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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

the full english

Cowboy and Cop (1940) WPA photo by Lee Russell

"[...] Then, delicious fried bread. An old-fashioned white loaf is best, as sliced bread contains sugar that burns when you fry it. It is the particular cooking of this final staple that is so important. First, never fry the bread in hot fat in a frying pan; this will make it too greasy. Instead, thinly spread both sides of the bread with dripping or bacon fat, or spray or brush them with oil. Let the bread cook quietly in a thick-based frying pan, turned once, until pale golden and crusted. Just gorgeous." — Simon Hopkinson, More Intelligent Life

"The fried English breakfast was conceived during the Industrial Revolution (probably) as a form of fast fuel for a working class that actually worked. They ate 3,000 calories in the morning, then they burnt 3,000 calories by lunchtime. Or died when the mine collapsed. But you don't burn 3,000 calories driving a forklift truck, or answering the phone [...]" — Giles Coren, The Sunday Times

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

human culture as primordial soup

"Inspired by a chance conversation on a hike in the Hong Kong mountains, information scientists Charles H. Bennett from IBM in New York and Ming Li and Bin Ma from Ontario, Canada, began an analysis of a set of chain letters collected during the photocopier era. They had 33, all variants of a single letter, with mutations in the form of misspellings, omissions and transposed words and phrases. 'These letters have passed from host to host, mutating and evolving,' they reported in 2003. [...]

"Like a gene, their average length is about 2,000 characters. Like a potent virus, the letter threatens to kill you and induces you to pass it on to your 'friends and associates'—some variation of this letter has probably reached millions of people. Like an inheritable trait, it promises benefits for you and the people you pass it on to. Like genomes, chain letters undergo natural selection and sometimes parts even get transferred between coexisting 'species.'"
Photo: Meryl's Bloggy Wog

Friday, 6 May 2011

clean lines; dirty hands: the dilemma of the fetish object

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

"In the wake of a spate of suicides at Foxconn factories last summer, workers were asked to sign a statement promising not to kill themselves and pledging to 'treasure their lives.'" Read more...

Here's what Foxconn says:
"[...] Today, Foxconnian SER Policy has evolved into a broad coverage of issues that focus on environmental protection and energy conservation, the health and safety of communities around the world, education and employee empowerment, social harmony and equality and arts and culture." Read more...

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