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This Prohibition-era map is a love letter to alcohol
A rare counter-example to the flood of Temperance maps, this Prohibition-era chart celebrates alcohol in its many forms
Throughout the 19th century, cartography was often used to promote sobriety. Here’s a counter-example: a map that celebrates alcohol, in various guises – published two years before the end of Prohibition.
The Temperance movement, which from the early 1800s sought to reduce the consumption of alcohol in the U.S., had a curious affinity for cartography. It produced numerous 'Temperance maps', so called because they used fictional topographies to warn against the wickedness of drinking and promote the benefits of sobriety.
Why maps? Perhaps because they were the perfect allegory for a country in full territorial expansion. Going (and staying) teetotal was a long and hard journey, requiring the negotiation of much treacherous terrain (beware Cape Despair, Paupers Bay, Wine Island). But ultimately the destination, a soda-pop version of the Promised Land, made the whole trek worth it, with places like the Gulf of Reform, Repentance Kingdom, Contentment Province.
A gruesome example of a trip in the other direction was presented by the Black Valley Railroad. The illustration shows a train pulled by an engine labelled 'Distillery', with stops at Drunkards Curve, Beggarstown, Gamblersville, Robbers Den, Prisonton, Demonland, Maniacville and finally, Destruction.
This blog has featured one or two Temperance maps before (see #285, for instance), but not the one shown in a recent article on Vinepair. The classic 1838 Temperance map by Rev. John Christian Wiltberger, Jr. was not what drew our attention, though.
The article also featured an example of an as yet unknown counter-category – an anti-Temperance map, so to speak. Following the template of its opposite, this Map Showing the Isle of Pleasure uses geographic tropes and terms – and plenty of punning and double-entendre – to extol the delights of drink.
The skull-shaped island (3) is named the State of Inebriation, surrounded by bodies of water named Whiskey Strait, Gulp Stream and Rum Row. Off the island are a sand bar (with bar flies), several whis-keys, etc. The island itself is dotted with all kinds of objects you'd expect on a genuine map: buildings, roads, lakes, mountains – each of which refers to some aspect of drinking.
The map's date is interesting: it was created by Houston architect H.J. ('Heinie') Lawrence in 1931, two years before the end of Prohibition. During that time (1920-33), the production, import, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages was banned throughout the entire country. In a way, Prohibition was the end result of Temperance.
Prohibition significantly reduced but did not eliminate drinking (1). It also created a huge business opportunity for the mafia and other criminal organisations, which led to a significant increase in levels of crime (2). Eventually, the social cost of Prohibition was felt to outweigh the benefits. Even back in 1931, the imminent collapse of the ban on booze was widely expected (or at least hoped for).
That’s why the 18th Amendment (which instituted the alcohol ban) is shown as sinking into oblivion, with Volstead (the Congressman who enacted the Amendment) clinging to one of its masts.
Below are most of the cocktails, brands, slang terms and drinking songs mentioned on the map. The other ones are either too obvious or unfindable. Mix yourself a Prohibition-era drink while you study the map and let me know if you find any of the latter terms.
- 1 ½ ounce crème de cacao
- 1 ½ ounce heavy cream
- 1 ½ ounce brandy
Pour the crème de cacao into a 5-ounce glass. Using the convex side of a bar spoon, slowly pour the cream over the crème de cacao, making sure not to disturb it, to create a layered effect. Using the same technique, layer the brandy over the cream.
- 1 cup crushed ice
- ¼ cup vodka
- ¼ cup Blue Curaçao
- ¼ cup whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons vanilla-flavoured syrup
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon Cointreau
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into martini glasses garnished with a slice of orange.
- 2 cl gin
- 2 cl red vermouth
- 2 cl orange juice
- 1 dash Pernod
Shake and serve in a cocktail glass.
Crest o' the Wave
- 1 part gin
- ½ part Italian Vermouth
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- A few drops crême de menthe
Add a peppermint cherry in each glass.
- 1 ½ ounce dark rum
- ½ teaspoon orange curacao
- ½ teaspoon apricot liqueur
- 1 teaspoon grenadine
- 1 egg yolk
Shake the ingredients strenuously with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled glass.
- 1 dash peach bitters
- 1/3 ounce French vermouth
- 2/3 sherry
- 1 sprig fresh mint.
Stir well and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with mint tip.
Half & Half
- 1 dash Campari
- 1 part grapefruit juice
- 1 part Italian vermouth
Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- 1 ounce gin
- 1 ounce Benedictine
- 1 ounce maraschino liqueur
Fill a glass halfway with ice. Pour all three ingredients into the glass and stir with the ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- 4 ounces ginger ale
- 1 1/3 ounce brandy
- 1/8 ounce Angostura bitter (optional)
Pour brandy and ginger ale directly into highball glass with ice cubes. Stir gently. Garnish with lemon zest. If desired, add dashes of Angostura Bitter.
- 2 dashes orange juice
- ½ part Kina Lillet
- ½ part dry gin (English or London gin)
- 2 dashes apricot brandy
Stir well in ice and squeeze lemon peel on top.
- 2 ounce Ojen (4)
- 1 dash Peychaud bitters
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ ounce water
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake well, and strain into a cocktail glass.
- Muddled cucumber
- Minted simple syrup
- Grand Marnier
- Maker’s 46
Served up and garnished with cucumber.
- 1 ½ ounce gin
- 4 dashes grenadine
- 1 egg white
Shake ingredients very well with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
- 4.5 cl dark rum
- 3.5 cl fresh orange juice
- 3.5 cl fresh pineapple juice
- 2 cl fresh lemon juice
- 1 cl grenadine
- 1 cl sugar syrup
- 3 to 4 dashes Angostura bitters
Pour all ingredients except the bitters into a shaker filled with ice and shake well. Pour into a large, ice-filled glass. Add the bitters on top. Garnish with cocktail cherry and pineapple.
- 1 ounce Amaretto
- 1 ounce Kahlua
- 4 ounces milk
- whipped cream
Put some ice cubes in a parfait glass, pour in the Amaretto, Kahlua and milk, and stir. Top with whipped cream.
- 1 piece of fresh ginger (1 inch), peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 ½ teaspoons simple syrup
- 1 ½ ounces aged rum
- 1 ½ ounces apple cider
- 1 ½ ounces chilled ginger beer
- 1 lime wedge
- 1 slice of apple
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the ginger with the simple syrup. Add the rum and cider; fill the shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass and top with the ginger beer. Garnish with the lime wedge and apple slice.
- ¾ ounce gin
- ¾ ounce sweet vermouth
- ¾ ounce green Chartreuse
- ½ teaspoon Campari
- twist of lemon peel, for garnish
- preserved or maraschino cherry, for garnish
Fill a mixing glass halfway with ice. Add the gin, vermouth, green Chartreuse and Campari. Stir well, then strain into a chilled glass. Twist the lemon peel over the drink to release its essence, then drop it in, along with the cherry.
Tom & Jerry (5)
- powdered sugar
- brandy, rum
Separate eggs, beat egg whites until stiff. Mix egg yolks with powdered sugar, put a spoonful of yolk mixture in cup, mix with brandy and rum. Fold in some egg white then add hot milk and top with more egg white. Stir gently to fold in the egg white. Top with nutmeg.
- 1 teaspoon white tea leaves
- ½ teaspoon chopped lemongrass
- ½ teaspoon dried peach
- 1 ounce vodka
- 3 ½ ounces brewed tea base
- ¾ tablespoon agave nectar
- 3 ounces ginger beer
Place 5 ounces of room temperature water in a cup. In tea linen, combine all the ingredients for the tea base. Brew in the room temperature water for 10 minutes, agitating from time to time. Remove the sachet/ball.
In a shaker, combine 3 1/2 ounces of the tea base, vodka, and agave nectar. Dry shake until the agave dissolves. Pour into a glass over ice and gently swirl to chill. Top with ginger beer and gently swirl again. Garnish with a fresh ginger slice.
Black & White
Blended Scotch whisky, originally known as House of Commons but renamed after the colours of its label. James Bond drinks it in Moonraker novel, and in the Dr. No film.
Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. No longer produced.
Another Kentucky straight bourbon, created by the Murphy-Barber distillery in Clermont, opened in 1881.
Distilled in Owensborough, Kentucky from as early as 1889. Marketed as the 'whiskey without the headache'. Production closed down in 1987.
Blended Scotch whiskey, produced by Usher. Now defunct.
A brand of bourbon whiskey distilled in Canada. Now defunct.
Originally a Hawaiian fermented beverage, transformed into a high alcoholic spirit after the introduction of distillation techniques by English seamen in the 1790s.
A Kentucky straight bourbon first distilled in the 1830s in Frankfort by Scottish immigrant James C. Crow, Old Crow enjoyed huge popularity in the 19th and early 20th century. It was said to be the favourite drink of Ulysses S. Grant, Mark Twain and Hunter S. Thompson. Today it is a modestly-priced sister brand of Jim Beam.
A Kentucky straight bourbon that has the distinction of both being the oldest brand on the market and the first one to introduce sealed bottles (both °1870s). During Prohibition, it was one of 10 brands authorised for continued production – for medicinal purposes.
A former brand of blended whiskey.
The 19th Hole
Often used to describe a bar or restaurant near a golf course (which traditionally has only 18 holes).
A lower-class establishment that circumvented alcohol laws by charging customers to see an attraction (e.g. a ‘blind pig’) and then offering a complimentary drink.
A large stopper for a cask.
Empty drink bottles laying around.
A term for high-proof spirits distilled without proper permission, often in wooded and/or mountainous regions, far from the grasp of the authorities. Officially referred to as ‘clear, unaged whisky’, it is also known as white lightning, hooch, moonshine and choop, among other nicknames.
Enlargement of the nose with dilation of follicles and redness and prominent vascularity of the skin. Often associated with excessive consumption of alcohol. A.k.a. toper's nose, brandy nose, rum nose, potato nose, hammer nose, copper nose.
Father, Dear Father
"Oh Father, dear Father, come home with me now / My Mother has sent me to say / That she and her children are starving at home / While you're drinking your wages away".
Little Brown Jug
"My wife and I live all alone / In a little log hut, we called our own / She loved gin, and I loved rum / I tell you what we'd lots of fun". Originally written in 1869, it regained popularity during Prohibition. Became one of the best-known songs of the Big Band era after Glenn Miller recorded it in 1939. The melody was later used for My Ding-a-Ling, a #1 hit for Chuck Berry in 1972.
Strange Maps #904
Got a strange map? Let me know at email@example.com.
(1) Alcohol consumption fell to 30% of its pre-Prohibition level immediately after the introduction of the ban. Over the following years, it crept up to about 60-70%, where it stayed in the period immediately after the end of Prohibition. In the following decade, consumption regained its pre-Prohibition level.
(2) A study of more than 30 major U.S. cities during 1920-21 noted an increase in the number of burglaries by 9%, homicides by 12.7%, assault and battery by 13% and drug addiction by 44.6%.
(3) Perhaps a reference to the classic depiction of Utopia, also portrayed as a skull (see #51).
(4) Ojen (a.k.a. 'Old Hen') was an anise-flavoured aguardiente from the eponymous village in Malaga, Spain. Creates a milky-looking liquid when mixed with water. In the early to mid 20th century, an Ojen-based was popular in New Orleans, especially during Mardi Gras. The original distillery has since ceased production.
(5) traditional U.S. Christmastime cocktail, devised by British journalist Pierce Egan in the 1820s to promote his book (Life in London, or The Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorn Esq. and his Elegant Friend Corinthian Tom) and play (Tom and Jerry, or Life in London). It's possible the cartoon cat and mouse derive their names from the drink.
While legalization has benefits, a new study suggests it may have one big drawback.
- A new study finds that rates of marijuana use and addiction have gone up in states that have recently legalized the drug.
- The problem was most severe for those over age of 26, with cases of addiction rising by a third.
- The findings complicate the debate around legalization.
Cannabis Use Disorder, is that when you get so high you can’t figure out how to smoke anymore?
Cannabis use disorder, also known as CUD or cannabis/marijuana addiction, is a psychological disorder described in DSM 5 as "the continued use of cannabis despite clinically significant impairment." This includes people being unable to cut down on their usage despite wanting to, those who often use it despite finding it severely impairs their ability to function, or those who are putting themselves in danger to secure access to the drug.
While an understanding that marijuana can be addictive has existed for some time, and the image of the pothead who smokes so much they can hardly function is prevalent in our society, the effects of legalization on addiction rates have somehow gone understudied until now. Importantly, previous studies had failed to consider usage rates amongst populations over the age of 25.
In the new study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, focused on self-reported data on monthly drug use in four states where marijuana is now legal, Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon, from both before and after the drug was legalized in each state and compared it to others which have not yet legalized.
The data gave insights into the drug use habits of the respondents and specifically gave information about if they had smoked at all in the last month, the frequency of their drug use, and if they had ever had issues with how much they were using drugs.The researchers ultimately considered the responses of 505,796 individuals.
The increase in cannabis usage they found was considerable. The number of respondents over the age of 26 who claimed to have used the drug in the last month went up by 23% compared with their counterparts in states that have yet to legalize. Abuse of the drug by this group rose by 37%.
Teen usage rose by 25%, and addiction rates rose as well. This increase was small, though, and the authors have suggested it may be due to an unknown factor. The rate of usage or abuse for respondents between the ages of 18 and 25 did not increase at all.
After breaking the results down by demographics, the primary finding held; adults over the age of 26 are using marijuana more often when it is legalized, and they are starting to use it too much.
The grain of salt
As in any study where findings are self-reported, the exact numbers you see here should be taken with a grain of salt. They could be slightly higher or lower. As this study relies on people self-reporting their usage of a drug that is still illegal in many places, it is very possible that the apparent spike in addiction rates is caused by more accurate reporting, as people who live in an area where pot is still illegal may be less likely to report smoking it every day.
And it should be repeated a thousand times over that correlation and causation are not the same thing. There could be some unknown factor causing these increases in each case.
Despite these qualifications, the study is still useful in giving us a general sense of what may happen in states that have yet to legalize.
What does this mean for society and drug users?
While claims of "reefer madness" are greatly exaggerated, marijuana has several well established and thoroughly studied side effects. While occasional use isn't terribly harmful, addiction can be. Lead author Magdalena Cerdá of New York University explains in the study that heavy marijuana use is associated with "psychological and physical health concerns, lower educational attainment, decline in social class, unemployment, and motor vehicle crashes."
A substantial increase in the number of people who are addicted to the stuff will incur costs to society down the line.
Of course, a 37% increase in problematic usage means that the percentage of adults smoking too much went from .9% to 1.23% of the population responding to the survey. This makes it far less prevalent than issues with alcohol, which affected around 6% of all Americans in 2018.
Recently, Big Think's Philip Perry wrote a piece about how legalization could improve the health of millions by allowing the government to regulate the purity of commercially sold marijuana. This remains true. However, it must be weighed against the findings of this study, which suggests that at least some of these health gains will be wiped out by increased addiction rates.
What does this mean for legalization efforts?
The legalization steamroller will undoubtedly keep rolling along. While health concerns are one factor in the debate over marijuana, it is only one of many. In Illinois, where I live, weed will become legal on January 1st of 2020. The legalization campaign and legislation were more concerned with issues of social justice, the failures of prohibition, and finding a new source of tax revenue (since we're half broke) than with matters of potential addiction.
As Vox reports, the authors of the study aren't suggesting that legalization shouldn't take place; that is another, broader debate. They merely wish to present the fact that legalization has a particular side effect that we should be aware of.
While this study is unlikely to change anybody's stance on if weed should be legalized or not, it does show us a critical element to be considered when discussing drug policy. No drug is perfectly safe, and we have reason to believe that legalizing marijuana will mean that more people will have a hard time with it. Let's hope that legalization proponents keep that in mind as they rack up their victories.
For some reason, the bodies of deceased monks stay "fresh" for a long time.
It's definitely happening, and it's definitely weird. After the apparent death of some monks, their bodies remain in a meditating position without decaying for an extraordinary length of time, often as long as two or three weeks.
Tibetan Buddhists, who view death as a process rather than an event, might assert that the spirit has not yet finished with the physical body. For them, thukdam begins with a "clear light" meditation that allows the mind to gradually unspool, eventually dissipating into a state of universal consciousness no longer attached to the body. Only at that time is the body free to die.
Whether you believe this or not, it is a fascinating phenomenon: the fact remains that their bodies don't decompose like other bodies. (There have been a handful of other unexplained instances of delayed decomposition elsewhere in the world.)
The scientific inquiry into just what is going on with thukdam has attracted the attention and support of the Dalai Lama, the highest monk in Tibetan Buddhism. He has reportedly been looking for scientists to solve the riddle for about 20 years. He is a supporter of science, writing, "Buddhism and science are not conflicting perspectives on the world, but rather differing approaches to the same end: seeking the truth."
The most serious study of the phenomenon so far is being undertaken by The Thukdam Project of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Healthy Minds. Neuroscientist Richard Davidson is one of the founders of the center and has published hundreds of articles about mindfulness.
Davidson first encountered thukdam after his Tibetan monk friend Geshe Lhundub Sopa died, officially on August 28, 2014. Davidson last saw him five days later: "There was absolutely no change. It was really quite remarkable."
The science so far
Credit: GrafiStart / Adobe Stock
The Thukdam Project published its first annual report this winter. It discussed a recent study in which electroencephalograms failed to detect any brain activity in 13 monks who had practiced thukdam and had been dead for at least 26 hours. Davidson was senior author of the study.
While some might be inclined to say, well, that's that, Davidson sees the research as just a first step on a longer road. Philosopher Evan Thompson, who is not involved in The Thukdam Project, tells Tricycle, "If the thinking was that thukdam is something we can measure in the brain, this study suggests that's not the right place to look."
In any event, the question remains: why are these apparently deceased monks so slow to begin decomposition? While environmental factors can slow or speed up the process a bit, usually decomposition begins about four minutes after death and becomes quite obvious over the course of the next day or so.
As the Dalai Lama said:
"What science finds to be nonexistent we should all accept as nonexistent, but what science merely does not find is a completely different matter. An example is consciousness itself. Although sentient beings, including humans, have experienced consciousness for centuries, we still do not know what consciousness actually is: its complete nature and how it functions."
As thukdam researchers continue to seek a signal of post-mortem consciousness of some sort, it's fair to ask what — and where — consciousness is in the first place. It is a question with which Big Think readers are familiar. We write about new theories all the time: consciousness happens on a quantum level; consciousness is everywhere.
So far, though, says Tibetan medical doctor Tawni Tidwell, also a Thukdam Project member, searches beyond the brain for signs of consciousness have gone nowhere. She is encouraged, however, that a number of Tibetan monks have come to the U.S. for medical knowledge that they can take home. When they arrive back in Tibet, she says, "It's not the Westerners who are doing the measuring and poking and prodding. It's the monastics who trained at Emory."
When Olympic athletes perform dazzling feats of athletic prowess, they are using the same principles of physics that gave birth to stars and planets.
- Much of the beauty of gymnastics comes from the physics principle called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Conservation of angular momentum tells us that when a spinning object changes how its matter is distributed, it changes its rate of spin.
- Conservation of angular momentum links the formation of planets in star-forming clouds to the beauty of a gymnast's spinning dismount from the uneven bars.
It is that time again when we watch in awe as Olympic athletes perform dazzling feats of athletic prowess. But as we stare in rapt attention at the speed, grace, and strength they exhibit, it is also a good time to pay attention to how they embody, literally, fundamental principles that shape the entire universe. Yes, I'm talking about physics. On our screens, these athletes are giving us lessons in the principles that giants like Isaac Newton struggled mightily to articulate.
Naturally, there are many Olympic events from which we could learn some basic principles of physics. Swimming shows us hydrodynamic drag. Boxing teaches us about force and impulse. (Ouch!) But today, we will focus on gymnastics and the cosmic importance of the conservation of angular momentum.
The conservation of angular momentum
Much of the beauty of gymnastics comes from the spins and flips athletes perform as they launch themselves into the air from the vault or uneven bars. These are all examples of rotations — and so much of the structure and history of the universe, from planets to galaxies, comes down to the physics of rotating objects. And so much of the physics of rotating objects comes down to the conservation of angular momentum.
Let's start with the conservation of regular or "linear" momentum. Momentum is the product of mass and velocity. Way back in the age of Galileo and Newton, physicists came to understand that in the interactions between bodies, the sum of their momentums had to be conserved (which really means "does not change"). This is a familiar idea to anyone who has played billiards: when a moving pool ball strikes a stationary one, the first ball stops while the second scoots away. The total momentum of the system (the mass times velocity of both balls taken together) is conserved, leaving the originally moving ball unmoving and the originally stationary ball carrying all the system's momentum.
Credit: Sergey Nivens and Victoria VIAR PRO via Adobe Stock
Rotating objects also obey a conservation law, but now it is not just the mass of an object that matters. The distribution of mass — that is, where the mass is located relative to the center of the rotation — is also a factor. Conservation of angular momentum tells us that if a spinning object is not subject to any forces, then any changes in how its matter is distributed must lead to a change in its rate of spin. Comparing the conservation of angular momentum to the conservation of linear momentum, the "distribution of mass" is analogous to mass, and the "rate of spin" is analogous to velocity.
There are many places in cosmic physics where this conservation of angular momentum is key. My favorite example is the formation of stars. Every star begins its life as a giant cloud of slowly spinning interstellar gas. The clouds are usually supported against their own gravitational weight by gas pressure, but sometimes a small nudge from, say, a passing supernova blast wave will force the cloud to begin gravitational collapse. As the cloud begins to shrink, the conservation of angular momentum forces the spin rate of material in the cloud to speed up. As material is falling inward, it also rotates around the cloud's center at ever higher rates. Eventually, some of that gas is going so fast that a balance between the gravity of the newly forming star and what is called centrifugal force is achieved. That stuff then stops moving inward and goes into orbit around the young star, forming a disk, some material of which eventually becomes planets. So, the conservation of angular momentum is, literally, why we have planets in the universe!
Gymnastics, a cosmic sport
How does this appear in gymnastics? When athletes hurl themselves into the air to perform a flip, the only force acting on them is gravity. But since gravity only affects their "center of mass," it cannot apply forces in a way that changes the athlete's spin. But the gymnasts can do that for themselves by using the conservation of angular momentum.
By changing how their mass is arranged, gymnasts can change how fast they spin. You can see this in the dismount phase of the uneven bar competitions. When a gymnast comes off the bars and performs a flip by tucking their legs inward, they can quickly increase their rotation rate in midair. The sudden dramatic increase in the speed of their flip is what makes us gasp in astonishment. It is both scary and a beautiful testament to the athletes' ability to intuitively control the physics of their bodies. And it is also the exact same physics that controls the birth of planets.
"As above so below," goes the old saying. You should keep that in mind as you watch the glory that is the Olympics. That is because it is not just athletes that have this intuitive understanding of physics. We all have it, and we use it every day, from walking down the stairs to swinging a hammer. So, it is no exaggeration to claim that the first place we came to understand the deepest principles of physics was not in contemplating the heavens but moving through the world in our own earthbound flesh.