Easy Peasy, Prospective Parents

from History Facts

The Most Popular Baby Names Throughout the 20th Century

Photo credit: H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/ Archive Photos via Getty Images

Depending on where you lived and when you grew up, it’s possible you might have known more than one person with the same name. Maybe there was a Jennifer A. and a Jennifer L., or maybe you knew four different people named Michael. Year after year, decade after decade, there are trends in baby names that draw on history, religion, and cultural references. Here are the most popular baby names in the United States during each decade of the 20th century.

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TBK IDK

from RealClearMarkets

Yet Another Attempt To Make Sense of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s ‘The Brothers Karamazov’

By John Tamny

In his excellent new memoir, Never Say You Had a Lucky Life (review coming soon), Joseph Epstein writes of a Harvard economics professor by the name of Alexander Gerschenkron who claimed to have read Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace at least fifteen times, and that more than once he began rereading the novel right after completing it. Talk about dedication. And understanding.

As written before in attempts to make sense of or offer thoughts or insights into the Russian novels, it would likely help to have read them more than once. Hopefully this admission is recognized as I attempt to write about Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. It was really hard to follow in what was my first, and almost certainly only read of it. It’s frequently said that War and Peace and the various names within it are difficult to keep track of. The Brothers Karamazov (from now on, TBK) proved much more difficult for me. And that’s just names. The story was very often challenging to follow. I’ll bet the meaning of what is a very interesting story would be much clearer with another read.

[ click to continue reading at RealClearMarkets ]

Dickey Betts Gone

from Variety

Dickey Betts, Allman Brothers Guitarist, Dies at 80

By Chris Morris

Dickey Betts, whose country-inflected songwriting and blazing, lyrical guitar work opposite Duane Allman in the Allman Brothers Band helped define the Southern rock genre of the ‘60s and ‘70s, died Thursday in Osprey, Fla. He was 80.

His family posted a statement on Instagram, writing, “It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that the Betts family announce the peaceful passing of Forrest Richard ‘Dickey’ Betts (December 12, 1943 – April 18, 2024) at the age of 80 years old. The legendary performer, songwriter, bandleader and family patriarch passed away earlier today at his home in Osprey, FL., surrounded by his family. Dickey was larger than life, and his loss will be felt world-wide.”

In 1969, Betts and bassist Berry Oakley of the Florida band the Second Coming joined members of two other Sunshine State groups — guitarist Duane Allman and his keyboard-playing brother Gregg of the Hour Glass and drummer Butch Trucks of the 31st of February – and Mississippi-born drummer Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson in a new unit that ultimately based itself in Macon, Ga.

Riding a powerful twin-guitar sound that fused rock, blues and country, the Allman Brothers Band inspired a host of like-minded groups throughout the South, many of which would find a home at Capricorn Records, the custom imprint established by the Allmans’ manager Phil Walden.

[ click to continue reading at Variety ]

Let The Children Play

from RealClearScience

Kids Are Unhappier – Possibly Because They Don’t Have as Much Freedom

By Fiorentina Sterkaj

Rostyslav Savchyn

Experts often highlight social media and harsh economic times as key reasons why young people are getting unhappier. And while those factors are important, I would like to emphasise another.

Younger generations have less freedom and independence than previous generations did. The area where children are allowed to range unsupervised outside has shrunk by 90% since the 1970s.

Parents increasingly organise entertainment – ranging from play dates and sports and music classes to family cinema trips – for their children, rather than letting them come up with it themselves. Perhaps this can help explain recent reports that many teenagers today choose to be holed up in their bedrooms.

The lack of childhood freedom isn’t just a result of parental control. Societal expectations and school policies also have huge influences.

[ click to continue reading at RealClearScience ]

Super Bloom 2024

from The Washington Post

Death Valley is alive this year. A super bloom is the latest sign.

by Reis Thebault, Alice Li, Bridget Bennett

TECOPA, Calif. — Sometimes the desert holds its secrets close, whispering them only to those who carefully listen. But this year, the hottest and driest place in America might as well be shouting.

In California’s Death Valley region, the last few months have been remarkably loud. And the latest bellow is still ringing out, with the area’s native wildflowers bursting into bloom. The flowers have filled a place best known for its shades of browns and grays with brilliant blasts of yellow and purple and sprinkles of pink and cream.

This roaring display comes just weeks after the resurrection of a long-dead lake, which filled the park’s Badwater Basin and drew visitors from across the country for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to paddle across a body of water rarely revived since prehistoric days.

These fleeting phenomena can both be traced to the unusual and record-setting precipitation that has inundated the state since August, when Hurricane Hilary gave Death Valley its wettest day ever. Subsequent storms dumped even more rain on the desert, eventually dragging it out of a years-long megadrought.

[ click to continue reading at WaPo ]

Donutverse

from Big Think

The consequences of traveling in a straight line forever

Is the Universe finite or infinite? Does it go on forever or loop back on itself? Here’s what would happen if you traveled forever.

travel straight line
In a hypertorus model of the Universe, motion in a straight line will return you to your original location, even in an uncurved (flat) spacetime. Without access to a higher-dimensional view of what our 3D world appears to be like to us, we cannot know or measure its true extent and shape in space.

The Universe is a vast, wondrous, and strange place. From our perspective within it, we can see out for some 46 billion light-years in all directions. Everywhere we look, we see a Universe filled with stars and galaxies, but are they all unique? Is it possible, perhaps, that if you look far enough in one direction and see a galaxy, that you’d also see that same galaxy, from a different perspective, in the opposite direction? Could the Universe actually loop back on itself? And if you traveled far enough in a straight line, would you eventually return to your starting point, just as if you traveled in any one direction for long enough on the surface of the Earth? Or would something stop you?

It’s a fascinating question to consider, and one that Bill Powers wants us to investigate, asking:

“Space and time are mind-boggling to me. It seems like if you traveled in a straight line, you could travel forever. What would stop you? A wall? [And if so,] what’s on the other side of the wall?”

Although it sounds nonsensical, the answer is both. You could travel forever, and also, something would stop you. The key lies in understanding the expanding Universe, which itself is one of the most mind-boggling concepts of all.

[ click to continue reading at Big Think ]

Spared. Amazing.

from CBS News

Stunning new Roman frescoes uncovered at Pompeii, the ancient Italian city frozen in time by a volcano

By Haley Ott

A fresco discovered in a banquet hall in the ancient Italian city of Pompeii depicts the Greek god Apollo attempting to seduce the priestess Cassandra.BBC/TONY JOLLIFFE

Stunning Roman frescoes have been uncovered by archeologists in Pompeii, the ancient city destroyed by an eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius in the year 79 AD. Experts say the newly discovered frescoes are among the finest ever to emerge at the renowned archeological site.

The works of art line the high walls of what was once a large banquet hall. The walls themselves were painted mostly black, and the figures on the frescoes appear to emerge from the shadows. Site director Dr. Gabriel Zuchtriegel told CBS News partner network BBC News that the dark color was likely used to hide stains from the lamps that lit the hall after the sun went down.

“In the shimmering light, the paintings would have almost come to life,” Zuchtriegel said.

[ click to continue reading at CBS News ]

Brave New BPM

from CNN

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov (in blue suit) dances to folk music in Grozny, Chechnya

Authorities in the Russian Republic of Chechnya have announced a ban on music that they consider too fast or slow.

Minister of Culture Musa Dadayev announced the decision to limit all musical, vocal and choreographic compositions to a tempo ranging from 80 to 116 beats per minute (BPM) at a meeting Friday, the Russian state new agency TASS reported.

“(I) have announced the final decision, agreed with the head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Akhmatovich Kadyrov, that from now on all musical, vocal and choreographic works must correspond to a tempo of 80 to 116 beats per minute,” Dadayev said, according to TASS.

Under Kadyrov’s directive, the region now ensures that Chechen musical and dance creations align with the “Chechen mentality and musical rhythm,” aiming to bring “to the people and to the future of our children the cultural heritage of the Chechen people,” Dadayev added.

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Go Bogdanovich

from World Music Views

50 Year Old Bob Marley, Reggae Archives Still On The Cards For Jamaica Says Joe Bogdanovich

by Donovan Watkis

Joe Bogdanovich Roger Steffens
Joe Bogdanovich / Roger Steffens

Reggae Sumfest Boss, Josef Bogdanovich says that plans are still under way to acquire Roger Steffens’ extensive reggae archives, including rare Bob Marley images, concert materials, and memorabilia, which are currently domiciled in Steffens’ private basement in Los Angeles.

Bogdanovich who is heir to the StarKist tuna fortune, told World Music Views that plans are still afoot to integrate these archives into a larger plan to transform Montego Bay into a concert city, aiming to rival venues like Coachella in California.

“I think we are doing it, you will hear about that soon,” he said. While admitting the undertaking will cost a pretty penny. “it’s a big commitment to buy a building and build one for the archives, thats million of dollars,”

The collection includes a reported 12,000 vynil records and CDs, 10,000 posters and flyers and 12,000 hours of tapes, also tens of thousands of reggae photographs, 30,000 reggae fliers from all over the world, 2,000 reggae posters (many of them signed by the original artists), 140 cubic feet of alphabetized clippings, and an array of invaluable books and magazines.

[ click to continue reading at WMV ]

Some of them eat raw hamburger… while on duty.

from Atlas Obscura

6 Badass Librarians Who Changed History

They will not be shushed.

BY APRIL WHITE

LIBRARIANS HAVE NEVER BEEN A quiet bunch: Information, after all, is power. To mark National Library Week—typically celebrated the second full week of April—Atlas Obscura, fittingly, went into the archives to find our favorite stories of librarians who have fostered cultural movements, protected national secrets, and fought criminals.

[ click to continue reading at Atlas Obscura ]

Transformer

from EL PAÍS

Laurie Anderson is obsessed with resuscitating husband, Lou Reed, with AI

The avant-garde artist frequently converses with a chatbot designed to emulate the former Velvet Underground frontman

by MARITA ALONSO

What is really curious, as well as disturbing, about the dystopian series Black Mirror is that technology is advancing at such a pace that it is increasingly difficult for any futuristic plot to surprise us. It has been a decade since the premiere of the first episode of its second season, Be Right Back, in which a woman uses artificial intelligence to replace her boyfriend after losing him in an accident. Ten years on, there are actually companies that offer a service known as ‘mourning technology’ or ‘digital necromancy’ which promises to keep the memories of their clients’ loved ones alive through AI.

There are AI applications such as HearAfter, which preserve the user’s memories via interviews on their life so that their loved ones can posthumously listen to their stories and chat with their virtual self. Even in more mainstream pop culture, we have seen cases like Kanye West’s 40th birthday gift to his then-wife Kim Kardashian of a hologram of her late father, the well-known lawyer, Robert Kardashian, in just one more example of how technology tries controversially to assuage grief.

But the musician, artist and thinker, Laurie Anderson, hasn’t needed to turn to Netflix, holograms or apps to do this for her partner, Lou Reed, who passed away in 2013. While many prefer to exercise this level of nostalgia in secret, Anderson has done so in public with I’ll Be Your Mirror, an exhibition, which shares its name with a song by The Velvet Underground, and which makes use of AI to invite reflection.

[ click to continue reading at EL PAÍS ]

No shit.

from Space Chatter

There’s No Dark Matter? Shocking Study Upends Decades Of Consensus About Universe’s Composition

The Crab Nebula – a remnant of a supernova explosion which in its center contains a pulsar. The pulsar makes the ordinary matter in the form of gas in the nebula light up. As the researchers have now shown, it may do the same with dark matter in the form of axions, leading to a subtle additional glow that can be measured.
The Crab Nebula – a remnant of a supernova explosion which in its center contains a pulsar. The pulsar makes the ordinary matter in the form of gas in the nebula light up. As the researchers have now shown, it may do the same with dark matter in the form of axions, leading to a subtle additional glow that can be measured. (Credit:: NASA/CXC/ASU/J. Hester et al.)

A new study is turning the scientific community upside-down. Researchers from the University of Ottawa suggest the universe might not contain dark matter, a component that has been a fundamental part of cosmological models for years.

Dark matter is a term used in cosmology to describe a type of matter that does not interact with light or the electromagnetic field, making it invisible and detectable only through its gravitational effects. Scientists have long believed that dark matter makes up about 27 percent of the universe, with ordinary matter constituting less than 5 percent, and the rest being dark energy. This understanding has helped explain the behavior of galaxies, stars, and planets.

[ click to continue reading at Space Chatter }

God Bless The Crown Vic

from The Drive

LA Sheriff Still Has 429 Ford Crown Victorias in Service Because It Stockpiled Them

Hundreds of decade-old Crown Vic Interceptors roam southern California, though they’re getting more and more difficult to keep on the road.

BY JAMES GILBOY

ike the United States Postal Service’s Grumman LLV, the Ford Crown Victoria is a disappearing symbol of a time past. From taxi services to police departments, large operators like the California Highway Patrol have been retiring their fleets of the once ubiquitous sedan for years now. Even so, their numbers remain strong through 2023 at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, where hundreds are still in service. But even there, the herd is beginning to thin.

As one of the largest police forces in the country—and the largest sheriff’s department—the LASD has been one of the Crown Vic’s top users for decades. The department guaranteed it would remain so into the sedan’s twilight years with a huge last-minute order of 600 cars in 2011, the final year of production, as accountants reckoned it’d save money in the long run.

Photos of this last big batch survive online, showing hundreds of the cars around the time of their delivery. Surprisingly, the vast majority of these 600 remain in operation today, with 429 still on the roster according to Sergeant David M. Davis of the LASD Fleet Management Unit.

“The Crown Victoria is a rugged and durable platform that has held up great over the years,” Sergeant Davis told The Drive, stating that the Crown Victoria remains the top choice with older members of the force.

[ click to continue reading at The Drive ]

Private Endeavor

from Deadline

Endeavor Going Private In Deal Valued At $13 Billion

By Dade Hayes

Endeavor Group Holdings
Endeavor Group Holdings launched its IPO in 2021 / Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Endeavor

Endeavor Group Holdings, parent of talent agency WME and controlling shareholder in combat sports powerhouse TKO Group, is going private.

Private equity firm Silver Lake Capital is leading the privatization, which the company describes Tuesday as the largest in media and entertainment history and the biggest in any sector over the past decade. The equity value of the acquisition is pegged at $13 billion, with the enterprise value nearly double that when the TKO interest is taken into account.

[ click to continue reading at Deadline ]

God Bless Weighted Blankets

from The New Yorker

How My Weekend Plans Changed After I Got a Weighted Blanket

By Claire Friedman

A photo of a woman lying down under a blanket.
Photograph by Aleksandar Nakic / Getty

Weekend No. 1

Plan: Visit well-reviewed Chinese Scholar’s Garden on Staten Island; return boots that don’t fit; bake lemon-ricotta scones for potluck brunch on Sunday.

Reality: Bought weighted blanket and cancelled plans with friends to try it out.

Weekend No. 2

Plan: Cook three of ten dishes that made Bobby Flay’s career; go see a movie; visit Grandma to record some of her incredible stories for posterity.

Reality: Spent forty-eight hours under blanket watching “Fox & Friends,” to test out blanket’s anxiety-reducing capabilities.

Weekend No. 3

Plan: Go to Becca’s birthday drinks, Elexa’s housewarming party, and Clare’s baby shower!

Reality: Lay under blanket playing Words with Friends with strangers while keeping every muscle except for thumb muscles perfectly still.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

“Sedentary, solitary, anxious, and depressed”

from The Free Press

Jonathan Haidt: Smartphones Rewired Childhood. Here’s How to Fix It.

Phones have made kids sedentary, solitary, anxious, and depressed. But, says the author and psychologist, we can reverse the damage.

By Jonathan Haidt

Smartphones have made America’s youth lonely, distracted, anxious and depressed, Jonathan Haidt writes. But we can reverse the damage.
The introduction of the iPhone in 2007 had a cataclysmic effect on childhood, which we are only just beginning to understand. (Photo by Adam Berry via Redferns)

Suppose a salesman in an electronics store told you he had a new product for your 11-year-old daughter that’s very entertaining—even more so than television—with no harmful side effects of any kind, but also no more than minimal benefits beyond the entertainment value. How much would this product be worth to you?

You can’t answer this question without knowing the opportunity cost. In Walden, his 1854 reflection on simple living, Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The cost of a thing is the amount of. . . life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”

What the smartphone user gives up is time. A huge amount of it.

[ click to continue reading at The FP ]

Sam Taylor-Bond

from The New York Post

Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s director wife Sam finally responds to James Bond rumors

By Erin Keller

Sam Taylor-Johnson addresses rumors surrounding husband as new Bond
Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Sam Taylor-Johnson attend the closing gala premiere of Nowhere Boy during The Times BFI London Film Festival.Getty Images

Sam Taylor-Johnson has addressed the rumors surrounding her husband Aaron Taylor-Johnson taking on the role as James Bond.

In an upcoming appearance on “The Jonathan Ross Show” set to air Saturday, the 57-year-old director stayed mum about her 33-year-old husband’s possible new gig.

“You mean that I might direct a Bond film? The first woman director,” Sam dodged Ross’ question about the speculation.

The couple, who faces criticism for their 23-year age gap, met in 2009 on the set of the John Lennon biopic “Nowhere Boy” which she directed and he starred in. They also worked together in a 2018 film adaptation of author James Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces.”

Sam told Ross about directing her hubby, “It’s really interesting. When I directed Nowhere Boy, he wasn’t my husband. When I directed ‘A Million Little Pieces’ he was.”

[ click to. continue reading at NYP ]

FRIGHT KREWE Interview

from Yahoo! Entertainment

Interview: Eli Roth & James Frey Talk Fright Krewe Season 2

by Tyler Treese

Fright Krewe
Credit: Peacock

ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with Fright Krewe co-creators Eli Roth and James Frey about the horror series. The duo discussed making a horror series for teenagers and their love of 2D animation. The new season is set to debut on Hulu and Peacock on March 29, 202.

“As the threat of Belial looms large, the Fright Krewe and their newfound supernatural allies, the rougarous and vampires come together for an unprecedented battle to save the world,” reads the new season’s synopsis. “But with Belial resurrecting every demonic entity known to evil kind will the superpowers gifted to the teens by the loas prove stronger than the diabolical forces unleashed?”

Tyler Treese: Eli, I was very pleasantly surprised with how quickly Fright Krewe Season 2 came out. Talk to me about the production timeline. Did you guys know what you wanted to do to do already with Season 2? How was this such a quick endeavor?

Eli Roth: It actually was a decision that was made early on to make 20 episodes and split them into two seasons. They wanted to sort of wait to announce Season 2 and release them close together so that people knew that a second season was coming. Obviously, it’s not an anthology show where there are the different monsters of the week, but there’s this overall larger story that’s being told, and we wanted people to know that it’s okay to invest in it. We want you to invest in it because there’s more coming.

So when we broke out the stories and wrote the seasons, we wrote it as a 20-episode arc. Obviously, we would love to continue with further seasons, but we knew this story had to come to this portion. This character — the Belial story and the Fright Krewe — we had to resolve it by the end of Season 2. So that’s really what we were working towards.

James, you know, the first season of Fright Krewe is a great introduction to all the characters and really got the ball rolling. What was most exciting about having the second season to continue that story and have more freedom? Since you already have the introductions, you can just get into the meat of the story rather than establishing everybody.

James Frey: When Eli and I first came up with this, which is a whole bunch of years ago, we always imagined it as a multi-season, ongoing, serialized story. Obviously, we hope it keeps going, but the most exciting part of Season 2 was seeing what Eli and I had discussed … was it seven or eight years ago, Eli?

Roth: Nine.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! ]

Re-dignifying David’s Dick

from The Associated Press

A fight to protect the dignity of Michelangelo’s David raises questions about freedom of expression

BY COLLEEN BARRY

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Michelangelo’s David has been a towering figure in Italian culture since its completion in 1504. But in the current era of the quick buck, curators worry the marble statue’s religious and political significance is being diminished by the thousands of refrigerator magnets and other souvenirs sold around Florence focusing on David’s genitalia.

The Galleria dell’Accademia’s director, Cecilie Hollberg, has positioned herself as David’s defender since her arrival at the museum in 2015, taking swift aim at those profiteering from his image, often in ways she finds “debasing.”

In that way, she is a bit of a David herself against the Goliath of unfettered capitalism with its army of street vendors and souvenir shop operators hawking aprons of the statue’s nude figure, T-shirts of it engaged in obscene gestures, and ubiquitous figurines, often in Pop Art neon.

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Bear Bloom 2024

from The Los Angeles Times via MSN

As hungry bears awaken from hibernation, a California mountain village braces for invasion

by Louis Sahagún

Led by a sense of smell 100 times keener than that of humans, the predators have crashed through windows, ripped tiles off roofs and torn solid wood doors off their hinges to get at leftover pizza in a refrigerator.

They have also defecated on counters, furniture and floors as a “calling card,” officials say.

In a region of Southern California that wildlife authorities call a human-black bear conflict zone, the impending arrival of spring in this small mountain village is met with dread and fear as the hungry giants emerge from their winter torpor to search for food.

“Bears are a major problem here — and it’s getting worse,” said Patrice Stimpson, patrol chief of Pine Mountain Club — a community of some 2,800 residents in the San Emigdio Mountains, about 75 miles north of Los Angeles.

“They’ve caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage,” Stimpson said. “Last year, a house caught fire after a bear climbed onto the gas stove and turned on the burners. A few cars were nearly totaled by bears rummaging for crushed cookies between the seats.”

[ click to continue reading at MSN ]

Return Of The Armadillo

from Deadline

Fran Drescher, John Michael Higgins, Griffin Matthews & More Set For Roles In ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ Sequel

By Matt Grobar

EXCLUSIVE: After leading SAG-AFTRA through its latest round of negotiations with the AMPTP, guild President Fran Drescher (The Nanny) has been set to join the sequel to 1984 cult classic This Is Spinal Tap, reprising her role as publicist Bobbi Flekman.

Other new additions to the cast include Don Lake (The Bonnie Hunt Show), John Michael Higgins (Best in Show), Jason Acuña (Jackass), Nina Conti (Family Tree), Griffin Matthews (The Flight Attendant), Kerry Godliman (After Life), Chris Addison (Veep), comedian Brad Williams, and musician Paul Shaffer. Details as to the roles of these cast members are under wraps for now.

Also now aboard the project are Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and Lars Ulrich, Metallica’s co-founder and drummer, who will make cameos. Production is currently underway in New Orleans, with Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer reprising their roles as the legendary heavy metal band, Spinal Tap, under the direction of Rob Reiner.

[ click to continue reading at Deadline ]

Attack Of The Killer Cleveland Mushrooms

from the BBC

In Cleveland, mushrooms digest entire houses: How fungi can be used to clean up pollution

By Nick Hilden

(Credit: Getty Images)

In the struggle to combat pollution and fight climate change, a growing number of scientists are beginning to look to one of nature’s oldest biotechnologies: fungi.

The city of Cleveland faces an epidemic of abandoned houses. Crumbling homes number in the thousands. These ramshackle structures are riddled with toxins like lead and dilapidated to the point of no return. And if tearing down and safely disposing of the waste of one such home sounds daunting, imagine thousands of them.

Among the numerous issues that arise, one essential question involves waste. What do you do with the waste material from so many teardown structures, when so much of it is toxic?

“All of the material from demolition – the studs, the floors, cellulosic mass [the primary structural component of plants], and even things like ceiling tiles and asphalt material like roof shingles, can be mixed into substrate that then becomes good for growing fungus,” says Chris Maurer, founder of Cleveland-based architect firm Redhouse Studio. Through his firm, Maurer has been advocating for the use of substrate to address Cleveland’s housing crisis, which is also a health crisis for the city’s inhabitants. 

[ click to continue reading at BBC ]

No need to define – just ingest it.

from Texas Monthly

Defining ‘Guisado’ Is Just as Messy as the Dish Itself

While the term is most commonly translated as “stew,” it’s not wholly accurate. Guisados are more of a feeling than anything else.

By José R. Ralat

Tacos de guisado are—first and foremost—rule breakers. They so strongly resist identification that an umbrella category had to be created for them. The taqueros who make them don’t care for restrictions. Tacos de guisado are the morning tacos that lead into midday. They’re eaten by blue-collar workers and corporate yes-men, especially in Mexico City. “They’re practically the national breakfast food,” says Alejandro Escalante, author of La Tacopedia: Encyclopedia of the Taco and Acridofagia y Otros Insectosand co-owner of La Casa de los Tacos in Mexico City’s Coyoacán neighborhood. They’re hefty and hearty and lovely. They’re also a source of confusion. 

The trouble begins with the literal English translation of “guisado.” The word means “stew.” But just like “cold” can refer to more than temperature, “guisado” has more nuance than Google Translate is willing to offer. Even in the Phaidon edition of Escalante’s Tacopedia, the chapter on guisados is poorly translated to Stewed Tacos. Finding a completely accurate definition of guisado is a purist’s nightmare.

[ click to continue reading at Texas Monthly ]

God Bless C-SPAN

from RealClearPolitics

The Gift of C-SPAN in an Era of Partisan Media

By Carl M. Cannon

Forty-five years ago today, future vice president Albert Gore Jr. stood in the well of the House of Representatives to discuss an innovative development in television programming. There was nothing remarkable about that in itself: Al Gore had been a newspaperman before becoming a Tennessee congressman and had a genuine interest in both new technology and mass communication.

Except that there was something momentous about Gore’s speech that day. It was the first time that remarks delivered on the House floor by a member of Congress were televised. It was an event long envisioned by a 38-year-old Indiana-born, Purdue-educated, U.S. Navy veteran who had worked as a White House and Capitol Hill aide before returning to journalism. His name was Brian Lamb. As the Washington bureau chief of the trade publication Cablevision, Lamb had dreamed of creating a nonprofit cable network that would focus exclusively on public affairs, particularly Congress. It was called C-SPAN, and on March 19, 1979, that dream became reality.

Addressing an audience that Lamb later quipped was “in the thousands,” Al Gore said this: “The marriage of this medium and of our open debate have the potential, Mr. Speaker, to revitalize representative democracy.”

Precisely four and a half decades later, C-SPAN is still shining a spotlight on our nation’s elected representatives and our shared national history, even as the technology changes under the network’s feet (yet again.)

[ click to continue reading at RealClearPolitics ]

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