Thursday, March 26, 2009

State of the Political Discussion Art

In a class I'm taking, the professor laments the absence of a centrist blogging population. The point of this is that political blogs tend to the far right or left. Everyone is preaching to the choir as it were, and there's no room for political discourse. Worse, there's no oversight of these guys, and no recourse for inaccurate or blatantly wrong material.

Walking our beagle the other day, it dawned on me that political reporters in general and bloggers in particular are lot like beagles: generally their nose is to the ground or their leg is in the air, and every once in a while they take a dump on something.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


This dish was part of the Grrls Night In dinner. I lived off of this dish one summer after finding this recipe in Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Cooking (New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc, 1980) Page 301.

It's really yummy and reasonably easy to make. I begin the prep for this once the salmon goes into the oven. Prep is really important to the success of this dish. There's a lot going on at the beginning, and you need to have everything set out and ready to go.

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
One head cauliflower
2 bunches of scallions
tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp white split gram beans.
1/2 tsp tumeric
1-2 green chilis or 1/4 tsp cayenne
6-8 kari leaves
salt to taste

You will also need a splatter screen.

Separate the cauliflower into small florets. Rinse in cold water. Then trim the scallions. You'll use the entire scallion. I usually cut the white portion into 1/8" rounds and the green into half inch strips. Measure out the other ingredients into individual containers.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet or pot, large enough to hold all the ingredients. Add the mustard seeds. This is where you need the splatter screen, or a maid service. Once the popping begin to subside, add the split peas. When they start to brown, add the tumeric, chilis and salt. Saute very briefly and then add a little water to make a paste.

Add the cauliflower and stir to coat. It will turn yellow with the tumeric. Cover and reduce the heat until it starts to get tender. Then add the scallion and kari leaves. Turn the heat up to evaporate extra moisture from the pan. Cook until the scallions brighten.

My understanding is that kari leaves and cilantro are the same thing.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Battlestar Galactica

So hey. The new Battlestar Galactica has passed into canon.

A while back, when Babylon 5 was about to pass, many of us were wondering how JMS was going to get away with his plan to have a five year story arch, and not end up with an ongoing series where the story telling disintegrated into some Space Soap Opera. Many of us thought the fan base wouldn't accept that, so we started thinking he was going to just kill it in the end in some brutal way that turned off all the fans.

My favorite scenario was Lorne Greene coming in at the last minute on the Battlestar Galactica and saving the day. Of course, we saw what happened to the Galactica last Friday. So I guess that's off the table...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

This can be read:

Integral zee-squared dee-zee
from one to the cube root of three
times the cosine
of three pie over nine
equals log of the cube root of ‘e’.

Credit for this has to go to Betsy Devine and Joel E. Cohen’s book “Absolute Zero Gravity”. (Simon and Schuster, 1992) page 37. But I found it, along with some other really bad math limericks, at

Number 20 is good if you like riddles...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pi Day, 2009

So today is Pi Day. The real Pi, not some silly government mandated thing. Sheesh. January 23? 1.23? Please. 3.141592653, according to the Klein Four Group's rendition of "Mathematics Paradise".

For the love of Pi, I made a crostata. See my other post, "Life is Uncertain," for details on how to make yours.