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: Check out The Religious Policeman, an relatively new English-language weblog written by a Saudi. Your average political complaining weblog, except he's complaining about the lack of elections in his country. Caution: contains pictures of public executions. I'm not kidding.

I'd love to find more English-language weblogs written by natives of non-English-speaking countries--please post your favorites in comments. I want English-language weblogs because I want to read them, not collect them, and unfortunately I don't speak all the world's languages. I'm a failure!

: In the court of The Sun King, cell phones are mandatory. (From Hart's Weblog via Sumana.)

: In college, Adam Kaplan and I had this running joke about Brian Kernighan as a sort of freelance Santa Claus. He'd break into your house on Christmas Eve and leave you UNIX source tapes or a Plan 9 installation. If you'd been bad, you'd get lumps of Windows NT.

Anyway, while we were having our little jokes, the real Brian Kernighan was riding high at Lucent, lording it over Kevin and giving interviews to fans. Years later, Adam sends a pointer to me and Kris as a reminder... of what could have been. Ach, it's a sad story, and one told for no apparent reason.

PS: confidential to Adam et al. Is it okay if I link to your Livejournals? You don't really advertise them and I know Kris has his own non-Live journal, but sometimes I'd like to link to something you write and I don't know if that's okay or if you want to keep them semi-private or if you even know I know about them, in which case, oops.

[Comments] (1) Arbitrarily Hearty Squash Soup: This is an easy and tasty soup. I made it tonight to run some experiments before posting the recipe. To make it you stew ROASTED SQUASH AND THE LIKE in BROTH, blend it in the blender, and then add DAIRY and SEASONING. I didn't keep track of the time, but it probably took half an hour to 45 minutes.

ROASTED SQUASH AND THE LIKE

This can be any kind of squash or any other vegetable that's stringy and fleshy and you didn't like when you were a kid. The more squash you use, the heartier the soup. Tonight I used a butternut squash, some other kind of squash I don't know what it's called (it's yellow and shaped like a Keystone Kop's billyclub; it might actually be a zucchini), and two sweet potatoes.

Peel the squash and bisect them so as to maximize the exposed surface area. Scoop out any seeds and sprinkle the squash with pepper and brown sugar. Bake them on a cookie sheet in the oven until they're hot and you're sick of waiting. If you don't peel the squash you'll just have to scoop out the flesh once you remove them from the oven, when they're hot enough to ignite human flesh. There's no need to bake the squash skin! Anyway, once the baking is done you are ready to chop up the squash and dump them into the simmering

BROTH

I use two 14-ounce cans of vegetable broth. Using less broth is another way to increase the heartiness of the soup. I don't think any other kind of broth makes sense for this soup. While the squash cooks in the broth, mash it up with a potato masher. When it's good and mashed, transfer a few cups of it to the blender and blend it. Pour back into the soup pot and repeat until the soup is the consistency you want. If you're like Adam and Kim and you have one of those fancy hand blenders, by all means, use the fancy hand blender. Once you have a good thick soup you are ready to add the

DAIRY

The cream is a double-edged sword. It adds richness (because of the fat) at the expense of heartiness (because of the liquid). It's fine to use less cream, or none. I add the cheese because I like the flavor of a Swiss cheese in the soup, and I also like getting rid of old cheese.

SEASONING

I like a lot of different flavors, so every time I make this soup I add more stuff. Last time it was the cheese. This time I added toasted sesame seeds, which worked pretty well. Toasted squash seeds would have been more thematic. I bet you could also add garlic. (Side note to self: come up with dessert involving sesame seeds baked in brown sugar.)

Stir it all up, and you have soup! Serves 6, I guess (me + Sumana + Housemate 1TM + Housemate 2TM + me or Sumana having seconds + me or Sumana having a bowl for some other meal).

Next time: I am actually going to make Samoa Samosas. I have the ingredients and everything.


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