loren Eric Swanson: Mixed Taste--Tag Team Lectures on Unrelated Topics

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mixed Taste--Tag Team Lectures on Unrelated Topics

Last night Liz and I went with two young couples down to Belmar Lab ( http://www.belmarlab.org/) to hear the second of "Tag Team Lectures on Unrelated Topics" as part of a summer program called "Mixed Taste." Last week Liz and I went to hear Silent Films and Counterfeit Currency. Last night's topics were "Soda Pop," by Adrian Miller and "Extreme Death Rituals of Borneo" by Christine Kreps, assistant professor of Anthropology at Denver University. The evening started with a light buffet and drinks at 6pm followed by a brief introduction to the evening. Each speaker was given 30 minutes to present his or her topic. This was followed by 30 minutes of Q&A to both speakers. Questions that could find the intersections between the topics are exceptionally valuable. Adrian gave the history of soda pop. Soda is from the carbonation and "pop" comes from the sound when a carbonated bottle was uncorked. Very interesting stuff; Dr. Pepper was named after the father of a girl a young chemist was courting (they never married). Adrian is assistant deputy director to Governor Bill Ritter and is also writing a book on the history of soul food. Last month, a buddy of mine went out for soul food with Adrian at one of Denver's best soul food restaurants. He was also gracious enought to join us at our New Year's Eve dinner / party. He is a delighful man with a great sense of humor.
Christine started by saying that death rituals are important because life is very short and death is very long. After the event several of us joined the speakers and program hosts a block away at the Oven for pizza. Next week's topics are Maya Astronomy and Stanley Kubrick.


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