Redefining Reality

Redefining Reality coverRedefining Reality: The Intellectual Implications of Modern Science
Professor Steven Gimbel, Ph.D.
The Great Courses
Audio download $39.95 when on sale
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This course is sweeping in its scope.

Professor Gimbel’s premise is that there has always been a redefinition of reality as a result of advances in science and technology. He covers pretty much all of the sciences including physics, astronomy, biology, chemistry, and even psychology. He goes back as far as Plato and Aristotle and takes science fully into the modern era, discussing string theory and virtual reality. Gimbel has a great breadth of knowledge and understanding. He even covers popular culture, including books and movies, rather extensively.

Sometimes Gimbel would get too down in the weeds and I would find my mind wandering. This is not the best Great Courses lecture series I have listened to, but much of it was quite interesting.

homemade falafel

I’ve mentioned here before that dad gave Terry and me a never-used, as far as I could tell, GranPappy deep fryer. As I’ve said, I would probably never have gone out and bought one, but I graciously accepted the gift. I’m not big on deep fried foods, but I did used it a few times to make falafel. I bought falafel mix at our local Middle Eastern grocery store and it turned out well.

falafelThen I had one of those “I coulda had a V-8!” moments. I have a Vitamix. I can make my own my own falafel from scratch! I found this recipe from The Blender Babes.

True to form I ignored the quantities but followed the recipe for instructions on preparing the garbanzo beans and for the list of spices to include. It was a bit messy and I encountered the normal Vitamix headache of the air pocket, which meant that not all the beans got properly ground.

Nonetheless it all turned out great. The falafels were very tasty and I have enough of the mixture left over for another meal. Unlike using a packaged mix, I knew exactly what was in my food and was able to keep the sodium level down.

I was pleased and Terry enjoyed it. It made for a nice meatless Monday.

a bad-good experience

A few weeks back I received an email from my internet provider telling me that my speed had increased from 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps at no additional charge. I was initially delighted but then I calmed down and did a speed test. Indeed my upload speed was well over 100 Mbps, but my download speed was stuck at 57 Mbps. I was a bit miffed since download speed is far more important to me than upload, but I didn’t follow up as I was busy. Recently I had some time so I opened up an online chat session. The agent told me to power down my router and she would refresh the ports on her side. I did so, and when I brought the system back up I had no internet access at all.

internet speed chartI gave it some time and when nothing changed I made a phone call. I got through to an agent quickly but his systems were not working and he kept me waiting while trying to resolve that. As I kept waiting he rebooted his computer. Finally, he told me to unplug my router while he made the necessary changes. I did so and powered up the router when he told me to do that. Everything worked.

After I hung up I did a speed test. Upload was slightly slower, but still well over 100 Mbps. Download, my primary concern, was right at 100 Mbps. I’m happy.

I suppose that this was one of those “all’s well that ends well” moments.

grilled honey lime salmon

There is not a lot to say about this grilled honey lime salmon recipe other than to note that it is really good. I followed the recipe as written except that I omitted the salt and pepper. There is a lot of flavor here, and, of course, salmon is very rich so I cut a fillet in half, which was plenty for the two of us. The baked potato was a nice balance to the salmon.


Sacred Music Friday: A Hymn to the Virgin

A Hymn to the Virgin by Benjamin Britten performed by VOCES8 at the Gresham Centre in London. I was so impressed with this group last week that I had to share another of their videos.

grilled adobo-rubbed chicken

Amazing! Marvelous!

I don’t generally get so carried away with my enthusiasm for a recipe, but this was really something. Marcela Valladolid showed this grilled adobo-rubbed chicken recipe on The Kitchen recently. Not long before she had posted a version of adobo chicken on her blog, but that one called for baking, so Terry and I were delighted to have a version that we could make in the heat of summer.

adobo rubbed chickenI used leg and thigh pieces rather than a whole chicken. I just don’t have the manual dexterity to butterfly (or spatchcock as some say) a chicken. I inadvertently failed to brown the peppers before adding the broth, and I used vegetable broth rather than chicken broth as I always do. I also used granulated onion rather than fresh onion. Otherwise I followed the recipe pretty closely.

The recipe is a little time-consuming but not difficult at all. It was certainly more than well worth the effort. I still have half a package of guajillo chilis so we’ll do this again.

Star Trek again

Terry and I have both long been big Star Trek fans. We watched many episodes of Next Generation together, along with Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise.  We had a Star Trek-themed wedding, although it was more subtle than blatant. With the end of Enterprise we thought that might have been the end of Star Trek for us. Neither of us has been terribly impressed with the current “young Kirk” movie series starring Chris Pine (although the next movie is rumored to have a kick-ass female captain).

Star Trek DiscoveryI hadn’t paid a lot of attention to the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery series, since it will be on the CBS All Access app. Then I made the mistake of watching the trailers. Wow. Interesting, intelligent, thought-provoking, and cerebral if those trailers are any indication. Looks like a mature Asian female captain, along with Vulcans and Klingons. Fascinating, to quote Spock.

This may be enough for us to shell out for CBS All Access. But we have to wait until September 24th.