Sourdough Superstitions

While mixing my dough this morning, I thought about all of the ritualistic practices I’ve developed while studying sourdough bread baking, and while practicing the art myself. Some of the practices have a scientific basis, and some are simply handed down from baker to baker. In the Internet Age, much of that arcane collective wisdom actually makes its way into common lore via cooking blogs, recipe collection sites, YouTube channels, etc. And hence, the lore makes its way into hobbyist kitchens like mine.

So here is a run down of some of the lore-based superstitions and rituals I practice on baking day:

Continue reading “Sourdough Superstitions”

Textual Cultures, Material Cultures: Callousness among the Ruins by Michael

Source: Textual Cultures, Material Cultures: Callousness among the Ruins


This is a sobering article about the value placed on human lives versus antiquities and archaeological sites in Syria.  It will take me a while to process it.  The tendency to over-value(?) irreplaceable antiquities that could be appreciated for many generations to come, and to undervalue (no question mark here) the lives of people living on or near these sites, and people who lose their lives studying sites in war-torn regions of the world isn’t limited to archaeologists.

Wherein I ponder family, politics, and mortality – Part 1

This primary season’s excesses and carnival atmosphere have led me to examine the histories and beliefs of family and friends living in North Florida who voted for Donald Trump.  They are not white supremacists.  They are not racists.  They are not haters.  It’s easy for me to project those beliefs onto them as a simple answer for why they’ve supported a clown of a millionaire turned politician whose rhetoric attracts white supremacists, racists, and haters to his cause.  But, it’s not what they are.   They are afraid.  They fear terrorists, they fear “unrest”, they fear anger directed at law enforcement, and they fear the very social changes that I embrace as advancements in human rights and justice.

This is Part 1 of a series of articles I will post this month.

Continue reading “Wherein I ponder family, politics, and mortality – Part 1”

The Griffin Warrior

There is a grave near Pylos that dates back to Mycenaean Greece.  The grave goods document something that is well known about Mycenaean Greece: the cultural and trade exchanges that occurred between Greece and Crete at the time.  Nearby lie the ruins of the Palace of Nestor, first discovered in an olive grove in 1939.  Though this palace was destroyed by fire long ago, it is the most complete and well-preserved Bronze Age Greek palace found to date.

Continue reading “The Griffin Warrior”