Archives for March 2005
According to a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article
, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
has decided to show the IMAX film Volcanoes of the Deep Sea
Museum Director Van Romans, with the blessing of the board of directors, reversed the museum's decision and said the film will open in Fort Worth "before summer." The film is already being promoted on the museum's Web site.
"We're going to show things that have scientific credibility, and people can make their own decisions," Romans said Wednesday. "That's a very personal choice. But we are a science and history institution. We have a responsibility to the public to share with them."
Carol Murray, director of marketing for the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, said the museum decided not to offer the movie after showing it to a sample audience, a practice often followed by managers of Imax theaters. Ms. Murray said 137 people participated in the survey, and while some thought it was well done, "some people said it was blasphemous." In their written comments, she explained, they made statements like "I really hate it when the theory of evolution is presented as fact," or "I don't agree with their presentation of human existence."
I heard about this for the first time on my drive to work this morning. I quickly found a New York Times article on the subject, which is where the text above came from.
In all honesty, I was not likely to see this film, even if it was shown in Fort Worth. The fact that now I can't see it locally, due to the narrow minded views of some, really burns me up. The increasing power of religious fundamentalists scares me.
I am disappointed in the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, and I am embarrassed to live in such a narrow-minded community.
As I come across them, I will post additional links on this subject:
Imax Theaters Reject Movies Containing Evolution
I am a longtime fan of the magazine "Cook's Illustrated," as well as the accompanying television show, "America's Test Kitchen," and a recent subscriber to their website -- www.cooksillustrated.com. As such, I get the occasional email offer from them, usually for a new cookbook. In a recent email offer for their "Italian Classics" cookbook, they included a recipe for Chicken Piccata. I love chicken piccata, and have always wanted to fix it myself. I decided that this evening was as good a time as any to try it out.
After a quick trip to the store, I began my prep work. There really wasn't much to it -- minced a shallot and some parsley, sliced and juiced a couple of lemons, and rinsed off some capers. Then it was time to season and flour the thinly sliced chicken and cook it. About 15 minutes later it was ready, sauce and all. It was good, but a bit salty (probably my fault, but could be from the capers or the chicken broth). The family liked it, including my 4-year old (always a good sign).
If you're still reading, you're probably interested in the recipe.
Unfortunately, I don't have a link to the recipe, but I'd be happy to forward the email with it to whoever wants it. Here it is: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipe.asp?recipeids=219 (might require free registration).
For the few of you that have commented on something here, you should know that I have turned off the notification mechanism that sends out an email whenever someone leaves a new comment for a post that you've commented on. I need to clean up the email message and make the notification opt-in, rather than on by default with no way to opt-out. That's all.
For quite some time, I've been looking at French Press coffee makers. I'd heard from many people that when done right, they make the best cup of coffee. Before I could take the plunge and put Mr. Coffee away for good, I had to overcome a few hurdles. Laziness, no tea kettle, no burr grinder, and of course no French Press.
There's no getting around my laziness, it is what it is. I figured I must simply bite the bullet, and see if French Press made coffee is worth the little bit of extra work. Today, I overcame the remaining hurdles and bought a tea kettle, a burr grinder
, and a French Press
. After getting home and washing everything, I set off on my coffee adventure.
The first step was bringing some water to a boil. With a tea kettle, this is trivial, and suprisingly fast. While the water was coming to a boil, I used my new burr grinder to grind some coffee beans into a nice coarse grind. This was trivial as well. The grinder that I got has a coarseness setting, as well as a capacity setting...I simply set those to things and press "Start" -- no holding down a button, and counting. By now the tea kettle was whistling, so I took it off the burner briefly while I measured the ground coffee into the French Press. (You want the water to be just south of it's boiling point). I then poured in the water and stirred, put the French Press lid on, making sure that the spout was not open, and let it brew for about 4 minutes. After four minutes of brewing, I pressed plunger down, filtering out the grounds, and poured the coffee into my favorite mug. That's it. The coffee was ready in around 10 minutes.
Now for the important question -- how's the coffee taste? In a word, delicious. It was worth the little bit of extra effort, and honestly, my laziness didn't even come into play. I've now put the Mr. Coffee away. I am sure it will make an appearance from time to time, but not often.
At 4 PM yesterday afternoon, I decided to enter a chili cook-off that my department's social committee had organized as part of a Texas Independence Day themed pot-luck. Short notice, I know, but I knew I could work some magic in the kitchen. With such a short time-frame to work with, I didn't want to go the normal route of winging it completely, so I found a nice base recipe and then went to work.
The end result was nothing short of phenomenal. I let myself start thinking about winning the cook-off (though winning was not the goal when I entered, I am way too competitive to keep it from becoming THE goal). As the other entries arrived, and people in the department began sampling, my confidence grew. The feedback was excellent. Then came time for the judging.
There were three judges, and as far as I could tell, only one had any previous experience at doing this. Finally, the moment we had all been waiting for arrived. There was only to be the announcement of a winner -- no 2nd or 3rd place awards. However, the judges deviated from the rules and announced an honorable mention. This chili was voted #1 by one judge, while the eventual winner was tops with the other two. Mine was the honorable mention.
Disappointed? Yes, but I could live with it. I figured the winning chili must be pretty damned good. Wrong! I tasted it and had to choke it down. A coworker spit it out. Others mentioned it as having an "almost rancid" taste. How does this happen? How does one chili win out with 2 out of 3 judges, while losing out with nearly everyone else? I demand a recount, an investigation, bribes must've been handed out, favors had to have been called in, the winner must've had dirt on two of the judges! For the record, it was the judge with previous judging experience that picked mine as #1.
In the end, it was all good. My coworkers loved my chili. Who cares about the judges anyway. It isn't like there was some huge award for 1st place. My prize was a near perfect bowl of red, and the satisfaction of knowing my peers enjoyed it too.
Before I forget, I want to thank my kitchen staff. Without you, I might have won...just kidding.