B12 Solipsism

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Archive for the ‘Boston’ tag

Cooking Is Good For You

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Omnivore's Dilemma
Omnivore’s Dilemma

This seems like a logical point: cooking food you select from a grocery store or farmers’  market is better for you than purchasing pre-cooked food, for a myriad of reasons. Luckily for me, I like to cook; I enjoy the creativity of the act of melding carrots, peppers and lentils, and so on. I’m also lucky that I have a kitchen in my office, as I am able to prepare lunch too.

[Michael Pollan] says: “Cooking is probably the most important thing you can do to improve your diet. What matters most is not any particular nutrient, or even any particular food: it’s the act of cooking itself. People who cook eat a healthier diet without giving it a thought. It’s the collapse of home cooking that led directly to the obesity epidemic.”

When you cook, you choose the ingredients: “And you’re going to use higher-quality ingredients than whoever’s making your home-meal replacement would ever use. You’re not going to use additives. So the quality of the food will automatically be better.

“You’re also not going to cook much junk. I love French fries, but how often are you going to cook them? It’s too hard and messy. But when they’re made at the industrial scale, you can have French fries three times a day. So there’s something in the very nature of home cooking that keeps us from getting into trouble.”

“We do find time for activities we value, like surfing the Internet or exercising,” says Pollan. “The problem is we’re not valuing cooking enough. Who do you want cooking your food, a corporation or a human being? Cooking isn’t like fixing your car or other things it makes sense to outsource. Cooking links us to nature, it links us to our bodies. It’s too important to our well-being to outsource.”

And yet Big Food has convinced most of us: “No one has to cook! We’ve got it covered.” This began 100 years ago, but it picked up steam in the ’70s, when Big Food made it seem progressive, even “feminist,” not to cook. Pollan reminded me of KFC’s brilliant ad campaign, which sold a bucket of fried chicken with the slogan “Women’s Liberation.”

 

(click here to continue reading Michael Pollan Cooks! – NYTimes.com.)

Tangentially related, based on the amount of national news based in Boston, I wanted to make a cocktail called Ward 8, supposedly of Boston origin. However, most recipes called for grenadine. Ewww. As Wikipedia so primly puts it:

As grenadine is subject to minimal regulation, its basic flavor profile can alternatively be obtained from a mixture of blackcurrant juice and other fruit juices with the blackcurrant flavor dominating. To reduce production costs however, the food industry has widely replaced fruit bases with artificial ingredients. The Mott’s brand “Rose’s”, by far the most common grenadine brand in the United States, is presently formulated using (in order of concentration): high fructose corn syrup, water, citric acid, sodium citrate, sodium benzoate, FD&C Red #40, natural and artificial flavors, and FD&C Blue #1.

(click here to continue reading Grenadine – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

That doesn’t sound like a real ingredient to me. I’ll have to look for some actual pomegranate syrup to use in the future. I went instead with Rye, lemon juice and a splash of Cointreau. Not a Ward 8, but whatcha gonna do?

 Lion's Pride Organic Rye Whiskey

Lion’s Pride Organic Rye Whiskey

Written by Seth Anderson

April 19th, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Posted in Food and Drink,health

Tagged with ,

What Is a False Flag Attack

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I have nothing to add to the discussion re: the horrible events at the Boston Marathon, so I’ll echo what Wittgenstein wrote in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus: “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”

United States of Peace
United States of Peace

I did wonder what the phrase: false flag attack meant. The right-wing nut jobs accuse the government of setting the bombs off for whatever twisted reason the nut jobs came up with. Seems ludicrous to you and me, but then we are sane. 

Philip Bump of the Atlantic explains:

What is a “false flag” attack?

The term originates with naval warfare. For centuries, ships have sailed under a flag identifying their nationality. During times of war, ships would sometimes change the national flag they flew in order to fool other vessels that they sought to attack or escape from. They would fly, in other words, a “false flag.” The term then expanded to mean any scenario under which a military attack was undertaken by a person or organization pretending to be something else.

What the questioner was asking, then, was: Did the United States government orchestrate this attack, pretending to be a terrorist organization of some sort, in order to justify expanded security powers?

Is There Historical Precedent for Such a Move by a Government?

There is.

The most famous example, however, is contentious. Conspiracy theorists (of which there are a lot in America) often suggest that the 1933 fire at the Reichstag in Berlin was a “false flag” operation by the Nazis to consolidate power and undermine the Communist Party. This is still a subject of debate among historians, some of whom think the man convicted of the crime, Marinus van der Lubbe, was actually responsible. In 1998, a German court exonerated van der Lubbe.

The nexus of fascist government manipulation and phony disasters has proven difficult for theorists to resist. Following most attacks similar to Monday’s bombings, there have been accusations that they serve as a tool of government oppression.

For example, the murders at Sandy Hook Elementary were quickly labeled a “false flag” operation by conspiracy theorists, the implication being that the Obama administration wanted to use the tragedy to tighten gun restrictions. If that was the president’s goal, the Senate wasn’t on board with it.

(click here to continue reading What Is a ‘False Flag’ Attack, and What Does Boston Have to Do with This? – Philip Bump – The Atlantic Wire.)

I guess I knew what that meant after all, just didn’t know the exact historically accurate phrase. I truly doubt the government decided to use Boston marathon runners as fodder in expanding the War on Terror, or the War on Gold, or whatever the nut jobs are speculating about.

Flag

From Alex Seitz-Wald of Salon:

On his radio show, Jones speculated that it may have to do with the sudden drop in the price of gold, a favorite commodity of paranoids everywhere. “With gold plunging, what could this signify?” he asked rhetorically. He also noted that Boston has special significance in American history, and because it’s where one of the planes took off from on 9/11. “I said on air that they’re getting ready to blow something up. To fire a shot heard round the world like at Lexington and Concord, and then they do it at this same place on the same day!” he said.

As Alex Altman of Time noted on Twitter, “Today is Patriots’ Day, which has significance for militia movement. McVeigh bombed Murrah Bldg on Patriots’ Day in 1995.” Patriots’ Day, a civil holiday in Massachusetts, commemorates those battles outside Boston that sparked the American Revolution. The holiday is now celebrated on the third Monday of April, though the battles actually took place on April 19, meaning the two dates are often conflated.

In addition to the Oklahoma City Bombing, which occurred on the 19th, the date also coincides with the deadly raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. As John Avalon wrote for the Daily Beast in 2010, the day has “emerged as a ‘Hatriot’ holiday for some anti-government activists and militia groups.”

This year, Patriots’ Day also falls on Tax Day, another important date for right-wing extremists. For all these reasons, Jones predicted that while “they might blame it on the Muslims, they’re going to blame it on the Tea Party.”

(click here to continue reading Alex Jones: Boston explosion a government conspiracy – Salon.com.)

Written by Seth Anderson

April 16th, 2013 at 8:28 am

Posted in News-esque

Tagged with , , ,

The Modern Lovers -Roadrunner – Official State Song of Massachusetts

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Some politician wants to make Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lover’s seminal tune, Roadrunner, into the Official State Song. I could agree with that. I remember listening to this song back in the stone age, before CDs, and I always loved it. Maybe because it is so much a descendant of the Velvet Underground sound, or just because it is cool. I had forgotten that John Cale produced the song.

One of these days I’ll be a tourist in Boston…

 

Roadrunner, filmed in Boston, circa 1976

I’ve never been to Massachusetts, but this song evokes what MA is, to me anyway.

From Wikipedia:

Richman’s band The Modern Lovers first recorded “Roadrunner” with producer John Cale (previously of the Velvet Underground) in 1972. This version was first released as single and in 1976 on The Modern Lovers’ long-delayed but highly acclaimed debut album (originally Home of the Hits HH019). Later in 1972, the group recorded two more versions with Kim Fowley, which were released in 1981 on the album, The Original Modern Lovers (Bomp BLP 4021). A live version from 1973 was also later officially released on the album, Live At Longbranch Saloon. The most commercially successful version of the song, credited to Richman as a solo artist, was recorded for Beserkley Records in late 1974, produced by label boss Matthew King Kaufman, featured Jonathan backed by The Greg Kihn Band and released at the time on a single (Beserkley B-34701) with a B-side by the band Earth Quake. Kaufman stated: “To record “Roadrunner” took the 3 minutes 35 seconds for the performance, about another 30 minutes to dump the background vocals on, and another 90 minutes to mix it”. Actually Kaufman was mistaken – this version is listed on the UK release of the single as being 4:40. This version was reissued in 1975 on the album Beserkley Chartbusters Vol. 1(Beserkley JBZ-0044). In the UK, where Richman had received substantial and very positive publicity in the music press, it was released in 1977 as a single (Beserkley BZZ 1), known as “Roadrunner (Once)” and credited to Jonathan Richman, with the Cale-produced “Roadrunner (Twice)” on the B-side, credited to The Modern Lovers, and lasting approximately 4:06. This single reached number 11 in the UK singles chart in August 1977. The differences among all these versions are in the lyrics, the duration, the instrumentation (electric garage rock vs. acoustic rock) and the way Jonathan sings them.

(click here to continue reading Roadrunner (Jonathan Richman song) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

and from Rolling Stone:

Jonathan Richman used to describe “Roadrunner,” the best-known song by his band the Modern Lovers, as a “geographical love song.” Now his affection for his home state is on the verge of being institutionalized: there is a movement underway to make the classic song – an ode to the singer’s native Massachusetts as it appeared through his windshield (“Gonna drive past the Stop and Shop with the radio on”) – the state’s official rock song.

Last week, Massachusetts State Representative Marty Walsh filed a bill proposing as much. Jerry Harrison, who joined Talking Heads after the first recorded lineup of the Modern Lovers split, tells Rolling Stone he’s pleased. “I can’t tell you how many congratulatory emails I’ve gotten,” he says.

The push to designate “Roadrunner” as the official rock song of Massachusetts began with Joyce Linehan, a Boston publicist who did A&R for Sub Pop Records and now has a record label with Joe Pernice. She has political connections, too: she worked closely with Elizabeth Warren on her successful campaign for the U.S. Senate.

 

(click here to continue reading Modern Lovers’ ‘Roadrunner’ Proposed as Massachusetts’ Official Rock Song | Music News | Rolling Stone.)

one two three four five six
Roadrunner, roadrunner
Going faster miles an hour
Gonna drive past the Stop ‘n’ Shop
With the radio on

I’m in love with Massachusetts
And the neon when it’s cold outside
And the highway when it’s late at night
Got the radio on
I’m like the roadrunner

Alright
I’m in love with modern moonlight
128 when it’s dark outside
I’m in love with Massachusetts
I’m in love with the radio on
It helps me from being alone late at night
It helps me from being lonely late at night
I don’t feel so bad now in the car
Don’t feel so alone, got the radio on
Like the roadrunner
That’s right

Said welcome to the spirit of 1956
Patient in the bushes next to ’57
The highway is your girlfriend as you go by quick
Suburban trees, suburban speed
And it smells like heaven(thunder)
And I say roadrunner once
Roadrunner twice
I’m in love with rock & roll and I’ll be out all night
Roadrunner
That’s right

Well now
Roadrunner, roadrunner
Going faster miles an hour
Gonna drive to the Stop ‘n’ Shop
With the radio on at night
And me in love with modern moonlight
Me in love with modern rock & roll
Modern girls and modern rock & roll
Don’t feel so alone, got the radio on
Like the roadrunner
O.K., now you sing Modern Lovers

(Radio On!)
I got the AM
(Radio On!)
Got the car, got the AM
(Radio On!)
Got the AM sound, got the
(Radio On!)
Got the rockin’ modern neon sound
(Radio On!)
I got the car from Massachusetts, got the
(Radio On!)
I got the power of Massachusetts when it’s late at night
(Radio On!)
I got the modern sounds of modern Massachusetts
I’ve got the world, got the turnpike, got the
I’ve got the, got the power of the AM
Got the, late at night, (?), rock & roll late at night
The factories and the auto signs got the power of modern sounds
Alright

Right, bye bye!

More reasons to love this song:

Roadrunner is one of the most magical songs in existence. It is a song about what it means to be young, and behind the wheel of an automobile, with the radio on and the night and the highway stretched out before you. It is a paean to the modern world, to the urban landscape, to the Plymouth Roadrunner car, to roadside restaurants, neon lights, suburbia, the highway, the darkness, pine trees and supermarkets. As Greil Marcus put it in his book Lipstick Traces: “Roadrunner was the most obvious song in the world, and the strangest.”

One version of Roadrunner – Roadrunner (Twice) – reached No 11 in the UK charts, but the song’s influence would extend much further. Its first incarnation, Roadrunner (Once), recorded in 1972 and produced by John Cale, but not released until 1976, was described by film director Richard Linklater as “the first punk song”; he placed it on the soundtrack to his film School of Rock. As punk took shape in London, Roadrunner was one of the songs the Sex Pistols covered at their early rehearsals. Another 20 years on and Cornershop would cite it as the inspiration behind their No 1 single Brimful of Asha, and a few years later, Rolling Stone put it at 269 on their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. Its impact would be felt in other ways, too: musicians playing on this song included keyboard player Jerry Harrison, who would later join Talking Heads, and drummer David Robinson, who went on to join the Cars. Its power was in the simplicity both of its music – a drone of guitar, organ, bass and drums around a simple two-chord structure – and of its message that it’s great to be alive.

(click here to continue reading The car, the radio, the night – and rock’s most thrilling song | Music | The Guardian.)

Written by Seth Anderson

February 21st, 2013 at 12:25 am

Posted in Music,Suggestions

Tagged with , ,

Reading Around on July 6th

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Some additional reading July 6th from 08:35 to 14:46:

  • Boston to debut ‘killer app’ for municipal complaints – The Boston Globe – “they think they’ve hit on something big: a “killer app’’ that marries 21st-century technology with Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s old-school devotion to pothole politics.

    City officials will soon debut Boston’s first official iPhone application, which will allow residents to snap photos of neighborhood nuisances – nasty potholes, graffiti-stained walls, blown street lights – and e-mail them to City Hall to be fixed.”

  • President Obama’s first 167 days – The Big Picture – Boston.com – “U.S. President Barack Obama has now been in office for 167 days, and it’s time for a look back. Why 167 days? Why not – it’s just as arbitrary a number as the usual “100 days”. In that time, President Obama has contended with stimulating the U.S. economy, reshaping U.S. policy abroad, and starting work on domestic issues such as health care reform. As he and his family arrive in Moscow today for an official visit, find here a look back at some of the first 167 days of the Obama administration. (38 photos total)”

    Barack Obama is the centrist Democrat we thought he was, and I have several policy disagreements with his administration already, that said, still am charmed by the man. So many of these photos make me smile.

  • The Brick Testament – “Ever performed a magic trick for your friends? Committed adultery? Worshipped an idol? Are you cowardly? How about filthy? Have you ever told a lie? If so, bad news. You are going to be ceaselessly tortured for all eternity.Good news, though, if you are a male Jewish virgin. A lucky 144,000 of you are going to get to live on the New Improved Earth with Yahweh”

Written by swanksalot

July 6th, 2009 at 3:01 pm