Southern Cooking, Thomas Kuhn, Architecture, Sidney Korshak, Spiders

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The Short And Brilliant Life Of Ernest Matthew Mickler

Michael Adno | Bitter Southerner | 22nd January 2018

Ernest Mickler spent 14 years compiling and writing ‘White Trash Cooking’, an anthology of recipes from the American South, boiled squirrel among them. “As Ernie would explain time and again, to be White Trash was something to be proud of. In the introduction to ‘White Trash Cooking’, Ernie laid out a distinction between uppercase White Trash and lowercase white trash, claiming that ‘Manners and pride separate the two’. To be poor, Southern, and White Trash was anything but shameful” (7,100 words)

The Revolutionary Ideas Of Thomas Kuhn

James Marcum | TLS | 17th January 2018

Kuhn reacted against the conventional view of scientific progress as the accumulation of knowledge across time in an “incremental and contiguous” manner. He saw each great new scientific theory as a “paradigm shift” which shattered the preceding model of the universe and obliged the rest of science to adjust to a new model. Later in life Kuhn became reconciled with the idea of scientific progress. Paradigm shifts were not stochastic, but were movements towards an eventual truth (2,135 words)

Architectural Economics

Kurt Kohlstedt | 99% Invisible | 22nd January 2018

Quirks of the law and the especially of the tax code shape the architecture of our cities. In 1783 Paris limited the height of buildings to 20 metres — but measuring up to the cornice, leaving roofs out of the calculation, which encouraged mansard roofs containing up to four extra stories. The Dutch taxed houses according to width — so city-dwellers built narrow, deep houses with winches to haul large items upstairs. When the English taxed bricks, builders used fewer and bigger bricks (1,000 words)

The Man Who Kept The Secrets

Nick Tosches | Vanity Fair | 2nd April 1997

As a tip of the hat to Graydon Carter’s retirement from Vanity Fair, here is the piece which Carter himself rated the most memorable in his 25 years as editor: Nick Tosches’s profile of Sidney Korshak, one of the great hidden hands of 20th-century organized crime. As long-time lawyer to the Chicago Mafia, Korshak knew everything and told nothing — “not only the secrets of the forbidden anatomies of Vegas and Hollywood, but also the vaster secrets, of the fates of the Kennedys and such” (14,600 words)

The Best Books On Spiders

Sophie Roell | Five Books | 21st January 2018

Interview with Lawrence Bee, author of ‘Britain’s Spiders’. “Spiders are part of the arachnid order, and they are joined in that by harvestmen, which also have eight legs, but only one part to their body. Spiders have two parts to their body, and, generally, eight eyes. Jumping spiders leap after their prey. Wolf spiders chase their prey down. They’re called wolf spiders because you often see quite a number at one time, but they’re not hunting in a pack. They’re all doing their own individual thing” (7,400 words)

Video of the day Musical Rollercoaster

What to expect:

Visualisation of Ferdinand Ries’s Second Symphony, fourth movement, as a rollercoaster ride (1’00”)

Thought for the day

Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion
Thomas Kuhn

Podcast of the day Obesity | Science Versus

Geneticist Dr Giles Yeo and others discuss the causes of the global obesity epidemic

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