Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bogart Recipe

Here's a recipe for a yummy cocktail served at the Big Picture in Redmond. I'm posting it here so that I can find it in the future when I forget the recipe - it's easy to make at home (assuming you have fresh sage leaves).

1 measure Gin
1/2 measure Triple-sec
1 measure Margarita mix
2 fresh sage leaves

Put a few ice cubes in a shaker, add the gin and triple-sec and sage leaves, and muddle well. Add the Margarita mix, shake, and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a sage leaf if desired.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New "7 Worlds Collide" album from Neil Finn et al

Last night I saw that there is a new album by Neil Finn and friends (who call themselves "7 Worlds Collide'), called Sun Came Out. There's more info on the ReverbNation website here, and you can listen to the album here.

This new album seems to contain all new songs. From the album page:
7 years ago, Neil Finn & friends first got together to perform some live shows – and release a resulting live album. In December of 2008 and January 2009, Neil did it again, only this time bigger and better! He assembled a group of his friends and fellow artists in Auckland, New Zealand to record a brand new album of all new & original material.
The cast list this time includes Neil, Sharon & Liam Finn, Wilco, Johnny Marr, KT Tunstall, Ed O’Brien & Phil Selway of Radiohead, Lisa Germano, Bic Runga, and others – all contributing to the performances and songwriting.

The previous "7 Worlds Collide" album he did "with friends" was 7 Worlds Collide - Live At The St. James. "Down on the Corner" and "Edible Flowers" are really good, as is "There is a Light that Never Goes Out" - plus a few live versions of Crowded House and Finn songs.

Excellent news!

Monday, September 28, 2009

French oysters

This is the 2nd year in a row that French oysters have been hit by a mystery "plague" that is killing young oysters. This year 90% of the young oysters have died.
Producers in Normandy are so worried that last month they handed out free
boxes of the shellfish near Caen chanting: "Take these oysters, they may be the last you'll ever eat."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Playing the Enemy

{A} mentioned a segment on NPR's "To the Best of Our Knowledge" which aired on KUOW on Friday. The segment covers the 1995 Rugby World Cup match between South Africa and New Zealand, and how Nelson Mandela's support of the Springboks helped to unify the country. I remember watching the match and the euphoria that swept the nation in the weeks following the South African victory. It was one of the many highlights in Mandela's term as president.

You can listen to the podcast here, skip to around the 38 minute mark for the start of this segment.

The show is based on the book Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation by John Carlin - one I will add to my "to read" list. I hadn't fully appreciated how brave Mandela's support of the Springboks was.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Happy Hour in an Irish pub

You'd think happy hour in an Irish pub would be a great time to get some cheap(er) Irish beer, right? Nope, that's not the case at Bellevue's Paddy Coyne's.

Instead of discounts on Guinness or Smithwick's, they offer cheap Bud and Bud Light. A pint of Irish beer will set you back the regular price of $6. Somehow that just strikes me as lame - they'd be better off not having any beer specials during happy hour.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Giving Nigerians a bad name...

It seems that Nigerian officials are not fans of the movie "District 9".

While it's true that Nigerians are portrayed as crime lords in the movie, running the underground market cat-food and weapons market (not to mention prositution), I think the thing that really irked the officials is the naming of the main "baddie": Obasandjo sounds a lot like former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo. And it doesn't help that he's a superstitious megalomaniac that wants to eat aliens to inherit their power and control over alien weaponry.

Sadly, this type of thing really happens in some parts of Africa, including South Africa. (It's called "muti killing"), so there is some real-world inspiration for the crim lord's behaviour. Add to that that a large amount of crime in today's South Africa is due to Nigerian gangs, and you can see that to a large extent the writer/director was just drawing on current events. You can read more about the director's reasons for making the crime lord a Nigerian and referencing muti, in the interview here.