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Saturday, April 23, 2016

My massaman curry recipe (by request)

This is a non-spicy recipe, since I'm a wimp. If you aren't one, add some Sriracha (or something similar) at the same time you add the potatoes and coconut milk, or, if you have a normal people/wimp mix, just serve it at the table.

Massaman Curry

1/4 cup peanut (or vegetable) oil 

1/2 cup Massaman curry paste (there are a lot of curry pastes, and they probably all taste good, but I use this and I really like it)

2 Tbs fresh minced ginger

1 Tbs fresh minced garlic

1 chopped onion (optional)

2-1/2 pounds chicken breast - cubed

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/3 cup tamarind paste

1/3 cup peanut butter

6 cups cubed potatoes

2 (13.5 oz) cans coconut milk

1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes worth)

1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped


Heat oil over medium heat in a pot big enough to hold everything. Stir in curry paste and minced ginger - cook and stir for 5 minutes or so. Stir in the chicken, and cook, stirring the pieces around for about 8 - 10 minutes until they start to turn white.

Stir in brown sugar, fish sauce, tamarind paste, peanut butter, potatoes, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat as low as it will go, cover, and simmer for at least 30 minutes - the longer the better. I frequently start this at night and leave it in either a very low oven (~220 degrees) or dump it into the crockpot overnight. There's an additional advantage to this - I don't have to try to find/create  refrigerator space.  Add the lime juice and cook for an additional 5 minutes before serving. 

I think this is usually served with white rice, although I use brown rice for everything: you can also just eat it as is. Serve with chopped (or unchopped) peanuts and hot sauce. It's better the next day.

Friday, April 22, 2016

HBO Documentaries Fall For Serial Nobel Prize Hoaxer Michael Mann

Read the whole thing at Breitbart - excerpts below. Mark Steyn is, IMHO, the world expert on all things regarding Mann' BS claims - Steyn's archive of related posts is here.

Serial Nobel Peace Prize hoaxer Michael Mann is maintaining his fake claim to have won the prestigious award in a new HBO documentary — four years after he was exposed for lying to a Washington, D.C. court.

Mann has had to withdraw this inaccurate claim on numerous occasions since 2007 — most dramatically, in 2012, he was forced to admit that a sworn affidavit he submitted to a D.C. court contained the lie about being a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Four years later, the claim is again repeated in the HBO documentary which has just had a theatrical release in New York.

Mann’s repeated exaggeration of his qualifications is significant: He stands accused of exaggerating and manipulating data in his academic work. Mann was the author of the famous “hockey stick” graph which purported to show that world temperatures had been stable and flat until a violent upswing caused by industrialization.

In a sworn affidavit, Mann described himself as a Nobel Prize Winner, and said the fact that he was the recipient of such a prestigious prize compounded the libel.
“It is one thing to engage in discussion about debatable topics. It is quite another to attempt to discredit consistently validated scientific research through the professional and personal defamation of a Nobel prize recipient,” the affidavit stated.
However, the Nobel Prize committee said that Mann was not a winner of the prize, and that working part-time for the IPCC which won the prize does not entitle people to claim they are a winner. In a statement to National Review, a committee spokesperson stated emphatically: “Mann has never won the Nobel Prize.”

Mann was forced to resubmit his sworn statement removing the Peace Prize claim, and he had to scrub the claim from numerous university and professional websites. The re-occurrence of his fake claim to be a Nobel laureate is likely to weaken his legal case against the CEI and Steyn given that they are basing their defense on allegations that he has fabricated scientific findings and statistics.

The hockeystick graph [bottom graph below] claims that the 20th century showed unusually rapid warming -- and thus suggests a strong human influence.  The graph also does away with the well-established Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age, which were shown in earlier IPCC reports [see top graph below].
It was soon found that the Hockeystick graph was in error and did not deserve continued reliance. 

Canadian statisticians Steven McIntyre and Ross McKitrick demonstrated errors in Mann's statistical analysis and in the use of certain tree-ring data for calibration.  In fact, they showed that Mann's algorithm would generate a Hockeystick graph -- even if the input data was pure noise.  

It is worth noting that the IPCC no longer uses the Hockeystick to support human-caused warming.

MIT Technology Review - Global Warming Bombshell:

A prime piece of evidence linking human activity to climate change turns out to be an artifact of poor mathematics.

In the scientific and political debate over global warming, the latest wrong piece may be the hockey stick, the famous plot (shown below), published by University of Massachusetts geoscientist Michael Mann and colleagues. This plot purports to show that we are now experiencing the warmest climate in a millennium, and that the earth, after remaining cool for centuries during the medieval era, suddenly began to heat up about 100 years ago–just at the time that the burning of coal and oil led to an increase in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.

But now a shock: Canadian scientists Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick have uncovered a fundamental mathematical flaw in the computer program that was used to produce the hockey stick.

Now comes the real shocker. This improper normalization procedure tends to emphasize any data that do have the hockey stick shape, and to suppress all data that do not. To demonstrate this effect, McIntyre and McKitrick created some meaningless test data that had, on average, no trends. When they fed these random data into the Mann procedure, out popped a hockey stick shape!

Suddenly the hockey stick, the poster-child of the global warming community, turns out to be an artifact of poor mathematics. 


HBO Documentaries Fall For Serial Nobel Prize Hoaxer Michael Mann

IPCC 's Bogus Evidence for Global Warming

MIT Technology Review - Global Warming Bombshell

The rise and fall of the Hockey Stick

Friday links

April 22 is Earth Day: here's the co-founder who killed then composted his girlfriend.

The Origins of 12 Horse-Related Sayings.

Construction workers from competing companies get into bulldozer fight in the street.

Lenin is About to Turn 146, but He Still Looks 53 - and Russia will spend $200K this year to keep it that way.

ICYMI, Monday's links are here, and include the eighteenth of April in seventy-five (the midnight ride of William Dawes, Samuel Prescott, and Paul Revere), opening a hotel safe with a magnet and a sock, ice cream truck history, and the anniversary of the earthquake and fire that destroyed 80% of San Francisco (including video of a trip down Market Street, before and after the earthquake).

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Construction workers from competing companies get into bulldozer fight in the street

An argument between construction workers escalated into a demolition derby-style clash of heavy machinery that left at least two bulldozers flipped over in a street, say police in northern China. In a video taken on Saturday, several bulldozers are seen ramming each other while passenger cars speed away from the cloud of dust. 

The construction workers were from two companies competing for business.

The video shows one driver running unhurt out of his toppled bulldozer, a fast-moving type of vehicle also known as a wheel loader, while another bulldozer tries to lift it back up.

More here: Bulldozers battle it out on Chinese street as rival firms clash

April 22 is Earth Day: let's remember the co-founder who killed then composted his girlfriend

Nicknamed the Unicorn Killer because his last name means "one horn" in German, Ira Einhorn (wiki) jumped bail and evaded arrest for 23 years, but eventually the "she went to the neighborhood co-op to buy some tofu and sprouts and never returned" story fell apart.

Ira Einhorn was on stage hosting the first Earth Day event at the Fairmount Park in Philadelphia on April 22, 1970. Seven years later, police raided his closet and found the "composted" body of his ex-girlfriend inside a trunk.

When his girlfriend of five years, Helen "Holly" Maddux, moved to New York and broke up with him, Einhorn threatened that he would throw her left-behind personal belongings onto the street if she didn't come back to pick them up.

And so on Sept. 9, 1977, Maddux went back to the apartment that she and Einhorn had shared in Philadelphia to collect her things, and was never seen again. When Philadelphia police questioned Einhorn about her mysterious disappearance several weeks later, he claimed that she had gone out to the neighborhood co-op to buy some tofu and sprouts and never returned.

At the time of his arrest, Einhorn had a kind of
crazed Colonel Sanders thing going......
It wasn't until 18 months later that investigators searched Einhorn's apartment after one of his neighbors complained that a reddish-brown, foul-smelling liquid was leaking from the ceiling directly below Einhorn's bedroom closet. Inside the closet, police found Maddux's beaten and partially mummified body stuffed into a trunk that had also been packed with Styrofoam, air fresheners and newspapers.

After his arrest, Einhorn jumped bail and spent decades evading authorities by hiding out in Ireland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and France. After 23 years, he was finally extradited to the United States from France and put on trial. Taking the stand in his own defense, Einhorn claimed that his ex-girlfriend had been killed by CIA agents who framed him for the crime because he knew too much about the agency's paranormal military research. He was convicted of murdering Maddux and is currently serving a life sentence.

Understandably, Earth Day's organizers have distanced themselves from his name, citing Gaylord Nelson, an environmental activist and former Wisconsin governor and U.S. senator who died in 2005, as Earth Day's official founder and organizer. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Sen. Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day in the spring of 1970 as a way to bring national awareness to the fact that, at the time, there were no legal or regulatory mechanisms in place to protect the environment. About 20 million participants at various Earth Day events across the U.S. made Earth Day a success, and in December of 1970, Congress authorized the creation of a new federal agency to tackle environmental issues — the EPA.

More at NBC and Reason.

Scientists Stream Netflix Through Pork Loin

A group of researchers at the University of Illinois demonstrated that they could transmit a wireless signal described as strong enough to “stream Netflix” through two types of meat, pork tenderloin and beef liver. However, the project – nicknamed “meat-comms” – isn’t intended to bring actual TV shows to your TV dinners. Instead, the scientists are looking for a better way to communicate with medical devices implanted in the human body.

Existing implants, such as pacemakers, use radio to communicate with the outside world. But radio waves do not travel well through the soft tissue in our bodies. Ramping up the power to improve the signal can be dangerous, as it heats up the tissue it passes through.

These limitations have stopped us developing medical implants that can send and receive useful amounts of wireless data, says Andrew Singer, at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. So his team turned to ultrasound instead.

Singer has spent years building ultrasonic systems for the navy and suspected that a similar approach would work well in the body. “You’re a big bag of salt water, with some bones and some other tissues,” he says. “Communicating in the ocean and communicating in your body are very similar.”

To test the idea, Singer and his colleagues first submerged their transmitter and receiver in a tank of water and tried sending data through meat. They suspended the pieces of meat in the water tank and found that the ultrasonic signal passed through both types of meat at speeds of up to 30 megabits a second (from an original signal of 120 megabits a second). That's 1000 times faster than existing implants using radio signals.

The meat-comms team is planning to test the approach with real medical implants or living tissue, but the initial results already suggest some exciting future possibilities, says Singer. Software updates could potentially be beamed directly to medical implants without the need to remove them surgically.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday links

T'was the eighteenth of April in seventy-five: The midnight ride of William Dawes and Samuel Prescott (and Paul Revere).

A hotel safe can be opened using a neodynium magnet and a sock.

April 18, 1906 - the earthquake and fire that destroyed 80% of San Francisco: documentary and footage, plus video of of trip down Market Street in San Francisco in 1906, before and after the earthquake.

ICYMI, Friday's links are here, and include lots of tax day stuff, sci-fi tax revolts, why yo-yos keep spinning, and Leonardo da Vinci’s handwritten resume from 1482.

T'was the eighteenth of April in seventy-five: The midnight ride of William Dawes and Samuel Prescott (and Paul Revere)

Listen my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.
'Twas the eighteenth of April in seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (wikiPaul Revere's Ride, stanza 1)

The entire poem is at the bottom of this post.

Paul Revere (wiki) gets all of the credit, but he never actually finished that famous ride, and in fact warned the British that the Americans were coming. William Dawes and Samuel Prescott were left out of the poem and subsequently most elementary history books: it was actually Samuel Prescott who completed the midnight ride. 

Revere would be surprised that he ended up receiving sole credit for the midnight ride. In addition to Dawes and Prescott, dozens of other men helped spread the word that night. Revere started other express riders on their way before leaving Boston, and he also alerted others along his journey. They too began riding, or shot guns and rang church bells to alert the community.

Revere covered 13 miles in less than two hours, but he was not working alone. British patrols were posted along the roads, which is why more than one messenger was used for the mission.

In addition to omitting the efforts of Dawes, Prescott and dozens of nameless midnight riders.Longfellow's poem contains other errors as well; most notably, the signal of two lanterns hanging in the Old North Church was a signal from Revere, not a signal to Revere. In his defense, Longfellow didn't intend for the work to be an historical account - the 1860 poem was meant to inspire his countrymen on the eve of the Civil War.

Click to embiggen.

Here's William Dawes' story:

I am a wandering, bitter shade,
Never of me was a hero made;
Poets have never sung my praise,
Nobody crowned my brow with bays;
And if you ask me the fatal cause,
I answer only, "My name was Dawes."

William Dawes
'Tis all very well for the children to hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere;
But why should my name be quite forgot,
Who rode as boldly and well, God wot?
Why should I ask? The reason is clear --
My name was Dawes and his Revere.

When the lights from the old North Church flashed out,
Paul Revere was waiting about,
But I was already on my way.
The shadows of night fell cold and gray
As I rode, with never a break or a pause;
But what was the use, when my name was Dawes!

History rings with his silvery name;
Closed to me are the portals of fame.
Had he been Dawes and I Revere,
No one had heard of him, I fear.
No one has heard of me because

He was Revere, and I was Dawes.

~ Helen F. Moore (1851-1929) ("The Midnight Ride of William Dawes," Century Magazine, 1896)

On the evening of April 18, 1775, General Thomas Gage, the British commander in Boston, dispatched a contingent of troops to seize a supply of arms and powder that the colonial insurgents had stored at Lexington and Concord, as well as to arrest two leading patriots, Samuel Adams and John Hancock, who were also hidden in the area. 

As every schoolchild knows, Paul Revere's ensuing midnight ride called the local militia to arms, and the battles of Lexington and Concord followed the next day. Largely obscured by the great renown of Longfellow's poem, "Paul Revere's Ride" (included in his Tales of a Wayside Inn of 1863), is the fact that two other men - William Dawes (1745-1799) and Dr. Samuel Prescott (1751-1777) - also rode that night to spread the alarm. Moreover, it can be argued that Revere was the least successful of the three, because although he and Dawes were both captured by the British, Dawes escaped to arouse Lexington, and then Prescott carried the word to Concord. 

For some, the midnight ride conjures images of Paul Revere riding through the night, shouting out, "The British are coming! The British are coming!" But this phrase would have made no sense to the colonists; everyone at that time thought of themselves as British. Instead, Revere spread his message subtly by saying, "The Regulars are coming." The troops were known as Regulars, Redcoats or The King's Men. The troops called the colonists country people, provincials, Yankees, peasants or rebels.

Here's Longfellow's entire poem:

Paul Revere
Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."

Then he said "Good-night!" and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Old North Church
Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,--
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,--
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse's side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer's dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,---
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,---
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

The Revolutionary War began the next day - April 19, 1775. Here's Emerson:

By the rude bridge that arched the flood, 
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled; 
Here once the embattled farmers stood; 
And fired the shot heard round the world. 

Ralph Waldo EmersonConcord Hymn (stanza 1)

A strip from "They'll Do it Every Time" by Jimmy Hatlo (1897-1963).  Note the reference to Shakespeare's disputed authorship:

Remember the kerfuffle when Sarah Palin mentioned that Revere actually told the British that the Americans were coming and the "intellectuals" on the left, who got their history from the poem, made much of what an idiot she was?

During Paul Revere’s ride he was stopped by British soldiers, which Revere recounts in a 1789 letter maintained by the Massachusetts Historical Society, in his original language:
observed a Wood at a Small distance, & made for that. When I got there, out Started Six officers, on Horse back, and orderd me to dismount;-one of them, who appeared to have the command, examined me, where I came from, & what my Name Was? I told him. it was Revere, he asked if it was Paul? I told him yes He asked me if I was an express? I answered in the afirmative. He demanded what time I left Boston? I told him; and aded, that their troops had catched aground in passing the River, and that There would be five hundred Americans there in a short time, for I had alarmed the Country all the way up. He imediately rode towards those who stoppd us, when all five of them came down upon a full gallop; one of them, whom I afterwards found to be Major Mitchel, of the 5th Regiment, Clapped his pistol to my head, called me by name, & told me he was going to ask me some questions, & if I did not give him true answers, he would blow my brains out. He then asked me similar questions to those above. He then orderd me to mount my Horse, after searching me for arms. He then orderd them to advance, & to lead me in front. When we got to the Road, they turned down towards Lexington. When we had got about one Mile, the Major Rode up to the officer that was leading me, & told him to give me to the Sergeant. As soon as he took me, the Major orderd him, if I attempted to run, or any body insulted them, to blow my brains out. We rode till we got near Lexington Meeting-house, when the Militia fired a Voley of Guns, which appeared to alarm them very much.
Further reading: