27 September 2007
Thanks also to the willing helpers :Lars I. Steffen J et al
Received wisdom states that mankind developed from apes.
We know better.
These young people are the descendants of pigs
Karin and Reiner K.
25 September 2007
As one does when one spends most of one's disposable income at a place...
They were round for dinner last week and I figured I'd do a mix in iTunes and feed it through the WLAN to the hifi. Saves jumping up and down all night.
"Gloria"'s not the problem, obviously - every bastard and his brother (or sister) has done a version of it at some stage in their career - and there's Gloria Gaynor to contend with, too but Rainer was a definite problem.
"Hasse" pops up in "Tallahassee Lassie", but I had to go back to his profession - he's a nuclear physicist, who writes papers on Nuclear fluid dynamics with long-mean-free path dissipation: Multipole vibrations and isoscalar giant resonance widths and stuff like that, even got an element named after him - to find Margot and the Nuclear So And Sos and the Spin Doctors with "Pocket Full Of Kryptonite"
The rest was the meal - fresh green pea soup with herbs, rabbit in Pinot Noir with roasted red peppers and creamed potatoes with goat cheese and blueberry flan to finish.
Nice drop of Sauvignon Blanc.
You work it out.
And obviously with nice ceramics, hence Grace Potter...
Gloria - The Shadows of Knight from Billboard Top 100 Hits Of 1966
Sweet Pea - Tommy Roe from Billboard Top 100 Hits Of 1966
Gloria's eyes - Bruce Springsteen from Human Touch
Slice of Heaven - Dave Dobbyn With Herbs from Nature's Best
White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane from Billboard Top 100 Hits Of 1967
Gloria - Patti Smith from Horses
Red Rabbits - The Shins from Wincing The Night Away
Tallahassee Lassie - Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac from Live At The BBC
Gloria - Mineral
Pour The Wine - Dave Dobbyn from Available Light
Children's Crusade On Acid - Margot & The Nuclear So And Sos from 91.7 WEEM/My Old Kentucky Blog in-studio
Gloria (live) - Van Morrison from It's Too Late To Stop Now
Nuclear Soul - Lida Husik
Mashed Potato - Dee Dee Sharp from Billboard Top 100 Hits of 1962
Gloria (Feat. John Lee Hooker) - Van Morrison from Too Long in Exile
The Zephyr Song - Red Hot Chili Peppers from By The Way
Gloria - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers from Live at the United Center
I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor from Ministry Of Sound Disco Classics
Blueberry Hill - Elvis Presley from The Complete 1950s Masters Vol 3
Toothbrush and My Table - Grace Potter And The Nocturnals from Nothing But the Water
Blueberry Hill - Fats Domino from Dancing In The Street
Two Princes - Spin Doctors from Pocket Full Of Kryptonite
Blueberry Pie - Bette Midler from In Harmony
My Hands Are Tied - Al Kooper from Black Coffee
Graphics by Julia Beyer
20 September 2007
Man, 72, refused alcohol over age
Supermarket staff refused to sell alcohol to a white-haired 72-year-old man - because he would not confirm he was over 21.
The whole story's here
I could understand it if the cashier was one of those school kid slaves that you frequently encounter in New Zealand and the UK.
She was "in her 40s"
I could understand it if the manager had given her a WTF look and gently explained to her that the policy is not intended to stop the elderly getting their daily legal fix.
He said petulantly " Then we're not serving you"
I could understand it if Morrison's corporate spokespeople had apologised.
They said "We take our responsibility with regard to selling alcohol very seriously and all our stores operate the Task 21 scheme, which addresses the difficulties our staff face in being able to determine if a customer is legally old enough to buy alcohol.
"To further limit any element of doubt staff at the West Kirby store are required to ask anyone buying alcohol to confirm that they are over 21."
I give up
19 September 2007
Rupert Smith (General Sir Rupert Smith, actually) has written an important book.
His thesis is that our institutions - both civilian and military - have yet to adapt to the reality of the shift from industrial war to war among the people
Read it, and you'll understand the past and the present and see the future.
The new enemy does not have a formed or formal army. He may have operatives throughout a land, but he cannot operate at the theatre level. Because he depends on the people, because the people will feel the effect of his attacks, we must see all his operations as 'local': there is no manoeuvre of forces, no design for battle and no immediate connectivity with an operation elsewhere. Each engagement is particular unto itself and in its setting, but connected together through a nervous system by an overarching political idea. The nervous system is unlike that of a conventional armed force. Conventional forces evolved their nervous or command system as part of the developments of industrial war, and most were well established before the radio came into service. The conventional system is in essence hierarchical: information flows up from the bottom, being aggregated at specific points in the chain of command, and orders and instructions flow down, being disaggregated into detailed tasks at each point in the chain. In this way the whole force is concentrated on achieving its singular military strategic objective, with every individual action and achievement contributing coherently towards that end. But the system is vulnerable to the loss of a point of command - in which case the chain is broken. Modern communications have been applied to this basic model, but the model is still the foundation.
Guerrilla, and in particular terrorist, nervous systems do not work in this way, mainly because of their dependence on the people and their lack of strategic military objectives. As a result they tend to have characteristics specific to the locale in which they are operating. To use a botanical analogy, their nervous system is 'rhizomatlc'. Rhizomatic plants can propagate themselves through their roots; nettles, brambles and most grasses do this. They can increase by spreading fertilized seed, or vegetatively through their root systems, even when the root is severed from the parent body. This allows the plant to survive a bad season or seasons and the disturbance of the soil A 'rhizomatlc' command system operates with an apparently hierarchical system above ground, visible in the operational and political arenas, and with another system centred in the roots underground: the true system.
It is a horizontal system, with many discrete groups. It develops to suit its surroundings and purpose in a process of natural selection, and with no predetermined operational structure; its foundation is that of the social structure of its locale. The groups will vary in size, but those that survive and prosper are usually small and organized in discrete cells whose members will not necessarily know their relationship with, or the membership of, other cells. The cells operate by getting others to do the dirty work as much as they can, either directly, as a badge of entry or belonging, or indirectly through some front organization. In all cases the need for security is paramount. A cell will do a minimum of three things: direct and sometimes lead military action, collect and hold resources such as money and weapons, and direct and sometimes conduct political action, which can range from funding schools to electioneering. Different people usually carry out the different functions.
Read the rest of the excerpt, listen to his lecture at the RSA , read the transcript and buy the book
18 September 2007
17 September 2007
A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule and a calculator.
At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.
"Al-gebra is a problem for us," Gonzales said.
"They desire solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns', but we have determined they belong to a common denominator with coordinates in every country.
When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush s aid, "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes."
White House aides told reporters they could not recall a more profound statement by the president.
07 September 2007
So just how difficult is it to cook a decent meal? And how cheaply can you do it?
This for example:
Panfried salmon steak on coriander udon noodles
Chicken breast wrapped in sage and pancetta
Couscous with broad beans and preserved lemon
Cucumber and sour cream salad
Blueberry and almond tart
Defrost 2 salmon filets (€4) and marinate them in 1/4 cup each of soya sauce and mirin (cooking sake - if you don't have it, don't worry.) for 3 hours.
Pour off the marinade and fry until just done.
Get a bunch of coriander (€0.60) and whizz a packed cup of the leaves with 1/4 cup of sunflower oil, 2 cloves of garlic, 2cm of ginger and salt and pepper.
Boil the udon noodles (€1.30) according to the recipe, drain them, mix in the puréed coriander.Pastry2 oz (55 g) butte
Place udon noodles on a plate, 1/2 a salmon filet on top, serve with a quarter of a lemon.
Trim the chicken breasts (€6 for 6), put 3 or 4 sage leaves (€0.00) on each side and wrap the pancetta (€2 for 200g) around to keep them in place.
Boil and remove the tough outer skins from the broad beans (€2).
Chop an onion finely, fry in oil, pour in a cup of water, bring to the boil, put in 2 cups of couscous (€0.50?), take off the heat, leave covered for 5 minutes, fluff up with a fork, mix in the broad beans and a finely chopped 1/4 of preserved lemon (make it yourself - about €2 for a big jar with 6 lemons).
Chop the cucumber, mix it with sour cream and chopped spring onions, sprinkle on some chopped dill
2 oz butter
4 oz (115 g) plain flour
1 tbsp icing sugar
1.25 Ibs (550 g) blueberries (€2º
3 oz (85 g) ground almonds
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 oz (55 g) butter plus a little extra butter
1 large egg
1 tsp baking powder
Pre-heat oven to 190ºC (375'F) Gas 5.
Use a 9 in (23cm) flat tin with a removable base.
Line with a ring of baking parchment and butter the edges of the tin.
To make the pastry, mix melted butter with the flour and icing sugar. Press the fine crumbs around the bottom and sides of the tin and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
Whisk the rest of the filling ingredients together and spread around the flan base. Spread fruit on top.
Bake for 25 minutes, cool and sprinkle with icing sugar.
Of course the wine stuffed the budget
Neudorf Pinot Noir 1999
Lifted cherry aromas with the slightest hint of savoury, earth, tar, spice and citrus. In the palate it is very dry and tight at first with cherry fruit and a little smoke but a myriad of sweet pinot flavours emerge with time. Cherry fruits, cherry stone, faint citrus and a suggestion of peach fill the fruit spectrum. There's a lovely vinosity, sweetness and texture and a little nuttiness too.
So it was all pretty much appreciated.
Especially the wine.
Mind you, the last time I gave a bottle of Neudorf wine to someone (birthday present, actually), I didn't even get so much as a "Thank You".
Just proves you have to be selective.
06 September 2007
And I can't imagine that Ivor Cutler could have existed anywhere but Britain.
I stumbled over a torrent for "Turn that racket down", a film tribute to the wonderful John Peel that featured Ivor Cutler (in his 80s at the time) perched on the rooftop of Broadcasting House in London, playing a harmonium and singing "Pass the ball, Jim"
If you dig deeper and you'll find stuff like this:
Ivor Cutler (15 January 1923 – 3 March 2006) was a Scottish poet, songwriter and humorist. He became known for his regular performances on BBC radio, and in particular his numerous sessions recorded for John Peel's influential radio programme, and later for Andy Kershaw's programme. He appeared in the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour film in 1967 and on Neil Innes' television programmes. Cutler also wrote books for children and adults and was a teacher at A. S. Neill's Summerhill School and for 30 years in inner-city schools in London.
Is your shop is low on the ground?
Then let us lift it for you
there's plenty of room in the blue
for your shop and for you"
And from Velvet Donkey
The Meadows Go.mp3
There's got to be something.mp3
05 September 2007
I'm an old bugger and a bloke into the bargain.
But if you want to know all there is to know about fashion, take a look at this clip from "The Devil wears Prada"
It appears to be that easy.
But be amazed at the script.
And at Meryl Streep's acting.
The utter disdain she squeezes out of every word....
04 September 2007
The Economist - apart from being required reading - has magical touches.
Last week's issue featured an exceptional exhibition of art in Frankfurt's Portikus gallery, a tall, lean building of Shaker simplicity in Swedish-barn red, perched on an island in the middle of the Main river and linked to the Alte Brücke by a suspended walkway.
The story's simple:
Hartmut Rausch and his wife Helga were caretakers at the Städelschule, Frankfurt's art school.
2 students gave him 2 paintings for his 50th birthday in 1993 and - over the years - the collection swelled, fed by students and professors.
This is "art that has been utterly insulated from commercialism from execution to acquisition to display"
Their collection of almost 400 works runs until this Sunday.
"One doesn't wear white shoes after Labor (her spelling, not mine..) Day" she said.
Coming from Long Island, she should know, .
But she didn't say anything about white belts.
Greg Copeland did.
"White belt, white shoes
White guilt, white blues,
Greg Copeland is one of those no-hit wonders where you thought "Jackson Browne protege, could be another Zevon, could be pretty good" and where you were sorely disappointed.
One album - Revenge will come - and instant oblivion.
(Although some sad buggers out there pay 40 bucks for it on Amazon.
And you ask yourself "Could Jackson Browne really have been sooo off the mark?" until you find out that they went to school together which explains quite a lot.
That the melodies are all pretty predictable
That Bob Glaub, Danny Kortchmar and Rick Vito got roped in to play on it.
That Greg Ladanyi got roped in to produce it
That there's the usual lightweight politics and social commentary
Can't you just hear it?
"Listen Greg, I'll produce your album and get my mates to play on it, but you've got to have a political statement in there, man.
El Salvador or nuclear power are my currently favoured causes.."
"Oh, OK Jackson, I can get "El Salvador" to rhyme with "poor". Is that OK?"
"Cool man! See you on Tuesday. Hey, I'll even get Billy Payne to come along..."
That said, there's a couple of decent tracks (and one v. duff one) in there
That'll Never Be The Same