A Mercy Killing

I was always a Gonch fan, myself.

currently playing: Sons And Daughters – Split Lips

Let-Down Wednesday

Well, I did warn you that it was probably going to be a non-event. After all the delegates have been handed out, both Clinton and Obama will get around 830 each, with at most 10-15 delegates between them.

That’ll teach the states to try and make themselves more important. At this point, even North Carolina may turn out to be a pivotal race. And a brokered convention is looking almost certain at this point, barring something extraordinary between now and the end of the primary season.

For the rest of the month, the momentum is probably with Obama. He should win the Washington caucus on Saturday and take most of the primaries in Virginia, DC, and Maryland next Tuesday. Clinton’s hopes pin on the Ohio/Texas contests at the start of March. Unfortunately, that may mean she spends most of February looking like a loser. And Obama has a lot more money than she does at this point.

Over on the Republican side, well…we know that Mitt Romney isn’t going to be the nominee, but again we knew that on Monday. The big surprise is the resurgence of Huckabee. Winning most of the Southern states must now put pressure on McCain to take him on the VP slot. Which would put him a heartbeat away from the Presidency (there’s no getting around McCain’s age, unfortunately). I think the Democrats would be fairly happy facing this combination. Especially considering the right-wing blog response so far.

See you next Wednesday!

currently playing: Saint Etienne – Southern Train

Athens, Georgia.

Matt Frei: It’s like Quidditch! Meanwhile, Hitchens reaches for the rum.

There are rumours that Obama is winning New Jersey.

Ashes To Ashes still looks like a step too far.

Australians being racist. Heh. Basically, to sum up: never ask BBC website readers their opinion on anything.

Other hints: Is McCain suffering from Huckabee still being in the race (not in West Virginia, as the McCain group threw the contest to Huckabee to lock out Romney)?

Polls are about to close in most East Coast states. Here we gooooo!

Huckabee to possibly sweep the South: Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Georgia. CONAN, JON, STEPHEN!! WHAT HAVE YOU CREATED?

Please. Please get rid of Peggy Noonan. At least the Clintons didn't sell coke to blacks in New York to fund weapons for Iran like your wonderful President.

Exit polls are tying both MA and NJ for Obama and Clinton. No-one is winning here tonight...

Warren Ellis in completely misunderstanding what's at stake tonight shocker. Oklahome is called for Hillary. And Tennessee.

6% of the vote reporting in Alabama, and Obama is leading by 40 points. That won't hold, but it's promising...

Oh god, the Ron Pauliacs have invaded the BBC website.

Looks like Hillary is going to hold MA. Considering she had a 20 point lead two weeks ago, that's not too surprising, but you would have hoped the Kennedy connection would have narrowed it somewhat. On the other hand, Delaware and Connecticut are trending Obama, if only by very slim margins.

Kansas and Alabama called for Obama.

Shotgun wedding, anybody?

"The Republicans are terrible at running the country, but they're very good at winning elections" - Howard Dean sums up the American paradox rather well, I think.

North Dakota goes to Obama.

Huckabee is now looking like a prime VP candidate. Now talking about how free markets work wonderfully. We won't mention the Dow today…oh God, and now about eliminating the IRS. He really is the proper conservative candidate, isn't he?

Obama is projected to win Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado? A promising sign that California will be a close-run thing. And add in Minnesota.

The Republican race in Arizona is apparently too close to call. Which is a bit of a problem for Senator McCain (R-AZ)

Romney vows to continue. So the result of the night? Nothing changes. Heh. Okay, going to bed now...

The Nightmare Scenario

The Democratic Party: Snatching Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory Since 1968.

On the day before Super Tuesday, the only thing that can be said is: nobody knows anything. Polls have Obama up in California, other polls have Hillary in the lead; heck, some even have Romney leading McCain. California has gone Weird once more.

For Hillary Clinton, tomorrow needs to be a convincing victory across the board; the rest of the month has a series of small primaries where Obama has a commanding lead. Without enough momentum from California, she may become battered further in the eye of the media, even if the delegate count from these contests is small in relation to the March contests of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. For Obama, all he has to do is get as close to Hillary’s results as possible. And if he wins? He still won’t get much of a delegate advantage, but it will completely derail the opposition, giving him almost a clear run in February. And the more people see him, the more they seem to want to vote for him…

currently playing: Luna – Motel Bambi

FoodScience!: Spheres of Failure

Spherification is a trick discovered by the El Bulli restaurant a few years back. It involves taking a liquid (drink, puree, whatever, really) and using two chemicals to create a thin shell around the liquid. This shell/sphere can be heated, picked up, covered in chocolate - whatever takes your fancy!

My plan was to try and recreate the Junebug cocktail from Lantern, presenting it in a spherical form rather than the old-hat idea of pouring it into a glass. Pshaw. I call it the Doodlebug. I’m sorry.

I actually went wrong from the start. Although Lantern say they use a ‘ginger and lemon soda’, I have a feeling that lemonade is probably the better substitute than my choice of ginger ale. Anyway, I added xanthum gum to the cocktail to thicken it up a little, and a tiny amount of calcium gluconate for the chemical reaction which would make the shell. After that, I poured the mixture into half a jelly egg mold to make the sphere shape. These were then put into the freezer to solidify.


The other part of the spherification process is a solution of sodium alginate and water. I did this on Friday night, simply mixing the chemical into the water (which took a lot longer than expected) and leaving it for twelve hours as recommended by El Bulli.

Once you’ve got all that, all that’s left to do is to make the spheres! Simply push them out of the mold and drop one into the solution like this:

Dipping the sphere in

Then after about two minutes or so, take it out and put it into the water bath. This will prevent the spheres from sticking to each other.

Into the water bath!

And that’s it! One sphere!

One sphere!

Of course, there’s always a hitch. In my case, I’m not sure what exactly went wrong; I think perhaps the freezing may not have been the best idea, because every single sphere sprang a leak as it was defrosting. Which was rather disappointing.

Not wishing to give up just yet, I made a small mixture of orange juice, a shot of vodka, and some xanthum gum. This time, I used a squeezy bottle to shoot the thickened juice into the sodium alginate solution. This worked a lot better:

The drink you can hold in the palm of your hand!

By this time, the alginate solution was pretty much spent, so I had to call a halt to proceedings (I also had to make real food after all!) So although I didn’t so well with the Doodlebugs, I think I’ve made some progress for the ultimate aim: an edible snow globe!

currently playing: Hole – Jennifers Body

This is February

12/02/2008 BLACK KIDS / SONS & DAUGHTERS 23/02/2008 VAMPIRE WEEKEND 26/02/2008 YELLE

(plus Long Blondes in April and Broken Social Scene in May).

It’s a busy few months already!

currently playing: KLF – What Time Is Love (wandaful mix)

Regarding Stars

Firstly, I want one of these. Badly!


Secondly, Koko looks wonderful. But, er, the sound?

Thirdly: A very Power, Corruptions, and Lies stage set,

Fourthly: I hope Torquil got his pot, and the lucky fan got his (or her) t-shirt!

currently playing: Stars – your ex-lover is dead

Rudy Can't Fail

Will he mention 911 in his withdrawal? Bets?

currently playing: The Beat – Save It For Later

Our Ranting Will Be Interrupted

If I hadn’t spent last week being ill, I would have taken tomorrow off so I could liveblog Bush’s final State of The Union address before I went off to see Stars tomorrow afternoon.

But instead, I should probably go to work. I know, I’m sad too. I’ll take a guess though, and predict that the state of the union is good. There will then follow a gaggle of “MAKE THE TAX CUTS PERMANENT! FREE MARKET FOREVER!!” while Rome burns. Just a guess.

currently playing: Au Pairs – America

The Kennedys Are Coming

Do the Kennedys have any pull in the 21st century? I’ve started my ever-four-years read-through of Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail, where the spectre of Ted Kennedy looms large all over the primaries. Thirty-six years later, and the power of The Kennedy Who Wasn’t has waned considerably. But Camelot is Camelot, and the sight of the Democratic elders switching to the new guard must be a little worrying for Hillary…

currently playing: The Raveonettes – Dead Sound