Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Top Ramen Gourmet

Fresh from blog-town at the Willamette Week... the Matador will be hosting a Top Ramen cook-off this weekend. Who can make the most gourmet noodles and spice packet meal? The competition is spiced up a little when you take into account the most devilish part of the rules: You can add in just $5 worth of other ingredients. And you have to account for those (and the strict $5 limit) with receipt proof. And they definately said that you have to use the spice packet (says the WW). Check out their info post here for more information including time and place.

Since today is depressing news day....

Here's another awful one. My mom mentioned this story when I was home this weekend. I hadn't heard anything about it at that point, since I was on the road and away from newslandia.

So, since everything else I've posted is full of cheer and fluffy bunnies, here's another. A UCLA student was repeatedly tasered by his Campus Safety Officers when he was unable to produce his student ID card upon request. Onlookers, asking the officers to produce their IDS and Badge numbers, were threatened with tasering themselves.

Here's the story: http://dailybruin.com/news/articles.asp?id=38958

Black Tuesday!

Sad news on the local wires this morning, Free Geek was broken into early on Saturday morning and lost a ton of stuff.

Check out the news on their website, here: http://freegeek.org/news.php#breakin
It appears to have gotten pretty good media coverage so far... it's all over the local news and even on BoingBoing.

The BoingBoing post describes nasty things like smashed doors and forcible entry. Really sad.

Also, according to the same post on BoingBoing, the IPRC (Independent Publishing Resource Center) was broken into the night before. Badness, sadness, and MADNESS! Aka, NOT GOOD!

I think it's monsterously cruel that people have targeted these awesome local non-profits. I think that's even lower than stealing tips (which, as we all know--or should know--is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to lower-than-low crimes). Pretty darn nasty.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Don't leave teddy out in the rain... he might biodegrade?

Ok, and now for a non-NYT "odd product of the day" feature.

Check this one out.


(Picture from TofuBear.com, click on it to visit the site and see Soyphia in person!)

Let me first offer a disclaimer that I appreciate the green-qualities of these products, and I encourage everyone to support sustainable, biodegradable products.

Ahem. Welcome to Tofu-teddy. A teddy bear made of soy.

Quoting from their website: How does SOYSILK® brand fiber affect the environment?
SOYSILK® brand fibers are part of the new class of green textiles. Soy fibers provide the environment with a unique “cradle-to-cradle” approach – coming from the earth and being wholly biodegradable. SOYSILK® brand fibers contain no petroleum and all products are manufactured to be eco-friendly. In addition, the United States is currently the largest exporter of soybeans in the world.

A friend also pointed out just how much fun it would be knowing that your cuddly, huggable teddy was made out of a Soy waste product.

So, seriously, kids, make sure you take care of Tofu-teddy, or he might just compost!

Actually, though, their picture of "SOYphia the goat" is pretty cute. What's not to love about a Soy-goat!? (It rhymes with "toy boat"!!!)

And now, from the Land of Aparthied....

When you see an article like this one, it makes you stop and wonder how it is we're so completely out of touch with the concept of civil rights in the United States.

We tsk-tsk at how long it took South Africa to abolish aparthied, and we salute Nelson Mandela as a hero and a saint. South Africa's eagerness to extend equal rights to all its citizens has skyrocketed past aparthied, and is quickly making the US look like a backward collection of narrow-minded pie piggies. "What? Marriage for everyone? How vulgar! Next thing you know, they'll be encouraging women to vote..."

Anyhow, hip-hop-hooray today to the South African Parliament for their guts and open-minded foresight.

Read about it here: "South African Parliament Approves Same-Sex Marriages"

(I know, I feel like a "review" of today's New York Times. I'll branch out in my next post.)

Feeling Piggy for Pie.

Pie! Pie!

The weather starts to cool, and we turn to foods golden with fat and butter.
My experiments with pies, quiches, and pie crusts this year have turned out lovely--though I still stink at making a gorgeous, decorated edge. I'm sticking to the "squish it and hatch it with a fork" method lately.

Evidently I'm not the only one who's been interested in making warm, rich, tasty foods this fall. The New York Times had an article today on making the perfect pie crust. They suggest suet--aka, cow lard. The best pies, popular opinion believes, are made from a combination of lard and butter. Me? I think I'll just stick with the sweet cream variety.

Here's the article: "Heaven in a Pie Pan."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What's that, Fireball?

Sorry, no fireballs this year. But! The Leonid meteor shower is taking place this weekend. Sources say that in Western Europe and the Eastern United states, you might be able to see over 100 meteors per minute! That's a meteor-downpour!

Given the last link I just posted, I should advise you not to fret--the Leonid shower occurs when the Earth passes through a cloud of comet dust. And we all know how comets feel about Tsunamis (After all, Mr. Tsunami was the one to coin the phrase "Just a dirty snowball streaking through space," wasn't he?). No meteor-driven mega tsunamis in the Leonid Gang (which, I might add, sounds like an after-school tv show), just lots of sparkly, flashy dust.

What a beautiful night to be floating on a boat somewhere out in the Atlantic ocean... I'll bet the view won't get much better than that.

Anyhow, though the chances seem slim, if it's at all clear in Seattle (C and I are visiting up there this weekend), I'll step outside sometime after dark, and see what's streaking and sparkling through my night sky!

Article on NASA Science News about the Leonids.

Surfing a Mega Tsunami

The New York Times today had an interesting article on a developing theory integrating astronomy, geology, and world-wide "flood" myths. According to the researchers in this article, the earth has likely seen far more large-scale impacts by meteors than previously believed. In a high-tech "x-marks the spot" sort of treasure hunt, scientists examined the presence of large geological formations, dubbed "chevrons" to determine where deep-sea craters might exist. The striking association of the two has led researchers to believe that the forces creating these chevrons were none other than mega-tsunamis--over 600 times the size of the memorable Aceh event.

I suggest you check out this article--if only for your daily feel-good dose of "When Science and Religion meet in the wild!" Well, if the word "MEGA-TSUNAMI" tickles your fancy, you might check it out just for that, too.


Monday, November 13, 2006


In honor of revitalizing this expedition into cyber-space, I have two new links to show you. Both demonstrate the ongoing integration of traditional "paper-based" media into the on-line world.

Back in high school I won a national writing award. It was a teacher-nominated contest, and you were asked to submit several samples as well as a timed, "in-class" essay. The prompt they evaluated us on was a topic close to my heart: Will electronic media render books, magazines, and other tactile print objects obsolete? My response, if I remember accurately, took the stance that the internet would change media as we know it, but that books and newspapers hold such an enduring charm that they would persevere.

In some ways, these two links bring that question full-circle.

The first, a daily chapter of a classic book sent to your e-mail inbox (the tagline for this site offers the irresistible hook: "Too busy for books? Read them by e-mail." As if you'd have time for them there?) :

The second, a brilliantly self-absorbed on-line catalog of your print library. Don't worry, I'm working on mine on my home computer. Once I have it up and running, I assure you, you'll see a link off to your right. How could I resist? It's just so NEAT to see them represented as little pictures on the interweb. Obviously, I love the album cover feature about iTunes as well. Genius.

Blog of a friend.

C. started up a new blog last week, so I thought I'd make note of it in case anyone out there checks in here from time to time. He has great media links from all over the place, and other fun bits, too.
So, here it is: http://bigface-smallrazor.blogspot.com/

Hopefully his dedication to that project will inspire me to be a little more active on this, my little plot of internet space.