The Mexican kitchen's Islamic connection :"When Mexico’s leading writer, Nobel Prize laureate Octavio Paz, arrived in New Delhi in 1962 to take up his post as ambassador to India, he quickly ran across a culinary puzzle. Although Mexico and India were on opposite sides of the globe, the brown, spicy, aromatic curries that he was offered in India sparked memories of Mexico’s national dish, mole (pronounced MO-lay). Is mole, he wondered, “an ingenious Mexican version of curry, or is curry a Hindu adaptation of a Mexican sauce ?” How could this seeming coincidence of “gastronomic geography” be explained ?" posted by dhruva at 11:18 PM PST - 53 comments
Just the other day I was thinking about World War 2-era propaganda songs, so of course I gave a listen to Smoke On the Water. Say what? You didn't know it was about kickin' Hitler's ass? Or Hirohito's? Guess you weren't listening well enough when ol' RedFoley sang: "...there'll be nothing left but vultures to inhabit all that land, when our modern ships and bombers make a graveyard of Japan..." I tell you, they just don't write songs like that anymore, friends. Anyway, by 1951 Red was looking forward to Peace in the Valley. [more inside] posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:15 PM PST - 20 comments
The individualism-collectivism split between Eastern and Western cultures is well known but it's origin somewhat of a mystery. Now a team of researchers has come up with a surprising explanation: disease-causing microbes. posted by stbalbach at 7:00 PM PST - 46 comments
Italy produced and sold at least 70 million litres of cheap wine containing acid, manure and fertiliser, Italian weekly L'Espresso said on Friday largely blaming organised crime in the south. [more inside] posted by preparat at 5:10 PM PST - 54 comments
Food insecurity may not be as sexy a cause as climate change, refugees or terrorism, (or bird flu for that matter) but for many people around the world, rising food prices are driving them to riot . [more inside] posted by Megami at 4:33 PM PST - 44 comments
Limited nuclear war would damage ozone layer. Apart from the human devastation, a small-scale nuclear war between India and Pakistan would destroy much of the ozone layer, leaving the DNA of humans and other organisms at risk of damage from the Sun's rays, say researchers at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.
Michael Mills at the LASP and his colleagues used computer models to study how 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs would affect the atmosphere.
They say that their scenario – in which each country launches 50 devices of 15 kilotons – is realistic, given the countries' nuclear arsenals.
"The figure of 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs compares pretty accurately to the approximately 110 warheads that both states reportedly possess between them," agrees Wyn Bowen, professor of non-proliferation and international security in the War Studies Group at King's College, UK.
Here is an earlier 2006 report by Michael Mills about the devastating effect even a limited nuclear war would have on the ozone layer. posted by KokuRyu at 12:23 PM PST - 55 comments
So, you're planning to take a trip around the world, are you? Well, in that case--you'll need to know a couple of things before you leave (in order not to offend the sensibilities of the local population). Let's see--suppose you're making your way through Azerbaijan for example, and your host happens to be a businessman who is about to embark on a journey to the city: what would you do to give him the appropriate send off? Would you:
a) Bid him farewell and shake his hand.
b) Dance in front of him and do a traditional jig that everyone else is doing in order to ward off evil spirits.
Riding The Tiger; Muqtada al-Sadr and the American Dilemma in Iraq is the final chapter of Patrick Cockburn's new book.
Seymour Hersh has called Cockburn, who writes for the British paper, The Independent, "quite simply, the best Western journalist at work in Iraq today."
Meanwhile al - Sadr has called off his million man march for now. Juan Cole asks: What if the US military presence is juvenilizing the Iraqis and prolonging the civil war? posted by adamvasco at 3:50 AM PST - 29 comments
"It's ethnic cleansing happening." Fully ten days after elections that most are speculating were indeed won by the opposition party (Movement for Democratic Change), Robert Mugabe still clings to power in Zimbabwe. The voting results have still not been released, and 5 election officials have been arrested, "accused of tampering with the vote to the detriment of Mugabe's tally." Its been a tense time for Zim, and now the violence and land seizures have started again. [more inside] posted by allkindsoftime at 12:30 AM PST - 68 comments