The joy of soft, spreadable butter

I wrote a post some time ago about whether butter should be refrigerated, triggered by my annoyance that butter taken from the fridge was so hard to spread. I linked to an article that said that butter keeps for weeks outside the fridge, something that surprised me.

Many people commented that they too kept butter outside for weeks with no ill effects and commented on the desirability of doing so and suggested various ways to set about it. On your recommendations, I got a Butter Bell in which I can keep up to one stick (1/4-lb) of butter outside and now I enjoy the pleasure of having soft, spreadable butter at any time, a true delight. When it finishes, I take out another stick from the fridge.

Thanks to all of you for the suggestions.

The reason that ads recently got so annoying

Ed Brayton, who is the administrator of this network, says that there is a major issue about the ads (not just on FtB but all over the internet) that is being worked on behind the scenes to try and resolve.

He explains what is happening and what steps are being taken on his own blog here.

I apologize for the inconvenience and hope it will get settled soon.

The economics of reclining airline seats

One of the strangest developments in modern air travel are the fights that are breaking out over the issue of reclining seats, between those who try to recline and the people behind who feel that it encroaches on their already limited space. This has sometimes escalated to the point where people have poured water on another person or planes have had to make unscheduled stops and passengers have been ejected.
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How (not?) to move a couch

There is a phenomenon that often occurs when a few guys get together to do some chore. One of them will get an idea that on the surface seems ingenious and save labor and everyone jumps on it because of its novelty. As they try to implement the idea, it becomes clear that the novel way of doing things involves much more work than the straightforward one. But once guys are committed to the idea, they will overlook all such problems and stick with the original plan.
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Great moments in parenting

The coach of a youth football team canceled the rest of the season because of the “ongoing poor sportsmanship and bad attitudes” of the players. A 46-year old parent of one of the players was so outraged by this that he ran across the field and tackled the coach and the fight continued until other spectators separated them.

I wonder from where these youths get their bad attitudes and poor sportsmanship?

Center for Inquiry conference in Cleveland

There is still time to register for Northeast Ohio Center for Inquiry biennial one-day conference this coming Saturday, October 4, 2014 from 9:00am-4:00 pm in Independence, Ohio. The theme is Science Peers Into the Future: Research for the 21st Century and Beyond and four scientists will be featured speakers.

More details and registration information can be found here.

MacArthur genius awards

Most people are realistic enough to know that they will never win a Nobel prize. But winning one of the annual MacArthur Fellows grants, the so-called ‘genius’ awards, seem much more realistic. For one thing, there are many more of them awarded annually, with the this year’s crop numbering 21. And while the awards of $625,000 are given to “to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction”, many of the winners seem to be ordinary people who have been plucked out of obscurity.
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Cyclist survives collision with truck and car

This video of a road accident in Russia is stunning. The accident was caused by a cyclist, car, and truck all simultaneously breezing through an intersection. It is amazing that not only was the cyclist not killed by either the car or the truck, but that he recovered quickly enough that he got up off the ground and went to the aid of the truck driver trapped in the cab of the overturned truck.
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