Monday, July 25, 2005

Deep Fried Live

Some people say that British tv is far superior to American tv. My experience was that British tv, especially the BBC, was mostly awful. Most of it was so painfully bad that my wife and I ended up going out and socializing. There were a few exceptions to the general rule that British tv is far worse than US tv. A handful of comedies were brilliant, but the real gems were the cooking shows. Programming like Can't Cook, Won't Cook and Ready, Steady, Cook are entertaining, and taught people practical cooking. In contrast US cooking shows tend to resemble Xtreme sports events, or blood feuds. However, the other day I discovered the best North American cooking programme of them all, and it is only available over the Web. Deep Fried Live is all that a cooking show should be. Check out, for example, the episode about how to cook a steak. The show explains in a clear, entertaining way how to cook a steak with out the cow's sacrifice being in vain. And the host is cool.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The NHL's CBA Failure

The NHL is back! As much as I hate to admit it I am glad the National Hockey League is playing again. I missed listening to Canucks games. I missed Yahoo's fantasy hockey. I missed watching the Capitals reach for the bottom of the barrel, and overshoot. Unfortunately the recent collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players' union has not solved the underlying problem with the sport: hockey is a regional sport. It is highly popular in Canada and parts of the US, but in much of America hockey is as popular as a squid in a bathtub. Adding shoot-outs is not going to make hockey pay in Florida. Until the NHL is willing to face reality (and the new CBA suggests that that is not going to happen for a while) and let teams like the Florida Panthers and Phoenix Coyotes go under the league is not going to be financially stable. The NHL needs to stop pretending that it is the NBA. There is simply no interest in hockey in some parts of the US, and manipulating the finances of the entire league to subsidize teams in cities where most people think that ice is found in a ring, not a rink, will just hurt the league in the long run. In a perfect world I would like the see the NHL in Florida, and North Carolina, and DC, and Arizona; but in the real world that is a pipe dream. My message to the NHL is to practice some tough love and let the 800 hockey fans in those states watch the game on tv instead of live.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Republicans Court Porn Stars

At first I thought that this was a joke. President Bush and the Republican Party invite an adult film producer and and adult film star to a GOP fundraiser. But, it is true. The GOP invited adult film producer Mark Kulkis of Kick Ass Pictures (the Web link is link omitted in good taste, but a quick Google will find it for you if you want) to attend a $2500 a plate fund raiser in Washington, DC on Wednesday, June 15, 2005. Also on the guest list was porn star Mary Carey. President Bush was present at the fund raiser. Imagine if that had been a Democratic fund raiser. We would never have heard the end of it. Why is the right-wing media suddenly silent on this breach of good taste and family values? Where is the FOX News coverage? Where is the indignation from middle America? It is funny how right and wrong depend on who is involved.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Octopus Suicides

Today is the 4th of July, so I did not have to go to work today. However, I ended up drawing the short straw and spening the day on call in case Swift detected a gamma-ray burst. That means that I am tied to my laptop and internet connection. To pass the time I did some research on octopuses. One of the more interesting things that I found is an article about the apparent suicides of some animals. It sometimes bothers me when people assume that animals, by definition, can not be conscious. No one really know what consciousness is, so it seems a bit arrogant to say that it is a purely human phenomenon. Probably the best approach is to say that animal consciousness is simply not understood.