Friday Hodgepodge

Friday, February 04, 2022

Four Things

Due to a family occasion, this will be my last post here until Tuesday.


1. Sure, he was the Father of Liberty, but could John Locke cook up pancakes on the weekend? In case you were wondering, the answer is yes:
A collection of philosopher John Locke's papers at the Bodleian Library includes letters, accounts, poetry, notes on medicine and books, and recipes. When David Armitage posted this recipe for pancakes in the Bodleian collection on Twitter, I knew that I wanted to try it. These rich, nutmeg-scented pancakes are absolutely delicious.
Marissa Nicosia of Rare Cooking cautions against actually beating the eggs and flour for "a quarter of an hower" and it sounds like she might publish some of the other eleven recipes in the set after she gets an opportunity to see them.

2. Mississippi, of all places, gets favorable mention by the man who has visited eight thousand Chinese restaurants. Here are some excerpts from a BBC piece about the well-documented journey of a tax attorney from Los Angeles:
Though his food journey started as part of a search for his identity as a Chinese American, Mr Chan said, over the years it has become itself a chronicle of the rise of Chinese food and changing dynamics of Chinese culture in America.

Mr Chan isn't a typical Chinese food critic, and he insists he isn't even a foodie. He has no aptitude for using chopsticks, he said, has given up tea to avoid caffeine and adheres to a low-sugar, low-cholesterol diet.
And later:
The best place to find the most varied authentic Chinese foods in America is the San Gabriel Valley in LA, a Chinese immigrant enclave, he said, but for dim sum, San Francisco is the best bet.

He once had "unexpectedly good" chow mein in Clarksdale, Mississippi, which has a historic community of Chinese Americans dating back 200 years...
Part of my family is from the Mississippi Delta region, but it is only thanks to blogging that I learned either of this Chinese community or of the area's surprising abundance of good eateries. (via GeekPress)

3. Are reports that Latin is a dead language ... exaggerated? You might think so after reading A.Z. Foreman take issue with the fact that most classicists aren't very fluent at reading classical texts. (Every one of us, classics majors included, leaned on dictionaries during my college Cicero course back in the day.)

His provocative case that this shouldn't be so includes the following:
Take Msgr. Daniel Gallagher who worked for a decade at the Vatican Secretariat's Latin Office. Here's him delivering a lecture about the possibility of a manned mission to Mars in Latin. Here's Jorge Tárrega teaching one of Horace's most famous poems through the medium of Latin. Here's Justin Slocum Bailey talking about Aulus Gellius in Latin. If you want something literary, here's a lovely poem by Cäcilie Koch (AKA Caecilia) inspired by the discovery of the jaw-bone of a Neanderthal boy, and another poem by Alanus Divutius dedicated to the 9/11 victims. Here's a Latin Wikipedia article about special relativity. Here's a scene from Jurassic Park dubbed into Latin. Here's the Quomodo Dicitur podcast in which three people (not always the same people) have unscripted conversations about various topics in Latin. I could keep spouting these links till either I or you, dear reader, die of boredom. There are plenty of people who read Latin as easily as any "modern" language that they have acquired as adults. There are entire internet forums written in it. [links in original]
In the last paragraph, Foreman recommends a textbook to help one acquire the kind of reading proficiency he advocates.

4. Miss Manners proves fearless again, this time dispatching a question of ... cell phone etiquette ... with her usual humor and aplomb:
Miss Manners considers it a great advantage of etiquette that it does not notice individual behavior that does not affect other people.
The answer to this question then, might be paraphrased as, Do you feel lucky?

-- CAV


Dinwar said...

#2 doesn't surprise me in the least. When my wife and I moved to Alabama we were able to find astonishingly good Thai food, and the global pandemic hit Alabama far earlier than one would expect given the fact that it spread along trade routes. Turns out there's a major connection between Asia and the South. When kids went to the wars a fair number came back wives, and that created a strong connection between Asia and the South. Folks from here go to visit, and there's a strong culture of helping relatives (even by marriage) find work. Since women in those countries are often poorly educated their choices of employment are limited. Embracing the American spirit of enterprise a fair number become cooks.

It also reminds me of a German place in Tehachapi, California. Same thing happened, more or less--the family moved to CA, and the wife put her most marketable skill to work for her. I was lucky, in that my job required me to be up early; she made everything fresh that day, and by noon it was usually sold out! It was something of an institution in the city; everyone knew to go there if you wanted really good pastries or pasties.

Just goes to show that the Progressives are wrong. Underprivileged people can and do routinely make a living for themselves in the USA. No one looks down on these women; they are hard working industrious, providing a service, helping build the communities in the truest sense of the word, and are living embodiments of the American Dream. The fact that they are immigrants adds to, rather than detracts from, this.

Gus Van Horn said...

It's funny that you bring up the "progressives." They also regard the Delta as a "food desert.

Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, in re No. 3: Heh.

Gus Van Horn said...


"It’s the sort of thing even good Latin couldn’t help, and bad Latin probably couldn’t make it much worse."

That was hilarious.