More than 95 percent of the bananas sold in the U.S. are Cavendish, the cultivar that has dominated the market since the 1970s. Here are five other types: http://www.saveur.com/article/Techniques/5-Banana-Varieties The Mini brand is trademarked by Chiquita; you'll find similar fruit sold by Dole under the Baby name. More than one cultivar makes up the Baby/Mini category. Chiquita's product is the Pisang Mas variety, originally from Malaysia; Dole's Minis include two types: Ladyfinger and Orito. This variety, native to Central and South America, belongs to a subcategory known as apple bananas, and the name fits. The texture of a Manzano is firmer than that of the Cavendish, and the scent is complex, marked by a strong tart-apple aroma. This fruit—occasionally sold under the name chunky banana—is stubbier and fatter than the Cavendish. The Burro is grown in Mexico. Actually an entire subset of the fruit, plantains are a kind of banana that is usually cooked. With a few exceptions, these rarely reach the eat-raw sweetness of varieties like Cavendish (which are officially categorized as "dessert" bananas). Plantains have been on our shores longer than the Cavendish and are a cheap and delicious substitute for potatoes or rice in many Latin American cuisines. This is, in my opinion, the most delicious of the alternative banana varieties available in the U.S. Sometimes confused with a Philippine staple variety called Lacatan, the red banana has a sweet taste and a creamy texture. Dan Koeppl Read more at
tongue in cheek In an ironic manner, not meant to be taken seriously. This phrase clearly alludes to the facial expression created by putting one's tongue in one's cheek. This induces a wink (go on - try it), which has long been an indication that what is being said is to be taken with a pinch of salt. It may have been used to suppress laughter. 'Tongue in cheek' is the antithesis of the later phrase - 'with a straight face'. The term first appeared in print in 'The Fair Maid of Perth', by that inveterate coiner of phrases, Sir Walter Scott, 1828: "The fellow who gave this all-hail thrust his tongue in his cheek to some scapegraces like himself." It isn't entirely clear that Scott was referring to the ironic use of the expression. http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/tongue-in-cheek.html
An oxbow lake starts out as a curve, or meander, in a river. A lake forms as the river finds a different, shorter, course. Oxbow lakes usually form in flat, low-lying plains close to where the river empties into another body of water. Meanders that form oxbow lakes have two sets of curves: one curving away from the straight path of the river and one curving back. Erosion and deposition eventually cause a new channel to be cut through the small piece of land at the narrow end of the meander. The river makes a shortcut. Oxbow lakes are the remains of the bend in the river. Oxbow lakes are stillwater lakes. This means that water does not flow into or out of them. Oxbow lakes often become swamps or bogs, and they often dry up as their water evaporates. http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/encyclopedia/oxbow-lake/?ar_a=1
The Story Behind Banksy by Will Ellsworth-Jones When Time magazine selected the British artist Banksy—graffiti master, painter, activist, filmmaker and all-purpose provocateur—for its list of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2010, he found himself in the company of Barack Obama, Steve Jobs and Lady Gaga. He supplied a picture of himself with a paper bag (recyclable, naturally) over his head. Most of his fans don’t really want to know who he is (and have loudly protested Fleet Street attempts to unmask him). But they do want to follow his upward trajectory from the outlaw spraying—or, as the argot has it, “bombing”—walls in Bristol, England, during the 1990s to the artist whose work commands hundreds of thousands of dollars in the auction houses of Britain and America. Today, he has bombed cities from Vienna to San Francisco, Barcelona to Paris and Detroit. And he has moved from graffiti on gritty urban walls to paint on canvas, conceptual sculpture and even film, with the guileful documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, which was nominated for an Academy Award. Read extensive story at http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/the-story-behind-banksy-4310304/
Q. Where does the phrase old chestnut come from? A. It is said to go back to an exchange between the characters in a play by William Dimond, first performed at the Royal Covent Garden Theatre, London, on 7 October 1816. It had the title of , and was further described as “A Melo-Drama in 2 Acts, adapted from the French” and also “a grand melo-drama: interspersed with songs, choruses, &c”. Let a writer for the in Delphos, Ohio, take up the story, in a piece in the issue dated 23 April 1896, which said the play was “long forgotten”: There were two characters in it — one a Captain Zavier and the other the comedy part of Pablo. The captain is a sort of Baron Munchausen, and in telling of his exploits says, “I entered the woods of Colloway, when suddenly from the thick boughs of a cork tree” — Pablo interrupts him with the words, “A chestnut, captain; a chestnut.” “Bah!” replies the captain. “Booby. I say a cork tree.” “A chestnut,” reiterates Pablo. “I should know as well as you, having heard you tell the tale 27 times.” This sounds reasonable enough as the source, but there are some loose ends. This sense of , for a joke or story that has become stale and wearisome through constant repetition, isn’t recorded until 1880. Where had it been all that time, if the source was the play? The word in this sense was claimed by British writers in the 1880s to have originally been American, though it became well known in Britain and according to the Oxford English Dictionary many stories about its supposed origin circulated in 1886-7. The same newspaper report claims that the intermediary was a Boston comedian named William Warren, who had often played the part of Pablo: He was at a ‘stag’ dinner when one of the gentlemen present told a story of doubtful age and originality. ‘A chestnut,’ murmured Mr. Warren, quoting from the play. ‘I have heard you tell the tale these 27 times.’ The application of the line pleased the rest of the table, and when the party broke up each helped to spread the story and Mr. Warren’s commentary.” You may take this with as large a pinch of salt as you wish, though a similar story, attributing it to the same person, is given in the current edition of . As the joke could have been made at any time the play was still known, and as it probably circulated orally for a long time before it was first written down, the long gap between the play’s first performance and its first recorded use isn’t surprising. The in is merely an elaboration for emphasis — another form is — both of which seem to have come along a good deal later. http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-che3.htm
What do these song snippets have in common? "The winter to us is as good as the spring." "Never mind the Winter King, laughing and singing turns winter to spring." "It's June in January because I'm in love with you." They distract us and challenge our perceptions.
Jan. 28, 2015 Iconic sighting: "iconic Boston Marathon finish line" was reported on ABC News. Does that mean iconic Boston Marathon finish line--or iconic Boston Marathon? Would it make sense to drop iconic? I believe so.
Australian author Colleen McCullough, who wrote 25 novels during her career, died on Jan. 29, 2015. She penned her first book, Tim, while living in America. It was later made into a 1979 film starring Mel Gibson. Her second novel, The Thorn Birds, became an international bestseller. A story of forbidden love between a young woman and a priest in the Australian outback, the paperback rights sold for a then-record $1.9 million (£1.25m). It was turned into a popular television mini-series in 1983, starring Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward. Her last book, Bittersweet, was published in 2013. McCullough was born in Wellington, New South Wales and spent most of her early life in Sydney. Before turning to writing, she studied medicine both in Australia and overseas, establishing the neurophysiology department at the Royal North Shore hospital in Sydney. She went on to spend 10 years as a researcher at Yale medical school in the US. http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-31036362
http://librariansmuse.blogspot.com Issue 1250 January 30, 2015 On this date in 1969, the Beatles' last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London was broken up by the police. On this date in 1971, Carole King's Tapestry album was released to become the longest charting album by a female solo artist and would sell 24 million copies worldwide.