(Roughly) Daily

The Annals of Onomatopoeia: Oenophilia Edition…

As part of a seminar devoted to “Visualizing the Five Senses,” Carl Tashian, a teaching assistant at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, has developed this handy interactive visualization of wine flavors, based on over 5,000 published wine tasting notes written between 1995-2000 in a major Australian wine magazine…

Try it, and see.

As we swirl, then prepare to expectorate, we might recall that on this date in 1519, Hernán Cortés entered Tenochtitlán (roughly where Mexico City stands today); and Aztec ruler Moctezuma welcomed him with great ceremony, as might befit a returning god…  little did the Chief know…

Criss-crossed with canals, laced with aqueducts and markets, and set beside a grand lake with floating gardens, Tenochtitlán was “the Venice of the New World” (or, rather, Venice was the mini-Tenochtitlán of Europe– for the Mexican city was much larger and grander than that Italian town).

According to early Spanish accounts, it was unlike the European cities they knew, but more like the ones they had seen in romantic books, as it was neither crowded nor dirty.  Indeed, Tenochtitlán was larger, more beautiful and more complex than any European city at the time. The population of the lake city was some 200,000 – 300,000 people, at a time when London’s numbered about 40,000 and only 65,000 people lived in Paris.  Tenochtitlán’s craftsmen (for instance, its extraordinary goldsmiths) were a match for those in Europe; and the grandeur of the city’s pyramids rivaled Egypt’s wonders…

Tenochtitlan looking east from the shore of Lake Texcoco

Meanwhile, across the pond, on this date in 1602, The Bodleian Library at Oxford formally opened.  (Sir Thomas Bodley had donated over 2000 books in his personal library to replace the earlier Duke of Glouchester’s (Duke Humphrey’s)  Library, which had been dispersed.  Bodley’s bequest was made in 1598; but the full collection wasn’t catalogued and made available until this date in 1602, when the Library reopened with its new name, in honor of its benefactor.  Eight years later, Bodley made a deal with the Stationer’s Company– which licensed [provided copyright] for all publications in England– that a copy of everything licensed should be sent to the Bodleian…  making it a Copyright Depository, the first and now one of six in the UK.)

Entrance to the Library (with the coats-of-arms of several Oxford colleges)

Written by (Roughly) Daily

November 8, 2008 at 1:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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