Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tastebud Tart on TV

My sister-in-law Molly was on TV today in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area demonstrating her culinary expertise by making a Coconut Curry Tortellini Soup on the Showcase Minnesota show: you can find the recipe and video here. Don't forget to visit for more of her recipes and products!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Inca Engineering

In a recent article in ASEE Prism, Henry Petroski, the Duke University historian and engineer, discusses Machu Pichhu, the 500-year-old Inca city. Petroski went with a group of civil engineers to a ceremony in Peru recognizing the site as an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. See the ASCE press release for more about the trip.

Retirement Planning

Here is a novel idea for retirement: give lectures on cruise ships.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


The December 2008 issue of Touchstone has a piece by Anthony Esolen about the movie It's a Wonderful Life. Esolen discusses how George Bailey's decisions (to rescue his brother, to stay home and run the building and loan, to use his own cash to save it in a bank run, and others) - not merely his existence - are important and helped prevent Bedford Falls from becoming Potterville.

He then goes on to say that most of us live in a Potterville, a place of abandonment, where we are citizens of no town at all, where we don't care what our neighbors do. But we can still turn away from "the universal wolf of avarice, ... the desire to have, have, have," by using the gifts that God gave us and staying where we are and loving our neighbors. And that would be a wonderful life.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Bok Tower

While we were in Florida visiting family, we got the chance to visit Bok Tower. The most prominent feature is the bell tower that holds the carillon, though this was added later to the landscaped grounds that are full of lawns shaded with live oaks, paths lined with azaleas and other flowering shrubs and palm trees, and many other (mostly native) plants. It is a beautiful place, and visiting it provided a serene interlude to all of the chaos of traveling during the holiday season. It also has what may be the only scenic overlook in Florida (photo from Wikipedia). William De Turk, the carillonneur, gave a concert of Christmas songs, ending with Auld Lang Syne (as it was New Year's Eve).