Sunday, August 31, 2008

There's no ice in Florida!

By far, the most egregious move by the NCAA Ice Hockey Committee is placing the 2012 Frozen Four in Tampa, Florida. Tampa. FLORIDA. 674 miles from the nearest Division I hockey team, and nearly 1,000 miles to the second-closest Division I hockey team.

Of course, there are still regionals and the 2011 Frozen Four in Minnesota, but they have a bit of an advantage (emphasis mine):
“We focused on selecting sites that have NHL size ice sheets and are in neutral buildings,” said Ice Hockey Committee Chairman Joel Maturi, the AD of Minnesota. “We really feel that each of these buildings will showcase college hockey, give our student-athletes a tremendous experience and help take our championship to another level.”

Yes, what a tremendous experience playing for the championship in an empty arena in Florida. Awesome.

If the NCAA was serious about expanding Division I ice hockey, they wouldn't be scheduling tournaments in Missouri and Florida. They would spend all their free time wooing Penn State. Pennsylvanians not only have two pro hockey teams, but are aware they have two pro hockey teams, so you have a built-in hockey fanbase. Michigan, Ohio State, and Notre Dame have hockey teams, so you can have games against known rivals to bring in casual fans. There are only two Division I hockey teams in the state, both in the western part. And there is nothing to do in State College in the winter.

Sure, it's expensive, and you'll have to add women's water polo or rowing for Title IX, but long-term it would be good for college hockey. I almost suspect that the NCAA is trying to kill college hockey. I mean, Florida?

(link via The Blog That Yost Built)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Arugula for all!

While the Obama campaign has had lots of fun mocking McCain for not knowing how many houses he had, the McCain campaign came back with . . . an arugula reference. Because a year ago, Obama had the nerve to mention the price of arugula.

I find it unbelievably frustrating that worrying about the price of vegetables makes one elitist. I don't know why someone would take pride in not being able to spell it. It's healthy! It's tasty! And it is a goddamn crime in this country that organic arugula is $4 for 5 ounces (or $7/lb for non-organic), while mac and cheese is $1.58 a box. Vegetables should not be luxuries, and I wish someone would actually say that for once.


Yeah, we got punked.

But Biden has had two of the funniest lines of the campaign, so this should be fun. With

Your kitchen table is like mine, you sit there at night after you put the kids to bed and you talk about what you need. That's not a worry John McCain has to worry about. He'll have to figure out which of the seven kitchen tables to sit at.


Rudy Giuliani. There's only three things he mentions in a sentence -- a noun, a verb, and 9/11.

I can't wait for the VP debates!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Evan Bayh?

So apparently there are Obama-Bayh bumper stickers being printed up in Kansas (h/t Mark Ambinder). And then I checked and redirects to There's no, or, or even

You heard it here first.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Those are some elitist bootstraps, I guess

Plenty of bloggers and journalists, not to mention McCain himself, have called Obama "elitist" at various points throughout the campaign.

I would just like to point out that in politics right now, the two greatest examples of living the American Dream -- of starting from nothing and working hard from there -- are Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. I don't know why a grandmother in Hawaii makes Obama an elitist, while two houses on Coronado Island doesn't make McCain and elitist, but whatever. And do not even get me started on arugula. There will be a whole 'nother post coming about why caring about the price of arugula makes you explicitly not an elitist.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

NBC Doing Well with Olympics, the Bastards

Apparently the Olympics have been ratings gold for NBC this year. Swimming and gymnastics have been extremely popular, and everyone has been talking about the Olympics.

What this article doesn't mention is that the West Coast isn't getting any of that live primetime coverage. Nothing but tape delays for us!

NBC said Saturday’s prime-time broadcast — featuring Mr. Phelps’s eighth gold medal win — was its most-viewed Saturday program in 18 years. From 11 to 11:30 p.m., when the Americans swam in their medal-winning medley relay, 39.9 million viewers were watching, according to Nielsen Media Research.

That would have been from 8 to 8:30 p.m., if aired live on the West Coast. Would that have been so awful? Half the time, there's nothing good on until 10 p.m. ET, so give the West Coast a live feed then (7 p.m. PT), and throw all the crap in tape-delayed later. Better to tape-delay some stuff than everything, especially when things are finishing around 1 a.m. ET.

Clearly people are watching the Olympics, and talking about them. And I am freaking tired of having to avoid the entire internet after 5 p.m. PT to avoid Olympic spoilers. I complained to, but they shockingly haven't emailed me back. Lo, how I miss the CBC!

Monday, August 11, 2008

What were the other 19% thinking?

I know August is a slow sports month, what with only preseason football and pre-pennant race baseball, but it's still a pleasant surprise to see how many people are paying attention to the Olympics. In the poll (to which I cannot directly link, and can I file a complaint about that?), over 80% of the respondants cited the men's 4x100 freestyle relay as the highlight of the weekend. Now, I didn't see the other three events, but that relay was awesome, and Lezak was incredible.

If you missed it, you can watch it here after installing the Silverlight plugin. (Hooray for Mac support this year!) And while you're at it, watch the women's 400m freestyle final, which also had a close and crazy finish.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saag Paneer

We've made saag paneer (or palaak paneer, as they call it in Southern India) many times, using a combination of two recipes. Both recipes are from Madhur Jaffrey: one in World Vegetarian and the other in World of the East Vegetarian Cooking. We don't like either one by itself, so now that we've finally adjusted it to our liking, here goes:

The paneer:
2 quarts whole milk
3-4 Tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne

Line a colander with several layers of cheesecloth, making sure you have plenty of cloth.

Bring the milk to a boil over medium high heat. When it begins to boil, turn the heat to low, and add 3Tbsp of vinegar. Stir. If the mixture does not begin curdling (the thin, yellowish whey separating from the white curds), add the last tablespoon of vinegar. Stir again, then pour into the colander. The whey will drain out and you'll have the curds left in the colander.

Gather up the ends of the cheesecloth and squeeze out as much water as possible. Tie the bundle shut, and lay the cloth on a plate. Place another plate above it, with a heavy book, for about five minutes. Just five minutes is all you need!

At this point it will keep for a day or two in the fridge. But once you're ready, slice it into cubes and fry it in a bit of oil. After slightly browning all sides, set aside. Sprinkle with the salt, cayenne, and garam masala. (The frying is optional, mostly because it sticks to the pan like crazy, no matter how much oil you use.)

The saag:
2 10-oz. bags of spinach
1 Tbsp of dried fenugreek or 1-2 handfuls of fresh fenugreek (if you can get fresh fenugreek, it is SO worth it)

2-3 Tbsp peanut oil
4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
A 1-inch cube of ginger, chopped finely
1/2 - 2 small green chilis, chopped finely. (we use 2 Thai chilis, but whatever you have that you like)
1 tomato, grated

3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne

Bring 1/3 cup of water to boil in a large pan. Put in the spinach and fenugreek, and cook gently, covered, for 25 minutes.

START MAKING RICE NOW. (We have forgotten to make rice on at least three occasions.)

About 10 minutes after you've put the spinach on, start heating 2-3 Tbsp peanut oil in another frying pan. Add the ginger, garlic, and chilis, frying them until they start to brown. Then add the tomato, and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the texture thickens.

After the spinach has cooked for 25 minutes, mash it a bit with a potato masher or wooden spoon. Stir the tomato mixture into the spinach mixture, then add the salt, cumin, and cayenne. Stir to mix, cooking gently for 5 minutes. You may need to add a tablespoon of cornstarch here, but we usually just try to remove any excess water.

Add the paneer, stir, and cook gently covered for another 5 minutes. Taste for salt.

Serve hot, with rice.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dorky Fun with Wordle

It seems that wordle is all the rage these days. And I decided to look at what comes out of the RSS feed of astro-ph. Let's take a look (click image to enlarge):

I didn't realize that "magnetic" would be number one!