Tuesday, May 23

The Debunker: Was the Boston Tea Party a Protest Against High Taxes?

by Ken Jennings

It's May, and that means only one thing to all men and women of good will: National Beverage Day on the sixth of this month! We all love a refreshing beverage, but how much do we really know about them? If you're thirsty for knowledge, take a deep, satisfying swig of Jeopardy!'s Ken Jennings, who will be debunking drink-related disinformation all month. As Alexander Pope once said, "A little learning is a dangerous thing, / Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring"!

The Debunker: Was the Boston Tea Party a Protest Against High Taxes?

When the American colonists heard about the Tea Act of 1773, they did exactly what you or I would do in that situation: dressed as Native Americans, boarded three merchant ships, and destroyed almost fifty tons of tea by dumping it into Boston harbor. Most American schoolkids, entranced by the romance and wanton vandalism of that night, tend to logically assume that the Tea Act had raised taxes on tea, and that's why the Bostonians were so pissed off. But that's not true—in fact, the Tea Act lowered taxes, and lowered tea prices. Wait, what?

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Tuesday, May 16

The Debunker: Is the Ideal Martini "Shaken, Not Stirred"?

by Ken Jennings

It's May, and that means only one thing to all men and women of good will: National Beverage Day on the sixth of this month! We all love a refreshing beverage, but how much do we really know about them? If you're thirsty for knowledge, take a deep, satisfying swig of Jeopardy!'s Ken Jennings, who will be debunking drink-related disinformation all month. As Alexander Pope once said, "A little learning is a dangerous thing, / Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring"!

The Debunker: Is the Ideal Martini "Shaken, Not Stirred"?

Ian Fleming's super-spy James Bond is a man of elegant tastes. Fleming's elaborately detailed prose made sure readers knew that Bond shared his preference for fast Bentleys, tailored serge suits, caviar with plenty of toast, and custom-blended Morlands cigarettes. But Bond's most famous indulgence is the martini, which he orders thirty-five times in Fleming's oeuvre. And as early as Casino Royale, he's instructing barmen to "shake it very well until it's ice-cold." Sean Connery went on to turn "shaken, not shtirred" into a much-imitated catchphrase. In 2005, it was voted one of the 100 most memorable movie quotes of all time by the American Film Institute.

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Tuesday, May 09

The Debunker: Was the Famous McDonald's "Hot Coffee" Lawsuit Frivolous?

by Ken Jennings

It's May, and that means only one thing to all men and women of good will: National Beverage Day on the sixth of this month! We all love a refreshing beverage, but how much do we really know about them? If you're thirsty for knowledge, take a deep, satisfying swig of Jeopardy!'s Ken Jennings, who will be debunking drink-related disinformation all month. As Alexander Pope once said, "A little learning is a dangerous thing, / Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring"!

The Debunker: Was the Famous McDonald's "Hot Coffee" Lawsuit Frivolous?

It's Exhibit A for people who blather on about scheming lawyers, credulous bleeding-heart juries, and the damage done to this country by frivolous lawsuits. In 1992, a 79-year-old woman named Stella Liebeck ordered a cup of coffee from a McDonald's drive-thru, and then proceeded to spill it all over herself after she'd driven away. Despite the fact that she'd spilled the coffee on herself, through no fault of McDonald's employees, a jury awarded her $2.86 million. What an injustice! What happened to the tough, self-sufficient Americans who tamed the frontier, am I right? When did we become such sissified, litigious snowflakes?

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Tuesday, May 02

The Debunker: Does Dr. Pepper Have Prunes in It?

by Ken Jennings

It's May, and that means only one thing to all men and women of good will: National Beverage Day on the sixth of this month! We all love a refreshing beverage, but how much do we really know about them? If you're thirsty for knowledge, take a deep, satisfying swig of Jeopardy!'s Ken Jennings, who will be debunking drink-related disinformation all month. As Alexander Pope once said, "A little learning is a dangerous thing, / Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring"!

The Debunker: Does Dr. Pepper Have Prunes in It?

The flavor of Dr. Pepper is hard to pin down. It's the oldest soft drink still found on supermarket shelves nationwide, having made its debut at a Waco, Texas corner drugstore in 1885. The company says that its secret formula is a mix of no less than twenty-three different flavors, and the recipe is supposedly split into two halves kept in the safety deposit boxes of two different Dallas banks, so that no single soda-pirating criminal could ever abscond with it.

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