Monday, April 30, 2007

Truth in Labelling

We'll be rolling out for Virginia in a couple of weeks and one thing I look forward to is being close enough to the Atlantic that cod will be a pretty standard fish again.

Living here you get a lot of catfish and some tilapia. The tilapia isn't bad, but the catfish can often have an odor one can taste.

In fact, Jaru informed me that in Taiwan the word for catfish means garbage fish -- and that she was a little surprised that we actually eat the garbage fish here in the States. Frankly, I'm a little surprised too.

Garbage fish is not the only highly accurately named food the Chinese have.

A while back I asked Jaru what the Mandarin word for MSG was, figuring that it was a staple of Chinese food and that they likely haven't been using the chemical term for untold centuries.

Before I continue, I'd like to mention one little anecdote: Jaru came back from eating at a restaurant and she was feeling a little ill -- like her blood pressure was amped. She suspected the restaurant was using MSG. She suspected this because the food tasted too good.

Which brings me back to the Chinese name for MSG -- The Essence (Chi/Soul) of Flavor.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Step 23 -- Spreading the word

via Bruce Cordell's blog:

1. go to
2. click on "maps"
3. click on "get directions"
4. type New York in the first box (the "from" box)
5. type London in the second box (the "to" box) & hit "get
directions" on the same line
6. scroll down to step #23

Here's a direct link to the instructions if you're too lazy to type.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Mandatory Confessions

After the recent business with the British Sailors, it seemed to me that a good way to undercut this sort of strategy and help protect your troops in the field would be to simply have a standing, and very public, order that captured troops must agree to sign any confessions and make any statements that their captors require.

By making it official, it stops being about whether or not your soldiers are tough enough to resist, or even whether they were coerced into finally revealing the secret truth, and instead just about them following standard policy.

When a captured soldier is put on TV, the Prime Minister or President can come out and say that they're doing their job -- and that if they'd been ordered to admit to killing Kennedy and making blood sacrifices to Satan, they'd say that too -- because the purpose of the general directive is to get the valuable government property of these soldiers back home.