Cyclone Jasper

The main news today in Australia is the approach of Tropical Cyclone Jasper to the north Queensland coast. This is a long way from me so there’s no direct concern. But the forecast track looks like making an almost direct hit on the town of Port Douglas tomorrow around lunch time, with the much bigger city of Cairns also within the zone of destructive winds. Hopefully people in the region will be prepared and nobody will be hurt.

Here it was warm again, but felt a bit less humid. I assembled comics in the morning and then took Scully for a drive over to the Italian bakery for lunch. I had a slice of mushroom pizza, and the special pastry today was a panettone snail. It was a scroll of flaky pastry filled with candied fruit and almonds and was delicious. This bakery is always creative and coming up with new things. I just wish they’d do the banoffee croissant again!

This afternoon I wrote my next ethics lesson for this week, on the topic of Restarting Civilisation. We’re going to start by imagining that some disaster such as an asteroid strike kills a few billion people, and then consider what life would be like for the survivors. How would people get food and water? Would they be likely to cooperate for survival, or become hostile? Do survivors have an ethical responsibility to help other survivors, or to maximise their own chances of survival? Once groups of people have stable food supplies, what aspects of modern civilisation should they prioritise in rebuilding first? (laws, education, electricity, transport, etc.?) Should we take some effort (and expense!) now to provide usable information and resources to future survivors in the event of a global disaster?

Tonight for dinner I tried a new thing. I like fennel whenever I go to a restaurant and have a dish that includes it, but I think I’ve only ever tried cooking with it once, doing it as a roast vegetable with other vegetables. On a whim last grocery day I grabbed a fennel bulb, determined to try something else with it. This afternoon I decided to make caramelised fennel and eggplant calzones with a tomato sauce. I caramelised the finely sliced fennel with some balsamic vinegar, then let it cook slowly with diced eggplant. I made pizza dough, and stuffed it with the fennel and eggplant, plus some mozzarella cheese and baked it. And made a separate sauce with onions, garlic, chopped tomatoes, and oregano, to spoon over the top of the baked calzones. It turned out really good!

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