Friday, August 30, 2013

Mind power, Swede. Mind power!

If you read Robyn Straley's blog (and if not, why not?) you know that I recently tied for second/first place in her very first reader contest. If you were wondering what I won, then wonder no longer!

Handful of Salt
Handful of Salt magazine (which Robyn writes for!,) pistachios, foil stars ("as a 'grown up' you have to give them to yourself," says Robyn) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (which I have not read, and looks awesome,) The Space Swimmers (which I have not read, and looks awesomely horrible,) Bon Apppetit magazine, Hibiscus Tea, Salt from the Meadow, and a test tube o' salt from Robyn's wedding favors.

And, for some reason, my foodsaver and coffee maker are crashing the picture. I call that vanity.

Big thanks to Robyn Straley for these prizes!

Which I will now review.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

MRE Review: Menu 8, Marinara Sauce with Meatballs

Uncle Sam Says Garden
Getting soldiers, sailors, and marines to eat their rations is not as easy as you might think. Well, for soldiers and marines, anyway. Getting sailors to eat is as easy as serving food that actually tastes good. Crazy concept, but it works.

For the rest, under-consumption was a major problem in the first decade after MRE introduction, but a problem that went unnoticed by the top brass. Then, in 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, hundreds of thousands of American troops were flown off to remote stations guarding the Saudi-Kuwaiti border, and the ration issue came to a head. Stuck in these desert outposts, without regular resupply, troops had to subsist on nothing but MREs for months at a time.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Digestive System, Part 5: The Duodenum

Image CC Olek Remesz
Nutrient digestion kicks into high gear when we reach one of the most lyrically named organs in the human body: the duodenum. Have a listen to the accepted pronunciations, from Wiktionary:

Aren't those lovely? I especially like the second one. Why the duodenum doesn’t appear at least once in every song ever written, I can’t understand. That's going to be a rule when I conquer the world.

Enough of that talk, though. You'll know more than you ever wanted to soon, soon.

When we left off last time, chyme (another of those wonderfully lyrical words, referring to the soupy mixture of chewed food churned up by the stomach) was squirting into the duodenum through the pyloric sphincter. When there's little or no chyme in the stomach, the pyloric sphincter has a semi-relaxed posture—chill but not too chill—which allows stomach contents to drain slowly into the duodenum.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Yeast Bread Falling: Robyn Straley Edition



You mean Robyn Straley ("Other-Robyn", around these parts) made me the subject of this month's Yeast Bread Rising version of the Proust Questionnaire? Where can I find this historic interview, you ask? Well, right here, of course. (And if you're curious about what the Yeast Bread Rising Questionnaire is, all shall be revealed in this informative article.) So follow that link right over there. When you get back, we'll talk further.

Doot doot dah dah doot doot dah.

Back? Okay.

By now you can see that there's only one appropriate retaliation for this kind of thing: I need a questionnaire of my own. One that combines my obsession with MRE's and low-class food with my patented brand of whimsical evil. And guess who was blackmailed graciously agreed to be my first subject?

If you guessed anyone apart from Other-Robyn, then you're pretty bad at guessing games, aren't you?

So, without further ado, I present my questions, and Other-Robyn's answers to...

The Yeast Bread Falling Questionnaire
Being the Darkside Version of the Yeast Bread Rising Questionnaire
Inaugural Edition
With Guest Robyn Straley
A Robyn Bennis Joint
Executive Producer: Marcel Proust
If you haven't laughed at this gag by now, you ain't gonna.