7 Quick Takes (7/6/12)

— 1 —

My next post is going to be a contribution to the Patheos Book Club for Reborn on the 4th of July, a memoir by a soldier turned conscientious objector.  It’s been delayed a little, since I had a couple topics I wanted to cover, so instead of one post, you’re going to get enough to take us at least through Sunday.  In the meantime, you might want to review some of the things I’ve written on radical forgiveness, since I’m going to refer back to those posts.  (I think they also satisfy some of the requests for links to posts that made my friends think I was always a Catholic at heart).

— 2 —

I ended up quite enjoying the new Spiderman movie.  I went with a group of friends, but, since we were going to a show in the late evening, I had time for yoga class beforehand.  To be more specific, I had time for extremely-apropros antigravity yoga.

Life is a great big bang-up. Wherever there’s a hang up, You’ll find the Spidermaaan

But seriously, the new movie was very funny, and Emma Stone is a fabulous, proactive, and concussion-safety aware Gwen Stacy, so I was utterly delighted.  Also delightful: this Spiderman humor video (in which someone has appropriate priorities).


— 3 —

And speaking of costumed heroism, I’m pretty interested in this larping documentary web series from the Nerdist Channel.  It looks like they’ve done a nice job using overlay on the video to give you an intuitive idea of how the  battles and encounters work, without having to drill viewers on all the rules.

— 4 —

Meanwhile, I’m having a very good genre week because it’s the absolute best time of the year!  Gardner Dozois’s Year’s Best in Science Fiction is out!  I did plenty of nice, mostly spiritual reading this week during the power outage (C.S. Lewis’s Reflections on the Psalms — fantastic, Reborn on the 4th of July — thought-provoking, see today’s second post, Stages on the Road – excellent, and Death Comes to Pemberley – wretched).  But everything else is on hold until the anthology is finished.

So my prose may end up a little bleary eyed.  Or have surprise robots.

— 5 —

In fact, I’m going to pop off and read another one of the stories while you guys listen to this story titled “Two Little Girls Explain The Worst Haircut Ever.”  Most parents don’t respond to this kind of situation by interviewing their children, but most parents aren’t NPR reporters.

— 6 —

Ok, hope you enjoyed that while I was reading an Elizabeth Bear short story.  Anyway, the arrival of the scifi anthology late July 3rd meant I had to show heroic forbearance on July 4th.  We had people over for a barbeque and, between hosting and cooking, I did not get to start the book at all, yet I managed to resist the urge to set my own house on fire in order to read quietly amid the embers.

On the menu, King Arthur’s Sourdough Pretzels (with grated parmesan cheese melted on top) and the red, white, and blueberry cake from Smitten Kitchen (I followed my usual rule of doubling the quantities of lemon and/or garlic if they appear in a recipe).  The result was still a little too sweet for my liking, but other people enjoyed it.

— 7 —

But all baking is necessarily anti-climactic after I read the “How to become a Seafood Anesthesiologist and Kill your 4th of July Lobster” post at Cooking Issues.  I love these guys.  For example:

Over the years, Nils and I performed many side by side taste tests killing lobsters various ways, and the ones we knocked out with clove oil always tasted best –sweeter, cleaner. When tasted side by side, the lobsters killed by simple boiling or steaming had a muddier, dirtier finish on the palate…

To get you prepped for your 4th, here’s a list of lobster-killing techniques I’ve tried and my thoughts about them, plus a recipe for a fish and lobster anesthetic you can easily make at home.

1. Boiling or Steaming: the standard way, but not the best way, to kill a lobster. The lobster knocks around the pot for quite a while. Dan Ward, then a grad student at the University of New Hampshire, once hooked an electrode up to a Lobster heart for me and boiled it. The heart beat for 1 minute 53 seconds. I’m not saying the lobster felt anything for that long, but I can say for sure that physiologic processes like heartbeat continued long enough for stress-related factors to affect meat quality.

I may not like cooking meat (or eating it), but I can still appreciate the heck out of their very experimentally minded posts.


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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