Month: October 2007 Page 1 of 3

Ninjas!

Ninja Parade Slips through Town Unnoticed Once Again

(via The Onion)

Update: I fixed the link. Let’s see how long it takes before the ninjas change it again…

The Boy Who Sees without Eyes

…a documentary about Ben Underwood, a boy who had his eyes removed (cancer) at age two. He is the only person in the world ever really to have used echolocation to replace eyesight. That we know of. Because Daredevil, you know, wasn’t a real guy.

The Cycle

…of Steven Brust’s Taltos series.

(via Steven Brust)

HIV Neutralized?

It sounds like researchers have found a way to negate the effects of HIV in human beings. Not a vaccine, not a cure — but a way of eradicating the symptoms.

Hope?

(via Neatorama)

Musical Interlude: The Shins

Phantom Limb.

This is one of those songs you listen to and go, “I should find out who sings that.” Sometimes this feeling comes about when the song is really good or you can’t get it out of your head. Sometimes it’s because it has interesting lyrics but you can’t really catch all of them. Aha! This song is both together, sweet-tuned pop with this fascinating melody you can barely keep up with. And then the lyrics

So I looked them up:

So, when they tap our mundane heads,
To zombie-walk in our stead,
This town seems hardly worth our time,
And we’ll no longer memorize or rhyme,
Too far along in our climb,
Stepping over what now towers to the sky,
With no connection.

After reading them three or four times through and watching the video (a school play? three school plays? If so, what do Joan of Arc, the Donner Party, and Cortez have to do with each other?) I can say with confidence the song might be about the tingling feeling you get from living in a stifling place (small town? suburb?), as if your whole life were a phantom limb that had been removed. Maybe. Probably the most poetic song lyrics I’ve seen in a long time. I say seen–I have a hard time doing anything but wiggling and humming when I hear the song.

And, because I can’t find my Imogen Head CD and will take whatever comes up next on YouTube: Let go.

Ooh, and here’s a chick that sounds like a cross between Enya and Imogen Heap: Emmy Rossum. A duet with Dolly Parton, “When Love is New.” She can keep up, which is saying something. Apparently, she’s done a lot of acting. I’ve never heard of her before…

Word of the Day.

nosism (NO-siz-em) noun

The use of ‘we’ in referring to oneself.

[From Latin nos (we).]

As it’s often used by editors, it’s also known as the “editorial we”.
It’s also called “the royal we” owing to its frequent use by royalty.
Mark Twain once said, “Only kings, presidents, editors, and people
with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial ‘we’.”

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

Joke of the Day.

Pure D. Wrong:

I rear-ended a car this morning. So there we are alongside the road and slowly the driver gets out of the car…and you know how you just-get-sooo-stressed and life-stuff seems to get funny?

Yeah,well, I could NOT believe it…he was a DWARF! He storms over to my car, looks up at me and says, “I AM NOT HAPPY!”

So, I look down at him and say, “Well, which one are you then?”

…and that’s when the fight started.

Word of the Day.

lexiphanes (lex-SIF-uh-neez) noun

One who uses words pretentiously.

[From Greek lexiphanes (phrase monger), from lexis (word or phrase) + -phaneia
(to show).]

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

Chocolate Reviews: Dagoba New Moon & 3400 Phinney, Coconut Curry

Dagoba Organic Chocolate, New Moon (74%)

Decent. Nicely balanced between fruity (not a specific fruit, just fruity) and loamy/earthy tastes. After the lavender and xocolatl, though, I was expecting to be seriously impressed. Nope. It was good, but I’d rather have the lavender and eat Green & Black’s dark chocolate instead. Better than Godiva by a good bit, though.

3400 Phinney Chocolate Factory, Coconut Curry Milk Chocolate

Um, huh?

My mouth was confused. Confundicated. Wha? Mild milk chocolate — it could have been the stuff they make cheap Easter rabbits out of, for all I could tell, with the curry that was mixed with it. Unlike the Dagoba Xocolatl (chile powder and nibs) bar, the curry totally overwhelmed the chocolate. I ate it, but my palate felt dizzy. What can I say? I was playing WoW, and you just nibble on anything in reach, if you’re not careful. I guess if you were feeling edgy, you might be all right with this, but I was disappointed. They have a Chai flavor…maybe I’ll try that instead.

Recipe: Roasted Chicken Chili

Ah, chicken chili. Usually my reaction to it is, “this would be better with pork.” I saw yet another lowfat recipe for chicken chili today…bleah, move on…

Wait!

What if I made a non-lowfat chicken chili recipe? And worked on making it not bland, without covering up on the lack of flavor by upping the spiciness? An interesting challenge. Here’s the result, which is currently in the process of making my stomach growl while I wait for the flavors to meld a bit.

4 chicken thighs (skin on)
5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and rough ends trimmed
salt
chipotle powder (you could use a very small amount of any powdered chili pepper; use cayenne rather than chili powder, which is full of stuff that doesn’t need to be roasted)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Put the thighs and garlic on a sided, heavy-bottomed pan. Sprinkle the thighs with salt and (lightly) chili powder. Pour just a bit of olive oil over the garlic, to keep it from burning while the chicken releases its juices. Roast until the juices in the center run clear, about 20 minutes. If you roast the chicken significantly ahead of time, pour the juices out of the pan and reserve.

1/2 white onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped
1 T olive oil
2 cans high-quality chopped tomatoes
Thyme (5-6 sprigs or a teaspoon or so of dried)
1 can pinto beans or the bean of your choice

Saute the onion, garlic, and pepper lightly in the olive oil over medium heat. As soon as the onions turn translucent (you’ll be underdoing this a bit), add the tomatoes in their juice and the thyme. As soon as the chili comes to a simmer, reduce the heat to low.

As soon as the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and shred the chicken into small chunks. Chop the garlic into same. Add the chicken, garlic, the pan juices, and as much of the brown gunk as you can scrape out of the pan to the chili.

Add the beans (if you like thinner chili, make sure you rinse them before add them). Make sure the heat is low and let the chili simmer. You could adjust the seasoning with salt or extra chili pepper, but it seems pretty good so far.

Serve the chili with any vegetables you want to add that shouldn’t be mushy — I’m doing cilantro and red pepper. I really wanted an avocado, but I just went shopping today, and the consistently underripe ‘cados at Super Target are always hard as rocks, and I didn’t feel like driving to the Mexican greengrocer today, because it was snowing and I wanted a nap. Oh, and cornchitos, which is apparently De-speak for non-tortilla Frito-style corn chips. And non-lowfat sour cream.

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