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This Valentine’s Day-themed tech post was supposed to be just that—a way to show that all that sexy metadata powering the Oxford Index’s sleek exterior has a sweet, romantic side, just like the rest of the population at this time of year. I’d bounce readers from a description of romantic comedies to Romeo and Juliet to the three-act opera Elegy for Young Lovers, and then change the Index’s featured homepage title to something on the art of love to complete the heart shaped, red-ribboned picture.
I didn’t do any of these things. I got distracted. As it turns out, searching the word “chocolate” (“It is not addictive like nicotine but some people, ‘chocoholics’, experience periodic cravings”) reveals a whole smorgasbord of suggested links to delectable food summaries and from my first glimpse at the makings of a meringue, I was gone—making mental notes for recipes, stomach rumbling, eyes-glazing over. Mmm glaze.
In the end, my “research” was actually quite fitting to the season. Because, really, when it comes to Valentine’s Day in the 21st century, only a handful of things are reliable and certain—and almost all of them are made with sugar.
Best Mouthwatering Dessert Descriptions
Best Quote About Doughnuts…or Anything
“When Krispy Kremes are hot, they are to other doughnuts what angels are to people.”
– Humor writer Roy Blount Jr, New York Times Magazine
Best Etymology Entry
→ Snack was originally a verb, meaning ‘bite, snap’. It appears to have been borrowed, in the fourteenth century, from Middle Dutch snacken, which was probably onomatopoeic in origin, based on the sound of the snapping together of teeth… The modern verb snack, ‘eat a snack,’ mainly an American usage, is an early nineteenth-century creation.
Top 5 Favorite Random Food Facts
Best Relevancy Jump
The overview page for “cake”….
→ Plain cakes are made by rubbing the fat and sugar into the flour, with no egg; sponge cakes by whipping with or without fat; rich cakes contain dried fruit.
….leads to a surprising related link: “Greek sacrifice”
→ Vegetable products, esp. savoury cakes, were occasionally ‘sacrificed’ (the same vocabulary is used as for animal sacrifice) in lieu of animals or, much more commonly, in addition to them. But animal sacrifice was the standard type.
The Entry I Wish I Hadn’t Found:
→ Flaky crescent-shaped rolls traditionally served hot for breakfast, made from a yeast dough with a high butter content. A 50‐g croissant contains 10 g of fat of which 30% is saturated.
Best Food-Related Band Names
Best Overall Summary of What Food Is
→ Food is a form of communication that expresses the most deeply felt human experiences: love, fear, joy, anger, serenity, turmoil, passion, rage, pleasure, sorrow, happiness, and sadness.
Georgia Mierswa is a marketing assistant at Oxford University Press and reports to the Global Marketing Director for online products. She began working at OUP in September 2011.
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The Oxford Index is a free search and discovery tool from Oxford University Press. It is designed to help you begin your research journey by providing a single, convenient search portal for trusted scholarship from Oxford and our partners, and then point you to the most relevant related materials — from journal articles to scholarly monographs. One search brings together top quality content and unlocks connections in a way not previously possible. Take a virtual tour of the Index to learn more.
You probably have had enough of my winged creatures by now; whether it's a baby, a bear or in this case, a giant fish! But seriously, it shows how desperate I am to just fly away! I need a change...
Hopefully I'll come back with some new and different pieces in near future. Right now it's just me struggling with this so-called artist's block thingy!
Recently I've been working on Namaki, a Persian Children's fairytale character. There are many versions of the same story told across Iran.
I just had finished this illustration and was looking for the story written in English when I came across an interesting blog, Deconstructing Hairy: Hairless in Dubai. So I'ma quote the story from there:
"A girl named Namaki lived with her big family in a big house. Everyone in the family had 1 chore, and Namaki's was to close all 7 doors of the house each night. One night, she forgot to close the 7th door and a Giant came inside, putting the entire family in danger...
Namaki's mother softly wakes her up and sings this song bobbing her head side to side:
Ay Namaki Ay Namaki,
Yek dar ra basti Namaki (1st door you closed, Namaki)
Doh dar ra basti Namaki (2nd door you closed Namaki)
Seh dar ra basti Namaki (3rd door...
Char dar ra basti Namaki (4th...
Panj dar ra basti Namaki (5th...
Shish dar ra basti Namaki (6th...
Haft dar ra Nabastiiii Namakiiii (7th door, you didn't close, Namaki!)
Namaki must pay the consequences of her mistake. Giant is tired and hungry. Namaki searches the house for the biggest pot, and cooks all the rice she manages to find, perfuming it with her salty tears. Giant eats with delight. Then he says he would like some tea. Every time Namaki becomes weary of the job, her Mother sings the song once again, in a disapproving but gentle tone...So she finds the biggest glass and hugest sugar cubes, and serves a giant steamed tea with 2 giant cubes of sugar. Then, she finds the largest mattress and the biggest fluffiest pillow, drags them out. Giant sleeps like a giant baby.
In the morning, Giant is so happy and touched by Namaki's caring for him, he realizes he is in love with her and demands her hand in marriage. Namaki cries in despair, but her mother sings the song once more...oh the cursed 7th door has determined Namaki's fate, and she must go with him.
Giant lives in a beautiful castle in the mountains, full of streams and frolicking creatures. He cares for Namaki, truly loves her. Eventually Namaki sees beauty in Giant, and loves him too...
One day, as they take tea on their grand balcony, birds chirp around them, the sun twinkles between the trees and the mountain streams gurgle beneath their feet...Namaki sighs. Giant sees that Namaki is unhappy about something and, determined to make her happy, asks her what is wrong. Namaki says everything is perfect, except she misses her family. In an instant Giant decides to fulfill her wish, and orders Namaki's family to join them in their new home. They live happily ever after."
I've been kept busy with my finals for the past few weeks and just found some free time to draw something for me!
I watched the movie, The Black Swan, a week back and drew a sketch that very night. Yesterday I decided on painting it. Not exactly what you call it a fan art but still it shows how I feel about the movie itself. Great performance by Natalie Portman by the way and a well-deserved Oscar in the end!
Developing a new style and trying to introduce some background to my work! Suddenly I remember my art classes back when I was 8 (considering my overly simple take on the whole thing)!
A Plea for the Sun:
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Inspired by Pixar's Presto and the movie The Prestige, I felt like creating something about Magic. This time I painted the whole thing in watercolor though in the end I had to add more than few digital touches to make it read better.
Have a magical day! :)
Among all Grimm's fairy tales, the one that I feel the most connected to is "Red Riding Hood". No idea why but it's the one story that I can't get off my mind no matter how hard I try! So I decided to surrender and embrace this weird feeling!
Here goes my depiction of the Red Riding Hood!
Using Fox Orian's Influence map template, I made mine. Though I couldn't put in ALL the artists that has influenced me so far, it's still good to see some of them together like this!
It was a nice experience on the whole! :)
The weather’s getting cooler—time for comfort food! This is a new recipe we love.
It’s Mark Bittman’s Tuscan White Beans, from his cookbook How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I serve them over pasta and add fried bread crumbs.
These are just bread crumbs (I make them from stale bread and keep them in the freezer) that I fry up in olive oil with garlic. Somehow with this treatment they take on an almost bacony-like flavor. So good.
On top, add the garlic olive oil from the Bittman recipe and a good grating of parm. It’s like grown up mac and cheese—but leave out the parm and it’s vegan.
The recipe makes a lot, so if it’s too much for one evening, you can freeze some to save for later. Just make sure that you thaw gently (at room temp or at a very low temp) or you’ll end up with mush.
In other news, really enjoying my blogging class (Blogging Your Way with Holly Becker of decor8). It’s making me think about ways I may want to re-tool my blog, improve it, and tighten its focus. What would you like to see more of? What are your favorite posts? I’m thinking of spinning the food section off into another location. Not sure.
Currently reading Russell Shorto’s The Island at the Center of the World, which follows the history of the New Amsterdam colony before it became New York. It’s slow-going, with a large cast of van der _____’s to keep up with, but the subject matter is really interesting. There’s an enormous trove of Dutch archives on the subject which until recently had been unexamined. The premise of the book is that while the study of American history has always focused on the English roots of our country, that the Dutch influence, via New York, is actually quite significant.
Also recently read Jean Craighead George’s The Buffalo Are Back with the kids. It so made me want to go see the buffalo. It’s a kind of historical picture book with a fair amount of text, a format I’m not usually as into these days, but it totally works, and the illustrations are great. May need to make a prairie trip when we return stateside. It sounds so exotic in the book.
Off to eat some leftover pumpkin soup (made last night). I’m not much into sweet pumpkin things but the savory soup, especially with a little chipotle swirled in, really hits the spot.