Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Random Notes

Looking at us looking at them: Apparently the French media is annoyed that the American media turned suburban Paris into downton Baghdad:
On the news channels, the dramatization and the mise en scene were always spectacular and without nuance ... [they] compared the riots to the war in Iraq or the earthquake in Pakistan, with maps, reporters at the sight of [tension], and numerous invited experts ... They concerned themselves with the history of the suburbs and immigration in France, asked about the origins of the violence and were above all interested in possible connections with Islamist terrorism.

Never a cop when you need one: Sharon at Early Modern Notes describes an interesting case of murder in 17th century England:
If any killing is a sad affair, there is something particularly poignant about this one: the waiting wife who would never see her husband again, the identification based on clothes and the contents of pockets, the killerÂ’s distraught mother (the magistrate who examined her - who had no sympathy for her son - thought that she had become mentally disturbed ("touched") and asked that she might be excused appearing in court).
She found this to be a rare case because the murder did not occur within the context of the local community.
But it makes you wonder, reminds you of the limitations of early modern policing. None of these places are that far apart, after all ... If Andrew [the victim] had been just a little further from home, perhaps Sarah [his wife] would never have tracked him down at all; if Richard [the killer] had not simply run home, he might well have got away with it.
Breadcrumbs: Johno at Ministry of Minor Perfidy (or is it Perve-idy) decided to take Brandon's quiz. Calling himself the "least appreciate great thinker in history" leaves little to research, but he does a splendid job of playing with beer, food, and music.

Speaking of Food: Sharon recommends French onion soup as a fall delight. I disagree ... completely. If you live anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line, you need roasted squash soup:
one butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
two medium red potatoes, cubed
one apple (I like Braeburns), seeded and cubed
one medium Vidalia onion, chopped
one medium leek, thinly chopped
one bulb of garlic, top 1/5 chopped off.
olive oil
one tablespoon (or more) chili powder
salt
3 cups broth
3 cups water
Combine the squash, potatoes, apple, onion, and leek and use just enough olive oil to coat it. Add the chili powder and salt. Place in a roasting pan, cover with foil, and put it into a 425 degree F oven. Cover the top of the garlic bulb with olive oil, wrap in tin foil, and roast separately from the squash mix. Stir squash mixture after 30 minutes. Leave in for another 10-15 minutes with foil off. Remove squash mixture and garlic from the oven. Combine broth and water and heat to boil. Lower heat and stir in squash. Squeeze out the roasted garlic into a bowl. Put one tablespoon of the garlic into the soup. Puree to your wishes. Serve with bread and roasted garlic on the side.

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