Widsom disconnect: The week in pointless info – Sept. 23

Table manners

The European and American way of holding utensils have been established because of the significance of the knife.

During the Middle Ages, knives were commonly used as both utensils and weapons.
As such, the knife represented a threat of danger during dining experiences, causing Europeans to always keep the knife in their hand during the meal for more protection.

In 1669, pointed knives became illegal to use as dining utensils; as a result, the style of the knife changed to become more round and blunt.

At the beginning of the 18th century, only blunt knives and very few forks were being imported to America, forcing Americans to use spoons, which they would use in their left hand to secure the food as they cut, then switch the spoon to the right hand in order to scoop up the food to eat.

This style is also known as the zigzag method.

Got Milk?

Mammals are named after the milk-producing glands that developed as a way to feed babies. However, humans are the only animals that consistently drink milk after infancy.

Humans, like other mammals, should lose the enzyme needed to properly digest milk around the age of four and become lactose intolerant. After many years of consuming milk past infancy, an evolutionary transition to lactose tolerance has formed in humans, allowing the digestion of milk sugar to be produced throughout adult life.

Mad as a Hatter

The Mad Hatter character from Alice in Wonderland was inspired by the phrase “mad as a hatter.” This saying comes from the 18th and 19th centuries when hat makers used mercury nitrate to cure the felt used in many hats.

Inhaling the mercury fumes given off during the hat-making process was unavoidable and, with such exposure, hatters began to suffer from mercury poisoning which caused neurological damage that evidently made them mad.

In Jedi We Trust

“Jedi” is an official religion with over 70,000 followers in Australia. This religion was recognized when many individuals recorded “Jedi” or “Jedi Knight” as their official religion on a national census. The Jedi religion has inspired similar organizations to develop as a protest against the inclusion of the religion question on the census form.