Sunday, February 28, 2010

Giant Dog!

This has been sitting in my Firefox window (I like to keep certain tabs open every time I open Firefox for quick important-things access - Gmail, Artful Stew, GReader - but sometimes I leave things up just because I have yet to actually get to them, like that NY Times article about that play starring Laura Linney that my mom said I should see but have not even fully read yet...) for over a month.

It's time to show the world - Giant George! One of the tallest dogs in the world!

How adorable is he? Of course, I cannot support the extreme growth on either end of the dog size spectrum since both super enormous dogs and super tiny dogs generally end up suffering from physical maladies and disorders that can cause an early death... but seriously, how cute is he?!

This Almost Made Me Cry: Regenerating Organs

It looks like helping kidneys is still a long way off, but at least there's hope. The clip at the end is what (nearly) produced the waterworks.

Thanks again to HowStuffWorks. I truly hope that we can start employing these techniques on a larger scale soon.

Also, the guy, Dr. Anthony Atala, sounds exactly like my surgeon.

New Life Goal: Mayor of a Canadian City

I want to be her sixty-six years from now!

Many thanks to HowStuffWorks for finding this delightfully Canadian clip - seriously, how Canadian is it? It's got hockey, nice people, compliments on winter headgear, and even some strange Canadafied version of bowling.

For some reference, here is where Missassauga (The Mississippi of Canada... because of the S's, not because of anything else at all) is.

If Canada was slightly warmer, I'd move there right now.

Voice in the Vent

The Voice in the Vent has had quite the variety of activities going on lately.

Last night, in classic VITV mode, he watched a 40s-50s era musical. Which one? I'm not sure, but it was pumped up all the way and he sang along. Quite lovely.

A few days ago I heard the moo'ing again. Now, I've determined a few possible solutions to this weird, weird conundrum:

A) He has a small child who has one of those Animal Sound Wheels where you spin the arrow and it lands on an animal and the animal makes a sound - except his is stuck on The Cow Says Moo and I have never heard a child in there...

B) He has one of those "Cows in a Cup" cups and the sound of the moo'ing delights him. It washes away the anguish of not yet being a Broadway star.

C) It's his really obnoxious cell phone ringtone, and he just doesn't get a lot of calls.

Any ideas?

PS. I keep hearing this plastic rolling, crunching noise... I think he's covered his furniture in plastic like old ladies and obsessive-compulsive cleaners.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Squirrelpocalypse Now: Coming of the Squirrelmageddon

Yes, yes, they are going to kill us all. Just look at this "ravenous" (Serious Eats' word, not mine) beast - it's absolutely batsh*t crazy. You can see it in the tail.

However, we may have had a breakthrough in how we can avoid (or soften the blow) of the Squirrelpocalypse. How?

Shake Shack induced Type 2 Squirrel Diabetes. Look at that little demon - it's so clearly addicted to the Shack. It needs its fix, and if we give it to it, it will die marginally sooner than its already short lifespan.

If we employ this technique en masse, we can drop the average squirrel's lifespan from 3 years to 2. Even better, they'll spend their entire lives lusting after our fatty, sugary treats, so hypnotized, so entranced by peanut butter custard and shackburgers that they'll forget all about their plans for world domination.

Now we just have to get Shake Shack in on the deal. Who's good at PR? Also aggressivly persuading people to believe your conspiracy theories? Anyone? Anyone?

I Belong!

About a week ago at work I changed my desktop background from the standard Windows Blue to that adorable picture of Sunny when he was a (smaller) puppy.

Although I've been working at my job since November, love it, already knew most everyone from a previous internship, and had taped up a picture of a very cute otter from the January month of the PETA calendar my boyfriend pawned off on me (given to him by a random PETA mailing - no, we have no affiliation with PETA), changing the desktop background to Sunny felt very permanent.

I have no idea why, but up until a week ago I had never even thought about changing the background. Now that I have, it's like I've put my stamp on my little space at work. Even if I'm not at my desk, people can walk by, see Sunny, and think, "Yep, that's Artful's desk alright."

Nobody probably thinks that except me, but for whatever reason, I feel like I've made a legitimate step forward in establishing that, really for real, this is my job and I fit in here.

Awwww, this little Stew's growing up.

See What Internette Did There? New Blogs Show Out!

Hey Readers!

You know how much you love my blog? With all its conspiracy theories and animal-related news?

Well then you'll love my friends' blogs! I waited to post this Shout Out until they both had a few months worth of posts, so you all will have plenty to read.

Internette is written by my lovely friend Alex and covers everything from awkward Craigslist ads to witty friends' quotes to in depth analysis of the Puppy Bowl. If you want a quick laugh to brighten your day, head on over there.

See What I Did There? is written by my equally lovely friend Hillary and covers all sorts important topics like what is the best commercial ever, essential You Tube videos, and more hilarious quotes from hilarious people.

Both authors are successful journalists beyond their blogs, and (thankfully!) they post links to their most recent articles. They've had bylines in PaperMag, the Times Magazine Blog, Slate, and College Candy, just to name a few.

Check them out! (but don't forget about me!) Their links will always be posted under my Linguistic Linguini section, as with all of my favorite blogs.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

We Need All Kinds of Minds!

Listen to Temple Grandin's TED talk and you will be a better person for it. She's great. If you haven't seen the new movie about her, "Temple Grandin," watch it. You won't regret it. Enjoy!

Rest in Peace, Daddy the Pit Bull

Daddy, Caesar Milan's ever-helpful pit bull, passed away on Monday at the age of 16. He was a regular on the show, constantly soothing and calming aggressive dogs and showing that, despite a mean-looking exterior, any dog can be a calm, submissive sweetheart.

We will miss him deeply, and hope that his successor, Junior, can help heal the hole in Caesar and his family's hearts.

Elephants Never Forget They're Smart!

We all know elephants are brainiacs (they have such big brains!), but did you realize they were this smart?

If you are me, then of course you did! Because long before this study was conducted, I watched a great animal-human documentary called [Insert Name of Documentary Which I Totally Forgot the Name of! I think it was on PBS...] which shows a group of humans who live with a herd of elephants in a sanctuary. During their time together, they've learned to communicate with each other in a number of ways, but perhaps the most notable is that the elephants knew to raise their voices to a pitch audible to humans when speaking with them. Normally, as noted in the article above, elephants speak to each other in low grumbles and roars that are inaudible to us. That they knew to speak in pitches we can hear is truly remarkable.

Also, when trying (and failing) to figure out the name of the documentary, I ran into a bunch of articles about Alex the Parrot. If you haven't read the book, Alex and Me, read it. It's a great story about animal-human relationships and communication.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

For Sun Reference

My mom just sent me this picture of Sunny from last Christmas - look how much he's grown! Also, note the slight change of color from champagne to white (except his adorable ears!).

I love him so much!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Awww, Some People are Nice

This guy gave his whole company to his 209 employees for his birthday.

If I had a company, dear readers, I would give it to you. Since I do not, consider this blog yours. Please treat it with respect (no NSFW stuff, ok? For realsies).

Speaking of nice people, why don't people jump on the nice, small company bandwagon more often, where everyone has a say in the decision-making and the boss isn't paid exorbitant amount of money and is disconnected from everything he does... oh, which reminds me of this TV Squad article questioning just how much good "Undercover Boss" is doing vs. what it could be doing.

I'm just saying, America, I want us all to work at nice places and have health care and only work four days a week.

I'd bail and move to Canada, but it's way too cold up there.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Good News for Kidney Transplant Recipients!

It looks like this new drug, Belatacept, could be an effective replacement for cyclosporine!

Of course, I don't like the part in the article that reads, "only time will tell" if this new drug is effective long term, but I do like the part about it having less side effects and less toxicity.

I'll definitely be talking to my doctors about how much more research needs to go into this drug before I can even think about switching (presumably another 5 years is my guess).

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

If you're in a relationship, I hope you all have a great day and do at least one special thing!

If you're single, I hope you get with a bunch of friends, bake (or buy) a shizton of desserts, and watch sappy romantic comedies all day and night!

Then again, that sounds surprisingly similar to what my boyfriend and I will be doing... Well, I'll take any chance I can get to bake yummy things and watch sappy romantic comedies.

Happy (love) Stewing, Readers!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sunny in the Snow!

As proof of Dallas' epic Feb 11th snowstorm, here are a couple of pictures of Sunny!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Uh-Oh, Agave-No!

Alright, guys. Remember those delicious vegan agave nectar cupcakes we all made and loved thinking they were good for us?

Spoiler Alert! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!

Ok, let's not panic. Unfortunately, though, we're going to have to go off the agave boat, because it turns out this stuff is unregulated and a serious health safety hazard.

Shout out to my brother-in-law for sharing this article with me.

Points of interest:

1) Agave is not nectar
2) It's more processed and has more fructose in it than High Fructose Corn Syrup
3) It will eat your babies and kick your puppies

No joke. Let's get agave out of Whole Foods because it is seriously processed crap.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Yay for Feminist Parodies!

This is awesome. Major thanks for Brendon over at My Five Year Plan for finding amazing parody - lady's lib forever!

UPDATE: Also, Bill Clinton is ok! What a relief - not sure how much this fits in with a post about feminism (debate in the comments as you will), but it's still important.

Could Someone Please Explain This to Me?

Unsurprisingly, Canada McDonald's will be offering an Olympic menu over the next few weeks.

Normal things they've included: Olympic toys for Happy Meals

Things I Cannot Figure Out for the Life of Me: Creme-Brulee Crunch McFlurry, S'Mores Pie, Spicy Szechwan Dipping Sauce, and Zesty Mango Dipping Sauce.

At first I thought that maybe they were trying to do a "foods from around the world" theme, but that would not explain the S'Mores Pie. Plus, which region, specifically, does Mango represent?

So I thought maybe it was more of a Winter theme (Winter Olympics, after all), but then the Mango and the Szechwan sauces really don't make sense.

Any ideas?

Picture of Chocolate-Chip Banana Muffins

Proof of the fact that I can do something I set out to do! (Ok, I know, I'm no great photographer, but at least you can see chocolate chips and stuff, right? And I used the "Macro" setting!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Things I've Actually Accomplished: Chocolate-Chip Banana Muffins

After months of seeing spare, overripe bananas go to waste, Liz and I finally decided to take action and make the banana bread we always said we would. The result: pure, tasty, muffin-y bliss.

Pictures to follow.

Green of the Day

Who wants a giant floating whale-shaped sustainable ship that purifies water and produces more energy than it uses?

Everybody, that's who.

World, jump on this design and start producing these Ships of Awesome or I'm going to have some butt-kicking to do around here. Seriously, get on this.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Muppets: More Relevant than Ever

The Muppets - revamped for all of us crazy internet clickers!

Their new spot (the follow-up to the Bohemian Rhapsody music video) plays off of the "Fail" trend (meme?), poor internet spelling, immediate gratification, and everyone's inner pyromaniac.

The result? Pure Muppety genius. I love the Muppets so much it hurts sometimes - mainly the times when I think 'If only I went to puppetry school and could do that myself...' Then I think "do they have puppetry schools anymore?" and then I think "Probably in New Hampshire or some hippy town/state" and then I think about how cold is up there, but that there's probably a program similar at one of the UC-s or Claremont Colleges because they're all Muppet-loving hippies out there, and then I think about all of the other things I could have majored in in college and cry myself to sleep at night dreaming of all that lost potential. Then I wake up and remember I have a great job and can watch clips of the Muppets online. Also, one day I'm going to get one of the FAO Schwarz Muppets [Note to Boyfriend and/or parents: birthday present hint!] and play with it and pretend I'm on Sesame Street teaching some kids to read in a funny voice.

Anyway, enjoy the video!

The Harsh Reality of Adulthood

I'm hoping and wishing and knocking on wood that tomorrow won't bring the Snowpocalypse that weathermen everywhere are forecasting. Why?

Is it...

A) Because I'm worried about all the people who might experience power shortages and losses?
B) The damage it may do to people in need?
C) I know my job won't give me a snow day and I don't want to be insanely jealous of everyone else in New York that will?

Answer: C

Of course A and B, as well, but definitely C. I've never gotten to sled on a real hill in a real sled before. And while I don't own a sled, I know I could at least find a hill if I had the time.

Sigh. I'm finally in a place where there is snow, and I can no longer enjoy it. Unless it snows on a weekend. Valentine's Day Snow In, perhaps?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Restaurant Week Review: David Burke Townhouse

Four friends and I sampled David Burke Townhouse last week during Restaurant Week.

What we ordered:

Appetizer: Wild Mushroom Soup with truffle parmigiana foam - Pretzel Crusted Crab Cake and Sweet Chili Prawn with confit orange and poppy seed honey

Main Course: Mustard Crusted Tuna with coconut-kaffir lime basmati rice, baby bok choy, red seaweed with sweet and sour blood orange sauce - Seawater Soaked Roast Organic Chicken with herb garden potato puree, roasted vegetables and pommery jus - Handmade Cavatelli & Braised Short Ribs with wild mushrooms, mushroom chips and truffle mousse

Dessert: Caramelized Warm Apple Tart cider caramel and dulce de leche ice cream - Bittersweet Chocolate Cake with peanut butter mousse and roasted banana ice cream

What We Loved:

The bread was delicious and arrived alongside tall, molded butter sculptures.
Both appetizers were knock-outs. According to those who tried both, the crab cake was the winner. I'm no fan of seafood, though, and I can tell you that, whatever the heck truffle parmigiana foam is, it's delicious. The soup was thick but not too heavy and laden with mushroom flavor. Unlike many soups, it was not intensely salty, instead relying on the mushroom to really bring on the flavor. A few soup-sogged croutons made of the starting bread really sealed the deal to this excellent starter.

Main Courses:
While everything was great, the Cavatelli knocked the rest out of the park. The ribs were pulled off the bone, mashed together, and stuffed into two paper-thin rolls of Cavatelli pasta. They were surrounded by crispy mushroom chips and extremely thick morsels of bacon. The meat was tender and flavorful. While it must have been saturated with fat, it wasn't dripping with grease or gristle, my usual complaint when it comes to short ribs. The pasta was light and, while I didn't notice it much at first, really added something lovely and different to my final few bites.

The Bittersweet Chocolate Cake was another Knock Out. This cake cannot really be called a cake. It was three thick slabs of dark chocolate goo with two slabs of light, fluffy peanut butter mousse in the middle. Drops of chocolate lined the edges of the plate, adding a few extra bites to the already chocolate explosion. But the best part was by far the roasted banana ice cream. Now, I like banana ice cream, but rarely do I LOVE it. This was incredible. It rested on a bed of delicious, sweet butterscotch crunchies. Alone or mixed with the crazy Reeses' Peanut Butter Cup on Crack, it was an incredible scoop of ice cream.

The Service:
They seated us before our full party arrived, which was very nice of them considering how crowded it was. They didn't treat us differently even though we clearly could only afford the place because it was restaurant week, so points for them there, too.

What We Liked (But Didn't Love):

Nothing. They were all amazing.

Main Courses:
The Roasted Chicken was delicious, but the portion was a little too large for the average person. Our only complaint with the Tuna was that, unlike the Cavatelli, there was nothing very special about it. My boyfriend noted that he had had better seared tuna at Hibiscus, one favorite Special Occasion restaurant in Dallas. While it was great, it didn't quite live up to what we had expected. One (minor) critique of the Cavatelli was that the bacon that came with it, was (in my boyfriend's words) "more like glorified ham." I know everybody nowadays thinks the world should be covered in bacon (and admittedly, I had bacon in some macaroni and cheese from Westville last week and it was fabulous!), but some things really are just great as they are. The Cavatelli was a perfect example of that.

Our dining companions who had the Apple Tart loved it and are huge fan of apple tarts, so no complaints in this department, either!

The Decor:
We definitely got the Alice in Wonderland theme (red and white, weird card paintings, etc), but there were some pieces (glass balloons?) that seemed somewhat out of place.

The Price:
The $35 pricetag escalates when you share a bottle of wine among 5 people (well, 4, since I didn't drink), and no wines at this place come cheap. In the end, we each payed about $45-$50 for the meal. But, considering it would have been worth $75+ on a normal night, we were still happy with it.

In the end, Restaurant Week is what you make of it. We found a good deal at a great restaurant, and we were ready to slam down the bucks to make it happen. It was a special occasion among friends and we all had a great time. For those of you looking to enjoy the Restaurant Week love, no worries, some spots are extending their offers until the end of February. And some places (like David Burke Townhouse) have a regular prix-fixe menu all year round.

Stay on the lookout and let me know what you find. Happy Stewing!

Friday, February 5, 2010

I Heart Science

What the WHAAAAAT? Watch this video and be amazed! Sometimes science really kicks ass - or at least walks to ass and then punches it.

PS. Debate about the ethics all you want, but this pig lung transplant thing is pretty nuts, too.

UPDATE: Also, WTF is up with High Fructose Corn Syrup!? As if it wasn't going to kill us already, apparently it's also FILLED WITH MERCURY.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hooray! Win One for the Ladies

Finally! Letterman hires a new female writer.

In this day and age, this small bit of news should not be a big deal, but unfortunately we've still got to cheer for every woman comedy writer who makes it to the big leagues.

No worries. When I'm running the show, it'll be 50-50... that is, unless us ladies prove to be far much hilarious-ier than the fellas.

I'm just sayin'

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Holy Cantonelli, I Love Animation

How cute and fun and silly is this video? I seriously need to get back into stop-motion animation, because that looked like so much fun. And it had a puppy in it!


Poll Closed! Puppies Once a Week Forever!

At least until you guys tell me to post otherwise. But yes, that's the plan. In an overwhelming vote of support, I can see now that you all want to see puppies once a week, and that's exactly what I'm going to give you!

Hooray for puppies and posting and polls and the letter P!

This Crazy Floating Penguin Made My Day

What the f? It's so cool and floating and weird and THE FUTURE HAS COME in the form of penguin spaceships. I'm in. This is more than I ever could have hoped for in my life.