Wednesday, July 09, 2008


According to this story in the Telegraph the most aggressive breed of dog is the dachshund. Lily would not be surprised-- she is almost suicidally brave defending herself.

Interestingly, Sir Terence Clark tells me that, while he was attending the Saluki Congress in Finland last week, a report was given that Germany has passed new "temperament" laws for dogs above a certain size, ones so restrictive that most primitive breeds (Laika, huskies), Oriental sighthounds (saluki, tazi) and herding breeds will not be able to pass and will be neutered. Be VERY afraid of the "Safety Society". (And no, there are not enough numbers in obscure breeds to fight this.) If I find a link I will add it later.

Science/ art: My favorite incomprehensible Japanese Paleo- Art blog has some cool new pix up of my favorite Pleistocene mega- predator, Arctodus simus yukonensis. (Good article on the bear here.) I haven't the slightest idea what the text says-- Isaac?

New blogs. One, scientific, may be on the most specific topic I have yet seen, and of interest mainly to hard - core bio- nerds (I love it); BdellaNea is all about LEECHES.

The other is the new blog for Overland Journal, which at the moment is featuring Jonathan and Roseann Hanson's real- time adventure in the Maasai country.

Food: what kind of recipes are "deal breakers" for you? I'm inclined to agree with Carol Blythe, who said " I was actually more offended by many of the commenters on the article on the NYT site. Chopping parsley or whisking an egg are dealbreakers? What the fuck is wrong with people?"

More food: Rod Dreher interviews Michael Pollan, at The American Conservative no less. I like cross fertilization. Let me once again plug Pollan's The Omnivoire's Dilemma, my favorite, and also The Botany of Desire, that covers among other things the apples of Kazakhstan.

"Dr Buzzo" at Depleted Cranium examines bad public- land solar schemes and why they are bad. I agree entirely. He is not against sane spending either-- hit "home" and check out his defense of (and plea for) Arecibo.

LabRat in particular has been on a roll lately and you should really just check Atomic Nerds daily. But this smackdown of AR terrorists is as good as it gets ( I also like the term "cocknozzle"-- one of the many delights of reading the nerds is that they are intellectually and morally rigorous while being VERY funny.)

Sheer idiocy (shading inexorably into "Doom" of course.) Some people in Wales call in the MOON as a UFO.

"I just need to inform you that across the mountain there's a bright stationary object."

"Control: "Right."

"Caller: "If you've got a couple of minutes perhaps you could find out what it is? It's been there at least half an hour and it's still there." "

Of course there is always a proper bureaucratic response.

" "A police spokeswoman said: "This was a recent example of an inappropriate 999 call to South Wales Police." "

Meanwhile, in England, a man who detains a burglar who assaulted him is charged with assault (the burglar went free.)

Finally, this left my head spinning. That 21 % of atheists believe in God is strange enough, but that is only part of it....


Anonymous said...

what in the world is a Saluki Congress and why was held in finland? I am not sure why but finland and saluki do not go together.


Steve Bodio said...

I THINK this is the first world congress-- John Burchard was there to give a paper and I should know more when he gets back (he is also visiting scientists in Hungary and I think Austria, and working-- advising-- on TV in England.) Lots of good scientific papers given-- i should have more to report, on more than just salukis, eventually.

As to Finland it is weirdly full of serious saluki and tazi breeders-- I know several!

mdmnm said...

"Food: what kind of recipes are "deal breakers" for you? I'm inclined to agree with Carol Blythe (note- Blymire), who said 'I was actually more offended by many of the commenters on the article on the NYT site. Chopping parsley or whisking an egg are dealbreakers? What the fuck is wrong with people?'"

Deal breakers for me are frequently found in the form of excessive ingredients, for ex., 2 lbs of chocolate (use only very good quality, imported chocolate) in a cake. Many of the food magazine recipes from restaurants seem to suffer from scaling down, leading to ingredients like 2 T of stock in a qt of sauce. Rather than deal breakers, I think most of those call for an omission.

Funny, reading Blymire's blog about cooking through the French Laundry Cookbook, several of the recipes have struck me as fussy, not so much as in technique as in the little glosses. Does a sprinkling of carrot dust (really, dried carrots ground to powder) really bring out that much in a dish with a half dozen other components? I suppose I should find out.

Sad that in the NYT article the editor in chief of Bon Apetit reveals she doesn't make pies. I knew there was a reason to let that subscription lapse. Last, also regarding NYT article, I want to know where Mark Miller found wild boar in the hills above Santa Fe. Feral hogs down around Mayhill, yes. Wild boar in the Sangre de Cristos?

Peculiar said...

I must confess, I once looked at the moon for several minutes having no idea what it was. It was when I was coming back from Mongolia, on my flight from Vancouver to San Francisco. It was hazy or smoky in the Cascades I suppose, so the moon rose like a lurid, out-of-focus blood orange. My travel-addled brain was simply refusing to process: what is it? I'm sorry to report the idea of UFO did make a brief appearance. In my defense, though, I had probably been awake for at least 30 hours, the Canadians had hassled the hell out of me, I had the wit not to report it to the flight crew or my fellow passengers, and I figured it out presently.

Wild boar in the Sangres? Keep me posted; I'll go looking for them in the fall.

Steve Bodio said...

Mike: I agree re ingredients, particularly in my even more rural part of New Mexico. I keep a lot of dry and frozen stuff on hand and Albuquerque can furnish ALMOST anything but it is still 2 hours of increasingly expensive gas away. Veal stock/ demi glace is a problem (;-) though I suppose I could make a bit up a couple of times a year...

As to boar I agree with Peculiar-- but I doubt it. We do have javelina (I have some rather too salty sort - of- prosciutto from one)...

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve

My recollection of the Telegraph article was that they claimed the Dachshund was the most agressive SMALL breed of dog!
I heve seen some of their brave French cousins putting a Boar at Bay in France ! - but, as we all know, Jack Russell's will also give most dogs the runaround. They , too , are tenacious ( being terriers!).


LabRat said...

I actually own the Coyote Cafe cookbook in question, and nowhere in there is there "wild boar from the hills of Santa Fe". Miller does recall recipe inspirations from things like hunting trips, but all the Coyote Cafe game comes from Broken Arrow Ranch- in Texas.

That cookbook does make me a little crazy, though. He glosses over the "how can you get fresh seafood in Santa Fe?" question with "I can have it shipped from the Bay area just a few hours older than it would be in San Francisco". That's swell, Mark. I can't. I can get all the esoteric Southwestern ingredients with a little legwork, because I live here, but fresh seafood is basically out of the question. Stingray categorically refuses to make any more seafood dishes unless they can be made with a common frozen fish or shrimp, because we've actually gotten sick several times off the "fresh" seafood from Smith's.

I have a habit of marking up our cookbooks with those little colored removable flags whenever I see an interesting recipe; this drives poor Stingray insane, because I find almost all recipes interesting enough to want a taste of unless they blatantly rely on one of my few food dislikes. The Coyote Cafe book is the least-marked book in the house, because so many of the recipes look delicious... but are just plain unworkable, requiring procedures or ingredients that we don't have room for or can't lay our hands on.

Mostly, it's made me want to make dinner reservations.

Isaac Nichols アイザック ニコルス said...

Just got back from vacation (well...visiting the in-laws anyway) so I just caught the bear link. Probably too late for anyone to actually read this comment but if someone happens upon it the Japanese text just describes the bear. Said to be the largest carnivore of its time, large narrow feet and hands, probably a scavenger, etc.