Stuff YOU Should Know

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Stuff You Should Know

Two-Dollar Photo Worth Millions

If you’ve ever seen the PBS television show Antiques Roadshow, you know that there is a lot of old stuff out there that people desperately hope has great value. Often, however, they are mistaken and disappointed. But sometimes they hit the jackpot. This happened recently to one lucky couple in Fresno, California. Randy Guijarro, an avid collector of all kinds of things, stopped into an antiques shop and picked a couple of interesting photographs, for which he paid $2.00. Later at home, Guijarro and his wife Linda recognized one of the subjects in one of the photos as legendary outlaw Billy the Kid.

One of the reasons why the photograph is so valuable is because it is only the second “authenticated” photograph of the famous western outlaw. The first sold in 2011 for $2.3 million. Authentication is a process by which experts determine if an article is genuine and not a forgery. Billy the Kid (whose real name was Henry McCarty; he also went by William H. Bonney) became a legendary figure during the frontier days of the westward expansion of the United States during the 19th century. Billy and his gang–called the Regulators–killed many people before he himself was killed in 1881 at the age of 21. The photograph found in California was allegedly taken at a wedding in 1878, and features the Kid and his gang playing croquet!

Dig Deeper Do some research and see what other kinds of famous memorabilia were originally bought cheaply in a thrift store or auction.

Is Fantasy Football Gambling?

We’re smack in the middle of football season. This could mean warm nights in the stands or chilly afternoons curled up on a couch, depending on where you live and your involvement. For many, it also means constantly checking the status of fantasy football teams. If you’re an attorney general of a state, it means investigating the fantasy sports industry and determining legality. It works like this: participants create hypothetical teams made up of real professional football players. Each week, the statistics of individual players are calculated and applied to the created team.

The popularity of fantasy football over the years has caused law enforcement in several states to question the legality of the practice. What began as a pastime activity made up of a small number of people has turned into a billion-dollar industry. In 2006, Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act, which prohibits gambling on the Internet. However, the law excludes all “fantasy sports.” Critics say that the practice conflicts with gambling (called gaming) rules and regulations. More and more states are investigating practices within their own state and creating state regulations that are often stricter than the federal law. Florida, for example, has technically banned fantasy sports all together.

What Do You Think? Should fantasy football be regulated like other gambling ventures? Do some research and provide at least two reasons that support your answer.

Rugby World Cup

The final championship matches for rugby, known as the Rugby World Cup, has been going on since September. Like it’s more popular equivalent in soccer, the Rugby World Cup takes place every four years and is hosted by a different country. This year, the tournament is held throughout England. Teams from 20 nations compete over six weeks. The teams are divided into four “pools,” A through D, based on world rankings. The countries that are currently leading their respective pools are Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and Argentina.

Rugby is played by two teams made up of 15 players each. The goal is to score as many points as possible (called a “try”) by passing (but only backward), kicking or carrying a ball into the opposing team’s in-goal. A try is worth 5 points and a conversion (equivalent to an extra point) is worth 2. Unlike American football, when a player is tackled, the ball is still in play. There is also a “scrum,” where the players from both teams cluster together, pushing one another while the ball is dropped in.

(Fun fact: Famous Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is a big fan of Scotland’s rugby team. If you follow her on Twitter, you’ll notice when she is cheering on the Scottish team.)

Dig Deeper How much do you know about the rules of Rugby? Find out the winner of the final match, scheduled for October 31.

Hurray for Leftovers?

Above view of the remains of pesto and white bread on a plate with a fork. Copyright © FoodCollection. MHE World.

Do you like leftovers? Photo credit: © FoodCollection

In an era before refrigeration, cooks relied on techniques like smoking and pickling to make foods last longer. Dairy products like cottage cheese were created to make best use of the expiration date on milk. Alcohol, including hard cider, was consumed with regularity as a way to preserve harvests long after their season. Casseroles and soups are famously made of “whatever was served yesterday.” Today, with preservatives and processed food a-plenty (as well as a refrigerator in every home), it is easier than ever (if also less exciting) to keep food around for later consumption.

One of the biggest concerns about leftovers is safety. According to the US Department of Agriculture, leaving food sit out too long at an unsafe temperature, as well as cooking it at an unsafe temperature, are the two main causes of foodborne illness. This means making sure bacteria does not get to it. Food brought home from a restaurant should be promptly put in the fridge (and thrown away if not done so within two hours of being served). Food cooked at home should be cooled as rapidly as possible (by placing in a number of small containers instead of one big one.) Leftovers, in general, can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for 3 to 4 months.

What Do You Think? Do you eat leftovers? If so which kinds? What kinds of foods do you think make for the best leftovers? Which make the worst. Explain your answer.