Fusilli Carbonara

March 27, 2011

Ingredients:

one pound fusilli
quarter pound pancetta
three tbsp grated parmagiano reggiano
one tbsp grated pecorino romano
four egg yolks
one tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
salt and pepper
splash of extra virgin olive oil
two tbsp butter
third of cup dry white wine
splash of corenwijn

Cut off as much of the pure fat part of the pancetta as possible, and then cut up the meatier part into smallish pieces.

Sautee the pancetta in the olive oil and butter on medium heat until it is nicely browned, but not crispy.

Deglaze pan with splash of corenwijn and the white wine, reduce by half, and then turn off heat.

Start boiling pasta in salty water. Mix well the egg yolks, grated cheese, parsley, pinch of salt, and generous amount of fresh ground pepper.

Turn heat on pancetta back to high. Drain pasta and then mix well with the egg/cheese/parsley mixture, coating all of the noodles evenly. (Note: You can see that the egg yolk was cooking by the heat of the pasta, and it ended up pretty fully cooked. In retrospect, I would have allowed the pasta to cool a little longer, so that the egg yolk would thicken a little, but not cook.)

Pour the hot pancetta into the pasta and mix thoroughly.

Eat the shitte!!!!!!!!!

Cheese Bubbles

March 26, 2011

Fact

March 26, 2011

There is a restaurant in Wisconsin called The Broccoli Cheese Soup Hut.

Ponderable

March 26, 2011

Why do my favorite cheeses always have little teeny bubbles in them?

Whenever I get the NIH Guide, I swear half the fucken FOAs my first reaction is all like, “Shitte. I could apply for that motherfucker.” I think this is the mindset that the people lack who are all like “If this one R01 application I submitted doesn’t get funded by the first resubmission, my career is over and I will never be able to submit another one again, because the science is so special and unique and different, and all my hypotheses and approaches are DEAD, KILLED BY FACTUAL ERRORS OF INCOMPETENT REVIEWERS.”

NIH officials Sally Rockey and Larry Tabak have weighed in on the delusional hullabaloo surrounding the wise decision to do away with so-called A2s, second grant resubmissions, and to only allow a single resubmission of a particular grant application. For a recap of what we are talking about, see this previous post.

Rockey and Tabak explain the clear impact of this policy change:

There is little doubt that some great science is not being funded because pay lines are decreasing, regardless of the number of permitted resubmissions. Restoring A2 applications will not change that picture and will increase the time and effort required for writing additional resubmissions.

The bottom line is that there are only so many competing awards that can be funded, due to budget constraints. The only question is which applications get funded. For every A2 that now gets funded, it means there is an A0 or an A1 that *doesn’t* get funded. And for every A2 that doesn’t get funded, it’s another A0 or A1 that *does* get funded.

So the Benezra argument that great science goes unfunded without the availability of A2s that *would* be funded if A2s were available is arithmetically incoherent, because it requires that there then be *other* great science that must go unfunded that otherwise wouldn’t have. This follows inexorably from the fixed number of awards that can be made.

The only non-delusional interpretation of the Benezra critique is that the real underlying complaint is about *which* applications are being funded and *who* the principal investigators are that have submitted them. I suppose it is possible to think of yourself as an outstanding scientist doing groundbreaking high-impact research, but for some reason to be at a competitive disadvantage compared to your peers in a regime where *all* grants are limited to a single resubmission.

Humanities Presentations

March 21, 2011

I have heard that in some humanities disciplines, a seminar or conference presentation is generally some asshole standing up in front of the room and literally reading one of their published papers out loud. Is this true?

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