Fish waffles?

Sometimes, you just need to watch people make taiyaki.

Compare those cute little ones to these giant ones.

At the beginning of the semester we talked about how  “Japanese pancake” is not really the best way to describe okonomiyaki. Similarly, if you said “fish pancakes” or “fish waffles” you’d probably get this kind of face in return: 😫 Even worse? “Fish pancakes with sweet red bean paste.”

Here’s a little piece about this popular street food, and its predecessor imagawayaki,  in English from Atlas Obscura.

And here’s a recipe for imagawayaki and obanyaki, if you want to try it at home.


How many niblings do you have?

This short video is about words that exist in some languages but not others, and what these “lexical gaps” occur.

A study about kissing

This article from Sapiens (“Is romantic kissing a human universal?) explains that kissing (romantic kisssing rather than the kind of kiss a parent gives a child) is surprisingly uncommon around the world. You’d never know it if you went by most movies (see, for example, “Most iconic movie kisses of all time” from InStyle, or tons of YouTube movie clip collections titled “Best movie kisses of all time”).

Iconic movie kiss #6: from “The Lady and the Tramp” (Japanese title: 「わんわん物語」

A few excerpts from the Sapiens article:

“In Melanesia, the Trobriand Islanders regarded kissing as ‘a rather silly and insipid form of amusement’

“even chimpanzees and bonbobos kiss”

“In fact … less than half of the (168) cultures we sampled engage in the romantic kiss.”

“Societies with distinct social classes are usually kissers; societies with fewer or no social classes, like hunter-gatherer communities, are usually not.”

And there are two theories about how romantic kissing originated. Try skimming the the article to find them.


Yesterday I mentioned the phrase “It’s like watching paint dry.” This video of a street vendor making jianbing (煎饼・Chinese breakfast crepes) is like watching socks go around in a clothes dryer.

Compare that method with this one:

I’m sure there are as many ways to make this as there are street vendors in Beijing.

A funny account of someone addicted to jianbing: “Let he who has turned down a delicious jianbing first call me fatty” (from Roads & Kingdoms).

Also: “Why Jianbing is China’s Most Popular Street Breakfast” (from Serious Eats)

And if you want to try making it yourself: a recipe (from Genius Kitchen).

Another recipe, with a slightly different take on it, called Jidan Bing (from The Woks of Life).

Or wait four years and make a plan to go to the next Winter Olympics in Beijing.