The Other TickTalk

Got ticks? Like scientists who pun? The University of Massachusetts Amherst has a free series of webinars on the biology of ticks. You can watch live or look at the archived videos.

Each month we will hear from Dr. Stephen Rich and the Laboratory of Medical Zoology (LMZ)! TickTalk in 2020 will also feature exciting guest speakers on tick topics that you told us were important to YOU. The series will include seasonality and life stages of ticks (key to planning intervention and prevention), emerging or invasive tick species, how ticks use vegetation and leaf litter throughout their life cycle, increasing fears of Alpha-gal allergies (allergies to certain meat and animal-related products), dispelling myths of tick control, and many more. Mosquito concerns, including life cycle, behavior, and EEE infection, will also be addressed and Dr. Rich will discuss the tens of thousands of mosquitoes the LMZ tests each year for a range of viruses. Tune in the 2nd Wednesday of the month!

Come for the ticks stay for the mosquitoes!

Saturday Linkages: Hot Takes

Kolomon Moser, Summer’s Evening.

View tonight’s lunar eclipse

How to stop your glasses from fogging up when you wear a mask

Incompetence and Errors in Reasoning Around Face Covering

David Beckham leads the way as men flock to ‘cottagecore’ look

Twin Peaks: The Return, or What Isn’t Cinema?

Pentagon War Game Includes Scenario for Military Response to Domestic Gen Z Rebellion

The True Cost of Dollar Stores

It’s ‘Our Fault’: Nextdoor CEO Takes Blame For Deleting Of Black Lives Matter Posts

I’m Black and Afraid of ‘White Fragility’

The Mystery of John Titor: Hoax or Time Traveler?

Tweet of the week

138 Erics Gone Wild


On episode 138 of the Root Simple podcast we brain dump with Eric Rochow, a.k.a. “East Coast Eric” of Garden Fork TV about concrete work, bears in the garden, plywood boat building and storm windows. Eric has been a frequent guest on the Root Simple Podcast and is back to fill us in on what he’s been up to under quarantine. During the show we discuss:

You can also find Eric on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

If you’d like to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected] You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store and on Stitcher. Closing theme music by Dr. Frankenstein. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.

Saturday Linkages: Quarantine Movie Suggestions

Rather than the normal links this morning I thought I’d post a few quarantine movie suggestions from Connor Kilpatrick’s movie list in the most recent issue of the Jacobin (behind a paywall but worth the price of admission). We’ve been making our way through Kilpatrick’s golden-age of Hollywood sub-list. So far we’ve watched:

Scarface (the 1932 version)
The Big Sleep (Don’t worry about the plot it makes no sense at all–just enjoy the scenery)
His Girl Friday (You can watch this one for free on the YouTubes)
The Sea Wolf (This one is kinda like a relentless, brutal film noir at sea and, remember, the sea is dope)
I Walked With a Zombie (Way better than you’d think given the lurid title)
Out of the Past (One of the best movies ever made)

Happy viewing.

The New Homemade Kitchen

I have many fond memories of teaching bread baking classes for the late Joseph Shuldiner’s cheekily named Institute of Domestic Technology. Joseph had a unique formula for the curriculum of the IDT. I’d summarize as “stuff that you’d never think of doing from scratch but once you find out how easy it is your life will be transformed.” In addition to the aforementioned bread baking, the IDT offered classes in mustard, cheese making, jam making, coffee roasting, cocktail crating and much more.

Joseph gathered the recipes and collected wisdom of these classes into his posthumously published book The New Homemade Kitchen: 250 Recipes and Ideas for Reinventing the Art of Preserving, Canning, Fermenting, Dehydrating, and More just released this month by Chronicle. The section on cocktails is a good example of the IDT’s methods. Yes, you get a Martini recipe. But you’ll also be making your own vermouth and it will be easier than you think.

Then there’s the life changing chapter on coffee roasting. One of the perks of teaching at the IDT was getting to sit in on the other classes. This was how I learned to roast my own coffee in a Whirley-Pop roaster. Like a lot of IDT obsessions, roasting your own coffee simultaneously up-scales and bomb proofs your pantry. Green coffee can sit around for a long time and knowing how to roast it is a useful skill in our current crappening. In short, this book is very quarantine friendly both in the sense of having skills handy when supply chains are broken and having something more productive to do than binging Netflix.

In addition to coffee you’ll find chapters on pickles and preserves, baking, dairy, meat and fish, cocktails, fermentation and dehydration. You’ll also learn how to make your own mustard, ketchup, harissa, sriracha, preserved lemons, vanilla extract and much more.

Joseph was a gifted artist, designer, activist and photographer and the book reflects his ability to represent and explain, in clear language, information that can seem intimidating. I learned a lot about how to teach from working for Joseph. Many of the classes took place at the Altadena home of Gloria Putnam and Stephen Rudicel. They tended to be day long affairs with a lunch served to students and an after-party for the instructors. At the end of the day, over glasses of wine, we would review the classes we taught and figure out ways to make information clearer. Joseph was a team player with a thoughtful leadership style. I can still hear his laugh and miss him greatly. This book, for me, is a kind of time capsule of those happy days teaching at the IDT that felt more like attending a lively party than work. And I have this book to remember Joseph’s joyous spirit and knowledge.