Sunday 19 November 2023

milbenkรคse (11. 126)

Strange Company directs our attention to an attempt to revive a foodway, a half a millennium old tradition that had all but died out during East German times when the government (perhaps wisely, and continues to inhabit a grey regulatory area) banned the production and distribution of live-mite food, thanks to the concerned efforts of two individuals in the village Wรผrchwitz, south of Leipzig. Also known as Spinnenkรคse, it was discovered accidentally (see also) by leaving curd (Quark) to age in a wooden box and then finding it ripened and edible, with a bit of a zesty after-taste thanks to an infestation of microscopic arachnids (Tyrophagus casei, memorial erected in 2009 in the only locality that makes it) whose bodies form the rind. It wasn’t until much later that people understood how it was being formed and apparently pairs well with beer or wine. More from Atlas Obscura at the link above.

synchronoptica

one year ago: ASCII meme templates, the micronation Rose Island, an Egyptian surrealist movement, a word-generating bot plus vox populi out of context

two years ago: visiting Gdaล„sk

three years ago: the Arecibo radio telescope decommissioned, a sad Christmas tree plus an just passed, much anticipated wine release

four years ago: the first Monรฉgasque television station plus assorted links to revisit

five years ago: The Last Unicorn, a 3D printed architectural pavilion, the German Youth Word of the Year plus artificial flowers to help the pollinators

Thursday 7 September 2023

tyromancers (10. 989)

Via Nag on the Lake and Weird Universe, we discover a divination practise perfectly suited to our gang of turophiles in the form of telling one’s fortune by watching cheese congeal and coalesce and noting its characteristics—dating back to the Middle Ages, a time when people frequently consulted objects at hand for guidance. One technique described was for eligible individuals to inscribe the names of potential partners on a cheese and the first to moulder would indicate the best match. More at the links above.

Friday 1 September 2023

8x8 (10. 977)

diyarbakฤฑr: archeologists discover a massive subterranean city under the Roman garrison at Zerzevan 

aaro: the Pentagon launches a website to explore declassified information on unidentified anomalous phenomena, via Slashdot—also watch this instead 

space for kitchen aerobics: the latest oversized monstrosity from McMansion Hell—previously

the parable of the pig: philosopher Pyrrho’s hog as a model of tranquillity in a ship on a stormy sea—from Futility Closet happily back after a hiatus  

queso de cabrales: a hunk of artisanal cheese from Asturias fetches a record-setting price—via Strange Company 

a directory of wonderful things: an expert curated selection of weird and delightful corners of the internet  

chatgop: a conservative media outlet may have interviewed an AI generated Donald Trump 

colossus of constantine: plans to restore the monumental statue of the Roman emperor built as a triumph for his victory in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge

Tuesday 11 July 2023

7x7 (10. 874)

fit for a king: a selection of ersatz castles for sale in the US 

caliology: corvids using anti-bird spikes for nesting material
100ยบ in the shade
: mapping tree shadows 

free agent: labour force of the outsourced talk about the effects of the AI revolution—via Waxy  

ravensbourne: finding the lost rivers of London—see previously  

involuntary memory: the aetiology of earworms 

cheese royal: Burger King in Thailand introduces a menu item composed of twenty slices of American cheese

Thursday 25 May 2023

8x8 (10. 765)

simply the best: tributes pour in from around the world for the Queen of Rock and Roll, Tina Turner—previously

fabric swatches meticulously arranged: piecing together the mystery of the dress diary of Missus Anne Sykes—via Nag of the Lake  

midnight train: routes of Europe’s overnighters—see previously—via Kottke  

pasteurised prepared cheese product: attempts at rehabilitating the impoverished state of American caseiculture  

cotton tree: Sierra Leone’s iconic landmark brought down by a heavy storm  

ะบะพะฝั†ะตะฟั‚ัƒะฐะปัŒะฝั‹ะน ะบะพะฝัะตั€ะฒะฐั‚ะธะทะผ: chief of Russian mercenary forces, retreating from Bakhmut, says that the offensive in Ukraine has backfired  

chintzy: a history of the calico, block printed textile

hollywood babylon: occultist and underground maker of experimental short films, Kenneth Anger has passed away—see previously

Sunday 29 January 2023

8x8 (10. 509)

musiclm: a Google sandbox experiment for audio generation from rich captions—via Waxy and Web Curiossee previously  

krewe of karens: i would like to see the Mardi Gras manager  

semi-stagionato: an ancient method for surviving the COVID cheese glut made have improved the region’s pecorino cheeses  

taming of the shrew: voles manage to bond and form long-term relationships without the “love hormone” oxycotin  

party (of one): Broadway Barbara’s “Dance for Your Life!”—see also 

 an absurd italian gastronomic religion: the ironical, fascist sauce that outlived the war on pasta—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links—lots more to explore there 

you know i always wanted to pretend that i was an architect: attribute these quotes to either Seinfeld’s George Costanza or GOP darling George Santos  

magic voice: more prompts and audio continuation courtesy of Google’s suite of AI tools

Saturday 3 December 2022

6x6 (10. 357)

yuletide: Spitalfield’s Life welcomes the Festive Season with George Cruikshank’s illustrations—see previously  

isle of vaila: a remote mansion in the Shetlands comes on the market—via Strange Company  

hoops and loopholes: NPR’s Planet Money surveys the US tax code and tax-exemptions  

curds and whey: the ecosystems that make up our cheeses—via Damn Interesting’s Curated Links  

sight and sound: a once-a-decade poll of critics and filmmakers rates the top one hundred movies of all time  

the duchy of rutland: a Christmas at Belvoir Castle

Thursday 1 December 2022

week-by-week (10. 350)

Contributing correspondent and consultant Tom Whitwell, in an annual tradition has posted a collection of interesting facts he has gleaned over the past twelve months, highlighting one intriguing idea per week. The entire list is well worth your while to peruse. We've previously encountered item twenty—if you want a question answered on the internet, then post a wrong answer—in the form of Cunningham’s Law and the penultimate Swiss cheese cartel behind fondue but most were wholly new to us. We especially liked the advice on using conversational doorknobs to afford both parties to digress and confess, the fanciful Russian history articles on Chinese Wikipedia that went unnoticed for a decade (see also), inscrutable AIs—one accurately differentiating male from female eyes but none can figure out how—and the proposal for heavenbanning: instead of deplatforming an individual, replace their followers with artificial sycophants, ditto head bots and cutting off that bad actor from human interaction. Which one is your favourite?

Monday 17 October 2022

7x7 (10. 232)

cheesewrights and turophiles: Noรซlle Janaczewska on the culinary and artistic history of cheese 

causal observer: a teenager in Trondhjem called Christian Charlotte Elster captured various scenes of Regency-Era Norway in the early nineteenth century–via Messy Nessy Chic  

perhaps more like edison than tesla: friends, family and enemies discuss Elon Musk

putinversteher: Russian leadership enlisting influential mouthpieces to convince Western governments to accede to their narratives–see previously

kukla, fran & ollie: a Youtube channel working to conserve and put on-line over seven hundred episodes of the 1950s puppet theatre–via r/ObscureMedia   

parlement technologies: the rapper formerly known as Kanye West announces plans to purchase rightwing friendly social media site  

la pyramide des saveurs: France’s reigning and unrivaled Queen of Cheeses, Nathalie Quartrehomme

Thursday 13 October 2022

8x8 (10. 220)

punto di ebollizione: pasta maker introduces ‘passive cooker’ meters 

capricorn one: a thoroughgoing review of a 1977 film about a faked Mars landing  

a shropshire lass: four decades of mushrooming in England and Wales  

friluftsliv: the term for the Danish tradition of unwinding in the wilds popularised by playwright Henrik Ibsen  

perfect for roquefort cheese: all about blue cheeses—see also  

yes sirah: origins and production of wine grape varietals around the globe—via tmn  

wormsign: building a functional Fremen thumper 

hasta la pasta: the Italian influence in Argentinian cuisine

Tuesday 21 June 2022

6x6

zhaocai: office cats in China face redundancy with startups closing 

utterly buttery: an etymological lesson and childhood memory on oleomargarine  

frisson: a group of neuroscientists compile an extensive playlist of chill-inducing musical tracks  

blood sugar sex magik: chants delivered by Aleister Crowley (previously) preserved on a wax cylinder 

umwelten: a new volume by Ed Yong explores the “self-centred world” (another Rรผckwanderer) of human and non-human animals  

barn cats: felines at work at a creamery in Maine

Thursday 2 June 2022

7x7

phillumeny: venerable Japanese matchbox manufacturer shuttering after almost a century 

fpoty: Pink Lady’s finalist gallery of superlative food photographs in its annual competition—via Everlasting Blรถrt  

posidonia australis: researchers determine that a giant patch of ribbon weed in Shark Bay Australia a

singular, ancient and expansive plant 

shadow gradient: expanding hole optical illusion is a touch trypophobic—via Boing Boing  

metamorphosis: late fifteenth century ecologist and artist Maria Sibylla Merian who was among the first naturalist to closely observe insects and understand their life cycles 

 casein chipping: more on cheese heists and ways to stop them 

 philately: a travelogue of postage stamps of imaginary places—see also

Wednesday 1 June 2022

the stresa convention

Hosted in the above Italian city on the shores of Lago di Maggiore on this day 1951, the International Treaty on the Use of Appellations of Origin and Denomination of Cheeses (see also) was adopted by the members of the European Community (EC) and went into force two years later—providing a framework for protection of goods manufactured and matured in regions by dent of local, loyal and uninterrupted traditions—plus relief from imitators. The first annex lists Gorgonzola, Parmigiana Romano, Pecorino and Roquefort. The second annex includes Asiago, Camembert, Cambozola, Danablu, Edam, Emmental, Esrom, Gouda, Gruyรฉre and Samsรถe.

Saturday 9 April 2022

8x8

r/place: Josh Wardle’s (previously) first viral success with this collaborative subreddit  

modern screen: an annotated read along of a February 1961 celebrity magazine  

hey hey, rise up: Pink Floyd reunites to support Ukraine  

see you later, percolator: a gallery of vintage, commercial coffee makers  

spotifictional: a streaming back-catalogue of bands from television and the movies 

cheese heist: dairy crime-rings around the world—see also  

scratchcard lanyard: a song from Dry Cleaning 

explordle: guess the global cities as webcam images flit by—via Web Curios

Saturday 13 November 2021

8x8

uap: an interview with former US DoD head of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Programme says that “Tic-Tac” craft have been observed by the navy for decades  

dutch angle: dramatic tilt in cinematography  

comrade kiev: an exquisitely curated collection of posters from Soviet times  

p68/dulcimer: a prototype of the iPod—which celebrated its twentieth birthday last month—via Twisted Sifter  

subjective distance: more on the ordering of adjectives and the unwritten rules of language—see previously 

quesos y besos: a soft goat cheese from Spain beat out many contenders to be awarded the top prize for the annual World Cheese Awards  

shoulder-surfing: a patent to discourage lookie-loos with a screen blur for those without the proper headgear and glasses—via Slashdot 

discopter: Alexander Weygers patented the design for the first UFO flying vehicle decades before the craze in sightings and visitations

Wednesday 8 September 2021

๐Ÿง€ + ๐Ÿš + ✝️ + ๐Ÿฉฒ + ๐Ÿ‘“ = ๐Ÿ“š

The always engaging Languagehat refers us to a discussion thread that traces the propagation of language and literature through historical shifts that shape the way we communicate and interpret the legacy of the incidents and accidents of publishing and publicising for Europe. While there is an element of the Just So Stories of Rudyard Kipling (How the Leopard Got its Spots, and likely as potentially problematic), the narrative does not purport to be academically strenous and presents only theories and strings matters together nicely. Our trajectory to book format begins with cheese and dairy as an imperishable caloric store to help early humans survive cold, harsh winters with female sheep and cows more valuable than their male counterparts, whom would be slaughtered young so they wouldn’t need to be fed during the season of scarcity. This yielded a surfeit of vellum that could be used for writing material, necessarily bound as a hardback as the medium tended buckle if not kept flat.

Wednesday 25 August 2021

cheeseboard

Via fellow internet caretaker and turophile, Nag on the Lake, we are directed towards this thorough, wholesome and circumspect guide of how to serve and store almost any sort of cheese from an expert cheesemonger.  The pictured painting is called Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels (Stilleven met kazen, amandelen en krakelingen), created by Dutch artist Clara Peeters circa 1615.

Friday 7 May 2021

and now for a word from our sponsors

Promoting MacLaren’s Imperial Cheese which was advertised nowhere else in US markets, the Kraft Television Theatre had its premiere on NBC stations on this day in 1947, broadcast live weekly from Studio 8-H at 30 Rockefeller Plaza—currently hosting Saturday Night Live, the drama anthology series ran for over a decade and offered hour-long stage plays, both adaptations and unique pieces. Confusingly, ABC launched its own Kraft Television Theatre in October 1953 to promote the new product Cheez Whiz which sponsors later dropped and consolidated under the original time and channel slot. Considered prestige television, it launched the careers of writers and actors including Jack Lemmon, Paul Newman, Leslie Nielsen, Joanne Woodward, Grace Kelly, Cloris Leachman and George C. Scott. The debut episode was Double Door from a play by Elizabeth McFadden about a protective sister entombing another woman in the family crypt to prevent her from marrying her brother. Because of the live nature of the show, very few performances were preserved but here is a short clip from June of 1947.

Saturday 20 March 2021

spaghetti images

As Kottke reports, determination and engineering designed to optimise the surface area for sauce saturation has paid off with the debut of a speciality, niche past shape called the cascatelli—Italian for little waterfalls, a success for Mission: Impastable. There is so far no indication whether or not this creation will be soon joining the ranks of other speciality, utilitarian and decorative shapes (see previously here, here and here) but we can nonetheless appreciate the intention and would be eager to try a forkful alla puttanesca with parmigiana reggiano.

Monday 22 February 2021

like chalk and cheese

Though attested since the late fourteenth century and surely encountered in every day speech, we were unaware of this delightful idiom, said of things that are superficially alike but very different in substance, like a crumbly, unaged cheese that’s never mistaken as flaking chalk (though some attribute the etymology to an unscrupulous cheesemonger that tried to pass off adulterated product). The Turkish equivalent DaฤŸlar kadar farklฤฑ, “As different as the mountains” conveys the same sense. Its extended meaning covers things that don’t pair well.  Learn more at Nag on the Lake at the link up top.