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December 04, 2020

Comments

KC

Google cannot effectively answer how many tablespoons of juice are in one lemon, because it depends on the lemon's size and juiciness and usually conversion charts just... don't tell you that. However, you can go by weight; if it's a "heavy" lemon for its size, probably around 3/4 of the weight is juice; less proportionately if it is a "light" lemon for its size.

But yeah. Paper reference books. They're a thing... and yes, the younger generation may not know how to use a table of contents or an index or a dictionary or... (unless they're still teaching them in school, like I was taught cursive?)

TheQueen

KC - I think a table of contents or an index is pretty self explanatory. Now, a dictionary, with emphasized syllables and schwas, that might be mysterious.

KC

The thing is, if you don't know the index or the TOC is there (and/or don't know the words for them), then... you're just not going to see them, because you won't know to flip to the right parts of the book. Also, looking things up by page number isn't necessarily obvious, I think - what do these numbers *mean*?

But you're right - the IPA is pretty strange-looking and might be concerning to the uninitiated.

TheQueen

KC - I think if every page is numbered that an index would be obvious.

KC

I'm not sure? Partly because we're semi-trained now to ignore extraneous "stuff" on a page/webpage (and, in a book, to generally ignore frontmatter and backmatter) - we skip over what we assume will be irrelevant/advertising/boring. But also, if you needed to know how long to cook chicken thighs, would you even know that's a thing you *can* look up in a paper book without reading the whole paper book, if you don't know they have an index and a TOC?

That said, there are still textbooks that they would presumably be exposed to, but textbooks below a certain grade level don't have an index, I think? (but also: it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out that one could use the index to find a particular topic instead of just trying to remember approximately where in the book what I'd read on that topic had been and flip through until I recognized the page. I mean, late teens. And that wasn't the internet's fault.)

KC

Now: I love a good index, and I've indexed a couple of books [because most publishers no longer hire professional indexers to do the work, and I could do it better than a random company in India which just pulls out all the proper nouns and calls that an index][I am a long way from a professional indexer, *but* I can at least do better than that!]. Don't get me wrong - I am very pro-index! I just don't think it's something people would necessarily realize is there and useful and usable, and it does require a few search steps and intuition steps to get from "here is a book" to "this is where I look in this book for pigeons" if you don't know an index exists or how it works.

(I did use a cookbook index from a young age, but the concept that other types of books could also have them and they could be useful was largely foreign to me until, as I said, my late teens or so. Cookbooks, and how you navigated them, were their Own Thing in my head.)

TheQueen

KC - do you remember street guides? No one told me that if I was lost and if I went to the back of the guide and looked up the road that I was on, and it said 9-G 4 , that I should turn to page 9 and find the intersection of column g and row 4. I think if you need information that you will hunt for what will help.

KC

You'll either hunt for what will help, or you'll give up, or you'll do a mix of both. If you don't believe (or if you forget) that you *do* have non-internet-based information on, say, cooking chicken thighs, then... you cook something else instead. And possibly even throw out the chicken (I have known people to do this when adequately daunted by a cooking process/recipe). So that's the problem: to what degree do people realize that in Before Times, there were ways of accomplishing certain goals? And to what lengths will they go to find out what those ways were? And it varies... (and also: in old days, if something wasn't in the index but was in the book, your only recourse was to read/skim it or ask someone who was more familiar with the book - we haven't always had easy tools for some things. So the lack of knowing which internet functions are replicated vs. which are not would be a daunting thing for someone who has grown up with a smartphone within reach?)

TheQueen

KC - well that is truethat young kids today’s would be at a loss, I can’t past the idea you know people WHO WILL THROW OUT CHICKEN.

KC

I think that one was a scared-of-salmonella, overwhelmed with too much new info in the recipe they had (misguidedly) chosen, this-is-not-worth-it conclusion, followed by the purchase of no more raw meat for the next decade or so? But yes. (also, that was an Of Cookbook Age person, not an Internet-only person; but anyone can get daunted, throw their hands up, and quit. Well, possibly not quite anyone; there are people with stubborn streaks as wide as Montana and I am not 100% sure whether absolutely *everyone* has at least one realm where they don't care and are willing to blame the field and quit; but almost anyone.)

TheQueen

KC - wait - was this cooked chicken thrown out, or was it raw when it was thrown out? That’s a key point. Pitching Raw chicken is a blasphemy, but if they tried and it didn’t work, well, I just did that with catfish a few hours ago.

KC

Raw chicken that they were scared of and thus threw out. (which: if you're never going to be confident it's not salmonella-y, better to throw only the chicken out instead of throwing out all the ingredients you've added to the chicken?)

Sorry about the catfish that didn't work!

TheQueen

KC - but doesn’t the cooking kill the salmonella?
(moments later) Wait, i just read about salmonella, I didn’t realize how terrifying it is. They were right to throw out the chicken.

KC

It does die if you cook it thoroughly enough for long enough! But lots of people don't cook it thoroughly enough, and if you run into your recipe saying "until done" or "until [indicator you are totally uncertain of being able to judge, like small texture changes or small color changes]" or "until meat thermometer [you don't possess] reads ..." then... yeah.

I mean, you also need to thoroughly clean your cutting surfaces, etc. or you'll get salmonella happily growing in your next melon (it likes melon - not acidic enough to kill it - and potato salad - and all sorts of innocuous-seeming foods...).

TheQueen

KC - if I remember, salmonella is why I never got another baby green pet turtle and why they scrub the brown off of American eggs. Still, the story of how it goes through the blood brain barrier and turns your immune system against you sounds all too familiar.

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