Parasites, Logistics, Robuchon, Lycanthropy, Edith Wharton


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Flying Saltshakers Of Death

Ed Yong | Atlantic | 30th July 2018

Annals of parasitism. “Imagine emerging into the sun after 17 years underground, only for your butt to fall off.” That fate regularly befalls cicadas thanks to a fungus called Massospora, which grows inside the cicada, consumes its organs, and converts the rear of its body into a mass of spores that infect more cicadas. The fungus also doses the cicada with mind-altering drugs — psilocybin and amphetamine. “The cicadas walk around as if nothing’s wrong even though a third of their body has fallen off” (1,200 words)

See No Evil

Miriam Posner | Logic | 10th August 2018

How supply chains work. “It’s a staggering kind of undertaking. If you’re a small apparel company, then you still might have 50,000 suppliers in your supply chain. You’ll have a personal relationship with about 200 to 500 agents or intermediaries. We call them ‘supply chains’, but that image is misleading. They really look more like a network of waterways, with thousands of tiny tributaries made up of sub-suppliers trickling into larger rivers of assembly, production, and distribution” (3,500 words)

Joel Robuchon In Eight Dishes

Daniela Galarza | Eater | 8th August 2018

Ex-Robuchon cook explains the master’s eight signature dishes, starting with pomme purées — mashed potatoes. “The recipe calls for two pounds of ratte potatoes — a small, French variety known for its firm texture and nutty flavor — one pound of butter, a quarter-cup of whole milk, and salt to taste. But the technique is everything. The potatoes are boiled whole, peeled, and pressed through a food mill. The finished purée is smooth, meltingly soft, like gently whipped cream” (2,633 words)

The Man Who Mistook Himself For A Tiger

Helen Thomson | Medium | 26th June 2018

A conversation with a lycanthrope. “When it starts to happen, all my hairs stand upright. The hair all over my body becomes erect. Then I get a spiky, itchy feeling over my body and my beard. It starts with a pain in my left leg, then it moves to my right leg, then to my arms. I start to feel an electric-like sensation going through my body. Then it feels like I want to bite someone. I can’t control it, I just know that I am turning into a tiger. I want to attack you before you attack me” (2,900 words)

My Favourite Anti-Semite

Anne Roiphe | Tablet | 10th August 2018

On anti-Semitism among pre-war novelists. “Henry James wrote the most vile portrait of Jews on the Lower East Side. He found them ugly and loud and smelling of foods that made him nauseated and wished them drowned in the sea they had so hopefully crossed. Edith Wharton is reported to have said that she disliked the Jews because of the Crucifixion. Maybe she said that but I am not sure. She disliked Jews because they were not part of the social world that she disliked even more” (2,317 words)

Video of the day Weird Objects

What to expect:

A tour of the New York Public Library’s collection of literary paraphernalia (4’41”)

Thought for the day

It is the essence of certainty to be established only with reservations
Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Podcast Martha Nussbaum | Slate

How anger took over American politics, and how civility might be restored
(33m 02s )

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