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15 Pictures of People Wasting Perfectly Good Alcohol During Prohibition

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Anyone who has ever caught an episode of Boardwalk Empire knows the extreme—and sometimes violent—lengths to which bootleggers went to keep the alcohol flowing during America’s Prohibition years. But 20th century lawmen and teetotalers were just as committed to their cause, as evidenced by these vintage photos of people wasting perfectly good alcohol.

1. Dismantling a still

Agents in San Francisco ensure that the hooch would stop flowing from this particular still by dismantling it altogether.

2. Orange County Sheriff dumps bootleg booze

In California’s Orange County, Sheriff Sam Jernigan, Undersheriff Ed McClellan, and Santa Ana Constable Jesse Elliott oversee the destruction of some bootlegged booze.

3. Prohibition agents destroy barrels of alcohol

This photo, which shows Prohibition agents emptying several barrels of alcohol, first appeared in the Chicago Daily News in 1921.

4. RUM RUNNERS SET THEIR BOAT ON FIRE

With a deck full of contraband, the crew of the Linwood—a rum-running ship—opted to set their boat afire in order to destroy the evidence when they were pursued by a patrol boat in 1923.

5. Zion City, Ill. destroys 80,000 pint bottles of beer

Mrs. Graze Knippen holds up one of the 80,000 pint bottles of beer she helped to get rid of in Zion City, Ill.

6. THE MAYOR OF ZION CITY GETS IN ON THE ACTION, TOO

Zion City Mayor Hurd Clendinen made sure the press was on hand to witness—and photograph—his city’s commitment to the Prohibition movement.

7. Smashing Barrels

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An axe makes a perfect took for smashing barrels full of alcohol, as this man discovers in 1921.

8. Pouring It Away

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A well-placed sewer drain could be a teetotaler’s best friend.

9. Bottle throwing in Boston

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Bottles of wine and spirits are hurled at a brick wall in Boston in 1920.

10. Wine flush

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In February 1920, just after the start of Prohibition in America, a crowd of excited onlookers watch as 33,100 gallons of vino are flushed into the gutter outside of the North Cucamonga Winery in Los Angeles.

11. Beer street

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Barrels of suds are spilled into the streets, forming a river of beer in 1925.

12. Down the drain

A thirsty drain is the final resting place for this barrel of liquid contraband.

13. SANTA ANA DUMP

In 1932, a year before Prohibition was repealed, deputies in Orange County, Calif. rid the city of an impressive stash of illegal booze.

14. Nine men smashing bottles in dump

Dewar's Repeal, Flickr

Taking a cue from Zion City, 18,000 bottles of beer made their way from Philadelphia to Washington, DC—only to be smashed to smithereens at the local dump.

15. Drink poured down the sewer

A group of officials look on as a barrel of alcohol is poured down a New York manhole.

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7 Surprising Uses for Tequila
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Happy National Margarita Day! While you could celebrate by having a few drinks, you could also skip the hangover by unlocking one of tequila's amazing abilities outside of the glass. Many spirits are useful for activities beyond sipping (vodka, for example, is a great stain and odor remover), but tequila holds some particularly magical powers. Here are just a few of them.

1. SYNTHETIC BAUBLE

In 2008, a team of scientists in Mexico discovered that when the heated vapor from an 80-proof tequila blanco was combined with a silicon or stainless steel substrate, it resulted in the formation of diamond films. These films can be used in commercial applications, such as electrical insulators, or to create one big fake diamond. Who knew that spending $50 on a bottle of Don Julio was such a wise investment?

2. ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCE

Keeping with the science theme: In 2011, researchers at England’s University of Oxford suggested that we may one day be gassing up our cars with tequila. They identified agave, the plant from which tequila is produced, as a potential biofuel source—and a particularly attractive one, as the plant itself is not consumed by humans and can thrive in desert climates.

3. WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENT

Scientists have long promoted the potential benefits of the agave plant for its ability to help dissolve fats and lower cholesterol. The bad news? These properties get a bit diluted when the plant is distilled into alcohol. Even more so when it's whipped into a sugary margarita.

4. SLEEP AID

Take three or more shots of tequila and you’re bound to pass out. A single shot can have the same effect—just not in that drunken stupor kind of way. Relaxation is one of the positive side effects of tequila drinking; a small amount (1 to 1.5 ounces) before bedtime can reportedly help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.

5. COLON CLEANSER

Too much of a good thing may not bring a welcome turn of events for your liver … but your colon will thank you! Researchers at Mexico’s University of Guadalajara have identified the blue agave as a potentially helpful source for delivering drugs to the colon in order to treat colitis, IBS, Crohn’s disease and even cancer.

6. DIABETES PREVENTATIVE

If Ernest Hemingway had known about the healing properties of tequila, his signature drink might have been a margarita instead of a daiquiri. In 2010, experiments conducted at Mexico’s Polytechnic Institute of Guanajuato revealed that the agave plant (which is high in fructans, a fructose polymer) could stimulate the GLP-1 hormone, aiding in increased insulin production.

7. COLD REMEDY

“Plenty of liquids” is a well-known remedy for getting oneself out from under the weather. But expanding that definition to include a kicked-up shot of tequila makes a day laid out on the couch sound much more appealing. In the 1930s, doctors in Mexico recommended the following concoction to fight off a cold.

.5 ounce of tequila blanco
.5 ounce of agave nectar (to eliminate bacteria and soothe sore throats)
.5 ounce of fresh lime juice (for Vitamin C)

Though some people (including tequila companies) swear by its healing powers, others say it's hogwash.

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16 Geeky Coasters to Keep Your Coffee Table Safe
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Avoid unsightly ring stains on your coffee table with this delightful selection of coasters:

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. FLOPPY DISKS; $22.79

Floppy disks are not obsolete—at least in your living room area.

Buy on Amazon.

2. MARIO; $20

Mario Question Mark Block Coaster Set
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Unfortunately, no coins will be coming out of these coasters, but they will keep your table dry.

Buy on Etsy.

3. GAME OF THRONES; $12.99

Game of Thrones coasters
HBO Shop

Avoid a royal mess with house sigils of houses Targaryen, Stark, Baratheon, and Lannister.

Buy at the HBO Shop.

4. PACMAN; $20.95

Use these on a black table to recreate the retro video game.

Buy on Epic Giftables.

5. AGATE; $35

Rock on: These fancy agate coasters will look solid resting under your glass.

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6. ELEMENTS; $56.99

These glowing coasters are perfect for chemists, Breaking Bad fans, and anyone who forgot to pay their electric bill.

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7. BUILDING BLOCKS; $19.99

Build your own coaster with this LEGO-esque design.

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8. STAR TREK; $16.63

Star Trek ship coasters
Amazon

This ceramic set celebrates all the best ships from Star Trek.

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9. DR. WHO; $22.99

Just make sure you don’t accidentally send your glass into a different time period when you set it down.

Buy on Amazon.

10. RILAKKUMA; $1.95

Rilakkuma coaster
Bonanza

Cover your counter space with the cute face of Rilakkuma.

Buy on Bonanza.

11. HARRY POTTER; $50

Set of wood burned coasters featuring the crest of each Harry Potter house
Etsy

All the houses are present in this set of wood coasters.

Buy on Etsy.

12. FALLOUT; $25

fallout coasters
Etsy

Just because it’s the end of the world doesn’t mean all manners go out the door: Never forget to use a coaster!

Buy on Etsy.

13. BRAIN; $19.99

This set comes with 10 coasters, each with a slice of brain specimen. When you’re not using them, you can stack them together to create a full brain.

Buy on Amazon.

14. THE LAST AIRBENDER; FROM $13

Aang and his entourage face off on these wooden coasters.

Buy on Etsy.

15. BUFFY AND CO; $20

Getting totally wigged by the idea of a stained table? All your favorite characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer can give you an assist.

Buy on Etsy.

16. STUDIO GHIBLI; $25

Studio Ghibli Stone Tile Coasters
Etsy

These coasters feature scenes from the classics My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle.

Buy on Etsy.

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