Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for December 31st, 2007

Mal(Angl)aise

Posted by Charles II on December 31, 2007

Proof that heads of right-wing banana republics all attend the same language school to learn English (via SenderoDelPeje).

Posted in Busheviks, Just for fun | 2 Comments »

This All Sounds So Familiar

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 31, 2007

Nicole Belle over at Crooks and Liars points out how John Edwards scares the punditocracy so much that they can’t keep their storylines straight:

When asked by host George Stephanopoulos which of the presidential contenders “handled” the assassination of Benazir Bhutto the best (a strange question in and of itself) George Will did not focus on Huckabee’s lack of knowledge or Richardson’s demand that Musharraf step down, but rather on the fact that John Edwards made a phone call.

GS: (The Bhutto assassination) was a major event, at least for a day, on the campaign trail. It seemed to freeze the campaigns. Who handled it well; who didn’t?

GW: Opinions differ. I would love to have been a fly on the wall of President Musharraf’s office when the aide came in. The country’s in flames, the army’s in doubt and the guy comes in and says, “We have holding on the line a former one term senator from North Carolina, calling from Iowa.

Could Will be more dismissive and patronizing if he tried? Turns out, yes. Because as the discussion moved to the upcoming Iowa primary and whose message was resonating most, again, Edwards’ message of populism was brought up. David Brooks immediately pulls a Noonan and discounts how “tough” Edwards can be, and George Will then subverts the whole definition of populism to pull as many conservative scare tactics as possible. How many strawman fallacies can you count?

Nicole asks, “Why does George & Co. feel the need to dismiss Edwards? Could it be that in head-to-head match ups, Edwards is the candidate who fares the best?” Yeah, could be.

Remember, too, the last time that CelebCorps tried to pretend that a major Democratic presidential candidate was both an ineffectual weakling pansy AND an evilly potent tough-guy vampire.

Posted in 2008, Al Gore, John Edwards, media, Media machine, mediawhores, mythmaking, narcissism | 1 Comment »

Molecular cooking

Posted by Charles II on December 31, 2007

Michal Palti, Haaretz:

After working at that restaurant, [Daniel] Pekkar joined up with another chef, Ruben Trincado, who had earned three Michelin stars at his Mirador de Ulia restaurant, one of the most renowned in San Sebastian. Together they competed for the Spanish cooking championship, “and you’ll never guess what dish made us win,” says Pekkar. “We made an omelet.”

Well, not exactly, of course. Pekkar and Trincado won the Spanish cooking championship for a dish they called “The Golden Egg.”

“We took an organic egg yolk and cooked it for 41 minutes at 62 degrees Celsius [in a special device that maintains water at a fixed temperature; they did not touch the object being cooked, which is encased in a vacuum bag],” explains Pekkar. “We coated the yolk with a substance that looks like gold, but which is made of powdered seaweed, and we injected the yolk with corn carbohydrate to make it crispy. We served it with beef bouillon and truffles. The whole thing melts in your mouth and the texture adds to the specialness of this dish. An egg that is a surprise.”

The article never manages to explain the idea very directly, but the basic idea is that if chefs understood chemistry better, they could cook better. So, for example, Pekkar found a Japanese mushroom that has the right enzymes to break down complex carbohydrates from grape vines and convert them into alcohol. Why one would want, a priori, to make wine from the vine rather than the grape is unclear, but this is the sort of creativity that can get us out of our growing environmental crises by using resources more efficiently.

Posted in Just for fun | 3 Comments »

Good Things For The New Year

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 31, 2007

xmas-cat-herding.jpg

Here ‘s a little roundup of Good News:

Charlotte’s loving their new light-rail system as much as we in the Twin Cities love ours: In both places, ridership far exceeded initial projections and just keeps going up. (H/t to Atrios.) As Puppethead points out, once people realize that the anti-rail people’s conflating wait times for buses with that for rail, rail starts to get more popular:

First, trains run more regularly and consistently, so it’s easier to get a ride. How many people have waited at bus stops wondering if they’ve missed the bus for whatever reason? And secondly, trains have multiple entry/exit points, so the embarking and disembarking takes only a few seconds. Each bus stop takes much, much longer because of the choke point of getting on at the front.

— The following Good Thing is best told by Xan of Corrente:

Remember a few weeks back when Nezua Limon Zolagrafik-Jonez put up a post called Christmas for a Wounded Pretty Bird? The short: a women’s shelter on the Standing Rock Reservation in Dakota, which helps Native women who have suffered physical or sexual abuse, got some fundraising help from the Net to get a shelter up and running.

In October some bastard stole everything out of the place and burned it down.

So the word spread—Pretty Bird Woman House needed help. They figured it up and set a goal of $70,000, which would get them a new building, furnishings, a few month’s salary for everybody while waiting on more grant money, etc. It was a figure of impossible luxury and thought to be impossible.

Happy New Year, folks. They now have, according to AndyT over at dKos, raised nearly $80,000 with more still coming in.

So what good news do you have to share today?

Posted in Good Causes, Good Things | Comments Off on Good Things For The New Year

 
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