Apparently, Moldova- the land of my ancestors- was once home to the most enlightened civilization on earth. Granted, this was about 7,000 years ago, before the invention of writing, or the discovery of the wheel, but I’m still proud.
1. jetBlue is having a sweet sale. Check it out. And since they lowered the price for a flight I’ll be on, they honored the lower fare and gave me a flight credit! Honestly, I love jetBlue so deeply and truly, I should get paid to shill for them.
2. My dear friend Szcz started a tumbelog. She’s an amazing artist and she’s going to be posting original collages. So follow her.
The sense of smell is ancient. It doesn’t go through the thalamus- a relatively newer part of the brain- where other senses are processed. Instead, smell is processed in its own area, close to the emotional centers of the brain. That’s why smells can elicit memories and emotions so quickly and powerfully.
And who amongst us book lovers doesn’t have a strong association with that old-book smell? It smells like the attic where you came across your mom’s journal; or the used-bookstore where you’d hang out after school; it smells like the books you pulled out of the stacks, deep under the library, during late-nights at undergrad.
(I think it’s amazing how deep the book smell transcends. I even have an association with the smell of the bathroom in the Sea Cliff Children’s Library. I think it’s a combination of the smell of the soap and the coolness of the speckled blue-green floor tiles.)
Now, scientists have found a way to analyze the volatile compounds wafting out of old books and into the air (actually, mass spectrometry isn’t all that new); a pretty cool combination of books and science.
Tasty Dahl fusion food: 2 1/2 c. dahl veggie broth + mushroom broth + water to equal 5 c. 1/2 onion 2 carrots 3 cloves garlic random spices form the cupboard including cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, pepper spinach 1 lemon sour cream cilantro Saute onion and carrots with olive oil until soft. Add garlic until aromatic. Put everything (through spices) in a slow cooker. Cook until lentils are the consistency of refried beans. You may need more water. Right before serving, add spinach and cook until wilted. Squeeze lemon in. Serve over rice or with bread. Put sour cream and cilantro on top. Open mouth, insert food.
The wines need to be versatile, to complement a wide assortment of dishes, including the idiosyncratic variations that every family knows and loves. They must be modest but confident wines that assert their flavors in harmony with the food rather than trying to dominate the proceedings. And they must be modestly priced. This, of course, assumes that like mine, your Thanksgiving will be an exuberant extended-family gathering. For my family feast, I buy a white and a red by the case, and everybody helps themselves, pouring into glassware that we are none too picky about.
My cousin Eric writes the wine reviews for the New York TImes. Besides going in halfsies with my dad for the turkey, Eric’s job is to bring the wine for our raucous 50-person feast. That means we get the NYT taste-testing samples. Not a bad deal.
Art and music are good for your brain. Who knew? Apparently not schools, which consistently cut funding for arts education when budgets get tight. Because you can’t measure art and music skills on a standardized test, schools figure teaching the subjects is pointless. But evidence shows that IQ and other cognitive skills actually increase when people are involved in the process of making art.
¾ c. white flour ¾ c. whole wheat flour 1 c. rolled oats ¼ tsp. salt ½ tsp. baking soda* 1½ tsp. baking powder* ¾ c. brown sugar 2 Tbs. molasses 2 eggs 8 tbs. (½ c.) butter, melted 2 tsp vanilla ½ tsp. each cinnamon, nutmeg, or whatever other spice you’re feeling ½ c. buttermilk 1 c. dried (sour or regular) cherries
Preheat oven to 375. Grease a muffin tin. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, and wet ingredients in another, smaller bowl. Combine. Stir. Bake 15 -20 minutes.
* Warning: High-altitude baking in effect. Do not try this at sea level. At sea level, use about twice the amount of levening- you know, to compensate for that crazy thing called atmospheric pressure.
I love when people use Leviticus to point out the Bible’s absolute nuttiness. See also- guy with terribly ironic Leviticus tattoo, who apparently didn’t read far enough in the book to find out that tattoos are also an abomination in the eyes of god.
Point is, god doesn’t want people to have fun. He certainly doesn’t want people to have rights. He told the Israelites to wipe out the Caananites, because lobster is bad, but genocide is a-ok.
Who reads this shit? Further, who takes it literally?
Civil rights are not a biblical matter. They’re not even a states’ rights matter. Get gay marriage off the ballot and into an amendment already.
It’s still Guy Fawke’s Night on the west coast. Back at Reed we celebrated by dragging an effigy all around the Quad, tied to the back a classic VW Bug, and then burning the effigy in a bon fire, while Johnny Cash played and fireworks went off.