17 March 2008
Exploiting St Patrick’s Day for
nefarious nutritional purposes:
(click on images to see complete comics)
Just watch out for green skittles – buying or selling them could get you kicked out of school in New Haven, Connecticut! (and subsequently reinstated, but that probably won’t make quite as many newspapers…)
28 January 2008
LEGO bricks turned 50 today. What a cause for celebration!
This Gizmodo post features a neat timeline, although I must disagree with their dismissal of Bionicles. C-boy especially is a giant fan of Bionicles. His 5th and 6th birthdays featured a Bionicle theme – he even dressed up as a Bionicle character for Halloween. Twice!
Although I should acknowledge that his interest did eventually wane on the 3rd or 4th revision of the main characters. (“Collect all 6!” Jonski Papa used to intone, maniacally. “And again! 6 more!”) On the other hand, he bought 2 of the new models with his own money just last week. T-boy has a burgeoning interest in Bionicles, although his interest is more about playing out scenarios with the characters (it’s all about the building for C-boy – and he combines the pieces in amazingly creative ways, although recently he remade all the original sets [from memory, of course!]).
This particular piece of LEGO trivia struck me:
There are about 62 LEGO bricks for every one of the world’s 6 billion inhabitants.
because I think our house contains the LEGO allotment for at least 1000 earthlings! 2000? 10,000? And that’s if you don’t count all the little gears and locking collars and pins and such for the Bionicle models!
4 December 2007
What do you think, is this a responsible use of chocolate, or irresponsible? They extracted cocoa butter from “waste” chocolate, specifically “4,000 kg (8,818 lb) of chocolate misshapes, the equivalent of 80,000 chocolate bars.” I guess I’m surprised the company doesn’t just melt it down and try again, but then again, I don’t know how industrial chocolate is made! (Apparently it’s nothing like cider syrup…)
And hmm, if it’s misshapes, then I guess it’s not great chocolate, so perhaps Larry Boy’s rejoinder to great responsibility is null and void in such a context!
14 November 2007
I had no idea we were due to crash into an asteroid next week! Luckily, it was all a big mistake – someone lost track of a spacecraft… The rest of the story is at the BBC web site. Is anybody else channeling Larry Boy videos at this point? Jimmy and Jerry Gourd, UFO tracking center? Anyone??
11 October 2007
Z-boy copied this recipe out of a book at school and brought it home. He made one the other night (using vanilla ice cream instead of fruit flavored frozen yogurt), and then shared it with me. We both thought it was pretty good, but he said the honey added a “weird taste.” You definitely could taste the honey, but that’s only “weird” if you don’t like the taste of honey. I guess he doesn’t! When he thought we were out of honey he suggested using maple syrup instead, but insisted on honey when we found it in the pantry. I think I would have preferred maple syrup (since I love maple flavor), but deferred to my little drink master. Next time, he’s going to make it without honey or maple syrup. After all, when you’re starting with ice cream and chocolate syrup, why add sweeteners?
This drawing was also on the sheet of paper. I forgot to ask whether or not this was also in the book, or if it’s his own interpretation of a milk shake.
11 September 2007
Remember all that “Millenium” 2000 merchandise that sat, unsold, on store shelves, even once it went on deep discount? Turns out it found a new life. Ethiopia never adopted the Gregorian calendar, so they celebrated the “new millenium” today. Look at this picture (picture 4 in this gallery) if you don’t believe me.
But come on people, you’d think you could have learned from our mistakes and endless nattering on the topic: the new millenium doesn’t start until 2001! Sure, “2000” makes for better goofy sunglasses than “2001,” so celebrate all you want, but don’t call it the new millenium for another year.
(okay, I admit it: I bought some of that merchandise on deep discount, seeing as how I was pregnant at the time and thought it would make a good souvenir for baby-to-be…)
One more thing: did they just recently have Y2K computer problems to deal with?? That just brings up too many mind-twisting questions when I start to think about data management issues (maybe all computer programs have a “map date to the rest of the world” field??)
28 August 2007
Personally, I have difficulties with the whole “tasting” process, where connoisseurs identify notes and elements in a flavor, but even so, this comic made me laugh and go hmmmm… The sad thing is, for many packaged snack foods, what else could you detect but tartrazine or potassium citrate?
16 July 2007
Here are three snippets I’ve been saving because their oddness appealed to me…
A Dewey Decimal subject heading seen in the online card catalog of the local library:
Shopping — Religious aspects — Christianity.
(in case you’re interested, it’s a subject descriptor for Dinner’s in the freezer! : more Mary and less Martha, by Jill Bond, with illustrations by Reed Bond)
This is the only book in this subject heading (at least at our library!). Seems to me like the subject should be Cooking — Religious aspects — Christianity, but I’m not interested enough to read it and figure out why the emphasis on shopping.
Oh wait, further research at worldcat.org reveals five (count ’em, 5!) books with this subject heading. Wacky.
Baby monitor keeps an eye on astronauts
Even wackier, a story in June about a baby monitor that was apparently getting a video feed from NASA. No wonder that baby looks unhappy, aliens are trying to invade his house! He knows this is just the advance team, testing out the technology
Dog has kitten
Wackier still, a dog has become a local celebrity in a Chinese village after she reportedly gave birth to a kitten. Alien puppies! (or is it alien kittens??)
15 July 2007
We’re home from our trip to Costa Rica. I plan to blog about some of the events soon, although I’m still waiting on most of our pictures from the worksite. In the meantime, here’s a silly photo of the guys in Monteverde (more precisely, the nearby Santa Elena).
25 June 2007
Time is running out to vote for the “New Seven Wonders of the World.” Looking at the list makes me wonder what is the definition of a “wonder of the world.” For example, Easter Island and Stonehenge seem to be categorically different from the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty. But is that just because they’re shrouded by mystery and the mists of time? We don’t know how those big heads were carved, but perhaps to the people who created them, it was a big “ho hum, yet another feat of modern engineering” moment. I recently heard a radio piece about this, and some detractors fear it might serve to ‘ruin’ any natural wonders that might win, if they attract big onslaughts of tourists. And now that I’ve gone through the process of voting, and have seen all the options for “get news about New 7 Wonders toys / t-shirts / products / tours!” I can see their point. But at the same time, I figure I can’t complain too loud or long about the final result if I don’t at least submit my choices…
In other news, today is the last day to provide input into the so-called “citizen’s” petition that would change, among many other things, the formulation of chocolate. The thing that most annoys me is that it was proposed by a bunch of grocery manufacturers and interest groups. Why was it submitted as a “citizen’s” petition? Perhaps because the FDA can act much more quickly, and with less oversight, on such items. See more at this NYTimes Op-Ed piece, or earlier coverage at Candy Blog. Guittard has provided a template that you can use to submit comments to the FDA, but June 25th [the date of this posting] is the last day.