Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pea Brains!

We've recently discovered the wonders of Indian grocery stores.  They have fantastic arrays of produce that typical American markets would never think of having.  (I find it helps to shop with access to Wikipedia.)  Among such yummy finds as fresh turmeric, lotus root and curry leaves are ... PEA BRAINS!!!!
These are actually fresh chick peas (green chana) which grow in individual fuzzy pods:

They taste really good right from the pod, a little bit like a fresh sweet pea, but we decided to follow the recommendation of the people in the grocery store and to: Fry them in oil with turmeric and chili.  (This, by the way, was how they recommended cooking a lot of the mysterious veggies we picked up).

It's was a lot of work to shuck the things:

But made for a very satisfying pile of pea brains (BRAINS!):

We found that the frying method tended to dry them out a bit, so we needed to add some water and let them simmer for a short while.  And we ate the pea brains (BRAINS!!!) on non-authentic pasta -- delicious!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pandora and Advertisements

Some web economics. Advertisers get paid for a click, and also for a page view. Many websites, make attempts to refresh the page as often as possible. Pandora refreshes the advertisement even when you do something as trivial as changing the volume, and surely with a thumbs up, thumbs down or skip song. Other websites, like news websites have those little "next page" buttons. With all their heavy scripting they could certainly fit a few more ascii characters on the page but they want you to click so they can show another add. For the record I have nothing against this practice, I am just commenting on it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Physicist pen

Stacy recently got me a physicist pen:

While to the untrained eye this may look like just another red pen, the uniqueness of the physicist pen can be seen with a close-up of the clip:
You see the little wedge under the clip?  If you put the pen in your shirt pocket (as I usually do) but forget to "clicky-clicky" the end to retract the ink tip (or if you loose track of where you are when repetitive noising clicky-clicky clicky-clicky clicky-clicky clicky-clicky) that wedge gets tripped by your shirt and the tip automatically retracts!

Ladies and gentlemen: No need for dorky pocket protectors any more!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Time Lapse Snowstorm

I know I just posted about time lapse videos, but I couldn't pass up doing it to yesterday's snowstorm. I actually am currently still taking pictures, but here's 11:17PM Tuesday to 11:09 PM Wednesday. Click through to see it in HD.

What's particularly amazing is the difference in lighting between the two nights; the snow really reflects light well:

After today's shots, I'll make another, longer video. But, unless it's staggeringly awesome, I probably won't blog it, so check my Youtube page here: for updates.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Craigslist: Teflon pot with a hole in the bottom

My roommates pot sprung a leak the other day so I'm giving it away on craigslist. See my ad here. Now this is the second time I'm posting it, it was flagged and deleted the first time - I don't know why. Below the picture I've copied the text of the post.

I have a great non-stick coated pot which you can have for free. It is unusual in that it has a tiny hole in the bottom. This posting was previously flagged and deleted, I would like to clarify that this is not a joke. I have a real pot (see photo) that I would like to give away, and it has a real hole in the bottom. It is the sort of hole you don't notice until you have spent five minutes boiling water in it wondering why your stove is making funny noises. It could be useful for cooking pasta, by the time it is cooked all the water will have strained out. If you are not interested in a pot full of liquid oozing onto your stove-top do not despair! This pot is perfectly suited for heating smooth pebbles and other ingredients too large, solid and dry to fit through the small hole. These objects are also guaranteed not to stick to the bottom (although nonstick may be scratched).

The uses for this pot are nearly endless so I'll only put a few short ones here:

  • It could be possible to use this pot as a small boat for a short period of time. I don't recommend leaving anything valuable inside the boat because in about 10 minutes it is likely to fills with water and sink to the bottom of your bathtub.
  • It would be perfect as a display or decorative pot, for example to hold plastic cheerios for a photo-shoot
  • The tiny hole lets in some light and it would probably make a great pinhole camera, if you know what that is.
  • If you don't have very many pots, this one could keep your other cookware company. I don't really recommend this though because it has become quite bitter since its debilitating accident.
  • Well suited for a Johnny Appleseed costume, unlike most pot/hats, this one is slightly ventilated to keep your head cool and dry. Adding fur to the handle would turn it into a decent Davey Crocket costume.
  • No mess when cooking dry ice, nitrogen and other gases.
  • One could use it as a model for artists drawing still life. The pot has a fantastic aptitude for holding still, even with loud distractions or a hot fire burning under it is brass
  • The pot would also make a great vegetable peeler, if you melted it down and built a vegetable peeler out of it.

The post was flagged and removed, lets see why?

Friday, February 05, 2010

Your princess is in another tree is a really cool website.  It's a pretty nifty way to crowdsource your family trees.  You make your tree, add your relatives, and so on, and it automatically hunts down similar family structures in other people's trees to merge them and make a huge, giant, ever-expanding family tree, worked on by anyone interested in your super-extended family.

The one annoying thing is the zillions of emails they send out.  Like, "Your 12th cousin, 4 times removed's wife's sister's birthday is today!" or "Some distant cousin you've never heard of has added an even more distant cousin to your family tree."

The strangest emails, though, are the ones saying "We've found your relatives in other trees."  I know what they mean to say, but I can't help but imagine my relatives swinging from the branches and wonder how they got up there in the first place.

Whoduthunkit that would adopt (misconstrued) Darwinian evolutionary theory to such an extent that they're searching for my relatives amongst the orangutans.