Friday, 27 February 2015

Almost Gone

In another of our occasional disappearing world series ..... the dying art of the last of the traditional Spanish castanet makers is being reported on a BBC report.

I say 'traditional', because of course like most things these days, there are factory makers (usually in China), who make them for the tourist trade .... anyone familiar with Spain (or even the Spanish speaking resorts across South America), will have seen the glossy castanets hanging from any tourist knick-knack shop.

Spanish Castanets - Big In The 60's

They lasted five minutes if they were ever used, but normally are the bedrock of the souvenirs hanging in many a working class kitchen, where they act as mute reminders of a holiday on the Costa Del Sol.

Still, its another small part of the world that is fast disappearing, and when gone, they are likely to be gone forever.

Tut Tut ... A Royal Cock Up


Tut Tut another right royal cock up .... it appears that a local plumber or handymen from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo were asked to do a quick fix after Tutankhamun's beard fell off during a bit of mishandling ..... the made a real mess of it. And they wonder why some of don't think we should just 'hand back' the Elgin Marbles, and other antiquities to the third world .... that includes Greece in this context ....  (See this post for other instances of letting the cultural barbarians loose on world culture).

Because of PC considerations we can no longer just say out loud, what we all know to be true about the complete inability of these countries to look after world heritage items, but let us at least be honest, and admit that most museum pieces would be looted or destroyed (as happened in Iraq), if the inhabitants of most of these countries could get away with it .... if we want to preserve anything from the past, its best not handed over to the care of those who value nothing much about it except its tourist value.

Local Plumber Fixes Tutankhamun

No doubt the dummies in Egypt think that the Westerners will come a look at any old broken crap that they stick in a box ... and no doubt they are right.
   
You have to wonder how backward the employees are at the Museum in Cairo, if they thought a bit of plumbers silicon would be a good way to 'fix' Tutankhamun ... disgraceful. Have they never heard of joiners PVC glue .... white, dries clear, and would have re fixed the wooden dowels in a jiffy!

When all that's left if a pile of kindling and wood rot, will the 'multi-culturalists' finally admit they were wrong?

I very much doubt it because they are ignorant as the nonsense ideas they espouse.

Korean Kontrasts

If anything ever showed the sheer decline of North Korea relative to the rest of the world and its capitalist twin, its these NASA images .... where the The Hermit Kingdom lives up to the name.
 
Korean Kontrasts .... From Space.
 
..... it has no power, so only its capital is even partially lit at night These differences are illustrated in per capita power consumption in the two countries, with the South at 10,162 kilowatt hours, and the North at 739 kilowatt hours.

Korean Contrasts Since 1953.

Since they split as one nation and ended fighting in 1953, one state has gone forward and the other state gone backwards .... the GDP per capita figures tell you all you need to know as to why North Korea has not lights at night, and never will while the madmen are in charge.

It has to be said though, that an acquaintance who is a stargazer, said he would love to go there because of its lack of ambient light .... but he's not so keen on the idea of the lack of ambient heating though.

Scum Of The Earth

Asim Qureshi describes himself as a research director and human rights activist (see what you ushered in Tony Blair?), for a 'prisoner rights group', CAGE, which in its own words is a Muslim organisation,  carrying out 'cutting edge research, regularly documenting abuses of due process in the context of the War on terror' .... helping the 'survivors of the war on terror', and 'challenging the dominant narrative of suspect communities and the perceived threat of terrorism'. which seems to mean that they are not terribly keen on anyone tackling Muslim terrorism .... but hey, just Google them, and make up your own minds.

He is also according to the counter extremism think tank, the Quilliam Foundation, not much more than a 'propagandist for the Islamist ideological narrative'.

While describing his dealings with human dirt bag Mohammed Emwazi aka 'Jihadi John' (the Kuwaiti born British passport holder and barbaric killer of many people in ISIS territory), he called him 'a beautiful young man'. He also said that it was actually our fault for this scumbags behaviour .... as it was the result of a 'culture of harassment and intimidation ' of UK Muslims who were treated as 'outsiders' by the British.

Qureshi And A 'Beautiful Young Man' .... I'd Call Him Something Else

He added that there was a 'narrative of injustice had taken root' which would lead to 'these things' happening 'over and over again' ..... his idea of human rights doesn't apparently stretch to the Christians, Yezidis, and other Syrian's, being beheaded by ISIS animals. Only to those who try to get to war zones to join these groups and who get harassed by western intelligence services.

We are blind fools, and the only thing that will happen over and over again will be that if we do nothing to remove this menace from our society once and for ever, then animals like Jihadi John will keep appearing 'over and over again'.

Friday, 20 February 2015

The Naming Of Things

Why things are named just so, can, for food and drinks be a social history lesson, as they often carry names linked to the then famous, and now not so famous people of that era ..... nothing brings home the fleeting nature of fame, than the fact that many of these foods or drinks have out lived the fame of those they were named after, or in one famous case, denied they were ever named after.
 
The 'Baby Ruth' ... Not Named After Who You Think.

Here's a few I thought of, but there are no doubt countless others .... many even more obscure than these.

Bourbon Whiskey: Either from Bourbon county in Kentucky (so named after the war of American independence as a gesture of thanks to the French king, the Bourbon Louis XVI, for his help against the Brits ~ tactical error as it led to the French Revolution). Or, from Bourbon Street, home of the carousers of New Orleans, a town which was of course founded by the French and named after the Bourbon Duke of Orleans, son of Louis XIV.

Garibaldi Biscuits (UK): Named after Giuseppe Garibaldi, an Italian general and leader of the struggle to unify Italy. Garibaldi made a popular visit to South Shields in England in 1854.

Battenberg cake: Named after one of the late-19th-century princely Battenberg family living in England, who gave up their German titles during World War I, and changed their name to Mountbatten.

Margherita Pizza: Created in Naples, Italy in 1889, when a famous pizza maker made a pizza in honour of the visiting Queen Margherita. He created a pizza featuring all the colours of the Italian flag, and the recipe has been used ever since. Or maybe not

Peach Melba and Melba Toast: Both created at the Savoy Hotel in London by the chef Auguste Escoffier in the 1890's, in honour of Dame Nellie Melba, the Australian opera singer (she was performing in Covent Garden at the time).

The Pavlova: Named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova, and is thought to have been created in either New Zealand or Australia, after her tours there in the 1920s. There has been fierce argument over which country, and which chef, created the dish ... with New Zealand possibly having the best claim.

The Sandwich: The sandwich is named for the fourth earl of Sandwich, John Montagu. Supposedly the Earl, who was busy with a game of cards, didn't want to stop for a meal, so ordered his servant to bring him meat held between two pieces of bread. But although he may have popularised them, 'sandwiches' by whatever the name, were eaten in one form or another for many preceding centuries or even longer. 

Dongpo Pork: Named after Chinese poet Su Dongpo (1037–1101 AD) these are squares of pork, half lean meat and half fat, pan-fried then braised.

Earl Grey Tea: A tea blend named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, Viscount Howick, and British Prime Minister 1830–1834.

Lady Kennys: aka 'Ledikenis' these are a Bengali sweet of fried chhana balls (a milk-based chickpea-flour dough), stuffed with raisins. It is named after Lady Charlotte Canning the wife of the Governor-General of India (1856–1862). The Canning's were in India during the Indian Mutiny of 1857, and Lady Canning's popularity (although with whom I am not sure), there is remembered in this sweet which was one of her admitted favourites.

Napoleon Brandy: Named for Napoleon Bonaparte.

Beef Wellington: Named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, of Battle of Waterloo fame. This is a dish of beef with pâté, mushrooms, truffles and Madeira sauce, all encased in a pastry crust, and it was probably created by his personal chef. Ironically it was alleged that Wellesley had no sense of taste and didn't care how his meals tasted.

and to finish .... perhaps the most famous in the US name branding in the US.

Baby Ruth: The 'Baby Ruth' candy bar was allegedly not named after baseball player 'Babe Ruth' especially when he announced he was to sue the Curtiss Candy Co. who then, and ever since, have insisted that from the beginning, the candy bar was named after a daughter of ex US President Grover Cleveland, Ruth Cleveland who had died in 1904, even though the Baby Ruth was only invented in 1921. The baseball player was a superstar in the 1920's, and oddly the very early versions of the candy bar's wrapper offered a baseball glove for 79 cents. The company was located on the same street as Wrigley Field baseball  park where 'The Babe' played .... smoking gun comes to mind. 

The 'Baby Ruth' Advertised On Wrigley Field.

This last entry illustrates that cashing in on a living persons fame needs their permission and a good lawyer.

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A middle aged orange male ... So 'un' PC it's not true....