Saturday, August 10, 2013

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Watching X-Men: Origins Wolverine. Ooo, and that Hugh Jackman gets three snaps up for his performance. 

On this day in 1793

On this day in 1793 the Palais du Louvre, unoccupied since the end of the Ancien Régime in 1789, reopened as the Musée du Louvre with an exhibition of some 530 paintings. The museum is the most-attended museum in the world with some 15,000 visitors a day. Some photos of my visit there.


Drawing up to the Louvre


One of the corners of the building at the Cour de Carrousel


The front of the main facade of the Louvre with the Pyramide by I.M. Pei in the center of the Cour.


The Richelieu Wing as seen through the Pyramide.


The Main entrance (old) of the Louvre from on of the rooms


Viewing the Cour de Carrousel from one of the windows. Looking out through the windows of places like this makes me feel a little more "tuned into" the way the places look to the people who lived there.

The Nike of Samothrace

A salon in the Napoléon II Appartements

The dining room of the Napoléon II Appartements. I set off an alarn taking this photo and was very nicely asked to knock it off.

A large Sèvres porcelain vase showing Napoléon as a Roman being pulled in a chariot.
Rock crystal dressing table of Empress Eugénie


A very nice porcelain Chocolate set


Amazing 4 feet tall silver ewers. The French kings were the recipients of vast quantities of silver from Canada and used the metal in all sorts of decorative ways including these ewers, occasional chairs, occasional tables and even balustrades.


A beautiful view of Paris from the Louvre

Women are "the problem" in divorce says Arkansas GOP Rep.

Did you gurls know that you are "the problem in divorce? This fool says so. From RawStory.com:

Rep Tom Cotton (R-Douchbag)
Thanks to online archives, Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR)’s college-era thoughts about women have been exposed to voters who may be asked to consider him for the U.S. Senate in 2014. Cotton, during his time at Harvard University, penned a 1997 column in which he wrote that men are “simple” and women are “the problem” when it comes to divorce in the United States.
According to the Huffington Post, Cotton argued in a column titled “Promises and Covenants” for the Harvard Crimson he interviews an unspecified number of women (which he admits is a “admittedly small and perhaps unrepresentative”) about their greatest fear only to discover that it is living without a man.
I have been asking women two questions. My first question was “What is your greatest fear in life?” Uniformity characterized the responses. (Yes, these are actual responses from Cliffies; I did not fabricate them.) “Watching my husband walk out on me.” “Losing my lover.” “Getting a divorce.”
My second question was very similar: “What is your deepest hope in life?” Again, the responses were uniform. “Finding and holding onto the love of my life.” “Being a good wife and mother.” “Marrying a man who worships me and whom I worship.”
He went on to tout remedies to this fear, including the then-upcoming march on Washington by the evangelical group Promise Keepers (PK) — a group whose membership rapidly declined by the turn of the century, according Hartford Institute for Religion Reserach’s John P. Bartkowski, who described the decline in his 2003 book, The Promise Keepers: Servants, Soldiers, and Godly Men. “The Promise Keepers’ annual budget dwindled from $117 million in 1997 to $34 million in 2001, and its surviving office staff of one hundred—those rehired after the layoff—was a skeleton troupe when compared with the veritable army of three–hundred and fifty that it employed during its heyday,” Bartkowski wrote.
Cotton also encouraged his readers to support politicians fighting to repeal no-fault divorce laws, even though today every state in the nation has laws that allow it. New York state became the last to pass a no-fault divorce bill in 2010. Instead, he touted biblically rooted “covenant marriages,” which try to prevent divorce except under extreme circumstances such as adultery, abandonment or — in the words of one such model law passed in Arkansas in 2001 –  ”cruel and barbarous treatment.” As the New York Times reported at the time of Arkansas becoming the third state to pass such a law, “Fewer than 3 percent of couples who marry in Louisiana and Arizona take on the extra restrictions of marriage by covenant.”
Cotton postulated that “feminists understandably view movements like PK and covenant marriage with anxiety,” even though the National Organization for Women’s New York chapter actually opposed the no-fault divorce bill at the time of its passage (a move many other feminist groups criticized at the time). “Feminists who allegedly speak for women should attack divorce, not its effects,” Cotton wrote.
“If restrained, however, men can fulfill women’s deepest hopes. They can learn that personal happiness comes from the desire to devote and sacrifice oneself to one’s beloved,” Cotton concluded. “A few men can see this by themselves, and women are quite lucky to hook them. Ordinary women must not only defend these men against feminism, but also demand that all other men accept the lifelong nature of marriage. If not, one-half of all women who marry see their ‘greatest fear’ come true. If so, they can have their ‘deepest hopes’ fulfilled.”
[Screenshot of Tom Cotton speaking to CNN]

Geek Stuff

video

You didn't have to go that far Archie!


Illustrations

The Illustrator's Art:












Friday, August 09, 2013

Food project for this weekend **Update**

I have decided to bake a nice big dish of Eggplant Parmigiana this weekend. I have made this many, many times before but I have always fried the eggplant slices rather than baking them. I am going to try the method used by our old stand-by America's Test Kitchen. The recipe follows. I will update this post with my finished dish.

**Update**

Well the eggplant parmigiana came out very tasty although I will cut back a little on the garlic in the sauce. It was a pleasure not to have to clean up after frying eggplant, but there is no comparison to fried eggplant slices. Here are some photos. 



Here's the recipe. 

Eggplant Parmesan
Serves 6 to 8

2 pounds globe eggplant (2 medium eggplants), sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds [do not slice too thin]
1 tbsp kosher salt
8 slices high-quality white bread (about 8 ounces), torn into quarters

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
Table salt and ground black pepper
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
6 tablespoons vegetable oil

Tomato Sauce
3 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 generous tablespoon)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
Table salt and ground black pepper
8 ounces whole milk mozzarella or part-skim mozzarella, shredded (2 cups)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)
10 fresh basil leaves torn, for garnish

1. FOR THE EGGPLANT: Toss half of eggplant slices and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt in large bowl until combined; transfer salted eggplant to large colander set over bowl. Repeat with remaining eggplant and kosher salt, placing second batch in colander on top of first. Let stand until eggplant releases about 2 tablespoons liquid, 30 to 45 minutes. Arrange eggplant slices on triple layer paper towels; cover with another triple layer paper towels. Firmly press each slice to remove as much liquid as possible, then wipe off excess salt.
2. While eggplant is draining, adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions, place rimmed baking sheet on each rack, and heat oven to 425 degrees. Pulse bread in food processor to fine, even crumbs, about fifteen 1-second pulses (you should have about 4 cups). Transfer crumbs to pie plate and stir in 1 cup Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; set aside. Wipe out bowl (do not wash) and set aside.
3. Combine flour and 1 teaspoon pepper in large zipper-lock bag; shake to combine. Beat eggs in second pie plate. Place 8 to 10 eggplant slices in bag with flour; seal bag and shake to coat eggplant. Remove eggplant slices, shaking off excess flour, dip in eggs, let excess egg run off, then coat evenly with bread crumb mixture; set breaded slices on wire rack set over baking sheet. Repeat with remaining eggplant.
4. Remove preheated baking sheets from oven; add 3 tablespoons oil to each sheet, tilting to coat evenly with oil. Place half of breaded eggplant on each sheet in single layer; bake until eggplant is well browned and crisp, about 30 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets after 10 minutes, and flipping eggplant slices with wide spatula after 20 minutes. Do not turn off oven.
5. FOR THE SAUCE: While eggplant bakes, process 2 cans diced tomatoes in food processor until almost smooth, about 5 seconds. Heat olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and garlic is light golden, about 3 minutes; stir in processed and remaining can of diced tomatoes. Bring sauce to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced, about 15 minutes (you should have about 4 cups). Stir in basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. TO ASSEMBLE: Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Layer in half of eggplant slices, overlapping slices to fit; distribute 1 cup sauce over eggplant; sprinkle with half of mozzarella. Layer in remaining eggplant and dot with 1 cup sauce, leaving majority of eggplant exposed so it will remain crisp; sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan and remaining mozzarella. Bake until bubbling and cheese is browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; scatter basil over top, and serve, passing remaining tomato sauce separately.

Former Senator Scott Brown's Brother Arrested For Impersonating An Officer

Senator Brown when asked about the incident responded "Bqhatevwr". Too bad we couldn't have arrested Brownie for impersonating a Senator! From Talking Points Memo:

The brother of former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) was arrested Thursday in Connecticut for allegedly impersonating a police officer and stopping boaters on Long Island Sound. 

Police found Bruce W. Browne driving a blue Crown Victoria mounted with "hide-away" lights while responding to reports of a man with a gun, according to Boston's WBZ. Police told the news station that Browne was in possession of a bullet-proof vest marked "POLICE," a TSA badge, and three loaded 9mm handguns with 12 fully-loaded magazines. 

Investigators told WBZ that Browne had comandeered a boat while identifying himself as a "Police/Coast Guard" official earlier in the day, allegedly presenting expired Coast Guard identification. Browne had stopped three boats on Long Island Sound and asked their for registration and safety certificates, police told the Associated Press

Wolcott police Chief Edward Stephens told the AP that Browne is indeed the brother of the former senator. It's unclear why the men spell their last names differently.

I love watching the Republicans feast on each other

Lindsay Graham, Republican Senator from South Carolina, is facing primary challenges due to his support of Immigration reform. Lindsay is such an asshole that I am really enjoying the infighting that is going on. Well, now his challengers have gone "there". From David Mixner.com:


Republican Senator Lindsey Graham who faces a tough primary from a number of challengers who believe he is too 'liberal' has been 'gay-baited' by one of his opponents. Rumors have been flying for years about the fifty-eight year old Senator has been a 'confirmed bachelor' all his life.
Nancy Mace called the Republican Senator a 'Nancy boy' in a tweet which she then attempted to quickly delete not knowing that once a tweet is sent out it is out there for the public. She should have consulted with Anthony Weiner!
The rumors of Graham's sexuality had become so strong that in 2010 he had to publicly deny that he was gay. Bill Maher even joked that Senator McCain and Senator Graham were secretly lovers since they traveled everywhere together!
In July, The Washington Times reports that Graham is being targeted by a conservative grassroots group. The Carolina Conservatives United says that Graham is too progressive for the folks of the South. Graham has over six million dollars in the bank and at this moment has a comfortable lead in the polls.
A conservative political action committee outs Graham in this video at a speech in Greenville, South Carolina!

All I can say is "As ye sow, so shall ye reap".