Thursday, January 24, 2013

Voyager 2 Gets "Close" to Uranus Pumpkin-Tangelo Curry

This is my first post in almost eight months. Anybody out there?

On this day in 1986, the Voyager 2 space probe passed within 50,600 miles of Uranus, discovering the moons Cordelia, Ophelia, Bianca, Cressida, Desdemona, Juliet, Portia, Rosalind, Belinda, Perdita, and Puck A real diversity of names! Are all moons women? Oh wait, what's Puck doing in there? That trickster. Apparently Miranda is an exceptional lady; might even have reformed after being obliterated at some point. Uranus's rings, which are younger than the planet herself, might be the remains of a moon destroyed by violent impact or "tidal effects," which is the name for what happens when a celestial body's gravitational force is so overwhelmed by another's that the body completely disintegrates. Oh, the metaphorical possibilities! Voyager 2 sent us back some incredible photos, including this blue doozy. That pic you're looking at was snapped at least 1.6 billion miles from the planet you're dallying on. (If you'd like to get a move on, try Mars in ten years.)

Voyager 2 contains a Golden Record (as does Voyager 1, which was launched after Voyager 2 but outstripped her in the race to no place). The cover has these incredible markings that might give someone the suggestion that what's inside contains something that can be extracted through some process of transmutation. The record itself bears the title "The Sounds of Earth," as if extraterrestrials are going to be able to decode four English words in isolation. Jimmy Carter says: "This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours." Amen. Carl Sagan chaired the committee that selected the record's sounds and images. In addition to greetings spoken in a bunch of languages (including whale—no mention of which whales), there are songs of which the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" is not one, because EMI didn't want the material traveling anywhere that didn't have strict copyright laws in place already. (Maybe.)

Okay, so on to the recipe.

prep time: 1 hour
serves: too many

some rice
2 small eggplants, cubed
2 small sweet potatoes, cubed
1 can of puréed pumpkin
1 can of coconut milk
1 can of cannellini beans
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 tangelo, peeled and relieved of seeds
most of a head of garlic, sliced
nutritional yeast (optional)
spices (make your own blend or just use pre-mixed curry spice)
cayenne pepper


1. Cook some rice. I used brown sweet rice.

2. Sauté the sweet potatoes in oil in a large pot over medium-high heat while you finishing prepping. Toss in the eggplant and tangelo for a minute or two, then add pumpkin and coconut milk. Cover and reduce to medium heat.

3. Add tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings at some point. Don't wait too long, if at all. Then sit back and let everything mingle.

Okay, and now here's Malachi, my roommate's wonderful rescue kitten!

Oh, and then here's an album I released in December. And a film review published last week.