7-30-11 Hodgepodge

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Russia's Act of War

Russian military intelligence has been linked to an explosion at the American embassy in Georgia.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in a classified report late last year that Russia’s military intelligence was responsible for a bomb blast that occurred at an exterior wall of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, in September. [links removed]
It may be too much to ask of the Obama Administration, but I hope this derails the President's "reset" policy towards relations with Russia.

Weekly Reading

"To think rationally about nuclear safety, you must identify the whole context." -- Alex Epstein, in "Nuclear Power is Extremely Safe: That's the Truth about What We Learned from Japan" at Fox News

"Not even the socialistic, fiscally-reckless, and morally despicable Democrats could bring themselves to endorse Obama's vulgar vision of an ever-expanding state." -- Richard Salsman, in "Washington's Spending 'Cuts' Would Boost Spending 50%" at Forbes

"If the debt ceiling is not raised, it would represent a 16% decrease from Bush's 2009 budget request of $3.11 trillion, decried by both the right and the left as overspending." -- Wendy Milling, in "The Truth about the Debt-Ceiling Fight" at RealClear Markets

"Bad therapists often stir up feelings and emotions for their own sake, leading a new client to think that the therapy is profound and deep." -- Michael Hurd, in "Good Therapy for Your Marriage" at DrHurd.com

"[M]any new readers of [Sun Tzu's The Art of War] may be surprised to find that the text isn't primarily devoted to warfare and fighting -- but to planning and waiting." -- Jonathan Hoenig, in "Stock Market Warfare is about Planning -- Not Fighting." at SmartMoney

My Two Cents

Wendy Milling's piece starts off with the following sentence: "In any scientific endeavor, one must quantify a phenomenon in order to understand it." Her piece does just that with the debt limit fight, and, in the process, shows that neither side (at least in the Senate) is dealing with our debt problem forthrightly. In a similar quantitative vein, Salsman's piece is also very illuminating.

Fun with Distillation

I'm not a Scotch connoisseur (or even a "Scotch snob," if there is such a thing) by any stretch of the imagination, but I found this article about separating the flavors of scotch through vacuum distillation very enjoyable.
I would pay for a bottle of the separated-out 18-year-old. It's got more complexity than any of the younger ones, and I even taste that saltiness Eben mentioned, which I think comes from the used sherry casks in which a portion of this Scotch is aged. Dave Arnold has taken the wood component of the 18-year-old and made it, with cream and sugar, into an ice cream, which he freezes in a messy shower of liquid nitrogen before our eyes. The idea of oak ice cream is not the most appealing, but what comes through is the vanilla, spice, and maple notes of the wood -- as well as an inescapable flavor of briny lumber, like I'm eating an ice cream cone while strolling on an old sea pier. Wash down the wood ice cream with the matching gray dog whisky and the combination instantly comes together as a creamy aged Scotch on the tongue.
Later on, the same technology is applied to make a mint- and carraway- based vodka.

-- CAV

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