Forgiveness, ebook covers, infusion tips

This wasn't the most exciting week for First Listens, but there were a couple great photography-related items I came across, plus several other things. I've been busier knitting that writing these days, but two recent posts cover friendship and egg-banking.
:: events ::
  • Tonight: The June art murmur. Judging by the weather today, it should be a nice night for it. Head to the 19th St. BART station and walk north up Broadway from there (map).
  • Tomorrow: Healing prayer brunch/meeting at the Davises house, 10 a.m. This will be an information session and discussion of the book we've been reading, Francis McNutt's Healing. So far it's been a very thought-provoking look at the church's changing view of the body and suffering, among other topics.
  • June 16: Better world bake-off, organized by the Beardsleys and a few other Christ Church families. Come for the eats or to enter your fair-trade baked good!
:: visual art ::
:: dance & other arts ::
  • The minute I saw "Astaire" in the headline for this blog post, I knew I had to see what it was about. Ever since I discovered him sometime in junior high or early high school, thanks to the Phoenix library's video collection, I have adored the onscreen dancing of Fred Astaire. If you're not familiar with his work, it can be easy to dismiss, but routines like this inspired number in a gym, where he dances with coat rack and various pieces of athletic equipment and the stylish "Puttin' on the Ritz" exemplify why his dancing has such enduring appeal. For more on Astaire, read the full, 3,700-word book review that inspired the blog post. Or better yet, add one of his films with Ginger Rogers to your Netflix queue (though you might secure a copy faster at your local library branch).
  • I'm sure not every 86-year-old paper folder would nab a story in The New York Times, but her boxes are truly beautiful!
:: tunes ::
:: reading/food for thought ::
  • This is a slide show that was recently shared at a tech conference. The first several slides are a bunch of stats on internet/mobile adoption and so on, but about midway through, the presenter started looking at the re-imagination of various media/activities like photography, drawing, etc., which I thought might interest you all.
  • In this week's New York Times Magazine, the focus is innovations. Some ideas sound interesting, some unsettling, none boring. For some reason, the only one I can remember was an implant for your teeth that would somehow notify you of bacteria growth.
:: food ::
  • If you've ever eaten soup at the St. Clairs, you know that Catherine is a master of garnishes. That's just the part of the recipe I'll often leave out, but with this excellent dal I found online a while back, the "tomato relish" garnish is essential. Plan on about two hours making it, start to finish, but about half of that is simmer time. Yield: about 10 cups.
  • Infusion tip: During a tasting at Alameda's St. George Spirits last night (aka, the Hangar 1 vodka folks), I learned that the vodka you use for infusions really does matter. According to the bartender, lower-proof vodkas only break down the fruit or other organic items soaked in them, but don't actually extract the juices, etc. For that you need a high-proof vodka, ideally something like Everclear, though you can't get that in California. He said the higher-proof vodkas are also infused with flavor much faster than lower-proof (regular vodka is about 40 proof, I believe). So far I've been using a 100-proof vodka from Bevmo for my infusions, but thought I'd share that tip for the cocktail purists out there. 

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