Answer Time (Finally!)


See this post for an explanation of what’s going on. Sorry it took me so long to get these up, but stuff was happening…

What is the etymology of the word ‘bagel’? Can you take it back to the Indo-European for us? Break it down.

There are two schools of thought about the origins of the word “bagel”. The first, familiar to students of Middle High German, is that the English word derives from the Yiddish beygl, which, in turn, draws from the Middle High German böugel, which comes from Old High German word for “ring.” The other school of thought, entirely unencumbered by facts, argues that the word is a corruption of the Chinese phrase meaning “boiled doughy thing that white people eat”. The fact that bagels were eaten and were, in fact, called bagels long before they were introduced into China has been entirely ignored by proponents of this second school of thought.

I think your FAQ is just fine, except for that one question that’s, like, all crossed out. Why do you feel the need to update it?

It’s more than a year old, and there’s some stuff in there that’s simply factually incorrect.

Also, what’s the toughest division in the NFL?

That depends. If you mean “the toughest division to play in”, that’s probably the AFC East, simply because the Patriots are beating everything they see like a drum. If you mean “the toughest division to win”, that’s probably the AFC South, where everyone’s expected to be in the hunt until close to the end of the season.

index-7.jpgMore pr0n.

That’s not a question, that’s a request. But whatever. There ya go.

Do you expect the political climate in Hong Kong to get worse (i.e. less democratic) or better in the next five years?

Probably worse. The irony is that the primary factor in the development of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong is meddling from the mainland, but the mainland is, as usual, utterly unable to grasp the concept. Then again, the CCP never was much good at wu-wei, so it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise…

What would you estimate are the chances of China invading Taiwan before the 2008 Olympics?

Depressingly high. A look at PLA procurement plans indicates that they’ll be prepared to launch a major amphibious invasion sometime in the year 2006. Since it seems unlikely that they’d invade South Korea or Japan, that leaves one likely target. I had a much longer answer written that disucssed the history of Chinese foreign policy in light of their decision to cross the Yalu, but it got eaten.

What’s your favorite Saint Etienne song?

That’s hard to say. I don’t think that I have a single favorite Saint Etienne song. I have, in the past, held up “Zipcode” as a near-platonic pop song, and I think that the album version of “Hobart Paving” is one of the great unknown ballads. And the disco melodrama of “Sylvie” is, to use an overused word, utterly irresistable. I could go on like this for a while…

Why law school?

That’s a surprisingly complicated question that comes with a correspondingly complicated answer. But certainly this was not an insignificant factor.

Three favorite places in New York City?

Riverside Park. The middle of the Brooklyn Bridge. The red velvet seats at the Metropolitan Opera. (As with the Saint Etienne question, I could keep going and going and going…)

Ideas about what you want to do post-school?

Take a well-earned vacation. But seriously, I think that I’d probably go into either some kind of internet law or international law.

Oatmeal, grits, or cream of wheat?

Oatmeal. Though grits are quite good if you add enough cheese.

How did you become a Red Sox fan and why do you remain a fan?

I spent my elementary school years in the greater Boston area, specifically in the town of Brookline. The first baseball game I ever went to was at Fenway Park in the summer of 1978, and my first memory of watching televised sports was watching the Sox lose that famous playoff game against the Yankees that fall.

Do you believe in life after love?

Yes, but be prepared for life after love to be brutish and painful.


the bagel of the niebelung.

I, for one, found the promised pr0n underwhelming.

Whew. Thank G-d! Answers at last!

Grits with cheese is indeed an underrated yumminess. Though you shouldn't decide against cream of wheat until you've had it Indian style. Those are both more like food food, whereas my favorite oatmeals are desserts. Maple syrup, apple cinnamon...

Leave a comment