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Thursday, May 31, 2012

MY DAY IN FRISCO

I woke up at 10:30AM, just about ten straight hours of sleep without going to the bathroom.  This is some kind of modern day record for me.

At the very end is my dinner at Benu, now one of my very favorite restaurants.  All the photos below were taken from my iPhone, which makes blogging convenient, for I can send them wirelessly to my computer.

But lunch comes first, and as the Le Meridien is only about two blocks from Tadich Grill, that was my choice:


I had an incredible combination of grilled salmon, blue cheese and romaine with a glass of Chardonnay:


There was so much cheese that I had to have a Bristol Cream to finish the meal.  When I showed up at 11:15 I walked to my seat.  Finishing at noon, the whole place was packed and the din was overwhelming.  The restaurant began when John Tadich bought a coffee stand and made it a grill in 1887, but it's only been at the present California Street address since 1967.  I don't remember ever going to any Tadich when I was student at Stanford.

I then took a walk towards the pier and noticed this scene from Battery Street:


I've been looking at Coit Tower for more than half a century and never went up before.  So, why not?  I found out this is the Lillian Coit Memorial Tower, built in 1933 through her bequest of $118,000, a portion which was also used for a statue of perhaps her being carried by firefighters, for she was the matron saint of them in SFO.  It's coincidental, but Coit Tower looks like a fire hose nozzle.  The walk was arduous but filled with flowers:

And even a lonely yellow one:

A statue of Christopher Columbus fronts the tower:


I would say the ordeal of climbing those steps just to get to this stage was the equivalent of hiking up to the peak of Diamond Head.  Then, a $7 elevator ride and a few more steps--around 500 in all from Battery--to the top.  Here is the Bay Bridge:

and Alcatraz:

I joined the Seasteading reception and shared some wine with some of the participants like Neil Sims, Bob Nicholson, Patri Friedman, Randy Henckan and Brian Wallace.  The discussion about floating cities and the future of the ocean was stimulating.

I then went on to Benu, a Michelin 2-Star restaurant (there is no 3 Star in San Francisco).  I just showed up, hoping to gain a table, and, fortunately enough, someone must have cancelled, because they sat me at the only empty one.  I had:

Ladera Cabernet and Demon Slayer junmai daiginjo from Wakatake, Shizuoka in Riedel glasses, and was served:

A tofu appetizer:


The second course was an abalone grenobloise (basically, a brown butter sauce) with cauliflower:


It had the right chewiness and taste.  The Iberico ham with black truffle was exceptional:


While a nice fusion of Spanish and Italian, the French truffles made the whole dish, for they imparted a piquant and distinctive bouquet.  The final course featured chocolates:

 

The first and fourth courses were gratis, so the whole meal cost as much as a 1-Star restaurant.

Vincent, my interface, was wonderful and I had a chance to again chat with award-winning chef, Corey Lee:


Amazingly enough, he remembered that I was from Hawaii.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO HERE I COME, AGAIN


I'm again at the Honolulu Airport.  If you look very closely, there are two F22s just above the plane I will be catching.  These fighters were generally grounded, but I just saw two of them land.  


I'm off to the Seasteading (someday, the structure to the right could well become their headquarters) Conference in San Francisco.  They are furthest along of organizations recently formed to develop productive floating platforms for the future of Humanity.  Of course Blue Revolution Hawaii also has this mission, and we are complementary, for their immediate goal is one of commercialization, while our Pacific International Ocean Station will bridge research and free enterprise.  Who are they? 

1.  To quote:

That’s why we work to enable “seasteads”—floating cities—which will give people the opportunity to peacefully test new ideas about how to live together. The most successful will become thriving new societies—inspiring change around the world.

We’re creating this future because our governments profoundly affect every aspect of our lives, and improving them would unlock enormous human potential.


2.  The Seasteading Institute was founded by Wayne Gramlich and Patri Friedman on 18April2008 with the financial support of Peter Thiel.  With Libertarian leanings, SI is in the process of establishing floating cities to improve governance.

3.  Their Poseidon Award will recognize the first organization which:

– Has at least 50 full-time residents.
– Is financially self-sufficient.
– Offers seastead real estate on the open market.
– Has de-facto political autonomy.
More about all the above tomorrow.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

MEMORABLE WOOWOOS (also known as HOAXES): Part One

My Chapter 5 of SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity on the Golden Evolution enters the realm of hoaxes and deceit.  Is religion itself a grand collection of them?  Perhaps.  I actually went into the science of miracles, and this was entertaining...for me.

Apropos to the above, one list of hoaxes lists The Book of Mormon as #1, which won 9 Tony Awards and is a hot ticket on Broadway.  In another top ten hoaxes of all time are:


2.  Cardiff Giant (10 feet, 4 inches)

1.  War of the Worlds radio show (lasts almost an hour)

Then there is the Great Randi (Randall James Hamilton Zwinge, now 83), who has successfully challenged a range of woo-woo claims.  He has offered $1 million to anyone capable of demonstrating anything paranormal.  No one has succeeded.  He has been on the back of professional liar Sylvia Brown (who just appeared in Las Vegas with a show when I was there), figuratively, to prove anything.  Amazingly enough, her performances sell out.  He has regularly been sued, but has never lost in court.

Snopes.com is an excellent site to debunk or confirm urban legends.  They receive more than 6 million pings/month.  Here is their top 25 as of today:

       Debt Free America Act


  1. Congressional bill proposes a 1% tax on debit card usage and/or banking transactions.

  2.    809 Area Code Scam


  3. Warning about scammers' sending pages from the 809 area code.

  4.    Banana Baby Food Warning


  5. Warning about banana baby food being recalled due to glass in the product.

  6.    Small Arms Treaty


  7. Claim that a U.N. small arms treaty signed by the U.S. provides a 'legal way around the 2nd Amendment.'

  8.    ATM PIN Reversal


  9. Claim that entering your PIN in reverse at any ATM will summon the police.

  10.    Corpus Christi


  11. Claim that Jesus will be portrayed as homosexual in an upcoming film.

  12.    Robin Williams Death


  13. Claim that actor Robin Williams killed in a fall from a cliff while filming in Austria.

  14.    Invitation Virus


  15. Warning about the 'Invitation/Olympic Torch' computer virus.

  16.    Walter Reed Bible Ban


  17. Claim that Walter Reed Medical Center issued guidelines prohibiting the use of religious items during visits with patients.

  18.    I'm Tired


  19. Opinion piece attributed to Bill Cosby details political and social issues he's tired of.

  20.    Air Force One Flag Removal


  21. Claim that Barack Obama removed the U.S. flag from the tail of Air Force One and replaced it with his own logo.

  22.    Mitt Romney Missing Girl Search


  23. Claim that Mitt Romney assisted in the search for his business partner's missing daughter.

  24.    #-9-0 Phone Scam


  25. Warning about scammers' running up long-distance charges by asking victims to press #-9-0 on their telephones.

  26.    Tick Removal


  27. Advice about removing ticks by swabbing liquid soap on them.

  28.    Starbucks Refuses Marines


  29. Claim that Starbucks refused free product to G.I.s serving in Iraq.

  30.    Burundanga


  31. Warning about criminals' using burundanga to incapacitate their victims.

  32.    Warren Buffet


  33. Claim that Warren Buffet promotes a constitutional amendment requiring that laws apply equally to U.S. citizens and members of Congress.

  34.    Boeing 797


  35. Claim that a photograph shows a new Boeing 797 blended-wing airliner.

  36.    Brown Recluse Spider Bite


  37. Claim that photographs show the effects of a brown recluse spider bite.

  38.    Easter Island Heads


  39. Claim that the 'giant head' moai statues on Easter Island have bodies.

  40.    Home Sales Tax


  41. Claim that Obamacare legislation imposes a 3.8% sales tax on all home sales.

  42.    Bottle Bombs


  43. Warning about plastic bottle bombs left in unsuspecting residents' yards.

  44.    Jane Fonda


  45. Claim that Jane Fonda betrayed U.S. POWs during the Viet Nam War.

  46.    Van T. Barfoot


  47. Appeal to support Medal of Honor recipient who is barred from flying the U.S. flag outside his home.

  48.    Irena Sendler


  49. Account of Irena Sendler's saving 2,500 Polish Jews from the Holocaust.
Part 2 to come will deal with the the hoax regarding multiple personality disorder (renamed dissociative identity disorder), now being considered by the profession to be plutoed.  Remember the movie Sybil, with Sally Field and Joanne Woodward, who went on to win an Oscar for Three Faces of Eve?  Sybil was remade in 2007 with Tammy Blanchard, Jessica Lange and Jo Beth Williams.  Yup, all the same basic story, and now exposed to be a monumental fabrication.

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