What was François Mitterrand's final meal and why was it so controversial?

The ortolan is a small bird from the bunting family that lives in Europe and western Asia. It is also the last meal that former French president François Mitterrand ever ate, 8 days before his death. But eating ortolans is illegal in France (even though some chefs will still make it) and it comes with some… unique traditions:

[…] To prepare it, the ortolan is drowned in a glass of Armagnac. This is not a metaphor. It is actually drowned, and then it is cooked in a cassoulet.

[…]

You place a white cloth over your head and pick the bird up with your fingers, and then you eat it whole, wings, feet, organs, head, everything except the feet. The ortolan is supposed to represent the soul of France.

The white cloth is to create a closed sensory world of just taste and scent.

The cloth is also, traditionally, to hide the act from God.

via Interconnected

For more on Mitterand’s last meal and the ortolan, read Michael Paterniti’s 1998 piece for Esquire magazine. You can also read this Smithsonian article on the ortolan from 2018 and how it is/was eaten into extinction. (A note that while the ortolan’s global conservation listing is “Least Concern”, in France, it is “Endangered”.)

Conflict in Literature (with Daffy Duck)

Twitter is a dumpster fire but sometimes it can provide humour and escapism.

Conflict in Literature is a meme that started as a comic in 2014:

On May 22nd, 2014, Grant Snider of Incidental Comics published a comic entitled “Conflicts in Literature.” In the comic, stick figures act out the classic conflict scenarios present in narrative art, such as “man vs. nature” and “man vs. technology,” as well as the movement in literature (“modernism,” “post-modernism,” etc.)

From there, a series of unique versions were made including one starring Daffy Duck. The original creator, Instagram user @rad_shiba, posted it on their page but has since been taken down.

I like the concept but adding Daffy Duck to each one is a masterstroke. I wonder what a Nancy version would look like.

(via @johnarmenta)

And the award for Cutest Duck TikTok Goes To...

I’m not on TikTok and have no interest in joining. I prefer to catch the funniest TikToks on Twitter and save myself from the boring ones. That strategy has worked well and I hit the jackpot yesterday when I found this:

Dancing with my Duck! | HartYT_ TikTok Compilation 1#

Let me address each incredible part of this TikTok one-by-one.

1. It features a dancing duck

I love ducks. They’re in my top ten animals list and in terms of cuteness, they’re second only to hippos for me. This duck appears to be a Pekin duck (I’ll wait to be corrected) and Joey and Chandler owned one in Friends.

2. Hart was getting into it

Hart is an animator and memer (seriously, go check out his YouTube) who was ready to bust moves with his duck. And he did not disappoint.

3. That song is awesome

Part of the appeal of this TikTok, besides the dancing and the duck, is the song. Twitter provided as it always does and gave the title: Vibe by Cookiee Kawaii.

By now, I’ve watched this feather-shaking duck about 10 times and I’m ready to watch it some more before the day’s up. Happy Black History Month!