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So, I got cooking again on Monday, after something of a hiatus, brought on by fatigue from the salt mine. Things have been improving, though, leaving me once more with energy in the evenings - even if not necessarily a voracious appetite, given another co-worker brought in slices of home-made banoffee pie.. =:9

I thought I'd use up the remaining three Waitrose pork & garlic sausages (recommended, if you love garlic - they're really not fibbing on that account. Good meatiness, too), and added a thickly sliced chicken breast to a vegetable chowder base, plus garlic powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, a dash of Tandoori curry powder, and a Kashmiri pepper. Actually not as intense as it might sound - I was aiming for a very well-rounded heat, but still with some punch. Once all that had cooked through, the scene was set for the closing acts - two slabs of dried medium egg noodles, and a pile of finely chopped broccoli, and baby corn. Good stuff. ^_^

Tuesday: sketti! Simple sauce: three egg yolks. Seasoned up, of course, with some garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt & pepper. Then, to make it a properly complete dish, three chopped up artichoke hearts, a good handful of shredded ham, and four finely sliced mushrooms. Oh, and a few fragments of olive and garlic, from the end of a jar of sundried tomato meze, which helped provide some contrast to a deliberately mild dish.

Wednesday - bag o' nacho chips. =:D (Rabbit, dontchaknow. Crunchiness is a way of life)

Thursday: much broccoli and baby corn, egg noodles, and good chipolatas. Stir-fry FTW! (Oil used was the remnants of the old jar of meze, so nicely flavorful, plus a good sprinkling of chili powder)

Cake Wrecks - a photographic weblog recording (mostly).. regrettable cakes. Not this wonderful example, though. =:D

I've long enjoyed pinball, computer replications included - and of course, they're cropping up on the iPhone as well now. One that caught my eye was Rollercoaster, by Zen Studios. It's simply the level of attention to detail that makes it special, such as in the opening scenes of the embedded clip - notice when they're gently turning the iPhone around a little? The table view adjusts its 3D perspective, so you're actually looking at the 3D table from that different viewpoint. =:D And it's only $5, too.

And here's the animation that will form the basis of the BBC's Olympics titles shortly, by Jamie (Gorillaz, Tank Girl) Hewlett, as spotted by mikesedge.

When you've got a few places you want to visit in SL, dragged to the desktop as SLURLs, or just text clippings, how do you organize them for easy access in-world? Do you just minimise SL and launch the link, or is there some more efficient means of, ideally, transparently importing them into your Landmarks folder in your inventory?

keihound's running a combo-commission auction over on FurBuy - well worth putting in a bid, in my estimation. And she does know how to draw lapines very well. ^_^

From Mr Feynman, in a chapter titled "Cargo Cult Science":
All experiments in psychology are not of this type, however. For example, there have been many experiments running rats through all kinds of mazes, and so on -- with little clear result. But in 1937 a man named Young did a very interesting one. He had a long corridor with doors all along one side where the rats came in, and doors along the other side where the food was. He wanted to see if he could train the rats to go in at the third door down from wherever he started them off. No. The rats went immediately to the door where the food had been the time before.

The question was, how did the rats know, because the corridor was so beautifully built and so uniform, that this was the same door as before? Obviously there was something about the door that was different from the other doors. So he painted the doors very carefully, arranging the textures on the faces of the doors exactly the same. Still the rats could tell. Then he thought maybe the rats were smelling the food, so he used chemicals to change the smell after each run. Still the rats could tell. Then he realized the rats might be able to tell by seeing the lights and the arrangement in the laboratory like any commonsense person. So he covered the corridor, and still the rats could tell.

He finally found that they could tell by the way the floor sounded when they ran over it. And he could only fix that by putting his corridor in sand. So he covered one after another of all possible clues and finally was able to fool the rats so that they had to learn to go in the third door. If he relaxed any of his conditions, the rats could tell.

Now, from a scientific standpoint, that is an A-number-one experiment. That is the experiment that makes rat-running experiments sensible, because it uncovers that clues that the rat is really using -- not what you think it's using. And that is the experiment that tells exactly what conditions you have to use in order to be careful and control everything in an experiment with rat-running.

A minor, but welcome, tweak to Gmail: they've added a user preference that always forces the use of HTTPS for all of one's session, not just the password entry.

The writers for next year's four Doctor Who specials (in lieu of a full season, owing to DT's stint as Hamlet) have been announced: RTD alone for two, RTD plus Phil Ford (SJA's Eye of the Gorgon), and RTD plus Gareth Roberts (Shakespeare Code, Unicorn & the Wasp). I'm pleased with the combination - good RTD can be a joy, and the other two have shown themselves to be well up to the task - Eye of the Gorgon was one of my favorites of the Sarah Jane Adventures thus far, with the role of the explorer's wife especially touchingly written (and performed).

Mr Moffat on his new position as lead writer for Doctor Who, when RTD vacates next year:
Obviously, I only turned up once a year, and practically my brief was to write, in effect, the Moffat episode -- the one that's very different, the one that's a bit timey-wimey or a bit scary. And that's all they were expecting. And they would just tell me, 'Go, and do your thing.' So I would do my Moffat-y thing -- whatever the fuck that is -- in a very, very pronounced way. But you couldn't have a whole series like that. If you started a series with 'Silence of the Library' or 'Blink,' people would turn off. You can't have that as the first episode. It's just too grim. So it's different contemplating it from this position - very, very different.

Added to the TV queue this week: Unreported World s09e02 Peru and Bolivia - The Inca Revolution, The Making of Me s01e01 - John Barrowman, and Gary Rhodes in China s01e01. Out of the queue, finally, are several episodes of Dogstar - I've managed to get through an episode or two a night lately. Definitely one of my favorite non-Japanese animated shows - Australian, actually - thanks to the witty writing, strong voice work, and Flash animators who know their stuff.

Good news on the immigration front, for some at least: the European Court of Justice has ruled that non-EU citizens are entitled to live in their spouse's country. And indeed, togetherness is a fairly basic human right. (Thinking of legalities of that kind, I wonder if there'd be any benefit in claiming German citizenship.. my mother's never changed hers, so, AIUI, I'm perfectly eligible. Of course, there's that little matter of the language..)
That cake is absolutely fantastic... if Chris and I get married, I think we should consider something like it ;)
It's a positive work of art, ne? ^_^ I can only imagine the reaction when the baker took the commission.. I'm envisioning punching the air and rubbing my paws in delight at what I could come up with. ^_^

(Though it does lack a laser of doom. Please be sure to insist on one on yours =:)

Actually, how long have you been together now? Not to say you should rush into anything of that magnitude - gods know, people change, howsoever close they may be; sometimes they remain that way, sometimes they don't. At least you don't have visa concerns to foul things up - that's one complicating factor out of the way. ^_^ (Unless, of course, you're thinking of moving somewhere else in the world - but, really, Canada seems like a pretty decent spot. Largely sane politics, not much by way of routine tornados, no ambition to rule the world, good skiing, a balanced economy..)

This October will mark our two year anniversary ^^. Also, by law this September will mark one year of living together, which would make us common law partners, and even make me eligible for things like spousal benefits if Chris ever got a job that offered them...
Mmmm... banoffee pie sounds good. :)

The cake wreck blog is interesting, too, but a bit painful - I'd rather look at *nice* cakes, myself. Or creepy ones that were intended to be creepy (like the lotus foot one), for that matter, but cakes that genuinely didn't work out... I don't know, making fun of those is just adding insult to injury.

ZEN Pinball looks interesting, too, but ultimately, you're still playing pinball on the tiny screen... of a 400 USD (or whatever it costs) phone, too, for that matter. c.c You can probably get a used pinball machine for the same price on eBay.

Good to hear that GMail's got that preference now, though. :) Although I do wonder why they're not using https by default and turning of unencrypted http entirely.

You culinary forays always sound fun and tasty, but so often I do something to my experiments, and it ends up tasting pretty much the same, even when the dish is different. It must be one of the spices I frequently add. Perhaps I should cut back and be a bit more discriminating of what I add. Your creations work: I'm jealous.

And some Americans would rather not even live in this country anymore, so I suppose the Germans could say, "See, ve said you vould come crawling."