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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday links

The physics of perfect pancakes, and why it applies to glaucoma treatment.

ICYMI, Tuesday's links are here and include history's most impressive fortresses, the movie supercut of "I should have killed you when I had the chance", a roundup of recommendations for beer, wine and whiskey pairings to go with Girl Scout cookies, and a photo gallery of early supercomputers ("Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons!").

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tuesday links

ICYMI, Thursday's links are here, and include a canonical list of recipes for World Nutella Day, lots of Super Bowl links, the top 10 Pyrrhic victories, and a discussion of the fact that humans are the only animals with chins.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Here's a roundup of recommendations for beer, wine and whiskey pairings to drink with all those Girl Scout cookies you're buying

It's Girl Scout cookie time again - I always associate them with the beginning of Lent, when I'm contemplating giving up chocolate. Below, by cookie type, are wine pairing recommendations from Wine Club Reviews and Ratings and beer pairing recommendations from Beer and Brewing. Further below, an infographic with suggested whiskey pairings:

Thin Mints
Wine: There are two types of Thin Mints made today, but both combine a wafer, chocolate, and peppermint flavoring. To truly experience the mint & chocolate combination, however, don’t reach for the milk – try a Syrah instead.
Beer: These dark and roasty stouts deliver a mouthfeel that pairs well with the crisp, minty crunch of the wafer cookie (especially if you keep your Thin Mints in the freezer). Consider yourself warned, though, as these beers range from 9—13 percent ABV and you’ll likely find yourself reaching for a second sleeve of cookies in record time.
Perennial Artisan Ales 17
Alesmith Speedway Stout
Shipyard Mint Chocolate Stout
Epic Big Bad Baptist
Hardywood Sidamo Coffee Stout
Samoas (Caramel deLites)
Wine: Banyuls is a red dessert wine from Southwestern France, which pairs amazingly with the dark chocolate stripes on Samoas. For a Plan B, pick up a Port.
Beers: Match the toasted coconut of these cookies with even more toasted coconut and the roasted caramel flavors in these beers:
Creature Comforts Koko Buni
Oskar Blues Death By Coconut
Bruery Mash & Coconut
Funky Buddha Last Snow
Wormtown Norm Chocolate Coconut Stout
Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties)
Wine: You’re going to see a trend here: when the cookie has chocolate, grab a bottle of red wine. Tagalongs are no different – find a fruity red wine such as Beaujolais or Zinfandel.
Beer: The vanilla, chocolate, and peanut butter flavors from the Tagalongs sound like adjuncts in a stout. So grab these flavor-filled stouts to heighten the insanity of this pairing.
Off Color DinoS’mores
FiftyFifty Vanilla Eclipse
Prairie Artisan Ales Bomb!
Stone W00tstout
Terrapin Cinnamon Roll’d Wake-n-Bake 
Trefoils (Shortbread)
Wine: Light and refreshing, a Trefoil shortbread should be paired with Pinot Noir or even Sparkling wine if the mood is right.
Beer: Stick with tradition by pairing these classic cookies with traditional beer styles such as Baltic porter’s cheek-warming notes of dark fruits and coffee or a Scottish ale with notes of cocoa and coffee and a dash of smoke.
Smuttynose Baltic Porter
Founders Dirty Bastard
Jack’s Abby Framinghammer
Central Waters Brewer’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale
Oskar Blues Old Chub
Wine: When snacking on these shortbread cookies with lemon-flavored icing, grab a buttery Chardonnay like the 2009 Cambria Chardonnay from Uncorked Ventures.
Beer: The shortbread texture of the cookies and lemon flavors in the icing make an excellent contrasting duo for these citrusy IPAs.
Ballast Point Sculpin
Night Shift Santilli
10 Barrel Joe
Neshaminy Creek Shape of Hops to Come
Against the Grain Rico Sauvin
Wine: Shortbread dipped in rich fudge. It’s a tough one, as it combines the light shortbread with the chocolatey fudge, but try a Pinot Noir from Gold Medal Wine Club.
Beer: These shortbread cookies have had one side dunked in chocolate fudge. Keep the two-faced theme going by pairing with a contrasting beer such as these imperial IPAs:
Odell Myrcenary
Bell’s Hopslam
Firestone Walker Double Jack
Or reinforce the cookie flavors with the roasted goodness and creamy mouthfeel of these milk stouts:
Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout
4 Hands Chocolate Milk Stout
Savannah Smiles
Wine: These are a lemon-based cookie similar to the Lemonades but covered with powered sugar. Try a Pinot Grigio/Gris.
Beer: Push aside that lemon wedge you occasionally put in your beer and, if you must add a wedge, consider accenting your beer with the Savannah Smile instead. The lemon-flavored cookie wedges have been dusted with powdered sugar and pair well with these witbiers and bières de miel.
Allagash White
Westbrook White Thai
Jester King's Bière de Miel
Casey East Bank
Brasserie Dupont Bière De Miel Biologique 
Cranberry Citrus Crisps
Wine: Both sweet and tangy because of the cranberry, a good match for these would be a Viognier or the more popular Riesling.
Beer: Try these bières de garde for toffee notes and a subtle spice from farmhouse ale yeast that plays off nicely with the cranberry inundated cookies. Make sure to let these beers warm up a little for maximum intensity.
Lost Abbey Avante Garde
Two Brothers Domaine DuPage
Schlafly Bière de Garde
The Commons Bière De Garde
Hill Farmstead Bière De Norma
 By the way, Samoa fans, you can buy Samoa-flavored coffee creamer.

Maxine’s Tap Room in Fayetteville, Arkansas has whiskey and Girl Scout cookie pairings:

Beer and Brewing, source of the beer recommendations above, also has a roundup of pairing suggestions from around the intertubes: 

Suggestions from The Beer Chicks include these pairings:  
Caramel DeLites (aka Samoas) with Maui Brewing Co.’s CoCoNut PorTeR
Tagalongs with Wells & Young’s Brewing Company’s Banana Bread Beer
Thin Mints with Kiuchi Brewery’s Hitachino Nest Beer Espresso Stout
Trefoils with North Coast Brewing Co.’s Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout 
Central Track’s Melissa Mackaly suggests these pairings: 
Samoas with Founders Brewing Co.’s Dirty Bastard
Thin Mints with Great Divide Brewing Co.’s Yeti Imperial Stout
Do-Si-Dos with Founders Brewing Co.’s Imperial Stout 
Suggestions from the Brooklyn Brewshop include these pairings: 
Thin Mints with Bootlegger’s Brewery’s Mint Chocolate Porter
Tagalongs with Brooklyn Brew Shop’s own Peanut Butter Porter
Dulce de Leches with Revolution Brewing’s Mad Cow Milk Stout
Lemonades with Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace 
And finally, Flying Dog Brewery includes the following pairings with its own beers:
Trefoils with Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout
Do-Si-Dos with Lucky SOB Irish Red Ale
Samoas with Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA
Tagalongs with Gonzo Imperial Porter
Thin Mints with Kujo Imperial Coffee Stout 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

How to Deliver a Baby

I hadn't seen any of them before, but check out the youtube channel for Epic How To. Subjects include how to fight a bear, start your own country, be a ninja, break out of jail, start a religion, fake your own death, and/or survive the zombie apocalypse.

This baby-delivering video was posted on February 4, 2016, which is the same day that my new granddaughter was born. ;-)

Anyway - enjoy:

h/t Neatorama

Friday, February 5, 2016

The physics of perfect pancakes, and why it applies to glaucoma treatment

This is quite fascinating, especially since the underlying geometry/physics of pancakes apparently have a lot in common with the geometry/physics of glaucoma. The hope is that better understanding the textures and patterns of pancakes could improve surgical methods for treating glaucoma.

"I should have killed you when I had the chance" - the movie supercut

NSFW language. Also includes also "You should have killed me when you had the chance" and "You should have killed him (or her) when you had the chance", and a few longer/shorter versions thereof and permutations. List of films below:

Featured titles:

Star Trek
Hercules Reborn
The Frozen Ground
Drop Dead Gorgeous
This Means War
Game of Death
Enemies Closer
Pit Fighter
Born to Be Bad


Cold Mountain
Ella Enchanted
Harbinger Down
Vampire Academy
No Way Out
Bend of the River
21 Grams
The Dead Pool
Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth


Bad Medicine
Life During Wartime
Valdez Is Coming
The Lion in Winter
Street Trash
Gorky Park
Lost Command


Psycho IV: The Beginning
Brick Mansions
Who’ll Stop the Rain
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
The Expendables
Point Break


Gran Torino
Animal Factory
Blade: Trinity
Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves
The Emperor’s New Groove
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation


The World Is Not Enough
Run All Night
Lost in Space
Above the Law
The Getaway
Sergeant Rudlege


Law and Order
The Two Faces of January
Hard Rain
Get Lucky
Mission: Impossible II
Quo Vadis
Red River


The Perfect Sleep
Black Mama White Mama
Welcome to the Punch
Your Highness
Tall in the Saddle
The Wild Bunch
Without a Clue
The Desperadoes
Hard Candy


Invasion U.S.A.
Heavenly Sword
The Rookie
Alex Cross
Last Knights
The Ant Bully
New Jack City
A History of Violence
The Night of the Generals

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Blogging will be light for a few days while I welcome my new granddaughter to the world ;-)

It is not a slight thing when those so fresh from God love us.

On February 4, 2016, my younger daughter Amanda and her husband Scott brought forth into this world their third child (and first girl) Miss Adelaide Sandra Virginia White, aka 'Addie', at 12:40 PM. She weighs 6 pounds and 9 ounces, is 19 inches long, and has the appropriate number of body parts.

Infant Sorrow by William Blake

My mother groand! my father wept.
Into the dangerous world I leapt:
Helpless, naked, piping loud;
Like a fiend hid in a cloud.

Struggling in my fathers hands:
Striving against my swaddling bands:
Bound and weary I thought best
To sulk upon my mothers breast.

Song To Be Sung by the Father of Infant Female Children 

by Ogden Nash

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky;
Contrariwise, my blood runs cold
When little boys go by.
For little boys as little boys,
No special hate I carry,
But now and then they grow to men,
And when they do, they marry.
No matter how they tarry,
Eventually they marry.
And, swine among the pearls,
They marry little girls.

Oh, somewhere, somewhere, an infant plays,
With parents who feed and clothe him.
Their lips are sticky with pride and praise,
But I have begun to loathe him.
Yes, I loathe with loathing shameless
This child who to me is nameless.
This bachelor child in his carriage
Gives never a thought to marriage,
But a person can hardly say knife
Before he will hunt him a wife.

I never see an infant (male),
A-sleeping in the sun,
Without I turn a trifle pale
And think is he the one?
Oh, first he'll want to crop his curls,
And then he'll want a pony,
And then he'll think of pretty girls,
And holy matrimony.
A cat without a mouse
Is he without a spouse.

Oh, somewhere he bubbles bubbles of milk,
And quietly sucks his thumbs.
His cheeks are roses painted on silk,
And his teeth are tucked in his gums.
But alas the teeth will begin to grow,
And the bubbles will cease to bubble;
Given a score of years or so,
The roses will turn to stubble.
He'll sell a bond, or he'll write a book,
And his eyes will get that acquisitive look,
And raging and ravenous for the kill,
He'll boldly ask for the hand of Jill.
This infant whose middle
Is diapered still
Will want to marry My daughter Jill.

Oh sweet be his slumber and moist his middle!
My dreams, I fear, are infanticiddle.
A fig for embryo Lohengrins!
I'll open all his safety pins,
I'll pepper his powder, and salt his bottle,
And give him readings from Aristotle.
Sand for his spinach I'll gladly bring,
And Tabasco sauce for his teething ring.
And an elegant, elegant, alligator
To play with him in his perambulator.
Then perhaps he'll struggle through fire and water
To marry somebody else's daughter.

It is a pleasant thing to reflect upon, and furnishes a complete answer to those who contend for the gradual degeneration of the human species, that every baby born into the world is a finer one than the last. 

~ Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby, Ch. 36 

Thursday links

February 5th is World Nutella Day - here's a canonical list of Nutella recipes.

Some Super Bowl reading:
Football during WWII, when almost all able-bodied men joined the military: The combined Steelers/Eagles team called the Steagles.
Were footballs ever actually made of pigskin?
The Lost Tribe of Gypsy Harlots: The Mythical Invasion of the Super Bowl Hookers.

We're the Only Animals With Chins, and No One Knows Why.

ICYMI, Tuesday's links are here, and include lots of groundhog stuff, outrunning a tyrannosaur, ridiculous (but true) tabloid headlines, ranking movie psychopaths, and experimental WWII aircraft.

February 5th is World Nutella Day - Here's a canonical list of Nutella recipes

Sara Rosso loves Nutella. So much, in fact, that in 2007 she founded World Nutella Day, a celebration of the hazelnut-chocolate spread made by Ferrero. The annual event, which takes place on Feb. 5, encourages fans of the product worldwide to post pictures, videos and blogs expressing their ardor online. Restaurants and bakeries often participate with Nutella-themed specials.

Sara's Nutella love at one point caused a problem: Ferrero sent her a cease-and-desist letter demanding that she stop publishing anything with the Nutella name, logo or likeness. So, to preserve her canonical list of links to Nutella recipes, I copied the list (after the jump). Ferraro eventually came to their senses and will be taking over the event, but the list remains. I've spot-checked the links and eliminated dead ones when I found them - I haven't gone through the whole list, though, so there may be more.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Football during WWII, when almost all able-bodied men joined the military: The Strange Story of the Steagles

When the US first entered WWII, almost every able-bodied man volunteered for the military or was drafted. That included the rosters of all of the NFL teams. The resulting diminished rosters led, among other things, to a combined Steelers and Eagles team called the Steagles.

Read the whole thing at Priceonomics - excerpts below:

On December 8, 1941, the day after Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt delivered his famous “Infamy” speech to a radio audience of 100 million Americans. Thirty-three minutes later, Congress officially declared the United States’ entry into World War II.

The previous year, the U.S. Government had signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act, which required all men between the ages of 21 and 36 to register for one year of military service, as selected by a national lottery. Following Pearl Harbor, this act was amended: eligible ages expanded from 18 to 64, and the required service became “the duration of the war, plus six months.”...

As teams' rosters diminished in size, a serious question arose: should professional sports continue during a time of conflict and war? Here's FDR's response to baseball commissioner Kenesaw Landis's when that question was raised: it's since become known as the “Green Light Letter”, and the NFL figured that it applied to them, too:

When the 1943 season began, some 600 players and coaches — more than half of the entire league — had joined the armed forces. As a result, the Cleveland Rams, which had lost not only most of its players, but its majority owner to the draft, suspended play for the season, leaving an uneven 9 teams in the NFL, many of which were shorthanded.

As a result, one of the strangest things in NFL history happened: two interstate rival teams -- the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers -- were merged. The result? A gaggle of World War Two draft rejects dubbed the “Steagles.”
Bill Hewitt was excused from military service for a “perforated eardrum” and served as the Steagles’ defensive end during the 1943 season... Other Steagles players faced more pressing medical problems: Tony Bova, the receiver, “was completely blind in one eye and partially blind in the other. Two of his teammate, Ed Michaels and Ray Graves, were entirely deaf in one ear. John Butler, who, as tailback, was required to run dozens of offensive lines per game, had arthritis in his knees. In a wide variety of respects, the Steagles team was riddled with ailments.
“There were guys with bad eyes, bad knees, bad backs, punctured eardrums -- things that could get you out of service, but not an NFL game,” retired player Joe Horrigan told ESPN. “A manpower shortage caused teams to hire players who were old, overweight, not otherwise qualified to be professional athletes.”
Here's a brief video:

And an un-embeddable longer video at

Read the whole thing at Priceonomics.