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3 Foods With a Religious Connection

This short piece originally appeared as a sidebar in the mental_floss book 'In the Beginning: A Mouthwatering Guide to the Origins of Everything.'

Pretzel Logic

One widely accepted account says pretzels were developed in 610 C.E. by an Italian monk. He baked the confections for children as an incentive to memorize scripture. In fact, the shape of the treats reflects this, since the criss-crossed bits are supposed to depict the folded arms of pious children in prayer.

Turning Water Into Welch's

In 1869, Christian dentist and prude extraordinaire Dr. Thomas Welch invented "unfermented wine." As the good Doc saw it, drinking in alcohol in church was a bit of a contradiction, so he brewed up a batch of the unfermented stuff to wash down Eucharist. Local pastors weren't interested, though, and a dejected Thomas was sent back to his teeth pulling. Six years later, his son began marketing the beverage—this time as Welch's Grape Juice.

Cod is Good, Cod is Great: The Filet-O-Fish Story

In the early 1960s, a McDonald's in Cincinnati was beginning to notice a pattern: Friday sales were always low. The reason? The city's large Catholic population couldn't eat meat on Fridays. Taking a little initiative, franchise owner Lou Groen asked chairman Ray Kroc if he could expand his menu. He eventually gave in, though, and sponsored some research. The McDonald's team came back with a cod sandwich. But because Kroc hated the word "cod" (probably from drinking spoonfuls of cod-liver oil as a kid), it was marketed as Filet-O-Fish, and became a permanent addition to the menu in 1963.

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7 Science-Backed Ways to Improve Your Memory
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Being cursed with a bad memory can yield snafus big and small, from forgetting your gym locker combination to routinely blowing deadlines. If your New Year's resolution was to be less forgetful in 2018, it's time to start training your brain. The infographic below, created by financial website Quid Corner and spotted by Lifehacker Australia, lists seven easy ways to boost memory retention.

Different techniques can be applied to different scenarios, whether you're preparing for a speech or simply trying to recall someone's phone number. For example, if you're trying to learn a language, try writing down words and phrases, as this activates your brain into paying more attention. "Chunking," or separating long digit strings into shorter units, is a helpful hack for memorizing number sequences. And those with a poetic bent can translate information into rhymes, as this helps our brains break down and retain sound structures.

Learn more tips by checking out the infographic below.

[h/t Lifehacker.com.au]

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Son of Frankenstein: Hitting the Horror Trifecta
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Universal Pictures

Son of Frankenstein: Hitting the Horror Trifecta. A perfect ending to the first great movie trilogy.

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It Wasn't Easy Being Green for These Mysterious Children in 12th-Century England. The village of Woolpit has never been the same since.

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The Strange History of One of the Internet's First Viral Videos. If you had an email address in the late 1990s, you probably received a video file titled “badday.mpg” at least once.

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The Contentious Burial of Bo-Bo, the Blenheim Spaniel of Civil War Hero General Daniel E. Sickles. His relatives didn't want the beloved dog interred in the family plot.

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Here's Why Your Body Stores More Fat in Certain Places. Hormones do it, but in an insanely complicated manner.

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Butterfly Breeder Romy McCloskey Saw One Emerge from its Chrysalis with a Torn Wing. So she got her tools together and performed a wing transplant.

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How to Get Your Procrastination Under Control. It's a matter of valuing the things you need to do.

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19 Times That Actors Have Been Injured On Set. Some of the scenes were then included in the finished film.

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