biweekly links 11-22-2017

Happy thanksgiving to those who are celebrating! Given that we are now entering what a friend calls the “eating season” this week’s links are food and table themed. Imagine passing these around with the mashed potatoes:

How to Make a Homunculus: “That the sperm of a man be putrefied by itself in a sealed cucurbit [a pumpkin-like gourd] for forty days with the highest degree of putrefaction in a horse’s womb”…and it just gets more appetizing from there. This article covers the Renaissance concept and creation of homunculi (including the wild claim that John Dee created some to serve as spies – that’s a new one on me) and winds up with some intriguing YouTube videos of modern homunculi (the contents of which I shudder to think).

photo of small plaster figure under glass, surrounded by alchemical apparatus and tools
Homunculus amidst the other props in the Museum of Alchemists and Magicians of Old Prague. I’m guessing they used plaster instead of an, er, period recipe. Photo author’s own.

A Trojan Feast: The Food and Drink Offerings of Aliens, Faeries, and Sasquatch: it’s no secret that Rossetti’s “Goblin Market” has a folkloric basis but this is the first book I’ve seen that meticulously catalogs food offered by all sorts of paranormal entities. Disclaimer: I’ve not read it (yet).

The Renaissance Knives That Will Have You Singing for Your Supper: “notation knives” combine music, food, and metalwork. Likely created more for presentation than hard use, the Victoria and Albert Museum translated the notation on the knife in their collection and posted the results. If you simply must have one for yourself, an enterprising armorer created a gorgeous reproduction based on the VAM knife.

First (Contraband) Corned Beef Sandwich in Space 50 Years Ago: oldie but goodie about the Gemini 3 prank. Turns out crumbs get everywhere in zero gravity, and food doesn’t taste as good in space anyway – though I can’t imagine corned beef tasting any worse (eww!)

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Allison Thurman

Allison Thurman has always made stuff: out of fabric, metal, beads, even exaggerated fencing moves. Of late she makes stories out of weird history, with fragments of pop culture, unsolved mysteries, and science fiction mixed in for texture.

She lives in a galaxy far, far away (well, the DC metro area) with too many books and swords.

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