Turkey Torching Tips for Guys

November 23, 2014

Turkey Torching Tips for Guys
The National Fire Protection Association claims “turkey fryers that use oil, as currently designed, are not suitable for acceptably safe use by even a well-informed and careful consumer.” Wimps! Thursday is Thanksgiving, when we give thanks for college football and a four-day weekend. That’s when Real American Men generate Code Orange air quality by incinerating poultry on the patio. Yeah, buddy!

Any pantywaist can cook on those SUV-sized natural gas, propane, electric, or gelignite-powered barbecue grills with all those fancy features (good subwoofers can help spread sauce evenly, though). Nah, let’s get ready to deep-fry us some turkey. Here’s how:

1. Put Fire Department on Speed-Dial. Keep your cell phone in your welding apron pocket. It is unwise to enter a flaming residence to use the telephone.

2. Purchase more equipment. You can never have enough Real Guy outdoor cooking gear. Buy some new stuff at Home Depot first. Forget about those electronic gizmos from Leading Edge, you can never read their LCD screens outdoors anyway. Williams-Sonoma? Isn’t that the California wine the wife likes?

3. Don’t forget the turkey. It should be big enough to bother messing with. Double-check to make sure you are not buying a goat or lamb.

4. Check interior compartment of poultry (note: light does not go on automatically; use your Maglite). Any paper-wrapped parcels inside will not contain Surprise Creme Filling. Remove; give to wife or cat. If the bird is frozen, use your Benz-0-Matic torch judiciously or the meat will be dry. At this point you may marinate the turkey in any fluid mixture as long as it contains beer.

5. Equipment check list. This will vary but should definitely include safety equipment (welding apron, Kevlar™ gloves, safety glasses, fire extinguisher, cell phone, well-stocked beer cooler or full beer keg with ice), fire ignition tools (lighting chimney, matches, butane torch,  highway flares, flamethrower, etc.), food manipulating tools (tongs, skewers, forks, knives, pneumatic jack), cooking implements (meat thermometer, meat hygrometer, count-down timer, 55-gallon deep-fry container, perforated deep-fry container insert with turkey stand and handle, caulking gun for stuffing insertion, brushes, sprayguns, and hypodermic needles for applying sauce, tattoo gun for decorations, crane), deep-fry medium (vegetable oil is better than animal fat; Marvel Mystery Oil is not recommended), sauces, rubs, marinades, condiments, spices, and essential vegetables (potato salad, cole slaw, ketchup). Anything missing? See Step #2. Got everything? Cheers! Begin beer consumption.

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Yoga Pants: Threat or Menace?

November 22, 2014

Yoga Pants: Threat or Menace?
Revealing, stretchy yoga pants are often the (ahem) butt of jokes, even when they’re not transparent. Now we hear that they may be a (ahem) fundamental health risk, causing buttne, acne of the buttocks:

“You know it’s serious when a doctor tells you to give up the yoga pants. It works like this: Your yoga pants are tight. They’re sweaty. They stick to your butt when you sit or even when you’re not sitting. So does bacteria and sweat, which clog pores. Dr. [Carlos] Charles puts it this way: ‘Sweat that sits on the body for extended periods of time leads to the overgrowth of bacteria that can exacerbate acne.’”

– “Your Yoga Pants Might Be Giving You Butt Acne,” Kathleen Hou, New York Magazine

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Image (“Yoga, after a 19th Century Punjabi Manuscript”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com  

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Food Chains

November 21, 2014

Food Chains,” a film by Sanjay Rawal, documents where your produce comes from, who makes it available to you, and the cost. Executive Producers: Eva Longoria and Eric Schlosser. In theaters today; also on iTunes.

More:

“Eva Longoria and Eric Schlosser take on fairness for farmworkers in ‘Food Chains,’” Soraya Nadia McDonald, Washington Post

“Sanjay Rawal’s New Film ‘Food Chains’ Asks “Is My Food Fair?” Big Think

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Jimmy Ruffin, 1936 — 2014

November 20, 2014

Jimmy Ruffin, 1936 -- 2014

Soulful singer Jimmy Ruffin passed away on Monday at age 78. He was best-know for his 1966 Motown recording “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.” His younger brother, David Ruffin of the Temptations, died in 1991.

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The NFL: Bastion of American Socialism

November 18, 2014

The NFL: Bastion of America's Socialism

America’s National Football League has held a few games in the UK and is trying to form a franchise there. British writer Matthew Engel has let his compatriots in on the league’s radical secret:

“In the US, sport is the habitat of the nation’s secret socialism. Through revenue sharing, salary caps and the draft (which gives the worst teams first pick), the NFL pioneered the notions that the last must be allowed to finish first. To that end, the rich must subsidise the poor.

In part, this is a mechanism to make capitalism work better, though it is not a mechanism favoured in other aspects of American life ….”

“… I suspect the NFL is using London as it uses Los Angeles which, bizarrely, has been without a franchise for 20 years. If any city gets mean and refuses to subsidise a new stadium or whatever, there is a threat so obvious it hardly needs saying: ‘Pay up or LA will.’ In Britain, such geographical shifts are almost unknown and totally anathema. Another piece of secret socialism: American teams are subsidy junkies.”

– “‘Socialist’ NFL would fail in capitalist London,” Matthew Engel, Financial Times

Hipper Brits already knew this, because UK artist Fraser Davidson animated the passage of Bill Maher’s book that points it out:

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GOP Health Insurance: Ryancare

November 17, 2014

GOP Health Insurance: Ryancare
Hey oldsters! You voted GOP? Congratulations, seniors, here’s what you get:

“. . . GOP congressional leaders are promising to act immediately on their budget-slashing ideas when 2015 begins. High on their list, according to the New York Times, is implementing Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to ‘overhaul’ Medicare by replacing it with ‘premium support’ vouchers designed to privatize the system over the coming decades. They will also form a commission to examine ‘options’ for Social Security, which Ryan has also long favored privatizing.”

 – “Get ready for Ryancare, America! Why GOP’s all set to end Medicare as we know it,” Joan Walsh, Salon

Related:

“Yes, the Republican Obamacare Strategy Will Kill People,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

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Photo by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com  Note: Product pictured is not made from hair.

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Cellphone Spies in the Sky

November 16, 2014

Cellphone Spies in the Sky

The Wall Street Journal reports that, for the last seven years, the U.S. Marshals Service has flown Cessna aircraft over America’s cities, collecting cellphone location data from thousands of people with “dirtbox” devices that mimic cellular towers. The Marshals Service, a unit of the Department of Justice, predominately searches for federal fugitives, but its Special Operations Group conducts “tactical operations for sensitive and classified missions involving homeland security, national emergencies, domestic crises and the intelligence community.” Flying spying and data harvesting on such a broad scale raises serious Fourth Amendment questions.

More:

“Report: Secret government program uses aircraft for mass cellphone surveillance,” Gail Sullivan, Washington Post

“WSJ: A Secret U.S. Spy Program Is Using Planes to Target Cell Phones,” Kate Knibbs, Gizmodo

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Image (“Flying Phone Spy, after a 1964 comic book”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com 

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The NBA Wants Gambling. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

November 15, 2014

The NBA Wants Gambling. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver wants betting on professional sports legalized in places other than Las Vegas, and wrote a New York Times op-ed about it. After all, why should the crooks get all that sports book money, $400 billion a year? Besides, nothing could go wrong, except maybe a bit of point shaving and a few dirty referee calls.

So will it happen? Don’t bet on it. It would take an act of Congress, a repeal of the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. And with this do-nothing Congress, odds are surely against it.

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Photo by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com  Note: Product pictured is not made from hair.

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Unilever Sues Over ‘Mayo’

November 14, 2014

Unilever Sues Over 'Mayo'
Hellman’s mayonnaise is suing the maker of egg-less sandwich spread Just Mayo for calling its vegan product “Mayo.” “Under federal regulations, common dictionary definitions and as consumers understand it, ‘mayonnaise’ or ‘mayo’ is a product that contains eggs,” according to the “false advertising”complaint. “That ingredient does not exist in Just Mayo.”  Unilever, the parent company of Hellman’s, is also owner of Best Foods Real Mayonnaise, and Just Mayo has taken market share from both. Hampton Creek, maker of Just Mayo, isn’t worried, and is counter-suing. Celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern started an online petition against Hellmann’s claim, calling Unilever a “bully.”

Unilever probably won’t sue ORS, maker of “Hair Mayonnaise.” That black haircare product contains olive oil and egg powder.

More:

“Hellmann’s Maker Sues Company Over Its Just Mayo Substitute Mayonnaise,” Stephanie Strom, New York Times

“Mayo mess calls sandwich spread into question,” Lee Brodie, CNBC

“Big Mayo Vs. Little Mayo: Which Brand Has Egg On Its Face?” Allison Aubrey, NPR

“Start-Up Aims to Replace Eggs with More Sustainable Vegetable Proteins,” Rachel Feltman, Scientific American

Update:

“Big Mayo Wants You to Know There’s Only One Way to Make Mayo, Dammit,” Rowan Jacobsen, Mother Jones

“Mayonnaise Manufacturer Sues ‘Mayo’ Maker: On Definitions, Sustainability and Start-Ups,” Maryn McKenna, National Geographic blog

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Photo by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com  Note: Product pictured is not made from hair.

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European Space Probe Lands on a Comet

November 12, 2014

European Space Probe Lands on a Comet

7 hours after Europe’s Rosetta orbiter launched Philae, a washing-machine-sized robot probe, it landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a big ball of ice and rock 314 million miles away and traveling through space at 34,000 miles an hour. The ESA probe will remain there transmitting data until August 2015 as the comet slowly melts from the heat of the sun.

The international space mission has been a long time in the making. Comet-chasing Rosetta was launched ten years ago. The scientific importance of the Rosetta mission cannot be over-estimated. Comets are frozen repositories of early stages of the solar system.

More:

“European Probe Makes Historic Comet Landing,” VOA News

“Comet-Chasing Spacecraft Lands Probe After 10 Year Flight,” Alex Morales, Bloomberg News

“Mankind Has Landed on a Comet,” Sarah Zhang, Gizmodo

“Touchdown! Rosetta’s Philae Probe Lands on Comet.” (ESA press release)

“The Rosetta comet mission cost half as much as the US midterm elections,” Joseph Stromberg, Vox

“Bill Nye on the Rosetta Comet Landing: ‘We’ll make discoveries that nobody’s imagined yet,’” Big Think

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Image (“Comet, after Charles Martin”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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