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  • Can't help but visualize a polygonal berm of, you know, *cooked rice*, straining to contain the curry-free waters of a flooded paddy. I think sticky rice would do better for this purpose than parboiled.

    September 24, 2009

  • I presume most rice-growing cultures have names for these. In Indonesian it's pematang.

    September 24, 2009

  • "In the slave days the rice fields lay at the edge of the river. Each plot was surrounded by a 'rice bank,' an earthen levee several feet high and perhaps two hundred yards long on four sides of the field. The remnants of rice banks, eroded by the current, lay submerged in the water, presenting obstacles for boats, and a hull with a draft of more than a couple of feet could easily run aground. As the double-decker headed for another bend, it lurched and teetered on one of the rice banks. To judge from its place, the bank was once part of Comingtee and had been built by Ball family slaves. The pilot tried to dislodge his vessel, stuck in the much where the slaves had worked, but the helpless engine made hoarse gutteral sounds. Half an hour passed, then an hour... The decision came to abandon ship, and several speedboats pulled alongside to help."

    —Edward Ball, Slaves in the Family (NY: Ballantine Books, 1998), 14–15

    September 24, 2009