Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

Passover Seder: Greek Symposium?

April 15, 2014

Passover Seder: Greek Symposium?T

The Haggadah (הַגָּדָה‎) is a Jewish text that sets forth the order of the Passover ritual meal, the Seder.

“There’s a reason the haggadah feels goyish: Formally speaking, it’s Greek. It’s a Judaicized version of a Greek genre called ‘symposium literature’. Plato loved the form. So did Xenophon. The symposium enshrined the most appealing traits of the Hellenic personality: conviviality, Epicureanism, a love of good conversation.”

–”Platonic Form,” Judith Shulevitz, Tablet Magazine

The ancient Greek symposium (συμπόσιον) was a drinking party; drinking four glasses of wine is a Passover obligation. Diners are supposed to recline while they do so, just like the Greeks.

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The Macaroons of Moses

April 14, 2014

The Macaroons of Moses

Tonight many Jewish families hold the Seder, the ritual meal celebrating the holiday of Passover. Many Americans are unfamiliar with the customs of this dinner, such as recounting the Exodus story as told in the ancient Maxwell House Haggadah and the obligation to drink four glasses of wine (oh, the sacrifices …).

One seasonal custom puzzling to Gentiles is the appearance of canned Kosher cookies in American supermarkets. Many Jews are puzzled as well, since the cookies are macaroons made with coconut, chocolate, and other ingredients not prominent in the Old Testament.

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DC: Shamrocks in the Snow

March 17, 2014

DC: Shamrocks in the Snow

Faith & Begorra! Break out your green parkas. It’s a snowy Saint Patrick’s Day in Washington DC. Maybe they can hold a parade on the Metro. On the Green Line, of course.

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-j3Q

Photo (“Leprechaun on the Metro”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length. Yes, we know the parade was on Sunday.

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More Daylight. Less Sleep.

March 8, 2014

More Daylight. Less Sleep.

At 2:00 AM this Sunday morning people in most of the United States will set their clocks ahead one hour as we begin began Daylight Saving Time. Many households will also change changed the batteries in their smoke detectors. In Arizona, where they don’t believe in Daylight Saving Time, people mark the day by putting fresh ammunition in their handguns.

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lnternational Women’s Day

March 8, 2014

March 8, 2014 is International Women’s Day. The century-old observance has its origin in social demonstrations for voting rights and political representation, but the facts of economic inequality were always obvious and acknowledged. That’s why we prefer the IWD video (above) by the nonprofit Kiva microfinance group to the better-known, token Doodle Google (below).

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Happy Birthday, Charlie Darwin

February 12, 2014

Happy Birthday, Charlie Darwin

Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809. His birthday has evolved into a worldwide celebration, Darwin Day.

The complete works and manuscripts of Charles Darwin are available online, free.

Best Darwin Day graphic.

Bonus: Darwin, the comic book.

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-iOw

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Super Bowl Stories You May Have Missed

February 2, 2014

Super Bowl Stories You May Have Missed

“In Brutal Contest of Strength and Strategy, a Culture Is Revealed,” Joshua Keating, Slate

“Company Attempts World Record For Largest Mozzarella Football,” CBSNewYork

“Groundhog Day and Super Bowl Coincide for 1st Time,” AP via ABC News

“8 NFL Facts That Will Piss You Off During The Super Bowl,” Nic Halverson, Discovery News

“Pot Will See Sales Spike For Super Bowl, Just Like Pizza,”  Sean Gregory, TIME.com

“How Your Pizza Delivery Guy Is Getting Stiffed This Super Bowl,” Dave Jamieson, Huffington Post

“An Advertising Legend Rates 2014′s Top Super Bowl Commercials (And One Instant Classic You Won’t See On Sunday),” Allen St. John, Forbes 

“The Best Super Bowl Drinking Games 2014,” Christopher Zara, International Business Times

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Groundhog Day

February 2, 2014

Groundhog Day
It’s February 2nd, time to monitor Marmota monax and dream of winter’s end. Whether or not you believe in woodchuck weathermen, one thing is certain: you can’t have groundhogs if you want a backyard full of fresh garden veggies.

Groundhogs (aka woodchucks, whistlepigs, and marmots) are insecto-vegetarians and confirmed locavores. If you plan to plant this spring, harvest those hairy beasts now. Celebrate Groundhog Day with critter cuisine.

Serving suggestions:

Woodchuck au Vin

Canadian Fried Woodchuck

Groundhog Pie

Woodchuck Recipes from Michigan (Oriental Groundhog,Waco Groundhog in Sour Cream,Woodchuck Stew, Woodchuck Meat Loaf)

More groundhog lore and recipes here and here.

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Year of the Horse

January 30, 2014

Year of the Horse

Happy Chinese New Year’s Eve. Clean up the house, chase stale spirits from your kitchen, and stay up tonight and watch the Year of the Snake slither out. The Year of the Horse gallops in on Friday, January 31, 2014 and runs through February 18, 2015. Party on from tonight through the Lantern Festival on February 14th.

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3 Kings

January 6, 2014

“We Three Kings of Orient Are (The Quest of the Magi),” written by Rev. John Henry Hopkins, Jr. in 1857, performed by Rob Halford, lead singer of heavy metal band Judas Priest. Mr. Halford is accompanied by fellow pilgrims Roy Z (guitar), Metal Mike Chlasciak (guitar), Mike Davis (bass), Bobby Jarzombek (drums), and Ed Roth (keyboards).

Three Kings Day is today, January 6th.

Related:

“What is Día de Los Reyes (Three Kings’ Day)? And How Do You Celebrate It?” Yvette Marquez, Parade

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-igo

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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