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food, Sci Am, links

I tried Panda Express the other day. About the same price and probably health cost as the Spoon's burger, for about one-tenth the hedonic value. Should remember to not do that again.

4th street Ami seems to have closed. Siam House is still closed for renovations. Only on Friday and Saturday does Basil Leaf offer lunch. (Took some thought to phrase that unambiguously.) Casablanca has a lunch menu, still pricey in the $9 range; Mandalay is similar, vs. $13 entrees. Snow Lion has cheap lunches, like $6.50, but I wasn't thrilled by my beef and vegetable bean thread. Anatolia does not have lunch deals. Little Tibet does.

Was looking at my bought-for-plane Scientific American, last month's. The "life in the multiverse" article has a bit of interesting things on analyzing a universe without a weak force; on fine tuning, they make the obvious-in-retrospect argument that narrow bands for permuting one variable don't have to mean narrow bands overall: change in one parameter can be offset by change in another. The Neglected Tropical Diseases article says lots of major plagues -- which tend to slow down and stupefy more than kill -- can be cured for a year with a 10 cent pill. The carbon planets article is interesting: supposedly there's a narrow balance between C and O in a new solar system, and ours is unusual in having blown out most of its C (to first approximation, everything here that isn't the sun or gas giant H and He is an oxide), so space may be full of carbon heavy planets: carbides, diamonds, graphite...

I'm declining comment on recent US politics until it becomes clear whether or not the Democratic leadership has any spine or convictions at all. Though a few links on the Left having gotten almost nothing it wanted, and Obama's weaknesses in general
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/01/20/left/index.html
http://jblaque.livejournal.com/795542.html
http://bradhicks.livejournal.com/437252.html

* Nepal more liberal than Barack Obama; puts GBLTI rights, including marriage, into constitution
* Texas textbooks. Is our children learning? Yes, bad things...
* Diamond oceans and Centauri planets
* How much to rebuild Port au Prince as a modern city?
* Guantanamo murders
* Morphine can help prevent PTSD
* Web browsers as hot women

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