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In all Chinese restaurants, at least at the lower end of
spectrum, the menu items are numbered. I had always
assumed that these numbers were derived in some way
from the I-Ching ("37 - long life and prosperity with
sauce"), but apparently this isn't the case, because there
often more than 64 items on the menu.
I was even more shocked to realize that any given
can refer to completely different things, depending on
which restaurant you're at. Thus, Monty Python's "A
fourteen, a seven, a nine and lychees" might be a wise
choice at one establishment, but might consist entirely
tofu (apart from the lychees) at another.
Clearly, this madness must stop, and the Chinese must
made to see sense.
Fortunately, a model exists in the form of the Dewey
Decimal system, used by librarians and named in honour
Donald's nephew. It is obvious that this can be extended
cover the complete oeuvre of Chinese cuisine.
The first digit, between 1 and 9, will correspond to the
predominant taste of the dish (sweet, sour, salt, bitter,
umami, sweet-and-sour etc). The second digit will
indicate the general nature of the predominant
(meat, poultry, seafood, grain, legume, other vegetable,
fungi etc), whilst the third digit narrows this down to
particular species. As in the Dewey system, several post-
decimal digits can be used to add precision. Thus
"622.858" would be sweet-and-sour chicken with
beansprouts, whereas "614.832" would be sweet-and-sour
pork with cashews. And cetera and cetera.
Such a system would have innumerable* benefits. For
if you really like 515.48 with 320.88 and 317.77, then
will be able to order it immediately from any Chinese
restaurant that happens to be convenient. For another,
they don't do 515.48, you can be pretty confident that
either 525.48 (chicken instead of pork) or 515.43 (with
spring greens rather than celery) will be OK.
Also, if you can't decide exactly what to order but know
the general nature of the things you like, you can go for
"anything in the 350's".
Finalmost, this system will immediately reveal lacunae in
the Chinese food repertoire. Why, for instance are there
almost no items in the 513.6's? Is this because pork and
ginger really don't go well, or is it simply an area that
hasn't yet been adequately explored?
(*this is a statement that can rarely be made about
The four food groups
"Fried" is an essential component [8th of 7, Apr 17 2018]
The Gastronome Codex
<twirls overlong moustache> So, MaxwellBuchanan, we meet again!</twirl> [DrBob, Apr 19 2018]
||Huey and Louie are still steaming about their exclusion off
the project. One innocent prank with the mayoral voting
rolls in Duckburg and they are tagged as villains.
||Few people know that Louie was named after Louie
Armstrong, the first man to play a trumpet on the moon.
||... accompanied by "Count Buzzie" Aldrin on the spoons.
||That problem has already been addressed. "Fried" is one of
the basic flavours that the human tongue can perceive, and
is covered by the first digit.
||// "Fried" is one of the basic flavours //
||More detail is required in the form of extra decimal points to indicate volume and intensity of MSG, exact region from where the rice comes, temperature of frying oil, etc. I can see 50+ digits being deployed to ensure totally specific meals, and that's before getting to the plates and chopsticks.
||Does Pi take on a life of its own as a complicated
||Only if you're a tiger in a lifeboat.
||Oh dear. It would seem to appear that I have been
preemptively beaten to it by the good [DrBob]. Have these
prawn balls on me, Doc.
||That movie was borderline transcendental.
||//preemptively beaten// then deep fried in
||Technically, if you're still on a borderline, then you haven't
transcended it. That's why tangential meditation never really took
||That raises an interesting question: at the exact
mathematical point of pi, are the values of the leftside and
rightside limits of pi transcendental, borderline
transcendental, irrational, or what?
||//at the exact mathematical point of pi, are the values of
the leftside and rightside limits of pi//
||That's an interesting question. But surely the values
immediately either side of pi must also be pi? If they're not,
then there'd be room for another number between them
||It's not interesting at all. It's simply wilfully ignoring the definition of limits.
||// Negative numbers need 2 dimensions. //
||So ? There are untold numbers of dimensions, why worry ?
// Please people stop using negative terms as they need another dimension. //
||We have to say that, in terms of intellectual development, you appear to lack ambition.
||//Have these prawn balls on me, Doc//
Very well. Down on all fours with you. You don't expect me to eat standing up, do you!?
||//why worry ?// Someone might tell them.
||More pi, thats precisely what I do not need...
||Someone needs to invent the number that is
infinitely close to pi without it being pi. Like the
edge of a a discontinuity function line with a hole
in it there. Infinitesimally close.