Monthly Archives: July 2016

Recipe(s) of the Month

If you love hot dogs, grilled food, and meals that balance spicy-hot food with cooling, refreshing elements, you’ll love this summer meal!

Blue Cheese Buffalo Hot Dogs

3 tablespoons butter
2 onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup hot sauce (I use Frank’s RedHot)
8 natural all beef hot dogs (no fillers)
8 hot dog buns
Shredded carrots, chopped celery, pickle relish (for topping)
1 cup crumbled blue cheese

Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (this is the temperature you’ll use for the whole meal). Heat a large skillet over medium/medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the skillet and then add the onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and then cook, stirring often, until onions are very soft and golden brown (about 20 minutes). Add the hot sauce and reduce the heat to low. Grill the hot dogs until heated through and the casings start to crisp up a bit. Place the dogs in the buns and top with the onion mixture, carrots, celery, pickle relish and blue cheese.

Jalapeño-Lime Grilled Corn on the Cob

4 ears of corn
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
One lime, juiced and half zested

Grill the corn, turning often, until deep yellow and charred in spots (about 10 minutes). In a bowl, mix the butter, chopped jalapeño, lime zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the butter mixture all over the warm corn and enjoy!

Grilled Melon, Escarole, and Prosciutto Salad

1 head of escarole, halved
Olive oil, for brushing
1 honeydew melon, cut into small wedges (seeds and rind removed)
1 cantaloupe, cut into small wedges (seeds and rind removed)
Several slices of prosciutto de parma, torn
2 scallions, white and light green parts chopped
Half a lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon honey

Brush the escarole with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for a couple minutes on each side, until slightly wilted and charred. Remove and coarsely chop. Pat the melon wedges dry and grill until grill marked (a couple minutes on each side). Divide the escarole and melon among plates, top with prosciutto and scallions. Whisk together the lemon juice and honey in a bowl and drizzle over the salad.

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Afternoon Art Break

“Interior of a Restaurant”
Vincent van Gogh (1887)


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Afternoon Links

Inside the creation of Europe’s first underwater museum

Wikileaks is a de facto arm of Russian security services. They have a preferred candidate. It’s not the former SecState.

Is it time we looked at Turner differently?

A history of authors in court

That’s kinda why you shouldn’t nominate a “rookie” to be President of the United States, Useless Turtle Mummy. “I am willing to kind of chalk it up to the fact that our nominee rides the short bus to work…vote to make him the most powerful man in the world!”

What does Hillary want?

What she actually wants to accomplish in office is a great mystery. We know what she wants to be, but not what she wants to do. And the sobering answer to that question may very well be: She hasn’t thought much about it. She wants to walk in the doors of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as something other than a mistreated appendage of Bill Clinton, as though that action would somehow undo 30 years of abuse and degradation. When she discovers that it won’t, even the literary powers of a Tom Wolfe would be insufficient to capture the moment. You’d need Herman Melville, if not an Ezekiel: “Mine eye shall not spare, and I will have no mercy.” At least it’s an ethos.

Terry Teachout revisits America’s forgotten modern composers

No one wants to watch Little Donald. Sad!

Tolkien’s long, dark poem The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun to be republished this fall

Iceland has a sea monster museum

Before Trump there was William Jennings Bryan

The country will survive Hillary Clinton. It will probably be worse off than it was before, but that’s the choice Republicans made when they nominated Donald Trump.”

Two old visitors to the Metropolitan Museum will stay awhile

How much will he spend to take down KKK leader David Duke, who is running for Senate in Louisiana? (Spoiler: $0). How much will he spend to take down some Democrats? None? Oh, so weird.

To get a job at the Strand bookstore in New York, applicants have to complete a literary quiz on 10 book titles and authors. There is also one trick question.

Today in everything is awful

Love and pride in Shakespeare’s Trojan War play, Troilus and Cressida 

What a sad, strange little man

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Your Morning Cup of Links

What is American cheese, anyway?

Perfect. It’s just so perfect.

A multi-level marketer who peddles pseudoscience—and whose product is endorsed by America’s leading conspiracy theorist—is scheduled to speak in a primetime slot Wednesday at the Republican National Convention.
Michelle Van Etten was presented by the RNC in a Sunday evening press release as a “small business owner” who “employs over 100,000 people.” That’s roughly 1.5 times the number of employees Apple employs in the United States, making it a highly unlikely claim. For such a supposedly large employer, she has flown under the radar—until the announcement of her speech at the convention, there was no record of her business work in the press.
Van Etten is involved in selling products that claim to improve health and even fight cancer, all based on dubious science. And as you peel the story back, every single layer is fascinating: there’s Alex Jones hysteria, pyramid-scheme-style marketing, and questionable Clemson University research.

Jesus. Fucking. Christ. This man cannot be president.

Donald J. Trump, on the eve of accepting the Republican nomination for president, explicitly raised new questions on Wednesday about his commitment to automatically defending NATO allies if they are attacked, saying he would first look at their contributions to the alliance. Asked about Russia’s threatening activities, which have unnerved the small Baltic States that are among the more recent entrants into NATO, Mr. Trump said that if Russia attacked them, he would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing if those nations have “fulfilled their obligations to us.”

Mr. Trump’s statement appeared to be the first time that a major candidate for president had suggested conditioning the United States’ defense of its major allies. It was consistent, however, with his previous threat to withdraw American forces from Europe and Asia if those allies fail to pay more for American protection.

Mr. Trump also said he would not pressure Turkey or other authoritarian allies about conducting purges of their political adversaries or cracking down on civil liberties. The United States, he said, has to “fix our own mess” before trying to alter the behavior of other nations. “I don’t think we have a right to lecture,” Mr. Trump said in a wide-ranging interview in his suite in a downtown hotel here, while keeping an eye on television broadcasts from the Republican National Convention. “Look at what is happening in our country,” he said. “How are we going to lecture when people are shooting policemen in cold blood?”

Mr. Trump had nothing but praise for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s increasingly authoritarian but democratically elected leader. “I give great credit to him for being able to turn that around,” Mr. Trump said of the coup attempt on Friday night. “Some people say that it was staged, you know that,” he said. “I don’t think so.”

Asked if Mr. Erdogan was exploiting the coup attempt to purge his political enemies, Mr. Trump did not call for the Turkish leader to observe the rule of law, or Western standards of justice. “When the world sees how bad the United States is and we start talking about civil liberties, I don’t think we are a very good messenger,” he said.

Every Trumpkin I know would be having a goddamn meltdown if Obama had said that last line. That argument – that America is too immoral to promote human rights – is a carbon copy of Cold War Soviet propaganda, by the way.

The taverns of the American Revolution

“Political liberty under the rule of law is a fragile condition, and it requires us to be better than this.”

Swiss seize Monet, van Gogh works amid US probe of fund 1MDB


Revisiting the Great Hound Match of 1905

“‘Vote Your Conscience’ Was A Rorschach Test, And Donald Trump’s Campaign Failed” Yep. The constant mind-numbing incompetence is just stunning.

It didn’t have to be a complete disaster. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) didn’t say a negative thing about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Cleveland on Wednesday night. A savvy, disciplined campaign could have used the three words from Cruz that set off a political firestorm — “vote your conscience” — to the campaign’s advantage.

The only sensible Trump response to “vote your conscience” and “vote for freedom and candidates with principles” was to thank Cruz for the rousing speech and his commitment to conservative principles. Praise him for his defense of freedom, and then turn his call to “vote your conscience” into an endorsement of Trump’s agenda. After all, there’s only one candidate in the race who wants to put America first, there’s only one candidate who wants to keep America safe, there’s only one candidate who has what it takes to Make America Great Again. If you believe in restoring American greatness, then your conscience can only tell you one thing: vote Trump. If you believe in restoring the values that made America the greatest in nation in history, then your conscience can only tell you one thing: vote Trump. If you believe that strong leadership and a commitment to the American people are what’s required to keep this country strong, then your conscience can only tell you one thing: vote Trump.

That’s all Trump’s team had to do. They had hours (an eternity in campaign time), if not days, to prepare for it. They could’ve flooded the zone with surrogates pushing that message. They could’ve worked it into Gingrich’s and Pence’s speeches…The Trump campaign could’ve mitigated the damage. Trump and his campaign staff might’ve even been able to turn the liability Cruz created into a small asset for the campaign. But they didn’t. Instead of biting their tongues, they took the bait. Two billion dollars in free media can buy a major political party’s presidential nomination, but it unfortunately can’t buy a campaign a lick of discipline or common sense.

I can’t even

“I Made a Shipwreck Expert Watch The Little Mermaid And Judge Its Nautical Merits”


“So while this nominating convention is a spectacle with plenty to laugh at, in reality, it is a tragedy. It exposes a systemic failure at every level of our society.”

A Viking ship that set sail for the Great Lakes is getting conquered by U.S. regulations

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Not even trying to hide my jealousy that Bernie fans won’t sit quietly for their shitty nominee. Good for them. Although the tears later were a bit much. If you’re that emotionally invested in a politician you need to re-examine your life. But I must say the tears of these crying millennials who just realized they’re going to have to pay off their own student loans like grown-ups will sustain me all week.

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Evening Art Break

“Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Marc Chagall (1939)


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Afternoon Links

The last free-ranging library cat in Illinois

The GOP Convention was a stomach-churning affair

Party animal: slow loris study reveals preference for highly alcoholic drinks

NeverTrump isn’t dead. It’s needed now more than ever.

Might have to start doing CrossFit

Of course he won’t

Whatever kills the deer is fine with me, though cougars deprive me of delicious venison.

Correct. In my top 3 reasons I can’t vote for him. Absolutely cannot vote for someone with these kinds of ties to the Kremlin.

17 blockbuster summer art shows worth traveling for

We’re losing our republic because we lack the will to restrain democracy

Our nation’s Founders understood a singular truth about human nature. No single person — or group of persons — could be fully trusted with power…In other words, there is nothing magical or inherently virtuous about the “will of the people.” The people are just as capable of error, just as capable of becoming tyrants, as any tin-pot dictator. Thus, the Founders gave us a republic, if — as Ben Franklin is alleged to have admonished — we can keep it. Every branch of government checks the other. The people check the government. The Constitution is supreme over all, protecting our core civil liberties from the will of the majority and from the abuse of the rulers. At its heart, the entire system depends on the understanding that no person is above the law.

But no government — no matter how wisely constructed — can long survive in the absence of at least some degree of human courage and conviction. People who abuse power can be stopped only by other people who have the authority and responsibility to defend our liberties and our way of life. And, yes, sometimes that means standing in front of democracy to preserve the principles of the republic.

The mirrors behind Rembrandt’s self-portraits

Why you pay twice as much for butter as you should

My relationship is on rock solid ground


There is far more to it than two armoured horse riders hurtling towards each other with 12ft lances. Jousting demands levels of athleticism, agility and equestrianism that make it an ideal candidate for the Olympics, English Heritage argues. The organisation has launched a campaign to get jousting recognised as an Olympic sport in time for Tokyo 2020.

In-flight instructions used by astronaut John Glenn during historic 1962 Mercury spaceflight sold for $66,993

Frederick the Great was a “ruthless, Shakespearean Prince Hal-cum-Henry V, only real, and more talented, and much, much more terrible—not in the common sense of low or immoral, but in the sense of one who rightly inspires fear.”

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