Friday, December 31, 2010

Rain to Snow

We arrived back in Brooklyn shortly after the massive snowfall. LGA was a mess and we had to make our way back home by bus and subway. From record rains in LA to record snow in NYC, we have been following the precipitation where ever it falls.

Brooklyn Terrorized

Must be a slow news day when a big icicle and the police/fire department response gets the New York Times' attention.....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Around the Internet This Morning

A study at University College London in the UK has found that conservatives' brains have larger amygdalas than the brains of liberals. Amygdalas are responsible for fear and other "primitive" emotions. At the same time, conservatives' brains were also found to have a smaller anterior cingulate -- the part of the brain responsible for courage and optimism.

If the study is confirmed, it could give us the first medical explanation for why conservatives tend to be more receptive to threats of terrorism, for example, than liberals. And it may help to explain why conservatives like to plan based on the worst-case scenario, while liberals tend towards rosier outlooks.
  • Read the story here

    “The rich are always going to say that, you know, ‘Just give us more money, and we’ll go out and spend more, and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you.’ But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on.”
    — Warren Buffett

    The new [Republican House] rules announced December 22 would replace pay-as-you-go with a much weaker, one-sided “cut-as-you-go” rule, under which increases in mandatory spending would still have to be paid for but tax cuts would not.
  • Read more here

    New Science Committee Chair Ralph Hall Praises ‘Tremendous’ BP Spill
    Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) plans to pursue an aggressive pro-oil agenda as the incoming chair of the House Science and Technology Committee. In an interview with the Dallas Morning News this month, the “unconditional champion of fossil fuels” described his zeal for the “holy grail” of the oil industry — the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — discussed issuing subpoenas to interrogate climate scientists, and explained why the BP disaster “didn’t dampen his enthusiasm for offshore drilling.” Hall described the BP explosion that killed eleven men, injured dozens, and led to the despoilment of the Gulf of Mexico as a “tremendous,” “blossoming” flower of energy:

    "As we saw that thing bubbling out, blossoming out – all that energy, every minute of every hour of every day of every week – that was tremendous to me. That we could deliver that kind of energy out there – even on an explosion."
  • The interview is here
  • Sunday, December 26, 2010

    Christmas Garden

    After tens days of solid rain, we got a little sun for Christmas and the plants loved it. Everything is doing well and the recent plantings..... more hummingbird sage, some black sage around the house and a white sage out in the garden all seem to be enjoying the new surroundings. The bees and hummingbirds are back doing their work as well. And while the scale attack of the summer and fall seems to be under control, there is a fungus that is effecting the kangaroo paws. No blooms from them this winter so far.

    Sunday, December 19, 2010

    Keeping Us Healthy

    The CDC has released a new study on the effects of having a pet...... they include:

    Pets can help prevent eczema and some allergies in children. Babies and toddlers who live with dogs -- but not cats -- have lower rates of childhood eczema than those raised without dogs. And young children who've had a cat or dog since their first year of life have fewer pet allergies than other kids their age.

    Pet owners tend to have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than people who don't have pets.

    Petting pets has been shown to reduce blood pressure and heart rates in adults. Even being in the same room with pets, including fish in tanks, can lower blood pressure and reduce stress in adults and children. Indeed, many dentists and other doctors keep aquariums in their waiting rooms. This not only helps relieve anxiety, but reduces the need for pain medication as well.

    Last but not least, dog and cat owners are significantly more likely to survive heart attacks than non-pet owners, regardless of the severity of the heart attacks.

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    Weekend Dog

    Cold and wet outside. Perfect for napping inside

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Grapefruit Bitters

    I found an excellent site yesterday that had many recipes for drinks and bitters. And with a Christmas party to go to that evening, the Grapefruit Bitters seemed to be the easiest and quickest. After stewing some grapefruit chunks in a simple syrup, all I had to do was combine it with equal amounts of Vodka, sweet vermouth and Campari. Shake and refrigerate. Tasted excellent when mixed with champagne. More experiments to come.
  • Chow's 5 Boozes, 80 Cocktails for New Year's Eve
  • Suspicions Confirmed

    Fox News viewers less informed and more likely to believe false information..... so says a University of Maryland study.
  • More here
  • Monday, December 06, 2010


    Billing itself as a "mexicatessen", CaCao is a new restaurant on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock. We had an amazing breakfast there yesterday. Some of the freshest, tastiest mexican food I've had outside of Mexico City. Definitely worth a try. We'll be back.