I was just listening to a This American Life podcast (don’t worry Canada, I listened to As It Happens last night on CBC Radio 1, so I’m keeping the Canadian content up).  The theme of the podcast was “the Sanctity of Marriage”, and the whole show was examining marriage and marriage-like relationships.  One of the most interesting segments involved a scientific researcher who has been studying the correlation between arguments, disagreements, and fights that married couples have to their chances of staying together or getting divorced.  He uses video cameras and heart-rate monitors to help him and his team observe the couples, and they follow them over an extended period of time, often many years.  The findings are very interesting, and there’s even some surprising (or rather, confirming!) information about gay and lesbian couples that stick it out!  So give it a listen!

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(after) andy warhol’s shoes

September 17, 2008

Hard Boiled Eggs

September 10, 2008

I found a great “recipe” for hard “cooked” eggs from Alice Waters‘ cookbook “The Art of Simple Food”. The cookbook itself is an ingenious, understated exploration of food and how to simply cook it well.

She states that “hard-boiled eggs shouldn’t be hard, nor should they be boiled, exactly”, so she calls them “hard-cooked”. All she recommends is bringing a pot of water to a boil, then lowering the heat to just below a simmer, and cooking your eggs for about 9 minutes in the hot water. That’s it! Super simple, and if you want them a little softer just don’t cook them as long.  If the eggs are quite soft, just eat them straight out of the shell.

A great way I found to eat eggs cooked this way is with some buttered toast and fresh dill.

Recently, I’ve been hearing a LOT about the radio show This American Life produced by Chicago Public Radio down in the States. The weekly show hosted by Ira Glass, runs one hour long, and is basically a grab bag of stories, testimonials, rants, investigations, and so on in that vein. Each episode has a sort of theme that attempts to connect and string together all of the stories heard in that hour.

I must admit, the show is great. It’s funny. It’s heartfelt. It’s about what it means to be human.

But I can’t help feel a bit of animosity towards how much hype the show has been getting, especially from Canadians. See, we have this great thing up here in Canada called the CBC, which amongst other media broadcasting, is also on the radio. And there is some great stuff on CBC Radio. Stories with as much human interest as This American Life. Stories as full of humour, tragedy and drama. Stories that are just as tender or fantastic. But I rarely hear as much interest voiced for our own home-bred stories as I do for those on the Yankee program.

Perhaps this is not the fault of the listeners, but of the broadcasters. What is the CBC doing to make sure it keeps up with a niche market that it definitely had a hand in crafting? They have such a history of bringing great human interest stories to the air, how could they let their foothold slip to some cool kids in Chicago? We’ve got cool kids up here in the land of ice and snow (probably cooler for that matter). Is the CBC getting out there and actually listening to the undercurrents of Canadian society, because that’s what This American Life is doing with American culture, and it’s serving them so much the better as far as getting their show heard!

This entry isn’t meant to so much rag on the CBC Radio as it is to encourage them, and to let those who haven’t given the good old Canadian Broadcasting Corporation a fair chance, to go back and give them another listen. How about Saturday afternoons with Sook-Yin Lee and Definitely Not the Opera, or weekday mornings with Shelagh Rogers and Sounds Like Canada, or weekday afternoons with Jian Ghomeshi?

There’s so much out there in the land of radio, but there’s still so much potential for better.