What I learned today

Discovered while researching French cooking terms. This is useful, too.

Ecstatic poem, annotated, call-and-response

Via rejectamentalist manifesto.

My phone just buzzed

“I just don’t understand”

Robert Fitzpatrick, retired transit worker, apocalypse evangelist, author of The Doomsday Code: God Is Warning Us Through the Bible, riding back home to Staten Island yesterday evening.

Consolidation in the baking aisle

To look at these tins of baking powder, one might imagine three very different brands. Indeed, their designs reference three distinct origin stories and each has its regional loyalists. Their contents, however, are all manufactured in an aging Terre Haute, Indiana, factory owned by Hulman & Co.

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The Flea Marketing of New York

“I’m always amazed by these groups of cool young people, wandering around, looking for stuff, and I think, ‘If you didn’t have this venue, your performance of yourself wouldn’t be as complete,’ ” Professor Prokopow said. He described the phenomenon as “I have something that no one else has. I was different before I got this fantastic blank, but now my differentness is borne on my shoulders.”

The New York Times looks at nostalgia, self-curation, and the city’s flea market moment.


Go into the kitchen of a Taco Bell today, and you’ll find a strong counterargument to any notion that the U.S. has lost its manufacturing edge. Every Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King is a little factory, with a manager who oversees three dozen workers, devises schedules and shifts, keeps track of inventory and the supply chain, supervises an assembly line churning out a quality-controlled, high-volume product, and takes in revenue of $1 million to $3 million a year, all with customers who show up at the front end of the factory at all hours of the day to buy the product. Taco Bell Chief Executive Officer Greg Creed, a veteran of the detergents and personal products division of Unilever, puts it this way: “I think at Unilever, we had five factories. Well, at Taco Bell today I’ve got 6,000 factories, many of them running 24 hours a day.”

It’s as if the great advances of human civilization, in everything from animal husbandry to mathematics to architecture to manufacturing to information technology, have all crescendoed with the Crunchwrap Supreme, delivered via the pick-up window.

Via Businessweek.

A zero-star review

Our servant glides past and does a silent-movie double take. “Your snails!” he exclaims. “They have not come!” His cheeks bulge as he flaps his short arms. In all my years of professional eating, I have never seen this before. I have seen waiters do many, many things, including burst into tears and juggle knives, and I once glimpsed one having sex. But never, ever has a waiter commiserated with me about the lack of service.

Twenty minutes later, possibly under their own steam, the snails arrive.

Lovecraft in Brooklyn

The back stories behind John Darnielle’s songs are often as interesting as the music itself….

American horror icon H.P. Lovecraft moved to Red Hook, Brooklyn to be with the woman he loved. He had never really seen any people who were not white folks from Massachusetts. Immigrants were spilling into Brooklyn from the four corners of the globe. Lovecraft’s xenophobia during his time in Brooklyn resulted in some of the weirdest, darkest images in all American literature. One must condemn Lovecraft’s ugly racism, of course, but his not-unrelated inclination toward a general suspicion of anything that’s alive is pretty fertile ground.

As seen in these fantastic cartoon liner notes.

Chicken on a plate

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