Archive for June, 2009

Worlds Ugliest Dog

Posted in Beer and Wine, Random Musings with tags , , , on June 29, 2009 by Aaron

This years ugliest dog happens to be named Pabst … is it a coincidence that there is a brand of beer by the same name?

Evolution Animation

Posted in Movies, Space with tags , , , on June 27, 2009 by Aaron

Here is an awesome clip from Carl Sagan’s Cosmos television series. In it he breaks down the course of evolution on Earth to show how humans have evolved. It is pretty old but that doesn’t make it any less amazing.

I have wanted to share this since the first time I ever saw it. Enjoy!

Cry Over Spilled Milk

Posted in Random Musings with tags , , , , on June 24, 2009 by Aaron

Normally in the morning when I get to work I like to make some breakfast. I keep the aforementioned oatmeal in my desk with some cranberries and some sliced almonds. This sounds a lot more complicated than I normally like things but we will put that behind us.

Usually while the water is boiling I look at things on the wall, wander around, think about what I need to do for the day, etc. This morning I decided to look inside the refrigerator as yesterday, it seemed to be fuller than normal. Normally it doesn’t fill up until people begin to come into the office and bring their lunch to put in the fridge. Since I am one of the first people here I would expect it to be mostly empty. It wasn’t… duhn dhun DHUNNNN!

Not only was it full, but I half-sensed some half-terrible smell lingering inside. There were a bunch of opened soda bottles taking up a lot of space and wait… what is that? Behind all the soda there was a plastic gallon of milk that had something inside it. There was no top on it and whatever was inside seemed to be a mixture (in the scientific sense, as opposed to a solution).

When I pulled it out and looked down into the hole it looked like messy, white, cake frosting. About an inch and a half deep. The reason it didn’t smell is because there was so much solid matter separating the rotting milk from my nose. To top it off, it expired on May 20th. 35 days ago…

I really wanted to take a picture but there was no way that I could portray how vile it looked. The only thing I could do was to wrap a plastic bag around it and throw it in the dumpster outside. I thought about pouring it in the sink but it would have been impossible to make the solid part go down the drain. The only way to accurately pass on this experience is to write a story about it.

Now you know too.

I am a Hot Sauce Addict

Posted in Random Musings, Recipes with tags , , , , on June 23, 2009 by Aaron

Step 1: Admit that I have a problem.

Fixed HotI am addicted to spicy condiments. The more pain, the better. If I am eating Japanese food I will know that I have put the perfect amount of wasabi on if I make a face, grab my forehead and lose control of my body. That is the way I like it. Right now in my refrigerator there are 6 different types of hot sauce that are open. In my cupboard there are at least 10 more.

Step 2: Rationalize it so it isn’t a problem anymore and I can go on living just like I have been. Also, compare it to something socially acceptable.

Is it about the pain? I don’t think so. I get a rush when I eat it. It is almost the same as drinking a lot of coffee or something. I am more awake and focused. More energetic and also more focused on other senses than my sight. My sense of touch is on fire (literally and figuratively) and it is also something that I like to do that most other people can’t. If you replace any specific references to that spicy feeling from this last paragraph with drugs you can see where I am beginning to recognize my problem.

My only condolence so far is that I only have about 16 bottles of hot sauce in my house. I still have a house. I still have room in my refrigerator for things that you can actually consider food. This habit does not affect the quality of my work or the relationships I have the people around me. So maybe I don’t have a problem, just an obsession.

Step 3: Change the subject.

Either way, here is something that I made recently:

Most of the Habanero Pepper Recipes out there almost all have fruity flavors to help out. I am not a big fan of that when I eat hot sauce. They go well together but sometimes fruit doesn’t go with what you are putting it on. I set out to create something that is really hot and not fruity. The other problem is that most homemade hot sauces aren’t really that hot. It turned out really tasty and hot and here is how I made it.

I think this is what I did … I think … it wasn’t that recently …

  • ~20 Habanero Peppers Minced
  • 1 Large Onion Diced
  • 5 Cloves of Garlic Minced
  • 1/2 of a Sweet Red Pepper diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Sea Salt
  • 1.5 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar

In a pot fry onion, garlic and red pepper until soft. Add habanero’s, salt and pepper and fry for another 3 minutes. Add cider vinegar and cook down to desired thickness.

I made it pretty thick, more like the consistency of ketchup. Good Luck.

Film Review: Blindness

Posted in Movies with tags , , , , on June 21, 2009 by Aaron

Last night I watched the film Blindness (2008). Something about this film got me but I wasn’t too sure if I liked it very much. It is about the response to people starting to go blind by seeing white (instead of black), one character describes it as being “like swimming in milk”. The government response being the quarantine of all these people into a jail of sorts. All the “inmates” are left to fend for themselves amongst each other and conditions quickly deteriorate. Our protagonists include Mark Ruffalo, a doctor, Julianne Moore, the doctors wife who still has her sight thought the film, and their companions, Danny Glover, Alice Braga, and more.

You could compare the prison to an internment camp where fear of its inhabitants causes them to be treated as animals and forced to live in horrible conditions. They are given packages of food and that is all. What happens when you put people in a crazy situation and treat them like animals? They start acting like animals. With no one cleaning up because they are more intent on the newness of the lack of sight (this point is illustrated with the lack of any characters being given names), the place pretty quickly becomes a mess. We don’t even know how long they are imprisoned throughout the film when the doctors wife, the only one who can see, forgets to wind her watch.

Just like in most post-apocalyptic films the situation quickly degenerates into the strong vs. the weak. The inhabitants in Ward 3 decide that they are in charge and take control of all the food and give it out as they see fit. First for jewelry, then once everything else that anyone has is in their possession, they move on to women. While watching this I couldn’t help thinking about the Stanford Prison Experiment.

In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king. In this film however, Gael Garcia Bernal, not the doctors wife, plays the part of the King of Ward 3 who pushes the action beyond the unendurable. This can only last so long and I kept finding myself wondering why everyone was letting him get away with this. I had to realize that when faced with extreme situations people never act very rationally. Eventually our characters leave the prison and we find out that, it seems, the entire world has gone blind. At this point the film almost turns into a zombie movie. There are hordes of starving people moving about looking for anything to eat. We don’t see them eating each other but I assume that this isn’t far off. Things look bad, but nowhere near as bad as the were on “the inside”.

The film ends with a message of hope but I think it was too little too late. The director, Fernanado Meirelles, did a really great job showing the horror that follows the collapse of civilization on the small scale of the prison. Then, when they left he took a step backwards. Instead of getting into a crazier and more intense situation, the film takes a more hopeful approach. It is almost as if they are saying that the people who are in prison are more like crazy, destructive warlords and that people who are on the outside, in the same situation, can coexist in a more peaceful anarchistic sort of way. Please refer back to the Stanford Prison Experiment. Our protagonists are the sane, shining light making their way though the insanity of the situation.

I think that I wanted to like it but there is something that doesn’t sit totally well with me. There were some really awesome moments but it doesn’t come together into a really great movie. Meirelles did a good job showing us blindness with the way over exposed film look the whole movie and also used a couple cool little tricks that he should have taken more advantage of.

Should you see it? Sure. Should you see it now? No.

Atlas Rocket Launch

Posted in Space with tags , , , , on June 19, 2009 by Aaron

I think I have been waiting for a video like this my whole life without realizing it. It is incredibly beautiful to see the rocket break the cloud layer and have Earth begin to recede into the distance. I feel like I have seen this in movies but knowing that this is real makes a big difference.

Beer Better Than Water?

Posted in Beer and Wine with tags , , , on June 18, 2009 by Aaron

Apparently if you are in Spain then drinking beer after a hike is better for you than drinking water, if rehydration is your goal.

Check out the article here.