Saturday, December 7, 2013

Scotch Eggs

I first tasted Scotch eggs, I'm a bit ashamed to admit, at a Renaissance fair(e) when I was a teenager in the early 1990s. I recall that the eggs were better than the turkey leg(ges), but when your strongest memory of the time is of wearing robes and arguing with a community theater actor portraying Sir Francis Walsingham about why there is so much medievalism at a purported "Renaissance" fair(e), it's perhaps best to discount any recollection of culinary opinion.

Since that dim and distant time, I've eaten Scotch eggs in the UK and the US, freshly- (and not-so-freshly) made. Like many a simple dish, this one is frequently ruined by poor ingredients and careless preparation: rubbery eggs with greenish-grey haloes 'round chalky yolks — grainy, overcooked sausage meat — boxed breadcrumbs — a poverty of spices… all rolled together and dropped like a stone into the murky, rancid depths of a deep fat fryer. I suppose that the reason people are so forgiving of these gastronomic atrocities is because they're often quite intoxicated when they order and eat bad Scotch eggs— the "beer goggles" phenomenon seems to occur when drunkenly choosing food as often as it does when drunkenly choosing sex partners. What appears a succulent, flavorful and appetizing morsel in the dim light of the bar does not always seem so fresh in the harsh light of the morning.

Of course, Scotch eggs can be a delicious dish— whether they're served with drinks, or at a picnic, or for breakfast or lunch— what's important is to use the best ingredients you can find and to prepare the dish carefully. Here's my recipe:

  • 10 extra-large eggs
  • 1 pound loose sausage meat
  • 2.5 cups fresh breadcrumbs (see procedure below)
  • 6 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1 tbsp Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • salt to taste (about 2 tsp)
  • about 1/2 cup clarified butter and/or meat drippings, or peanut oil
  • A saucepan with a tight-fitting lid
  • A large bowl filled with cold water and ice cubes
  • A large mixing bowl
  • A sauté or frying pan with steep sides.

Beat two of the eggs in a bowl and set aside.

To perfectly cook the remaining 8 eggsTake each egg and, using a pushpin, thumbtack or straight pin, pierce a small hole in the larger end of the egg; this prevents the eggs from cracking when they're cooked. Gently place the eggs into the saucepan and cover them (by about an inch) with cool water. Set the pan on the stove and bring the water to a boil, then immediately cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Let the eggs sit in the covered pan for exactly 10 minutes, then drain out the hot water. Swish or bounce the eggs around in the empty pan until they're all cracked, then drop them into the bowl of ice water. Allow the eggs to stand in the ice water until they're thoroughly chilled (about 10-15 minutes) then carefully peel the eggs under running tap water. Peeling eggs is hit-or-miss; very fresh eggs don't peel as well as do slightly older eggs... but if they're too old, they'll be misshapen due to the expanding of the air space in the shell. Don't despair if the whites of some of the eggs get a bit shredded, this recipe doesn't require perfectly-peeled cooked eggs with flawless surfaces.

You must use fresh breadcrumbs in this recipe. If you've never made them before, here's the procedure: cut a loaf of good, close-grained white bread (such as my pain de mie) into medium-thick slices and put them onto a tray or baking sheet into in a 250º F oven for about 20 minutes, until they're dry-ish but not browned. Break up the slices a bit, then whizz them in a food processor or blender until they're medium-finely ground, with no greatly outsized chunks of bread left.

Put the sausage meat into the large mixing bowl, then add 2 cups of the breadcrumbs, about three-quarters of the beaten eggs, the minced anchovy fillets, the Worcestershire sauce, the ground spices and the salt & pepper. Mix everything up very thoroughly with your impeccably-clean hands.

Take a peeled, cooked egg and dip it into the remaining bit of beaten egg, then form some of the meat mixture (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of meat per egg) around it, so that the cooked egg is completely covered with a tight layer of meat of an even thickness. This takes a bit of practice but you'll get the hang of it. Repeat the process until all of your cooked eggs are encased in the meat mixture. Set each onto a plate as you finish preparing them.

Heat the clarified butter/drippings/oil in the sauté pan over medium high heat. Roll each meat-encased egg in the remaining 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs and then put it into the sauté pan. Don't crowd the pan— depending upon the size of your pan, you may need to do this in two batches. Gently fry the Scotch eggs on all sides, until each is a uniform brown color; this will take about 8-10 minutes per batch. Sprinkle the cooked eggs with a little kosher salt.

Serve the eggs warm or cold, on a plate or wrapped in a napkin, accompanied perhaps by good mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, or even a good meat gravy. And, of course, a nice strong drink.

"More men speaking in girls' 'dialect', study shows"

"More young men in California rise in pitch at the end of their sentences when talking, new research shows."
This process is known as "uptalk" or "valleygirl speak" and has in the past been associated with young females, typically from California or Australia.

But now a team says that this way of speaking is becoming more frequent among men.

The findings were presented at the Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in California. 

"We found use of uptalk in all of our speakers, despite their diverse backgrounds in socioeconomic status, ethnicity, bilingualism and gender," said Amanda Ritchart, a linguist at the University of California who led the research.

"We believe that uptalk is becoming more prevalent and systematic in its use for the younger generations in Southern California," she added.
More by Melissa Hogenboom,

"Brian is returning to “Family Guy”"

"Great news for “Family Guy” fans: After being dead for almost two weeks, Brian Griffin is coming back to life on Dec. 15, still voiced by creator Seth MacFarlane."
"The intellectual anthropomorphic dog and martini lover, one of the main characters in the long-running Fox comedy, was run over by a car and buried in a funeral service on Nov. 24′s episode, “Life of Brian.” At the time, executive producer Steve Callaghan was nonchalant about the death, telling E Online that “we thought it could be a fun way to shake things up.”

I predicted they would bring Brian back...

How Cold Izzit?

Television and radio news readers are all stunned that it gets cold in winter.

Seriously media people, this happens every year.  You can count on it.  That stuff Al Gore said about Fargo turning into Tampa was a whopper of a fib and you should not believe it even though that guy who taught that class you took in college said it's true.  

It's winter.  It gets cold in winter.  The science is settled.  It's just a matter of better underwear.

How cold izzit?  2F where I live, no snow yet.  -15F with -30F wind chill at my cabin, plenty of snow.  Whaddaya got?

James Clapper

James Sensenbrenner wants James Clapper prosecuted for lying to Congress.

As if.

That is quite a charge, and I'm seeing a number of articles on this, all note the seeming irony of Sensenbrenner having written the law he claims Clapper is abusing where the real complaint is the abuse that is built into the law that Sensenbrenner wrote. The cynicism that characterizes comments to articles where allowed is so thick it can be cut into chunks and used to build a fortress. Nobody is having it in any comment section anywhere liberal or conservative, they say, both are culpable, both should be imprisoned, no trust, no confidence anywhere to be seen.

The whole thing was wearisome. It wears me out. A tender person like myself.

In these articles, Sensenbrenner is called the author or architect of the Patriot Act and he did introduce the bill to the House but he did not actually write it, perhaps he can be blamed for it.

Turns out there are a lot of things about Sensenbrenner worth noting too, the kind of biography that I object reading anymore. There is something about a life-long public servant that grates. It is unAmerican. Sensenbrenner behavior gives us the phrase,  “Oh my God, he literally took his gavel and went home; we are officially being governed by children.”

Why so downy-face all the time?

At twenty years of age, a person told me that at twenty one has the face one is born with but at fifty years of age one has the face one deserves. So when my face was bashed in I thought, there goes that theory, I did not deserve that, or does this prove the theory?

Sensenbrenner has a downy-frowny-face but his is more elastic than James Clapper's.

I looked at [James Clapper] and he is 100% downy-face and I do believe he deserves it. He cannot make his mouth go up if he tried. It would take scaffolding. Both hands pulling up the corners of his mouth would not drag up his jowls into a smile. A smile is impossible, the frown permanent. Therefore I must help. There.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Waterloo Open Thread

"Waterloo Bridge At Sunset" Claude Monet (1903) 

"Waterloo Sunset"  The Kinks (1967)

Guest Post: Happy Birthday Paddy O!

Patrick is 39
Posted by Amy O. , Friday, December 6, 2013 3:23 PM

"Patrick's birthday turned into a month long celebration - but unfortunately that's not as generous as it sounds :-). Due to some family illnesses, things got a bit delayed in the festivity department. But I think we all pulled out plenty of merriment in the end."

For more from his blog click at this link *

So what did you do?

As individual to take history in your hands and bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice today?

As for myself, I conceived an egg dish involving avocado. I looked in Google images and there ain't nothing like it.

Arc of the moral universe. That kills me. A picture of Himself in Mandela's cell, with those words, and when I search the words all sorts of things come up, monumental things, Google images again: Marble wall, MLK, Theodore Parker, MLK, Obama, Mandela, Mandela, rainbow, basketball, MLK, Obama previous, Obama, MLK,?, rainbow.

Oh, I get it: arc.

How lofty. If he could just keep himself out of things, out of his tribute to somebody else. People notice. At this point his enemies notice every little thing like that. That's another thing that kills me, Twitchy jumps all over that that as you can imagine. They are linking photoshops of Obama by way of mirror seeing himself in Mandela, conversely, Mandela looking for himself in a mirror but seeing Obama there instead.

The Photoshops are predominantly about mirrors. That is the theme people went with. Over and over, back and forth. All those mirrors but I didn't see a Through the Looking Glass, nor a Sleeping Beauty evil Queen's mirror on the wall. Could have done something with Dorian Gray.

All that moral universe arc bending does take a lot of work. Darleen Click asks at Protein Wisdom, What prevents the president from ignoring election laws? That is what Trey Cowdy asks in the video she provides: "My question is this," Cowdy insists, he says the same thing a few times, "if you can suspend immigration laws, or marijuana laws, or mandatory minimums, can you also dispense with election laws?" Devastating. But you have to have shame to be devastated, and there is no shame to be had in taking history in one's hands and bending the arc of the moral universe toward justice.

Let's see if got this straight. Moral justice bend arc moral moral bend universe arc moral universe bend bend universe moral arc bend bend bend justice moral justice moral justice moral justicemoraljusticearc moraljusticearcarcarcarcar carcmoralmoraljusticemoralbendperssonal. Got it.

"Please, Stop Whining About The Yankees"

"Understandably, many fans in small market cities are frustrated by the inequity of professional sports. There is a remedy – or call it more of a tradeoff."
You can always move your family from the manageable low-taxed mid-sized city’s suburb you live in to one of the most congested, expensive places on earth. Buy a 500-square foot $1-million apartment. Send your kids to an abysmal public school system. Pay property taxes that will top your formerly impressive salary. Overpay for cable and/or buy exorbitantly priced tickets. And then feel free to root for an overpriced team that wins occasionally.

But stop blaming the Yankees for your cheap, local franchise, and be happy that your team is subsidized by giant revenue-generating clubs in the cities you avoid.
The Federalist

"MIT Actually Reinvented The Wheel"

YouTube comments
"Yay, another misleading title. I need a phone to ride a bike? Just complicated a simple wheel. 
App subscription is expired, will not help you up hill till you pay. :/ "

Aquaponics EcoGeek
"Idiot - it is not controlled by smartphone. It is monitored. It works without it."

Best Version Ever?

There have been more than a few horrible renditions of Led Zeppelin‘s Stairway To Heaven, but when Nancy and Ann Wilson of Heart performed the song in front of the three remaining members of the legendary British rock band at the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony on Dec. 2, it made Robert Plant cry tears of joy.

Was this the best version of Stairway To Heaven, ever?  If it wasn't, who's version is?

And by the way, if this performance isn't proof that Heart belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I don't know what is.

"IRS lawyer to Congress: 'I don't know' — 80 times"

"The top lawyer for the IRS [William Wilkins] in the midst of the congressional investigation swirling around the nation's tax collectors and their admitted targeting of the Tea Party, has responded to a written inquiry, and managed to claim ignorance on 80 different responses, as reported by The Daily Mail of London, England on Dec. 4, 2013."
Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Regulatory Subcommittee Chair Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) have sent a letter to Wilkins giving the IRS top lawyer 10 days to "amend" his answers if he so chooses.
Your memory consistently failed when you were asked about information you shared with the Treasury Department', adding his testimony 'suggests either a deliberate attempt to obfuscate your involvement in this matter or gross incompetence on your part.'
Prior to being appointed to the top spot at the IRS by Barack Obama, Wilkins was retained as legal counsel for Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago ran by the controversial Jeremiah Wright.... via Instapundit

"Nelson Mandela: in his own words"

On freedom, from his autobiography
For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
More quotes and video at this link.


For President Obama's tribute go to this link

For President Obama's tribute parodies go to this link

mandala is dead

PC all over the place.

It's only natural. You want to be nice. Wouldn't do to hurt peoples' feelings unawares. You'll see signs change as people attempt to accommodate. 

The old way to say the word "China" referred to the eye and is now considered rude.

The word for "Japanese" was the same thing with a "J," a convention that held for a very long time. 

But then people  decided collectively that it is better to use the sign that Chinese people use themselves, and their word for themselves refers to the buttons of a traditional Chinese silk blouse. 

But lately the deaf in Hawaii have rejected this for some reason in favor of how the word is written in Kanji. Middle kingdom. Has an almost Obama signature appearance to it.

They traded a one-handed sign for a two-handed sign. Lazy signers object. It won't catch on.

Dr. Bill Vicars at lifeprint says some die hards are sticking with the original eye twist version. of the participants (a Deaf, highly experienced ASL instructor) brought up the CHINA sign.  This person was adamant about not accepting the "borrowed" version of the CHINA sign based on the "buttons/clothing" of the military uniform. This person exclusively uses the old "index finger twist at the side of the eye" version of the sign for CHINA.  
How Archie Bunker. 

So now "Japan" is the shape of the islands. Two handed. And it hardly looks like Japan at all, more like a sweet potato. But there you go. And you can hardly tell the difference between that and "Italy" which also changed from a Christian cross made with an "i" to a similar thing with one hand so now Italy looks like a one-handed Japan sweet potato and not like a boot at all. 

Jonathan Turley

Concerned about the Imperial Presidency and the shocking degree that Obama has taken it, Jonathan Turley has a lot to say on the subject.

Real Clear Politics. A short article with video.

Born 1961, a youngster, lawyer, legal scholar, legal analyst in broadcast and print journalism. Professor of law at George Washington University Law School.

* Worries Supreme Court interjects itself into partisan politics
* Thinks recent nominees hold extreme views.
* Believes in straightforward interpretation of 2nd Amendment.
* Testified in favor of Clinton impeachment
* Defended Judge Hudson's ruling individual mandate unconstitutional
* Described Eric Holder as Obama's sin eater
   1) shielded CIA employees from prosecution or investigation for torture
   2) announced Obama's kill list
   3) personally approved abusive searches of news correspondents.
That is who Jonathan Turley is.

Protein Wisdom on Turley's testimony referring to Hot Air who no longer has the overly long CNN video that must be skipped through, and also to Neo-Neocon who writes about Turley's very long article and about Turley's testimony before House hearings on executive power two days ago.
Despite the fact that I once voted for President Obama, personal admiration is no substitute for the constitutional principles at stake in this controversy. When a president claims the inherent power of both legislation and enforcement, he becomes a virtual government unto himself. He is not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system; he becomes the very danger that the Constitution was designed to avoid…
I watched long segments of that two days ago on C-Span. Turley's testimony in particular was interesting. But that is all it was. The whole time I was thinking, gosh this is good, and I agree with everything, but so what. They and he can talk all they want, gather their friends, talk until they turn blue, and it can be interesting as all h-e-double twiddlesticks but that is all they are doing at this point, talking amongst themselves. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Boy, is it ever cold outside.

How cold is it, Johnny?

It's so cold I saw these two penguins buying a space heater.

And I have a cart to bring things up from the truck. The cart has a spongy rubber tube wrapping the handle. Tight as can be like a floaty tube that is glued on. The whole metal cart shrank. The usual things that fit tight in the cart could not fit as usual, and handle shrank so the rubber tube could slide back and forth easily.

The weather moved in like a wall of gray over the mountains, then obscuring them, then covering the foothills too, a flat gray wall advancing toward the city like an alien army except nicer than that and a lot colder looking and all the way up, and then suddenly we're in it. 

It's fun. 

I mentioned this to a few people outside here and there as the weather moved in observably right before us over a few hours and in each case their eyes lit up and they said they were watching it too, and it is rather exciting, and sometimes they pointed to their view. The haircut lady spun my chair around and said, "That is what we are watching." The Taste of Philly guy at the cash register pointed out the window behind me, the building blocks the view, but  allows a gap at the corner where from his station the mountains are in view, he described himself watching the whole thing. 

Breaking News: Nelson Mandela is dead

(CNN) -- Nelson Mandela, the revered statesman who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead South Africa out of decades of apartheid, has died, South African President Jacob Zuma announced late Thursday.
Mandela was 95.

"He is now resting. He is now at peace," Zuma said. "Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father."

"What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human," the president said in his late-night address. "We saw in him what we seek in ourselves."

Mandela will have a state funeral.

Update: "After denial, White House now says Obama lived with uncle"

"The White House acknowledged Thursday that President Obama lived with his uncle for a brief period in the 1980s while he was a student at Harvard Law School -- despite previously saying there was no record of the two having met."
"The president did stay with him for a brief period of time until his apartment was ready," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement. "After that, they saw each other once every few months, but after law school they fell out of touch. The president has not seen him in 20 years, has not spoken with him in 10. "

Washington Post via Monica Crowley tweet. Birtherism Blip: What If Its All True

"Vancouver woman unknowingly live-tweets husband's fatal crash"

"Salmon Creek's Caran Johnson, well known in local social-media circles for her tweets on Clark County traffic under the handle @ScanCouver, wrote that she unknowingly live-tweeted her husband's death Wednesday afternoon."
Johnson began tweeting about the two-vehicle collision shortly after it happened at 1:41 p.m. As the afternoon wore on, she tweeted that she was growing concerned her husband might be involved because he was late arriving home.

Her final Tweet read simply: "it's him. he died." News Video at this link

Obamacare Talking Points, or, How the Other Half Lives.

"The administration is projecting competence. The response to the debacle is intended to address not only the proximate failure of the website but also the secondary, equally large problem that the Obama administration appeared inept. The meta message of the administration’s website-fix rollout this weekend was “we know what we’re doing.” Its report was filled with crisp metrics modeled after well-functioning tech companies. It opened up its fix team to a long-reported take from the New York Times, which displayed an administration that followed the bureaucratic ineptitude of the website first with shock but then a well-organized response led by the highly regarded Jeffrey Zients."
There is no existential threat to Obamacare. The failure of the website rollout raised the possibility that the law itself might unravel. Conservatives still believe that will happen. But, then, they thought it would happen even before the website rollout, because they think Ayn Rand novels are an accurate gauge of how government programs generally function. (Scratch an Obamacare-doom column and eventually the Rand references will bleed out.) If, like me, you didn’t expect the law to collapse on itself, you probably don’t think that now.

More from Jonathan Chait for NYMagazine . com at this link

Is Being Cited By Wikipedia A Good Thing Or a Bad Thing?

"El Polo Real" was cited for comments on the authenticity of "Last Letters From Stalingrad" link

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Is the photo of the fogged-in Grand Canyon real?

Asks A. Madrigal at the Atlantic, then answers, "yes."

The light is above the clouds and reflecting on the edges of the rock making the edge look Photoshopped.

Mother Nature Network confirms it is real. Yes, and it is rare too. The rangers speaking from their own magnificient fiefdom, snort the unappreciative visiting plebes are disappointed because the usual view of the canyon is obscured on the one the day of their visit, but if they understood how rare the meteorological event is how incredible it is they would be properly awestruck for the wonders of nature, as the rangers are themselves. 
"We are currently experiencing an after Thanksgiving treat," said Erin Whittaker, a park ranger who witnessed and captured these photos. "No, it's not more pumpkin pie. It's a once in a lifetime, outstanding, crazy, amazing, mind blowing inversion. "
They talk like that. But what is an inversion? That's when you turn something upside down, right?

In meteorology, an inversion is a deviation from the normal change of an atmospheric property with altitude. It almost always refers to a "temperature inversion", i.e., an increase in temperature with height, or to the layer ("inversion layer") within which such an increase occurs. 
An inversion can lead to pollution such as smog being trapped close to the ground, with possible adverse effects on health. An inversion can also suppress convection by acting as a "cap". If this cap is broken for any of several reasons, convection of any moisture present can then erupt into violent thunderstorms. Temperature inversion can notoriously result in freezing rain in cold climates.

The Beatles: We're More Popular Than The Big O Now

Fifty years ago this month, The Beatles released their first vinyl in the US.  I Want To Hold Your Hand charted by mid-January, and by February it reached number 1.  A week later, on February 9, 1964, they played The Ed Sullivan Show. You know the rest.

Chad Vader, Darth Vader's Underachieving Brother

I know you that want to watch something other than MSNBC's slavering Chris Matthews interviewing President Obama tonight.

Here are links to videos of all Season One and Season Two episodes of Chad Vader: Day Shift Manager.  Chad never made the big time like his brother did, and wound up working as shift manager in a co-op natural foods grocery store.

Hey, it's better than watching MSNBC.

Season One

Season Two

Guest Post: "Floridians Beware: Why You Don't Put Christmas Lights On A Palm Tree‏"

"When you live in a tropical area, what’s wrong with having some good old fashioned Christmas spirit? A lot! That’s what! Especially when you decide to deck out the palm tree in your front yard. Do you really want to corrupt the whole neighborhood? Women fainting as the pass by the erupting phallic object, kids laughing and pointing, men feeling inadequate and ashamed. No one wants any of that… Be kind this holiday season and avoid lighting up your palm trees."

Guest Post AllenS

If You Want Your Birthers...

"President Obama's uncle said at a deportation hearing Tuesday that Obama stayed with him while he was a student at Harvard Law School in the 1980s -- despite the White House having said that Obama never met the man."
Onyango “Omar” Obama, 69, was arrested for drunk driving in 2011 and faced deportation after living in the United States for five decades. The judge decided to let the Kenyan national remain in the United States.

The White House said, following Omar Obama's arrest, that he and the president had never met. The president was not close to his father's side of the family, given his father's absence in his life.
Washington Post

ObamaCare Website Is Not "Fixed".

"Yesterday, I reported on the troubles I had accessing the new-and-improved The Obama administration today said more than 1 million people accessed the site yesterday and that it was stable for users."
The president likewise touted the site’s performance today, part of a push to promote the law.

So I decided to try the site again this afternoon. This time, I didn’t see the “Please Wait” flags that bogged me down yesterday, but I had a more fundamental problem. When I got to the step of comparing health plans, I couldn’t see any.

Area Man Has No Idea How Meth Got Into His Ice Cream

Never mind that he has 5 prior drug convictions and told a reporter that he uses meth because he has "low energy."

All this, plus a gun in her vagina, here.

Wednesday Open Pun Thread

Take a break from the seriousness and add your pun to this thread.

My wife hired some Eastern Europe immigrants to make and install new drapes for our home.  Installation was yesterday.  It was all Czechs and valences here most of the day.

One of them, the short guy, is still terrified of police.  Every time a squad car drove past the guy asked me "Mister, can you cache a small Czech?"


(Someone should let Ruth Anne Adams know about this thread.  She's a pro, we're all amateurs.)

Darth Vader, Luke


I couldn't help from overhearing you guys talking about microbes and the odors you invite by your habits allowing microscopic bugs to abide in your anaerobic places.

Man, I'm telling you, Hawaii is like that. Those are three shower-a-day islands. I threw my clothes in a closet and they piled up, the odor built up within a few days blew the door off. Wait, tweaked my nose, that's what it did.  It was really strong bacteria build up. And my brother is worse.

The abundant microbes there make the best sourdough too. And easily. When it is windy, almost always, a sourdough culture can be collected within one hour. And all day is completely overdoing it like a crazy person. By then it is foaming out of the bowl on its own and stinking up the whole place. I did that three times, all three experiments were wildly successful.

So it gets down to how posh a class of bug you'll have on you.

Bugs by b3ta member Jabberwoc profile here. Jabberwoc just started posting these yesterday. I imagine he's having a microbe phase. I like them all. 

She's A Mystery To Me

This wonderful song from 1989 flew completely under my radar as did many others that year

First recorded by Roy Orbison, the song appeared on his final album, "Mystery Girl." But the words and music were written by David Evans and Paul Hewson, better known as Bono and The Edge. They dedicated it to him as a sort of inspired tribute. The story is here.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

"'He's alive!': Video shows dramatic rescue of man who survived days underwater"

NBC Today via HotAir

"Anonymous 'TipsforJesus'"

"An anonymous person or persons armed with an AMEX Centurion card, a love for college football and an Instagram account is setting out to "do the Lord's work, one tip at a time," leaving thousands of dollars in tips to unsuspecting servers."
On Sept. 8, an @tipsforjesus Instagram account posted the first photo verifying its mission, capturing the image of a receipt for Bar Louie in Ann Arbor, Mich., where they left a $3,000 tip for an $87.98 tab. The account posted two more receipt photos the next day, one featuring a $5,000 tip, the other showing a receipt with a $7,000 tip held by a grinning man, confirmed to be the co-owner of Alley Bar in Ann Arbor. Both of the receipts were signed, "@tipsforjesus."

That same day, tipsforjesus also posted a screenshot of an ABC 4 Utah article about a "mysterious" tipper who left thousands of dollars in tips in Ogden, Utah, this August, with the photo description "#tipsforjesus."
ABC News

"That Armpit Odor Says a Lot About Who You Are"

"That microbes are actually the makers of mammalian pheromones is an idea that dates back to the 1970s when several scientists proposed the "fermentation hypothesis." Their idea was that, because scent glands are typically found in warm, damp, low-oxygen areas of the body, microbes that thrive in those areas ferment the body's nutrient-rich secretions into the odorous chemical signals used by most mammals to communicate."

"The fermentation hypothesis has been difficult to test in any definitive way, until recently."

Pacific Standard via Instapundit

"Biden: 'I've Never Found' Women in Workforce to Be 'Kinder and Gentler'"

"I've never found that to be the case," Biden told a Japanese audience. "They're as tough, they're as strong, they're as everything as a man is - and vice-versa."

Via the Associated Press:
At a roundtable later with business executives, Biden said he'd heard some say women are good in the workforce because they are kinder and gentler.

"I've never found that to be the case," Biden said to laughter. "They're as tough, they're as strong, they're as everything as a man is - and vice-versa."

"The hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are 'better at map reading'... And why women are 'better at remembering a conversation'"
Researchers found that many of the connections in a typical male brain run between the front and the back of the same side of the brain, whereas in women the connections are more likely to run from side to side between the left and right hemispheres of the brain.

This difference in the way the nerve connections in the brain are “hardwired” occurs during adolescence when many of the secondary sexual characteristics such as facial hair in men and breasts in women develop under the influence of sex hormones, the study found.

“What we've identified is that, when looked at in groups, there are connections in the brain that are hardwired differently in men and women. Functional tests have already shown than when they carry out certain tasks, men and women engage different parts of the brain,” Professor Verma said.
The Independent

News From Down the Lane

I took a walk down the lane this morning, all the way to the county road and back.  It snowed overnight, like it does most nights in winter.  We'll get more snow this afternoon, and more still overnight.  My plan to leave for home tomorrow afternoon is growing less certain.

It's quiet.  Most of the noisy birds have left for winter, and the ones that remain are busily going about their work without talking.  The family of eagles that was nesting atop a red pine near the edge of our property has left, probably headed west to the Mississippi River where the water stays open most of the winter making fishing easier.  Squirrels are still digging up pine cones and nuts and scurrying away with them.  Deer tracks, coyote tracks and rabbit tracks are all along the edge of the road and leading into the woods.

Walking down the lane is the way we get neighborhood news.  Anyone who is walking or driving stops for a chat. News is exchanged, jokes are told.

"A conviction will not repair the damage as much as an apology will."

"Bob Dylan is being asked to apologise for remarks he made in an interview that have ran afoul of French anti-racism laws."
The legendary American singer has been charged with inciting hatred by Paris prosecutors after comments made to Rolling Stone magazine last year sparked a complaint from the Council of Croats in France (CRICCF).

"If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood," Dylan was quoted as saying in the context of an answer about race relations in the United States.

Dylan, 72, was informed of the charges against him last month, while he was in Paris for three concerts -- a visit during which the French government also awarded him its prestigious Legion d'Honneur decoration.
Although the CRICCF's formal complaint triggered automatic charges under French law, the 'mise en examen' or judicial probe, does not necessarily mean the matter will end up in court. It establishes a prima facie case that an investigating magistrate is required to look into, and the charges can either be pursued or dismissed.
The CRICCF said Tuesday said it was not looking for a conviction of the high-profile singer, and would regard a public apology as more valuable.
Read more about the reasoning behind the possible charge of "incitement" at this Yahoo News link

silo collapse

A news item appeared about a silo collapse in Washington and possibly trapping a person inside, or more than one person. Probably trapped in a building attached to the silo. None of the articles had photos so far, but there sure are a lot of photos of collapsed silos. It's a thing. Grain all over the place.

A friend of mine owns such a silo, participant in a farmer's co-op, so socialized farming, he said the farmers use the silo as a bank. He told me all about silos and how they come into being on the landscape.

This collapse makes me think maybe a better shape for grain silos is a a cone, like the pyramids constructed in the shape of a collapsed edifice, a mountain, so when it collapses it is already in that shape, and there you go. 

You cant have that collapse in Washington so have this one instead. This one is  planned, prepared, photographed from two angles. Not an accident, but weird.

Take care when you fall.


I read earlier this place got no dogs.

Whoops. Still doesn't. This dog died. Claimant to the "Ugliest Dog in the World" title due to being famous for winning an ugly dog contest. They probably made that up to draw attention to their contest. And it worked!

Red Eye ran this photo cropped tighter and I could not make head or tails of it.  It took a long time to realize the black blob that looks like a tongue is not part of the dog. That totally threw me off.  It looks like it has three closed eyes. The panel on Red Eye was discussing the unfairness of being unable to have an "Ugliest Person" title, p.c. ruins everything. 

I'm not sorry it's dead.

It was a hateful little dog. I saw it snarl and snap. Cannot be touched. 

There. Not so Picasso. 

The woman who raised a bloodline of Belgian Sheepdogs decided she didn't care so much for all that barking out there and took a hankering for these Chinese crested dogs and began breeding these too. They are hairless except for a few Dr Seuss tufts and generally possess amusing dispositions. I saw the dogs she owns at her home not so radically defensive as some tiny dogs are, not even so much as Schipperkes dogs, hers are given to play, that day anyway, they swing from a suspended rope in the living room like Tarzan and land in a bean bag chair, get the rope swinging, run around and repeat that. The normal ones are little showoffs. Quite a bit different from Chihuahuas.  

pants on sale for half price.

Just try finding a pair or Levi 501 jeans 30 inch waist 34 inch length in bright red. And they fit! They f'n fit! Six pairs of trial-purchase jeans and finally a pair that fit. And when they are finally found you go, "That's the one!" It's good advice to rush straight back there and buy more before the situation changes. And it turns out in that short time the place marked the pants down to half price. It's like they saw me coming, understand my tribulation and want me to have double and in other colors.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Self Destruction: A Feature or a Defect?

Humans are a lonely species, convinced that there must be others like us in the universe; looking but never finding proof.

 Radio telescopes look further and further into the universe and beyond, hoping to find planets like ours.  Planets on which beings like us could live.  Radio waves are sent from Earth to everywhere in hopes of a reply. There is no reply; the silence of space is maddening.

Astronomers and astrophysicists find more and more planets where life can exist, but there is no evidence that intelligent life does exist.  It’s the Fermi Paradox, which briefly stated is: Where is everybody?

They must be there.  The Drake Equation tries to quantify the number of advanced civilizations just in our own galaxy.  To simplify, it's the number of stars in the galaxy....
  • multiplied by the fraction that form planets...
  • multiplied by the average number of planets in the habitable zone...
  • multiplied by the fraction of these that give birth to life in some form......
  • multiplied by these that develop intelligence......
  • multiplied by the fraction of these that produce interstellar communications...
  • multiplied by the fraction of the planet's lifetime during which such civilizations survive.
Modern data applied to the Drake Equation says the number should be very high.  But where are they?

YouTube Comment Wars: "One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful."

YouTube Comment Reconstruction #1

Christopher DH via Google+17 hours ago
This is #funnyashell 
"The YouTube comment section can sometimes make you question humanity, so to cheer you up we're bringing you dramatic reconstructions of some of the best comment wars. This time it's between 'Sophie Danze' and 'Jilianlovesthebeibs' on "One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful."

A Poll

Should Lem Remove All Trans-Fats From His Blog? free polls 

"New hipsters fight old hipsters in Bushwick"

"CastleBraid, an upscale rental complex marketed for artists, was adorned last month with crime-scene tape reading “Occupy.”
The “perps’’ were first-generation hipsters calling themselves “Occupy Bushwick.” They say they are “in solidarity” with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

“It’s like Neverland over there,” fumed Angelina Dreem, 27, a yoga teacher who’s lived in Bushwick for four years and owns Body Actualized yoga studio across the street from the complex.

“It’s an adult children playground,” Dreem said. “They’re all, like, subsidized.”

CastleBraid is stacked with amenities designed to appeal to the aspiring hipsters — including a recording studio, a wood shop, a screening room, a gym, a game room and even a digital-media lab.
For more click over to The NY Post

Missing at Thanksgiving (Part II or...The Other Side of Things)

I sent my older siblings the paragraph about them from my post, and I thought you all might enjoy the response I got from my sister:

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! I was invited to John’s, and he showed me your email and said isn’t that nice? And then he said he remembered that too, the excitement of coming home, and then he said, “and half the time you were pissed!” I said OMG, I remember that! I was! I would be so excited to come home and see everybody and I would be all warm jelly when I got off the plane, and I’d see everyone greeting each other, and I’m smiling, waiting, walking, and then realize there’s no one at the plane anxious to hug poor me. I’d have to walk down to the baggage area, find my bags, pull them out to the curb and wait, generally in the cold, while Mom or Dad circled the airport until they saw me. Too much trouble, or too cheap, to park. All my warm jelly was gone, and I felt very un-special, and pissed again. Like Charlie Brown with the football, I never seemed to modify my expectations and every holiday I’d stick out my chin again! It’s hilarious that John remembered me being pissed! When you guys were old enough to drive, though, I always got the royal treatment, and later you’d bring your kids, and those were extra special homecomings that absolutely delighted me. You trained your kids to anticipate Aunt Dale with joy and it has been my greatest joy to love them.

"Howard Dean says is 'apparently functional,'"

I think the president can right this ship. This website is now apparently functional,” Dean said. “I haven’t tried the website, but if this program works – and I think it will – three months from now a huge number of people who didn’t have health insurance are going to have it and mostly at a better price.”
Crowley pointed out to Dean that polls show Americans increasingly believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, especially since Obama's recent foreign policy blunders like Syria and the Obamacare rollout disaster. Dean, however, brushed off the poll and the idea that Obama's presidency would suffer lasting damage from the missteps.
For more click Washington Examiner link, which includes a video

For a daily rundown of ObamaCare news check out this website.


Rocking out on a folk song

Dubinushka, little oak stick

I have heard a lot of songs
in my native place,
they sang of joy and sorrow.
But one of all these songs
has sunk into my mind,
this is the song of the working people:

Hey, oaken cudgel, come on!
Hey, the green cudgel moves by itself!
Let's pull, let's pull

From the grandfather to the father,
from the father to the son
this song has been handed down.
And always when
the work became too hard
we reached for the cudgel, our true help.

Hey, oaken cudgel, come on!
Hey, the green cudgel moves by itself!
Let's pull, let's pull

The Englishman is cute:
To make the work easier
he invented machine by machine.
But our poor Russian peasant,
when his work gets too hard,
still sings the song of the cudgel:

Hey, oaken cudgel, come on!
Hey, the green cudgel moves by itself!
Let's pull, let's pull

If he has to tow a barge with wood,
or if he has to forge iron,
or if he is mining ore in Siberia:
With strain, and with pains in his chest
he sings this song again and again
and thereby remembers the cudgel:

Hey, oaken cudgel, come on!
Hey, the green cudgel moves by itself!
Let's pull, let's pull

And on the towing-paths along the Volga,
nearly sinking in the sand,
breaking his legs and his spine,
chafing his chest,
only to tow a bit easier
he keeps singing the song of the cudgel:
Hey, oaken cudgel, come on!
Hey, oaken cudgel, come on!
Hey, the green cudgel moves by itself!
Let's pull, let's pull

And along the big road,
along the big post road,
which is named after Vladimir long since,
there the sound of chains is to heard,
dull, fateful,
and in the same rhythm the song of the cudgel:
Hey, oaken cudgel, come on!
Hey, oaken cudgel, come on!
Hey, the green cudgel moves by itself!
Let's pull, let's pull

But the time has come,
and the people rose,
and it straightened its mighty spine,
and it shook off from its shoulders
the heavy yoke that had been there for centuries,
and now it raised the cudgel against its enemies:

Hey, oaken cudgel, come on!
Hey, the green cudgel moves by itself!
Let's pull, let's pull

sonic rock on ice

Is that a chilled drink or something? No, it is the sound of tossing a rock on ice.

But the delightful sonic activity could be bad for we do not fully understand the affect that our idle amusement has upon the cweetures of the dip.   

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Amazon; When I Positively Have to have it Today?

"Amazon’s CEO said Sunday night that the company plans to use drones to make deliveries, offering the possibility of a massive domestic surge in a technology now best known for gunning down Islamic militants in Pakistan and Yemen."
The company suggested delivery drones could reduce shipping time to a mere 30-minutes after an online order. But the buzzy announcement will require, first of all, a massive reworking of regulations around unmanned aviation.

The online retailer’s chief executive officer and founder, Jeff Bezos, introduced the delivery mechanism, Prime Air, which is in development, on 60 Minutes. Immediately after the piece, Amazon put up a video showing a delivery via the drone, and a portion of its website describing Prime Air.
More at BuzzFeed. Video demonstration at this link 

"Who Is Watching the Watch Lists?"

"GOVERNMENTS wade into treacherous waters when they compile lists of people who might cause their countries harm."
“If you’ve done the paperwork correctly, then you can effectively enter someone onto the watch list,” said Anya Bernstein, an associate professor at the SUNY Buffalo Law School and author of “The Hidden Costs of Terrorist Watch Lists,” published by the Buffalo Law Review in May. “There’s no indication that agencies undertake any kind of regular retrospective review to assess how good they are at predicting the conduct they’re targeting.”
For people who have landed on these lists, the terrorist designation has been difficult to challenge legally — although that may be about to change. On Monday, a lawsuit brought by a traveler seeking removal of her name from the no-fly list, or at least due process to challenge that list, is going to trial in Federal District Court in San Francisco, after almost eight years of legal wrangling.
Read more at the NY Times and San Francisco Gate.

"Now That's A Jazz Walking Line... knew this kid was into something really really great."
Carol Kaye comments on playing bass for Brian Wilson. The bass line is hard to hear so turn it up!

The video is from "The Wrecking Crew"

In the comments, John says:
Wow, my heroine.
Carol Kaye is one of a large group of real women who the left wing grievance-meister feminists would never acknowledge. There is no place for accomplishment in the modern feminist canon. 
Maybe it had something to do with those boots...made for walking:

"U.S. airlines give China flight plans... "

(Reuters) - "U.S. airlines United, American and Delta, have notified Chinese authorities of flight plans when traveling through an air defense zone Beijing has declared over the East China Sea, following U.S. government advice."
The United States said on Friday it expected U.S. carriers to operate in line with so-called notices to airmen issued by foreign countries, although it added that the decision did "not indicate U.S. government acceptance of China's requirements.

A spokesman for Delta Airlines said it had been complying with the Chinese requests for flight plans for the past week.

In contrast, two major airlines in Japan, the United States' close ally, have agreed with the Japanese government that they would fly through the zone without notifying China.
Read more here

"Robert Carr defies authorities and seizes ‘abandoned’ Ohio homes"

"A family Ohio were in for a nasty surprised after they returned from a visit out-of-town visit to a dying relative to find someone else had moved into their house."
Their outrage has now turned into a court battle, pitting them against a man who says he has the court documents to prove the house is now his.

Robert Carr moved into the home that had been occupied for 21 years, changed the locks and emptied the house.

When the family confronted Carr, he showed them a document he filed with the the County Court.

It's called a 'quiet title' and lays claim to the property because Carr says the family abandoned the house and gave up all their rights.
Read more at the Daily Mail

JP Morgan announces a scheduled Q/A for the public on Twitter

And the questions come pouring in.

JP Morgan twitter account is a joy to read. That is just the beginning. It goes on and on and on. The "back to the drawing board" announcement expands so much it takes screen after screen, I dare not attempt copying it. The calumny on JP Morgan's Twitter  begins with "Pussies." 

She strutted into my office wearing a dress that clung to her like Saran Wrap

to a sloppily butchered pork knuckle, bone and sinew jutting and lurching asymmetrically beneath its folds, the tightness exaggerating the granularity of the suet and causing what little palatable meat there was to sweat, its transparency the thief of imagination.
-- Chris Wieloch, Brookfield WI

As the sun dropped below the horizon, the safari guide confirmed the approaching cape buffaloes were herbivores, which calmed everyone in the group, except for Herb, of course. 
-- Ron D Smith, Louisville, KY

Seeing Mrs. Kohler sink, Detective Moen flushed as he plugged the burglary as the unmistakable work of Cap Fawcet, the Mad Plumber, for not only had her pool of assets been drained, but her clogs were now missing, and the toilet had been removed, leaving them with absolutely nothing to go on.
-- Eric J Hilderman, Greenfield, WI 

The day Barney died.

Oddly compelling. Die, Barney, die.

And when your child ask you Daddy why did this happen, answer, "Son, this Barney had penises for hands. It had to be so." 

Needs more velociraptors tearing apart the remains and running off.