Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Watchers Became The Police

Bodyworn, Body Camera
If anything happens like being robbed, or having your car stolen, you report it to the police. Most towns have some sort of law enforcement, even the villages in Alaska but did you know most places didn’t have any police departments until the 1840’s? Prior to this, at least in the United States, places relied on one of two forms of law enforcement.

The first was a “Watch” system which relied on community volunteers sort of like modern day neighborhood watches. Their job was to notify everyone of impending dangers. Three of the first places to use a night watch system were Boston in 1636, New York in 1658, and Philadelphia in 1700. Unfortunately, the night watch system was not particularly effective at controlling crime.

Some of the reasons night watchmen were not particularly effective included sleeping or drinking on duty, trying to avoid military service, or it was punishment for other things. It took over 100 years for cities to implement a day watch. Philadelphia was the first in 1833, followed by New York in 1844.

The second method was the pay for hire version. Some were paid part time employees while others were constables and other law enforcement officers who earned money by enforcing warrants. In some places, constables had to monitor night watches, operating as land surveyors, and making sure all weights and measures were accurate.

Over time, cities began creating a more centralized form of law enforcement with Boston creating the first American police force in 1838, followed by New York City 1845 and other cities. This new form was publicly supported with full time paid officers, who followed procedures, and the department had to report to another authority.

One reason, cites needed police forces has to do with the rapid growth of the cities themselves in the early 1800’s. Consequently, the old watch system could not keep up with the needs of the larger populations. In addition, public disorder became more visible along with increased violence.

At the same time as the law enforcement developed for protection in the north, the south developed its own unique enforcement. Slave patrols began in 1704 as a way of tracking down runaway slaves and preventing slave revolts until the Civil War when the military took over. After the end of the war, many ex-members of these slave patrols joined the new enforcement agencies to keep segregation going.

Then in the 1880’s with the influx of immigrants, the focus of police departments changed because these new citizens were different than those already in the United States. The dominant culture wanted those “dangerous” people who drank at taverns kept under control but many of the people who went to taverns were getting out of their small crowded apartments.

In addition, many police officers, especially captains and sergeants were appointed by local politicians who owned taverns, ran gangs, and had illegal gambling places and expected the police to turn an eye to the misdoings. This way of populating police departments created some serious problems during the prohibition and in 1929, police areas were redrawn so they no longer coincided with political wards.

In addition, this was also the time when the expectations of the job of a police officer changed to be more of what is expected today. So that is a brief history of the development of the modern police departments. Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Toilet Paper is Older Than You Thought.

Toilet Paper, Hygiene, Role, Wc There is a huge argument going on about how to put toilet paper on its hanger.  Does it roll so the paper comes off the front or the back?  Well without the invention of toilet paper, we wouldn't be having that argument.

Back in the second century B.C, someone in China invented a wrapping and padding paper.  Records show this paper was also used as toilet paper.  By the 6th century, this type of toilet paper was used across the country but the first modern version did not appear until 1361.

It was created to meet the needs of the Chinese Royal family.  Every 2 foot by 3 foot sheet was perfumed, much like what we have today.  However, it wouldn't be until the fifteenth that it became widely available to everyone and it wasn't always what we think of as toilet paper.  People often used newsprint or other general paper until people began commercially producing it.

 In fact, mass manufacturing of modern toilet paper didn't begin until the 19th century, when Joseph C. Gayetty created the first packaged variety to be sold commercially in 1857.  The packages contained flat, loose, sheets of paper made out of hemp with aloe and marketed as "Therapeutic Paper" in Kleenex like boxes.  To make sure everyone knew it was his paper, he put his name on every sheet but it wasn't successful because most people used the pages from their Sears Catalogue which came free every season.

Within ten years, several men including Scott produced some sort of toilet paper but it wasn't until the Scott brothers formed the Scott Paper Company in 1879 that toilet paper was sold in rolls.  They distributed their paper to drugstores and hotels but it was still a battle because people had to be convinced toilet paper was worth it.  At this point, discussing bodily functions was not done, so the public had to be educated.  In fact, the Scott Brothers didn't take credit for their product until 1902 due to being ashamed.

One thing that helped was between 1870 and 1890, people patented and build a variety of machines that would roll and perforate toilet paper to make it easier to use by individuals but it couldn't get past the shame and no one wanted to ask about it by name.  In 1930, the German toilet paper company started the campaign telling people to ask for their brand so they didn't have to say the words "Toilet Paper.

A big societal change that helped toilet paper become more accepted had to do with the change from outhouses to indoor plumbing.  This new sit down flush toilet required a paper that could be flushed down the pipes without clogging them.  This lead to toilet paper companies stating their products came recommended by both doctors and plumbers.

In 1928, Hoberg Paper Company located in Green Bay, Wisconsin listened to its advertising department and introduced Charmin with ladylike packaging and associated femininity with it so they could avoid talking about its actual purpose.  Furthermore, in 1932,  Charmin started packaging toilet paper in bundles of four and this helped the company survive the depression. Then in 1935, when Northern produced the first splinter free paper and then in 1942, Saint Andrews Paper Mill in England figured out how to make a softer paper and begin issuing rolls of two ply paper.

So this is how we came to be so into toilet paper use in North America and Europe.  Toilet paper is still evolving and it will be interesting to see where it ends up going.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Longest Running Soap Operas Part II

Old, Retro, Television, Tubes, TvThis past Friday, I shared the first eight longest running soap operas.  Today, we'll look at the other ones.  I know my grandmother watched some of these but I don't remember my mother ever being into soap operas.  I did watch one for a week or two but after the supposed cave in due to an earthquake but it was so unbelievable, I quit and never watched another one.The one positive in regard to soap operas is that many a big name star got their start working on these.

In seventh place is Search for Tomorrow which premiered in 1951 and followed the lives of Jo and her family through divorce, marriage, and following generations.  One actress remained with it the full 35 year run and Mary Stuart won the first daytime Emmy.  This show also broached some very controversial themes in its time on the air but ratings dropped so it went off the air in 1986.

Coming in sixth place is All My Children beginning in 1970 and staying in production for 41 years.  This ABC soap opera centered in Pine Valley just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Rather than focusing on just one family, it looked at several families, their lives and relationships.  This soap opera is famous for Susan Lucci being nominated for eighteen times but only won once.  Due to dropping ratings, the show was canceled in 2011 but it was resurrected in 2013 for 30 minute shows online but they only lasted till 2013.

Next in fifth place is One Life to Live starting in 1968 on ABC.  It took place in Llanview, Pennsylvania and documented the lives and interactions of the three richest families.  There were enough interactions among the families and their off spring to keep the show running for 45 seasons until it went off the air in 2012.  This is another show picked up for online viewing too.

Then in fourth place is The Young and The Restless premiering in 1973.  This soap opera focused on the rich and working class in Genoa City, Wisconsin but CBS's version, not the real city.  The families have battled for many long years and the show is still going to who knows how long it will continue.

Coming in third is As The World Turns beginning in 1956 and started out with 30 min episodes rather than the usual 15 minute ones.  This show centered around three prominent families in Oakdale, Illinois.  This CBS soap opera when off the air in 2010 after 54 seasons.  When it went off the air, it's spot was taken over by The Talk.

Then in second place, Days of Our lives began in 1965 on NBC.  This show centered on the lives of 5 families in the fictional city of Salem, located somewhere in the midwest.  The show followed the gambit from marriages, divorces, love triangles, courtships, custody battles, switched identities, and so many other things.  As of this column, this show is still on the air after 55 seasons.

And in first place, the award goes to General Hospital which premiered in 1963 on ABC.  The show took place in Port Charles while centering on the Quartermaine Family.  Over the time on the air, this show launched two spin-offs, and holds the record for the most Daytime Emmy awards.  This is one of four soap operas still on the air.

There are several reasons soap operas are dying.  Soap operas originally operated as vehicle for soap manufacturers to advertise their products but the manufacturers are now using social media so networks can no longer count on them for advertising dollars.  In addition, the cost of making soap operas is much more expensive than the shows that replaced them.

I have trouble wrapping my head about a show that has been on for over 50 years when most evening shows seldom make it much past 10 or 15 seasons. Its like soap operas have a life of their own with birth, death, and a journey in-between.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Longest Running Soap Operas Part 1

Old Tv, Records, Vhs Tapes, Retro, Tv 
I remember watching my grandmother enjoy her daily dose of soap operas. Yes, I’ll even cop to watching one when I was a teenager but it didn’t last but there are some that have been on the air for a very long time. I think for my grandmother, it was a way to keep her mind exercised after she suffered a stroke when I was 11. For me, it was the boy on there, such a cutie but after it was cancelled, I grew out of them.

There are 15 soap operas that ran at least 13 seasons but most ran for a much longer.

Coming in at fifteenth place is Ryan’s Hope. It broadcast on ABC for 13 seasons from 1975 to 1989 and focused on the story of an Irish-American Family, the Ryans who lived in Manhattan. During its time on television, it won two daytime Emmy awards for best series but it couldn’t keep up with changing times and went off the air in 1989.

In fourteenth place, The Doctor’s premiered in 1963. This NBC show focused on the staff, friends, family, and patients at the Hope Memorial Hospital located in Madison. Originally, the show presented individual stories but after a year, it went serial and followed the traditional soap opera format. It began as a black and white show but switched to color in 1966. The show went off the air after 19 seasons in 1982.

In thirteenth place, we have The Secret Storm starting in 1954. It shared the lives of the Ames family made up of a father and his three daughters over 20 seasons. This show is one of three long running soap operas created by Roy Winsor. This show is noted for having Joan Crawford step into the role her daughter had when the daughter became sick. This is unique because Joan while in her 60’s played the role of a 20 something. The show went off the air in 1974.

In twelfth place is Love of Life, another soap opera created by Roy Winsor that premiered in 1951. The stories centered on two sisters and their families. It began in Barrowsville, New York but later moved to Rosehill, New York when one of the sisters was written out. The show was cancelled in 1980.

In eleventh place is The Edge of Night began in 1956 on CBS but it later switched to ABC. It was a bit different because it combined mystery with the standard soap opera format. The story revolved around a crimefighter who was a daytime Perry Mason. It was broadcast live from 1956 until 1975 when it switched to ABC. It made history as one of the first two serials with 30 minute episodes. Up to this point, soap opera episodes were only 15 minutes.

In tenth place is CBS’s The Bold and The Beautiful premiering in 1987. The basic story revolves around the Forrester family and their fashion business in Los Angeles, California. The series began as a sister show for The Young and The Restless. Back in 2009, 2010, and 2011, it won Daytime Emmy’s for outstanding Drama Series. This show is still on the air and is one of four that has survived time.

In ninth place is Another World which made its appearance on NBC in 1964. The story took place in Bay Town, and told the stories of all the residents and their offspring because it lasted 35 years. This show was created by Irna Phillips, the female who created many of the original radio based soap operas and William Bell. This soap opera gave birth to Somerset and Texas, neither lasting as long as the parent show. The show went off the air in 1999.

On Monday, I’ll finish with the eight longest running shows including those still on the air. Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear. Have a great day.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

In The Past, Beauty Could Kill You.

Blue Eyes, Woman, Female, Makeup, ModelAfter reading up on beauty ingredients used in the past, it is amazing women survived it all, even when the products were declared safe.

Back in the days of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, people wanted to look as pale as possible so they used a moisturizer with lead and mercury because it gave them the look they wanted.  In the process, the mixture also poisoned them to death.

Although there was a short period when women bled themselves to get the pale look, they went back to using lead. In addition, many of these beauty products added to the lead and mercury which caused madness, paralysis, and death.  In Elizabethan times, women continued to use such mixtures and it is thought that Queen Elizabeth suffered from heavy metal poisoning.  It is reported that in her final years of live, she lost her appetite, would suddenly loose her temper and throw things.  She also developed paranoia claiming the Jesuits were out to get her and she'd brandish   her sword at ghosts.

In the 16th century, there was a trend to drink liquid gold because it was believed that liquid gold would keep you young.  Unfortunately, it could also cause the user to die.  There was a case of Diane de Poitiers, King Henri II's mistress who used it because she almost 20 years older than her lover and afraid of loosing him. When they discovered her body in 2008, they discovered she'd drunk so much liquid gold it had leeched into the surrounding soil.  In addition, they found extremely high levels of mercury that they could have damaged her kidneys, caused neurological symptoms, weakened her bones, inflamed both intestines, and severe anemia.

Another 16th century beauty treatment used frequently was a beauty mask of mercury and turpentine.  Women put the mask on their skin for eight days before rubbing it off with steam and bread. People who had scars left from smallpox, often filled them with human fat secured from the local executioner.  Furthermore, people used ox dung as a common treatment for acne.

Unfortunately, people continued to use lead as a main ingredient in beauty products even up to the 18th century.  It smoothed their faces out after suffering from smallpox, acted as a sunscreen, and created the pale skin tone they wanted.  In the process, the lead slowly poisoned themselves and suffered from grey hair, dried out skin, constipation, and severe abdominal pain.

As lead disappeared from products, Arsenic took its place, guaranteed to create the desired pale skin, and advertised to be absolutely safe.  Arsenic could cause a person to loose hair, killed red blood cells, and eventually lead to death but that didn't stop people. Many people made their own by soaking arsenic impregnated fly paper while others purchased it in wafer form.  One problem with arsenic is that if you stopped taking it after a while, you'd throw up and your muscles would spasm.

Furthermore, the Italians and Victorians used a liquid nightshade known as Belladonna to create the huge eyes women desired.  The nightshade dilated the eyes, giving women a bright seductive appearance society appreciated.  It produced side effects like blurred vision, headaches, and vertigo and possibly death.

Once radiation was discovered, manufacturers took advantage of it beginning in the late 1920's and placed it in all sorts of beauty products including toothpaste.  One man began a line of French beauty products with radium as one of its ingredients.  People bought it because of the advertising but many died from radiation poisoning.

Up until the 20th century, there was no FDA, no governmental entity to keep watch on dangerous ingredients.  Before this, people accepted these ingredients as safe because the manufacturers made claims of safety in their advertisements or no one knew any better.

Fortunately, these ingredients have been prohibited and are not in use.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Soap Operas, When and Where Did They Start?

Susan Lucci, Actress, Television HostFor the longest time, there has been a certain type of programming that launched many an actors career. This particular programming has been around for a very long time, first on radio, then on television. It has been around since the early 1930’s when it began as a way to reach an underserved niche. You might be wondering what I’m talking about but the minute I mention soap opera’s you’d know.

Back in the 1930’s, both the networks and advertisers realized there was an underserved market available. There were thousands of women who spent the day working around the house. Many had husbands who worked at an office everyday while their children attended school. So WGN-AM out of Chicago started the first “Soap Opera” by broadcasting Clara, Lu, and Em on June 16, 1930. The show was made up of three friends who began the show at Northwestern University but were encouraged to approached the radio station. At first they did it for free but then Colgate Palmolive provided support of the show and in 1932, it moved to daytime to reach the female market.

Then one of WGN’s female staff writers created a 15 minute radio show about the family titled Painted Dreams. This same writer also started several different programs including a couple for other stations because of disagreements with WGN.

Since the targeted audience for these shows were the housewife, various laundry soap producers supported them through advertising a variety of cleaning products. Through the history of soap operas, cleaning products provided the main support financially for these shows.

In addition to Irna Phillips creating lots of early shows, Anne Hummert and her husband also created a company to produce radio serials including Ma Perkins, a show where the lead character is a widow who dispensed advice to her family and friends who needed it. The Hummerts produced shows that lasted into the 1960’s while others had a limited run. Anne typed over two million words a year and used voice talents to produce these shows.

Irna Phillips is credited with creating the style of the modern soap opera with music used to transition from scene to scene, writing “cliff hangers” so people would return for the next episode just to find out what happened. She also created The Guiding Light, a show that ran for 15 years on the radio and another 57 years on television. The original show was based on her early life and her experiences with the People’s Church in Chicago. Her last show The Brighter Day” survived the transition to television but due to its overtly religious themes never acquired high ratings.

It took a while for soap operas to transition to television because the stations preferred to concentrate on prime time programming. When they did start daytime programming, they used news and variety shows. It wasn’t until 1950, they finally had the first television soap opera premier and it was a success because within 10 years, all radio soaps had been dropped and they focused only on television shows.

Eventually, there were a ton of daytime soap operas which still offered cleaning products to women who could see how great they were. Unfortunately, as more women entered the job market, the number of viewers dropped and soap operas went off the air until there are only a few left. According to the Soap Opera Ratings people, there are only four soap operas left and and their viewership is continuing to drop Most soap operas have been replaced by talk shows, court shows, and the occasional news show.

One of these days I’ll look at the soap operas who set records for being on television. Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear. Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

It Has Diamond Dust In It!

Diamond, Gem, Cubic Zirconia, JewelWhile looking on Amazon for skin care products, I came across a face cream with diamond dust in it.  That stopped me because I had no idea you'd find anything like that in a face product.

Back in 2011, an actress made the news when she paid $7000 for a facial with diamonds and rubies because it would make her skin glow for the event.  Diamonds were popular in skin care for a long time before this even.  As far back in Roman times, the were used by the wealthy for for beautiful skin and good health.

Since then, diamond dust has made its way into many, many, beauty products.  It adds a bit of glamor to the product raising it to the status of luxury because diamonds are automatically thought of as luxurious.  There are two things that diamonds are said to do.

First, it is said that diamond powder/dust acts to exfoliate the skin to polish it without causing any harm as long as the diamond dust is extremely fine.  When the skin is exfoliated, pores are opened, allowing antioxidants, serums, moistures, or vitamins to enter more efficiently. Diamond dust is said to exfoliate the skin gently but there are those who believe there are other products which do a better job.

Second, diamond powder is said to blur the skin.  Blurring the skin means the dust remains on the skin, reflects the light making lines and wrinkles soften and blur so the skin looks younger and brighter.  The reflective property of the dust also evens out the skin tone.  There are claims the dust gets rid of wrinkles, is anti-aging, and makes skin glow but there are no scientific studies to support either of these claims.

 What is known is that diamond dust is inert, remains on the surface of the skin and is easily washed off.  Since the dust remains on the skin, it is not absorbed and does not provide long term benefits.  In addition, not all products are created equal.  Usually if the product is fairly inexpensive, it won't have as much dust in it as something more expensive.

Another entrepreneur who lives in Amsterdam, searched for a way to use the diamond dust available from the diamond industry there.  This woman began using diamond dust to formulate shampoos and conditioners because of the characteristics of the dust.  In the shampoo, the diamond dust helps eliminate build up of dirt and other particles through gentle exfoliation.  When diamond dust is in the conditioner, it makes the hair shine brighter while providing heat protection.

So maybe diamonds are a girls best friend but in my skin care products or shampoo or conditioner, I don't know.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 21, 2019

The History of Breakfast.

Breakfast, Food, Dish, English Breakfast Breakfast is something my mother said I should always eat.  At school, they said you need breakfast to keep your brain working right and yet so  many people I know skip that meal because they want to loose weight.

My dad has always loved his eggs, bacon, and toast but we couldn't afford it very often.  Usually we had cooked rice, rice with raisins, rice with cinnamon, or oatmeal with rice or cinnamon. I grew up always eating breakfast because I was raised that way.

It appears the idea of breakfast being important began back in the 1940's with Grape Nuts.  They  created an advertisement stating "Eat a good breakfast - Do a better job" that was heard on the radio, while grocery stores passed out pamphlets attesting to the same thing.  Grape Nuts and other cereals are a fairly recent development.

Prior to the creation of cereals, people from the middle and upper classes ate pancakes, eggs, pastries,  along with oysters, boiled chicken, and beef steaks but it has not always been this way.  The ancient Romans didn't eat breakfast because they believed in eating only one meal a day.  Historians aren't sure who ate breakfast during the Medieval Europe.  Some feel only the rich enjoyed breakfast while others believe laborers ate the meal to provide energy and there are some who believe everyone skipped it.

It is known that American Colonists age a very hurried breakfast only after working for several hours first.  Historians do agree that breakfast became something people ate first thing in the morning with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and people moved to the city for work.  In addition, work schedules were now set by the employer so people started eating before starting their workday.

During the 1800's, people began marketing cereals as health necessities.  The first cereal - "granola" came about in 1863 but it had to be soaked in milk to even be eaten and earned the nickname "Wheat Rocks".  Even with that, it sold 50 tonnes the first year to meet the demand of people and by 1903, over 100 cereal companies could be found in Battle Creek where Kellogg made his corn flakes.

Out of this, two main cereal companies survived, Kellogg and Post.  People loved cold cereal because it was fast, easy, and saved a lot of time.  It met the needs of a population who had less time to cook while spending long hours working.  These two companies kept making cereals, some old, some new and by 1940 Post sugared most of their cereals.  Kellogg followed suite and both companies created mascots to attract more buyers until we have shelving full of cereals.

Furthermore, in 1916, the orange industry began advertising people should drink their orange because they had a surplus that year.  This brought the idea that people should include orange juice with their breakfast.  Breakfast might be cold cereal, eggs, bacon, pancakes, waffles, biscuits and gravy, or a variety of other things.

So now you know a bit more about breakfast and its history.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Is There Such A Thing As Edible Silver?

Bullion, Silver, Bar, Metal, Old, GrayAfter reading up on edible gold, I wondered if there was such a thing as edible silver.  People have bought up bars of silver to corner the market and coins used to be made of silver before the mid 1960's but can we eat it?  Can we eat it?

First of all, silver can be rolled thin enough to be use as an edible garnish on desserts. It's use originated in South-Asian cuisine since it can be used on both sweet and savory food.

People used edible silver on food because it showed they were wealthy enough to afford it.  Its been used for hundreds of years in South-Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.  Furthermore, India is currently the place associated with edible silver.

Over the years, edible silver became known as Vark Varak or Varahk, and is a 99.9% silver foil.  It has been declared safe by the European food safety agency but it is strongly suggested you make sure the silver foil is 99.9% or even 100% because Vark often has copper, aluminum, lead, or nickel.  These metals are not inert and can cause problems.  Furthermore, it has been found that "Edible silver foil" may not be pure.  The manufacturer might have used aluminum instead of silver, or might have been made in unsanitary conditions.

The silver foil, itself, is made by taking non-ionic bioactive pieces of silver and pounding them into the sheets between 0.2 and 0.8 microns before being placed between sheets of paper. According to what I've been told, edible silver has absolutely no taste.  Edible silver comes in two types of sheets. The first is loose leaf edible while the second is a transfer sheet.  The transfer sheets are easier to apply because you take the sheet, place the silver side against the food and rub gently so the silver transfers to the food.  It works best on flat areas.

On the other hand,he loose leaf sheets are better for uneven surfaces with cracks because the loose leaf can fill cracks. It has to be applied with a special brush and water otherwise it won't stick properly. In addition, the loose leaf silver produces a more rustic finish.

Unfortunately, silver has the reputation for being antiviral and antibacterial so people will distill water with silver and drink it.  Unfortunately, if people drink enough of this liquid, they can end up with a slate blue colored skin.  If a person drinks enough, the silver can bind with other tissue like sweat glands, and eyeballs which could turn the same slate blue.  This is only a cosmetic condition but the color can only be removed by laser.

So now you know.  It is safe to eat as long as it is pure and made by a reputable manufacturer.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

History and Information on Edible Gold.

Gold, Ingots, Golden, Treasure, BullionIf you ever read descriptions of the most expensive cakes, sushi, or any other type of food, they usually include edible gold but what exactly is that?  How can it be edible.  When someone says gold, we think of gold bars thieves are always stealing from banks or Fort Knox.

Beginning back in Egyptian times, Pharaohs used gold to win the favor of the gods.  They used gold leaf to decorate tombs and sarcophagus.

If you jump over to Alexandria, you'll find chemists or alchemists who created an elixir out of liquid gold.  This elixir is said to rejuvenate people, restore youth, and rid the body of disease.  Furthermore, it is said Cleopatra slept in a mask made of gold because she believed it made her more attractive to men.

In addition, the ancient Japanese used gold leaf as decoration on food and drink as well as using it as as a medicine.  By the 16th century, gold leaf had made its way to Europe and the noblemen there decorated their food with it.  Gold leaf would be found on bread, oysters, quail and carp, especially at banquets, and weddings.

Even in Europe, people believed in the medicinal qualities of gold leaf.  It could be found wrapped around pills, or in tonics.   It's consumption became so common, laws began restricting its use to no more than two dishes per meal because they were afraid the gold supply might run out.  Furthermore, it was observed that gold when placed near joints seemed to alleviate arthritis.

Currently, it is possible to buy gold leaf, gold powder, or gold ribbon.  It is approved for consumption but it is still a precious metal.  By definition, edible gold leaf is "biologically inert" meaning it passes through your system without being absorbed.  When you purchase gold leaf, it is important to get it with as much pure gold as possible.  It is best between 22 and 24 carat gold because that is the safest. Anything with less gold could possible harm you.

It is possible to purchase gold leaf in sheets or as flakes.  When buying gold leaf in sheets, there are two types.  The first is loose leaf which is used by tearing small pieces to decorate candy or truffles.  The second is the transfer leaf is better for covering large items such as cakes.  The gold used in sheets has been rolled until it is 1/8000 of a millimeter thick.  A ball park figure to buy gold sheets is in the 15 to 25 cents per square inch.

So now you know edible gold has been used for thousands of years because its associated with luxury.  You also know how its made and what to look for if you want to buy it.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Red Cost That Much?

Rose, Roses, Flowers, Red, ValentineNow a days we take red for granted.  It is a color we can easily get because its quite affordable but back in the 17th century it was not.  If you could go back to 17th century, you would discover red was associated with power.

King Louis XIV loved red and always wore it.  He had good legs and would always show them off with knee high pants, silk stockings, and scarlet high heels.  He started a fashion because men all over Europe began painting their heels red too.

Furthermore, he loved the color so much, he ordered his chairs be done in this rich red fabric and he wanted the royal bed curtains in Versailles to also be done in this beautiful red.  Later on, even some of the King's Mistresses had furniture done with red to make rooms warmer and more beautiful.

In addition, since red meant power, Chinese and Persian rulers wore red, the Catholic Church used red as a sign of its authority, even the British army dressed it soldiers in red.  Although some countries forbid all but those of the highest status to wear red, people found ways around it.  In Japan the lower classes would line their kimonos with red so they'd have it but no one could see it.

Originally, the Spanish searched for gold and silver when they arrived in Mexico but after several years, they noticed the Aztecs wearing such vibrant red clothing and it was a red that didn't easily fade.  So they began collecting the female Cochineal bugs off certain cactus plants.  They'd ship these dried bugs off to Europe.  When dried Cochineal looked like small pellets so importers weren't sure if they were plant, mineral, or animal but they could resell these to other European countries for a huge profit.  The Spanish kept the origin of these bugs a secret.

There were ways to get red prior to the discovery of Cochineal by the Europeans but most did not have the same colorfastness or it took a very long time to produce the proper color.  For instance, Europe had Kermes which is similar to the Cochineal but it cost too much to make red cloth so even the richest people in Europe seldom bought it.  Madder, a plant, was used to produce most of the red prior to the discovery of the Cochineal but the Turks had the best process for making a great red but it took months to make and involved quite multiple steps.

This new red was so spectacular that people tried to rob Spanish ships taking the dried Cochineal back to Europe, and often times were successful.  There is record of the Earl of Essex who captured a Spanish Galleon carrying 27 tons of this product.  Queen Elizabeth took 10 percent for herself and the rest allowed England to produce red fabrics for many years.  Think about it this way, it takes 70,000 Cochineal to make a pound so 27 tons is quite a lot.

In addition, Cochineal could be used to make peach, pink, purple, and black but it was most noted for red because it was called the "perfect red".   Unfortunately, the bottom dropped out of this market in the mid 1800's when man began inventing synthetic dyes.  These new red dyes were cheaper and easier to use. However, that didn't stop people from using it in other ways such as a food coloring, coloring in cosmetics, but many people turn out to be allergic to it.  The FDA states that because people are allergic to Cochineal, any thing containing a dye made from this insect must list it specifically.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Venetian Glass

Yesterday, I shared some pictures from the museum of glass art in Tacoma.  Today, I'm sharing pictures of the Venetian Wall is on one side of the walkway to the Museum from Union Station.  This wall over the rail lines and is beautiful.  I don't know how many vases and such are there but I know there are tons.

Some of the glass creations look like regular vases with flowers or plants in them, while others appear to have curly hair coming out of the top.  

some almost look like unique creatures while others appear as plants or the Japanese Flower arrangements.

The art in this one installation is absolutely awesome and takes quite a bit of time to get through if you stop and look at each and every piece.

Yes, there are this many pieces of art.  If I'd taken a panoramic view, I don't think I would have actually been able to place it in this column because it would be so wide.

I love the little yellow object with blue spines in the above picture.  It reminds me of a small robot while the blue item just to the right of the big vase looks almost like a female wearing a boa.

As you can tell, one reason I like this is because the art is fanciful and one can make up a story about the piece.  It's almost like each one has its own story to tell.

The large one in the lower middle reminds me of a vase with two flowers.  One flower is fully open while the other is just getting ready to open.  On the other hand, the pink one just to the left of it looks like it is a decorated vase wrapped in ribbons.

Tomorrow, I'll finish off this three day share with other pictures I took in that area.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Museum Quality Glass

I spent the past weekend in Tacoma, Washington.  I attended a math conference but on the very last day, after the final speech, I went out with others to lunch.  After lunch, we did a bit of sightseeing in the downtown area.  We didn't have a lot of time so we stopped through the Museum of Glass gift shop.  They had so many wonderful things.
This set looks like knitting made out of glass strands.  The stitches look quite real and the needles are so cool.  I never realized one could create something this realistic out of glass.  Each and everyone is a different knitted project.
These birds are so cute.  They are all perched on a table across from the knitted glass.  None of the two are the same even if they share the same colorations.  

This wall is filled with birds of different colors and styles.  I didn't get a picture of the cool penguin with its black and white stripped suit and dark black hat.  I was down to about 25% power so I could only take a few.
These are bee's standing on top of a bee hive.  Each bee is an individual and so cute.  In the back, behind the window is a set of clear glass objects that seem to be part of a water display but are under renovation.  
I couldn't believe these are made out of glass. They are so delicate, looking as if they are made of threads.  They remind me of those guns that melt plastic so you can make three dimensional objects out of the plastic threads.  They look as if they have beads woven into the structures.

There was so many glass pieces.  Several looked as if they had jellyfish floating inside while others displayed a technique with stripes and small bubbles inside, or spheres that appear to hold various space items such as planets or stars and are so beautiful.  They even had hanging glass bulbs, each with swirling colors and so much depth you wanted to walk into them, just to explore the beauty.  I could not afford most of the art there because the pieces ranged from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

I hope to go back someday to enjoy the whole museum but until then I can enjoy the little taste I had. Tomorrow, I'll share pictures from the Venetian wall leading to the museum and possibly a few shots of the ceiling of the bridge.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Friday, October 11, 2019

This Green Could Kill You!

Books, Door, Entrance, Culture, Library Today, we don't worry about paints and such we decorate the house but in the past that wasn't as true.  I've touched on this ingredient before but only in regard to books but not as it is used in the house.

During Victorian times, people loved using  vivid wallpapers in their houses because these wallpapers added depth to rooms.  Then on April 3, 1862, the local doctor in Limehouse, East London , was called in to treat an extremely ill 3 year old girl.

This young lady was curled up in pain and was unable to swallow. symptoms consistent with diphtheria but her three older siblings displayed the same symptoms yet died.  Since the three died within a short time, it supported the diagnosis of diphtheria.  Although Diphtheria is quite contagious, this doctor felt the diagnosis was incorrect because none of the neighbors came down with it.

Since he didn't now what caused the symptoms, he made notes identifying everything he could about their living conditions.  He noted the place was cramped but clean with good ventilation, and in good condition.  He examined the sanitation conditions, and checked the water conditions.  He couldn't find anything to explain this except for the green wallpaper in the parent's bedroom.  There was a theory circulating in the medical field that this could kill people.

When the three year old died, the doctor asked if he could perform an autopsy and when her tissues were tested, they revealed she died from arsenic poisoning.  The story made the newspapers where reporters rushed to let everyone know it was the paints in the wallpaper that killed her because the paints had arsenic.  The official report made it clear you didn't have to be in the same room to be exposed and poisoned.

This went to court to find the official cause of death but the judge and jury refused to accept this finding.  Instead, the jury ruled the little girl died of natural causes.  This lead to a media flurry with people on both sides sharing their opinions.  The argument for the arsenic poisoning included the fact the parents hung the wallpaper over Christmas holidays and up until then the whole family had been extremely healthy but after, they got sick.  Furthermore, additional "proof" was given by sighting other cases in which people got sick after they installed the wallpaper and yet got healthier when the wallpaper was removed.

This use of these vivid greens dated back to 1778 when a Swedish chemist used copper arsenic to create this rich green which paint manufacturers and interior decorators loved.  Eventually, everyone wanted it in their home or in their clothing.  Most of Europe was aware of this color's dangers by the time it made it to the United Kingdom but they tended to ignore the warnings.  Furthermore, the wallpaper industry was growing and they didn't want to lose that momentum, so they continued making it this way because people loved the color.

In 1814, one of the fabric manufacturers began using this wonderful green dye to produce a fantastic green.  It was a jewel toned green that was brighter and bolder and named "Emerald"green.  People loved it because it stood out in the ballrooms and people soon wanted it in their houses and other places.  Arsenic was responsible for producing this spectacular green but many women soon developed ulcers all over their bodies, lost hair, and even vomit blood.  It was worse for the women who produced the dyes.  They died horrible deaths.

It took until the 1870's people exerted enough pressure for companies to begin producing arsenic free wallpaper.  One owner of a company caved to public demand but didn't believe arsenic was responsible.  He felt doctors used arsenic as the fall guy for patients whose illness could not be diagnosed.  In a sense he couldn't be blamed for his opinion because he used it on his walls and never got sick.  At the time, they didn't know that young children, the elderly, and the sick were at higher risk of getting sicker from the arsenic.  Furthermore, the Victorians used arsenic on vegetables as a pesticide, dipped cattle in arsenic to discourage flies, added it to beer, and used it on postage stamps.

By 1900 regulations had been passed to eliminate arsenic from use in clothing, wallpaper, other items, and dye factories.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear, have a great day.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Traveled Yesterday

I spent all day yesterday traveling to Tacoma. Didn’t get much done.
Waiting for flight to Nome.

Waiting on runway for fellow travelers at another village.

Shot of countryside as we headed to Nome.

Hotel room and bed looked so good.

It was a long day.  I traveled to Tacoma and it took all day.  I didn't get a chance to do what I wanted because I was traveling with a group.  I'll share more tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

It Made The Headlines.

Newspaper, Paper, Print, Press, NewsMy father loves reading his local newspaper because it is filled with lots of errors.  He majored in English and grew up in a family that spoke very good English so he catches many things that other miss.  My niece is a translator and she loves surfing the web for language errors.  I'm not quite as good as those two but I know I have found some that are quite funny.

I realize headlines need to be short but some of these are too short. Some of the headlines I've found that could use editing include:

1.  "Bugs Flying Around With Wings are Flying Bugs" headed an article on bugs that look like ants with wings.

2. "State Prison to replace easy open locks" is another good one.  I suspect the state prison is getting locks that are easier for the guards to open, not for the prisoners to escape.

3. "Federal agents raid gun shop: Find weapons".  This is one of those "Duh" headlines because one usually finds guns in a gun shop.  I think they meant illegal weapons were found.

4. "Most Earthquake damage is caused by shaking."  Yeah,  this one is so obvious and quite true considering the number of earthquakes I've been in.

5.  "Missippi's literacy program shows improvement." according to the headline but someone obviously couldn't spell their states name.

6. "Statistics show that teenage pregnancies drop after the age of 25."  I have no idea who came up with this one up but I thought anyone over the age of 20 was no longer a teenager.

7.  "City unsure why the sewer smells." This is the headline on an article on the city being unable to determine why a smell invaded several downtown businesses.

8.  "Mayor Parris to the Homeless: Go home!" heads an article on the mayor wanting to increase the funding for bus fare to send people out of town.

9.  "Puerto Rican teen named mistress of the Universe." is an actual headline.  I think they meant she was Miss Universe rather than a mistress.

10."Amphibious pitcher makes debut".  They meant Ambidextrous as the pitcher could use both hands.

11. "Cows lose their jobs as milk prices drop."  refers to the price of milk dropping so farmers don't make as much.

12.  "State population to double by 2040: Babies to blame". Hmmmm, blaming the babies for a population increase.

13. "Breathing oxygen linked to staying alive."  I guess they aren't teaching this in science.

14. "Police arrest everyone on February 22nd."  Wow, I didn't know they did this kind of thing.

15. "Muddy Creek problem - It's too muddy."  I thought that was how the creek got it's name.

I chose just a few to share with you out of the many I found.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019


Vodka, Lemon, Lemon Cello, LimoncelloEvery time I read a book or watch a movie that takes place in Italy, everyone seems to want to enjoy a drink called Limoncello.  Limoncello is an Italian liquor made out of lemon zest, sugar, water, and alcohol.  The lemons are not just any lemon but a lemon grown in certain areas because the fruit has an intenseness and slight sweetness not found in most varieties.

Although there are many stories concerning its origin, tt is said that this drink began in a farmhouse owned by Lady Maria Antonia Farace.  She'd make this drink out of the fruit she grew to share with visitors.  After World War II ended, her grandson opened a bar and offered Limoncello made according to his grandmothers secret recipe.  His son is the one who registered the trademark in 1988 and began a business producing it before shipping it all over the world.  

The thing is that every region has its own story of how the drink originated from monks who used it as part of their daily meditations, to the drink has been around since the beginning of the domestic cultivation of the lemon tree, to being used by fishermen to ward off colds and stay warm.

What is common is that the lemons are picked by hand so they do not touch the ground, and are harvested during the warmer months between February and October. In general, the drink is made by steeping lemon zest (peels) in alcohol like vodka until the oil is freed and the liquid is a beautiful yellow.  For the most part, the liquid is between 25 and 30 percent alcohol and its produced in Southern Italy.

The drink is usually consumed before the meal or after the meal because it is said to aid digestion.  It is generally served chilled but not over ice to improve its flavor.  Limoncello is served in shot glasses or small cups because it is meant to be sipped slowly.  In addition to drinking it straight, it can be mixed with citrus juices, fruits, other alcohols and flavored with mint or basil as cocktails.  It is preferred in cocktails because it does not have the sharp flavor that comes with lemon juice.  Furthermore, it is also used in cakes, cheesecake, or other baked goods. This drink also comes in pistachio, melon, or strawberry flavors.

It is possible to make your own limoncello but it takes a bit and it might not taste the same as the commercial varieties.  Take the zest off of 10 lemons.  Make sure you get only the zest and not the bitter white part.  Put the zest in a jar and cover with one bottle of high quality 100 proof vodka.  Cover and place in a dark area for four weeks without touching it.  At the end of four weeks, strain the peels out of the liquid.  Add one cup of simple syrup to the liquid and place in a bottle.  Place it in a dark area again for two more weeks.  It should be ready to drink at this point.  Chill in the freezer before you serve.

I've never had it but one of these days I am going to try it but I know my brother acquired a taste for it when he and his family visited Italy.  When they came back, they gave a bottle of it to my parents but I never got around to trying it yet.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Moving Day - Not What You Think!

Movers, Moving, Carry, Lift, WalkI got the idea for today's topic from a book I read in which a thief chose July 1st as the best day to steal a couple paintings from a museum due to the chaos Montreal experiences traditionally every year.

Most of Canada celebrates Canada Day on July 1st but in Montreal, citizens move from one apartment into another. The tradition began back in 1750 when Francois Bigot designated May 1st as the beginning date for all contracts including leases.  The government did this to keep people from being evicted in the middle of winter.

In 1866, the government incorporated this officially as par of the Civil Code of Lower Canada and set May 1st as the beginning of all leases consequently people changed apartments on this day and it became known as "Moving Day".

The biggest problem with May 1st is it made life inconvenient for parents who had children in school.  If they needed to move, they had to do it before school was over for the year so in 1973, the Quebec government moved the date for all leases to begin on July 1st.

The new date ensured all children were on summer holidays and it was warm outside because any last minute cold snaps were over.  So now "Moving Day" is the official day that renters vacate the current premises to move to new apartments.  Unfortunately, this can create a huge problem because of the number of moving vans, boxes, and people trying to get their stuff from one place to another.

Montreal is a city in Quebec with the lowest home ownership of the province and the most people who rent.  The advantage to Montreal is the city has tenant laws that are extremely friendly to renters including the fact most apartments are rent controlled.

It is estimated that around 250,000 people moved across the province and between 70,000 and 130,000 people changed domiciles in the city of Montreal in 2018.  Imagine a city of moving vans double and triple parked on the narrow streets, people hauling refrigerators up the stairs to the top floors, and every professional moving company is booked.

In addition, people who prepare for the upcoming move produce 55,000 tons of garbage and discarded household items in the weeks before "Moving Day".  This means the city has to pick up everything from appliances, to couches, and dead plants.  Furthermore,  moving companies and do t yourself truck rental places double and triple their rents for the day due to the huge demand.  Since July 1st is Canada Day, all movers are to be paid time and a half which can contribute to higher costs.

Unfortunately, this day also opens up people to being scammed.  Companies have been known to accept bookings and then not show because they found someone willing to pay more or others accept contracts who are not even registered movers and they often leave belongings behind including people's animals.  Many people rely on friends to help them move or build rolling wagons to attach to bicycles, or compact cars with roof racks filled to capacity with goods including mattresses.  In addition, a pizza chain and Coca-Cola team up to offer free pizza and soda to all the movers in certain areas to make moving a bit easier especially in light of the stress associated with this day.

I think I like the American way where leases can begin and end at anytime of the year rather than trying to have everyone move on the same day.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

So High

Waves, Sky, Clouds, Storm, Ocean, Wind

They say the sea is 8 to 10 feet above normal due to the incoming storm.  The waves are headed towards my house but there is a high road between them and me.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

So Hard.

Raindrops, Cloud, Window, Moist, Trickle

Storm blew in.  I heard the rain pounding the window as it hit.

Friday, October 4, 2019

The 11 Best Herbs To Grow Indoors

Basil, Herbs, Food, Fresh, CookingSummer has ended and fall is coming and many parts of Alaska have experienced the first frosts of the season.  With the frosts, we see many plants either go into hibernation or they die because they are not cold hardy.  The good thing is that many herbs are easy to grow indoors so you can continue adding fresh basil to your spaghetti, or oregano to your eggs.

Why not grab a few seeds and start some plants in your kitchen.  Most grow well in pots on your windowsill. There are 11 herbs that are easy to grow inside and each ones add a bit of something to your meals.

1.  Lemon Balm provides a light lemon flavor for things and is best grown for one year.  Begin it indoors in the fall, let grow through the winter and then transplant outside for spring and summer.

2. Chives provide an oniony flavor without bulbing.  Chives grow in clumps and can be harvested by cutting no more than a third of the clump at a time.

3. Mint is best grown in a container because when it's planted in the ground, it spreads all over the area.  Besides, when its grown in a container in the kitchen, its easy to cut a few leaves off to add to tea, or add to lamb or just flavor.

4.  Parsley is a great herb to grow indoors.  If you start it from seed, soak the seed to allow it to sprout.  With parsley grown indoors, its easy to finish your meals as you plate dinner.

5.  Basil is great to grow indoors but it's better to use the smaller varieties otherwise they might take up too much space.  its possible to grow both the Italian and the Thai varieties indoors so you can make a variety of dishes.

6.  Bay Laurel or Bay Leaf can be grown in a larger pot indoors.  Its good to bring it indoors inside during the winter but take it out when the warmer weather begins.  In addition, it is best to keep it pruned so it does not get too big.

7.  Cilantro for that great flavor in Indian and Mexican foods.  Since Cilantro is short lived, it is best to sow new plantings every two to three weeks so you have a continuous supply.

8.  Thyme is a great herb to grow over the winter in small pots.  In general thyme doesn't get very tall and it is great in spaghetti and other Italian dishes.

9.   Oregano is easy to grow because it can be propagated from cuttings or by division from an already established plant and have a plant or two indoor for cooking.  Fresh oregano is wonderful on pizza.

10. Rosemary with its wonderful pine smell is easy to grow from a cutting taken off of an outdoor plant.  Once its established, you'll have a constant supply to add to your Italian cooking.

11. Sage is another herb that is easy to start from an already established plant. There is the standard version but there are also several other interesting types that all add an interesting flavor to your cooking.  The standard version is also used in Italian cooking or in tea.

Plant these to grow inside and enjoy using fresh herbs in your cooking to make it just that little bit better.  Let me now what you think, I'd love to hear.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Birch and Walnut? Really?

Trees, Birch, White, Trunk, ForestYesterday, I spoke about getting sap from maple trees to make into syrup for pancakes and other foods.  Today, I'll share which birch and walnut trees can be tapped for sap.  As I said earlier, it is easier to get birch syrup up here than maple.

1.  Butternut or White Birch sap is about 2 percent sugar, about the same as Sugar Maple.  In addition, these birch trees are ready to be tapped about the same time of the year as Sugar Maples and produce about the same amount of sap.

2.  Black Walnut, the same tree whose wood is used in building.  These trees are best tapped in fall, winter, or spring but they are more common in the mid west.

3.  Heartnut has a sweet sap almost the same as Sugar Maples but produces less sap.  It is also a cultivator for the Japanese Maple.

4.  English Walnuts produce the nuts found in the baking section of supermarkets.  These trees also produce a sap especially after being subjected to a freezing winter or spring.  Most English Walnuts are found in California.

5. Paper Birch is the best birch tree to tap. Although its sugar content is about half of a Sugar Maple, it is the sweetest of all birches.

6. The Yellow Birch produces a sap that has a higher mineral content, more antioxidants, and a lower sugar content than the Sugar Maple.

7. Black Birch can be tapped for sap but it is more often used to produce birch beer.  It is more often found in the eastern part of the United States.

8. River Birch is planted more often as an ornamental in the northeast but if found naturally in the southeastern part of the United States.  This tree can be successfully tapped.

9. Grey Birch is usually grown as a shrub but it can be tapped if it grows large enough.

10. The European White Birch is planted in the United States as an ornamental but is a native of Europe.  This tree can be tapped.

11. The Ironwood is a birch tree that does produce sap in late spring but it produces less sugar and less sap than any other type of birch.

To tap them, you need to drill a hole in a tree that is at least 14 inches in diameter, put in a spout, hang a bucket and let the sap drip into the bucket.  Be sure to collect the sap everyday and when you have a decent amount, boil it down to a syrup. The bottom line is that it takes about 40 gallons of sap to boil down to produce one gallon of maple syrup.  It is suggested you boil the sap outside because things can get sticky.

So if you have access to any of these trees, go ahead and collect the sap, and boil it down. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Which Maple Tree?

Autumn Leaves, Maple, Nature, Red, Fall  There is nothing better than real maple syrup and butter on freshly made pancakes, waffles, or French toast.  Unfortunately, we do not have  maple trees in Alaska so we make syrup from other types of trees.

I didn't realize it, but there are 22 different trees that will provide sap to make into syrup to be used on pancakes, French toast, and waffles. Today, I'm looking

1.  Sugar Maple is the tree we usually associate with making a thickened syrup because its sugar content is 2 %.  It also produces the highest volume of sap.

2.  Black Maple is similar to a Sugar Maple but the main difference is the Black Maple has three lobes on its leaves while the Sugar Maple has five.  Otherwise, the Black Maple produces as much sweet sap as the Sugar Maple.

3. Red Maple is also tapped for sap but the amount of sap produced is lower than for the Sugar Maple but some outfits only tap Red Maple.  In addition, this maple tend to bud earlier in the spring resulting in reduced sap production.

4.  Silver Maple sap has less sugar content than the Sugar Maple.  It is 1.7 percent vs 2 percent and the silver also buds earlier in the spring just like the Red Maple.

5.  Norway Maple is a European Tree that was brought over to the United States and has become invasive here.  Although they can be tapped, they are not as sweet as a Sugar Maple.

6. Box Elder or Manitoba maple sap is used in the prairie area of Canada for syrup but it is not that sweet but this tree is found in Urban areas.  Furthermore, the amount of sap produced is about half of that produced by the Sugar Maple.

7. Big leaf Maple which is found from California up to British Columbia and has been used by Native Americans for centuries. Although the sap contains less sugar, it is still a viable source for commercial production in the Pacific Coast.

8.  Canyon Maple or big tooth maple lives in the Rocky Mountain region and Texas.  Although the sugar content is similar to the Sugar Maple, the amount of sap produced is  quite a bit less.

9. Rocky Mountain Maples are found in the Western United States. Although they are not currently used, they have been used historically by Native Americans.

10 Gorosoe is a Korean maple most frequently tapped for sap.  In Korea, the sap is not boiled down but served as a drink.

11.  Sycamore is not used that much as a sap producer but it has a lower sugar content than a Sugar Maple and it produces a butter flavored syrup.

Tomorrow I'll be reporting back on various walnut and birch trees that produce sap used to produce syrups.  Let me now what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.