An article in The Times discusses what appear to be the death throes of the North Korean government. I was struck by this passage:
The dictator’s favoured heir apparent, his son Kim Jong-chol, 23, who was educated in Geneva, is reported to have staged a shoot-out inside a palace with Kim Jang-hyun, 34, an illegitimate son of Kim Il-sung, father of the dictator and founder of the dynasty.
You know, that's the problem with systems that leave a lot of illegitimate royalty milling around. They grow up embittered, develop ambitions, get involved in plots, and before you know it they're playing real-life FPS games in your palace. In Europe, guys like Kim Jang-hyun would have been channeled into the priesthood, and eventually wind up an Archbishop of Somewhere or Cardinal Somebody, maybe even have a shot at the Papacy, and get their own stable of mistresses along the way. Having a alt.* hierarchy of power and wealth, i.e., the Church, provides a convenient place to stash excess and/or illegitimate royalty so that they don't get underfoot and gum up the succession. North Korea should have looked into that. Too late now, I guess, it looks like the Hermit Kingdom is coming undone.
Elsewhere in the news, the Great Sourdough Starter Experiment has begun. It involves grapes. It takes two weeks. The first week is easy, but the second week is rough. You have to feed the damned thing three times a day. It's like raising a Tamagotchi. Right now, it's seething in a crockery bowl in the kitchen, looking sinister. Soon it will start to smell.
I'm cheating on the recipe. A lot. Couldn't find red or black organic grapes in the winter, so I'm using plain ole' grapes. My house's ambient temp is not 70, it's more like 62. I've thought of putting the thing on the PC case. I've got one of those old hot-running Athlons that are basically space heaters that also happen to do computation.
We'll see. If this doesn't work I may be reduced to ignominiously buying starter.
I love good sourdough, but I've never been able to make it, although I've baked bread for most of my life. This recipe for starter is more fussy than any I've seen before. Maybe that means it will work. I'm always very impressed by complicated things I don't understand.
== yuuetsukan == (noun) superiority complex
|Left/lower radical is 'run' (走). Right radical is 'halberd' (成), which acts phonetically to express 'burst forth'. Henshall suggests as a mnemonic: 'Run with halberd and cross border.'|