Daniel Thompson, Whose Bagel Machine Altered the American Diet, Dies at 94. The obituary doubles as an abbreviated history of the bagel's fortunes, and the fortunes of bagel-makers:
As vaunted as it was in American cities, the traditional bagel for years remained so obscure — so ethnic — that as late as 1960 The New York Times Magazine felt obliged to define it for a national readership as “an unsweetened doughnut with rigor mortis.” … “Every bagel that was made in New York City up until the 1960s was a union bagel — every one,” Mr. Goodman said. … “Bagel Famine Threatens in City,” an alarmed headline in The Times read in 1951, as a strike loomed. (It was followed the next day by the immensely reassuring “Lox Strike Expert Acts to End the Bagel Famine.”)
The one song played at every bar mitzvah isn't "Celebration," or "I Gotta Feeling," or even "New York, New York" -- it's "Hava Nagila." But what is it? A 9-minute documentary tells the story of how a wordless meditative nigun became a song everybody in the world, Jewish or not, could sing. Seriously, everybody. Harry Belafonte and Danny Kaye. Harry Dean Stanton with Bob Dylan backing up on harmonica. Polish metal band Rootwater. A guy who plays the ukulele behind his head. The Modern Female Choir of Zhejiang. The Dark Knight. What appears to be a group of comedy fiddlers ("featuring John and Pancho") from John Hagee's church in San Antonio. Even ... um... this guy. (Previously on MetaFilter: The closest you're going to get to the Beatles covering "Hava Nagila.")
Metafilter's own zaelic has a blog. For a long time I've been addicted to this blend of music, treyf food and travelogue, but my greatest vicarious pleasure in ages has been in a graveyard.