Get ready for 21st Century economics

Please note Marc Faber predicts the collapse of the US dollar leading to currency reform. Amero anyone?
Note to the Australian Prime Minister. Marc says that Afghanistan is a bottomless barrel, please get us out.

But wait there is more.




The economist Marc praises is John Taylor of Stanford University


Goodbye Princess Sparkle Pony

It always is sad when good blog reaches the end of its life. Peteykins the author of Princess Sparkle Pony has decided not to continue Princess Sparkle Pony.

This blog is a good read and I would encourage anyone to read it while it is still up for the art and the gentle humour. (PSP has more talent in her little hoof tip than I have in my whole body)

Thank you Princess Sparkle Pony and I wish you all the best for the future.

Roast Artichokes, a road test of a recipe

One of the wonders of the internet is the recipes available. So when you encounter a vegetable that you have seen but never cooked, a simple search will find an enormous number of recipes. The original prompt was an SBS program on Croatian cuisine Stuffed_artichoke_(punjeni_articoke) . I saw the artichokes at the PCYC markets in Toowoomba and the price was right for a test. The artichokes were sold with stems, which is normally a good hint that some people like the stems. So my initial search was just for recipes. I then refined my search by adding stems and the simple roasting recipe by John Mitzewich Roast Artichokes Recipe. came up. The first reason for choosing John’s recipe is because steaming for 45 minutes for me is normally equivalent to boiling dry and you have start somewhere and the second reason was that I had all the necessary ingredients.

From John.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


  • 4 whole large artichokes
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, left whole
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt


Using a serrated knife, cut off the stem of the artichoke where it meets the base. Turn the artichoke around and cut off 1-inch of the top. Quickly rub each artichoke with a cut lemon so they don’t discolour. 

Tear off 4 large square pieces of heavy-duty foil. Rub a few drops of olive oil on the foil and place an artichoke stem side down. Stick a clove of garlic into the center and push down an inch or so. Sprinkle over 1/4 tsp of salt. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over the top. Finish by squeezing the half lemon over the top. The lemon juice will “wash” the salt and olive down in between the leaves. Gather up the corners of the foil and press together on top to tightly seal the artichoke (like a chocolate kiss). You can wrap in a second piece of foil if you don’t think you have a tight enough seal. 

Repeat with the other artichokes. Pan in a roasting pan and bake at 425 degrees F. for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Let rest for 20 minutes before unwrapping and serving. Can be eaten hot, warm, or chilled.

My results

My artichokes were a bit on the small side. This meant I only used half a clove of garlic in each globe and I fear they were a little over cooked. Since the only palate I have to please is mineand I thoroughly enjoyed the slightly aniseed after-taste, this is a definite red hot go for a repeat except four artichokes aren’t enough.

Bill Clinton in Toronto, a missed opportunity



Bill Clinton spoke at an event at the CNE or “Ex” the equivalent of Brisbanes “Ekka.” It would have gold if they had arranged to get Bubbles to sing “Liquor and Whores” with him.

Panzanella in Toowoomba

Tinky Weisblat at her blog had a post titled “Pestapalooza” . In this post she had a recipe for Panzanella. I would never have thought to combine lemons and tomatoes. I have been giving this recipe a bit of a try out. Obviously it was high summer in the northern hemisphere when Tinky wrote her post, so normally I would be a bit out of luck in the southern hemisphere however the only shortage was the fresh basil.

Basic Panzanella (after Tinky)


  • Tomatoes cut into cubes (a couple of tomatoes)
  • Basil (fresh is best)
  • Capers (1 teaspoonful)
  • Thin lemon slices.
  • Red wine vinegar to taste (will need enough to help soak bread).
  • Olive oil to taste (will need enough to help soak bread).
  • Bread toasted and cut into cubes.


Tinky recommends preparation 10 minutes before serving and ideally I would also stick to that.

I have found that everything but the bread can be combined before leaving for work. My variations on a theme include using Wendland lime infused olive oil, some olives and a couple of slices of apple. I found a nice stone-ground wheat loaf that seems to provide the kind of bread that goes well with this.


It does appear that the standard recipe for panzanella calls for onions not lemons. After my trials, I recommend the citrus themes and I am keen to give kumquats a go in this salad. As a personal note I find the lemon rind and all easier to digest and refreshing to the palate.








Stuart Wilde on the future value of a Lamborghini

Stuart Wilde predicting the future value of a Lamborghini.


or Stuart Wilde on value of a fast car

According to Stuart you will be able to buy this car out of the money in the petty cash tin in October 2011. For the pedants, Stuart threw a EUR20 note on the car and used the approximation of US$40 and Australia I would accept that this prophecy would be fulfilled if the car could be bought for the equivalent of AUD$50 in 2009 dollars and the event took place anywhere in the world.

On reflection on this video, a Lamborghini while possessing great design and engineering really has has one major single use and that is status symbol or for the vulgar, chick magnet. It is amazing how limited the places that you could actually drive this car. Would you even dare to take a child to school in fear that some soccer mum in a Toorak/Chelsea tractor or worse some senior with poor eyesight and on mind-altering meds might dent your car. You are even hard pressed to fit a weeks groceries in the car. (Yes, I know, if you own one of these then somebody else does the shopping.)

There is the minor use as a an alternate store of wealth. A surprising number of these cars are simply shrink-wrapped and destined to be sold by future heirs and heiresses to fund their lifestyles.

Short link:

Tamiflu only reduces flu by 12 hours !?!

There has been a report in the UK Daily Telegraph on an article published in the Lancet about the effectiveness on Tamiflu (oseltamivir).

In healthy adults, tamiflu reduced the average length of time that symptoms lasted by 0.55 days, while relenza, cut it by an average of 0.57 days.

People at risk of complications, such as those with heart or lung problems, saw slightly more benefit – tamiflu cut the length of time they felt ill by 0.74 days and relenza by 0.98 days.


Please note people still have had flu.


I was intrigued because the above result seems very similar to the kind of results achieved by Vitamin C (ascorbic acid).

When compared with Vitamin C and it’s effect on rhinoviruses please see . Please remember that Influenza and the Common cold are not the same thing.


Curiously Vitamin C seems to have a marked effect of reducing colds under certain circumstances (events of high physical stress). I cannot recommend exceeding the standard dose guidelines, however the price of vitamin C versus lost productivity makes Vitamin C a worthy item of study. When you see the amount of VitaminC that is sold in the average pharmacy in Australia, if it was not working it would not be on the shelves.