Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Ballmer = Eggnostic

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

As Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer began a presentation at the Corvinus University in Budapest, a rude Hungarian (redundant) student stood up and shouted

Hey you! Microsoft has stolen 25 <billion> Hungarian Forint.  To the Hungarian people, give that money back. Right now!

He then threw 3 eggs – 1 on the floor, 1 on the wall, and 1 on the projector screen – before running out of ammunition, while Ballmer took refuge under the rostrum.  The student was asked to “Please leave” and “Very quickly” and “What were you thinking?” to which he responded the country pays while this guy has the nerve to be parading around here, and walked out exposing everyone to the back of his shirt proclaiming “Microsoft = Corruption.”

Following the “friendly disruption” Ballmer calmly continued his talk, wherein he was found by to be a surprisingly brilliant speaker.  In the Q&A he admitted to being egged before, in 1966 (no doubt on Halloween, when he would have been 10).

While the whole incident took place in broken English, Fake Steve Jobs is looking for a Czech translator!?  I am sure you’ve seen the original recording of the event posted on youtube – here is the Bono version.  Now we know who the Eggman is, but who is the Walrus?

Farms & Cents = Borlaug & Yunus

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

 Borlaug  Grameen Bank Borrower  Yunus 

The US Census Bureau has a Special Edition comparing data from 1915, 1967, and 2006 – when the US population was about 100, 200, and 300 million, respectively.  Aside from Wilson being president and John and Mary being the most popular names in 1915, what does it mean?

The table below shows how 8 factors compare relatively, using constant dollars and 1967 as a base.  Some are a surprise to me, e.g., we have a smaller percentage of the population being foreign-born today than in 1915.  The chart below illustrates how these 8 concerns weigh in relative to each other. 



In 1915 tuberculosis trumped everything.  The data suggests today our concerns (aside from war!) ought  to be milk prices over gas prices; aliens, legal and illegal but not extraterrestrial (too few or too many?); and not enough farms. 

Mohammad Yunus (autobiography) just won the Nobel Peace Prize - for developing micro-loans and starting the Grameen Bank helping Third-Worlders lift themselves by the boostraps – 12 years to the day of accepting the World Food Prize, created by another Nobel Peace Prize winner, Norman Borlaug (just published biography)- who founded the Green Revolution and probably saved the world from a Malthusian destiny.  In his 90s and still going strong, you can read and hear some of Dr. Borlaug’s views at an Ohio State University lecture.

Lilac National Anthem = false friends

Saturday, May 13th, 2006


If you translate orgona from Hungarian to English you might expect organ, but it translates to lilac. Similarly, himnusz isn’t hymn but National Anthem.  Such words are called false friends. 

There are only a few words in English that derive from Hungarian.  They include paprika, which has the highest concentration per weight of vitamin C of any food (in fact, vitamin C was first isolated in paprika and named “ascorbic acid” meaning “the acid that prevents scurvy” by Albert Szent-Györgyi – for which he won a Nobel prize); and coach – derived from kocsi, “car” in Hungarian - literally “from the town of Kocs” where in Medieval times coaches were made.

But there are a number of Hungarian-English false friends.  For example, the English headline:

Act Reclaims Farmer’s Smoking Combine

might be an analog to the Hungarian headline:

Akt Reklam: Farmer, Szmoking, Kombine

which, since each word is a false friend, unexpectedly translates to:

Ad for a Nude: Blue Jeans, Tuxedo, Lingerie

The most famous Hungarian-English false friends aren’t found in Peter Lazar’s list.  They are some of George Carlin‘s seven dirty words – verbatum transcript prepared by the FCC.

Here’s some good eats with plenty of Hungarian paprika from János Mohácsi.

Hungarian Cuisine

Cinco de Mayo = Fiestaval

Friday, May 5th, 2006

Cinco de Mayo

In 1862 President Benito Juarez ordered Mexico‘s army, under General Ignacio Zaragoza, to defend the nation against French invaders.  The army, consisting of ill-equiped soldier-indians, met and defeated Napolian’s powerful European army at the Battle of Puebla.  May fiveCinco de Mayo – is a celebration of the great victory.  Alan and Lia party and parade to mark the holiday.  They are cooking traditional Mexican tripe soup, menudo.



Love Cakes -> Anamophoses

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

CylindricalConicalConical Inside Out

The earliest Anamorphism goes back to Da Vinci.  Anamorphosis is very much in use today by artists such as Istvan Orosz, Kurt Wenner, and Julian Beever (don’t miss Beever’s amazing street art).  I used this free program to create projections of the love cakes  Alice made for Lia and Alan for Valentine’s Day.


Hungarian Menus = Magyar Etlapok

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

menu 1menu 6menu 5menu 4menu 3menu 2

Hungarian Menus from the New York Public Library famous menus collection.  I especially like the menu in French picturing Huszars [sic] dinning on potatoes [sic].  But what is a “XIII Club” dinner?

Cookin’ with Google > Boarin’ Potatoe Mashup

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006

Broken Arrow Ranch     Harvest Table     Roasted Boar Leg

Cookin’ with Google is just one of many so called google mashups.  See to track new ones.  Get your wild boar at Broken Arrow Ranch.  Yum.