sir benjamin

The Wise Men of the World quoting Astrology
  • Albert Einstein: “Astrology is a science in itself and contains an illuminating body of knowledge. It taught me many things and I am greatly indebted to it.”
  • Isaac Newton: (said in defence of astrology, to sceptic Edmund Halley)“I have studied the matter. You sir, have not”.
  • Benjamin Franklin: “Oh the wonderful knowledge to be found in the stars. Even the smallest things are written there…if you had but skill to read.”
  • President Theodore Roosevelt: he kept his horoscope mounted on a chess board in the oval office. When asked about it he would reply... “I always keep my weather eye on the opposition of my seventh house Moon to my first house Mars.”
  • JP Morgan, America’s first billionaire: “Millionaires don’t use astrology, Billionaires do.”
  • Plato: “Perhaps there is a pattern set up in the heavens for one who desires to see it, and having seen it, to find one in himself.”
  • Donald Reagan, formerly Ronald Reagan’s Chief of Staff said: “It’s common knowledge that a large percentage of Wall Street brokers use astrology.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson said : “Astrology is astronomy brought down to earth and applied toward the affairs of man.”
  • Sir Francis Bacon, the father of modern science: “The natures and dispositions of men are, not without truth, distinguished from the predominance of the planets.”
  • Shakespeare: he said in the person of King Lear... "The stars above govern our condition." He follows that with "I was born sir, when the crab was ascending, all my affairs go backwards."
  • Von Goethe: wrote an astrological description of his birth...”These auspicious aspects, which the astrologers subsequently interpreted for me, may have been the causes of my preservation.”
  • Dr. Carl Jung: “Astrology is assured recognition from psychology without further restrictions, because astrology represents the summation of all the knowledge of antiquity. The fact that it is possible to construct, in adequate fashion, a person’s character from the data of his nativity, shows the validity of astrology.”

On March 30, 1867, for a mere $7.2 million — about two cents per acre — the U.S. bought land from Russia and made Alaska its 49th state, gaining a delicious fringe benefit in the process: Baked Alaska.

No, this igloo-shaped dessert — cake and ice cream shrouded in toasted meringue — didn’t come from the icy north, but its name was inspired by the land deal. In fact, the treat’s true roots date back to the turn of the 18th century, when American-born scientist Sir Benjamin Thompson (aka Count Rumford, a title he gained for his loyalty to the crown during the American Revolution) — whose inventions included a kitchen range and a double boiler — made a discovery about egg whites.

Rumford realized that the air bubbles inside whipped egg whites made meringue a great insulator. “That’s really why the Baked Alaska works,” says Libby “O'Connell, the History Channel’s chief historian and author of The American Plate. "The meringue insulates the ice cream from heat.”

By the 1830s, this culinary revelation had inspired French chefs to create a dessert called the “Omelette Norwegge.” This predecessor of Baked Alaska consisted of layers of cake and ice cream covered in meringue, then broiled. The French named this elaborate treat in reference to its own frigid territory to the north — Norway.

So how did the “Omelette Norwegge” become embroiled with the Alaska purchase?

Baked Alaska: A Creation Story Shrouded In Mystery

Photo: Courtesy of Delmonico’s Restaurant