The earliest known reference to French toast is in the Apicius, a collection of Latin recipes dating to the 1st century CE, where it is described as simply aliter dulcia ‘another sweet dish’. The recipe says to “Break [slice] fine white bread, crust removed, into rather large pieces which soak in milk [and beaten eggs] fry in oil, cover with honey and serve”
This was one of my childhood favorites that my mom would make if I was a good boy. I haven’t had it in ages. Here’s a photo and a recipe.
It’s also Turkey Leftover Day, Red Planet Day, honoring the first vehicle to fly by Mars, the Mariner 4, launched on this day in 1964. And it’s Letter Writing Day (when’s the last time you wrote a real letter to a friend or loved one (cards don’t count)?
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the November 28 Wikipedia page.
*Led by students (as in Iran), Chinese people are protesting en masse against their government—in China’s case its draconian lockdown policy. The trigger was a fire in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjian Province, which killed ten people; the protestors claim that because of the lockdown policy, firefighters couldn’t get close to the blaze (one source said that the building doors were locked). The protests are country-wide, and have morphed from criticism of the lockdown to criticism of the government and its Party leaders:
Protests erupted in cities and on campuses across China this weekend as frustrated and outraged citizens took to the streets in a stunning wave of demonstrations against the government’s “zero covid” policy and the leaders enforcing it.
“There were people everywhere,” said Chen, a 29-year-old Shanghai resident who arrived at the vigil around 2 a.m. Sunday. “At first people were yelling to lift the lockdown in Xinjiang, and then it became ‘Xi Jinping, step down, Communist Party step down!’” he said, giving only his surname because of security concerns.
. . .Such demonstrations are extremely rare in China, where authorities move quickly to stamp out all forms of dissent. Authorities are especially wary of protests at universities, the site of pro-democracy demonstrations in 1989 that spread across the country and ended in a bloody crackdown and massacre around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
At Communication University of China in Nanjing, posters mocking “zero covid” were taken down on Saturday, prompting one student to stand for hours holding a blank piece of paper in protest. Hundreds of students joined in solidarity.
Some placed flowers on the ground to honor the fire victims and chanted, “Rest in peace.” Others sang the Chinese national anthem as well as the left-wing anthem “The Internationale.” They shouted, “Long live the people!”
‘Down with the party! Down with Xi Jinping!’ Free Xinjiang!’ pic.twitter.com/q5jwUQrz5Z
— Eva Rammeloo (@eefjerammeloo) November 26, 2022
*The World Cup results for today (click to enlarge):
Germany, behind by one goal, pulled even with Spain via an 83rd-minute strike by Niclas Füllkrug to achieve a tie. Had they lost, they would have had to go home. Here’s a short video of that game’s highlights:
The 2-0 win of Morocco over Belgium was totally unexpected, and led to riots breaking out in both Belgium and the Netherlands. Some highlights:
Here are the highlights from Costa Rica’s 1-0 victory over Japan:
*According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Soccer foundation found itself in hot water after making a social-media post intended to show support to those protesting the Iranian regime. Here’s what they posted (it’s now gone):
What’s the issue here? Well, look at the Iranian flag emblem. It’s missing something, for here’s what the flag normally looks like:
Ergo the issue:
With the U.S. and Iran set to play a high-stakes match in the World Cup here on Tuesday, the U.S. soccer federation took to social media to make what it said was a statement of support for protesters inside Iran: an altered version of the Iranian flag.
Then, Sunday afternoon, the team deleted the post, which wasn’t run past U.S. players or coaches and inflamed tensions with the Iranians ahead of a decisive showdown on the field.
The federation’s action had resulted in an Iranian soccer official calling for a FIFA investigation and disciplinary action against the Americans, just two days before a match the U.S. must win in order to advance.
The post from the U.S. team’s Instagram account, dated two days ago, depicted the Iranian flag without the emblem of the Islamic Republic. The emblem, four curves with a sword between them, represents “there is no God but Allah,” which is part of the Islamic declaration of faith.
. . .A spokesman for U.S. soccer had said the post was a one-time showing of support for the protestors. The team’s players and coaches were not consulted on the posting, the spokesman said, adding that the plan was to show their support in one post and then revert back to using the country’s official flag.
The spokesman said the decision to remove the post came after more internal conversations on the matter.
The Iranian semiofficial ISNA news agency said the U.S. decision to remove the emblem went against FIFA regulations and that the violation of those rules should lead to a fine or ban.
And no beer, either!
*This is a good decision: Whole Foods has decided to stop selling Maine lobsters. And even if you don’t care about the death of lobsters, realize that they did it not to save lobsters, but to save whales:
Environmental groups are once again at odds with politicians and fishermen in New England in the wake of a decision by high-end retail giant Whole Foods to stop selling Maine lobster.
Whole Foods recently said that it will stop selling lobster from the Gulf of Maine at hundreds of its stores around the country. The company cited decisions by a pair of sustainability organizations to take away their endorsements of the U.S. lobster fishing industry.
The organizations, Marine Stewardship Council and Seafood Watch, both cited concerns about risks to rare North Atlantic right whales from fishing gear. Entanglement in gear is one of the biggest threats to the whales.
The decision by Whole Foods was an “important action to protect the highly endangered” whale, said Virginia Carter, an associate with the Save America’s Wildlife Campaign at Environment America Research & Policy Center.
Other organizations like Seafood Watch have also put lobster fishing on the red list, and for the same reason: danger to whales. Doesn’t anybody care about teh crustaceans?
Maine, of course, doesn’t like this:
The company’s decision to stop selling lobster drew immediate criticism in Maine, which is home to the U.S.’s largest lobster fishing industry. The state’s Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, and its four-member congressional delegation said in a statement that Marine Stewardship Council’s decision to suspend its certification of Gulf of Maine lobster came despite years of stewardship and protection of whales by Maine fishermen.
“Despite this, the Marine Stewardship Council, with retailers following suit, wrongly and blindly decided to follow the recommendations of misguided environmental groups rather than science,” Mills and the delegation said.
Well, what does SCIENCE say about this? I have no idea.
*Pamela Paul’s NYT columns are always worth reading, though of course some are better than others. This week she takes on pop culture: “Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, and the reality of imperfection” Paul’s thesis is that the Zeitgeist has made many women lay claim to mental illness (not that they don’t have it), even if they’re hugely successful like Gomez and Swift.
By most measures, Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift are remarkable women. Intelligent and capable, they’ve succeeded through innate talent, hard and sustained work, ambition and vision. Both are the kind of mega pop stars who inspire convulsions of adulation and tears. Crowds surge and part in their presence. They’re graced with a radiance that seems almost exclusive to celebrities, with skin so incandescent it needs no filter.
But they are not perfect. Nor, importantly, do they pretend to be. A recent Apple TV+ documentary, “Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me,” offers an unsparing portrait of Gomez, now 30, and her experiences with bipolar disorder, lupus, anxiety and psychosis. On her latest album, “Midnights,” Taylor Swift, 32, sings about her depression working the graveyard shift, about ending up in crisis. “It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me / It’s me, hi, everybody agrees, everybody agrees,” goes the song “Anti-Hero.” “Sometimes I feel like everybody is a sexy baby / And I’m a monster.”
This combination of external flawlessness and emotional vulnerability feels like a feature particular to contemporary female pop stardom. On one screen we see impeccable glam, expertly choreographed and costumed performances and startling displays of luxury. On the other screen, admissions of anxiety, PTSD, panic attacks and sleeplessness.
Paul implies, but doesn’t state, that mental health issues have increased significantly more for young girls than for young boys, but that is indeed the case. (If this is at all connected with gender dysphoria, then it might also help explain the much higher number of biological girls wanting to become transsexual than do biological boys). The important question is why the sex difference? Now that would have been an interesting column. Instead, the ending is rather lame:
It may be that each generation gets a slate of pop stars attuned to its own aspirations and insecurities. Young women may be able to better relate to today’s pop stars — for better and for worse.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s resting in the wood basket.
A: I’m going to fetch wood.Hili: Leave this basket alone.
A: Idę po drewno.Hili: Ten kosz zostaw w spokoju.
A message from a woman whose boyfriend (presumably the car’s owner) cheated on her.
Two tweets from Masih. Do read the WaPo article linked in the first one.
It was the first time that French president @EmmanuelMacron spoke face to face with Iranians who want to overthrow the regime & said; What is happening in Iran is a revolution. Other G7 leaders must also recognize Iran’s new revolution.#MahsaAmini https://t.co/ZqTXoe7vWj
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) November 27, 2022
And I can’t really decry this; it’s a form of civil disobedience and nobody is injured:
Video received from the city of Shiraz shows a young schoolgirl knocking turban off clerics’ head on a crowded metro platform with no fear.
Young Iranians are filming themselves knocking turbans off clerics’ heads to protest 40 year of tyranny by clerical regime.#MahsaAmini pic.twitter.com/O0zXnMdMRZ
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) November 27, 2022
From Nick Christakis via reader cesar. A trigger warning for evolution in a science museum, for crying out loud!
— Nicholas A. Christakis (@NAChristakis) April 5, 2014
From Malcolm. The Iranian football team is already in trouble for not singing the national anthem in its first game (they did in the second, for they know what would happen if they persisted and then returned home). But here, a few days ago, the team captain empathizes with the Iranian protestors.
⚡️ BREAKING: #Iran football team captain defies regime, backs protests: “We have to accept that conditions in our country are not right & our people are not happy. They should know that we are with them. And we support them. And we sympathize with them regarding the conditions.” pic.twitter.com/SX4kenXiTZ
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) November 21, 2022
From the Auschwitz Memorial:
28 November 1921 | Czech Jew František Kohn was born in Prague.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) November 28, 2022
Tweets from Matthew. The first one is a fantastic example of camouflage, one in which both the morphology and behavior of the caterpillar has evolved. Look how it walks along the leaf vein! UPDATE: I learned that this is the caterpillar of the common baron butterfly, Euthalia aconthea (h/t Luana).
El paradigma de la evolución del camuflaje…
Nature is awesome. pic.twitter.com/VOkOodAkqy
— Jose Ramos Vivas (@joseramosvivas) November 23, 2022
Note the little butt shake at the end. Someone on Twitter asked me why don’t bats just hang right-side up and pee normally, like birds do? I answered, but try to think of the answer yourself:
How a bat pees pic.twitter.com/iuPD5evlmq
— B&S (@_B___S) November 26, 2022
And a lovely dappled deer. Its color will make it more visible to hunters and predators, so I hope it’ll be okay:
Dalmatian deer.. pic.twitter.com/owZzIOhTVJ
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) November 25, 2022