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Interesting Things I’ve Read Recently 3/27/15

March 27, 2015

How Snobbery Helped Take the Spice Out of European Cooking (NPR Blog)

Back in the Middle Ages, spices were really expensive, which meant that only the upper class could afford them. But things started to change as Europeans began colonizing parts of India and the Americas.

“Spices begin to pour into Europe,” explains Krishnendu Ray, an associate professor of food studies at New York University. “What used to be expensive and exclusive became common.”

Related: Food Studies at New York University? Neat! Making a note to see if they host lectures open to the public.

Speaking of really cool things at NYU: There’s an Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Symposium there this summer: Art Crime and Cultural Heritage: Fakes, Forgeries, and Looted and Stolen Art. According to the Department of Justice, art crime is the third largest type of crime in the world. I have no justifiable, professional reason to go to this conference. (Kicking myself for not studying archives, preservation or more in the vein of cultural heritage for library school.) Man, this looks cool, though. Maybe a browse through journals is in order. Because art crime can be astonishing (and surprisingly low tech).

Inside the Secret Technology that Makes ‘The Daily Show’ and ‘Last Week Tonight’ Work (SplitSider)

Historically, these types of video clips would have been pulled from stacks of videocassettes, or saved on a DVR or TiVo. But SnapStream, a Houston, Texas company that developed a system of recording television shows directly onto a server and searching them through a web browser, is changing the way these comedy shows report the news.

I’m torn between delight at this sleek, data-crunching program for media… and marveling at “the way these comedy shows report the news” as a phrase that captures our times.

Sign language that African Americans use is different from that of whites (Washington Post)

[The study by Carolyn McKaskill and her research team], which assembled and analyzed data from filmed conversations and interviews with 96 subjects in six states, is the first formal attempt to describe Black ASL and resulted in the publication last year of “The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL.” What the researchers have found is a rich signing system that reflects both a history of segregation and the ongoing influence of spoken black English.

 

 

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