Week of January 15, 2023

Loosen Yours and Consume More Facts


Belts are old. The earliest known belt worn on a person was used in the Bronze Age, which was from about 1200-3300 BC.


In the US, the “Rust Belt” is an area which includes parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin, and by some accounts Iowa, Kentucky, and Massachusetts. The abundance of iron ore, coal, and natural waterways for transport once made this region a powerful manufacturing center. However, beginning in the 1950s, foreign competition, increased mechanization that replaced workers, increased labor costs, and other causes led to a decline in the region’s industries and population. The name began when presidential candidate Walter Mondale claimed his opponent Ronald Reagan’s trade policies would turn this area into a “rust bowl” (a reference to the “Dust Bowl” of Great Depression times), but “Rust Belt” ended up sticking instead. The US has many other belts, after all, including the Corn Belt, Sun Belt, and Bible Belt.


Though the colors between them and symbolism vary among traditions, each martial art which uses a belt ranking system starts with white and ends with black (although there are degrees of black belt).


On a much larger scale, an asteroid belt circles our sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Although comprised of millions of space rocks of various sizes, the mass of all these combined would still be only 3% that of Earth’s moon.


US federal government activities and politicking in the Washington DC metro area are often described as “Inside the Beltway” because this region is surrounded by interstate highways I-495 and I-95, which form a loop known as “The Capital Beltway.”


While lap-only seat belts were first invented for horse-drawn vehicles, it would be 51 years after the first Ford Model T arrived that the modern 3-point lap/body seat belt appeared in Volvos. By the time inventor Nils Bohlin died in 2002, his concept was estimated to have saved one million lives.


Normally one method of keeping one’s pants up is sufficient, so taking a “belt and suspenders” approach to anything indicates extreme safety and caution.