off topic · random

What closet?

Clay Aiken is “out”, evidently.

food · off topic

The Omnivore’s Hundred

I found this surfing the web a while back. Behold, the Omnivore’s Hundred from Very Good Taste.

Below is a list of 100 things that I think every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food – but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don’t worry if you haven’t, mind you; neither have I, though I’ll be sure to work on it. Don’t worry if you don’t recognise everything in the hundred, either; Wikipedia has the answers.

Here’s what I want you to do:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at http://www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Bizarre foods? Not for me, apparently.

Knitting

Options

So I’ve been thinking a lot about my Feather and Fan Cardigan. It’s definitely too big. There is just no way I can wear it comfortably. I’m pretty sure there are three options:

1. Do nothing and try to sell it for the cost of the yarn and the buttons (around $45). Any takers?

2. Frog and reknit the sweater in the same pattern but a different size.

3. Frog the sweater and use the yarn to knit a completely different sweater. Perhaps this? Or maybe this?

I can’t decide. What would you do?

off topic · Philosophy

Philosophy Phriday

It is a little known fact on this blog that I studied and received my undergraduate degree in Philosophy. Of particular interest to me was, and continues to be, the Philosophy of Mind and the mind-body problem. The mind-body problem is essentially this: how does the mind, which is assumed to be a thing without physical substance, arise from the body, a thing which is physical substance? In other words, how to you get something that is non-physical to arise from, and interact with, something that is physical?

This problem has been kicked around by philosophers since Aristotle, but became a real point of contention when Descartes “invented” the Dualism which I described above. It would be a digression to present the arguments against and solutions for Cartesian Dualism here, but one notion that in recent years has gained popularity, is that the studies of neurobiology and cognitive science would, sooner or later, put to rest the entire discussion because, as the workings of the brain become more and better understood, it will be shown that the mind is merely the brain, doing its thing.

The fundamental problem with this argument, known as Naturalism or Physicalism is that of Qualia–i.e., that the existence of a particular brain state does nothing whatever to explain subjective qualitative experience which caused it.

“Good God,” you must be thinking to yourself. “Have I been transported to some strange parallel universe? I thought this was supposed to be a knitting blog!” And you would be right. I bring this up here because  1) I am avoiding my knitting as well as other current events and 2) yesterday, I finished reading “Stop Me if You’ve Heard This: A History and Philosophy of Jokes” by Jim Holt in which I found one of the best examples of the problem of Qualia I’ve ever come across. Toward the end, he describes an interesting discovery by a UCLA medical team in 1998. They were operating on the brain of a teenage girl, trying to find the cause of her epileptic siezures by stimulating various parts of her frontal lobe with an electronic probe (sounds fun!).

When the probe touched a tiny patch in the “supplementary motor area,” they observed something that was quite unexpected: The girl laughed. The doctors turned the current up a bit and touched the spot again. The girl laughed some more, longer and harder.

So here we have a particular brain state to which we can point and say, “this is the part of the brain that finds things funny” but it cannot explain the why an individual’s experience of the brain state of “laughter” is evoked by something humorous. Or indeed, why something is considered humorous at all.

So go forth, my ducklings, and ponder the nature of mental experiences and how they relate to brain states. And consider this (from workjoke.com):

Two women were walking through the woods when a frog called out to them and said: “Help me, ladies! I am a stockbroker who, through an evil witch’s curse, has been transformed into a frog. If one of you will kiss me, I’ll be returned to my former state!”

One woman took out her purse, grabbed the frog, and stuffed it inside her handbag. The other woman, aghast, screamed, “Didn’t you hear him? If you kiss him, he’ll turn into a stockbroker!”

The second woman replied, “Sure, but these days a talking frog is worth more than a stockbroker!”

Doozer · Whiskers on Wednesday

Whiskers on Wednesday

This is not a video of Doozer, rather it features a different cat (not mine) playing Doozer’s very favorite game (and quite expertly, I might add).

Knitting

I Knew Her When

My best friend from high school knitted a lace stole [ravelry] for her mother-in-law. Her mother-in-law turned around and secretly entered the stole in the county fair*. Guess who won first place in the lace division AND a Judges Award of Merit! It looks like her Monkey socks [ravelry] were also entered and took second. Jen, you are teh awesome!

*Note to self: do not give Jen’s mother-in-law any knitted gifts unless you want them entered in the county fair.

Knitting · random

5 New Things

1. I now have two asthma inhalers. One is for maintenance, one is for acute attacks–a rescue. I use a spacer because I am inhaler-challenged. Here’s to better breathing in the weeks to come.

2. I have a new phone. Isn’t it nifty?


3.I finished the Feather and Fan Cardigan. I’m not sure what to do about it. It’s way too big. I wonder if I can shrink the hell out of it in a hot water wash. Any other suggestions?

4. I made the boys zippered coin purses. Isaac needs something for his library card and pocket change. E2 needs one because I-6 has one. It was the first sewing I’ve done since I retired from sewing back in April of last year. It wasn’t all that bad and I actually considered sewing the kids’ Halloween costumes this year. Then I came to my senses and repacked all my sewing regalia and stuffed it back in the closet.

5. The first Wollmeise Sock club shipment arrived today. I now understand what the big deal about Wollmeise is. The yarn is exquisite. The colors are absolutely breathtaking. And the Wollmeise herself is personable and sweet. If heaven were a sock yarn, it would be Wollmeise. (Click through for the photo.)