05
May
11

5.5.2011 … cinco de mayo … and the testing begins …

parenting, empty nesters, women’s issues, me:

As far as I can tell, my own generation of mothers doesn’t really do the empty nest thing, no matter how large the hole left behind and no matter how pressing the grief. Unlike our mothers, we generally don’t go back to school to finally launch careers or, like our grandmothers, embrace the newly won status of matron and then grandmother. Unlike past generations, today’s middle-agers typically started their careers before marriage and motherhood. As for our wardrobe choices, my own concession to aging mainly involves wearing low-heeled shoes, but otherwise, like practically every woman I know, I continue to dress like I did in my student days. You know the uniform: jeans and a T-shirt or blouse, with clogs or sneakers or sandals.

There are other reasons we don’t stop to realize that we’re fretting over our empty nests. With the endless options for instant communications, we’re able to check in with the kids, or vice versa, on an embarrassingly regular basis. When my eldest went off to college four years ago, a friend of mine who was a year ahead of me in the kid-launching game reassured me. Don’t worry, he said: His wife and their college-age son “text at least once a day.” Another friend, whose eldest is studying abroad, told me that she regularly talks to him. “I can Skype daily without any big buildup or pressure that this is the big, expensive, long-distance call,” she said. “It’s easy to communicate, and it doesn’t cost anything.”

via Women on the Verge of an Empty Nest – Ideas Market – WSJ.

Swan House, Atlanta, places, kith/kin:  My father’s close friend grew up in the Swan House.  I can’t look at a picture of the house without smiling …. great stories …

Swan House.

education, public education, Atlanta:  A new high school for Buckhead ….

Atlanta Public Schools finalized this week the purchase of a 56-acre site in northwest Atlanta for the city’s new Buckhead-area high school. Final cost of the purchase totaled $55.3 million.

The site, at the former IBM complex on Northside Parkway, will replace North Atlanta High School on Northside Drive. The new school is scheduled to open in August 2013. The North Atlanta campus will then be converted into a second middle school in Buckhead, relieving an overcrowded Sutton Middle School on Powers Ferry Road near Chastain Park.

via APS finalizes land deal for new Buckhead high school  | ajc.com.

science, Albert Einstein, kudos: … Scientists affirmed “his theory of relativity after studying the most perfect spheres ever made as they orbit around the Earth.”

The longest experiment in space physics began with three men in a university swimming pool arguing about Einstein. It ended Wednesday, after 52 years and $750 million, with scientists affirming his theory of relativity after studying the most perfect spheres ever made as they orbit around the Earth.

Called Gravity Probe B, the exotic experiment measured how the revolving mass of Earth imperceptibly twists the fabric of space in a test of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. By one finding, the distortion amounts to 1.1 inches off true across the 24,900-mile circumference of Earth.

via Researchers Spent $750 million—and 52 Years—Affirming Theory of Relativity – WSJ.com.

food/drink, beer, George Washington: 🙂

We cannot tell a lie: Even George Washington needed to take the edge off sometimes.

The founding father and first president of the republic was a man of the people when it came to his drink of preference. His “Notebook as a Virginia Colonel,” dated from 1757, includes a handwritten recipe for “small beer.”

George Washington’s recipe for “small beer”. For a larger version, scroll to the end of this post.

That recipe, along with many of Washington’s other papers, is part of the New York Public Library’s collection. This month, the library is partnering with Shmaltz Brewing Company to recreate a modern version of the porter, to celebrate the centennial of its Stephen A. Schwarzman building.

Just 15 gallons will be brewed and offered for tasting. Local brewers Peter Taylor and Josh Knowlton have taken the liberty of tweaking the recipe, which the NYPL has dubbed “Fortitude’s Founding Father Brew.”

The brewers made batches of the beer, one with molasses — which Washington used — and one without, substituting malted barley for the fermentable sugar.

“Back then, they didn’t really have quite the same understanding of brewing science that we do now,” said Josh Knowlton.

Of Washington’s beer, “it’s pretty light, pretty dry, medium-bodied but roasty,” Knowlton said. “We used some roasted malts in there so it’s definitely got some of a roasted, chocolaty, little bit of a coffee flavor.”

via New York Public Library’s Tasty Treasure: George Washington’s Beer – Metropolis – WSJ.

news, Charlotte, Uptown power outage:  John and I have lived and worked in Charlotte for almost 30 years … power outage with no weather cause.

Duke Energy has restored power after an outage in uptown Charlotte that impacted a portion of Bank of America Plaza.A number of employees told the Observer that the power went out around midday at the Bank of America Plaza building.Duke Energy reported about 230 power outages in Mecklenburg County, most of them near Center City.The company also said more than 100 customers near the intersection of Trade and Tryon streets were without power.Duke Energys website showed that power was restored to the area by 4:30 p.m. Officials have not yet said what caused the outage.

via Power restored in uptown Charlotte | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

food:  Yuck …

What is often in shredded cheese besides cheese?

Powdered cellulose: minuscule pieces of wood pulp or other plant fibers that coat the cheese and keep it from clumping by blocking out moisture.

Cellulose can improve the texture of packaged food products, including bottled chocolate milk shakes.

One of an array of factory-made additives, cellulose is increasingly used by the processed-food industry, producers say. Food-product makers use it to thicken or stabilize foods, replace fat and boost fiber content, and cut the need for ingredients like oil or flour, which are getting more expensive.

Cellulose products, gums and fibers allow food manufactures to offer white bread with high dietary fiber content, low-fat ice cream that still feels creamy on the tongue, and allow cooks to sprinkle cheese over their dinner without taking time to shred.

via Packaged-Food Producers Increasingly Turn to Cellulose – WSJ.com.

Osama bin Laden’s death, War on Terror, man’s best friend:  Didn’t realize they used dogs in this capacity.

While many Americans are anxious to meet and commend the team of Navy SEALs who raided the compound in Abottabad, Pakistan, and killed Usama bin Laden, one team member would be happy just to receive a doggie treat.

Among the commandos was a heroic canine – a bomb-sniffing dog who was attached to a team member as the SEALs were lowered from a Black Hawk helicopter into bin Laden’s hideout, The Sun reports.

The four-legged soldier has not yet been identified, but some speculate the breed was either a Belgian Malinois or German shepherd, a breed used frequently in raids in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The dogs are well-protected in these dangerous situations, armed with ballistic body armor, protective gear to shield against bullets and shrapnel, and infrared night-sight cameras that provide crucial feedback to troops and warn of potential ambushes, The Sun reports.

There are currently 600 dogs serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ensign Brynn Olsen of U.S. Central Command told the New York Times. In 2008, Gen. David Petraeus, current U.S. commander in charge of Afghanistan and soon to be CIA director, called for an increase in the number of dogs used by the military.

via Military Dog Used in Bin Laden Compound Raid – FoxNews.com.

 Osama bin Laden’s death, War on Terror:  Actually I am tired of this …

Steve King was the first member of Congress to float the inevitable question. “Wonder what President Obama thinks of waterboarding now?” the Iowa Republican tweeted shortly after Obama announced the death of the world’s most infamous terrorist. In the days since, even as they maintain the tacit truce that bans partisan potshots in the wake of bin Laden’s killing, Capitol Hill Republicans have advanced the idea that Bush-era “enhanced-interrogation techniques” were responsible for the tip that led intelligence officials to Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound.

At least two members of the Senate Intelligence Committee have made this claim. “The information that eventually led us to this compound was the direct result of enhanced interrogations; one can conclude if we had not used enhanced interrogations, we would not have come to yesterday’s action,” North Carolina Senator Richard Burr told CNBC Tuesday.

via Republicans Split Over Waterboarding’s Role in bin Laden’s Death | Swampland.

 Osama bin Laden’s death, War on Terror:  Why didn’t they suspect?

ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan – When a woman involved in a polio vaccine drive turned up at Osama bin Laden’s hideaway, she remarked to the men behind the high walls about the expensive SUVs parked inside. The men took the vaccine, apparently to administer to the 23 children at the compound, and told her to go away.

The terror chief and his family kept well hidden behind thick walls in this northwestern hill town they shared with thousands of Pakistani soldiers. But glimpses of their life are emerging — along with deep skepticism that authorities didn’t know they were there.

Although the house is large, it was unclear how three dozen people could have lived there with any degree of comfort.

via Bin Laden’s neighbors noticed unusual things – CBS News.

food, North Carolina:  North Carolina … sweet potatoes???

.Fodmap

The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More


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