(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘chickens

“A chicken in every pot”*…

How and when were chickens domesticated, and turned into a staple source of protein? As Ann Gibbons reports, new studies propose a surprisingly late date, and a link to rice cultivation…

From chicken biryani to khao mun gai, chicken and rice is a winning combo worldwide. But the two are more inextricably linked than even chefs realized. A pair of new archaeological studies suggest that without rice, chickens may have never existed.

The work reveals that chickens may have been domesticated thousands of years later than scientists thought, and only after humans began cultivating rice within range of the wild red jungle fowl, in Thailand or nearby in peninsular Southeast Asia, says Dale Serjeantson, an archaeologist at the University of Southampton who was not involved with the research. The studies, she says, have “dismantled many of the hoary myths about chicken origins.”…

A savory story: “How the wild jungle fowl became the chicken,” from @evolutionscribe in @ScienceMagazine.

* 1928 Republican Party campaign slogan (to which the Democrats responded: “Don’t have a pot to put it in”)


As we ponder poultry, we might spare a thought for Lillian Evelyn Moller Gilbreth; she died on this date in 1972.  One of the first working female engineers holding a Ph.D., she was arguably the first true industrial/organizational psychologist.  With her husband Frank Gilbreth, she was one of the first “efficiency experts” helping establish the fields of motion study and human factors.  She is perhaps best remembered as the subject of Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes (charming books written by their children Ernestine and Frank Jr.) recounting the couple’s family life with their twelve children, and their application of time and motion study to the organization and daily routines of such a large family.

As we’ve seen before, she was instrumental in the development of the modern kitchen, creating the “work triangle” and linear-kitchen layouts that are often used today– enabling the preparation of lots of chicken.


Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 2, 2023 at 1:00 am

“Do not count your chickens before they are hatched”*…


We trained chickens to react to an average human female face but not to an average male face (or vice versa). In a subsequent test, the animals showed preferences for faces consistent with human sexual preferences (obtained from university students)…

From the abstract of a scholarly article published in the journal Human Nature.

Read all of the paper: “Chickens prefer beautiful humans“; get more background here.

* Aesop


As we spend a few more minutes at the mirror, we might recall that it was on this date in 1868 that William Davis, a Detroit fish dealer, received a patent for the first practical refrigerated rail car.  Entrepreneurs looking to expand the market for agricultural goods had been trying since 1842 to ship produce and meat via rail.  But these early “ice box on wheels” designs were impractical (as most worked only in cold weather).  Davis’ innovation was to create a car that used metal racks to suspend meat above and between a frozen mixture of ice and salt. Davis’ design worked well as a preservative strategy; but the carcasses had a way of swinging to one side on their hooks when the car entered a curve at high speed… which led to several derailments and the discontinuation of their use.  It wasn’t until 1878, and a “cooling from the top; meat stacked low” approach developed by Andrew Chase for the meat packers Swift & Co., that refrigerated cars came into continuous use.


Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 16, 2016 at 1:01 am

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