Sunday’s Mayhem Festival delivered just what the name promised. These shots were taken during God Forbid’s performance. While not my favorite music at the show, they did an excellent job of engaging the crowd.
Dirge Within (the band listed as “Jagermeister Band” on the schedule) is a Chicago band and worth a second listen. Their debut album, ‘Force Fed Lies’, is due out on September 1st but they are offering a free download of the title track today on their Myspace.
While hunting down Dirge Within, I also stumbled on this free Metal Mayhem Compilation download. They ask you to sign up for a mailing list but currently you can skip that step and download it here and save your inbox some spam. I don’t know if it is worth downloading yet as I have not had a chance to listen to it, but it’s free and it has a track from Darkest Hour who was decent at the Summer Slaughter Tour that recently came through Chicago.
I have previously been holding comments for review to cut out the spam from hitting this website, however despite the fact that I delete those comments before they ever get published, I’ve been up to ~15 a day. This is growing tiresome, so I have added a simple CAPTCHA for comments.
Hopefully this will result in much better response time from me in terms of approving comments, or even in the long run removing myself from the approval process.
I hope this isn’t a huge issue as most of you are not robots.
After some lunch converstaions, I figured it’d be cool to list the cookbooks I’m currently digging and open up the conversation for anyone who wants to talk about what they’re currently cooking.
I started with a fermented food kick, there’s a great book by Sandor Ellix Katz called “Wild Fermentation” where he extols the virtues of fermented foods in your diet. This is a topic I’ve been curious about ever since I read Salt by Mark Kurlansky where a history of culinary and preservation using Salt was outlined. Fermentation is another basic method of preserving food prior to refrigeration, but also has been used to modify the nutritional content. The book is fascinating and really covers the spectrum from veggies, to cheese, to beer and more.
I had so much success with my home fermentation that I moved on to Indian food which I’ve always wanted to learn how to cook. Not only do I enjoy most dishes I’ve had, but unlike a lot of my fermented products, my wife will eat these too providing an additional motivator. I have a good friend who spent years in India who, after mentioning my new culinary interests, went out on the spot and bought me 660 curries by Raghavan Iyer. The book is fantastic and gives authentic regional samplings, I’ve been slowly making my way through it. Once you sort of get past the complicated number of spices involved, I found the mechanically assembling the dishes isn’t all that tough and typically turns out pretty well even if you mess up a bit.
Finally, I was reading Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China by Fushia Dunlop. It’s more of a book about food than a cookbook, for that you have to turn to Land of Plenty (which is currently being shipped to me) or Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook. The book covers her experiences living and traveling through China, learning to cook cuisine and the important role it plays culturally. The book contains a smattering a recipies that relate to the chapter topics, but more than anything it helped me get “excited” about Chinese food in a more meaningful way than jadedly thinking about the heavy corn starch gel coated meats that get served to me at most Chinese restaurants.
As the West is generally starved for news from the secretive hermit kingdom, I was thrilled to stumble upon North Korea’s Twitter feed! Under the handle DPRK_News, you can find such illustrative tweets as:
US Cable News Network reports racketeer president Barack Obama was born a slave in Indonesia.
DPRK life expectancy surpasses 90 years, while US president fails in ambition to pass health care law.
And my personal favorite,
Education Minister Kong Myun-Roh: Decadent parents of South teach children to play as “Zerg,” “Orks,” while DPRK children study Juche Idea!
Unfortunately, this appears to be a hoax, though you might not be able to tell the difference between this and the actual headlines coming from KCNA (North Korea’s official government-run news outlet):
In a twitter conversation with Forbes, the author of the KCNA twitter feed admitted that he or she was a writer and Web master for the German-language parody site Stupidedia, based in Austria. “KCNA has unintentionally funny articles, and I thought it would be funny if an antiquated regime like North Korea had a Twitter account,” wrote the faux-Communist, who didn’t respond to requests for his or her name.
It took me a bit to realize that this idea didn’t spring from Japan.
Elevating Letterman’s “Stupid Pet Tricks” to a whole new level, Lithuanian conductor Mindaugas Piecaitis has composed a 4 minute concert featuring…his cat Nora. The piece, titled “Catcerto,” was premiered by the Klaipeda Chamber Orchestra, with the soloist present via (heavily edited) video footage.
The quality of the piece is actually quite high, with the Times of London characterizing Nora’s improvisations as being “something halfway between Philip Glass and free jazz.”
Feeling uneasy in an age of economic turmoil? Want to prepare for the coming zombie invasion? Ponzi scheme has unraveled and you need to evade the Feds? Kevin Reeve, a professional scout and tracker, runs OnPoint Tactical, the only school in the nation that teaches urban tactical skills. Though takers had been few and far between, in recent months interest in the program has surged. For $550, you can sign up for an escape-and-evade class, which will teach you useful things as follows:
Among the lessons we’ve learned are how to break through zip ties and telephone cords (the most common materials used as binding by kidnappers), smash a car window without making a sound, pick tumbler- and padlocks, puncture the tires of a pursuit vehicle with homemade caltrops, call for help using a ham radio, kill an attack dog—and, of course, how to escape from handcuffs.
For some hands-on practical training, you are then dropped off and told to evade 12 professionally trained trackers while staying in a 25-block area for eight hours.
At the end of the final day, after my cohorts and I had successfully evaded Reeve’s trackers, we convened at a Chili’s Bar & Grill and swapped stories with the other students. None of them had been “caught,” either, but many of them had been spotted by Reeve and his trackers and had run for it. Some went deep into disguise; the most shocking of all was Kyle cutting off at least 24 inches of dreads for the exercise.
Just when I thought I’d seen all possible niche food blogs out there, the long tail of the internet proves me wrong. Introducing Fancy Fast Food, featuring deconstructed, gourmet meals made entirely out of fast food take-out. Above, behold a Tacobellini, made out of a Taco Burrito Supreme.
A follow-up from a lunchtime debate over the use of Vitamin C tablets in baking:
For even more comprehensive dough improvement, add vitamin C for better gluten development; an egg yolk for antistaling and better gluten development; 1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek, rosemary, or cinnamon for enhanced yeast activity and better keeping qualities; 1 tablespoon sugar to feed yeast; and 1 teaspoon barley malt syrup, which contains enzymes to convert flour to yeast food.