Thursday, May 31, 2007

AROUND THE WEB ON 5-31-07

Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

No. My regular "Around the Web" feature didn't die with the new year. It simply became irregular!

Some time around my annual Christmas blogging hiatus, I decided that I'd let myself get into a rut with the feature and that I would take a vacation from it for awhile and then reevaluate. The year got very busy and stayed that way. And then I heard from Martin Lindeskog as he was gearing up for his own vacation from blogging.

He asked whether I would I like to guest-blog at Ego again. I told him I'd be glad to, despite my own hectic schedule and decided to go ahead with at least one of these while he is away since I'd always cross-posted these big roundups to his blog and he liked them.

How I feel after I write this will go into the "reevaluation" hopper, but it will be a moot point for the foreseeable future. Things at work seem like they might be getting interesting (scientifically, which is good, and scheduling-wise, which may be very bad, at least for blogging) and I am hoping to finally work on a couple of interesting non-blogging pieces soon.

That said, here goes....

Oops! Not so fast! First, allow me to wish a belated happy birthday to Martin!

Face of a Movement Disappears from View

Via Glenn Reynolds, I found that the following comment on Cindy Sheehan's recent decision to return to private life treated the subject with about the right degree of dignity and respect:
[I thought about posting a fictional c]onversation between Cindy Sheehan and Billy Jack. Punchline: something having to do with Sheehan's being the "face" of a movement, with a possible play on "movement." Or "face." or "Jack."
Myrhaf thinks that Sheehan will soon resurface. I agree. He also makes some good comments about how the whole story illustrates the left's feeling that reason is impotent. Dismuke also makes some interesting comments, the first from a psychological angle.

Market Forces and Organ Donors

"Captain" Ed Morrissey -- even as he argues for a more capitalistic method of organ transplantation -- unwittingly demonstrates why patients in desperate need for an organ donor are mercilessly subjected to long, terrifying, and potentially deadly waits by an inefficient system of rationing.
[W]hat do we do to save the lives of everyone else on the list? The simple fact is that we have a rationing system that does not work, as Dr. Satel explains. We have a demand that far exceeds the supply, and we have put in place regulations that artificially keeps the supply low -- for noble reasons, but those noble reasons are costing thousands of lives every year.

...

I'm not suggesting a kidney bazaar, where the highest bidder gets the organs and only the rich can find transplants. [How would this be the case if we increased supply? --ed] However, we have to find a system that generates a much larger supply for organs than the one we have now, and we have to move away from the old methods of rationing if we want to save lives. Satel's proposals put us on the right track. It's certainly less disturbing than grinding up embryos to find elusive treatments for diseases, and much less ethically objectionable. [bold added]
For what "noble reasons" do we artificially keep supplies low? Altruism, as Sally Satel explains:
We need to move beyond the idea that organs must be relinquished as gifts. The altruistic motive is deeply noble and loving. But relying upon it as the sole legitimate reason for giving an organ is causing too many unnecessary deaths.
Both Morrissey and Satel agree that altruism is impractical, but both make the fatal error of failing to ask whether it really is "noble" or "loving", or even moral for that matter. But to do that to any meaningful extent, each must become willing to apply reason not just to the logistical and legal aspects of organ donation, but to the moral issues concerning organ donation as well.

The reason we don't already have a market in live organs is because our culture, inheriting the morality of self-sacrifice from its religious past, damns the profit motive as evil. To the extent that someone honestly questions this morality, he will see that it has no basis in reason and he will reject it. To the extent that he fails to apply reason, he will continue to accept it.

We see this with Morrissey, who starts out by making a strong, this-worldly case for freer organ donation, but ends by proposing some restrictions of his own to the supply of organs for transplantation. What is so "ethically objectionable" about embryonic research -- or an organ market, for that matter? (Even with his arguments, Morrissey has qualms about using capitalism to save lives in the context of organ transfers between consenting adults.)

Until we ask deeper questions across the board, we will continue sacrificing human lives for ideals whose alleged nobility exists in the same realm as their justification: the imagination.

Bush vs. Capitalism (and Safe Beef)

And speaking of ways we should be unleashing the power of the free market to save lives, Isaac Schrodinger points to the latest anti-capitalist outrage by the Bush administration:
The Bush administration said Tuesday it will fight to keep meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease.

The Agriculture Department tests fewer than 1 percent of slaughtered cows for the disease, which can be fatal to humans who eat tainted beef. A beef producer in the western state of Kansas, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, wants to test all of its cows.

Larger meat companies feared that move because, if Creekstone should test its meat and advertised it as safe, they might have to perform the expensive tests on their larger herds as well.

The Agriculture Department regulates the test and argued that widespread testing could lead to a false positive that would harm the meat industry. [bold added]
That last paragraph is plainly an excuse. What company in the business of selling meat is going to scare off customers with a false positive? A moment's thought would show that one would take reasonable precautions and then perform some kind of follow-up testing if a sample popped positive.

Lives would be saved by any company that really did detect tainted beef and kept it away from the market, and such action would instill confidence in any company that made such a move. Instead of allowing the innovative portion of the beef industry to take this step, however, the Bush administration would apparently prefer to gamble with our lives in order to protect short-sighted companies which deserve to go out of business.

Furthermore, since customers will not have the recourse of buying meat from companies that do test all their meat, Bush is ensuring that should a confirmed case of mad cow arise, the entire beef industry will fall under suspicion. This will adversely affect our diets and potentially lay waste to huge swaths of that industry as the public, knowing that mad cow is out there, but that almost all meat goes untested, panics.

It is immoral to prevent someone from doing his job, which is exactly what Bush is doing by forbidding a company from taking a common-sense measure to ensure the safety of its customers. Not only that, it is impractical on every level, including the implicit goal of "protecting" an industry vital to the economy!

Chavez Closes Private Television Station


Cox and Forkum nail it, as usual. See their blog for the story.

This weekend, I was in a conversation with a leftist, who was making the standard complaint that Fox News "controls" "too much" of the news in America. She then proceeded, by way of enumeration (of just television outlets, naturally), to show how "few" sources for news we had. Sensing that she was about to make a point that this meant we "needed" government intervention, I pointed out that Chavez is busy making sure that there is only one source of news in Venezuela.

I didn't get to finish that conversation, but I suspect that my point would have still been a hard sell since, you see, the government isn't "polluted" by the profit motive and in any event Pragmatism is so ubiquitous in our culture that I would have probably been told that the lessons -- if any -- from Venezuela wouldn't apply to America anyway.

Still, at least the conversation has caused me to consider such objections, so it was worthwhile to me.

The Scoop on John Lewis

Fellow fans of John Lewis, who recently appeared on the Mike Rosen show to discuss his recent talk at George Mason University will be interested to know that he will be working to complete a new book, Nothing Less than Victory: Military Offense and the Lessons of History, over the next year. Diana Hsieh also blogs about some other major changes for him, and provides links to an audio of his GMU talk as well as to two posts about it at Rule of Reason.

And for more, stop by Michael Caution's blog to learn about a recent review of Lewis's Solon the Thinker.

Color Me "Heretical"!

Mike N. has retitled a series of posts on global warming hysteria....
My readers may have noticed that I changed the title of my series from "Why I'm Pro-Skeptic" in Pt.1 to "Why I Side With the Critics" in the rest. I don't like the words skeptic or denier or doubter. The proper name for those who disagree with the establishment notion of global warming is critic. That's what they are, critics.

I have no respect for anyone who uses those terms whether they are reporters, editors or even scientists. Those words are nothing but euphemisms for "heretic."
He's right. And he reminds me.... In another conversation with the same leftist I mentioned above, I was "corrected" when I used the term "global warming" and told to use "climate change" instead. So I countered that I would do so as long she called me a "heretic" rather than a "skeptic".

The Unjust Imprisonment of Jack Kevorkian

Thomas Bowden of the Ayn Rand Institute hits the nail on the head.
[E]ach individual has the right to decide the hour of his death and to implement that solemn decision as best he can. The choice is his because the life is his. And if a doctor is willing -- not forced -- to assist in the suicide, based on an objective assessment of his patient's mental and physical state, the law should not stand in his way."
Read it all.

Toiler's New Abode

Acid Free Paper has moved! Update your links. I just did.

Hugh Hewitt on "Bigotry"

Myrhaf makes some good comments on something I ran across the other day, but didn't have time to blog. One conservative pundit, Mike Gallagher has run afoul of another, Hugh Hewitt, for raising perfectly legitimate questions about Mitt Romney's religion.
Hewitt saw early on that Romney's Mormonism would produce questions such as Gallagher asks and decided the best strategy would be to label the questioners as bigots the way the New Left calls anyone who questions multiculturalism a racist. Hugh Hewitt is happy to ape the left and degrade the national conversation a little more if it helps to elect a Republican. [bold added]
I couldn't have said this better myself. Myrhaf also goes where Gallagher didn't go, pointing out that the same sorts of questions should be extended to all religions.

Galileo Defends "Price-Gouging"

Here is how he ends a very good post on the subject:
With the anti-gouging bill, the House of Representatives is grandstanding at our expense. In an effort to curry votes from ignorant voters, the House lays the groundwork for new gasoline shortages. Moreover, it diverts attention from the party responsible for high oil prices, themselves.
If you don't check in on his blog frequently, you're missing out.

A Few More...

1. Darren Cauthon on "How to gain support for net neutrality":
I wish that net neutrality advocates would openly explain their position, but they know better than that. It is probably easier to get someone to sign an online petition or state that they want "fairness" on the internet (leaving it to the net neutrality advocates to explain what that means later) than it is to convince them that the government should seize control of someone’s private property. And it is your "support" that they after, not your actual agreement with their entire position. They claim to have over a million and a half signatures and the support of their first GOP presidential candidate, so why would they change anything now?
2. The "One-Minute Case for Sweatshops"....

What? You want me to excerpt something you can read in one minute?

3. A blogger sees her column on "The Che Paradox" translated into Polish!

That's all folks!

-- CAV

Updates

Today
: Corrected a typo. Sorry, Darren!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Culture Clash

CultureClash-X.gif

A belated "Happy Birthday!" to Martin from John Cox and Allen Forkum (that's me). Martin suggested that we post one of our Buster McNutt gag cartoons, so that's what you see above, an old one from 2003. It's one that I've always found amusing. An alternative title we considered was "Dueling Stereotypes."

We hope you have a great break, Martin!

SCARED OF BOATS?

You should be, according to your Masters benevolent caretakers.

Recreational Boats Considered a Homeland Security Threat

A simple boat could be used as a weapon.

"Just the fuel, this has 85 gallons in this boat and that's bomb itself," said Singleton.

The head of the U.S. Coast Guard is throwing around a couple of ideas on how to keep you safe.

One would require licenses for all boaters in all states.

The other would call for transponders on recreational boats so authorities can track their location.

Translation: "We hunger for more power, but we need an excuse to get it and this is the best we've been able to come up with." I think it's pretty lame. There are thousands of things that can be turned into deadly weapons: boats, cars, dogs, drinks, e-mails, bananas, box cutters, and even your bare hands. You can't require licenses for everything; not even the worst totalitarian state could. And besides, licensing isn't going to make anyone safer if you refuse to "profile" the licensees!

"Anything to improve our coast and help everybody out, we need to do it. [...]" said Singleton.

Anything? Really anything? Even something that would actually work, aimed at the people that actually want to kill us?


I didn't think so.

Monday, May 28, 2007

LOOK AT THIS "OFFER" FROM IRAN...

One negotiation technique frequently used by irrational people is to suggest something that will give them an advantage and make you worse off but expressing it as if they were giving you a concession. And the less they think of your mental capacity, the more blatantly transparent they will be about it.

Iran's move during today's shameful talks with the U.S. is a prime example of this tactic:

The United States ambassador in Baghdad said he and his Iranian counterpart agreed broadly on policy toward Iraq during four-hour groundbreaking talks on Monday, but insisted that Iran end its support for militants.

The Iranian ambassador later said the two sides would meet again in less than a month.

Hassan Kazemi Qomi, the Iranian envoy, also said that he told the Americans that his government was ready to train and equip the Iraqi army and police to create "a new military and security structure."


In other words: The fox has expressed its readiness to serve as a guard in the henhouse.

Kazemi did not elaborate nor would he say how U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker responded.


If I were made such an offer, I would give the joker a response he wouldn't want to relay at a press conference either. But the U.S. Ambassador continues to play it polite:

Crocker described the session as businesslike and said Iran proposed setting up a "trilateral security mechanism" that would include the U.S., Iraq and Iran, an idea he said would require study in Washington.


The Iranians are making fools out of both themselves and the Americans--and the Americans are trying desperately to keep up the appearance of "businesslike" talks, making fools out of themselves in the process.

Friday, May 25, 2007

AIRBUS DELAYS WHILE BOEING SOARS

Question: What is the difference between an industry leader and a euro-statist copycat?


Answer:

Airbus is set to make yet another design change to its A350 XWB, this time dumping composite panels on an aluminum frame for an all-composite barrel. [...] News of the move [...] comes the same week that Boeing started final assembly on the 787.

So when can we expect the new and improved version of the new and improved version of the new and improved model of Airbus to enter service?

Last fall, ATWOnline revealed that Airbus was switching to the composite panel design from all-aluminum and that the aircraft's entry into service would slip to 2014 (ATWOnline, Oct. 25, 2006).


This latest change may push the EIS further out [...]


...into 2015 or 2016, I suppose. But, knowing Airbus, this won't be their last word on the matter!


More on the 787:

For the first 100 or so planes, Boeing expects each Dreamliner to spend just six days in final assembly. That should be reduced to just three days when the production line ramps up to full speed.

[...]

There's a fourth slot that won't be needed for every plane at first, but Scott Strode, vice president of airplane development and production for the 787, said it's designed to allow room for some contingency work to be done if needed and could eventually be used to boost production.

[...]

Strode said Boeing remains on track to roll out the first plane by July 8. It will be used for test flights, which are slated to begin around late August. The 787 is scheduled to enter commercial service next May, when Boeing delivers the first of the hot-selling planes to All Nippon Airways Co.

By the time the A350 XWB reaches that stage, Boing will be rolling out its next innovation--perhaps a blended-wing aircraft?


Boeing is working with two potential customers to define a commercial freighter variant of its blended wing body large transport aircraft as it prepares to fly a subscale model of the flying-wing design at NASA Dryden in California.


"We have been working with a couple of customers," says George Muellner, president, advanced systems, for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. "We have a customer, we have finalised what they want, and it is now an issue of customer funding and our desire to invest."



Speaking of investing,

Shares of Boeing Co. surged to an all-time high on Thursday after the world's largest airline booked an order for more than $4 billion of its minijumbo planes.

The stock has doubled in the last two and half years[.]

BIRTHDAY BREAK

I will do as Morris and take a break...



During my break, I will take care of my paprika and chile pepper plants.

I will be back blogging in a week or two... In the meantime, please visit my blog now and then and see what my guest bloggers are up to.

You have to listen to Dennis Miller's interview (05/22/07 at 1:22) with Yaron Brook.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

EGO BLOG READER SURVEY

Please take some time and participate in the blog reader project. Thanks for your help!

Please take my Blog Reader Project survey.

TEXT LINK ADS

I have started with Text Link Ads. My first text link sponsor is advertising games by Mara Pets. Loren Baker, editor of Search Engine Journal, has compared Google's version of text link ads with the Text Link Ads company.

Have you checked out the auction ads and shopping clouds yet?

For more on the booming online advertising market, read Carolyn Y. Johnson's article, Firms cashing in on blog branding.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

THE CUTTY SARK, AFTER THE FIRE

One of the things I like about London is the great number of monuments and landmarks that remind of the days when British culture was all about ruling the waves, instead of today's pathetic attempts to source food locally. I have always wanted to visit the Cutty Sark, the famous 19th-century ship that was used to commit the imperialistic atrocity of importing tea from China. But the ship has been closed for renovation--and now, it has been damaged by a fire.
21st May 2007 - A fire broke out this morning at 4.45am this morning at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, which was put out by the London Fire Brigade by 06.28am.

I went to the site today to see what the fire has left:


 

But it's not as bad as it seems:
around 50 per cent of the ship was not at the site because it had been taken away for repair.

Chairman of Cutty Sark Enterprises, Chris Livett, believes she can be fully restored, saying: "It will be the old ship. The ship has been through many things in its lifetime. It has sailed the oceans of the world, it has battled with nature through its life.

"This is going to make us even more determined to get this ship back up and running and keep her as original as possible."

He continued: "The mast, much of the planking, the coach housing and all of the artefacts were not there. We're very, very fortunate... It could have been a lot worse."

[...]

He said: "This ship has been through many things. She's over 100 years old. She's been through recessions, storms, hurricanes. She's been battling all her life. She's not dead yet, far from it."
Posted by Picasa

That spirit, now, is still worthy of the great old days of Britannia!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

"10 GREEN DEATH TIPS"

Until yesterday, I thought that the environmentalist position could be summed up as: "A good man is a dead man." It turns out, however, that I was only partly right: it depends on how you die. In the last of her five-part series of sermons ... I mean, articles that's just appeared in The Daily Telegraph, environmentalist Julia Hailes gives the faithful ten tips on how to avoid turning their cherished union with their goddess Gaia into a climate crime.


Here's your chance to test your awareness of green issues: How many of the ten tips can you make sense of? My score is 1 out of 10. This is the one I understood:


• Give cremation a miss

Of course, this is the absolute beginner's question. As an obedient and humble little Earth Citizen, the last thing you would not want to do is erupt in a flame of rebellion and ascend towards the sky in the form of CO2 and other sacrilegious substances. Your last duty is to go down where you belong and let your body feed the Weeds, Worms, and all the other Saints.


Anyone willing to help me figure out the rest?


• Donate your organs

Perhaps this has to do with recycling?

• Say no to embalming

Mother Julia mentions something about the "horrors of embalming" on her home page, but she takes it for granted we know what they are. I am clearly too ignorant to be worthy of this great religion...

• Select a "green" coffin (those made from recycled newspapers are best)

I thought wood decomposed just as well as, if not better than, paper? In any case, I nominate this as the funniest line of the entire sermon series!

• Remove all jewellery and gold teeth before burial or cremation

I'll try, although I must admit I sometimes found it difficult to remove my own milk teeth when I was 5, so I'm not sure how well I'll do with my permanent teeth when I am dead.


But I was so perplexed by this commandment that I did some research on what beef environmentalists have with jewellery--to discover that there is an entire industry built around protesting jewellery not being earth-friendly enough.


One gold ring, conservationists say, generates 20 tons of mine waste.

And how much more envy!


On to the next tip for getting intimate with earth:


• Dress minimal in death and choose natural fibre clothes such as hemp

If I didn't know who the author was, I could have sworn this list was written by a non-believer making fun of the greenies!

• If you want to be buried, chose a natural burial ground rather than an overcrowded graveyard

Stop cities from sprawling, so all the world can be turned into a cemetery? Am I on to something?

• Re-use graves after 20 years and put bones in an ossuary, as they do in Europe

I've seen many graves in Hungary that are 30, 50, or even 100 years old. I guess not all that's Europe is green!

• Choose not to have a headstone

I cannot for my life figure out how a stone is going to damage the earth. I mean, isn't that where the stone came from in the first place?

• Don't waste valuable resources on elaborate pet coffins, urns and caskets

My best guess on this is that the elaborate ornaments wouldn't go well with the recycled paper the coffin is made of. But that's just me, thinking about worldy matters like style and taste while Mother Julia is trying to save my soul from eco-damnation! It looks like it will be a cold day on Earth when I score well on this test...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

FACEBOOK

I have joined Facebook. I like the design of the user interface.

Martin Lindeskog's Facebook profile

Do you think that the "2008 USA election will be won on Facebook"? Or will the social network get banned before the election?

NEW LAYOUT OF EGO TEMPLATE

I have now installed the new three column template (DownRight v3.0) by The Blogger Workshop. It will take some time to add old links and scripts. You are welcome to give me suggestions on how to improve and customize the design (fonts and colors) of EGO blog.

CHRISTI HIMMELFAHRT AND JERRY FALWELL



Do you think Jerry Falwell will meet "his maker" on his flight to heaven (or hell?)? Maybe he could have a chat with the Teletubbies...

What do you think will happen with the GOP? Is it time for the "moral minority" to regain the power of the Republican party?

Have you read Brooke Allen's book, Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers?

GUEST BLOGGING FROM LONDON

Thanks to Roland Horvarth for responding to my request for guest blogger. It would be nice with more guest bloggers. Any volunteers? [Editor's note: Thanks again for the guestblogging in 2005.]

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

WHAT DO THESE BUREAUCRATS SMOKE?!

Having fled Hungary's tax hikes last year, I am now guest-posting from London, England, where taxman and soon-to-be Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been busy catching up with his Magyar colleagues.

The difference is that here, taxation is not the only form of entertainment the government is kind enough to provide us with. Her Majesty's fools and jesters have surpassed themselves:

Churches incensed by 'stop smoking' signs

Senior clerics were fuming yesterday over Government regulations giving churches and cathedrals until July 1 to post "no smoking" signs at their entrances.

Bishops and cathedral deans warned that the "nanny state" rules were unnecessary and would deface their buildings when it was almost unheard of for someone to light up in the pews.

[...]

The Bishop of Fulham, the Rt Rev John Broadhurst, said: "This is another example of the aggressive nanny state. The whole thing is stark staring mad."


The good Bishop would probably be shocked to learn that I think there are too many old church buildings in England and I would love to see most of them bulldozed and replaced by ... say ... fuel stations, which look much better than churces. But why not keep a few of them,


especially when they serve as such eloquent monuments to the smallness of God in comparison to the greatness of Man. And this is where I completely agree with the Bishop--that forcing them to display "no smoking" signs is the craziest example of a nanny state running amock.

What does the government have to say about this?

A Department of Health spokesman said the Government was anxious to work with religious organisations to ensure that their responsibilities under the law were clear.

Jawohl, it's all very clear now.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

TEST BLOG EGO

For you who are interested in blog design and layout, please check out my EGO test blog. I will soon change the template of EGO blog. I look forward to hear your comments. I hope the change will work according to the plan, otherwise I could go "bananas"!

IS MORRIS A VENETIAN?

MORRIS

I wonder if Morris is coming from Venice. He is almost hypnotized by the Venetian blinds...

MORRIS

Saturday, May 12, 2007

HOW TO BECOME A SWEDE

Do you want to know how to become a Swede? [Hat tip to C.W.]



"Swedes are:

  1. Naive
  2. Punctual
  3. Reserved
  4. Afraid of making a fool of themselves."


Related: My post, DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT VISA PROGRAM.

NATO EXERCISE IN GOTHENBURG

In the news: Protesters march against docking of NATO ships at Swedish port - International Herald Tribune.

I am not surprised by the protests due to the strong anti-Americanism in Gothenburg. According to a survey by the Gothenburg University, 46 percent of the people are against a NATO membership. The Swedes want to take a "neutral" position.


Banderole with the text: "NATO out of Sweden / USA out of Iraq."

Related: My post, REMEMBERING D-DAY.

Monday, May 7, 2007

ANNUAL BLOG REPORT V

This is post #1973. I have now been blogging for five years. I am planning to continue to blog, but I will take a short break around my birthday. [Editor's note: Do you want to buy me a present? :) If so, go to my wish list at Amazon.]

My Amazon.com Wish List

[Editor's note: You are welcome to make a donation to a "poor" capitalist.]








I need a mental break from the blogosphere for a short period. It would be great if I could get some of my fellow (blog) friends to do a little guest blogging as they did in August 2005. If you (reader / blogger) are interested in blogging on EGO, please comment on this post or send me a note by email. You are welcome to spread the word...

Hiatus


EGO blogger
EGO

And now for some "stats":

At this moment, EGO has an "authority" of 65 and a "rank" of 67,136 according to Technorati.

Here is a snapshot from Sitemeter traffic counter. My traffic has gone down a bit, compared with previous years. I have roughly around 100 visits / page views per day.

EGO blog

I will add Google Analytics to this blog later on. First, I have to change the template...

So, what will happen on EGO in the near future? I will try to catch up with some of the new trends in business blogging. I will conduct a couple of interviews for my podcasting / radio show Egoist. Craig Biddle has said that he is interested in an interview sometime this summer / autumn.

Related reading:

Sunday, May 6, 2007

MACROYAHOO VERSUS LINGOOGLE

Our trainee at Blue Chip Business Center & Café asked me to write a post on the potential merger between Microsoft and Yahoo! Jan Ekbom thinks this is the next phase of a continuing battle between Microsoft's "closed system" and Google's and other companies' fascination for open source solutions and alternative operating systems. What do you think?

Here are some posts [Via InformationWeek.]:

Why Microsoft + Yahoo! makes sense – and why it won't work by Charlene Li.
MicroHoo, and Non-Peeing Sections in the Internet Pool by Paul Kedrosky.
Microsoft To Buy (Swallow) Yahoo...Again? Please, God, No. by Henry Blodget.

Related: My post, DOUBLECLICK ONLINE ADVERTISING.

PALACSINTA BY GUNDEL

Palacsinta (Palatschinken in German) is the Hungarian version of pancakes. The style is like the French crêpe. Here is a recipe (#109) from Gundel's Hungarian Cookbook (pages 76 - 77):

Crepes Gundel Style

Ingredients

For the filling:
  • 1 1/2 dl (2/3 cup) rum [Editor's comment: How about adding a splash of Vana Tallinn?]
  • 40 g (2 2/3 tbs) raisins
  • 20 g (2 tbs) candied orange peel
  • 180 g (1 1/2 cup) chopped walnuts
  • 1 dl (1/2 cup) heavy cream
  • 120 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • powdered cinnamon

12 crepes (recipe #108)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 dl (3/4 cup) milk
  • 240 g (1 1/2 cups) semolina flour
  • 2 dl (3/4 cup) milk or soda water
  • salt or sugar (optional)
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) lard

  1. Mix the cold milk and eggs with a wire whisk, slowly adding the flour and keep on mixing.
  2. Add more milk or soda water when the dough is very smooth.
  3. Melt the lard in a saucepan.
  4. Heat a crepe pan.
  5. Add 1/2 tsp of lard to crepe pan and swirl to coat the pan.
  6. Pour the rest of the lard back into the saucepan.
  7. Pour about 1 dl (1/2 cup) dough into the hot crepe pan, fry over over high heat, shaking and swirling the pan. The dough should separate from the pan.
  8. Fry for 5 seconds longer, then flip the crepe and fry the other side.

50 g (1/4 cup) butter (for browning)

For the chocolate syrup:
  • 2 1/2 dl (1 1/2 cup) milk
  • 30 g (2 tbs) vanilla sugar
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) chocolate
  • 1 1/2 dl (2/3 cup) heavy cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 80-100 g (6-7 tbs) sugar
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) cocoa
  • 15 g (2 tbs) flour
  • 5 cl (4 tbs) milk

  1. Soak the raisins and orange peels in rum for 24 hours [Editor's comment: Maybe you could speed up the time by splashing some Vana Tallinn to the raisins and orange peels?].
  2. Grate the walnuts.
  3. Bring the cream to boil. Add the sugar, nuts, a little cinnamon and drained raisins and orange peel. Cook into a paste. (You could add some milk to it.)
  4. Let the mixture cool down a bit and add half of the rum.
  5. Make the crepes as in the recipe (#108) mentioned above.
  6. Place the filling in a line on each crepe and roll them up.

For the sauce:
  1. Boil the milk with the vanilla.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a dish.
  3. Whip the cream.
  4. Whisk the flour and cocoa, add the milk and whip it until it is smooth and foamy.
  5. Mix in the melted chocolate, slowly whisk in the hot milk and heat to boiling point.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir for some time until it has cooled down somewhat.
  7. Carefully fold in the whipped cream and the remaining rum.
  8. Brown the filled crepes in butter on both sides until they become crisp.
  9. Place them on a flame-proof platter, pour the syrup over the crepes just before serving.

Read the following quote by Gundel on music and gastronomy.

PLANTING A CAT

Time to plant a cat? Morris is resting in a flower box. Go to Flickr for more pictures of Morris.

MORRIS IS ENJOYING THE SPRING WEATHER

Thursday, May 3, 2007

QUEEN ELIZABETH II AND JAMESTOWN VIRGINIA

I wouldn't mind cruising with Queen Elizabeth II to Jamestown, Virginia. Have you visited the birthplace of America? Maybe I should celebrate the 400th anniversary of the exploration by purchasing a Jamestown 400th Anniversary gold five dollar coin?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

COCOMMENT

CoComment is a tool to keep track on your comments on other blogs and a way of getting the conversation going. [Via BusinessPundit.]

Technorati Profile

IGOOGLE

Google has become more personalized with its iGoogle homepage featuring new gadgets. Related: My post, COLLABORATIVE FILTERING SOFTWARE.

FOREX EXCHANGE TRADING CLUB

I have signed up for a forex exchange trading club called FXClub. Related: My post FOREX and GAMBLING AND TRADING.

MAY DAY

Today is a red day for the so-called "working class" and labor unions. Fidel Castro didn't show up in the parade in Havana, so I wonder if he went to Sweden. He is a popular figure by the mainstream media. If you are not interested in marching along with red flags, check out my other blog and read about my future fruits of labor then it comes to paprika plants.