Sunday, March 22, 2020

Research Record - March 2020

Here's some light reading for your 'tine. Christ almighty this one's been weird. Lemme post this while it's still semi-relevant.

Obviously I fell down the Covid-19 wormhole, which entailed a lot of research and tangents and so bear with me while I try to keep this all halfway entertainformative.

Bushmeat - A term originated in Africa meaning essentially 'wild meat'. Can be pretty much any sorta beast you manage to kill and eat. Or at least eat. Yewei is pretty much the Chinese variety, and sold at wet markets. Oh, what's a wet market?

Wet Market - In the kindest terms, this is a market that specializes in perishable goods, particularly of the animal and produce variety (as opposed to a dry market). Famous among such markets was the

Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market - The largest wet market in Central China (540k sq ft) and the alleged birthplace of Covid-19. The problem with butchering some of the animals that fall into the category of bushmeat or yewei is that they are just spackled with disease. Animals traded and butchered in this market included

You might notice I used the past tense while referencing the market. That's because it's been shut down by health authorities to examine, disinfect, reinvent. (Although the govt-run news provider - Xinhua News Agency said at the time that it was being closed for renovations)
I've read multiple reports, some saying this closure is temporary, some suggesting it's permanent. Apparently as of February 14th China has banned the trade and consumption of wild meat across the country. This does not cover traditional Chinese medicine, but I call it quite the win considering we have wild animal butchering and tampering to blame for tuberculosis, leprosy, cholera, smallpox, measles, influenza, syphilis, HIV-1, AIDS, Ebola, Creutzfield-Jakob disease, monkeypox, T-lymphotropic virus, anthrax, and God only knows how many parasites.

On the other hand, I hate to see ancient traditions undone. Chinese cuisine is one of the oldest in the world, and is tied to their traditional medicine. The Manchu Han Imperial Feast is a notoriously grand meal that took place during the Qing Dynasty. It spanned three days and featured 108 dishes of every variety you can imagine and probably plenty you'd rather not. Surely the preparation of the dishes took place in a more sanitary environment than the middle of a meat market, but I'm sure some wet market shopping was necessary to accommodate such a gargantuan feast.

Part of me loves the idea of a wet market. For some people in the world, it's their only market. During mine and my wife's trip to the Dominican Republic we witnessed freshly butchered meat hanging on hooks on the front porch of what looked like residences. I admit some part of me wanted to buy a chunk and throw it on a fire with some local spices and see what I could come up with. Speaking of local spices,

History of Spices - I'm not entirely sure where my fascination with spices came from. But for those of you in the crowd who are new here, I'm a chronic world builder. Pretty much everything that inspires me at all gets transmuted to fit into Silexare. I love the idea of spices as a valuable commodity, as hard as it is for me to imagine. I can walk in the grocery store and snatch up cumin, thyme and oregano as if they're all just variations of salt. Only later in life am I learning how such spices got to Bilo, and why their names are so un-English.
It's just freakin interesting, okay?

Tangent achieved. I'm leaving you with this next one.

Sefirot - I'm not going to try to explain it because I don't understand. It's tied to Kabbalah, a school of thought in Jewish mysticism (apologies for what might come off as a derogatory descriptor).
Originally stumbled upon this concept because Sephiroth is one of my favorite villains of all time. But I return to it because of my fascination with its processes, particularly the second step - Chokhmah. It means (and I'm copying Wikipedia's definition) the first unbounded flash of an idea before it takes on limitations. When I'm struck by inspiration, I prefer to linger in this phase as long as I can, before the box of reality inevitably closes in.

Chokhmah is relevant right now because I've finally had a break through on a project/challenge I've been dwelling on for several years. This project is my next large one, and will commence in earnest after the V&V trilogy, after making a YouTube chill VG song compilation, but before writing another book/series or building a video game I have in mind.
For fear of revealing too much, this will be an interactive environment simulator engine. Let's call it project InEnSiEn. No. That sucks. How about Schala.

There is a story of a pack of wolves being reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park in 1995 and the trophic cascade that followed. That story is directly related to this project, and is a big part of the inciting inspiration. I didn't scour YouTube for the very best iteration of the tale, but here's a great one if you're interested.
YouTube - How Wolves Change Rivers.

See you guys next time



  1. My grandfather was a butcher. Of the traditional variety. Not responsible for any pandemics.

    1. I love it! FRESH meat! Not that GMO'ed up garbage.


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