The iPhone only exists because Steve Jobs ‘hated this guy at Microsoft’

Post First Published: 8/08/2022 Post Updated: 27/08/2022

Via https://www.theguardian.com/The iPhone only exists because Steve Jobs ‘hated this guy at Microsoft’ – Samuel Gibbs 21 June 2017

If it wasn’t for one particular executive at Microsoft, whom Steve Jobs seemingly hated with a passion, Apple may never have created the iPhone or iPad.

Recounting the story of the birth of the iPhone at a talk at the Computer History Museum in California, former Apple iOS chief Scott Forstall said: “The iPhone had a very circuitous route. We’d been working on a tablet project.

“It began because Steve hated this guy at Microsoft. Any time Steve had any interaction with the guy, he’d come back pissed off.”

The unnamed Microsoft executive, who was apparently the husband of a friend of Jobs’s wife Laurene Powell Jobs, continuously talked and bragged about Redmond-based company’s plans for tablets and styluses, so much so that Jobs decided to try and beat him.

After being badgered by the Microsoft executive over dinner for the 10th time, being told how Microsoft was going to change the world with its tablet PC software and stylus and that Apple should just license it, Jobs lost patience and, as recounted in Walter Isaacson’s Jobs biography, said: “Fuck this, let’s show him what a tablet can really be”.

Despite the iPad having the Apple Pencil today, Jobs famously hated styluses. Forstall recounted Jobs as saying: “You don’t use a stylus … we’re born with 10 styluses”.

During the development of the iPad, which began as a table-sized multi-touch prototype on which you could move photos with your fingers codenamed “project purple”, Apple identified that smartphones were becoming a threat to its iPod business and so diverted efforts towards what was to become the iPhone.

Forstall recounted Jobs saying: “‘Do you think you could take that demo that we’re doing with the tablet and the multi-touch and shrink it down to something small enough to fit in your pocket?’

“We went back to the design team and they took it and they carved out a corner of it,” said Forstall. “Steve saw it and said ‘put the tablet on hold, let’s build a phone.’ And that’s what we did.”

The original iPhone wasn’t as well received by reviewers as you might expect at the time of its release in 2007, who were rating it against the number of clicks to get to certain things.

Forstall said: “It was being compared against other smartphones of the time, BlackBerry etc, according to the metrics people thought were important at the time.

“What they didn’t get was we were changing the entire paradigm. We were changing the entire way things were done.”

Initial sales were good, but not exceptional. After spending time with one in the real world, Forstall said he and the rest of Apple could see it was going to be huge one day.

Forstall also touched on his personal sickness in the early 2000s from an obscure virus, which was apparently cured when nothing else would do the trick by Jobs’s acupuncturist. Forstall, who was infamous at Apple for being the person who pushed the use of computer interfaces that appeared like real-life objects, also revealed he had “never heard of skeuomorphism” at the time.

The average car in Britain is parked for 96% of the time.

7/08/2022

Frankwell Car Park https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/transport/2019/08/01/free-parking-launched-for-shrewsbury-shoppers-in-august/

Figures analysed by the RAC Foundation show around 80 per cent of Britain’s 26 million homes were built with a front plot. Of these around seven million gardens are now concreted over to park cars rather than grow flowers-that’s an area equivalent to 100 Hype Parks or 72 Olympic Parks.

Car parked for 96% of the time

The report is an in-depth look at parking patterns and provision across Britain. Other interesting facts revealed in the report include that the average car is parked at home for 80 per cent of the time, parked elsewhere for 16 per cent of the time and is only on the move for 4 per cent of the time. This reveals a huge waste of resources inherent in individual car ownership and is helping to inspire the use of car clubs or car sharing services.

The lost of front gardens is also a contributory factor in the decline of garden birds such as house sparrows and impacts on other wildlife such as hedgehogs.

The RAC Foundation wants to see more parking provisions to help with the rise in car ownership.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Car ownership is set to keep on rising, but where are these vehicles going to go? Unless we want to see more streets clogged up and front gardens disappear then councils need to address the matter. Ministers decision last year to remove the cap on parking spaces at new developments will help.”

Read More Of The Article: https://web.archive.org/web/20131002230119/http://www.thegreencarwebsite.co.uk/blog/index.php/2012/07/17/seven-million-uk-lawns-lost-to-park-cars/

Britain accidentally invaded Spain in 2002.

7/08/2022

British Royal Marines landing during an exercise

Red-faced Royal Marines have been forced to beat a hasty retreat after storming a Spanish beach resort instead of the fortress rock of Gibraltar.

A map-reading glitch sent the 20-strong invasion force onto the beach at La Linea, the town on the frontier with the British colony, to the surprise of Spanish locals.

The marines were greeted by two local policeman who watched in amazement as the heavily armed troops rushed ashore from two launches on Sunday morning.

The mayor of La Linea, Juan Carlos Juarez, said: “They landed on our coast to confront a supposed enemy with typical Commando tactics.

“But we managed to hold them on the beach.”

Dominique Searle, editor of the Rock’s daily newspaper, The Gibraltar Chronicle said: “What a boob.”

“We don’t know who was in command of the invasion force but the feeling is he should brush-up on his map reading.

“But to be fair he was only a couple of hundred yards from the right spot.”

Spain and Britain are Nato allies but are locked in a long-running dispute about the sovereignty of Gibraltar.

Spain magnanimously spared Britain’s blushes by accepting the landing had been a genuine mistake.

“We are not going to protest. From our point of view the matter is closed,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

The marines were sailing on HMS Ocean

The British Ministry of Defence said it was a situation it would “rather not have taken place”.

“Two landing craft from HMS Ocean accidentally entered Spanish territorial waters and in bad weather one landing craft landed on the beach a few yards over the Spanish side of the border,” a spokesman explained.

“About 20 Royal Marines disembarked for about five minutes and then the error was recognised and they all withdrew.”

The gaffe came at an unfortunate time as talks between Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and his Spanish counterpart, Josep Pique, aimed at ending the centuries old dispute over the rock have stirred up animosity in both countries.

Gibraltarians and their political leaders are furious at suggestions that sovereignty of the peninsula could be shared.

A deal on its future is likely to be reached in the next few months.

Read More: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1827554.stm

The inventor of Vaseline used to eat a spoonful of it every day.

Post First Published: 7/08/2022 1:17 PM Post First Updated: 20 September 2022 4:04 PM

https://theklog.co/vaseline-moisturizer-test-hack/

Sir Robert Augustus Chesebrough, (January 9, 1837 – September 8, 1933) was an American chemist. He discovered petroleum jelly, which he marketed as Vaseline, and founded the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company.

Sir Robert Chesebrough started his career as a chemist who refined kerosene from the oil of the sperm whales. The man was curious to say the least. He discovered Petroleum in Titusville, Pennsylvania and to discover more of this resource he traveled to Titusville quitting his job. He went there to research upon the new materials that might be created from this new found fuel. This is how he discovered petroleum jelly, which he trade named as Vaseline.

Chesebrough had great faith in this product and before sending it to the market for the first time he applied it to his own cuts and burns. Being satisfied with his product, he tried to sell it to a few chemist shops, but no one was ready to trust this new invention of his, and so he failed in all his attempts to sell it.

Then one fine day he traveled to New York to give a demonstration of his product. In front of a large crowd, he burnt his skin with an open flame or an acid, and then applied petroleum jelly all over it, in order to demonstrate the miraculous effect of this product. He even distributed free samples to increase the demand of this product.

His struggle finally paid off in 1870 when he commenced his first factory and named this product ‘Vaseline’ with a patent labeled on it.

Since then several people claimed that Chesebrough had so much faith in his product that he even used to have a spoonful of it every morning.

Speculations were proven to be true when Chesebrough himself confessed that he used to have it in the morning for several years – he in fact lived to be 96.

No one knows if this too is a speculation, but it is an undeniable truth that Vaseline has made healing a lot easier in our daily lives.

German chocolate cake was invented in Texas

It may surprise you to learn that German Chocolate Cake is not actually German. (But don’t worry, it’s still very much chocolate and still very much cake.) And it’s also very Texan.

Pecans aren’t historically found in the German diet, but Texans sure love them. Buttermilk — which is mixed with chocolate in the cake — is also a Southern staple. As it turns out, the cake is an American creation, not brought to us from German immigrants as many have thought.

After researching the origins of the cake, every bite and nibble took us back to a recipe that ran in The Dallas Morning News in June 1957 called German Sweet Chocolate Cake.

Mrs. George Clay of Southeast Dallas submitted her recipe to the food pages of our newspaper — Julie Benell’s Recipe of the Day column — using Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate, which still exists today. It was called “German’s” chocolate after Samuel German, who invented the sweetened chocolate while working for Baker’s Chocolate, which was then owned by General Foods. (It’s now owned by Kraft). It’s a chocolate that includes sugar, which provides a shortcut for bakers.

According to What’s Cooking America, the 1957 recipe was picked up by other newspapers across the country, and sales of Baker’s chocolate soared along with the popularity of the cake.

Confusion about the origins of the cake have persisted. In 1963, according to a story in The Dallas Morning News, even President Lyndon B. Johnson served the cake at his Johnson City ranch for a luncheon with German Chancellor Ludwig Erhard. We can’t seem to find any reports on if Chancellor Erhard liked the cake, or if he realized it was erroneously made in honor of his home country.

References:

125 Interesting Facts About Practically Everything – Reader’s Digest. Elizabeth Yuko July 1 2022

https://www.rd.com/list/interesting-facts/

Did you know? The German Chocolate Cake is not actually German, it’s Texan – The Dallas Morning News. Erin Booke May 7th 2018

https://www.dallasnews.com/food/cooking/2018/05/07/did-you-know-the-german-chocolate-cake-is-not-actually-german-it-s-texan/

The Lost pilot was so expensive that the Chairman of ABC was fired for green-lighting the project.

Post First Published: July 1 2022 11:19 PM Post First Updated: September 9 2022 11:58 AM

Making a television pilot can be a costly process.

Showrunners have a vested interest in making their pitch as interesting as possible, while still trying to save some money when they can.

Over the years, a few particular TV pilots have become notorious for how expensive they were to produce.

One of these pilots ultimately was optioned out and went on to become one of television’s longest-running and most successful shows, with new fans binging on reruns to this very day.

Lost, in particular, had an expensive pilot because of a prop.

When did the pilot episode of ‘Lost’ debut?

The cast of ‘Lost’ in the season 1 premiere. | Reisig and Taylor/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

In September 2004, the pilot episode of Lost debuted on television. The name of the two-part episode was simply “Pilot,” with the second part of the episode premiering one week after the first.

Directed by famed writer/director J.J. Abrams, “Pilot” told the story of a group of people who survive the crash landing of Oceanic Flight 815. Waking up on a mysterious island, the survivors must contend with the reality of their new situation, all while piecing together their memories of the crash itself — and what led to it.

A story that took years to develop and write, the pilot episode of Lost was one of the most-watched television pilots of all time. Viewers were drawn in by the mystery of the crash, as well as the exotic location.

With critics praising the series early on, Lost went on to become an iconic television show, running for over six years and garnering thousands of fans around the world. 

How much did the pilot episode of ‘Lost’ cost to make?

Showrunners were dedicated to creating a totally original vision with Lost — which could explain why the pilot episode reportedly cost so much to produce and film. According to E! Online, the pilot episode of Lost was the most expensive television pilot to date, at the time that it was filmed in 2004. It was said to cost between $10 million and $14 million, over double the average cost of a television pilot at that time.

Much of the cost, according to E! Online, came down to one particular prop. Showrunners, intent on creating a sense of realism even in the midst of a fantasy world, utilized a decommissioned Lockheed 1011 to represent the downed crew of Oceanic Flight 815.

The plane was painstakingly updated and dressed to fit the show’s scenario, ultimately adding an incredible touch to the show. Filmed on location in Hawaii, Lost was optioned right away, and went on to become one of the most popular TV shows of all time. 

The instant that Lloyd Braun read the 25th and final page of the script outline, the ABC Television Group chairman turned to one of his assistants and bragged excitedly: ”This, my friend, is ER.”

So enthralled was Braun by the draft script titled Lost, he was convinced that he had found a drama series with a difference that would reverse the channel’s flagging fortunes, a programme that would rival the phenomenal success of NBC’s ER, the medical drama that had become cult television viewing in America and around the world.

Here was a show that boasted not just a glamorous cast and a dramatic storyline, but one that promised all the intrigue and surreal plots of Twin Peaks or The X Files. An aeroplane crash lands on a picture postcard desert island with 48 (mostly unfeasibly attractive) survivors, each of whom has a “secret” in his or her past, rescue looks unlikely … and lurking in the undergrowth is a malevolent presence. The result? Compulsive, addictive television.

The discovery could not have come at a better time. ABC had dropped to fourth in the ratings after NBC, CBS and Fox, and had not posted a profit for seven years. There was just one stumbling block. Braun’s bosses were unconvinced. While he, swept along on a tidal wave of enthusiasm, commissioned JJ Abrams, the award-winning scriptwriter of the hit series Alias, to write an initial episode and lavished £7 million on what was to become the most expensive television pilot in history, his bosses at Walt Disney, which owns ABC, looked on in horror.

“A crazy project that’s never going to work” was how Michael Eisner, the chairman and chief executive of Disney, described it. “This is a waste of time,” said Bob Iger, his deputy. They could not have been more wrong.

Lost launched with a fanfare of advertising on America’s small screens in early 2004 and immediately became a runaway success. Eighteen million viewers tuned in, garnering ABC its biggest viewing figures since 2000. It went on to win nominations for 12 prime-time Emmy Awards and became ABC’s fastest-selling show internationally.

When the first episode screened in Britain last week on Channel 4, it became the television version of a best-seller with viewing figures of six million. Since then, newspapers have been full of Lost reviews, commentaries, and facts and figures, and its merits have been relentlessly debated on radio stations and around the nation’s dinner tables.

For Braun, 46, its triumph should surely have been savoured as an exquisite victory. In the face of enormous opposition, his unwavering faith in this off-the-wall drama had been vindicated. He should have been the toast of ABC. Except that Braun was no longer an employee. Before Lost even aired, he had been fired.

The tale of how Lost’s originator – now the head of media and entertainment at Yahoo!, one of the world’s largest internet search engines – was unceremoniously dumped is almost as dramatic as the programme itself.

Braun, a former lawyer and manager of the singer Cher, had been president of Brillstein-Grey Entertainment when, at 39, he was headhunted by Disney to become chairman of its Buena Vista Television Group in March 1998. His career soared and he was appointed group chairman of ABC.

In James B Stewart’s book DisneyWar: The Battle for the Magic Kingdom, the Pulitzer prize winning author records how Braun was fascinated when he first heard the story outline. The idea for the drama had been pitched to Hollywood agencies and producers, and ABC ordered a script. But both the first version and a rewrite were rejected by Braun. Still gripped by the idea, however, he told colleagues: “I have a feeling this is going to be a home run.”

He envisaged the show as a cross between Cast Away, the 2000 film starring Tom Hanks, and Survivor, the reality television show set on a desert island. He immediately thought of Abrams. When Braun telephoned Abrams, the writer was initially taken aback. ”I immediately told him: ‘It can’t be a normal island. If I do it, it will be a weird, borderline sci-fi show.’ He said he loved that,” said Abrams.

From that initial telephone call, things moved swiftly. ”I started writing on a Monday and turned in the outline on Friday,” he recalls. ”On Saturday, they called and said: ‘OK, we are making it’.”

Braun, according to the Los Angeles Times, said of the Abrams outline: ”It’s the best piece of television I’ve ever read. I was out of my mind. I knew it would make noise that would be so big, so different, you couldn’t avoid it.”

In just 12 weeks the two-hour pilot was finished. ”We didn’t have time to second guess what we were doing and sanitise it,” Abrams said in a newspaper interview. ”And when it aired it ended up getting three times the expected audience – I just couldn’t believe it.”

But behind the scenes, while the pilot was being filmed in Hawaii, Braun’s bosses were furious at the cost and had decided to pull the plug on him. Iger, insisting that it would never work as a series, saved the worst of his sarcasm for the fact that the writers still did not even know what the mysterious presence on the island was. Eisner was equally scathing, describing it as another ”crazy” Abrams project. He gave it two out of 10.

But still Braun ploughed on with the filming. ”If we are pregnant enough, they won’t shut us down,” he told colleagues.

As Stewart says in DisneyWar: ”If Eisner or Iger decided they wanted rid of him, he’d handed them the ammunition: he had green-lit a $12 million pilot that still didn’t have a script.”

Both executives were eager to fire their arsenal. At the end of March 2004, when Braun flew back to Hawaii to oversee filming, rumours were already circulating that he was ”quitting”. He was well aware that Eisner and Iger loathed Lost. He was, as Stewart says, “tired of being second-guessed and overruled”.

A few days later, Iger telephoned Braun. Both men knew how the conversation would go. ”I understand you’ve had some discussions and we’d like to proceed and make some changes,” Iger said. ”You should have your lawyer call Alan Braverman [Disney’s general counsel].”

And that, as they say in show business, was that. Braun was out. But ABC did not pull the plug on Lost. In all likelihood too much money had already been committed. Lost went on to top all the ratings, becoming a national phenomenon in the US, and looks certain to do the same in Britain.

For Braun, its extraordinary popularity must have seemed sweet. This year, in a rare interview, he revealed the secret of his success: the ability to spot the ”next big thing” at 20 paces. Though tempted to return to television after his departure from ABC, he decided to ask his young children whether they would rather give up television or their computer. They told him the television. He accepted the job at Yahoo!.

  • DisneyWar: The Battle for the Magic Kingdom, by James B Stewart, is published by Simon & Schuster (£20).

References:

‘Lost’ Pilot Cost Up To $14 Million to Make Because of 1 Prop

by Christina Nunn | More Articles: TV

Published on

November 30, 2020

https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/lost-pilot-cost-up-to-14-million-to-make-because-of-1-prop.html/

The man who discovered ‘Lost’ – and found himself out of a job

By Olga Craig
Published: 12:01AM BST 14 Aug 2005

https://web.archive.org/web/20091217020230/http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1496199/The-man-who-discovered-Lost—and-found-himself-out-of-a-job.html

 99.99% of all commercially grown artichokes are grown in the state of California

19/06/2022 –

A Little About Artichoke And Their Origin

Artichokes are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables that have been enjoyed for centuries. It’s been agreed generally by historians that artichoke is a native of the Mediterranean perennial plant. However, there have been other speculations that it came from Sicily or the Italian region while others have hinted it came from Northern Africa.

Artichokes are actually the better version of Cardoon which tends to be smaller and prickly.

They first gained their popularity in the 1905’s with an increased interest majorly because of their gourmet flavor and fascinating look.

California’s Official Vegetable

On April 10th, 2013 artichokes were proclaimed to be California’s Official Vegetable by Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom. Although artichokes had been voted by KGO Morning News listeners to be the official FOOD, Mr. Newsom, in a political about face and in order to pacify the losing commodities, made a unilateral decision to name Artichokes as the official vegetable, thereby opening the door for an official fruit, grain, nut, and what have you.

The California artichoke growers are pleased that artichokes are receiving their just recognition. 99.99% of all commercially grown artichokes are grown in California and no other commodity can claim such exclusivity to the state. Artichokes are truly California’s vegetable.

Come and celebrate the 2020 Artichoke Festival, which will be held on May 30th and 31st at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. Visit their website, artichokefestival.org

Artichoke Preparations

Artichoke can be prepared in different manners such as boiling, steaming, grilling, as well as frying. Even though globe artichokes are a bit awkward to cut through and prepare, once you’ve been able to master the act of preparations, then you can enjoy this great-tasting vegetable.

Prepare artichokes the following way:

  • Trim the stem roughly into 5 cm.
  • Detach the outer leaves until you can see the pale center leaves.
  • Then take away any leftover hard outer leaves with the help of a peeler.
  • Further cut across the top of the artichoke heart unfold or reveal the choke (i.e. the hairy part in the center of the choke).
  • With the help of a spoon, scoop out the choke and dispose of it.
  • Then you can proceed to cook your artichoke. Make sure you cook it as soon as possible to prevent discoloration and oxidization.

Where Are Artichokes Grown: Conclusion

Artichokes being a food-giving plant is one of the oldest foods eaten by humans. They are one of the oldest vegetable grown and consumed for centuries. Used in culinary applications and it offers great health benefits.

Grown from Southern European countries such as Italy, France, and Spain are the majority of artichokes. In the United States, California is one of the major producers of artichokes. However, Italy is the major producer of artichokes in the world.

So, we do hope you’ve learned some things about where artichokes are grown from.CategoriesOrganic FoodPlantsTips & GuidesTagsartichoke growingwhere are artichokes grownwhere do artichokes growwhere does artichoke growPost navigation

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Canada and Denmark have been fighting over an uninhabited island by leaving each other bottles of alcohol and changing their flags since the 1930s.

Jeremy Bender 

Jan 11, 2016, 2:30 AM

Canada and Denmark have been fighting over an uninhabited island by leaving each other bottles of alcohol and changing their flags since the 1930s.

https://www.businessinsider.com/canada-and-denmark-whiskey-war-over-hans-island-2016-1

Far in the Arctic North lies the barren and desolate Hans Island. 

Hans Island
Hans Island. 

The uninhabited half-square-mile island, possessing no apparent natural resources, is a bizarre sliver of territory for two countries to fight over.

However, since the early 1930s, this nondescript rock has been at the center of an ongoing disagreement between Canada and Denmark. 

According to World Atlas, Hans Island is located in the middle of the 22-mile wide Nares Strait, which separates Greenland, an autonomous territory of Denmark, from Canada. Due to international law, all countries have the right to claim territory within 12 miles of their shore. 

As such, Hans Island is technically located in both Danish and Canadian waters. World Atlas notes that the island was decided to be Danish territory by the Permanent Court of International Justice of the League of Nations in 1933.

However, as the League of Nations fell apart in the 1930s and was then replaced by the United Nations, the ruling on the status of Hans Island carries little to no weight. 

The issue of Hans Island then loss traction in popular consciousness and the concerns of the Canadian and Danish governments throughout World War II and the heights of the Cold War, only to reemerge in 1984.

On that year, Denmark’s minister of Greenland affairs visited the island and planted a Danish flag. At the base of the flag, he left a note saying, “Welcome to the Danish island,” along with a bottle of brandy, CBC reports.

And since then, the two countries have waged a not-quite-serious “whiskey war” over Hans Island. 

Hans Island

Although the two countries have continued to disagree over the territorial status of the island, the governments have managed to continue the “whiskey war” and keep a good sense of humor over the incident. 

Peter Takso Jensen, the Danish Ambassador to the US, has said that “when Danish military go there, they leave a bottle of schnapps. And when [Canadian] military forces come there, they leave a bottle of Canadian Club and a sign saying, ‘Welcome to Canada.'”

Currently, a plan is in the works that could turn Hans Island into a shared territory that would be jointly managed by the Canadian and Danish municipalities bordering it.  

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Queen Elizabeth II Was A Trained Mechanic.

Post First Published: May 16 2022 1:24 AM Post First Updated: September 10 2022 2:01 PM

  • When World War II began in 1939, her majesty was just 13 years old, and was known as Princess Elizabeth. 
https://mashable.com/archive/queen-elizabeth-army#share-action:eyJzIjoicCIsImkiOiJfbm01dGR4ejljbnJscmJ4cSJ9
  • The Queen Mother refused to leave the UK, and the family stayed and supported their country, even as their home, Buckingham Palace, was bombed repeatedly.

  • When she turned 18, at her own insistence, Princess Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), where she trained as a truck driver and mechanic.

  • Now 94, she remains the only woman in the royal family to have served in the military.

World War II began when the Queen was just teenager. Back then, her mother, also named Elizabeth, was known as the Queen consort and the Queen was Princess Elizabeth.

Though many urged the Queen consort to evacuate her children, Elizabeth and Margaret, to Canada, she refused. “The children won’t go without me. I won’t leave without the King. And the King will never leave,” she said

The family, like their country, endured hardship. Buckingham Palace was reportedly bombed nine times throughout the war. One of the worst bombings was in 1940, and happened while King George VI and his wife were in residence.

When Princess Elizabeth turned 18 in 1944, she insisted upon joining the Army, where she trained as a truck driver and mechanic. She remains the only female member of the royal family to have served in the Army.

Queen Elizabeth || was until her passing on September 8 2022 Was A Royal Monarch For More Than 70 Years And Is Succeeded By Her Son, King Charles |||

The Ancient Romans used to drop a piece of toast into their wine for good health 

First Published 13th May 2022 10:13 PM Updated 12/08/2022 5:50 PM

https://www.heritagedaily.com/2017/01/mythbusting-ancient-rome-the-truth-about-the-vomitorium/113986?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HeritageDaily+%28Heritage+Daily+-+Archaeology+%26+Heritage+News%29

The Ancient Romans used to drop a piece of toast into their wine for good health – hence why we ‘raise a toast’.

Read The Original National Geographic Article: Cheers: Celebration Drinking Is an Ancient Tradition

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/drinking-alcohol-culture

A Toast to Toasting

Sometimes toasting was a duty—in the first century BCE, the Roman Senate decreed that the health of the Emperor Augustus be drunk at every meal—though more often it smacked of a drinking game. The poet Martial, who wrote snarky verses in the first century CE, described a Roman party practice in which each guest was compelled to drink as many glasses of wine as there were letters in his mistress’s name-a major challenge for those involved with a Proserpina or Messalina.

According to Geoffrey of Monmouth in his 12th-century History of the Kings of Britain, the first recorded toast in England took place in 450 CE, at a feast given in honor of British King Vortigern by Hengist, leader of his Saxon allies. Hengist’s daughter Renwein (Rowena) offered a goblet of wine to the king, saying “Louerd King, waes hael!”—“Good health!”—after which both drank. (Vortigern, swept off his feet, promptly proposed marriage.)

The holiday wassail bowl takes its name from the Saxon waes hael toast; traditionally this was a large single bowl from which everyone shared a drink. Related is the tradition of the loving cup, in which a large two-handled cup is passed from diner to diner, with each in turn taking a drink. Traditionally guests stand up three at a time as their turn arrives: one person to pass the cup, one to drink, and one to defend the temporarily defenseless drinker. The story goes that this tradition arose in the 10th century, when King Edward II (“the Martyr”) was stabbed to death by his stepmother while drinking a cup of mead.

The term “toast”—as in drinking to someone’s health—comes from a literal piece of spiced or charred toast, a tidbit once routinely dropped in a cup or bowl of wine, either as form of h’or d’oeuvre or to make the wine taste better. Shakespeare mentions this in The Merry Wives of Windsor, in which Falstaff calls for a quart of spiced wine, then adds “Put a toast in it.” By the 18th century, the term “toast” had been transferred from the floating bread to the person honored by the toast-hence the particularly popular could become the “toast of the town.”

Toasting in previous centuries, though governed by a complex hierarchical etiquette of who could toast whom and when, was largely an excuse for excessive drinking. At get-togethers, bumpers—bulging full glasses—of wine were raised to the king, to each and every guest, and to lists of absent friends. The British navy had a roster of toasts to be drunk daily, in order: the first was always to the king, variously followed by “our ships at sea,” “our men,” “a willing foe and sea room,” and “sweethearts and wives.” The irrepressible Prince Regent—he of the snapped-off wine-glass stems—favored competitive toasting in which gentlemen, in pairs, drank bumpers to admired ladies until one or the other of the drinkers collapsed senseless to the floor.

The Anti-Toast Movement

For many, it was too much. The first temperance society, the Order of Temperance, established in Germany in 1517, was dedicated to abolishing toasts. Louis XIV banned toasting at his court; and puritanical Massachusetts, in 1634, banned the “abominable” custom of drinking to another’s health. Most rabid of anti-toasters was Puritan lawyer and polemicist William Prynne who, in 1628, wrote an entire book devoted to the subject titled Health’s Sicknesse. In it, he thunders that “this drinking and quaffing of healthes had it origin and birth from Pagans, heathens, and infidels, yea, from the very Deuill himself.” Samuel Pepys, who attended a dinner with Prynne on June 6, 1664, reports that he refused to drink to anyone’s health (“no, not the King’s”), but “sat down with his hat on all the time,” presumably glaring at the company.

Others, in lieu of eliminating toasts altogether, opted for refurbishing their tarnished image. One of the earliest (pro) books on toasting, published by J. Roach in 1791, was titled The Royal Toast Master: Containing Many Thousands of the Best Toasts Old and New, to Give Brilliancy to Mirth and Make the Joys of the Glass Supremely Agreeable. : Also The Seaman’s Bottle Companion, Being a Selection of Exquisite Modern Sea Songs. The toast, wrote Roach, is “well-known to all ranks, as a stimulative to hilarity, and an incentive to innocent mirth, to loyal truth, to pure morality and to mutual affection.” He proposed that toasts be drunk to such uplifting sentiments as “Confusion to the minions of vice!” and “May reason be the pilot when passion blows the gale!”

Eventually, in polite society, one no longer had to guzzle an entire wine glass for each proposed toast; a sip was considered plenty, and often it sufficed simply to catch the toastee’s eye. Toasting, advised a mid-19th-century etiquette manual, should be done “quietly and unobtrusively;” the honored lady should “catch the person’s eye and bow with politeness,” then “smile with an air of great kindness.” In Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart’s best and last toast to Ingrid Bergman—“Here’s looking at you, kid”—was a matter of eye contact, with not a glass of wine in sight.

Americans have a special tie to toasting. In 1778, John Stafford Smith published a musical composition in a London magazine titled “To Anacreon in Heaven,” after Anacreon, a Greek poet known for his poems in praise of love and wine. The Anacreon Society, a contemporary gentleman’s club dedicated to “wit, harmony, and the god of wine,” enthusiastically adopted it, opening each meeting with a rendition of the song as a musical toast. The melody soon became so popular that it was co-opted for any number of popular songs.

Among these, on our side of the Atlantic, was “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

References

  • Dickson, Paul. Toasts. Bloomsbury USA, 2009.
  • Dunkling, Leslie. The Guinness Drinking Companion. The Lyons Press, 2002.
  • Gately, Iain. Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol. Gotham Books, 2008.
  • Visser, Margaret. The Rituals of Dinner. Grove Press, 1991.
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