Where’s Norman Rockwell when you need him? On June 28, 1956, a 5-year-old named Steven was one of the flood of children at Grand Central Terminal heading off to summer camp, in his case Camp Deerfield in Wilmington, Vermont. Sleepaway camps first sprouted up in the late 1880s to counter the pernicious trends of mollycoddling and “indoor-ness.” Separating from their kids has not gotten easier for parents over the decades. Helene Drobenare, executive director of Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake, has seen enough teary-eyed parents that she has a speech prepared: “I say, ‘When you say goodbye to John, Jim, Sally, whoever you say goodbye to, you’re going to keep those sunglasses down, you’re going to hold back those tears as much as you can, and you’re going to smile with those teeth out. The most important thing you’re going to do is give your kids the message that you believe in them. … When you turn around and you’re rolling out of the gate, you can cry all the way down the road — and there’s a liquor store where you can stop and get your first bottle of wine.” Photograph by Meyer Liebowitz. Link to story in bio. #nytarchives
bike in Europe, some stats
Le vélo est une affaire européenne. Des routes de cyclotourisme parcourent le continent en longeant les fleuves, en traversant les massifs et en passant les frontières. Les aménagements urbains les plus réussis, à Groningue, Bolzano ou Innsbruck, servent de référence pour les municipalités du continent. Les associations locales, regroupées dans leur mouvement national, sont représentées à Bruxelles par la fédération européenne des cyclistes (ECF). Cet organisme, présidé depuis juin 2018 par le français Christophe Najdovski, bataille pour convaincre les institutions européennes de financer des aménagements ou de voter des lois favorisant les déplacements à vélo. Au Parlement européen, des députés s’engagent pour le vélo, à l’occasion de débats sur la santé, le réseau routier, le climat ou le tourisme. Et puis, l’ancêtre de la bicyclette est né il y a un peu plus de 200 ans, au cœur de l’Europe. Voici 11 chiffres sur le vélo en Europe.
8% tous les jours. La proportion des citoyens de l’Union européenne qui utilisent le vélo comme mode principal pour leurs déplacements quotidiens. La proportion atteint 36% aux Pays-Bas, 23% au Danemark, 22% en Hongrie, mais seulement 1% à Chypre ou au Portugal. La France, avec 4%, est 19ème sur 28, devant le Royaume-Uni et l’Espagne mais derrière l’Italie, la Pologne ou la Belgique.
35% à Copenhague. La proportion des habitants de Copenhague qui se déplacent principalement à vélo. La première ville du Danemark arrive en tête du palmarès des capitales, suivie par Amsterdam (32%) et Berlin (13%). Paris, à 2 ou 5% selon les sources, espère rattraper son retard.
Lire aussi: A Copenhague, Macron légitime le vélo de tous les jours (août 2018)
381€ déboursés. Le prix d’achat moyen d’un vélo neuf en Europe en 2018, selon la Confédération de l’industrie européenne du cycle (Conebi), tous vélos confondus, y compris à assistance électrique. On remarque de fortes disparités d’un pays à l’autre. Le prix moyen dépasse les 1000€ en Autriche et aux Pays-Bas, et n’atteint pas les 200€ en Grèce et en Bulgarie. Ces données s’expliquent par les différences de revenus mais aussi par l’intérêt porté à cet objet. En France, l’achat moyen atteint 459€ en 2018. Il était inférieur à 300€ en 2012.
20,5 millions de ventes. Le nombre de vélos neufs vendus en Europe en 2017. Le chiffre est en stagnation depuis quelques années, contrairement à l’usage du vélo comme mode de déplacement. Il est vrai que la plupart des vélos vendus neufs ne servent pas principalement aux trajets du quotidien, mais à la pratique récréative et sportive. Une étude réalisée dans l’agglomération de La Rochelle au début des années 2010 montrait que plus les foyers étaient équipés de bicyclettes, moins ils s’en servaient tous les jours.
2,1 millions pour la version électrique. Le nombre de vélos à assistance électrique vendus en 2017 en Europe. Cette donnée est en forte progression, pour le plus grand bonheur de l’industrie du cycle. En effet, un VAE assure une marge bien plus fort qu’un vélo classique. En 2016, il s’était vendu 1,7 million de vélos à assistance électrique et en 2015, 1,3 million.
14% des écoliers. La proportion d’enfants européens qui se rendaient à l’école à pied ou à vélo en 2012. Ils étaient 82% 30 ans plus tôt. Le vieux continent connaît une crise de sédentarité: les enfants, comme les adultes, ne font pas assez d’exercice.
Lire aussi: Oui, on peut aller à l’école à vélo! (août 2016)
10,7 tués. Le nombre de cyclistes tués par milliard de kilomètres parcourus aux Pays-Bas. Ce chiffre atteint 15,2 en Allemagne et s’élève 27 en France. Le risque de rouler à vélo est inversement proportionnel au nombre de personne circulant ainsi. On notera aussi que les Pays-Bas, où pratiquement personne ne porte un casque pour monter sur un vélo, sont le pays le plus sûr d’Europe.
Pour compléter: 10 arguments contre l’obligation de porter le casque (février 2016)
150 milliards d’euros. Les gains du vélo pour l’économie européenne, par an. La Fédération européenne des cyclistes a mesuré les « effets positifs » de la pratique du vélo et les a convertis en euros : augmentation de l’espérance de vie (73 milliards d’euros), cyclotourisme (44 milliards), marché du vélo, y compris accessoires, réparation, libre-service, etc. (13 milliards), diminution de la congestion motorisée (7 milliards), etc. En comparaison, la pollution automobile coûte chaque année en Europe 67 milliards d’euros. Ce chiffre ne prend pas en compte les externalités négatives de l’automobile sur l’environnement ou consécutives à l’étalement urbain.
6% de ceux qui ont du mal à payer leurs factures.Dans un sondage réalisé à l’échelle européenne sur les déplacements (ici, page 15), les répondants étaient invités à indiquer s’ils peinent à payer leurs factures, toujours, parfois ou jamais. Parmi ceux qui rencontrent des difficultés, seuls 6% utilisent un vélo dans leurs trajets quotidiens. Ils sont 9% parmi ceux qui n’ont jamais de difficultés. Paradoxalement, le moyen de transport le moins cher n’est pas plébiscité par les personnes les plus pauvres. Cela s’explique: les plus pauvres se déplacent moins, à vélo comme en voiture. Mais ils prennent plus souvent les transports publics et marchent davantage. Rappelons aussi que le nombre de kilomètres parcourus par jour est proportionnel aux revenus. Autrement dit, plus on est riche, plus on se déplace loin.
50% parce que c’est pratique. La proportion de personnes circulant à vélo qui font ce choix parce que c’est « pratique ». Pour 25% des cyclistes, leur moyen de transport présente l’avantage d’être « rapide » et un autre quart estime que c’est peu coûteux. Un peu plus de 20% assurent qu’ils pédalent pour des raisons environnementales. Plusieurs réponses étaient possibles à ce sondage.
15 véloroutes européennes. Ces itinéraires, les « eurovéloroutes », qui traversent le continent d’est en ouest et du nord au sud, totaliseront 70000 kilomètres lorsqu’ils seront achevés. Leur numérotation est complexe, mais disons que les routes impaires proposent un trajet nord-sud et les routes paires un trajet ouest-est.
@800down ⚫️ The Glaucus Atlanticus. It is a blue sea slug, a shell-less gastropod mollusk. They are pelagic: they float upside down by using the surface tension of the water to stay up, where they are carried along by the winds and ocean currents. 🎥|| @weldonwade #BermudaBeach
Rising from the cinders of a terrain singed by recurring volcanic eruptions between 1730 and 1736, the vineyards of Lanzarote are a testament both to the hardiness of certain grape varietals and to the human spirit’s enduring commitment to seeking out wine in the most unlikely places. Part of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is located off the coast of northwest Africa. Its vineyards, which border a still-active volcano, Timanfaya (part of the Timanfaya National Park), look nothing like the fertile wine-growing regions of the rest of the world.
When volcanic eruptions covered Lanzarote’s land in ash and lava, destroying most of the region’s agriculture, wine-growers became inventive. Digging crater-like hollows (called hoyos or gerias) by hand, vintners plant their vines deep into the soil, past the layers of ash. They fence off the sea-facing side with low, semi-circular walls made with lava stone. This protects the vines from winds blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean. Each vine grows on one solitary, dug-out crater, which can be as much as 30 feet wide and 15 feet deep. The array of crescent-shaped stone walls (called zocos) cocooning spots of verdant green offers a patterned visual splendor in an otherwise arid landscape.
The topsoil of ash is moisture-retentive and thermoregulatory, creating, like charmed vinous magic, perfect conditions for grapes to grow on parched terrain. The roots of the vines stay securely trapped within the nutrient-rich subsoil. Meanwhile, the high heat of the landscape allows the sugars in the grapes to develop an alluring intensity.
Lanzarote reds, whites, and rosés tend to be light and crisp. Here, among the vineyards, one can find the listán negro grape, which was brought to California by Spanish settlers but did not survive there. On Lanzarote, these grapes thrive, and make a deliciously earthy rosé. Most of the region’s wines come from Malvasia grapes, known for their sweetness. The terroir provides a distinctive mineral quality to the wines, and it should be noted that most of the grapes here are indigenous varietals, free from the grafting required of most European grapes, which might otherwise fall susceptible to the vine-destroying aphid known as phylloxera. The harvested grapes make heady wines that turn traditional viticulture on its head.
Juxtapoz writes: "Never invited to be the part of Venice Biennale, Banksy once again invited himself to showcase his work. Using a typical pop-up stand that usually sells tacky paintings and souvenirs, he assembled a selection of 9 works that collectively built an image of a massive cruise ship blocking the city."
In recent years, the flood of massive cruise ships into Venice has created tensions between Venetians and tourism companies. It's pretty clear on what side the street artist comes down.
Get more at Juxtapoz.
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New York City’s Upper West Side has a long history with unusual animals becoming part of the scenery. Just ask Harry, Jim, and Phil, the peacocks who live on the grounds of Saint John the Divine, one of the world’s largest cathedrals.
So the goats who are going to move into two acres of Riverside Park this summer may not seem too out of place. In an effort to control invasive plants that keep growing in the steep, sloping parts of the park, which staffers have trouble accessing, the Riverside Park Conservancy will introduce to the area a squad of 24 goats, which can both stand the slanted ground and stomach the pesky weeds. The goats will occupy the grounds from May 21 to August 30, in an initiative the Park Conservancy is calling “Goatham.”
These “summer interns”—as the Conservancy’s president and CEO, Daniel Garodnick, calls them—will have a fairly wide selection of invasive snacks to choose from. The options include the sumptuous-sounding wineberry and porcelain berry plants, the full-bodied bittersweet and multifloral rose, and—of course—piquant poison ivy, which the park’s guests can fortunately “gulp down ... without a second thought,” according to the Goatham webpage. They can, in fact, “consume 25% of their own body weight in vegetation in just one day.” At that rate, they might put such a dent in the weeds that they could erase them from the landscape altogether. We know what you’re thinking: “If the goats are going to eat so much, what will the park do with all the excrement?” It's all part of the plan—it will just enrich the soil.
This all makes for not only an effective sustainability program, but also a valuable opportunity for public education. The goats, says Garodnick, offer a model for how to treat damaged landscapes without relying on chemicals. To get the message out to the public, the Conservancy will partner with Columbia University, which will send scientists to conduct live testing on the soil’s quality throughout the goats’ stay.
Larry Cihanek, whose organization Green Goats is providing the park with the fleet, says that the most “visually interesting” goats were chosen for the project in order to maximize public engagement and attention. (The organization owns about 180 in total.) They do not need training for a project like this, he adds, as eating these kinds of weeds is just a day’s work for goats. The animals are unique, says Cihanek, in the sense that they’ll “eat the junk stuff that no other animal would eat,” and because their digestive tracts neutralize seeds. Once deposited, in other words, their droppings won't produce a new generation of weeds.
Cihanek says he’s glad to collaborate on environmental issues with cities, in particular, because people don’t often associate livestock with urban environments, and thus don’t appreciate the benefits the animals can offer. (In years past, Green Goats worked on similar projects with Prospect Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park.) That may be true, but New York City’s connection with goats actually runs very deep. The city’s nickname “Gotham,” in fact, actually comes from an old Anglo-Saxon term for “Goat’s Town.”
Everyone loves the story of a good grift, from brilliant ruse to inevitable downfall. This week, we’re ushering in the spring of the swindle by highlighting the stories of the greatest con women in history.
Barbara Erni’s secret was that she never had junk in her trunk. According to her, it held a potpourri of precious treasures. In reality, it held a tiny man, or possibly a large child.
Born to homeless parents in 1743 in the town of Feldkirch, Austria, which sits on the border between Switzerland and the tiny principality of Liechtenstein, Erni eventually made the best of her impoverished upbringing. Liechtensteinian legend has it that she was quite beautiful, boasting a mop of strawberry blond hair that earned her the nickname the “Golden Boo,” writes Barbara Greene in her book Liechtenstein: Valley of Peace. Erni also possessed what townspeople saw as nearly superhuman strength that allowed her to tramp through the European countryside with an enormous satchel or treasure chest strapped to her back. She walked from inn to inn, where she would spend her nights.
Before turning in for bed, Erni would insist that her chest was far too valuable to leave out unattended in a bedroom with minimal security. Instead, she would demand that the innkeeper store her chest in their best, most secure room, perhaps even one that held valuables of their own. Innkeeper after hapless innkeeper fell for Erni’s tale, squirreling away the hefty trunk into a room that contained their own precious possessions, Greene writes. They would leave the room—which, of course, had no other exits—lock the door from the outside, and go to bed.
The next morning, in unlucky obliviousness, the innkeeper would move to unlock the door and realize several horrible things: that the door was unlocked and that Erni’s trunk had vanished, along with all of the innkeeper’s own valuables.
Erni’s real treasure, of course, was a tiny man or large child who would stow away in the trunk and emerge during the night after he had been locked away in the room full of valuables, writes Dan Davies in Lying for Money: How Legendary Frauds Reveal the Workings of Our World. He would then rifle through whatever seemed worth taking, toss it in the chest, and spirit away into the night with Erni. The man’s identity is lost to history, perhaps an unsurprising omission from a relationship where Erni literally did the heavy lifting.
The ruse was horribly, laughably simple, but Erni kept it up for nearly 15 years. It only fell apart when she became wealthy. In May 1784, the authorities finally apprehended Erni and her short accomplice in the town of Eschen, in northern Liechtenstein, and moved them to a holding cell in the capital city. During a court trial, Erni pled guilty to 17 separate burglaries. The two were sentenced to death by beheading, and on December 7, 1784, Erni lost much more than her goldenrod locks. On that day, she earned the dubious superlative of being the last person to be executed in Liechtenstein until the country abolished its death penalty in 1987.
Photos by Otto Kitsinger
What better way to be a couch potato than spending a relaxing weekend at a potato-shaped hotel? The new venue, which is available via Airbnb, is located in Boise, Idaho—a state that even touts its potatoes on vehicle license plates. The larger-than-life potato began its journey seven years ago on the back of a semi truck, as it traveled widely to promote the state’s famous starchy vegetable with the Idaho Potato Commission. Its most recent iteration as overnight accommodations was the project of Kristie Wolfe, who added a retrofitted silo complete with a bathtub and fireplace. The 6-ton potato palace has open availability for many nights over the summer, as of press time. (via Twisted Sifter)
A crispy crust and oozing centre make this cheesy dish a rising star
Lightly butter the inside of a deep soufflé or similar dish, measuring 18-20cm across the top, then scatter in 2 tbsp of grated parmesan, shaking the dish to make sure the cheese sticks to the butter.Continue reading...
which reminds me I still have to watch this film one of you recommended me
Beauty’s in the eye of the beholder, as they say. Especially if that beholder happens to own Idaho’s chicest new B&B, The Big Idaho Potato Hotel. At a glance, the spud seems like another loveable wonky, abandoned roadside gem from the golden days of Route 66. But this six-ton ‘tater has Pinterest-perfect interiors that feel more like a Palm Springs getaway than the insides of our planet’s homeliest vegetable…
Not to get you starstruck, but this potato was a big deal before it went up on AirBnB.
@800down ⚫️ Yellow goby's 📷|| @grantthomasphotography #deepsea #oceans #800down #deepseacreatures #creatures
Mark Lanegan reviendra le 18 octobre avec “Somebody’s Knocking” chez Heavenly Recordings.
Ride revient le 16 août avec This is Not a Safe Place son second album post-reformation qui sortira chez Wichita. Erol Alkan s’est chargé de la production et Alan Moulder du mix.
En voici un premier extrait :
Clouds of Saint Marie
Shadows Behind the Sun
In This Room
i remember how the hornets and their nest survived when all the house was devastated by a fire in the 90ies (an old farm that my father rented in the countryside was entirely burned by the fire due to lightning.
In the 2001 romantic comedy Bridget Jones’s Diary, the iconic meeting of the film’s lead couple begins with a voiceover as Bridget trudges through the snow down her mother’s driveway: “It all began on New Year’s day, in my 32nd year of being single. Once again I found myself on my own and going to my mother's annual turkey curry buffet. Every year she tries to fix me up with some bushy-haired, middle-aged bore, and I feared this year would be no exception.” The presence of turkey curry—a hybrid Indian and British food—as the background to this budding British romance reveals how much curry has become synonymous with British culture.
This love of curry, a dish adopted and adapted after the colonization of India, is a relic of when the sun never set on the British Empire. But the term “curry” reflected a willful ignorance of the diversity of Indian food. Lizzie Collingham, who mentions the Bridget Jones scene in her book Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors, writes that curry was something “the Europeans imposed on India’s food culture.” While their Indian cooks served them rogan josh, dopiaza, and qorma, the British “lumped all these together under the heading of curry.”
Domesticating curry also aided in Britain’s colonizing mission. Susan Zlotnick, a professor of English at Vassar College, has written about how the memsahibs of the British Raj were doing the work of empire by incorporating Indian elements into British cooking and making curry, in essence, culturally British. Cookbooks of the time were “self-conscious cultural documents in which we can locate a metaphor for nineteenth-century British imperialism,” writes Zlotnick. “By virtue of their own domesticity, Victorian women could neutralize the threat of the Other by naturalizing the products of foreign lands.” Taking the culinary wisdom of the colonized, and making it their own, was part of the grand imperial project.
Currying things, with fresh or tinned curry powder, became synonymous with British cookery. Isabella Beeton’s Book of Household Management (first published in 1861) and Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery in all its Branches (1845), both bestsellers of their time, with several reprints, contained an abundance of curry recipes that called for curry powder. Some, such as Mrs. Beeton’s “fricasseed kangaroo tails,” revealed the multiple threads of colony in a single dish.
This became an enduring legacy of the British Empire and colonization—it sent native foods between colonies and around the world. Much of Indian cuisine today comprises ingredients from the Americas introduced by colonists, such as chilies, potatoes, and tomatoes. Likewise, the spice trade was formative to European colonial conquest, fostering global connections between continents. This was at a time when “Europe was clearly not in the center, but on the margins of a world system centered around Asia and the Middle East,” writes anthropologist Akhil Gupta in the book, Curried Cultures: Globalization, Food, and South Asia. And so, curry powder’s popularity in England ensured its journey to America with early settlers.
According to culinary historian Colleen Taylor Sen, author of Curry: A Global History, Indians arrived in North America almost immediately after the founding of the Jamestown colony in 1607. “The British from the East India Company made great fortunes and came to America, where they had these big estates,” she says. They brought servants and indentured laborers from India for their estates. “India and America were like sister colonies.” Curry made the trip too.
Through the 1800s, curry was a common dish, and curry powder a familiar flavor, in the United States. One of the earliest quintessentially American cookbooks, The Virginia Housewife by Mary Randolph, has at least six recipes that call for curry powder, including one to make the powder. Eliza Leslie’s bestselling Directions for Cookery, in Its Various Branches (1837) contains a “genuine East India receipt for [chicken] curry,” including recipes for mulligatawny soup with freshly ground curry powder. Mrs. Hill’s New Cook-Book (1870), which proclaimed itself “especially adapted to the Southern States,” contained recipes for curried meat stews and roasts, a “rice chicken pie” in a curry powder gravy, several ways to curry a calf’s head, and Mrs. Hill’s own curry powder recipe, made of pounded coriander seed, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, mustard, allspice, cumin, and cardamom.
The expense of shipping spices to the colonies, and to Britain, was probably the primary reason why blended, pre-made curry powder became common. Although there has never been a set combination of spices that goes into curry powder, the British commercialized and sold spice blends under that broad rubric since at least 1784. Not everyone could afford to buy the individual spices and make their own blends. And while Brits in colonial India had servants to freshly grind spices and select the right combinations for each dish, the average home cook in London or Virginia often leaned on one commercial curry powder (and swapped in more familiar techniques and ingredients, such as butter in place of ghee) for all their curries.
As soon as Indians had a voice in the British and American food worlds, they would denounce the use of curry powder, which reduced the region’s rich and varied cuisine to a few mass-produced mixes.
In the United States, this denunciation came strongly after the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, which abolished quotas based on national origins and encouraged high-skilled immigration. The influx of newly-arrived South Asians led to an increase in restaurants catering to these migrants. The face and flavor of curry changed from recipes written by white Americans to ones by South Asian chefs who voiced concerns about authenticity and appropriation while introducing their own versions of Indian food.
“What you don’t need is curry powder,” Madhur Jaffrey, the high priestess of Indian cooking in America, wrote in 1974 in An Invitation to Indian Cookery. “To me the word ‘curry’ is as degrading to India’s great cuisine as the term ‘chop suey’ was to China’s.” She added that “no Indian ever uses curry powder,” nor would they mix their own, since then every dish would taste the same. “If ‘curry’ is an oversimplified name for an ancient cuisine,” she charged, “then ‘curry powder’ attempts to oversimplify (and destroy) the cuisine itself.”
The rage felt toward curry powder was also fueled by the association between curry and racial slurs. While Britain had embraced curry—and Americans followed suit—anti-immigrant sentiments transcended a shared love of food. When Indians migrated to England and sister colonies, the racial epithet “curry-muncher” was the xenophobic response. After the East India Company’s trade monopoly in India ended in 1813, and the British government set up a more solid presence in India, the colonizing mission necessitated a separation from “natives.” Within India, an archetypal colonist discourse around disgust, backwardness, and mistrust set in, along with a need to establish the Englishness of the rulers.
Still, the term curry and Westerners’ taste for it was too strong to ignore. Jaffrey’s early readers were primarily Euro-American, and she went on to write bestselling cookbooks with such names as Madhur Jaffrey’s Ultimate Curry Bible, 100 Essential Curries, and Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Nation.
Later Indian-origin chefs in the U.S. and England, such as Meera Sodha, Raghavan Iyer, and Julie Sahni, had the benefit of writing and cooking for a more diverse audience that included diasporic Indians. Over time, they reclaimed the word curry by offering traditional or family recipes and introducing a more nuanced view into the diversity and range of Indian cuisine.
None of these authors would be caught dead using store-bought curry powder, but South Asian home cooks began to exert ownership over these products. By the 21st century, South Asian Americans were the fastest growing immigrant group in the United States. Both in the homeland and in the diaspora, double income South Asian households with little time to freshly grind spices and prepare jhalfrezi, qorma, kalia, bhuna, or dopiaza (different forms of dry and gravy-laden Indian dishes that typify curry) reached for commercial spice mixes—the equivalent of the curry powder of yore. Countless food forums include discussions on how best to use these premade blends, which, notably, are never called curry powder, the Hindi term masala (etymologically rooted in Urdu and Arabic) being preferred. Today the Indian premade packaged spice blend is an industry that, by some accounts, is worth a billion dollars. “Biryani masala,” “pav bhaji masala,” “goat curry masala,” and an assortment of masalas to marinate kebabs have become staples of the South Asian pantry. Curry endures, but now in the kitchens of South Asians, and at South Asian restaurants whose fare became considered “ethnic food.”
The decline in the popularity of curry in America—relative to the days when it featured prominently in American cookbooks—can be accorded in part to its reclamation by diasporic South Asians. “Our tastes are probably more racialized than we are willing to acknowledge,” said Krishnendu Ray, Chair of the Department of Food and Nutrition Studies at New York University, in an interview with WNYC. Most of the cuisines that have achieved “elite” status in the U.S. belong to ethnicities now considered white, such as Italian, French, and New American food. “Poor immigrants coming into the country—their food can become popular, but it is very difficult for their cuisine to acquire prestige.” And so, much of Indian, Chinese, and Mexican cuisine today gets relegated to a niche.
Food is often tied to national identity, but the contribution of curry powder to the global kitchen is a noteworthy instance of the early forces of globalization. An invention of a colonial empire, it epitomized Britishness—under the guise of being authentically Indian—and graced the tables of white southerners in America, ultimately drawing the ire of South Asians until it was reclaimed, reinvented, and rebranded under its current avatar as “masala.” The history of this humble kitchen ingredient is the history of empire and its aftermath.
Archaeological excavations often attract rubberneckers, lookie-loos, and inquiring minds, and who can blame them? It’s exciting to see something old and fragile come out of the ground and get dusted off. These digs are reminders that there are countless stories under our feet.
At first glance, many viewers figured that an old photo of archaeological work being done at the Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae, in Scotland's remote Orkney Islands, showed exactly that—onlookers hanging around to catch a peek. Nope. It turns out that, beyond the artifacts, another story was hiding in plain sight—the contributions of female archaeologists, who were later mistaken for visitors.
Hints of this settlement first appeared to modern eyes in 1850, when a storm raged over the Bay of Skaill. The tempest revealed the shape of several small structures on Mainland, a confusingly named island in the Orkney archipelago. Over the course of several excavations spanning decades, archaeologists uncovered a stand of domed, stacked-stone homes, and dated them to somewhere between 3100 and 2500 B.C.
Much of the archaeological work was performed by V. Gordon Childe, during his tenure as an archaeologist at the University of Edinburgh. Childe’s work at Skara Brae began in earnest in the late 1920s, and he is the star of a series of photographs snapped at the site and held by the Orkney Library and Archives. But he’s not alone in the images—a few women are present, too. One perches her foot on a rock, and another wears a jaunty cloche. In some images, they're down in the thick of things in the excavation pit. In others, they smile down at Childe, who clings to a ladder, half-concealed within the dig.
A caption in a decades-old book about the dig identified some of these figures as "visitors," and that was the general thought until last year, when an article in Current Archaeology identified one of the women as a pioneer in the field. As BBC reported, when Oxford professor Dan Hicks recently shared some of the images on Twitter, other archaeologists jumped in to try and puzzle out the identities of the whole group. What followed next was a collective awakening, followed by a "D'oh!" It wasn't just one—several of the women were probably scientists.
Mairi Davies, an archaeologist at Historic Environment Scotland, had been curious about the images for a few years—ever since she noticed that the woman in the cap is clutching a trowel. And their sensible shoes are caked with sand or dirt. As the images made the rounds on social media, a clearer picture began to emerge.
The trowel-wielding figure is likely Margaret Simpson, who studied under Childe, wrote guidebooks, worked as an assistant Inspector of Ancient Monuments, and became one of Scotland’s first professional female archaeologists. She also received thanks in Childe’s report about the site, and “multiple sources point to her being the lady in the hat with the trowel,” Davies says. The other identities aren't quite so easily confirmed. BBC reports that they are Margaret Mitchell—another graduate of Edinburgh’s archaeology department—and possibly Mary Kennedy and Margaret Cole, who did not go on to work in the field.
“We shouldn’t actually be surprised that there are female archaeologists at this site,” Davies says. “If you look into the wider context of what’s going on at this time, there were a lot of women active in field of archaeology, including in director roles in field excavations.” She told BBC that some of Childe’s classes had more female students than male ones, and the mid-20th century saw female archaeologists such as Kathleen Kenyon, Tessa Verney Wheeler, and many more actively involved in fieldwork. “There is a tendency in archaeology for things to focus on a heroic male figure,” Davies says. “You can see how that’s translated into popular culture, even with Indiana Jones, this white male who goes out on adventures and excavates and finds treasure.” The composition of this photo is a great example of the effort to center the work of the male archaeologist, says Antonia Thomas, an archaeologist at the University of the Highlands and Islands: “All angles lead to Childe.”
Davies wonders whether some confusion about the images is a product of contemporary viewers “projecting our own prejudices into the past”—particularly when it comes to the women’s outfits. “It’s a bit disappointing that people will look at photos of women in skirts in a work context and not take them seriously, or assume they’re not there to work,” Davies says. On Twitter, Rachel Pope, a director of fieldwork and lecturer in European prehistory at the University of Liverpool, observed that the women’s getups were de rigueur for middle-class ladies at the time. “Posh clothes do not a tourist make,” Pope wrote. “I can think of my own family photographs of my grandmothers from not much later," Davies says, "doing quite adventurous things in very similar outfits." When it comes to uncovering the legacies of women in archaeology, Davies says, researchers have "a lot more digging" to do—in archives, that is.
how is the apple tree?
Envision an autumn afternoon spent apple-picking in Benton County, Arkansas. While wandering through the orchard, your gaze lands on apples so deeply hued that they seem to have emerged from a fairy tale. You reach out reflexively and pluck an enchanting orb, pressing its waxy, smooth skin against your palm. On taking a bite, you discover a rock-hard, sour piece of fruit. It's terrible.
Arkansas Black apples aren't meant to be eaten straight off the tree. In fact, the best thing you can do to one is put it in the refrigerator and forget about it until next season. Patient pickers are rewarded with a sweet, firm fruit that offers notes of cherry, cinnamon, vanilla, and coriander, but only after having aged it in cold storage for a few months.
Growers first discovered and cultivated this breed in 1870, at an orchard in the county seat of Bentonville. Arkansas established an economy around apple production, and during the 1920s, 15 to 20 percent of the state's yield was its namesake black variety, thought to be a descendant of the Winesap apple. But moth infestations that necessitated costly management and the onset of the Great Depression were a fatal blow to commercial production.
Families maintained Arkansas Black apples trees in their yards, but the supply was relegated to home cooking, including baking the long-lasting fruit into pies and pastries. Today, the species make up between 3 and 5 percent of the state's apple production. Over the last decade, local chefs have taken to the fruit with renewed interest, using the heritage crop to add a unique element to meat accompaniments, pie fillings, and cheese pairings.
In April 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal. The quake destroyed buildings and claimed lives, but it also reshaped the region’s geology. It was large enough to cause many Himalayan peaks to drop slightly—including the world’s tallest mountain.
When satellites passed over Mount Everest, early readings suggested its peak appeared to have lost an inch. However, the initial measurements aren't quite accurate enough to know what actually happened—an inch isn’t a lot on more than 29,000 feet of rock. Since the quake, the true height of Everest has been a topic of discussion in the scientific community. Now Nepal's Survey Department is about to try to end those arguments by sending a specially trained team up to the summit to get a final, Nepal-approved height and quash rumors that the pride of the nation may have lost a little of its stature.
This effort began back in 2017, when the department commissioned a team of climbers to begin training and conducting fieldwork for the perilous technical journey. Now the team is ready. “Nepal has never measured Everest on its own although the world’s highest peak lies in its territory," Ganesh Prasad Bhatta, head of the Survey Department, said to AFP in 2017. "So, we want to prove to our people that Nepal is capable of measuring Everest.”
It seems like the height of a mountain—even if it shifts or changes—shouldn’t be much cause for controversy, but measuring one with precision is easier said than done, and that can lead to disagreements. The first proper measurements of the mountain were taken during Britain’s Great Trigonometrical Survey of India, under the direction of Sir George Everest. It was announced in 1856 that the mountain's highest point is 29,002 feet above sea level.
An Indian survey team measured the mountain at 29,029 feet in the 1950s, a number confirmed by Chinese surveyors—give or take a couple of inches—in the 1970s. An American team equipped with GPS came up with 29,035 in 1999, followed by another Chinese survey in 2005 that measured the bedrock without the ice and snow, and came up with 29,017. Over the years, different teams from different corners of the world have all come up with slightly different numbers.
China and Nepal have been at odds end over the height for a few years now. Specifically, some in Nepal believe that China’s 2005 height—slightly lower—diminished the mountain, and that China then started using the higher number again when they realized that Nepal was drawing more climbers than Tibet. It's confusing, but at the very least, national pride is at stake.
According to the Nepal Survey Department, the team will employ precise leveling, trigonometric leveling, gravity surveys, and the Trimble R10, a new Global Navigation Satellite System gifted to them by New Zealand. Even then, no measurement will be final. The mountain will continue to lose height from earthquakes, gain it between them, and inch up as the Indian Plate presses northward.
Earth sortira son nouvel album “Full Upon Her Burning Lips” le 24 mai chez Sargent House.
Premier extrait en écoute :
01 “Datura’s Crimson Veils”
02 “Exaltation Of Larks”
03 “Cats On The Briar”
04 “The Colour Of Poison”
05 “Descending Belladonna”
06 “She Rides An Air Of Malevolence”
07 “Maidens Catafalque”
08 “An Unnatural Carousel”
09 “The Mandrake’s Hymn”
10 “A Wretched Country Of Dusk”
We could play a game here to start off. I could show you a series of ten vintage photographs and you guess which ones were taken in Paris and which ones were taken in Egypt. And to make it interesting, let’s say you get 2 seconds per photo to decide. Ready?
The post Paris or Egypt? 100 Years Ago, It Was Hard to Tell the Difference appeared first on Messy Nessy Chic.
PJ Harvey a mis en musique “All About Eve”, une adaptation théâtrale du film de Joseph Mankiewicz.
Voici deux extraits de cette b.o, attendue le 12 avril sur le label Lakeshore.
when you're a baby/kid, it's essential to eat the most different food possible, it's good for immunity. But if you begin this when you're older, it can cause you harm.
cats can give you a bacteria that can lead to schizophrenia!
new med: works to forget bad souvenirs...
on arrête pas le progrès!
Nestled in Wigtown, a tiny town in southwest Scotland, this holiday rental goes beyond your ordinary escape to the coast. Those who stay here are given more than a home away from home—they’re also given the keys to, and control of, the bookstore below.
The Open Book is both an Airbnb rental and a bookshop. It lets travelers from around the world live out their bookseller fantasies. You can spend a week in the dreamy Scottish town and dip your toes into the world of running a bookstore—without having to commit to becoming a business owner.
You’ll get to choose just how, and when, the bookstore runs. You can host readings or small musical gatherings, or simply spend your days browsing (and hopefully selling!) the books that pack its shelves. Locals tend to pop into the store to see just who is behind the counter on any given day.
The Open Book is appropriately located in Scotland’s National Book Town. Wigtown, which has a population of fewer than 1,000 people, boasts nearly a dozen bookstores. The town also hosts the annual Wigtown Book Festival, an affair that draws tens of thousands of visitors to the little literary oasis. Members of the Wigtown Book Festival are responsible for coordinating rentals at The Open Book.
Greek women had it tough. At any moment, their wombs could dislodge and wander through their bodies, strangling them—or so said Hippocratic doctors. Their medical texts, which emerged in the fifth century B.C. and were attributed to the physician Hippocrates and his followers, changed Greek science by suggesting that illness had natural, rather than exclusively divine, causes. While wandering womb syndrome, which has been thoroughly discredited, is largely forgotten, one Hippocratic idea is likely familiar to modern parents: that what you eat can determine the sex of your child.
We don't know much about Hippocrates's life or contribution to the texts of the Hippocratic corpus, says Dr. Rebecca Fallas, a visiting research fellow in classical studies at the U.K.’s Open University who specializes in fertility in Ancient Greece. We do know, however, that Hippocratic texts were widely read in the centuries after they were written, and were compiled in the Great Library of Alexandria. Surviving texts show that Hippocratic doctors were, to put it lightly, very concerned with women’s reproductive health. In fact, the majority of the 1,500 existing Hippocratic recipes come from gynecological treatises. Of these, the dietary prescriptions for choosing the sex of one's children reveal a complex set of beliefs around food, gender, and the human body.
Hippocratic doctors believed the body was ruled by four, or sometimes three, humors, classified according to heat and moisture. Phlegm was cold and wet. Blood was hot and wet. Yellow and black bile were dry and hot or cold, depending on the text. This system of heat and moisture underlied all aspects of patients’ health, including fertility.
Quick quiz: According to Hippocratic medicine, is coriander hot and dry, or cold and wet? What about lettuce? If you said coriander is hot and dry, and lettuce cold and wet, you’re right. But these classifications weren’t descriptions of foods’ literal moisture content and temperature. They were instead rooted in beliefs about how foods interact with bodily humors. Red wine, for example, was believed to heat and dry out the body, while white wine cooled and moistened it.
This delicate balance of humors was particularly important for women trying to conceive. With ancient couples facing high rates of infant mortality, producing healthy, viable children was a high-stakes affair. Boys and girls benefitted families in different ways: Boys promised future economic and political power, while girls offered the possibility of marriage alliances. While many scholars argue that Ancient Greeks valued boys over girls, there is evidence of women in holy shrines petitioning the gods for daughters.
As this system of medicine developed, Greek women had the option of skipping shrines and heading straight to a Hippocratic doctor. In the Hippocratic world, women were naturally weak, damp, and cold, while men were strong, dry, and hot. Doctors believed that conception resulted from a fight between “strong” male seed and “weak” female seed, with the winner determining the child’s sex. Hippocratic doctors advised parents hoping for boys to consume hot, dry, and strong foods, such as red wine sprinkled with black cumin. To conceive a girl, Hippocratic doctors prescribed wet, cool, feminine foods, such as lettuce and white wine.
But if couples were really serious about sex selection, diet alone wouldn’t cut it. Hippocratic doctors believed that the left side of the womb nourished female children, and the right nourished males. To choose a child’s sex, women had to conceive on the side of the womb corresponding to their preferred gender. So Hippocratic doctors advised couples who wanted girls to tie the male partner’s right testicle with string, thus hopefully directing sperm toward the left side of the womb. The opposite was true for conceiving a boy. Scholars have no evidence of this method delivering anything besides sore nether regions.
While modern-day dads have left the testicle-tying behind, some Hippocratic beliefs do persist. Thanks to first-century Roman physician Galen and the work of Arab and Renaissance translators, says Fallas, “Hippocratic and Galenic medicine became the cornerstone of Western European medicine.” This includes the Hippocratic oath, the ethical pledge that doctors do no harm. And just like their ancient counterparts, contemporary parents continue looking for dietary prescriptions, be they from scientific studies or friends, to determine their children’s sex.
While Fallas says scholars can’t know for sure if this contemporary dietary advice descends directly from Hippocratic medicine, some folk wisdom, such as the belief that eating veggies will help couples conceive girls, resembles ancient beliefs. Modern doctors say most of this advice is quack. But for Fallas, the enduring appeal of diet-based interventions stems not from their efficacy, but from women’s desire to control their own health, at home, with ingredients they have on hand. As for the methods’ effectiveness? “Well,” says Fallas, “You’ve got a 50/50 chance of getting it right.”
Who among us hasn’t made a mistake at work while being thankful at least not to have an audience? The crowd was sparse on Westminster Bridge when the Dutch cargo boat Democrat first got stuck plying the Thames on a September day in 1935, but onlookers — including still and newsreel photographers — quickly gathered above and on the banks nearby to watch the slow-moving predicament play out. The Times Wide World Photos service called it a “miscalculation on the Thames” amid a rising tide. A narrator for a Pathé newsreel was more charitable, attributing it not to operator error but to “an extra high tide.” “The Democrat’s funnel is jammed, and there she stays until the tide goes down,” the narrator said. #history #photography
Dans ma fougère 🌿Si tu crois que je m’amuse, tu te trompes. Vas-y grimper sur un truc aussi mou. • #fougère #maïs #caracol #escargot #snail #tortue #turtle #tulesvoismescornes
6 months today since I found Basile ♥
People there's apparently a new web browser for phones done by firefox. It's Focus.
Works on iOs and errr the Google thing.
Recently in Atlas Obscura's Community forums, reader Allisonkc asked for recommendations of historically important restaurants that are still worth visiting today. Based on the number of enthusiastic replies to her query, we can safely say we're not the only ones who enjoy dinner with an extra helping of the past.
Many of the eateries Atlas Obscura readers (and staff!) recommended are said to have been the favorite hangouts of influential historical figures, such as George Washington or Karl Marx. Some have evolved into popular tourist attractions, while others have managed to keep quietly plugging along, serving up much the same fare as they did well over a century ago.
Check out some of our community members' favorite historically significant restaurants and bars below, and if you have one of your own to share, head over to the forums and keep the conversation going.
Rules Restaurant in London, U.K.
Claim to Fame: It's the oldest restaurant in London.
“Rules was established by Thomas Rule in 1798 making it the oldest restaurant in London, be sure to go upstairs first for a drink before dinner…” — Luxurious_Nomad
Le Procope in Paris, France
Claim to Fame: Opened in 1686, it may be the oldest café in Paris.
“I suggest going early in the evening so you can roam around looking at the different rooms and paintings without scandalizing any French diners!” — Alex_Mayyasi
Café Landtmann in Vienna, Austria
Claim to Fame: Favorite café of a number of writers, politicians, and thinkers.
“I kick myself for not getting to Café Landtmann in Vienna when I was there. That was the spot to sit around and argue politics in the early 20th century. And considering everyone from Stalin to Trotsky to Freud to Mahler to Klimt to Hitler lived within two miles of it at the same time, they may very well have all convened there.” — tralfamadore
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop in New Orleans, Louisiana
Claim to Fame: Opened in the early 1700s, it's one of the oldest bars in the U.S.
“A bar, not a restaurant, in New Orleans. Pirates got in fights there, and it looks like it. They have the original bar, which dips in the middle from years of glasses being slammed down on it.” — tralfamadore
Phillipe’s in Los Angeles, California
Claim to Fame: They may have invented the French dip sandwich.
“How could you go to L.A. for historic and old restaurants and not go to Philippe’s (founded in 1908), and home to the great french dip sandwich? It is right next to Union Station and Chinatown, so if you are taking the train, this stop is a must. Close to City Hall too, so you will see a lot of local politicians, workers, police officers, etc. eating there.” — kld123
Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, D.C.
Claim to Fame: Washington's "first saloon," which has hosted many important figures from American history.
“The knock against this place is that it has moved locations a few times, but the history is still compelling. Many important people in U.S. history ate, drank, or stayed at the boarding house. Back before the days of intensive Secret Service details and security protocols, it wasn’t unusual for a president to walk over from the White House for a drink. Several U.S. presidents were regulars. In this day and age it’s hard to imagine walking down to your local bar and seeing a current president of the United States sitting at the bar with a beer.” — Bacon_McBeardy
New Hall Inn in Bowness-on-Windermere, U.K.
Claim to Fame: Historic pub that once served Charles Dickens.
“The original name is the New Hall Inn, but it’s called 'The Hole in T’ Wall.' It’s located in Bowness upon Lake Windermere in England. It is a pub opened in 1612 and has been in continuous operation since. Its claim to fame, so to speak, is that Charles Dickens frequented the establishment while staying nearby on his extended trip to Cumbria. It’s a beautiful old pub in its own right, with a colorful history. Originally the pub was separated from the blacksmith’s shop next door by a common brick wall. At some point a hole was knocked in the wall so that the blacksmith could reach through and have a beer while he was working. Hence the pub became known by its moniker.” — Bacon_McBeardy
Lhardy in Madrid, Spain
Claim to Fame: It's thought to have brought French cuisine to Madrid.
“Inaugurated in 1839. It is one of the oldest restaurants in Madrid.”— Luis_Morato
Griechenbeisl in Vienna, Austria
Claim to Fame: It's the oldest restaurant in Vienna.
“It's a fun one, it’s a little touristy, but only because it’s been visited by some of the world’s greats! Vienna’s oldest tavern has served everyone from Mozart to Mark Twain to Johnny Cash, and those famous guests left their signatures on the walls for ordinary guests like us to see.” — larissa
The Golden Lamb in Lebanon, Ohio
Claim to Fame: A favorite stop for many U.S. presidents.
“Twelve presidents and numerous other famous types have visited here.” — jdsmith70
Fraunces Tavern in New York, New York
Claim to Fame: Was once the headquarters of George Washington.
“Founded in 1762, it’s where members of the Continental Congress met, George Washington included. It’s both frequented by locals as well as tourists, and is a great place to stop in if you’re visiting the city. The restaurants on Stone Street (practically hidden from view, but just around the corner) are also well worth checking out, even if they aren’t historically important).” — lyndale
Stiftskeller St. Peter in Salzburg, Austria
Claim to Fame: Thought to be one of the oldest restaurants in Europe.
“The lore around it is that it’s where Mephistopheles met Faust, which happens to be my last name. We made a reservation when we went there, and when we told them our last name, they kind of rolled their eyes, like, “ha ha… good one.” Anyway, it’s a cool place!” — amykevinalice
Casa de Los Azulejos in Mexico City, Mexico
Claim to Fame: It's a former palace, known for its intricate tile work.
“It was built back when the country was still a colony of Spain. Some time in the 19th century it became a fashionable Sanborn’s restaurant, which it still is to this day. It has a lot of history because it was a gathering place for the pre-revolutionary elite and then for revolutionaries during the Mexican revolution when Zapata’s forces invaded the city. There is also a beautiful mural by the muralist Orozco on one of the walls and the food is excellent.” — Monsieur_Mictlan
Responses have been edited for length and clarity.