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Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Transition
I started "Broadsheet" way back in January of '05 as a New Year's Resolution to take advantage of a relatively recent phenomenon at the time - a weblog. Granted, there were hundreds of thousands of blogs out there at the time, but "Blogger" and other user friendly apps like "Wordpress" ,"Live Journal", and "TypePad", suddenly made blogs accessible to anyone who had an opinion or something to say. Besides, I learned a lot of HTML progamming code in the process.

Today, there are billions of blogs, but the numbers are tapering out.

One of the biggest reasons, other than the obvious redundancy of all those voices in an echo chamber, is the parallel growth of social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, etc..

In 2003 -05, the blogosphere was growing exponentially and I have made some of the best friends of my life, and certainly my best friends in Baltimore - through this blog and the unbelievably strange intersection of cultures, lifestyles, age groups, and interests that have resulted. It has proven to be a true leveling field. People I would have NEVER met, let alone known I shared a common interest or passion with, I have met through Broadsheet.

And people around the WORLD. I've traveled to England and China and met people solely through this blog. I've been invited to their HOMES. Something I could never have anticipated. I've talked to people from almost every state and over 100 countries - it's been amazing.

BUT - I started this blog when I was bored with another job and could access Blogger from work, and since then, I now have a very demanding position with long hours that keeps me from posting as often as I like or am able. I also find, that what I may find interesting, is posted to dozens of other blog sites days before I ever get to it, and that I'm just posting personal updates, which are of utterly no interest to anyone beyond my family and friends, and I don't need the whole world to read the detritus of my day (like this post). There are also issues of anonymity regarding this blog related to my job which I don't want to compromise from a professional or personal basis.

I've recently found that Facebook and Flickr offer pretty much the same apps that this blog does, it allows me to provide links, pictures, notes and updates to my friends and family, without compromising my identity to people I don't know or taking up space in the blogosphere for people who have the time and energy to post thoughtful critiques and essays. I simply don't anymore.

I won't take Broadsheet down, I still get hits on arcane posts from around the world that are fun, but after the January 1 - I won 't be posting much anymore (not that I have recently).

For the couple of dozen or so regular Broadsheet readers left - give Facebook a try.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:18 PM   4 Editorial Opinions
Friday, December 12, 2008
Full Moon!
If the moon looks closer tonight than usual - it is. Tonight's full moon puts the moon at its closest point to earth in more than 15 years - about 19,000 miles closer than usual.

It will look enormous on the horizon, but the trick may be seeing it all tonight. It's supposed to be cloudy and cold here on the East Coast. Moonrise is scheduled for 4:35 PM this evening.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:21 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Monday, December 08, 2008
You say Potato, I say Potahto

AFP Photo

Khalil Semhat with his 24.9 pound potato, 50 miles south of Beirut Lebanon.

And who knew 2008 was the UN Year of the Potato? Wonder what 2009's vegetable will be? Brussel Sprouts?
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:24 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Whistle-Blowers in Chinese City Sent to Mental Hospital
Classic Chinese government maneuver - from the 1960's....

If you don't agree with the policies of the all knowing, benevolent father land, then you MUST be crazy. Off to an institution to be starved, isolated and broken in a work camp until you think straight. Nice.
In an investigative report published Monday by a state-owned newspaper, public security officials in the city of Xintai in Shandong Province have been institutionalizing residents who persist in their personal campaigns to expose corruption or the unfair seizure of their property. Some people said they were committed for up to two years, and several of those interviewed said they were forcibly medicated.
At least this news is getting some play in an otherwise tightly controlled state media. Maybe in the age of the internet and instant communication, public outcry can make a difference.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:15 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Monday, December 01, 2008
My Favorite Comfort Food
My favorite food blog, 101 Cookbooks, posted her recipe for her favorite comfort food - a mushroom and rice casserole. It looks amazing, and I intend to try it.

My personal favorite comfort food is a similar dish, and I made it last night. Wild Mushroom Risotto. It's incredibly easy, and nearly impossible to screw up. It's filling, flavorful and delicious, and you can almost always make it with items on hand.

There is no one way to make this, but in general, it goes something like this:

Wild Mushroom Risotto

1 large Spanish or Vidalia Onion - chopped
2 cloves of garlic - minced
2 TB Butter and 1 TB olive oil
8 oz of portobello, cremini, or plain old button mushrooms - sliced.
2 oz of other wild mushrooms: chanterelle, porcini, morel, etc... if you're lucky enough to get them fresh - good for you. Otherwise, take 1 oz. of the dried version and hydrate them in a cup of boiling water for 20 minutes.
1/2 cup of dry sherry - or white wine, but the sherry adds a sweetness and nuttiness, that is intoxicating.
1 cup of Arborio rice
4 cups mushroom broth, or mushroom soaking liquid (chicken stock is fine too)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
truffle oil (optional)

Chop the onion and garlic finely, and saute them in the butter and olive oil for at least 3 minutes.
Add the fresh and reconstituted (drained) mushrooms - saute until the liquid is evaporated and the mushrooms are browned.
Add thyme.
Add the rice and saute - stirring constantly to coat the rice with oil for at least 2 minutes.
Add the dry sherry and stir until it is absorbed.
Add the mushroom soaking liquid (drained through cheesecloth for grit) and stir till absorbed.
Add the remaining liquid in 1 cup intervals and stir until creamy.
Add Parmesan cheese until creamy.
Season to taste.

If you want to get really decadent, you can add some Gorgonzola or creme freche to the final serving. If you're serving it with lamb, I recommend the creme freche. With beef - Gorgonzola.

I could have this every day and be happy. Some people love chicken noodle soup or mac and cheese - I love this.

Note - this takes a good 20-25 minutes of total cooking time, and you MUST stir the rice! It knocks the starch casing off the rice kernel and makes the dish creamy. Try this. You'll never eat mac and cheese again, and always have the stuff on hand to make a quick version of this.

Variations include: using red onion instead of white if you don't have sherry, adding a splash of balsamic vinegar, using tarragon instead of thyme, adding sweet Italian sausage, red peppers, and peas for a complete meal....you decide.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:22 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
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