Friday, August 18, 2017
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Is It True That Celery Has Negative Calories? No. Head of celery (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Pediatricians Dr. Aaron E. Carroll and Dr. Rachel C. Vreeman examined the evidence for some common myths, things our mothers or society told us when we were growing up. Because we need to know the facts before we pass them on to our grandchildren. It sounds reasonable. Celery has only 6 calories for an eight-inch stalk. You should use up more than that eating it and digesting it. But, it’s not true. You do use up some calories eating. You burn up 85 calories an hour eating. That means if it takes you a... (Read More ...)

When Did Right Turn on Red Become Universal? I drove in Texas, Georgia, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Oklahoma before I was 21. A rare sight: a turn on red sign in NYC! (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In every state I had to learn whether this was a state where you could turn right on red or not. I remember a friend telling me she talked her way out of a ticket when she explained to the cop who stopped her that in her home state you could turn right on red after stopping. I’ve never talked my way out of a ticket. Well, there was that once when I spaced out and turned left on red and the cop let me... (Read More ...)

Shari Lewis. Shari Lewis’s birthday is January 17. Lewis and her puppets Lamb Chop and Charlie Horse from The Ford Show, 7 April 1960. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Tomorrow, Shari Lewis would have been 80. She was born on January 17, 1933. She succumbed to viral pneumonia on August 2, 1998. Her career began in 1952, at 19, when she won first prize on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts television program. In March, 1956, Lamb Chop was introduced on the Captain Kangaroo Show. By September of that year, she had her own show, “Shari and Her Friends.” How many of her puppets, besides Lamb... (Read More ...)

Puff, the Magic Dragon Lyrics This month is the 50th anniversary of the January 1963 release of Peter, Paul and Mary’s Puff, The Magic Dragon. I was a Sophomore in high school. How many of the lyrics do you remember from Puff, the Magic Dragon? Dragon (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Do you think they are really talking about drugs? Have you ever been to a Peter, Paul and Mary concert? Did you go to hootenannies in high school or college? Did you ever learn to play the guitar? You can sing along with Peter, Paul and Mary, following the lyrics below, and pretend you’re back at a hootenanny, singing... (Read More ...)

Portrait of Buffalo Bob Smith and Howdy Doody: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Photo credit: State Library and Archives of Florida) Howdy Doody’s Birthday It’s Howdy Doody Time. Buffalo Bob: Say kids, what time is it? Kids: It’s Howdy Doody Time!   Sung to the tune, “Ta ra ra Boom-dee-ay.” It’s Howdy Doody Time. It’s Howdy Doody Time. Bob Smith and Howdy Do Say Howdy Do to you. Let’s give a rousing cheer, Cause Howdy Doody’s here, It’s time to start the show, So kids let’s go!   Howdy Doody was created by Buffalo Bob Smith, first as a voice... (Read More ...)

Tenniel illustration of Tweedledum (centre) and Tweedledee (right) and Alice (left). (Lewis Carroll), (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was first published on November 26, 1865, three years after Charles Lutwidge Dodson had spun the tale for the three daughters of a friend on a rowboat ride. They were delighted with the story. One of the girls, Alice Liddell, perhaps the inspiration for “a bored little girl named Alice who went looking for an adventure,” begged him to write it down. Though he illustrated the first version himself,... (Read More ...)

Rocky and Bullwinkle From the opening theme to its WABAC machine, Rocky and Bullwinkle had my attention. It had spies, Boris and Natasha. It had cute animals, a moose and a flying squirrel. It had Fractured Fairy Tales, like “Leaping Beauty.” Canadian Mounty (Photo credit: mark.woodbury)“Leaping Beauty.” It had Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties. It had the talking dog Mr. Peabody’s Improbable History and his boy Sherman, and the WABAC machine. It had modernized, cartoon Aesop’s fables, and poems and nursery rhymes, with enough wordplay for both adults and children. The Rocky... (Read More ...)

Before Children Had Flame Resistant Clothing. From A child’s garden of verses (1905) (Photo credit: CircaSassy) Why Do Children Have Flame Resistant Clothing? When I was little, in the early 1950s, my mother made children’s pajamas for my two brothers and me and all her nieces and nephews one year for Christmas. At the time, you could buy cloth to make them for half the cost of ready-made. Within a year, due at least partially to the success of Weldon’s pajama factory in Pennsylvania, not, as in The Pajama Game, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where we lived, you could buy pajamas for less... (Read More ...)

When Was the Last Time You Rode a Bike? It’s been more than 20 years since I’ve ridden a bike. The Mount Vernon Trail near Belle View (Photo credit: Wikipedia) My first two bikes were Schwinns. There was the 20-inch bike I learned on and the 26-inch bike I rode to high school and crated to take with me on the train to college. What Kind of Bike Do You Have as an Adult? My current bike is a Nishiki mountain bike that used to belong to my younger son, now 34. I like it because it has the big, fat tires that I got used to on my Schwinns. They give you a nice ride and don’t rupture every time... (Read More ...)

Did You Watch Captain Kangaroo? Before Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, before Sesame Street, there was Captain Kangaroo. Bob Keeshan as Captain Kangaroo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Captain Kangaroo first aired on October 3, 1945 and ran until December 8, 1984. Captain Kangaroo, played by Bob Keeshan, is still the longest-running children’s series on commercial television, though it was eventually passed on all television by Sesame Street, on PBS. The cast included Mr. Green Jeans and Banana Man. The show had characters like Mr. Whispers, Mr. Rabbit, Dancing Bear, and Mr. Moose. Watch an episode here... (Read More ...)