Whoops!  Missed Wednesday, and Thursday’s post is coming in late.  Sorry about that!  Here’s a doublepak of knowledge for ya!

Today (Wednesday) I Learned…

…that Popeye’s spinach habit was government-funded.  In the early days of Popeye comics, no explanation was ever given for Popeye’s super strength.  However, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the brawny sailor suddenly began eating cans of spinach to get his mus-kles.  Why?

Seems that the United States government was concerned about the nutrition of the American people given the extremely high price of meat during the Depression.  Spinach was believed to be a ridiculously good source of iron, and the government enlisted Popeye the Sailor Man to start hawking spinach to the people of the nation.  It worked — sales of spinach increased 33% and American children rated it as their third favorite food behind turkey and ice cream.  The feds weren’t just interested in the nutrition, however — they were also pushing canned goods as a good source of emergency rations.

Also, it turns out that some of the scientific findings that the US based this program on were faulty — a decimal point was misplaced in an 1870 paper which made it seem that spinach had 10 times as much iron as it actually did; however the deed was already done when this was found out.

Thanks to mental_floss magazine for that one.

Today (Thursday) I Learned…

…about a fantastic band.  Go check out Scythian, and support these guys if you get a chance.  A bunch of us saw them Thursday night at Castaways in Ithaca and they put on a hell of a show.  Opening for them was OneSide, another great band from Boston.  Check them out too.

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