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21 Strange Food Deaths Through History

21 Strange Food Deaths Through History


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King Adolf Frederick of Sweden: You've heard the expression "too much of a good thing." Well, King Adolf Frederick is supposedly "remembered by Swedish school children as the king who ate himself to death. He died on Feb. 12, 1771, after having consumed a meal consisting of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, kippers and champagne, which was topped off with 14 servings of his favorite dessert, semla, served in a bowl of hot milk.’’

Edgar Allan Poe: There are several theories as to this writer's death in 1849 — rabies and a brain tumor among them. Another hypothesis is that he died from a cerebral edema after a drinking binge.

Elizabeth Stride: It was reported in The Evening News that Elizabeth Stride, one of Jack the Ripper's five known victims, was found dead in 1888 with grapes in hand. She was supposedly seen earlier with a man who bought the grapes from a vendor. Grapes were expensive and one theory is that they were used to lure Stride.

Tommy Dorsey: This renowned trombonist led bands that were ranked among the top two or three of the Swing era. Supposedly, he choked to death in his sleep in 1956 while under sedation from sleeping pills following a heavy meal.

Calamity Jane: This icon of the Wild West was famous for drinking. Supposedly, she died after a last binge; "She rode an ore train to Terry, a little mining village near Deadwood, where she became violently sick to her stomach. A bartender secured a room for her in the Calloway Hotel and a doctor was summoned. Her death.... was ascribed to inflammation of the bowels and pneumonia." Another food-related note, after Jack McCall killed Wild Bill Hickok it was supposedly Jane who "had the honor of commanding him [McCall] to surrender, when cornered in a butcher shop, with a meat cleaver as her weapon."

Basil Brown: This health advocate died in 1974 after supposedly drinking 10 gallons of carrot juice during a period of 10 days — 10,000 times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A.

Bandō Mitsugorō VIII: In 1975, revered Kabuki actor Bando Mitsugoro VIII supposedly "ordered four fugu kimo in a restaurant in Kyoto, claiming he could resist the poison. He was wrong."

William Holden: This Oscar-winning actor was a big box office draw during the 1950s. He was found dead in his apartment in 1981 after supposedly hitting his head while drinking heavily.

Marty Feldman: The actor perhaps most immediately recognizable for playing the part of Igor in Young Frankenstein was found dead in his motel room in Mexico in 1982. Filmmaker Michael Mileham is said to have theorized that Feldman may have died of shellfish poisoning after using a knife they'd used on some lobsters.

Bernard Loiseau: Chef Loiseau tragically took his own life in 2003 not long after supposedly confiding to a friend that he would do just that if he lost a Michelin star.

Jennifer Lea Strange: In 2007 this game show contestant died of water intoxication after participating in a water-drinking contest run by the Sacramento radio station KDND-FM.


Food Calendar: Today in Food Historyand Food Timeline Daily Food Calendar & National Food Holidays

This section is updated Daily. A calendar of food holidays, historical food events from ancient to modern times. Births, deaths, anniversaries, inventions, first, last, largest, smallest, longest, greatest. People, corporations, restaurants, books, movies, songs, radio, television, commercials, equipment, beverages, fruits, vegetables, animals, fish, and anything else having to do with food and drink history!

The various designated food & beverage related ‘days’ ‘weeks’ and ‘months’ listed in this food calendar come from many sources. Some are declared by Presidential proclamation or by Congress (National Bird Feeding Month), by other federal government organizations such as the USDA, FDA, or CDC (National Fiber Focus Month) or by State, County or City governments.
Other sources are Industry groups like the National Confectioners Association (National Chocolate Day), and the American Egg Board (Egg Salad Week). Some are designated by private groups like the Culinary Historians of Chicago (National Soul Food Month). Some are declared by individual companies like White Castle (National Hamburger Month). There are a few that are listed on many other websites, but if I am unable to verify a legitimate source, I will remove them from this website.

Here are a four more very good ‘Timelines’ about Food and Agriculture:

• FoodTimeLine.org by Lynne Olver, Reference Librarian

• History of American Agriculture USDA Agriculture in the Classroom

My thanks to Ron Elling and others who send in occasional updates and corrections for this Food Calendar. Chef James

The information contained in this Food History Calendar has been researched and developed at considerable expense in both time and money and is Copyright © 1990-2021 James T. Ehler.
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To obtain permission to reproduce or copy any portion of this work, contact the Author and Publisher:

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Food Rationing in Wartime America

World War I
Following nearly three years of intense combat since the onset of World War I, America’s allies in Europe were facing starvation. Farms had either been transformed into battlefields or had been left to languish as agricultural workers were forced into warfare, and disruptions in transportation made the distribution of imported food extremely challenging. On August 10, 1917, shortly after the United States entered the war, the U.S. Food Administration was established to manage the wartime supply, conservation, distribution and transportation of food. Appointed head of the administration by President Woodrow Wilson, future-President Herbert Hoover developed a voluntary program that relied on Americans’ compassion and sense of patriotism to support the larger war effort.

In order to provide U.S. troops and allies with the sustenance required to maintain their strength and vitality, posters urging citizens to reduce their personal consumption of meat, wheat, fats and sugar were plastered throughout communities. Slogans such as 𠇏ood will win the war” compelled people to avoid wasting precious groceries and encouraged them to eat a multitude of fresh fruits and vegetables, which were too difficult to transport overseas. Likewise, promotions such as “Meatless Tuesdays” and “Wheatless Wednesdays” implored Americans to voluntarily modify their eating habits in order to increase shipments to the valiant soldiers defending our freedom.

To help families prepare meals without these former staples, local food boards were established to offer guidance, canning demonstrations and recipes with suitable replacements for the provisions that had become so limited. As a result of these conservation efforts, food shipments to Europe were doubled within a year, while consumption in America was reduced 15 percent between 1918 and 1919. Even after the war had ended, Hoover continued to organize shipments of food to the millions of people starving in central Europe as head of the American Relief Administration, earning him the nickname the “Great Humanitarian.”

World War II
Soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s subsequent entrance into World War II, it became apparent that voluntary conservation on the home front was not going to suffice this time around. Restrictions on imported foods, limitations on the transportation of goods due to a shortage of rubber tires, and a diversion of agricultural harvests to soldiers overseas all contributed to the U.S. government’s decision to ration certain essential items. On January 30, 1942, the Emergency Price Control Act granted the Office of Price Administration (OPA) the authority to set price limits and ration food and other commodities in order to discourage hoarding and ensure the equitable distribution of scarce resources. By the spring, Americans were unable to purchase sugar without government-issued food coupons. Vouchers for coffee were introduced in November, and by March of 1943, meat, cheese, fats, canned fish, canned milk and other processed foods were added to the list of rationed provisions.

Every American was entitled to a series of war ration books filled with stamps that could be used to buy restricted items (along with payment), and within weeks of the first issuance, more than 91 percent of the U.S. population had registered to receive them. The OPA allotted a certain amount of points to each food item based on its availability, and customers were allowed to use 48 𠆋lue points’ to buy canned, bottled or dried foods, and 64 ‘red points’ to buy meat, fish and dairy each month—that is, if the items were in stock at the market. Due to changes in the supply and demand of various goods, the OPA periodically adjusted point values, which often further complicated an already complex system that required home cooks to plan well in advance to prepare meals.

Despite the fact that ration books were explicitly intended for the sole use by the named recipient, a barter system developed whereby people traded one type of stamp for another, and black markets began cropping up all over the country in which forged ration stamps or stolen items were illegally resold. By the end of the war, restrictions on processed foods and other goods like gasoline and fuel oil were lifted, but the rationing of sugar remained in effect until 1947.

Want to try out a ration recipe on your own?

APPLE BROWN BETTY

Adapted from the “Sweets Without Sugar” pamphlet distributed by the Federal Food Board of New York in 1918.

Start to finish: Approximately 1 hour
Servings: 10

5 medium apples
1 ¼ cups bread crumbs
4 tablespoons of melted butter or cooking fat
¼ cup hot water
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
5 tablespoons dark corn syrup
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Grease a glass or ceramic baking dish and preheat oven to 350° F.

Pare the apples and cut them into thin slices. Toss the bread crumbs with the melted fat in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the hot water, lemon juice, corn syrup, salt and cinnamon together.

Distribute a third of the bread crumb mixture into the bottom of the greased dish and top with half of the sliced apples and half of the liquid. Repeat with another layer of bread crumbs, apples and liquid and top with the remaining bread crumbs. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.


Naked Cooks, Excrement, Rats: The Secretly Disgusting History of Royal Palaces

In July of 1535, King Henry VIII and his court of over 700 people embarked on an epic official tour. Over the next four months the massive entourage would visit around 30 different royal palaces, aristocratic residences and religious institutions. While these stops were important PR events for the king, designed to spark loyalty in his subjects, royal households had another reason entirely for their constant movement.

They weren’t just exercising their tremendous wealth: they actually needed to escape the disgusting messes large royal parties produced. Palaces—like Henry’s Hampton Court—had to be constantly evacuated so they could be cleaned of the accumulated mounds of human waste. Livestock and farmland also needed time to recover, after supplying food for so many people. Once the tour was over, Henry and a swelling court of over 1,000 would keep moving for the rest of the year, traveling frequently between the King’s 60 residences in a vain attempt to live in hygienic surroundings.

Within days of a royal party settling in one palace or another, a stink would set in from poorly discarded food, animal waste, vermin from or attracted to unwashed bodies, and human waste (which accrued in underground chambers until it could be removed.) The hallways would become so caked with grime and soot from constant fires that they were fairly black. The very crush of court members was so dense that it made a thorough house cleaning impossible𠅊nd futile. Though cleanliness standards were subpar throughout the Medieval, Renaissance and Regency eras, royal courts were typically dirtier than the average small cabin or home.

Some of the most storied reigns in history, like that of Catherine the Great, took place against a backdrop of horrifying smells, overcrowded quarters, overflowing chamber pots and lice-filled furniture. While paintings of Louis XIV’s opulent court at Versailles show royals clad in gorgeously embroidered garments, viewers today are missing one of the main effects of their finery: the odor of hundreds of garments that have never been washed, all in one unventilated room. And Charles II of England let his flea-bitten spaniels lie in his bed chamber, where they rendered the room “very offensive and indeed made the whole Court nasty and stinking,” according to a 17th century writer.

Louis XV&aposs toilette at the Palace of Versailles.

But without a doubt, the most pressing health concern was caused by the dearth of waste disposal options in an era before reliable plumbing. �s and urine were everywhere,” Eleanor Herman, author of The Royal Art of Poison, says of royal palaces. “Some courtiers didn&apost bother to look for a chamber pot but just dropped their britches and did their business𠅊ll of their business—in the staircase, the hallway, or the fireplace."

A 1675 report offered this assessment of the Louvre Palace in Paris: “On the grand staircases” and �hind the doors and almost everywhere one sees there a mass of excrement, one smells a thousand unbearable stenches caused by calls of nature which everyone goes to do there every day.”

According to historian Alison Weir, author of Henry VIII: The King and his Court, the fastidious Henry VIII “waged a constant battle against the dirt, dust, and smells that were unavoidable when so many people lived in one establishment,” which was fairly unusual for the time. The king slept on a bed surrounded by furs to keep small creatures and vermin away, and visitors were warned not to “wipe or rub their hands upon none arras [tapestries] of the King’s whereby they might be hurted.”

Many of the rules laid down by the King indicate that his battle against the advancing grime was a losing one. To keep servants and courtiers from urinating on the garden walls, Henry had large red X’s painted in problem spots. But instead of deterring men from relieving themselves, it just gave them something to aim for. Calls for people not to dump dirty dishes in the hallways—or on the King’s bed—seemed to fall on deaf ears.

Amazingly, Henry was even forced to decree that cooks in the royal kitchen were forbidden to work “naked, or in garments of such vileness as they do now, nor lie in the nights and days in the kitchen or ground by the fireside.” To combat the problem, clerks of the kitchen were instructed to purchase “honest and wholesome garments” for the staff.

Part of the Hampton Court Palace kitchen, pictured in the 1940s, which had been kept exactly as it was in the early 16th century.

The Print Collector/Getty Images

While the King had a relatively sophisticated lavatory system for himself, other waste measures intended as hygienic seem disgusting today: servants were encouraged to pee in vats so that their urine could be used for cleaning. As actual cleanliness was often unachievable, the royal court resorted to masking the offending odors. Sweet-smelling plants covered palace floors, and the fortunate pressed sachets of scent to their noses.

Once Henry and his court moved on to the next royal residence, the scrubbing and airing out of the palace began. The waste from the King’s non-flushing lavatories was held in underground chambers when the court was in residence. But after the court left, the King’s Gong Scourers, tasked with cleaning the sewers in his palaces near London, went to work.

"After the court had been here for four weeks, the brick chambers would fill head-high,” Simon Thurley, curator of Historic Royal Palaces, told The Independent. “ It was the gong scourers who had to clean them when the court had left."

Of course, filthiness in over-crowded royal establishments was not just a problem at the English court. When the future Catherine the Great arrived in Russia from her family’s relatively clean German court, she was shocked by what she found. “It’s not rare to see coming from an immense courtyard full of mire and filth that belongs to a hovel of rotten wood,” she wrote, 𠇊 lady covered in jewels and superbly dressed, in a magnificent carriage, pulled by six old nags, and with badly combed valets.”

Bathroom Apartment of Marie-Antoinette at Versailles.

Raphael Gaillarde/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

The Western European belief that baths were unhealthy did not help matters, either. Although neat freak Henry VIII bathed often and changed his undershirts daily, he was a royal rarity. “Louis XIV took two baths in his life, as did Queen Isabella of Castile,” Herman says. “Marie-Antoinette bathed once a month.” The 17th century British King James I was said to never bathe, causing the rooms he frequented to be filled with lice.

It was the Sun King himself, Louis XIV, whose choice to no longer travel from court to court would lead to a particularly putrid living situation. In 1682, in an effort to seal his authority and subjugate his nobles, Louis XIV moved his court permanently to the gilded mega-palace of Versailles. At times over 10,000 royals, aristocrats, government officials, servants and military officers lived in Versailles and its surrounding lodgings.

Despite its reputation for magnificence, life at Versailles, for both royals and servants, was no cleaner than the slum-like conditions in many European cities at the time. Women pulled up their skirts up to pee where they stood, while some men urinated off the balustrade in the middle of the royal chapel. According to historian Tony Spawforth, author of Versailles: A Biography of a Palace, Marie-Antoinette was once hit by human waste being thrown out the window as she walked through an interior courtyard.

The heavily trafficked latrines often leaked into the bedrooms below them, while blockages and corrosion in the palace’s iron and lead pipes were known to occasionally “poison everything” in Marie-Antoinette’s kitchen. “Not even the rooms of the royal children were safe,” writes Spawforth. An occasional court exodus could have reduced the wear and tear on Versailles, perhaps leading to fewer unpleasant structural failures.

This unsanitary way of living no doubt led to countless deaths throughout royal European households. It was not until the 19th century that standards of cleanliness and technological developments improved life for many people, including members of royal courts. Today, many European royals still move from residence to residence𠅋ut for pleasure, not to try and outrun squalor.


Early Modern Euro-Indigenous Culinary Connections: Chocolate

On a chilly November afternoon, we gathered in a student lounge to grind cocoa nibs in a borrowed molcajete and read early modern recipes with a class of undergraduate students. Inspired by previous hands-on exercises, we asked students thinking about indigenous cultures in the seventeenth-century Atlantic to consider recipes as a kind of evidence. [1]

This pedagogical exercise took place at Wesleyan University in Fall 2016, in John’s course entitled “Pirates, Puritans, and Pequots: Literatures of the Early English Atlantic,” which brought together the literary archives of the English Renaissance and the first century of English expansion westward into the Atlantic. The course’s final two sections dwelt extensively on Anglo-indigenous and Anglo-African contact, real and imagined, in the early Atlantic. In these units, students engaged with a recent wave of scholarship that has attempted to expand our sense of the colonial archive. Scholars like Walter Mignolo, Elizabeth Hill Boone, and Birgit Rasmussen have shown the limitations of approaches to the question of early modern indigenous history that focus solely on texts produced by Europeans Saidiya Hartman, in the slightly different context of transatlantic slavery, has made a related point about the archive. One way around this problem—that of the European near-monopoly on textual production and the ties between textual production and the often violent action of colonial development—is to turn to the techniques of material history, thinking through how the circulation of objects and technologies worked in the newly global economies of the seventeenth-century. Attending to these stories helps expand our ideas about agency and cultural contact. This is perhaps clearest in the history of food and, particularly, the wide-ranging influence that indigenous technologies and tastes relating to tobacco and chocolate had in the period, as Marcy Norton’s work has demonstrated. Turning to the history of food, then, has the potential to show students a more nuanced story about cultural contact that uncovers the agency and influence that indigenous cultures exerted back across the Atlantic.

We had the idea of bringing these scholarly insights about Anglo-indigenous contact to the classroom by tracing food history through English recipe books: unruly documents rich with medicinal, culinary, and other household materials such as accounts and records of births and deaths. On the one hand, these books provide rich material about places, people, ingredients, and practices unlike other archives. On the other hand, they are difficult to read, classify, and often mute on the conditions of their making and aspirations of their makers. Among the many things recipe books can show us about food history, these manuscripts bear the record of indigenous influence in Europe.

Winche’s recipe for ‘chacolet’. Source: Folger Shakespeare Library: http://luna.folger.edu/luna/servlet/s/d3uh21 Making chacolet. Credit: John Kuhn

Rebeckah Winche’s hot chocolate is a case study in rendering a familiar food strange. [2] Our recipe workshop had two distinct parts: transcription and cooking. Transcribing a few recipes, including Winche’s receipt for “Chacolet,” introduced students to using recipe books as sources and to reading secretary and italic handwriting. The recipe starts with roasted and ground cocoa beans. It is heavily spiced with vanilla, cinnamon, and chili pepper and sweetened with sugar. The instructions advise you to form your chacolet mix into cakes and let them cure for three months before using. This is a delectable and portable preparation in its original form. We didn’t wait three months. Following the practices Marissa developed in the Cooking in the Archives project, we asked students to identify the key ingredients and practices in Winche’s recipe. Then we distributed three different updated versions of the original recipe. One group started with roasted cocao beans and ground them by hand in a molcajete. Another used cocoa powder. We taste-tested the different mixes, all possible modernizations of Winche’s original recipe.

Making chacolet. Credit: Marissa Nicosia

Students had prepared for the workshop by reading Marcy Norton’s “Tasting Empire: Chocolate and the European Internalization of Mesoamerican Aesthetics,” and this was the starting point for our discussion. As we moved through the ingredients and Marissa spoke about them in turn, students were also struck—as we had hoped they would be—by the vast global trade networks embodied in a single recipe. They were also, once the final product was assembled, interested in the strangeness of the hot chocolate—both the graininess of the hand-ground nibs and the unfamiliar spiciness added by the chili pepper—helping them to see the way that indigenous chocolate-making tastes were influencing even English recipe keepers like Winche living in London and Buckinghamshire. This exercise, paired with a later digital material history project that examined the many objects found in Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative,[3] produced in the contested Anglo-Algonquian Massachusetts borderlands around the same time, helped students to see the way that material history can reveal new stories about cultural contact in the early modern world.

[2] For more information about Winche’s manuscript, take a look at this post written for the Early Modern Recipes Online Collective Transcribathon. Elaine Leong, “The Winche Project.” Here is a link to images of the manuscript. Marissa also has also written about preparing this hot chocolate recipe. Alyssa Connell and Marissa Nicosia, “Chacolet,” The Collation. Amy L. Tigner wrote a wonderful series for this site about chocolate recipes in early modern manuscripts: Tinger, “Chocolate in Seventeenth-Century England, Part I” Tinger, “Chocolate in Seventeenth-Century England, Part II”.

[3] This digital project, called “A History of Mary Rowlandson in Seven Objects,” built on the insights about material history begun in this cooking project, and can be found here.


21 Weird Facts about British History that Will Change Your Idea of It

The British have a long and interesting history. After having established themselves as a superpower, they have conquered, flourished and are now a substantial part of three continents. Despite all their might and power, they couldn’t escape the strange events that were part of their history. Here we’ve gathered some weird facts about British history that you wouldn’t want to miss…

1. During the First World War, the secret service agents used semen as invisible ink. They had a motto “Every man his own stylo”.

Image Source: dailymail

According to the diary of Walter Kirke, during World War I, the Deputy Head of Military Intelligence in France, Mansfield Cumming, used invisible ink to communicate secret messages. He was told that using semen was best for this purpose because it didn’t react to any regular methods used for detection such as iodine vapors. The method was soon abandoned because of the smell the receiver got.(1, 2)

2. Margaret Thatcher, first female British prime minister, was part of the team that was improving soft serve ice creams.

Image Source: newyorker

Mister Softee is a US ice cream distributor that had then partnered with J. Lyons and Co. where Margaret Thatcher was working. They were trying to develop a soft serve recipe that they could use on their machines. While Thatcher was at Lyons, she worked on cakes and pies as well, apart from ice creams. Referring to her work, her opponents often commented on her politics saying she “added air, lowered quality and raised profits”.(source)

3. King Henry III had a polar bear in his Royal Menagerie. It went fishing in River Thames and attracted many viewers.

Image Source: raychillotravels, simon2014.com

Haakon IV of Norway is said to have gifted a polar bear to King Henry III. The King’s fancies were a problem for the sheriffs because they were ordered to pay four pence per day for the bear’s upkeep in the year 1251. That wasn’t all that the King did for his animals. He ordered the sheriffs again in 1254 to financially support the construction of an elephant house at the Tower. After his demise, the Kings and Queens continuously received many animals as gifts with the result that by 1828, there were more than 280 animals of 60 different species.(source)

4. King Henry VIII introduced tax on beards in the 16 th century. The tax varied on the social status of the man sporting the beard.

Image Source: arthistorynews

The tax was reintroduced by the King’s daughter Elizabeth I for every beard that was older than two weeks. England was not the only country that had the beard tax. As part of modernization of Russia, Emperor Peter I introduced it as well. Whoever paid the tax, received a copper or silver token and whoever did not, was forcibly and publicly shaved.(source)

5. The City of London sold the 1831 London Bridge because it wasn’t strong enough to support the increased traffic in 1967. The bridge was bought by Robert P. McCulloch and relocated to Arizona, US.

Image Source: structurae, holdiches

The 1831 London Bridge was built by John Rennie and his son across River Thames. In 1967, the bridge was dismantled, after being sold, to be shipped to Arizona. The bridge finished being reassembled in 1971 across Lake Havasu which McCulloch received from the US government for free with a promise to develop it. It took almost a year to take the bridge apart, ship it to Port of Long Beach and transport it by land to the lake. The assembly and reconstruction took around three years to finish.(source)

6. During the late 19 th century, an attempt to suicide was treated at par with attempt to murder and was punishable by hanging the offender.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Suicide was widely considered as against since the dawn of Christianity and other modern religions. The Church either excommunicated anyone who attempted suicide or punished them. One such practice was seen in France in the 17 th century when the person was dragged into the streets face down, then hung or thrown onto a garbage heap along with confiscation of property. There were many people through history including Thomas Moore who supported the victims.(1, 2)

7. In the early 19th century, the British government spent 40 percent of its annual expenditure to free slaves and as compensation for slave owners’.

Image Source: bbc

According to the terms of Slavery Abolition Act, the British government raised 20 million pounds, which equals 69.93 billion pounds as of 2013, along with an additional 400, 000 pounds (1.4 billion as of 2013) to free slaves. The Act provided compensation for slave owners who would be losing their property. The movement to abolish slavery started as early as 1772 when a slave was freed in England after Lord Mansfield’s judgement. Since then there have been many anti-slavery movements that set into motion its complete abolition.(source)


32 Incredibly Weird Deaths That Will Make You Glad To Be Alive

1. Brazilian Joao Maria de Souza was killed in 2013 when a cow fell through his roof onto him as he slept.

2. Clement Vallandigham, a 19th century US lawyer, accidentally shot himself dead while defending a murder suspect &ndash because he was trying to demonstrate that a supposed victim could have accidentally shot himself dead. (It worked, because his client was acquitted.)

3. Canadian lawyer Garry Hoy died while trying to prove that the glass in the windows of a 24th floor office was unbreakable, by throwing himself against it. It didn't break - but it did pop out of its frame and he plunged to his death.

4. In 2007 the deputy mayor of Delhi, Surinder Singh Bajwa, died falling off a balcony while trying to fend off a troupe of attacking monkeys.

5. Monica Meyer, the mayor of Betterton, Maryland, died while checking her town's sewage tanks &ndash she fell in and drowned in 15 feet of human waste.

6. Sigurd the Mighty, a ninth-century Norse earl of Orkney, was killed by an enemy he had beheaded several hours earlier. He'd tied the man's head to his horse's saddle, but while riding home one of its protruding teeth grazed his leg. He died from the infection.

7. The owner of the company that makes Segways died in 2010 after accidentally driving his Segway off a cliff.

8. Robert Williams, a Ford assembly line worker, is the first human in history to have been killed by a robot. He was hit by a robot arm in 1979.

9. In 1923, jockey Frank Hayes won a race at Belmont Park in New York despite being dead &mdash he suffered a heart attack mid-race, but his body stayed in the saddle until his horse crossed the line for a 20&ndash1 outsider victory.

10. US congressman Michael F. Farley died in 1921 as a result of shaving &ndash because his shaving brush was infected with anthrax.

11. Several people danced themselves to death during the month-long Dance Fever of 1518 in Strasbourg, during which hundreds of people danced for about a month for no clear reason.

12. Paul G. Thomas, the owner of a wool mill, fell into one of his machines in 1987 and died after being wrapped in 800 yards of wool.

13. Edward Harrison was playing golf in Washington state in 1951 when his driver snapped, and the shaft lodged in his groin. He staggered about 100 yards before bleeding to death.

14. In 1900, American physician Jesse William Lazear tried to prove that Yellow Fever was transmitted by mosquitoes by letting infected mosquitoes bite him. He then died of the disease. Proving himself right.

15. Russian physician Alexander Bogdanov performed pioneering blood transfusions on himself, believing they would give him long life. They actually killed him after he suffered an adverse reaction.

16. Austrian tailor Franz Reichelt thought he'd invented a device that could make men fly. He tested this by jumping off the Eiffel Tower wearing it. It didn't work. He died.

17. In 1567, the man said to have the longest beard in the world died after he tripped over his beard running away from a fire.

18. The Greek philosopher Chrysippus of Soli is said to have died of laughter after watching a donkey trying to eat his figs.

19. British actor Gareth Jones died of a heart attack while performing in a live televised play in 1958 &ndash in which his character was scripted to have a heart attack. The rest of the cast improvised around his death and finished the play.

20. Mary Ward was a pioneering Irish female scientist who is sadly better known as the first person in history to ever be killed in a car accident &ndash while driving with her family in their experimental "road locomotive steam engine".

21. And the first pedestrian ever killed by a car was Bridget Driscoll of Croydon, London, in 1896.

22. Carl Wilhelm Scheele was a brilliant Swedish chemist who had an unwise habit of tasting all the chemicals he discovered. He died in 1786 as a result of his exposure to lead, hydrofluoric acid, arsenic and various other poisons.

23. Engineer Horace Lawson Hunley pioneered submarine design in the American Civil War &ndash although most of them sank. He died when his final model, named after himself, sank while he was in command of it.

24. General John Sedgwick was killed by a sniper in the American Civil War shortly after uttering the words "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." (Contrary to popular belief, though, they weren't his last words. They were his second-last. His last words were agreeing that dodging was in fact a good idea.)

25. Health fanatic Basil Brown managed to kill himself by drinking a gallon of carrot juice a day, in the belief it would make him healthy.

26. In 1992, Greg Austin Gingrich died in the Grand Canyon after jokingly pretending to fall to his death, then losing his footing and actually falling to his death.

27. Queen Sunanda Kumariratana of Siam (now Thailand) drowned in 1880 in full view of many of her subjects &ndash because they were forbidden to touch her, so couldn't rescue her.

28. The first people ever killed in an air accident were hot air balloon pioneers Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and Pierre Romain, in 1785.

29. And the first person ever killed in a powered aeroplane crash was Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge in 1908, in a plane piloted by Orville Wright.

30. An Irish woman died in 2008 after voluntarily having sex with a dog. The exact cause of death is unclear, although it was speculated that an allergic reaction to dogs might have been the cause.

31. Twenty-one people died in the Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919, when a massive tank of molasses burst on a warm day, sending a 25ft high wave of sweetener through the city at 35mph.

32. And eight people died in the London Beer Flood of 1814, when a giant vat at a brewery burst, sending over 3,500 barrels of beer pouring though the nearby streets.


2. The Lunchbox (2013)

Young, neglected housewife Ila (Nimrat Kaur) in Mumbai sends an extra-special lunch to her husband via the city's sprawling courier service in the hopes of rekindling the flame. When it is mistakenly delivered to a solitary widower (Irfan Khan), the two begin a sweet though deluded relationship.

Most Delicious Scene: The paneer, in all its iterations.

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.


Why Is Everyone Suddenly Cooking Depression Era Recipes?

Under quarantine, we're turning to some of the wildest&mdashand bleakest&mdashrecipes from yesteryear.

They say trends are cyclical, but they would have had to be looking into a crystal ball to predict something called "depression cake" becoming popular again in 2020. Alas, here we are&mdashstuck at home, whipping milk for strangers' applause on TikTok, boldly trying out new self-tanners without a care in the world about the repercussions, and baking cakes that hearken back to the days when our grandparents were our age.

Maybe you've heard it called something other than depression cake &mdashpoor man's cake, war cake, wacky cake, crazy cake. They're all the same milkless, eggless, butterless treat borne out of necessity and a lack of access to basic ingredients. And now, under stay-at-home orders and with panic-buying bringing us back to a freakishly familiar place, bakers have commandeered the 90-something-year-old cake and taken to calling it "quarantine cake."

"I came across a recipe for crazy chocolate cake, aka chocolate depression cake, a while back, and I tweaked it," Emily Hutchinson, creator of The Hutch Oven blog and judge on Hallmark Drama's Christmas Cookie Matchup, explains. "I got it to where it was worthy of sharing with my family, and they couldn't believe how delicious it was with no eggs, milk, or butter." So Emily kept baking it and kept sharing it with friends. Then, when the quarantine hit, Emily's friend Christina convinced her to share the recipe with a bigger group of friends&mdashher 116,000 Instagram followers.

She posted a video of the recipe, calling it quarantine cake on March 21. The likes and the views immediately rolled in, but so did the messages and the memories, Emily says: "The older generation of my followers, whom I adore, kept thanking me because some had lost their recipes for cake similar to mine or they couldn&rsquot find their mother's or grandmother's recipe."

Interest is piquing in more than just Emily's little corner of the internet, though, and data from Google would suggest you've tried your hand at baking a depression cake&mdashor you've at least been curious. Searches for "depression cake" are up 60 percent over the past month, right around the time states began shutting down. Pinterest has been overrun with similar desperate times call for staple-less recipes searches, too. Queries for "yeastless bread recipes" are up 4,400 percent and terms like "no egg cake recipe" and "canned ham recipes" are trending worldwide.

But all this digging for old-school, Depression Era recipes doesn't indicate an absolute regression to 1930s cooking. It's more like a game&mdashlike the results of a BuzzFeed quiz entitled "Tell Us Your Food Preferences, And We'll Tell You Which Decade You Actually Should Have Lived In And A Recipe To Make Tonight."

We're cooking from the highlight reel we're looking for the outliers, shareable recipes that still have a pretty decent chance of tasting, well, decent, says Jane Ziegelman, author of A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression. "There's a kind of cherry-picking taking place where we're going back and finding novelty recipes that are kitschy in a way. And we feel like it's almost fun to go back and cook these historical recipes."

Then there's the flip side of the fun: our anxiety that the food scarcity and rationing that were prevalent during the Great Depression will return. We're not there yet, but online grocery orders remain difficult to fulfill, brand giants warn the entire food chain is about to break, and a partial collapse of the restaurant industry seems imminent&mdashif it hasn't already happened.

"We're finding ways to cope with it," Jane says, "and one way is to kind of practice. We have the ingredients to make something now, but maybe we won't next week. And this isn't totally in the level of our consciousness, but we're wondering how we're going to do it if we don&rsquot get whatever we need to make, say, an actual loaf of bread."

Enter: Reddit, a millennial's favorite coping mechanism. About a month ago, a recipe for peanut butter bread reemerged on the platform. It's a loaf of bread that calls for only five ingredients, none of which are butter, eggs, or yeast. The recipe was originally published in the 1932 Five Roses Cook Book from Canadian flour company Five Roses. In July 2019, Glen Powell (of the YouTube channel Glen & Friends Cooking) spotlighted it in an episode of his "Old Cooking Show," a series he started after opening an old box of cookbooks from his grandparents.

Hundreds of posts about it&mdashwith thousands of upvotes&mdashnow live on Reddit, mostly praising the recipe, sometimes poking fun at the whole thing. Ironically, Glen can't participate in the conversation, nor is he seeing any kickback in views from the recent spike in interest. He's been banned from any recipe-related subreddits, you see, after his

Still, Glen gets the appeal of it all&hellipeven if he can't comment back letting people know as much: "With the current COVID-19 pandemic&mdashsheltering in place and social distancing and restaurants being closed&mdashpeople are looking at it a little more closely, at how we can apply what happened then to what's happening now," Glen says.

"I see a lot of make-do recipes in the 1930s cookbooks that are sort of related to [the shortage of ingredients]," Glen continues. He's got many books with instructions for how to make mock chicken, plus one from Chicago with a recipe for mock possum.

We're still in the mock bread phase&mdashperhaps an indication that we haven't completely dived off the deep end quite yet. What's more: We're returning to this kind of pure place when it comes to cooking. Sure, you can still get umpteen recipes and stories about what to cook at the click of a button&mdashit's 2020, lest we need to remind you&mdashbut you can also get thousands of Google returns about how to cook now.

"There's one thing that I've seen which is really positive and really encouraging to me," Jane says. "I've seen bunches of articles by food writers that aren't so much looking at recipes but are trying to teach people basic laws of food and cooking. We're learning sort of how it all works&mdashhow to cook without a recipe, how to keep produce fresh longer, how to make substitutions. We're getting an education in how food works that's going to make us much better cooks if we can hang on to that."

So if nothing else&mdashwhen the yeast returns and the peanut butter bread goes away for another eight decades, and the eggs aren't hard to track down anymore so the depression cake goes back into its vault&mdashlet's hang on to that.


The strange story of a Boston man and his $50,000 clam chowder recipe

There is perhaps no dish more symbolic of Boston (yes, that includes baked beans) than clam chowder. The soup has gone from shipyard fare to a popular appetizer in just about every New England comfort food restaurant. The northeast’s pride in and passion for chowder is reason enough to go back in the archives and try to make some sense of an odd Boston tale regarding the region’s favorite cream-based dish.

The story starts with William Waugh, who, according to his 1969 Boston Globe obituary, was for many years a Newton Centre resident and vice president of sales at the Sea Frost Fish Co., a now-closed seafood distribution company in Boston. Waugh was active with the Massachusetts Restaurant Association and the Boston Rotary Club.

He was also the owner of a top-secret clam chowder recipe, James S. Doyle wrote in a November 17, 1962 Globe article.

No sources indicate how Waugh came to own this recipe—if he developed it himself, or if it was inherited. But according to Doyle’s Globe article, on August 26, 1937, after negotiations fell through to sell it exclusively to an unnamed local soup company for $50,000 (more than $822,000 in today’s dollars), the recipe was sealed in an envelope and sent to an unspecified bank, “to be deposited in escrow.’’

The bank is where it remained until 1962, when Doyle wrote his article about Waugh’s mysterious, valuable recipe. In his piece, Doyle reported that Waugh had passed away, and when the bank’s legal commitment ended earlier that month, the envelope was turned over to Massachusetts Department of Corporations and Taxation Commissioner Guy Rizzotto.


Watch the video: 7 πιο παράξενοι θάνατοι στην ιστορία.