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November 10, 2003

Open thread 2. Remark on the sidebar links. Or the weather. Or the leadership travails of the British Conservative Party. Or milk cartons that don’t open right. [01:51 PM]
Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Open thread 2.:

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 02:01 PM:

Have you seen the essay Atrios links to that is a masterly (and funny) deconstruction of du Toit's nasty little screed? On a web site called Philosoraptor. Highly recommended.

MKK

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 02:08 PM:

Ahem. Peruse our handy sidebar.

Scott Lynch ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 03:18 PM:

Reading that essay was like having a warm, sunny day pop out of my monitor at me. Sigh. Now if I could only get the guy to explain Dave Sim to me...

Stefan Kapusniak ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 03:41 PM:

Michael Howard (the new leader of the Conservative party) was the most appallingly scary Home Secretary we'd had in recent memory....until Labour got in and topped him with Jack Straw. They then decided said Straw just didn't command enough bone melting terror amongst the populace and replaced him with David Blunkett.

So since Michael Howard is now remembered as only the third most terrifying Home Secretary of recent times, the Tories might alas be onto something here, 'History has proven he's cuddlier the Labour brand, but still emobodying all the traits of absolute evil necessary to lead the classic Tory party you know and hate. And you people have _actually heard of him_ unlike our last three leaders.

A Tory revival now seems a horrible possibility, to be weighed against the other horrible possibilty of an eternal New-Labour one party state, with Mr. Tony Blair going on and on and on and on and...

...what Britain needs is a better class of undead leading its political parties. Where are competent necromancers when you need them most? Undoubtedly Harold MacMillan could have gotten us a better class of insanely stupid and unjustified middle-east war than the one Tony's landed us with. A real alternative leader of the Tory party.

julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 04:20 PM:

Our organic milk has a pour spout on the top which I'm a little conflicted about - on the one hand, it's not necessary and it's not a green use of resources - on the other, it's wonderfully convenient, and it keeps the milk fresh.

Well, you asked.

Suw ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 04:22 PM:

I would make some sort of witty comment about the travails of the Conservative Party and how they've managed to make a mockery of democracy by ousting their previously democratically chosen (by the party members) leader in favour of a frighteningly scary personification of evil undemocratically installed by Tory MPs (instead of, say, for example, the party members themselves) who will now lead the party to an unremarkable defeat (because who really wants Michael getawayfoulfiend Howard as Prime Minister?) at the next general election leaving us with another term in the clutches of the increasingly devoid of sanity Tony Blair the personification of smug-git-ery with an astonishingly tenuous grip on reality, but luckily for you I'm still reeling from the discovery of live weevils in the brand new packet of wholegrain rice I bought last week and am finding it somewhat difficult to put coherant and well-punctuated sentences together.

Sidebar's pretty though.

Alison ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 04:24 PM:

"Our organic milk has a pour spout on the top which I'm a little conflicted about - on the one hand, it's not necessary and it's not a green use of resources - on the other, it's wonderfully convenient, and it keeps the milk fresh.

Well, you asked."

I would have appreciated such a milk spout this afternoon when I went to my local hole in the wall lunch place for chocolate milk, got it back to my office, opened it, took a swig and realized that my mouth was full of milk chunks. And it wasn't past date. Yuck.

Andrew Northrup ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 04:45 PM:

Why does milk come in cartons? It's wasteful and stupid. Everyone should be issued one glass jar for milk, which could be refilled at local milk towers (or, if you happen to lie along its route, by tapping into the Trans-Continental milk pipeline running down from Vermont). If you lose or break your bottle, you better get used to black coffee and dry Frosties, because you can't get another one. Efficiency!

Of course, you could use your OJ bucket - used to draw your daily allotment of orange juice from the network of "juice sluices" flowing from Florida - instead, and just give up your morning screwdrivers, but I'm clearly off-topic now. Nice sidebar.

Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 04:54 PM:

Now if I could only get the guy to explain Dave Sim to me...

Greg Stephens over at Zwol has stumbled upon my personal favorite theory: that Dave Sim is attempting to make sure that Cerebus (the comic) dies "unmourned and unloved," just like Cerebus (the character) has always been prophesized to do.

Andrew Northrup ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 05:04 PM:

And before you say anything, this plan only refers to full-fat milk, obviously. Lowfat milk would be delivered to storage tanks in your basement, like heating oil is today, and nonfat milk would be available only by special order from the Ministry of Milk (please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery). Cream would be kept cool in natural limestone Cream Caverns deep underground, and could be hand-pumped out of the ground as needed. Adding up the cost savings from eliminating disposable cartons and wasteful refrigerated shipping trucks, this plan would save the country billions a year, perhaps in dollars.

clark e myers ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 05:24 PM:

I'd not call Kim du Toit's piece nasty myself, but he and I obviously share some interests (and Mrs du Toit has only one rival in blogging about desirable kitchen tools). I would suggest that it is another in a long line of today's young are going to the dogs laments. People have been saying that for some time now. I do find the piece reminiscent of Philip Wylie's rants on "Mom"ism except that owing to an accident of timing Mr. Wylie - who had some success at getting paid for his writing - condemned then current mores of his own time that Mr. du Toit now applauds as a golden age, even of television.

julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 05:24 PM:

Mr. Northrup clearly is in the pocket of the fullfat extremist cabal.

We of the 2% front reject his exceptionalism.

Tempest ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 05:57 PM:

Damn milk cartons.

Meanwhile, I avoid the whole issue by just not drinking milk. I mean, really, I'm not an infant anymore ;)

Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 06:06 PM:

Hey, has "Skim Milk Royale" shown up on the East Coast yet?

Near as I can tell, it's skim milk with seawood goo and white dye added to make it less like water with a piece of chalk shaken up in it.

* * *

I drink milk the way nature intended, in plastic bottles. Unlike waxed paper cartons, these can be tied together to use as rafts.

Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 07:04 PM:

Of course, you could use your OJ bucket

TASTELESSNESS ALERT.

My OJ bucket has nothing in it but a pair of bloody gloves.

/TASTLESSNESS

julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 07:36 PM:

They don't call it that, but there is a jumped up lowfat brand which supposedly has more protein solids.

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 07:52 PM:

Yes, well, um. She explained.

Okay, so I hadn't looked at that *one* thing on the sidebar. Elephant gun 1, flea 0 isn't so very informative and I, obviously, didn't get intrigued by it. Let's see, any other excuses I can make? Oh, and it's raining.

MKK

LisaJulie Peoples ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 08:52 PM:

There is something about scrolling briskly up the sidebar and one's eye's conflating St. Augustine and Teresa Nielsen Hayden into St. Teresa Nielsen Hayden and not even blinking an eylash.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 09:35 PM:

Yes, and you should see the fillos Bernini used to do for Izzard, back in the day.

Mary Kay: Look! Legos!

Scott Lynch ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 09:48 PM:

Near as I can tell, it's skim milk with seawood goo and white dye added to make it less like water with a piece of chalk shaken up in it.

Heh. My mom slowly weaned my whole family from 2% to skim when I was eight yers old, so I've never experienced Skim Rage. I drink it habitually... and as an added bonus, I can pretend to wallow in decadence just by switching to 2% for a meal or two. It tastes like the Buttercream Fairy bled her little self dry right into a glass. Mmm.

I drink milk the way nature intended, in plastic bottles. Unlike waxed paper cartons, these can be tied together to use as rafts.

Hey, the town next to my home town has a pretty famous series of milk-carton boat races each summer, and we don't go in for any of that fancy plastic stuff:

http://www.milkcartonboat.com/

Although "Creative Sinking Contest" might sometimes be a more accurate title than "race..."

Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 10:27 PM:

Everyone should be issued one glass jar for milk, which could be refilled at local milk towers (or, if you happen to lie along its route, by tapping into the Trans-Continental milk pipeline running down from Vermont)

Have you been reading Lyndon LaRouche pamphlets? This sounds alarmingly similar to some of their latest schemes...

Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2003, 10:33 PM:

Those OJ buckets are a nuisance. If you don't show up precisely at sunrise or sunset to place them in their slots, the sluice gates don't open to fill them up. Besides, if you run into Jeb Bush's gang of Neanderthals, they'll steal your pail and ship you up the river.

Alan Bostick ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 01:18 AM:

So: the essay "The Pussification of the Western Male" was written by a man named Kim du Toit.

It's just not fair to make fun of the man's name. But I can't help but notice it. You don't suppose he has issues about it, do you?

LauraJMixon ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 01:33 AM:

Andrew Northrup, if you're not an SF writer, you should be.


-l.

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 01:58 AM:

Robert L: One of them tried to talk to me a couple of days ago, but I ran.

Patrick: Look! It's the Winged Victory of Samothrace!

MKK

Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 02:03 AM:

"My mom slowly weaned my whole family from 2% to skim when I was eight yers old, so I've never experienced Skim Rage. I drink it habitually..."

As a kid, milk in our house was skim made from *powder.* (And as I recall, Julia and her brother were weirded out by the stuff when they visited.) I am pretty sure that that's what my parents still use.

"and as an added bonus, I can pretend to wallow in decadence just by switching to 2% for a meal or two. It tastes like the Buttercream Fairy bled her little self dry right into a glass."

Same here. Sometimes I buy a 1/2 gallon of full blown Milk to put in coffee and cereal. Most of the time it's skim milk, for health reasons.

Scott Lynch ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 03:40 AM:

As a kid, milk in our house was skim made from *powder.*

Mmmm. Ugh-Blah Brand Aversive Stimulus Conditioning Powder (TM). I actually choked that crap down once or twice when I was too small to jump-kick my teachers in the face. I had totally forgotten about it!

chris ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 03:55 AM:

Andrew,

When my dad was a kid (1920s) the milkman used to come around on a little pony trap with a churn on the back, and the children ran out with containers for him to ladle the milk into.

It's called progress.

Dop ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 04:59 AM:

Milk used to come in glass bottles. Once the bottle was empty, it would go back to the dairy, be sterilised, and filled up with milk to be sent back out.

That seems like pretty much an ideal system, but it's practically been killed off by plastic bottles which end up in landfills.

Yonmei ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 05:26 AM:

Up until I was five years old milk in glass bottles was delivered to the house where we lived by a man driving a cart with a "milk horse". The last dairy in Edinburgh that did horse-drawn deliveries carried on doing it until the last of their horses "retired" (as we were told: I do not know whether this was a euphemism or not). The horses knew the routes as well as the drivers did, of course, and no fuel was lost by the frequent stops and starts.

After that most dairies went over to hiring schoolkids with pushcarts to make local deliveries and men with vans to make longer deliveries.

But these days most people work such long hours that the milk can't be taken in as soon as it's delivered: so these days most people drink milk from plasticated cardboard cartons. Including me. No one wants to lug glass bottles with metal caps home from the supermarket.

I do wonder what's happened to the blue tits as a result.

yabartleby ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 06:47 AM:

Yonmei wrote:
The horses knew the routes as well as the drivers did, of course, and no fuel was lost by the frequent stops and starts.
Indeed. In my sister's London childhood she would follow the horses and collect their shit in a bucket. Whether for fuel, fertiliser or other purposes, I have never asked.

julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 08:41 AM:

And as I recall, Julia and her brother were weirded out by the stuff when they visited.

Oh, just because you were allowed to have unheard of luxuries like processed sugar in the house, and we were hoping for real milk for a change.

I actually think my mom may have converted your mom to the blue powder (sorry).

Alison ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 09:36 AM:

Patrick had to know people would jump on the milk thing, right?

BSD ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 10:03 AM:

First, I just want to take this opportunity to say "juice sluice".

Second, I am brought to mind of the Suite Agreement on the Subject of Milk and Orange Juice.

Across my college suite of 5, there were 4 milk choices, and 3 juice choices. When, in the interests of efficiency, economy, and fridge-space, we attempted to aggregate our grocery shopping, we ended up spending four hours, at least, discussing, in depth, the type and size of milk to be bought on communal grocery runs. Although compromise was reached on the subject of milk, the pulp/no-pulp schism was simply insurmountable, and both varieties of O found themselves on the communal list.

This was, I'll note, the first time I drank other than skim with any frequency, and it took me more than a month to become accustomed to the strange, throat-coating thickness of 2%.

the talking dog ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 10:15 AM:

Actually, tapping into the transcontinental milk pipeline has been illegal since shortly after the pipeline opened. Such illegal tapping not only reduces milk pressure (absolutely essential where the pipeline runs uphill), it also undermines the centralized pasteurization scheme, forcing re-pasteurization locally. Highly wasteful. In fact, I understand that protecting the integrity of the pipeline is now a function of the Dept. of Homeland Security.

And hey-- good one about the orange juice sluice! Of course, we all know that (at least on the East Coast and in the Midwest) orange juice is frozen each year into large icebergs, and then floated up either the Atlantic coast or the Mississippi and broken up into smaller pieces for distribution in the East and Midwest. I understand that the Californians (typical, right?) STILL use a sluice system, even though much of it runs right over a fault line.

Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 10:17 AM:

Around here milk is 3.5%, and I remember when glass bottles were still delivered, the stuff was not homogenized, so the first one down in the morning could steal the cream for their cornflakes for even more fat.

This behaviour was deprecated by later risers who had to use the skimmed remains, of course.

Zizka ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 11:10 AM:

I'm disturbed that no one has picked up on the poor man's weevils. The rice I buy occasionally hatches out flies with very fragile bodies. (I don't us a lot of rice, so sometimes it sits for a few months.) Once I happened to look at my rice jar and noticed that about 20 of the grains of rice had succeeded in crawling partway up the side of the jar. Upon closer examination, they were cute little maggots. Quite an interesting visual effect, proof of God's great design, since they were the same size, shape, and color as the rice.

I do remember home delivery of milk. Also home delivery of groceries by a horse-drawn cart, and a stocky, lame blacksmith with a foot-powered bellows, and a rag-and-bone man with a horsecart scavaging at the dump, and ice chopped from the lake and stored under sawdust for use in coolers. We weren't allowed to go into the ice barn because they knew we'd pee on it.

Man! I'm old.

rm ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 12:17 PM:

The Canadians have it right: they give you sugar in tall cardboard cartons, and milk in bags.

If we can just get Americans to switch their milk and sugar containers, all those other rational changes like the metric system, socialized medicine, and dollar coins will go down so much more easily. We can just say, look how well the milk and sugar thing worked. Put down the gun; trust the Canadians.

Nao ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 12:39 PM:

When I lived in the Philadelphia area a few years ago, I bought my milk from a drive-through dairy chain; the bottles were returnable, reusable plastic ones. (There was a deposit). The funny part was that I didn't have a car for most of the time I was there, so I would walk through the drive-up dairy. It made me smile to myself every time. I think the chain is still there.

Down here in NC, there's a local dairy farm that sells its milk in glass bottles. Again, there's a deposit.

I only vaguely remember home delivery of milk. My mother remembers when the roadsides were mowed by men with scythes.

the talking dog ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 12:45 PM:

RM--
You Canadians just use the bags and cartons because your OWN transcontinental milk pipeline proved to be such a huge failure-- no matter how deep the pipeline was sunk, it kept freezing somewhere around Saskatchewan. For whatever reason-- freezing milk into icebergs and floating it along the Great Lakes and/or St. Lawrence never caught on, either, possibly because those water bodies spend so much time frozen themselves.

pericat ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 02:23 PM:

For whatever reason-- freezing milk into icebergs and floating it along the Great Lakes and/or St. Lawrence never caught on, either, possibly because those water bodies spend so much time frozen themselves.

It wasn't the freezing, but the portages. Voyageurs ain't what they used to be.

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 02:27 PM:

RM: When I lived in CA I could by sugar in milk-type cartons. I think it was Spreckles, which is a local brand, though. I'll have to check next time I'm in the grocery store and see if it's here. (Seattle)

MKK

Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 02:33 PM:

When I was a schoolkid, I had continual bad luck getting milk cartons open.

I took to stabbing the sloping "roof" of the container with a pen and sticking a straw in the hole.

For some reason this impressed the hell out of other students. ("How did you do that?")

Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 04:01 PM:

Here in Los Angeles, we can buy sugar in tall cartons (C & H cane sugar, from Hawaii... oh crap, now I have their jingle in my head). I haven't seen milk in bags. Bags of wine, however, are tastefully hidden inside cardboard boxes.

The food packages that intrigued me in Europe were all the various condiments and spreads available in squeeze-tubes. In these parts, squeeze-tubes are exclusively for toothpaste and other toiletries and pharmaceuticals. Somehow, selling mayonaise and zinc-oxide ointment in the same packaging just seems wrong.

Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 05:15 PM:

I remember home delivery of milk. We had a milk box, which kept various critters, domestic and foreign--um, wild--from cadging it. I remember hiding in the milk box, and my brother sitting on the top, even though this probably could not have actually happened.

On those rare occasions when I buy milk, I buy WHOLE milk exclusively. This is because I only buy it for recipes, and the recipes usually want the milk to dissolve cheese in some way or other. This doesn't work too well with low- or non-fat milk; the fats dissolve each other.

I buy whole milk yogurt, too. Oh, I buy the nonfats for instant eating, but if I'm making lebneh or tzatziki, it's plain full-fat yogurt. Strained yogurt is just WAY TOO SOUR (and I love sour things) if made with nonfat yogurt. If made with the real thing, though, it makes a nice substitute for sour cream; "full-fat" yogurt is still MUCH lower in fat than sour cream, much as I love the latter. The former is also virtually lactose-free.

Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 06:00 PM:

Jeremy, you think mayonnaise and zinc-oxide is bad: try toothpaste and ladies leg-hair removing goop.

Especially when you're trying to get up early, without disturbing the household by turning on all the lights.

That was a Good Idea.

Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 06:44 PM:

Niall, that reminds me of Ricky Jay's story about switching his father's hair cream with his toothpaste, and Jay's comment that it said something about his father that after using hair cream as toothpaste, he went on to put toothpaste in his hair.

rm ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2003, 11:55 PM:

Mary, Jeremy -- that just proves my point. California, the Big Blue state, is already starting to turn. Today sugar cartons, tomorrow universal health care. None of it ain't reached us here in the red states yet.

The News recently told us that someone was caught transporting Florida orange juice in a tanker truck previously used to transport liquid hazardous waste. I can't find the link.

What about injecting o.j. concentrate into acquifers, where it will dissolve and come out of the well as juice? That will save on pipelines, which are so hard to secure.

My childhood home had a niche in the wall with an outside and inside door. We didn't have to go outside to collect our glass bottles in the morning.

julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2003, 12:01 AM:

>For whatever reason-- freezing milk into icebergs and floating it along the Great Lakes and/or St. Lawrence never caught on

As the big milk cubes go, it was bigger than most.

Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2003, 12:35 AM:

Stefan: What you used to do now appears to be the norm, and prepunched plastic and foil-covered holes are in the slopes of most (not all) of the one-pint milk-style cartons I have encountered recently.

I remember the milkbox that was functional when we moved into our Lawn Guy Land home in 1969. It remained on my mom's porch until she sold the house in 1993 or so, having not seen milk in around 20 years. I wish I had rescued it; it was a gen-u-wine artifact, and cool (as it were) in and of itself.

Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2003, 01:08 AM:

I don't know what happened to the milk box we used to have. It probably would be useful for keeping other things in. The milkman used to deliver milk (and sometimes other things; I remember that occasionally we bought doughnuts) three times a week. This was very helpful because when I was little we were a family of as many as ten people -- four of whom were under ten, and the total number depending on how many grandparents were present -- and my mom didn't have a driver's license until I was seven (when my youngest sister was a year old). No horses, though: a big dark-green truck, emblazoned with "Menzies' Dairy, McKeesport, Pa."

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2003, 01:51 AM:

Thus his famous pre-war description of Bush92s Iraq policy: "It92s O.K. to throw out your steering wheel as long as you remember you92re driving without one."

He has to be making that up. Doesn't he? Doesn't he? DOESN'T HE?

MKK

Suw ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2003, 03:43 AM:

Zizka - I think I'd rather my weevils than your maggots! If they'd been maggots I don't think I'd have been half as calm and collected as I was when I took the rice back!

I do feel somewhat out of the milk debate though - drinking milk makes me sick, so I don't touch the stuff. Mind you, when I was a kid we used to have to drink a third of a pint of milk a day at school. it would be delivered in these little milk bottle and left in a crate outside the classroom.

That was fine on cool days but during the summer the milk would have gone off by the time we were supposed to drink it at first break, but they'd make us drink it anyway.

Course, I wouldn't, so there would develop a battle of wills between me, sitting there with my untouched bottle, and the teacher, waiting for me to finish the bottle so that they could let me out into the playground and go off for their break.

Usually, the impasse ended when the teacher told me to 'put the bottle away when I'd finished', and as soon as they were out of the room I'd pour the milk down the sink and skedaddle.

I hate to think how much milk I wasted this way.


hm, look at that: I *can* join in the milk discussion... who'd've thought?

Elric ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2003, 08:56 AM:

AIEEE!

It's okay, Patrick. I'm home safely. With luck the only damage to the car was the blown tire, so keep those fingers crossed.

Melissa Ann Singer ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2003, 10:38 AM:

On the milk thing . . . we had a metal milk box outside the door of our apartment, in NYC, when I was pretty small. I always thought that was pretty keen.

Now, I buy organic as much as possible, and milk without rBGH when I can't find organic. My dd prefers 2% to 1% but will drink either; neither one of us cares much for skim, which was also made in my childhood home from powder, and to this day my mom keeps a box of milk powder in the pantry, for "emergencies" (not really sure what a milk emergency might be in this era of the all-night convenience store).

The latest milk news tidbit I have is that Monsanto is suing some organic milk producers because their cartons say their milk has no rBGH in a way that Monsanto considers defamatory. Monsanto says the wording on the cartons "makes consumers fearful" of milk with rBGH.

Yeah, that's it. I don't buy milk with hormones because the organic carton scared me.

Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2003, 12:58 PM:

Anyone else here remember milk machines?

They were around when I was a wee lad, before supermarkets were open on Sundays and late nights.

They were vending machines that dispensed quarts of milk, in waxed paper cartons. I remember there was one in a wooden shelter around the corner for us, in the parking lot of a neighborhood deli.

Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2003, 03:06 PM:

Stefan, a friend of my mother's taught her kids to call the milk machine a "cow", because she was so embarrassed when he son answered "where does milk come from?" with "the milk machine"!

CHip ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2003, 08:59 PM:

Julia (untangling a crosspost): Orson Welles and John Houseman put on their "Voodoo Macbeth" in 1936 in Harlem, so there was at least one full cast's worth of classically trained african-american actors available.

The link refers to "a cast that was 95 percent amateur", confirming my recollection of Houseman; skimming Runthrough, I find his estimate that of the 750(!) people hired as performers in the ]Negro theater project[, about a sixth had any experience more significant than a small chorus part or appearance as an extra. (The object of the project was to get people off the relief rolls; Houseman mentions the contortions he went through to get a leavening of experienced actors, many of whom had been too proud to go on relief.)

julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2003, 09:17 PM:

sigh.

Me and javascript, we are not friends.

Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2003, 03:40 PM:

The Talking Dog wrote:

"For whatever reason-- freezing milk into icebergs and floating it along the Great Lakes and/or St. Lawrence never caught on."

Julia followed up with:

"As the big milk cubes go, it was bigger than most."

Which started a tune running in my head for at least a day. And which led to two thoughts:

1) Wisconsin is a big dairy state. It borders on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.

2) Geoffrey Pyke may have been on to something.

Habakkuk 1:5: 93Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.94

I once corresponded with an underwater archaeologist who, for her thesis, had explored the wreck of the prototype, sunk since the Big War in chilly Patricia Lake in Alberta.

Perhaps, like the airship or the anti-missile missile, Project Habbakuk (somebody in the Admiralty had trouble spelling the prophet's name correctly) will yet be revived in a 21st-century form, and revolutionize the dairy industry.

Alison Scott ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2003, 04:21 PM:

Most people in the UK can still get milk delivered each morning in bottles if they want. It's relatively expensive.

However, even some of the milk we buy from the supermarket is un-homogenised (Waitrose Organic); Marianne particularly likes grabbing the cream. That's home-delivered too, of course, along with all the rest of our groceries.

We buy semi-skimmed milk (2%), but in Britain it's possible to buy delicious gold top milk, which comes from Jersey cows and is a stonking 5% fat. Nothing better for your Weetabix.

I'm leery of giving skimmed milk to my kids; milk is full of fat-soluble vitamins, and I'm not sure where else they'd be getting them from. We also buy full-fat plain yoghurt; just because it tastes so much nicer than non-fat.

Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2003, 05:23 PM:

We buy semi-skimmed milk (2%), but in Britain it's possible to buy delicious gold top milk, which comes from Jersey cows and is a stonking 5% fat.

At first I thought, Cows from New Jersey? Then thought Dolt! to myself...

Nothing better for your Weetabix.

...and being a Buffy fan, I thought, What about...well, I'll never eat Weetabix, I'm afraid. Let's just leave it at that.

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2003, 06:42 PM:

Oh, but the real glory of British dairy products is double cream. I still don't know why we can't get it here. Double cream on fruit is the perfect summer breakfast.

Xopher, re Weetabix. Me too!

MKK

CHip ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2003, 10:25 PM:

re powdered milk's awful taste: does anyone remember doing a direct comparison to fresh skim milk? I worked my way down from whole milk to skim several years ago (I drink a \lot/ of milk and my cholesterol was starting to get high), and don't remember such a change in taste; 2% (which is sometimes the only thing I can get in a sandwich shop) feels richer but not radically different. I suspect that powdered milk (especially the stuff available 40 years ago) was altered by the evaporation process; it doesn't take much to denature some of the protein in milk (remember the skin on milk being warmed for cocoa?), and that could alter the taste toward the repulsive stuff I remember being made up when we ran out of the bottled stuff (delivered, but on Friday in a village with no Sunday shopping, so runouts happened). Somehow my spirit of scientific inquiry doesn't reach this far....

Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2003, 05:28 AM:

Concerning kids and skim milk, wasn't there a scare a few years back about yuppy couples feeding their kids on "health" foods, and the kids ending up malnourished?

"Muesli belt malnutrition" was the catch phrase.

I think the opposite is more of a problem in reality, with obesity in Irish teenagers rapidly catching up with American levels, for example.

Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2003, 01:16 PM:

Niall, the way I heard it from my son's pediatrician is that infants and toddlers need more fat than adults do (it's needed for brain development, among other things), and so people who applied the "low fat" trend to their little kids' diets could inadvertently cuase problems. Now that he's a little older, I need to ask her if and when he should be eased towards skim milk.

I don't think it was called "Muesli belt malnutrition" here, though. In the US, granola has the symbolic role muesli holds elsewhere.

Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2003, 05:34 PM:

What Niall said: The few scattered instances of head-cases forcing their grown-up ______-free diets on kids for ideological reasons get a lot of press; kids growing up big n' beefy thanks to parental indulgence in junk food is the sad norm.

julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2003, 06:45 PM:

Actually, my mom did that.

I don't think it was ideological. She was on Weight Watchers and she didn't want temptation around the house.

We're fat, but we have terrific cholesterol.

Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2003, 09:02 PM:

No, your mom didn't do that; "_____-free" didn't refer to fat or sugar.

I'm talking about far-out-in-the-fringes folks who'd give infants vegetable broth and ground nuts instead of nursing them.

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2003, 03:06 PM:

Oh wow! I just looked at the Picture of Everything and I am speechless. I haven't got enough time right not so I've bookmarked it to waste more time on later.

OH WOW!

MKK

John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2003, 05:32 AM:

Mary Kay, double Devon cream (imported) is available at large groceries in the US; Elise had some just a few nights ago, having noticed it at Lund's (my neighborhood upscale supermarket) and being, well, you know, in need. It's not cheap (I believe it was about $4 for eight or twelve ounces), but then again when I think of some of the prices in the Williams-Sonoma Christmas catalog it -is- cheap. And besides, a gallon bucket of double cream would be like, oh, four hundred pounds of Thermite: a whole lot of fun while it lasted but a heck of an aftershock.