The Pretzels for God movement was founded by Marlene McCauley of Phoenix, Arizona in 1973 after she became inspired to restore the pretzel to what she felt was its rightful place in Christian worship.
Apparently Christians invented pretzels back in the fifth century to eat during Lent since the pretzels contained only water, flour, and salt, but no eggs or milk which were forbidden during the observance. The shape of the pretzel symbolized arms crossed in prayer.
However, in modern times this religious origin has been largely forgotten as pretzels have become a bar and snack food. McCauley was determined to right this wrong. Specifically, she hoped to encourage Christians to eat pretzels during Lent and also to recite before each meal the "pretzel prayer":
"Grant us, we pray, that we too may be reminded by the daily sight of these pretzels to observe the holy season of Lent with true devotion and great spiritual fruit."
Back in 2010, in order to prove his theory that "in weight loss, pure calorie counting is what matters most — not the nutritional value of the food," Kansas State University professor of human nutrition Mark Haub lived almost entirely on Twinkies for 10 weeks. He ate one every three hours.
Though he added some variety into his diet with side helpings of Doritos, sugary cereals, and Oreos. As well as a multivitamin pill, protein shake, and some vegetables daily.
But by limiting himself to 1800 calories a day he lost 27 pounds, and other measures of health, such as cholesterol levels, all improved.
Inspired by Paul's post yesterday about the Potato Chip Queen contest, I did some research over at newspapers.com (subscription required) and came up with what I believe is a complete list of the Potato Chip Queens from 1946 to 1956, except for 1947 for which year I can't find any info. Perhaps there was no queen that year. After 1956 the contest seems to have transitioned into a Miss Teen Potato Chip contest. So, not quite the same.
Based on what I found, Nikki Geer was awarded the crown in 1946, but Paul found info indicating it was given to Dorothea Fagnano. Since Dorothea was only 15, I'm guessing she must have been given some kind of teen version of the crown.
Also, In 1952 the crown was given to a chipmunk ("Miss Potato Chip-munk").
Finally, the Potato Chip Queen for 1953, Joan Gehan (aka UN-KA-PU-CHI), was so popular that the next year they promoted her to "Miss Potato Chip of the Century."
1946: Nikki Geer Shickshinny Mountain Echo - Nov 8, 1946
1948: Joan Smith Opelousas Daily World - Feb 12, 1948
1949: Patricia Hunter Zanesville Times Recorder - Jan 29, 1949
From the 1940s to the 1970s, the makers of "Skinless" wieners tried hard, through relentless advertising, to establish "Weeny Witch" parties as a Halloween tradition. Basically, these were parties that completely centered around hot dogs. A "Weeny Witch" (a hot dog dressed up as a witch) would serve as a table centerpiece.
To make the Weeny Witch party more festive the company distributed a pamphlet with party suggestions, which included "Bobbing for Franks" as well as "Feeding the Weeny Witch." The latter involved creating a cardboard cutout of a witch's head. Blindfolded kids would then try to stick their weeny in the witch's mouth.
Mr Burger, a Melbourne-based chain of hamburger restaurants, recently offered to give "free burgers for life" to anyone who would legally change their last name to "Burger." They specified that this meant seven burgers a week, for as long as the person maintained the name Burger. However, anyone whose last name already was Burger, was disqualified from getting the award.
But then the restaurant heard from the Government Solicitor's office (the agency responsible for processing name-change applications), informing them that it would not process any applications for people changing their name to "Burger" for the purpose of winning burgers, because such applications "are not in the spirit of the name-change process." So the competition was canned.
At least, that's the story Mr Burger is telling everyone. Perhaps the restaurant actually got cold feet, realizing too many people might have taken them up on their offer.
As far as last names go, Burger really isn't that bad. I might have done it, except I'm not interested in eating burgers every day for the rest of my life.
At the George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, Maine, a Twinkie has been kept on display for 40 years.
Back in 1976, chemistry teacher Roger Bennatti placed the Twinkie on top of the class blackboard in response to a student question about the legendary shelf-life of Twinkies. Eventually, the Twinkie was moved into a glass display box, but it remains at the school as a perpetual experiment on Twinkie immortality. More info: abc news.
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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
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