Monthly Archives: December 2010

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”¹

The other night, The Professor and I watched Pressure Cooker, an Emmy-nominated documentary about high school students in inner-city Philadelphia who go through a demanding culinary arts program with an eye to winning scholarships for culinary school. The film was … Continue reading

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Pulses, clouds and glasses

It’s become almost a tradition in our family to decide against a big turkey dinner on holidays. Instead, we are apt to set a big pot of soup or chili to cook while we play games, watch football, work on … Continue reading

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Gifts from the East

I started my morning with a little dose of Arabic; I put sugar (Sp. el azúcar) in my tea and wiped my face with a cotton (Sp. el algodón) pad. Usually when I notice that words have similar forms in … Continue reading

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That’s a funny shibboleth you got there

A friend of mind recently told me that there are only two non-liturgical words in English that are derived from Hebrew—camel and cinnamon. This friend readily admits to playing fast and loose with the factoids at times. So while I was happy … Continue reading

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Illegitimi non carborundum

Last night, I was wondering whether “molder,” as in “moldering in the grave” was related to the fungal substance mold. Turns out, the answer is mo. Er…no. There’s an archaic meaning of “mold,” from whence “molder”: decay, as a verb, … Continue reading

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