Searching For John Doe
Happy HumpDay! Its HumpDay and another newsletter has hit your inbox to brighten up your week. If that's not enough (why wouldn't that be enough?) at least you can be happy that this Sunday our clocks "Fall Back" and give us an extra hour of sleep? As always, check out the HumpDay website at HumpDayNewsletter.com and follow the official HumpDay Instagram!
Food & Beverage
Have you ever looked at the little ketchup packets that come with a burger and fries? Maybe they have a picture of a tomato and the word ketchup on it but every now and then you will find a packet with the title of “Fancy Ketchup”. Isn’t it just ketchup though? What makes it so fancy? Does it wear a tuxedo?
It turns out that “fancy” ketchup isn’t much different than any other ketchup. Like all ketchup, it includes tomatoes, vinegar, and a whole bunch of sugar. “Fancy” is a designation that the USDA allows ketchup manufacturers to use if the ketchup meets a strict set requirements. “Fancy” ketchup has to have a better color than most ketchups, have a smoother consistency than other ketchups, and have no tomato skin or seeds mixed in.
Major tomato manufacturers like Heinz and Hunt’s don’t have the “Fancy” designation because their proprietary ketchup formulas don’t conform to the USDA’s definition of “Fancy”. Interestingly, the ketchup used by McDonald’s is considered fancy even though the recipe is nearly identical to that of Heinz and Hunt’s. That’s because McDonald’s ketchup focuses more on the characteristics of ketchup that the USDA thinks is “Fancy” in order to earn the prestigious title.
No matter what ketchup you are using, whether it is “fancy” or not, its all practically the same. The fancy ketchup is more of a rule follower than the other rebellious “Non-fancy” ketchups and you shouldn’t feel ashamed for not forking out the money to have “fancy” condiments.
Crime & Punishment
If you like cop shows or detective novels then you are probably familiar with one of the most prevalent characters across all crime stories. The character seems to appear in nearly every police or detective show from CSI to Columbo but he is often played by different actors. We are of course talking about the famous tv character “John Doe” who appears as a corpse in so many murder mystery stories.
As you likely know, John Doe is a name that is given to a person who’s identity is unknown. Often in film and TV an unknown victim will be given the name John Doe to signify that no one knows what the person’s real identity is but its kind of weird that we give an unknown person a name instead of just calling them “unknown”.
The origin of the name John Doe stems back to the signing of the Magna Carta, one of the most important documents in human history, in 1215 A.D. The British common laws established under the Magna Carta stated that two parties must be named on all contracts. British landowners who were evicting their tenants would often use fake names to protect the identity of those that were being evicted. The fake names that were most commonly used were John Doe for the Plaintiff (landlord) and Richard Roe for the Defendant (tenant). Over time the name John Doe became a common name assigned to someone who did not want to be identified. In the U.S. the media covering murder cases started using John and Jane Doe as the name for unidentified bodies including famous cases like “Cali Doe” and “Princess Doe”. The name Richard Roe never caught on in the U.S. but it was used to hide the identity of the plaintiff in the famous Roe vs Wade case.
Unfortunately for one man actually named John Doe featured in a 2009 New York Times article, the name raises suspicion everywhere he goes. The man named John Doe reports that TSA stops him every time he goes to the airport and employers are skeptical of hiring him because they think he is hiding an alternate personality.
Date & Times
Attention all HumpDay readers! This is a reminder that daylight savings time goes into effect Sunday morning at 2AM. Remember to set your clocks back (if you still have clocks) and enjoy the extra hour of sleep/being served at the bar. Thankfully, this is the good part of daylight savings time where it benefits our sleep habits instead of the “Spring Forward” where we all lose an hour of sleep. But why do we mess with our clocks twice a year and how did this even start?
People have been optimizing the amount of daylight since the dawn of time by waking up with the morning sun and going to sleep as it got dark out. Starting in Ancient Rome, people started adjusting how they measured time based on the amount of daylight on a day. The Romans used to divide the amount of daylight into 12 daylight hours which would be longer in the summer and shorter in the winter.
In the modern era, multiple people suggested changing the clocks to better account for the amount of daylight. Benjamin Franklin joked that people would save candles if the start and end of the day was adjusted to coincide with the sun. The Spanish government implemented a policy that moved all meetings by an hour to account for the changing of the seasons. Others suggested adjusting time to give them more daylight after work or to adjust golfers tee times so they could finish a round before it got to dark to play.
Daylight savings time wasn’t officially adopted until WWI when most of Europe and the United States implemented the practice to maximize the amount of free time spent in the daylight. The practice was adopted elsewhere in the world in the 1970’s when a shortage of oil required countries to reduce energy usage.
Weather we gain or lose an hour of sleep, we can thank daylight savings for literally brightening up our days twice a year.
This Week in History
On this day in 1929, the stock market and the entire global economy crashed on what is known as “Black Monday”. After years of wild speculation and corruption in the stock market, reality caught up to the stock market and prices suddenly plummeted. The global economy lost billions of dollars in the stock market crash and began the great depression where massive poverty was rampant after families lost all their savings in the stock market.
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