Go Online

I’m looking for a recipe for grilled asparagus. One chef suggests putting the bunch in a Ziploc bag with salt, pepper, crushed garlic, and olive oil, rolling it around in the bag to make sure the asparagus is evenly coated, and then plopping it on the grill.

In the comments to the recipe, a discussion ensues on whether it’s necessary to get the asparagus out of the plastic bag before grilling it.

Go online, lose your faith in humanity.

P.S. The asparagus is on the grill right now (minus the bag), and I’m hoping it will be great. I used olive oil infused with herbes de Provence.

What’s the Excuse?

In the USSR, we were coerced into being terrified, brain-washed, obedient robots by a genocidal totalitarian regime.

What’s this teacher’s excuse?

Who Stands with Oberlin?

I finally found out who’s defending Oberlin and is openly standing with a mega-rich giant against a small group of workers.

It’s AAUP. I’m sure the linked author is convinced that this article is his contribution to promoting radical, revolutionary change. Remember, today’s leftism always stands with the corporation and against workers.

Mindfulness and Its Critics

The only thing dumber than “mindfulness” is this article about it:

But anything that offers success in our unjust society without trying to change it is not revolutionary – it just helps people cope. In fact, it could also be making things worse. Instead of encouraging radical action, mindfulness says the causes of suffering are disproportionately inside us, not in the political and economic frameworks that shape how we live.

I can just imagine the author, a professor of management at SF State, running around, engaging in radical revolutionary action to change our unjust society. He must be one of those Twitter warriors who believe they are changing the world by retweeting inanities.

Just one more quote so you can appreciate the pomposity:

Of course, reductions in stress and increases in personal happiness and wellbeing are much easier to sell than serious questions about injustice, inequity and environmental devastation. The latter involve a challenge to the social order, while the former play directly to mindfulness’s priorities – sharpening people’s focus, improving their performance at work and in exams, and even promising better sex lives.

I swear, the poor guy is convinced he’s “challenging the social order” with his “serious questions about inequity.” Whatever any of this means.

Mindfulness is totally a silly fad, that’s true. Just like the attempts to make oneself feel more important by using words “activism” and “radical” every three seconds. The fans of mindfulness are a lot less grandiose and self-righteous, though, so between this fellow and a mindfulness practitioner, I’d choose the latter to hang around.

What “Chernobyl” Got Wrong

In one episode, three characters dramatically volunteer to sacrifice their lives to drain radioactive water, but no such event occurred.

It did occur in the sense that they did volunteer. And they did think they were going to die.

But the amazing thing is that they survived! One of them died recently of old age and he gave an interview about the whole thing shortly before dying, which is how I know. But the story of their tragic death is part of the Chernobyl lore, and many people in Ukraine do think they died, so I don’t blame the series’ writers for getting it wrong.

“Chernobyl” ominously depicts people gathered on a bridge watching the Chernobyl fire. At the end of the series, HBO claims, “it has been reported that none survived. It is now known as the “Bridge of Death.”

That’s another legend. It’s understandable why it came into existence but it’s simply not true.

Chernobyl is still a catastrophe, the responders were unquestionably heroic but it turned out to be less horrific than anybody expected at the time. I’m definitely not trying to downplay the horror but people asked me to point out the factual inaccuracies, and I’m responding to the request.

Poetic license has every right to exist in a work of fiction, which is what the series is. It sounds like the series transmitted how Ukrainians felt about the catastrophe rather than what actually happened, but it’s a crucial story to transmit.