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The Periodical Table

A weekly review of what's on Shipley's nightstand.

Worst Best Poll Ever
The reader's poll results are in, according to the new issue of Spin. Best Band? Panic! At the Disco. Worst band? Panic! At the Disco. Best Album? The Black Parade, by My Chemical Romance. Worst album? The Black Parade, by My Chemical Romance. Best Internet phenomenpn? YouTube and MySpace. Worst Internet phenomenon? MySpace and YouTube. Best reader's survey ever done? Not this one. Worst reader's survey ever done? This one.

Forest Grump
According to the March issue of Utne Reader, mass urban tree plantings may not only beautify cities but also save them money. According to the Center for Urban Forest Research, each dollar spent on a tree in Los Angeles recoups benefits worth $2.80. Further, there are various studies going on in the Los Angeles at the Center for Urban Forest Whittaker Research on how much return-on-investment he will yield now that he's won an Oscar.

Devil Dreams
An untreatable cancer is raging through the world's population of Tazmanian Devils, and if the tide is not stemmed soon they face extinction, according to the March issue of Scientific American. Fortunately, the Devils already have a poster boy who can help raise funds (and revive his career at the same time) from a sentimental public.

And Chinese physicists, using sound wavelengths the same size as their tiny subjects, have created pressure sufficient to levitate small animals without squishing them. They also tried to levitate Jennifer Hudson using her own voice on the Dreamgirls soundtrack but were less successful in levitating her because, as one esteemed scientist said, "She's got some junk in the trunk."

Money Honey
Fun fact gleaned from The New York Times Sunday Magazine's interview of personal finance guru Suze Orman: "I'm still a 55-year-old virgin."

Yakety Yak
Fun fact gleaned from the March/April issue of Psychology Today: The notion that women talk more than men is a complete fabrication, according to a University of Pennsylvania linguist. An Oxford Universit professor blames "the belief that women really should be silent, as recommended by ancient authorities ranging from Sophocles to St. Paul" and "the popular psychology industry, which loves pandering to stereotypes to sell books."

Just Desserts
Reader survey results are in at Bon Appetit. Favorite dessert? Creme brulee. Which certainly says something about our times. In 2001 it was cheesecake. In 1998 it was apple pie a la mode. In 1914 it was braised calf's liver.

To wit: Take a small calf's liver, wash well and scald. Put in a baking pan, the bottom of which has been covered with chopped onion, carrots and celery tops, add one quart of soup stock with a teaspoonful of salt and a half teaspoonful of pepper, cover the pan and bake in a moderate oven for two hours, basting two or three times while it is baking. In a separate pan, cook two carrots cut in dice and boil a pint of celery. Heat a can of green peas. Dish the liver, drain the water from the boiled vegetables into the pan in which the meat was cooked and bring up to a boil. Take two tablespoonfuls each of flour and butter or bacon fat rubbed together to a cream and add a pint of water from the pan and stir until boiling and thickened. Then add salt, pepper and spice to suit taste. Arrange a pile of vegetables on the ends of the platter, strain the sauce over it and garnish the dish with triangles of toast.


Posted on February 27, 2007

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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