With only 3 produced episodes, the first unsuccessful LAW & ORDER spin-off was scrapped due to the fact that, in the end, it was always Hitler that did it. All that remains of The History Channel's first dramatic series is this title screen:
I've been experimenting a bit with pancakes lately and have some findings to report.
I've been substituting some of the water in my pancakes for applesauce, both for flavor reasons and texture reasons. See, applesauce functions rather well as an emulsifier, kind of holding everything together. It will perform much the same function as eggs or oil in pretty much any recipe, while reducing the calories/fat/cholesterol/whatever added by those things, and adding a subtle sweetness component to your food at the same time. [For a healthy treat, try replacing all the oil from brownie mixes with applesauce; far less bad-for-you-stuff, same (or even "improved") brownie texture. Or, try adding applesauce to your French toast batter for the moistest French toast ever.]
The first time I substituted half a cup of the required 1.5 cups water for applesauce and found the cakes an improvement. They don't really taste "appley," per se, but the texture is a little bit more "chewey" despite the pancakes being extremely thick and airy. It came out so well that today I decided to kick it up a notch and substitute a whole cup of the required cup and a half water. The result was pancakes that were even better than the prior batch. The only thing you need to watch out for is that the applesauce adds quite a lot of sugar to the cakes (but it's "natural-found-in-fruit"-type sugar), which causes extra browning. You can compensate for this by turning the heat down a little; they'll cook a tad more slowly, but they'll come out wonderfully. I've got quite a sweet tooth, usually preferring to drown my pancakes in syrup, but I found these to be darn tasty all by themselves. They're still not really "appley" in flavor, but they're excellent, and not really dry like thick fluffy cakes usually are.
This applies primarily to "instant" or "just add water" style commercial pancake mixes, but I see no reason why it wouldn't work equally well if you are making your pancakes from scratch. The batter may seem alarmingly thick, and you will have to kind of "coax" it into pancake shapes on your griddle, but resist the temptation to add more liquid. Your faith will both be rewarded.
Be sure to let me know your results if you try it -- especially if I ruin your breakfast.
Hey, remember when I mistook John McCain for John McClane, linking to livefreeordiehard.com as his campaign page? Well now, COINCIDENTALLY, Twentieth Century Fox Films has done the same thing, even using "Yippie Kay Yay America" as a slogan like I did, linking right from livefreeordiehard.com with a bumper sticker graphic very similar to the one I made. And how were people getting to livefreeordiehard.com to see the advertisement? That's right, those thousands of people were getting there because I had the common decency to link them there.
Granted, I never followed through by making a full-on campaign page because it was too much work for a stupid joke, but it gave Fox the opportunity to show that there is NOTHING TOO STUPID, provided someone comes up with it for them first. On the plus side, their site looks JUST LIKE the one I was going to make, so that's all good. I particularly like the quote about John putting himself in his opponent's shoes. I'd link to it, except that unlike my version of the site, theirs is entirely flash and impossible to use.
Anyway, to the people at 20th Century Fox I only have one thing to say: "You're welcome."
Had a mini road-trip today, during which I invented a new type of turn signal. Rather than indicating to other vehicles on the highway that I intend to change lanes, this new signal will indicate to them that they should do so. This is most useful when people are attempting to merge onto the highway, and would solve a constant frustration of mine. Seriously, people can't merge on their own, and I feel that an additional signal would go a long ways towards solving this problem. (Initially my idea was for the indicator to CAUSE the other person's car to change lanes, but I'm not sure that even I would be able to use that only for good -- let alone all the idiots that can't merge on their own in the first place.
I'm not even going to charge money to license this technology; I feel the good this will do for mankind far outweighs the potential profits from it. You're welcome, world.
In other news, we're off to an 'adults-only' member night at our local Museum of Science and Industry. A quick peek at the website has taught me that it's not quite the evening I had imagined when D sold me on the idea a few months ago; rather it's just an evening where no one under 21 is admitted so the adults can enjoy fancy appetizers and 'sciency' cocktails. My imagined version was much better, but the real one sounds like it might be fun too. What's better than Chinese dinosaur bones? Slightly tipsy rich people to appreciate my sophisticated 'bones' humor all evening.
While working late one night in his lab, Alexander Graham Bell made a discovery of utmost importance. Our culture would not be the same had Mr. Bell not had the perseverance and dedication to his craft, which is really sad since so few people know he was the man responsible for such a culture-defining phenomenon.
The other night I came up with a stupid idea whilst in the midst of a drug-induced stupor. I'll share it with you now.
SETTING: Post-Civil War United States. President Lincoln has just been assassinated. John Wilkes Booth struck, not just to deliver a death blow to President Lincoln, but also to collect a sample of his brain. For he was doing the bidding of a group of disenfranchised ex-slave-owners -- who, after no longer being able to take advantage of the African slave labor they so required, set out to use genetic engineering to create a never-ending supply of workers to harvest their cottons and tobaccos. Workers created in the image of the very man who forced them to take such action. Clone Lincolns. Slave Clone Lincolns. Slave Clone Lincolns who eventually would number in the millions, who would then rise up and take back the country for the South -- once and for all.
Here's a doodle I just cranked out on my Nintendo DS:
Last night I spun up another batch of icepudding, resulting in somewhat better results. The really cool thing about my original batch of icepudding was that as it melted, it just became pudding. I'm used to a puddle of liquidy melty stuff in the bottom of my bowl when eating ice cream, but that just doesn't happen with icepudding. There's just pudding in the bottom of my bowl. Even if the texture of the puddingcream wasn't pleasurable, the lack of liquifying during melting would make it worth it. It is pleasurable, however, so it's win-win.
The new ratio was two boxes sugar/fat free Jell-O pudding with 5 cups skim milk and one cup half-and-half. Each box of Jell-O calls for two cups 2% milk, so this is about a 50% increase in volume, but it should be a decrease in fat. This time I used one box of chocolate-flavored and one box cheesecake-flavored, plus a little freshly ground cinnamon and a splash of brandy extract topped it off.
Flavor: delicious. Fantastically delicious, considering how relatively low in fat and calories this batch was.
Texture: could use some improvement. This time it came out a bit too runny and ice-crystally, so next time I'm going to cut it down to 4 cups skim and 1 cup half-and-half in hopes that it freezes up a little smoother and more solidly.
I'll keep you posted.
UPDATE: Make sure that when you put your freezer cartridge thing back in the freezer after cleaning that it doesn't shift and knock your freezer door open after you've walked away. I awoke to a freezer full of mushy melty things. On the positive side, though, there is now a lot more room for ice cream.
In case you've ever said to yourself, "Self, I bet pouring instant pudding into my electric icecream maker would make really awesome, really easy, really interesting ice cream," but never actually <i>tried</i> it, I'd like to point out that you'd have been right.
Pouring instant pudding into an icecream maker results in really creamy smooth delicious ice cream. The only thing I'd suggest is upping the amount of milk/cream/half&half/whatever. I'd say go with double what the box calls for.
When I figure out the perfect ratio, you'll be the first to know.
Do you remember the self-help book I put out a few years back? Well it's in a brand new printing, so I figure it's time to plug it again.
Do you ever wish you could spend your day frolicking about without ever worrying about a thing? Do you wish sex was less relationship-driven and more of a recreational activity? Do you wish you could do a double back flip, and kill sharks with only your nose?
This best-selling motivational book has helped millions lead the fulfilling lives they always wished they could, and now with the new chapter on whistle-based communication, you can do all that and help get ideas across to others in a more efficient manner.
Some of my more notable past inventions include the snappy-bracelet-wristwatch, shoes that you can "pump up," toy lightsabers1 that retract fully into the handles and spring out, the Internet2 (damn you Al Gore!), and many others that I can't recall now.
The one that made me think of this today is the heating-element-blender, which would allow you to blend and cook all in one step. Soup couldn't possibly get any easier. Anyway, I was describing this invention when someone piped in that they had seen that very thing being demonstrated at Costco last weekend. I have no idea how someone managed to produce my product in the 2 minutes it took to describe it to someone, but I suspect it has something to do with the time machine I'm currently inventing.
1: This was in fact before I knew the word "lightsaber." I didn't see Star Wars until 1989 or so, but invented toy swords that were just handles until which time as you push a button and the blade telescopes out at some point way prior to that. I do recall seeing toy lightabers back then, but they were just flashlights with long detachable colored tubes. Lame.
2: I just threw this one in to make an Al Gore joke, in complete disregard of the fact that Al Gore really was instrumental in the creation of the Internet.
Shawn P. from Ohio dropped me a line yesterday, letting me know that some "wacky radio deejays (boing!)" in Columbus are implementing my Toys for Tatas idea:
It's put on by a local radio station, and from my understanding you drive into this heated tent and give the girls a gift (for needy families) and then they all show you their - ahem - "tatas", because you can say that on the air.
Apparently this chain of strip clubs called Rick's Cabaret does something by the same name.
It is unclear at this time whether they came about this idea legitimately, or blatantly stole it from me. I don't think I need to tell you which I think it is.
Hopefully next year I'll remember the idea so I can get a jump on trying to set something up before the hustle and bustle of crazy peoplereally crazy people completely saps my desire to expend any kind of effort.
I only have a minute, so I'll just lay out the basis for my idea so that you might give me some input to help form the rest of it.
My idea is..... Toys for Tits.
Iwant to try talking some of the fancier "gentlemen's clubs" in the Portland, OR area into doing some kind of toy drive for needy kids this holiday season. Perhaps offering discounted admission or lap dances in exchange for gift donations or something. Like I said, I haven't really... fleshed... out the idea yet -- basically I got to "Toys for Tits" and then began to think about tits... you know how it is.
I was also thinking "Toys for TaTas", since that name could actually be said on the evening news...
Anyway: thoughts? Has some other genius already come up with this and I just don't know about it due to not frequenting that sort of establishment (more than a couple times a month anway. OK -- fine. A week.)?
All this "Peak Oil" hoopla lately has once again got me thinking a lot about alternate fuel sources. Whether or not civilization as we know it is about to radically shift, using less of our non-renewable resources just seems like a good idea, so I've been racking my brain to come up with viable alternatives.
Last June (on my birthday, apparently) I posted my first idea for a renewable fuel source, but it alone wasn't enough to make much of a dent and thus didn't get the attention I feel it deserved. I still stand by the idea -- I just feel it needs to be supplemented with additional renewable sources.
With that in mind, I'm now about to rock the world by combining three existing renewable fuel technologies into one super hybrid, using only one readily available renewable resource.
The main source of this hybrid power scheme is an extremely prevalent substance found nearly everywhere humans are present, one which we take great pains to eliminate from our daily lives. Yes, I'm talking about excrement -- or "poop," if scientific terms aren't your cup of tea.
"Sure," you might say, "there are people already generating methane from animal excrement and people generating steam power -- and, by extension, electricity -- from burning dried animal waste, so what's so 'world-rocking?'"
Well, my new technique allows for ethanol extraction as well as the aforementioned steam and methane. To see how wonderful a fuel source ethanol is, one needs only to take a look at the readily available, attractively priced fuel in Brazil.
Sure, opponents of ethanol-as-fuel tout the fact that even if we used all the corn we currently eat -- and therefore would no longer be able to consume -- for fuel production, we wouldn't be able to power all our cars. That's very true; growing additional corn would actually have a negative impact on the problem.
However, I've overcome this hurdle; my plan requires no additional corn to be grown, nor a reduction in the amount we eat. Wondering where the ethanol is coming from? Well, my new process extracts all the undigested kernels of corn you see nestled in your excrement for ethanol processing, allowing us to generate ethanol from it after we have eaten it.
Sure, your excrement alone might not have much impact, but imagine if it was mixed in with that of all the people in your town. All that poop would have quite an impact indeed. With only minor changes to our municipal sewage treatment plants, we'd be able to start generating methane, steam-powered electricity, and ethanol from our excrement.
Rather than simply flushing this valuable resource into our nation's rivers, we could be generating surplus energy to supplement my already proposed reclamation system to push us even closer to total independence from petroleum.
Come on, America; let's "get our shit together" while we still can.