sovay: (Rotwang)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2017-03-11 10:50 pm

I want to know how you see you

Tonight in Judaica: I made nearly a hundred hamantashn in four different flavors. (It may have been a hundred before a couple of the more catastrophic outliers got eaten.) The latter part was intentional; the former was a side effect of tripling the usual recipe to make sure that I would have enough to distribute to the various branches of my family and to bring to a social event tomorrow. I definitely do now. It turns out that when you scale up this recipe, you have to add an extra egg to the dough, otherwise it has no cohesion and cracks instead of folding. I always forget how much I like poppy seed paste and how stupid it is that I never do anything with it the rest of the year.

I have received an unexpected unbirthday present from my parents: Werner and Elisabeth Heisenberg's My Dear Li: Correspondence 1937–1946 (2016), edited by Anna Maria Hirsch-Heisenberg and translated by Irene Heisenberg, daughter and daughter-in-law respectively of the physicist and his wife. I've never written about Heisenberg except in context of Michael Frayn's Copenhagen, but he's interested me for long enough that this may change. I was coveting the book at the end of last year, partly because of Werner and partly because Elisabeth as a person is utterly unknown to me. I am holding it in reserve until I have completed several work items, none of which got done earlier today because I was baking ~hundred hamantashn and had to visit three grocery stores in order to find both prune and poppy seed fillings. Several of the blackberry ones exploded, but I have no regrets. (The fourth flavor was apricot, like usual.)

How you can tell your daily life now includes much more discussion of dystopia than it had heretofore: while looking up a biographical detail about Flannery O'Connor for your mother, you run across the following photograph and, ignoring Robie Macauley completely, think, "I didn't know she knew the author of Darkness at Noon."

Have an article about H. P. Lovecraft and Robert Barlow. It succeeded in making me want to read the author's novel.
movingfinger: (Default)

[personal profile] movingfinger 2017-03-12 04:19 am (UTC)(link)
Years ago King Arthur Flour ran a great fast-and-dirty recipe in one of their newsletters: you thaw a packet of premade frozen bread dough, roll it out, spread a can of almond or poppyseed filling in it, roll it up, bake, and it's delicious. I'm pretty sure that was all there was to it. It was one of the warehouse guys' go-to pot luck contribution. (Of course one can make bread dough but the point is, delicious and fast.)



NYT ran a recipe this week for Hamantaschen with whole wheat flour and I don't see why everything has to have whole wheat flour in it. They also suggest nutella as a filling.
movingfinger: (Default)

[personal profile] movingfinger 2017-03-12 04:45 am (UTC)(link)
Nutella doesn't taste right these days. Too much sugar and palm oil. The hazelnuttiness is drowned out. I think hazelnut paste would be okay in them, but chocolate, like whole wheat flour, doesn't have to go in everything.

Marmalade with a lot of peel would be good, possibly. But there's no reason not to stick with the standards: prune, poppy, almond, apricot: and of these apricot is the best, because apricot is always the best.
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)

[personal profile] tree_and_leaf 2017-03-12 03:05 pm (UTC)(link)
Chag Purim sameach!

I've only had hamentaschen once, but they were fantastic. But then, I love all the standard fillings in pretty much every context I've eaten them.
moon_custafer: (Default)

[personal profile] moon_custafer 2017-03-12 04:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Apparently H.P. Love at and a different R.B. (Rupert Bear) are teaming up to fight President Cthuhlu. Also, Rupert is having none of H.P.'s xenophobia, there's real evil to fight: http://americaneldritch.tumblr.com/

[identity profile] gwynnega.livejournal.com 2017-03-12 05:51 am (UTC)(link)
I'd never heard of Barlow before. What an interesting figure, connected to both Lovecraft and Burroughs!

[identity profile] sovay.livejournal.com 2017-03-12 05:54 am (UTC)(link)
I'd never heard of Barlow before. What an interesting figure, connected to both Lovecraft and Burroughs!

Same here! Also, though I hate that he had occasion to do it, I respect anyone who can leave a suicide note in Classic Mayan.

[identity profile] lauradi7.livejournal.com 2017-03-12 01:09 pm (UTC)(link)
The Heisenbergs are among many non-fictional people who appear in the Norwegian/Brit mini-series "Kampen om tungtvannet"
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3280150/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_9
I was enthralled, but it left a bad taste when I learned later that several of the main characters were complete fabrications. I'm not an author, but why do people do that? The real people were pretty interesting already, and the circumstances were exciting enough (same for "Hidden Pictures").

[identity profile] sovay.livejournal.com 2017-03-12 11:38 pm (UTC)(link)
I was enthralled, but it left a bad taste when I learned later that several of the main characters were complete fabrications. I'm not an author, but why do people do that? The real people were pretty interesting already, and the circumstances were exciting enough (same for "Hidden Pictures").

That was why I couldn't watch the recent TV series Manhattan (2014–16) even though a show about the Manhattan Project was ostensibly right up my alley. As soon as I learned that the only historical character on the show was Oppenheimer himself and everyone else was an invented character, including espionage plots and political intrigue that never happened, I didn't even bother. Even if their Oppenheimer had a pretty good face for it.

Image

[identity profile] lauradi7.livejournal.com 2017-03-14 02:20 pm (UTC)(link)
I watched "Manhattan," grateful to know in advance that it was AU fan-fic of the real Manhattan Project, so I didn't have to try to figure out who all those people were in real life. It was a modern soap opera with math and science and period clothing. At the time in Los Alamos there may well have been physicists' wives with mental problems, and bisexuals, and fat guys who ended up with radiation poisoning. There must have been cleaning people of color who also had interesting back stories. None of that stuff appeared in historical accounts, I guess, so the writers had to make it up.

[identity profile] sovay.livejournal.com 2017-03-14 08:42 pm (UTC)(link)
It was a modern soap opera with math and science and period clothing.

I am glad you enjoyed it as such.

None of that stuff appeared in historical accounts, I guess, so the writers had to make it up.

But that isn't the case. That stuff is all over the historical accounts. The pop-culture view promoted during the '50's may still be a bunch of smart straight white* guys changing the world in brilliant isolation, but it's not supported by even a cursory study of the time. I don't know the specifics of Manhattan's fat guy with radiation poisoning, but there were multiple criticality accidents at Los Alamos: Otto Frisch (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Robert_Frisch) managed to avoid getting more than a negligible dose, but Harry Daghlian (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Daghlian) and Louis Slotin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Slotin) weren't so lucky. As far as mental or marital issues went, a lot of scientists' wives had trouble adapting to the isolation and the secrecy of Los Alamos: some were just stressed and unhappy, a few actually broke their relationships and went home. (A lot of people thought Oppenheimer's wife Kitty was emotionally unstable; she drank a lot, was just as intense as her husband without a fulfilling outlet for it, and polarized their social and professional groups.) Regarding the cleaning people, Peter Bacon Hales' Atomic Spaces: Living on the Manhattan Project (1999) has an entire chapter (https://books.google.com/books?id=K0hCRmHYRXEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22atomic+spaces%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiztIjt4NbSAhVnlVQKHYNeA_AQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q&f=false) on non-white workers of the Manhattan Project—Black, Latinx, Native; see also this chapter (https://books.google.com/books?id=Ys0N4rFgt6UC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false) in Ruth H. Howes and Caroline L. Herzenberg's Their Day in the Sun: Women of the Manhattan Project (1999). The one place where there might be gaps in the historical record is sexuality: statistically I can't imagine there weren't queer people working on the Manhattan Project given the sheer human numbers involved, but I would not expect them to have been open about it, if for no other reason than that it would have interfered with their security clearance. That's the sort of thing I'd look at Manhattan Project Voices (http://www.manhattanprojectvoices.org/) to see if anybody mentioned, years after the fact when the lavender scare couldn't get them, or now that the grandchildren feel comfortable sharing their history. You could write an entire series about marginalized people on the Manhattan Project without making them up. Chien-Shiung Wu (https://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/biography/biographies/chien-shiung-wu). Moddie Taylor (http://www.blackpast.org/aah/taylor-moddie-d-1912-1976) (and other Black scientists and techncians, of which there were not a few (http://www.blackpast.org/aah/black-history-month-special-feature-2012-scientists-and-technicians-manhattan-project)). Lise Meitner (https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/meitner-lise). Katharine Way (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katharine_Way). The data are there.

* Okay, fine, a number of them of Jewish extraction, let's grant that, but let's not make too much of it, okay? Some of them were Hungarian, some of them were Italian, so what? This was an all-American effort.

[identity profile] lauradi7.livejournal.com 2017-03-15 01:39 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for all the references. Time to start looking following up. My recollection is that one each white female and African American physicist figured in the plot. One of the gay characters managed to ward off being investigated for youthful Commie sympathies by remarking to the investigator that both of them were "middle-aged bachelors," with the implied threat of if you turn me in I'll turn you in.


[identity profile] sovay.livejournal.com 2017-03-15 02:19 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for all the references. Time to start looking following up.

You're welcome. I'm glad it was useful information.

My recollection is that one each white female and African American physicist figured in the plot.

I'm glad to hear that. I am willing to believe it was an enjoyable show; it is just one of the cases where I think the real history is so interesting, I would have much preferred to see someone working with it.

[identity profile] drwex.livejournal.com 2017-03-13 07:23 pm (UTC)(link)
the more catastrophic outliers

We call those "flatmentashen" because that's usually how they end up.

[identity profile] sovay.livejournal.com 2017-03-14 07:36 pm (UTC)(link)
We call those "flatmentashen" because that's usually how they end up.

That's much better than my mental image: the ones that unfold in the baking always make me think distressingly of H.R. Giger Alien eggs.

[identity profile] drwex.livejournal.com 2017-03-14 07:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Perhaps it is good sometimes that I have a more limited imagination.

[identity profile] wordsofastory.livejournal.com 2017-03-16 09:02 pm (UTC)(link)
That article about H.P. Lovecraft and Barlow is great!

[identity profile] sovay.livejournal.com 2017-03-16 09:06 pm (UTC)(link)
That article about H.P. Lovecraft and Barlow is great!

I had heard of La Farge's The Night Ocean in passing; I had not realized Barlow was not an authorial invention. As a real person, he's much more interesting!
Edited 2017-03-16 21:07 (UTC)