Video of the day

Pretty cool video from NPR Science Friday on the anatomical features that allow owls to turn their heads a full 270 degrees (and 180 up and down!):

The secret recipe

I get a weekly summary of interesting questions via Quora.  For some reason, I just found this one on how KFC keeps their “secret recipe” particularly interesting.  And I’ve never even eaten KFC fried chicken (part of my picky eating means I don’t eat anything with bones in it):

How does KFC manage to keep its ‘secret recipe’ a secret?


Despite all challenges they have, how do they still manage not to let the secret recipe leak outside?

The challenges I can think of: millions of branches, millions of employees dealing with day-to-day operations, and a lot of manager-level employees who could have the access to the ‘secret recipe’.

Response:
Alan MacNeill, Cognos geek, Poly Sci wonk, curler, a… 

Actually, it’s not as widely known as you might think.

A copy resides in a secure vault at KFC headquarters, just in case of disaster…but, for ordinary operations…

There are two separate spice mixing companies that each produce half of the “secret recipe” spice mix.  These two products are then combined together at the store to bread the chicken.  Each of these companies’ contracts are managed by separate KFC employees, so at most, anyone could only come up with half of the recipe.

Store employees have no clue what’s in the mix, they just open bag of “secret recipe part A” and bag of “Secret recipe part B” and combine, then dredge, fry, and serve.

There are a small number of highest level KFC C-Level employees (2, IIRC, it might be three) who know the whole recipe, but they aren’t talking.

The evolution of the NRA

Nice post by Drum, that among other things, sums up the ideological evolution of the NRA over the last couple decades:

Over the past 20 years, fueled by paranoia over Ruby Ridge and Waco and aided by the rise of assault weapon fetishization, the NRA has gotten almost insanely aggressive. In the past, they were a single-minded lobby out to protect your right to own a gun, but since the mid-90s—and accelerating after the Supreme Court finally codified that right once and for all—they’ve gone far, far beyond this. Conspiracy theories about the UN coming to take away your guns run rampant in NRA literature. They now insist not just that guns help you defend yourself, but that widespread ownership actively reduces crime. What’s more, merely defending gun ownership is no longer enough. Not by a long way. Today the NRA fights fanatically for the expansion of shall-issue laws, concealed carry laws, unconcealed carry laws, stand your ground laws, and a bevy of laws that would all but remove the right of private property owners to ban guns on their own premises. They want guns in schools, guns in bars, guns in the workplace, guns everywhere. The result is squadlets of morons marching around shopping malls with AR-15s slung over their shoulders, causing total panic, just to show that, by God, no one can deprive them of their 2nd Amendment rights.

Yes, Republicans really do hate poor people

Seriously.  How else do you explain the fact that the NC State Senate just voted to deny the expansion of health care benefits (i.e., the Obamacare expansion of Medicaid) to more than half a million North Carolinians.  Seriously.  This is just morally unconscionable.  Oh, sure they’re just “standing up to that damn federal government” that wants people to not die or go bankrupt from health problems:

RALEIGH — Despite last-minute objections from Gov. Pat McCrory, the Republican-led state Senate pushed through legislation Monday evening that will prevent nearly 650,000 residents from getting health insurance and block the state from establishing a health care exchange.

The GOP supermajority used the 31-17 vote to send a message to the federal government that it wants no part of the health care law signed by President Barack Obama, even as other states led by Republicans are accepting the money.

Republican Sen. Tom Apodaca, the bill’s lead sponsor, said the measure tells Washington, “if you want to do it, do it the way you want to do it and leave us out of the equation.”

Hours before the vote, McCrory’s administration expressed caution about moving too swiftly, given the unknown financial ramifications. The Republican governor is worried that the legislation may threaten money for the current system that tracks the state’s Medicaid patients, according to a letter his administration sent to Senate leaders…

Medicaid currently covers only low-income women, disabled and elderly adults and children. But under the Affordable Care Act, the program would expand to cover anyone making 138 percent of the federal poverty level or less. The federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter.

The expansion would cover 648,000 uninsured residents, with at least 500,000 expected to enroll, the state estimates.

Senate Republicans called the money “a bait-and-switch” and the rising costs of Medicaid “a cancer” that eats the state budget.

“Too many people have been seduced by the lure of easy money from the federal government,” said Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, an Eden Republican. “They will promise anything and they do – often.”

Give me a break!  What part of 100% and 90% does Berger not understand.  They can make points against the federal government all they want, but I absolutely guarantee people will literally die if the NC Senate gets their way on this.  Thank God our governor actually does seem to be more reasonable on this than the Tea Party lunatics who have taken over our legislature.  Very anxious to see how far that gets us, though.  Again, let’s be crystal clear here, the NC Republicans are fighting to take away the health care of over half a million North Carolinians at almost now cost to the state.  Truly disgusting.

Photo of the day

When told I was looking for a new dog, a friend joked that I needed an alternative pet like a Flemish Giant Rabbit.  I’d never heard of these.  Now, I’ll never forget them.  They are like something from a fantasy tale.  This photo is from their wikipedia page:

File:Runt and Paxie.jpg

Oh, and the dog looks almost exactly like the dog I had in elementary school.

How long to vote

Great chart in the NY Times about how long different groups had to wait in line to vote.  Here’s a portion that is sadly unsurprising:

vote

 

At the bottom of the chart, they do this by state.  Florida and its 45 minute average needs to be sued by the federal government.  Are the Republicans down there trying to run a third-world democracy?

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