Cultural Detective
 Map 
There Never Was a Real Tulip Fever

Image/photo


A new movie sets its doomed entrepreneurs amidst 17th-century “tulipmania”—but historians of the phenomenon have their own bubble to burst
Alimentazione e quello che sta intorno
  
Very interesting!

Cultural Detective
 Map 
"This affair is one of the haunting mysteries of the past, one of the problems that nobody has solved.  The events occurred in 1600, but the interest which they excited was so keen that belief in the g…" - James VI and the Gowrie Mystery

Image/photo

Cultural Detective
 Map last edited: Thu, 03 Aug 2017 05:01:58 -0700  
Full text of "William of Malmesbury's Chronicle of the kings of England. From the earliest period to the reign of King Stephen"

Image/photo

A. D. 1116.] PRINCE WILLIAM DROWNED. 455 to go to his son-in-law. Many provinces, then, looked for- ward to the government of this boy: for it was supposed that the prediction of king Edward would be verified in him ; and it was said, that now might it be expected, that the hopes of England, like the tree* cut down, would, through this youth, again blossom and bring forth fruit, and thus put an end to her sufferings : but God saw other- wise ; for this illusion vanished into air, as an early day was hastening him to his fate. Indeed, by the exertions of his father-in-law, and of Theobald the son of Stephen, and of his aunt Adala, Lewis king of France conceded the legal possession of Normandy to the lad, on his doing him homage. The prudence of his truly careful father so ar- ranged and contrived, that the homage, which he, from the extent of his empire, disdained to perform, should not be refused by his son, a youth of delicate habit, and not very likely to live. In discussing and peaceably settling these matters, the king spent the space of four years ; continuing the whole of that time in Normandy. Nevertheless, the calm of this brilliant, and carefully concerted peace, this anxious, universal hope, was destroyed in an instant by the vicissitudes of human estate. For, giving orders for re- turning to England, the king set sail from Barfleur just before twilight on the seventh before the kalends of De- cember ; and the breeze which filled his sails conducted him safely to his kingdom and extensive fortunes. But the young man, who was now somewhat more than seventeen years of age, and, by his father's indulgence, possessed everything but the name of king, commanded another ves- sel to be prepared for himself ; almost all the young nobility flocking around him, from similarity of youthful pursuits. The sailors, too, immoderately filled with wine, with that seaman's hilarity which their cups excited, exclaimed, that those who were now a-head must soon be left astern; for the ship was of the best construction, and recently fitted with new materials. When, therefore, it was now dark night, these imprudent youths, overwhelmed with liquor, launched the vessel from the shore. She flies swifter than the winged arrow, sweeping the rippling surface of the deep : but the carelessness of the intoxicated crew drove her on a * See page 252. 456 WILLIAM OF MALMESBURT. [b. v. rock, which rose above the waves not far from shore. In the greatest consternation, they immediatelj ran on deck, and with loud outcry got ready their boat-hooks, endea- vouring, for a considerable time, to force the vessel off: but fortune resisted and frustrated every exertion. The oars, too, dashing, horribly crashed against the rock,* and her battered prow hung immoveably fixed. Now, too, the water washed some of the crew overboard, and, entering the chinks, drowned others; when the boat having been launched, the young prince was received into it, and might certainly have been saved by reaching the shore, had not his illegitimate sister, the countess of Perche, now strug- gling with death in the larger vessel, implored her brother's assistance ; shrieking out that he should not abandon her so barbarously. Touched with pity, he ordered the boat to return to the ship, that he might rescue his sister ; and thus the unhappy youth met his death through excess of affec- tion : for the skiff, overcharged by the multitudes who leaped into her, sank, and buried all indiscriminately in the deep. One rustic f alone escaped ; who, floating all night upon the mast, related in the morning, the dismal catastrophe of this tragedy. No ship was ever productive of so much misery to England ; none ever so widely celebrated throughout the world. Here also perished with William, Richard, another of the king's sons, whom a woman of no rank had borne him, before his accession ; a youth of intrepidity, and dear to his father from his obedience : Richard earl of Chester, and his brother Otuell, the tutor and preceptor of the king's son : the countess of Perche, the king's daughter, and his niece the countess of Chester, sister to Theobald: and indeed almost every person of consequence about court, whether knight, or chaplain, or young nobleman, training up to arms. For, as I have said, they eagerly hastened from all quarters, expecting no small addition to their re- putation, if they could either amuse, or show their devotion to the young prince. The calamity was augmented by the difficulty of finding the bodies, which could not be dis- covered by the various persons who sought them along the * Virgil ^neid. v. 206. t He is called a butcher by Orderic Vitalis, p. 867, who has many par- ticulars of this event. I A.D. 1120.] PRINCESS MATILDA. 457 shore ; but delicate as they were, they became food for the monsters of the deep. The death of this youth being known, produced a wonderful change in existing circumstances. His father renounced the celibacy he had cherished since Matilda's death, anxious for future heirs by a new consort : his father- in-law, returning home from Jerusalem, faithfully espoused the party of William, the son of Robert earl of Normandy, giving him his other daughter* in marriage, and the county of Maine ; his indignation being excited against the king, by Iiis daughter's dowry being detained in England after the death of the prince.

Cultural Detective
 Map 
Read a (Love) Letter From Herman Melville to Nathaniel Hawthorne

Image/photo


“All we are left with are representations of Melville’s feelings, tantalizingly expressed without being particularly easy to pinpoint. Melville wrote of Hawthorne with undeniably sexy language. What proves more elusive are the feelings to which, with any precision, this language can be said to refer.”


Upon waking next morning about daylight, I found Queequeg’s arm thrown over me in the most loving and affectionate manner. You had almost thought I had been his wife.
-- Moby-Dick, the novel dedicated to Hawthorne

Cultural Detective
  last edited: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 20:05:41 -0700  
I'll answer Maikaru's question to me here, because I think the answer is interesting.

He wondered how Ivanka Trump can be an "unpaid federal employee." She can't. This is barred by 31 US Code 1342. She will most likely receive $1. This is what her father promised to do in a 60 Minutes interview after the election, although the White house has failed to provide proof.

This has a long tradition in business, and in government, starting with the "Dollar Men" during the Great Depression. More recently, Michael Bloomberg took a salary of $1 for being Mayor of New York. Mark Zukerberg was taking a $1 salary at Facebook prior to the IPO.

The reason, I suspect, is a concept in law called the "peppercorn." Both parties to a contract must have a “consideration,” a stake in a contract for it to be valid under the common law. In this case, the goal is to bind Ivanka Trump to the various ethics and disclosure laws that apply to all federal employees except the president.

References:
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/31/1342
http://www.webpronews.com/zuckerbergs-one-dollar-salary-2012-02/
http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-37977433
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppercorn_(legal)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-dollar_salary
Cultural Detective
 Map 
I'm slowly building up an offline, analog reference library in case...
I'm now prepared to answer your questions on Cricket in 2006 and Art and Architecture in France 1500-1700. You're welcome. #thriftprivateer.
Image/photo
Cultural Detective
 Map 
Women were to blame for the South Sea Bubble (according to men)

Image/photo

Reports of the time gave the financial scandal what were considered to be female attributes.

Cultural Detective
  
The Curious Case of The Knights of Malta, Condoms, and the Pope

Knights of Malta 'still loyal to pope' after clash over condoms

Image/photo


Official at centre of feud says Catholic order ‘grateful to holy father for guidance’ after its British head, Matthew Festing, was fired for challenging Vatican
Manuel
  
Not the centuries pass over the Church :-/

Cultural Detective
  last edited: Wed, 14 Dec 2016 22:55:28 -0800  
I begin an investigation into L'affaire Kardashian by a refresher course, starting with:


Image/photo

Cultural Detective
 Map 
h/t Manuel

The Case of the Vanishing Oil Reserves

Image/photo

Where are Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade when we need them? A crime is in progress, and only a detective who’s unafraid of stepping on powerful people’s toes is likely to get to the bottom of it.Here’s what we know. Someone is stealing the world’s valuable petroleum reserves right from under our feet—and getting away with it. Politicians and the news media are barely mentioning the heist; maybe they don’t understand what’s happening, or more likely they have something to hide. But this is big. It could be the caper of the century.

Cultural Detective
 Map 
Kunyu Wanguo Quantu (Chinese: 坤輿萬國全圖; pinyin: Kūnyú Wànguó Quántú; literally: "A Map of the Myriad Countries of the World"; Italian: Carta Geografica Completa di tutti i Regni del Mondo, "Complete Geographical Map of all the Kingdoms of the World"), printed in China at the request of the Wanli Emperor during 1602 by the Italian Catholic missionary Matteo Ricci and Chinese collaborators, Mandarin Zhong Wentao and the technical translator, Li Zhizao, is the earliest known Chinese world map with the style of European maps. It has been referred to as the Impossible Black Tulip of Cartography, "because of its rarity, importance and exoticism".


Image/photo


Kunyu Wanguo Quantu (坤輿萬國全圖) [Public domain], by Matteo Ricci, from Wikimedia Commons

Cultural Detective
 Map last edited: Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:16:50 -0700  
May 12, 2010: I’m reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It’s great how he has mixed all these myth and folklore traditions together into something wonderful, strange, and new.

I came across this description of some great sounding chili, "Laura's Chili" on pg 33 of my edition:

Laura made a great chili. She used lean meat, dark kidney beans, carrots cut small, a bottle or so of dark beer, and freshly sliced hot peppers. She would let the chili cook for a while, then add red wine, lemon juice and a pinch of fresh dill, and, finally, measure out and add her chili powders. On more than one occasion Shadow had tried to get her to show him how she made it: he would watch everything she did from slicing the onions and dropping them into the olive oil at the bottom of the pot. He had even wrtitten down the recipe, ingredient by ingredient, and he had once made Larua’s chili for himself on a weekend when she had been of town. It had tasted okay — it was certainly edible, but it had not been Laura’s chili.


So that’s the challenge. Using those few clues to create a truly mouth watering chili. The hard part is determining how complete the recipe is. No tomatoes? On purpose I think.

The Mystery

So I am trying to recreate the chili recipe mentioned at the beginning of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. No mention of tomatoes to be found.

Is it because:

* Gaiman is a novelist and not a cookbook author and the scene is intended to define the relationship between two of the characters, not tell you how to make chili
* There are no tomatoes in the recipe. The red wine and dark beer are the ingredients intended to provide color and body to the dish
* It never existed it’s just a metaphor

The Cultural Detective continues on, he will try it without tomatoes.

Which leads to the question: does a bowl of chili exist until someone eats it?

Recipe

    4Tbsp olive oil on medium heat in a stew pot
    added sliced onions and minced garlic, cooked until they started to turn translucent
    added minced carrots and 2 fresh chopped jalapenos
    added 1lb pasture raised beef cut in 1in cubes
    browned the meat
    added 2 microbrew beers
    salt & pepper
    simmer 2 hours
    add the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1-2 cups red wine, fresh dill
    continue to simmer and reduce another 1.5 hours
    add chili powder and cumin to taste
    simmer 30 minutes

The Solution:

Which was not consulted before my attempt

    Neil Gaiman's source

Cultural Detective
 Map 
"A sudden illumination: I had a trade after all. I would set up a cultural investigation agency, be a kind of private eye of learning. Instead of sticking my nose into all-night dives and cathouses, I would skulk around bookshops, libraries, corridors of university departments. Then I'd sit in my office, my feet propped on the desk, drinking, from a dixie cup, the whiskey I'd brought up from the corner store in a bag. The phone rings and a man says: Listen I'm translating this book and came across something or someone called Motakallimun. What the Hell is it? Give me two days I tell him. Then I go to the library.... ...I had a strict rule, which I think secret services follow, too: No piece of information is superior to any other. Power lies in having them all on file and then finding the connections. There are always connections; you have only to want to find them."
-- Foucault's Pendulum
Cultural Detective
  
Cultural Detective updated their profile photo

Image/photo