Archive for the '[Etc]' category

A hopeful sign at work today.

Seen on my colleague's office door:

4 Days Since Last Robot Attack

I'm glad we've gone at least a few days without a robot attack, as the budget for responding to robot attacks has been slashed to the bone (and the paperwork you need to file after such attacks is terribly burdensome).

4 responses so far

Zucchini utilization: two recipes.

Aug 12 2010 Published by under [Etc], Food, Garden, Personal, Uncategorized

The Free-Ride family has spent the last several weeks dealing with an abundance of zucchini. Here are two of the smaller ones we harvested this week.

Since there's a limit to how many zucchini you can give away without alienating your friends and neighbors, it's good to have some tasty strategies for eating them. Here are to of the recipes we've been working.

Zucchini Faux-Risotto

Wash and trim about 3 pounds of zucchini. Halve them lengthwise and slice into semicircles (about 1/8 inch thick).

DIce one large onion.

Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil.

Heat up a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and zucchini and toss to coat with oil. Cook on high heat without stirring too much (so that the zucchini and onions brown a bit). As you cook, the onions will get translucent and the zucchini will cook down significantly.

Meanwhile, boil 1 pound of orzo. (Ours is al dente after about nine minutes.) Drain, add to the skillet with the onion and zucchini, toss gently, and turn heat off.

Finely grate some asiago or other hard cheese until you have 1/2 to 1 cup. Toss with the orzo and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This dish is good hot or at room temperature.

Zucchini Bread

Preheat your oven to 350 oF. Lightly grease a standard loaf pan, or line with parchment paper.

Grate a very generous 2 cups of washed, unpeeled zucchini. (In a two-cup Pyrex liquid measuring cup, you want it to be overflowing with the grated zucchini.) If you have a food processor with a grating disk, this is a good time to break it out.

Put the grated zucchini in a large bowl with 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, the finely grated rind of half a large lemon, and a large egg. Beat together with a fork.

Sift together into the zucchini mixture 1.5 cups flour (this last batch I used 1/2 cup whole wheat, 1/3 cup white whole wheat, and 2/3 cup all purpose), 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom. Stir together until incorporated.

Pour into the loaf pan and bake for about 55 minutes. Cool before removing from the loaf pan and slicing.

This is so moist that you won't even think about buttering it until after you've gobbled it down.

9 responses so far

Just before I woke up this morning

Aug 08 2010 Published by under [Etc], Passing thoughts, Personal

... I had figured out a really elegant way to test an hypothesis, complete with two separate treatment groups and a control group. While the population under study was blog readers, I had come up with a reasonable plan to protect the human subjects, even mentally drafting the IRB short form.

I was very excited at how well it was all coming together. And then I woke up.

Which means I have no earthly recollection of either the hypothesis or the clever strategy for testing it.

6 responses so far

Sexiest scientific couple?

Aug 04 2010 Published by under [Etc], Passing thoughts

The other day, a friend and I were having a chat about the curious inclination people (or at least bloggers) have towards compiling lists of sexy scientists, or sexy atheists, or sexy what have you. (I'm guessing it's related to the same impulse to rate the "hotness" of one's professors with the handy chili pepper icon on

That these lists are often assembled by men and populated by women obviously means there's a certain narrowness to the definition of "sexy" in play. When the list is meant to identify the sexy (female) members of a profession that is largely male dominated, the focus on traits that are not necessarily viewed as enhancing one's professional worth -- indeed, traits that can end up being used by one's colleagues as an excuse to discount one's professional talents -- can make them much more annoying than amusing.

Still, in the course of this chat, my friend jokingly suggested, "We should put together a calendar of the sexiest scientific couples!"

"There's only one I could nominate," I replied.

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12 responses so far

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road.

With this post, I say goodbye to ScienceBlogs.

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15 responses so far