Essay on the history of the preference for measure by volume over weight in the United States.
- Peter Hertzmann’s website à la carte will keep you occupied for hours. If you just want the paper we were talking about, here it is.
- Measure for Measure is the article I mentioned by Raymond Sokolov on why Americans measure by volume. It was published in Natural History magazine, July 1988, pp 80–83, and there seems also to be a version in the 1988 Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cooking. Good luck finding it online. Or, drop me a note …
- I was pleasantly surprised to find a facsimile of the original Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book at Amazon.
I want to read a few of these sources from Jeremy’s podcast–particularly the Hertzmann paper Modern Recipes: A Case of Miscommunication.
I had previously heard a reference (though I don’t recall where) to Fanny Farmer’s cookbook helping to popularize the American use of the cup measure. It certainly hasn’t done American cooking any favors.
Isoroku Yamamoto (山本 五十六 Yamamoto Isoroku, April 4, 1884 – April 18, 1943) was a Japanese Marshal Admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and the commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet during World War II until his death.
Yamamoto held several important posts in the IJN, and undertook many of its changes and reorganizations, especially its development of naval aviation. He was the commander-in-chief during the early years of the Pacific War and oversaw major engagements including the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway. He was killed when American code breakers identified his flight plans, enabling the United States Army Air Forces to shoot down his plane. His death was a major blow to Japanese military morale during World War II.
The Odyssey, Part 1 of 3. Adventure, monsters, temptresses, and a whole lot of wine-dark Aegean. Learn all about the world of Homer’s Odyssey.
A dramatically different type of story told here versus the Illiad.
The first message was sent from one computer to another over ARPANET on October 29th at 22:30. ‘LO’ for Login, but then the computer crashed as Charley S Kline typed the G. Famous first words. Leonard Kleinrock describes the events that led to that first internet message in a blogpost. I was bor...
Note to self: get a picture of the logbook and release it with a more permissive CC attribution.
Happy 50th birthday internet! Glad to see you’ve gone IndieWeb!
The data and virtual unwrapping results on the En-Gedi scroll.See the following papers for more information:Seales, William Brent, et al. "From damage to discovery via virtual unwrapping: Reading the scroll from En-Gedi." Science advances 2.9 (2016): e1601247. (Web Article)Segal, Michael, et al. "An Early Leviticus Scroll From En-Gedi: Preliminary Publication." Textus 26 (2016): 1-30. (PDF)
The written word has been used throughout history to chronicle and contemplate the human experience, but many valuable texts are “lost” to us due to damage. The words of these documents and the knowledge they seek to impart are locked behind the destruction and decay wrought by time and injury, while the physical manuscripts themselves form an “invisible library” of sorts — closeted away on dark shelves, well-protected but prevented from proffering knowledge and encouraging inquiry. For more than 20 years, Dr. Seales has been working to create and use hi-tech, non-invasive tools to rescue these lost texts from the blink of oblivion and restore them to humanity. We call this innovative process “virtual unwrapping.”
h/t Dan Cohen newsletter #1
The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius covered the city of Herculaneum in twenty meters of lava, simultaneously destroying the Herculaneum scrolls through carbonization and preserving the scrolls by protecting them from the elements. Unwrapping the scrolls would damage them, but researchers are anxious to read the texts. Researchers from the University of Kentucky collaborated with the Institut de France and SkyScan to digitally unwrap and preserve the scrolls. To learn more about the EDUCE project, go to http://cs.uky.edu/dri.
They haven’t finished the last mile, but having high resolution scans of the objects is great. I’m not sure why they’re handling these items manually when they could very likely be secured in better external casings and still imaged the same way.
If Lynne Kelly‘s thesis about the methods of memory used by indigenous peoples is correct, and I strongly believe it is, then the concept of ekphrasis as illustrated in the description of the Shield of Achilles in Homer’s Iliad (Book 18, lines 478–608) is far more useful than we may have previously known. I strongly suspect that Achilles’ Shield is an early sung version of a memory palace to which were once attached other (now lost) memories from Bronze Age Greece.
The word ekphrasis, or ecphrasis, comes from the Greek for the description of a work of art produced as a rhetorical exercise, often used in the adjectival form ekphrastic.—Wikipedia
While many may consider this example of Homer’s to be the first instance of ekphrasis within literature (primarily because it specifically depicts an artwork, which is part of the more formal definition of the word), I would posit that even earlier descriptions in the Iliad itself which go into great detail about individuals and their methods of death are also included in a broader conception of ekphrasis. This larger ekphrasis subsumes all of these descriptions in an tradition of orality as being portions of ancient memory palaces within a broader field of mnemotechny. I imagine that these graphic, bloody, and larger-than-life depictions of death not only encoded the names and ideas of the original people/ancestors, but they were also quite likely to have had additional layers of memory encoded (or attached) to them as well. Here I’m suggesting that while an actual shield may or may not have originally existed that even once the physical shield or other object is gone or lost that the remembered story of the shield still provides a memory palace to which other ideas can be attached.
(I’ll remind the forgetful reader than mnemotechny grows out of the ancient art of rhetoric as envisioned in Rhetorica ad Herennium, and thus the use of ekphrasis as a rhetorical device implicitly subsumes the idea of memory, though most modern readers may not have that association.)
Later versions of ekphrasis in post-literate history may have been more about the arts themselves and related references and commentary (example: Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn), but I have a strong feeling that this idea’s original incarnation was more closely related to early memory methods at the border of oral and literate societies.
In other words, ancient performers, poets, etc. may have created their own memory palaces by which they were able to remember long stories like the Iliad, but what is to say that these stories themselves weren’t in turn memory palaces to the listeners themselves? I myself have previously used the plot and portions of the movie Fletch as a meta memory palace in just this way. As the result of ritualistic semi-annual re-watchings of classic and engaging movies like this, I can dramatically expand my collection of memory palaces. The best part is that while my exterior physical location may change, classics movies will always stay the same. And in a different framing, my memories of portions of history may also help me recall a plethora of famous movie quotes as well.
Can I borrow your towel? My car just hit a water buffalo.—Irwin M. Fletcher
Juneteenth isn’t just a celebration of emancipation, it’s a celebration of our commitment to make it real.
On the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen crisis, previously unpublished documents shed new light on a moment that came to define modern China.
As part of my ongoing effort to supplant the two major political parties… Did you know George Washington was not a member of a political party? In fact, he found them dangerous, and warned about them. The first President of the United States got it right. In his farewell address, George Washingto...
Interesting infographics here.
Humans are good at a lot of things, but putting time in perspective is not one of them. It's not our fault - the span of time in human history, and even more so in natural history, are so vast compared to the span of our life and recent history that it's almost impossible to get a handle on it.
Stephen Fry loves words. But he does more than love them. He puts them together in ways that so delight readers, that a blog or a tweet by him can get hundreds of thousands of people hanging on his every keystroke. As an actor, he’s brought to life every kind of theatrical writing from sketch comedy to classics. He’s performed in everything from game shows to the British audiobook version of Harry Potter. And always with a rich intelligence and searching eye. In this conversation with Alan Alda, Stephen explores how myths — sometimes very ancient ones — help us understand and, even guide, our modern selves.
Just a lovely episode here. I particularly like the idea about looking back to Greek mythology and the issues between the gods and humans being overlain in parallel on our present and future issues between humans and computers/robots/artificial intelligence.