<D <M <Y
Y> M> D>

From: Kyung Pizzano: Sumana loves the made-up cross-cultural names of people from Alpha Centauri that show up in the From: subject lines of spam. Well, now there's a random name generator with an "obscurity factor" that you can crank up to 75 or so to get cool spam-like names. Soon, spam will be entirely obsolete! Wait, did I just say that?

Post-Last-Minute Shopping: Do you need to buy a Christmas present for Christopher Kimball? Well, why is that, pray tell? You probably don't know him! So show off your superficial conceptions of what he might want by buying him a bow tie from Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont. This discovery has me looking over my shoulder for the cliche mail-order ambassadors from the other 49 states.

New Cooking Technology for the Third World: And everyone else. Instead of offering recipes in this entry I'm going to tell you about cooking techniques. Today: walnut candying and salad dressing manufacture, both Freeciv-esque prerequisites for my "I Can't Believe You Managed To Make Salad Unhealthy" salad, which I'll post later after I try a New Year's Eve variant tonight.

Candied walnuts are great in salad, and they also are good for snacks. It takes no special ability to candy a walnut. Just put equal amounts sugar and water into a skillet and set it to boiling. Put walnuts on a cookie sheet and bake them for about 10 minutes, then dump them into the skillet and stir constantly until there's no liquid left. Butter the cookie sheet, dump the walnuts onto it, and spread them around. After they cool you have candied walnuts.

Salad dressing is sold in stores by the bottle, and this very fact left my craven self intimidated and afraid to make my own. But there's seriously no reason not to. It's so easy! And you can do it with stuff you already have, thus saving space in the refrigerator. There are two steps: the everything else step and the olive oil step. In the everything else step, you put everything you want in the dressing that's not olive oil in a bowl. In the olive oil step, you whack the salad dressing with a whisk while slowly pouring in olive oil. That's it, except that the "everything else" has to include an emulsifier like mustard or raw egg, else your dressing will be a failure! Bitter failure! But otherwise you can't lose.

Addendum To Previous Entry: That's probably my favorite spam. I love the steampunk nanotech idea of stuffing a plastic extrusion plant into a shipping container, raw materials fed in through a pipe connected to a nebulous "International Trade System". The only problem is that it appears not to exist except in spam.

But I'll tell you what does exist is solar cookers, a real New Cooking Technology for the Third World. They are trivial to build, and you can use them to cook and to purify water. In the ultimate mockery of Mother Nature, there is even a solar refrigerator. Am I the only one who thinks there's a vast untapped market for science fiction about this kind of thing? Is this what's in all those Bruce Sterling books I've never read?

: Lousy old year! Out with it, I say!


Unless otherwise noted, all content licensed by Leonard Richardson
under a Creative Commons License.