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MUNDANE MYSTERIES: Debunking Beer Myths On International Beer Day

For International Beer Day (8/05/22), let’s celebrate by debunking four of the biggest myths about beer:

1.  Drinking a lot of beer gives you a beer belly.

Beer on its own doesn’t cause a belly.  It’s a combination of too many calories in general & a sedentary lifestyle.

 2.  Dark beers are stronger than light beers.

Light beers are lighter in color and body, but that doesn’t mean dark beers have more alcohol. For example, Guinness contains 4.2% ABV while Budweiser is stronger at 5%.

3.  Beer should always be served ice cold.

In fact, ice cold temperatures can actually ruin the flavor of a good beer (at least according to beer industry experts).

4.  Draft beer gives you a hangover.

Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol, no matter the type, will cause a hangover. Alcohol is technically a poison that your body has to work hard to get rid of. And that hard work is what we call a hangover, which every human being has to go through (albeit at different levels of discomfort).

The main thing to remember as you celebrate International Beer Day today is one simple word: moderation. Oh, and if you’re drinking absolutely do not drive.

But if you have a Mundane Mystery you’d like solved, absolutely let me know about it! Send a message via Twitter (@AndyWebbRadio), or email andy@wfre.com.

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MUNDANE MYSTERIES: Does Butter Really Need To Be Refrigerated?

My ex-wife’s uncle always left his butter out on the kitchen table. I never understood that! (He also left his mayonnaise out on the table, too, but…well, one issue at a time.) The butter on the table always bothered me because…well, room temperature butter would be kind of risky, health-wise, right? I mean, shouldn’t butter be refrigerated? Well, the real answer is yes, you should keep your butter in the fridge. But it isn’t as much of a hard-and-fast rule as you or I might think.

What is butter? Well, it’s actually leftover butterfat from churned milk or cream, where the solids separate from the buttermilk. Most dairy products are prone to spoilage, but pasteurized butter actually has enough fat & salt in it to inhibit bacterial growth. The U.S. Department of Agriculture actually says butter CAN safely be left out…but only for up to two days. Any longer & it’s likely to go rancid. And that’s just one way butter gets contaminated: there are also some folks who regularly use dirty utensils to serve their butter, which can transfer germs into it.

Salted butter is the safest to leave on the table, since salt acts as a preservative & can likely keep things from spoiling (for a while, at least). You’d certainly be tempting fate a bit more by leaving unsalted butter out. And if you use unpasteurized/homemade butter, then there’s no question: you must refrigerate.

What about margarine? Well, margarine actually contains more water than regular butter, so there’s an even higher potential for bacterial growth. So, while it can technically be left out for a day or so, you’re better off keeping your margarine cold.

The general rule of thumb is that it’s probably okay to leave salted butter out for just a couple of days, and only so long as the room it’s in stays around 70° F. Any warmer than that, then you’ll need to keep it in the fridge. Hey, if you’ve got a refrigerator then why not use it?

Got a Mundane Mystery you’d like solved? Send a message via Twitter (@AndyWebbRadio), or email andy@wfre.com.

MUNDANE MYSTERIES: What Are Those Spinning Things Atop UPS Delivery Trucks?

For most of adults, the sight of a big brown UPS truck, with its all-brown-clad driver, pulling into the driveway of your home is about as exciting as it would be for a kid to see an ice cream truck rolling down his or her street. “What can brown do for you?” Well, most of the time it’s bringing something you ordered online & have been impatiently tracking online ever since you placed your order. As exciting as UPS trucks may be, though, they also have their quirks. If you were to look closely, you’d notice most UPS trucks have some unusual spinning contraption perched atop their roofs. What is that?

That is actually a Flettner ventilator, and it’s purpose is pretty simple: to keep air circulating within the vehicle on which it’s been installed. UPS trucks can’t really run air conditioning due to the fact that the doors are almost always open so drivers can enter & exit expeditiously. So, in place of A/C, Flettner ventilators are put in place to keep air circulating so that neither the vehicle cabin or package area overheat. Because Flettner ventilators are wind-powered, whenever the vehicle is in motion (or if it’s an especially windy day out), the unit spins & generates air movement within the vehicle. According to Flettner, the ventilator can effectively lower each truck’s interior temperature anywhere from ten to a full fifteen degrees! And UPS trucks aren’t the only vehicles you’ll find Flettner ventilators, either; if you were to look closely, you’d likely also see them on other cargo trucks & Amazon delivery vans.

If you’d like to get your hands on a Flettner ventilator that’s already been installed on a UPS truck…well, sorry but that ain’t gonna happen. UPS actually forbids the resale of any of their fleet vehicles. Where do they go & what happens to them then? Well, older models are either reassigned to lighter internal company service duty, or they ultimately get scrapped. But if you’d like your very own Flettner ventilator, sans the UPS truck, you’re in luck! They’re actually available online through a variety of distributors.

If you’d like an answer to your very own Mundane Mystery, however, just send me a message via Twitter (@AndyWebbRadio), or shoot me an email at Andy@WFRE.com!

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Andy Webb, a 25-year Radio entertainer & content creator, is the new Program Director for 99.9 WFRE & host of “The Free Country Free Ride” weekday afternoons from 3pm-7pm.

From his very first job in 1995, in his hometown of Meridian, MS, Radio has been the only occupation Andy’s ever known; from the age of reel-to-reel tape to today’s digital audio, he worked his way up through late-night air shifts all the way up to morning drive. Always an eager student of Radio, Andy has used every opportunity to hone his skills and personality into an affable mixture of humor and gravitas listeners can instantly identify with & latch onto. He’s been featured across many formats, including Country, Classic Rock, Adult Contemporary, Hot AC, Southern Gospel, and even Urban AC; and, as a testament to his talents and commitment to fun-yet-informative radio, Andy was awarded the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters“Radio Personality of the Year” award four out of five years between 2006 and 2011.

While having attended The University of Southern Mississippi on an Opera Performance scholarship, Andy always followed the path Radio set before him, which has taken him from Meridian to Hattiesburg, MS, to Charleston, SC, and now Frederick, MD. Andy enjoys spending time with his wife, Emma (a fellow Broadcaster), and daughter, Isabel, while also spending his infrequent free time golfing, wood-working, an motorcycle riding.

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