Skip to content

Monthly Archives: July 2021

Entropy and a speculative theory of health

Basil (with okra in the background) — a negative entropy factory! Edible order I have written here before about negative entropy and its relation to life on earth. The post was “The opposite of entropy, and why we’re alive,” from December 2016. The concepts are based on a short but important book by the physicist […]

Testament of Youth

While scouring HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, etc., for those rare items that are both intelligent and not set in the here and now, I came across “Testament of Youth.” It is a beautiful but disturbing period piece about World War I, based on the memoir by Vera Brittain, which was published in 1940. Brittain’s […]

Martin Chuzzlewit

Pinch starts homeward with the new pupil. Hablot Knight Brown (also known as Phiz). Source: Wikimedia Commons. In our era, Charles Dickens is neglected and undervalued. Martin Chuzzlewit surely is one of Dickens’ most neglected and undervalued novels. For reasons that I was completely unprepared for, now would be a good time for a Dickens […]

Hinge and Bracket

George Logan (Dr. Evadne Hinge) is now 77 years old and lives in France. Patrick Fyffe (Dame Hilda Bracket) died in 2002 at age 60. In the 1970s, their musical comedy was extremely popular on British television and stage. They first worked together in 1972 and became famous after they appeared at the Edinburgh Festival […]

The Tomorrow War

I admit it. I’m a sucker for movies like this — pure, fast-moving, undemanding, popcorn-friendly entertainment. With that kind of movie, pacing is critical. There have to be times when the characters (and the audience) can stop and catch their breath. “The Tomorrow War” nicely balances the action against a family story, in much the […]

Fried apple pies

I already had decided that, if the squirrels left me any apples this year, then instead of making a big apple pie that I’d have to eat all by myself, I’d make fried apple pies, with a vow to eat no more than one a day. The squirrels did leave me some apples, I did […]

Squash and cucumber Kung Pao

I think of cucumbers as a vegetable to be eaten raw. But a little Googling reveals that many people use cucumbers in stir fries. Because I’m rich with summer cucumbers from the garden, stir-frying cucumbers had to be tried. To make Kung Pao dishes too often would risk getting tired of it, and I wouldn’t […]

Squash puppies

Squash puppies with pesto While eating squash fritters a few days ago and thinking about other things to do with squash, the idea of squash puppies occurred to my wicked mind. For all I knew, I was the first to think of such a thing as squash puppies. But a little Googling showed that I […]

Squash fritters

When squash is in high season (and it is), squash in every way imaginable is on the table. Squash fritters sound like a lot of fuss, but actually they’re quick and easy. Coarsely grate the squash (and some onion) in a box grater. Add egg, flour, and seasonings. Drop the mixture into a skillet with […]

Blue Ridge Parkway eateries

Clouds from a summer squall move eastward above a Doughton Park trail head. In the Blue Ridge foothills, elevation about 1000 feet, the high temperature yesterday was about 91F. Sixty miles away in the Blue Ridge Highlands, elevation about 3,500 feet, the high was about 75F, with a constant cool breeze and rain showers. I […]