A loaf of bread made in the first century AD, which was discovered at Pompeii, preserved for centuries in the volcanic ashes of Mount Vesuvius. The markings visible on the top are made from a Roman bread stamp, which bakeries were required to use in order to mark the source of the loaves, and to prevent fraud. (via Ridiculously Interesting)

(sigh) I’ve seen these before, but this one’s particularly beautiful.

I feel like I’m supposed to be marveling over the fact that this is a loaf of bread that’s been preserved for thousands of years, and don’t get me wrong, that’s hella cool.  But honestly, I’m mostly struck by the unexpected news that “bread fraud” was apparently once a serious concern.

Bread Fraud was a huge thing,  Bread was provided to the Roman people by the government - bakers were given grain to make the free bread, but some of them stole the government grain to use in other baked goods and would add various substitutes, like sawdust or even worse things, to the bread instead.  So if people complained that their free bread was not proper bread, the stamp told them exactly whose bakery they ought to burn down.

Bread stamps continued to be used at least until the Medieval period in Europe. Any commercially sold bread had to be stamped with an official seal to identify the baker to show that it complied with all rules and regulations about size, price, and quality. This way, rotten or undersized loaves could be traced back to the baker. Bakers could be pilloried, sent down the streets in a hurdle cart with the offending loaf tied around their neck, fined, or forbidden to engage in baking commercially ever again in that city. There are records of a baker in London being sent on a hurdle cart because he used an iron rod to increase the weight of his loaves, and another who wrapped rotten dough with fresh who was pilloried. Any baker hurdled three times had to move to a new city if they wanted to continue baking.

If you have made bread, you are probably familiar with a molding board. It’s a flat board used to shape the bread. Clever fraudsters came up with a molding board that had a little hole drilled into it that wasn’t easily noticed. A customer would buy his dough by weight, and then the baker would force some of that dough through the hole, so they could sell and underweight loaf and use the stolen dough to bake new loafs to sell. Molding boards ended up being banned in London after nine different bakers were caught doing this. There were also instances of grain sellers withholding grain to create an artificial scarcity drive up the price of that, and things like bread.

Bread, being one of the main things that literally everyone ate in many parts of the world, ended up with a plethora of rules and regulations. Bakers were probably no more likely to commit fraud than anyone else, but there were so many of them, that we ended up with lots and lots of rules and records of people being shifty.

Check out Fabulous Feasts: Medieval Cookery and Ceremony by Madeleine Pelner Cosman for a whole chapter on food laws as they existed in about 1400. Plus the color plates are fantastic.


I found something too awesome not share with you! 

I’m completely fascinated by the history of food, could I choose a similar topic for my Third Year Dissertation? Who knows, but it is very interesting all the same!

The Offending Loaf.

(via seetobe)


ATTN CISHETS: there is no sudden “queer identity fad” caused by the internet. you’ve just been wrapped up in your sad tiny world, never noticing the expansive world of queer people you’ve been erasing the existence of by assuming they’re all cis and straight like you.

(via clatterbane)



This is how you handle getting your privileged called out. 

Not “reverse racism!” Not “heterophobe!” and all those other dynamics that don’t exist. Just recognition. Recognition of privilege (and hopefully continuous self-checking) 


(via gofatyourself)


Also the Vikings were known to be complete dandies. They sought bright colors, jewelry, imported Persian silks. Ribbons. Little mirrors sewn onto clothing, in Sweden. The men had long hair that was scandalous to Christians, and they carried combs and earspoons and such things with them. I recall seeing documents where the eastern Norse were big on baths and one of their demands in a particular negotiation was “we get to have baths drawn for us whenever we want”, which was often.

They used soap with agents designed to bleach hair to try to make themselves blonder.

SRSLY. Look at this stuff.

I’m sorry longhaired prettyboy viking men in gaudy clothing and jewelry, bleaching and combing their hair, doesn’t match with your Conan-the-Barbarian manlyman aesthetic.

…or the fact that a significant portion of the Norse were traders, fishermen, farmers, and herders, and weren’t raiding, pillaging warriors or hired Byzantine thug-bodyguards.


It’s also important to note that the ones who are saying over and over “it’s good for the economy” are predominantly/entirely those who will be affected least and affected last.

(via clatterbane)

I cannot.

(via unimpressedcats)

If you want to know why millennials are far more economically liberal than other generations, consider the news that colleges have started opening on-campus food banks to keep their students from going hungry.

(via walking-dicey)


some boys at my school started a men’s rights club so today i listened at the door to hear what they were talking about and they were arguing over how to pronounce femininity

(via queeringfeministreality)


(Image description: A screenshot of a youtube comment. The profile picture and screen name of the poster is blurred out. The comment reads: Autism Speaks was created for the ones who can’t speak for themselves and create awareness. 1in 68 is a high number, so yes do research to find out why. You have a great life, but for the ones who can’t speak for themselves and banging their heads, someone needs to help them. Why all the high functioning autistics have so much to say but don’t do anything for your fellow autistics. So please don’t bash .. cause someone needs to speak for the non verbal. Again it was not created for High functioning autistics. you guys do not need help. but the rest do.”)

I get questions about “allies” a lot, how to differentiate the allistic people who really do want to understand us and support us from the allistic people who think or say that they are helping us, but are really doing the opposite. This youtube comment is a good tool to illustrate some common red flags when it comes to false allies.

1. Any non-Autistic person who speaks or writes over the voices of Autistic people are probably not our allies. It’s not that the voices and support of our allistic allies isn’t appreciated— because we do appreciate our allies a lot! It’s that, when it comes to discussions about Autism, the voices of Autistic people should always be given priority and not spoken over, erased, or invalidated. And false allies tend to do just that.

2. When a person has heard the truth about how Autism Speaks hurts the Autistic community, but they then choose to continue to support Autism Speaks, that person is no friend to the Autistic community. They are a friend only to Autism Speaks and to themselves. A good ally will defend and support Autistic people, not Autism Speaks.

3. Be very wary of the use of these 1 in 88, 1 in 68, etc. numbers. They are most often used to generate fear and support for Autism Speaks’ goal of “awareness”. But what the Autistic community needs is understanding and acceptance, not Autism Speaks’ brand of fear mongering and “awareness”. These numbers are often followed by the use of the words epidemic or crisis— one of the biggest red flags.

4. Think of the use of functioning labels as a big bouquet of red flags  being presented to you. For every allistic person who has not yet been educated on why functioning labels are harmful and shouldn’t be used, there is a false ally out there intentionally using functioning labels to dismiss the opinions and and invalidate the experiences of Autistic people. And there really is no pleasing these false allies. Either you are too low-functioning to have an opinion on Autism, disability, social justice (and even your own life), or you’re too high-functioning and not really Autistic, which means that you don’t get a say in matter of Autism, disability, or social justice.

5. Finally, phrases like “someone needs to speak for the non-verbal” and “the ones who can’t speak for themselves” are the greatest red flag of them all. A true ally will understand that, while some Autistic people will never communicate via spoken language, every Autistic person has their own rich inner world of thoughts, feelings, opinions, and an inner voice. A good ally will know that, even if an Autistic person never speaks with their mouthparts, with the right accommodation and teaching there is a very good chance that their voice can be heard one day. But false allies spread the wrong idea that non-verbal Autistic people can’t and will never speak for themselves, and that they need allistic people to speak for them. This is an insidious and very harmful myth about non-verbal Autistic people.

If any of you have any examples of red flags to watch out for, or examples of false allies (especially those who cause more harm than good), feel free to reblog and add your thoughts. And, for those of you who prefer more positive and uplifting reads, I have a post on what makes a great ally in the works, so look out for that!

(via seetobe)