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.: May 2007 --> May 2007

May 2007

» Mark Bittman: Steak Frites: Seeking the Best of a Classic. We ate at Relais de L'Entrecôte [review], a meat restaurant in Geneva, on the recommendation of one of our hosts. We had no idea what we were in for, and were surprised when the waitress, approaching our table, asked only what we would like to drink and how we would like our steak done. It was delicious: sliced, sauced steak with huge pile of frites, and then when we were done...seconds!  [ 05.01.07 ]

» 10 Steps into the Spanish-Speaking Blogosphere.  [ 05.02.07 ]

» Neat. Magicbike is a bicycle modified to provide wireless Internet access wherever it is parked or ridden.

A Magicbike hotspot operates like standard hotspots, able to serve up to 250 users in a radius of 30 meters indoors and 100 meters outdoors.... A group of bikes can repeat and/or bridge the signal down a chain of wireless bikes. Meaning, a bicycle gang can snake into subways stations or across hilltops to provide Internet connectivity to (fringe but) vital communities and spaces ignored by the traditional telecommunications industry. A grassroots bottom-up wireless infrastructure can be formed and pedaled to any place accessible by bicycle. (emphasis mine)

Think that's cool? Check out this proposed wifi rickshaw from 2003. (Thanks, Rory!) / (1) Comments / [ 05.02.07 ]

» Tonight (May 2) is Baskin Robbins 31-cent scoop night from from 5 pm to 10 pm. (via jh)  [ 05.02.07 ]

» Just One More Book is a blog that publishes 3 podcasts a week on selected children's books. If you have children or just love children't books, it looks like an intriguing program:

Episodes range in length from 5 to 35 minutes and can be played directly from our web page or downloaded to an iPod for listening on the go. Each episode is an informal discussion of one of our family’s favourite children’s books, an interview with an author, illustrator or other kidlit enthusiast, a literacy related discussion or an audio review submitted by a JOMB listener.

/ (1) Comments / [ 05.03.07 ]

» A Little Weekend Reading: The entertainment industry is known for its sleaziness, but I was genuinely shocked to read this expose on the Writer's Guild of America West (whom I have always thought of as the good guys). A class action suit charges that the Guild collects foreign monies for both members and non-members, diverts a 92.5% cut to Hollywood producers, studios, and itself, and then either refuses to track down the authors, or stonewalls them (and their widows!) for months before releasing the rest of the money. And that's just the start. In all, it's a compelling argument for completely avoiding the Hollywood establishment altogether. Fortunately, advances in consumer electronics and the Internet have now made that an actual possibility. (via dm)  [ 05.04.07 ]

» Dollar a Day. Even the poorest of the poor manage to find money for extras, but they are hobbled in their efforts to better themselves by red tape. A dollar a day, by the way, is measured in US purchasing power. / (4) Comments / [ 05.04.07 ]

» Good God. Have you seen the aerial photographs of Greensburg, Kansas following the tornados there? Unbelievable. The accompanying story is grim: Greensburg is gone; its future, unknown.

The wind that took Greensburg away came in a wedge tornado nearly a mile and a half wide. Ninety-five percent of Greensburg took off with it.
Greensburg has at least eight dead so far. A ninth person was killed in Stafford County. As is usual when a wedge tornado rolls through wooden dwellings, some of the dead were found some distance from the torn foundations of their homes. [...]
Some townspeople survived by huddling in bathtubs, or in cold convenience store coolers, or by lying flat on the floorboards of their cars, or by crouching in musty-smelling basements. One survivor, Julie Harshey, hung on to her doorknob as the wind took her off her feet; she watched dishes fly out of her cupboards.

The American Red Cross is on the scene. You can donate to their National Disaster Relief Fund online or by mailing a check to American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. (via br)

Update: A reader asks: "Do you know of anyone who is collecting used clothing for the people of Greensburg?" If you know the answer, please leave the information in comments. Thanks. / (14) Comments / [ 05.06.07 ]

» Oregon State University: The History of the US Minimum Wage, in graphs. Very interesting. (via dm)  [ 05.07.07 ]

» Archaeologists have found King Herod's tomb. I can't wait to see inside. / (1) Comments / [ 05.07.07 ]

» Brad DeLong asks the question I've been asking for the last 8 years: What the hell has the US press been doing during the Bush presidency? As I've said here before, I really think the press has played a significant role in contributing to the mess we're in, by their consistent (and lazy) under-reporting of world and national events. Maybe nothing would be different today if they had done their jobs, but at least we would have been clear about what was happening as it transpired.

And as Brad very rightly points out, even now the press really is making excuses more than it's taking responsibility. / (2) Comments / [ 05.08.07 ]

» Whole Wheat Mushroom PizzaI'm still tweaking the website, but I'd like to introduce my latest project: The (Organic) Thrifty Food Plan Challenge Eating Organic on a Food Stamp Budget. (I've been persuaded that the second one is a snappier name.)

We eat well. Maybe a little too well, judging from our waistlines. And we eat pretty inexpensively, too. So the recent spate of publicity about Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski's committment to eat food totalling only $21 for one week (the amount an average Oregon food stamp recipient receives) caught my attention.

Now, the Governor's stunt is a little misleading: no one expects The government doesn't expect food stamp recipients to eat on only $21 a week (though I'm sure some people try). The USDA's Thrifty Food Plan [pdf] (from which food stamp allotments are derived) is spartan enough, but the most recent figures provide an adult male between the ages of 20 and 50 years of age with $35.40 a week for food—part of which will be provided by food stamps, and part by the individual, depending on their income. Regardless, the Governor's point is well taken. It's not a lot of money to spend on a week's worth of food.

I pride myself on my thrifty shopping habits. I've also been fortunate in these last few years to be able to afford to buy organic and locally grown fresh food most of the time. So I've decided to take the Governor's challenge a step further. I'd like to see if I can feed the two of us for one month on a "Thrifty Food Plan" budget using organic food. My budget: 74.00/week or 320.80/month, the USDA "Thrifty" standard for a family of 2 adults, aged 20-50 years.

I just completed my first week. I spent more than I thought I would, but in general, I think it's going pretty well. You can read today's entry, how I'm accounting for individual items, my Sunday's week-end summary, or just start at the beginning and read from there. / (3) Comments / [ 05.08.07 ]

» Online Education Database: Research Beyond Google: 119 Authoritative, Invisible, and Comprehensive Resources. (via wl)  [ 05.09.07 ]

» Cultivating your home: Permaculture zones for getting things done. An Australian permaculture expert applies the "zone" principle to work and life. "Zone 1 can only be as big as your reach and attention. [...] When there is some task you want to remember to do, or get motivation to start, just put it in zone 1 – places your hands and eyes naturally reach – and tasks will seem to just ‘complete themselves’ for you. [...] Zone one is precious; so don’t waste it on storage." / (2) Comments / [ 05.10.07 ]

» For those of you wondering how it's going on my limited food budget, for Week 1, I came in $3.20 under budget.  [ 05.11.07 ]

» In a nice piece of serendipity, Peacockharpy is doing her own experiment in feeding her family this month: Food is a munition of war.

I've always been interested in historical cookery, particularly because I feel it is a sort of time travel -- with some limitations, you can eat the same foods that the Romans did, or the medieval French, or the Elizabethan English. My husband has done World War II re-enactment, and I've joined him on occasion for a USO dance. So perhaps it's not surprising that when I said, "I think... it might be an interesting experiment to try and live on World War II rationing rules for a month," he didn't say, "Are you crazy?" but instead replied, "Hey, that does sound interesting. Let's do it."

She's right. One of the reasons I love cooking from other cultures—or even from other parts of my own country—is that I feel I'm engaging in that culture in an intimate way when I do. What people eat tells you so much about their everyday lives: what the climate is like, what is available in their area, how they spend their time, and then, over time, how those factors shape how they think about food. Food, for me, is one way to understand other people's lives.

She's using the rations laid out in a collection of U.K. wartime rationing recipes and plans to use some UK wartime recipes. What an absolutely fascinating project. / (2) Comments / [ 05.14.07 ]

» It's not yet Memorial Day, but the summer reading lists are starting to appear.

For adults:

For children:

For everyone:

If you don't already have one, now is a great time to get a library card. If you have one, now is a great time to put it in your wallet.  [ 05.16.07 ]

» When we first moved here, my husband and I found a review that described "San Francisco's only Istrian restaurant". We've spent the intervening time asking ourselves, repeatedly, "Where the heck is Istria?" After years of waiting, today the answer is revealed. (thanks, jjg) / (1) Comments / [ 05.17.07 ]

» How to Make an Herb Spiral.

The herb spiral is a permaculture gardening method that uses nature to its full potential. Gravity allows the water to seep through the levels meaning that the plants at the top get full drainage while the ones at the bottom may reside in a simple bog. It also gives your herbs shady spots with varying degrees. The herbs that need full-sun can be grown in those positions while more shade loving plants can be located on the opposite side.

What a great idea—and pretty. If I had a backyard, I'd definitely consider building one of these. (via gw) / (2) Comments / [ 05.18.07 ]

» One of my favorite children's authors, Lloyd Alexander, died yesterday. / (5) Comments / [ 05.18.07 ]

» Introduction to Permaculture.

/ (2) Comments / [ 05.21.07 ]

» Have you seen this already? It's a list of note-taking software, arranged by type ("Quick Public Pages", "Basic Note Taking") with quick summaries of each. 50 Ways to Take Notes. / (1) Comments / [ 05.23.07 ]

» Trust me on this one: this is your must-see link of the day. He seems to be going for the just-went-on-a-growth-spurt-and-maybe-a-little-bit-foofy-British-schoolboy-look. Don't you wonder what it costs? (via br) / (8) Comments / [ 05.24.07 ]

» Not technically a summer reading list, but I'm categorizing it as such anyway. The Greenopia guide to the best green reads is a full summer's reading for those of you with an interest in this subject.  [ 05.25.07 ]

» Karen Hess, a "kind but combative" food historian died last week. Apparently, her book The Taste of America doesn't just chronicle food history—it skewers the popular chefs of the day, including my beloved Julia Child. "She always believed that history was written in our daily lives, not just in battles won and court cases, which was how traditional historians had always written things." John Martin Taylor, cookbook author.  [ 05.28.07 ]

» Two book lists from NPR: Summer Books from Utah's Remote Librarian and Under the Radar: Books Not to Miss.  [ 05.29.07 ]

» NPR: What to Read This Summer. Suggestions from Salon book critic Laura Miller, blogger Maud Newton, and author ZZ Packer.  [ 05.30.07 ]

» The History of Poisoning Timeline from ancient times to the 20th century. (via br)  [ 05.30.07 ]

» More Summer Reading:

 [ 05.31.07 ]



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