Wednesday, September 14

 

Tuesday, September 13

The Debunker: Are Peanuts Nuts?

by Ken Jennings

Do you celebrate National Peanut Day every September 13? Of course, we all do! It's a cruel coincidence that the peanut's big moment comes every fall, just as kids are returning to their increasingly peanut-free schools. If you're not allergic, you probably love peanuts in your trail mix, on sundaes, or in sandwiches (butter form only). But how much do you really know about the protein-rich foodstuff? Jeopardy!'s Ken Jennings is here to tell us that a lot of your favorite facts about this beloved snack are just plain nuts.

The Debunker: Are Peanuts Nuts?

Peanuts took a roundabout route to get to your kitchen cupboard. They were carved on pottery and left in Peruvian tombs five thousand years ago, and European settlers first ran across them in Brazil. Then the Portuguese spread them around the world, as far as Africa and China. But they didn't catch on in North America until African slaves returned them to the New World, planting them in Virginia. Dive bars and ballgames would never be the same again. In the 19th century, this new crop was often called the "ground nut" or the "ground pea"; our word "peanut" is a conflation of the two. But strictly speaking, peanuts are neither peas nor nuts.

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Monday, September 12

Music Monday: Car Crash Love

by Scott Lydon


Happy Music Monday! For some reason, there are like a billion songs all about teenagers who die in car crashes. Once you start really digging into the genre it's kinda weird. So, of course, Scott's spending another Monday doing some digging. Join in! And, um, wear your seatbelt.

Mark Dinning - Teen Angel

 

I don't wanna say this song started the car crash craze, but it was certainly one of the earlier ones. And it sort of makes sense when you think about it. The idea of a teenager was sorta new in the 1950s, and certainly the post-war teens were the first generation to drive themselves to high school regularly. That mix of youth and rebellion led to accidents, accidents made the paper, and, well, we got some songs. And not just one song. Many songs. Many many many songs.

More crashes coming up. Drive safe, kids.

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Saturday, September 10

 

Friday, September 09

 

Thursday, September 08

 

Wednesday, September 07

 

Tuesday, September 06

The Debunker: Who Invented Peanut Butter?

by Ken Jennings

Do you celebrate National Peanut Day every September 13? Of course, we all do! It's a cruel coincidence that the peanut's big moment comes every fall, just as kids are returning to their increasingly peanut-free schools. If you're not allergic, you probably love peanuts in your trail mix, on sundaes, or in sandwiches (butter form only). But how much do you really know about the protein-rich foodstuff? Jeopardy!'s Ken Jennings is here to tell us that a lot of your favorite facts about this beloved snack are just plain nuts.

The Debunker: Who Invented Peanut Butter?

George Washington Carver was one of the most celebrated American intellectuals of his time. As a freed slave who rose from poverty to become a successful botanist at a time when nearly all educational and professional doors were closed to African-Americans, Carver was a powerful icon of black talent and achievement. He consulted with world leaders from Teddy Roosevelt to Mahatma Gandhi. But that doesn't mean that Carver's legacy is purely symbolic. He also pioneered methods of crop rotation that saved the farms of countless poor Southerners whose cotton and tobacco fields were failing due to poor soil and hungry bugs.

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Monday, September 05

Music Monday: A Girl Like You

by Scott Lydon


Happy Music Monday! There are a lot of different topics in the world, but music keeps coming back to a few over and over again. Today Scott's found five songs that all share the same title, but take a drastically different approach to execution. Check 'em out. You've probably heard a few.

The Smithereens - A Girl Like You

 

There isn't a lot to say today, because it's really the music that's doing the talking. So I encourage you to listen to all the songs and enjoy how they change. Obviously, we start here with a power-pop hit. So catchy!

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Saturday, September 03