Monday, August 20, 2012

Evolution through Natural Selection, The 1812 Overture, Day of the New Bread and The Moscow Mule Cocktail

On this day in 1858, Charles Darwin would publish his theory of evolution through natural selection in The Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London. 
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” 

On this day in 1882, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture debuts in Moscow at the dedication of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour which was built to commemorate Russia's victory over Napoleon's invading army in 1812. Although not one of Tchaikovsky's favorites, it remains one of his most successful and often played pieces.

The Historical Inebriant: The Moscow Mule
(if you have time, please read Wondrich's commentary as well)

1/2 oz Lime Juice
2 oz Vodka
4 to 6 oz Ginger Beer
Squeeze lime juice into a Collins glass and drop in the spent shell. Add 2 or 3 ice cubes, then pour in the vodka and fill with cold ginger beer. Serve with a stirring rod.

As a side note, in 1891 Tchaikovsky himself would conduct the piece at the dedication of New York City's Carnegie Hall.


Today is St. Stephen's Day in Hungary. It celebrates St. Stephen, first king of Hungary (who helped spread Christianity throughout the land) as well as the foundation of the Hungarian state. It also marks "the day of the new bread". There will be street fairs, processions and fireworks on the banks of the Danube river.

Harvest Procession and Blessing of the Bread - 20th August Festivities Budapest

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