Two More Cool Articles- I Liked These too

First there is the silly fight over who invented the TV dinner.

“PHOENIX – This much is certain: When C.A. Swanson & Sons began selling a frozen turkey dinner with peas and sweet potatoes, the housewives of baby boom America snapped them up, and the TV Dinner, with its three-compartment aluminum tray, soon became a symbol of postwar consumer society.

So when Gerry Thomas, the Paradise Valley retiree often credited with inventing the TV Dinner, died last month, it was widely reported as the passing of the man behind a piece of 20th century Americana.

Since then, though, questions have been raised about whether the 83-year-old former Swanson salesman and marketing executive — and member of the Frozen Food Industry Hall of Fame — got too much credit.

Pinnacle Foods Corp., the company that now sells Swanson-brand frozen foods, considers Thomas the man who developed the concept of the TV Dinner, a frozen meal marketed in a box made to look like the front of a television set at a time when TVs were going from novelty to household appliance.

The Swanson frozen foods business has gone through several owners since the creation of the TV Dinner — Pinnacle Foods acquired the brand in 2001 — but the story of Thomas’ involvement is the one that has been passed down from one corporate generation to another.

“We don’t have any reason to disbelieve that history,” said Kelley Maggs, a spokesman for the New Jersey-based company.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times published an editorial calling Thomas “a charlatan.” The editorial was based on a 2003 article in which Swanson heirs and a Swanson employee of the era denied Thomas was the inventor of the TV Dinner.”

What would I do without the LA Times. What an amazing article. What a time to chase after hard news. I am impressed. On a more serious note, isn’t it amazing how they can make TV dinners look so good on the package and yet make sure they taste like the cardboard that they are wrapped in.

And now for a swell story:

Giant Ocean Waves More Common Than Thought

“WASHINGTON – Last year’s Hurricane Ivan generated an ocean wave that towered higher than 90 feet at one point, says a study that also suggests such giants may be more common than once thought.

Research indicates these are not “rogue waves but actually fairly common during hurricanes,” said David Wang of the Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center, Miss.

The giant wave was detected 75 miles south of Gulfport, Miss., by instruments on the ocean floor that measure the pressure of water above them. Using those readings, scientists can calculate the height of waves from trough to crest.

Last Sept. 15, as Hurricane Ivan passed through the area, the instruments measured 146 large waves, including 24 higher than 50 feet and one at 91 feet, Wang and his colleagues report in Friday’s issue of the journal Science.

The giant wave did not reach land. Unlike a tsunami, which reaches down to the sea floor, this was a wind wave, generated on the ocean surface by the powerful forces of the storm.

Because shipping tends to try to avoid hurricanes, many large waves are unseen by humans, let alone measured.

Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have a different way of calculating wave heights, using buoys at sea.”

I am not surprised to read this. It makes perfect sense to me that there are giant waves. Look at the size of the ocean and remember the power of mother earth. Amazing, just awesome.

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1 Comment

  1. Bad Maria August 4, 2005 at 9:33 pm

    Okay, but who came up with frozen turkey and gravy in a plastic bag that you can boil in water without melting it!??!? Who came up with Mrs. Paul’s dreaded Friday night fish sticks?!?!? Who is really responsible for SPAM?!!!??!? I want the answers and I want them now so I certainly hope the LA Times is up for the challenge!

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