Prime Brahman Beef

After years of experimenting with the tough meat of Bos primigenius indicus (commonly known as Brahma or Brahman, the breed of bovine originating in India that eventually spread to the rest of the world to be enslaved, robbed of milk, and mass-consumed – why oh why did they ever leave the land in which they were worshiped?), I have found the best cut of meat for general purposes:

The perfect natural shape for a roast?
The marbling is decent.

This is what is referred to as the “neck hump,” or more disgustingly, the “neck boil.” Here is a good photo of one, if you can keep your eyes off of dangling distractions:

Blue sky, red balls. – – – source

This cut of meat is not tender enough for steaks, but is great for stews, curries, and the like. I have never had a good beef steak in Thailand, and it is my belief that, generally, the tenderness of beef runs inverse to your current proximity to India, with a few exceptions (Japan being the most notable). That’s fine, since it’s a trade off for good quality of other meats, fish, and fowl.

I used the neck hump above to make an excellent batch of Japanese curry a couple months ago. When we went to buy it from a roadside stand, we were lucky to get it very fresh:

Teaching with Google Plus

I’ve now fully implemented my improved ad-hoc Google+ system for my weekend classes and have found the greatest barrier for entry to be that some students cannot use the net except for clicking on virtual cows and Like buttons.

After having them sign up for Gmail and Google Plus and showing them how I want work to be done for the first couple of classes, I now have a couple of active “Communities” where I post assignments and class announcements, and students ask questions and check their grades. It seems to be working smoothly. I’ve had some inquiries from people who saw my workshop at the conference last month, so it’s been good to experiment with new ideas and functions for this system.


Finals week has come and gone, leaving me with a sore throat and plenty of grading to get through. One last push with a huge synchronized test for combined classes this afternoon and it will be done. In this time of paper flurries and worried sophomore ministration, only one thing can snap me back to my happy place at any given time: