” was thought up while playing with an anagram set with his mother. Eastman loved the word because it was simple, easy to pronounce and it started with a “K.” Said Eastman, “It became a question of trying out a great number of combinations of letters that made words starting and ending with ‘K.”

Kodak was officially incorporated as a company in 1890 and quickly rocketed to the top of the industry. Also that same year, Eastman introduced the first Kodak camera, equipped with his film. It cost $25 (about $640 today), but the most important thing was that the customer didn’t do the developing of film themselves- Kodak did. The customer would send the camera back (film and all) to the company for developing and processing. Their motto aptly illustrated this: “You press the button, we do the rest.”

He had now made it easy for anyone to take and have pictures developed. The next step was to change the camera from a luxury item or expensive hobby to something just about anyone could afford.

In 1900, the revolutionary Brownie camera, versions of which were so popular through the mid-20th century, was born. It cost only one dollar ($28 today) and was even marketed to children. For the next hundred years, George Eastman and Kodak would be synonymous with cameras and film.

For his entire 40+ years of heading up his own company, George Eastman was used to being in control. So, when he was diagnosed with a spinal condition in the late 1920s, forcing him to be confined to a wheelchair, it depressed him greatly. His mother, who lived with him until her death in 1907, was also in a wheelchair for the last years of her life. His baby sister was in a wheelchair until she died. He saw them suffer and Eastman did not want to go through the same long drawn out process. He also didn’t like that he felt this gave off an image of weakness. Eastman was used to being a man respected the world over, not an “invalid.” He mused greatly about death and illness, writing a friend,

God keep me from being like them (referring to family and friends who he had seen succumb to illness). Doesn’t it seem strange that the clearest minds I have ever known should be taken this way? That is the sad thing about illness.

So, by March 1932, he had enough. George Eastman wanted to go by his own hand, rather than the hand of illness and fate. So he tidied up all the loose ends of his life and, once complete, ended it immediately on his own terms.

Source… i


Daniel The Emotional Support Duck Takes His First Plane Ride, Soars In Popularity…!!!




Daniel The Emotional Support Duck

Daniel The Emotional Support Duck Takes His First Plane Ride, Soars In Popularity

Daniel, an emotional-support duck, on board a recent American Airlines flight.

Mark Essig was settling into his puddle-jumper flight from Charlotte to Asheville, N.C., on Monday when he noticed an unusual passenger boarding the plane.

It was a duck. Making his way down the aisle.

Wearing red shoes. And a Captain America diaper.

The duck’s human introduced him to their fellow, now-amused passengers: This was Daniel Turducken Stinkerbutt, or Daniel for short. He is a 4 1/2-year-old Indian Runner duck and is her emotional support animal, she explained.

“I heard a few maybe semi-critical mutterings, like, ‘Now I’ve seen everything,’ ” Essig told The Washington Post. “But most everybody was delighted to have a duck on a plane. As they should be.”

Like many other passengers, Essig snapped a few photos while Daniel and his human were boarding. After takeoff, Essig tried to concentrate on light reading during the flight, but he kept inadvertently glancing toward the duck, just a row ahead and to the right of him.

When he saw the duck staring out the window, he couldn’t resist taking one more picture.


After the flight, Essig posted his photos on Twitter.

“My seatmate, [from] CLT [to] AVL, is this handsome duck named Daniel,” Essig tweeted first. “His gentle quacking eases the sadness of leaving #SFA16,” the Southern Foodways Alliance conference in Mississippi.

Daniel the emotional-support duck looking out the window during his flight.

“I was expecting that this might amuse a couple of my friends,” he said. What he didn’t anticipate was that the photos would go viral.

It turned out that a duck wearing shoes and a diaper on a plane was too much for the Internet to handle.

Essig posted two more photos and a video: one of Daniel in his full red-shoed, diapered glory, and another of the duck wagging his tail while his owner explains that it means that Daniel is happy. Both tweets were shared thousands of times.

The most popular one, however, was a picture of Daniel as the duck seemed to stare forlornly out the airplane window: “Daniel, the duck on my flight, likes to look at the clouds,” Essig stated simply. That photo had more than 5,000 retweets and more than 11,000 likes.

“A duck head is a very recognizable shape, and the shape of an airline window is a very recognizable shape, too,” Essig said. “So you’ve got two very recognizable shapes that don’t normally go together . . . it caught people’s eye.”

The encounter amused Essig but also piqued his curiosity about ducks as support animals — he happens to be the author of “Lesser Beasts,” a book about humans’ complicated relationship with pigs. After the flight, he looked up Daniel’s breed and discovered that Indian Runner ducks do not fly.

“My guess was that he was gazing out the window, looking at the clouds, and the sight triggered a deep ancestral memory of what it was like to fly himself,” Essig said, laughing. “I’m almost certain that’s [what] he was thinking.”

Within two days of Essig’s tweets, Daniel had become an Internet sensation, getting featured on BuzzFeed, ABC News and Cosmopolitan, among many other sites.

The attention surprised Daniel’s owner, Carla Fitzgerald of Wisconsin, “because to me, having an emotional support duck is normal – it’s my new normal.”

Fitzgerald adopted Daniel in 2012, when he was two days old, she told The Post in a phone interview Wednesday. Less than a year later, Fitzgerald, a former horse-and-carriage driver in Milwaukee, was involved in a serious accident.

“Someone who was paying more attention to the phone than the road hit me from behind, with enough force to bust up the carriage,” she said. Her horse was badly injured, and the crash sent Fitzgerald hurtling toward a metal-grated drawbridge. For months, she was immobile.

“It took them four months to teach me how to walk again,” Fitzgerald said. Along with the physical pain, she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, something she describes as “hell.”

After the accident, Daniel knew things were different – and responded without ever having been trained.

“He would notice something wrong, whether it be my pain or my PTSD,” Fitzgerald said. “He would come and lay on me and [give me] lots of hugging and lots of kisses. And if he notices that I’m going to have a panic attack, he would give me a cue to lay down by trying to climb me.”

At home, Fitzgerald says Daniel communicates with her in other ways: If he needs a new diaper, he walks to his changing table. If he wants food, he walks to the refrigerator or to his feed bowl. Outside of bedtime, he always wears shoes and a diaper, she said, because he is so used to carpet and linoleum.

He apparently enjoys movies, but only “super G-rated” ones. (Daniel responded well to “The Peanuts Movie” but got upset during a chase scene in “The Good Dinosaur,” Fitzgerald said.)

“He doesn’t identify with other ducks because he’s imprinted on humans,” Fitzgerald said. “As far as he’s concerned, he thinks he’s people with feathers.”

Her living room is full of toddler toys that Daniel enjoys, particularly anything that has a button to push or makes a sound, such as keyboards and music boxes.

“And God forbid one of the batteries runs out,” Fitzgerald said. “He stomps his feet, he raises his hackles, he huffs and he gives you stink-eye. And if you don’t change those batteries right now, he gets snippy. He can also tell you when he needs a new diaper.”

Since the accident, Daniel has accompanied Fitzgerald everywhere, mostly car rides. Monday had been Daniel’s first time flying on a plane (or flying, period). She provided a note to the airline from her doctor, who has said it is in Fitzgerald’s best interest to have Daniel around for support, but otherwise had a smooth trip.
The crew on their first leg, before their connecting flight to Asheville, even insisted on posing for pictures with Daniel and presenting him with a “Certificate of First Flight.”
The Transportation Department is debating new rules regarding accommodations for disabled people on airplanes, including reviewing rules for emotional-support animals, USA Today reported. The department began allowing emotional-support animals on planes, but the practice of bringing them on board has offended some passengers.”Here’s the thing. Who are we to say what is and what isn’t an emotional support animal or what can and cannot be a pet?” Fitzgerald said. “Or what they can do for people who have PTSD like I do? Having it is hell.”

For the time being, Fitzgerald does not have any other immediate travel plans but said that Daniel will no doubt accompany her on her next trip. She said she thinks that people responded positively to Daniel because he’s unique – but also because he keeps to himself.

“He is obedient and he wears a diaper harness, ” she said. ” I make sure before he goes in public that he has a shower, so there’s no smell to him. When he’s in public, he behaves. He’s not flapping and running around and chasing people.”

However, Fitzgerald might be a little more prepared next time since, as her friends put it, “Daniel broke the Internet” after his first plane ride.

“I didn’t know that a little Indian Runner duck who weighs six pounds could cause such an uproar,” she said.


பெர்முடா முக்கோண மர்மம்… இதுதான் காரணமா?…


பெர்முடா முக்கோண மர்மம்… இதுதான் காரணமா?



யற்கை மனிதகுலத்திற்குப் பல ஆச்சர்யங்களை தன்னுள் வைத்திருக்கிறது. ஆச்சர்யங்கள் அனைத்தையும் மனிதனால் ஒரே மூச்சில் கண்டுபிடிக்க முடியாவிட்டாலும், தொடர்ந்து பல ஆண்டுகள் ஆராய்ச்சியின் மூலம் அதைக் கண்டுபிடிக்கும் வண்ணம் தொழில்நுட்பம் வளர்ந்துவிட்டது. பூமியில் இன்னமும் தீர்க்கப்படாத சில சிக்கல்கள் இருக்கின்றன. அதில் முக்கியமானது ‘பெர்முடா முக்கோணம்’. அதை வைத்து எடுக்கப்பட்ட திரைப்படங்களும், புத்தகங்களும் கோடிக்கணக்கான வருவாயை அள்ளித் தந்துள்ளன. ஆனால், பெர்முடா முக்கோணத்தின் மர்மம் மட்டும் மர்மமாகவே இருந்தது.

பெர்முடா முக்கோணம் என்றால் என்ன ?

வடக்கு அமெரிக்காவுக்கு கிழக்கே, பனாமா கால்வாய்க்கு அருகில் அமைந்துள்ளது பெர்முடா தீவு. அதை ஒட்டி இருக்கும் மர்மமான பிரதேசத்துக்கு வைக்கப்பட்ட பெயர் தான் பெர்முடா முக்கோணம். இதை சாத்தானின் முக்கோணம் என்றும் மக்கள் அழைக்கிறார்கள். அதற்குக் காரணம், அந்தக் கடல் பகுதியில் செல்லும் விமானங்கள், கப்பல்கள் எல்லாம் மாயமாய் மறைந்து போவதுதான். பெர்முடா முக்கோணத்தின் அருகே செல்லும் போது திசை காட்டிகள் செயலிழக்கின்றன என்று முதன் முறையாகக் கண்டறிந்து கூறியவர் கொலம்பஸ். அந்தப் பகுதியில் வானத்தில் ஓர் எரிப்பந்தைக் கண்டதாகவும் அவர் கூறியிருக்கிறார். அதன்பின் 1872-ம் ஆண்டு ‘மேரி செலஸ்டி’என்கிற கப்பலும், 1918-ம் ஆண்டு ‘யு.எஸ்.எஸ் சைக்ளோப்ஸ்’ என்கிற கப்பலும் சில நூறு பயணிகளுடன் காணாமல் போனது.
1945-ம் ஆண்டு பிளைட் 19 வகையைச் சேர்ந்த 5 ராணுவ விமானங்கள் அந்தப் பகுதியில் பறக்கும்போது காணாமல் போயின. 1949-ல் ஜமைக்கா நாட்டுக்குச் சொந்தமான பயணிகள் விமானம் 39 பயணிகளுடன் மாயமானது. இப்படி நூற்றுக்கும் மேற்பட்ட சம்பவங்கள் அந்தப் பகுதியில் நிகழ்ந்ததாகப் பதிவாகி இருப்பதால், அது மர்மப் பிரதேசமாகவே திகழ்கிறது.

விமானியின் அனுபவம் 

இதுவரை அந்தப் பகுதியில் காணாமல் போன விமானங்களோ, கப்பல்களோ கண்டுபிடிக்கப்படவில்லை. ஆயிரத்துக்கும் மேற்பட்ட மனித உயிர்கள் பலியாகி இருக்கின்றன. அந்தப்பகுதியில் இருந்து தப்பி வந்த புரூஸ் ஹெனன் என்கிற விமானி சொன்ன அனுபவம் தான் பெர்முடா முக்கோணம் பற்றிய ஆராய்ச்சிக்கு விதையாக அமைந்தது. அவர் ஒருமுறை மியாமியிலிருந்து பனாமா கால்வாய் வழியாகத் திரும்பிக் கொண்டு இருந்தார். அப்போது தீடீரென்று அவரைச் சுற்றி கருமேகங்கள் சூழ்ந்தது, திசைகாட்டும் கருவி விடாமல் சுற்றிக் கொண்டே இருந்தது. அவரால் திசையைத் தீர்மானிக்க முடியவில்லை. இருப்பினும் தொடர்ந்து விமானத்தை இயக்கியவர், மேகக்கூட்டங்களுக்கு நடுவே ஒரு குகை போன்ற வழியைக் கண்டார். 16 கிலோமீட்டர் நீளமான அந்தக்குகை போன்ற மேகக்கூட்டத்தை 20 நொடிகளில் கடந்ததாக தனது புத்தகத்தில் குறிப்பிட்டு இருக்கிறார். அதுதான் ஆராய்ச்சியாளர்களை மேலும் சிந்திக்க வைத்தது.

காரணம் கண்டுபிடிப்பு

சமீபத்தில் பெர்முடா முக்கோணத்துக்குப் பின்னால் இருக்கும் மர்மத்தைக் கண்டுபிடித்து விட்டதாகச் சொல்லி இருக்கிறார்கள் ஆராய்ச்சியாளர்கள். ஒரு புதிய தியரியை வெளியிட்டு இருக்கிறார்கள். அதன்படி, அந்தப் பகுதியில் நீடிக்கும் அதிகப்படியான காற்றும், பருவநிலை மாற்றங்கள் ஏற்படுத்தும் அழுத்தமும், அறுங்கோண வடிவில் சுழலும் மேகங்கள் 170 மைல் வேகத்தில் ஏற்படுத்தும் காற்று அழுத்தமும்தான் அதற்குக் காரணம் என்று சொல்லி இருக்கிறார்கள். அந்தக் காற்றுப்படிமங்கள் கப்பல்களையும், விமானங்களையும் உள்ளிழுத்துக் கொள்ளும் சக்திவாய்ந்ததாக இருப்பதாகக் கண்டுபிடித்து இருக்கிறார்கள்.

இதுகுறித்து, வானியல் ஆராய்ச்சியாளர் ராண்டி சேர்வெனி குறிப்பிடும்போது, ‘செயற்கைக்கோள்கள் மூலம் எடுக்கப்பட்ட புகைப்படங்களில், இந்தக் காற்று வடிவங்கள் மிகவும் வினோதமான வடிவில் இருக்கின்றன. இவை ஏற்படுத்தும் வெடிப்புதான் அழுத்தத்துக்குக் காரணம் என்பது தெளிவாகத் தெரிகிறது’ என்றிருக்கிறார்

எப்படியோ இத்தனை ஆண்டு கால மர்மம் ஒருவழியாகத் தெளிவாகி இருக்கிறது.

Source…..மா.அ.மோகன் பிரபாகரன் in



Why iodine is added to Salt ….?


Iodine in a gaseous state. The fact that it is purple in this state is how it got its name, from the Greek for violet (iodes)

Today I found out why iodine is added to salt.

Iodine first began being added to salt commercially in the United States in 1924 by the Morton Salt Company at the request of the government.  This was done as a response to the fact that there were certain regions in the U.S., such as around the Great Lakes and in the Pacific Northwest, where people weren’t getting enough iodine in their diets due to it not being prevalent in the soil in those regions.  Among other problems, this caused many people to develop goiters (swelling of the thyroid gland, also sometimes spelled “goitre”).

About 90% of people who develop a goiter do so because of a lack of iodine in their diets, so the simple solution was to add iodine to something pretty much everyone consumes fairly regularly, namely salt. This practiced was not thought up by the U.S., but was copied from the Swiss who were adding iodine to salt at this time for the same reason.  This resulted in researchers at the University of Michigan testing this practice out with good results and subsequently Morton Salt Company adopting the practice on a national level.

This ultimately didn’t cost Morton and the other salt companies that followed suit much money, only a few cents per person per year in iodine, but drastically cut the number of people who developed goiters in the United States and beyond as the practice gradually became adopted throughout much of the developed world.

Today because most food in developed countries like the United States often isn’t grown locally, coming from all over the country and world, depending on the food item, continuing to add iodine to salt isn’t strictly necessary.  People in regions where the soil is lacking in iodine will likely consume plenty of food from regions where it is not, thus getting the iodine their bodies need, particularly because our thyroids don’t need much to function properly.

For reference, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that you consume about 150 micrograms of iodine per day and, on average, men in the United States gets about double that amount per day and women each consume about 210 micrograms of iodine per day.  Your thyroid itself only needs about 70 micrograms per day to function properly.

Even though most people get plenty of Iodine in their diets, because Iodine is so critical to our bodies functioning properly and the Tolerable Upper Intake Level is so high (about 1100 micrograms per day, and you won’t take a fatal dose unless you ingest about 2 million micrograms, or 2 grams), adding it to salt is still recommended by many government health agencies the world over to stave off certain health problems.

Specifically, Iodine is a critical element used by your thyroid in being able to synthesize certain gland secretions which, among other things, influences your heart, metabolism, nerve responses, etc.  Further, a lack of iodine during pregnancy and in the baby’s diet after being born can cause a myriad of significant health and developmental problems.  Iodine deficiency has also been linked to increased difficulty with information processing, diminished fine motor skills, extreme fatigue, depression, weight gain, and low basal body temperatures, among other things.

Bonus Facts:

  • Iodine deficiency, besides being a leading cause of goiters in the world, is also currently the number one easily preventable cause of mental retardation in the world, due to the fact that, despite iodized salt being fairly prevalent, there are still about two billion people in the world today that are iodine deficient.
  • Iodine was discovered by accident by the son of a saltpeter manufacturer, Bernard Courtois, in 1811.  This was thanks partially to the Napoleonic Wars which resulted in saltpeter, for gunpowder, being in high demand (the Napoleonic Wars also helped give us canned food and cheap and easily made pencils, read more at the links).  In the process of producing saltpeter, sodium carbonate was needed.  In order to get the sodium carbonate, the saltpeter manufacturers would isolate it from seaweed by burning the seaweed and washing the ash with water.  The waste from this process was then destroyed with sulfuric acid.  At one point, Courtois accidentally added too much sulfuric acid to the waste and he observed a purple vapor, which crystallized on cold surfaces.  He then gave samples of this substance to others to study in more detail as he suspected he’d discovered a new element.  One person he gave the substance to was chemist Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac, who subsequently  announced at the Imperial Institute of France that Coutois’ discovery was either a new element or was some compound of oxygen.  Another scientist, Humphry Davy, also studied the substance and determined that it was indeed a new element.
  • During the Cold War, it was a common practice for people to have iodine pills on hand in case of a nuclear strike.  Among many other problems we’d all have during a nuclear war is the issue of radioactive iodine accumulating in our thyroids.  In order to combat this accumulation, the idea was to take an iodine pill and give your thyroid so much iodine that it wouldn’t be able to absorb the radioactive iodine.
  • The first confirmed people to figure out how to cure most goiters were the Chinese during the Tang Dynasty (618-907).  During that time, they treated people with goiters by grinding up the thyroids of sheep and pigs to form a powder which was then consumed in a pill or in powdered form.  These animal thyroids are very iodine rich, so this cure worked quite well, though they didn’t realize why at the time.
  • The Pharmacopoeia of the Heavenly Husbandman also implies that as early as the 1st century BC the Chinese cured goiters with sargassum (a type of seaweed), which also contains significant quantities of iodine.  Whether this dating is accurate or not, at least as far as recorded history goes, it appears that the Chinese were the first to come up with an effective cure for a goiter.
  • Seafood typically contains relatively large amounts of iodine, so if you eat much seafood, you’re very likely getting more than enough iodine, without consuming salt laced with it.
  • According to a study done at the University of Texas about 47% off major salt manufacturers no longer put enough iodine in their salt to meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recommended levels.  This problem is further exacerbated when salt is exposed to air or in humid regions.  This will gradually lower the iodine content in the salt over time.
  • Salt is typically iodized by spraying it with potassium iodate at a rate of 60 ml per one ton of salt (which comes to a little over $1 of potassium iodate per ton of salt).
  •  Salt with iodine added makes for a poor choice for curing, as the iodine in large enough quantities will add a certain amount of bitterness to the cured food.
  • While pure salt doesn’t technically expire, when iodine is added, it does, having a shelf life of about five years on average, according to Morton Salt Company.
  • Calcium silicate is typically added to table salt as an anti-caking agent, to keep the salt flowing smoothly, rather than clumped together as it absorbs moisture.  Around .5% of the contents of a typical table salt container is calcium silicate.
  • Iodine was originally named “iode” by Gay-Lussac from the Greek word for violet (iodes), due to the purple vapor observed which formed the crystals.

Source… i


How the Five Day week work became popular ?


On September 25, 1926, the Ford Motor Company instituted a five-day, 40-hour work week for its factory employees. While Ford wasn’t the first to do this, they were arguably one of the most influential.

This action, at least initially, did not win Ford many friends among his fellow business owners, some of whom believed giving the working man any time off just encouraged them to indulge in drink even more than they already did. (To be fair, that was a real problem around this era. It was not from nothing that excessive drink was blamed for many of society’s woes at the time, ultimately inspiring Prohibition, which even a very large percentage of said drinkers supported in the beginning. But, of course, if you had to work 14-16 hour days, 6 days per week from your very early teen years on- for reference in 1890 the average work week in the United States for a blue-collar factory worker was 90-100 hours- you might be driven to drink excessively too. ;-))

Beyond this, many competing employers were still miffed at Ford for raising his (male) workers’ salaries up to five dollars per day (about $116 today) back in 1914, double the former going rate, and around the same time cutting the typical work week down to 48 hours at his factories. (Women had to wait until 1916 to command the same wage.) But since Ford was one the world’s largest manufacturers, most in the industry were compelled for various reasons to follow their example, like it or not.

Ford stated in his company’s newsletter,

“Just as the eight-hour day opened our way to prosperity in America, so the five-day work week will open our way to still greater prosperity … It is high time to rid ourselves of the notion that leisure for workmen is either lost time or a class privilege.”

Of course, Ford wasn’t just doing this out of the goodness of his heart. He understood that a five-day work week with “eight hours labour, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest” would encourage working people to vacation on weekends, shop on Saturdays, and have ample free time to fill during their daily 8 hour recreation time. (See: Why a Typical Work Day is Eight Hours Long) People with more leisure time required more clothing, ate a greater variety of food and, of course, were far more likely to be in the market to buy an automobile to travel around in. Workers who were paid more also were more likely to be able to afford such an automobile.

Beyond benefiting sales as other companies followed suit, he had also observed that happy workers (both in their home and work life) meant better and more efficient workers.

Now, Ford expected his workers to produce in those shorter working hours, but with the higher pay and weekends off, there were very few complaints from any of his employees. They were happy to put the pedal to the metal Monday through Friday for their excellent salary and five-day, 40 hour work week.

As Ford had thought, after instituting these changes, productivity skyrocketed, meaning he was getting more results from significantly fewer work hours and company loyalty and pride among Ford employees was equally boosted. Beyond low-skilled laborers banging down the doors to get work at Ford, he also now had the luxury of having the top talent in each of the high-skilled fields he needed workers for applying in droves. Needless to say, manufacturers all over the world would soon follow Ford’s example, which played right into his hands.

Edsel Ford, Henry’s son and then company president, was quoted in March of 1922 in the New York Times as saying of all this, “Every man needs more than one day a week for rest and recreation….The Ford Company always has sought to promote [an] ideal home life for its employees. We believe that in order to live properly every man should have more time to spend with his family.”

Ford himself laid it all out in black and white:

“The harder we crowd business for time, the more efficient it becomes. The more well-paid leisure workmen get, the greater become their wants. These wants soon become needs. Well-managed business pays high wages and sells at low prices. Its workmen have the leisure to enjoy life and the wherewithal with which to finance that enjoyment.”

Bonus Fact:

  • In the early 19th century in Britain, a series of “Factories Acts” were passed meant to help improve working conditions for workers, particularly for children. One of the first of these was in 1802 and stipulated children under the age of 9 were not to be allowed to work and, rather, must attend school. Further, children from the ages of 9-13 were only allowed to work eight hours per day and children from 14-18 could only work a maximum of 12 hours per day. Unfortunately, this law was largely ignored and almost never enforced in any way. Further, even when it rarely was enforced, the fines were small enough that it was more profitable for factory owners to break this law and pay the fine, than to follow it. The act also did nothing for adults except require that factories be well ventilated, though it did not stipulate what defines “well ventilated”, so factory owners could easily ignore this part of the act as well.

Source… i