Thursday, June 18, 2009

What I Learned Today

They say you learn something new every day. I think that's probably true if you're going by averages, but not true in the literal sense. I know there are days when I'm bumming around watching Golden Girls and making crocheted flowers and I don't learn anything. On any day that I listen to Republican talk radio I'm pretty sure the opposite of learning is happening.

However, today I did learn things. I learned that deconstructing tee shirts is not as easy as one might assume. I also learned a few interesting tidbits about Johnny Appleseed and the history of apples in America:

But there’s a little detail the Disney movie and all the kids’ books about Johnny Appleseed got wrong. His apples weren’t for eating. They were for liquor. Apples don’t grow “true” from seeds–that is, if you plant a Granny Smith apple seed, the tree that grows will not produce Granny Smith apples (the vast majority of the time, anyway). The only way to be sure what kind of apples a tree will produce is to graft limbs onto it from another apple tree that has the kind of apples you want. Most trees that grow from seeds produce smallish apples that are bitter and very much unlike the glowing waxed fruit we’ve come to associate with health and a good diet. People would not want to eat those apples. But what they could do with them is turn them into apple cider, as the Junior Ecology Club mentions, but not the kind you buy at the grocery store around Thanksgiving. It was alcoholic apple cider.

For much of American history, alcoholic beverages were widely consumed by both adults and children. Before clean water was necessarily available, it was safer to drink alcohol, particularly in cities.

(from Sociological Images)

No comments: