Thursday, July 29, 2010

Whose Street?

Albuquerque PD always up to no good:

A man who was shocked with a Taser at least six times by Albuquerque police will receive $275,000 in a settlement with the city.

The city settled the lawsuit filed by Andres Arellanes after a review found the two officers involved lied to a grand jury.

The Albuquerque Journal also reported that a federal judge ordered the officers' personnel files be opened because of numerous complaints against them.

The two officers are no longer with the department. They had claimed that Arellanes grabbed a police horse and was combative.

Arellanes claimed the officers demanded that he produce identification and grabbed his wallet, began interrogating him and calling him derogatory names. He says they threw him in the back of a police car and shocked him repeatedly.
Via Kendra.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quote of the Day

"The lamestream media is no longer a cornerstone of democracy in America."
Guess who? A certain half-term governor, of course. Utter lunacy.

How about a little balance, then, from a well known liberal provocateur:

"The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Wientzen Code

I Write Like analyzes your prose and tells you which author you write most like. I plugged in the entirety of an article that I'm writing on Rebecca West and physiology, and this is what I got:

I write like
Dan Brown

I wouldn't take it personally, but I somehow don't think that academic journals are quite looking for Dan Brown-like work. But maybe I'm wrong.

Quote of the Day

Responding to John Boehner's totally non-sensical suggestion that there be "a moratorium on new federal regulations," Steve Benen has the quote of the day:
"I'll just put it this way: if you love lead paint from China, you'll love the Republican deregulation agenda."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Beavis and Butthead: MTV Super-ego

I'm old enough to remember a time when Beavis and Butt-head was considered the most scandalous thing on air:

In October 1993 a two-year-old Ohio girl was killed in a fire lit by her five-year-old brother. The children's mother said that her son was inspired by the pyromaniac proclivities of Beavis and Butt-head. This real life event sparked the ire of media watchdog groups, who claimed that there was a direct link between the television show and the violent act of this impressionable child. One psychiatrist proclaimed Beavis an Butt-head a "Sesame Street for psychopaths."
Psychopaths! Really! Looking back from 2010 it's hard to imagine how something as tame as Beavis and Butt-head could compete with, say, The Family Guy or even South Park. So it's a little weird that MTV is bringing it back. So I submit to you, what are Beavis and Butt-head going to do? It's not like they can watch music videos. MTV ceased to be a music channel long ago. Would new viewers even know what to make of music video commentary? It could actually be awesome if MTV allowed them to watch other MTV shows; they could be like MTV's superego, blasting the vapidness of shows like The Hills and Jersey Shore. That actually might be worth watching.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

tastes like?

When I was an intern at Equal Exchange way back when, I met their quality control person whose only job was to taste coffee. Apparently becoming a real, profession coffee connoisseur involves a lot more than just really liking coffee. At that time, the quality control person had undergone a two or three year apprenticeship with some coffee guru, who taught her to nuances of coffee tones and flavors -- much like becoming a sommelier. Cool job, right? Well, doing this kind of work actually requires something more than just an aesthetic sensibility and experience; it requires a natural aptitude to taste flavors with a greater intensity than most people. They're called supertasters. And it's not all wine and coffee for supertasters. Supertasters tend not to like some very common foods because, well, they don't taste very good if you have an acute palette. Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, grapefruit juice, green tea, spinach, soy, carbonation, chili peppers, tonic water, olives -- all of these things are commonly inedible to supertasters. They just can't help it.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pura Masa

Eventually I'm going to do some posts on bread and bread-baking, specifically a bit about why it's important and how it has changed (us) over time. But not yet.

But I did see an article at Wired today, commemorating the hundred-year anniversary of the first fully automated bread factory in the US, and I thought it was interesting:
1910: Ward Baking Company puts a fully automated bread factory into operation. The mechanized factory in Chicago churns out hundreds of perfect loaves a day, untouched by human hands.
Though the author claims in the lead that automated bread was not "the greatest thing since sliced bread," the article goes on to extol the contribution of industry to the mechanization of craft labor because it eliminated germs. Only the nerds at Wired could possibly look at the automation of bread production in 1910 and think, "Wow. How great." As if scientific management and the destruction of craft labor were good things.