“I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…
Carl Sagan, The Demon Haunted World
Such a prophetic statement. We cling to Internet echo chambers rather than crystals and horoscopes, but otherwise, this is exactly what America is like in 2016.
Got a couple of nice pieces of chuck eye roast this morning at Wegmans’. When looking up suggestions on how to prepare this unfamiliar cut of meat, one recipe recommended seasoning the meat with sumac and rosemary. We have a Penzeys spice merchant not far away, and they sell a middle eastern spice blend called Zatar (also spelled Za’atar), of which I happened to have a small jar in my spice cupboard. It contains sumac, which is dark red in color and sort of lemony, thyme, white sesame seeds, and salt. I figured okay, close enough, let’s try it. I’ve got the meat browning in a skillet before I put it in the oven, and it smells amazing. If it tastes half as good as it smells, I think this is going to be my new favorite treatment for beef chuck.
Posted via blogwith
I’ve been percolating an idea for a while now. One of the most irritating tropes of right wing politics in the US is the demonization, mischaracterization, mistrust, and general dismissal of science. I quite agree with Ethan Siegel’s excellent piece on the responsibilities of a science educator (formal or informal). While it is of paramount importance to (correctly) teach people about what science says and what our current knowledge is, I think it is equally important to teach people how we get there. Scientists don’t consult arcane oracles or rely on dusty, ancient grimoires for their knowledge. Neither do most of us get our talking points from the political heavyweight du jour. There’s a process to the acquisition and development of what we call “science,” and it’s really just a slightly more careful version of what everybody does when they’re trying something new. I want people to understand that, and I want people to become conscious of how they do science all the time so that it’s less of a scary black box that is misused politically to either frighten people unnecessarily or lull them into a false sense of righteous security when they should legitimately be alarmed. I’m going to call this lark “Blogging the Scientific Method,” and I’m searching for the right platform for it.
There is a new service coming online that allows users to compose posts in Evernote, tag them appropriately, and then publish to WordPress blogs. If you’re an Evernote user, it’s worth testing. It’s still pretty bare bones, but the core functionality is there, and it looks like they’re adding more features, like Markdown support. If it remains stable, well-developed, and low on bugs, I might well spring for the premium version to give the developers some support. Check out blogwith.co!
Well, I’m back. After using Postach.io as my Evernote-integrated blogging platform for awhile, they opted to put the entire service behind a pay wall. And while I am absolutely not opposed to paying for a service from which I get good use, the features the Postach.io team wanted me to pay for centered largely around collaboration (5 authors! 10 sites!). Not being a collaborative blogger, this seemed like a poor value for me. Additionally, they got rid of Dropbox and Pocket integration, which I really enjoyed. The fee is about the same as the premium package on wordpress.com, and frankly I don’t think Postach.io, with its slimmed-down integrations and dodgy syncing/parsing, is worth that yet. So here I am at WordPress again. Over the next several days, I’ll be back-filling posts that went up on my Postach.io blog, and it’ll be (almost) like I never left!
I own a Lazyboy recliner and have for over a decade. It’s the one “good” piece of furniture I splurged on as a single, cash-strapped graduate student. It’s still in very good shape and currently resides in our family room. I’m so glad I bought this chair; it is quite literally the only thing in which I’ve been able to tolerate sitting over the past few days as I’ve been recovering from a surgical procedure.
So. Moral of the story: a high-quality, comfortable chair is a worthwhile investment. Take good care of it, and it will take good care of you.