Miscellaneous Musing On A Tuesday

The University of Chicago recently received a package addressed to “Henry Walton Jones, Jr.”  Which is the “real name” for Indiana Jones.  After some investigations, they found out that it was accidentally sent to them, that it was the work of a prop replicator who sells these.  The cool thing?

Brinker said that the Oriental Institute, the university’s famed museum and organization devoted to the ancient Near East, likes the journal and asked to display it in its main lobby.

“They asked for it and now it is in their possession,” he said.

John Hawks mentioned a new paper in Nature which demonstrates that cheese-making goes back to the sixth millennium BC.  While it’s interesting in its own right, and a good demonstration of using technology to prove what many thought was happening back then, it still makes me wonder about something.   If you’ve ever made cheese (or are familiar with the process) or yogurt, you realize that what you’re starting with is … spoiled milk.

Along those lines, there’s the cashew:

Within the true fruit is a single seed, the cashew nut. Although a nut in the culinary sense, in the botanical sense the nut of the cashew is a seed. The seed is surrounded by a double shell containing an allergenic phenolic resin, anacardic acid, a potent skin irritant chemically related to the better-known allergenic oil urushiol which is also a toxin found in the related poison ivy. Properly roasting cashews destroys the toxin, but it must be done outdoors as the smoke (not unlike that from burning poison ivy) contains urushiol droplets which can cause severe, sometimes life-threatening, reactions by irritating the lungs.

I happen to like cashews, cheese, and yogurt.  But when you start thinking about them,  you do have to wonder who was the first person to think “Hey, maybe this would be good to eat!”  That’s when I’m not thinking there were a group of teenagers daring each other or that someone lost a bet.

Palace intrigues, princes and queens choosing sides, coups, murder and mayhem?  Turns out it’s not the new season of Game of Thrones, it’s an old story.

Conspirators murdered Egyptian king Ramesses III by cutting his throat, concludes a study in the Christmas issue published on the British Medical Journal website. Ramesses III — the second Pharaoh of the 20th dynasty — is believed to have reigned from 1186 to 1155 BC. The discovery of papyrus trial documents show that in 1155 BC members of his harem made an attempt on his life as part of a palace coup.

The conspiracy was led by Tiye, one of his two known wives, and her son Prince Pentawere, over who would inherit the throne, but it is not clear whether the plot was successful or not.

There’s a movie or novel somewhere in there, if one hasn’t been done yet.



Filed under Science

3 responses to “Miscellaneous Musing On A Tuesday

  1. aquagranny911

    Hola Horbrook! I do so enjoy your “musings” today as a break from the so great sadness & anger of the past 4 days ♥

    Regarding cheese & yogurt…I, myself, made yogurt & a kind of soft farmer’s cheese when my children were small in order not to waste milk that was about to turn. I am from that generation of “waste not, want not” people who practically regarded all food as sacred. While hardly anyone wants to drink it, sour milk is also useful in baking & the making of flap jacks, a kind pancake best cooked over a camp fire & served with mesquite honey, very yummy.

    • Thanks! 😀 I needed a break myself. 😉 I’ve also made cheese (mozzarella) and yogurt. But we know how to do that now. I always picture some teenage boys back in the stone age going “dude… bet you won’t eat the chunks in that!” as the start of it. 😆

      • aquagranny911

        LOL!!! Or daring each other to see if they could snort the chunks & how far they could eject them from their noses which some 7th grade boys I was teaching once were doing with some really hard peas in the lunch room!

        I had to be tough at the time but I really wanted to LMAO!