Wake up and Smell the Nascar!

Not sure if you guys read about this, but BoingBoing was reporting today that NASCAR has launched a new line of meat products (their slogan is "Taste the Excitement.") It's true! From hot dogs, to bacon, to sausage to lunch meat, NASCAR's definitely all over the grocery aisle, and it kind of reminds me of the time the WWF got into the cologne business. Of course, BoingBoing made a crack that the goods probably taste like burned rubber and car crashes. We're not one to upset potential investors, though. That's why, to me the scent of NASCAR in the morning probably smells like hope.

As for branding, though, Johnny Green wrote up a great bit about Lacoste, and how the crocodile was actually the first logo to be placed on a shirt. I just thought had to include it...

Rene Lacoste really did design the famous shirts named for him, which is all the more remarkable because he was not a tailor. He was a professional tennis player. Between 1925 and 1928, Lacoste won seven Grand Slam events, and might have won more had he not become ridiculously rich by inventing the world's first good tennis shirt. In the 1920s, tennis players wore long-sleeve, heavily starched dress shirts (often with ties!). Lacoste grew weary of the outfits, and by 1929, he'd designed a short-sleeve shirt with a longer shirttail in the back and a flat collar. Further proving he was ahead of his time, Lacoste generally played the game with his collar turned up, --though it was more to block out the sun than anything else. Lacoste's most significant contribution to fashion, however, has to do with the iconic crocodile (it's not an alligator) on his shirts. Known as "Le Crocodile" for his on-court tenacity, Lacoste added the creature to his shirts in the mid 1930s—the first time a logo is known to have appeared on the outside of a shirt. Not a bad fashion record for a guy who mostly just wanted to win tennis tournaments.

A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.


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