If I stare at it long enough and act as though I don’t want it…
Victory is Sabina’s! The knight has been taken!
I am on vacation, so watch out for a funny thing happened on the way to this FRIDAY post later in the week.
I’ve also been incorrectly attributing my safari blog photos to my cousin Scott; turns out my Aunt Candace is the true magician. Thanks to all the family!
Okay so technically it’s Tuesday morning… but it’s only been Tuesday for a few hours, and I’ve been sick and therefore slightly lazy. Anyway, thanks for waiting! Here are this week’s selections for “A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday…”
-o- Facebook went public -o-
And then the stock fell. It closed below IPO price on Monday. Did anyone see that coming? Did everyone see that coming?
Well, at least Mark Zuckerberg married his lovely longtime girlfriend. And since he’s changed his status to “Married”, the update has been liked over ONE MILLION times.
(Image source: ABC News)
-o- Forbes‘ Celebrity 100 list -o-
Seven of the top 10 on this list, “The World’s Most Powerful Celebrities,” are women. At least half are primarily musical performers.
I’ll bet you can’t guess who’s number one. Hint: Oprah is number two (J.K. Rowling is at number 85; I guess being uber rich doesn’t translate into being “powerful”… or maybe Harry Potter has had his day). Here’s the list from Forbes.
-o- 18-year-old gets elected to school district board -o-
Josh Lafazan is now the youngest -ever elected official in the state of New York. According to this Mashable article by Alex Fitzpatrick, Lafazan connected with voters in his district using his Facebook page and Spreecast. You can also watch him speak at the link above.
-o- Child knows she is transgender as young as 2 years old -o-
I like that we live in a time when this can happen, when parents can show this kind of support to a son, who was born a daughter. At age four, after being diagnosed with “gender identity disorder,” this MD resident began introducing himself as a boy. He is now called Tyler. Here’s the full story from The Washington Post.
-o- Cool science images from this week -o-
Wow. Jewel caterpillar photographed near Cancun, Mexico.
(Image source: BoingBoing.net. Taken by Gerardo Aizpuru.)
Check out the rest of the slideshow from Popsci.
-o- Cooking this week: Blueberry chocolate chip pancakes -o-
Brian and I began spending time together four years ago. We met in March of 2008 and were in love by June. That first summer, we didn’t really concern ourselves with eating well. We had a lot of pancakes, and then one night we went to 2 Amy’s and had blueberry chocolate chip ice cream for dessert. Lightbulb! For the rest of the summer we bought fresh blueberries and chocolate chips and… gained weight, I’m sure.
(Image source: Pip & Ebby)
-o- Happy day after Mother’s Day -o-
I have an absolutely wonderful mother. I got to spend Saturday evening with her and the rest of my family at a gala supporting Single Carrot Theater in Baltimore. We also had a wonderful brunch Sunday morning. My mom is a beautiful, kind, patient, capable, sweet, intelligent, and endlessly forgiving woman. I hope she and all the other mothers in the world had a lovely weekend.
Bonues: Nature’s toughest mothers from BBC.
-o- Which is greener: a steak or a veggie burger? -o-
If you love the planet, you love veggies… right? Conventional wisdom holds that beef – factory raised, hormone injected, delicious delicious beef – is terrible for the planet and you’re terrible for eating each raw tasty morsel. However, people are beginning to realize that its the overproduction of food that destroys its ‘green-ness.’
Raw veggies are of course the best for the energy-in energy-out ratio, but veggie burgers and all of the processes required to make them taste like beef could be worse that grass-fed beef people are trying to replace it with.
Experts weigh in on a Mother Jones forum.
-o- Top 10 Twitter pics of the week from Mashable’s Charlie White -o-
These are always so fun. Love Beyonce’s dress. Check them out: Slideshow.
-o- According to The Washington Post, graduates are facing a better markets this year -o-
Finally some good news on the employment front. While the recession has been relatively easy on those with higher degrees, matriculating students still didn’t have it easy. Now, students graduating have better chances of finding jobs than those who have graduated in the last three years. Here’s the article from The Washington Post.
-o- Van Halen’s “No Brown M&Ms backstage rule” -o-
Turns out he had a really good reason: Over-sexed over drugged rockstars try to get away with whatever they can. While that may regularly be the case, Van Halen’s brown M&Ms were really an ingenuous idea to detect venue neglect. If you haven’t heard the rumors and reasons… check out the NPR piece and video.
-o- Partisan divide in baby-naming? -o-
This is really kind of funny. Is nothing off limits? It’s not that people are consciously giving their kids political names like Bill O’Rights, Ellie Phants, or Don Q. Kong (hmmm…). However political divides apparently influence parents and the names they give their kids. To find out how and to determine if you agree, see the NPR article.
-o- Cooking this week: Pasta Salad -o-
(Image credit: The Parsley Thief)
Thanks to Brian for helping me out this week… and happy four-year anniversary to my perfect man.
-o- What they don’t tell you in commencement speeches -o-
You just wasted 100k and four years. Not really, but check out some sage advice from a former speechwriter and current professor. Best nugget: “Your parents don’t want what is best for you. They want what is good for you, which isn’t always the same thing.” Here’s the WSJ article.
-o- Saturday night Supermoon pics -o-
The latest installment from Stephanie Meyer… er… I mean, a yearly phenomenon that yielded some awesome pictures.
-o- How tech have advancements have changed student life -o-
Check out this awesome infographic from Mashable. Many of the stats aren’t surprising, but a few will make you think. For example, 12 million college students are currently taking at least one online class.
There are also a bunch of cool apps, including one allowing students to calculate the specific grade needed on a test to pass a class.
-o- Wired How-To Wiki: Surviving at Sea -o-
The Last Resort: Cannibalism.. Hopefully this never happens to you, unless maybe you’re the kind of jerk that mocks people it has happened to. Either way, get ready to eat things raw. Top Menu item: Joe with a side of hallucination and PTSD
Fun/scary: here’s the wiki.
-o- The Hunger Games makes ALA’s list of most-banned books -o-
Lets make a deal. If you find a book offensive, don’t read it! Apparently some people have found The Hunger Games to be ”anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence.” Violent, sure. It’s about a voyeuristic battle royale. But “anti-family”? Come on people.
Read the CNN article.
-o- Kids hating classic books on Twitter -o-
Do everyone a favor and hate on them for awhile. Here’s the collection from Publisher’s Weekly.
-o- 20-year-old student lands 7-book deal with Rowling’s publisher -o-
Because we always love waiting for the next best. Seriously though, all power to her and I hope her books make me as happy as Rowling’s did. Here’s the article from the Daily Mail.
-o- Cooking this week -o-
Fun fun fun! The other day I decided to take a whole evening to cook. Not go to the gym, not clean, not get ahead on work for the next day… just cook. I got to use new cookware and new recipes, and everything turned out wonderfully! Enjoy!
Brian’s mother Diane found the Dutch oven (right) in a hole-in-the-wall shop in Baltimore and bought me one for a gift. I purchased my first and only piece of Le Creuset ware (left) on Rue La La, my daily temptress.
Skillet Cajun Spiced Flounder with Tomatoes (from SkinnyTaste)
Flounder fillets (I used 2 large, 8 oz. pieces of fish – any other flaky white fish would do as well)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 green pepper, diced
5-6 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
Approx. 1 tbsp. cajun seasoning (I made my own: paprika, cayenne, oregano, garlic powder and S+P)
Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet large enough to hold all the fish comfortably. I got to use my new Dutch oven!!! Cook the garlic and onion for a few minutes until soft and fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, peppers and spices and saute until the tomatoes and peppers begin to soften, about 3-5 minutes.
Next, add the fish fillets and submerge in the sauce as completely as you can.
Let the fish simmer for 12-15 minutes until done. It will easily flake with a fork.
Enjoy! Here’s the original recipe from SkinnyTaste.com.
Macaroni and Cheese (from What to Cook and How to Cook It by Jane Hornby)
I was SO excited to make this. I’d been staring at the recipe in the cookbooks for over a year and decided it was high time to give in.
1 medium-sized onion
1 bay leaf
3 cups milk (I used 2 cups whole and 1 cup 2%)
1 tsp salt
12 oz macaroni (any tube-shaped pasta will work fine)
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
scant 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
7 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 oz parmesan cheese, grated
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
fresh nutmeg (optional)
4 ripe tomatoes, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to boil for the macaroni. While the water heats up, add the milk, the onion (roughly chopped) and the bay leaf to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium hit until little bubbles just start to form (see photo). Remove from the heat and let sit and infuse for 10 minutes or more.
Add the salt to the pasta water and then the macaroni. Return to a boil and cook until almost done (8 minutes or so) then drain, reserving about a cup of pasta water.
Once the milk has infused, remove the onion and bay leaf with a slotted spoon discard. Then stir the butter and flour into the milk and cook over medium-high heat, stirring with a whisk until sauce has thickened (the cookbook says 5 minutes, it only took me about 3).
Preheat the oven to 350. Add the mustard, nutmeg (if using, which I did… yay Penzey Spices) and about two-thirds of each of the cheeses to the sauce. Stir well and season to taste. If the pasta has stuck together, add a bit of cooking water to loosen, then pour the pasta and sauce into the baking dish, stirring well.
Sprinkle the remaining cheeses over top and add the tomato slices. Top with a bit more salt and pepper and then bake for about 30 minutes.