Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Musings - NPR edition

It's Monday. I'm harvesting peppers, dammit. Let's muse.

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Some observations on the Juan Williams firing.

-Nobody has made a comment about "uppity blacks", even though it seems quite reasonable to argue that Juan Williams wouldn't have been fired if he were white.

-The CEO of NPR questioned Williams' sanity, and then promptly apologized, noting that her comments were ill-advised. Williams was fired for precisely her offense.

-I was making the case that state-run radio in this country is absurd long before that became a hip talking point. It remains a pretty hip talking point.

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Barack Obama visited the cities yesterday. He said that Dayton is the only one on the record saving Minnesotans money.

To which, does Obama even know who Dayton is? Could that talking point have been any more generic, to the point of being absurd? Nobody, left or right, thinks Dayton has saved Minnesotans money. That's not his platform. The hell?

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I linked to this on Facebook, but it bears repeating here.


Essentially, there are now ten dead, mostly babies, from an outbreak of whooping cough. Thanks to the miracles of science, we solved whooping cough. There is a vaccine for it.

What we did not solve is the reflexive cynicism people have toward fact. There is a growing trend, not least of which among (ugh) Christians, to abstain from vaccinations. Armed with terrible evidence, and the benefit of collective vaccinations, parents are choosing not to vaccinate.

People are now dead because of this. The argument against vaccinating children is as incoherent (and immoral) as the argument for legal abortion. Vaccines save lives. If you don't believe the scientific studies, believe your lying eyes, but ignore the ridiculous rumor and innuendo. Kids are not dying in droves anymore.

Vaccinate, for crying out loud. When you don't, babies die. Period.

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On the flip side, this is what happens when scientists in other fields engage in shenanigans. I'm looking at you, scientists who can see me staring at them.

Babies die when scientists write about massaging consensus. Period.

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Wife and I made it to Door County a couple of weeks ago. Those looking to avoid Duluth's absurd peak fall season mark ups would do well to hit up DC. Half the price, twice the foliage, none of the Duluth.

On food:

On the basis of a single data point, I am going to conclude that there is an inverse correlation between the quality of a restaurant's food and the number of goats residing on its rough. Also, if you are a self-proclaimed Scandinavian restaurant (no matter how kitschy) do utilize the correct recipe for Swedish meatballs. Not. Rocket science.

In fact, pass on any and all Scandinavian-themed restaurants in Door County.

Do NOT pass on the Whistling Swan. In addition to having an enviably gorgeous space, the chef there is putting out some very food-forward stuff. The fish is to die for, but I loved the treatment of bread service (viz a cardamom biscuit) as a course. So smart. Local restos, steal this idea.

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I could go on and on about cranberry curry. This uniquely Minnesotan pleasure surpasses the Juicy Lucy on my list of guilty pleasures. Just had Thanh Do's version. You can find it elsewhere. Gobble it up.

I shouldn't downplay Thanh Do. I'm always one to mildly tolerate asian fusion, but this place hits on all cylinders for a place striving to connect with suburban palates.

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My four word review of Shutter Island? Gangs of New York.

That is all.




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