The limits of good taste (Part 2)

Today’s article is not about cooking, we are not doing food science or rating a restaurant. No, we are looking at the world from the special perspective of a polyglot gourmet. A person who knows borders from travelling, who likes to cross them, but who would also like to explain what other borders there are: culinary boundaries – the boundaries of good taste. To be fair, it should be mentioned briefly that the exact course of the border is often disputed, but these details are rather irrelevant for this article.

Continue reading “The limits of good taste (Part 2)”

The limits of good taste (Part 1)

My grandmother was an interesting woman. Whenever I think of her, experiences from my youth and her words of wisdom come to mind. In every situation in life, for every circumstance, there was – if necessary – a suitable saying. For her, these were fixed guidelines, almost commandments. There was no discussion, it was just the way things were.

Continue reading “The limits of good taste (Part 1)”

Spurious correlations?

Time and again, the rather simple-minded saying falsely attributed to Winston Churchill pops up: “The only statistics you can trust are the ones you have falsified yourself.” By the way, probably Josef Goebbels is the originator (according to Werner Barke in: ‘I only believe statistics…. What Winston Churchill is supposed to have said about numbers and statistics – and what he really said’). But this only in passing.

First of all, statistics is nothing other than collecting data, presenting them in the form of tables and graphs, analysing them and, if necessary, interpreting them. It is useless to enumerate all the places we meet statistics, because there is no area in which statistics does not play a role.

Continue reading “Spurious correlations?”

DNA Detectives (Part 2)

Facebook for the Dead?

For those of you worried about data protection: researchers choose whether to publish their tree or not. Published records do not reveal any information of anyone still living unless you opt to share it with specific persons. Archives do not disclose any information on births less than 110 years ago, marriages less than 80 and deaths less than 30.

Continue reading “DNA Detectives (Part 2)”

DNA Detectives (Part 1)

Retroactive baby boom

During the Corona pandemic subscriptions to genealogy websites increased to over 10 million and something like 30 million DNA samples have been provided to date for analysis. Spare time at home – and maybe some reflexion about mortality – seems to have fuelled people’s curiosity about their roots. Back in 2019 I wrote in “Big Brother is alive and living in Canada” about my experience discovering I had a half-brother through a DNA match. Since then I have continued delving into my families’ past and by now there are some 6000+ names populating my family tree. I am regularly in touch with people I did not know exist, connected by suspected family links and a passion to find out more about their ancestors and frequently to discover countless skeletons in the family cupboard.

Continue reading “DNA Detectives (Part 1)”

Less is more!(?)

Once again it’s all about being happy…

Have you also made firm resolutions for the new year? A friend told me she would now leave out cream when cooking in favour of homemade tomato sauce. Aha! Initially it sounds healthy and prudent. She wants to give up some dairy products in order for her intestines to recuperate. What is it supposed to recuperate from? A friend told me that he would drink less alcohol now. What exactly is less? Less, compared to what? Is one glass in the evening a lot or a little?

I myself have a resolution this year to work “less”, which a self-employed person can only influence to a limited extent. I am very curious to see how this resolve develops and how I strive to achieve it. What is less or more is mostly a matter of opinion and – habit.

Continue reading “Less is more!(?)”

An answer to everything?

But the question is simply, “Which one?”

Here in the Netherlands I am often asked very interesting questions. Older relatives of my husband’s, who are not familiar with navigation devices (or even Google Maps), call and ask me for the best route to drive from Würzburg to Tauberbischofsheim. Now, I haven’t been to this – undoubtedly very beautiful – region of Germany very often and can’t do much to enlighten them. That’s why I almost have a guilty conscience.

Continue reading “An answer to everything?”