Monday, December 14, 2009
As a reminder: I'm starting a new job today. Blogging may be irregular for a while and comment moderation may be slow -- but I will get to them! This place was quite the drawing room last week, with two very interesting threads on global warming and one on education/job hunting.
I'll do whatever I can to keep that going.
Extremes in Living Arrangements
I wouldn't want to live like they do, but I still found it fascinating to read about how one New York couple has managed to make their 175 square foot "microstudio" apartment work as its primary home:
"We don't cook," Zaarath said, adding that their fridge never has any food in it. "So when you don't cook, you don't need plates or pots or pans. So we use that space for our clothes."And I thought we lived in cramped quarters in Bean Town!
Once in their running attire, the two change the cat litter box (stored under the sink) and start their small Rumba vacuum -- which operates automatically while they're out, picking up cat hair.
They then jog to their jobs in Midtown, picking up along the way their work clothes, which are "strategically stashed at various dry cleaners."
Just in case the cleaners are closed, both have emergency clothes at their offices.
At the opposite extreme is Jay Walker's library:
Stuffed with landmark tomes and eye-grabbing historical objects—on the walls, on tables, standing on the floor—the room occupies about 3,600 square feet on three mazelike levels. Is that a Sputnik? (Yes.) Hey, those books appear to be bound in rubies. (They are.) That edition of Chaucer ... is it a Kelmscott? (Natch.) Gee, that chandelier looks like the one in the James Bond flick Die Another Day. (Because it is.) [link dropped]And, yes, there are pictures at the link!
And if that isn't enough for you, I also ran into a list of the world's eighteen strangest houses. Haven't looked at it yet, so this is as much a reminder to myself as anything else.
The Other Side of ClimateGate
If for no other reason than to see what the global warming alarmists will say to rebut ClimateGate, watch the following video.
Once you get past the condescending tone, it is interesting that even that video concedes there might be some wrongdoing. On the other hand, it makes an argument that prima facie seems reasonable on the count of "trick" simply meaning something like, "hack." Whether that's an honest argument remains to be seen.
Also, Keith Lockitch has an interesting post on the "conspiracy theory" meme I also noticed a while back: "The conspirators are united not by a secret plot, but by a shared philosophy that they promote openly and self-righteously: the philosophy of environmentalism."
Religious Right Shot Down in H-Town
In a dull-as-dishwater race between Tweedledee and Tweedledum that drew a whopping 16.5% voter turnout, Houston has become the largest American city to elect an openly gay mayor.
Parker, 53, has never made a secret or an issue of her sexual orientation. But it became the focus of the race after anti-gay activists and conservative religious groups endorsed Locke and sent out mailers condemning Parker's "homosexual behavior."The story makes much of Houston's demographic makeup and the fact that most of its voters are Democrats, but that misses the point about Houston, which has long been (relatively speaking) a hotbed of capitalism and a pretty socially tolerant place.
Locke, 61, tried to distance himself from the anti-gay attacks while courting conservative voters who could tip the election in his favor. Meanwhile, gay and lesbian political organizations nationwide rallied to support Parker by raising money for her campaign and making calls urging people to vote.
I see two stories that this report missed: First, I would hazard to guess that more voters were repelled by Gene Locke's Bible-thumping supporters trying to make hay out of Anise Parker's sexual orientation than were intent on making a statement by voting for Parker. Second, Houston is long past the need to make such a statement.
But I repeat myself.
In failing to follow my own instructions last night, I may have solved a problem with the Marrakech Lamb Stew I posted not too long ago. It tasted just about right last night, so I revised the recipe. (I can't completely rule out having missed a key spice the first couple of times I made it, but skipping the step also was convenient.)
Also, David Veksler posts an interesting Swiss Steak recipe I might try some time soon, assuming I can find venison. I guess that will be the goal of my next foray to Whole Foods...