Don't Shake the Flask

Because you don't know if it'll explode

Month: November, 2004

I Am Mistress To No One

There She Is, ‘Miss Spinster Thailand’ and Proud of It. What I find amusing is all the deadbeat guys who call up the contestants for Miss Spinster and offer them to be their mistresses because they figure these women must be desperate for a man if they apply to this kind of pageant. Little do they know–the women who applied are career women who don’t need men.

I’m at the point in my life where most people my age are obsessed with finding The One. You know, Mr./Ms. Right or at least Mr./Ms. Okay or Right Now or Just-Somebody-So-I-Won’t-Be-Laughed-At-For-Being-Single. I’m just glad that I’m one of those people who isn’t noticed so I can just roll my eyes at the whining and shut my ears. It’s not that I don’t think people should be entitled to finding a partner–if you find the love of your life, more power to you! I only find it disappointing that so many people choose to cave in to social conditioning and social pressure and start believing that if they don’t find someone, there’s something wrong with them.

Oh, I just can’t wait until I hit 30 when everyone starts complaining about biological clocks and kids.

A Thought and Some Links I Found the Other Day

So I was thinking this morning: What’s the degree of separation between bloggers in real life? This is totally disregarding linking and blogrolling. If I read about Blogger X but don’t know him/her in real life, how many people do I know in real life who knows that blogger in real life?

What number are you? (via Pharyngula) I’m 9, the peacemaker. It says that I’m emotionally stable and whatnot. Maybe they actually mean emotionally numb? Whatever.

Almost half of Americans believe God created humans 10,000 years ago. Most of the time, I take Gallup polls with a grain of salt. You know, lies, damn lies, and statistics and all that. But frankly, this scares me even though it doesn’t really seem surprising at the same time.

Carnival of the Recipes. I suppose if you’re any kind of cook, this will be interesting. Or maybe it’ll be interesting because the holidays are coming up.

More Links and a Meme

The Ketchup Conundrum. “Mustard now comes in dozens of varieties. Why has ketchup stayed the same?” Good question. A very interesting history of the condiment industry.

Couple planned to ‘sacrifice’ children. Yes, some people up here in New Hampshire are total crazies. Lock your doors and don’t pick up hitchhikers.

Journos and Bloggers: Can Both Survive? These BloggerCon people are acting like weblogging is journalism but in a lot of cases it isn’t. It’s something different. It’s like comparing apples and oatmeal. Besides, journalists have jobs that are at the whim of their publishers. Bloggers can publish anything if they have an internet connection.

World’s strongest acid created. “The world’s strongest acid, at least a million times more potent than concentrated sulphuric acid, has been made in a lab in California. Perhaps confusingly, it is also one of the least corrosive.”

How ‘Dungeons’ changed the world. An article about the 30th anniversary of Dungeons and Dragons–a role playing game for the social nerd. I have never played any role playing games even though some people have tried to convince me to.

Tales from the blogosphere. Yet another article about weblogs for the clueless.

Patron Saint of the Nerds. “Here in the oldest church building in New Orleans, tucked into a dark corner by the door as far away from the main altar as possible, stands the statue of St. Expedite — the unofficial patron saint of hackers.”

Hanks may lead ‘Da Vinci’ movie. Tom Hanks is expected to step into the scholarly shoes of Robert Langdon, the professor who unravels the mystery of the Holy Grail in the film version of Dan Brown’s phenomenally successful novel “The Da Vinci Code.” This only came to my attention because people I know are totally into this book. I don’t know–when I read the book, I did not picture someone like Hanks to be the main character. I pictured someone like Bill Pullman in Spaceballs.

* * *
Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Reconnect:: Internet
  2. Gearshiift:: Stick
  3. Mania:: Crazy
  4. Manhattan:: People
  5. First date:: No kissing
  6. District:: Redrawn
  7. Yearbook:: Signatures
  8. Breakup:: Fight
  9. Episode:: One
  10. Costume:: Frenzy


Lard crisis: mince pies threatened as supplies dwindle. “Lard fans regard it as a gastronomic delicacy which makes cakes, pastry and roast potatoes taste fantastic. But others, notably vegetarians, think it is a disgusting animal fat.” Add me to the camp of people who thinks lard is disgusting. However, I find it really funny that people are stocking up on lard because there’s a shortage.

Google Scholar. Yes, I found this a couple days ago. Sounds like something people can use if they’re not already familiar with the other science search engines like PubMed.

Auction of The World’s Largest Bottle of Wine. (via Kottke) Whoa. I wonder how much yeast is in that bottle.

Dreamer of the Dark. “Was the most influential horror writer of the 20th century a believer in the paranormal?” A very cool article on H.P. Lovecraft, my favorite horror writer.

A visual history of spam (and virus) email. (via Reflections in d minor) This guy plots how much spam he has gotten since 1997.

Millenium Corral Reefs: Landsat Archive. Some awesome satellite pictures of coastlines and associated coral reefs via a NASA sponsored global coral reef mapping project.

Elliott Avedon Museum and Archive of Games. An excellent site to learn about game ethnography and history.

Observations and Notes

Some people need the forwarding button in their e-mail clients disabled.

Clapping your hands at the computer will not make it open your presentation file. And no, the computer will not open the file if you make crooning noises at it either.

I discovered yesterday that I now have five times as much server space for this website than I originally had and I didn’t have to pay anything for the upgrade. Unfortunately, my bandwidth allowance remains the same.

Utterly and completely abandoning realism, make up where you’ll be in five years. (via Shawn Allison) I will be taking a permanent vacation in Fiji which will include, among other things, pina coladas and a hot guy who wants to be my slaveboy. If I can’t have that, I’d settle for playing curling on a cruise ship.

The Thursday Threesome: No one diets on Thanksgiving

(The above quote is from Erma Bombeck.)

Onesome: No one-…to talk to? Nah, who is it you look forward to seeing at one of the holidays just to be able to sit around and chat with? Sure, even someone you see during the rest of the year!

My family. (But I won’t be seeing them until Christmas.)

Twosome: diets- Have you ever tried one of the “fad” diets out there? Yes, I include Atkins in this category! How did it work for you? Would you do it again or try another one?

No. People I know are trying the South Beach Diet. But they’re very miserable about it.

Threesome: on Thanksgiving- What’s your favorite dish? Would you be happy just pigging out on turkey, or do you need all the fixings? Does the pumpkin pie make the meal or do you prefer Mom’s green bean casserole?

I really don’t have a preference for any of the traditional dishes although I always get the nagging feeling that the cranberry sauce is nothing more than glorified jam. Since I will be by myself on Thanksgiving–like the Thanksgivings of the past couple of years–I am going to spend my time writing my novel (if I haven’t finished it by then), studying, and experimenting with food protocols, er, I mean recipes.

Orzo Salad

The people who ate my latest experiment seemed to like it so I might as well share the recipe. Vegetables can be substituted with anything else if you wish. If you’re just making it for yourself, you might want to scale it down, but this is ideal for a large group, say, a Thanksgiving gathering of about twenty people.

3 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
squeezed juice from half a lemon
a dash of black pepper
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
5-6 oz. of sliced black olives
4 small tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup mint, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
2 lbs. orzo

Boil a large pot of water and add salt before cooking the orzo. This takes about 10 minutes. Drain and let the pasta cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, add the vinegar and lemon juice and stir in the olive oil and black pepper. Mix the vegetables with the orzo and then add the dressing. The salad can be served at room temperature or chilled.

Someone Needs a Smackdown

I took the “What kind of blogger are you?” quiz and it told me that I was a pundit blogger.

Oh, the horror!

The biggest flaw about this quiz is that it’s multiple choice. You can only pick among those choices. And you can only pick one choice. The following are my real answers to the questions.

1. A big election that you care about is coming up. Do you…

I make sure I don’t write anything about the election. You might get an idea for which side I’m leaning toward by my commentary on other, seemingly unrelated, things but you’d have to be really good at reading between the lines.

2. When you blog, do you link to other bloggers?

I only link to other bloggers when a)they’ve written a particularly interesting post or b)they are the source for a particularly interesting link. If I meet a blogger in real life, I would only link to them in a post if I happen to read their blog on a regular basis. I’ve met bloggers in real life before but I don’t read their blogs on a regular basis (they don’t even update on a regular basis, so what’s the point?) thus no linky-dinky for them.

3. You like blogs that:

Amuse me. It doesn’t really matter what kind of content it is. Whether it’s a photoblog, a diary, or a pundit site, if it makes me think or laugh–I’ll bookmark it.

4. People like your blog because…

I have absolutely no idea.

I could argue that most people who visit this blog don’t like it because they’ve found it from Google via some stupid and completely random search query that has nothing to do with what I’m talking about. I could also argue that most people don’t like this blog because of my low rankings on certain blog directories. I guess all the college kids hate it because I don’t use IM-speak and I’m just not cool. And everyone else doesn’t like it because I don’t write about what they would like to read about.

5. How many topics do you usually blog about?

It could be anything.

6. Your biggest blogging pet peeve is:

A lot of things. I despise political blogs because it seems as if the authors just want to find something to get mad about. People who lock their blogs under a private setting so no one can read it except them (if they want private, why don’t they just keep the dang thing on their computer instead of the internet?). Blogs with no content. Blogs with bad grammar. Blogs with really, really bad template design. Snotty and obnoxious bloggers. Comment spam. Trolls. Oh, I should just stop here before I go on for another ten pages.

7. Finally, why do you blog?

Ah, it figures that the final question actually has a choice that I find acceptable: “For your own self-amusement, really.”

Tangled Bank #16

Yep, it’s that time of the week again. So go read some cool science-y stuff at Rhosgobel. And even if you’re tired of reading, you can always look at Rhosgobel’s cute mouse pictures. Much more interesting than my cooking tribulations, anyway.

What Cooking School?

Why doesn’t anyone give me advance warning about these things? Oh, we’re having a potluck party on Wednesday. This Wednesday? Somebody please bean me with a bookbag full of textbooks. (And before anyone asks, no, I cannot get out of attending the party.)

Okay, I admit to experimenting with different kinds of potato salad the past couple of weeks, but I’m a cook out of necessity–I want to be able to feed myself without killing myself at the same time. But Wednesday is way too soon. I know you’re really busy. You can just buy something and bring it. Oh no you don’t. You know I’m not the kind of person who will just cheat and buy a party platter at the local deli. Isn’t simply buying something one of those terribly gauche things you should never do at a potluck?

So I looked up a recipe which calls for orzo. What the heck is orzo? You may ask. Orzo is pasta’s imitation of rice, that’s what. Well, at any rate, now my fridge is filled with colorful vegetables and five pounds of orzo is sitting on my counter. And tomorrow morning before going to school, I’m going to try very hard not to make a mess of the kitchen.