Friday, April 05, 2013
So over Passover I was shopping at the local grocery store and the shelves where they normally keep the challah, pita and bagels were full of Kulich and Panettone. Now that Passover is over, the challah is back. Although the Kulich is still around (until Shavuot, I guess)
urad, channa and mung
Reading a Kerala recipe for a dosa in roasted ghee. Damn, how many different kinds of lentils do these people eat? I think all raw dry beans are kosher so I think I just need to make a trip to an Indian grocer.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The Racial Equality Proposal of 1919
I consider myself generally knowledgeable about world history, and especially European history. And yet I constantly find out about stuff I've never heard of. Here's a good one: In 1919, the Japanese delegation to the Paris peace conference proposed a racial equality clause to the Covenant of the League of Nations.
The equality of nations being a basic principle of the League of Nations, the High Contracting Parties agree to accord as soon as possible to all alien nationals of states, members of the League, equal and just treatment in every respect making no distinction, either in law or in fact, on account of their race or nationality.This basically caused Britain and Australia to go completely batshit. And Woodrow Wilson needed the support of Southern Democrats to ratify the treaty so he could not support the racial equality clause. The funny thing is that when the Japanese proposed this, they had not even considered that it would apply universally. In their head, their only beef was that Japanese were seen as inferior. As a matter of fact, the Japanese considered themselves superior to the Koreans and the Chinese, not to mention the dark skinned races. This was quite a circus. The matter was brought to a vote and 11 countries out of 17 voted yes to the racial equality clause, the rest abstaining. Yet Wilson overturned the vote stating that he needed a unanimous yes vote to approve it. As an aside, the Japanese were quite a wily bunch - they used the "Asia for Asians" campaign to agitate various European colonies in Asia to drive out the white colonists. However, the Japanese turned out to be as bad or worse once they filled the vacuum left by the Europeans. As another aside, even as the Nazis came to power, the Japanese refused to exile Jewish refugees in lands occupied by Japan, but this was purely a calculation of economic and political opportunism as the Japanese believed they could benefit from the money-making abilities of the Jews. All this can be found in detail in Wikipedia!!!
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Nate Silver and Zen
So I read the Nate Silver book and I have mixed feelings about it. It is not as good as I hoped, but there were some interesting points made. One thing that really struck me is something he says at the end a chapter about how as a forecaster you need to satisfy yourself that you did as good a job as you could, that you were unbiased and honest with yourself and others and that you need to have a certain amount of detachment about the outcome of your prediction. This reminded me of the scene in James Clavell's "Shogun" where a drunken samurai asks to bring him his bow and shoots an arrow through a shoji screen at a post in the dark garden. He then asks the Englishman, Blackthorne, to inspect the post to confirm if the arrow hit the target. Meanwhile, the samurai sat there with an aloof expression on his face. The samurai's wife explained that what was important was not whether the arrow hit the target (although she was sure that it did) but the grace of the archer's movement, his skill with the weapon and his indifference to the outcome of his shot.
Monday, December 24, 2012
A veritable Christmas present
How do you explain a young Chinese girl that decides to do a cover of an old Odessa Jewish gangster song? Here is the original...