Friday, November 30, 2007

Modern Marvels: The Pig on the History Channel

The History Channel will be showing a program on the pig this Saturday, December 1st. According to the description of the program (here) in the "upcoming episodes" announcement,

It is said that the pig is as smart as a three-year-old human. The pancreas, heart valve and intestines of the pig have been transplanted into human bodies, yet the primary use of the pig is for food. Watch the pig transform into bacon, ham, ribs and sausage, using a high tech water knife, at Burger's Smokehouse in Missouri. Then Chef Chris Cosentino re-creates old world dishes from pig parts and culinary artisans attempt to duplicate long-vanished pork specialties like prosciutto and acorn-fed pigs.

Should be interesting.

By the way, sorry for the lag in posting. I have either been traveling, sick, or both over much of November. Once I'm back from this weekend's conference in San Diego I should be able to resume regular blogging. Best...

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Pork With An Attitude in Memphis

My colleague David just returned from a trip to Memphis and Nashville. On Beale Street in Memphis he snapped this photo of a great sign. Can't go wrong with "pork with an attitude," unless the place is a BBQ joint, which I'm assuming is the case...

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Pork: The Catch of the Day

A couple of guys fishing off of Oahu this Thursday were surprised to find a pig swimming out in the ocean. According to the story (here) from KITV4 in Honolulu, they lassoed the struggling pig and "yanked him on the boat." At the website linked above you can see a slideshow of pictures of this feral pig, who was released by the fishermen when they got back to shore. The picture at right is one they took of the scared and exhausted feral pig. What a story he or she will have to tell!

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Giant Peccary, Found at Last!

My surfing pal Sean, while recovering from a recent and painful stingray bite (I guess it's really a sting, hence the name), found a Daily Mail article for me about the recent discovery of a new species of "giant wild pig" (actually a Giant Peccary) in Brazil. You can read the article here. Skin and bones from this animal were brought to a Dutch biologist, Marc van Roosmalen, who has subsequently caught the animal on film. Interestingly, the existence of this animal was somewhat known. Locals had a name for it ("Caitetu Munde," which means "great peccary which lives in pairs") and it was mentioned in an early 20th century account of the Amazon (titledĀ White Gold) by a rubber-industry worker named John Yungjohann. Regardless, please join me in officially welcoming the Giant Peccary!

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Three Little Pigs

One could spend the better part of a day just tracking down and reading the apparently countless number of versions of The Three Little Pigs that are out there. To get a sense of how many there are, just try a search at sometime or browse your local children's bookstore.

My sense is that there are three main categories of these books: the traditional story, postmodern revisions, and regional variations. For the traditional story, check out the Little Golden Book edition or the Disney board book (pictured left). Postmodern twists on the story include Jon Scieszka's The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and Barry Moser's version, complete with tongue-in-cheek humor and innuendo for the adults stuck reading the story to their little ones. The regional variations include titles like Three Little Cajun Pigs, the bilingual Los Tres Cerditos, and The Three Little Javelinas. In case you are curious, I only own a couple versions, including my favorite, David Weisner's innovative, deconstructionist, Caldecott-award-winning The Three Pigs (pictured above), described here in an interview at his publisher's website.


Monday, November 05, 2007

Pigs, Bacon & Aesop's Fables

A conjunction of several e-mails to yours truly, featuring another great pig-related tattoo, one that goes nicely with Lisa's recent submission of one of Aesop's fables:

The Pig and the Sheep

A pig found his way into a meadow where a flock of sheep were grazing. The shepherd caught him, and was proceeding to carry him off to the butcher's when he set up a loud squealing and struggled to get free. The sheep rebuked him for making such a to-do, and said to him, "The shepherd catches us regularly and drags us off just like that, and we don't make any fuss."

"Not, I dare say not," replied the pig, "but my case and yours are altogether different. He only wants you for wool, but he wants me for bacon."

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