Dungeness Crab, Round 2

The Dungeness crab season is in full swing, and we couldn’t be happier. Tonight I made crab cakes, served with the remaining crab bisque that I had prepared for our Christmas dinner. It came on the heels of fresh, cracked crab — all of this thanks to a single haul from a favorite local purveyor Little Fish Company.

As a native Californian who also has lived in lots of other places (Denver, Chicago, Washington D.C., Fort Lauderdale, and Houston — to visit my parents during their brief stint there), I can confirm that the Golden State is a special place for seafood lovers.

Round 1

"Science Under Attack: How Trump Is Sidelining Researchers and Their Work"

“In just three years, the Trump administration has diminished the role of science in federal policymaking while halting or disrupting research projects nationwide, marking a transformation of the federal government whose effects, experts say, could reverberate for years,” the New York Times is reporting.

“Political appointees have shut down government studies, reduced the influence of scientists over regulatory decisions and in some cases pressured researchers not to speak publicly. The administration has particularly challenged scientific findings related to the environment and public health opposed by industries such as oil drilling and coal mining. It has also impeded research around human-caused climate change, which President Trump has dismissed despite a global scientific consensus.

“But the erosion of science reaches well beyond the environment and climate: In San Francisco, a study of the effects of chemicals on pregnant women has stalled after federal funding abruptly ended. In Washington, D.C., a scientific committee that provided expertise in defending against invasive insects has been disbanded. In Kansas City, Mo., the hasty relocation of two agricultural agencies that fund crop science and study the economics of farming has led to an exodus of employees and delayed hundreds of millions of dollars in research.

“’The disregard for expertise in the federal government is worse than it’s ever been,’ said Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, which has tracked more than 200 reports of Trump administration efforts to restrict or misuse science since 2017. ‘It’s pervasive.’

The rest of the article is here.

Outside magazine honors local author Jordan Fisher Smith

“Engineering Eden” by local author Jordan Fisher Smith has been named one of “ten outdoor books that shaped the last decade” by Outside magazine.

“When a young man named Harry Walker was fatally mauled by a Yellowstone grizzly in 1972, his family sued the National Park Service,” the magazine writes. “Former ranger Jordan Fisher Smith uses this incident to seduce the reader with a public lands parable masquerading as a wildly entertaining thriller.

“Along the way, he exposes a lengthy history of criminal mismanagement that left people—and far more bears—dead in its wake. While our endless appetite for the nasty business of true crime likely stretches back for time eternal, Engineering Eden proved that the natural world proves just as compelling a backdrop as a serial killer’s den for the devious hand of man.”

A Christmas and Hanukkah "twofer": Israeli-American Cellist Amit Peled and his "Cello Gang" at Johns Hopkins

We like to begin Christmas morning with Christmas music. At Lake Tahoe, we listen to our vintage record collection, with albums from Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Etta James and others.

This morning, in Nevada City, I turned to classical music, piped into the living room on the Spotify digital music service and the Amazon Echo (outfitted with Bose speakers).

In honor of our son, I choose the Amit Peled Cello Gang from Johns Hopkins University (JHU), where he will join the Class of 2024 next fall as a biomedical engineering major. In addition, Hanukkah overlaps with Christmas this year, and Amit is an Israeli-American musician.

We’ve heard Amit in person, thanks to InConcert Sierra in Grass Valley, and we’ve written about him in our Sierra FoodWineArt magazine. We thoroughly enjoy Amit’s music, and we look forward to hearing him at JHU when we visit our son on the East Coast during the next four years.

“Israeli-American cellist, conductor, and pedagogue Amit Peled is acclaimed worldwide as one of the most exciting and virtuosic instrumentalists on the concert stage today,” as his bio reads.

“The Amit Peled Cello Gang is composed of students from Peled’s studio at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, where he has taught since 2003,” observes the group’s website. “The students range in age from undergraduate freshmen to second-year master’s students, and the group comes together often to perform works written or arranged for cello ensemble. 

“This unique ensemble has performed recently for the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, the Society of Four Arts in Palm Beach, the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, as a resident ensemble in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and all across Maryland, the gang’s home state. The first Cello Gang CD under the CTM Classics.”

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all of our friends!

Rebane's Remnants

Imagine what passes for commentary there. Dr. Phil would have a field day with “Dr.” Rebane’s weblog. Some intellectual highlights that George happily hosts:

“Uh,, spewing gasses? Yup,, TROLLS do that from both ends. Posted by: Walt | 23 December 2019 at 09:01 AM

“The pony tail of ignorance might want to check the numbers on Hispanic and black voters for some real world perspective, not the group think at the bar. LOL 😉 Posted by: Don Bessee | 22 December 2019 at 06:59 PM

“Morn’n asswipe,, Needed to change socks again? Triggered jiggered back from the septic tank. Posted by: Walt | 23 December 2019 at 08:08 AM