Why can you prod and poke a cat vigorously and they looke at you lovingly like, “Please sir, may I have some more?”, but if you start singing Rocket Man, they scurry offe in a huffe?

Clamato Saffron Risotto


one cup vialone nano rice
three cans chopped clams
olive oil
one cup crushed san marzano tomatoes
one half cup dry rose wine
quarter cup diced white onion
fresh-ground long pepper
small pinch dried thyme
small pinch saffron threads
crushed red pepper flakes
bay leaf
half cup grated pecorino moliterno
one tablespoon butter

Bring the juice from the clams (about 1.5 cups), the tomatoes, and water up to 4.5 cups total volume to a boil, toss in the bay leaf, reduce to a simmer and cover. You need to allow this broth to simmer until the tomatoes are well cooked before you use it to make the risotto. Figure at least a half hour.

Sautee the onions with long pepper, red pepper, and thyme (pulverize in your fingers) until the onions are starting get golden brown.

Add the rice and saffron (crushing it in your fingers) and continue to sautee for a few minutes, until the rice is fully coated by the oil and is starting to smell toasty.

Deglaze with the wine, and reduce with stirring until the alcohol is all gone.

Cook as usual, ladling in simmering broth and stirring, until the rice is very molto al dente. Remember that it will continue to cook even after you turn off the heat, so you need to turn off the heat several minutes before the rice would reach its desired doneness if you kept the heat on. Italians like to eat their risotto still with a little tiny bit of crunch in the center, and I do, too.

Turn off the heat, stir in the cheese, butter, and reserved clams, cover, and allow to rest for a few minutes. If you like the risotto more liquidy, you can also add some more broth at this point to get the consistency how you like it.

Plate, grate, and EAT ITTE!!!!!!

Getting Better At Writing

I agree 100% that practice makes perfect when it comes to writing, and that 10,000 hours is a minimum threshold for achieving genuine expertise. However, my sad experience has been that people who have not devoted the 10,000 by the time they graduate from college never get any better at constructing good sentences.

Anyone can get better at constructing paragraphs and larger written structures with additional practice later in life, but I am convinced that there is a “critical period” for learning to write good sentences and that this critical period closes in the early twenties.

Congrats To The Cardinals And Their Fans!!11!

What an awesome way to win the World Series!!! Game 6 will go down in history as one of the most thrilling WS games ever. As a little kid, I was at one of the others–Reggie Jackson’s three-homer game–and it turned me into a lifelong die-hard Yankee fan. I bet there were tons of kids at the extra-inning game 6 Cards’ win that have now become lifelong die-hard Cards fans.

And what made me enjoy this Cards’ win even more than the exciting fashion in which it occurred was seeing the extreme disappointment of those disgusting smug fuckes Nolan Ryan and George W. Bush. HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!

Setting Professional Limits

Typical overachiever paranoia: if I don’t agree to do *EVERYTHING* they’ll get *MAD* at me and take it *ALL* away. Life doesn’t work that way.

They want you to do more and more because you are good at it and get it done without constant oversight. You really think that if you establish a limit, they are going to just say, “Fucke this guy, if he won’t give me everything I want, then even though he is totally competent and self-regulating, I am going to tell him to take what he does provide and shove it all up his ass, and then start looking for someone else to take it all on, who might suck completely and be a complete disaster. Yeah, that’s my plan!!!!”???

Mezze Maniche With Red Clam Sauce


one pound mezze maniche
three cans chopped clams
one large can crushed san marzano tomatoes
one cup dry white wine
half cup diced white onion
six diced garlic cloves
black pepper
pinch dried oregano
pinch dried thyme
crushed red pepper flakes
olive oil
pecorino moliterno to grate on top
chopped basil or parsley for garnish (I forgot to get some)

Sautee onions until starting to get translucent. Add the garlic, fresh-ground black pepper, oregano and thyme (crush in your fingers as you add), and red pepper flakes. Sautee until the garlic is fully soft, and just starting to become golden brown.

Deglaze with the white wine, and reduce until the alcohol is gone.

Add the tomatoes and the juice from the clams (should be about 1.5 cups), and reserve the clams. Cook on a low simmer until the tomatoes are fully cooked and tender to the bite, about 45 minutes. You want to reduce the sauce by about half, but not to a thick sauce, so cover or leave uncovered as necessary.

When the sauce is nearly done, boil the mezze maniche in salty water until they are very molto al dente, drain (transferring one cup of pasta water to the sauce), add the pasta to the sauce, turn to medium-high, and finish with gentle stirring for about three minutes.

Turn off the heat, throw in the clams, stir well, cover, and allow to rest for a couple minutes while you set the table, pour more cocktails, take a whiz, etc.

Plate, grate, sprinkle (yeah, I forgot), YUM!

Scientific Elevator Pitch

Other than a vanishingly small number of genuine creative geniuses who create entire fields themselves, what makes each normal scientist unique is the particular combination of conceptual and methodological approaches and scientific style we each possess. That combo and the unique synergies it enables is what a scientist’s elevator pitch must be about.