…and Prince was the best thing about it:
In a feature just published today, Rolling Stone declares 2014 the 30th anniversary of “pop’s greatest year.” 1984 was “the year that pop stood tallest,” according to several collaborators on a feature listing the 100 best songs of that year. And who stood tallest in 1984?
Well, Madonna was pretty good—her “Borderline” comes in at #2. Michael Jackson? Yeah, “Thriller” merits a #4 slot. But the artist who towered over this “greatest year” in pop history, says Rolling Stone, was Prince. Tracks from Purple Rain occupy three out of the list’s top ten slots, coming in at #1 (“When Doves Cry”), #4 (“Let’s Go Crazy”), and #8 (“Purple Rain”).
Perhaps even more incredible is how the list evidences Prince’s wide-ranging influence. In addition to the Purple Rain tracks released by Prince himself, the Purple One is also closely associated with several more tracks on the list.
A flip phone represents the ultimate luxury: inaccessibility. The most alluring thing about people with flip phones is the vote of confidence they are giving themselves (and their social lives) by not giving people a 24/7 way to reach them, across multiple platforms. It’s like they have an innate trust that the people who really want to talk to them will seek them out, will still want to talk to them three hours after sending an email. They can go off the radar without worrying that people will forget about them while they’re gone.
I need to read this book:
Inhabitants of the southern coastal regions of China had for centuries preserved seafood by “layering local fish in jars with cooked rice and salt, covered with bamboo leaves, and left to ferment. The enzymes in the fish convert the starch in the rice to lactic acid, resulting in a salty, pickled fish that could be eaten by scraping off the goopy fermented rice,” Jurafsky writes in his book. The recipe was written down in the 5th century and is still used today in parts of Southeast Asia.
In the 17th century, English and Dutch sailors and traders traveled to Asia, “and they brought home barrels of this Chinese fish sauce, and this fish sauce was called ketchup. -Tchup is a word for sauce in Chinese dialects,” he says. And the syllable ke means “preserved fish” in Hokkien, the language of southern Fujian and Taiwan.
The sailors, probably hoping to perk up their hardtack, quickly adopted the fishy ketchup, and merchants saw the opportunity to sell an expensive and exotic sauce from Asia to Europeans, Jurafsky writes.
By the 19th century, the British were making their own ketchup, adding tomatoes but still relying on anchovies for flavor, as evidenced by early recipes, Jurafsky says. Eventually, tastes changed and the anchovies were out while other ingredients like mushrooms and oysters came into vogue. “Ketchup” became a catchall word for a spiced sauce.