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Persimmon Bread

> From:     KAYG1
> Date:     Wed, 3 Dec 1997 16:10:30 -0800
> To:       phaedrus
> Subject:  Persimon Bread

> Do you have a good recipe for Persimon Bread.  If so I would love to
> have it.
> Thanks.
> Kayg1 is waiting for your response!

Dear Kayg1,

We've never tasted this delicacy, but we located the below recipe. For those who didn't know, persimmon trees are a hardwood tree related to the ebony tree. They grow wild in the southeastern U.S. They have a fruit that resembles an apricot, with a thin skin like a tomato. Until they are ripe, they are very astringent (they'll make yer mouth pucker), but once ripe, they are sweet and tasty.
Besides the below recipe, you can also use any recipe for pumpkin or sweet potato bread. Just substitute persimmon pulp for the punkin' or 'taters...
This recipe, however, is specifically for persimmon bread.

Persimmon  Bread

 Ingredients : 
 3 c. flour
 1 tsp. salt
 2 tsp. soda
 2 tsp. cinnamon
 1/4 tsp. cloves
 3 tbsp. oil
 1 c. milk
 2 c. sugar
 2 c. persimmon pulp
 2 c. raisins
 2 c. chopped nuts

 Preparation : 
   Mix flour, spices, salt and soda.  Mix oil, milk, sugar and pulp. 
 Add raisins, nuts and flour mixture alternately.  Pour into well
 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes.  Can be

Happy Day Cake

From:         	Joan
Date sent:     	Fri, 16 Apr 1999 20:15:52 EDT
Subject:       	Happy Day Cake
To:            	phaedrus

> Hi,
> Do you have a recipe for "Happy Day Cake" which was a popular cake many
> many years ago?  It was featured on the side of the box of Swansdown
> Cake Flour.  Thanks for your help.  
> Joan

Hi Joan,

Here you are. See below.


Happy  Day  Cake

 Ingredients : 
 2 1/2 c. sifted cake flour
 1 1/2 c. sugar
 3 tsp. baking powder
 1 tsp. salt
 2 eggs
 1/2 c. shortening, room temperature
 1 c. milk
 1 tsp. vanilla

 Preparation : 
Sift flour with sugar, baking powder and salt.  Stir shortening to
soften.  Add flour mixture, 3/4 cup of the milk and vanilla.  Mix
until all flour is dampened; then beat 2 minutes at medium speed
with an electric mixer.  Add eggs and remaining milk.  Beat 1 
minute  longer.   Pour into two 9 inch layer pans lined with paper.  Bake
at  350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until cake tester inserted in  center
comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pans; remove from pans  and cool
completely on racks.  Frost with any frosting.  

First Violin

> Date:          Thu, 01 Oct 1998 19:29:20 -0500
> From:          RM 
> To:            phaedrus
> Subject:       Question

> Hello Uncle Phaedrus,
> I am a freshman in high school. My name is Adrian. My music teacher
> asked an interesting question of all of us one day. He asked, "Why
> does the first violinist in a symphony orchestra sit on the left of the
> audience?" He still has not found a student with the answer yet and
> I was hoping you could help me. Also, I would like to inquire of you,
> if I could, which state has the highest percentage of college graduates?
> If you could answer these questions it would be much obliged. 
> Thank You.
> 		Sincerely,
> 	      Adrian 

Hello Adrian,

In most orchestras, the positions occupied by each instrument are fairly standardized. In general, the string instruments are in front, nearest the conductor, with violins on his or her left. This allows the violin's sound-holes to face the audience for greater projection. The violas, cellos and double basses are to the right, the basses behind the smaller cellos. The rest of the instruments are positioned toward the back of the stage.

At the present time, Colorado is the state with the highest percentage of college graduates.



To:               Phaedrus
Date sent:        Sat, 4 Apr 1998 22:44:57 -0500
Subject:          Hi.
From:             Marla 

Uncle Phaedrus-

How are you?I wanted to say Thank you for answering so many of my
questions in the past.

I have yet another question. I had the understanding that the gene which
determines color blindness is carried by females, but passed on only to
males. My brother is color blind and so is my sisters' son. But, my
brothers' son is not color blind, because his mother does not carry the
gene. My friend stated the other day that, even if the father is color
blind and the mother does not carry the gene, the child has a 50% chance
of receiving the gene from the father??? I am very confused and disagree
with this. What is actually true?  And is this the same for hemophiliacs?

Thank you once again.


Hello Marlie,

Okay, color-blindness (the same applies to hemophilia):

Assuming your father is not color-blind, and he(X,Y) mated with your mother, who carried the trait of color-blindness(X^,X), then the following results were possible: (X equals normal female chromosome; X^ equals female carrier chromosome Y equals male chromosome.)

(X,Y) + (X^,X) = (X,X^) or (X,X) or (X^,Y) or (X,Y)

Your sister would then be (X,X^) - a carrier, and your brother would be (X^,Y) - a color-blind male. Although women carry the trait, women do not get the defect unless BOTH of their X chromosomes carry the defect. A color-blind woman would be (X^,X^). The trait is recessive, so if a woman only has one X chromosome with the trait, the "other X chromosome" wins out. A man only has one X chromosome, so if he inherits an X chromosome with the trait, he is stuck with it.

Your sister's son would be in the same situation as your brother - (X^,Y), since your sister is a carrier. As you can see from the diagram, though, you and your sister had a 50% chance of being non-carriers if your father was not color blind. Your brother had a 50% chance of being non-color-blind. If you want to see the various possibilities, draw diagrams like the one above using these combinations:

(1)X^,Y + X,X
(2)X^,Y + X^,X
(3)X,Y + X^,X^
(4)X^,Y + X^,X^

If you do, you will see that (1) will produce all normal sons and all carrier daughters. (2) will produce a 50% chance of a color blind son and a 50% chance of a normal son OR a 50% chance of a color blind daughter and a 50% chance of a carrier daughter with no chance of a non-carrier daughter. (3) will produce all color blind sons and all carrier daughters. (4) will produce all color blind sons and all color blind daughters.

Thankfully, because of the relatively low occurrence of the gene, only about 8% of males are color-blind, and less than 1% of females are color blind. For a daughter to be born color blind, both parents must be color blind, or her father must be color blind, her mother must be a carrier, and she must have had bad luck at fertilization time.

Now, as for your friend's statement that: "even if the father is color blind and the mother does not carry the gene, the child has a 50% chance of receiving the gene from the father".

The statement is true. A boy isn't going to inherit the gene from his father, but EVERY girl born to a color-blind man will inherit the gene. So, assuming a 50% chance that the "child" will be a girl, then that makes a 50% chance that the child will have the gene.


Who Invented TV?

> From:     TYRODAC 
> Date:     Thu, 19 Mar 1998 11:25:02 EST
> To:       phaedrus
> Subject:  alot of questions

> Dear Unc,
> First of all we would like to know the correct way to pronounce your
> name "phaedrus" and also the word "celtic" having to do with irish
> music??
> Next, who invented the t.v.? what year? and etc????
> last of all, what are "branch bundles" (having to do with the heart)?
> thanks,
> TyTy

Dear TyTy,

Well, lessee:

1) "Phaedrus", the great 5th century B.C. Greek philosopher, of whom Uncle Phaedrus, the 21st century know-it-all, is a namesake, pronounced his name like: "fedras". That's with a short "e".

2) "Celtic", according to The American Heritage Dictionary, may be correctly pronounced two ways: like "Keltic" or like "Seltic" ("Boston Celtics"). Either way is correct. Nobody wins that bet, eh?

3) The invention of the television set took many steps and involves a lot of controversy. Here's the way we see it:

a. The first device for transmitting pictures electronically was based on motorized spinning disks and was invented by Dr. Paul Nipkow of Berlin, Germany. He received a patent for it in 1884.

b. In 1917, a brighter neon lamp was invented, which was used by two people to improve on Nipkow's system of rotating disks: Charles Francis Jenkins in the U.S. and John Logie Baird in England, both during the 1920's.

c. However, rotating disks were a dead end. "Gilligan's Island" would never make it on such a system. In 1908, a British electrical engineer named A. Campbell Swinton designed a completely electronic TV system that used a cathode ray tube (CRT), that had been invented by the British physicist William Crookes in the mid-19th century, to convert the picture to an electronic signal, and a CRT-based oscilloscope invented by Karl F. Braun of the University of Strasbourg for a receiver. Thing was, he never built one. He just designed it on paper.

d. This brings us to the unsung hero of television, Philo T. Farnsworth. By 1927, Farnsworth, a nerd to put even Bill Gates to shame, invented a working, completely electronic TV system in secret laboratories in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and he immediately applied for a patent.

However, the evil empire, in the guise of David Sarnoff of RCA, saw Philo as competition to be vanquished. First Sarnoff tried to buy out Philo, then, when that failed, he tried to discredit Philo. Why? Because RCA had a Russian immigrant named Vladimir K. Zworykin working on a similar system. He had filed for a patent on a crude tv camera in 1923, but it had not been granted yet, and his employers at the time, Westinghouse, had not been impressed. He tried again with an improved camera in 1929, but Westinghouse was still not interested. However, RCA's Sarnoff WAS interested, and he hired Zworykin away from Westinghouse and invested in his ideas for a TV system. Meanwhile, in 1930, Philo T. Farnsworth was awarded his patent for his TV camera. Sarnoff was alarmed, and he first sent Zworykin, and then went himself, to look at Philo's device. Publicly, RCA pooh-poohed Philo's camera, but secretly, RCA's lawyers began a ten-year campaign to either buy out Philo or wear him down. Why? because Philo's camera was similar to, but better in some ways, than Zworykin's, and Philo got his patent first. Philo refused to sell out, wanting royalties instead. In 1938, RCA gave up and Philo got his royalty contract.

Meanwhile, Zworykin had improved the system enough so that, in 1933, he was able to transmit a picture of Mickey Mouse four miles to a nine-inch picture tube.

But RCA was slow about getting a commercial system ready and Germany was the first country, in 1935, to have a regular broadcast service. EMI in England followed closely, with a much-improved 405-line "high-definition" system in 1936.

Finally, in 1939, RCA began "experimental" broadcasts to a few hundred homes. But the standard of 525 lines per frame and thirty frames per second was not established until 1941. Real, commercial broadcast TV in the U.S. did not get started until after WWII, beginning in 1946 or so.

So, who invented TV as we know it? The courts said Philo T. Farnsworth did, in "Farnsworth v. Zworykin" in 1932 and in several appeals by RCA. Philo won 'em all. (See "They All Laughed" by Ira Flatow)

4) Branch bundles: There is a group(bundle) of fibers in the heart muscle that conducts electrical impulses (atrioventricular impulses). These fibers are called the "bundle of His", and they split into two "branches", one going to each ventricle of the heart. If one branch of this "bundle of His" fails to properly conduct the electrical impulses that stimulate heartbeats, then the ventricles of the heart can get out of rhythm with each other. One ventricle may beat slightly before the other one. This is called "bundle branch block". One treatment for this is to have a pacemaker installed.

- Unc


Copyright (c) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Phaedrus