Gale Gand's Very Red Velvet Cupcakes

recipe stolen from marshall fields

Gale Gand's very red velvet cupcakes


  • 1 cup shortening 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 oz red food coloring
  • 2½ cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp red or white wine vinegar


Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour inside of cupcake pan.

Cream the shortening, eggs, and sugar until fluffy. Whisk cocoa and food coloring into a paste and add to other mix.

Sift together dry ingredients. Combine buttermilk, vanilla, and vinegar in a bowl. Alternate adding these and the dry ingredients to the stuff in the mixer.

Fill cups ¾ full and bake until firm to the touch in the center, about 15–20min. Cool in pan, frost, and enjoy.

La sardine!

Ina turned Scott on to La Sardine, a charming French restaurant directly across from Harpo Studios. It's renowned for its unusual Tuesday prix fixe, where instead of a menu of the chef's choosing, you can choose any appetizer, entrée, and dessert for $25. Here's what I had, all from the carte of specials.
  • Sautéed frog legs, tomato concassé, potato risotto, garlic butter
  • Saddle of rabbit, couscous, julienne of winter vegetables, thyme jus
  • Tarte aux pommes with frangipane, caramel sauce, and caramel ice cream

Don we now our gay apparel, falalalala-lalalafel

Scott and I had a lovely gay xmas, which means we shopped the sales at Nordstrom, Saks, and Fields (among others) for ourselves, together.
Here's what we got: Scott | Mike


It's true.

A Brighter View Astern Than Over the Bow - New York Times: "But Mr. Brandhurst, along with plenty of cooks in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, will tell you that what comes from Louisiana waters is the sweetest of all the Gulf shrimp."

And finally he got $2,450 from the Carmel, Calif., chapter of the culinary organization Slow Food. That happened after Poppy Tooker, who runs the Slow Food chapter in New Orleans, saw a newspaper photograph of Mr. Brandhurst trying to save his boat at the same time Gabriela Forte, who runs the Carmel chapter, was looking for a family to help with proceeds from a gumbo fund-raiser.

The Brandhursts, though still puzzled about what Slow Food might be, are in awe of that simple gesture of transcontinental generosity. Without that cash, to repair an engine, they would have missed much of the post-hurricane harvest.



We needed a quick bread to go with the cassoulet that Steve and Shane make as their traditional Christmakkah meal. The recipe below makes a 1lb dough.



  • 3 cups unbleached flour (tipo 00 if you have it, but not bread flour)
  • 1 packet yeast
  • pinch sugar
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • herbs (fresh or dried rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano.. all good)


Combine water, sugar, and yeast and let proof 5–10min. Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Pour foamy yeast into flour and mix. Knead for 5 minutes, incorporating the optional herbs. Add any extra flour very, very sparingly – the dough should threaten to stick to the work surface.

Oil a baking sheet with olive oil. Press the dough into a oval / rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise about 45 minutes at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 425° Dimple the dough with your fingers, spaced about an inch or so apart. Drizzle olive oil and spread gently with your hand. Cover and let rise additional 30 minutes at room temperature.

Sprinkle with coarse or kosher salt. Bake 15–20 minutes. Devour.



  • Quiche with bacon and spinach
  • Lamb shoulder roast, marinated in yogurt and herbs
  • Jambalaya with Soulard spice shop andouille, chicken, and texas shrimp
  • Tortilla española and salad
  • Potato-chorizo soup


about my own fair city!

The New Yorker: The Critics: Musical Events: David Robertson lifts up the St. Louis Symphony.

Katherine Boo

I remember being tremendously impressed by some article or another by the writer Katherine Boo (senior fellow at the New Yorker) a while ago – it might have been The Marriage Cure, which won a national magazine award – and in her most recent piece, Shelter and the Storm, I again found myself re-reading several simply perfect turns of phrase:
"Some evacuees saw a liability in what had been their lives’ great expenditure – glittering gold-capped teeth – and began to cover their mouth when they smiled."
"Terrebonne’s predicament was an intensified version of a classic American dilemma: the belief that ghettoizing a disadvantaged population is morally wrong, joined to the conviction that the disadvantaged population might be a lot happier in the next county."


Two Bike Stories from Slate

Thanks to Alex.
The Bicycle Diaries - Is it possible to live in America without a car? Uh, sort of. By Bill Gifford: "As I approached the Kmart cash registers in this early visit, metal cleats clicking on the linoleum tile, the cashier girls stopped comparing their incarcerated boyfriends and stared. Then they looked away. One studied her nails, while the other concentrated on scanning the plunger and counting change. This, I'd come to recognize, was The Silence, the awkward, get-this-over-with tension that often accompanied transactions where one party is clad head-to-toe in stretch synthetics that might not smell so great. I paid, grabbed the plunger, and click-clacked out the automatic sliding doors, to everyone's relief. And as I pedaled away, I realized that bike clothes aren't merely ugly, to normal people: They're transgressive."
Nobody Bikes in L.A. - But they'd be a lot happier if they did. By Andy Bowers:: "Although I had actually been a bike commuter in other cities (most notably during three years in London), it never occurred to me to try it when I returned to L.A. (this despite the fact that there may be no major city in the world with a climate as perfect for bike commuting as ours—warm winters; moderate, dry summers; alarmingly little rain). Since cycling to work is such an aberration here, I found the idea both exhilarating and pleasingly subversive."


Four pizze

The New Yorker: Fact

The New Yorker: Fact: "Chery’s early strategy—gleaning useful information from the wreckage of troubled automakers—culminated in a tiny vehicle called the QQ. In 2002, General Motors acquired a controlling interest in Daewoo Motors, the South Korean company, which had gone bankrupt. G.M. took the platform of a Daewoo minicar known as the Matiz, repackaged it under the name Chevrolet Spark, and prepared to start production in China. In June of 2003, half a year before the Spark went on the market, Chery unveiled the QQ. It looked almost exactly like G.M.’s car but retailed for a quarter less: about six thousand dollars. Chery also introduced a sedan that appeared suspiciously similar to the Daewoo Magnus. Chery named that car the Son of the Orient."


MAKE: Blog: Laser etched Powerbook!

Wow, that is so fucking cool.

Dining in Puebla, Mexico - New York Times

Dining in Puebla, Mexico - New York Times: "That nothing quite replaced my memory of my own mole poblano is a testament to the prowess of the cookbook writer Kennedy and to my narcissism. Or it may simply be that a little more time must elapse since my recent visit to Puebla. Like its birthplace, mole poblano is a curious blend of the familiar and the exotic, of the immediate and the delayed reaction. It's a dream - and if a dream is powerful enough, it only expands in the memory."

The Winner Is. . . Only Acting Gay - New York Times

The Winner Is. . . Only Acting Gay - New York Times: "There has been an explosion of Oscar-baiting performances in which straight actors play gay, transvestite or transgender characters. Philip Seymour Hoffman melts into the role of the gay title character in 'Capote,' while Cillian Murphy plays a transvestite in 1970's Ireland in Neil Jordan's witty, endearing 'Breakfast on Pluto.' Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger play lovers in 'Brokeback Mountain' (set to open Dec. 9), already better known as 'the gay cowboy movie' and already a Letterman joke."


The Pilgrims Didn't Brine - New York Times

The Pilgrims Didn't Brine - New York Times: "No one remembers the turkey unless it is bad."

Goodnight Reality - Put Back the Smoke in Clement Hurd's Hand - Yes or No?

Goodnight Reality - Put Back the Smoke in Clement Hurd's Hand - Yes or No?: "In a single stroke, Harper Collins has changed our collective history, and created an alternate reality in which Clement Hurd does not smoke. It calls to mind a censorship tactic most famously associated with Joseph Stalin, who falsified the archival record of the Soviet Union by literally removing images of his political enemies from photographs in an effort to recreate history in his own image."


train dinner

Train dinner is usually quite a production for me. With about six hours to fill, why not spend the better part of one of them enjoying things I love (that is, cheese)? I discovered pita in the freezer so I'm using that and did not go to Companion today for bread.
  • Castello (mild, cow's milk blue)
  • A mild, young, California cheddar
  • (both of which to go with rather bland but nicely textured local Fuji apples)
  • Valdeon, a cabrales-like but younger (creamier) cow-goat blue from Spain
  • A few slices each of jamón Serrano and prosciutto di Parma, to compare and more intimately understand both.
  • Sungold cherry tomatoes (the last of them for months! They are generally not commercially available because like satsumas they are very easily damaged once picked.)
  • peanut butter cookies I made the other day
  • And of course, australian wine in a can!



a short week's food

before heading to chicago on Thursday afternoon (yay!)
  • carne enchilada (chile-crusted skirt steak), sweet potato roasted and mashed with bacon and shallots.
  • orzo with chicken, onion, and zucchini
  • whole wheat pasta with meatless balls (it tastes the same – if you close your eyes)
  • curry fried rice (nasi goreng if I serve with a fried egg)


yay for transnational activism :P

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Bush feels hand of God as poll ratings slump: "The keynote was struck by football star Diego Maradona, who wore a 'Stop Bush' T-shirt to attend an anti-Bush 'counter-summit' that drew some 4,000 protesters from around the world and easily eclipsed the official summit in the public's attention. 'I'm proud as an Argentine to repudiate the presence of this human trash, George Bush,' said Maradona."


Lentil soup / zuppa di lenticcie

I thought for sure I had posted this previously, but I seem to have been wrong. This is one of my favorite soups, especially with a nice crusty bread like ciabatta or a baguette. The first time I made it, I thought it would just be ok – nothing to invite someone over to share, just a nice rustic meal for myself. I was quite wrong and now have shared it several times, and everyone else has quite enjoyed it. Unfortunately, this is a vegan recipe so I am always sure to use at least some chicken stock. Fuck vegans!

Lentil soup

From the excellent cookbook Italia in Cucina from McRae books srl.


  • 1½ cups lentils (I use the big green kind, but any, from French green to brown to red would do nicely. Experiement!)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves garlic, whole or finely chopped
  • A few fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • A heap of chopped fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil


Put the lentils in a bowl and cover with cold water to about 1¼ in above the lentils. Soak for an hour or two. Drain the lentils and place in a saucepan with the onion, carrots, celer;y, bay leaf, and garlic. Add enough cold water and chicken stock to cover to about 2 in above the level of the lentils. Cover, and cook over low heat for about 45 minutes.

Discard the bay leaf, add the sage and rosemary, and continue cooking, still covered and over low heat, for another 5–10 minutes. At this point, the lentils should be very soft and will begin to disintegrate. add salt and pepper to taste, drizzle with the oil, and serve.

aww, how nice!

Scott's parents sent an anniversary card!

as of 3 Nov, Scott and I have been together for six years! :)

blah, blah, blah

10 Ways to Please Us, the Customers - New York Times: "II. Thou shalt hire native English speakers to translate thine instruction manual. 'When the camera focus is not so possible, hold the shutter button vaguely until the beeping tone is heard.' Is that really how your company wants to address customers?"



As usual, in no order.
  • chicken paprikás
  • spicy asian greens with baked tofu
  • macaroni and cheese with garlic sausage
  • beans and tomatoes
  • tofu marsala and mashed purple potatoes

Recipe: Mouhamara

Mouhamara is a persian sauce of red peppers, ground walnuts, and pomegranate molasses. At restaurants, I've had a couple variations on it, including a thinner one in which a chicken breast was cooked. Scott and I learned of it from our friend Rania in undergrad; her mother made far and away the best persian food I've ever had including baked and raw kibbe. I make tabbouleh by her recipe quite often (heavy on both mint and lemon).



All amounts are quite variable, these are just a rough guide.
  • 2–4 red peppers, raw or roasted/peeled
  • ½ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • ¾ cup walnuts, chopped fine
  • ¼ cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of at least half a lemon
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper paste (mix powder with water before adding)


Combine everything in a bowl and mix well. Add some water for a thinner consistency.


Gizmodo - The Toy

Gizmodo - The Toy: "a Bluetooth vibrator called The Toy that, incidentally, is linked to your cellphone and controlled by SMS messages. "


I should menu so I don't forget what to make

  • Still have the makings of butternut squash ravioli
  • Risotto with chicken and summer squashes
  • Chorizo and red pepper quiche
  • Figs and bacon and salad and bread
  • Teriyaki chicken and bok choy

the pathetic fun that can be had with game theory...

an excerpt from my homework:

Here ε denotes the proportion of mutants with a better strategy – that is, one that will yield the Pareto-EES-u* payoff of (3,3). Consider, in turn, each possible matchings of these mutants in the population:

  1. σ* : σ. A σ*-playing sender meets an attractive receiving σ player at a bar. Still, σ* (sending m1 or m2 depending on type) is no worse than being a σ and sending m3.
  2. σ : σ*. A σ sender picks up a cute σ*. Back at the σ*'s place, σ says, ``So do you wanna m3?" The σ* receiver happily takes action C. Neither is worse off than if they'd both been σs.
  3. σ* : σ*. A σ* catches another σ*'s glance across the dance floor. The sender signals his type, and the receiver follows the appropriate σ* action. They end up with (3,3).


NPR : After the Miers Nomination: What Next?

NPR : After the Miers Nomination: What Next?: "Lee Epstein, author of Advice and Consent: The Politics of Judicial Appointments, discusses the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers with Renee Montagne. Epstein says that the next few days will bring a lot of digging into the background of this relatively unknown nominee."


so, so pretty.

the cafeSometimes since I use it all the time and it just sort of does its job for me, I forget what a gorgeous piece of machinery my espresso machine is. Cleaning it is a pain, because backflushing requires it be hot, and polishing that it be cold. So after I polished it today I thought I'd share a picture of it being pretty, before it looks grungy again.

chicken soup and matzo balls

A commenter formally posted a request, and some friends have informally asked for, occasional recipes if I'm going to post tantilizing menus. Here's my chicken soup, which is better than your jewish grandmother's (maybe great-grandma has me beat, I'll concede. But even Bubbe probably uses that nasty box-mix for matzo balls).

My chicken soup is adapted from David Rosengarten in the Dean & DeLuca Cookbook, which is a fantastic resource that I strongly recommend for its detailed treatment of "classics" and information about various ingredients. The matzo balls are almost exactly Rosengarten's

Goyische Chicken Soup


  • 1 whole chicken — see note below
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 onion
  • 1 turnip
  • 5 ish carrots
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 3 parsnips
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 5 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • some salt and lots of pepper


Note on planning ahead: you need to make the matzo ball mix a few hours ahead or the night before. Most crucially, you must skin the entire chicken and render its fat. One chicken produces just slightly more than enough schmaltz for one batch of matzo balls, whose recipe follows

On to the soup. Bring the chicken and water to a boil, skimming the foam of connective tissue from the top, lest your soup be cloudy. While it's on its way to boiling, chop all the vegetables. Leave the herbs whole, and simply peel/smash the garlic. Add everything else to the pot and simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is cooked.

Remove the chicken and let it cool just enough to take it off the bone. Save the meat, and return the bones to the pot for another hour or so.

The soup is done. It can be refrigerated now, if you like, and you can eat it tomorrow, or you can remove the bones and add the chopped meat back in, and have a satisfyingly restorative dinner.

Matzo Balls for soup above

  • 3 Tbsp schmaltz
  • 3 Tbsp club soda
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup (generous) matzo meal

Freshly rendered schmaltz – chicken fat – is absolutely critical. If you're going to substitute vegetable oil, or kosher-market jar schmaltz, please save yourself the hassle of matzo balls entirely and just add pasta to your soup.

How to render chicken fat: take all the fat from your chicken, put it in a saucepan with ½–1 cup water over medium heat. Boil all the water away and you're left with tasty chicken fat. Pour through a strainer. Why my matzo balls bring all the boys to the yard: I also add fresh herbs to this mix. A sprig or two of rosemary, or thyme, imparts a delicate and fleeting perfume to each bite of the final result.

Beat the eggs well with a fork, add the water, salt, pepper, and schmaltz; stir in the matzo meal. Let sit 4–14 hours in the refrigerator.

To make the matzo balls, it helps to at least parboil them in a separate pan, rather than trying to let the soup cook them. It just takes too long. So in a pan of salted boiling water, drop walnut-sized balls of dough until they are cooked. Then transfer and serve in the soup.


I find myself just sputtering out of hatred.

Bush Urges Conservation as Retail Gas Prices Rise - New York Times: "'We can all pitch in by being better conservers,' Mr. Bush said after being briefed on the hurricanes' impact on the energy industry at the Energy Department. 'People just need to recognize that these storms have caused disruptions.' In addition to urging consumers to cut back to ease the pain of the current supply shortages, he said federal employees should use carpool and public transport and not take non-essential trips."

David Pogue (NYT) gushes over the beautiful iPod Nano.


IPod's Law: The Impossible Is Possible - New York Times: "So are the analysts right that the sun will soon set on the iPod Age? The truth is, the iPod has faced stiff competition from some of the industry's best-known companies since the day it was introduced. Yet even after four years, all of Dell's horses and all Sony's men haven't made a dent in the iPod's dominance. And with the introduction of gorgeous, functional and elegant iPod Nano, that's not about to change."

And by "beautiful" in the title here I mean, "hotter than a whole team of shirtless boys playing soccer outside my building." Well, maybe not strictly hotter. But equal.


My annoyance for the semester

Epstein-Barr Virus: "Symptoms of infectious mononucleosis are fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands. "

I blame filthy undergrads spitting in water fountains or something. Universities are, after all, cesspools of disease. The incubation period of 4–6 weeks would coincide with when I was back in St Louis and I definitely did not have "intimate contact with the saliva of an infected person" a month ago.

My symptoms are extremely mild. It's really just been an inconvenience: my throat is a bit swollen, hurts to swallow (sometimes) and I've had a fever off and on for a few days. I'm not excessively tired. The net effect of this seems to be to make me a better student this semester, since I can't drink alcohol or go to the gym for a month or so.

Excellent Savage article

Reader cover


When cleverness crosses the line into smugness...

As too often it does for game theorists, we arrive at such contrivances as this gem from Aumann and Hart's (2003) "Long Cheap Talk" (Econometrica 71: 1619–1660) (they weren't kidding about its being bloody long). Not only are row and column players named "Rowena" and "Colin", but we also have
Footnote 5: Rowena's message is thus "two B" or "not two B."


menu for the week

It helps me to post menu plans, or at least write them down, so I don't end up throwing away any of the tasty fresh food I buy at the market.

I went this week to the Central West End Green Market, the one Hilary's friend Julia runs. I was planning on going to Soulard, but didn't want to take the highway because there is some strange one-laneness... Anyway, the CWE one was great! Not huge, but all of the farmers were really friendly, as was Julia herself, and two other sort of in-charge people, Dee and Sue. Dee is, with my consultation, bringing panzanella to some function she said she'd bring salad to tomorrow night.

  • Butternut squash ravioli
  • Falafel and mouhamara
  • Tomato and arugula salad (maybe some stale bread too – panzanella is yummy!)
  • Something tasty with pork chops
  • Lots of fresh or caramelized peaches
  • Ma po tofu (with red pepper, scallions, and minced pork)


expressions lost on foreigners

Guillermo asked me to create an email list for our regression class, because it's easier that way to send stuff like homework to all of us, or lecture notes. I mentioned that I knew artsci ran an instance of listserv and I know pretty well how to make listserv do what it's supposed to.

So I made a list titled, "Regression for dummies (political science grad students)," because it's funny.

Mike, Thanks very much for putting the list together. I do object to the title of the list, but I requested you to be the listmaster and must accept your choice.
Just make sure that nobody takes offense at the title.
Thanks also for the great R cheat sheet, it's very helpful.

There is no way, really, to explain that "for dummies" isn't offensive because of the wildly successful books on everything from sex to mortgages to probably blogging... he just doesn't understand because he's from Mexico. Oh well. I changed it to just "Regression".

funny ad

So the point of this ad from the top of a sourceforge page is like "we make online meetings easy," but they thought they would show this using equations... How sad is it that I thought at seeing the first one, "That's not complicated, it's just the sample variance, duh"
math ad


more gay animals

rams...and I'm an Aries too.


my new bike!

new bike
Here's an IM transcript of my bike story because I'm a lazy mofo:
i have to tell you my bike story
which might be ongoing!
so my bike was stolen last month
it was in the basement the whole time i was gone
so i was here for like 3 days, meetings, returning books, etc
and there were some of my flaky landlord's minions erecting a scaffold at 9am one morning
when i go down at 10, no bike
so i'm certain they made off with it
i scour craigslist for the last month
then i run across this woman selling a 58cm fr aluminum road bike
for $400.
right. so i bought it yesterday
i went out to creve coeur; rode it down the street, wrote the ho a check, and was on my way i thought it was yours she was selling
i get a call this morning, let it go to voicemail, obviously
no i had a not-great bike, definitely not this thing!
so she calls me this morning
and starts like half-crying on the phone about how it was a gift from her boyfriend and could i find it in my heart to cancel what has been done
i ignore, of course.
this afternoon, another voicemail
her mother
saying "we'd really like to get the bike back, i'd be willing to add something extra buy it back from you"
at this point
i'm like all whitney, helllllll to the naw
because something extra would have to be the almost $500 extra to buy an equiv bike!
this shit new would be MIN $850
so i'm not sure whether to call and be like no
or just ignore it and go about my business
because she had PLENTY of time to reconsider the offer to sell
we have been in contact via at least 3 emails and 2 phone calls and I was at her house you could call and tell her it was a gift and you gave it away already
ANY TIME up until i rode off with it on my car, would have been possible to back out
so how funny is that
wait till you see it
it's HOT


  • 54cm 7005 Aluminum Frame, Butted Down Tube, Replacable Der. Hanger and Compact Road Geometry, Shimano 27 Speed Drivetrain, Shimano 105 rear der., Shimano Tiagra Hubs, 14g Spokes, Alex DA-28 Rims, Michelin Axial Kevlar 700 X 23c Tires


OmniNerd - Articles: How Much Does iTunes Like My Five-Star Songs?

Statistics in action.
iTunes’ available song ratings of 1 to 5 stars allow users to quickly find their favorites and help the Party Shuffle feature play more of what they like most. This article explores the algorithm iTunes uses to pick what comes next in the playlist.


Bad writing

Dishonorable Mentions

From San Jose State's annual bad prose contest, which I found via a slashdot link because the winner was a software engineer.

"The night resembled nothing so much as the nose of a giant Labrador in excellent health: cold, black, and wet."
Devery Doleman
Brooklyn, NY
After months of pent-up emotions like a caffeine-addict trying to kick the habit, Cathy finally let the tears come, at first dripping sporadically like an old clogged percolator, then increasing slowly like a 10-cup coffeemaker with an automatic drip, and eventually pouring out and noisily wailing like a cappuccino maker complete with slurping froth.
Chris Bui
Pensacola, FL
After she realized the man she had fallen in love with was her long lost twin brother and they must break up immediately, they shared one last kiss that left a bitter yet sweet taste in her mouth--kind of like throwing up after eating a junior mint.
Tami Farmer
Rome, GA
The rising sun crawled over the ridge and slithered across the hot barren terrain into every nook and cranny like grease on a Denny's grill in the morning rush, but only until eleven o'clock when they switch to the lunch menu.
Lester Guyse
Portland, OR


A bus story

Today when I went from the gym to Intelligentsia, I took one of the several buses that goes down state street (it's just two stops). I sat down next to an older black woman. While several other people were busy getting on the bus, she nudged me to take off my earphone. When I did, she said, "I'm glad you're skinny sitting next to me, don't want one of these fat people on here. Look at all of 'em!"


Salon.com Life | American Girl crazy!

Whenever we would walk around downtown, we'd see seriously obnoxious suburban or out-of-town families with large, red American Girl bags. Almost invariably, these would be slow-moving types we'd be stuck behind – either walking on the street or slowly down the subway steps when you could hear the fucking train coming – and we always kind of wondered what the fuck this was about. We discerned that American Girl was a brand of doll, and that American Girl Place would be a kind of hell for us. Now, a Salon article elucidates the whole enterprise, which I'm not at all surprised to learn is owned by toy giant Mattel.

American Girl Place ChicagoSalon.com Life | American Girl crazy!:
Ours, it's clear, is a moment in consumer history when middle-class American parents will spend, pretty much happily, a great deal of money on what they perceive as quality goods for their children, particularly if those goods can be seen as in any way educational. A Samantha starter kit, which includes the doll, a slim paperback book, and a few teensy accessories, sells for $98. Samantha's cunning little wooden school desk, with its historically accurate wrought-iron legs, costs $68. Her trunk, with its oval mirror and three wee hangers, costs $175. Josefina's carved wooden chest, in tasteful Santa Fe style, goes for $155. And so on. For many American girls, these are, of course, unimaginable luxuries. At an economically and racially diverse private school where a friend's daughter goes, American Girl dolls are a dividing line -- and an early introduction to class in America -- for a group of third-graders. Two of the girls are from families who cannot afford the dolls, let alone the fripperies that go with them. And, lately, these two girls have been getting left out of play dates and playground games, which often center on American Girl fantasies. Ironic, in a way, since these particular girls are from newly arrived immigrant families of modest means, whose life stories are, therefore, classic American Girl. The 'Barbie as Halle Berry in Catwoman' doll may come swathed in stereotypes, but at least it has the virtue of being available at your local Target for $14.99.... What the American Girls phenomenon best represents, though, is the fact that fathers and mothers, even if they do not consider themselves social conservatives, want help in keeping at bay certain aspects of the pop culture. And they want help they can buy."


How Costco Became the Anti-Wal-Mart - New York Times

How Costco Became the Anti-Wal-Mart - New York Times:

"Despite Costco's impressive record, Mr. Sinegal's salary is just $350,000, although he also received a $200,000 bonus last year. That puts him at less than 10 percent of many other chief executives, though Costco ranks 29th in revenue among all American companies.

'I've been very well rewarded,' said Mr. Sinegal, who is worth more than $150 million thanks to his Costco stock holdings. 'I just think that if you're going to try to run an organization that's very cost-conscious, then you can't have those disparities. Having an individual who is making 100 or 200 or 300 times more than the average person working on the floor is wrong.'"

you know those infomercials

Perfect Pancake! ORDER NOW!where they show the "old, bad way" of doing something like making pancakes? – cut to black and white, flinging batter around the kitchen, accidentally throwing the cat on the griddle, and the reënactor says, "If only there were a better way!" – and then this new exciting technology fixes everything and gives you the best orgasm of your life.

That's what this description of fruit stickers from an NYT article about tattoo labels made me think of:

fruit tattooer
The process, government approved and called safe by the industry, may sound sinister. But it was designed with the consumer in mind: laser coding could mean the end of those tiny stubborn stickers that have to be picked, scraped or yanked off produce.
Sticker-removal duty took Jean Lemeaux of Clarksville, Tex., half an hour one day last week.
"I was picking all the little stickers from the Piggly Wiggly off my plums and my avocado pears and my peaches," said Ms. Lemeaux, 76. "Then I had to make fruit salad out of the ones that got hurt when I took the stickers off, and then I had to wash the glue off the other ones before I put them in the fruit bowl."
"One time," she said, "I got up the next morning and looked in the mirror and there were two of them up in my hair."


...one with details.

NYT letter:
To the Editor:
With the latest Harry Potter release ("Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Summer Camper," Arts pages, July 14), is there room for a dissenting voice?
My 10-year-old son announced his intention never to read another Harry Potter book. "Because, Mom, haven't you noticed? It's the same old thing. Harry Potter falls in trouble, Harry Potter learns a spell. It gets so boring."
Could I believe my ears? My son, a good reader, at last! And I recalled (silently) a favorite quote from Vladimir Nabokov: "Caress the details," he directed. "Read for the tingle, the shiver up the spine."
When my son deposited his hardcover Potter collection in his school's donation box, he assured me: "I don't want to keep these. They're not the kind of books you read twice." Well, I asked, what kind of book do you read again? "One with details," he answered. Sorry, J. K. Rowling...
Kate Roth
New York, July 14, 2005


I'm the Boss, and I Say No Lentils - New York Times

I'm the Boss, and I Say No Lentils - New York Times: "Floyd Cardoz of Tabla has refused to eat bananas since he was 10. When he was named executive chef a little over three years ago, banana desserts were banned from his kitchen."

upcoming dinner party menu

  • amuse: tabouli-stuffed hard-cooked eggs and pesto-stuffed grape tomatoes.
  • salad: grilled tomatoes, eggplant, and lettuce, with tzatziki sauce or roasted garlic champagne vinaigrette.
  • 'soup': herb ice milk with lavender, tarragon or oregano, mint, basil, and thyme.
  • couscous: lamb, chicken, cabbage, summer squash, tomato, baby potatoes, purple carrots, fresh peas, golden raisins.
  • mint sorbet
  • dessert: (vanilla) panna cotta with raspberries, blueberries, golden raspberries, red currants.


The New Republic Online: Evolutionary War

What prominent conservatives believe.
A Pat on the Back - New York Times: "My soft spot for strange bedfellows aside, I am a capital-D Democrat who still believes in the value of partisan politics. And I hold onto that belief despite the fact that I belong to a party whose only true talent is writing exceedingly eloquent concession speeches."




1000 Signs


TheSoupbox.com - 12 Fresh Soups Everyday

IceBox!SoupBox!TheSoupbox.com - 12 Fresh Soups Everyday: "FREE Icyfruit ALL DAY FRIDAY, June 24
Lemon - Lime - Kiwi - Coconut - Pineapple Banana - Orange - Raspberry - Cherry - Peach Watermelon - Grape - Strawberry - Passion Fruit Mango -Blueberry - Blackberry - IcyChocolate Cantaloupe - Grapefruit - and more "


GuacamoleI always use Diana Kennedy's recipe – she is, after all, one of the world's foremost authories on the regional traditional cuisines of Mexico. I have two of her cookbooks, and I think the recipe is the same in both. Anyway, I found it online too. This certainly beats the preserved crap you can get from trader joe's.


Honey Ice Cream

101 Cookbooks: "Honey Ice Cream"


Gay or Straight? Hard to Tell - New York Times

a handy table to see where you fall.Gay or Straight? Hard to Tell - New York Times: "The result is a new gray area that is rendering gaydar - that totally unscientific sixth sense that many people rely on to tell if a man is gay or straight - as outmoded as Windows 2000. It's not that straight men look more stereotypically gay per se, or that out-of-the-closet gay men look straight. What's happening is that many men have migrated to a middle ground where the cues traditionally used to pigeonhole sexual orientation - hair, clothing, voice, body language - are more and more ambiguous. Make jokes about it. Call it what you will: 'gay vague' will do. But the poles are melting fast."


worth a giggle

It's no Making Fiends, but Savage Chickens is just silly enough.
Return of Lemons

NPR : British Sit-Coms' Winning Formula

equation 1

NPR : British Sit-Coms' Winning Formula: "Robert Siegel talks with Dr. Helen Pilcher, a molecular neurobiologist and stand-up comedian who specializes in scientific jokes, about her formula for writing hit British TV shows."

Also other places.

  • r = recognizability of main char.
  • d = main char. delusions of grandeur
  • v = verbal wittiness
  • f = amount someone falls over
  • α = success of any plot or scheme
  • ΔS = difference social status highest and lowest char.

Manjoo on stem cell research

Salon.com News | Everything you always wanted to know about the stem cell debate: "George Bush's opposition to stem cell research is intellectually and morally incoherent. Here's why."


Uncle Sam Really Wants You - New York Times

Uncle Sam Really Wants You - New York Times: "Schools with kids from wealthier families (and a high percentage of collegebound students) are not viewed as good prospects by military recruiters. It's as if those schools had posted signs at the entrances saying, 'Don't bother.' The kids in those schools are not the kids who fight America's wars."


Jamaican Jerk Rub

Everyone who's had a well-marinated jerk chicken grilled over natural lump charcoal has raved about its complex, slightly spicy, flavor that complements chicken marvelously (especially dark meat — we all know thighs are the best pieces).

Of course, when we made it at Steve & Shane's barbecue and there were a couple middle-aged gay men there, they had to make those uncomfortable sexually-tinged remarks their kind are given to, such as "I want to know which of these young chickens jerked the meat! hee hee hee." I raised my eyebrow witheringly. I think I was also holding a big knife. Anyway, on to the recipes:

  • This from GlobalGourmet is probably the closest to what we make. Fresh thyme, either from your garden or from an herb purveyor at the local farmer's market is essential. We also got these marvelous green onions from Nichols Farm that they called "Egyptian Multipliers." They had a powerful onion taste tinged with sweetness and an almost gingery quality.
  • Naturally, we consulted several other recipes such as these and more to figure out just what was essential, or not, and to discern what are sort of bastard ingredients like white onions or jalapeños.

"Jerk", it turns out, actually refers to tenderizing the meat and encouraging absorption of the marinade, specifically by poking it all over with a fork. So get yourself a fresh chicken from the market, cut it into pieces, and jerk away. I use about ¼ cup of the rub for a whole chicken. Then, I splash about that same amount or more of adark rum over it and let it marinate at least 4 hours if not up to 48. Although a gas grill is acceptable, nothing tastes quite as good as wood or real wood charcoal. Briquettes, of course, are unacceptable.

jeanna for gainesville city commission!

alpha draft material here

Potato-chorizo soup : patatas a la riojana

Basque Cookbook link to AmazonAlthough some recipes include additives such as green bell peppers or bay leaves, I prefer the simpler version found in my excellent Basque cookbook, The Basque Table by Teresa Barrenechea (many other wonderful recipes from the book are online too!). It is roughly reproduced below. Just six ingredients, and two of those are water and salt!


  • 1kg starchy potatoes such as russets (2.5 pounds)
  • 8oz dry spanish chorizo (spicy is extra-tasty)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons pimentón (smoked paprika): hungarian would do, but it's not the same thing
  • sea salt, to taste
  • water.


Remove the casing from the chorizo, and dice the onion. Peel and dcut the potatoes into one-inch pieces, preferably by cutting part-way and then angling the knife so as to break the potato.

Sauté the onion in the olive oil for about five minutes, until it is somewhat translucent. Add the chorizo and cook another minute or so.

Add the potatoes, paprika, and salt. Stir all around for a bit and then cover with water about an inch above the potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes are soft. I like to crush a few against the side of the pot to thicken the soup. Serve with good crusty bread and Spanish red wine.


From the daily show

The laughably offensive stupid football team's PR video about "how not to embarrass the team."


So we didn't get to see much

  • guy in thong; nice tattoo though.
  • WTF?!
  • The tightly choreographed dance number!

Because we didn't have any interest in actually going inside the Hilton Hotel and convention center where the new International Mister Leather was crowned (belted? chained?), and we didn't see that many of them out on the streets, but I think the official event photos kind of speak for themselves. Enjoy. I think it's interesting – though I don't understand the whole 'leather' thing – that the second runner-up in the pageant is an M.D. from Louisiana. Don't miss the moving speech[.doc] by the winner, which I've posted here because on the official site it's only available in the proprietary Word format.


Michael Egdes
IML 2005
Mr. Ramrod 2004
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Distinguished judges, leather family and friends:

Tonight, I’d like to share with you what it means to me to be a Leatherman. I dedicate these thoughts to the memory of Robert Davolt, and to all those whom we have loved and lost.

Rope, shackles, dungeon, sling.
Crack the whip or feel the sting,

Safe, consensual, sane and fun,
One for all, or all on one.

Slave’s heart, Master’s will,
Bound in service, forged in steel.

Mentor’s guidance, lover’s care,
Warmth, compassion, always there.

Tom of Finland, Gold Coast Bar,
Old Guard, Harleys, lit cigar.

Soaked in history, drenched in sweat,
Leather Archives won’t forget.

Leather souls, no longer here,
Feel their presence, always near.

Black and blue, white and red,
Leads our battles, drapes our dead.

Tailored hides—my second skin,
But my leather lives within.

Now, as our year comes to a start,
Remember, it’s about the heart!

Cover, gauntlet, harness, glove,
Headspace, heartspace, heartbeat, love.

Thank you.


Roundup of some articles

mostly from NYT.
  • Love and oxytocin again, with a mention of voles
  • Lesbian Drosophila
  • So the article is just a video game review but the headline grabbed my attention: "Game Theory: In a Realistic Battle, Errors Are Costly"
  • Part 1 of a Salon series on globalization: The World in the iPod

niftful widgets I don't see anywhere else

tea time clock and kitchen timer.
English documentation please! It appears that tea timer notifies through Growl, which is awesome.


open file formats?

from microsoft? that means Office might actually have to compete on features... and that the worst parts of the Word Doc format might die! More here, from /.


a preview of things to come

So this weekend is this thing called "international mister leather" ... something of a hypermasculinized (parody?) beauty pageant. If we're lucky we'll get some good pictures of leatherdaddies on the street. hehehe
iml preview

One week left to say "Oui"

danieldrezner.com :: Daniel W. Drezner :: One week left to say "Oui"


Security Awareness for Ma, Pa and the Corporate Clueless

Security Awareness for Ma, Pa and the Corporate Clueless: "I am coming to subscribe to the view that indeed, the WinTel hegemony is a threat to the national economic security of any organization or nation-state that relies up it."


teaching eric to shop, pt 1

5:46:58 PM eric: yup 5:47:39 PM eric: this shirt is cute 5:47:44 PM eric: the blue 1 5:48:02 PM eric: i want to blow myself right now 5:56:50 PM me: haha


Two(Four) reasons I subscribe to the New Yorker

Elizabeth Kolbert's series The Climate of Man: Higher Risk: Crystal meth, the Internet, and dangerous choices about AIDS by Michael Specter


Just How Gay Is the Right?

Just How Gay Is the Right? - New York Times: "It's a virulent animosity toward gay people that really unites the leaders of the anti-'activist' judiciary crusade, not any intellectually coherent legal theory (they're for judicial activism when it might benefit them in Florida)."

botanical garden

Lots of pictures from yesterday's adventure.

sucks for them!

While I was in the shower my neighbors apparently had to jump-start one of their cars... and didn't exercise appropriate caution or know what they were doing.
exploded cars

Oops. Oh, the tall boy in the picture is the one whom I don't know if he's gay or just scrawny.


I am equally puzzled.

What's Up, Pussycat? Whoa! - New York Times: "'For whatever reason, these cats are cats many people would like to have,' she said. 'There is some sort of wow factor to the 35-pound cat in your Manhattan apartment.'"


Yay, the AC is fixed

The repairman shared that he was glad he was called, and that some shoddy work had clearly been done previously by "some o' [my landlord] Goli's ay-rabs."

I'm not sure I'd ever heard anyone say ay-rab in seriousness before. But now I have cold air.

Oxytocin (what Scott's studying this summer)

This Is Your Brain on Motherhood - New York Times: "Oxytocin, produced by mammals in labor and breast-feeding, has been linked to the ability to learn in lab animals."

For Gay Men, an Attraction to a Different Kind of Scent - New York Times

For Gay Men, an Attraction to a Different Kind of Scent - New York Times: "Dr. Savic said that she had also studied gay women, but that the data were 'somewhat complicated' and not yet ready for publication."


silliness on car talk

"NPR is supported by member stations and by the autographed photos of Nina Totenberg we sell on the steps of the Supreme Court." If only!



  1. Dates and bacon with calvados, shallots, and garlic; béchamel with bianco sardo sharp sheep cheese
  2. Paprikás – paprika-sour cream sauce, caremalized onion with pimentón smoked paprika
  3. Caribbean – jerk sauce, tomato, avocado, chipotle jack
  4. Spinach - tomato - feta, marinara
  5. Pesto, tomato, fresh mozzarella
  6. Blue – cabrales, cashel, shropshire, mountain gorgonzola; sautéed shallot and garlic
  7. Apple mustard, sliced apples, and Westphalian ham
  8. TBD

pr(pass game theory final) is very low.

Rachel said it best: "I'm not sure what class Ethan thinks this test is the final for, but it's not the one I was in this semester."


The Pseudoscience of Intelligent Design

The Pseudoscience of Intelligent Design || kuro5hin.org: yay for Bayes' Rule!: "
Pr(Fine-Tuned Universe | Intelligent Design & Fine-Tuned Universe) = 
Pr(Fine-Tuned Universe | Chance & Fine-Tuned Universe) = 1

This is to say that since we are here we must live in a universe fine-tuned to our existence regardless of whether that universe was created by an intelligent designer or by random chance. Therefore, the fine-tuned universe argument does not, in the final analysis, promote either intelligent design or chance (Sober)."


Bitch. Ph.D.: I LOVE THIS GIRL: "Read this, and then, if necessary, re-think that idea that women--including 13-year old girls in foster care--can't be trusted to think through the realities of abortion on their own. Better than some goddamn bureaucrat at the DCF or a judge who isn't the one carrying the pregnancy."

Salon.com News | The atheist

Salon.com News | The atheist (interview with richard dawkins)
fuck off, intelligent designers

Verve Remixed 3

Album Cover
Definitely the best yet in my opinion!


I love bluefly

more shoes!


A silly story from last night

One of Hilary's friends at her party was showing off baby pictures on his phone. Suddenly, I received a text message and started replying to it. He noticed, and asked, "Do you have baby pictures on your phone too?"

"No. I don't have any babies."

"Well what have you been wasting your time doing? What have you been doing with an important part of your anatomy? Your biological duty?" he pressed on.

"Um, boys?"

He started laughing, and Martin was cracking up. It was great.

old rft article about black bear; panckes next saturday!

riverfronttimes.com | The Anarchists' Cookbook | 2001-03-07

Next saturday!

The third annual Confluence all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast will feature a large variety of delicious all-natural organic pancakes including multigrain, whole grain, and vegan pancakes. Also included are a variety of scrumptious fruit toppings, some of which are made from local handpicked fruits including strawberry jam. confluence volunteers and Black Bear bakers will serve up the yummy pancakes. Pure maple syrup and real butter!

Frank Rich, pretty good as usual

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: A High-Tech Lynching in Prime Time: "As Bill Maher summed it up for Jay Leno on the 'Tonight' show last week: ' 'Activist judges' is a code word for gay.'"


OU Kosher | (for scott)

OU Kosher | What's New for Passover 2005 (5765): "The OU position remains that extra virgin olive oil can be used without special supervision for Pesach. In addition, Bartenura, Carmel, Gefen, Mishpacha and Season olive oil will be available with an OU-P label. Della Rosa grapeseed oil will again be available this year. This last product was made in Europe with the cooperation of various other supervisions. Mother’s olive oil pan coating spray, Mishpacha olive oil spray and Manischewitz buttery safflower cooking spray, olive oil spray and olive oil garlic cooking sprays will also be available. Prepared olives with an OU-P will be available from Gefen, Osem, Kvuzat Yavne, Gilboa and Mishpacha."


NYT considers the Man Date

(from NYT) "Anyone who finds a date with a potential romantic partner to be a minefield of unspoken rules should consider the man date, a rendezvous between two straight men that is even more socially perilous." Another gem: "Other men say dinners may be all right, but never brunch, although a post-hangover meal taking place during brunch hours is O.K."


god damn that's cool

Slashdot | Google Adds Satellite Imagery to Maps (thanks to Scott for pointing it out to me first)


ha, haha, hahaha

CNN.com - Boy Scout official charged in child porn case biiiiiig fuckin' surprise.


Don't be her.

image of my bathroom trash can, full, and a feminine product wrapper next to itDon't be so lazy that you can't empty the bathroom trash, and then leave your fucking tampon wrapper on the floor next to it. That's just rude.

Amusing coincidence, interesting subject

The New York Times > Health > Mental Health & Behavior > At War With Their Bodies, They Seek to Sever Limbs a couple weeks after an episode of South Park "dealt with" elective surgery (specifically sex reassignment surgery, but also "negroplasty" and "dolphinoplasty").
"The Hippocratic oath says first do your patients no harm," he said in the film "Whole." But maybe the real harm, he said, is to refuse to treat such a patient, "leaving him in a state of permanent mental torment," when all it would take for him "to live a satisfied and happy life" would be to amputate.
...or turn him into a dolphin.


Yay, done with ethan's midterm

Just sent it to him. I had some fun with it (Chicken featured Redneck 1 and Redneck 2; the Japan question featured Fukui and Shinichiro from Iron Chef) and will post here eventually




so we've decided

that we actually want to get a pair of rings. We went to some jewellers on Wabash today and discovered our sizes (7.5 and 7.75) and looked at a few things. We don't have the time, knowledge, or money to select nice diamonds for a tension setting, but we agree that titanium is the metal of choice because it is both durable and exceptionally light. An inlay is a nice touch; understated without being gaudy. Platinum would be nice, but we don't need it and would rather go out to dinner a few times than spend the extra money on ice.

We've basically decided that an oblique 1–2mm band of white gold in a 6mm ring is ideal. The decision is now largely between a flat and a domed outer surface (note that yellow gold is pictured; we'd go with white). We'll head back to Wabash someday this week to see how the shape difference feels.



We varied (doubled, tweaked) this recipe for oatmeal cookies.

Salon.com News | Now serving no trans fat!

Salon.com News | Now serving no trans fat!: "Health advocates say the war on trans fat has become little more than a marketing opportunity for the major food companies to continue serving junk food with a healthy conscience. Meanwhile, with its new guidelines about avoiding trans fat, the USDA can appear to be doing the healthy thing without really causing the food companies to change their fatty ways."

I want a Mac Mini just to put in one of these.. and, well, to have.

SFBags - WaterField Designs - Mac mini Case

For Steve & Shane: Cacao

cocoa nibs, 7oz
cocoa beans, raw, whole dried


New nickel

I like the new nickel design.

new nickel design


The New Yorker: The Critics: Musical Events

The New Yorker: The Critics: Musical Events

Saw this in print. Then it was on /. with the link.

Humorous formal theory article

One of the readings for Guillermo's class this week is by some theorists who obviously have a sense of humor. I appreciate it.. Below, they talk about the median voter result (and its origins in Hotelling and Smithies.

The firms might be hot-dog vendors with wheeled carts selling identical hot-dogs at identical prices along a beach. In the case of two vendors, the predicction of Hotelling and Mithies was that the vendors locate cheek-by-jowl at the median sunbather. No other configuration can be an equilibrium.... To compare the situation being analyzed to political interaction we need to spell out the assumptions underlying the two-vendor hot-dog game. (1) Vendors, and hot-dogs, are identical save for their positions along the boardwalk. People choose by minimizing the walk from beach blanket to wiener wagon. (2) Movement is free, and it is clear what movement means: the physical location of the cart changes along the single dimension of the beach. No frauds, such as creating mirages to make one cart seem closer, are possible..... (3) The distribution of hungry sunbathers is exogenous, and does not change in response to movements or fixed locations of hot-dog vendors.. (One might easily imagine a situation where this is not the case: 'where will we put our beach blanket? Oh, let us go bover beside that wurst-monger!' the result might well be two vendors, separated by a very considerable distance, each surrounded by a cluster of obese but sated sunbathers on an otherwise empty beach.... The frankfurter purchase is a one-shot deal. Once we have recieved the hot-dog and examined it, we pay for it, assuming the vendor will not snatch the steaming tube steak and abscond. But all these problems of reneging and ex post recontracting exist for politicians.

Oh, and footnote 10: "This is not to say that some politicans are not hot dogs."

CoffeeGeek rant

CoffeeGeek - So what the heck is wrong...

Yeah it's from almost a month ago, but CG isn't updated enough to check more frequently.

I didn't watch the oscars,

Because I knew something like this article from salon would both fill me in and reaffirm my decision to do statistics instead.


more on the animated gay-marriage role models

An excellent cartoon in the 14&21 Feb New Yorker (scan tomorrow hopefully) shows SpongeBob and his boyfriend (Patrick?) checking the mail: "It's a very sweet note from Batman and Robin"

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | NZ unveils Stonehenge replica

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | NZ unveils Stonehenge replica

6 May:




The New York Times > National > Trying to Strengthen an 'I Do' With a More Binding Legal Tie

Haha, I was going to blog this earlier, and then Jon Stewart made extra fun of it on the Daily Show too. Sooooo dumb.

Dumb dog names

The New York Times > Sports > Other Sports > Westminster Dog Show: Old Pros Rise to Top of Their Groups at Dog Show

Who names their dog "Wysiwyg's Hullabaloo" or "I'll Go On Lovin U"?! At least, according to the article, last year's winner was named a nice, normal Josh. Fame, Fortune, and Glory aren't too bad; and Coco is respectable. But who the fuck names their dog "Cin-Don Jan'l McShane"?


I love Scott & Scott loves me

Tulips from Scott

just in case anyone was confused as to who was the better boyfriend... it's him.

Latest bin Laden videotape Wishes America 'A Crappy Valentine's Day'

from the Onion.


Premier mariage gay dans la guerilla philippine

gay marriage in the phillipines
Some things just don't make the Times...

Salon.com | More gay cartoon characters revealed!

Salon.com | More gay cartoon characters revealed!

His sociability proved fortuitous. Snagglepuss and Huckleberry soon became confidants of other prominent cartoon characters struggling with their homosexuality. And what started as an informal support group slowly morphed into a political action network.

"During the mid-'70s, the public became more aware of just how many celebrities were gay," explains Snagglepuss, turning serious. "Well, that included us, and people began speculating about cartoons the same way they did about human actors."

"The ironic thing is, they were wrong about one of the first gay icons," he adds. "There was always a lot of talk about Velma, but she's strictly hetero."

fits like a...

not much wiggle room

9:53:30 Jon: Yeah I should probably just get another waterfield - how snug is the just regular sleevecase in the horizontal direction on the 15 PB?
9:53:47 Me: you can feel it slide in.
9:54:06 Jon: well that is a nice quality HAHA
9:54:54 wustlmike: figured you'd like that oblique description.
9:55:01 Jon: haha uh-huh
9:55:09 Jon: But i mean on top and bottom : P
9:57:09 wustlmike: I can take some pictures if you like..
9:57:18 Jon: Hmmm if you would
9:57:22 wustlmike: it's a very good fit. I mean it's designed to fit it exactly
9:57:26 Jon: Yeah
9:57:28 Jon: Well
9:57:34 wustlmike: alright in a little bit.
9:57:36 Jon: See on my vert there is some play in the top.
9:57:45 Jon: No big rush, I just need it to ship before nl
9:58:10 wustlmike: you could stick a finger in the top flap loop.. maybe two
9:58:55 Jon: But it stays at that does not try and accommodate anything bigger?
9:59:36 Jon: See mine is a little looser definitely two if not three.
9:59:42 Jon: and that is just sitting in there.


valentine's weekend restaurant options



Same-Sex Couples Must Be Allowed To Marry In New York, Court Rules

In today’s ruling, Justice Ling-Cohan said... “Similar to opposite-sex couples, same-sex couples are entitled to the same fundamental right to follow their hearts and publicly commit to a lifetime partnership with the person of their choosing. The recognition that this fundamental right applies equally to same-sex couples cannot legitimately be said to harm anyone.”

I think Lambda Legal is like Christy's arch-nemesis group.

NPR : An Argument Against Spokane's Planned Gay District

NPR : An Argument Against Spokane's Planned Gay District


lentil soup

It's winter, which means time to explore the universe of soups.

  • 1-2 cups lentils (brown, green, french green, doesn't matter.. vary the texture and taste each time!)
  • onion
  • carrot
  • celery
  • sage and rosemary (fresh or dried)

Combine all ingredients (including herbs, if dried) and cover with about two inches of water. Simmer for an hour or so. Add sea salt and pepper to taste, and fresh herbs at this point. Serve with crusty bread and a drizzle of olive oil.

Optionally, throw in a rind of parmigiano reggiano while simmering.


late breaking news

Jenny just informed me that her grandmother died yesterday. I offered my condolences, of course... but this means for me that class tomorrow morning is just me & Itai.


One approach to comparative politics

Could it be that governments have always existed? The Hebrew bible comes close to providing an answer with the story of Saul. According to this story,members of the twelve tribes of Israel, each living under "his grape tree and fig tree" [read: state of nature] came to Samuel asking him to "make us a king" [read: constitute a government] so they would be as secure as "other nations." The old Hebrew prophet agreed to met his people's demand but not before he explained to them the nature of the trade-off associated with their request. With the benefit of the security they wished to obtain, so he argued, there would be a real cost to be paid in terms of their personal freedom.

Gideon Doron and Itai Sened (2001), Political Bargaining, p. 56

The next page gives the utility function for every agent i∈N from any σ∈σ to respect the law:

ui(σ) = ∑j≠ibiσi–ciσi



on open formats

Most interesting in the comments on this blurb, a similar experience to my managing bibliographic data between Word users (Ryan and Christy) and Jim's WordPerfect.

You must be using extremely simple documents... basically plain text. My supervisor and his other grad students use different versions of Word (I'm not sure which one), but all the the figure positions, get screwed up, equations get put everywhere, and it's a general mess. I manage to maintain compatibily with both of those guys by not using Word but OpenOffice instead. It's actually this lack of compatibility between Word versions that got one of the other grad students to switch to OpenOffice, which was better at handling different versions of Word documents than Word itself.



When I grow up

I want to live in a pineapple at the ocean floor. With my boyfriend.


my ipod shuffle shipped today!

spring classes: for scott

Theories of Individual and Collective Choice Behavior I

aka Game Theory, with Ethan. My cohort, minus Steve, plus Rachel the Political Economy masters student. Lots of problem sets because that's the only way to learn game theory apparently. I'll appreciate it when it's done.

Quantitative Political Methodology I

with David Park. This is the class that somehow went from 3 hours a week to 5. Again, all of us minus Steve. Lots of problem sets. Apparently the first time David taught this one student said he stared at a midterm for no less than 5 hours not knowing where to begin. David's teaching style is taking some getting used to. It's not that we don't understand probability; everything we've done so far is review; but his roundabout presentation and random introduction of strange examples... hard to follow sometimes.

Comparative Party Politics

with Guillermo. Probably the most required work I'll have; research paper, discussant twice, and 3 response papers. And I'm interested in a lot of the stuff we'll be talking about.

Approaches to Comparative Politics

And... It's Jenny and me and Itai. I think we're actually going to just have "class" in his office. Three times just in the first class we got from him, "we are top twenty department in top ten university. because we are not placing our students well enough." This is after he poked around the room and like looked under chairs for how to get the overhead screen down. Finally I was like, "what are you looking for?"


ummm... ok.

Ipod World

my new favorite pens!

Staedtler Triplus Fineliner
pen set image

99¢ each! But they're not permanent like lumocolor, or my all time favorite sakura pigma micron 01.
pigma micron


Are you a tool?

Would you like an opportunity to serve on the Washington University Board of Trustees as a Graduate Student Representative for academic year 2005-2006?
translation: Are you a tool?
I can see being on a committee, or in the grad student association or whatever, but really, is anyone on the BoT going to give a fuck what any grad student has to say? I think not.


and we all knew i'd buy both of these

I'm not getting one, but it's super cute.

Mac Mini

I think and hope that it's the right move for apple: so many millions of people love their iPods, but are put off by the price of a Mac.