Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Here's a speech
given last year by Tyler Cowen (of Marginal Revolution
) to a group of food professionals. It's about the effects of globalization on national cuisines, but mostly it's an exhuberant rant about the joys of food. Talking about SW Louisiana he says 'You are in rural Louisiana, you’re driving around, and you will see a shack, and there will be some words painted, or scrolled, like boudin blanc, or shrimp/seafood. The sloppier the handwriting, the more urgent it is that you stop and eat in that shack.' Urgent! I just love that. You'll enjoy reading the whole thing. Here's his personal site
- scroll down for the updated 'ethnic dining guide' for the D.C. region.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Are you a woo-woo?
The woo-woo credo
. From #1 - "Never look for the simplest, most obvious cause of something. Refrain from mentioning Occam's Razor
(it's your nemesis)" to #41 - "Refer to yourself in the third person." This is the definitive guide to being an ass on the Internet. I really loved #29 & 30 - hell, they're all good. And if I may, here's one addition - #42 - "Always express pity for those who can't possibly rise to your level of moral grandeur and mental acuity." (via linkfilter
Monday, November 14, 2005
Avian flu H5N1 #3 - cytokine storm
It looks like this flu triggers
a 'cytokine storm
' - an overreaction of the immune system that causes massive tissue inflammation, especially in the lungs. This is just what made the 1918 Spanish Flu so deadly. The healthier one's immune system, the more powerful the cytokine storm, and the more deadly the results. So young healthy people are most at risk. If I weren't already being hammered by one of the season's colds, I'd take this opportunity to run around flailing my arms and screaming. We may need all
our luck to get past this one.
Friday, November 11, 2005
The 'Bush lied' lie
Although far from a fan of the Bush creature I'm exasperated by the constant 'Bush lied' refrain. Bush had intelligence from many sources indicating that Saddam had and was further developing WMD. He had the concurrence of Ted Kennedy, Madeliene Albright, the Clintons, etc. He was mistaken
not dishonest. For a thorough slam-down of this and related ridiculous charges see this piece
by Norman Podhoretz. Yeah, I know, he's one of those creepy neo-cons. Mustn't listen, must return to moveon or Chomsky. Mustn't pollute precious bodily fluids. Well, fuck that. Read the thing and refute it in the comments. I'll be interested to see what, if anything, can be said. By the way, read the infamous Downing Street memo
, and don't forget this part (doesn't sound like they were faking about WMD does it?) :
The military were continuing to ask lots of questions. For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse
and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.
One Red Paperclip
started with one red paper clip. He traded it for a goofy (or cool, depending) pen and on and on up to a gas generater. He receives offers on the net and travels all over the country to make the trades. I really hope he's filming parts of this adventure as it will make a great movie. Oh yeah, the idea is to eventually trade up to a house! Good luck!
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
I've added National Journals blogometer
to my (tiny) link collection. The blogometer covers the political blogosphere with daily reports, with links, on what the bloggers are saying, right, left and center, regarding the days issues. Invaluable.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Kiva - personal micro-lending
I found this wonderful site via Boing-Boing
, which, after all refers to itself (quite correctly) as 'a directory of wonderful things'. The site is called Kiva
and it facilitates micro-lending to third-world businessmen (and women) via your PayPal
account. The money gets paid back in six to twelve months, without interest, and you can then bounce it back to another enterprise or buy yourself some skis. No mailing, no check-writing, no collecting. Just push some keys and lend out a small amount of money and change someone's life. Right now the thing seems to be very Uganda-centric and I saw some interesting startups - brickmaking, livestock trading, and fish mongering among them. They don't have any new startups at the moment but I'm going to check back and see if a pittance for me (as little as $50 for some businesses) can be a life-saver for someone. Give it a look.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Critter Tales, bad ass
This has taken a week and I'm giving up. Blogger, not to put too fine a point on it, sucks. I've tried and tried to upload the accompanying pictures for this post. Sometimes they load multiple times, they always load out of order - or appear out of order later in the day, and sometimes they just won't load at all. I've been at it at least ten times. The FAQ? Useless. So I've put in links instead. It will be well worth your time to follow them as the pictures of a donkey killing a puma are incredible. I'm just sorry that Blogger's incredible incompetence took the joy out of it for me. Anyway, here's the text followed by the links:
"A couple from Montana were out riding on the range, he with his rifle and she (fortunately) with her camera. Their dogs always followed them, but on this occasion a Mountain Lion decided that he wanted to stalk the dogs (you'll see the dogs in the background watching). Very, very bad decision... The hunter got off the mule with his rifle and decided to shoot in the air to scare away the lion, but before he could get off a shot the lion charged in and decided he wanted a piece of those dogs. With that, the mule took off and decided he wanted a piece of that lion. That's when all hell broke loose... for the lion. As the lion approached the dogs the mule snatched him up by the tail and started whirling him around. Banging its head on the ground on every pass. Then he dropped it, stomped on it and held it to the ground by the throat. The mule then got down on his knees and bit the thing all over a couple of dozen times to make sure it was dead, then whipped it into the air again, walked back over to the couple (that were stunned in silence) and stood there ready to continue his ride... as if nothing had just happened. Fortunately even though the hunter didn't get off a shot, his wife got off these 4... "pic1 pic2 pic3 pic4