Due to temporary budget shortfalls, I find myself spending my Saturdays elbow deep in breadmaking. Sourdough
bread is perhaps one of the most primal forms of bread relying an an artificial ecosystem of hundreds of different bacteria and yeasts
to digest grain flours and produce gas. The souring of the dough has complex effects
on the flavor of the resulting bread and is necessary for low-protein flours such as rye. Free starter cultures can be obtained from the friends of Carl
who continue his tradition of mailing his culture to anyone who sent a self-addressed stamped envelope. You can buy cultures from around the world,
but if you want to live dangerously, you can cultivate your own by just using a mixture of flour and water relying on microbial flora growing on the flour. Sourdough in some ways puts the art of hacking back into breadmaking
because it requires a deeper understanding of what is going on beyond just throwing a set of dry and wet ingredients into a bread machine.
Which could explain why I'm still lucky to get something other than a brick. But like beermaking, the DIY satisfaction makes up for many flaws in the final product. (And on final edit, I can't get away with making this post without the obligatory link to the sourdough faqs.
posted by KirkJobSluder
on Jul 3, 2004 -
Chicken John is quitting!
(SanFranciscoFilter) It looks like the Odeon
is looking for new management. Does this mean the end of good/bad/scary performance art in SF, or is it just a new beginning?
posted by badstone
on May 12, 2004 -
Flowers for all!!! "Today a coworker of mine had a thought to send flowers to a random couple waiting in line at SF city hall.
He called a florist and they agreed to do it. He told them to deliver to any couple -- it didn't matter who -- standing in line to get married, with his blessing. The card will read simply "With love, from Minneapolis, Minnesota."
Once they understood, they were very touched and thought it was a great idea.
He told another co-worker who did the same thing. And now we want to start a movement. Wouldn't that be cool if people from all over the country, gay, straight and otherwise, started sending flowers to the people waiting in line to get married.
Call it The Big Gay Bouquet call it Flowers from the Heartland. Call it whatever you want, but help us get this off the ground.
Call Flowers on the Bay at 888-217-9119 and order a bouquet to be delivered tomorrow at noon.
And Tell all of your friends to do it.
Because straight or gay, we believe and we know many people who believe, support and celebrate the right to marriage. And we'd like to show it. We'd like to see all of the people standing in line with flowers of support from all over the country."
Apparently, flower shops in San Fran are starting to get overwhelmed...
posted by matty
on Feb 19, 2004 -
Pretty cool flash app that lets you view photos of the same walls in San Francisco over time, as the many layers of graffiti accumulate. To anyone that has ever ridden the Caltrain, a lot of these walls should look familiar.
posted by mathowie
on Dec 20, 2003 -
Lesser of two goods?
(SanFranciscoFilter) SFWeekly's John Mecklin sums up the wild ride in San Francisco's mayoral race, from Matt Gonzalez's late entry
, to the baffling Guardian endorsement
, to the obvious Chronicle Gavin Newsom endorsement
, to the downright surreal Alioto endorsement debacle.
Oh, and then there's the Chron's not so coincidental "Shame " series
on homelessness, Newsom's defining issue, in the final days of the election.
In all, Mecklin concludes we're pretty damn lucky to have the fortune in this day and age to choose between two candidates that both have the capacity to do a decent job. Is this relevant to non-San Franciscans? Well, if Matt
wins (and the odds are even), that puts a Green at the helm of a fairly important US city and may help counter the effect of Arnie.
posted by badstone
on Dec 4, 2003 -
R.I.P. Bay Area Transit Information Page,
1994-2003. The site, started by two Berkeley
students, provided quick access to transit information in the San Francisco Bay Area, who later received funding for their efforts in 1996. Instead, it gets replaced by this abomination
of web design. On the other hand, it is very unusual
for a web site to keep the same user interface
over the span of almost a decade. Already, there have been user interface rants
, complaints about not finding information
, sarcastic commentary
, and a brief eulogy
delivered from one of the original creators, and it hasn't even been the first day. Is content over style dead or are information sites like this (flash)
the wave of the future?
posted by calwatch
on Nov 4, 2003 -
Might as well jump. JUMP!
An interesting article (nicked from linkfilter
) about suicide and the Golden Gate Bridge. Only 26 people are known to have survived the 220 ft drop into water 350ft deep. I have been across the bridge once and was "amused" by the fact that there is a free counselling phone as you get halfway across. Reading this article and realising the numbers involved, it suddenly seems less funny...
BTW, the jumper (who before he went a second time was one of the 26) protesting the Iraq War was discussed here
posted by jontyjago
on Oct 7, 2003 -
This new film
[25MB, QuickTime] documents the 3rd annual Bring Your Own Big Wheel race, in which a bunch of crazed fools raced headlong down San Francisco's Lombard Street
(aka: the crookedest street in the world) on Big Wheels. Good drunk fun! Here are some pics
for the bandwidth-challenged.
posted by scarabic
on Sep 30, 2003 -
"We're walking from Chicago to San Francisco. Many have responded with, "You guys are stupid!
" Some, on the other hand, have said, "Wow, that's cool!" Either way, we hope you'll keep coming back to see what will happen next in our walking adventures."
Current mileage, photo galleries, and journal entries abound -- and really, when was the last time you
walked 627 miles (inside of 60 days)?
posted by wells
on Jul 24, 2003 -
The wonderful online history journal Common-Place
is presenting a special issue entitled "Early Cities of the Americas."
Nineteen essays, each concerning a particular incident, person, place or encounter in the early life of a city, together provide a "worm's eye view" of what urban life was like in early postcolonial North and South America. Learn about vigilante justice and press sensationalism in 1856 San Francisco
, or about a day in the life of a peasant family in Lima
of the 1760s. Other essays concern the 17th-century "treasure city" of Havana
, searching for salvation as a slave in 1647 New Amsterdam (New York)
, and capital punishment in colonial Paramaribo
, Suriname. "Reading these essays cannot but help readers gain some historical perspective on the modern condition," especially as you see how many of the issues we associate with modern urban life (poverty, crime, bowling?
) are not exactly recent developments.
posted by arco
on Jul 15, 2003 -
Buddhism tames the amygdala
Covered recently on Metafilter (here
), new research at the University of California San Francisco Medical Centre ( into the "Happy Buddhist" phenomenon ) shows that Buddhist meditation techniques "can tame the amygdala, an area of the brain which is the hub of fear memory."
[BBC] -Is this the Rx for a nation of Americans gripped by fear? Do Christianity, Islam or Judaism have effective techniques to tame the amygdala too?
posted by troutfishing
on May 22, 2003 -
Hooters is coming to San Francisco
Oh My, Hooters
, The ultimate in crass disgusting guy-ness and un-PC-ness is finally coming to San Francisco-the utlimate in PC-ness and "new-age-king-of-guy-ness." Will San Francisco be able to handle it? Granted the self-professed "slightly tacky yet unrefined" Hooters IS going into Fisherman's Wharf, which is tacky tourist-central. But, "it's about so much more than...that..." you know.
posted by aacheson
on May 20, 2003 -
The Gumball Rally 3000
is almost upon us. San Francisco to Miami in five days all in the spirit of the classic movie
With an entrance fee of $20k and A List celebs like Johnny Knoxville and Jason Priestly participating... Not to mention the Bikini Bandits
it's sure to be a wonder to behold. Starts at the Fairmont
today at 9. Be sure to say hi to the Hustler Honeys in their twin turbocharged Lamborghini....
posted by zeoslap
on Apr 17, 2003 -
Who Is Frank Chu?
A Craigslister put up an interview with various SF residents, and Frank Chu himself. For people not from the Bay Area, Frank Chu has been a downtown fixture
for some time -- notable for his silent protest of bizarre space-crimes committed by ex-presidents.
posted by hammurderer
on Jan 27, 2003 -
was a secret, cold-war era project to determine vulnerabilities of US warships to various chemical and biological attacks. While lots is known about what happened
, there's still a lot of information that hasn't been released yet.
In the early 1950s, the US Army sprayed the bacteria Serratia Marcesens
over San Francisco. While the government thought that it was safe, many people ended up checking into the hospital. One elderly man even died as a result of the US testing chemical and biological agents against it's own citizens.
posted by manero
on Jan 22, 2003 -
is a project made possible by proliferation of gigabytes of affordable disk space, digital cameras, photo composition applications, and a lot of time. Take a 30 mile pedestrian tour of San Francisco
posted by mnology
on Nov 20, 2002 -
Police in San Francisco control the kinds of music clubs may play and promote. In key parts of the city, rap music has basically been outlawed.
posted by xowie
on Oct 27, 2002 -
Edison schools 'privatization with public money' scheme a failure?
School districts such as San Francisco's, which saw Edison as a panacea, may end up worse off for having played the privatization game. If Edison goes under, the district (could) be faced with huge logistical challenges: re-enrolling kids, renegotiating contracts with teachers who were working at Edison schools, maybe even dealing with the company's creditors.
posted by skallas
on Jun 27, 2002 -
"Soccer scolds" attack!
The Weekly Standard's Jonathan Last has had it with gushing soccer writers like Slate's David Thomson ("[Soccer is] something made out of muscle, speed, grace and the soul") who see American lack of enthusiasm for the sport as a deep-seated national character flaw worthy of dire-sounding pronouncements. Is he right, or, as The San Francisco Chronicle would have it, can soccer really bring world peace?
posted by transona5
on Jun 20, 2002 -
Punks vs. Yuppies in San Francisco
I don't know how I feel about trying to get yuppies and punks to reconcile but I do like the idea of a yuppies vs. punks Olympics. It'd be funny if they had one here in NYC (I'd nominate Willimasburg as the location).
posted by zinegurl
on Jun 16, 2002 -
Drug War Roundup III A 70% increase in the price of cigarettes seems to have dropped
the teenage smoking rate by 7%. On May 15 you heard the Drug War Czar say anti-drug ads were a flop
. He announced a new campaign
the next day. San Franciscan test subjects in a medical marijuana study say they're given "low-potency ditch weed
." Subjects in a similiar study in Canada say the weed they're given is way too good
. Lastly, Canada is debating whether to decriminalize
smoking pot on the heels of a committee conclusion that it doesn't lead to hard drug use, committing more crimes or driving fast.
posted by raaka
on May 19, 2002 -
Californians, did you feel the quake?
This 5.2 quake was near the surface which, according to the San Francisco local news, allowed it to travel farther than usual. Did you feel it? If so, where? Did it create any problems? Was anyone at the Sharks game?
posted by emptyage
on May 13, 2002 -
16thandmission: Urban Data Stories
is "an investigation into the interplay of data, interactivity and narrative in an urban environment. It takes as its focus the corner of 16th and Mission Streets in San Francisco.... Depending on the state of the bus system at any given moment, the narratives interrelate to a variety of degrees with the map framework." [For you non-san-franciscans, 16th and Mission is a well-known intersection - lively
posted by vacapinta
on May 8, 2002 -
Dog-mauling convicts' adopted Aryan son might be the Night Stalker
says the SF Chronicle. This case continues to get weirder. The DA now wants DNA evidence from Paul "Cornfed" Schneider -- the Pelican Bay inmate and Aryan Brotherhood gang leader whose Presa Canario dogs mauled Diane Whipple to death and whose lawyers (convicted in that death) adopted him -- to see if he is the missing link in the decades old "Night Stalker" serial killer case in California. Yeesh.
posted by brookish
on Apr 24, 2002 -
SFMOMA appoints Neal Benezra as new director.
Benezra was formerly the deputy director and curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Art Institute of Chicago, and replaces David Ross, who left the museum in a hurry last August to become chairman of the board of Eyestorm
. During his tenure, Ross spent $140 million on acquisitions for the museum; Elaine McKeon, chairwoman of the Museum's board told the NYTimes that "We will still continue purchasing works of art, but we are going to move more slowly." Benezra has ties to Hunk and Moo Anderson, and wrote the catalog essay for the 2000 show of the Anderson collection. Could this mean that the Anderson collection will eventually be gifted to SFMOMA? (sfgate story
, nytimes story
posted by msippey
on Mar 14, 2002 -
at the landfill. There are plenty of "found object" artists out there, but in this particularly enlightened recycling program, the Sanitary Fill Company pitches in to the process in a big way.
posted by badstone
on Mar 8, 2002 -
Even if you hate
San Francisco and think it is filthy, there are some good things there. Unfortunately, there may soon be one less good thing
if the National Park Service doesn't make plans to accommodate this historical treasure trove. They want to rebuild the Cliffhouse and have no current space allotted for the Musee Mechanique
. As many people
, it's a wonderful place for children and adults alike. You can sign the petition
if you care or think it will help.
posted by donkeysuck
on Mar 5, 2002 -
A New Pirate Radio Station Comes to SF
Pressure FM is a new pirate radio station in San Francisco. They focus on dance music, but only broadcast from 6pm-Midnight on Fridays using 88.1 FM. This article focuses on the group's plan for the station (dance music), and how they hope to turn it into a 24/7 broadcast. The Bay Area has a rich history of FCC vs. Pirate Radio battles
, but I am curious to see if the feds will take on an all music station. Sure, the operators say that, "[Pressure FM] is clandestine, so it's politically charged," but I wonder if the FCC will ignore them as harmless DJs, only to later respond when Clear Channel executives freak out over underground music in the Bay Area finally getting a legitimate, non-internet, outlet.
It should be an interesting barometer of the Bush Administration's tolerance for independent broadcasters (political or not).
posted by ezfowler
on Feb 1, 2002 -