Jewish tradition suggests the references to figs in the Torah total 36, the sacred number of Life. Deut 8:7-8: For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates, a land of oil olive, and honey. "There was a critical switch in the human mind...People decided to intervene in nature and supply their own food rather than relying on what was provided by the gods." -Harvard's Dr. Bar-Yosef on the discovery near Jericho of 11,000 year old Figs, perhaps the earliest cultivated crop predating even barley and wheat. 1500 years ago the Mayans inscribed fig tree bark-paper with texts about their religion and secular life. Ignorant European missionaries destroyed all but three, claiming them works of the Devil. Cleopatra is said to have committed suicide by the bite by a poisonous asp from a basket of ripe figs. The Fig Newton was created in 1891 by the Kennedy Biscuit Company in Massachusetts and named for the neighboring community. Originally called the Newton, the name changed to Fig Newton in 1898. In 1991, Newton and Nabisco hosted a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Fig Newton. A 100-inch Fig Newton was served and Juice Newton performed (apparently, Wayne Newton was too expensive, and Olivia Newton John had a previous engagement). The US Food and Drug Administration allows for fig paste to have up to 13 insect heads per 100 grams. Homer Simpson's childhood bed time song was the Fig Newton jingle from the '70s. Upon his mother saying the line "Here's the tricky part", Homer immediately fell to sleep. "I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my arm for the simplicity on the other side of complexity." –Oliver Wendell Holmes. M*A*S*H's Col Sherman Potter to Hawkeye, "Fig Newtons and Scotch...They're great if you dunk 'em!" Fig leaves were added to Masaccio's fresco "The Expulsion Of Adam and Eve from Eden" (1426-28) in Florence three centuries after the original was painted, probably at the request of Cosimo III de' Medici, who saw nudity as disgusting. During restoration in the 1980s the fig leaves were removed to restore the fresco to its original condition. "Chinks in America's egalitarian armor are not hard to find. Democracy is the fig leaf of elitism." -Florence King (referred to as the "World's Funniest Bi-Sexual-Republican.") "No greater thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen." -Epictetus, ex Roman slave and Stoic philosopher. "I call a fig a fig, a spade a spade." -Menander (Athenian comedic dramatist), or possibly Aristophanes (Greek Father of Comedy). "I've never turned over a fig leaf yet that didn't have a price tag on the other side." -Saul Bellow
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