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11 Very Important Things to Know About Cider

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By Erika Janik


Forget the juice; we're talking about the hard stuff. Here are 11 facts everyone should know about good old-fashioned apple cider.


1. Back in the 14th century, it is believed that kids were baptized in cider since it was often more sanitary than water.


2. An apple beverage a day? President John Adams drank a tankard of cider every morning because he believed it promoted good health. And it must have—Adams lived to 90, making him our third longest living president, behind Ford & Reagan.


3. Cider was so important to early Americans that one in every ten farms in New England operated its own cider mill by the time of the American Revolution.

4. But why didn't the drink stay popular over the years? The Temperance movement killed the business. Fired up by speeches from ministers and politicians, many farmers destroyed their "demon orchards," sparing only the trees used for sweet juice. During the years when Prohibition was enacted, American cider production in the fell by 76%.

5. The best cider apples seem to have the best names: Hangdown, Chibble's Wilding, Kentish Fill-Basket, and Glory of the West.

6. If you want to make great cider, be sure to practice your wassailing. The English custom, used to appease the deities of the apple trees, was believed necessary to ensure healthy crops. Here's how to honor the spirits: Place a jug of cider or piece of cider-soaked toast on the biggest apple tree. Then sing a chant or song. Finish by banging on kettles and blowing horns to scare away any evil spirits lingering in your orchard. It's that easy.

7. Also, you'll need lots of apples. It takes about 36 pieces of fruit to make one gallon of the good stuff.

8. When Caesar and his invading soldiers stormed through England in 55 BCE, they found Celts sipping a brew made from crab apples. The troops were quick to pick up the habit and take it back to Rome.

9. Other fruits can be used to make cider-like drinks, too. Perry comes from fermented pear juice, cyser is cider fermented with honey, and plum jerkum—made from plums—supposedly has some strange intoxicating effects. According to legend, it leaves "the head clear, while paralyzing the legs."

10. Looking for the proper way to care for a dead genius' brain? For more than 40 years, Einstein's cranium was stored in a box labeled Costa Cider. Actually, it was stored in two mason jars in the Cider box, under pathologist Thomas Harvey's sink.

11. Of course, if this moderately alcoholic beverage doesn't do it for you, it's possible to make hard ciders even harder. Apple brandy and applejack are distilled ciders, and applejack, in particular, is really potent. It's nicknamed the "essence of lockjaw."

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A Simple Way to Charge Your iPhone in 5 Minutes
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Spotting the “low battery” notification on your phone is usually followed by a frantic search for an outlet and further stress over the fact that you may not have time for a full charge. On iPhones, plugging your device into the wall for five minutes might result in only a modest increase of about three percent or so. But this tip from Business Insider Tech may allow you to squeeze out a little more juice.

The trick? Before charging, put your phone in Airplane Mode so that you reduce the number of energy-sucking tasks (signal searching, fielding incoming communications) your device will try and perform.

Next, take the cover off if you have one (the phone might be generating extra heat as a result). Finally, try to use an iPad adapter, which has demonstrated a faster rate of charging than the adapter that comes with your iPhone.

Do that and you’ll likely double your battery boost, from about three to six percent. It may not sound like much, but that little bit of extra juice might keep you connected until you’re able to plug it in for a full charge.

[h/t Business Insider Tech]

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Trying to Save Money? Avoid Shopping on a Smartphone
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Today, Americans do most of their shopping online—but as anyone who’s indulged in late-night retail therapy likely knows, this convenience often can come with an added cost. Trying to curb expenses, but don't want to swear off the convenience of ordering groceries in your PJs? New research shows that shopping on a desktop computer instead of a mobile phone may help you avoid making foolish purchases, according to Co. Design. Ying Zhu, a marketing professor at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, recently led a study to measure how touchscreen technology affects consumer behavior. Published in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, her research found that people are more likely to make more frivolous, impulsive purchases if they’re shopping on their phones than if they’re facing a computer monitor. Zhu, along with study co-author Jeffrey Meyer of Bowling Green State University, ran a series of lab experiments on student participants to observe how different electronic devices affected shoppers’ thinking styles and intentions. Their aim was to see if subjects' purchasing goals changed when it came to buying frivolous things, like chocolate or massages, or more practical things, like food or office supplies. In one experiment, participants were randomly assigned to use a desktop or a touchscreen. Then, they were presented with an offer to purchase either a frivolous item (a $50 restaurant certificate for $30) or a useful one (a $50 grocery certificate for $30). These subjects used a three-point scale to gauge how likely they were to purchase the offer, and they also evaluated how practical or frivolous each item was. (Participants rated the restaurant certificate to be more indulgent than the grocery certificate.) Sure enough, the researchers found that participants had "significantly higher" purchase intentions for hedonic (i.e. pleasurable) products when buying on touchscreens than on desktops, according to the study. On the flip side, participants had significantly higher purchase intentions for utilitarian (i.e. practical) products while using desktops instead of touchscreens. "The playful and fun nature of the touchscreen enhances consumers' favor of hedonic products; while the logical and functional nature of a desktop endorses the consumers' preference for utilitarian products," Zhu explains in a press release. The study also found that participants using touchscreen technology scored significantly higher on "experiential thinking" than subjects using desktop computers, whereas those with desktop computers demonstrated higher scores for rational thinking. “When you’re in an experiential thinking mode, [you crave] excitement, a different experience,” Zhu explained to Co. Design. “When you’re on the desktop, with all the work emails, that interface puts you into a rational thinking style. While you’re in a rational thinking style, when you assess a product, you’ll look for something with functionality and specific uses.” Zhu’s advice for consumers looking to conserve cash? Stow away the smartphone when you’re itching to splurge on a guilty pleasure. [h/t Fast Company]

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