bookmark_borderWhose son?

There are lots of rumours on the Internet at the moment saying that Sarah Palin’s fifth child cannot possibly be hers but must be her 16-years-old daughter’s instead. For instance:

Personally, I couldn’t care less if her daughter had a baby, but I do care about honesty.

If she’s prepared to arrange such an elaborate cover-up, what else would she be prepared to do?

bookmark_borderApocalyptic burritos

Originally uploaded by shredpet501

I found this recipe in the Danish newspaper Politiken (22nd October 1995), and it soon became a favourite of both my sister Miriam and myself.

It’s one of those few veggie dishes that you don’t want to add any meat to – it’s perfectly balanced and complete in itself.

Here’s the recipe for two people:


Chop ½ largish salad onion, 2 tomatoes, 1 clove of garlic, 3–7 chilis (according to taste) and 2 twigs fresh coriander. Add 1 tsp ground coriander and 2 tbsp vinegar and a little salt and pepper. Put into the fridge for at least one hour.


Grind 1 tsp cumin, 3 cloves, 2 cardamom pods, 4 tbsp sweet chili powder (you used to be able to buy this in Danish supermarkets) and 2 cloves of garlic in a mortar until they form a paste. Heat 4 tbsp of grease in a pan until it almost smokes and fry the spice paste for a couple of minutes. Add one tin of kidney beans and fry them for 10 minutes at a low heat. Mash the beans with a fork.


Chop four tomatoes. Chop about 1 largish salad onion. Chop a handful of fresh coriander. Grate 100 g of cheddar. Heat four wheat tortillas on a pan on both sides – they should be soft, not crunchy. Spread out a quarter of the filling on each tortilla, add tomatoes, onions and coriander and roll up the tortilla. Put them into an oven-proof dish and put the cheese on top and add a few slices of pickled jalapeño. Put them in a 200C hot oven for 5 minutes. Then add a bit of creme fraiche and some salsa. Add some more chopped coriander.

Serve with beer and a salad.

bookmark_borderOxygen for babies

Oxygen Masks – 3
Originally uploaded by drbrain

There was a story today about a Ryanair flight which lost cabin pressure as a result of which oxygen masks were released.

Fairly standard stuff that doesn’t worry me overly.

However, it made me wonder what to do about babies under two. You see, you can’t book individual seats for them, they have to sit on your lap.

So what do you do if you need oxygen and you only get one mask for your baby and yourself?

I asked in the comments section in the article I linked to above, and somebody relied:

It depends from aircraft to aircraft but all aircraft have 4 masks on certain rows, and therefore on a full flight passengers with babies should be checked into a row which has 4 masks. If in doubt check with check-in staff who should be adequately trained to know the aircraft configuration and also with cabin crew. It is a part of basic safety training that you know which rows have 4 masks, but again I can’t give a general comment on this as every single aircraft type I have operated on has differed in this respect.

However, a different person followed up:

However we flew on a Ryan air 737 over the weekend with our small baby and asked to sit in a row with 4 oxygen masks. The cabin crew didn’t seem to know what we were talking about!

So what do you do if the crew can’t help you and you can’t find a seat with an empty seat next to it?

bookmark_borderA vote for oblivion?

Day 115 – Vote
Originally uploaded by jackhynes

I seem consistently to disagree with the majority of libdems: I voted for Chris Huhne twice, not for Ming and not for Clegg, and this time I voted for Rumbles, not Scott. 🙁

However, Tavish Scott won easily with 59% of the first priorities.

Something is rotten in the Libdem party. In all these elections, the membership have followed the advice of the great and good, which both demonstrates that the upper echelons prefer continuity to change, and that the majority of members are happy to follow their advice instead of thinking on their own.

The specific reason I didn’t want Scott to become leader is that the Libdems have been performing dismally ever since the last Holyrood election, starting with their disastrous decision to not even enter coalition talks with the SNP, and as far as I know, Scott has been the principal architect of this policy.

To my mind, the best chance for the Libdems in Scotland would be to work constructively with the SNP, and Rumbles seemed to be the one who was closest to recommending this.

Perhaps Scott will surprise me positively, but I have my doubts. I expect the Libdems to become increasingly irrelevant until they find the courage to elect a leader who wants to make a difference.


Scrabble Letter Y
Originally uploaded by Leo Reynolds

Perhaps because my native language is Danish, where y is a vowel and (almost) never a consonant, I’ve always regarded the English letter as primarily a vowel that can sometimes act as a consonant.

However, native speakers seem to regard it primarily as a consonant.

When Charlotte moved it with me two years ago, she was six years old and had just started in P2. Back then she hadn’t learnt the names of the letters yet and instead called them (with a Scottish accent) /a, b?, ?k?rle k?, d?, ?, f?, ??, h?, ?, d??, ?k?k?n k?, l?, m?, n?, ?, p?, kw?, r?, s?, t?, ?, v?, w?, ks, j?, z?/.

And the daughter of a friend of Phyllis’s parents is called Yvonne /j??v?n/.

John Wells has also picked up on it twice: In “Yngling”, he spotted he pronunciation /?j??l??/ for yngling (the keelboat), and in “Ylang-Ylang”, he had come across /j??læ? j??læ?/ for ylang-ylang.

I wonder whether yttrium is gradually becoming /?j?tri?m/, too. I guess I’ll find out when Marcel starts chemistry next year.


Der var tilbud på to flasker belgisk cider med frugt af mærket Jacques i Sainsbury’s i dag.

Jeg havde set den nævnt i nogle reklamer, og vi besluttede os for at prøve den, så vi købte en flaske rød (“fruits des bois”) og en flaske hvid, og vi drak førstnævnte til aftensmaden.

Jeg véd ikke helt, hvad jeg havde forventet, men i hvert fald en ret voksen smag.

Så jeg fik noget af en overraskelse, da cideren viste sig at smage som flydende vingummi med brus!

Hvis det ikke var, fordi den holder 5,5%, ville den være oplagt at servere til børnefødselsdage.

bookmark_borderPeriodic table of mixology

Periodic table of mixology
Originally uploaded by viralbus

This poster (“The Periodic Table of Mixology”) that I once bought for my sister is hanging outside my parents’ bedroom (click on it for a more readable version).

As its name implies, it’s presenting cocktails in a format similar to the periodic table of elements.

When I first saw it, I thought it was great. However, the more I study it, the more annoyed I get.

The real periodic table is systematic, but the only feature resembling a system here is having tequila-based drinks in the first columns, vodka-based ones in the next ones, and so on.

As far as I can see, nothing else is systematic. Column 1 is not different from column 2 in any systematic fashion, and the rows don’t display any regular differences at all.

Somebody should redo this properly.

First of all, I think a higher number should imply a stronger drink. That is, cocktail number 1 should be almost non-alcoholic, number 2 should be slightly stronger, and so on.

Second, there should be similarities both horizontally and vertically. I wouldn’t necessarily order it by spirit, but perhaps rather by appeareance or taste.

It won’t be easy, I realise, but surely it would be a worthwhile research project for some inebriated chemistry students…?