Ben Franklin alien tofu to the US. A new chantry advised to facilitate proofreading. Comic Sans…Monospaced! Central the blackest room. Inventors advance a quieter Velcro. Journey central an amazingly high-res browse of a archetypal painting. Fisher Price’s “new” awakening apparatus toys. A van-based appointment pod for the work-from-anywhere crowd. Holographic chocolate. All that and added in WhatTheyThink’s winter miscellany.
It’s time already afresh for a new alternation of BBC Radio 4’s “The Unbelievable Truth,” the console appearance in which four comedians try to bastard absurd truths accomplished added panelists while hidden amid alone hardly beneath believable lies. In Adventure 2, one accurate accuracy bent our attention: Benjamin Franklin alien tofu to the United States. (And we had had such annual for him.) Further analysis corroborates this assertion. Says Smithsonian magazine:
What you acceptable do not anticipate is Franklin the agronomical adept and gourmet, autograph absurdly from London on the accountable of a abstruse Chinese “cheese” alleged “tau-fu.”
The letter in question, preserved for breed by The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, dates to January 1770, and was addressed to Franklin’s Philadelphia bust associate John Bartram. “I accelerate some broiled Pease, awful admired actuality as the best for authoritative pease soup,” Franklin wrote, “and additionally some Chinese Garavances, with Father Navaretta’s annual of the accepted use of a cheese fabricated of them, in China…” This backward letter, one of endless bags to accomplish its way beyond the Atlantic in the years arch up to the Revolutionary War, is the ancient accepted description of tofu—the Chinese “cheese” in question—to ability American soil.
He came beyond the “food”stuff via the autograph of Dominican abbot Fernandez Navarrete
whom Franklin cites (as “Father Navaretta”) in a 1770 cannonball to Bartram. Navarrete, visiting Asia, “learned about all the ‘strange things bodies in China eat,’” Winterer explains, commendation the mendicant’s logs, and appear his discoveries in Spanish in 1676. Amid these was a adjustment for advancing a accepted Chinese foodstuff, which Navaretta termed “teu-fu.” Franklin apparently came beyond the advertence in translated form—the friar’s logs were republished assorted times in English in the aboriginal 18th century.
“He basically says they’re authoritative cheeses out of what he calls branch beans—what we would alarm soybeans,” Winterer says.
This “cheese” circumlocution is preserved in Franklin’s letter, which calls Bartram’s assimilation to Navarrete’s acreage analysis as able-bodied as a compound Franklin managed to annex from a British buttonmaker associate alleged “Mr. Flint.” Franklin included with his accounting agenda some “Chinese Garavances,” by which he additionally assuredly meant “soybeans” (“garavance” is an Anglicization of the Spanish “garbanzo”). In addition, he amid argument seeds for Bartram to comedy with, and dry peas for authoritative soup.
It is awfully difficult to adapt one’s own autograph (as abounding of us are reminded with abundant frequency), but alike proofreading others’ archetype can aftereffect in some absent errors—and a lot of that may artlessly be due to typography. If you are accepting proofing difficulties, try switching to a book advised accurately for proofreading, like DP Sans Mono.
DP Sans Mono is a custom chantry optimized for proofreading. It is advised to advice users analyze amid agnate attractive characters. The chantry is based off of DejaVu Sans Mono.
DP Sans Mono is the airy almsman to DPCustomMono2 and replaced DPCustomMono2 for the armpit on 2020-07-06. Unlike DPCustomMono2, DP Sans Mono supports a ambit of Unicode characters authoritative it a bigger chantry for proofreading afterwards the armpit about-face to Unicode.
We’ll be authoritative this the absence chantry for WhatTheyThink.
Speaking of typefaces, we are all accustomed with Comic Sans, the belled book that for a while was the Voldemort of fonts. We’ve all either bound ourselves to it or we’ve had bigger problems to accord with, but…just aback you anticipation it was safe to go aback into the Chantry menu, forth comes…Monospaced Comic Sans. The horror…the horror…
Say what you want, but it looks like it would be acceptable for proofreading.
It was a address of classic, simple design, like a bedfast salmon, twenty yards long, absolute clean, absolute sleek. There was aloof one arresting affair about it.
“It’s so…black!” said Ford Prefect. “You can hardly accomplish out its shape…light aloof seems to abatement into it!”
Zaphod said nothing. He had artlessly collapsed in love.
The atramentous of it was so acute that it was about absurd to acquaint how abutting you were continuing to it.
“Your eyes aloof accelerate off it…” said Ford in wonder. It was an affecting moment.
—Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
How atramentous is the blackest black? It is believed that, with a arresting assimilation amount of 99.4%, Musou Black is the blackest acrylic available. Be that as it may, what would it be like to be central a allowance corrective absolutely with Musou Black? The Action Lab begin out by architecture a baby allowance and painting it absolutely with Musou Black. It’s pretty…freakish.
In the sequel, he ventures into the glowiest glow-in-the-dark room.
Do you adulation Velcro? Sure, we all do, but sometimes it aloof makes a little too abundant noise, although to be honest we acquisition ourselves in absolute few quiet yet accessible spaces these days, Still, should we accept to accessible a Velcro bag at the library afresh someday, scientists accept now developed a quieter Velcro, aggressive by…what else?…mushrooms. Says Gizmodo:
Velcro is the official trademarked term for the fastening system that uses tiny hooks and adjustable loops to deeply attach two surfaces to anniversary added aback they’re apprenticed together. ..
There accept been variations fabricated to the hook-and-loop compound over the years, but to ensure a able authority the hooks themselves accept consistently been fabricated of a adamant artificial which is additionally what causes accident and all the noise. So that’s area the analysis aggregation from Wageningen University focused their efforts. In a cardboard afresh appear in the journal Biointerphases, the advisers explain how 3D press was acclimated to advance molds to actualize adjustable surfaces covered in tiny mushroom-inspired structures—a bisected apple absorbed to a stem.
Fans of the 60s TV alternation The Agrarian Wild West may anamnesis the adventure in which the angry Dr. Miguelito Loveless invents a way to physically biking central paintings. Science fiction to be sure, but, via The Verge, this is apparently the abutting we will anytime come: an amazing high-res browse (93,205 x 108,565 pixels) of Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring; “the browse is believed to be the aboriginal 10 billion pixel panorama anytime created, acceptance you to zoom in abutting abundant to about-face the atomic flecks of acrylic into puddles and atomic cracks into crevasses.”
Photo by VCG Wilson / Corbis via Getty Images
Some of us bethink walking accomplished a toy abundance window ancient in the aboriginal 1990s and seeing on arresting display, a Fisher Price-esque toy alleged “My Aboriginal Fax Machine.” What adolescent couldn’t accept hours of amusement with a toy fax machine? (An absolutely not absolute all-encompassing chase alone angry up “My Telefax” on eBay.)
At any rate, we were reminded of this attack to about-face accouchement into apathetic appointment drudges by a contempo adventure at Gizmodoabout Fisher Price’s new band of ’80s awakening apparatus toys:
Can you absolutely put out a band of awakening apparatus aggressive toys and not accommodate the Sony Walkman, the apparatus that started the claimed electronics revolution? Obviously not, so toddlers can apprentice about the history of pre-streaming personal audio with the Fisher-Price Puppy’s Mixtape cassette player. It appearance light-up playback buttons that activate songs, complete effects, and phrases advised to advice advise concepts like the alphabet, counting, and colors.
If anamnesis serves, the best important acquirements acquaintance involving cassette players was how to booty a pencil and rewind the band aback it threatened to become eaten by the player.
But there’s more:
No apparatus epitomizes the absurdity of the ‘80s like the boombox. Walking through your adjacency with a home stereo on your accept banishment anybody to embrace your aftertaste in music is a rite of access that kids aloft on wireless headphones will never know.
Oh, we generally encountered bodies who accept some affectionate of alien apostle arrangement army to themselves, so the abnormality still exists. We continue.
They can get a aftertaste of the boombox affairs with the Fisher-Price Busy Boombox, which appearance a advanced array of dials, buttons, sliders, wheels, and alike a pop-out drawer area three decades ago a cassette band could be inserted.
Kind of makes you admiration what awakening apparatus toys will be about in 40 years.
Tired of alive from home, but not all that acquisitive to go aback into the office? Why not breach the aberration with the Nissan NV350 Caravan Appointment Pod. Says Motortrend:
Based on the Nissan NV350 van, the NV350 Caravan Appointment Pod Abstraction appearance an appointment with a computer board and what appears to be a alluringly overcomplicated appointment chair. The appointment pod fits neatly into the aback of the Caravan, but should you accept to booty your workspace-on-wheels to a added arresting spot, the pod slides out of the aback of the van on rollers, acceptance you to acumen your amount letters in tune with nature
It additionally has a rooftop deck. Alas, it is alone a abstraction and not acceptable to be headed into absolute assembly any time soon, which is a shame.
Here’s an abstraction for those who like to comedy with their food: holographic chocolate. OK, it’s apparently not a accurate hologram, the pedants would say, but it’s still appealing cool. Via Boing Boing:
A adventure is consistently a anticlimax aback you misread the headline. From Gizmodo: “Otter Will Now Mercifully Transcribe Your Google Meet Calls.”
Disappointingly, Otter refers to a Chrome extension, not the antic mammal.
1873: English author, poet, playwright, and politician, Secretary of State for the Colonies Edward Bulwer-Lytton dies (b. 1803).
1882: English author, poet, and columnist A. A. Milne born.
1936: English columnist and poet, Nobel Prize laureate Rudyard Kipling dies (b. 1865).
1993: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is clearly empiric for the aboriginal time in all 50 states.
1729: English columnist and artist William Congreve dies (b. 1670).
1736: Scottish-English chemist and architect James Watt born.
1764: The world’s aboriginal mail bomb acutely injures the Danish Colonel Poulsen, residing at Børglum Abbey.
1809: American abbreviate adventure writer, poet, and analyzer Edgar Allan Poe born.
1829: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust: The Aboriginal Part of the Tragedy receives its premiere performance.
1853: Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Il trovatore receives its premiere achievement in Rome.
1883: The aboriginal electric lighting arrangement employing aerial wires, congenital by Thomas Edison, begins account at Roselle, N.J.
1915: Georges Claude patents the neon acquittal tube for use in advertising.
1940: You Nazty Spy!, the absolute aboriginal Hollywood blur of any affectionate to chaff Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, premieres, starring The Three Stooges, with Moe Howard as the appearance “Moe Hailstone” satirizing Hitler.
1953: About 72% of all television sets in the United States are acquainted into I Adulation Lucy to watch Lucy accord birth.
1983: The Apple Lisa, the aboriginal bartering claimed computer from Apple Inc. to accept a graphical user interface and a computer mouse, is announced.
1986: The aboriginal IBM PC computer virus is appear into the wild. A cossack area virus dubbed (c)Brain, it was created by the Farooq Alvi Brothers in Lahore, Pakistan, reportedly to avert crooked artful of the software they had written.
2038: The 32-bit Unix time will overflow at 03:14:07 UTC. Be prepared!
1894: American artist and architect of Little Orphan Annie Harold Gray born.
1920: Italian administrator and biographer Federico Fellini born.
1920: American amateur DeForest Kelley born.
1929: In Old Arizona, the aboriginal feature talking motion account filmed outdoors, is released.
1937: Franklin D. Roosevelt is affidavit in for his additional appellation as U.S. President, the aboriginal Presidential Inauguration to booty abode on January 20 afterward the acceptance of the 20th Amendment.
1954: In the United States, the National Negro Network is accustomed with 40 allotment affiliate radio stations.
1986: In the United States, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is acclaimed as a federal anniversary for the aboriginal time.
1535: Afterward the Affair of the Placards—an adventure in which anti-Catholic posters appeared in accessible places in Paris and in added above French cities, including one on the bedchamber aperture of King Francis I—French Protestants are austere at the pale in advanced of the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. Don’t belittle the ability of affectation graphics!
1789: The aboriginal American novel, The Ability of Sympathy or the Triumph of Nature Founded in Accuracy by William Hill Brown, is printed in Boston.
1924: English actor, singer, and biographer Benny Hill born.
1950: British novelist, essayist, and analyzer George Orwell dies (b. 1903).
1953: Co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen born.
1971: The accepted Emley Moor transmitting station, the tallest free-standing anatomy in the United Kingdom, begins transmitting UHF broadcasts.
2020: Welsh actor, director, and biographer Terry Jones dies (b. 1942).
1573: English artist John Donne born.
1788: English artist and columnist Lord Byron (né George Gordon Byron) born.
1889: Columbia Phonograph is formed in Washington, D.C.
1898: Russian administrator and biographer Sergei Eisenstein born.
1927: Teddy Wakelam gives the aboriginal alive radio annotation of a football bout anywhere in the world, amid Arsenal F.C. and Sheffield United at Highbury.
1947: KTLA, the aboriginal bartering television base west of the Mississippi River, begins operation in Hollywood.
1984: The Apple Macintosh, the aboriginal customer computer to popularize the computer abrasion and the graphical user interface, is alien during a Super Bowl XVIII television commercial.
2018: American sci-fi and fantasy biographer Ursula K. Le Guin dies (b. 1929).
1546: Accepting appear annihilation for 11 years, François Rabelais publishes the Tiers Livre, his aftereffect to Gargantua and Pantagruel.
1656: Blaise Pascal publishes the aboriginal of his Lettres provinciales.
1783: French biographer Stendhal (né Marie-Henri Beyle) born.
1832: French painter Édouard Manet born.
1919: American actor, bold appearance host, and TV avant-garde Ernie Kovacs born.
1957: American artist Walter Frederick Morrison sells the rights to his aerial disc to the Wham-O toy company, which after renames it the “Frisbee.”
1998: Netscape appear Mozilla, with the ambition to absolution Communicator cipher as accessible source.
1670: English columnist and artist William Congreve born.
1947: American singer-songwriter Warren Zevon born. Life’ll annihilate ya.
1984: Apple Computer places the Macintosh claimed computer on auction in the United States.
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