January 9th, 2007

krazy koati

If I had a million dollars

According to the news, Momofuku Ando, the Japanese inventor of instant noodles, has died. It somehow seems like there should be a tasteless joke to make about that, and I didn't mean to even write it like that, although I am letting it stand. He started the Nissin Food Products Company in 1948, with Japan still suffering postwar food shortages and turned it into something that could feed many people cheaply.

I was never a big Ramen noodle fan, even as a college student. As an undergraduate I had the dining plan anyway and could have altogether too much spaghetti (the standard Sunday night fare through Junior and Senior years) and, so, not need to eat anything more. And as a graduate student there were some stretches where I was short on cash, but I would more likely save up for a Hamburger Helper-type meal that would keep me full the rest of the day instead of falling back on ramen, or spaghetti, which I'd had enough of. In Singapore they served actual fresh hot made-on-the-spot ramen noodles with abundant ingredients and tasting impressively good, but if I was at a hawker center or a mall food court where ramen was available, there were also many other things available, and I'd gravitate towards that instead.

Still, it's not as if I particularly disliked instant noodles, just that I like other things more. And according to the article I read about his death there's a Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum, opened 1999 in Ikeda City in western Japan, and I'd like to see that. But then, who wouldn't?

While looking around on the Barnes and Noble web site for things I might buy, I stumbled across a books-on-tape collection of Robert Benchley essays as read by Henry Morgan (the old-time radio comedian, not the really crazy general from M*A*S*H who also did some other part on it). Henry Morgan had a naturally slightly more sarcastic style (``Eversharp razors -- they're educational. Try one. That'll teach you.'') than Robert Benchley had, but he also had a very naturally funny voice, and that makes for a compelling combination of my hobbies. But the online store didn't have any copies in stock, leading me to suspect they list it just to tease potential buyers.

Trivia: Caroline Herschel was a harpsichord player and singer before becoming an astronomer. Source: Planets Beyond: Discovering the Outer Solar System, Mark Littmann.

Currently Reading: The Essence of Style, Joan DeJean.