Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Four and Twenty Blackbirds Baked In A Pi

A rare day indeed, is that which is comprised of not one, but TWO holidays. Yet, such is the case today… and for some reason, I’m still at work. This is a borderline outrage but, when considering that everyone else is also at work, the sting is somewhat lessened, I suppose.

Further lessening the sting is the fact that I didn't even know either holiday existed until I checked my Inbox this morning. It was there that the good folks at Mental Floss sent their random update informing me that today was both Albert Einstein’s birthday (OK… not a holiday, but maybe it should be) and International Pi Day (Get it? Pi=3.14blahblahblah? Today is 3/14? How cool is that?)

(Note: I have subscribed to many magazines over the years, but Mental Floss is the only one I have read consistently since subscribing. Other magazines would often sit on the coffee table until I “had time to read them” which, of course, never came. I make time to read Mental Floss. It’s ridiculously addictive, despite being a magazine which contains tons of trivia facts and detailed articles on subjects you’d never think to bother reading about on your own (such as Gary Larson, the Louvre museum, various art movements, etc…) I have often been accused of having a mind full of nothing but facts that are only useful when playing Trivial Pursuit or watching Jeopardy. Mental Floss is a big reason why. So are Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers and any music related website I can find.)

Anyway, math and physics have NEVER been my forte. In fact, I flat out sucked in both subjects in high school. However, there are others I know who both love and adore them, and it is to those people that I raise my mug of tea and say, “Happy Pi Day, chum… oh, and Happy Birthday, Albert!” And, if I may be so bold as to copy and paste from my Mental Floss newsletter (I really can’t believe I’m this much of a geek) I offer you some pie to digest in celebration. What better way to celebrate? Yummy stuff. Scarf it down.

HUMBLE PIE - While it's now an idiom for a humiliating apology, humble pie was actually eaten at one time. It was originally called "umble pie" - "umbles" being organ meat.

AMERICAN PIE - A Don McLean song. He said the title was simply a combination of "Miss America" and the phrase "as American as apple pie." Some sources say that American Pie was the name of the plane in which Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper perished, but that's an urban legend. The plane had no name.

COW PIE - Sounds cute, but it's really a name for a pile of cow dung. Icky.

CHRISTMAS PIE - Mentioned in the nursery rhyme "Little Jack Horner." According to a likely untrue legend that surfaced about 300 years after the supposed event, the Abbot of Glastonbury, in an effort to gain favor with Henry VIII, sent a messenger named Horner with some property deeds hidden in a pie. (They were placed there to foil would-be thieves.)

BOSTON CREAM PIE – It's not really pie, but cake. Back when the recipe was first devised, cake pans were unheard of. So instead, the dessert was baked in two pie tins. The contents were then stacked and filled with custard or cream.

SHEPHERD'S PIE - Made of diced meat, mixed with vegetables and gravy, and covered on top with mashed potatoes. When baked in the oven, the potatoes turn hard and brown, but the pie itself doesn't have a real "crust." Why shepherd's pie? It was originally made with lamb.

ESKIMO PIE - Devised in 1920 by confectionary store owner Christian Nelson. A youngster came into his shop to buy an ice cream, then changed his mind and purchased a chocolate bar instead. Asked why he didn't get both, the youngster said, "I only got a nickel!" Nelson worked to find ways to make chocolate stick to ice cream, and his invention, first called the "I-Scream Bar," was later renamed Eskimo Pie.

PORKPIE HATS - Named because they physically resemble pork pie, a traditional British dish. It's made of pork and pork jelly baked inside a crust. Porkpie hats became common in America after vaudeville actors began wearing them. Jazz musicians further popularized them, as did actor Buster Keaton.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though I have never experienced life "in a cube" Your eloquent words made me feel like I was there and I feel your pain.
" He who walks alone, walks....."

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoops this comment was meant for the "peek-A-Boo" post

10:19 PM  

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