Jewish World Review Sept. 21, 2004 / 6 Tishrei, 5765

Jeff Elder

JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Why is it called a Cobb salad?; barns painted red; more | Q: Why is it called a Cobb salad? - B.C. Smith, Charlotte, N.C.

A: Late one night in 1937, Bob Cobb was tired and hungry after rubbing elbows with Hollywood's elite at his famous Brown Derby restaurant.

So he raided the massive icebox in the kitchen, pulling out greens, avocado, tomatoes, chicken, hard-boiled eggs and Roquefort cheese.

Sniff, sniff! "What's that delicious smell?" he thought. Ah, bacon from a nearby chef preparing for tomorrow. Lemme grab a strip or two of that, too ...

He piled together the "salad" - really more of a picnic in a bowl - and served up one for him, and one for a friend. They dove in.

The salad might've only been remembered as a scrumptuous midnight snack - except for the identity of the friend.

He was one of Hollywood's greatest promoters - Sid Grauman, the man behind the elaborate Chinese Theatre, where celebrities are memorialized with their footprints and handprints in the courtyard's cement.

Grauman raved about the thrown-together feast - and began regularly demanding that Brown Derby waiters bring him "one of Cobb's salads."

Thus, a legendary dish was born.

At least, that's the story that was passed down by the Brown Derby.

Hey, any story that includes the smell of frying bacon can't be all bad.

Donate to JWR

Q: My husband is driving me nuts about this: Why are barns painted red? - Nancy, Jacksonville, Fla.

A: Hundreds of years ago farmers painted their barns with a mix of linseed oil, milk, and lime. It protected the wood. Sometimes they would also add ferrous oxide to the paint.

That's another term for rust.

Rust made the paint red, and also killed fungi and moss on the wood.

After a while, red barns just became tradition. (It didn't hurt that red paint was plentiful and cheap.)

You gotta admit: They do look good contrasted with white farmhouses.


Q: My friend Yussel Fafoonick claims that when a U.S. Supreme Court justice is appointed it is for life and he cannot be removed for any reason. I maintain there is a provision for impeachment. Who is right? - Willard Shapira, Minneapolis

A: You are. (Sorry, Yussel Fafoonick.)

The Constitution says justices may be removed by "Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." But no a Supreme Court justice has ever never been impeached.


Q: I am and avid golfer who frenquently will hit a wayward shot and when I do, I yell, "look out!" instead of "fore!" Where did the term fore come from and why fore? - Dennis Hamric

A: Dennis, here's what the United States Golf Association has to say on the matter:

Fore is Scottish in origin, and is a shortened version of "before" or "afore."

The old Scottish warning, meaning "look out ahead!" probably originated in military circles, where it was used by artillery men as a warning to troops in foreword positions. Golfers as early as the 18th century simply adopted this military warning.


Q: Who won the first Heisman trophy? - Gus Allen

A: Jay Berwanger, the "one-man gang" running back for the University of Chicago Maroons, won the first Heisman Trophy in 1935.

Actually, at the time it was not called the Heisman. It was the New York Downtown Athletic Club's trophy to the outstanding college football player east of the Mississippi River. (Catchy!) In 1936, John Heisman, then the DAC's Director of Athletics, passed away and the Award was named in his honor.

Wanna see somethin' really cool? Go to and check out a film clip of the very first Heisman Trophy winner in action.



On commercials ...

1. Who told TV viewers: "Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce. Special orders don't upset us"?

2. What actress sold cameras and film on TV opposite James Garner?

3. What side dish is hawked as "the San Francisco treat"?

4. Who cried while looking out on a polluted waterway in an enduring public service announcement?



1. Burger King

2. Mariette Hartley

3. Rice-A-Roni

4. Iron Eyes Cody, who was Italian, not Native American, some sources contend.

Appreciate this column? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Elder is a columnist for The Charlotte Observer. Comment or try to stump him by clicking here. If you send him a great question, he'll send you a Glad You Asked T-shirt.


09/07/04: Identifying body from dental records; Where does all the corn go and what are its' uses?; hose Susan B's; more
08/25/04: Put a steak on it; What prevents a spider from becoming entangled in its own web?; good palindromes; more
08/19/04: Clams and cabbage and dollars; method actor v. character actor; more
08/11/04: Origins of the news anchor; f only female mosquitoes bite, what do the male mosquitoes eat?; more
07/27/04: I'm Jeff Elder and I approved this answer; terms penny, nickel and dime; more
07/22/04: Intelligence quotient; who devised the Electoral College?; more
07/13/04: Ice man cometh; How far away from a TV should one sit?; more
07/07/04: Buying back childhood toys; Barbie's full name; How was the Slinky invented?; more
06/23/04: Soda jerk! One chocolate brain freeze; Brands that become generic name for a product; more
06/16/04: Innies and outies; 'goody two-shoes'; major league baseball pitcher with an infinite lifetime ERA?; more
06/08/04: How search engines work; time travel; more
06/01/04: Song of life includes a crackle and hiss; Why don't we fall out of bed while we're sleeping?; more
05/19/04: Getting all goose-bumpy; more
05/12/04: That odd smell after you eat asparagus; only horseshoe-shaped toilet seats in public restrooms?; more
05/03/04: Fun facts about the 7 modern wonders; What does WD-40 stand for?; difference between flotsam and jetsam; more
04/20/04: RFK wrote his own eulogy; Hardy Boys books; more
03/23/04: The first AP college basketball poll; U.S. presidents who changed their names; cutting hair away from an old English sheepdog's eyes; more
03/03/04: Hunger from snow?; igloo secrets; why dinner was noon-time meal and supper at night; more
03/03/04: History of pockets? Lint me your ears; more
02/25/04: Quiznos' surreal new pitchman; "XYZ "; more
02/19/04: Zambonis; Why does popcorn pop?; Why do we drive on the right side of the road, while the British drive on the left?; more
02/11/04: The weirdest questions I was ever asked — and answers
02/05/04: Lightning CAN strike twice; how people got their last names; more
01/22/04: Joke history: The Romans had Top X lists; refreezing raw meat
01/15/04: Rick Springfield's still moot; the wettest land area on Earth; more
01/06/04: The reason behind the coin ridges; where 'baby corn' comes from; more
12/29/03: Can the colorblind see rainbows?; What causes moles? What's the difference between moles and freckles?
12/22/03: It's all lunch to me
12/04/03: The sad poem in a romantic comedy; Why do some coins, like quarters and dimes, have ridges?; more
11/25/03: Diner lingo; How do chickens know what size eggs to lay?; a computer input device is called a mouse, what is the plural?; more
11/19/03: Did Betsy Ross sew the first official American flag?; Do the 9 numbers in our Social Security number have special meaning? Will they run out of numbers or have to re-issue them?; more
11/11/03: How to be a Nielsen rater; Why did Charles Schulz name his comic strip "Peanuts"?; Was Chef Boy-ar-dee a real person?; Why are Georgetown University teams called the Hoyas?
11/05/03: Decoding the laws of buoyancy; What actually happens when you crack your knuckles?; origin of the expression "three sheets to the wind
10/30/03: Buttoning on the 'correct' side; when you breathe on your hand it feels warm, but when you blow on your hand it feels cool?; Why do dogs eat (and enjoy eating) dirt?; more
10/23/03: 'American Pie' explained; Why are tennis balls seamed like baseballs?; more
10/14/03: Origins of comic strips and hush puppies; a college football quiz; dogs that don't bark
09/24/03: Why do snooze alarms go off every 9 minutes?
09/17/03: Glad You Asked: Fun with college football
09/09/03: What's so great about Wiffle Ball?
09/03/03: What kinda wine goes best with heartache?; What did people do before alarm clocks were invented?; which has more caffeine: coffee or tea?
08/26/03: These inventors were just toying with us
08/12/03: Why do wheels appear to turn backward on film?; showdown over high noon
08/07/03: Wood'n you know it? Money doesn't grow on trees; all we are is dust in the wind
08/05/03: Where have you gone, Calvin, Opus and Cow?; fine feathered friend pecking on itself
07/31/03: How a dashing hero became a notorious traitor
07/29/03: Little red caboose rolling outta sight; From my 'I'll be a monkey's uncle' file
07/24/03: Road scholar: A lesson on asphalt; when identical twins marry
07/23/03: The sweet science of Life Savers' sparks; how do Pop Rocks work? ripping newspaper

© , The Charlotte Observer Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.