This Week in Zoe News

Grammys this weekend and Folk Alliance next week. Next Friday’s post will be interesting! But there’s a bit of news this week. (I hope the Boots’ readers are right about Joan winning!)

We’ve looked at (and Zoe proofed) the galley’s for “The President Sang Amazing Grace: The Picture Book”. It’s looking good! Publisher’s Weekly also mentions it as a forthcoming title.

There is a video of Zoe’s performance at the MLK Community Health Foundation’s Sharing the Dream lunch:

There’s not a lot of Zoe in it (they mostly reply the music video) but it’s interesting to watch it with Zoe’s version. She had to put a fair bit of work into making it fit to the video as Joan’s versions has extra space. You can see Zoe starting around 3:57. Worth a watch!

And you can see her on the red carpet!

Some nice candids as well:

Here’s Zoe with the OK Factor singing “Hard Times”:


Rees-Mogg Nonsense

The title for the worst or most fatuous MP these days usually goes to the one in the news, but Rees-Mogg is, per usual, a special case. Let’s start with the standard nonsense:

In my view, an extra 33 months of vassalage after 46 years is an unwelcome but not unaffordable price to pay.

There is, of course, no rational sense in which EU membership, esp for the UK, is any kind of vassalage. I mean, really.

But that’s just normal bullshit. What set me off is this:

He played down claims that businesses need certainty – a key argument made at the moment by business leaders and MPs arguing for a softer Brexit. When it was put to him that uncertainty about the UK’s future after Brexit was bad for business, he replied:

The truth is, business is all about uncertainty …

There is no certainty in business. The whole art of business is trying to manage uncertainty. Investment decisions aren’t made for certain facts. You can’t be certain that anyone will buy your car when you have built it. All business is based on uncertainty, and managing uncertainty.

Yes, dude, the point is that one way to manage the uncertainty facing the UK is to get out of the UK, postpone investment, or otherwise hedge your bets. This is an excellent way to reduce economic activity, and thus prosperity. It also tends to promote a vulture culture where wealth destroying rentiers and he like destroy vast swaths of value to make a private profit.

Oh right!

Malthouse What?

Even the Guardian:

The “Malthouse compromise” – named after the junior minister, Kit Malthouse, who brokered it – is a proposal to replace the unpopular backstop with alternative technological arrangements to prevent the return of a hard border in Ireland. It is supported by Baker, other Eurosceptics and the pro-remain former ministers Nicky Morgan and Damian Green, both of whom will attend further meetings with Barclay on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“As far as I’m concerned the Malthouse compromise is the only game in town if we’re going to reach an agreement in Brussels,” Baker said, indicating that only rewriting the draft withdrawal agreement to remove the backstop would satisfy Tory Brexiters.

In what sense is this a compromise? Who is compromising with whom?

Putting aside that the thing “agreed to” 1) isn’t specified, 2) was specifically rejected in actual negotiations, and 3) doesn’t exist, it’s unclear what was given up!

These no reason for anyone to call this a compromise. I don’t know if there’s a word for “go along with a delusion in order to temporarily secure votes” but that’s what this is. Maybe we should call it a “May-bail”.

Sunday Baking: Tuiles and Baps

This is the first baking at home since the new year.

I finally did the non egg based tuile. These worked out much better:

As you can see I even did some curved ones:

These had orange juice and zest and don’t taste at all like orange. It may be due to only having dark brown sugar instead of light. They are light and crispy and caramel flavored.

And I did baps! Of course. I started a bit too late in the day for them to be dinner:

I ate three anyway. Big ones.

I Hate the REF (and all such ilk)

Welp, we are doing the annual RRE thing and you have to submit and write words. So instead of doing stressful bullshit every 6-7 years we get to do it every year! It’s so dumb.

If you want to read a reasoned attack there are plenty. I like Josh Robinson’s. I saw on Twitter that you can return academics you just laid off which is just plain mean.

These metrics are high stakes and the result is what you expect: escalation in gaming them and counter gaming with not much change in the underlying phenomenon. People get crushed by it. So much time gets wasted.

Randomise your funding decisions, people! Weight it a bit if you must but come on. Lower you admin costs and eliminate biases (including biases toward the “hot” and the “good”).

This Week in Zoe News

There was a nice video of a “Joan and Joni” tribute act covering “The President Sang Amazing Grace” (Joan version, natch):

The call out at the start was fun.

There was mention in a random column:

Grace has to do with courteous goodwill, simple elegance or refinement of movement, or in matters of faith, the free and unmerited favor of God. By whatever definition, it’s always recognizable and reassuring. As I watch, with dismay and embarrassment, the current president play out his idea of barely acceptable conduct in the highest office, the notion of grace often comes to mind, but from its conspicuous absence.

I recently heard Joan Baez’s new song, “The President Sang Amazing Grace” and calming memories flooded in of the consummate grace of Barack and Michelle Obama. To paraphrase her song, a young man entered a house of prayer in Charleston, a welcomed stranger. Who sat with them for an hour and seemed to pray before drawing a gun to kill nine, both old and young. Some time later, mourners gathered with the President, with cameras and microphones broadcasting to the nation. Words about one man’s hate, the nation’s shame, some sickness of the mind or soul and how to heal.

And the refrain: “But no words could say what must be said / For all the living and the dead / So on that day and in that place / The President sang “Amazing Grace” / My President sang “Amazing Grace.” Nothing better epitomizes for me the nature of the man who was last our president than that moment. He was one with Charleston mourners and all of us, speaking to our better angels. Not contrived for a photo op but naturally so.

Otherwise, not much!

Weekend after the coming there’s the Grammy’s and the week after that is the Folk Alliance awards, so maybe some cool wins to report!

More Regulation Please

I really want to start baking with essential oils.

I love intense flavours. I’m constantly battling to get citrus into my cakes and cookies. I’ve tried tons of extracts, pounds of zest, whole fruits, concentrating juice, and it’s very hot or miss. Whole fruit or concentrated juice works the best.

I’ve read that essential oils really do the job so I’ve been on the look out for “food grade” essential oils. Then I read that “food grade” is a bullshit, unregulated term and I want to find a sledgehammer.

The article does convince me that I probably want to find a book on how to use them properly.

Of course, the real issue with finding good info is that there’s a large contingent of woo folks who are obsessed with essential oils. Fighting through all the aromabullshit tires me.