Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday 35

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at the Bermuda Onion where you "can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love. Feel free to get creative!"

Well - went from busy to completely insane in the blink of an eye around here.
Totally at random this week. 

The elderly lady's gown of grey figured silk, lavishly embellished with Valenciennes to match her lace cap ... 

Based on stuff from Wikipedia ...  
Valenciennes lace is a type of bobbin lace which originated in Valenciennes, a township in the Nord département (something like a county) of France, and flourished from about 1705 to 1780.

Bobbin lace is made on a pillow that has a pattern picked out with pins, and the thread is wound around a set of bobbins (wood, bone or ivory traditionally). The lace is made by braiding the thread into patterns around the pins on the pillow. You can make a single lace piece like a doily or the pillow can be on an axle that turns, allowing you to make a long strand of lace.  (I had a friend who did this.  I tatted instead - it was more portable.)


Valenciennes lace is made on a lace pillow in one piece, with the réseau (the net-like ground) being made at the same time as the toilé (the pattern). There is more stuff about exactly what differentiates Valenciennes lace from other forms of bobbin lace on Wikipedia.

Oh cool!  If you are interested in lace at all this is really neat ...

Real Valenciennes - from that lace book I linked

She was just wondering whether she could possibly fit in one of the delicious-looking mille-feuilles on an nearby dish ...

mille-feuilles \mēl-ˈfwē, mēl-ˈfœ-ē\
: a dish composed of puff pastry layered with a filling (as salmon or cream)
Origin: French, from mille feuilles a thousand leaves First Known Use: 1895

Since we are talking desert here, I am gonna go out on a limb and suggest that salmon was not in fact the filling we are talking about here.

Also known as Napoleon pastry -

here is a recipe -

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, November 21, 2014

A peak into The Eye of Zoltar and Last Chance to See

Well, the fates are not being kind to me at all, I still need to work on my conference presentation and instead we got pounded by tons of snow - shutting down everything all week - my kids are driving each other nuts. For this week's Book Beginnings on Friday, hosted by Rose City Reader here is the beginning of The Eye of Zoltar by Jasper Fforde ...

(Note that this is the third book, so if you like it, you can't start here. You have to start with The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde followed by The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde.)

The first thing was had to do was catch the Tralfamosaur. The obvious question, other than "What's a Tralfamosaur?" was "Why us?" The answer to the first question was that this was a magical beast, created by some long-forgotten wizard when conjuring up weird and exotic creatures had been briefly fashionable. The Tralfamosaur is about the size and weight of an elephant, has a brain no bigger than a Ping-Pong ball, and can outrun a human. More relevant to anyone trying to catch one, Tralfamosaurs aren't particularly fussy about what they eat. 

For nonfiction, here is a wonderful book that I have to re-read when I get a chance - Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams (yes, that Douglas Adams) and Mark Carwardine ...

This isn't at all what I expected. in 1985, by some sort of journalistic accident, I was sent to Madagascar with Mark Carwardine to look for an almost extinct form of lemur called the aye-aye. None of the three of us had met before. I had never met Mark, Mark had never met me, and no one, apparently, had seen an aye-aye for years.

This was the idea of the Observer Colour Magazine, to throw us all in at the deep end. Mark is an extremely experienced and knowledgeable zoologist who was working at that time for the World Wildlife Fund, and his role, essentially, was to be the one who knew what he was talking about. My role, and one for which I was entirely qualified, was to be an extremely ignorant non-zoologist to whom everything that happened would come as a complete surprise. All the aye-aye had to do was do what aye-ayes have been doing for millions of years; sit in a tree and hide. 

For The Friday 56 hosted at Freda's Voice we pick up The Eye of Zoltar on page 56 ...

The forklift placed the crate in front of me and reversed away. Several of the lifeless drones unlatched the crate and wheeled the two sections apart to reveal the Mighty Shandar himself. 

But is wasn't a flesh-and-blood Shandar. It was Shandar as he spent most of his time these days: stone. 

I don't think we can go any further without getting into possible spoiler territory. Here is something from page 56 of Last Chance to See ... 

Here the man in the blue polyester accosted us once more, but we patiently explained to him that he could f**k off. We needed chocolate, we needed coffee, maybe even a reviving packet of biscuits, and what was more, we intended to have them. We outfaced him, dumped our bags on the ground, walked firmly up to the counter, and hit a major unforeseen snag. 

The girl wouldn't sell us anything. She seemed surprised that we even bothered to raise the subject. With her fists still jammed into her cheekbones, she shook her head slowly at us and continued to watch the flies on the wall. 

The problem, it gradually transpired after a conversation which flowed like gum from a tree, was this. She would only accept Tanzanian currency. She knew without needed to ask that we didn't have any, for the simple reason that no one ever did. This was an international transit lounge, and the airport had no currency-exchange facilities, therefore no one who came in here could possibly have any Tanzanian currency and therefore she couldn't serve them. 

 Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday 34

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at the Bermuda Onion where you "can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love. Feel free to get creative!"    

Busy! Ack!  Here are some interesting words from a book that started out good and then went straight off a cliff - by the middle everyone was tstl. So, not even gonna name it.

"Dash it," he groaned, "sitting is even more awkward than walking with all this extra avoirdupois."

avoirdupois /ˌävərdəˈpoiz/
1: A system of weights based on a pound of 16 ounces or 7,000 grains, widely used in English-speaking countries.
1.1: humorous Weight; heaviness especially :  personal weight
Origin Middle English (denoting merchandise sold by weight): from Old French aveir de peis 'goods of weight', from aveir 'to have' (infinitive used as a noun, from Latin habere) + peis 'weight'
First Known Use: 15th century

"Much olive tree. My ship bring olive oil to Istanbul. I expect you later, Kyria, but is better now."

Kyria κυρίᾳ   /kee-REE-ah/
Greek word for lady

And I have just gotten sucked down into long discussions of the "noble lady" in the Bible or proper ways to address people in Greece and I don't have the time or patience to work it all out so I am gonna leave it there. 

They came to a Turkish-style caravanserai on the edge of the small town.

caravansary /ˌkarəˈvansərē /
chiefly British also caravanserai /-səˌrī/
noun (plural caravansaries or caravanserais /-səˌrīz/)
1: historical An inn with a central courtyard for travelers in the desert regions of Asia or North Africa.
Origin late 16th century: from Persian kārwānsarāy, from kārwān 'caravan' + sarāy 'palace'.

Monumental entrance of the Sultanhani caravanserai Aksaray,Turkey.
Inner Courtyard
Happy Wednesday !

Friday, November 14, 2014

A peak into Brat Farrar

I am brain-dead and should be working on a conference presentation, so this week I am going for a classic mystery for Book Beginnings on Friday, hosted by Rose City Reader. Here is the beginning of Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey ... 

"Aunt Bee," said Jane, breathing heavily into her soup, "was Noah a cleverer back-room boy than Ulysses, or was Ulysses a cleverer back-room boy than Noah?" 

"Don't eat out of the point of your spoon, Jane." 

"I can't mobilise the strings out of the side." 

"Ruth does." 

Jane look across at her twin, negotiating the vermicelli with smug neatness. 

"She has a stronger suck than I have." 

"Aunt Bee has a face like a very expensive cat," Ruth said, eyeing her aunt sideways. 

Bee privately through that this was a very good description, but wished that Ruth would not be quaint. 

"No, but which was the cleverest?" said Jane, who never departed from a path once her feet were on it. 

"Clever-_er_," said Ruth. 

"Was it Noah or Ulysses? Simon, which was it do you think?"

"Ulysses," said her brother, not looking up from his paper. 

BTW - for the confused, a back-room boy is someone who does a lot of work in a type of job where they are not often seen by the public.  And no, I never quite figured out what Jane was getting at either but breakfast table conversations can be like that.

For The Friday 56 hosted at Freda's Voice we pick up Brat Farrar on page 56 ...
"Did you know that Clare was a school nowadays?"
He had nearly said yes, when he remembered that this was merely one of the things Loding had told him, not one of the things that he was supposed to know. 

"What kind of school?"

"A school for dodgers." 


"Yes. Anyone who loathes hard work and has a parent with enough money to pay the fees makes a bee-line for Clare. No one is forced to learn anything at Clare. Not even the multiplication table. The theory is that one day you'll feel the need of the multiplication table and be seized with a mad desire to acquire the nine-times."

I adored the BBC version when I was a kid

Awesome things happening in space ...

SA’s Rosetta mission has soft-landed its Philae probe on a comet, three times apparently - who knew that Philae would act like a superball ?  The first landing was great, except that the anchoring harpoons did not deploy as expected and Philae bounced, taking a few hours and another bounce to finally come to rest.

The other landings were less ideal ... so the final configuration is probably something like this ...

To create this image, the CIVA-P imaging system took the first panoramic image Philae returned from the surface of the comet and superimposed the image of a sketch of the Philae lander based on the location of the landing gear seen in some of the image frames. Not quite what they were hoping for, still the images are fantastic.

So - good news - it landed and is sending images and data.

However, there is more bad news as well. Recent images show that the probe is close to a cliff and in the cliff's shadow - which means that the probes solar panels are not getting much light. Philae is apparently running off batteries, which means it could stop functioning much earlier than anticipated.

Still - super cool stuff!

Also in the recent events ... India's Mars Orbiter Mission, the country's first interplanetary mission, blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space center in Sriharikota, India on November 5th.

Meanwhile in the US, we have private companies blowing up and crashing in their attempts to make "space tourism" a viable option for the extremely wealth.  Sigh.

Also ...

I have no idea where I snagged this from - if you know please leave me a comment so I can give credit !

Well, I don't know about you, but the images that I hope stick to mind are those from the Rosetta scientists in the main control room celebrating after (what turned out to be the first) touchdown ...

and the images from the control room in India.

India hailed its low-cost mission to Mars with celebrations at the command centre near Bangalore. (source)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday 33

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at the Bermuda Onion where you "can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love. Feel free to get creative!"    

 Frantically working on a pre-proposal and a conference presentation. Eek. So yet more pot luck words from the past week ...

A quick change of subject is the best slap on the wrist when a gent has allowed the conversation to wander into forbidden purlieus

purlieu \ˈpərl-(ˌ)yü, ˈpər-(ˌ)lü\
1: the area surrounding a place
2: an outlying or adjacent district
3: a frequently visited place : haunt
3 British historical: A tract on the border of a forest, especially one earlier included in it and still partly subject to forest laws.

Origin: Middle English purlewe land severed from an English royal forest by perambulation, from Anglo-French puralé perambulation, from puraler to travel through, measure, from pur- thoroughly + aler to go. First Known Use: 15th century

                 --- *** --- *** --- 

"... pointed out the mastery of Van Dyck's portraits, the chiaroscuro of Caravaggio, the bravura designs of Rubens, the sheer magical artistry of Rembrandt." 

chiaroscuro \-ˈskyr-(ˌ)ō\
1:  pictorial representation in terms of light and shade without regard to color
2a :  the arrangement or treatment of light and dark parts in a pictorial work of art
  b :  the interplay or contrast of dissimilar qualities (as of mood or character)
3:  a 16th century woodcut technique involving the use of several blocks to print different tones of the same color; also :  a print made by this technique
4:  the interplay of light and shadow on or as if on a surface
5:  the quality of being veiled or partly in shadow

Origin:Italian, from chiaro clear, light + oscuro obscure, dark First Known Use: 1686

also a technical term used by artists and art historians for the use of contrasts of light to achieve a sense of volume in modelling three-dimensional objects and figures.

David with the Head of Goliath, 1609–1610, by Caravaggio

Sleeping Cupid, c.1608, by Caravaggio

                 --- *** --- *** ---  

"I had in any case intended to pay my devoirs to the vicar today."

devoir  \də-ˈvwär, ˈde-ˌ\
1: duty, responsibility
2 : a usually formal act of civility or respect
 Origin: alteration of Middle English dever, devoir, from Anglo-French, from deveir, devoer to owe, be obliged, from Latin debēre. First Known Use: 14th century

                 --- *** --- *** ---  

"A granddaddy pike! Hold it still a moment and I'll gaff it," Albert ordered.

gaff  \ˈgaf\

1 a :  a spear or spearhead for taking fish or turtles
  b :  a handled hook for holding or lifting heavy fish
  c :  a metal spur for a gamecock
  d :  a butcher's hook
  e :  a climbing iron or its steel point used by a telephone lineman 
2:  the spar on which the head of a fore-and-aft sail is extended 
Origin: French gaffe, from Occitan gaf First Known Use: circa 1656 
Vintage gaff
A pole with a sharp hook on the end that is used to stab a large fish and then lift the fish into the boat or onto shore. Ideally, the hook is placed under the backbone. Gaffs are used when the weight of the fish exceeds the breaking point of the fishing line or the fishing pole. A gaff cannot typically be used if it is intended to release the fish unharmed after capture.

                 --- *** --- *** ---  

She was wearing a speedwell blue sari with a broad, patterned border of cloth of gold. 

speedwell  \ˈspēd-ˌwel\
 :  a perennial European herb (Veronica officinalis) of the snapdragon family that is naturalized in North America and has small bluish flowers in axillary racemes. (aka Veronica)
First known use: 1578 

Oh, that color blue !

 Happy Wednesday !

Friday, November 7, 2014

A peak into Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos and The Silk Road

 Still in adventure mode from last week so here is the beginning of Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos for Book Beginnings on Friday, hosted by Rose City Reader  ...

Mother Sends a Surprise 

I don't trust Clive Fagenbush.

How can you trust a person who have eyebrows as thick and black as hairbrushes and smells of boiled cabbage and pickled onions? Besides, I am beginning to suspect that he is up to something. What worse, I think he suspects I'm up to something. Which I usually am.

The needle marks and shape of this document
indicate that is was part of a funerary garment,
possibly a shirt, buried in a Turfan graveyard.
The document begins in the upper-right hand
corner with the name of the merchant,
Cao Lushan, and his age, thirty.

For non-fiction, I am back on my Silk Road kick, so here is the opening to The Silk Road: A New History ...

The document on the facing page illustrates the subject of this book. It is a court record of testimony given by an Iranian merchant living in China sometime around 670CE. The Iranian requested the court's assistance in recovering 275 bolts of silk owed to his deceased brother. He testified that, after lending the silk to his Chinese partner, his brother disappeared in the desert on a business trip with two camels, four cattle and a donkey, and was presumed dead. The court ruled that, as his brother's survivor, the Iranian was entitled to the silk, but it is not clear whether the ruling was ever enforced.

For The Friday 56 hosted at Freda's Voice we pick up Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos on page 56 ...

"You!" I spluttered, ignoring the small shower of crumbs that escaped. Served him right for following me. 

"Oy, what about me?" he asked, his sharp blue eyes watching my pie with keen interest. 

"Why have you been following me? Don't lie now." 

The urchin pulled himself up to his full height, which was a good two inches shorter than me. "I never lie," he said in a huff. "And I wasn't following you, I was following the bloke that was following you." 

My knees wobbled a bit. "Which bloke, er, gentleman?"

That seems like a good place to stop, so here is a bit from page 56 of The Silk Road: A New History

As a meeting place for peoples of multiple nationalities, the Silk Road was a site of sustained language exchange in an era long before the development of modern language learning aids like dictionaries and textbooks. Among the most dedicated language teachers were Buddhists who hoped to convey their sophisticated teachings as originally expressed in Sanskrit to potential converts. The residents of the prosperous oasis of Kucha on the northern route around the Taklamakan enjoyed an advantage over other language learners along the Silk Road, since their native language of Kuchean belonged to the same Indo-European language family as Sanskrit. Kucha provided a natural gateway for the entry into China of Buddhist teachings. The oasis also afforded Buddhist teachers the opportunity to meet with multilingual travelers who came to Kucha - then the largest and most prosperous settlement on the northern Silk Road, rivaled only by Turfan. 

Happy Friday !

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Story of Buildings by Patrick Dillion

The Story of Buildings: From the Pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and Beyond 
by Patrick Dillion
illustrated by Stephen Biesty

Published: March 11, 2014
Publisher: Candlewick

Pages: 96 pages
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Range: 9 - 12 years
Grade Level: 4 - 7
Source: library

Summary from Candlewick:
Featuring beautiful double spreads and flaps
We spend most of our lives in buildings. We make our homes in them. We go to school in them. We work in them. But why and how did people start making buildings? How did they learn to make them stronger, bigger, and more comfortable? Why did they start to decorate them in different ways? From the pyramid erected so that an Egyptian pharaoh would last forever to the dramatic, machine-like Pompidou Center designed by two young architects, Patrick Dillon’s stories of remarkable buildings — and the remarkable people who made them — celebrates the ingenuity of human creation. Stephen Biesty’s extraordinarily detailed illustrations take us inside famous buildings throughout history and demonstrate just how these marvelous structures fit together.

Aspiring architects will be in their element! Explore this illustrated narrative history of buildings for young readers, an amazing construction in itself.

Ack! Okay I am torn by another book here. The illustrations in the book are absolutely amazing. You have detailed pictures of famous building packed with information. Click on the picture of Notre-Dame for example. There are a bunch of callout boxes talking about the different parts of the structure. 

Super cool, right ? Reminiscent of David Macaulay's books like Pyramid, Cathedral and Underground.  I was immediately drawn to this book.

However, I have been finding the writing style, um, well plodding and choppy honestly. See, this is how the book starts ...

Imagine you find yourself in a forest. Night is falling. You have to build a shelter. 

You gather sticks and stack them up to make a cabin, but the sticks keep toppling over. At last you learn how to tie them with vines to hold them upright, but when you crawl into the cabin, there's hardly any space inside. Logs don't keep out the rain either. It trickles between them and drips on your face. 

Maybe you find yourself in the mountains, so you decide to make a stone house. But though you gather all the stones you can find, you don't have anything to stick them together with. After hours of hard work, your house is just a heap of rocks. 

If you find yourself by a river, it's even worse: there's nothing to build with but mud.

Right. So my first problem is that you are talking to an age group intimately familiar with mud, sticks and stones. They are already building constructions out of these materials. They get it. Plus, lots of these kids might be in the scouts too. And the book starts out talking down to them. Not to mention making our ancestors sound like a pack of idiots. ARGH! The text is just too dumbed down and vastly oversimplifies things or makes stuff up. It doesn't live up the illustrations for me.

Sorry, this one doesn't blow up as big.

Here is another example:

The greatest of all Egypt's rulers was Pharaoh Djoser. He expanded his kingdom far into Africa and Arabia, and his people worshiped him as a god. But as time went by, an uneasy feeling began to keep Djoser awake at night. He was the most powerful man in the world, but one day he would die just like the poorest beggar. He had defeated all his enemies, but he could never conquer time. 

Okay - so around here kids cover some portions of ancient civilizations in 6th grade and would usually have a unit or two about ancient Egypt in elementary school (mummies and pyramids are cool stuff!). So, the first things is that you are going to have is an argument about this "greatest of all rulers" stuff. Ramses II is usually the go to choice for greatest. Plus you can have some spirited discussion about Khufu (aka Cheops) of Great Pyramid fame and Amenhotep III who ruled Egypt at the height of its power - in any case, the name of some third dynasty guy is not going to feature prominently here. Then the rest of the paragraph is just made up stuff. Filler that is not historically accurate, nor does it address what is so interesting about what Djoser did. 

So, kids probably won't know this Djoser guy, but they will recognize the name Step Pyramid and many will have some idea of its importance in terms pyramid design, leading eventually to the Great Pyramids at Giza. So, why does book spout some gibberish about Djoser's motivations rather then talk about the design questions here - building a giant pyramid isn't easy - you have to get the pitch correct - too steep and it collapses - too shallow and it would take way too much time and too much material. Yes, this was the first stone monument but there was precedent - taking the basic structure of a Saqqara mastaba and stacking it. That is worth talking more about.

Also, Djoser isn't actually the interesting one here. Imhotep, Djoser's minister (vizir) is because he is the one responsible for design and construction of the Step Pyramid. Imhotep is considered often considered to be the earliest known architect and engineer, and one of the earliest physicians history. A Pharaoh being kitted out for immortality is par for the course. But the fact that Imhotep was one of only a few commoners ever to be accorded divine status after death is much more interesting.

Oh, right - the book also says ...

Djoser's great pyramid at Saqqara didn't fall, though. It remained, like a mountain against the Egyptian sky. Sandstorms buried his shrine. But when it was dug out, thousands of years later, its walls were as smooth and strong as ever.

Book - we have the internet - why are you saying silly things? No it was not not "smooth and strong as ever" - sheesh I am drowning in hyperbole here. The Step Pyramid is amazingly cool - you don't have to make up stuff! 

Now all of this said, I am still going to get my son a copy, because the illustrations are just that awesome. But why, oh why couldn't the text have lived up to them. 

So if you have child interested in architecture, this book would make a good present for the illustrations, but good golly be prepared for them to get just outraged at some of the stuff in the text.  

Florence Nightingale by Demi

Florence Nightingale 
by Demi 
Published: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Sold by: Macmillan 

Pages: 40 pages
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Grade Level: P - 3
Source: library

Summary from Macmillan:
Florence Nightingale revolutionized the world of medicine by emphasizing cleanliness, food that was hot and nutritious, and organization in hospitals. What began as an attempt to make army hospitals safer and more effective became a lifelong mission, and remains relevant today.
This new picture book biography of Florence Nightingale, from celebrated author and artist Demi, beautifully portrays the story of Florence's life and explores the long-lasting effects of her career. 
This is an absolutely beautiful book. The style reminds me of enamel work. I don't know how I missed Demi before, but I will be seeking out more of her work to share with my kids.

Plus, for so many people Florence Nightingale has become more of an idea than a person. And most kids don't know about her at all. This book presents her story in clear prose with lovely, detailed illustrations that show the contrast between the privileged world Nightingale gave up and the world of the poor and forgotten that she chose to serve.  The illustrations do gently suggest the full horror of what the field hospitals and workhouses would have been like. This allows you to see both the challenges Nightingale faced and provide a stark before and after contrast, showing what she accomplished. It is impressive work.

The story is a summary of Nightingale's entire life, so it might be lacking some of the in-depth information older children might want, but this does make it very approachable for younger children. I especially like the fact that the story tells you about some of the concepts - like collecting detailed information about how places functioned and striving for efficiency - that Nightingale based her work around. If you have a child enamored of Doc McStuffins, this book would give them a real life example to aspire too. Thumbs up.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday 32

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at the Bermuda Onion where you "can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love. Feel free to get creative!"
More pot luck words from the past week ...

From The Empire of Tea by Alan and Iris Macfarlane :  

The women lounged in deckchairs on the ship or sat sidesaddle on shiny horses, floppy hats replaced by solar topees

Solar topee is another word for pith helmet! According to Wikipedia
From the Hindi sola or shola, the name of a plant, and topi, a hat. The spelling "solar" probably rises from misunderstanding shola as the English solar.

Lord and Lady Curzon. Lord George Curzon was Viceroy of India from 1898 to 1905
and a fervent champion of British imperial interests.
     --- *** ---
We lived in white bungalows around which grew marigolds, petunias and scarlet salvias (I have disliked these ever since) 

scarlet salvia aka scarlet sage (Salvia splendens)

The fiery scarlet sage (Salvia splendens) can be found throughout India. (Source)

     --- *** ---

which was something of a pity since 'box wallahs' were almost hoi polloi in my family's vocabulary.

box wallah  \ˈbäkˌswälə\
:  peddler
:  (derogatory) an itinerant pedlar or salesman in India
Origi: Hindi bakswālā, from English 2box + Hindi -wālā man

wallah /ˈwälə/
[in combination or with modifier] Indian or informal
1A:  person concerned or involved with a specified thing or business: ice cream wallahs
1.1A:  native or inhabitant of a specified place: Bombay wallahs 
Origin: the Hindi suffix -vālā 'doer' (commonly interpreted in the sense 'fellow'), from Sanskrit pālaka 'keeper'.
dabbawallah: a person in India, most commonly in Mumbai, who is part of a delivery system that collects hot food in lunch boxes from the residences of workers in the late morning, delivers the lunches to the workplace

     --- *** --- 

Oh and one other one from a difference book ...

... a mantle supported by winged caryatids that appeared more Greek than Egyptian, a distinctly Chinese screen, and an oppressive number of ornately carved tables. 

caryatid \ˌker-ē-ˈa-təd, ˌka-rē-; ˈker-ē-ə-ˌtid, ˈka-rē-\
plural cary·at·ids or cary·at·ides
Origin: Latin caryatides, plural, from Greek karyatides priestesses of Artemis at Caryae, caryatids, from Karyai Caryae in Laconia. First Known Use: 1563
Image of Porch of the Caryatids which is part of the Erechtheum at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.