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Weekend Miscellany

“Japan has around 300 brands of short-grain japonica rice that go by names like Yume Shizuku (Dream Droplet), Seiten no Hekireki (Bolt from the Blue), Tsuyahime (Shiny Princess), and Mirukii Kuiin (Milky Queen),” writes Kenji Hall over at Taste. But there’s a clear favorite: Koshihikari, which accounts for a third of the rice that’s planted annually and has outsold every other brand for years. “If there is an ideal style of rice for oyakodon or matsutake gohan, or to eat plain with only a side of pickles, Koshihikari comes close. In surveys, consumers say they prefer its ultrawhite kernels, sticky-soft chewiness, and mild sweetness.”

Swearing is good for you. “No one can tell me that there’s a better word than the F-word for relieving pain after stubbing your bare toe on the leg of your bed. There just isn’t. I’ve tried using, ‘Blast!’ and, ‘Confound it all!’—but they just don’t cut it.” (While we’re at it, so is drinking.)

When art runs out of ways to shock: “The assumption had been that artists were entrusted with the sacred task of ‘pushing the envelope,’ as [Edward] Albee insouciantly put it, but they were finding that the culture had gotten way ahead of them. And at the same time—and this was really unnerving to a certain type of artist—the culture revealed itself to be shameless, tawdry, and grotesque in ways that were supposed to be reserved for the avant-garde.”



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