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Cold Comfort: How to Best Use Your Freezer

The following article is from the new book Uncle John’s Uncanny Bathroom Reader.

Did you know that you can keep eggs in your freezer? (There’s a trick to it.) Here are some tips on how to freeze foods you probably thought couldn’t be frozen, and how to better freeze the stuff you’re already freezing, preventing waste and saving money in the process.

(Image credit: Flickr user Beverly Vealach)

FRESH VEGETABLES

• Before freezing, chop raw vegetables to the size you are likely to use when cooking. Thawed vegetables are more difficult to chop.

• Vegetables tend to lose color, favor, texture, and even vitamins when they’re frozen, thanks to the activity of enzymes in the veggies. Blanching the vegetables (immersing them in boiling water for a short period of time) before freezing interrupts the activity of the enzymes, and will keep the frozen vegetables fresher longer.

• Blanching times vary from 11⁄2 minutes for peas and 11 minutes for large ears of corn; consult a cookbook for the correct amount of time for the vegetable you want to freeze.

• After blanching, quickly immerse the vegetables in cool water to prevent them from overcooking.

• Leafy greens, tomatoes, and watery vegetables like zucchini and squash can be frozen without blanching. If you plan on making zucchini bread, grate the zucchini before you freeze it.

GROUND MEAT

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Previously Classified Nuclear Test Videos Now on YouTube

Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have been analyzing old films of nuclear weapons tests, using more modern equipment to get more accurate data. As they go through the thousands of old films, they've found many hadn't been properly stored for long-term preservation, so they are digitizing the collection. Physicist Greg Spriggs said that about 6500 films have been found, 750 have been declassified, and this week, 63 of them have been uploaded to YouTube.  

(YouTube link)

The goal in preserving and digitizing them, Spriggs said in a news release, was to keep the films for future study, lest they decompose and disappear forever.

“You can smell vinegar when you open the cans, which is one of the byproducts of the decomposition process of these films,” Spriggs said. “We know that these films are on the brink of decomposing to the point where they’ll become useless. The data that we’re collecting now must be preserved in a digital form because no matter how well you treat the films, no matter how well you preserve or store them, they will decompose.”

But once a sequence is on YouTube, there will be copies of it everywhere. And we get to see them.

(YouTube link)

Read about the film preservation project at Atlas Obscura, and see the newly-released videos at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's YouTube channel.


Robert Irwin on The Tonight Show

On The Tonight Show, Robert Irwin presents Jimmy Fallon with a variety of creatures to gush about. Have you ever heard an armadillo scream? You're about to.

(YouTube link)

Robert Irwin is the 13-year-old son of the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. He is the spitting image of his dad, in his looks, his enthusiasm, and his knowledge of animals. -via reddit


Hauntingly Beautiful Driftwood Sculptures By Nagato Iwasaki

Pieces of driftwood are like nature's nomads, traveling far from their roots and going where the streams and rivers take them like no trees ever could.

These well traveled scraps of wood are shaped by their journey, twisted and gnarled until they become earthen works of art shaped by the hands of Mother Nature.

Sadly, most driftwood is used to build fires or as garden fill when collected, but Japanese artist Nagato Iwasaki has found a better use for those beautiful bits of wood- he uses them as a sculptural medium.

Nagato's humanoid figures are naturally gorgeous, and realistic enough to give you a hauntingly eerie feeling of familiarity when you gaze at their faceless forms, like someone you used to know but let slip away long ago.

See Haunting Driftwood Sculptures By Japanese Artist Nagato Iwasaki here


This Burger Inside a Pizza is the Sexiest Food Creation We've Ever Seen

Pizza and burgers are two of the most incredible junk foods in the history of snacking and while there are plenty of cheeseburger pizzas out there -they're usually a poor combination of both with just hamburger and pickles thrown on top of a pizza. 

(Video Link)

But this pizza by Hellthy Junk Food truly combines the two foods -with a bacon cheeseburger complete with pickles, ketchup and mustard surrounded by a pepperoni pizza. You can learn how to make this monstrosity for yourself, but make sure your heart can handle such a monster meal before daring to consume it. The recipe is here.

Via Incredible Things


An Interesting Stream of Water

At first glance, you might think this water is frozen, but it’s flowing. After it’s disrupted, it goes right back to the exact shape it had before, and it looks like its not even moving. They are draining a pool. This is called laminar flow, when a fluid moves at a slow speed, under the consistent pressure of gravity, without disruption (until the guy sticks his hand in it). We aren’t used to seeing that, because what comes out of our faucets and hoses is under variable pressure, changes direction, and contains bubbles, which all cause turbulence. -via Digg


An Essay on the Greatness of Gilligan's Island

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

 Gilligan's Island, which premiered on CBS on September 26, 1964, is quite possibly the most ridiculed television show of all-time. Interestingly and ironically, with the possible exception of I Love Lucy, it is also possibly the most well-known and beloved. According to Dawn Wells, it is by now the single most watched TV show in history, including I Love Lucy.

As I always clearly state: what makes people laugh is subjective- like taste in women, cars and colors, And while Gilligan's Island will cause only eye rolls and channel-changing from many of my fellow TV watchers, I myself have always found the show to be hysterically funny.

True, the teaming of Bob Denver (Gilligan) and Alan Hale (the Skipper) as Gilligan and the Skipper, so obviously based on Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, never equaled Stan and Ollie. But who did? To me, both the verbal and physical humor of the show was very funny and often clever. (Like almost any great TV series, the writing did get weaker towards the end of the show's run.)

Like all great art, in my humble opinion, Gilligan's Island reflected and mirrored life.

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10 Smart Facts About Idiocracy

The 2006 movie Idiocracy didn’t do all that well in theaters, but Mike Judge’s dystopian comedy gained quite a following on home video and TV. It was both outrageously funny and deeply disturbing because the underlying concept just a little too believable. An everyday guy sleeps through 500 years of history and awakens in the future as the smartest man on earth, because humans had devolved a bit intellectually. Yes that’s an understatement.   

1. A VISIT TO DISNEYLAND SPARKED THE IDEA.

Though Mike Judge had been jotting down some ideas for a movie about evolution as far back as 1995, the idea that would become Idiocracy all came together in 2001—on a trip to Disneyland, of all places. Judge and his daughters were waiting in line at the Alice In Wonderland ride when, according to Judge, "Somebody behind me had a stroller and two little kids and her and this other woman with two little kids was passing by. I guess they’d had an altercation and they just start getting in this cussing match with each other, just, you know, ‘bitch’ this. But you know, just yelling and like ‘I’ll kick your ass' ... and I was just sitting there thinking wow, the Disneyland of that was envisioned, way back in the ’50s and, to right now.”

Judge asked Etan Cohen (Beavis and Butt-Head, King of the Hill) to work with him on the screenplay. “It was almost like film school, except Mike Judge was teaching the class," Cohen said.

7. IN THE END, THE STUDIO ESSENTIALLY BURIED THE FILM.

In the end, the studio's marketing team didn't create much fanfare around the release of Idiocracy. They didn't send out any press kits, and Wilson and Rudolph didn't do any press for it. After sitting on the shelf for a year, Idiocracy was finally released on September 1, 2006—but only to 130 theaters, none of which were located in big markets like New York or San Francisco. It made $177,559 during its opening weekend, and just $444,093 throughout its brief theatrical run. The New York Times published some theories as to why the film didn't have a wider release, with one blogger positing that, “some of the sponsors may well have been unhappy with the way their products are placed, and made some phone calls to higher-ups.” A Fox spokesman said the decision came down to an executive decision from the chairman of the studio. Some believed the studio did the bare minimum required to fulfill a contractual obligation with Judge requiring his movie to have any sort of theatrical release before being sold to DVD. In 2009, Judge himself told the Los Angeles Times that he thinks the studio learned from Office Space and simply opted to not waste their money marketing it.

In between the concept and the finished movie, there’s a lot more to know about the making of Idiocracy, which you can read about at mental_floss.


Falling Tide

A young boy is kicked off the train, and isn't allowed back on. Will it take off without him? Can he get his parents’ attention? He doesn’t have much time before the waves come in! This surreal story is told in wordless anime style.

(vimeo link)

Animation student Ning Cheng produced this at CalArts. If you get to the end and still don’t understand the allegory, read the first comment. -via reddit


Kitten Stuck in a Sunflower

(YouTube link)

We’re all familiar with the problem of a young kitten climbing a tree and not knowing how to get down. In this case, rescue was a lot easier because the kitten climbed up in a sunflower plant! It was awfully high from the kitten’s perspective, but an easy problem for his human to solve. Probably the simplest cat rescue we've ever posted. -via Atlas Obscura 


These Guys Built a Mechanical Version of Pong

When it came out in 1972, Pong was a marvel of video game design. It's visually simple by today's standards, but it thrilled the first generation of video game players.

You can play it on a computer now. But thanks to Daniel Perdomo and his colleagues, it's also possible to play a physical version in a table-shaped arcade cabinet.


(Video Link)

This video shows how it's put together. Magnets move the paddles and ball back and forth between two sheets of glass. The paddles don't actually hit the ball, but the ball ricochets according to the angles of impact to the paddles. It's an incredible technical achievement.

-via Gizmodo


I Made This Exosquad Stained Glass Lamp

One of my hobbies is to build pieces of furniture that reflect my geeky interests. My most recent project is a lamp with a stained glass panel. The design reflects a symbol from Exosquad, a science fiction cartoon from the early 90s.

Exosquad lasted for only two seasons and struggled through both of them. It was, sadly, too good to last because it was a cartoon, but definitely not for young children. Exosquad was a miilitary science fiction story with richly-developed worldbuilding and thoughtful narrative development. It was a war story with heroism, treachery, and tragedy. The writers and producers expressed their artistry in a grand, tightly-woven epic.

When I watched it as a young man, it struck me as a brilliant work of storytelling. I remain a devoted fan and decided to express my appreciation for it in a crafting project. The subject would be the logo of the Exofleet, the military body of which most of the main characters belong.

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Bubble Tea Served in Light Bulbs

(Photo: News 163)

The rounded, almost spherical forms have a lot of aesthetic appeal. That's why Taiwan's latest café craze is bubble tea served in light bulbs.

Bubble tea, which is a tea-based drink that has balls of tapioca resting in the bottom, originated in Taiwan. Now that country is upheaving the tea game again by serving it in huge light bulbs. Rocket News 24 keeps us abreast of the development:

Perhaps hoping to jump on the trendy train, a Taiwanese bubble tea store is employing both good-looking women and an idea like a lightbulb going off over your head. [...]

Instead of regular plastic cups, this bubble tea is served in a gigantic lightbulb. It’s a bit unclear whether these are repurposed bulbs or brand new lightbulbs without filaments, but these drinks are definitely getting some light shined on them.

You can see more photos at Rocket News 24.


Player Two

(vimeo link)

John Wikstrøm saw a YouTube comment that particularly touched him, and felt compelled to make a video out of the story. It’s less than two minutes long, how touching can it be? You might want to bring a handkerchief, because a big story can be told in a small number of words. -via Geeks Are Sexy  

 


This Walmart Cashier Does Perfect Scooby-Doo Impressions


(Video Link)

This cashier at a Walmart is ready for Hollywood. He would be perfect as a voice actor. Watch him summarize his life at Walmart with impressions of Scooby-Doo and Shaggy from Scooby-Doo.

I'm having trouble reading his name badge, but I think that it says "Brandon." Brandon, this video is going viral. Seize this opportunity to break into entertainment!

-via Pleated Jeans


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