Have you ever lain awake at night wondering where the name Triscuit came from and what could it possibly mean? No? Me either, but apparently some people have, at least a little, and now they can finally sleep easily. It seems that, due to some intrepid detective work (by a comedian), the mystery is solved. It wasn’t ghosts after all but the work of humans.
The punchline is that the name stands for “electric biscuit” — because back in the early 1900s, when Nabisco invented the Triscuit, electricity was a Big New Thing. Everyone was into it. So they presented biscuits baked to perfection using that new-fangled electricity stuff which was clearly superior to any old-fashioned source of heat.
And now, like Pringles and potato-chips in general, they come in lots of flavors and some variations. I don’t know if they’re still electric biscuits, though.
While I’m a big fan of good bread, I’ve never gotten that much into the world of crackers (let alone biscuits, although the buttermilk biscuits at Red Lobster are to die for).
You would never find Saltines in my cupboard, for example, although I do like crumbling them up over a chili or soup (along with some shredded sharp cheddar).
Since the 1970s, I used to buy these Stoned Wheat Thins crackers from Canada (to use over chili or soup), but they weren’t a product that moved quickly and a few times I got a box where the oil in the crackers had gone a bit rancid.
[There’s actually a story behind how I was introduced to the crackers. For now, suffice to say I was in college and someone who knew me thought I’d get a kick out of a cracker called “stoned” — which, of course, yes, totally.]
I suspect it has to do with where I live, a quiet suburb of the Twin Cities in Minnesota, one skewed by a large retirement population. They don’t buy a lot of fancy crackers, is my point. (Not stoned ones, anyway.) When I lived in Los Angeles, although it’s further away from Canada, those crackers were always fresh. Even when I lived closer to town here I never got rancid crackers.
I stopped buying them a while ago. I don’t eat that much chili or soup anymore, anyway. One problem is that, even the smaller cans make a bit too much of a meal for one, especially after I throw on crackers and cheese. At this point in my life I’m not eating such big meals (that often 😉 ).
I do like Triscuits, always have, although I’m more a fan of their Wheat Thins.
In fact, at the moment I’m kinda gaga over the Sun-dried Tomato and Basil flavored Wheat Thins. Can’t keep my hands off them.
The whole grain part in both Triscuits and Wheat Thins allows for some rationalization (“fiber! they’re good for me!”) but the oil content has to give one pause.
When it comes to chips or crackers, try this experiment: Place some on a plain sheet of paper (or paper napkin or paper towel, but for some reason a sheet of paper seems to work best). Come back in 30 minutes or so. Observe how much oil has soaked into the paper. Remember that image.
Pringles will nearly soak the paper in oil. When you mash a bunch of those in your mouth, you can almost feel the oil squeeze out. Horrible things, Pringles. Cloned potato chips, stamped off a press and stacked in a can.
Potato chips should live wild and free in a bag.
It’s Friday, a day some publicists use for dumping news they hope people won’t notice, and a day other people go (or went) out drinking with co-workers.
I was quite a fan of the latter before I retired. I don’t practice the former, but I do sometimes do a rambling potpourri post of bits and ends (I mean odds and pieces) to knock a few notes off by board.
This is one of those.
I subscribed to Scientific American magazine somewhere back in the late 1960s.
A member of my dad’s church had given me a stack of SciAms from the 1950s and early 1960s.
(One of the more well-known issues from that era was the Hologram issue that reported about lasers and holograms. I had that issue! I was fascinated by lasers and holograms. I remember a long-ago science-tech expo where I was able to put my hand in an actual laser beam. Blew my mind.)
Anyway, I got tired of the magazine about a decade or so.
It was a combination of my own understanding of science moving on to more direct scientific sources, journals, papers, and other outlets intended for scientists (or people with the right background) and changes to the magazine.
Scientific American used to be more oriented to hard-core science readers. There was a time when just about any given article reached a point somewhere in the text where things got above my head. (But the diagrams looked cool.)
I think they began to seek a wider audience and therefore brought down the technical level. A lot. Between my growing education and their change in orientation, I found myself bored.
And I’ve always been a bit askance at their advertisements policy. They seem to take ads from some questionable sources, especially considering their mission as a science magazine. I’ve never understood that.
I figured I wasn’t getting anything out of it, the issues just made more recycling, so I unsubscribed.
(And did they pester me for years to resubscribe? You bet they did.)
The point of all this is that I’ve been slowly throwing out my old issues of SciAm.
“Slowly” because, just for fun, I’m thumbing through each issue over breakfast. When I finish an issue, out to the recycle bin it goes.
Last week, I opened the November 2005 issue. I actually didn’t notice the banner at top. The cover story was about gravity, which caught my eye.
I paged through all the front columns, skipped the long advertising section, and got to the first main article of the issue:
Whoa! This looks familiar.
It’s not like we didn’t see this coming long ago.
So I was listening to ATC videos of “Kennedy Steve” at JFK. He’s famous for being kinda funny, and he’s a hoot to listen to. (The “videos” just consist of large captions across the screen.)
Since Steve works Ground Operations…
Large airports divide ATC operations between Arrivals, Departures, Tower, Ground, and Clearance Delivery.
The first two deal with aircraft approaching or departing the airport space, Tower handles runway operations (runways are legally separate spaces from the rest of the airport), Ground handles taxiing aircraft, and Clearance gives pilots clearance to fly their routes.
…As I said, Steve works ground — he deals with taxiing aircraft, and as I also said, he’s a hoot to listen to. Since he’s giving instructions about taxiing, it’s helpful to have an airport diagram labeling all the taxiways.
They’re readily available online. See iFlightPlanner, for example.
I wanted a clearer idea of the terminals and roads and such, so I went to Google Earth to get a satellite view of JFK:
It took a moment to notice, but when I zoomed in… no planes!
The satellite image of my airport, MSP, was the same. LAX has a bunch of planes. JFK and MSP are handling traffic, so I suppose the satellite photos were taken at the height of the shutdown.
That’s all I got for today. It was mainly about the Triscuits.
I don’t know why the article caught my fancy, but it did. I’d never thought about the name until it was brought up, but then I’m like, yeah, what the heck is a Triscuit?
Now we know.
Stay crackers, my friends!