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Jack The Squeezer: Attack of the Serial Hugger

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Street harassment is no laughing matter. Unwanted touching is gross and intimidating. But we promise not to judge if you chuckle, just a little, at the following story.

For two years in the late 1800s, an anonymous rogue terrorized the young women of Pomona, California with hugs. He was known as "Jack the Squeezer," a heavy-handed reference to a far more malicious Jack that was embraced by the press. A Los Angeles Herald article from October 18, 1891 describes it best, or at least, the most self-seriously:

The squeezer is at work again. He had several victims last week and another on last Monday evening—the names being suppressed for good reasons. The last lady to be caught by the fellow was hastening down Third street, to call upon a neighbor, about 7 o'clock, and when near the corner of Ellen street a well-built man, coming from the shadow of trees in the rear, passed her rapidly, and then, before she had time for even a look, turned as quick as a flash, and grabbed her about the waist with his arms. He gave her several violent hugs, turning his face away at the same moment, and dashed suddenly across the road in the shadow of trees, and was gone. The young woman sank exhausted against the fence, and says that it was several minutes before she recovered her reason. When she did she went to a neighbor's, and her brother was called to help her home.

There is no doubt that the squeezer is some fellow whose mind is turned upon the subject of terrifying or hugging women. The man's operations, extending over seven months' time, are as carefully planned and executed as those of the notorious Jack the Ripper of London. The man is certainly daft on the subject of squeezing, but all his acts show that he has much scheming, deep cunning, and is devilish in his attempts to cause as much and as sudden terror as possible. He is by no means a fool—a cool, planning and designing rascal. He selects the times when the public of Pomona is not thinking of his acts and he never perpetrates his peculiar operations twice in the same locality.

He shows a preference for young women, and he takes them either alone or in couples. He is very fleet of foot, and what makes his work the more alarming is that he acts so violently and so quickly. Two young ladies fainted dead away on the sidewalk after he had squeezed them, and one lady, in a delicate condition, nearly lost her life in consequence of the awful shock to her nervous system. Another lady was in bed several days from nervous fright.

An article from the following year identifies "Jack" as C. E. Wolfe—a perfectly pun-able name—and this time he's on trial for his lewd behavior.

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Nom & Malc, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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Food
Cheese Wheel Wedding Cakes Are a Funky Twist on an Old Tradition
Nom & Malc, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Nom & Malc, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If there’s ever a time you have permission to be cheesy, it’s on your wedding day. What better way to do so than with a pungent wedding cake made of actual wheels of cheese? According to Elite Daily, cheese wedding cakes are a real option for couples who share an affinity for dairy products.

One of the trailblazers behind the sharp trend is Bath, England-based cheese supplier The Fine Cheese Co. The company offers clients a choice of one of dozens of wedding cake designs. There are bold show-stoppers like the Beatrice cake, which features five tiers of cheese and is priced at $400. For customers looking for something more delicate, there’s the Clara centerpiece, which replaces miniature wedding cakes with mounds of goat cheese. Whether your loved one likes funky Stilton or mellow brie, there’s a cheese cake to satisfy every palate. Flowers are incorporated into each display to make them just as pretty as conventional wedding cakes.

Since The Fine Cheese Co. arranged their first wedding cake in 2002, other cheese suppliers have entered the game. The Cheese Shed in Newton Abbot, England; I.J. Ellis Cheesemongers in Scotland; and Murray’s Cheese in New York will provide cheese wheel towers for weddings or any other special occasion. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from clearing out the local fromagerie and assembling a cheese cake at home.

[h/t Elite Daily]

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Screenshot via Mount Vernon/Vimeo
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History
The Funky History of George Washington's Fake Teeth
Screenshot via Mount Vernon/Vimeo
Screenshot via Mount Vernon/Vimeo

George Washington may have the most famous teeth—or lack thereof—in American history. But counter to what you may have heard about the Founding Father's ill-fitting dentures, they weren't made of wood. In fact, he had several sets of dentures throughout his life, none of which were originally trees. And some of them are still around. The historic Mount Vernon estate holds the only complete set of dentures that has survived the centuries, and the museum features a video that walks through old George's dental history.

Likely due to genetics, poor diet, and dental disease, Washington began losing his original teeth when he was still a young man. By the time he became president in 1789, he only had one left in his mouth. The dentures he purchased to replace his teeth were the most scientifically advanced of the time, but in the late 18th century, that didn't mean much.

They didn't fit well, which caused him pain, and made it difficult to eat and talk. The dentures also changed the way Washington looked. They disfigured his face, causing his lips to noticeably stick out. But that doesn't mean Washington wasn't grateful for them. When he finally lost his last surviving tooth, he sent it to his dentist, John Greenwood, who had made him dentures of hippo ivory, gold, and brass that accommodated the remaining tooth while it still lived. (The lower denture of that particular pair is now held at the New York Academy of Medicine.)

A set of historic dentures
George Washington's Mount Vernon

These days, no one would want to wear dentures like the ones currently held at Mount Vernon (above). They're made of materials that would definitely leave a bad taste in your mouth. The base that fit the fake teeth into the jaw was made of lead. The top teeth were sourced from horses or donkeys, and the bottom were from cows and—wait for it—people.

These teeth actually deteriorated themselves, revealing the wire that held them together. The dentures open and shut thanks to metal springs, but because they were controlled by springs, if he wanted to keep his mouth shut, Washington had to permanently clench his jaw. You can get a better idea of how the contraption worked in the video from Mount Vernon below.

Washington's Dentures from Mount Vernon on Vimeo.

There are plenty of lessons we can learn from the life of George Washington, but perhaps the most salient is this: You should definitely, definitely floss.

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