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October 31, 2010

Bye-Bye, Chef Chang


Constant readers will recall my great excitement about dining at chef Peter Chang's restaurant during the short time he was here in Charlottesville.

Recently it was rumored that he was about to sign a lease on a new place here in my Podunk town with opening slated for around the end of the year.


Alas, this, from the October 26, 2010 issue of C-Ville: "Despite dishy rumors that acclaimed chef Peter Chang was planning to open shop at the former Asian Buffet space on Route 29N, as Restaurantarama reported a few weeks ago, that is not the case. Atlanta Cuisine reported last week that Chang will open a restaurant in Atlanta, to be named Peter Chang's, by the end of this year."

Oh yeah?

I'll believe it when they pry his Hot & Numbing Beef Roll (below) out of my hands.


The picture at the top is of his Dry-Fried Eggplant with Hot & Numbing Pepper, one of the greatest dishes I have ever tasted.

The one in the middle is of Roasted Fish with Green Onion & Pepper.



October 31, 2010 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Stink Bombs


Not what you think.

From Monika Anderson's item in yesterday's Wall Street Journal: "The first gift Napoleon bestowed on his son was a Cire Trudon candle. And indeed, every offering from the 367-year-old candle maker, scented and otherwise, is fit for an emperor. Now the French company is bringing its cult-favorite goods to its first store outside of Paris, at 54 Bond St. in New York, and going online as of Monday. The New York opening coincides with the release of perfumed Stink Bombs [top]: petite glass vials that, when broken, will sweeten the atmosphere for hours."

I guess you have to be supremely confident about what you have to offer to give your product a name like "Stink Bombs."

Not widely known is that Elton John and Bernie Taupin wrote "Candle in the Wind" in 1973

as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe, who had died 11 years earlier.

October 31, 2010 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

"The Final Cut"

I happened on this days of future past sci-fi film while browsing through the offerings on my new Apple TV.

I couldn't figure out how come I never heard of it other than perhaps it was one of many movies that, for whatever reason, go straight to DVD without even appearing in theaters.

But Robin Williams is almost always good and sci-fi — especially about memories and their manipulation — is something I have a weakness for, so what the heck, I figured, go for it.

The movie revolves around something called a Zoe implant, which costs a small fortune and is a kind of biologically-based memory chip which, when placed and activated in utero, from that second on records everything that happens to a person as seen through their eyes, with every frame time-stamped.

After a Zoe-implanted individual dies, the family hires a specialist called a "cutter" to download the footage and create a kind of video memorial of that person, a two-hour long "Rememory."

Headstones in cemetaries in this future world feature continually running Rememory loops for anyone who cares to watch.

The plot of the film involves a particularly controversial individual and the proposed creation of his Rememory by Williams, considered the go-to cutter for people whose lives might be unbearable to watch by most cutters.

Imagine for a second, if you will, what it would be like to have someone watch everything you've ever done through your eyes — even the things you pretend never happened.

Not a pleasant thought, is it?

I venture that no one's life could withstand this kind of scrutiny without the outside observor turning away in dismay and disgust every now and then.

Or maybe you're a better person than me and most people I know, and so the secret parts of your life wouldn't trouble anyone.

I'm not betting on it.

But I digress.

I liked the movie and but I don't think most people would.

There's a reason you can buy the DVD new at Amazon for $7.99.

Pink Floyd offers a different take on

"The Final Cut".

October 31, 2010 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Aerosleeper — "Sleep on planes"

Alas, that's something I've never been able to do, much to my dismay.

I envy those who can take the red-eye and get some zzz's, arriving rested and ready to go.

From the website:



• No more neck pain on your long flights

• Far superior to the doughnut pillow

• Gently holds your head in position

• Fits in your hands or carry-on bag

• Allows you to lean to one side

• Small and compact

• Fits all head sizes




I like how they titled their YouTube video "New Airplane Sleeping Widget."

I thought widgets were things you put on your computer desktop.

Shows what I know.

I could listen to this song all day long.

And I have, on more than two occasions.


October 31, 2010 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Nuns, virgins and spinsters — cervical cancer revisited


I recently noted that there are groups of women who have essentially no risk of cervical cancer, and thus need not get regular Pap smears.

Dr. Margaret McCartney then pointed me toward a 1991 reassessment in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (BJOG) of this hoary belief, which turns out to be based on a less than rigorous 1842 paper by an Italian surgeon in Padua, Dr. Domenico Rigoni-Stern.

According to the 1991 paper, "The quality of Rigoni-Stern's work is poor by modern standards. His paper is littered with errors of arithmetic. He adduces importance to differences which we would not now regard as being statistically significant. Interesting as Rigoni-Stern's observations were, it is somewhat surprising that his work is quoted as being authoritative. It is alarming that it is almost universally misquoted."

I find the detailed reassessment in the BJOG convincing to the point that I believe now that all women — the sole exception being those who have had hysterectomies which included the cervix — should have regular cervical cytology screening.

The abstract of the BJOG article follows.


The view that nuns have a very low risk of cervical cancer is questioned. The historical evidence for this view is reviewed, from the beginning of the eighteenth century to the present. An estimate of the actual mortality rate from cervical cancer suggests that risk of death from this neoplasm among nuns is little different from that among the general female population. It is recommended that nuns should not be excluded from cervical cytology screening. When symptoms which might suggest cervical cancer arise in such women, full gynaecological assessment is necessary.

Present Department of Health policy regarding provision of cervical screening suggests that such screening is not necessary for 'nuns, virgins, and spinsters' (Warden 1990).

This policy is supported by the widely accepted view that cervical cancer is extremely rare among such women. Only if this view is correct is it reasonable to dispense with cervical screening in such women. If it were to be shown that such women had a lower, but still significant risk of cancer, then such an omission would he unreasonable.


October 31, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Black Rice


From yesterday's Wall Street Journal story by Lauren Shockey: "Chinese black rice — called Forbidden because once upon a time, it was considered exclusively for consumption by the Emperor — is as versatile as white or brown, but prettier and richer in antioxidants. Try it as a dramatic side for wild salmon, or sweet, in a rice pudding made with coconut milk."

15 oz.: $4.49.

It only occurred to me last night after Paul Biba's comment that he was kind of hoping the music videos would go away that it didn't have to be Black Sabbath or their ilk all the time.

How's this,


October 31, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



Jason Nelson's digital poetry portal.



October 31, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Wahha Gogo

From the website:


Anyone — and we know there are thousands of you — who loved the Otamatone will definitely want to get their hands on the Otamatone Wahha Gogo , the latest creation from wacky Japanese designers Maywa Denki.

Based on a "laughing" machine that they developed in 2009, this is an original musicial instrument just like the regular Otamatone — but with bizarre teeth and mouth rather than the tadpole-like face. You can even take off the "charming" mouth and attach it to your other Otamatones! Whatever will Maywa Denki do next?

To play your Otamatone, slide your fingers up and down the tail to make the mouth open and "sing."



• Otamatone sound toy with Wahha Gogo laughing machine mouth

• Powered by 3 AAA batteries (tester included)

• 27cm (10.6") H

• White or Black



Videre est credere.


I thought I'd


October 31, 2010 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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