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merik, would you know if it'd be possible to produce an effervescent drink using helium rather than carbon dioxide? What actually determines the size of the bubbles? (Some places dispense Guinness using nitrogen rather than carbon dioxide, for the sake of the smaller bubbles, making for a smoother drink. Still doesn't compare to Wye Valley's Dorothy Goodbody's Wholesome Stout, though, brought into existence by a former chief brewer at Guinness, with the - accomplished! - intention of producing a brew much as its famous cousin did in its heyday)

I rather liked this android shot from within Necronom VI. I really must get around to exploring someday, when I've plenty of time to spare.. And then there's the disco Cylon. =:D

survey bannermarko_the_rat mentioned Klisoura's furry demographics survey, and I thought it'd be worth passing it on here. ^_^ (The results are also available; currently, of those answering, 36% are het, 24% gay, 35% bi, and 3% other. On religion, 27% Christian, 10% Hindu, 7% pagan, 1% Jewish, 2% Buddhist, 0.4% Muslim, 23% agnostic, 23% atheist, and 15% other)

Quite a cute idea: the iControlPad. Fits on top of an iPhone (iPod Touch version coming next), giving PSP style controls.

You might have noticed LL recently tweaked the viewer such that when an av can't be rendered correctly, rather than being Ruthed, you'll now appear as a cloud. ^_^ (Not something I've experienced often - maybe twice, I think - but the first time definitely caught me by surprise =:) Who is that with me - patch_bunny?

Need some bunny in your life? Try Big Buck Bunny - as noticed by ysengrin - an open source project from the Blender folks. I'll admit, I'm not hugely keen on the character designs, more Ice Age than Over the Hedge, but it's a very polished production indeed, with everything freely available, from the Blender files, to the final short, up to 1080p size. (If the server fails, the 480p version, at 240MB, can be found here, whilst the 30s trailer is on YouTube here)

I do seem to wind up with some of the coolest coworkers. The other day, he gave me a mug painting kit - blank white mug, and four suitable paints. (He'd bought two a while back for his boys, and one wasn't that interested in it, so he thought it'd suit me =:) Naturally, it's destined to have some kind of lapine design, suitably stylised to keep it feasible for the medium, and hopefully recognisable. ^_^

If you'd like to download BBC iPlayer video, the cryptically titled iPlayer Downloader (OS X only) will apparently perform just that task, leaving you with an unencumbered QuickTime file to enjoy at your leisure, online or offline.

While at the supermarket last Saturday, I picked up a few more unusual chocolate bars, to the furtherance of my gastronomic journeying:

Rococo milk cinnamonPrestat milkBovetti dark with cocoa nibs

I'm hopeless at culinary or musical criticism, but essentially: the Rococo bar I'm quite keen on, with a moderate balance offered in an appropriately cocoa-rich (37%) milk chocolate. The Prestat is good, though I'd probably choose Ghirardelli above it. The Bovetti is a fine example of dark chocolate indeed, with something that sets it above Lindt's Excellence offerings, or even Green & Black's. Interestingly, a quick Googling suggests Rococo's premises are worth visiting, when in London, though the temptation factor could be dangerous. (As for the packaging, Rococo's displays some of the 19th Century molds offered by Letang Fils at the time, and indeed, now used by Rococo in forming their bars. Prestat's, meanwhile, goes with a delightful piece of 1960s styling, even down to the copywriting, with the back noting, "Intensely smooth milk chocolate made with our finest organic couverture, as enjoyed by royalty and nobility, stars of the screen and stage, and, even, by cardinals, bishops, abbots and nuns for over 100 years" =:) Oh, the aroma that Rococo bar affords when you open up its wrapper..

I spotted the word "rice" in my list of active BOINC projects the other night, and had to find out what it was doing there. Lo, it's one of the World Community Grid projects: Nutritious Rice for the World. (BOINC grew out of SETI@Home, providing a more general-purpose platform that other highly computationally intensive projects can use. If you're turning off your computer at night, consider letting it chew on one or more BOINC projects in that time instead)

Dinner: a random creation, formed from the idea of wanting something with rice, as I haven't had any (though there is some, white and brown, in the kitchen) for a couple months now. So, of course, as soon as I opened the door to look at the grains in stock, I remembered the bulgur wheat and lentils, which seemed much more inviting. So, I mixed some together, leaning towards the wheat, and added a bit of some left over sauce from the other day, oxtail-based. For the mainstay of the dish, I went with some sliced steak, baby corn, red pepper, and snow peas (red, yellow, and green =:) in a sort of ersatz Thai sauce - a New England vegetable chowder soup mix, plus tamarind paste, garlic, basil, and two bird's eye peppers chopped up, with it all left to simmer away for a few minutes, leaving the meat succulent and the vegetables mildly crisp and crunchy.
I'm starting to get worried about the SL updates. I have a really old AV that I don't want to give up and I hope that it's forward compatible for whenever I finally decide to sign on.

Oh, and that "furry survey?" Lame. It maintains the "furries are different from other people" perspective and confines everyone into narrowly-defined demographics. Gee, almost like the census.
Oh, no worries about that - older avs just won't necessarily look as good as newer ones, such as with some pre- and post-sculpty furry avs, where sculpties made for much greater, smoother control over muzzle shapes, not to mention ears. =:) All previous prim functionality remains available - it's just that more options open up with time. A metaphor for life, maybe. ^_^

I don't know - I was fairly comfortable with the survey, myself. After all, the aim of such a device is to narrow down the expanse of diversity into a much smaller set of groupings - the simplicity's necessary to make such an enterprise feasible, ne?
I have one of those "tiny" avs from way back when. The ones that fold you in half in order to fit inside the shapes. It's my favorite one so far, but there's limits on things you can do.

I dunno... I always tend to read into these surveys to the point that there are furries and then there is everybody else, known as "the public." Perhaps it's just me being one of those people who just don't give a shit. It's not all black and white.
SOME of the results of the survey are available. You don't get statistics for a number of questions at all, and of course, without the actual data, you can't do interesting things like look for correlations etc., either.

Still, it's interesting, of course. :) Although being an atheist pagan, I wasn't sure what to answer for "religion" (I think I went with "other", but I'm not sure anymore - it's been a couple of days).

(Also, it's interesting that the peak for age is at 20-24, and leaning towards the younger side; I would've supposed it'd be higher than that. But then, maybe older furs just aren't as likely to be on the Internet all the time/come across surveys like this/answer them.)

The chocolate looks lovely, too. :)
I think I'd actually prefer the results were kept covered until some "release" date, to avoid any possible contamination by people wanting to skew results. Then again, that's something to be reckoned with regardless. (In politics especially - imagine people voted purely as they wanted to, without access to a stream of data telling them who the "electable" candidate was)

I just went with atheistic, as that probably serves me best. I'm happy to acknowledge there could be forms of life vastly more complex than we can fathom, but at that level, I'm fine with letting that remain outside the scope of my world - an ant can't pray to a human, and I don't see any signs a human can contact anything above us, short of a 2001-style transformation.

(Mind you, even if something we could recognise as a deity did appear, I'd first want to be quite certain they had no truck with this whole "worship me" fixation that seems to plague so many of them. A wretched attribute in humans, and no more admirable in any other being)

I suppose the bulk of furrydom came in around the same time as LJ, overall - look at LJ's age distribution, and that's a spookily accurate Gaussian curve, with the peak at 20. The net's made for such a huge improvement in people of all interests being able to connect, however obscure (and sometimes socially awkward) the hobby or lifestyle - part of what I love about the networked world, even if we still can't quite be physically with other people with that same convenience.

It's quite nummy stuff. ^_^ I can easily see myself trying more of Rococo's offerings in particular, as well as seeing what single estate chocolates can be like, gaining some idea of the differences between regions. Producers that seek to help the region are worth supporting, too, like Malagasy, who actually produce the final bars in Madagascar, rather than just buying the beans to whisk out of the country of origin, leaving the producers not much better off than before. Damn good chocolate, too. =:D

Yeah, I agree, it might've been better to not see too much of the data released yet. Ah well - given that it's just a convenience sample, anyway, it's probably no difference.

Mmm, be sure to post about it if/when you try more chocolate, be it from Rococo or other manufacturers. ^^ I'd love to hear about it - at least I can passively enjoy it that way.
Why folks gotta be hatin on the squirrels like that?

trying to keep the helium in the drink might be difficult
That's the problem - would it be possible to suspend it as easily as with carbon dioxide? A set of graphs I discovered down below suggests its solubility would be inadequate, but even at CO2's level, would the volume of gas involved be sufficient anyway? More research is required. ^_^

I hope you'll give some thought to looking at Fair Trade certified chocolates. Fair Trade certification means that the origin of the chocolate is known and certified not to use child or slave labour. I reviewed a few types of Fair Trade dark chocolate some time ago. Another good starting point might be here.
Just a quick reply before my nephews get here this morning...

would you know if it'd be possible to produce an effervescent drink using helium rather than carbon dioxide?

Good question! I don't think it would work well at all. If memory serves, helium has almost zero solubility in water, so the drink wouldn't hold on to the helium long enough to have any effervescent effect while consuming. Still, if it should work, it would likely provide a squeaky drinking experience ;-)
Aahh, very good point indeed.. and lo (of course), the net provides us with comparative charts of different gases' solubility in water over here. At 10C, CO2 has a solubility of about 2.5g per kg of water, compared to helium's rather reluctant 1.6mg/kg.

That said, nitrogen stands at a relatively low 24mg/kg, giving a suggestion that perhaps helium isn't eliminated as a possibility - I suppose it depends on whether solubility is the primary factor in bubble size.

That said, would the volume of gas present in even a carbonated beverage, if one magically transmuted it into helium, be sufficient to yield any audible effects beyond that involved in its expulsion?

I feel an email to cocacola.com coming on. ^_^

For the record, I would so try a Squeaky Cola. Though it is a little late to do a promotional tie-in with the Chipmunks movie.
Helium soda? It would certainly make for a quick fad in the club soda community. Be a bit pricey, though, seeing as how Helium has apparently been in demand recently.

That first choccie bar looks like an issue of Timothy McSweeney's or Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth or an American antique mall.

And your dinner looks simply gorgeous.
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Okay, I know I'm being inane, but I saw your chewing bunny icon in Paka's serious post and didn't want to say how much I loved it there - and then I came here and almost ALL your icons are BUNNIES, and I'm drowning in YAY.

But especially the little chewing bunny!

Okay, I'm done.

*grin* It's surely the highest achievement for a rabbit to bring pleasure into the world. ^_^

(And speaking of which, here's one from this evening's wanderings near the office)


So you know who just added you as a contact, "Embervoices" on Flickr is me.