Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Singapore Sling, it don't mean a thing

Nominalists and idealists might do well to choose the Singapore Sling as an example in their discussions, as it seems to TBA to be a drink that no two people make the same way. We've been known to spend a weekend ordering it in every bar we visit in NOLA, and getting a different drink every time.

Stumbling on the Esquire magazine Drinks Database (not a compendious collection by any means), we find yet another recipe we hadn't seen:

Singapore Sling

1 ounce London dry gin
1 ounce Kirschwasser
1 ounce Benedictine
club soda

Glass Type: Collins glass


Stir well with 2 or 3 ice cubes in a chilled cocktail shaker, then pour unstrained into a Collins glass and fill to taste with cold club soda or seltzer. Garnish with the spiral-cut peel of a lime.
The lime peel looks nasty in the picture, and the ice cubes give us pause, but this is at least the simplest Singapore Sling we've seen. Most recipes we've seen call for cherry heering, not Kirschwasser, so we will have to give that a try.

... NMC in comments finds the same confusion. I should note, however, that one blog reports that David Wondrich, presumably the author of the above recipe, published something different in Esquire Drinks, but with much more plausible proportions ... AND with Heering not kirschwasser???:
2 oz London dry gin
1/2 oz Cherry Heering cherry brandy
1/2 oz Bénédictine

Stir all well with 2-3 ice cubes, pour unstrained into highball glass, and fill to taste with club soda (or ginger beer, if you're of a mind to).
I really wasn't buying the entire ounce of Benedictine, but now I'm of a mind to e-mail Wondrich and ask what gives.

Infantile tastes

Apparently, of the top-10 highest-grossing films of 2010 (I'm guessing this is U.S. & Canada, not world), only one, Inception, was not actually a movie made for children. No, I am not considering Iron Man 2 an adult film, however much I enjoyed it.

By contrast, 5 of 2009's top 10 were at least theoretically adult films (even if counting Avatar is questionable).

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Judicial notice?

Sundown v. Tex. Dep't of Crim. Justice, Civ. No. H-07-1441 (S.D. Tex. Apr. 16, 2008):
The Constitution persists in requiring that the state not interfere with prisoners freely exercising their religions except as a direct, reasonably necessary, spiritually neutral consequence of its meeting other responsibilities. Prisons do not have unlimited space or guards for an infinite number of religious ceremonies. Religions prescribe days of the week and hours of the day as well as diets and dress. Those are addressed to civil society under normal circumstances. Nobody went to hell for missing Temple during the Blitz or not resting on the Sabbath during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
With all respect to the honorable Court: how does it know?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Books for Christmas

A nice thing about gift cards for Xmas is you don't have to wait for the stores to open ....

James J. Sheehan, German History 1770-1866. The exciting prequel to Gordon Craig's Germany 1866-1945!

Ammianus Marcellinus, The Later Roman Empire (AD 354-378). The last great (well, kinda) Roman historian, mostly on the reign of Julian.

Averil Cameron, The Later Roman Empire. Sorry, Ammianus, you can't copyright a title.

Cicero, On Obligations & The Nature of the Gods. Philosophers glean clues about earlier philosophy from Cicero's books while denigrating him as derivative, which seems ungrateful. But I'm as interested in these for his incidental remarks on his contemporaries as for the substance.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

FUCKING Dolphins, man.

Thank you, Chad "Interception" Henne.

Because after losing to the Bills at home, losing to the Lions at home is just that much easier.

(... And what were the Jets thinking exactly, punting down 4 points with only 5:00 left in the game? Normally of course I'm happy to see the Jets lose, but it's not like I have the FUCKING Dolphins to pull for in the playoffs.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What the Dickens?

Hillary Keith complains about Oprah's book-club picks:
She has asked millions of people to follow her into some of the more difficult prose to come out of the nineteenth century ....
Goodness, not Moby-Dick! Or Sartor Resartus? The Sacred Fount?

-- No. A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations.

Give me a fucking break. How is Keith measuring "difficult prose"? She mentions "complicated syntax." Oh my word.

And this Keith person is "assistant editor" of TNR's book review page.

Via Bookslut.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Proof that DFW edited Infinite Jest

Newsweek posts some material that David Foster Wallace cut from Infinite Jest; I dunno how significant it is to someone who hasn't read the book, but I found it interesting (and not facially clear as to why any of it was cut).

Via the Paris Review blog.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

"Is Batman a State Actor?"

And if so, do they not have 42 USC 1983 in Gotham?

I'm glad someone is raising these questions.

... And related issues.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A conversation about Heinrich Böll

Jessa Crispin corresponds with a publisher who's bringing Heinrich Böll back into print in English translation. Good stuff. I can second Crispin on Billiards at Half Past Nine, which very quickly becomes more interesting than you think it's going to be.