…and the Madness of Crowds

A few weeks ago, I got a Gmail account, and subsequently some invitations of my own. There must be a general principle of social networking, that by the time I have Gmail invitations they`ll no longer be desirable. On the other hand, I didn’t buy one on ebay for big bucks.

As Doc Rampage generously notes, I’ve given in and started a blog. First I ignored blogging, then I posted a few things on my Slashdot journal, then the Zeitgeist won, and here we are. So, does my entrance mark the end of blogging as a social phenomenon? Time will tell.

Anyway, let me know if you want a gmail invite.

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For lunch I had half a four-inch diameter pumpkin.

First I rinsed it off under the tap, then used a sharp, heavy-bladed knife and a hammer to cut it in half around its equator. I scooped out the seeds and fibers in the central cavity. I covered one half with plastic wrap and put it in the icebox for tomorrow.

The other half I put in a covered glass bowl and microwaved for 4 minutes. Poking it with a spoon, it seemed soft enough to eat. I let it cool for 4 minutes, then ate it from the shell, with butter, salt, and pepper.

It was okay, nothing special. Acorn squash is better this way, and pumpkins are better made into a pie.

I discarded the seeds because I didn’t want to mess with them just then. I’ll toast them another time. A few years ago I toasted some in the oven with indifferent results; Maybe I’ll try using a hot-air corn popper.

The pumpkin rind was quite tough, even after cooking. I could probably do something decorative with it, if I were that kind of person.

A Peculiar People

Choosing books largely at random, I sometimes discover surprising facts. In Witness Against the Beast, E.P. Thompson writes:

During the French Wars, when anti-Jacobin narks were on the look-out for seditious glee clubs, new divine songs were written to the airs of God Save the King, Heart of Oak and Rule, Britannia.

Seditious glee clubs; Who’d have thought? Clearly seventeenth century London was a very weird place. I’m not even sure who I should be rooting for. At first blush, I’d tend to favor the seditious singers over the ‘narks,’ but who knows? The singers might well have been completely obnoxious. They (it seems they were called Muggletonians) hated the Quakers; and I basically like the Quakers. But maybe the Quakers were less amiable back then.

The Jacobins, of course, were supporters of King James. That’s why they’re called Jacobins. You know; James, Jacob; Get it? Me neither.