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Frederick The Monk
311752.  Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:50 am Reply with quote

96aelw wrote:
Egyptians also shunned beans, according to Herodotus, which is slightly curious given that the Oxford Companion to Food describes a broad bean based concoction (ful medames) as the (modern) Egyptian national dish.

Herodotus is having a laugh - there is lots of evidence of bean eating in Egypt from all periods. The Oxyrinchus papyrii mention 'Phaseolus' (from the Greek phaselos - bean) and show they were available in the same sort of quantities and at roughly the same price as lentils. Chickpeas and flat beans (vetch) were also common, as were the leguminous seeds of fenugreek. There was also an unidentfied bean known as arakos which sold for the same price as barley.

see Bagnall, R.S., Egypt in Late Antiquity. Princeton 1993 for full grisly details

Last edited by Frederick The Monk on Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:48 am; edited 1 time in total

Frederick The Monk
311753.  Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:54 am Reply with quote

Vegetarianism was known as 'the Pythagorean diet' until the late 19th century.

Link to Alan.

311820.  Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:32 am Reply with quote

Q: When was London last invaded by robots?

F: Any mention of Doctor Who.

A: 1944.

Although the V-1 missiles, launched at London by the Germans from June 1944, were nicknamed doodlebugs and buzz bombs, they were most commonly referred to as “the robots.”

When the first V-1 wreckage was examined by Londoners, there was puzzlement: the thing appeared to be a small plane, but in that case where was the pilot? Contemporary records (diaries and so on) make it clear that when it was realised that London was under attack by robots - as opposed to mere men, as had been the case during the Blitz - people found this psychologically much harder to deal with. Although rumours of the new “secret weapon” had been running for months, the actuality - like something out of a science fiction story, as many noted - was far worse.

In practical terms, too, it was much harder to defend against unmanned attacks, which came at every hour of the day or night, not being restricted by good flying weather, the stages of the moon and so on, as manned bombers were.

The authorities, however, were enormously relieved when the first Vs landed, and were found to contain nothing but explosives; they had been expecting chemical or biological weapons.

The V-1 and V-2 are certainly the most devastating terrorist weapons yet devised. A V-1 was a flying bomb, carrying one ton of explosive power; buildings were destroyed or severely damaged by blast within half a mile radius of its landing spot. Entire streets simply collapsed “like packs of cards.”

There are several odd aspects to the V-1. It tended to rip people’s clothes off them, even if the people themselves survived: in one attack, this effect “left two elderly spinsters in Belgravia emerging from the ruins stark naked but clutching their Pekinese.”

People were sucked out of windows near the crash site. Soot was sucked out of chimneys, which meant that victims, alive or dead, were usually covered in soot.

S: ‘London 1945’ by Maureen Waller (John Murray, 2005).

311827.  Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:42 am Reply with quote

Did we ever use the Four-Minute Warning stuff in the last series? It’s just that I note that, when the V-2s were being launched from a suburb of The Hague, “The rocket took all of four minutes to reach its target in London.”

S: ‘London 1945’ by Maureen Waller (John Murray, 2005).

Which is another possible origin for the whole “four minute” myth?

311831.  Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:46 am Reply with quote

Yes, we did record something. Can't remember if it made the cut though.

313841.  Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:40 am Reply with quote

I know that mental illnesses aren't fair-game; not even the funny ones, but this is fascinating.

Frontotemporal dementia is often misdiagnosed as Alzeimers; it is a degenerative brain disease. However some people who get the disease become incredibly creative, and become great artists or musicians.

This is because the right posterior brain (which is used in creativity) has its connections changed, altering circuits in the brain (can you tell, I don't really understand that). Supposedly, Ravel suffered an early form of this disease when he composed Balero.

Lots more here

341895.  Thu May 22, 2008 8:39 am Reply with quote

A strange thing here. A new theory as to why locusts swarm is that they're collectively attempting to escape from young cannibal locusts.

Young locusts, which cannot fly, have been seen eating other members of their group.

The new theory suggests that some other locusts start to panic.

Increasing numbers of locusts band together to try to get away from the hungry cannibals chasing behind.

They keep this momentum when they reach the adult phase of their life cycle and take to the air.


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