Better get caught up with this eclectic accumulation now that we're settling into our summer rhythms:

From the Daily Press comes a list of oft-quoted claims about vinegar (most of which are verifiable):

According to The Vinegar Institute,, The Babylonians used vinegar as a preservative and a condiment as early as 5,000 B.C., and Roman legionnaires used it as an ingredient in a common beverage. It is also said that Cleopatra used vinegar to win a bet, after she dissolved precious pearls in vinegar and drank it - thus proving that she could consume a fortune in a single meal.
Both Hippocrates and the Bible extolled the healing properties of vinegar, and it was very likely used by many early civilizations as a medicine.
Even the great general Hannibal used vinegar in his invasion of the Greek city-states in 3,000 B.C. It is said that when he was crossing the Alps, large obstructive boulders were heated and drenched in vinegar, crumbling the boulders and clearing a path.

From the Hook:

The singing of mice is well-authenticated and sounds like the voice of a weak canary, their songs lasting up to ten minutes, says Juliet Clutton-Brock in A Natural History of Domesticated Mammals. Mus domesticus, the house mouse, has lived for thousands of years among people, said by the Roman Pliny to bring good luck if white but if a singer, to "interrupt the auspices."

From Engineering News comes a quote:

A youth was giving himself airs in the theatre and said: “I am wise, for I have talked with many wise men.” Epictetus, a Stoic philosopher, replied: “I too have conversed with many rich men, yet I am not rich.”

From All Things Pakistan:

It is said that discovery of rock salt in Khewra area dates back to as early as circa 326 BC. According to a legend, the army of Alexander the great was resting in Khewra area after a battle with Raja Porus. Some horses of Alexander’s army were then seen licking rock salt in the area. Somebody from Alexander’s army noted down the incident in his ledger or diary and hence we came to know that salt was discovered here circa 326 BC. History is however silent on which language this incident was recorded in (Greek?) or where is that diary now.

From the Statesman:

Me? I wonder how this foie gras thing got going. They say the Egyptians started it and the Romans jumped in later by feeding figs to the birds. In other words, the Romans, as usual, had been drinking.

From the Outdoors column in the Sun-Times:

E-mail: ''Fishing hooks were originally known as 'angles.' This term is certainly archaic today, just like me. Some historians refer to the term angling as originating due to the fact that when using a rod and line, an angle is formed by the two. I find that hook a bit hard to swallow, but it may have some historic validity. The Oscan language took the word 'ongul' from the Etruscan alphabet for both 'fishing hook' and 'bend.' Since I don't think the Etruscan alphabet created the word, we can thank the ancient Greeks for the term 'angling' from its 'ankos glen' or 'barbed hook.' The Old English derivative is 'anga hook' or 'angled hook' and also means 'using artful means to obtain an objective.'''

From KUTV comes the sugar cane claim:

Cultivation of sugar cane dates back some 12,000 years to New Guinea. By the time of the Greeks, it had spread to Europe.

"There's a description going back to Alexander the Great," Mintz said. "One of his generals writes about finding it in India. He talks about this reed which has this sweet juice in it."

From the Times of Malta:

Legend has it that the ancient Romans refreshed themselves with the bubbly water that springs out of an extinct volcano near Naples, a reference to which can be found even in philosopher Pliny the Elder's works.

A marketing dream perhaps, but not enough to stop the company that bottles that water, Ferrarelle, from sliding into losses a few years ago as competition heated up in Italy's bottled water market.

The Daily Bulletin repeats the claims about various baldness cures:

It is thought that Egyptian Queen Cleopatra used a mixture of horse teeth, bear grease, burned mice and deer marrow in an attempt to cure Julius Caesar's baldness. Since then, "cures" have ranged from cow manure concoctions to vacuum helmet contraptions.

The following is a timeline of hair loss therapies - the good, the bad and the ugly.

The oldest known written prescription for treating baldness, found in Egypt's Ebers Papyrus, calls for a mixture of iron oxide, red lead, onions, alabaster, honey and fat from animals including snakes, crocodiles, hippopotamuses and lions.

Hippocrates proposes several solutions to treat his own progressive hair loss, one of which includes a mixture of opium, horseradish, pigeon droppings, beetroot and various spices that were applied to the head.

None of the concoctions worked, and Hippocrates' baldness was so bad doctors still refer to extreme cases of hair loss as "Hippocratic baldness."

Yikes ... from a press release from a company obviously making flaxseed products:

ANCIENT ROME wasn’t built in a day but it was built on a diet of Flaxseed.

Flaxseed was once a staple food source for the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians – so much so that by the 8th century, the Roman emperor Charlemagne ruled that every citizen of the Roman Empire had to consume flaxseed daily to maintain health.

From the Ashland City Times:

“The philosopher Plato wrestled. Plato’s real name was Aristocles. We know him by his wrestling nickname that meant broad.

From the Record:

Quoting the Greek historian Thucydides, valedictorian Jessica Wilcox told classmates in a speech written before the flood, "Do not give the impression that you are bowed down underneath your present sufferings.

"To face calamity with a mind as unclouded as may be, and quickly to react against it — that, in a city and in an individual, is real strength."

From the University of Waterloo Imprint:

If you are uncircumcised, you could get your foreskin pierced. This type of piercing is said to be at least as ancient as the tradition of circumcision; it is thought to have been common among the Ancient Greeks.

From the New York Sun:

"Lotteries go back to Homeric Greece, where soldiers would draw tokens to determine who'd go on a dangerous mission," the founder and president of No Mas, Chris Isenberg, said. "It's sort of remarkable that the fate of these world class athletes, millions of fans, and millions of dollars could be determined by essentially the same mechanism, and by something as banal as a Ping-Pong ball."

From the Times of India:

Waffles are one of the oldest breakfast foods in the world. Legend has it that waffles originated with ancient Greeks making flat cakes between two metal plates.