French fry lovers, it’s time to mark your calendars — Saturday, July 13 is National French Fry Day. To get you primed for the event, here are some interesting facts about french fries.
Everyone has a favorite cut
Fries come in all shapes, sizes and cuts: curly, wedge, crinkle-cut and shoestring, to name a few. According to a National Today survey, America’s favorite is the straight cut, with 21 percent preferring it. Curly fries follow close behind at 20 percent. However, there are a lot of regional variations. July 13 is the perfect day to plan a local french fry tour to sample the many types available.
Not everyone shares equally
There’s more than one way to dress a fry
Fifty-five percent of Americans say they prefer ketchup on their fries. The second most popular dip is ranch dressing at 15 percent, followed by cheese sauce at 8 percent, barbecue sauce at 7 percent and mayo dead last at 4 percent.
French Fry Day only comes once a year, so don’t miss out and be sure to stay on the lookout for deals offered by local restaurants.
Do you suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia?
Do you suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia? If so, you’re not alone. Fear of Friday the 13th dates way back. However, the exact origins of this superstition are unclear. Some suggest that it comes from the tale of Jesus’ last supper and crucifixion. Others claim that it stems from events on Friday 13, October 1307, when hundreds of Knights Templar were arrested and crucified.
Whatever the reason Friday the 13th became unlucky, it’s far from the only puzzling superstition in the world. Here are 10 others.
Receiving a knife. Has someone given you a knife as a gift? You better give them a coin in exchange, or else your friendship will be ruptured.
Opening an umbrella indoors. Why does opening up an umbrella indoors bring bad luck? The belief likely dates back to when the earliest umbrella models were sold. Their hazardous opening mechanisms and metal ribs presented a risk for fragile belongings when opened indoors.
Walking under a ladder. When you step under a ladder, some believe that you desecrate the Holy Trinity that the object forms with the ground and the wall. The ladder is, moreover, associated with death by hanging and Jesus’ crucifixion.
Breaking a mirror. In Rome, it was once believed that mirrors reflected the soul. If you broke a mirror, you damaged your soul and suffered seven years of bad luck. Why seven? The Romans believed that this was how long it took for the body to renew itself.
Cutting fingernails at night. According to the Japanese, if you cut your nails at night, you won’t be at your parents’ side when they die. Indians, on the other hand, believe it causes you to lose small, valuable objects.
Installing witch windows. In Vermont, and a number of other places, the gables of some homes have windows tilted 45 degrees to prevent witches from breaking in with their broomsticks. They’re aptly called witch windows.
Turning a loaf of bread upside down. Placing an upside-down loaf of bread on your table invites the devil into your home. This superstition dates back to the Middle Ages when executioners were presented with an upside-down loaf of bread on execution days.
Putting your purse on the ground. In Brazil, you risk ending up impoverished if you put your handbag on the ground.
Seeing a black cat. Black cats were believed to be witches’ companions and therefore evil. This was largely due to black being associated with the devil. In some cultures, black cats are thought to be harbingers of death.
Running an electric fan. In South Korea, running an electric fan in a closed room with closed windows is thought to be potentially fatal. There’s even a name for this phenomenon: Seonpoonggi samangseol, or fan death.
5 things to consider when preplanning a funeral
It’s normal to feel uncomfortable about making arrangements for your funeral. However, doing it ensures that the burden doesn’t fall on your loved ones. Here are some of the things you’ll need to make decisions about when preplanning a funeral.
1. The funeral home
If you want a traditional funeral service, you’ll need to select a venue. Factors to keep in mind when choosing a funeral home include ambiance, location and pricing.
2. Arrangements for the body
Do you want to be buried or cremated? Or maybe you’d rather donate your body to medical research? Deciding what to do with your remains will also likely involve choosing a casket or urn.
3. Presentation of the remains
You can choose to present your body at your funeral in either a closed or open casket. If you opt for an open casket, think about the clothing, jewelry and accessories to be worn.
If you want your remains to be cremated, this can take place either before or after the funeral, making presentation of the body an option regardless.
4. Type of funeral service
Funeral services can be religious affairs or simple celebrations of life. Don’t hesitate to personalize the service with a favorite piece of music, poem or bit of scripture. Be sure to also consider floral arrangements and other decor or mementos you may want present.
5. Final resting place
If you want to be buried, you’ll need to select a plot in a cemetery. If you want to be cremated, you’ll need to decide where your ashes will be placed. Your final resting place may be incorporated into your funeral service, but it doesn’t have to be.
Preplanning a funeral isn’t easy, but you don’t have to do it alone. Invite a friend or family member to help you, or work with a funeral home that can walk you through the whole process.
3 fascinating facts about American chicken
Every year, restaurants and supermarkets nationwide celebrate National Chicken Month with assorted deals and promotions. To get you in the spirit of the occasion, here are some interesting facts about America’s poultry industry.
1. The U.S. has the largest broiler chicken production in the world
Over nine billion broiler chickens were produced in 2018. That’s 56.6 billion pounds of poultry. America is also the second largest broiler chicken exporter in the world, behind Brazil. What doesn’t end up on supermarket shelves is shipped to countries like Mexico, Canada and Cuba.
2. Americans eat more chicken than anyone else in the world
Americans consumed 93.5 pounds of chicken per capita in 2018, up from 60 pounds per capita in 2012. Since 2010, poultry has overtaken beef as America’s favorite protein, and the trend is set to continue for years to come.
3. The poultry industry is the cornerstone of family-owned farms in America
Over 95 percent of broiler chickens in the United States are produced by family farmers, 60 percent of which operate small farms. The growing demand for poultry is allowing these small farmers to stay afloat.
Many restaurants offer special deals as a way to celebrate National Chicken Month. Be on the lookout for coupons from your favorite locations and don’t hesitate to sample your local chicken dishes or have friends and family over for a cookout before winter arrives.
How to choose the best toys for your dog
It’s no secret that dogs love to play with toys. In fact, dogs with access to a variety of toys are less likely to develop behavioral issues. If you don’t know which type your dog will prefer, use their playing style to guide you.
If they’re treat oriented
Toys that can be stuffed with kibble or treats are great for dogs that live for snacks. Some of these require that your dog solve a puzzle to get what’s inside, which is ideal if your pooch could use some mental stimulation.
If they want comfort
If they like to run
Balls, discs and other retrieving toys are great for dogs that love to run and play fetch.
If they like to pull
Ropes and rubber tug toys are great for dogs that enjoy a round of tug of war with either you or another dog.
No matter what style of play your dog prefers, keep an eye on their toys, and be sure to replace them when they get damaged.
Adopting a tarantula: what you need to know
A tarantula can be a great pet for the right person. If these large and hairy spiders fascinate you, here’s what you need to know before adopting one.
They don’t like to cuddle
Some tarantulas have urticating hairs that cause irritation and itching. Though they’re usually docile creatures, tarantulas scare easily. When they feel threatened, they may bite or even pull out some of those hairs to fling at you.
They have specific enclosure needs
They eat live insects
Tarantulas are insectivores. Be sure to provide them with a steady supply of crickets and other insects. Never feed tarantulas anything you catch in your garden. Backyard critters can be contaminated with chemicals and other things that may be harmful to your spider.
As with many other types of pets, adopting a tarantula involves a long-term commitment. Some have been known to live for more than 20 years in captivity, so be prepared to care for your spider over the long haul.
3 benefits of taking a public speaking course
Taking a public speaking course is a great way to develop communication skills that’ll come in handy in all aspects of your life. Here are three advantages of enrolling in one.
1. You’ll become a better communicator
Public speaking classes teach you to speak more fluidly, to maintain eye contact with your audience and to control your body language. This allows you to better connect with the people listening to you and makes you a more dynamic speaker.
These classes also teach you to communicate ideas more effectively. You’ll learn how to present and organize your thoughts, defend your views and refute opposing viewpoints in a coherent manner.
2. You’ll build confidence
Are you afraid to speak in public? If so, overcoming this hurdle is likely to result in a confidence boost. Honing your communication skills is also an effective way to make you feel more self-assured and confident, both in professional and social contexts.
3. You’ll advance in your career
The skills you develop in public speaking classes can help you stand out at work. Promoting your ideas and speaking up in meetings is bound to get you noticed. Plus, modifying your body language and the way you speak can make you appear more professional.
Whether you want your next speech to impress your boss or simply want to become a more confident and effective communicator, public speaking classes are an excellent way to get ahead in life.