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Alice Waters (4) vs. Meryl Streep; LeBron James advances

It’s L’Bron. Only pitch for Mr. Magic was from DanC: guy actually is ultra-tall, plus grand than that non-Cav who had play’d for Miami. But Dalton brings it back for Bron:

LeBron James getting to the NBA Final with J.R. Smith as his best supporting cast member is a more preposterous escape than anything David Blaine or Houdini did. So he’s already a better magician than Eric Antoine (who is seeded below Blaine and Houdini).

Plus, he’s featured in this (unfortunately paywalled) Teaching Statistics article which points out the merits of graphical comparison (“Understanding summary statistics and graphical techniques to compare Michael Jordan versus LeBron James” – I love the fact that statistics cannot determine the MJ and LeBron debate precisely because it all depends on which summary statistic you choose. Just goes to show that you need to put as much thought into which dimensions you choose to check your model (graphically and numerically) as you do in constructing your model in the first place.

All stats, yah!

Today it’s a cook vs. a drama star. Whaddya want, a scrumptious lunch or Soph’s option? Or ya want Silkwood? Fantastic Mr. Fox? Can’t go wrong with that lady. But you also luv that cookbook, that food, that flavor, right? You pick.

Again, full list is at this link, and instructions:

Trying to pick #1 visitor. I’m not asking for most popular, or most topical, or optimum, or most profound, or most cool, but a combination of traits.

I’ll pick a day’s victor not from on a popular tally but on amusing quips on both camps. So try to show off!


  1. Jonathan (another one) says:

    This one’s close.

    Meryl Streep and Alice Waters both have 5 letters in the first name and 6 in the last name. Tie.

    Both are adept at authentic accents. Tie.

    Meryl has played a international celebrity cook; Alice has never played an actress. Advantage Streep.

    Waters has taught many chefs; Meryl has taught no actors. Advantage Waters.

    Streep went to Vassar and Yale. Waters went to Berkeley. I’m an East Coast guy, but YMMV.

    Waters has the French Legion of Honor. Streep is the French Lieutenant’s Woman.

    Both have won more awards than either of them can count.

    So I use Sophie’s Axiom of Choice: When comparing a finite set of pairs of New Jersey Celebrities, choose the one who got into the New Jersey Hall of Fame earlier. That’s Streep, by 6 years.

  2. zbicyclist says:

    I cook, but Alice Waters was off my radar. So I read up a little — in particular, the egg spoon controversy. Evidently, some people feel it’s just a little … precious … to cook an egg over a cord of wood using a hand-made long-handled skilled called an egg spoon ($250+).

    But evidently this preciousness can be excused if another group is even more precious:

    “Cooking an egg in an iron spoon over open fire is really no more precious and probably a lot less elitist than cooking an egg in $300 sous-vide machine, she [Samin Nosrat] said in a recent interview — except that women tend to do the former and men the latter.

    “Is it any more practical to sous-vide an egg? No,” she said. “But it’s this amazing thing because a man is using it.””

    Wait! What does it mean to sous-vide an egg? I usually just hard-boil mine in an Instant Pot, so it’s back to the internet:

    “Sous-vide is a method of cooking in which food is placed in a plastic pouch or a glass jar and cooked in a water bath for longer than normal cooking times at an accurately regulated temperature. The temperature is much lower than normally used for cooking, typically around 55 to 60 °C for meat, higher for vegetables.” (Wikipedia)

    (Side note: I find it amusing that Nosrat thinks women are more likely to cook over an open fire than men — men standing over a grill is such a cliche it shows up in that infamous Gillette ad.)

    So, listening to Waters is likely to give me enough new vocabulary to cover a month.

    • This time Jonathan (another one) wins me over with the balance scales, zbicyclist with the curiosity and new vocabulary. Who prevails? In this case, I think it has to be zbicyclist (and hence Waters), since I can’t get “sous-vide” out of my head. Not to mention egg spoons.

      • Martha (Smith) says:

        “Who prevails? In this case, I think it has to be zbicyclist (and hence Waters), since I can’t get “sous-vide” out of my head.”

        Ah, but then “sous-vide” would presumably invite “A Void” to also get stuck in your head, which means that Ellen DeGeneres would be there, too

  3. Ethan Bolker says:

    I vaguely remember themed menus at Chez Panisse where the courses all shared an ingredient – lime or garlic or chocolate or … Whenever one of ours begins to look like that we call it a “Chez Panisse meal”. Would a Chez Panisse seminar be compelling or contrived? I’ll go for Streep variety.

  4. DeeDzhee' Dzherzhee Dzhephph says:

    Me: Mebbe Streep’s speeches helped elect the Pres? Cest vres?

    Me sweetee: Sheesh, feh! Streep edges the chef, per her entrenched meme: the scene where she selects between her preteens, then ever weeps. We then screened the reel. Jeepers Creepers! ‘N’ we be “mene mene teckel” etc.. between Ellen Degeneres, Mel, Cheeper’s-egg Eyes, Penn ‘n Teller, Geng-ngsteen.

    (Heh heh heh, the letter scheme reversed! Wheeeeee!)

  5. Bob says:

    Regarding the statement ” less elitist than cooking an egg in $300 sous-vide machine.” Well, if one buys the $300 sous-vide machine only for eggs that might be correct. But if one buys it for many dishes and only pays $60 much of the preciousness goes away.

    Here’s an even less costly way to do sous vide—

    This web page shows the impact of careful temperature control on cooked eggs.


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