Food in the English civil war tended not to be personalised – we don’t have pommes a la Pym – but the sides were highly differentiated by the fact that one was hedonistic and the other was not. Cromwell – austere, famous for banning mince pies – left nothing of culinary note but dourness. The gourmet explosion of the Restoration managed to post-date its values on to the Cavaliers. We think of them following “all manner of rare receipts for preserving, candying and cookery”, as Hannah Woolley wrote in her recipe book The Queen-Like Closet. But that wasn’t published until 1670; the soldiers of the civil war, two decades earlier, were eating mainly grubs and weevils. … [Read more...] about From Nelson’s apple to beef wellington: how war changes the way we eat
Ways to preserve energy
In a momentous and unanimous decision, the international court of justice (ICJ) in The Hague imposed emergency “provisional measures” on the country – intervening in its domestic affairs by instructing the government of Aung San Suu Kyi to respect the requirements of the 1948 genocide convention.Rohingya remaining in Myanmar were “extremely vulnerable” to attacks by the military. … [Read more...] about UN’s top court orders Myanmar to protect Rohingya from genocide
The 34-year-old is part of a wave of artists remodelling classical music for the 21st century. Often listed under the genre tag “neo-classical”, the “neo” is really a misnomer. Frahm is in fact closer to an older time, when composers were popular musicians writing for cash and pianists were celebrity performers. His approach, combining virtuoso musicianship with a pop hit-maker’s ear for melody, jazz’s freeform patterns and a DJ’s gift for euphoric builds, may be unorthodox but it has also put him at the forefront of his sound. His past, spent frequenting Hamburg and Berlin techno clubs, along with the electronic sounds that complement his productions, have also allowed him to find fans outside the classical community. … [Read more...] about Nils Frahm: ‘My music can be quite heavy. Some people faint’
“It is no accident that every town with a university is more economically, socially and culturally vibrant than those that do not. Students are sources of vitality, energy and lode–bearers of the new – and fun to be around. They may put upward pressure on rents but they start new businesses aplenty and provide demand for existing businesses ranging from 24/7 convenience stores to clothes shops.” He added: “University academics and their research are sources of inspiration and intellectual energy. As a result, universities are major sources of direct and indirect employment – they are the anchor institutions of the 21st-century economy, and most city councils are figuring out ways to keep their students once they graduate. Do without them at your peril.” … [Read more...] about Town v gown: is the student boom wrecking communities?
Scientists often get excited when they realise how their views have been shaped by the use of metaphor, and grasp that new analogies could alter how they understand their work, or even enable them to devise new experiments. Coming up with those new metaphors is challenging – most of those used in the past with regard to the brain have been related to new kinds of technology. This could imply that the appearance of new and insightful metaphors for the brain and how it functions hinges on future technological breakthroughs, on a par with hydraulic power, the telephone exchange or the computer. There is no sign of such a development; despite the latest buzzwords that zip about – blockchain, quantum supremacy (or quantum anything), nanotech and so on – it is unlikely that these fields will transform either technology or our view of what brains do. … [Read more...] about Why your brain is not a computer