Links for 2/29/08

Happy Leap Day! Enjoy a Leap Year cocktail

Ron Bailey, climate change convert

Ethanol a challenge for firefighters

This match box is stylish, expensive

The dismal science on suicide

Vid: Bat in flight

Smoking ban updates

Alabama is the newest state to start flirting with a smoking ban, proving that even the countriest of states are succumbing to cosmopolitan tobacco panic. It’s a less strict ban than many, but could have unintended consequences. Tom Pearson, who may soon be unable to light up with his less than 6% abv beers, has the roundup.

Elsewhere, both houses of the Iowa legislature have passed ban bills, while in Kansas a ban and tax increase are both dying in committee.

Links for 2/28/08 AM

McCain in a glass house

Looking back on Buckley

Washington Times joins 21st century

Hacking AT&T’s ad campaign

Best fortune cookie ever

Hillary as inspiration

Cory’s post makes me miss my tamper

Links for 2/27/08 AM

German gov shuts down Scientologist daycare

Politicians playing dress-up

Illinois hero hosts smoke-in

Sarah Allen hopes for a Starbucks’ barista’s awakening

Consumer Reports’ unfriendly subscription model

UT falls victim to Memorial Magic

“One must strive to eat dangerously…”

Tasty events at National Geographic

National Geographic’s Live! series has some enticing food events coming up this spring in DC. First up, on April 2, is the Grand Sushi and Sake night, featuring sushi, sake, and Japanese beers. Preceding the event will be a speech by author Trevor Corson, whose lobster slaying skills have been previously mentioned on this blog.

Next is the Master Cheesemonger’s Favorites on April 30, hosted by Steven Jenkins, author of the extremely useful Cheese Primer. In addition to rare cheeses, Best Cellars co-founder Joshua Wesson will provide a selection of wines.

Finally, on May 8, Brooklyn brewmaster Garrett Oliver brings in beers from the Italian Beer Renaissance. I’m a big fan of his guide to beer, The Brewmaster’s Table, and had a fantastic time at his tasting of twelve bottle-fermented ales last year. It’s sure to be a worthwhile night for beer lovers, and if it’s anything like last year’s, still a great deal at $75.

Links for 2/26/08 AM

Preview of the Medicare Leviathan

Japanese chefs reject Michelin stars

The case for sleeping on the job

But don’t sleep on the Road of Death

Raising the next generation of nanny statists

Obesity more dangerous than terrorism

That’s the headline from this conference at Oxford. Looks like it’s time to move the Homeland Obesity Advisory to “corpulent!”

Homeland Obesity

The venerable Hemingway Star reported on obesity and terrorism way back in May, 2004.

Links for 2/25/08 AM

Ralph Nader: Still alive, still annoying Democrats

Vid: Arcade Fire gets ‘em indie early

Gun buybacks and unintended consequences

If I still made espresso, I’d try these clever grinder mods

Why Canadians answer dumb math questions

Nebraska one step from smoking ban

Links for 2/22/08 PM

If Obama went 0-for-10…

McArdle on the pain of talking to voters

Who knew Antiques Road Show was so popular?

The virtues of low-power word processing

Grant Morrison talks about his Batman run

A toilet seat for the discerning buttock

Pushing spherification

The New York Times reports that Remy Cointreau is pushing a kit to New York bars that will allow them to use the technique of spherification to make little balls of Cointreau caviar. I’m not all that interested in the kit, but I would buy the Pearl Former that comes with it in a heartbeat:

“They’ve created this crazy dispenser that looks like an oregano dispenser at a pizza parlor, but it’s got heavy glass and a metal top that screws on,” said Dale DeGroff, the cocktail educator and consultant, who is working with Rémy Cointreau on the project. “You turn it upside down and shake it and out comes this stuff, and as soon as it hits the calcium bath it turns into these little gold globules.”

The dispenser lets a bartender form enough orbs to garnish 10 cocktails in a matter of minutes, Mr. DeGroff said.

Spherification isn’t something I’ll be breaking out at Open City anytime soon, but with a device like that I’d be more tempted to try it at home. Hell, I’m tempted anyway. It’s only a matter of time before I give in and buy the chemicals.

Elsewhere: David Barzelay got me interested in trying out spherification with this EatFoo post.

Smokers are just acting cool

Sadly, this loophole probably isn’t going to last, but I have to give major props to the Minnesota bars holding “theater nights” this weekend to get around the new state smoking ban. By dubbing patrons “actors,” they’re able to able to use a portion of the law allowing smoking in theatrical productions. 50-100 bars are expected to get in on the idea this weekend, after seeing attendance go way up at the bars that have tried it already.

Links for 2/22/08 AM

Google Moon race up to 10 entrants

McCain hoist by own petard

Most effective e-Harmony ad ever

Starbucks cuts 600 jobs

Presumably not because of 30 cockroaches


What are you eating tonight?

The calorie information in this Men’s Health list of “The 20 Worst Foods in America” doesn’t scare me nearly so much as the photos make me glad to live in a city where I can avoid major restaurant chains. Presented as served instead of as seen on glossy menus, these are not appetizing dishes. (I’ll make an exception for the Carl’s Jr. burger. That’s one chain I’d be glad to have in town.)

Links for 2/21/08 PM

Go site-seeing on GoogleMaps

Can’t trust your mate? Set a honey trap.

“Kick a Migrant” is a great pro-immigration campaign

Gene Healy on the Imperial Presidency

A parable from Pete

Links for 2/21/08 AM

Jeremy Lott endorses his pop

Bernanke Fed risks return to stagflation

Lessig explains his possible Congressional run

The owners of this weird Seattle building get screwed by local gov

Wave of bridge heists strikes Europe

Golf in decline

Big Food, Big Tobacco, Big… Email?

Good gravy, what will the nanny statists think of next?

Should Blackberries and other potentially addictive devices come with a health warning? It’s an idea floated by UK researchers studying technology addiction…

[Researcher Nada Kakabadse says that] “companies offer technologies like PDAs and Blackberies and just expect people to learn how to use them. They don’t consider the possible negative sides. New technology gives a feeling of having more control, but it may be only a feeling.

We don’t want to be in a situation in a few years similar to that with fast food or tobacco today. We need to pay attention to how people react to potentially habit-forming technologies and respond with appropriate education and policies.”

New Scientist reporter Tom Simonite goes right along with her, concluding that “pressure from outside agencies like governments could be the only way to save us from an addiction epidemic.” What next, banning those sexy iPhone ads?

Links for 2/20/08 AM

Jimmy Wales says we’re smarter than we think

Meet the new “CBO”

Meet the devil frog

I love this staircase

DC types: Cato’s hosting an event on SpeechNow