Saturday, September 27, 2014

David Bowie: The Bewlay Brothers

"The Bewlay Brothers" is a song written by David Bowie in 1971 for the album Hunky Dory. The last track to be written and recorded for Hunky Dory, this ballad has been described as "probably Bowie's densest and most impenetrable song". Bowie himself supposedly told producer Ken Scott that it was a track for the American market, because "the Americans always like to read things into things", even though the lyrics "make absolutely no sense". Reflecting on the song in 2008, Bowie wrote "I wouldn't know how to interpret the lyric of this song other than suggesting that there are layers of ghosts within it. It's a palimpsest, then."

We were so turned on
By your lack of conclusions...

Chris Reed  3 months ago
"If you are a true Bowie fan and know the genesis of the song in all it's torment, gorgeous symbolism and haunting style then you will know that literally everything he ever had to say subsequently has it's roots here."

forest pop-up card

Four pages. Each page could be its own card. Why four pages? I do not know. It's ridiculous. It could be seen as obsessive, I guess. It's just showing off. Knock it off already.

The thing is you're sitting there going, "It could be this, or it could be that, or it could be this or that" and before you know it the whole room is a mess, not just the table, and there is pile of cut card stock and trials and failures and I throw out a dreadful lot of scraps but some of the pages in piles all around do end up getting mailed. That is honestly how most these happen, sometimes I think, "Okay, I don't want to waste this, who am I going to inflict this on?"

I kind of suspect they are received in the same spirit.

I was present at the party when this card was opened. (Had a lousy time and I mean it. I suddenly recall the whole thing at once, the before and after, suddenly the full range in terms of emotion all at once. The people who picked me up and who I expected to spend time with there ditched me. They were meeting my friends. I introduced them, boink, boink, boink,  then they disappeared. Looking back I realize they wanted to explore the place. An attractive townhouse. It is impressive, yes, I suppose, but Jeeze, did they have to disappear like that the whole time? I did catch up like three times on the first floor and they ditched me each time. Then outside another dude trapped me in conversation and went on about Bush about Republicans about resistance to his ideas of a glorious government. I think. I am so sick of that crap, Democrat activism everywhere palpably and all innocent parties become DNC functions. You're bringing me down, Man. When contradicted, conversation is shut right down because now you are being controversial and argumentative. He caused me to come way out of character and slip the knife between his ribs to watch him bleed. So, those two things overrode whatever else was nice about that party. Bartender, open bar, free dinner, smart people I've known for years, flowers all over, the place shinned up, most people eager to have a nice time. I couldn't get out of there soon enough. I pretty much broke things off with most everyone involved. The guy outside speaking unhappy politics is chief architect for the firm that renovated Red Rocks Amphitheater. You should see it, he did an amazing renovation and expansion up there. The whole place. I cannot even imagine better improvements that he brought to reality. I grew up climbing the outcroppings and having the park interfered with was troubling, but my friend improved it splendidly and in advanced refined taste. I said so. I told him his brilliance is seen in his conservation. He liked that. Conservation... conservative. I notice that in peoples' area of knowledge they are mostly conservative. Even clothing designers. Outrageous creative people are conservative in the things that they know. His architectural knowledge and superior comprehensive abilities shine through at Red Rocks. They had to dig into the place, expand under it and outward without disturbing what is there. And he did. He had to understand geology, archeology, manage government agencies and the rest. He shines. And then in other areas bum-rapingly stupid. I do not respect his political opinions, not one goddamn bit, given his fealty is sworn to a criminal enterprise. I can get as much from watching the Godfather. He's a made man. A kneepad-wearing partisan with splooge all over his bukaki face. And when I inquire about that sorely displaced loyalty it gets even more stupid.) I left at the first convenience.

They loved the card. Played with it the whole rest of the time.

But so. They liked my guacamole as well. Ate it until it was gone.

More photographs, links to construction pages, a lot more words.

Bret Easton Ellis: Generation Wuss

"My generation was raised by Baby Boomers in a kind of complete fantasy world at the height of the Empire: Boomers were the most privileged and the best educated children of The Great Generation, enjoying the economic boom of post-World War II American society. My generation realized that like most fantasies it was a somewhat dissatisfying lie and so we rebelled with irony and negativity and attitude or conveniently just checked-out because we had the luxury to do so. Our reality compared to Millennial reality wasn’t one of economic hardship. We had the luxury to be depressed and ironic and cool. Anxiety and neediness are the defining aspects of Generation Wuss and when you don’t have the cushion of rising through the world economically then what do you rely on? Well, your social media presence: maintaining it, keeping the brand in play, striving to be liked, to be liked, to be liked. And this creates its own kind of ceaseless anxiety. This is why if anyone has a snarky opinion of Generation Wuss then that person is labeled by them as a “douche”—case closed. No negativity—we just want to be admired. This is problematic because it limits discourse: if we all just like everything—the Millennial dream—then what are we going to be talking about? How great everything is? How often you’ve pressed the like button on Facebook? The Millennial site Buzzfeed has said they are no longer going to run anything negative—well, if this keeps spreading, then what’s going to happen to culture? What’s going to happen to conversation and discourse? If there doesn’t seem to be an economic way of elevating yourself then the currency of popularity is just the norm now and so this is why you want to have thousands and thousands of people liking you on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumbler—and you try desperately to be liked. The only way to elevate yourself in society is through your brand, your profile, your social media presence. A friend of mine—also a member of Generation Wuss—remarked that Millennials are more curators than artists, a generation of “aestheticists…any young artist who goes on Tumbler doesn’t want to create actual art—they either want to steal the art or they want to BE the art.”" (read the whole thing)


"Crankshaft is implausible"

"This is impossible. Even if the lawn mower is self-propelled, it cannot climb a tree, because the wheels disengage when you let go of the dead-man’s handle. Even if this feature is disabled, it cannot climb a tree, because the wheels are not touching anything; the rotation of the blade will not cause the mower to go up a tree, let alone stay there."
James Lileks

mouth breather

Some people suck. Their opinions suck and they keep on opining anyway. They have their mouth open every time you see them.

Seems frame 2 disappeared. Eh, it's not much. It's a purple straw that goes straight up and turns orange in pulses suggesting someone is sucking it. I saw this on Ace.

I don't even listen anymore. 

I see the items and don't even read them anymore.

flat sheet of butter

The idea is create a flat sheet of butter and place it on a sheet of yeast dough rolled flat as a pizza and fold in layers, roll out again, fold again, repeatedly until there are a stack of exceedingly thin but still discrete layers, and that works by keeping the butter cold.

Step 1: Create a spot in the freezer or the refrigerator, or both, that can accommodate a regular size baker's tray.

You see, we baker-types are actually temperature manipulators. We don't just bake things. We freeze things too. Puff pastry works by temperature control. The butter must not blend into the dough and that is prevented by keeping both dough and butter cold.

Step 2: Pull two of the same size trays. Pull enough kitchen plastic to cover one of them. Put the plastic covered tray in the freezer.

Step 3: Make dough.

1 Cup flour
1/2 Cup warm water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dry active yeast

Mix vigorously in a bowl cover with a plate and set aside.

Step 4: Make butter sheet.

One stick of butter (4 oz / 1/2 Cup)

See? Twice the mass of flour to butter, but the same weight of each. One cup of flour weights 4 oz and so does 1/2 Cup butter.


The sheet pans determine the size of everything. The dough will be rolled out to the full size of the pan while the butter is freezing.  The butter-slab needs to be 2/3 the size of the dough so proceed accordingly.

Butter is melted and poured onto frozen plastic-covered sheet so pour as close to top and bottom edge as possible and allow wide margins on both sides. Or else visualize a border for both trays, rolled dough and butter.

A pizza is un-risen bread dough and so is this. It does rise a little bit but go ahead and roll it to the size of the pan. The dough can be thin as a cracker but it needn't be. About 1/8 inch thick but it is not so important.

The yeast in the dough layers is not important to the puffing process and there is harm done if provided warmth to proof. Do not get the idea, "Hey, I started with yeast dough to puff up and the way I do that is provide warmth, now that the croissants are formed, or whatever, if only by the warmth of room temperature kitchen. I'll allow my finished product to proof at room temperature awhile."

Do not do that.

Let the finished rolls or what have you proof, fine, but in the refrigerator. Keep the butter cold. That is how the layers are kept separate all along. Do not suddenly switch or the butter will blend.

The thing is, butter is 20% water. And now the butter and water are spread out in stacked layers between layers of dough that will also rise a little bit by yeast. The magic of puff pastry comes from water steaming out of the butter and escaping through the layers leaving the butter fat to toast the flakes. It is such a wonderful thing that occurs but water will not do that until its own internal temperature is 100℃ / 212℉ at sea level so start with an extra hot oven to thrust the whole pile kept cold so far into a shocking new reality where the only option is die; evaporate now and toast, it is your unhappy day, die puff pastry, die.

Then cut back the heat so it doesn't burn. After coming this far, allow enough time for the centers of the doughy areas to toast. What a bummer to take it out too early before it can toast and flake fully.

There are sausages inside there.

This puff pastry was brushed with olive oil because I am out of eggs and milk.

This is an exceedingly slipshod effort and it still worked beautifully.

I was tired. I rolled the dough fully only three times. 

The first was folded into three layers.

The second was folded into nine layers. 

The third was to form around sausages, so the dough did not even have the benefit of the exponential building of layers. One more turn would have made twenty seven layers. A fifth turn would produce eighty-one layers, but I did not bother with any of that because I liked what I was seeing at hand, and man, were these good and such fun to eat.

Flakes all over the place.

Flakes on my lips. Flakes on my plate. On my chair. On the floor around my chair. In my lap. Man, was that a good meal.

I made the sausages myself. 

This whole thing can be done much more easily with store-bought sausages and store-bought puff pastry. But who knows what they are using. I sure do not. 

The thing about good butter is that it needn't be from cows grazing the verdant gentle slopes of Tennessee, although that would be nice, best for butter to be fresh as possible. Butter is salted to extend its shelf life. Unsalted butter must be more carefully handled.  From my point of view unsalted butter from the closest freshest dairy is best. And it picks up odors so easily. You do not want it sitting around. 

Did you ever smell your ice cubes? Go ahead and smell you ice cubes. No, yeah, go on. 

Smell your ice cubes, I said. 

Smeeeeell 'em. 

Stick your nose right in the drinking glass and take a whiff.

You can have a brand new refrigerator, I've seen this several times, and keep it spotless and your ice stored up by your ice maker will pick up food odors. Apparently ice molecules are odor magnets. They grab odor molecules and freeze them in place. If you have an ice dispenser in your refrigerator door, I guarantee your ice smells. 

Mine does. And in their ice trays only the tops of the cubes are exposed to air, yet after a few days they smell, and that odor will affect everything. Best to make ice every day or so. Butter is the same way. Except butter is wrapped. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

"U.K. votes to approve air strikes as more allies join Islamic State fight"

"The coalition of nations participating in military action against Islamic State continues to grow – but so do worries about whether the campaign of air strikes has any hope of succeeding."

"Britain became the latest country to commit military resources to the fight, as its Parliament voted overwhelmingly on Friday to authorize air strikes against Islamic State targets inside Iraq. Prime Minister David Cameron told the House of Commons before the vote that the extremist group presented a genuine threat to the United Kingdom, and warned the fight against the self-declared caliphate would take “years” to win."

As to the efficacy of an air campaign alone strategy...

Secret recordings by Federal Reserve bank examiner, Carmen Segarra

"Our financial regulatory system is obviously dysfunctional. But because the subject is so tedious, and the details so complicated, the public doesn't pay it much attention.
That may very well change today, for today -- Friday, Sept. 26 --- the radio program "This American Life" will air a jaw-dropping story about Wall Street regulation, and the public will have no trouble at all understanding it.

...This sort of thing occurred often enough -- Fed regulators denying what had been said in meetings, Fed managers asking her to alter minutes of meetings after the fact -- that Segarra decided she needed to record what actually had been said. So she went to the Spy Store and bought a tiny tape recorder, then began to record her meetings at Goldman Sachs, until she was fired.

...I don't want to spoil the revelations of "This American Life": It's far better to hear the actual sounds on the radio, as so much of the meaning of the piece is in the tones of the voices -- and, especially, in the breathtaking wussiness of the people at the Fed charged with regulating Goldman Sachs. But once you have listened to it...consider the following:
  1. You sort of knew that the regulators were more or less controlled by the banks. Now you know.
  2. The only reason you know is that one woman, Carmen Segarra, has been brave enough to fight the system. She has paid a great price to inform us all of the obvious. She has lost her job, undermined her career, and will no doubt also endure a lifetime of lawsuits and slander.
So what are you going to do about it? At this moment the Fed is probably telling itself that, like the financial crisis, this, too, will blow over. It shouldn't."
-Listen here

Correction: originally I attributed this article to Tyler Durden, but it was written by Michael Lewis at Bloomberg View.

The nightmare comes to Oklahoma

"Police: FBI looking into Moore beheading after suspect tried to convert others to Islam"

UPDATE: 9/26/14 10:00 a.m. :
Officials with the Moore Police Department say the FBI is now involved in the investigation related to a brutal attack of workers at a food distribution plant.

Sgt. Jeremy Lewis says the alleged suspect, 30-year-old Alton Nolen had just been fired when he drove to the front of the business, hit a vehicle and walked inside.

He walked into the front office area where he met 54-year-old Colleen Hufford and began attacking her with a knife.

Sgt. Lewis confirms the type of knife used in the attack is the same kind used at the plant.

Lewis confirms that Hufford was stabbed several times and that Nolen “severed her head.”
It's here.

“You can’t even dream this stuff up”

Last night, baseball player Derek Jeter got a walk-off hit to win the game, in his last at bat at Yankee stadium, the home field where he played his entire 20 year hall of fame career.
The Yankees were up, 5-2, in the ninth. Most of the 48,613 kept looking at the dugout, wondering when Joe Girardi would send Brendan Ryan out to replace Jeter and bring with him an ovation that would shake the new stadium to its very core. Then it was 5-4 after a home run. And 5-5 after another.

The first impulse, of course, is anger. But then the fans realized something: More baseball meant one more at-bat, bottom of the ninth, third man up. The booing stopped then. And it was about then when the last spasm of fear rose inside Jeter’s stomach, up to his throat, farther up to his tear ducts.

“I think I’ve done a good job in my career of controlling my emotions,” Jeter would say. “I try to trick myself into not feeling those emotions, not feeling nerves or pain. But today I wasn’t able to do it.”
And then, a few seconds later, he would be inspired by the magnificence of it all: “Fifty thousand people chanting your name. I don’t know how many occupations that’s possible.”

declaration of serviceability in Egyptian hieroglyphics

This phrase is among the most touching sentiments I've seen. On the wall of a burial chamber, I suppose, a noble is commending their own intimate butt-kissing relationship with pharaoh. Although wealthy enough for funerary decoration, still liege.

This is typeface but in hand drawn pictures it would make an excellent tattoo.

   r-kh          n-f                    b3-kh                       n-f         ib       y

rekh nef bakh nef iby.

For a slave.

For the slave-minded. For someone devoted to a relationship. For a religious person. This would be a good tattoo for all those people, it says:

"He knew I was serviceably-minded toward him"

Is that gay or what? Ha ha, what a sub. What a bottom. What an ultra maroon-pants. 

The circle with horizontal lines we saw already in the name "Khufu" so we even know they sound like a gurgling "kh."  The smashed football above is a stylized mouth and it means the sound "r" so "r-kh."  Rekh means "know." (The mouth also signals "speaker" "he who speaks" administrator.) The flat thing is a document rolled up. It is a determinative sign meaning the word in front of it is in the conceptual world not the concrete world, as law, loyalty, math, and the like, words such as "know," "feel" and "think,"  things that happen in the mind.

Zig-zag water is "n" sound and also prepositional "to, for" 

Horned viper is masculine "father, he, him, his," and the like. It represents the sound "f." 

The bird is jabiru, b3, ba, a portion of the soul, ba+k means "do work," "do service," "serve," "deal with." Drawn with a little kneeling man ba+k+little man means "servant." There are other ways to say servant, a baseball bat "hn" biliteral. 

servant, b3-k, bak

The little man kneeling means "I" or "me" and this would make a great part of the tattoo. He wears a little skirt and a broad necklace and wide arm bracelets, eye kohl. 

The jug means "heart" The stroke under it means "the previous thing is real", a real heart, not just the sound "ib." The heart jug is another great tattoo element. It is a valentine, but right after the heart and "one" stroke are two diagonal strokes meaning precisely "two." 

Two hearts.

I can see how that could be confusing. They just said "a heart" and then they said "two." 

Two is exactly two. Never "a few" or "some."  

But three can be any plural three or beyond. 

Whereas in English we add an "s" sound to pluralize a word, ancient Egyptians added a "w" or "u" sound. The "y" sound expresses duality, depicted by two sedge fronds, two strokes, or repeating the noun once. Pluralizing to three and beyond, by drawing three of the same noun, or three strokes or "w" or "u."

"know to him service I to him two hearts."

"he knows my service to him is double hearted."

Good Lord, that is gay. 

Pay an artist to paint that across your interior mausoleum wall. For eternity.

By way of bragging, your boner fides as royal sub. 

He urgently wants to ease the way for himself into the afterlife. To all concerned he is bragging about knowing his place and keeping to it. He wants terribly to pick up where he left off. He is announcing his concern about his superior's awareness of his own slave-mindedness and his adherence to structure, his willingness to maintain order by hierarchy in pursuit of maat by obsequious servile compliancy. 

A better gay brag would be:

I fucked the pharaoh. And I also fucked the deputy. 

They said that's what they wanted so I honored their seniority.

It just sounds so weird when splayed out like that in little pictures then translated to English but it does have its Christian corollary.

"Thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven."

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

The idea is your personal salvation is in your aligning all your desires with the urgency of divinity.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Faking Bad Update

The classic martini:

I added a little frosting on the outside to simulate condensation:

More サンプル here

Deaf Ninja

Austin daydreams a lot. That's just him. 
Austin's older brother wore an old fashioned box-style hearing aid strapped to his chest. Austin thought it made his brother look ridiculous. It made him laugh. That pissed off his brother so much he'd whip out his earplugs spin them around and smack Austin with them. 
Then one day during such an ear-plug pummeling episode it suddenly occurred to Austin: "Deaf Ninja" the movie. It'll be like the Matrix. Here, let me show you what happens...
This video was recalled by remembering the deaf guy from Texas who told a remarkably vivid story and it turns out I was remembering Austin Andrews. Then according to Austin's bio, he actually does live in Texas. Austin Texas, so there ya go. 

His manner of veering from textbook ASL into pantomime and embody the depiction so fully places Austin's story in the realm of gen-ewe-wine theater. Austin reminds me of Jeff because this is exactly how Jeff speaks, using ASL as armature to structure their own vivid pantomime with spelled letters delivered on spot and held in space rigidly and always rapidly and remarkably clearly as typed English. Their family backgrounds are similar too. And Jeff is very fond of Texas besides, due to the horses and rodeos. Jeff's word for "Houston" is "House."  

Austin's "Deaf Ninja" story is seven years old and now become a bit famous. Below, Daniel Moses says what he sees while watching Austin's video. I must say, Daniel does quite well indeed. No messing around either, Daniel gets right to it. Immediately Daniel's "Hello" is Austin's "Hello" in the video Daniel is watching. Daniel is saying what he is seeing on his monitor. Too bad Daniel's cam is not showing his monitor so we can read along, maybe the cam is in the monitor's frame like mine is. Daniel reads Austin wonderfully. I cannot do better myself and I marvel at Daniel's facility. 

Although, I would emphasize as Austin does, the old style hearing aid is a clunky box worn at the center of the chest. And it is funny-looking, not to me, to a younger deaf sibling, there is some very touching tragi-comic revelation here as Austin plays all the parts in his own day-dreamt story. Austin is his older brother wearing the box hearing aid on his chest while Austin is also himself looking and pointing and laughing. Austin is his older brother angry and in attack mode pummeling Austin with the earplugs while Austin is also young Austin being pummeled with whipping earplugs for being such a mean-spirited  non empathetic little prick. Austin is ninja  with eye slots through black head wrapping. Austin is writer and director. He uses stop action framing, he turns the camera sideways so the whole scene tilts over in Matrix-fashion the ninja hero turns sideways in midair and runs the walls as if they were flooring. Austin shows fog become rain and brings focus to one single drop that stops, revealing dream-time where projectiles are dodged and a fight is choreographed in slow motion, earplugs are deadly weapons and  swords are pulled from back-scabbords and slice up the whole screen. The fight ends. The raindrop suddenly falls we telescope back from Matrix space to real space, that is, Austin Andrew's fantasy space. There are a lot of theatrical and cinematographic techniques packed into Austin's idiosyncratic style. 

Daniel sees a lot and says it all. Daniel does excellently at saying what he sees. Now that you know, and now that you know Austin is coming at us in his personal way  and theatrically and less as a textbook and with ASL as convenient artistic armature and buttress, what do you see in Austin's telling? And isn't Daniel the student a wonderful teacher?

Oh! I see it now. Interpreting the video is Daniel's final exam. Well done. 

ASL to English Deaf Ninja interpreting final exam from Daniel Moses on Vimeo.

Daniel Moses

"Zoo in coverup after groundhog dropped by de Blasio dies"

"A week after Hizzoner dropped Staten Island Chuck in front of a crowd of spectators on Feb. 2, the winter-weather prognosticator died of internal injuries — and then the coverup began, The Post has learned."

Staten Island Zoo officials went to great lengths to hide the death from the public — and keep secret the fact that “Chuck” was actually “Charlotte,” a female impostor, sources said Wednesday.

The stand-in was found dead in her enclosure at the Staten Island Zoo on Feb. 9 — and a necropsy determined she died from “acute internal injuries,” sources said.
Here is what PETA has to say...

"The Declaration of Independence is a Beyoncé song"

Coalition of the willing

"Alaa, an ambulance driver, feeds cats in Masaken Hanano, Aleppo, Sept. 24, 2014. Alaa buys about $4 of meat everyday to feed about 150 abandoned cats in Masaken Hanano, a neigborhood in Aleppo that has been abandoned because of shelling from forces loyal to Syria's president Bashar Al-Assad on it. Alaa said that he has been feeding and taking care of the cats for over 2 months."

100% whole wheat

The problem with whole wheat is all that husk material makes a mess of things. It is too heavy and it damages gluten molecules while interfering with gluten's ability to connect with itself and to adjoining molecules making a sort of net that traps bubbles, the farts of yeasty fungi, like throwing handfuls of hay into nice stretchy dough.

I noticed this making tahini from sesame seeds. This is how thick I am sometimes. The bulk bins were labeled "sesame seeds husked" and "sesame seeds unhusked"

And I honestly could not tell which bin had seeds with husks and which bin had seeds stripped of husks. And I could not tell by comparing individual seeds either. Not without a loupe and an x-acto blade. So I bought both, and at home making them into pastes realized right off unhusked means they still have husks and, man, do they ever absorb a lot water. And its sesame flavor a bit muted. And both were a lot better than commercial tahini.

And now this is the same thing going on with wheat seeds.

Maybe a powerful sourdough starter can lift husky whole wheat where commercial yeasts cannot. Maybe it can interfere with the husk's interference if it were trained on whole wheat.

This sourdough starter right here collected just this week is fascinating. Let me tell you what I learned.

It is the second of two Denver cultures collected this summer, the third of three Denver cultures activated and used, the first is re-frozen the second discarded even though it was a superior culture. They are all superior these days.

I encountered a lengthy piece about a lazy way to catch a sourdough starter, the article was short enough, but the comments went on seemingly forever. 

Sidebar: something struck me back then while reading those comments. People actually went to college for this. They speak about yeast and chemical leaven and give dates and names and publications and history near and ancient. They begin their comment with *sigh.* 

Ewww, doesn't it make your skin crawl? They also begin, "I used to think as you do now, but then... [I saw the light]." 

So much arrogance evident and pride in academic knowledge and opinion and appeal to authoritah with no mention of direct experience. Women can be surprisingly wildly carelessly competitive bitches with each other. [/sidebar]

And in the comments people kept mentioning success rates with their approaches and I found those mentions very odd because I never had a failure.

I do this all the time, sometimes have a race to activation between the airborne collection slurry and another slurry of straight flour. (They both contain the same flour, so airborne collection begins with the same organisms in the same amount before being contaminated with airborne organisms) 

This last Denver culture is quite unusual. Collected carelessly over two weeks. It was sunbaked several days in a row, dried out nearly completely, was hailed on, rained on several times, wind battered for long periods, bits of plants flew in, a few tiny bugs were captured. It looked gross. The jar at top is half the liquid strained through a kitchen towel. (Coffee filter clogged, so did the Aeropress) 

Two weeks is a very long time to collect airborne organisms. On a good windy day you can do the same thing in an hour, just to show how ridiculous it is to collect airborne particles for two weeks. It's like not bathing for two weeks. These are the same organisms that make your own body stink in a single day with the same conditions of moisture and heat.

The liquid in the jar was fed whole wheat flour to turn it to paste and within four hours the mass sprang to life doubled in size with visible air pockets on the side of the jar and with a sweet odor. Shockingly fast. At room temperature.

That never happened before. 

I always used heat from a lightbulb. And it always took a day.

My aim is to gear it to whole wheat flour to produce 100% whole wheat loaves but those are always heavy as cinderblocks. Loaves made from nothing but milled wheat are the same thing as big pan of wheat seeds. Microscopically, the husks interfere severely with gluten strand formation, intermixed, microscopic husk particles, the material that makes great dietary fiber, slices adjoining gluten molecules as soon as they make connections and stretch like a billion tiny tight rubber bands stretching to increase elasticity within a solution of a billion tiny knives. 

The flour that makes the dough cannot interconnect inside, cannot form a gluten molecule matrix. It cannot form a skin. The particles remain discrete, baking the dough is like baking sand. The loaf cannot expand as we are used to.That it expands at all is amazing. The loaves bake more crumbly.

How do you get heavy wheat loaves to puff up?

Chinese cooks add baking soda to regular flour to make noodles that stretch impossibly long. They speak of lye-water, yes, they speak of 速溶蓬灰 for their noodles, but it is the same thing, jack with the pH. Similar deal with pretzels and with steamed dumplings.

Could baking soda exaggerate the gluten stickiness in whole wheat sufficiently to overcome the husk's interference? Could baking soda interfere with the husks in some way like soften their edges so that they do not cut? Would the acid in the sourdough culture create foaming bubbles with baking soda? Once baked, would baking soda interfere with sourdough flavor?

The sourdough culture is divided into two separate jars. One jar receives 1 level teaspoon baking soda, the control proceeds as usual. 

The baking soda foamed right up. 

This shows baking soda can be used to produce lighter airy loaves. The reaction is immediate.

Stirred back down, the culture foamed up again. 

And stirred back down again, the culture foamed up again. Better yet, when stirred the mixture appears stringy.

It was and stayed exceedingly foamy as the control proceeded its usual way, unusually fast for sourdough. 

So that's it then. I found the key. 

That test was done on a fermented sample. Two level teaspoons were added to the final additions of flour to achieve the noted effects. But the bread dough did not foam because its bulk did not ferment, did not develop its acid portion, and therefore will not be so flavorful. The flavor will come from wheat, not from days of fermentation.

But it could.

All that tells you when deciding on baking soda and how much to use, it gets down to how much fermentation the batch has, how developed its acidic portion. If old, then baking soda to foam right up and be ready to stick it directly into the oven, if new then baking powder to kick in when baked and allow time to rise as it will on its own with additional boost from the powder once hit by the heat.  Either baking soda or baking powder will adjust the pH and affect gluten elasticity and caramelization.

This loaf was not fermented in cold storage for three days so it will not have deeply complex sourdough flavor with a heavy acidic streak cutting through it. But it is not entirely unfermented either because the starter grew over a period of a few days beginning as a few tablespoons, then a quarter cup, then half cup, then full cup, and so on incrementally over days until its last increment contained additional freshly milled flour to bring the loose airy sponge to a denser bread dough. The last increment has more flour than water and does get time to proof since it is not foaming so needn't be rushed to the oven, but not given days to ferment. The last largest portion of flour has no time at all. No acid there to activate baking soda, so baking powder would be better. However, if then the whole finished loaf fermented before baking then baking soda instead to interact with the acid that will be produced over days.

Ebola Resurrection

"Two Ebola patients, who died of the virus in separate communities in Nimba County have reportedly resurrected in the county. The victims, both females, believed to be in their 60s and 40s respectively, died of the Ebola virus recently in Hope Village Community and the Catholic Community in Ganta, Nimba."

"But to the amazement of residents and onlookers on Monday, the deceased reportedly regained life in total disbelief. The NewDawn Nimba County correspondent said the late Dorris Quoi of Hope Village Community and the second victim only identified as Ma Kebeh, said to be in her late 60s, were about to be taken for burial when they resurrected."

"Obama’s new muse: George W. Bush"

"President Barack Obama drafted most of Wednesday’s United Nations speech by himself, but it often sounded like he had a ghost writer: the predecessor he mocked."
Type Obama’s money phrase — the evocative description of the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant as a “network of death” — into and George W. Bush’s “axis of evil” could very well come out, as many tweeters and former aides to the 43rd president noted.

Obama didn’t just run against Bush’s foreign policy. He used to ridicule it. His rejection of the Bush worldview was so emphatic that it seemed to prompt the Nobel Peace Prize committee to give him the award just for getting elected. 
So much for all that. (read more)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Words to live by

The old family motto came from a comment by my mother:
We're not crazy; we're just mean.

Too true. But since I've either disowned my family or been disowned by them (and good riddance either way), I want a new motto. Today, in a text to my wife, I may have hit upon it.

If I'm going to be a fluffy pink poodle with purple sequins, I'm going to do it the right way.

Context might help you understand it, but why worry about that? Should probably make it first person plural, though....

-The Kitchen Drawer


Was there an informal motto in your family of origin? Do you have a personal motto? I don't know if this counts as a motto, but my go-to saying is, 'It could be worse.'

D'Souza avoids prison

"(Reuters) - Conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza avoided prison on Tuesday when a U.S. judge sentenced him to serve eight months in a community confinement center after he pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance law.
D'Souza, 53, was ordered by U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan to live in a center, which would allow him to leave during non-residential hours for employment, for the first eight months of a five-year probationary period.
Berman also ordered D'Souza to perform one day of community service a week during probation, undergo weekly therapy and pay a $30,000 fine.
D'Souza, a frequent critic of U.S. President Barack Obama, admitted in May to illegally reimbursing two "straw donors" who donated $10,000 each to the unsuccessful 2012 U.S. Senate campaign in New York of Wendy Long, a Republican he had known since attending Dartmouth College in the early 1980s.
"It was a crazy idea, it was a bad idea," D'Souza told Berman before being sentenced. "I regret breaking the law.""

Ministry of Truth

"White House press-pool reports are supposed to be the news media’s eyes and ears on the president, an independent chronicle of his public activities. They are written by reporters for other reporters, who incorporate them into news articles about President Obama almost every day."
Sometimes, however, the White House plays an unseen role in shaping the story.

Journalists who cover the White House say Obama’s press aides have demanded — and received — changes in press-pool reports before the reports have been disseminated to other journalists. They say the White House has used its unusual role as the distributor of the reports as leverage to steer coverage in a more favorable direction.

While the overwhelming majority of pool reports pass through the White House without delay or amendment, some have been flagged by the administration’s press staff, which has demanded changes as a condition of distributing them.

"Seattle Passes Laws to Keep Residents From Wasting Food"

"The City of Seattle just passed a new trash ordinance that would fine residents and businesses for throwing away too much food."
The new rules would allow garbage collectors to inspect trash cans and ticket offending parties if food and compostable material makes up 10 percent or more of the trash.

The fines will begin at $1 for residents and $50 for businesses and apartment buildings, according to the Seattle Times.

Seattle Public Utilities requested the new rules after falling short of its recycling goals of 60 percent of trash by 2015, according to the Times. The recycling rate in 2013 was 56 percent.

The Seattle city council vote on the new rules was 9-0.

Trooper York's hipster neighbor

"Targeting the Constitution"

"It is now well known that the IRS targeted tea party organizations. What is less well known, but perhaps even more scandalous, is that the IRS also targeted those who would educate their fellow
citizens about the United States Constitution."
According to the inspector general’s report (pp. 30 & 38), this particular IRS targeting commenced on Jan. 25, 2012 — the beginning of the election year for President Obama’s second campaign. On that date: “the BOLO [‘be on the lookout’] criteria were again updated.” The revised criteria included “political action type organizations involved in … educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

What is most corrosive about this IRS tripwire is that it is triggered by a particular point of view; it is not, as First Amendment scholars say, viewpoint-neutral. It does not include obfuscating or denigrating the Constitution; only those “involved in … educating on the Constitution” are captured by this criterion. This viewpoint targeting potentially skews every national debate about politics or government. And the skew is not strictly liberal; indeed, it should trouble liberals as much as conservatives. The ultimate checks on executive power are to be found in the United States Constitution. Insidiously, then, suppressing those “involved in … educating on the Constitution” actually skews national debate in favor of unchecked executive power. (read the whole thing)


In the Debbie Wasserman anim thread Rcommal said...
Because, y'know, in these days those skills are the best of all for both being admired and also for just ducking. 
It's a perfect storm for the best strategy *evah*.
I honestly do not know what that means.

If ducking means what I think it means, allow me to explain why a careless salute is so deeply offensive. I can say it in a few terse words but the anim is terse too and that is ducking,  

How to properly greet an officer and what can be expected from a superior officer are among the first things a recruit learns. They ALL learn how to greet one another uniformly. Someone teaches them, it is not something left for chance to have absorbed by osmosis via t.v., although you could, recruits are still taught.

Most boys learn this earlier than that probably in Boy Scouts and the like and they'd be in Boy Scouts because their fathers made them but that was then and this is now. Now boys can have two daddies and neither one know anything about Boy Scouts or saluting or military. Or more likely have no daddy around at all to urge them along any disciplined or organizational lines. 

It speaks to degradation. It announces collapse. It says, as a nation, man, have you ever climbed down. It has reached the point that a coddled and feckless boy with no noticeable observable discipline whatsoever but still very willing to accept guidance and counseling and apprenticeship, accept a kind of indentured servitude, can parlay the interests of activist churches, radical academia with their own agenda, publishing, and political party at local, state, and national levels by being what each one needs and taking what they are willing to give. 

I am explaining why this is offensive.

Dads also teach their boys how to shake hands. That's another thing like saluting. No dad around, then no sure teacher for proper handshaking or saluting. It's left to chance. It mostly works but sometimes does not.

I realized this by meeting so many people who shake hands poorly. 

Ever have a guy shake your hand like a woman? It freaks me out. It is offensive.

Same with saluting. 

It shows the CIC has no business being around military men disciplined in their ways far less being in charge of them all. Them all! Not when he got his salute from Captain Binghamton on McHales Navy or possibly Colonel Klink on Hogan's Heroes. That is why it is offensive.

The young corporals display a crisp discipline that is now a part of their nature. It is apparent in their postures and will be apparent in their postures forevermore. The discipline goes beyond salutes and handshakes, it speaks to rigid internalized discipline regarding language, respect, grooming, hygiene, keeping schedules, meals. exercise, the whole nine yards. 

A salute with a coffee cup is offensive because it shows the organizations from which Obama drew his power are so far in opposition to the military cultures he now heads. Yes, a simple stupid clumsy coffee sloshing Urkel-salute says all that when the other hand is busy and the mind engaged in buttoning a coat. Something's gotta give for a salute. But nothing does give, not coffee, not button, for a proper salute that acknowledges the rigid and overlapping organization concerns that delivered him and that is why it is offensive.

Coffee mugs, buttons, umbrellas, it's always the dumbest things.

It takes incalculable organization, attention and discipline to get him to and fro and in that moment of disembarking right where the weather of a new place hits the face and body and there is still the unfinished coffee but also reluctance to relinquish it, and why should he? He's president, take the coffee with him. Have somebody scramble for the mug if they must or leave a souvenir. And you have a million things on you mind. Everyone wants a piece of you, everyone has demands, and in that moment it gets down to a button. 

In the moment it is more important to close the button than it is to acknowledge properly the massive disciplined effort it took transporting his sorry ass, in the manner every corporal across a far flung globe in their various activities that he was given control over does automatically, And that is why it is offensive.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Emil & Ene's

There is well-known Denver restaurant that is part of the city's heritage, a converted farmhouse built off a country road within a copse of cottonwood trees suggesting a nearby water supply, a creek or a pond. Turning off Smith Road onto the property the house in the back among trees something feels wrong like you are driving and parking on somebody's front lawn.

Inside, you pass through the newest addition accommodating increased business. Sort of mobile home materials and furnishings. I never did care for the space and eagerly pass through. There were previous additions, as are done on farm houses that grow organically segment by segment, thus a disjointed nature to different areas. The menu and meals are exceedingly simple and exceedingly good. Great steaks. Great straight up simple iceberg lettuce salad with truly great blu cheese dressing. Simple and reliably good.

I've been out there dozens of times. It really is like visiting somebody's house. Somebody who lives on a farm. You see animals sometimes. Cows. Deer, elk, and the like. Birds.

Manilow: “I Sing with Dead People” Duets with the Deceased

"Oh my god. Hilarious. Barry Manilow has recorded an album of duets with dead people. They are all dead. Dead, dead, dead. And he’s releasing it a few days before Halloween on October 27th."

"After all, Barbra Streisand and Tony Bennett have duets albums. Why not Barry? Of course, Barbra did resurrect Elvis for her album. Now it’s Barry’s turn to be the crypt keeper."


Sports news recently has been filled with stories of football players doing bad things.  Shooting people, beating spouses or girlfriends, beating children, abandoning children fathered with numerous women, drug and steroid abuse, thuggish on-and-off-field behavior, and much more.

It's all so one-sided.  The NFL players of good character never make news, it seems, only the few who do bad things.  There is a lack of balance in the sports news coverage, probably because doing good things doesn't make good news.

Green Bay's quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been quietly working to help raise funds to fight childhood cancer.  He doesn't make a big deal about it publicly, but his efforts have been very successful.  Watch this.

The onion cutting ninjas invaded my space by the end of the video.

Here is another example.

Obama Bombs Syria

"The Pentagon said warplanes, drones and Tomahawk missiles were used in the attacks, which targeted several areas including IS stronghold Raqqa."

"Syria's foreign ministry said its UN envoy was informed about the strikes against IS (ISIS, ISIL), which controls large swathes of Syria and Iraq. Activists say at least 70 IS militants were killed in the strikes."

"The militants said the US drone came down
after crashing into a communications tower in Raqqa"

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lois Lerner 'breaks silence' to repeat what we allready suspected.

"Lois Lerner is toxic — and she knows it. But she refuses to recede into anonymity or beg for forgiveness for her role in the IRS tea party-targeting scandal."
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Lerner said in her first press interview since the scandal broke 16 months ago. “I’m proud of my career and the job I did for this country.”

“Regardless of whatever else happens, I know I did the best I could under the circumstances and am not sorry for anything I did,” the 63-year-old said.

Called to testify before the House Oversight Committee, Lerner decided to take the Fifth and read a defiant speech declaring her innocence — one that Republicans argued waived her rights. She says she’d do it again.
I would do it again
Added... Lois Lerner says she is no Jeffrey Dahmer.

Alaska TV Reporter Quits on Air

"Charlo Greene, a reporter at CBS affiliate KTVA in Anchorage quit her job on air last night, telling viewers, “Fuck it. I quit.”"

She reminds me of that hair club for men add.

"The Daily Show springs tense showdown with Native Americans on Redskins fans"

"The four die-hard Redskins fans thought the opportunity was as golden as the vintage helmets of their favorite football team: “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” wanted them to appear on the Comedy Central program to defend the team’s name, which has been under relentless attack."
The Redskins Nation citizens eagerly signed up, most of them knowing that they might be mocked in their interview with correspondent Jason Jones. But several hours into the Sept. 13 taping of the yet-to-air episode, the fans, all from Virginia, said they were suddenly confronted by a larger group of Native American activists — all of whom were in on the showdown prearranged by “The Daily Show.”
On the morning of Sept. 13, the four Redskins fans arrived at the Park Hyatt hotel and began taping an interview with Jones in a small conference room. Their interview lasted about three hours, with Jones playing the role of a sarcastic reporter, accusing them of supporting a racist mascot and using props such as dictionaries, which define the Washington team name as a slur.

The fans found Jones mostly funny. “We kept telling him that we felt the name honored Native Americans,” O’Dell said. “And then we just felt like, ‘Are we done yet?’ ”

As Jones wrapped up his interview with the Redskins fans, he made an unexpected transition, according to O’Dell. “Jason says something like, ‘Well, don’t you think it would be great if you could just have a conversation?’ ” she recalled. “He turns around, and Native American people came in, just glaring at us. ”

Jones pulled out some beer and chicken wings, O’Dell remembered, and sat back and watched. Both the fans and Native Americans said the room first filled with awkward silence, then vitriol. (read more)

"Greens: Climate march shatters record"

"Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined a larger-than-expected throng of activists, scientists, students and elected officials who took to New York City’s streets Sunday for a massive march meant to sound the alarm about climate change."
Organizers initially estimated that the march had drawn 310,000 people, then raised that estimate to nearly 400,000 — far exceeding their projections of 100,000 attendees and making the procession through midtown Manhattan by far the largest climate-related protest in history. New York police did not offer their own crowd count.
“It shows we have power,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. “It’s a diverse coalition. It’s broad and it’s growing in strength and it’s growing in diversity. And it’s increasingly impatient at the rate of progress.”

Sunday, September 21, 2014

moss balls, algae balls

Unusual spheres of moss collect on Sydney beach.


Many more photos at the link.

Beach-goers said they had not seen the likes of it, why, it is like an alien invasion. They described them as alien eggs and alien hairballs and unidentified floating objects.

Scarlett de Villers walks the beach every day,
It was a windy day with a very high tide. I picked one up and squeezed it and it was so squishy - but I wasn't sure if it was alive and was worried I might hurt anything inside!' she told the Daily Mail. 'It struck me how perfectly shaped they all were and how green and alive they looked.
Alistair Poore, Associate Professor School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of NSW says it is probably a rare type of living green algae that has been seen in only a handful of times around the world.

University of New South Wales, I suppose, on account of this being Australian but for a minute there it looked not safe for work.

Then the associate professor delivers my favorite quote, says Alistair,
I’ve seen similar things - sometimes dead sea grass can roll around and form balls like underwater tumbleweeds but that’s made of dead material and these look to be living,' he told The Manly Daily.  
'It is a habit known as "aegagropilious", where the algae is free living (not on rocks) and forms into spherical balls.
The Mail article contains a box that explains the questions the article raises, beginning.
The balls are thought to be an extremely rare species of filamentous green algae.
The explanation in the box ends with as much uncertainty as certainty.
It's unknown why the algae forms into balls. One hypothesis is that a ball-shape helps protect the algae from hungry fish, another that it may help them roll back into the water and avoid drying out when they wash ashore. 

The whole thing is breathless invasion of the rare ocean moss balls. It explains nothing clearly and its added explanation explains nothing except moss balls are known.

If this were an article in Smithsonian then readers would respond with precise knowledge and experience that advances the discussion with intimate insight, but this is the Mail. What do the Mail's reader say in comments?
• Okay now I'm going to have nightmares about green balls. 
• Just wait till they start to hatch. 
• They are Obama's balls. He lost them 6 years ago. 
• Seems to me that the first thing scientist would do is collect them, quarantine them, then slice one open and find out what's in them! 
• We wrecked the planet..why not give someone else a chance. 
• Here is a unique outlook on this dilemma...WHY DOESNT A SCIENTIST STUDY IT UNDER A MICROSCOPE?
I know what these are. I owned similar moss balls before. The freshwater version. Put me off the idea of introducing moss and algae forms into the tank altogether. This and another Thai species turned out to be quite impossibly invasive. I wanted to do things with the tank. The Thai moss still is a serious problem. The ball moss was okay for awhile, from a designer tank point of view, but that's it. Now that I'm thinking about it, another species was worse. It came with the Thai moss and it formed a wire-thin chain of interlinked segments and grew impressively. If a link broke it grew two new ones. Like kudzu, it grew visibly everyday. I could get rid of great masses of of interlinked lacy chain link plants but it would be impossible to track down and destroy the very last filament-link. But I did.

These balls are common in the world of aquarium plants. Although not a plant particularly useful in the Takashi Amano style of natural underwater landscaping it was nonetheless part of the whole plant explosion that Amano facilitated. Designers are interested in species that oxidate with visible bubbles in response to intense lighting.

[aquarium plants moss balls]



The Moss Ball is a spongy velvet-like green algae ball that in the wild is found around Japan and Northern Europe. They were once thought to be extremely slow growing, but recent studies suggest that the growth can be accelerated by providing more nutrients. In its natural habitat, they are moved around by undercurrents and sink or rise in order to receive plenty of light to carry out photosynthesis. 
The Moss Ball requires moderate to high lighting, approximately 3 watts per gallon provided by full spectrum (5000-7000K) bulbs. The temperature of the water should be between 72°-82°F, with an alkalinity of 3-8 dKH and a neutral pH. 
The Moss Ball propagates by division. It starts with a division line which progresses to the splitting off of a smaller new Moss Ball.
Cladophora aegagropila is an aquatic moss that is slowly formed into a ball over a long period of time.  Originating in very cold rivers and lakes throughout Northern Europe and Japan these Marimo Balls or Moss Balls as they are more commonly take long periods of time to form.  Cladophora aegagropila will not cause algae to form in your tank.  In fact, Marimo Balls will do the opposite by taking nutrients out of the water.  Moss Balls are a different type of algae than those that normally form in an aquarium and are very slow growing.  Cladophora aegagropila comes in a range of sizes with the small size in the 3-4 cm range and the XL size in the 10 cm range.   Marimo Balls are very easy to decorate with and use for aquascaping. 

4 per order, $16.49