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Hometown: New Mexico
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 101,586

Journal Archives

The 2016 Haters Guide To The Williams-Sonoma Catalog

is finally here, and Drew found a lot to hate, from poseur table antlers (you can't make this stuff up) to a 6 inch diameter chocolate cake that is supposed to serve 8-10 people (yeah, right, not my people) and an oversized toaster oven that could double as an amateur crematorium. Oh, and treason by Anthony Bourdain, nothing is sacred, 2016 did suck.


Ajahn Brahm addresses the Trump election and fear in general

No, we probably will never alter the flinty little hearts of Trump and the Scrooges he's appointed to his Billionaires Club Cabinet. However, we can keep ourselves and maybe a few people around us from going insane until we get rid of them.

Here's another great kitty video, Momma Bengal talking to kittens

Translation: "C'mon, you can do this"


"Come on, just a little higher"


"Push with your rear paws!"


"C'mon, you ca----OH FOOD! FEED ME, FEED ME NOW!"

Secrets of Soda Bread

For decades, I assumed the cross my Irish grandmother cut into the top of her round loaves of soda bread in her upstate New York farmhouse was a traditional blessing. It was a natural conclusion since her bread was as soul-sustaining as communion at an Irish Catholic mass. So I was astounded to learn that the bread cross had a far more ancient – and superstitious – purpose.

When I asked master baker Mary Gleeson, co-owner of Gleesons Restaurant & Rooms in the Irish town of Roscommon about the cross tradition, she answered without hesitation: “You have to cut a cross in the dough to let the fairies out.”

“What happens if you don’t?” I asked.

“I don’t know, we’re scared not to,” she replied, followed by a self-conscious giggle.


Lots of good tips there, including a recipe that looks like it could double for cannonballs come the revolution.

Aerating the flour is good. I found that putting flour, salt and baking powder into the Kitchen Aid and running to mixer for a few seconds to combine them worked. US buttermilk is cultured and quite thick, so you don't need to let it sit around for a week to thicken. And my own recipe, which duplicated soda bread baked by a convent in Boston, uses what I call a big handful of dried currants and a small handful of caraway. I know it's imprecise, but it works.

And don't forget to let the fairies out. You get a crisper crust that way.

Sources: Police looking to talk to man seen on surveillance in both Chelsea explosion locations

CHELSEA, Manhattan (WABC) --
The New York City Police Department said the explosion in Chelsea Saturday night that injured dozens of people was "definitely" a bomb, with components indicative of an IED being found at the blast site.

Now, multiple law enforcement officials tell ABC News that there is a man who is seen on surveillance images recovered from both the 23rd Street and 27th Street locations who police would like to talk to. Police are not yet classifying him as a person of interest, and have not identified who he is.

Law enforcement sources tell also ABC News that the explosives in both Chelsea and in New Jersey were set off by cell phones. Multiple law enforcement officials tell ABC News that investigators are exploring the possibility the two explosions in Chelsea and Seaside Park are linked to the same bomber or bombers by what appear to be similar types of cell phones. ABC News is cautioned that this is only a line of inquiry and not a conclusion. The probes remain separate but coordinated.

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said investigators are working to determine the motivation behind the bombing and find out who did it. He described the multi-agency effort as a "very complex post-blast investigation."


I hope they find him soon. He's incompetent now but even the worst incompetents are capable of learning from mistakes.

Solar tuk tuk completes 6200 mile journey to UK

Tuk tuks are 3 wheeled vehicles, the common form of taxi transit in much of Asia. Most of the engines are 2 stroke gasoline motors, putting out huge amounts of pollution. An Indian engineer proves the sustainability of solar as an alternative energy source for them.

Also in a story at the Beeb: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-37389181

Solar tuk tuks might not be the future in the US, but they are in much of the developing world.

The Agony of Trying to Unsubscribe

We've all been there. Here's an 8 minute break from politics as usual. Enjoy!]

Islam Karimov: Uzbekistan strongman's death confirmed

Source: BBC

he Uzbek government has confirmed the death of President Islam Karimov, six days after he was taken to hospital with a suspected brain haemorrhage.

One of Asia's most authoritarian leaders, Mr Karimov, 78, died after 27 years in power.

Mr Karimov has no clear successor. There is no legal political opposition and the media are tightly controlled.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37260375

This is going to be the next big mess. Karimov thought he'd live forever.

Earthquake strikes central Italy

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has struck central Italy, with reports saying some buildings had collapsed.

The quake hit at 03:36 (01:36 GMT), 76 km (47 miles) southeast of the city of Perugia, at the very shallow depth of 10km (six miles), the USGS said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

However the USGS predicted these could be significant, based on data from previous quakes.


Simulated black hole experiment backs Hawking prediction

Prof Jeff Steinhauer simulated a black hole in a super-cooled state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate.

In the journal Nature Physics, he describes having observed the equivalent of a phenomenon called Hawking radiation - predicted to be released by black holes

"Classical" physics dictates that the gravity of a black holes is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape. So Hawking's idea relies on quantum mechanics - the realm of physics which takes hold at very small scales.

These quantum effects allow black holes to radiate particles in a process which, over vast stretches of time, would ultimately cause the black hole to evaporate.


Full-on geek article at http://www.nature.com/articles/nphys3863.epdf?referrer_access_token=_Wtep-C07uNrQDWOpq2AmdRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0NCXzqnWChN_xeBarCrCpSclZLb2F1Ccbtl91ELxPv9svmF6uLLgQaRxwznk8nD4IszWAOhzxiMvBNK01Vj9xmTk-gs5fW-pAaRWxSrUxtInZffIEIkSx2OOBAfTOcrsJnCVZba9toxHG1p0LMhV5vt&tracking_referrer=www.bbc.com
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