a few 20th century innovators, congress is filled with pirates, night train wallpaper

Dr. Linus Pauling Pointing to a Scientific Model. Linus Carl Pauling (February 28, 1901 – August 19, 1994) was a U.S. chemist, biochemist, peace activist, author, and educator. If Crick, Watson and Rosalind Franklin had not been the first to discover the helical structure of DNA, Pauling was one of the scientists that might have discovered it. A good medium length biography of Pauling is available via The National Academy of Sciences.


National Cash Register Pavilion, 1939. In the commercial sphere NCR was to technology in 1939 what Apple or Sony are to technology today. They are still big players in the day-to-day transaction of business. They have about a one-third share of the entire world’s ATM machine market.

Margaret Bourke-White in Flight Suit, 1943. Note the camera in her right hand. Bourke-White (June 14, 1904 – August 27, 1971) was a photographer who specialized in photo or documentary journalism. Among many firsts, she was the first female photo-journalist allowed to be in war zones and the first female photographer, for what was then the preeminent all-photographic magazine for publisher Henry Luce. Not reading Life in its glory years would be like not being on the internet today. Life came out weekly and it was the must read magazine. It was what people talked about at work instead of viral YouTube videos or who friended you or what the most popular tweeters said. Bourke_white eventually became an editor and photographer at Fortune. The image I’m using is copyrighted. There are lots of Bourke-White’s photographs on-line.

US House of Representatives: Internet pirates

The House, of course, has been mired in Internet controversy since Rep Lamar Smith introduced his Stop Online Piracy Act(SOPA), which establishes a regime of national censorship in the name of fighting copyright infringement. So it is with some amusement that TorrentFreak points out that more than 800 of the IP addresses assigned to the House of Reps were involved in copyright infringement over BitTorrent, according to the YHD database.

Passing SOPA might work out for everyone. Most Americans are fed up with Congress, especially conservatives. They pass SOPA and then we insist the FBI start arresting them all. If Obama let’s SOPA or PIPA pass it will cost him LOTS of young / core voters (2012 election).


night train wallpaper


German auto manufacturers’ high profits and high pay show why U.S. labor laws need to be stronger. Foreign car companies with good paying jobs, strong labor, health care from the state as in Germany, Sweden and some degree Japan, continue to embarrass U.S. conservatives and libertarians who insist the path to happiness and prosperity is through a dog-eat-dog anything goes economy.

Grizzly bear mom and the posse


No Sharks Were Harmed in the Making of This Shark Fin Soup

But the practice of finning—removing the fin while at sea and dropping the still-living shark back in the water to drown—is considered cruel, not to mention unsustainable. According to a fact sheet put together by the bill’s proponents, even though current federal law prohibits finning, there is no regulation of the number of sharks killed for their fins—tens of millions every year—and thirty per cent of ocean sharks are threatened with extinction.

For most of 2010, Corey Lee, the former chef de cuisine at The French Laundry, worked on the recipe for a faux shark-fin soup: course sixteen of eighteen on the tasting menu at his acclaimed new restaurant Benu, in San Francisco. He told me that he wanted to challenge himself with a modern interpretation of a classic dish, one he remembers eating as a child in Korea. “The soup is very comforting—very rich and soothing, very savory,” he said.

To prepare his version, which is served (untraditionally) with steamed black truffle custard, he said, “We make a tang—soup with broth—a double bouillon with chicken, Chinese ham, aromatics, and Shaoxing wine.” The “shark fin” texture—he describes it as “gelatinous and brittle at the same, like properly cooked jellyfish”—comes from treating the broth with hydrocolloids, a procedure he arrived at with the help of some food scientists at the San Diego branch of C.P. Kelco, a major producer of culinary and household gums.

Now if someone could convince Robert DeNiro to stop serving endangered blue-fin tuna sushi at the restaurants he owns.