You should read this for 2/16/2020:
Art and Film
Japanese Illustrated Books The Met has digitized and made publicly available over 650 eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Japanese illustrated books from The Met’s Department of Asian Art. Almost four hundred of the books in the collection are from the Arthur and Charlotte Vershbow collection of Japanese illustrated books, purchased by the Met in 2003.
The Green Knight is a new 2020 film featuring the medieval tale known as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight from BL Cotton Nero A.x. This is the trailer, featuring Dev Patel.
Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language
Stationery As A Inexpensive Way To Relive Your Childhood And The Blackfeet Indian Pencil: My Favorite Pencil Of All-Time My father used Blackfeet Indian Pencils. I’m not sure where he bought them; possibly The Nature Company. But I remember both the wooden box, and the paper slide box. They were the first “natural” pencils I remember.
Via Kirk McElhearn: Binge Reading Lee Child’s Jack Reacher Novels
McElhearn has been re-reading the entire Jack Reacher series, and he makes some interesting observations, even if like me, you’ve never read any of the books or seen the movies. I’ve been working my way through C. J. Cherryh’s Foreigner series.
Via Open Culture: Discover the Disappearing Turkish Language That is Whistled, Not Spoken I knew about Chinese and South American whistle-languages; this Turkish whistled language is new to me.
Food and Drink
Brutti ma buoni, or “ugly but good”, is the name of this week’s recipe: hazelnut and egg white biscuits. Like many edible things, their origins are disputed; it seems likely that the biscuits originated in Prato, a city and commune in Tuscany where they are also known as mandorlati di San Clemente. Wherever they originated, brutti ma buoni have migrated all over Italy and are now found in pretty much every bakery next to the soft almond biscuits, the biscuits made with wine (to dip in wine) and wisp-thin cat’s tongues.
I find I am really missing oven-roasted beets, and beet greens.
Making tortillas by hand involves skilled labor, even with the assistance of mechanical nixtamal mills and folding presses. Moreover, tortillas, like donuts, are best eaten fresh, preferably within a few hours off the griddle. In Mexico, tortilla factories have been largely a cottage industry, conveniently located on any street corner, and operating sporadically throughout the day for customers who line up before breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This just-in-time business model, however, fit poorly in the postwar “Fordist” era of giant factories pursuing economies of scale.
UTSA’s Mexican Cookbook Collection is comprised of more than 2,000 cookbooks, from 1789 to the present, with most books dating from 1940-2000. In addition to broad general coverage, the collection includes concentrations in the areas of regional cooking, healthy and vegetarian recipes, corporate advertising cookbooks, and manuscript recipe books.
A selection of the materials from this collection have been digitized and are available online, including manuscript cookbooks from the collection. These handwritten recipe books provide an intimate view of domestic life and Mexican culinary culture. Also available online is the extremely rare 1828 cookbook, Arte nuevo de cocina y repostería acomodado al uso mexicano, once owned by Diana Kennedy.
Buy me a Coffee! If you find this post or this site interesting, and would like to see more, buy me a coffee. While I may actually buy coffee, I’ll probably buy books to review.
History and Archaeology
The diary challenges preconceptions about what “ordinary people” thought about homosexuality — showing there was a debate about whether someone really should be discriminated against for their sexuality.
Science and Nature
Liu had overseen numerous cases stemming from the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation as well as that of the former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, who has long been assailed by Trump.
She reportedly resigned from the treasury department on Wednesday evening after her nomination as its under-secretary for terrorism and financial crimes, a Senate-confirmed position, was unceremoniously pulled by Trump in what appeared to be retaliation.
Via Open Culture: The e-Book Imagined in 1935
Republicans reportedly pushed back on adding the hygiene products to the list during a Tuesday hearing, arguing that people who use the products could purchase too many if not given a limit.
💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰
Native burial sites blown up for US border wall “It’s part of the historic homeland of the O’odham. Apache are buried here. 💩🔥💰 waived the Native American Graves Protection Act to allow this.”
And then — and this is the part that is so disturbing — the prosecutors were ordered, either because of the president’s tweet or irrespective of it (and both scenarios are awful), to rescind their original recommendation and to ask the judge that Stone receive more lenient treatment at his sentencing. What the prosecutors were ordered to do was dangerous and unsettling and undermined everything they — and we — stood for as Justice Department professionals. They properly refused.
Pay It Forward and Make It Better
While trashing California with his gutter mouth, the president has used his office to physically trash the home to nearly one in eight Americans — seeking to make its air more polluted, its water less clean, its forests more vulnerable to catastrophic fires.
But now the Golden State is poised to strike back. By moving its presidential primary from June to March 3, California will finally exert a political influence commensurate to its size. Almost 500 delegates, a fourth of the number needed to win the Democratic nomination, are at stake.