Monthly Archives: September 2005

Vegan Burgers?

Real simple breakfast. Slabs of ghetto-steamed sweet pepper with a light coat of garlic on bagels topped with a cascabel-guajillo-lime tahini. Total cooking time was about five minutes.

Now, I don't want to sound like a broken record, but this stuff is outrageously simple to make, but every time I post it I get requests for exact recipes. Seriously, have faith in yourself. This stuff is really easy to cook. Assuming you understand the basics of how to operate your stove and use utensils, you can cook your own meals (and they'll quite likely be much better than the ones I post here). There's nothing to it. You just have to try.

So please, don't send me requests for recipes. It's very flattering that you think this deserves a recipe, but really, it doesn't. It's just a sandwich. I'll do this recipe as precisely as I can to illustrate how ludicrous the concept of posting a recipe is.

Take two poblano peppers (feel free to substitute green peppers) and quarter them into slabs.
Take a frying pan and fill with about two cups of water. Turn on the stove so the water will boil and put the peppers in the pan. Sprinkle with powdered or minced garlic.
Break apart a cascabel pepper and half a guajillo pepper and powder them in a grinder. Alternately you can just use powdered cayenne if you're really lazy, but it won't taste as good.
Put two tablespoons of tahini in a cup. Add the powdered pepper, the juice of two limes, and a teaspoon of oil. Mix it up.
Take two bagels, cut them in half, and toast them. Put them on a plate.
Spread the tahini butter on both halves of the bagels.
By now the green peppers should be lightly steamed. Turn off the stove and put the peppers on the bagels. Close the bagels, let them cool a few minutes, and eat them.

You see? Writing this stuff down is a waste of time. You're a lot better off just experimenting and learning the basics of preparing food… Once you do, whenever you see something you like, you'll be able to take it as inspiration and make your own dish without a recipe. If you want to read anything, read general instructions and see where you're inspired to take it… It's really easy and you should try.

Food and Funmail

After a high stress morning I definitely needed a good sandwich for lunch. A pair of toasted sesame seed bagels with a spicy tahini butter (tahini, freshly powdered hot pepper, and lime) and garlic fried zucchini and red onion topped with sprouts. I've now used up that set of ingredients — I'm sure you noticed they were in each of the last few meals — so next time the option change.

I got email from someone telling me that I'm an “amateur” for using a spice grinder to make fresh powders — they insisted that a real cook would use a mortar and pestle. Arguments about whether that's right or not (and where I could even find one down here) aside, that I'm an “amateur” is sort of the point of these entries. I'm not a chef and make no claim to be… I'm just someone who enjoys making his own food, and wants to encourage others to do the same!

To make this entry interesting to those who couldn't care less about vegan cooking, here's a few emails I've gotten recently about things on BME.

Re: horizontal hood
that is fucking sick...get your fucking lips cut bitch

Re: anal stretching
If you stretch too hard, the skin on your back will rip up and your spine will fall on the floor. Tough luck.

Re: ball torture
LOL!! There are some seriously fucked up people out there! LOL!! you have to be seriously disturbed to do ANYTHING like this!!

Re: Mr. Lifto
Lifto is an effeminate looser and fool. I know him from the bar he worked in on 6th street in Austin. He's a pathetic, tragic individual trying to compensate for being a "queer" when he was in school. I would imagine the he was in the marching band or most likely a band wanna be.

Re: magic mushrooms
dont get any thing pierced while high on shrooms! bad i dea i thort the guy was a murderer and was stabbing me

Re: fuck you
this shit is fake

Re: anal stretching
I stretched my anal so far it ripped. Now i can fit my dog in my ass

Re: HOLY FUCKING SHIT
WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING TO YOUR ASS HOLYMOTHERFUKCINGSHIT~!!!! I have an idea ... DONT SHOVE THINGS IN YOUR ASS. Just a goddamn suggestion ... maybe things in your ass ISNT a good idea. Bear with me here I know it seems unconventional but things in you bum = tearing ass not good ohmygod bad. going poopie alot and farting, and theres always the risk of poopin your pants thats not good. might also make you shit like a goose, sink to the bottom of the pool if you go swimming, leave a brown ring on all of your underware, loseing the soap up the hole, farting with out knowing it, a weird sound if the wind blows and of course the risk of getting kicked in the butt in a fight or something and they lose a shoe up there

Re: Scrotal splitting
If you do this, none of your friends will ever talk to you again...or even be able to look you in the face.

Re: Penectomy
MY PENIS IS IN SERIOUS TROUBLE.
IT IS SHRINKING AND I CANNOT ERECTED FULLY ANYLONGER.
I THINK IT EVEN MIGHT DROP OFF.
WHAT CAN I DO. WHERE CAN I GO.
FOR I WONT BE ABLE TO HAVE SEX AGAIN...
HEEEEEEEELLLLLLPPPPPPPPP!!!!!
PENIS MAYBE WITH GANGREEN....

I have about two thousand unopened messages like this.

And you wonder why I have problems keeping up with my mail.

Positive Thinking

NOTE: IAM appears to be getting hit with a DOS attack right now, so it may be a little slow.


I've just posted a bit over a thousand new pictures to BME, with about half in the public galleries and the other half in BME/extreme. Tomorrow will be another similar split update but with a large pile in BME/HARD. Thank you to all the contributors, and to Patrick for the cover photo of his implants by Lukas Zpira.


LAME.

So in Florida some dipship kid wore a shirt to school with the above picture on the front, and on the back a picture of a “just married” car with KKK members in it dragging a couple black guys with nooses around their necks. As is no surprise he pretty much immediately got punched out by a black kid.

The white kid tried to justify the shirt, saying “I'm not racist or anything. It's just, some people I hate, some people I don't get along with. And black people just happen to be the ones because they think they're better than everyone else.

I wanted to comment on the last statement. Black people don't actually think they're better than everyone else — they think they're worse than everyone else in fact. I was reading a study a few days ago in which black students were given academic aptitude tests. The control group took only the test, and a second group took the same test, but along with their name were asked to fill out their race at the top of the test as well. The group that was asked their race — black — scored dramatically lower on the tests.

From Blink:

Imagine for moment, that I'm a professor, and I have asked you to come see me in an office. You walk down a corrodor, come thru doorway, and sit down at a table. In front of you is a sheet of paper with a list of five words sets. I want you to make a grammatical 4 word sentence, as quickly as possible out of each set. It's called a scrambled sentence test.

4 word sentence out of 5 possible words.

Ready?

  him was worried she always
  from are Florida oranges temperature
  ball the throw toss silently
  he observes occasionally people watches
  be will sweat lonely they
  sky the seamless gray is
  should now withdraw forgetful we
  us bingo sing play let
  sunlight makes temperature wrinkle raisins

That seemed pretty straight forward right?

Actually it wasn't. After you finish doing that test, believe it or not, you would have walked out of my office, and back down the hall, more slowly than you walked in. With that test, I affect the way you behave. How? Well look back at the list. Scattered throughout it are certain words such as worried, Florida, old, lonely, gray, bingo, and wrinkle. You thought that I was just making you take a language test. But in fact I was also making the big computer in your brain, your adaptive unconscious, think about the state of being old. It didn't inform the rest of your brain about its sudden obsession. But it took, all this talk, of old age so seriously, that by the time you finished and walked down the corridor, you acted old.

This test was devised by a very clever psychologist named John Bargh. Is an example of what is called a priming experiment, and Bargh and others have done numerous and even more fascinating variations of it, all of which show just how much is going on beneath the surface of your conscious mind.

For example, two Dutch researchers did a study in which they had groups of students answer 42 fairly demanding questions from the board game Trivial Pursuit. Half were asked to take five minutes beforehand to think about what it would mean to be a professor and write down everything that came to mind. The students got 55.6 percent of the questions right. The other half of the students were asked to think about soccer hooligans. They ended up getting 42.6 percent of the Trivial Pursuit questions right. The "professor group" didn't know any more than the "soccer hooligans" group. They werent smarter, or more focused, or more serious, they were simply in a "smart" frame of mind, and clearly associating themselves with the idea of something smart, like a professor, made it a lot easier. In this situation the difference between 55.6 percent and 42.6 percent is enormous. That can be the difference between passing in failing.

The psychologists Claude Steel and Joshua Aronson created and even more extreme version of this test, using black college students and 20 questions taken from the graduate record examination. The G. R. E. is a standardized test used for entry into graduate school. When the students were asked to identify their race on a pretest questionnaire, that simple act was sufficient to prime them with all the negative stereotypes associated with African-Americans, and academic achievement, and the number of items they got right was cut in half!

As a society would place enormous faith in tests because we think that they are a reliable indicator of the test takers ability and knowledge. But are they really?

If a white student from a prestigious private school gets a higher SAT score than a black student from an inner city school, is it because she's truly a better student, or is it because to be white and to attend a prestigious school, is to be constantly primed, with the idea of "smart"?

The results of these experiments are, obviously quite disturbing, and quite exciting. They suggest that what we think of as freewill is largely an illusion: much of the time, we are simply operating on automatic pilot, and the way we think and act, and how well we think and act, on the spur the moment, are a lot more susceptible to outside influence than we realize.

That is, all it takes to make a black person fail is reminding them they're black, due to the power of the subconscious mind and the prejudices most of us — all of us perhaps — carry. I'm mentioning this not just because of racial issues, but because it's something that people with tattoos and piercings need to think about as well since the same negative stereotypes affect us — you need to believe in yourself, really, truly believe that your tattoos and piercings in some way “improve” you and make you “better” than everyone else (whether that's true or not)… Because the strange fact is that if you believe it, your mind will make it reality.

Oh, and a few people have made “big deal, so what” comments about the previous entry on Bush's “bathroom break” note. It's not so much that he had to go to the bathroom, but more that he had no concept of the rules of procedure on even the most basic things. Maybe I'm out of my mind, but I kind of expect world leaders to be well educated, well informed, and highly competent.

At least able to, say, handle a wardrobe malfunction zipper.

But he's a good Christocrat at least… Well, three more years of the Bush era to go, right? That's not bad, right? I mean, how much of a difference can three years of a deeply misguided political movement with a deranged and unstable führer leader make?

At least Hitler was a fundamentally brilliant man that cared about Germany, even if he eventually went to the dark side and things went terribly, terribly wrong. Bush really feels more like the less-funny dimwitted half brother of Kim Jong-il, armed with a lot more nukes — and he just granted himself the right to use nuclear first strikes on states he believes are about to launch an imminent WMD strike on America. I remind you that the reason the Iraq war was launched was because the US made the claim that Saddam could institute a WMD strike on US targets within a forty-five minute window.

Well, at least if Bush had nuked Iraq there would have been a plausible explanation as to why no WMDs were actually found.

Seriously, this is getting disturbing

Earlier in the week there was a story running on MSNBC talking about how the reason the hurricane response was so messed up had to do with Bush being a “shoot the messenger” guy that fires anyone who brings him bad news, so none of his aides wanted to tell him it was even happening… Since he avoids all news and media, they had to make him a little custom DVD with information about what a hurricane is Katrina so he'd even know what all the ruckus was about.

[via]    Anyway, right now Yahoo is running these Reuters photos of Bush writing Condi a note at the UN 2005 World Summit.

“I think I need a bathroom break? Is this possible? -W”

Again I ask: what medical checks are in place to remove a President if he's deteriorated mentally to the point where it's actually dangerous to have him in office. I suppose if I want my answer, I should just go and look at Reagan's reign — he was completely senile and insane by the time he left office.

[via]    Let's look at one more Presidential note. Actually, this isn't written by a President, but it's written by someone who shot a President — [mentally ill] Charles Guiteau who successfully ended the rule of President Garfield. Well, sort of — he was actually killed by his doctors trying to treat him in the most barbaric of ways.

“To the American People: I conceived the idea of removing the President four weeks ago. Not a soul knew of my purpose. I conceived the idea myself and kept it to myself. I read the newspapers carefully for and against the Administration, and gradually the conviction settled on me that the President's removal was a political necessity, because he proved a traitor to the men that made him, and thereby imperiled the life of the Republic. This is not murder. It is a political necessity.”

Not that George “ask permission before going to the potty” Bush needs to be martyred!

…but I do think that the public should be able to demand a psyche evaluation.

Here be dragons

Recent digs here in Mexico have unearthed a new species of pterosaur flying dinosaur called the Quetzalcoatlus which has a wingspan of at least sixty feet. It is believed that this dinosaur was capable not only of gliding, but also full powered flight… Below I've made a diagram showing it in comparison with a Cessna 152 airplane. It's seriously big!

The Cessna burns about six gallons of fuel per hour to fly. It's a lot faster than the pterosaur of course, but the pterosaur managed to stay aloft on a diet of fish and dead animals. How? Incredibly efficient design. They were light and low powered.

Below is the 118 Wallypower yacht which I've talked about here before, powered by a trio of 5,600 HP gas turbines. At sixty knots cruise (not quite full throttle) it consumes 15 gallons of fuel per mile, whereas if you're willing to amble along at nine knots, that same 15 gallons of fuel would carry you four miles.

What I am I rambling on about? Why am I pointing out that energy use is affected greatly by weight, design, and excesses of power? The world is in a fuel crisis right now. Gas prices are beginning to spike, and it's quite likely they'll go far higher than they are right now. SUV sales have slowed only a tiny bit, and even for smaller cars efficiency is far from ideal with little effort being made to improve.

To maintain a car at highway speed takes about nine horsepower. Unfortunately much more power is needed to get today's bloated vehicles rolling in the first place. A modern car weighs thousands of pounds when it could easily weigh under a thousand using modern materials — after all, that Cessna 152 airplane weighs only 1,150 pounds empty and it's far larger than a car.

If we used modern materials, modern aerodynamic design, and downsized engines, we could easily build cars that had performance comparable to a current modest consumer car, but achieved 150 miles per gallon or better — college level supermileage design challenges are currently operating in the 2,000 miles per gallon range, but those are far more radical designs such as the one below.

Obviously that's not something that's going to interest the average person, at least not unless gas gets a whole lot more expensive than even I expect it to. That said, even back thirty years ago or more there have been companies building cars capable of between a hundred and two hundred miles per gallon. The rather dated-looking car below (1981) achieves 128 miles per gallon, and it's a pretty primitive design that could easily get more with a bit of design work.

Sadly I think most people have an attitude of “if I just keep my eyes closed for long enough, things will get better by the time I open them”… I just don't see that as a wining strategy. It's not hard for humans to change the way we consume, we just have to be willing to try something different.