Monday’s Forum

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Teve says:

    Due to a fire accident I lost my main cooking equipment. I replaced my Thermopen, and my Tramontina 3 quart sauce pan, my T-fal nonstick for low-to-medium temperature dishes, but now I need to decide, what to do about searing? cast iron, carbon steel, or a torch?

    ETA you know what, after doing some more reading, I’m going to go with stainless steel because it’s non-reactive and pretty durable.

    But any other suggestions about kitchen equipment that you just can’t live without are appreciated.

  2. Teve says:
  3. Teve says:
  4. The Q says:

    Joe Manchin keeps insisting the filibuster protects “minority” viewpoints and must be protected. This quaint Mr. Deeds notion of the filibuster is belied by the fact that 18% of the population elects 52% of the Senate. Virginia was 12 times larger than Delaware in 1790. The largest discrepancy. California is 40 times larger than Wyoming in 2021. The Senate is de facto TOO protective of minority rights and the filibuster’s time to end has come.

  5. Scott says:

    @Teve: My wife requested, as a Christmas present, a couple of de Buyer carbon steel fry pans. They are expensive but I’ve grown to really like them.

  6. sam says:

    The term ‘elegant solution’ is overworked, I think, but in this case it does apply.

  7. Scott says:

    Esper, McMaster, Panetta Endorse 9/11-Style Commission to Investigate Jan. 6 Insurrection

    Don’t know if this will go anywhere but this could be the beginning of the next chapter of the restoration.

    Two of former President Donald Trump’s top national security officials called for a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

    Mark Esper, one of Trump’s defense secretaries, and H.R. McMaster, one of his national security advisors, joined Leon Panetta, an Obama administration defense secretary and CIA director, in calling for the panel during a virtual Reagan Institute event.

    “It was a very important historical event that people will study for decades to come — and not a positive one,” Esper said. “We need to have serious people, independent people take a look at this, just like the 9/11 Commission.”

    “We need to really broaden it out and understand what is the root of this? What is the nature of extremism in the country? How is it evolving and changing? And how do we address that? Not necessarily the details of when were the police called or when was the National Guard called etc.,” Esper said. “Broaden it out, take the deeper look, because these are important trend lines that we need to understand and we can’t reverse them until we understand them.”

    I really liked this:

    McMaster, a retired three-star Army general, said the commission should also look at politicians’ role in the insurrection.

    “One of the causes of the assault on the Capitol was politicians — the President [Trump] foremost among them — who are thinking are increasingly prone to compromise our principles to score partisan political points,” he said. “I hope that the Commission will also maybe define our political leadership broadly as part of the problem, and then of course, those who are also responsible for addressing this problem and restoring our confidence in our democratic principles and institutions and processes.”

  8. sam says:

    Seen on the web:

    Young woman: I hate it when girls say, “I won’t eat at McDonald’s because I care about what goes into my body” Stacy, I’ve seen your exes. No you do not.

  9. de stijl says:

    Given the state of my belly button every morning:

    1. All of my tee shirts should threadbare.
    2. I should be chest bald.

    Why does lint/body hair end up there rather than just following gravity? Is the navel a mini-black hole?

  10. Kathy says:

    Minor update: I had blood drawn a little while ago for pre-op blood tests, and I’m heading over to the hospital for the COVID-19 test and chest X-ray (it opens at 10).

  11. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I’m a cast iron guy myself. I’ve never used stainless for anything other than stock and steaming. The downside to cast iron is that now that I’m old, the pan is too heavy for me to lift and maneuver comfortably–getting the last of the fried rice out of the pan, stuff like that. Good luck with your choices.

  12. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Also, if you like rice, a rice cooker of the sort that people use in Asia is the bomb. Set it and forget it. The rice is ready when you want it for up to 12 hours before it starts to scorch or dry out.

  13. de stijl says:


    Cast iron is great for steaks or any time you are looking for a hard sear on

    But limit the use to that.

    I use my flat-bottom wok a lot. Works great for taco and curry prep.

    I would not spend stupid bucks on either, but both are workhorses for me. You’ll do fine mid-range.

    The quality of mid-range cookware has increased markedly during my lifetime. Like weather forecasts.

    If you get a good quality set 8 and 10 inch skillets with good heat transfer that covers 75% of what you need. Pay attention to handle ergonomics.

    You do not need to go to Williams-Sonoma and pay stupid high price, but don’t buy too cheap either because you’ll use it everyday.

    Durolon, T-Fal, etc. of that price point will do you fine. All of those companies compete like crazy. And Bed Bath and Beyond is a perfectly cromulent retailer where you can pick em up and judge the handles.

    Never underestimate the utility of a decent quality toaster oven.

  14. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    A good toaster oven is a real workhorse.

  15. de stijl says:


    Gosar the Gosarian.

    Runs through my head everytime I see his name in print.

  16. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    Damn, that’s deep.

  17. de stijl says:


    I have thought about a countertop convection oven to the point of research, but have not pulled the trigger yet.

  18. Teve says:


    Newsmax host: “This year alone, we have seen Kermit the Frog, Mr. Potato Head, Dr. Seuss, Star Wars characters, pancake syrup, butter, and beloved sports teams’ logos banned. Erased from history”

  19. de stijl says:


    I have thought about stashing the daily lint/hair ball in a jar to see how much it adds up to in volume over the course of a year.

    I clearly have too much time on my hands, but SCIENCE! is cool. Why not? I’m gonna do it.

  20. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: after much frustration of trying to figure it out myself, and failing miserably and winding up with white glue balls, I went to YouTube and watched the Gordon Ramsay video just called like ‘how to cook rice perfectly’. 1 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup rice, rinse it til the water runs clear to get rid of excess starch, get it boiling ASAP and then turn it down to a simmer, and give it 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. My rice came out so fucking amazing that it pissed me off that I wasted so much time.

  21. Teve says:

    @de stijl: honestly there’s a Brazilian company called Tramontina that has the most amazing value for the price. The 3 quart sauce pan of theirs with the nice thick base that I paid 36 bucks for 10 years ago worked perfectly every day and was still functioning at 100% a couple of days ago when I managed to set it on fire.

    The identical copy replacement is currently in shipment from Amazon.

  22. Kylopod says:

    @Teve: This year alone, we have seen conservatives put themselves forward as the ardent defenders of a man who mocked the original America First movement and wrote a children’s book that was thinly veiled propaganda against the logging industry.

  23. Teve says:

    Starting with a Farberware piece of crap 27 years ago, I have used lots and lots of cooking thermometers, and I have never seen anything as good as the Thermapen. Yeah it’s 100 bucks, but I literally use it every single day, it’s accurate to 0.7°F, if it goes out of calibration you can literally re-calibrate it, waterproof, works from -58° to 500 something, has an automatic back light,…

  24. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    Well, do keep us apprised of your findings.

  25. CSK says:

    It’s just perversity at this point. if the libs object to something, they’ll defend it passionately. And vice versa.

  26. de stijl says:


    I have never rinsed rice.

    I do rice 3-4 times a week. Never felt the need to do that.

    Pay attention to package instructions. Texmati which is my go-to is 1 3/4 to 1. Quick boil. 15 minutes on low heat, 5 off.

    Rice is like tea – many varieties.

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I second your comment on rice cookers. The difference between an American rice cooker and one meant for sale in Asia is night and day. The latest one we got is a small one that allows us to make as little as one Asian portion, brown or white, and it cooks it perfectly and then it can keep for quite a while. If we do 3 or 4 portions it could probably go the 12 hours. When my wife lived in Tokyo, the norm was for people to make extra rice at dinner and leave it in the cooker overnight to be used for breakfast.

  28. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl: After living in China, I always rinse my rice and I always pour some boiling water over my loose tea leaves and discard it. You don’t really want to have to think too much about where that stuff has been and what kind of chemicals it’s been sprayed with.

  29. Neil Hudelson says:


    A twelve inch stainless steel pan, in my opinion, is a must regardless of whether you also get a cast iron, carbon steel, etc. I went with the Allclad stainless steel 12 inch covered with an aluminum core–a more expensive brand, but my reasoning is that this will be, next to my chef’s knife, my most widely used piece of equipment in the kitchen. And, indeed, it is. It’s wide enough to tackle just about any size of meal, and deep enough that it’s pretty versatile. Hell, I even boil pasta in it. (Pasta tip: the rule that you need a lot of water for pasta is horsesh*t. Reducing the water doesn’t make pasta stick together or turn mushier quicker, or any other rumor. It does boil faster and makes for starchier pasta water, which is great for bringing together sauces.)

    Re: cast iron versus carbon steel–once I got a carbon steel, I stopped using my cast iron pan all that much. Carbon steel holds heat almost as well, heats up quicker because it’s thinner, is just as durable, and weighs far less.

  30. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: I was amused when I saw the size of the rice cooker at one of the local Asian restaurants. It was 60 cup.

  31. Teve says:

    @Neil Hudelson: I looked at that All-Clad model, and it’s actually not bad, it comes with a lid and it’s 130 bucks on Amazon. But I have been out of work for about six months so I’m gonna be looking at the $60 Tramontina. 😛

  32. de stijl says:


    I shall.

    I will need to buy a digital scale that allows you to set tare weight. Volumetrics will be tough due to the inherent tampability of the specimen, but my process will be right index finger to extract it and straight into a jar: any compression therein is an unavoidable result of the extraction process.

    I’m actually looking forward to this. It will be stupid fun.


    Totally doing this. March 9 2022 will be results day. With really gross pics.

  33. Joe says:

    I was aware of this keeping rice overnight habit when I lived in Japan 40 years ago. It’s better than no rice at all, but I can tell immediately in any restaurant how long the rice has been sitting since being freshly steamed and it is more than occasionally a little too long.

    I have always used a cheap rice steamer that provides no opportunity for storage. In fact, I unplug it the minute the rice is cooked because to leave the warmer on under it will cause toasting of the bottom layer. If I need it to wait a while, I will put a heavy towel on top to hold the heat in.

  34. Teve says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    (Pasta tip: the rule that you need a lot of water for pasta is horsesh*t. Reducing the water doesn’t make pasta stick together or turn mushier quicker, or any other rumor. It does boil faster and makes for starchier pasta water, which is great for bringing together sauces.) (Pasta tip: the rule that you need a lot of water for pasta is horsesh*t. Reducing the water doesn’t make pasta stick together or turn mushier quicker, or any other rumor. It does boil faster and makes for starchier pasta water, which is great for bringing together sauces.)

    Oh yeah, I’ll boil a pound of pasta in my 3 quart saucepan, even though for some reason the box says you need to use 18 gallons of water. I also found out that the common explanation for adding salt to the pasta water, that it increases the boiling temperature, is nonsense. You add salt to the pasta water because it absorbs into the pasta and makes the pasta taste better. And ignore the bullshit label that says to use like half a teaspoon or something, that’s to keep the sodium number down on the label, use several teaspoons.

  35. Teve says:

    @de stijl: The trend in baking is to give the recipe measurements in weights instead of volume because weights are much more reliable.

  36. Teve says:

    I’m actually about to try a new ad hoc recipe. All the ingredients of lasagna, but rigatoni instead of flat noodles. The same sauce, the same ricotta, etc., just changing the style of pasta.

  37. Mister Bluster says:

    @de stijl:..I have thought about stashing the daily lint/hair ball in a jar to see how much it adds up to in volume over the course of a year.

    A while back I learned through a friend that a mutual acquaintance of ours saved his fingernail and toenail clippings in a jar. I always meant to ask the guy why he did that but he left town.

    Trigger Warning
    Our family lived in my grandparents house for a year or so. I got to see another side of my dear grandmother like when she offered to make me a naval lint and toe jam sandwich for lunch one day. I almost barfed right there. She thought it was really funny.

  38. Teve says:

    @Mister Bluster: dateline is someday going to refer to this as a period where his whereabouts were unknown

  39. de stijl says:

    Update on the bucatini shortage.

    De Cecco got ratted out by a competitor for not meeting US pasta import requirements on iron content and 86’d the lot.

    Grub Street has the deets.

    Bucatini is the most sumptuous of the long pastas. The little hole is the trick. Sauce absorption is key.

  40. Mister Bluster says:

    @Teve:..The trend in baking is to give the recipe measurements in weights instead of volume because weights are much more reliable.

    I remember weighing the water in a large pitcher before adding it to the dough at my dad’s
    Baker’s Dozen Donut shop circa 1962.

  41. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    There is scientific knowledge about nail growth. N growth by x time is firmly established.

    To my knowledge, there is no quantitative studies on belly button accumulation. Thankfully, I am an innie and an idiot with too much time on my hands so I can fill that gap in scientific knowledge.

  42. BugManDan says:

    @de stijl:

    Thankfully, I am an innie and an idiot with too much time on my hands so I can fill that gap in scientific knowledge.

    If you would quit picking it the gap would fill on its own.

  43. Mu Yixiao says:

    Cast iron for me (mine are all antique, except for my woks).

    Asian-style rice cookers are amazing. And the right amount of water is “one knuckle above the top of the rice”. Makes a perfect sticky rice.

  44. de stijl says:


    Share please.

    My initial thought is that the pasta layers will be too thick because the rigatoni will just compress during baking.

    Maybe stuff the rigatoni with meat or cheese or both before baking?

    Cool experiment!

  45. de stijl says:


    Love how you tied together the culinary arts with the science of measuring belly button detritus.

    Weight is a better measure than mass for many things.


  46. Kathy says:

    Got the swabs. Results are promised for this evening.

    You know, every pcr test I’m warned about the nasal swabs, which are pretty uncomfortable, but it’s the throat swab that activates the gag reflex.

    On the other hand, I think it’s the first covid test when I’m not worried about the results.

  47. de stijl says:


    Be well.

    Keep us apprised.

  48. de stijl says:

    Apparently one person has done research. I will back-stop that dude. Stomach hair is the key. I am not all that hairy. Vox has a backgrounder.

    I shaved my arms, chest, and belly once (more actually).

    My partner and I agreed it did not work aesthitically. I looked like Platoon era Willem Dafoe and a bald seal had a love child. Not becoming to my eye. I avoided mirrors except to shave my face for two months.

  49. Gustopher says:

    @sam: self-centered is usually a bad thing, but for this it is excellent.

  50. Gustopher says:


    Newsmax host: “This year alone, we have seen Kermit the Frog, Mr. Potato Head, Dr. Seuss, Star Wars characters, pancake syrup, butter, and beloved sports teams’ logos banned. Erased from history”

    Star Wars characters? Does this mean there’s a new edition of the prequels that replace all the races that were just based on racial stereotypes?

  51. CSK says:

    The United States Supreme Court has once again stabbed Donald Trump in the back:

    And just to think he appointed Amy Coney Barrett last September specifically to pull his chestnuts out of the electoral fire.

  52. de stijl says:

    Jar Jar says what? And let’s misunderstand taoism.

    Crikey that man is a crap writer.

    The only line that truly resonates is Han’s “I know” and that was an ad-lib. Fool at least had the sense to keep that take.

  53. Neil Hudelson says:


    Yeah I got mine from the Amazon “treasure truck” for $80. Too good a deal to pass up, but normally I wouldn’t spend more than $100 on a pan. I googled the tramontina brand and it looks great. I’ll check them out.

  54. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher: I assume this was a response to the firing of Gina Carano, but it does raise some interesting questions–Star Wars has for decades had racial baggage that even people at the time noticed. All the way back in 1977, the first film was criticized for its lily-white cast (except the disembodied, uncredited James Earl Jones, of course), and although Lucas never admitted it, it probably contributed to the casting of Billy Dee Williams in Empire. Then, as you mentioned, the prequels took some heat for the resemblance of the alien characters to (human) racial stereotypes. Those were all criticisms lobbed at those films at the time of release. If this had happened today, conservatives would be crying about “Star Wars being canceled,” just because some people dared voice those criticisms. But most of that’s been long forgotten by now, with the Carano firing being the only recent woke-adjacent controversy in the franchise, and it had nothing to do with the character but simply the actress’s behavior off set. Perhaps the Newsmax host is mixing it up a bit, dredging up some of the older controversies (“Woke libs think Jar Jar is Jamaican? Cancel culture!”) as if they’re still current now.

  55. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Asian-style rice cookers are amazing. And the right amount of water is “one knuckle above the top of the rice”. Makes a perfect sticky rice.

    There’s an Asian comedian who does a funny bit about that.

  56. Teve says:

    Star Wars characters? Does this mean there’s a new edition of the prequels that replace all the races that were just based on racial stereotypes?

    Most of the Star Trek races were obvious racial stereotypes.

  57. de stijl says:


    Kelly Marie Tran might have some insight on “cancel culture”. Idris Elba, too.

    Apparent to some, space fantasy future is white only. And mostly male.

  58. Teve says:

    Capitol Hill Books

    No, we don’t have any of the recalled Dr. Seuss books and why are you suddenly trying to buy them now that you found out they have racist imagery, you weirdos.

  59. JohnMcC says:

    @Teve: Have visited this thread several times this morning. Have been waiting politely. Will speak up myself:

    Have you considered a fire extinguisher?

  60. Kylopod says:


    Most of the Star Trek races were obvious racial stereotypes.

    I’d go so far as to say as the original Star Wars trilogy had this element. The Sand people were Arabs or Bedouins. The ewoks were an African tribe. Yoda was an Asian master. He was Space Miyagi. But most people didn’t much notice any of this at the time. I think the reason the prequel characters like Jar Jar, Watto, the Neimodians, etc. caught people’s attention was the accents. The original trilogy had the aliens speaking fictional languages; the prequels, however, had them speaking fictional English dialects or accents–ones that only called further attention to the ethnic resemblances of the characters. It was the way Jar Jar talked that caused the most controversy, even more than his appearance.

  61. Neil Hudelson says:

    @de stijl: @Teve:

    I’ve been loving the sporkful’s Mission ImPASTAble miniseries:

  62. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    Kelly Marie Tran might have some insight on “cancel culture”. Idris Elba, too.

    I do remember when The Force Awakens first hit theaters, how the alt-right/incel crowd online totally lost their shit. I’m sure a lot of these types were acting the same way back when Billy Dee was cast in Empire, or when Boba Fett was revealed in the prequels to be Maori. We just didn’t hear them, because it was before there was social media to amplify their voices. Still, there was a difference: the pre-Disney SW films followed the old tradition of casting minority actors in supporting roles. TFA was the first to cast them as the leads. Among the younger characters it introduced, there wasn’t a single white male in a leading part. While Leia was always a fairly strong female character, she was secondary to the males most of the time. Rey on the other hand is essentially the Luke, not the Leia. The main male lead is a black guy who’s clearly the lesser fighter of the two. The closest thing to a white male hero type is Poe, who’s in the background most of the time, and the actor is Hispanic anyway. Then, as you mention, there’s Kelly Marie Tran in the next two films. No wonder the usual suspects threw a fit.

  63. Teve says:

    @JohnMcC: Sure, I came very close to buying one last year but I got distracted and it slipped my mind. But it wouldn’t have helped much in this case anyway, the fire was all coming from one pot of canola oil and as soon as I saw it I was able to grab the handle and throw the pot out the back door. But the next time I am in town I will be purchasing one.

    Came close to complete disaster though, everything within a foot of the pot got torched, my thermometer and the two range knobs near it on the stove fucking Melted into liquid, but nothing ignited.

  64. Mister Bluster says:

    @Teve:..But any other suggestions about kitchen equipment that you just can’t live without are appreciated.

    A can opener, a microwave and a pop up toaster* are all I use any more.
    *As opposed to the old time toaster we had when I was a kid.

  65. Monala says:

    @Teve: Blender and food processer. We bought a Ninja combo to replace our stuff lost in a fire, and love it.

  66. Teve says:

    @Mister Bluster: yeah, I’ve got a can opener, last month I bought a new microwave and there is nothing I can think of that I would use a pop-up toaster for. I mean, if I ever contract an incurable fatal disease I’ll buy that toaster at Sam’s Club when I buy the pallet of variety pop tarts I currently deny myself, because they are sugar enveloped in sugar frosted with sugar 😀

  67. Monala says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: speaking of rice cookers, when we were living in a hotel post-fire, we used a rice cooker to make oatmeal, chicken, spaghetti and all kinds of other foods.

  68. Teve says:

    @Monala: you invented the Insta pot 😛

  69. Kathy says:


    There’s a pilot called Patrick Smith (he has a blog), who says he can make instant ramen in a hotel’s coffee maker. As I recall, it involves putting the noodles where the coffee grounds go, rather than heating water and pouring it into a noodle cup.

  70. de stijl says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    That was super cool. I wish him well. The pasta biz is apparently pretty cut-throat. See the De Cecco happenstance. A new shape manufactured is a mighty goal. Godspeed, sir!

    My fave underutilized pasta is orecchiette. Small, but substantial. A hefty pasta.

  71. Gustopher says:

    @Monala: I think we all need the recipe for rice cooker chicken.

  72. Gustopher says:


    I assume this was a response to the firing of Gina Carano

    I forgot she existed. Who can keep track of all these grudges and slights against conservatives?

    These are the same people who claim microaggressions aren’t real.

    It’s a pity we aren’t up to after-the-fact replacing people with cgi. Just replace her with a Wookiie.

    Fun Fact: All the puffins that kept wandering into the shot in The Last Jedi were replaced with Porgs in post-production. Maybe make her a giant Porg.

  73. de stijl says:


    Obviously, good knives.

    I went with German initially, but you need some Japanese knives, too. And a good cleaver.

  74. Mister Bluster says:

    @Teve:..pop-up toaster
    Since I don’t have toaster oven I use my pop up toaster to make toast. It is a primary ingredient when I want to recreate lunch like mom used to make it. Heat up a can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup and pour it over white toast just for the nostalgia of it all. If I really want to go back in time I get some cottage cheese for the side. Mom would cover the cottage cheese with sugar so I would eat it. I don’t need to go that far down memory lane any more.
    I don’t think I’ve ever had a Pop Tart.
    (Well, maybe in bed one time…I think her name was Cinnamon.)

  75. Gustopher says:

    SWAT team called into maskless Boulder college party where students set off fireworks and flipped a car

    Beginning late Saturday afternoon, music bumped as 500 to 800 maskless revelers swarmed a street in a neighborhood near the University of Colorado at Boulder. The cheering crowd later blasted fireworks into the sky and flipped a car.

    Law enforcement officers showed up with a SWAT vehicle at about 8:30 p.m. local time. Using a loudspeaker, they warned: “If you fail to leave, you will be subject to arrest and the use of tear gas.” Many students cleared out. Others stayed, shouting expletives at police. About 100 ran toward authorities, police said, and several threw bottles and rocks.

    I’ve got nothing. The crowd was tear-gassed and “a long range acoustical device” was used (loudspeaker? sonic weapon?).

  76. de stijl says:


    Rightwingers have a very odd understanding of speech. And freedom thereof.

    Were totally cool with what happened to Colin Kaepernik. He deserved it, in fact. Just rewards.

    He is an example to be ignored. Like fka The Dixie Chicks, too. They don’t count.
    Public Enemy – Don’t Believe The Hype

  77. sam says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Heat up a can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup and pour it over white toast just for the nostalgia of it all.

    When I was in the service, a common breakfast in the mess hall was creamed chipped beef on toast, lovingly known as “Shit on a Shingle,” shortened to just SOS. One day this visiting congressman and his wife were touring the mess hall. She saw SOS written on the blackboard, and asked one of the cooks what it meant. He just smiled down at her and said, ‘Why, mam, that just means “same old stuff” ‘.

  78. de stijl says:


    I watched Carano’s “break-out” movie. Supposedly in the vein of Atomic Blonde. Nope. Stupid.

    And she was so wooden the trees were jealous.

    The Raid is a thousand times better and was made in Malaysia for like $4000 bucks or so.

  79. Teve says:

    @de stijl: you might be surprised about what I have to say about knives. I have checked out forged knives from Wusthof, and Misen, and Henckels etc. and I prefer my significantly lighter Henckles International with a stamped blade. Forged knives can maintain an edge better but I have a Chef’s Choice Trizor XV and I give it a few passages on the finer wheels of that once a week or so and then it cuts like an Oxy-acetylene torch. I like the thinner, stamped blade, it just feels nicer in my hand and it’s flexible. And it was 20 bucks at Target. And when it needs to be replaced in several years, I’ll get what America’s Test Kitchen recommends, which is the $35 Victorinox Fibrox, which is also a stamped blade. I inherited from my dad a block of 6 Japanese steak knives with molybdenum blades that I use as boning knives, I’ve got the 8 inch chefs knife, and a 3 inch paring knife, and that’s all I need.

  80. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Even the mention of cottage cheese makes me nauseous.

  81. Teve says:

    @Monala: i’ve got a Black & Decker food processor, and I do have an immersion blender on my Amazon wish list. Just haven’t sprung for it yet.

  82. de stijl says:

    Atomic Blonde was a hell of movie. Set pieces were spectacular. Theron kicks ass.

    If you enjoyed John Wick….

  83. Teve says:

    @Teve: there was an episode of an Anthony Bourdain show where they are in some remote place in Italy in this woman’s kitchen and she didn’t speak a lick of English but her daughter was translating, and they were about to get some seriously authentic Italian food, and the woman was cutting up some vegetables and throwing them into a pot and somebody asked her what kind of knife is that you’re using, and through her daughter she said “what?” they said what kind of knife is that? And she said “it’s a knife that cuts.” And then looked at him like he was a moron 😀

    Whenever I feel myself getting too precious about some kitchen gear I remember that lady.

  84. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher: Carano was fired for–well, really, a series of comments, but the final straw was a tweet where she claimed conservatives today are being treated like the Jews in Kristallnacht. This was perceived by some to be anti-Semitic.

    She’s since been picked up by Ben Shapiro, who’s trying to create a kind of alternate conservative-friendly Hollywood.

    The funny thing is, I’m old enough to remember another controversy involving a firing from media over perceived anti-Semitism. I’m talking about Helen Thomas after her rant against Israel in 2010. I don’t recall any complaints about “cancel culture” when that happened, or even in the years since. (Ben Shapiro in a 2013 tweet linked to an article titled “Politico Magazine Whitewashes Helen Thomas’ Anti-Semitism.”) Why? Because Thomas was a liberal, and her statements were directed against Israel. Conservatives only complain about people being canceled when it’s over views they sympathize with.

    For that matter, I’ve never heard a single complaint about “cancel culture” when social media platforms have removed, say, users advocating jihadism.

    This is one of the problems with most of the right’s attempt at casting themselves as free speech warriors. Let’s put aside for the moment the confusion between the actions of the government and private companies. The true test of commitment to free speech isn’t defending the rights of those you approve of–it’s defending the rights of those you find deplorable! That was the whole point of the ACLU in Skokie, sending Jewish lawyers out to defend neo-Nazis. When conservatives complain about “cancel culture,” they aren’t standing up to free expression. They’re standing up to their expression. It’s totally centered on views they favor. Anyone else can go take a hike, as far as they’re concerned.

  85. de stijl says:


    The latest studio album by The Mountain Goats is called Getting Into Knives. I like Pictures Of My Dress. It’s fucking awesome.

    Guided By Voices have the eternal My Valuable Hunting Knife. Classic.

    Here I am, frugal guy, and you underspent me on knives by a lot.

  86. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: A buddy of mine collected his belly button lint for a year (or was it more?), then framed it and gave it to some friends as a gift.

    Why yes, I do have some weird friends. Why do you ask?

  87. de stijl says:


    I donate to ACLU every year. I just throw away the monthly beg letters until December so it works fine for me.

    Perhaps the worthiest cause I sponsor. Nearest to my heart.

  88. Teve says:

    @de stijl: hey you’ve got some great knives. I saw a demonstration with an ultra sharp knife, I’ll never be able to find the video, but the guy had I think it was a cylinder of cucumber on a table and he took his ultra sharp knife and sliced a 01 mm thick slice off the top of it without holding it in any way. My $20 knife will never be capable of doing that.

  89. de stijl says:


    I like your friend.

    No fooling. I am doing it. I washed up a jar earlier. As of tomorrow morning I’m collecting navel junk. In a jar. On my toilet. That I have to remember to hide when I have respectable visitors.

  90. Monala says:

    @de stijl: IIRC, doesn’t frequent commenter Neil work for the ACLU?

  91. de stijl says:


    I likely overspent for the marginal utility.

    I like knives. I watch Forged In Fire religiously even though I could not do that to save my life. Doug Marcaida is stupid awesome. Besides America’s Test Kitchen, perhaps my favorite show.

    Outside Better Call Saul, obviously

  92. de stijl says:


    If so, that’s super cool.

  93. Teve says:

    @de stijl:

    Raw Craft with Anthony Bourdain episode four: Bob Kramer

    I think it was a New Yorker article I read several years ago about what you have to do to become a master knife maker, of which there are like 125 in America. You have to craft, from raw metal, three knives that can do the following things: slice through a 1 inch thick length of free hanging rope in one slice, shave hairs off your forearm, then put the knife in a vice and bend it 90° without it snapping.

    There was one dude who was headed to the competition to be judged and had his knives with him and got in a bad car wreck, and the doors were hopelessly jammed, so he got one of his knives and sliced a hole through the car door and climbed out.

  94. Teve says:

    Grrr no edit button. Vise, obviously.

  95. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: I long ago found the perfect solution to the problem of respectable visitors.

  96. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: @CSK: And a toaster oven with convection added is even more useful. I bought an Oster when I came back from Korea, but have been a convection oven fan (no pun intended) for about 40 years. –

  97. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Wow! My rice has never cooked in 10 minutes from “reduce to simmer,” but if you can, more power to you. Yeah, you have to rinse conventionally milled rice (especially short grain) about 4 or 5 times to get the extra surface starch out. The cycle on my rice cooker from “press the button” is about a hour and then it waits patiently for me until I want it.

    Long grain rice doesn’t cook as well according to people who have tried using a rice cooker, but I don’t care much for long grain anyway. Also, good to know that Gordon Ramsay can cook something. Both he and Guy Fieri are overrated in my book.

  98. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: The main thing on the rice is that in the milling processes that I saw in Asia (and my local Lotte Mart had a rice milling machine for people who preferred to buy “raw” rice) the bran is pretty literally sanded off and a lot of rice bran power/rice flower stays with the rice. I don’t know why Basmati/Texmati rice doesn’t need rinsing, but it doesn’t seem to. Uncle Ben’s doesn’t because it’s parboiled to remove the bran.

    In Korea, mothers often use the water from rinsing the rice to start soup or add it to the stock if they’re making soup with meat bones. Can’t waste any calories.

  99. de stijl says:


    Never have them over?

    Most of my visitors will be fascinated by my experiment. I might need to get a label maker. Belly Button Lint Jar.

    I run with an unruly lot for the most part.

    But my gf’s mom would not be impressed. I’m still in Dutch because I got covid, and brought it into her house before I knew the diagnosis. She does not like me. L does, so blah on her.

  100. Scott says:

    @Kylopod: Personally, I’m looking forward to celebrating the original cancel culture: Banned Books Week. Starting Sept 19th.

  101. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Joe: The toasted bottom layer is easy, too. You deglaze the pot when you’re done with simple syrup, toss the sheet of now sticky rice into a pan with a little oil of some sort (or butter if you’re lucky) and make cookies out of it. Really not bad.

  102. de stijl says:


    I miss Bourdain really hard. I identified with him and his view of the world.

    It stings. Will continue to do so. The person most like me on main stream tv.

  103. DrDaveT says:


    ETA you know what, after doing some more reading, I’m going to go with stainless steel because it’s non-reactive and pretty durable.

    I’m a big fan of enameled cast iron (e.g. Le Creuset). Ridiculously heavy, but all the thermal properties of cast iron with a nonreactive surface that browns much better than nonstick and doesn’t have to be seasoned. I’ve never been able to find a stainless steel pan heavy enough to sear like cast iron.

    The pan I use the most, by far, is my oven-safe 4.25 quart nonstick ScanPan chef pan.

  104. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Hamid F taught me the joy of crispy bottom Persian rice preparation.

    Shout out to Hamid!

  105. Teve says:

    Regarding Elon Musk occasionally saying deranged things, I remember the Ashlee Vance book about Musk saying that it’s not just exaggeration, he really does work 90 to 120 hours a week.

    The software company SAS was started by two NC State professors and I was at a party with a woman from their HR department one time, and we got to talking about the company, and she said that employees there are *strictly prohibited* from working more than 40 hours a week. She said, because after 40 hours a week you’re mentally fatigued and you’re probably adding more bugs than you’re fixing.

    Stanford study showing that after 55 hours a week your total productivity per hour drops so much that your overall productivity doesn’t improve:

  106. Teve says:

    @DrDaveT: I read that the enamel layer when it’s done on cast iron pans sometimes cracks. Any experience with that? BTW that’s what Gordon Ramsey uses.

  107. flat earth luddite says:

    What’s a respectable visitor look like? I certainly wouldn’t accuse any of my friends of being respectable. And the respectable family members never call or write. When the mission types come a’calling, something about my maniacal, Vincent Price laugh seems to send them running. Collect away, either your Nobel or IgNobel prize is waiting…

  108. Teve says:


    See if you can pick out any commonality here

    Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019

    The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 377 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2019. Of the 566 books that were targeted, here are the most challenged, along with the reasons cited for censoring the books:

    George by Alex Gino
    Reasons: challenged, banned, restricted, and hidden to avoid controversy; for LGBTQIA+ content and a transgender character; because schools and libraries should not “put books in a child’s hand that require discussion”; for sexual references; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint and “traditional family structure”

    Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, for “its effect on any young people who would read it,” and for concerns that it was sexually explicit and biased

    A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller
    Reasons: Challenged and vandalized for LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, for concerns that it is “designed to pollute the morals of its readers,” and for not including a content warning

    Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth
    Reasons: Challenged, banned, and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content; for discussing gender identity and sex education; and for concerns that the title and illustrations were “inappropriate”

    Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis
    Reasons: Challenged and restricted for featuring a gay marriage and LGBTQIA+ content; for being “a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children” with the potential to cause confusion, curiosity, and gender dysphoria; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint

    I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
    Reasons: Challenged and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content, for a transgender character, and for confronting a topic that is “sensitive, controversial, and politically charged”

    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity and for “vulgarity and sexual overtones”
    Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    Reasons: Challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and for concerns that it goes against “family values/morals”

    Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
    Reasons: Banned and forbidden from discussion for referring to magic and witchcraft, for containing actual curses and spells, and for characters that use “nefarious means” to attain goals

    And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson illustrated by Henry Cole
    Reason: Challenged and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content

  109. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: sorry I wasn’t clear, the 10 minutes is when you go from reduce to simmer to turn the burner off. The rice still is hot and has to absorb some more of the steam. You give it like 5-10 more minutes sitting in the pot to do that.

  110. DrDaveT says:


    I read that the enamel layer when it’s done on cast iron pans sometimes cracks. Any experience with that?

    I have occasionally chipped a Le Creuset piece if I dropped it or something, but I’ve never had the enamel crack. I’ve been cooking with them for ~35 years.

  111. Teve says:

    @DrDaveT: it could be the case that the really well-built enameled devices like Le Creuset and scanpan don’t crack, but cheaper quality ones do. I mean, enamel paint is used in industrial settings where they need long lasting durability, so it would make sense that the high-quality version would be durable.

  112. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: On a more serious note, the whole thing with dolsot bibimbap (hot pot rice) is waiting long enough before your stir the vegetables into the rice for the rice to get crusty on the bottom–well that and the raw egg to give everything a custardy coating as the egg gets mixed in.

  113. de stijl says:


    I worked crunch plenty of times.

    Myself, I loved the hours after 5 pm where I could actually get shit done rather than talking about getting shit done.

    8 to 5 was where my to-do list got larded up with new tasks. E-mail, phone calls, meetings.

    Gals, guys, if you want me to execute, leave me the fuck alone for a few hours, please.

    I resigned myself to the reality that 8 to 5 was public facing dead time and 5 to 11 was work time.

    PTSD was an unintended side effect in the long run. It’s weird, but I still kinda miss checking off boxes at 10 pm and silently cursing my bosses simultaneously.

    Crunch is bad. It delivers bad product and seriously harms people. I’m dealing with mental health fall-out a decade later still.

    I once worked over 200 days in a row except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Average week on that project was 80- 90 hours.

  114. Kathy says:

    More an FYI than an update.

    The surgeon prescribed Picoprep, to, let me try to put this delicately, reduce the content of the intestines (that went reasonably well). The directions he gave me was half a packet in the morning, then the rest at midday. same thing next day with the second packet (there are two in the box).

    Ok. I didn’t take one half in the morning, because I was going to be driving to and from the hospital for the COVID test, and I kind of expected it to work right away. I took the first half envelope as soon as I got to the office.

    And nothing happened.

    I took the second half five minutes ago, and still nothing. Looking online, it can take up to 6 hours to work.

    Now I know.

  115. steve says:

    I am a little bit obsessive about my knives and my sharpening. We cook for pretty large groups, up to about 150. I do almost all of the knife work and the major cooking. Wife bakes. I sharpen the knives for our church soup kitchen too. Anyway, a number of very high end knives are actually stamped so the old forged vs stamped argument isn’t so true anymore. This guy at the video knows his stuff pretty well and communicates it well too. His having been a professional chef helps I think. I have come to the conclusion that the “best knife” is whatever works best for you. It needs to be comfortable in your hand and it should work with your cutting style.

    Totally agree on that Asian style rice cooker. Would add a pressure cooker if you have room and money. Need at least one good wok. One good steamer also. I kind of prefer bamboo but the metal ones are good too.


  116. Kathy says:

    On COVID news, the first person in our department got his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine today.

    IN theory, they’re “mass” vaccinating everyone over 60. In practice, it’s sooooo drawn out. they go by political subdivisions of Mexico City and the Metro area. In theory, I should be vaccinated sometime in April. In practice, we shall see. I will take the first opportunity that presents itself, of course.

    BTW, back in January 21st, when I first got the hernia diagnosis, I had thought to delay surgery 6 to 8 weeks, as supposedly healthcare workers in private hospitals were supposed to receive their vaccines during that time.

    It’s been about 7 weeks now, and I’ve no idea whether that’s the case.

    Regardless, I plan to bring along a supply of KN-95 masks. I’ve heard most hospital patients don’t bother with a mask, but I’d die of embarrassment if I caught COVID in the hospital when vaccination is theoretically so close (and maybe die of COVID, too).

  117. Teve says:

    @de stijl: when I had freshly graduated college I still had some recent programming skills and I knew a guy who worked at a certain large game company in Raleigh, and I messaged him and said hey what’s it like to work there and how would I go about applying, and he said well the best way to apply is to write a game engine, and it’s cool here except for about two months before delivery date, when we go into crunch time and we’re working 16 hour days seven days a week. I immmediately crossed that off my list.

  118. de stijl says:


    There is no need to be squeamish about poop. Everybody poops. I believe there was a book about that fact.

  119. Sleeping Dog says:
  120. de stijl says:


    I woulda killed for only two months of crunch.

    I could do two months easy, no prob.

    Crunch kills your life. You literally have no existence beyond commute, work, sleep for the duration. The first two times I did it I was salaried, which is beyond stupid. Work the equivalent of 2.5 FTEs for one salary. I was brainwashed it would advance my career.

    When I went contract the money got way more representative. It was still brutal, but I got paid a lot better. Every hour was money in the bank. And hours over 40 got billed double. I never exploited that.

  121. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    The Trumpkins are celebrating the end of another backstabbing RINO.

  122. de stijl says:


    The best way to apply is to write a game engine on your own time? Time. Physics. Motion. All the hooks for texture mapping. A billion other things.

    That’s the entry level? Crikey Moses!

  123. Mister Bluster says:

    @de stijl:.**** *** ******* ** ******* ****** ***** ** ********..
    I had a near death experience with sauerkraut one time. I was very young when my dad took me to the sauerkraut dinner at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Rochester NY. (Missouri Synod) Even before he parked the car I could detect the acrid aroma of the kraut that was being cooked up in big kettles by the old German ladies of the Church Auxiliary as it wafted up out of the kitchen in the church basement. It got worse as we approached the door and as we went down the steps inside I was already getting a little dizzy. I vaguely remember sitting as close to the exit door as I could as my dad scarfed down plate after plate of the kraut and sausage. I couldn’t even get near the table.
    Apparently he detected my distress as he didn’t ask me ifI wanted to try any.
    It was all I could do to walk back to our ’52 Studebaker and lay down in the back seat for the ride home. I remember vividly hallucinating as I begged him to stop so I could open the door and vomit on the street and not in the car. And I had not even eaten any of the stuff!
    To this day even the slightest whiff of the fermented cabbage takes me back to that creaky old church basement.
    Oddly enough, many years later there was a Korean restaurant in here in town that served up a dish of kimchi fried rice that I found quite tasty.
    I’m sorry that they went out of business.

  124. Stormy Dragon says:

    Manchin has apparently decided to unilaterally eliminate reconciliation:

    Joe Manchin pledges to block Biden’s infrastructure bill if Republicans aren’t included

  125. wr says:

    @Teve: My mother has a Le Creuset pot she’s been using since she got it as a wedding present, back around 1955…

  126. de stijl says:

    Missouri Synod was hard core. The Lutheran version of Opus Dei.

    I am too not cool with sour. My tongue just rejects it. Vinegar in somethings can be okay if it is a subtle minor note. Too sour makes me spit out food. Not gonna happen.

    Glad I don’t have it bad as you. Was it that vinegar smell?

  127. Teve says:

    @de stijl: Yeah, I heard that, and thought back to how game engines were serious pieces of software like the unreal engine and they were developed by teams of people not one amateur coder. With the crunch time thing that just ended it for me. I’m not going to live like that. I’ll work at a gas station before I work 16 hours a day seven days a week.

  128. Mister Bluster says:

    @de stijl:..Was it that vinegar smell?

    Well it was at least 65 years ago so I’ll go with yeah probably.

  129. Teve says:

    @wr: doesn’t surprise me. Every plate I have is Corelleware inherited from my grandmother and I looked up the patterns and both patterns are from the 70’s. They’re all sitting in my cupboard looking good as new.

  130. de stijl says:


    In return I got things back. I am perpetually always curious. How does that work? How can you program that to do that?

    I learned a lot. From basic concepts to deep dive ephemera. I loved learning new things and exercising newly acquired skills. That is thrilling to me.

    At my peak, I was extraordinarily good at my job, and a bargain to hire. I liked being that guy in a way. And hated it.

    Being really good at something is satisfying. Even if it’s killing you.

  131. CSK says:

    @wr: @Teve:
    I have an inherited Le Creuset oval casserole that was bought in 1980. It cleans beautifully and still looks good as new.

    God knows what a replacement for it would cost now. A Le Creuset Dutch oven can be gotten for between $249 and $380.

  132. Kurtz says:


    I think it’s obvious: mathematics is a conspiratorial lie invented shortly after Cain killed Abel in the basement of the first pizza shop by an alliance between Satan and Deep State Democrats to cover up the fact Obama was a Kenyan Muslim and to make Trump look bad. Everybody knows Dominos gets their pepperoni from aborted fetuses. That’s why Papa John uses better ingredients, he doesn’t want to make evil devil pizza.

    How can you be so naive? Don’t be a Sheeple, Teve. Do your own research.

  133. Teve says:

    @Kurtz: I love the do your own research!!! line. It always means ignore the Harvard and MIT researchers in favor of what the dude at wrote under the pseudonym TonkaTruck1984.

  134. Teve says:

    Shit dude I got a snarky forward from a relative one time who said something like “I guess what those professors indoctrinated you with in college isn’t as good as you thought huh?” and it was authored by “I’m a computer scientist at John’s Hopkin’s” and it was the eternal “NASA scientists running computer simulation found missing day from Bible!” Email that I’ve seen for 20 years, and I didn’t bother debunking it, I just replied “you know, your first clue that this email you forwarded me is bullshit shoulda been the fact that both Johns and Hopkins are spelled incorrectly.”

  135. de stijl says:


    Shoulda sent em a Snopes link.

    Makes you feel good and pisses them off. Win- win.

  136. Teve says:

    @de stijl: nope. They’ve been told over and over that Snopes is a liberal propaganda site and it’s funded by Soros and you can’t believe anything they say. They won’t even consider Snopes, they’ll laugh at you the instant you say the word Snopes.

    Conservative sources do a good and repetitive job at “discrediting” other information sources so their viewers will reflexively deny anything that isn’t the propaganda.

  137. de stijl says:

    Trump requested a mail ballot for Palm Beach municipal election.

    It’s like he doesn’t even believe his own bullshit. Who would’ve guessed?

    Little people vote in person.

  138. de stijl says:


    Reality is partisan and debatable. After Trump’s covid actions, that tracks.

    Anti-maskers running amok. Sure. Why not.

    We live in interesting times.

  139. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I don’t know whether her’s were high end or not, but my mom cracked the inner enamel surface on a pan once. Heated it up on too high a range setting.

  140. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: When I used a prep for a colonoscopy, the stuff didn’t do anything at all until just before I was hoping to go to bed for the night, but it did perform as indicated once it started working.

  141. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @steve: I like bamboo steamers better, too, but the last set I had burned while I was steaming dumplings (mandu, to be specific), so I switched to stainless. Not as good for mandu; the rack or the mandu need a touch of oil to avoid sticking.

  142. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Good to know, but it had better not do that with me. I’d be very annoyed 😉

    I scored negative on the COVID test (3 cheers for KN-95 masks*). most of the blood lab analyses show normal. I’m waiting for the X-rays (which I think was more like a CT.

    You know what I’d like? A drug that knocks you out before surgery, and keeps you knocked out until it’s time to go home.

    *There have been three confirmed positive cases at our department’s office, plus several more in the rest of the corporate offices. I credit whatever protection the KN95s give, plus my habit of maintaining social distance as much as possible.

  143. Teve says:

    I’m seeing a lot of conservatrons on social media repeating the incorrect statement that if you want to go inside a business and they tell you you have to wear a mask you can just tell them you have a disability that prevents you from wearing a mask and they have to let you in because HIPAA says they can’t ask you about the disability. This is only partially true and irrelevant. Yes, they can’t ask you what specific disability you have, but if you assert an invisible disability and request a reasonable accommodation, a business can require you to provide documentation that there IS a medical disability which necessitates the accommodation. And that language is mostly in the ADA, not HIPAA.

    (IANAL but my friend Pam is and that’s basically what she wrote on FB)

  144. Teve says:


    ALERT: Kenya deported suspected US Capitol Insurrectionist Isaac Sturgeon back to the US. Sturgeon – who lives in Montana – was scooped up by the feds upon arrival at JFK Airport in NYC.

    Sturgeon is accused of shoving barricade into DC police officers on Jan 6.

    Drinking game: get some drank every time one of these fuckers get arrested. 😀

  145. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl: @Teve:

    Writing a game engine? Wow. There is a dev on YouTube documenting the creation of his game engine. It’s intense.

  146. Kurtz says:


    Conservative sources do a good and repetitive job at “discrediting” other information sources so their viewers will reflexively deny anything that isn’t the propaganda.

    It’s applied ideology–providing answers to questions that have yet to be posed. Systematic rationalized irrationality.

  147. Teve says:

    @Kurtz: cults tell you that you can’t trust information from your old friends. Or your parents. Or your brother and sister. Or documentaries about Exalted Brother Luminos. Or anybody who could tell you that you’re being fed bullshit.

    Conservative outlets tell you that you can’t trust the New York Times or the Washington Post or the Bethune Recorder. Or those scientists at MIT and Harvard and Caltech. Or the papers in Journal of Molecular Biology, Nature: Biology, Cell, etc. Or the IPCC or NOAA or NASA. Or anybody who could tell you that you’re being fed bullshit.

  148. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: I avoid “respectable people” like the plague, going out of my way to insult them in the most unrespectable manner possible .

  149. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DrDaveT: I have 2 cast iron dutch ovens I use for baking bread. Nothing works quite like them.

  150. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @flat earth luddite: What’s a respectable visitor look like?

    Well for starters, they look respectable. Some how or other I think you already knew that.

  151. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Be still my beating heart.

  152. Kurtz says:


    Cults do that. So do political parties. Sports teams. Fans of indie music and indie films.

    It’s weird, because a lot of the behavior of fringe political movements simultaneously hold contradictory beliefs about the rest of society: they speak as if they are special–keyholders of a vault containing forbidden knowledge bravely taking a lantern into a dank cave–yet they also often think their beliefs are secretly held by a majority of their fellow citizens.

    They also tend to be publicly ostentatious. The stories about Stephen Miller in high school ring this bell loudly. So does Trump. So does that story about Ted Cruz limiting his study groups to alumni of the ‘good ivies’.

    I remember some news segment from the 90s about racist groups. A reporter was hanging out with a little platoon of these idiots, and the woman among the skinheads told a random passerby, “we’re racists.”

    Every aspect of her demeanor during the delivery of that line revealed a fragility that everyone feels at some point in their lives. The psychological differences between that woman, Twittering Libertarians, and Stephen Miller are silicon wafer thin.

    They mimic the conspicuous behavior of trailblazers like Kramer adopting Da Vinci’s sleep patterns to keep his hooper full. The end result is a somnolent mind. Kramer woke up after being dumped in the Hudson. There ain’t enough water in the world…

  153. Neil Hudelson says:


    I’ll get what America’s Test Kitchen recommends, which is the $35 Victorinox Fibrox, which is also a stamped blade.

    I picked up one when I first started cooking seriously and didn’t have the resources or knowledge to get a truly great knife , about 10 years ago. I have better knives for certain tasks but it’s a pretty darn good jack of all trades. Keeps its edge for a considerable time, can shave vegetables and break through poultry bones both with considerable ease. It’s a good one to have on hand.

    I want to try a chinese vegetable cleaver soon.

  154. Teve says:

    @Neil Hudelson: if I were a sous chef on the line in a restaurant I would take it much more seriously, but I’m just a dude cooking for himself once every day or two making some pork chops or potato medallions or whatever. I don’t need the Rolls-Royce of blades, I need the Ford Focus of blades. That Victorinox is lookin pretty good 😀

  155. Kathy says:

    All this talk about knives reminds me of something in Bob Brier’s Great Courses lectures on Egypt.

    Prof. Brier attempted to mummify a cadaver. he found the bronze knives extant in ancient Egypt to be inadequate to the task. Per Herodotus, he used an obsidian blade, which cut flesh easily. In the lectures, he mentions as an aside that surgeons have used obsidian-tipped scalpels, because they can be sharper than steel ones.

    So this leads me to the question: does anyone make obsidian kitchen knives?

  156. DrDaveT says:


    because HIPAA says they can’t ask you about the disability

    A lot of people don’t realize that HIPAA only places restrictions on the information that healthcare providers can share. If you’re not a healthcare provider, HIPAA doesn’t apply to you.

  157. DrDaveT says:


    I don’t need the Rolls-Royce of blades, I need the Ford Focus of blades. That Victorinox is lookin pretty good

    I hear you, but I have to say I love love love my Global knives. I have a santoku, a boning knife, a small chef knife. I’ve tried a lot of high-end knives, and these are still my favorites. When I visit my in-laws, I carry these with me in a roll so that I don’t have to use their pathetic dangerous shitty knives when I cook. (I’d have provided a link, but DMB is being stingy today and I don’t have any of the quote/link/bold buttons available.)

  158. DrDaveT says:


    does anyone make obsidian kitchen knives?

    No, but Kyocera makes awesome ceramic kitchen knives. Seriously. Everyone should own one.

    The problem with obsidian is that it’s brittle. It works amazingly well until you chip it, at which point it’s a pretty rock.

  159. Mimai says:


    The psychological differences between that woman, Twittering Libertarians, and Stephen Miller are silicon wafer thin.

    What do you gather are the differences?

  160. Kurtz says:

    Ability to manipulate symbols (in the mathematical sense) to give their views a veneer of rigor.

    I seem to scratch an itch for you. It’s puzzling to me.

  161. Mimai says:

    @Kurtz: I’m not following what you mean about the symbols.

    I scratch my own itches thank you very much! More seriously, I simply engage when I find something that seems like it might have legs. It’s not personal…except that you often put things out there that seem worth engaging. Nothing more or less than that.

  162. Kathy says:


    Prehispanic ruins are rife with obsidian. A chipped piece tends to be sharp where it chips, which might not be where you want a sharp something.

    So, yeah, I can see that.

    I may try a ceramic knife when my current one wears off.

  163. Kurtz says:


    Sorry, that was an oblique reference to the mathematics article @Teve posted. One of the ways math has been defined: “symbolic logic.”

    One of the primary methods of solving a math problem is making a phrase look different to make it easier to manipulate. Ex: factoring.

    One of the keys to electioneering is manipulating a position to make it look different.

    In math, there is a limit to the manipulation–it can’t violate the integrity of the original phrase and doing so results in error. In politics, the manipulation doesn’t have a hard limit. Excessive manipulation can be rewarded by using a false answer key turning errors into ‘truth’.

    I have no interest in scratching your itches. But I was curious, because sometimes I feel too and 100% nuts. Also, Dunning-Kruger is a constant threat for someone with my characteristics and experiences.

  164. Mimai says:

    @Kurtz: Thanks for catching me up – I didn’t get the original reference.

    And don’t sweat the D-K threat, it’s probably rubbish anyway.

  165. Teve says:

    @DrDaveT: like Ive said a few times, i lust after great great blades, and super exceptional blades are great. My mediocre abilities just don’t benefit much from them. I appreciate great knives.

  166. Teve says:

    For somebody like me, a complete amateur, spending a week chopping veggies and sweating onions would have more effect more than giving me a $150 Porsche-grade knife.

  167. Teve says:

    @DrDaveT: I ran into something like that last year, because there’s a creationist named Philip Cunningham who literally types 10,000 words a day about quantum mechanics and the shroud of Turin and etc. etc. and he has done so every day for literally two or three decades, and somebody talked to his sister and found out that yeah he’s got serious mental problems and it’s just stressed out the entire family, but if you mention it on creationist sites they block you claiming you’re violating HIPAA etc, when you’ve done nothing of the sort. HIPAA doesn’t stop your sister from telling people that you are legit mentally ill and it doesn’t stop those people from repeating it.

  168. steve says:

    If you go with ceramic knives you can sharpen them with diamond stones. Not that hard to do. They do chip very easily so while I have 2 I wont be buying anymore.

    Victorinox actually has fairly decent steel in their knives and if you have large hands they are very comfortable to use. My fancier Japanese knives will probably take a better edge and keep it longer but for day to day kitchen use it probably doesnt matter that much. If you cook a lot then it starts to matter a lot. The wife doesnt like them since she has small hands.