Category Archives: Celebrities

Bon Appetit Wednesday! St. Nicholas or Santa Claus? A Cookie Is Still As Sweet….

Santa

Below are two cookie recipes:  one in honor of St. Nick and the other Santa Claus.  For those of you who have a healthy dose of curiosity as well as a sweet tooth, let’s explore how these two holiday figures came to be.

St. Nicholas was a bishop in southwestern Turkey in the 4th century.  Born to a wealthy family, he gave much of his money away in support of the poor.  As the bishop of Myra, he had a number of miracles attributed to him and was eventually declared a saint.  His feast day was celebrated on December 6th.  During St. Nicholas’ lifetime, Pope Julius I decided that Jesus should be given a day that could be celebrated in honor of his birth.  Because the winter solstice was already being celebrated, the birthday for Jesus was designated to coincide, which eventually proved successful in “Christianizing” the previously pagan holiday.  Over time St. Nicholas’ day and Jesus’ birthday became associated, and the Christmas tradition began.   Because St. Nicholas was beneficent in his offerings to the poor, stuffed stockings and gifts became synonymous with this day. Continue reading

Image

In Remembrance

Nelson Mandela 3

Image

In Remembrance

JFK commemoration

Super Bowl XLVII and the Superstars of Ancient Rome

Detail of the Villa Borghese gladiator mosaic, 4th century CE

Detail of the Villa Borghese gladiator mosaic, 4th century CE

The stadium is hot, packed with roaring fans ready to cheer for their favorite players.  Above the din, vendors are screaming out what foods and souvenirs are for sale.  The city is festooned with colorful advertisements sporting muscle-bound celebrities endorsing the latest products.  Super Bowl 2013?  Think again.   It’s actually ancient Rome.  As the doors open, the gladiators emerge, boldly strutting onto the field for the day’s games.   The crowd goes wild, Roman BCE-style. Continue reading

Recent Archaeological Discovery Reveals That in Antiquity Thin Was Out and “Stylishly Plump” Was In

Image courtesy Krzysztof Grzymski

It is resolution time! Popular culture and media are booming with ideas for weight loss– Dr. Oz’s green shakes, CNN’s stories of inspiration, The Biggest Loser’s dedication to stopping childhood obesity and countless advertisements for gym memberships. According to the website Statistic Brain, resolutions to lose weight ranked number one on a list of top resolutions in 2012 and it is safe to assume 2013 will be no different. Continue reading