Urgh, readers. I have the post-holiday-weekend plague, in the form of a cold that makes me want to do nothing more strenuous than lie around feeling sorry for myself, with the only occasional exertion to pour myself the next cup of ginger ale (Schweppes, not even the good stuff) or tea. So today’s post is pretty random, an even more biased sample of the weekend’s food-related New York Times articles, and something I saw on Tumblr. Coming up later this week: Twitter Tuesday, a more complete turducken Wordless Wednesday if I can swing it, and then some well-earned rest. This NaBloPoMo thing has been quite the adventure! Anyway, on with the post:
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Because I was out of town this weekend, I only saw the New York Times online, and only two food-related pieces really got my attention. First I could not resist a link about “Gooey Mushroom Lasagna” but was dismayed when it led to an article starting with a digression about bad food at weddings (rut-roh), but luckily it led me to a charming recipe for “Home/Made Mushroom Lasagna”, which won me over with instructions like “a softball-size head of radicchio.” Yum.
My other take-home (um, off-the-internet) lesson from this weekend’s Times was about the existence of the Waffle House Index:
…federal emergency officials even use what they call the Waffle House Index to determine how severe natural disasters are in the South. If a local Waffle House is closed, along with a Home Depot or a Wal-Mart, it indicates a longer recovery process.
Presented without comment, unlike the next and final item to discuss (see below).
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Something from the Tumblr, where I’ve been collecting all my NaBloPoMo entries from this blog and Open Letters. In the process I’ve started spending more time this there past month, even following people who post over there, and the other day I spotted this item, courtesy of wilwheaton:
[Link above goes to the full length article, which I don't quote because this indented section was getting out of control huge, but see the original post for highlights if you don't want to read the whole news piece.]
She received $4367 in benefits. She paid the money back, but she’s still going to fucking prison.
Yeah, she’s a liar and clearly has a drug problem, but three years in prison? For a 47 year-old non-violent offender? What the fuck is wrong with this country?
The rich and powerful get away with murder, while someone’s 47 year-old mom — who is so poor she needs food stamps — gets three years in prison for lying on an application. For food stamps. That she needs because she’s so poor.
This is happening in the richest country on the planet, by the way.
And I could not resist cutting and pasting that for this Monkey Monday post.
Fun fact: I actually used food stamp fraud as my examples for remembering the difference between Type I and Type II errors in my intro statistics class this past spring. Type I is the “excessive skepticism” error (in this case, denying food stamps to someone who needs them or is qualified to get them) and Type II is “excessive gullibility” (i.e. giving food stamps to someone who doesn’t need them or doesn’t qualify). I feel like there’s a personality test going on here: would you rather convict innocent people or let guilty folks go free? That kind of thing. Me, I’d rather free the guilty, and I’d rather give food stamps to everybody who needs them and accidentally some who don’t, than deny benefits to needy people. Especially since the whole process of getting food stamps and other forms of assistance carries with it all kinds of humiliation and inconvenience costs already. And I really don’t think we should be spending money and people-hours (even or maybe especially those of the jackass judge who handed down this sentence instead of anything resembling the recommended two to eight months with a chance of probation) catching the almost nonexistent fraud cases (such as this one, which is an ANOMALY both in that it was actually fraud AND the guilty party repaid what was owed) instead of using those resources to feed hungry folks instead. Gah.