Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Good call Freeman-W, Jan. 1964

So a couple months after the Kennedy assassination, the Freeman-Washington Insurance Agency admen stuck a wet finger in the blowin' wind, divined the decade's oncoming turbulence, and fast-tracked a campaign touting their riot coverage.  Sure, riot coverage appears to be a joke here.  Prior to the 60s, riot-incurred damage would have most likely been a mere speck on the old actuary table, statistically safe from ever being paid out on a home owner policy.  How many home owners considered such coverage necessary by 1970?

No doubt sometime around 1968 insurance companies began to fear the tipping point was fast approaching where payouts were no longer offset by fear-mongered sales.  Of course, by then who needed funny print ads when the nightly news could promote sales for free?

For a more sober look at this item in historical context, click here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Plus ça change, Apr. 1963

A Mr. Gibbs recently found Mr. Salinger's supply of spectacles and, on a lark, passed them out around Scandinavia.

View this article in historical context here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Too sweet by half, Sept. 1923

Last August 17 our seven-year old boy became one of the 40 kids in the U.S. diagnosed with diabetes each day.  Having the autoimmune type of diabetes (Type 1, or Juveline Diabetes), his body no longer produces the insulin needed to take sugar from his blood to be used or stored.  Now our family acts as his pancreas; we constantly check and log his blood sugar readings, his carbohydrate intake and administer the insulin shots he needs throughout the day. 

While injecting insulin is not a cure, it is far, far better than the alternative faced prior to its introduction in the early 1920s.  While its delivery systems are becoming refined, and similarly, its chemical efficiency, the basics of successful Type 1 diabetic maintenance apparently have not had a "miraculous leap forward" since the Jazz Age, let alone a cure.  Always closer, but a cure is due, tout de suite.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

There's always legal room for jello, Feb. 1920

Apparently, alcoholic jello shots were legal during prohibition since one couldn't "drink" them and they hadn't been invented when the laws were passed. However the jerk doctor who did invent them during the dry years wouldn't share.

To see this Popular Science article in historic context (and a lot about the science and pitfalls of do-it-yourself distillery), click here.