Gelatin foodstuffs have a long culinary history. The ancient Egyptians made a gelatin-like substance from protein-rich animal materials that they used in their cuisine. It wasn't until the 17th century invention of pressure cooking devices that the process of creating gelatin became significantly less labor and time intensive. The process was refined in the following decades, with the US inventor Peter Cooper filing the patent for Improvement in the preparation of portable gelatine in 1845. He never made much of the patent, and sold it to Pearle B. Wait, who's wife, May Davis Wait, helped turn the gelatin into Jell-O, both naming the product and turning it into a sweet, fruit-flavored dessert. They, too, had no luck selling Jell-O, and sold the patent for $450 to Orator Francis Woodward, who struggled for a period, before turning to marketing to increase interest in the dessert (NYT). By 1902, Jell-O was "America's Favorite Dessert," at least according to the advertisements. And now you know the history of gelatin and Jello. [more inside]
What happened to the girls in Le Roy? (NYTimes) 18 girls in Le Roy, New York have been suffering from tics and seizures. Neurologists believe the cause is conversion disorder (AKA hysteria) combined with mass psychogenic illness. Others have suggested environmental causes, or PANDAS. [more inside]
Dance With Leroy (SLYT)
After that day, your life is never the same. "That day" is the day the doctor tells you, "You have cancer."
Journalist Leroy Sievers has lost his fight with cancer. He passed away Friday night. He was 53. His blog, My Cancer, and his commentaries on NPR, documented the progression of his disease while creating a community of those touched by cancer themselves.
Will the real JT Leroy please stand up? (ny times link) The public face of JT Leroy is confirmed as Savannah Knoop, the half-sister of the man who claimed to be JT Leroy's caretaker. The authenticity of JT Leroy was previously discussed on Metafilter here, in which a New York magazine article portrayed Ms. Albert, 40, and Mr. Knoop, 39, as unfulfilled rock musicians who concocted the character of JT Leroy to gain access first to literary circles and, later, to celebrities. Have JT Leroy fans now officially been punk'd?