Pepsi’s steady rise before this fiasco was not due to superior taste, but from their superior marketing, particularly to youth.
Whatever the case, while the whole t hing was a fiasco that looked for a time like it might kill the brand, six months after the return of the original Coke, Coca-Cola sales had risen to double the rate of Pepsi and it continued to climb. Thus, the blunder ultimately was a huge part of why Coca-Cola was able to reestablish itself as the most popular cola in the world. Sometimes doing something stupid can really pay off.
Despite New Coke sales dropping like crazy after the return of Classic Coke, when the Wall Street Journal in 1987 did yet another blind taste test of Pepsi, Classic Coke, and New Coke, with most of the participants before the test saying they preferred one or the other of Coke or Pepsi, New Coke won out as the most popular choice again. Much like the New Coke dissenters, when the people were told they’d picked New Coke as their favorite instead of their previous stated favorites of Coke or Pepsi, rather than deciding they’d start drinking New Coke, they predominately got angry at the testers.
Why Pop Rocks pop
Much like other hard sugar candies, Pop Rocks are made primarily of sugar, corn syrup, water, and artificial flavorin g. What causes the candy to pop when it comes in contact with the moisture and heat in your mouth is not due to any ingredient. Rather, it is due to the way the candy is made.
Basically, what they do is heat the ingredients together, bringing the mixture to boil . They continue to boil it until the moisture level descends suitably so that a thick syrupy substance remains. In normal hard sugar candies, this substance is then put in molds and allowed to cool and harden. With pop rocks, they expose the hot mix to carbon dioxide at about 600 pounds per square inch worth of pressure. This causes very small bubbles of carbon dioxide to form within the mix. The substance is then cooled and subsequently hardens.
Once the hard candy is formed, the pressure is released . This causes the candy to shatter, leaving small nuggets of hard candy, which are the Pop Rocks. Many of these nuggets still contain pockets of carbon dioxide kept at relatively high pressure. When the candy hits the saliva in your mouth, it quickly dissolves the thin barriers containing the pressurized carbon dioxide. This results in the bubbles bursting fairly quickly, releasing the trapped carbon dioxide, often with sufficient force to cause the candy to pop and sometimes jump in your mouth.
Pop Rocks were invented by Chemist William A. Mitchell, who worked for General Foods. He also invented Tang, Cool Whip, quick-setting Jell-O, a tapioca substitute, and powdered egg whites, among other things. In total, he received over 70 patents in his lifetime.
Why We Call a Crazy Person a “Basket Case”
At first, “basket case” didn’t mean someone who was crazy. Instead, it referred to someone who had a physical disability.
The phrase has its origins in World War I. Funny enough, one of the earliest known documented instance s of the phrase was actually in denial that "basket cases" actually existed, as found in a bulletin issued in March of 1919 on behalf of the United States Surgeon General:
“The Surgeon General of the Army… denies…that there is any foundation for the stories that have been circulated…of the existence of basket cases in our hospitals.”
But just what was the Surgeon General referring to when he said “basket case”? When this bulletin came out, many newspapers felt the need to define the phrase for their audiences, so apparently the phrase wasn't widely used at this point. They defined it as “a soldier who has lost both arms and legs and therefore must be carried in a basket.” (The Syracuse Herald, March of 1919)
Whether they were literally
Tom Piccirilli, Ed Gorman