Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
For those who have ever tried to understand the weather patterns in the Pacific Northwest or who wonder why the weather forecasters are almost always wrong, this is the book for you! Cliff Mass, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington and weekly guest on KUOW radio (Friday's at 9:50), is the preeminent authority on Northwest weather. He has published dozens of articles on Northwest weather and leads the regional development of advanced weather prediction tools. His new book, The Weather of the Pacific Northwest, is a must read for all residents of this area.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
.....to share my chocolate chip cookie recipe. I am unable to think critically about politics, art, and literature this weekend, so let's explore comfort food. Here is the best chocolate cookie recipe:
Hazel’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Preheat oven to 375.
Cream together coarsely in food processor:
1C brown sugar.
1 tsp vanilla.
Mix together in a large bowl:
1 ½ C oatmeal (best to do: process flour, oats, and the 4oz dark chocolate here: this is the secret:Do this in the food processor first, before the everything else, put aside until you get back to this step) and add in
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda.
Combine the creamed mixture to the dry mixture in the large bowl.
12 oz chocolate chips...more if you want
1½ C chopped nuts if you like them.
Make golf ball sized cookies, set 2” apart and bake for ~13 min....depending on whether you like them chewy, crunchy, etc. They should look light brown on the top
Friday, October 24, 2008
One of the most disturbing, depressing, and distressing aspects of the McCain/Palin campaign has been the behaviour of Sarah Palin in the scare-mongering and crowd frenzy that she encourages. While it has been a common campaign tactic for the vice-presidential candidate to take on the role of attack dog inorder for the top of the tickets to appear somewhat well-mannered and above the fray, Palin has been taking a page out of the National Democratic Socialist Party of Nazi Germany in crowd control. In today's New York Times, Russ Rymer has an op-ed piece that is a must read on the dangerous waters Palin is dipping her Betty-Boop open-toed shoes into. Rymer is supporting the cautious and thoughtful warnings offered by Representative John Lewis in his recent remarks on McCain/Palin's rabid remarks and harking back to George Wallace's experience in his career as a politician in Alabama. After the election is over, one can only hope that enough Republicans will come to their senses, particularly McCain/Palin, and they will campaign to begin to heal the terrible wound they have gouged into the gut of America.
For historical value, go to this NYT link on archival articles about George Wallace
Thursday, October 23, 2008
*Jonathan Coe, The Rotters' Club and The House of Sleep.
* Victor Pelevin, The Sacred Book of Werewolf and Buddha's Little Finger
* Boris Akunin, The Winter Queen
* Ludmila Ulitskaya, The Funeral Party.
* Ismail Kadare, The Three-Arched Bridge and Spring Flowers, Spring Frost.
* Imre Kertesz, Fateless, The Pathseeker.
* Antonio Lobo Antunes, What Can I Do When Everything's on Fire?.
* Per Petterson, Out Stealing Horses.
* Naguib Mahfouz, The Thief and the Dogs
* Muhammad Yusuf Quayd, War in the Land of Egypt
* Alaa Al Aswany, The Yacoubian Building.
* Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.
* Carlos Fuentes, The Death of Artemio Cruz.
Interestingly, many of these authors have new books in translation and I thought it a little odd that NPR would claim that these are all great authors we have not yet heard of.....!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Today's hike in 9-12 inches of snow(!) to view the larches...this photo from a previous hike by John. The colour in the Teanaway Valley were incredible......wisps of ground fog, horses lazily foraging, alfalfa bound in their cubes, the smell of wood smoke. Nothing like autumn in the Pacific Northwest.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The New York Times reviews a new exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage about Irène Némirovsky, French author and victim of the death camp Auschwitz. The remarkable story of her daughters' survival and the concomitant survival of her unpublished manuscripts is well known by now. The reviewer, however, is more concerned with the low-key discussion of her attitudes toward her Jewish heritage. Her family's complicated cross-border, cross-class, cross-cultural,political and religious conversion make for a very uncomfortable story with no easy answers or opinions. There is also an interesting, sympathetic review in the FT Weekend of her newly published book (in English) All Our Worldly Goods.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Those fortunate enough to visit Seattle starting 24 October, will have the thrill of a lifetime in the art world. Seattle Art Museum (SAM) is opening an exhibit "S'abadeb — The Gifts: Pacific Coast Salish Art and Artists". There is a good review in The Seattle Times. The importance of this exhibit cannot be understated: this was a collaboration of the members of 70 Native American and First Nation groups whose territory enclosed the current cities of Seattle and Vancouver and Victoria, B. C. The choice of objects to be shown, how they were to be explained, what was present by its absence (sacred and other private items)was dictated to the curator of the show. This is an exhibit, not of a bygone civilization, but a vibrant,living, thriving culture with much to share and teach those of us present in their ancestral homeland.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Momix performed last night at the University of Washington's Meany Hall. What an exhilarating experience for all who attended. The innovative concepts of choreographer Moses Pendleton were transformed into an "other" reality by the skill of the dancers, light, movement, costumes, music. Thirteen pieces were performed, each creating its own world...even the shortest pieces were like the best short stories: you were drenched in the moment, the event felt complete, you were satisfied. Click on this link to see videos of some of the performances: you will just wonder at the balance, control, and beauty of what the human body can do! For two hours we were transported away from the grimness of the world's economic problems and the inanities of McCain, Palin,and Dino (the dinosaur) Rossi. In beholding, and being enveloped in, the beauty before us, we could hope that Barack Obama and Christine Gregoire would prevail.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The current issue of The Nature Conservancy has articles on wine regions that are working to make grape growing and habitat protection compatible activities. South Africa is one area that has been very active and the program there is called Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI). The winery featured as having a very successful BWI program, is Vergelegen...another photograph of the manor house, taken by Jennifer Griffiths, can seen near the bottom of the column on the right.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The announcement of the winner of the annual Man Booker award is always looked forward to with anticipation by bibliophiles. The 2008 winner is Aravind Adiga, who becomes the third debut novelist to win the coveted prize. The winning title is The White Tiger.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Hurrah for Paul Krugman! While this award was, ostensibly for his academic work in international trade, comparative advantage and economies of scale, really, it was his daily indictment of the Bush Administration for eight years and his courage in calling them on the carpet for their hubris and deception that was recognized today. Not many people display this kind of public bravery and intelligence.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Stories of the horrors in Africa in the last few years have been told by very courageous, honest intellectuals, and brilliant writers. One of the most recent is Say You Are One Of Them by Uwem Akpan. Others include What is the What by Dave Eggers; They Poured Us From The Sky by by Benjamin Ajak, Benson Deng, Alephonsian Deng, Judy Bernstein.. Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi Wa'Thiong'O is incredible.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Southwest Airlines still flies on time, has cheerful attendants, was packed with interesting passengers, and did not lose my bags! Chicago is in its best season, autumn.....cool nights, warm, sunny days, trees decked out in all their colour......the home of Obama, possibly the 2016 Olympics, and full of architectural pride
Thursday, October 9, 2008
This photo in the Seattle P-I today captured my attention because I had never seen the Georgian language in print
Symbols on the left are those of the IPA and those on the right are of the Georgian alphabet
Georgian consonants Labial Dental/
alveolar Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m მ n ნ
Plosive aspirated pʰ ფ tʰ თ kʰ ქ
voiced b ბ d დ g გ
ejective pʼ პ tʼ ტ kʼ კ qʼ ყ
Affricate plain ts ც tʃ ჩ
voiced dz ძ dʒ ჯ
ejective tsʼ წ tʃʼ ჭ
Fricative voiceless s ს ʃ შ x1 ხ h ჰ
voiced v ვ z ზ ʒ ჟ ɣ1 ღ
Rhotic r რ
Lateral l ლ
To learn more about the language, click on this link.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
What would we do without novelists?! Margaret Atwood has a new book coming out next week, Payback. An excerpt from this book can be read in FT's Arts & Weekend. This is a very timely piece on money, religion, and sex and the nature of revenge and forgiveness. Atwood has an incisive wit, acute powers of observation, and the ability to cut through pc-ness masquerading as intellectual prowess.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
If you appreciate and value good music and reliable news sources, be sure to pledge to these great stations: without them, you would be subjected to more commercials, more rabid radio and soundbites, more noise. So, click on the radio stations above and get linked to the stations and be a good communitarian!
To listen to a great primer on the financial mess, listen to this broadcast of This American Life...it is excellent and understandable.
Friday, October 3, 2008
After last night's debate, Patrick Buchanan was the third right wing pale male in the course of the day to mention Palin's comeliness, as in "...she's a good looking woman"; "who wouldn't be glad to be looking at her...", etc. I mean, come on, if Democrats did this they would be raked over the coals, but worse than that, where is the "left wing media" when we need them to call these people on this. Why is it that the right continuously gets away with behaviour like this. If they are ever called on it, they cry foul..that the left wing media is smearing them, blah blah blah. It is truly unbelievable.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
The U.S.-backed Ethiopian military has secreted away scores of "suspects" -- including pregnant women and children -- and fueled anti-American rancor in Africa.
Editor's note: This article is adapted from a report published Wednesday by Human Rights Watch on renditions conducted in the Horn of Africa in 2007. Read the full report here.
By Jennifer Daskal
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The op-ed piece entitled "This Economy Does Not Compute" by Mark Buchanan suggests that the theory that economists have relied on to explain market behaviour-the equilibrium theory-sounds great in theory, but is wanting in explaining or predicting actual outcomes. He then proceeds to discuss three alternative theories being explored which are all based on various computer simulations... "we’re going to need something more imaginative, starting with a more open-minded attitude to how science can help us understand how markets really work. Done properly, computer simulation represents a kind of “telescope for the mind,” multiplying human powers of analysis and insight just as a telescope does our powers of vision. With simulations, we can discover relationships that the unaided human mind, or even the human mind aided with the best mathematical analysis, would never grasp." I was surprised that he failed to mention the book written by Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen in 1971 The Entropy Law and the Economic Process. If we are looking to the 'hard sciences' for help in explaining the organised chaos that is human behaviour, this book would be a great start.
The Balkan melancholy, or hüzün, (Georgescu-Roegen was originally from Romania) is furthered in the book review by Richard Eder of the newly translated The General of the Dead Army by Ismail Kadare of Albania. Kadare's books are like Franz Kafka and Jose Saremago on steroids......gloom, repetition, bureaucracy, angst, anomie, all set in the violence of the Albanian State and the violent nature of Albanian society make for stark reading, or to paraphrase Eder, we read about our deeper worst selves. To read more about the strangeness of Albania check out this story in a previous NYT "Albanian Custom Fades".