May 282013
 
Art, music, gaming, and booze go together like... well, like art, gaming, and booze.

Art, music, gaming, and booze go together like… well, like art, gaming, and booze.

May 28, 2013

I’ve been sick for a few days and haven’t had the energy to really do much, but I thought I’d give you, my dear readers, another round of gaming and literary-themed drinks. I’m assuming you’d already have a good shaker handy for some of these. Standard shaker or Boston shaker both work just fine. Get ready for some fun!

Battlestar Galactica

Ambrosia, a light green drink, appears to be the drink of choice if you have the resources in the Battlestar Galactica universe. Here’s a visual approximation with a kick.

  • 3 oz absinthe
  • 3 oz simple syrup
  • 5 oz Sprite
  • 4 oz sweet and sour mix
Pour the absinthe, simple syrup, and sweet and sour mix into your shaker filled with ice. Shake well and pour into glass containing sprite with no ice. Enjoy, but be careful. Absinthe has a bit of a kick you’ll never feel until it’s too late.
The Cyberpunk
Many cyberpunk settings are all about synthetic food and cheap booze to dull away the rainy nights as megacorps watch over everything. Whether you’re reading Gibson or playing some Shadowrun, this drink should evoke that same feeling of cheap life and hard drinks. I call it the “adrenalin shot.”
  • 2 oz light rum
  • 1 oz Rockstar energy drink (Low Carb)
  • 1 oz Gatorade (any blue one)

Mix ingredients in a glass and stir. Be careful, though. Energy drinks and liquor can be even more dangerous that regular alcoholic cocktails, so use caution.

The Elf

Elves are all about nature. I figure they’d appreciate a cool, refreshing drink, and for some reason, the idea of elven moonshine appeals to me. Our elf, a bard, is currently a countess and royalty. Still, she’s a tavern fly first and foremost, so there. I give you, the “Minty Elf.”

  • 1/2 oz white creme de menthe
  • 1 1/2 oz corn whiskey
  • 1 dash lemon juice

Add all ingredients to your shaker with ice, mix well, and pour into a glass. And watch your elf fly… or pass out.

The Dragonborn

This one is based on my wife’s character in our current game. Her name is Kali, a dragonborn barbarian who is fond of spitting acid at her foes. Her companion character, a little imp she named Sally, has had her moments, too. In honor of these two characters, I present to you the “Kali and Sally.”

  • 1 oz Bacardi 151
  • 1 oz Wild Turkey
  • Coca Cola
  • 1 oz Doctor Pepper
  • 1 oz Jim Beam
  • 1 oz orange juice
This drink actually has two parts: the shot and the chaser drink. For the shot, pour the jim beam and orange juice into your shaker and mix well. Pour into a glass with the Doctor Pepper and ice. For the chaser drink, pour the Bacardi and Wild Turkey into a highball glass filled with ice. Add the Cola and stir. When you’re ready, down the shot and enjoy the chaser drink. Warning! Much like an angry dragonborn, this drink will knock you on your ass if you’re not careful.

The Tiefling

Tieflings are humans that long ago made pacts with devils. Modern-day tieflings are the descendants of that infernal deal, but most would just rather be left alone. Our tiefling, Melek, still has that fire from hell within him, and he uses it, so I give you the “Frustrated Tiefling.”

  • 5-7 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 oz Smirnoff vodka
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Mix all together in shot glass until. Add more hot sauce if necessary, and drink immedietly. For a non-shot version, add the mixture to a lager beer and enjoy slowly.

The Drow

Drow are secretive, underground elves with a penchant for torture, slavery, and sadism. So, of course, it figures out group has one. He’s actually pretty mellow, though, but he has moments of insanity. Like suggesting the group set an inn on fire so everyone will get to safety when a fight breaks out. Anyway, I give you the “Mad Fey.”

  • 1 oz cream
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 2 oz raspberry liquor

Pour the ingredients into a glass with ice and enjoy! For a slightly less strong drink, consider using simply grape juice instead of raspberry liquor.

If you happen to try any of thee, write a message below and let me know what you think.

Jan 212013
 
 January 21, 2013  Posted by at 12:25 pm Gaming, January Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  No Responses »
These are tools of the megacorps designed to distract you from the environmental, social, and ecological rape! But they're DAMNED tasty, too.

These are tools of the megacorps designed to distract you from the environmental, social, and ecological rape! But they’re DAMNED tasty, too.

January 21, 2013

This week, we had our first Shadowrun game. For the non-RPG crowd, it’s a tabletop game where you play characters in the late 21st century at a time when magic has returned to the world and exists alongside security robots, elves, dragons, and trolls. Needless to say, it was a blast. In more ways than one.

Mary and I, as I’ve said before, like to cook and make food for our guests. Mary is quite keen on having food appropriate to the game we’re playing, so when we had an entire marathon session in Baba Yaga’s hut, for example, she made Russian and East European fare. When we played an apocalypse game, she made bread and made it look like it was made with blue-green algae.

Ah, the magic of a drop of food coloring and sculpting.

For Shadowrun, however, we had a bit of a dilemma. The 4th edition sourcebook says that most food is soy, krill, and processed. Soy in this world can be made into almost anything and tastes pretty much like the real thing… So the food we served should look and taste like real food.

In other words, we would serve real food and just say it’s fake.

This would not work. Going off of the cyberpunk feel that Shadowrun tries to emulate, I looked at my notes for the post-apocalyptic game we ran last year. In the end, I decided to tweak the food to make it look slightly alien, but still tasty. After all, a block of tofu with salt might be accurate, but it’s not going to have the players coming back for more.


Shadowrun by ~Karamissa on deviantART

“Tofu” burger

We needed a main dish, and I wasn’t about to actually buy tofu patties. Mary and I opted for something that looked weird, but had a bit of an Asian flair in keeping with the cultural osmosis going on in such a connected world.

  • 8 hot dog weenies
  • Burger buns
  • 2 cans of black beans
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Mince the garlic cloves and place them in a small pot with the olive oil. Fry the garlic until it starts to brown but not burn. Add the wine and soy sauce and place the pot on low heat for one to two hours until the sauce reduces to about half its volume. Keep stirring occasionally and make sure the bottom doesn’t burn. It should be slightly less thick than honey, more like a syrup.

While this is going on, take your hot dog weenies and slice them lengthwise into eight thin  strips. You can either boil them or fry them depending on your taste. However, if you do boil them, make sure you leave enough room in the pot for the weenies to curl and move around. Either way, you should end up with curly pieces of meat.

Take your black beans and drain them. Add a pinch of salt, pepper, and a generous pinch of cumin. Cook the beans so they get soft and you can better mash them. Cook them on low until they turn into a paste. You can leave little chunks for texture, too.

Finally, take your buns (toasted of course) and add a layer of beans to both pieces of break. Add your weenie curls, sauce to taste, and close the burger.

Congrats! You now have a burger with familiar flavors that looks like it’s made with weird “meat” product but is good, hearty, and has a slightly Asian flavor.


Shadowrun – Seattle 2072 by ~Hideyoshi on deviantART

Roach Dip

This one got some WEIRD looks, but as soon as our players tasted it, they couldn’t get enough. For a more mainstream dish, leave out the food coloring.

  • 1 block of cream cheese
  • 1 naval orange
  • 1/4 cup hopped walnuts
  • Orange juice
  • Yellow, green, and blue food coloring

Leave the cream cheese out so it reaches room temperature and gets soft.

Peel the orange and remove the pith and seeds. Cut the remaining wedges and place them in a bowl with the soft cream cheese. Mash them together and add a quarter cup of chopped walnuts. Add orange juice to taste.

Finally, add 3 drops of yellow food coloring, 1 drop of green food coloring, and 1 drop of blue food coloring. Mix well and you should end up with a slightly gray paste filled with chunks of… something. Serve with chips and refrigerate if you won’t eat it right away.

Tofu treats

These little cubes would actually be pretty good for breakfast any time. They flew off the plate when we served them this weekend.

  • 2 blocks hard tofu
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of flour
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemon pepper
  • Green food coloring

Drain your tofu blocks and wrap them in paper towels to dry them. This should take half an hour or until the tofu has the consistency of a dish sponge.

Beat the eggs in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a generous pinch of lemon pepper. Add one or two drops of green food coloring until you get the color you desire. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and the lemon pepper to taste.

Once the tofu is dry, cut it into small cubes roughly an inch on each side. If this is too unwieldy for you to move around with tongs (as we found out), cut the tofu into strips instead.

Place enough oil in a skillet so the tofu, whatever its shape, will be mostly covered, and place on medium high heat.

Place three or four tofu pieces in the flour until covered, then dip them in the egg wash before placing them in the hot oil. They should cook fairly quickly, but if you leave in too long, the green food coloring will turn brown. Each piece should cook in a few seconds. Place them on a plate covered with a towel to drain the excess oil.

For an added touch, once you have finished your tofu, pour any remaining egg wash into the hot oil. It will cook almost instantly into a spongy, thin membrane. Remove from the oil and place over your tofu treats for extra texture and gross-out appeal.

Of course, you can always forgo the green food coloring and make these puppies for any breakfast.


Shadowrun – Gearing Up by ~Hideyoshi on deviantART

Maggot Bites

This one takes a while to make, but the result is not only delicious, but another possible breakfast treat.

  • 1 cup grits
  • 2 cups water
  • Parmesan
  • Butter

Cook the grits and water in a pot until you get a thick paste. You may need to add more water if the solution is too thick. Add parmesan and butter to taste. The final consistency should be thick enough to shape into little balls that won’t fall apart.

Place the whole thing on a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil to cool for a few minutes. When the mass reaches room temperature, wash your hands thoroughly and start shaping little “maggots” about one or two inches long. Place them in a bowl for later use.

The funny thing is that this really does look like some processed mass of… something. The cheese flavor, though, makes it incredible. It’s good cold. If you heat it up, the grits will fall apart.

“Slurm”

Yes, I know Slurm is from Futurama, but I found a recipe here on how to make a slightly viscous drink that looks like the bastard child of Mountain Dew and hate. I modified it slightly for my purposes.

  • 3 liters of pineapple soda
  • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • Green food coloring
  • Vodka (optional)

Heat 1 cup of the soda in a skillet until it boils. Remove from the heat and add the gelatin until it’s dissolved. Add one cup of cold soda to the mixture, combine thoroughly, and let sit for ten minutes. Return this mix to the bottle with the rest of the soda. Do this in the sink since there may be some foaming.

Add three drops of food coloring and vodka at your discretion to the bottle and GENTLY turn the bottle over to combine.

Place the in the fridge for a few hours and the final product will be slightly sweet, carbonated, and have a not-unpleasant mellowness. It should also have a slightly odd texture, a bit slimy, but not off-putting.

A word of warning, though. If you spill this, it will dry and become quite sticky.


Shadowrun Strassenlegenden: Streetlegends by *LuisaPreissler on deviantART

Blue beer

I jacked this one from the Star Trek Cookbook. It’s quick, simple, and actually tastes pretty good.

  • Gatorade
  • Club soda

For the Gatorade, I went with any of the blue flavors since they’re a color you’ll never find in a natural food. It looks nice and processed.

Combine equal parts sports drink and club soda. Mix gently to keep carbonation. Bottle and put in the fridge for later or drink right away. The final drink is cool and very refreshing.

Bagged Food

As you can probably tell, this takes a bit of time. We also supplemented the game with bowls of chips and other snacks, of course, but we made sure to buy from the international and Asian food section. We found things like snow pea chips, lentil chips, and other oddities. Among them, we found a few bags of dried dulse.

There you go. I hope you enjoy making a few of these dishes and let me know how they turn out. I’ll be posting an article on music an atmosphere later. Until them, enjoy this little ditty I used in the game, as well as pics of the final products. I think it helped set the mood. Please share and I’ll see you later!

May 292012
 

Food, camping supplies, and firearms with ammo. Sad thing? You can buy all of this at Wal-Mart in one trip.

May 29, 2012

The last few weeks, I’ve spent a little time researching disaster scenarios and post-apocalyptic plans from everything from FEMA to hard-core survivalists. I’ve seen places that buy emergency food stashes and companies that will turn that nice home of yours into an armored fortress with a secret underground level that will sustain you and your loved ones for months after the bombs drop.

Of course, it’s not all survivalist fringe cases. I’ve also been looking at documentaries on real-life disasters and looking up how people survive in a place without resources, everything from water to total anarchy resulting from a collapsed government or even a collapsed biosphere. I’ve been doing this for two reasons: the upcoming post-apocalyptic RPG I’m running and a story I’m thinking of expanding into a full-blown novel. Mary has also been outlining a story that takes place after a so-far-undisclosed catastrophe. All in all, it’s been very informative.

I’ve also grown to expect the complete collapse of society at any moment.


Six Minutes to Midnight by ~g00b3rs on deviantART

Our finances are in the toilet, we’re using 99% of the available growing space on Earth and can’t feed everyone, the environment is heading downhill, and interconnectivity has made us more vulnerable to a world-wide catastrophe than ever before. In a way, I understand the people who hoard food and bullets. There are courses for teens, parents, people in urban areas, etc. Some of the things these sites suggest make sense. If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, for example, keep plenty of food and water and other supplies in case of a prolonged scenario.

I understand all that. It’s a scary world.

What I still don’t understand is the mentality that this sort of preparation must be done 24/7. I’ve come across more than a few sites and books that all made the claim that we need to disaster-proof every aspect of our lives. We should hoard water and food and guns and bullets RIGHT NOW. Everything we do must be geared towards survival.

No.


Bug Out 2 by ~SerialKillerThriller on deviantART

I’ll admit that knowing what to do in a disaster and being prepared are one thing, but I’m not about to spend my life getting ready for something that may never happen. I would rather have preparations to survive and live than prepare for something that may never happen. Glenn Beck made a living out of telling people they had to prepare for the impending holocaust that liberalism would bring. In uncertain times, people can easily pitch relief, information, or affirmation.

My take on all this? Have a plan, have supplies, know what to do, and then go out and live.

With that said, I’m going to leave you with a little music for the end of the world. Enjoy.

Jan 202012
 

That glow? It's pure evil. And diabetes. Mostly evil, though. Diabetes doesn't glow like that. You need a black light to see diabetes.

January 20, 2012

You know what? I’m going to say it.

I’m glad Paula Dean has diabetes.

I don’t mean that in the personal sense. Diabetes isn’t something fun to have. It affects your life and your choices and makes you plan activities based on sugar. It can be managed and you can lead a fairly normal life, but it’s always there.

I mean this in the professional sense. I’m glad she has diabetes because she hid it for years, makes her money off of showing people how to make ridiculously unhealthy food, she will make money from having this disease, and she takes pride in the last two.

That butter-chugging money whore…


Paula Deen by ~urielstempest on deviantART

And no, I’m not being too mean. I’m being nice. This is being nice. Being mean would involve Photoshopped images of Dean bathing in a tub of melted butter while she eats salt logs covered in bacon. This? This is justice. She willingly made and ate food that would give most of us a heart attack after the first helping. She indulged in trying to convince others to have her intestinal abominations. There really is such a thing as too much bacon and butter. When you have to measure the ingredients by the pound, you’ve crossed a line. You’ve gone to a dark, dark palce, my friend.

She did all of this in a time where obesity is a national epidemic. She made her fame and fortune from encouraging people to hurt themselves and, when she finally suffered the inevitable consequences of her actions, she hid the fact until she made a deal to make MORE money.

The kicker? She’s not going to stop cooking and eating the way she’s been doing it for years.

This is like a pro-skater breaking every bone in his body after an attempted stunt in a career where he urged his fans to never use safety gear. Said skater then keeps acting stupid.

This is like a porn star encouraging people to not use condoms even after getting 47 types of VD and getting pregnant.


Paula Dean by ~imthinkinarby on deviantART

Make no mistake, though. I love food. I love a good steak, a great pasta dish, and have been known, from time to time, to indulge in fine spirits and ales. And bacon? Get out of my way. I will cut you. I will show you’re your still-beating heart and make you regret the microsecond it took you to get between me and pork heaven.

But to everything… moderation.

Dean is not the only cooking star to show how to make dishes to clog your arteries with butter and salt, but she turned up to eleven. She has butter-flavored lip balm with her name on it. No, it’s not a joke. And now she’s selling diabetes medication? This is like Newt Gingrich becoming the spokesman for marriage. Or Rick Santorum shilling for GLAAD. Or me endorsing Twilight.

It’s not the best it.

To Paula Dean, the person, I’m sorry you have diabetes and will have it for the rest of your life. To Paula Dean, the cook and businesswoman, I hope this teaches you a lesson, you hypocritical bacon-munching sack of carbs.

And now, let’s wash bad thoughts away by embracing the awesomeness of the COOLEST 8 year old EVER. No joke. Check it out, and I’ll see you on Monday.

Oct 252011
 

Yeah, that's me in Joker make-up. I made the paper, too! For non-criminal reasons!

October 25, 2011

As if the stupid War on Christmas wasn’t enough, Fox now thinks there’s a War against Halloween. I guess pulling out of Iraq left them wanting combat of some sort, so let me indulge them.

The Fox story goes something like this. Schools are banning Halloween celebrations because they don’t want kids eating candy and they want to not exclude anyone who doesn’t believe in the celebration, i.e. immigrants. But allow me to let Ren and Stimpy here to say it far more stupidly than I ever could.

This, of course, ignores various points. Let me go over them rapid-fire style.

The schools are banning candy to help kids eat healthier.

The celebrations are not being banned. They’re being moved to after-school so the parties won’t disrupt classes.

Likewise, kids can still wear costumes, but so as not to distract from valuable class time, the kids may wear the costumes after school.

Some of the kids cannot afford costumes because of tough economic situations, and this led to hurt feelings and isolation. Worrying about other people’s feelings is NOT a liberal conspiracy. It’s called basic human decency.

Now let me get to the one major point of contention for me.


Dia De Los Muertos by ~Mastowka on deviantART

Immigrants are offended by Halloween? If anything, I think Halloween is TAME by the standards of most immigrants. Take me for instance. I come from a culture that doesn’t celebrate Halloween, but instead has a holiday where we lay out altars dressed in food, flowers, and booze so the spirits of our dead relatives can visit us. We INVITE the ghosts in. Little Timmy in his Situation costume? Lame. We deal with real ghosts.

Represent!

The only reason I can assume an immigrant would be offended or feel left out by Halloween is if he or she did not know what it was. Seeing things like spirits and magic treated like a kid’s game might be offensive to some who hold on to beliefs that treat them as real, and I’m sure a lot of pagans and Wiccans take offense to things like the portrayal of witches. The celebration’s spread around the world, though it’s only here in the States that it seems to have attained the kind of holy reverence once reserved for Christmas. Halloween is not some sacred rite here. It’s a fully commercialized day where kids get hopped up on sugar, get to play dress-up, and women are made to dress like pseudo-hookers.


cute halloween by *pronouncedyou on deviantART

War on Halloween? Please. If we immigrants are somehow tainting the purity of this Americanized pagan harvest observance, it’s only because we know what the season is really about.

And now, in an effort to make you think nothing but good thoughts, here’s Michael Winslow doing Led Zeppelin with only his sound effects and a guitar. This is the sound of pure, distilled awesome.

Oct 182010
 

The world ended not with a bang, but with a whimper... And then the giant alien bugs started eating everything and the survivors huddled to the remnants of civilization like children to a blanket! Ha! That wasn't in the poem, was it, Eliot?!

October 18, 2010

It’s amazing the things you learn when the world ends.

Well, not the real world. Any writers out there can back me up on this: when you write something in a genre or topic you’re unfamiliar with, research can be one of the most rewarding parts of the process. History, science, sociology, or whatever else you jump into can open new avenues of knowledge.

This isn’t really a writing project, but I’m running a post-apocalyptic RPG for some friends and I wanted to do a little research into survivalist tactics, how to rebuild society, and what to expect when aliens reduce human civilization to pre-industrial levels.


Spiny Leaf Insect 001. by ~JessKa88 on deviantART

For any fellow gamers out there, it’s partially based on the Plague World setting in the d20 Apocalypse handbook.

Nerds unite!

Anyway, I did some research to bring details into the narrative, give some color and originality to the world of 2172 CE, and otherwise make things more than just numbers on a sheet. Overall, I found out many interesting things I’d like to share.


Invasion by *Radojavor on deviantART

Are You Going to Eat That?

The first problem our heroes encountered was the lack of food in their bunker. After being frozen for 140 years, their rations, well, didn’t fare so well. One of the first things they found was a farming community in what was once South Bend, Indiana. What would these people, these survivors, grow?

It’s easy enough to find out that Indiana grows potatoes and corn, but I needed more crops that this new civilization would grow, so I looked up what kinds of food would give the most sustenance and give the most benefit in this forsaken landscape.

It turns out the French beat me to it.

A pair of French companies have put together a list for the European Space Agency on what astronauts should grow for a colony on Mars. Seeing as how this future Earth is almost barren, this made the best sense to use. So what do our humans eat and grow?

Rice, onions, tomatoes, soy, potatoes, lettuce, spinach, wheat, and spirulina. Meat would be scarce since it takes more energy and resources, and hunting’s not really an option since the wilderness is dominated by mutants. I figured with trade with other surviving cities throughout the region and the country, they could easily have a diet composed of these items.

And just what is spirulina, you may ask?

Why, it’s miracle food!

Actually, it’s an algae that contains massive amounts of protein and vitamins. It’s pretty versatile, although reports vary as to how good it tastes. I figured some alien algae brought by the invaders would make for a good substitute, and the image of getting paid in blue bread made from ground algae made for an interesting roleplaying moment. In the real world, dietary plans like this are actually starting to make more sense. With meat perhaps becoming a luxury in a few years, soy and algae-based substitutes may be a necessity.


Green Pie by *Qzxyntop on deviantART

We’ve got Shakespeare, Beethoven, and George Romero

Okay, so you’ve decided to put some records, personnel, and equipment on deep freeze in case the aliens win. You’re going to want them to rebuild society should the worst happen, so you want them to have records to do so. Maybe you want to go all out and, if you have the resources of an entire government, back-up all the data on Earth to just start over.

How many pen drives would that take?

Turns out, a lot more than I thought.

This article lays it out, but here’re the basic conclusions.

If you want to back up the Library of Congress, movies, audio, images, and all, get ready to use at least 3,000 terabytes.

That’s right. Terabytes. As in one thousand gigabytes.

As in 1.5 million USB drives like the one I use.

That’s 4 million CDs.

Of course, the story starts in 2030, and we’re not going to be using modern computer technology. By then, we could very well be using holographic memory storage, which is what I used to describe the computers in the bunker our heroes use as their base.

Holographic storage is pretty cool. Imagine writing a book and, instead of writing lines of text on the page, you could actually write over the original text over and over again and read different pages just by altering the angle at which you hold the paper. Okay, it’s not a perfect metaphor, but you get the idea. Holographic memory allows for high-density storage, up to tens of terabytes per square centimeter of memory area, and would be ideal for an end-of-the-world bunker.

It’s also good to store lots of other information like manuals, music, and film to preserve after the end of civilization. Hey, if we save Mozart, we’re saving Buffy the Vampire Slayer too.


I Think We Have a Problem by *Sylanya on deviantART

Remember: Short, Controlled Bursts

This one isn’t a science lesson so much as an observation. This is a role-playing game, after all, and my players are very immersed in the story. It’s also hitting them that civilization’s been destroyed. The alien invaders didn’t quite win since they’ve been reduced to scavenging on Earth as well.

Our heroes have dozens of guns and thousand of rounds of ammunition, but something else is hitting them.

They’re alone. Very alone.

America is gone. Everyone they left behind has been dead for more than a hundred years. There is nothing in the world, they believe, that resembles a society beyond the few cities and towns scattered over a blighted continent. This is very much unlike every other RPG they’ve played or any other situation they’ve ever had to roleplay.

There is no support. No back-up. The weapons they have and the training they’ve accumulated are all they have.

They are alone.

For a few minutes this week, they really just stopped and asked, “What’s the point? What are we doing? What are our goals?!”

It was too big for them. Mind you, they’ve roleplayed fantasy heroes trying to save the multiverse from dark elves, demons, and whatnot, but this hit them hard. I like to think I’m pretty good at running RPGs, but the level of detail I gave them helped put their characters in the right state of mind. It’s bordering on horror in some areas.

And that’s why you research for everything from an RPG to a short story. The details, everything from blue bread to the kinds of guns these pre-Industrial humans are now using, make it real and make it that much more interesting. Nothing beats an internet connection or a trip to the library to bring your work to life.


Post Apocalyptic City by ~Amartia on deviantART

And now for some slightly less apocalyptic things. Sort of.

  • When the world ends, which city will help repopulate the world? If this study is any indication, the high sexual satisfaction in Indianapolis, Indiana may make it the future center of a rebuilt empire. Well, not really. The study just tried to find the most sexually satisfied city. Go, Indiana!
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd is a bit of an internet sensation, but here, sans Angry Nerd character, he explores the Night of the Living Dead cemetery and finds some very interesting things. It’s a must for any Romero fan!
  • Ever wanted to make money just sitting around? You can! No, really. I’m not selling pyramid schemes. If you’re willing to let drug companies test their products on you, you can actually make a killing. Of course, the downside is that you’re letting drug companies test their drugs on you… but hey, you get to sit around! Who wants to be a human lab rat? Think they give you one of those running wheels?
  • And finally, I got this from reader Jeremy Jones and had to share it. If you are against gay marriage, you’re really against gay love. Check it out. Warning: NSFW.

Jun 292010
 

It tastes like freedom.

June 29, 2010

I love meat. I love rare steaks. When my grandfather makes carne asada, it’s cause for celebration. Meat in all its forms is an essential part of my diet. I am a proud carnivore.

But would I be willing to give it up for the sake of planet?

That’s the assertion made by the UN and reported in The Guardian this week. Within a few decades, we simply won’t be able to feed the population, and even with parts of the world already starving, the Western World and much of the planet may soon need to switch to alternate sources of protein and vitamins. It’s either that or we start breathing something besides oxygen.

There are other reasons for switching to a vegan diet world-wide, says the report:

Agriculture, particularly meat and dairy products, accounts for 70% of global freshwater consumption, 38% of the total land use and 19% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, says the report, which has been launched to coincide with UN World Environment day on Saturday.

Would I be willing to do this? Would you?

Whenever someone talks of doing something for the common good, of forcing some measure on the planet for the sake the many, I instantly want to say “no.” Who are you, sir, to tell me I can’t have meat. How dare you dictate my diet! Say no to the one-child policy! Don’t tell me what political party to vote for!


Favorite meat by ~Nestea-Desu on deviantART

And yet…

Maybe it will come to that. We’re already working on chicken that is texturally identical to the real thing and is soy-based. If we can make a steak that cooks like a steak, smokes like a steak, and bleeds like a steak… maybe.

Maybe I’ll do it.

Whenever I try to explain the appeal of meat, I always have to get cultural. Meat is so integral in Mexican food. A cousin of mine once tried to go vegetarian. She lasted all of a day. You can’t be vegetarian in Mexico, I often joke. There are too many things that require lard, fat, pork, beef, chicken… Meat is in our blood. I’m type A1 Sauce.

If the thought of a rare steak grosses you out, I can’t empathize with you. The taste, the sensation of blood, it’s all more than the taste. It’s primal. This animal died so that I may eat. This being was once alive and now it’s not.

I live. It dies.


Predator by ~Nartum on deviantART

I know people who can’t even see bones in their meat or they’re reminded it’s an animal. I prefer to see the bone. I’d prefer to see the whole animal. Brains, liver, tripe, ovaries, stomach, everything… there is almost no a part of a cow or pig or chicken I haven’t tasted. Some would call it sadistic. In fact, people HAVE called it sadistic.

Nothing sadistic about enjoying food. Food should be a joy to eat and prepare. Food is about sensory experiences as much as it is about nutrition. If we wanted to, we could live on nuts, soy, and vitamin supplements. It would be tasteless yet nourishing.

But we crave flavor. We want textures. When the right smell hits us, it’s like we’re children again and can’t wait for dinner to finish cooking. The smell of cooked meat, or even raw meat for some dishes, is even more primal than that.

If it meant we saved the planet, though…

Yeah, I’d do it. I’m not so selfish as to think I should be able to eat a burger and kill the Earth at the same time.

I love steak, but I like breathing more.


Save the Earth by ~Sidoneon on deviantART

And now on to something less depressing.

  • Ever wanted to have an AT-AT? No? What about a miniature AT-AT that was as lovable as a dog… only armor-plated and armed with twin blasters?
  • It seems the middle class isn’t having as much sex as it used to, and this article looks at everything from the decreased gap between gender roles to the overworked nature of our country. An interesting read to be sure…
  • What if Jesus wasn’t actually crucified but was instead just tied to a pole? Would the symbolism of the cross be destroyed and punch a hole in the fabric of Christianity?
  • How do you get people to buy your food storage products? Show them how well they can handle dinosaur meat.
  • And finally, thanks to reader Eden Hirtzel for showing me this video. I’m hoping Muriel or other future demons in Charcoal Streets doesn’t come across like this, but it’s hilarious either way.