February 28, 2011

Made in Japan by Mr. Shin-ichi Konno.

We've never seen a bike quite like this Cherubim that was on display over the weekend in Austin, Texas at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (here's another view, with its creator).

February 27, 2011

February 24, 2011

Everything I need to know I learned from...

Just one sentence from Gail Collin's column, "Revenge of the Pomeranians", on the Op-Ed page of today's New York Times:
"There is very little in Washington that can’t be explained by an episode of the original 'Star Trek,' and [House Speaker John] Boehner is playing out the one where the Romulan captain prefers the ways of peace but is saddled with a crew that will mutiny if he fails to follow through on the plan to blow up the galaxy."

February 22, 2011

Having it Both Ways

A couple of weeks ago, Rihanna introduced her perfume with a video that can be viewed either forward or backward. (I find the concept more interesting than the execution.)

This weekend, I heard a joke that can be told forward or backward, thanks to storyteller Kate Dudding:
What is an "ig"?
An Eskimo home without a bathroom.

What is an Eskimo home without a bathroom?
An ig.

A perverse incentive?

"Publish or perish" is so twentieth-century. Today, it is not enough to publish – your papers must be cited. Citation indices abound, and many a scientist monitors their own h-index.

So, as citations have become such an important metric, a shrewd strategy for professional advancement would be to publish papers that are wrong.

Because then, others will publish papers correcting yours, and cite you in the process, thereby making you a highly-cited researcher.

February 18, 2011

Four-legged opera stars?

The Seattle Opera's new production of Don Quixote features a horse & a donkey.

Two young men from Akron, Ohio.

Now that the Black Keys have won a few Grammy awards, we thought we would mention that our favorite "record album" of theirs is not a CD, LP, or cassette, but rather a DVD: The Black Keys Live (2004).

February 17, 2011

A personal version of the scientific method.

"Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement."

– Mark Twain

February 16, 2011

Is there a word for that?

NeuroCooking friends, I'm writing today with a question, in the hope that one of you will know the answer (which I hope is not simply "no").

In literature – especially poetry – is there a word for the practice of giving a piece a title that includes the name of the form? For example, a sonnet with a title that includes the word "sonnet"?

If you know the answer, please let me know. Thank you in advance for your help!

February 15, 2011

Mark Trail, gunshot victim.

Mark Trail has been shot. While we will continue to monitor the situation, we take comfort from the popular-entertainment convention that titular characters are never killed. For instance, in the old Batman TV series, when some villain had Batman dangling by a rope over a vat of deadly acid, what would happen if he fell in -- would the show then be renamed "Mourning Becomes Robin"?



NeuroCooking NewsService, Kensington Maryland, 15 February 2011:

Mark Trail has been shot!

February 14, 2011

Chicken, Cherry Tomato & Olive Bake

Basically, you throw everything into the pan and bake. Incredibly easy, pretty, and delicious results. The ingredient measurements below are guestimates; use more or less, and make additions, depending upon your preferences and what you have at hand. (I’ve seen a similar recipe using grapes instead of cherry tomatoes!)

Tom pointed out that this dish has red in it, so it is appropriate for Valentine's Night. My Valentine's gift to you, dear NeuroCooking readers!


* olive oil
* pint of cherry tomatoes
* lemon zest
* salt and pepper
* chopped parsley
* minced herbs, if you have them around, such as thyme
* smoked paprika, if you have it
* about 8 skinless chicken breast thighs, drumsticks too, if you want
* 1 jar green olives, stuffed with garlic or peppers or lemon
* garlic, if you want, or did not use garlic-stuffed olives


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Grease a shallow roasting pan with olive oil
3. Put chicken in pan, fully covering bottom, and salt and pepper chicken (sprinkle paprika, if using)
4. Whisk together olive oil, lemon zest, chopped parsley, and any other herbs. Chop garlic and add to mixture, or place garlic cloves around or under chicken pieces. Add enough oil so mixture can be thickly spooned onto chicken.
5. Sprinkle olives over herb-brushed chicken
6. Sprinkle cherry tomatoes over chicken (I like to salt the tomatoes)
7. Drizzle olive oil over olive- and tomato-covered chicken
8. Roast 40 to 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through

Serve alone or over lightly buttered egg noodles with sauce from pan.

Word of the day!

surface your passion, again

Last week, Lisa Lepson of Joshua Venture Group explained social entrepreneurship to me:
Social entrepreneurship works because it is rooted in a personal and passionate story. And personal passion, powerfully packaged as story, is what drives change in the world.

For Valentine's Day, how about an éclair?

"Because a kilogram is defined as whatever the mass of the prototype is, it does not, for definitional purposes, matter if the prototype loses mass, or indeed packs on the micrograms by spending all its free time gorging on éclairs: it is still a kilogram."

February 13, 2011


Not that a fallen tree constitutes a tragedy, but is there perhaps something poignant about the fact that a creek-side tree taken down by last month's heavy snowfall had been tagged?





February 12, 2011

surface your passion!

People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

We think no one needs one.

We respect diversity in bicycles.

Bikes with different geometries, made for different purposes, constructed of different materials, etc., – it's all good.

February 11, 2011

Better than an answer.

Do you know what happens when you do a google search on "How long is the coast of Britain"?

You don't get the answer; you get something much more wonderful!

February 9, 2011

1.0 = 0.999...

Perhaps the most widely-held misconception in mathematics is that every number has a unique decimal representation.

In fact, every rational number with a terminating decimal representation has also a non-terminating decimal representation.

For example: 1.0 = 0.999....

Don't believe it? Here is a simple proof:
1/3 = 0.333...

3*(1/3) = 3* (0.333...)

1 = 0.999...

February 7, 2011

"... I took black coffee ..."

"For fifteen days I struggled to prove that no functions analogous to those I have since called Fuchsian functions could exist; I was then very ignorant. Every day I sat down at my work table where I spent an hour or two; I tried a great number of combinations and arrived at no result. One evening, contrary to my custom, I took black coffee; I could not go to sleep; ideas swarmed up in clouds; I sensed them clashing until, to put it so, a pair would hook together to form a stable combination. By morning I had established the existence of a class of Fuchsian functions, those derived from the hypergeometric series. I had only to write up the results which took me a few hours."

- Jules Henri Poincaré (1854 – 1912), excerpted from "Science et Methode" (1908)

February 4, 2011

How is opera like chocolate?

Much like the shrinking chocolate bar – same price, less chocolate! – the cost of a subscription to the Washington National Opera remains about the same, although the season has shrunk from seven productions to five.

February 3, 2011

re: Half-Off Hitchcock!

National Capital Area readers: If you use this link to the program for the AFI Silver's Hitchcock Retrospective, and click on any of those "buy tickets" buttons, then today only, you will be able to buy tickets for $5.50, which is half the usual price.

["This offer does not apply to the special presentation of BLACKMAIL (Silent Version) with live musical accompaniment by Alloy Orchestra on March 27."]

Also not a punk band.

Much like the coefficient of alienation, obliteration by incorporation is not a punk band.

"The obliteration phenomenon is a concept in library and information science, referring to the tendency for truly ground-breaking research papers to fail to be cited after the ideas they put forward are fully accepted into the orthodox world view. For example, Albert Einstein's paper on the theory of relativity is rarely cited in modern research papers on physical cosmology, despite its direct relevance."

February 2, 2011

Half-Off Hitchcock!

Readers in the National Capital Area may be interested in the American Film Institute's Half-Off Hitchcock Sale!

Tomorrow (Thursday, February 3rd) only, tickets for the Hitchcock retrospective at the AFI Silver Theater will be on sale for half-price.

["This offer does not apply to the special presentation of BLACKMAIL (Silent Version) with live musical accompaniment by Alloy Orchestra on March 27."]

Why not a trompe-l'œil bike?

Cyclists who like the look of wood will be happy to learn that Rob Pollock will paint your bike's frame in faux wood-grain for $1500.

February 1, 2011

"... in secluded parks and exclusive penthouses and furnished rooms, in cabin cruisers and cabs and cabanas ..."

Just one sentence about Frank Sinatra's recording of "In The Wee Small Hours of The Morning" from the 1966 Esquire magazine article "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold" by Gay Taleese:
"Undoubtedly the words from this song, and others like it, had put millions in the mood, it was music to make love by, and doubtless much love had been made by it all over America at night in cars, while the batteries burned down, in cottages by the lake, on beaches during balmy summer evenings, in secluded parks and exclusive penthouses and furnished rooms, in cabin cruisers and cabs and cabanas -- in all places where Sinatra's songs could be heard were these words that warmed women, wooed and won them, snipped the final thread of inhibition and gratified the male egos of ungrateful lovers; two generations of men had been the beneficiaries of such ballads, for which they were eternally in his debt, for which they may eternally hate him."

re: Britton Chance (1913-2010)

Readers interested in learning more about the life and contributions of Dr. Britton Chance may wish to visit the new memorial website, brittonchance.org .


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