Day 901: Chianti Classico

When Laetitia leads tours in Tuscany, the always enjoys the region’s excellent wine and olive oil.  Chianti, one of the region’s best known products, wasn’t always a fine wine.  During much of the twentieth century, it was mass marketed in round straw-wrapped bottles that were a favorite of students and often ended up as candle holders in dorm rooms.  Interestingly, that style of bottle is called a “fiasco.”  In the 1990s, the Italian government implemented new regulations, adopting a Sangiovese-based recipe for Chianti wine developed by Bettino Ricasoli during the nineteenth century.

A local wine became the subject of the day’s limerick.

On a trip south of Florence you ought to go
And sample their Chianti Classico
From grapes Sangiovese
Grown on Tuscan hills hazy
‘Tis a wine you will find most simpatico.

Day 900: Intel Heaven or Hell

When Laetitia has spare time, she likes to read and if she especially enjoys a book likes to talk about it.  She recently finished a novel by Jan Fawcett called Living Forever.  It’s about a doctor with terminal cancer that agrees to participate in a DARPA project in which the data stored in his brain are transferred to a microchip.  What follows is a fascinating fictional foray into the emerging reality of artificial intelligence (A.I.).  The novel is timely and especially relevant at a time when Stephen Hawking and others question whether what evolves will be a boon to humankind or a modern incarnation of Mary Shelley’s monster.

Being the quirky person that she is, Laetitia hummed “I Ain’t Got Nobody” as she wrote the limerick.

The book that’s called Living Forever
Is a novel compelling and clever.
Its protagonist digital
Parries evil formidable
While part of an A. I. endeavor.

Day 899: Rat Éclat

After visiting Hameln in northern Germany, Laetitia mused about how tragic events often become the basis for economic opportunity.  It called to mind a summer tourist event in Iowa billed as “Axe Murder Days” based on the only sensational event that the denizens of that small town could recall.  That thought inspired the day’s limerick.

Now Hameln’s a fun city that
Owes tourism mostly to the rat
For its past events tragic
Underlie business magic
Enriching the Rattenfänger Stadt.

Day 898: Uncle Milt’s Limerick

Uncle Milt was in Hibernia for a visit along with Aunt Suzy and Elsa.  The three joined Laetitia and Granny in a local Irish Pub for an evening of Murphy’s Stout and shepherd’s pie.  At some point, the conversation drifted to limericks and Uncle Milt allowed as how he had written one.  During his student days, he spent one year at a small college in the Midwest Bible belt.  The English Department there published annually a booklet of poetry and short stories called Void Where Prohibited that featured contributions by students.  The dean who was more noted for his pompous false piety than his intellectual acumen was incensed about an earthy short story that appeared in the publication about a poor Mexican boy name Jesus.  He went around sputtering about “that magazine,” calling it indecent and sacrilegious.  It inspired Uncle Milt to write his first and only limerick.

At a small Midwest college, the dean
Thought a school publication obscene
And its great notoriety
So disturbed his propriety
That he now calls it “that magazine.”