Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for December 8th, 2007

Steak winegrower style

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This recipe is from Paul Bocuse’s Bocuse in Your Kitchen, though I got it from The Week magazine.

Steak Winegrower Style

1 or 2 boneless rib-eye steaks (about 1 3/4-inch thick, 1 3/4 pounds total)
3 shallots
1 medium onion
2 anchovy fillets
3 1/2 Tbsp butter
Salt, pepper
1/2 cup red wine

Bring steaks to room temperature. (Let them sit out on the counter for an hour.) Cut off excess fat from around steak. Finely chop shallots, onion, and anchovies. Place in bowl and reserve. Melt butter in large frying pan (cast-iron skillet would be ideal) over medium-high heat until very hot.

Salt and pepper steak on both sides, then place in pan. Cook steak for 6 minutes on each side for rare, 8 minutes on each side for medium rare. (Cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of each steak.) When done, life meat from pan and keep warm (in a warm oven, for example) while making sauce.

Stir chopped onion mixture into pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until onions soften and start to brown. Stir in wine, bring to boil; boil for 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly; add salt and pepper if needed.

Serve steak on hot platter and slice it at table with sauce on side; or slice meat, spoon a little sauce onto each dinner plate, place slices of steak on top, and serve with any extra sauce on side. Serves 4.

UPDATE: I had this last night, and it was not nearly so good as it sounded. It was okay, but I doubt that I’ll make it again.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 December 2007 at 5:42 pm

Posted in Beef, Daily life, Food, Recipes

Cool ideas and technology

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Check them out in the NY Times Magazine. Example:

Wind turbine

Traditional wind turbines can be unreliable sources of energy because, well, the wind blows where it will. Not the case 1,000 feet up. “At a thousand feet, there is steady wind anywhere in the world,” says Mac Brown, chief operating officer of Ottawa-based Magenn Power.

To take advantage of this constant breeze, Brown has developed a lighter-than-air wind turbine capable of powering a rural village. “Picture a spinning Goodyear blimp,” Brown says. Filled with helium, outfitted with electrical generators and tethered to the ground by a conductive copper cable, the 100-foot-wide Magenn Air Rotor System (MARS) will produce 10 kilowatts of energy anywhere on earth. As the turbine spins around a horizontal axis, the generators convert the mechanical energy of the wind into electrical energy, then send it down for immediate use or battery storage.

Planning for the MARS has been under way for a few years, but this fall Magenn got the $5 million it needed to build prototypes from a California investor. In October, the MARS received its U.S. patent. Already, larger models — ones that might light a skyscraper — are in the works. Brown says he hopes his floating wind turbines will power off-the-grid villages in the developing world. He says the governments of India and Pakistan have expressed interest.

At least one argument against wind turbines — that they slice up birds and bats — isn’t valid, according to Brown. “This thing is bigger than a house,” he says. “A bird can see it and a bat can sense it.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 December 2007 at 5:02 pm

You don’t know why your attitude changed

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We don’t really know ourselves so well as we think we do. For example:

When you change your attitude about something, do you know why? Psychologists have argued that the inner workings of our minds are largely hidden away from us. One aspect of this is the surprising finding that people are often unaware when they have changed their attitudes.

We may well, for example, be able to identify our current opinions on global warming. We might find it easy to say, “Yes, I think global warming is occurring and humans are to blame,” or, “No, it’s just a long-term trend that has nothing to do with humans”. But when our opinions change, by say watching Al Gore’s documentary, ‘An Inconvenient Truth‘, psychologists have found we are unlikely to be aware what changed our minds.

It gets weirder. In certain circumstances we may even be convinced that our attitude has never changed. So that we are convinced our ‘new’ attitude is the one we always had.

Whether or not this sounds far-fetched to you, the effect is dramatically demonstrated in an experiment carried out by Goethals and Reckman (1973).
High school students were asked their opinions on a variety of social issues, including on how children should be bussed to school and whether it would help with racial integration. The actual topic itself doesn’t matter for our purposes, what the experimenters were doing here is getting a measures of participants’ attitudes to a specific issue before the experimental manipulation.

A couple of weeks later the students were invited back for a further discussion on the bussing issue. This time, though, they were split into two groups, one that was pro- and one anti- the bussing issue. These, then, are our two experimental groups, along with a third control group, more of which, later.

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Written by LeisureGuy

8 December 2007 at 4:39 pm

Posted in Daily life, Science

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Interesting theory on the CIA tapes

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It wasn’t what the tapes showed, according to this column, it was what the guy said.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 December 2007 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Bush Administration, GOP, Government

Tagged with , ,

Who ordered the CIA torture tapes destroyed?

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Written by LeisureGuy

8 December 2007 at 12:03 pm

Uh-oh. Move to Euros?

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“Iran, the second-biggest producer of crude oil in the Middle East, has ‘completely halted‘ all oil transactions in dollars, the state-run ISNA news agency said.” Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said, “The dollar is an unreliable currency, considering its devaluation and the oil exporters’ losses.”

Written by LeisureGuy

8 December 2007 at 11:12 am

Beyond the Kindle

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The Kindle design is underwhelming, isn’t it? Very Buck Rogers. Take a look at some alternative designs (and enter your own).

Written by LeisureGuy

8 December 2007 at 10:24 am

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