happy birthday, magnets!
To read more about the magnet party, check out Fermilab Today.
Howdy, Now Pinicians. I haven't forgotten about this whole thing - just lots of crazy sickness/tiredness/moving/working etc. Some parts are quite exciting, actually, but a bit draining.
I spent most of last week in Pittsburgh, sleeping, eating tasty food, buying and building IKEA bookshelves, etc. It was nice to be there for the Thursday night drinking of beers in the local pub. Yay for D's! Hopefully I will make it there tomorrow night - two weeks in a row!
I flew to Chicago ... Monday? Where I promptly dropped my laptop on the ground and busted it up, skinned my knee falling down walking up stairs (how 11 years-old of me!) and stayed up far, far, far too late working on a talk for this morning. (sigh)
A few links before I forget:
Blonde Venus. Saw it on Sunday with Spoons in Pittsburgh. It's a racy-for-1932 movie with Marlene Dietrich, from a time before the Hollywood Production Code was enforced. So, it opens with a bunch of nekkid chicks swimming in a pool -- nothing too salacious, but a lot of bare skin for 1932! There's also a 28 year-old tuxedo-wearing Cary Grant, if you like that sort of thing, and a bizarre pre-King Kong cabaret scene with dancing "African Natives," a chained monkey and a beautiful blonde. It was a fun movie to see in the theater, but I wouldn't rush out and rent it or anything.
Socca. Went there last night for dinner! Yay, tasty food! The Braised Lamb Socca was especially good: Chickpea flour crepe, braised lamb, marinated chickpeas, roasted red pepper and baby arugula salad -- the lamb was very tender and the sauce was amazing. The restaurant is named for the chickpea crepe/pancake in the dish, a southern French food.
So, I'm in Chicago right now (at the lab) but tomorrow I'll be flying back to Pittsburgh, then back to Fermilab next Wednesday or so. Southwest airlines and I are becoming bestest buddies.
also! i have great pictures of you from sketchfest. i will send them your way.
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Brokeback to the Future
Just what it sounds like: A Brokeback Mountain/Back to the Future trailer. Almost touching. :)
mmm.... hot dog - pie.
There are a few important things to note about this microwave that we have at the lab... It must be about thirty years old. And it's still working! The orange-ish label warns "DO NOT PUT ANY METAL IN OVEN".
Let take a closer look. (photo by Stefan!)
1) It has a Federal Goverment Property ID tag - like everything else around here. Very necessary.
2) It has a sticker on it that says "15 ft Bubble Chamber," which it is not! Ah! A joke!
3) Please, let us examine the choices. Pastries. HOT DOG - PIE. Hamburger. (In a chunk?) Soup. (I like soup.) Casseroles. (How many? We're plural now?) Dinners. Mmmm. Just press "Dinners" and you'll be all set. Note: there is no time readout whatsoever.
I'm pretty sure that they meant "Hot Dog or Pie," maybe "Hot Dog / Pie," but do a hot dog and a pie take the same time to microwave? Surely not. Maybe it should be "Hot Dog / Some Pie"?
I do really enjoy imagining a world where everyone was eating only Pastries, Hamburger, Soup, Casseroles, Dinners, and Hot Dog Pie. And then I imagine that I am not in that world. (Although, "Dinners" is pretty inclusive. Could there be vegetables in "Dinners," do you think? Probably not, unless they are canned or frozen green beans.)
There's even a rating on the microwave leakage. I'm not sure if that should comfort or worry me...
Here's the rest of the kitchen. Notice the excellent 70's decor, and the "FOOD ONLY - DO NOT STORE CHEMICALS" signs. Awesome.
In case you can't read the end, it says "but we would get more funding if we were."
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You can all be proud of me - I had a lot of work to do last week, and instead of posting millions of entries and photos like I wanted to, I did my work instead. My talk last week went well -- it's the first of three big talks that I have to give to get my physics analysis approved so that it can be shown to the public. I would post the talk, but, since I'm giving these talks in order to have the result be shown in public, I can exactly post it yet.
I am working on a short summary of my thesis topic, so when I finally have a measurement I can explain what it means. When I finish, it'll go here.
If you like this sort of thing, here's an article on science funding and how the U.S. is falling behind in the world: “Our nation may very well kick itself several years from now,” Rep.
Every year, google puts together some graphs of interesting searches. The 2005 page looks especially snazzy: google zeitgeist. It's neat to see the weeks and weekends, and in something like the search for "London" under "World Affairs" I think you can even see more searching on Mondays and Fridays when people are at work but just kinda searching the web.
And now, a sweet, spicy soup.
I had posted some photos here of Cozy Noodles in Evanston, IL, near Northwestern University. If you click on the lovely soup, below, you can get to the rest of the photos. The place is decorated with Pez dispensers and lunchboxes and other kitchy goodness.
The soup is Tom Kha Gai. As far as I can tell, Tom means "boiled", "Kha" is galangal (a spice), and "Gai" is chicken, according to some internet Thai Food Glossaries. (1 2) It's my soup of the moment... I go through soup phases where I order the same one over and over to tell how it's made in different restaurants. I had a barley soup phase (beef barley, veggie barley), a matzo ball soup phase, and a period of Italian Wedding Soup. Last Year was French Onion, and lately, it's Tom Kha Gai. TKG is usually made with a coconut milk broth and that's one of my favorite things about it: coconut milk is one of my favorite ingredients in anything! What else is in there? Chicken, green onions, mushrooms, lots of spicy red chilies. When I find a good recipe, I'll post that too. Anyone have one?
Here's a recipe from the Boston Globe from October that I've been meaning to try:
Tom Kha Gai
Boston Globe, October 5, 2005
1 3/4 cups coconut milk
2 cups boneless chicken breast -- cut into thin strips
3 pieces fresh galangal (also called kha)
1 stalk fresh lemongrass -- cut into 2-inch pieces and bruised
4 kaffir lime leaves -- also called magrood
2 tablespoons fish sauce -- or more to taste
1/4 cup water
1 cup canned straw mushrooms or fresh oyster mushrooms
4 fresh thai chili peppers -- stems removed and halved
3 tablespoons lime juice -- or more to taste
1 tablespoon thai chili paste -- or more to taste
1 teaspoon sugar -- or more to taste
cilantro leaves -- for garnish
1. In a large pot over medium heat, bring 1 cup of the coconut milk to a
gentle boil. Lower the heat to medium low. Add the chicken, galangal,
lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and fish sauce. Cook, stirring
occasionally, for 4 to 6 minutes or until chicken is opaque.
2. Add the remaining 3/4 cup coconut milk, 1/4 cup of water, and
mushrooms and bring to a boil. Add chili peppers, lime juice, chili
paste, and sugar. Stir well to combine. Taste for seasoning and add more
fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and chili paste, if you like. Garnish
Looks pretty much exactly like what you have in the picture. - Kate.
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