Two more morning names

Morning names from recent days: drugs and food.

Midazolam. A drug, whose name I came across in television cop shows — but not recently. The name just bubbled up from memory. It turns out that I’m familiar with the drug, but not under this name.

From a description of a Law & Order episode (“Dazzled”, season 12, episode 20, 4/24/02):

FATAL FALL NO ACCIDENT — When the young second-wife of a wealthy investment banker plunges to her death from the roof of her art studio, Detectives Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) and Green (Jesse L. Martin) suspect that the woman’s husband (guest star William Atherton) or former boyfriend (guest star Joseph Murphy) may have committed a crime of passion. But when a highly controlled drug known as “dazzle” is found in the victim’s system, the detectives must find the source of the high-tech anti-anxiety drug, leading the investigation to an assortment of colleagues and family members displeased with the May-December union.

Dazzle is the street name for midazolam. From Wikipedia:

Midazolam (… marketed in English-speaking countries and Mexico under the trade names Dormicum, Hypnovel, and Versed) is a short-acting drug in the benzodiazepine class developed by Hoffmann-La Roche in the 1970s. The drug is used for treatment of acute seizures, moderate to severe insomnia, and for inducing sedation and amnesia before medical procedures. It possesses profoundly potent anxiolytic, amnesic, hypnotic, anticonvulsant, skeletal muscle relaxant, and sedative properties. Midazolam has a fast recovery time and is the most commonly used benzodiazepine as a premedication for sedation; less commonly, it is used for induction and maintenance of anesthesia.

… Midazolam is also used for endoscopy procedural sedation and sedation in intensive care. The anterograde amnesia property of midazolam is useful for premedication before surgery to inhibit unpleasant memories.

(anxiolytic, hypnotic, anticonvulsant, (muscle) relaxant, sedative — a slew of medical terms)

I know midazolam as Versed (two syllables, accented on the second). I benefited from it during my struggle with necrotizing fasciitis in 2003, when the amnesiac properties of Versed helped to get me through a week of debridement surgeries on my right arm (and then I experienced it in endoscopies). From my 1/13/10 posting on “Illness and disability”:

The topic is of special interest to me, since my right hand and arm are somewhat disabled, ultimately as a consequence of disease, namely necrotizing fasciitis. The event intervening between the illness and the disability was a series of surgeries in which my ulnar nerve was damaged. So I’m now disabled, but not now suffering from NF.

(Warning: don’t delve into material on NF, even the Wikipedia page, unless you have a strong stomach.)

Moros y cristianos. This was yesterday’s morning name. On the food, from Wikipedia:

Platillo Moros y Cristianos (or simply moros, moro, congri, or arroz moro) is a famous Cuban dish served at virtually every Cuban restaurant. It can be considered the Cuban version of rice and beans, a dish found throughout the Caribbean, The US Southern States, and in Brazil.

Moro y cristianos means “Moors and Christians”. “Moors” refers to the black beans, and “Christians” to the rice. The name of the dish is likely a reference by early Cuban settlers to the Islamic Conquest of Spain (early 8th century) and subsequent Reconquista (15th century) which both had a profound effect on the Spanish culture and language.

… Traditionally,

Platillo Moros y Cristianos (or simply moros, moro, congri, or arroz moro) is a famous Cuban dish served at virtually every Cuban restaurant. It can be considered the Cuban version of rice and beans, a dish found throughout the Caribbean, The US Southern States, and in Brazil.

Moro y cristianos means “Moors and Christians”. “Moors” refers to the black beans, and “Christians” to the rice. The name of the dish is likely a reference by early Cuban settlers to the Islamic Conquest of Spain (early 8th century) and subsequent Reconquista (15th century) which both had a profound effect on the Spanish culture and language.

… Traditionally, Moros y Cristianos have been differentiated from congrí by being prepared separately to represent white rice as the Christians, and the black beans as the Moors. Each is cooked and served separately and only joined when you are ready to eat. Congrí is an African influence where both rice and beans are cooked together.

(Edgy writing. For instance, note “Moros y Cristianos have been differentiated” with plural verb agreement, presumably because the name Moros y Cristianos is plural in Spanish.. But the name refers to a food, not to Moors and Christians, and so should take singular agreement. Compare: Snakes and Ladders is/*are a children’s game.)

The food, first with the beans and rice cooked separately, then with them cooked together:

(#1)

(#2)

That’s the food. Then there is the cultural practice. From Wikipedia:

Moros y Cristianos … is a set of festival activities which are celebrated in many towns and cities of Spain, mainly in the southern Valencian Community. According to popular tradition the festivals commemorate the battles, combats and fights between Moors (or Muslims) and Christians during the period known as Reconquista (from the 8th century through the 15th century).

The festivals represent the capture of the city by the Moors and the subsequent Christian reconquest. The people that take part in the festival are usually enlisted in filaes or comparsas (companies that represent the Christian or Moor legions). The festivals last for several days, and feature parades with bombastic costumes loosely inspired by Medieval fashion. Christians wear fur, metallic helmets, and armor, fire loud arquebuses, and ride horses. In contrast, Moors wear ancient Arab costumes, carry scimitars, and ride real camels or elephants [the Moors are sometimes represented as black]. The festival develops among shots of gunpowder, medieval music, and fireworks, and ends with the Christians winning a simulated battle around a castle.

Moors from one festival, Christians from another:

(#3)

(#4)

(The story of the Reconquista is more complex than this, since not only were Muslims expelled in 1492, but Jews were too; well, Jews were given the options of converting to Christianity, being expelled, or being killed. All part of the fanatically Catholic Queen Isabella’s program of cleansing Spain of non-believers.)

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