Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Blue Whales, Gun Running, Movies,

There was a segment on GMA this morning and there will be a full programme on National Geographic TV later this week, about the blue whale. Apparently they are threatened with extinction - scientists are now trying to find ways of protecting them. I didn't realise so little was known about them, it surprised me. There is an interesting article here with some video. It is the biggest mammal ever to inhabit the earth, including all those dinosaurs we hear about. Its tongue weighs the same as a whole elephant. They have recently found a nursery which I assume will be covered in the National Geographic segment. I don't think we get that programme, but it is also covered in the magazine. I have written about the blue whale before click here to see what I wrote. That blog discussed noise pollution, but I heard today that a Blue Whale makes as much noise as a jet engine which won't stop our noise and sonar from frightening them and distorting their perceptions. One thing they are trying to do is to discover migration paths in order to keep giant freighters away from those paths as they can run down a Blue Whale very easily. Do you remember the Star Trek movie The Voyage Home where they discovered some thing from outer space was threatening the planet and the Enterprise and crew had to go back in time to get a couple of whales to respond to the space ship, in this case it was Hump Back Whales, but the concept was fascinating. Whales are certainly very intelligent mammals and maybe more so than we yet realise. I just saw a statistic saying the Japanese kill 1,000 whales a year. How horrible. At least whale hunting has been stopped in this part of the world. We watched another movie on TV plus a documentary about gun running. The movie was Lord of War with Nicholas Cage. Good movie, but the whole thing is pretty frightening. When the Iron Curtain fell, hundreds of armaments were sold to arms dealers they smuggled them to various African countries who then promptly turned round and killed millions. This is not the only thing that happened, but it is a pretty good example. One of the problems is that governments use these dealers (legally or otherwise) to ship arms they cannot openly dispose of themselves. One of the biggest arms dealers in the world is the United States. Talking of movies, Australia goes on sale today which means I will be able to rent it. I wanted to see the movie and didn't manage it. I then heard Nicole Kidman didn't think much of her own performance anyway. I sure won't buy the movie until I have seen it. It certainly didn't do very well in the box office but I still want to rent it. I am hoping we will be going out for dinner tonight. There is a restaurant close by to us which is called the Metro (I have wanted to try it for years) and which advertises itself as having the best schnitzel in town. A friend recently confirmed this and said their schnitzels are great. He also pointed out that there was a coupon in the paper which gives you one entrée and a second for half price. Why does North America call it an entrée for goodness sake, the word means entry, nothing to do with main course. I digress. I am assuming these schnitzels are not veal which used to be the norm in Germany, but pork which is more usual here. I will let you know tomorrow, assuming we make it. Trouble is there is a very cold wind and it discourages us from going out if we don't have to. We were planning to go yesterday, but having gone bowling, that was enough cold, icy wind for us. Having talked about schnitzel, I decided I had better post a classic Wiener Schnitzel recipe. Wiener Schnitzel (Vienna Schnitzel) Source: The Black Forest Inn. 4 Veal or Pork cutlets (250 g each) 2 med eggs flour fine white breadcrumbs 250 g lard or vegetable oil 4 lemon wedges salt Pound Schnitzel to about 1/2 cm in thickness. Make a few cuts around the edges, so the meat will not curl up when fried. Season with salt on both sides. Dip the Schnitzel in flour on both sides, then in beaten and slightly salted eggs ( egg wash ), and then in breadcrumbs. Shake off excess crumbs. Heat lard or oil in large frying pan, add Schnitzel and fry quickly for about 3 - 4 minutes or until golden brown. Turn and cook the other side for a few more minutes. Remove from frying pan and serve immediately with wedges of lemon. Have a great day.

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