the cottage by carl larsson
The Cottage — Carl Larsson, ca. 1895

Good evening, Kibitzers!

I’m writing this on Monday night as big thunderstorms roll through the area. Every time I think it might be safe to turn the a/c back on, the power drops for about two seconds, just long enough to think a rude thing, and then comes back. [Update at 3 pm, replacing the reassurance that, if I don’t show up, I’m almost certainly fine but without power/internet and very pissed off: it’s still raining, but the front is through, it’s only 65°, which in my opinion is more like a proper daytime temperature, and tonight it may dip into the 40s. It won’t stay like that for long, but it’s a nice break to cool the house off.]

In honor of Pride month, I’d like to return today to someone we’ve seen cook before, making a blueberry-ginger pie in the Blue diary I posted in April. At the time, I didn’t make the connection of who “Carla” was, but I soon realized that she has the wonderful name Carla Lalli Music, and I have a big ol’ cookbook of hers sitting right here.

She did quite a few episodes of a Bon Appétit YouTube feature called “Back to Back Chef”, where the chef invites someone to stand behind her, facing away at their own station, and learn to cook something using only verbal instructions that she calls out. They can talk and ask questions, but neither can look at what the other is doing. It’s an entertaining game that yields, let’s say, mixed results.

Carla had a number of people do this, but she did invite more drag queens than one typically sees on cooking videos. The episodes are long enough that I’m not going to try and stuff them all in this diary, but if you’re interested, here are Trixie Mattel making strawberry shortcake and Shangela making churros with chocolate sauce. (For Pride without drag, here’s Antoni Porowski from Queer Eye making a croque madame, and, in a Covid-time “Side by Side Chef”, singer Troye Sivan calling in from Australia to make Japanese soufflé pancakes.)

The one I liked best was when Miz Cracker from Ru Paul’s Drag Race showed up to make fresh ravioli. I thought the two had good chemistry (beyond the ravioli), and apparently they did too, because they made two more videos together, free of the “back to back” format. (Carla subsequently left Bon Appétit to indicate her disapproval of Condé Nast’s treatment of employees of color.)

These are long-ish. Here’s the ravioli episode.   [20:47]

Here, they make pickles and then some seriously pickled-up grilled cheese sandwiches. While dressed as pickles, as one does.   [10:53]

This one’s my favorite: Miz Cracker comes by at Hanukkah to make her family’s latke recipe. Mmm, latkes!   [19:15]

Shifting gears a bit, these two videos from the Obama Foundation are the first and third in a series about June 26, 2015. The middle one, which was the linked Obama video in the purple box last week, is about the President’s eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney that day, where he famously sang Amazing Grace.

These two are about the Obergefell ruling, handed down that morning, and its aftermath. Part 1.  [5:22]

Part 3, with the beautiful rainbow lights on the White House that night.   [2:27]

Today’s Political and Other Short Subjects:

I have another candidate for you: Dr. Chris Jones. You probably know about him already, because Denise covered him yesterday morning and then nomandates covered her coverage. Really, I just want to put his video in my diary because I like it so much. He’s hoping to run for Arkansas governor against the awful Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but do note that there is a Dem primary first. His website is here.   [2:37]

Last-minute inclusion, h/t to Mother Mags in the OND.   [0:30]

Beau of the Fifth Column has some observations about the quitting cops in Portland.   [4:03]

Amber Ruffin talks about gun violence, again and again…   [3:49]

Trae Crowder is not having the “Lincoln was a Republican” line of BS.   [1:09]

brittlestar would like to offer the US a little challenge, on behalf of Canada.   [2:04]

Finally, Rocky Mountain Mike has a new song to the tune of my favorite Steely Dan song. (I think it’s a feature that he doesn’t try to push a parody longer than his idea warrants.) Lyrics on the YT page.   [1:09]

Stay safe!  💙💙💙💙💙


🌟   Democracy Docket   🌟

The Democracy Docket website, founded by formidable our-side attorney Marc Elias, carries breaking news about current election law, more in-depth articles, and, always, information plus all available legal documents (as PDFs) about every active election law case.

Marc Elias and Democracy Docket on Twitter are good sources of current news about election law, including all the voter-suppression crap going on. You can subscribe to the Democracy Docket email newsletter here to get the latest updates. Democracy Docket also has a YouTube channel.



We have come to the point where Chef José Andrés’ worldwide relief organization is so ubiquitous that I’m just giving it its own box here. I can’t even link all the places they’re working. They’re feeding people who need meals wherever they find them, for whatever reason and by whatever means, including supporting local restaurants by contracting with them for meals. Pretty much every tab at that website will tell you something amazing.

You can always donate or volunteer at their website, but it may not be up on the very latest news. For that, check Twitter for Chef Andrés and for World Central Kitchen.


As federal money has begun to flow, so many problems have built up, due to various natural disasters, drought, Covid as a pandemic and with its economic impacts, it’s not the case that a big pile of cash is just going to fix everything there. At the root of the problem is racism; what a surprise. It’s easy for wealthy colonizers to loot a place when there aren’t many people who care what happens there. It’s… kind of a pattern.

Since no one can snap their fingers and declare the problem solved, this box is now tracking reports from Denise Oliver-Velez. To learn more about what’s going on there, her Twitter feed and Daily Kos comments are good starting points.


🚒  2021 CAL FIRE incident map  🔥  CAL FIRE home page  🚒

🦠  COVID-19  🧫

hipaa v hippa
Real vs fake. (See larger)

Missing some past entry? My past diaries list, where the older purple boxes still live.

The CDC’s guidance page for mask wearing. And now, new guidance for fully-vaccinated people. The previous chart was perhaps more useful; the new one just shows no masking at all on the vaccinated side. If you’re not down with that, you’d probably rather know what was recommended before.)

🦠 The COVID-19 Data Dispatch is a website devoted to examining and interpreting Covid-related data. (They offer a weekly update newsletter.)  This week, It’s Time to Worry About the Delta Variant.

More about the Delta variant (also called B.1.617.2) in this unrolled Twitter thread from Bob Wachter, chair of the UC San Francisco Dept of Medicine. So that’s two votes for “time to worry”, especially about the unvaccinated.

Dr. Greg Dworkin shares this New York Magazine article that explains what was going on with that weird New York Yankees “outbreak” and discusses a more useful way to understand the immunity created by vaccination.

In place of a SciShow video, here’s a vlog post from founder Hank Green, part of a long dialogue he has with his brother John, musing (and ranting) about how to respond to people with vaccine doubt and anti-vax arguments. SciShow Covid playlist here.

This video is not specific to Covid, but offers a fairly simple account of how our immune system works.

The Atlantic has listed their ongoing virus coverage here, and none is behind a paywall. They add new articles often, including these two: COVID-19 Vaccine Makers Are Looking Beyond the Spike Protein and On Top of Everything Else, the Pandemic Messed With Our Morals.

I’m not listing this Atlantic article above, because I don’t see it on their virus coverage list so it may be paywalled. But it is interesting, if you can see it. Putting Microchips in Vaccines Is a Terrible Idea, When You Think About It, by the chief scientific officer of a data company that makes wearable devices. I’m sure he wouldn’t convince any Q people, but then, who could?

xaxnar’s diary (with its comment thread) discusses neurological impacts seen in “long-haul” Covid sufferers. wilderness voice’s KosAbility diary (and comment thread) offer further discussion of long Covid, its symptoms, and their relationship to ME/CFS.

This tweet by Joseph Allen links to a NY Times visual presentation about how we can change the airflow in classrooms to make it safer. There’s also a link from there to an Instagram “augmented reality” classroom visit.

The Washington Post is maintaining this page that tracks vaccine arrival and distribution state by state. Note this is NOT paywalled.

This excellent video explains clearly how viruses are killed by washing with soap.   h/t Sara R!

The lung exercises in this diary are still good for anyone, sick or not.

[Sara R and winglion have suspended taking orders for masks while Sara is recovering from her surgery.]

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Outraged by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to preserve Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, Senator Ted Cruz called the Affordable Care Act “a thinly veiled Democratic plot to keep people alive so they can vote.”  


He went on, “Democrats will stop at nothing to get people to vote. They will get them ballots. They will get them bottled water. And, yes, if necessary, they will keep them from dying of a preëxisting condition. It disgusts me.”

Cruz added that, unlike Democrats, Republicans have “no intention whatsoever of keeping people alive,” and pointed to Texas’s new “constitutional carry” gun law as a shining example.

 The Borowitz Report, at The New Yorker

This Week in Boredom:


Sand with Sea Foam KTK boilerplate

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