farm share bliss

Today, I drove out to Waltham Fields Community Farm to pick up our first CSA farmshare of the season.  It included three different kinds of lettuce, a pound of spinach, a bunch of bok choy, radishes…and the opportunity to walk into the fields and pick sugar snap peas, strawberries, and herbs.  As I stood in the middle of rows of strawberry plants, I was nearly overwhelmed with gratitude…and yet even all the gratitude I was feeling seemed insufficient to the many wonders of this place.

I came home and covered the dining room table in cookbooks, looking for recipes that might do justice to all this goodness.  I like having to cook “ingredients first” rather than “recipe first.”  Tonight’s dinner was a success…and I’m already looking forward to cooking tomorrow. 

overheard (not exactly “the rules” edition – or, “paging foucault” – central square)

man: what are you doing tonight?

woman:  I’m meeting a friend in harvard square for dinner.

man: is this a date?

woman:  no, it’s that guy I told you about, the one who is just way too sane for me.  he’s really cute, but I just can’t imagine dating someone that is so together.

man:  you know what I’m thinking right now…

woman: yes, I know.  I dated you.  but you’ve got your quirks.  you’re really only sort of normal.

overheard (community farm fundraiser edition)

The most interesting singles event I ever went to was a Jewish one, at a synagogue.  There were a bunch of dentists there.

Forgive me for saying so, but what made that particularly interesting?

Well, they brought all these canisters of nitrous oxide with them. 

You all did nitrous, at the synagogue, at a singles event?

Yeah.  See, the 80s were fun like that.

overheard (boston T edition)


The same joke has been in the past two books I’ve read.

What’s the joke?

Something like “Two behaviorist psychologists have sex. And then afterwards, one says to the other, ‘It was good for you. How was it for me?'”

I read that in a book, too!


A lot of Irish people immigrated to the U.S., and particularly to Boston, when a blight destroyed the potato crop in Ireland.

Oh, right. It was a fungus, actually, phytophthora infestans. We just sequenced it at the Broad!

deep like space

From a friend: “There is a cluster of galaxies called the Perseus Cluster, which is 250 million miles away from Earth. Scientists found that all of the sound waves it is emitting form a single note…B flat. ”

Apparently, this is the deepest note ever generated in the cosmos (?!).

In other geekly weekend highlights: Quantum Hoops is the history-of-science-and-underdog-sports-team-documentary for which we’ve all been waiting.  I’m assuming here that you’ll grant that a 21 year losing streak qualifies the Cal Tech basketball team as underdogs (that’s over 240 consecutive conference losses). 

Among the many great lines in the film, here’s the current coach noting with clear pride that the Beavers (Nature’s Engineers!) reduced the point spread for their losses from 60 points every game (in 2003) to only 10 points (in 2006):

We’re only losing by ten points this season. Winning has gone from impossible to improbable!

overheard (central square edition)

~5 year old:  Dad, what’s the biggest building?

D: That’s a good question.  Do you mean what’s the biggest building in Boston, or in the United States, or in the whole world?

5: In the whole world!

D: That’s hard to answer, because they keep building very tall ones, but I think it’s in Malaysia.  Why don’t we look it up on the internet when we get home?

5: Yay! Let’s look it up on the internet!  That’s the most fun!

happy birthday, jeremy!


you rock!


your blog

(Note from Jeremy: Sara is renowned for wanting to do birthdays up big. However, I resized the photo and put it in just as a thumbnail so that it would not be so big as to crash anyone’s browser. The photo is from last year, when we were at the Eastern Sociological Society meetings in Philadelphia on my birthday, and Sara indulged my desire to run up the steps to the Art Museum like in Rocky and to have my photo taken in front of his statue.)

protons and politics

At a dinner party tonight, I was asked by an Italian postdoc to explain the process by which either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton will become the Democratic Party’s nominee in the general election in November. As I got to the part about the super-delegates, it was clear from the expectant smiles on my friends’ faces that they were glad that someone else had gotten this question. Because what makes these delegates so *super* (technically, they are “unpledged party leaders and elected officials delegates”)? And doesn’t it seem undemocratic that they are not bound by the popular vote?

Also tonight, Democrat and Fermilab physicist Bill Foster defeated Republican Jim Oberweis in Illinois’ 14th Congressional District special election to replace Dennis Hastert. Call me a geek, but I like the idea of the co-inventor of Fermilab’s Recycler Ring in the U.S. Congress.

And yes, Foster will be a super-delegate (or, UPLEOD?). He supports Obama.