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  1. Stephen Jay Gould may write well but he's unreliable on evolution.
  2. Bloody ingrate. If we hadn't been distracting Plotnicki over there he'd have been spending more time over here trashing Italian food.
  3. Yes, yes! He's turning into James Joyce. More Beckett, I think.
  4. The Cold Six Thousand. Ellroy gets more austerely incomprehensible by the book, and his characters are little more than a compilation of the same few ticks, but he's reinvented the hard-boiled* detective novel and I love 'em. Edit: *Mandatory food reference.
  5. Just take the ends of the tablecloth and tie them behind your neck.
  6. Riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs . . . But that's shorter and easier to understand.
  7. Diminutive of OF nappe, a tablecloth No no no, stop jesting Prof. You know I wasn't talking about "napkin", I was talking about "diaper". Is that even in the OED, and if so why ? Oops. Sorry. Diaper from the Greek dia-, through, and aspros, white.
  8. Ha. Plotnicki laughs in the face of such odds.
  9. Well, if you're correct your experts are unique. As I posted above, I work with people who are highly trained at interpreting x-ray films but who wouldn't trust themselves to make objective comparisons between two types of film. (And the human visual system is vastly more sophisticated than the taste system.) Absolutely. But the fact that identification of tastes relies on memory is a reason to distrust it since memories are highly fallible. Secondly, the ability to store taste memories evolved to help make decisions like "is this thing good to eat or will it kill me?" However, the brain will have evolved to use all the data available: taste, smell, shape, colour, where it's growing, etc. I can see no evolutionary reason why an ability to analyze taste independently of other cues should have arisen. Taste memory can operate without visual clues but it will only do so if there are no visual cues. This is borne out by the study cited by lizziee where wine experts were fooled into describing a white wine as tannic by the addition of red dye.
  10. If you are trained. But no one other than Fat Guy blindfolds himself in restaurants.
  11. According to the OED, the serviette meaning dates to at least 1420; the diaper meaning to only 1845. Diminutive of OF nappe, a tablecloth
  12. Yes. But I drool uncontrollably so paper disintegrates.
  13. Not at all. I challenge you to find any statement, on any thread, by myself, Yvonne, Wilfrid, Balic or balex denying the existence of acute tasters. All we have denied is the ability of any taster to entirely shut out visual and other non-taste cues when tasting.
  14. The work won an award from the Academie Amorim, a private organization that funds oenological research with the aim of promoting the enjoyment of wine. They evidently had no problem with it.
  15. Science is always in that position: explaining why things are the way they are. And, if the experiment I posted to above is to be believed, we have now explained the taste of connoisseurs: they like what they like because they believe they should like it.
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