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Sep. 26th, 2009 | 09:52 am

I ran across this short book that uses a single vowel for each chapter. (via @shiflett on Twitter)

More interesting (to me) than being limited by a specific vowel for word choice, is the way each chapter looks. The choice of vowel significantly alters the feel of the text. With that in mind, on a granular scale, it must also alter the feel of a word. I wonder if specific vowels (or consonants) build connotations—through type-casting of sorts—then get that connotation communicated visually and/or via the audible translation.

For instance, if you look at the "i" chapter, it is very stuffy and almost uneasy looking. Then, when you think about it, "i" words can be some of the most intimidating spelling and pronunciation words. Irresistible. Mississippi. Inferiority. Similarly lengthy words using other vowels with extended enunciation allow for an easier "sounding out" and elongated pronunciation—even letting you think in between syllables. Extravaganza. Alabama. Lollapalooza. They look more roomy and they feel more comfortable to say.

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Anthony's Vegetarian (but tastes like meat) Lasagna

Sep. 23rd, 2009 | 01:52 pm

A few people asked for this on Facebook, so here it is:


This recipe intentionally has ingredients high in iron, calcium, potassium and protein to make it feel and taste like a meaty dish, without the meat. If you are vegetarian because you don't like the taste of meat, this might be too rich for you.

Contrary to popular belief, lasagna is actually one of the easiest recipes to make and to wing freestyle...it just needs longer than the average bake time to marry. It uses basic Italian components like pasta, sauce, vegetables, cheese and optionally meat. The trick to a good lasagna in flavor, texture and looks is controlling your layers. I find a 3-layered lasagna works best for this.Read more...Collapse )

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New Order, Old Order

Sep. 17th, 2009 | 10:06 pm

I just ran across a reptile I now have to see in addition to the wild marine iguanas. The tuatara is the only remaining species of its order. Though it looks like a lizard, it isn't lizard or snake. They have been around since the age of dinosaurs and live to over 100 years in the wild! They are endangered and are being bred in sanctuaries in Australia and NZ.

A map of their lineage:

Wow! In the words of Elmira, "I will hug it and love it and snuggle it!" So cute!

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A Dead Rat's Last Wish

Sep. 14th, 2009 | 08:56 pm

Walking to work today, I stepped over an undamaged dead rat on the sidewalk. Hoping it wouldn't go to waste, my inner child quietly got excited about it and I began thinking of all of the great things one could do with such a dead rat. At the top of the list, put it under someone's windshield wiper, right next to their parking ticket. Or, replace 7-Eleven's doorstop.

Walking home, the rat was gone. Exciting? I can only hope.

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Ghost Bus

Sep. 10th, 2009 | 10:12 am

This morning, I was waiting for the bus and a bus I'd never seen before stopped and opened its doors. Nobody was on it, other than the driver. It was called "37 Potomac" and was the same kind of RideOn bus I usually ride.

I asked the driver, "Is this the 34?" He gave me some snide reply I half listened to as he told me it is what it says. I didn't get on. Curious, I double-checked the stop sign. Is there a chance I'd never seen this bus in two years of using the stop? Sure enough, it wasn't listed. I set a cellphone reminder to look it up when I got to work. I like to keep on top of the routes in case one comes before the other and the weather is bad.

When I got to work, my phone jingled with the reminder and I checked it out. Oddly, there is no 37 route going through that area. In fact, there isn't even one for Maryland. The only 37 route is a DC route, several miles away...and it isn't called "Potomac". I don't see anything on the WMATA website about a temporary detour, temporary bus, or anything else to allude to what the story was. Either:

A. The bus actually was a 34 or 33 and the digital sign was wrong...and I misinterpreted the bus driver's jive; or

B. I saw a ghost bus a la the ghost train in Ghostbusters; or

C. There is some other fishy thing going on like a serial killer posing as a bus driver with an empty bus, like those cop impersonators.

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Your Eyes Are So Big

Sep. 5th, 2009 | 09:25 am


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Neat Concept

Sep. 4th, 2009 | 08:14 am

It is a pretty interesting concept. It isn't my style, but it is very creative. Via ffffound:

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Morbid Salmon

Aug. 31st, 2009 | 10:28 am

Oh, it has been a while since I have gotten one of these IMs. Just in:


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Sandwich Flop

Aug. 31st, 2009 | 10:14 am

A reuben is one of those sandwiches where, in its simplicity, it is pretty hard to get wrong. I've only met two reubens I didn't like. Both were from places you'd think would have a decent reuben.

#1 Champps Americana Bar & Grill
Their reuben was the first I didn't like. It had the making of a great sandwich, but the meat was all wrong. It was cut badly, with the entire mass somehow connected. Thick lumps, stringy parts and overly chewy required gnawing to take a bite...and by then, the sandwich had fallen apart. If I recall, I took most of the meat out and ate the rest of the sandwich without it.

#2 Rockbottom Brewery Restaurant
Here is a place next door to one of the best reubens I've had (Union Jack's Brittish Pub), known for some great neo-pub food...and their reuben is off. The ingredients were actually perfect. The problem was in the preparation. The bread was not toasted or grilled, which in most sandwiches would be fine. However, a reuben's trademark is in the contrast of the crisp and crunch of the rye, with the hot and gooey kraut, cheese and Russian dressing inside. Take away the crunch and you just have slop. Not only was my reuben not toasted, but because it hadn't been thoroughly heated, the cheese wasn't fully melted and the contents weren't hot. I took the sandwich home to finish it correctly. That is my lunch today, and I must say it is much better the second time around—after an intervention with the toaster oven.

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Fathom Hiring an Intern

Aug. 18th, 2009 | 05:18 pm

If you know any DC-area kids aspiring to intern at a design firm, pass this on:

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