Before I disappear on paternity leave, we've got a few old contests we need to settle up. Our jury has reached verdicts in the following cases:
Prizes: The Princeton Review's Best 373 Colleges and The Mental Floss History of the World
Challenge: Submit the name of an offbeat course offered by a college in recent years
Commodification and Consumerism in Historical Perspective: Sex, Rugs, Salt and Coal
At Cornell University (It’s like a mental_floss class!!!)
Everything is for sale today-but has it always been? We’ll look at the history of various commodities to explore the changing cultural and environmental impacts of market forces. Why are “oriental” rugs collector’s items? How did we come to keep salt shakers on our dinner tables? When did coal start replacing wood as a fuel source? This course will cross multiple boundaries of time and space as it examines both case studies and broader theoretical perspectives, allowing us to draw connections between our culture of consumption and the social forces wrapped up in production. How was the taste for sugar linked to the slave trade? Is prostitution really “the oldest profession?” What goes into your daily cup of coffee besides half and half? And what was western society like before everything had a price?
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Prize: mental_floss t-shirt
Challenge: Present us with a fun Emmy fact; we’ll award a mental_floss t-shirt for our favorite
Winning Entry: Alan Alda is the only person to win an Emmy for acting, writing, and directing. He won for acting in 1982, for writing in 1979, and for directing in 1977, all for his work on M*A*S*H.
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Prize: Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World
Challenge: Take any cliché from ClicheSite.com and create a new phrase to take its place
Old: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. New: A disclaimer a day keeps the lawyers away.
Congrats, everyone! Either Andréa Fernandes or I will be in touch to find out where we should send your prizes. Another trivia contest is coming later today...