Friday, April 28, 2006


Last night I invited AS over for the wonderful pork cutlets. I was frazzled from work and functioning erratically, but finally I pulled it together and we ate. AS suggested we walk the dog and then she would let me get back to the lab. We were walking toward the tennis courts where I thought Mac might be able to run around a little when we heard a screech. No crash ended it, and we sighed. "That's a terrible intersection," I said. About ten seconds later, we heard another crash, this one followed by a crash. We dithered about going to the accident scene, but AS had her phone with her and wanted to see if anyone had called the police. One car was still in the intersection, smashed, and another was by the side of the road, also banged up. A golden retriever was running around amongst the guys who had been playing basketball on the nearby court. The guys, who I've see playing at night before, are just edgy enough that I was surprised to see them with a golden retriever. Moments later I realized that it was AR's dog, and it was AR and ML who had been in the smashed up car. AR and ML were in shock and a bit roughed up but had no major injuries. Both airbags had deployed, and the passenger one had broken the front window. We hung out with them as things got sorted out (the other car had a stop and will probably be found at fault; a police report was made; paramedics cleared our heroes and, adorably, AR's dog). I went home to get my car so we could transfer everything from AR's car to mine when hers was towed away. Eventually I dropped everyone off and headed to the lab. Now I'm finally home. I have AR's dog so AR can easily stay at ML's for the night. This was not the evening I expected; I'm sure that's only a fraction as true for me as it is for AR and ML.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Frozen Chosen

Another wonderful New Yorker article covered the effects on the Episcopalian Church of ordaining a gay priest against the background of the movement of the Episcopalian population center toward the global south. It includes this:
Bill Clinton recently kidded his Episcopal predecessor George H. W. Bush for being one of the "frozen chosen;"
and ends with a PR person's mournful assessment of the current state of the church:
"Join us in a diplomatically intricate, ethically ambiguous, and sometimes publicly humiliating tightrope walk toward Jesus."

Reason #40359 that I love the New Yorker:

I don't know how long this article will remain available online, but here's a link to it as of this posting. It's about "The science of driving directions," and it's better than crack. An exerpt:
Navteq has about six hundred field researchers and offices in twenty-three countries. There are nine field researchers in the New York metropolitan area. One morning this fall, I went out with a pair of them, Chris Arcari and Shovie Singh. They picked me up on Forty-second Street, in a white S.U.V., after making that unextraordinary left off Broadway. “We’re going to be working over by LaGuardia Airport,” Arcari said. “One of the items we need to check out is some street names. They’ve put up new signs. Then we’ll proceed to an area that we have targeted.” Arcari, who is thirty-seven and was brought up on Long Island, was the senior member of the team, and he tended to speak in the formal, euphemistic manner of a police officer testifying in court. He’d been with Navteq for ten years. Singh, a native of Trinidad who grew up in Queens, was a new hire. He’d got hooked on geography after taking some classes in the subject in college.
GETTING THERE, by NICK PAUMGARTEN, Issue of 2006-04-24

Sunday, April 23, 2006

worst pickup line ever

"I noticed you at the burial."

i was so flattered.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Pork cutlets

For the first time in many years, I made one of my favorite Cooks' Illustrated recipes: Breaded Pork Cutlets. It's simple: cut a 1-lb pork tenderloin in 6 pieces, pound till 1/2" thick, dredge in flour, then egg, then soft fresh bread crumbs. Fry. It was fantastic. I'm scared of meat cuts; the non meat parts (like the 'silver') ick me out. But I conquered my fear. Fear me, I am queen of pork cutlets.

CO2 vent

Three ski patrollers died at Mammoth this past Thursday: two fell into a geothermal vent filled with CO2 and the third was trying to rescue them. I was looking at stories and photos. It's sad, and it makes you wonder if the sport is worth it. Probably if you asked these guys before they died, they'd say yes.

One of the pictures was strange to me, because it suggests that this was a heavily skied area. Yikes. It's possible that all those tracks were made after the accident, but given the number and the variety of approach and departure directions, I don't think so.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Mule Racing, not Stephen Hawking

The day after I see Stephen Hawking speak, you might expect a blog entry to be about him. Alternately, you might expect it would at least be about the uptalking trixie who was sitting behind me butchering the New Yorker short story she was trying to tell her date about.

No, it's about mule racing. If I had all the money in the world, I would fly to Winnemucca, NV June 2nd to see the clones race the hybrids. It's all there.

April 4, 2006 — The first-ever mule clones, Idaho Gem and Idaho Star, will race at an event scheduled for early June in Winnemucca, Nevada, the University of Idaho has told Discovery News.

The race, in which the mule clones will race against non-cloned mules and possibly each other, will mark the first time that clones of any species have competed in an athletic event.

"From a scientific standpoint, their racing activities are important because it will provide further evidence of their health and vitality, and it will demonstrate that they are able to perform their intended activity, that is, racing," said UI's Dirk Vanderwall, who led the mule cloning project and is an assistant professor of animal and veterinary science.

The researchers created a third mule clone, Utah Pioneer, but he is more skittish than Gem and Star and will sit out this race...

According to Vanderwall, the American Mule Racing Association has registered and sanctioned the racing of the mule clones. The Jockey Club and the American Quarter Horse Association, which handle horse racing, have passed regulations that prohibit clones from being registered, which effectively prevents horse clones from being used as breeders or competitors.

Dressage, show jumping and endurance riding, however, do not require registration. That opens the door for cloned horse competitors.

Recently, the Texas company ViaGen Inc. announced that it had cloned two champion cutting horses and that it hoped to clone more horses soon. Before that announcement, four documented horse clones were known to exist...

Brothers Idaho Gem and Idaho Star currently are in California training for their competitive debut.

Maybe I'll look them up!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Tyler Durden

I saw Fight Club again tonight for the first in a very long time. I remembered a wonderful coat that Tyler Durden wore. And now I've got screen grabs. It's actually less wonderful that I remember, but I'm a lot more sophisticated in the fun fur department now.