Making a Packy Run
Happy HumpDay! Do you love learning something new each week? Maybe your friends and family would like to learn some cool stuff too?! If you know someone who has a thirst for useless but entertaining knowledge, feel free to forward this email to them and have them subscribe!!!! As always, check out the HumpDay website at HumpDayNewsletter.com and follow the official HumpDay Instagram!
On an unrelated note, HumpDay would like to wish one of more loyal readers and an excellent friend of the newsletter a Happy 27th birthday!! A name is not included for privacy reasons but you know who you are and Happy Birthday from HumpDay!
The great wall of China is actually a 13,000-mile-long series of walls that were built by various Chinese ruling classes of a span of more than 2,300 years between 700 B.C. and 1644 A.D. The wall served as a barricade between China and its enemies in the north and today it is seen as one of the most impressive structures in human history. Some people say that the Great Wall has such a large footprint that it can actually be seen from space. Well… that’s not true.
The Great Wall is a massive and extremely impressive structure but, space also really really far away. Even from the very edges of space, low orbit astronauts are 200 miles from the earths surface and the Great Wall of China is only 30 feet wide at its widest point. That is like standing on the roof of a 10-story building and trying to spot something less than 1/3 of an inch wide on the ground below.
The myth that the Great Wall is visible from space began in 1764 when an English historian referring to the Great Wall stated that it is a “considerable figure on the terrestrial globe, and may be discerned from the moon”. The idea the wall could be seen from space continued on and eventually went mainstream when it was featured in a 1932 issue of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. Since then, the myth has spread and has even been included in some textbooks on Chinese history.
Both the 18th century claim and the 1932 Ripley’s Believe It Or Not article came well before space travel so you can’t blamed those people for not knowing how far away space is. Now that we have been going to space for decades, many astronauts, including Chinese astronauts, have confirmed that the great wall is not visible from space.
Lets face it. Babies are useless. For years after birth, baby humans generally can’t function without the care and support of adults. Why are human babies are so fragile when other species’ babies can walk and survive on their own only minutes after birth? Aren’t humans supposed to be the dominant species? The reason for human babies’ vulnerability comes from differences in evolutionary strategy.
Most animals have evolved to have a short adolescence that helps them to quickly develop the traits needed to survive in an eat or be eaten world. Baby animals that develop the ability to move, hide, or defend themselves early on in their lives are more likely to survive than animals that can’t protect themselves. This race to mature quickly after birth is the reason why most baby animals are born ready to walk, run, and basically function on their own.
Humans on the other hand, don’t rely on our physical attributes to survive but instead, we use our larger brains to craft tools, build shelters, and communicate with others. Our brains are key to our species survival, which has required human evolution to focus on growing the size of the brain to allow humans to survive and thrive.
The problem with developing a big brain is that it requires a big head and big heads pose a problem at birth. A humans don’t have wide enough hips to give birth to a child with a full-sized brain and a fully formed skull so humans had to trade brain development for the ability to give birth. To allow for a successful birth, babies are born well before their brain have finished developing and while their skull is still soft and not fully formed. After birth, babies still developing brains don’t allow them to do much, but over time their brains continues to grow significantly larger and they develop more advanced cognitive abilities. When the brain finishes growing to its full size, the child’s head is significantly larger and they are able to develop the critical thinking and reasoning skills that humans need to survive.
Basically, newborn babies need so much support because there isn’t enough room for their big heads. While a baby’s brain develops rapidly after birth, there’s always time to keep growing your brain by continuing to read the HumpDay Newsletter! (Shameless plug)
Food & Beverage
“You’re having a party tonight? Sure, I’ll come! I just need to make a Packy Run” Readers that are not from the east coast may be unfamiliar with the term “Packy Run” in the above sentence. A “packy” is a nickname for a “package store” or a store that sells alcohol, more commonly known as a liquor store. The term “packy” is less commonly used today but it has its origins in the U.S. Constitution and prohibition.
To start, the U.S. Constitution is the “supreme law of the land” that details the structure of the federal government and the powers bestowed upon each branch of government (Legislative, Executive, and Judicial). One such power given to the Legislative branch (i.e. Congress) allows the federal government to regulate business between the states (remember that each of the original 13 states were basically separate governments before the constitution). Using this power, congress can ensure that all the states trade fairly with each other and that no favoritism is given to one state rather than another. This clause in the constitution is known as the “commerce clause”.
Interstate commerce is controlled by congress but each state has the right to govern businesses operating within their borders. One industry that state governments love to regulate heavily is the the production and sale of alcohol. Beginning in the late 1800’s, states tried to curb the amount of alcohol consumed by their citizens by outlawing the distillation of alcohol, and/or the sale of alcohol in bars and taverns. These laws were designed to make it impossible for people to find alcohol to drink and essentially served as a drinking ban.
One thing that states could not do is outlaw alcohol from being purchased in other states and brought back to the state where it is banned. In 1890, the courts ruled that only congress could ban alcohol from being brought from one state into another state since congress controlled the flow of goods between the states (Leisly v. Harden 1890). This created a loophole that allowed citizens of a “dry” state to purchase alcohol in the next state over and bring it home with them.
Since states couldn’t stop people from buying alcohol in other states, they passed laws that would make it more difficult to bring alcohol over state lines. One such rule passed by dry states required that all alcohol imported into a state must be in the “original package” that it was purchased in. At the time, alcohol was generally sold directly to bars in kegs, so this law mean that drinkers would need to bring home and entire keg to enjoy a drink.
To get around this new “original package” law, alcohol distillers began creating personal sized alcohol containers that could be easily carried and that were just enough for personal consumption in the home. Stores selling smaller containers of liquor opened up on the borders of dry states and began selling their products in smaller “packages”. Because these personal sized containers were in their original package, customers could legally bring them over state lines and enjoy them at home. The stores selling alcohol thus became known as “Package stores”.
Today, we have liquor stores on nearly every street corner but, the original package stores were a creative solution to an oppressive law that tried to keep alcohol out of the hands of those who need it. That being said, you have package stores to thank for the beer in your fridge and the fact that you can enjoy a glass of wine in the comfort of your own home.
This Week in History
On this week in 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ordered that all “Enemy Aliens” register with the U.S. Department of Justice. Immigrants from Italy, Germany and Japan were required to identify themselves and receive an ID stating that they were aliens from an enemy nation. This registration led to the creation of Japanese internment camps where American citizens of Japanese descent were interned in camps
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