5 Things You Didn’t Know about Augusta National

Categories: News, Sports

If there was one thing Peter loved, besides books, it was the game of golf. And, now that the nation has been launched into the last two (most exciting!) days of Masters coverage, we thought we’d offer up a few morsels of little-known Augusta trivia. We want you to be the smartest fan in the vicinity of whatever electronic device you’re using to stream the action.

Every year, Masters week is the time we get bitten by the golf bug again–after the winter’s over and the frost has thawed from the greens, just early enough to make sure our game is in good less-rusty shape for summer. So, while we weren’t rewatching the Golf Boys or daydreaming about our very own Hover-mobile this past week, we did brush up a bit on our Masters trivia. Allow us to share a little of what we’ve learned:

  • The most popular sandwich there still goes for the cool price of $1.50. Ok, you probably knew that. But did you know that the famed pimento is made with both American and Swiss cheese? To be specific: “Pasteurized processed American Swiss cheese consisting of: American cheese, Swiss cheese (milk, salt, cheese culture, enzymes), water, cream, sodium citrate, salt, sodium phosphate, sorbic acid (as a preservative), lactic acid, pimento.” Mmm, lactic acid…
  • Green jackets are not the only prize handed out at the tournament. The low scorer of the day goes home with a crystal vase. A hole-in-one is rewarded with a large crystal bowl. An eagle earns you two crystal goblets. And a rare albatross will get you… wait for it… yes, another large crystal bowl. From 1955 through 1992, the winner received a silver box (originally a cigarette case) engraved with the names of all the year’s competitors. Doesn’t all of this sound like the components for the best wedding registry of all time?
  • In 1934, a full week’s ticket to the Masters cost $5.50. Ticket sales for the week of the tournament–the first one in history–added up to $8,011.
  • It’s not as flat as it looks. Because television tends to flatten out topography, nearly all first-time visitors to Augusta National are amazed by how hilly the course is. The 18th hole plays straight uphill; the 10th hole can comfortably play as a 500-yard par four because it runs so steeply down the same hill.
  • Even the bunkers are super-swank. Another feature unique to Augusta National is the nature of the sand in the bunkers. The “sand” consists of quartz from the Spruce Pine Mining District in northwestern North Carolina (it’s a very pure by-product that occurs when feldspar is mined for aluminum). The bunkers are so powdery that a ball rolling through can leave the impression of its dimples in its wake. Quartz like the kind found in Augusta’s bunkers is now a hot commodity, as it is also used to make silicon chips.a disorderly compendium

All of the facts in this post have been compiled from the delightful cacophony of wisdom, folly, rules, truths, and trivia that is A Disorderly Compendium of Golf, an obsessive little gem of a book for addicts of the game (like me).

Liz, who loves golf, too, almost as much as she loves books

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10 Fascinating Bean Facts from Crescent Dragonwagon’s BEAN BY BEAN

Categories: Cookbooks

Bean by Bean: A Cookbook by Crescent DragonwagonBeans: They’re magical! Not only are they delicious, but they have many health-giving properties, and their numerous varieties can be put to a seemingly infinite number of uses.

Crescent Dragonwagon is the author of numerous highly successful cookbooks, including Passionate Vegetarian. Her latest, Bean by Bean: A Cookbook, celebrates all things leguminous, and is chock-full of scrumptious recipes and fascinating facts. Below, 10 interesting things you probably didn’t know about beans!

  1. Beans are the only cultivated plants that actually enrich, rather than deplete, the soil during the growing process. How is this possible? Legumes have nodules on their roots that add nitrogen to the soil instead of using it up.
  2. Cooked beans can be frozen for up to six months. Thaw them overnight in the fridge before reheating.
  3. Bean carbohydrates have been proven to drastically improve the stability of blood sugar levels in diabetics. Many adult-onset diabetics have been able to greatly reduce or eliminate their dependence on insulin through diets containing substantial amounts of beans.
  4. In ancient Rome, so esteemed were legumes that the four leading families took their names from them: Lentullus (lentil), Piso (pea), Cicero (chickpea), and Fabius (fava).
  5. India, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Nepal, the United States, Bangladesh, and China are the world’s top lentil producers.
  6. Beans, their kin, and the products made from them—such as tofu and tempeh—are the most concentrated source of plant-based protein in the world. Between 6 and 11 percent of a cooked bean’s weight is protein.
  7. Some ancient cults who believed in reincarnation, most notably the monastic followers of Pythagoras, thought human souls traveled through the stems of bean plants to Hades, where they were then transmogrified for their next lives; it was therefore a sin to eat beans or even walk among bean plants.
  8. The mischief-maker behind the bean’s reputation as a musical fruit is a group of complex sugars called oligosaccharides. Oligosaccharides cannot be broken down by our digestive enzymes; instead, our intestinal bacteria ferment them during digestion, causing most of the gas attributable to beans. Luckily, it’s possible to mitigate the gas-making effects of beans through controlling factors such as cooking method and duration, complementary ingredients, and the variety of bean used. (The least “flatulating” legumes are said to be lentils, split peas, adzuki beans, mung beans, and black-eyed peas.)
  9. A 1907 resolution introduced by Minnesota Senator Knute Nelson states that while the Senate is in session, bean soup must be served daily, regardless of the weather.
  10. In terms of sheer numbers and staggering diversity, no part of the world comes close to matching the abundance and variety of beans available in America: kidney and black beans, navy and cranberry, lima, white runner, scarlet runner, brown tepary and white tepary, calico, eye-of-the-goat, nightfall, fresh green beans, and more!

Crescent Dragonwagon is a writer and food enthusiast who lives on a farm in Vermont. You can follow her on Twitter @CDragonwagon. Bean by Bean is available for purchase online and in a bookstore near you.

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How well do you know the DC Comics Universe? part 2

Categories: Author guest post, Excerpts, Fun and games

How well do you know the DC Comics Universe? Test yourself with the following questions from DC Comic trivia master and author of Fandex DC Comics Super Heroes and Villians, Randall Lotowycz, plus a bonus question for the truly devout fan.

Click here for part 1

5) When Batman went on a year-long sojurn to retrace the steps that made him into Batman, he left Gotham City in the care of which villain (who was reformed at the time)?
A) Harvey Dent (Two-Face)
B) Jonathan Crane (Scarecrow)
C) Oswald Cobblepot (The Penquin)
D) Pamela Isley (Poison Ivy)

6) To help control young Clark Kent’s blossoming heat vision, his mother fashioned glasses with lenses made from what?
A) Diamonds
B) Kryptonite
C) A hard, translucent plastic
D) Kryptonian crystals

7) Wonder Woman was not born of flesh and blood, but was made out of ______ and given life?
A) Clay
B) Granite
C) Water
D) Lava

8 ) Green Arrow’s and Black Canary’s wedding was interrupted by an attack from which group of villains?
A) The Secret Society of Super-Villains
B) The Injustice League
C) The Brotherhood of Dada
D) The Secret Six

Bonus: John Henry Irons, the scientist and superhero known as Steel, was buddies with what other future hero while attending University of Michigan?
A) Will Magnus (creator of the Metal Men)
B) Jefferson Pierce (Black Lightning)
C) Guy Gardner (Green Lantern)
D) Bruce Wayne (Batman)

All characters, their distinctive likeness, and related elements are trademarks of DC Comics © 2010. All Rights Reserved.

Click here for the answers

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How well do you know the DC Comics Universe?

Categories: Author guest post, Excerpts, Fun and games

How well do you know the DC Comics Universe? Test yourself with the following questions from DC Comic trivia master and author of Fandex DC Comics Super Heroes and Villians, Randall Lotowycz, plus a bonus question for the truly devout fan.

1) Aquaman’s trusted ally and pet was an octopus named…
A) Toro
B) Topo
C) Toto
D) Otto

2) Members of the Green Lantern Corps must recharge their power rings how often?
A) Once every 24 hours
B) Once a month
C) Once a year
D) Trick question; a Green Lantern’s light never dims

3) The Justice League of America first assembled after teaming up to stop an invasion by which race of aliens?
A) The Dominators
B) The Appellaxians
C) The Daxamites
D) The Thanagarians

4) The night Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered, the family had gone to see a movie featuring which famous silver-screen icon(s)?
A) Dracula
B) Frankenstein
C) Zorro
D) The Three Stooges

Bonus: The S-shaped emblem on Superman’s chest is actually the Kryptonian word for hope. But when upside-down, it means something else entirely…
A) King
B) Apathy
C) Resurrection
D) Sorrow

All characters, their distinctive likeness, and related elements are trademarks of DC Comics © 2010. All Rights Reserved.

Click here for the answers

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