Best Creamed Spinach Ever

By popular demand, here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packets of hollandaise sauce mix (dry). Typically you will also need 2 cups (one pint) of whole milk*, and 1/2 cup (a whole stick) of butter to prepare it.

  • 1 cup shredded parmesan or parmigiano reggiano

  • 2 10oz packs of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and pressed as dry as you can (use paper towels, or squeeze through a colander).

Preparation:

  1. Prepare the hollandaise sauce mix per its instructions.

  2. When then sauce is ready, remove from heat; add the shredded parmesan and mix until combined and melted.

  3. Add the chopped spinach, mix until combined, and return to low heat just until it is warmed through; overcooking will ruin the consistency.

Makes about 3 cups, enough for 12 quarter-cup servings (or 12 four-ounce servings).

Excellent as a side dish for a good steak.


* Whole milk, people, whole milk. None of this 2% or lowfat junk. It’s decadent; deal with it.


UPDATE (2014-02-19): Use 3 packs of spinach if you want it a little less creamy. Lately I’ve preferred it that way.

Amazon packing after House vote

Amazon all but told South Carolina goodbye Wednesday after the online retailer lost a legislative showdown on a sales tax collection exemption it wants to open a distribution center that would bring 1,249 jobs to the Midlands.

Company officials immediately halted plans to equip and staff the one million-square-foot building under construction at I-77 and 12th Street near Cayce.

“As a result of today’s unfortunate House vote, we’ve canceled $52 million in procurement contracts and removed all South Carolina fulfillment center job postings from our (Web) site,” said Paul Misener, Amazon vice president for global public policy.

via Amazon packing after House vote – S.C. Politics – TheState.com.

The ‘Great Fact’

Economist and historian Deirdre McCloskey calls it "the Great Fact" — the humongous increase in humans’ standard of living that began about 200 years ago.

And what a Great Fact it is! It’s great not only in the sense of being amazingly, resplendently good for ordinary men and women, but also in the sense of being the single most surprising and astounding change that we humans have experienced in our 70,000 or so years on this planet.

via The ‘Great Fact’ – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Motivation and IQ: Incentives Matter

File this under “Smart Is Overrated.”

…material incentives in random-assignment studies increased IQ scores by an average of 0.64 SD, suggesting that test motivation can deviate substantially from maximal under low-stakes research conditions.  The effect of incentives was moderated by IQ score: Incentives increased IQ scores by 0.96 SD among individuals with below-average IQs at baseline and by only 0.26 SD among individuals with above-average IQs at baseline.

via Motivation and IQ, incentives matter — Marginal Revolution.

Massachusetts curtails public union bargaining rights

Not only has the Massachusetts state House passed a new law barring all PEUs from collective bargaining on health care, it passed by a veto-proof majority — because Democrats pushed the bill …

Yes, you read that right.  Democrats in Massachusetts admitted that Scott Walker had the right idea all along.  In fact, the Commonwealth believes that the ability to manage health care coverage will save taxpayers $100 million in the next budget year.

And in another nod to Wisconsin, the House held their vote at 11:30 last night, hoping to avoid the kind of demonstrations that Wisconsin Democrats encouraged in Madison.

via Latest state to curtail PEU bargaining rights is … Massachusetts? « Hot Air.

Business School: Group Projects, Where The Strong Carry The Weak

Group work is largely an academic joke, a process where the weaker members of the group rely almost exclusively on the stronger, more conscientious students to carry them all to the grade they want. (Of course, the same “weak rely on the strong” dynamic prevails in real-world group work as well.) Group work serves lazy students and professors quite well — the low-performing students can relax while their peers complete the task, and the professors have fewer papers or projects to grade.

While easy classes and group assignments may do little to further the students’ actual education, that’s not the point, is it? After all, the real purpose of many second-tier (and even some first-tier) public- and private-university business degrees is to provide the mandatory credential required by employers, who then do the actual, on-the-job training the position requires.

This is largely representative of my own experience. Via Business School: Where Education Dies – By David French – Phi Beta Cons – National Review Online.

Spending Cuts Are *Supposed* To Hurt

Every time there is a discussion about cutting some government program, people line up to whine about how that cut is going to hurt somebody. Then you get the sob stories… So we never cut anything. Guess what? They’re not called Budget Pillows or Budget Tickles. They’re Budget CUTS. Cuts are supposed to HURT.

via HAPPY TAX DAY! « Monster Hunter Nation.

Is Sugar Toxic?

If Lustig is right, then our excessive consumption of sugar is the primary reason that the numbers of obese and diabetic Americans have skyrocketed in the past 30 years. But his argument implies more than that. If Lustig is right, it would mean that sugar is also the likely dietary cause of several other chronic ailments widely considered to be diseases of Western lifestyles — heart disease, hypertension and many common cancers among them.

via Is Sugar Toxic? – NYTimes.com.

UPDATE (same day): a good followup: http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2011/04/now-sugar-causes-cancer.html

The Cuts Are A Lie

Instead, the cuts that actually will make it into law are far tamer, including […] $2.5 billion from the most recent renewal of highway programs that can’t be spent because of restrictions set by other legislation. Another $3.5 billion comes from unused spending authority from a program providing health care to children of lower-income families.

….The spending measure reaps $350 million by cutting a one-year program enacted in 2009 for dairy farmers then suffering from low milk prices. Another $650 million comes by not repeating a one-time infusion into highway programs passed that same year. And just last Friday, Congress approved Obama’s $1 billion request for high-speed rail grants — crediting themselves with $1.5 billion in savings relative to last year.

About $10 billion of the cuts comes from targeting appropriations accounts previously used by lawmakers for so-called earmarks….Republicans had already engineered a ban on earmarks when taking back the House this year.

Republicans also claimed $5 billion in savings by capping payments from a fund awarding compensation to crime victims. Under an arcane bookkeeping rule — used for years by appropriators — placing a cap on spending from the Justice Department crime victims fund allows lawmakers to claim the entire contents of the fund as budget savings. The savings are awarded year after year.

via Ahem, a lot of the spending cuts are frauds — Marginal Revolution.