Have you wondered about comments on other blogs? The really-high traffic ones? There are quite a few political blogs we visit, and the comments there are often more interesting and informative than the posts themselves. There are some commenters that you can tell are trolls right away – the types who are there just to yank others’ chains.
And there are some who don’t quite fit the “troll” stereotype, but are disruptive and calculated enough in their responses to make you wonder why they are there. Guess what? There are services that provide “blog intelligence and advocacy”. That’s code for companies who send hired trolls to spread propaganda through comments forms on blogs. I’m not going to link to these companies, but you can read about them here. And here.
Companies and political groups actually hire people to go on blogs and push propaganda and products through others’ comments forms.
So if you go to someone’s blog or message board and read a casual comment saying: “I’ve used this gadget and it’s wonderful,” it may be a paid shill. I’m not talking about the post itself. I’m talking of the comments form. You can tell the shills from a mile away on Amazon reviews. However, the ones on the blogs and message boards are really sophisticated.
They hang around for a while. They become fixtures on the site and establish “credibility”. Then they slip in their propaganda. Political groups do this. Nvidia was caught doing this. Their trolls allegedly infiltrated several gamer forums and befriended users there. Initially they talked of stuff unrelated to gaming, “and then splurged in an orgy of sock-puppet boosterism of Nvidia’s stuff”.
It gives you an idea of how much of an impact blogs and message boards are perceived to have. It also tells you what an effed up world we inhabit.
So, in my effed up world, I was strolling though the produce section of the Thai store, when I saw this pretty bunch of dill. I’m guessing it’s seasonal, ‘cos I rarely see it there. I googled ‘Karnataka dill’, ‘cos I know people from that part of India use it a lot in their cooking. The first hit was Mamatha’s blog for Sapsige Soppina Bhath. Translation: Damn Tasty Stuff.
I had planned to stick exactly to her instructions. Then life took over. My little neighbour wanted to retrieve her toy that she’d flung into our backyard. As soon as she left, the FedEx guy showed up, then the phone rang.
When I came back to the kitchen, the onions were almost burnt and I had to start over. So I did, in a really pissy mood, with just half a leftover onion, one tomato, and with no desire really to go upstairs and read the recipe all over again. It still turned out awesome. This recipe should work with any delicate greens.
Here’s my version – not the exact replica of Mamatha’s recipe, but quite close. We had some frozen peas left over from last year’s harvest. That’s what I used.
With its wispy leaves and delicate sweet flavour, it’s hard not to like dill. Plus, it has formidable nutritional benefits.
The activity of dill’s volatile oils qualify it as a “chemoprotective” food (much like parsley) that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens, such as the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke, charcoal grill smoke, and the smoke produced by trash incinerators.
The total volatile oil portion of dill has also been studied for its ability to prevent bacterial overgrowth. In this respect, dill shares the stage with garlic, which has also been shown to have “bacteriostatic” or bacteria-regulating effects.
In addition to its chemoprotective and bacteriostatic properties, dill is a very good source of calcium.
My oldest, most-used pair of chopsticks. You can tell from the tips. I like the shadows and didn’t try to get rid of them. To give it a warm feel, I set the white balance to “Cloudy”.
Event Details HERE
Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
Lens: 100 mm macro
Shutter speed: 1/60 sec
ISO Speed: 100
DEADLINE: March 30, 2009
Dill and Green Peas Pulao
(4 meals for two people)
2 cups brown basmati rice (or regular long-grained rice)
in plenty of water, drain, then soak in
4 cups water
for 30 to 45 minutes.
(Make sure you measure the water while soaking, ‘cos the rice will absorb water when it soaks, and if you want to measure and add the water later, it’s difficult to guess how much it needs. If using other types of rice like short-grain or sona masoori, increase the water by half to one cup).
1 tbsp oil or ghee (clarified butter)
in a big pot and add
1 tsp cumin seeds,
2 green cardamoms,
1 stick cinnamon,
2 bay leaves
When the cumin sizzles, add
1 cup very finely chopped red onion (about half a large onion)
and a dash of salt
Fry on medium until golden brown.
Meanwhile, blend to a puree
1 cup chopped tomato
2 green chillies
1 small piece ginger
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Add the puree to the fried onions and cook down until a bit dry.
the rice with the water it was soaked in
salt to taste
Stir once, bring to a boil on medium-high, reduce heat to the lowest setting, cover and cook. At the 12-minute mark, add
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup packed chopped dill leaves
Stir once, cover and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes.
lime juice to taste (I used 2 tsps)
Mix very gently and serve.
Jajik (Lebanese Cucumber Yogurt Salad)
1.5 cups organic plain homemade yogurt or organic sour cream (low fat is fine)
2 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and finely minced
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
**if unwaxed, use the skin
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint or 1 tsp dried
My addition: Crush 1/4 tsp each cumin and black pepper in a mortar and pestle and sprinkle.
You can add salt if you like. We don’t.
Dill and Green Peas Pulao is our entry for Eating with the Seasons @ Maninas: Food Matters.
Does My Blog Look Good In This: March 2009.
Does My Blog Look Good In This (DMBLGIT) is a monthly food photography event open to all bloggers who have posted a photograph with a food or drink connection.
This month DMBLGIT is hosted by Nika Boyce @ Nika’s Culinaria. Nika’s a Massachusetts-based pro photographer (check out her work) who specialises in food and scientific photography. Her Food Photo 101 tutorial series has been a great resource for photo enthusiasts.
We are truly honoured to be invited to judge this month’s edition. Pick your favourite food/beverage photo from your Feb 2009 blog archive and send it to her. The deadline is March 20, 2009. Rules @ Nika’s Culinaria.
Filed Under: basmati, bay leaf, brown-rice, cardamom, Chillies/Peppers, cinnamon, clove, cumin, Dairy/Cheese, Dill, Garlic, Ginger, Karnataka, Lebanon, NUTRITION, Onion/Shallot, Peas, Rice, Tomato, turmeric, yogurt