Archive for November, 2013

Beer for “Brain Workers”

November 25, 2013

While perusing old newspapers for information on a member of the 1910 Harvard Law School All Star team for the player’s grandson, my attention shifted, as it often is to shiny objects, to an advertisement located near a tiny article about the man I was researching. The title of the ad blared “Gold Medal Duesseldorfer Beer for the ‘Brain Worker.’” Since beer isn’t often credited with having a positive relationship with intelligence, I became curious and read the text in the ad. In addition to “Being mildly stimulative, it clears and refreshes the brain, while the hops it contains have a soothing effect that banishes nervousness.”

While these claims are not nearly as radical as those made by Cliff Clavin, few would seriously consider taking them seriously. But then, 1907 was a long time ago. For those who can’t remember Cliff Clavin’s pronouncements, a little refresher may be in order.

Cliff likened brain cells to members of a buffalo herd in which the weaker and duller members were culled by predators, thus improving the gene pool of the buffaloes that survived to mate. In the case of brain cells, Cliff theorized that, when ingested into the human body, alcohol kills brain cells but not just any brain cells, it attacks the slower and weaker ones first. With the inferior cells removed, he opines, the brain is quicker and more efficient. That is why, he explains, one feels smarter after downing a few beers.

Beer good for Brain Worker

Dragged into the Redskins Naming Controversy

November 12, 2013

As followers of this blog know, Lone Star Dietz’s name pops into the news whenever the Redskins naming controversy heats up. After President Obama interjected himself into this matter, I started getting calls from reporters again. So far, my name has appeared in several places and has caused some embarrassment for me as well as some amusement.

The first mention I was made aware of was on the Redskins’ Official Site:

Unfortunately, the posting included a photo with the caption I unwittingly used in my book.  The Albright College player standing between Jim Thorpe and Lone Star Dietz in the photo was not Leo Disend as the 60-some-year-old yearbook stated. I became painfully aware of that mistake during the Q&A session at the end of my very first book talk when Leo Disend’s brother informed me that the player in the photo was identified correctly. Accepting that he must know what his brother looked like, I informed Albright College of the error. After conducting some research, they determined that the player in question was in fact John Killiany.

The Washington Post published a large spread on Dietz that mentioned me briefly:

The Post also posted a video of Barry Zientek on its web site: Barry Zientek’s parents befriended Lone Star & Doris Dietz in their old age and helped them in many ways when they lived in poverty.

Reading PA The Morning Call published an article from Lone Star’s grave written by the same Washington Post reporter:,0,656374.story?track=rss

For the first time I’m aware of, I was mentioned in a foreign newspaper, the Daily Mail of London, England in an error-riddled article:  However, I wasn’t mentioned for saying anything about Dietz; I was credited with having given the Mail permission to use the image of the 1908 St. Louis Globe-Democrat article on Dietz of which I own the only surviving copy. (I’d like to have one in better condition but haven’t been able to find one.) Oddly, I have no memory of being contacted by the Daily Mail to use this or any other image I own.