Friday, January 30

Vegans Win

And this is why you should think about NOT eating beef everyday --

  • Pound for pound, beef production generates greenhouse gases that contribute more than 13 times as much to global warming as do the gases emitted from producing chicken. For potatoes, the multiplier is 57.
  • Beef consumption is rising rapidly, both as population increases and as people eat more meat.
  • Producing the annual beef diet of the average American emits as much greenhouse gas as a car driven more than 1,800 miles.
Do your part fair readers. Epic change always starts with you!


Because I have been constantly thinking about it and listening to NPR about it and reading about it, I thought I would take a second to write about the economy. I know super exciting. It won't take long. I promise. For me, it feels like watching the scene of a car accident as you drive by. You slow down, you stare, you think about how much that sucks and how you never want it to happen to you, but you shrug your shoulders and speed up and drive away. That is this recession to me. Grad school is (mostly) recession proof. The money keeps coming for the next 4.5 years regardless of the rest of the world. Which is nice to know. Not to worry I will continue to do my part in stimulating the economy -- one beer at a time.

With that said, an interesting side effect of the world at large right now, is the idea of price actualization. People finally realizing that we have been shafted for years with super inflated prices compared to manufacturing costs. The business world has been growing at our expense. Profits are down because for the first time ever, people are saying I am not going to pay $80 for a new phone that costs $11 to make.

This was posted on the Planet Money blog -- an excerpt from a book published in the last Great Depression:

The psychic effect of the depression, it seems to me, is generally a good one.... It has taught people the difference between speculative values and real values. It has hastened the death of sick industries, and proved the vigor of sound ones. It has blown up the old delusion that the amount of money in the world is unlimited, and that every American is entitled to a police captain's share of it. Best of all, it has taught millions that there is really no earthly reason why there should be two cars in every garage, and a chicken in the pot every day.
-- H.L. Mencken

I hope this how America endures this recession.

How is the recession affecting you? Feel free to rant in your comment that you know you want to leave...

Tuesday, January 27

Suffice it to say

I am learning a lot about myself from some recent experiences. Involving the opposite sex. And I would like to get it off my chest. And I would type it all here and indulge/cringe at the feedback, BUT I know there are a plenty of trollers who would think it is way WAY too much information. Close friends and family, who would probably like to avoid the true inner workings of my brain. Nobody wants to read their big brother's opinion on foreplay, sex or the dating ettiquet of 20-something young "professionals". So for now I am going to hold off. But as the title states, suffice it say, I have learned a lot in a few short days. Now, I just need to try and figure out what it all means.

More posts to come!

Sunday, January 25

Oh California...

So I am reading this article from - in a recent study from Sweden, they have found that free-range chickens are more likely to have
more bacterial infections (the most common cause of death), more parasites, and more viruses. They were also more likely to become victims of violent pecking and cannibalistic attacks.
In California, in the last election, many people around the world found out that even the most progressive state in America has its limitations. The failure to block Prop 8 was a travesty to human rights and a disgusting view of civil rights and love. But one of the things that made me most upset was that Prop 2 passed. What is Prop 2, you may ask?

Well, it's a law requiring chickens and other animals to be grown in free-range conditions. All this despite warnings from farmers and veterinarians, that free-range chickens are not always healthier. Chickens are in fact filthy animals. They are constantly in contact with their own excrement while they peck the ground, consuming food and waster alike. This sort of contamination was avoided in cages elevated above the ground, allowing waste to fall away from the bird. Cages also prevented violent, cannabalistic attacks, mentioned above.

It was common site on the streets in LA, pre-election, to see minivans and SUVs, displaying "Yes on Prop 2" and "Yes on Prop 8". People were content and eager to give more rights to ANIMALS, for conditions that did not make their lives better, while taking away rights from other HUMANS, essentially creating a type of second class citizen. As a good friend of mine suggested, maybe we should be starting PETH, People for the Ethical Treatment of Humans, as a counter to PETA.

What a world we live in. Good job California. Way to drop the ball.

TWSS #3-7

San Diego Weekend Excursion

# 3 "and catch it all in my mouth" - Holly
called by Andy

# 4 "it's just so thick" - Laura
called by Andy and I

# 5 "she came first, then I followed" - Laura
called by Holly

# 6 "this thing keeps leaking all over the place" - Laura
called by Andy

# 7 "Just force it. It will work" - Andy
called by myself

Tuesday, January 20

New Highs

So I TA-ed my first class at USC today. Mind you, this is not the first class I've TA-ed in my life, just at USC. (And with that little tid bit of knowledge, I think anyone with half an interest can now find me in real life, but I guess it's not much worse than Facebook). It was quite the experience because, truth be told, there was nothing super exciting about it.

My lecture went well. The usual number of kids were willing to answer questions. My TA partner was 1000 times better at finding the iris in the microscope than myself. I spent the last half of the lab (approximately 1.5 hrs) starving to death.

The students seem to be the extra studious type. Shockingly many were prepared before class had even started. And to top it off some of them had actually read the lab protocols before coming to class. I was amazed! I guess I really shouldn't be, most of them are pre-professional students: pre-pharmacy, -optometry, etc.

All in all nothing, as normal as a first TA experience can be. I will keep you posted on any future excitement. But don't hold your breath.

The Man Who Should Have Never Been President

How did this man ever become President in the first place?

You Have Been Warned

[Squiffy's House of Fun]

Monday, January 19

A Bastion of Hope

As promised --

Kicking off this exciting weekend was an exciting trip to The Counter, a burger joint at the corner of 29th and Ocean Park in Santa Monica. There are franchises all over Southern California and smattered around the rest of the country. The Counter is an experience in and of itself. While waiting for a table (which you always will have to do) you are given a clipboard and check-able menu.

You customize everything about your burger. The type of meat (includes a veggie option). The size of the patty, 1/3 lb, 2/3 lb, or 1 lb behemoth. Four toppings of 18 possiblities. A cheese from 10 options. Your choice of sauce. And the type of bun. To get an idea of what these options are, look here.

Now this may all sound fun and exciting -- what a novelty, you can check off what you want to make, but really the burgers are AMAZING. I can not explain how delicious these burgers are. They are king of all burgers. When you take that first bite (which normally requires a knife and fork for anything 2/3lbs or bigger) you won't be able to put it down. The patty melts on your taste buds. All other burgers will be compared to this single experience. Sure. It sounds like I am exaggerating. Sure. Everyone claims to have had the best burger. But let me tell you -- I went there twice last week. TWICE. Because there were people in town who wanted to try the best burger in the world. Both of them left satisfied. And preaching the word.
This is yours truly enjoying a 1/3 lb burger, with Tillamook cheddar, fresh lettuce and tomato, jalapenos, spicy pepperoncinis, and healthy slab of honey cured bacon. All on a honey wheat bun.

Yes SassyKathy, you can visit me just to try this burger. I won't be offended.

PS - the 50/50 regular and sweet potato fries are amazing too!

Faithful Readers...

... do not despair. I have several posts I need to make about this past weekend. They are coming ASAP (hopefully later tonight), I just need to take care of one little itty bitty thing first.

Thursday, January 15

Just call me Digg Jr

Just a fun article from that I found through Too many .coms there?

It lists 10 commonly held myths and dismisses them. Like... humans only use 10% of their brains. Wrong. That Napoleon was short. Wrong. And that men think about sex once every 7 second. Wron..... well.... definitely not 7 seconds... maybe... 15 seconds... Got to let one thought finish first, right?

Not to Gloat

So I've been hearing from a few people (read: everyone) that the Eastern part of the country is not a comfortable place to be... something about cod weather... no... no... it can't be cod... OH right it's like frickin' freezing everywhere right? Cold enough for stuff like this to happen. Yes. That boiling hot water is freezing instantly in -20F air temps. CRAZY.

For those of you not reading this in Southern California... I don't want to sound like I am bragging, but I am just a little bit. Today was 85 with blue skies. Have I mentioned that I love living here?

Evite Is Useless

I think the title of this post speaks for itself -- mainly it's my frustration with having to use such a terrible, rigid structure that stifles creativity. WHY can't I add returns to my message? Why must it be a sold block of crap? And secondly, and possibly more importantly, why don't people respond to the damn invite!!!!??? I have been part of Evites before, hosting them at my place etc., so I knew you could see when people viewed the invite itself. But there is no reason not to respond. If you can't come, just respond accordingly -- don't wait to see if "something clears up". Write that! There is a maybe section. Select "MAYBE" and then write some lame excuse "I can't definitely come because I am getting the sand removed from my vagina blah blah blah, but if my doc cancels blah blah blah". So frustrating...

Any way that's my rant for tonight. Expect a less bitter and angry post in a little bit.

Tuesday, January 13

Because I love them

I think crows and ravens may be the coolest birds out there. They always impress me with their intelligence and resourcefulness. The ravens that inhabit Catalina Island are amazing at exploiting the stupid humans and their spawn. So when I saw this video, despite most people not caring, I just had to post it here to show everyone how cool these birds are.

Update: To make my main page less annoying, the video has been moved to this link: video!

Plus I think it's Sir David Attenborough narrating, which is always a treat.

Tripping Balls

So I found this article last night about self-inducing hallucination... I am going to try the first one for sure and see if anything happens. Most of the tricks aren't really hallucination, more like mind tricks due to how the brain works. It's pretty cool. If you try any of them, let me know. And I'll keep you all posted too.

Monday, January 12

For the Audience

So this morning while I was washing dishes, I had this lyric from Usher stuck in my head. A friend of mine, who actually might not be a consider a friend anymore, long ago, used this to jokingly describe herself. The lyric is
we want a lady on the street, but a freak in the bed

And then I got to wondering, would I be satisfied if I found a person who completed me in every way, but was not able to perform under the covers? And to be honest I didn't have an answer. Also, if dating two people at the same time and one was funny, caring, intellectually stimulating and all the other things people should, but sucked in bed AND the other was no where near as good, but was a sex goddess, who would I choose? (Now to be clear, Lady Number 2, isn't a terrible person, she just isn't perfect) I am still not sure. Hopefully, I don't learn through trial and error.

But fair reader, what about yourself? Do you know which way you would choose? Or have you had to choose in such a situation? Obviously, change gender when necessary.

How much does sex play in choosing a partner?

Sunday, January 11

Let me tell you a little story

At Rutgers University in New Jersey, there is a late night food vendor known as the Grease Trucks. They specialize in the ultimate late night solution to various substance induced hunger, the Fat Sandwich. The reigning king of the Fat Sandwiches, is the Fat Darrell. A Fat Darrell consists of golden deep fried mozzarella sticks, juicy chicken fingers, perfect french fries, topped with marinara sauce, and lettuce and tomato all on a single roll. Yes, that is 6000 calories on a single roll. Yes, I know how healthy these aren't for you. Yes, they are THAT amazing.

After receiving inspiration from friends back home with this video from Paula Dean (thank you JK). I spent the early part of the afternoon crafting sandwiches for my less blessed, non-New Jerseyan, Cali friends. Ingredients good to go.
Look at those fresh mozzarella sticks. Hot off the presses.
The first overwhelmed victim. Savoring the delicious-ness.
A true sign of a satisfied customer. Ben K. actually went back for seconds. He couldn't handle it alone and needed my backup. Of course being the good friend I am, I obliged.

For more history on the Fat Darrell, check out here. And for my specifics on the recipe, contact me. They are super simple, but slightly different than Paula's.

A Great Little Saturday

So I have two big posts that I need to write to recap today, but because today was so awesome I need to get some sleep first. Here are two pictures though -- to hold you through until I can update. Just to give you a sweet sweet taste
I know, it's just a sandwich. But it is the sandwich that rules all sandwiches with an iron fist. The Cadillac of sandwiches.
And yes -- those are monster trucks. More to come...

Thursday, January 8

Just me

Can I just say I love 30Rock? Easily the second best show on TV. No contest.

It's 2-fer time at Disneyland for Southern Californian residents, so I guess it's time to start planning two trips in one weekend :)

I heard a great joke that I've been sharing profusely today:
A priest, a rabbi, a black guy, a blond woman, and a horse walk into a bar.

The bartender looks at them and goes "What is this? A joke?"

Oh the woes of Wall Street

Another note from Marketplace today -- this was Kai's closing comment of the day:

The good people over at the Nasdaq have been wondering the same thing we have: What's a good way to track how bailed-out companies are performing with all that government cash they've got?

Enter the newest stock ticker you'll want to be keeping track of. The OMX Government Relief Index includes companies that have taken TARP money, not all of 'em, just the ones that got a billion dollars or more.

Here's the kicker though, the index started trading Monday at an initial value of 1,000. Closed today at 941.
Well that's exciting news...

One can dream

So I was listen to Marketplace on NPR with Kai Ryssdal (my favorite radio host) on the ride home today, as per my usual routine and they had an interesting segment which I am going to paraphrase. They had on a soft-toned British gentleman, Charles Handy, talking about the current state of banking and where the future might lie. He had an interesting prediction/hope for the future.
I mean we may get back to a saner kind of world -- what Adam Smith called "cultivation" or "civilization" -- where we don't all sort of spend our life trying to make money, to buy things we don't really need to impress the neighbors, and so on. Where we actually do work -- not 60 hours a week, but 40 hours a week. Where we actually do take holidays. Where we actually get to know our kids again. Where it actually becomes smart to have a tiny car, to walk and bicycle and these sorts of things. And we may find we enjoy it actually just as much as the hectic pace that we've seen in recent years. I've often said that capitalism, particularly in America, is a very exhausting business. It tires people out.
Now, it may just be me, but that is definitely a future I could support.

Wednesday, January 7

Adam's Desk Story

I have duplicated Adam's Craig's List ad for the desk he is selling because it was replaced by the desk starring in "An LA Moment":

This desk is made out of authentic composite wood, unilaterally paneled on all sides by a waterproof wood-imitating surface. It features permanent positioning, and is adorned by an office-depotesque ten inch tower. The curved front legs accentuate the desk's sensuality. The desk was assembled completely in America by the original owner. The Chinese who manufactured the parts of this desk have dedicated their lives to the creation of furniture parts. Featuring stunning workmanship, and wear to due age, this desk is sure to please even the hardest one to gift. Its tootsie pop stain will evoke the sweet smell of childhood for weeks to come.

Don't miss out on this opportunity! This desk is one-of-a-kind.

The actual post is here if you are interested in buying it:

Marine Monuments

President Bush has used some executive mumbo jumbo to immediately begin protecting 195,274 square miles of marine habitats in US waters. Not to worry none of those waters are part of the United States of America, but areas of the coast of American territories.

Beyond the absurdity of the wheres and hows, the areas being protects are pretty awesome. They protect some features unique only to the areas being preserved. Including the only active sulfur pool (not even sure what that it) inside the Asteroid Belt. While the marine biologist in me is always happy about more protected marine areas, the disappointed constituent in me wonders why not more and really, more executive powers?

You can follow this link to Discovery News to learn more.

An LA Moment

So I have been back in LA for less than 10 hours, kind of home sick, and I remember one of the many reasons I love this city.

At 10am, Adam turns the corner of my room and goes:
"Dude I am buying a desk off Craig's List, and you have to see who I am buying it from."
At which point he directs me to this web page:
It turns out this $60 desk he was getting was being sold by this model/actress, who if you followed any of the links, is rather attractive.

Being the good and caring roommate I am, I offered to go with him and help pick up the desk. :)

We traveled into the Valley to get the piece of furniture and arrived about 15 min late. She was waiting on the side of the road at a busy intersection in her black convertible (some old model that only looks nice because it is a convertible). The desk is already sitting on the curb. We pull up next to her and put on our hazard lights in the right lane and get out quickly to load the desk. She gets out of her car and looks as unimpressive as you would except a non-famous model to be. Dressed in sweats and a loose hanging sweatshirt. She was obviously extremely skinny and much shorter than her pictures would have you believe. Also, unlike her pictures she ULTRA freckly (oh the wonders of Photoshop).

Anywho, we put the desk in the trunk, and as we do, Adam starts to ask her where she got the desk from. Simultaneously, all three of us notice a sticker on the bottom of the desk that says "Big Lots $39.99." Her face suddenly becomes quite frightened, Adam and I look at each other, and he quickly hands over the $60. As we pull away, he looks at me and goes "Man, I wish we weren't parked on the street, I would have said I am not comfortable with giving you more than $40 for this desk. Damn." Needless to say we had a good laugh.

Update: So upon getting home we checked the sticker on the desk to find it was actually labeled as $39.99 for an umbrella. This made Adam feel better about his purchase.

Update: Adam found the desk online at Big Lots for $59.99 brand new. Now he feels even better because she only sold it for the price she got it for. The down side -- it came with a desk chair at that price. A shitty desk chair, but a chair nonetheless.

Monday, January 5


Why does suck so badly? How hard is it for them to keep shows up to view longer than 7 days? NBC keeps theirs up for most of the season. ABC gives you 4 weeks if you missed a show. Why doesn't CBS seem to grasp that online viewership helps people stay with the show? When people are all caught up they are more likely to watch your show weekly!!!


... am I attracted to women out of "my league"? *grumble*

I don't think I realized until this year how much the internet "slows" down over the winter holiday session. I mean it makes sense -- say one person/department has off for the holidays. Anyone relying on those posts for their "news" then has to come up with something different or not post themselves. Thus it spirals out of control to the point where Israel has been launching an attack on the Gaza Strip for 6 days with little splash being made.

And even more so what about the sludge disaster before Christmas? A coal-based energy plant in the heart of America, much like all coal plants, has to deposit and store its solid remains (read: ash). This plant had it stored in a water-y sludge behind a damn, until the earthen dam ruptured. Spilling 1 billion gallons of toxic coal sludge into the local ecosystem -- into the watershed, a major watershed of the American South.

So much for clean coal...

Sunday, January 4

A tad late...

... but still a fairly warming picture. Happy Belated Holidays!
for the first time in 8 years the White House seems to be a symbol of hope. I definitely have my fingers-crossed

Saturday, January 3

For your knowledge

This is what the cool kids look like when hanging outside the Met Art Museum --

now you know...


Do not count this as a real post...

Now children, you should never get so drunk that squatting against a glass divider in Penn Station at 3:50am seems like a reasonable idea.

Exhibit A.

Friday, January 2

Activism one person at a time...

For some reason, unbeknown to me, I seem to have very strong convictions about individual equalities and freedoms. Thus, living and voting in California this year was a special treat. I did what I could to fight for equality -- out there on election day (100 ft from the polling center, not being belligerent, as some less empathetic people claimed). Needless to say, I sent a few ripples through my family.

My Dad is a good man, but tends to drift towards homophobia, and my Mother is a religious woman. Now the election is long over, but over a recent dinner my mom brought up my views on gay marriage to my aunt. Low and behold, for both of them, their sticking point was, like many people's, about the use of the word marriage (my aunt in question is even more religious than my mother). They both felt gay individuals should be allowed to have "civil unions" (for a lack of a better word) that granted them exactly the same rights and privileges as marriage does.

I so my short speech began -- and to be honest I think I may have swayed my mom. I pointed out that in America, separate is not equal. Calling something a different name, but giving it the same qualities, makes it different. The problem for some people, is that marriage by definition, a religious definition, means between a man and a woman. Now, the last I checked, there was a separation of church and state in this country, and for the state marriage is a "contract" (again for a better lack of a term) that grants couples many, many rights and privileges. Rights in a court of law. Rights to make decisions for each other. Rights to file taxes, etc.

So the problem becomes that the same word has to be applied to the same rights. People can all undergo civil unions in the eyes of the government, and marriage can be left as a decision for each minister/pastor of each congregation. Or marriage can adopt a second meaning. There isn't many other ways around it. Sounds easy right? I wish...

And that doesn't even cover the people out there who believe homosexuality is a sin. Or that that gay people choose to be like that. As Jon Stewart put it "religion is far more of choice than homosexuality."

Thursday, January 1


So I learned all about rabies today while listening to NPR's This American Life with Ira Glass (which if you don't listen to, you should be!). Not only is it a terrifying virus which attacks the aggression centers in the brain causing people and animals to become enraged psychopaths that don't take no for an answer. It also ups the infected individuals adrenaline too, giving them Hulk-like strength and Superman pain thresholds. It is a fairly brilliant design of natural selection because the infected attack everything, spreading the virus further. Like zombies... umm...

So it turns out NY state has been having an epidemic of rabies for the last 15 years or so. But as Alex Bloomberg told his listeners (and because it scared me as much as it scared him), I am telling you ----

infected bats can bite someone in their sleep and not leave a mark, infecting the victim without them ever knowing. So if you catch a bat in a room you were sleeping in be sure to immediately get it tested and yourself. I know. Scary! Two of three human deaths in NY came from kids being bitten in their sleep... AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! But now you know. And can be paranoid just like me.



I know it's been a while since I posted anything. I promise I have stories and topics pending. Just need to find the time.