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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Vegetarian Recipe of the Week

Baba Ghanouj
(Eggplant Dip)

I decided to stick with one of my favourite recipes this week. Baba ghanouj can be used as a dip, but I find it also tastes great as a dressing for a pita or wrap. Baba ghanouj can generally be found in the supermarket, but this recipe (from Simply Recipes) is much better - it leaves out the main ingredient found in supermarket baba ghanouj: mayonnaise... and really... who needs that junk?

(taken directly from Simply Recipes)

Ingredients

2 globe eggplants (about 2 lbs)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp roasted tahini (sesame paste)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Juice of one lemon - about 2 1/2 tablespoons
3/4 teaspoon salt
Cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Method

1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and brush the cut sides lightly with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet, cut side down, and roast until very tender, about 35 minutes. Place the eggplant in a colander to drain and cool for 15 minutes, then scoop the flesh out of the skin.

2 Combine the eggplant, remaining olive oil (about 2 Tbsp), tahini, garlic, cumin, 2 Tbsp of the lemon juice, the salt, and a pinch of cayenne in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the eggplant is somewhat smooth but retains some of its texture.

3 Allow the baba ghanouj to sit for an hour at room temperature, then season to taste with additional lemon juice, salt, and cayenne. Toss in cilantro and serve.

Serves four. Served traditionally with pita bread, and can also be served with crackers, toast, sliced baguette or celery.

They even leave a nice little picture!


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fun & Freaky Flash Video (Salad Fingers)

Since I'm still introducing features to my blog, I decided to introduce one of my favouite classic flash cartoons by David Firth (www.fat-pie.com). Key word here is "classic", so my apologies if most of you have already seen this.

Salad Fingers

Monday, April 28, 2008

I Don't Like Mondays...

Tell me why? okay, no more really bad jokes for this post... which should be easy; I'm not posting today

Today is just an update because, well, I'm feeling lazy today. I did, however, want to share the results of the poll. Since only four people voted, everyone gets what they want! Yep, from now on (or at least until it gets boring), every Tuesday will be "Fun and Freaky Flash Videos", every Wednesday will be "Vegetarian Recipe of the Week", and every Saturday will be "Weekly Movie Review". I will leave the results of the poll visible until next Sunday, when the new poll ends. Each week, the results from the previous week will be visible.

This week the question is whether or not you, the readers, would like to see a weekly rant... which would be about virtually anything. I realise some people find rants amusing, while others think they're "whiney", or boring. I'm not really sure what my reader-base is yet, so I am leaving it up to you guys to decide.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Gay Scientists Discover "Christian Gene"


(stolen from www.glumbert.com)

And, for anyone who is extremely paranoid and didn't catch on...

This IS a joke. -_-

Friday, April 25, 2008

Gadget of the Week - MUSICOVERY!

I found the most awesome thing EVER when I was searching the web today! It's called...

Musicovery

This site kicks the ass of almost any site I've ever been to. So, what's so great about it? I'll let you know - I even took screen-shots to help explain :-P


As you can see to the left, there is a neat little colourful box. When you visit Musicovery this box is centre of the screen... why? Well, Musicovery allows you to find music tailored to your tastes. Best of all? You do not have to be a member to use the basic features on the website (which translates to being able to use the majority of things offered).

"How can I find some new, awesome tunes?"

Point-and-click!
  • On the time-line, choose a decade of your liking (or choose "all" if you're feeling especially experimental)
  • In the box titled "Mood" choose from "dark", "energetic", "positive", "calm", or just click anywhere between the categories for something closer to the middle.
  • Under "All Genres" (which I believe is automatically populated to everything) choose the genres you want to hear music from (make sure the box is ticked for those you want and clear for those you do not want)
  • Make sure your speakers are on (for those of you out there just like me! :-P) and enjoy!!!!

And, what really takes the cake?

For one thing, you can find a song for any mood! But, if you're exploring for new tunes you can click on a tune you enjoy and it will present more connections to connect you with music you might enjoy based on the song you just chose. It's also a superb way to put together a playlist, whether it be for a party or a romantic night in!
This is an example of the choices I got by choosing one genre and moodThis is an example of choosing multiple categories - each category is colour-coded and when you chose a new song it will highlight the genre and the mood

So, want to give it a whirl?
Click here to visit:
Musicovery

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Weekly "Ha-Ha!" (Bad Ad Placements)

Hello, hello, hello!

What have I found today? Well, I went-a-searchin' and decide to highlight a page I found on eBaum's World:

"Bad Ad Placements"

(All pictures were taken directly from eBaum's World... I've no idea where they got them from... I do not in any way take credit for cultivating these pictures. I'm just not that smart. :-P)


Please visit Ebaum's World if you wish to see more things like this.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Artist of the Week - Eric M. Gustafson


Each week I will be discussing an artist of some sort. Some weeks the artist will be a musician, some weeks a writer; some weeks the artist will be someone who creates visual art offline, a photographer, or on-line (through photoshop or similar programs).

This week we will be viewing "creative imagery" by Eric M. Gustafson, after we learn a little bit about the artist, of course.
(Eric M. Gustafson as portrayed on his web-site)

Eric M. Gustafson is a photographer who is currently living in Austin, Texas (but has also lived in many other states within the United States). Mr. Gustafson introduces his audience to "ambiguously emotive scenes lacking a subject", "perspectives that escape the norm", as well as "unique, fleeting moments downtown". According to Eric M. Gustafson's web-site, everything in his work that exists is within the vision of it's creator.

Mr. Gustafson find his subjects with nothing more on his body than a camera (and sometimes a tripod). He has taken pictures in different countries around the world, none of which are pre-arranged. This artist is but a modest explorer with a fabulous camera... and a keen eye for a great shot!
(Doing What We Do - 2008)

Eric M. Gustafson is also an expert in photoshop and knows how to give his photographs just the touch they need - nothing more, nothing less. So, I leave you with some more of his artwork and a link for further viewing purposes. I hope you enjoy his art as much as I certainly do! :-)

(19th Hour - 2006)

(True to Ishmael - 2008)

For more of Eric M. Gustafson's artwork, please visit http://www.antilimit.com/

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day, 2008!

Our Mother, planet Earth, is elderly and abused.
Our home, planet Earth, needs our help.

"But, what can I do?"

Plenty!!!

*Yeah, I realise this post does not give you something to laugh at or something to waste time playing with - I'm actually asking you do do something - but, this is as much for you as it is for me... so isn't it worth it?*

Happy Earth Day! I know everyone (who lives in a country celebrating Earth Day today) is doing what they can today to make our Earth a better place (planting trees, etc), but what about every other day of the year?
I spent some time searching the web for things we can do, with minimal effort, to help keep Mother Earth happy and healthy and came up with a pretty large list. What I want you, the reader, to keep in mind is that we don't have to do every single thing on a "how-to-be-'green'" check-list, but every little bit helps. We live in a society of instant gratification, so it can be hard for us to see the impact we make if the results don't come automatically, but it's crucial for us to realise the little things do count. Think of "the butterfly effect" (no, not the movie); a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon forest can cause a major storm in a completely different part of the world. So, it would be rather silly to say that one person cannot make an impact on the Earth.


Here's what we can do to help!

  • Plant a tree, or start your garden!
  • Buy local (think of the energy it takes to get something from China to Canada!)
  • Buy organic (not only is it better for you, the lack of pesticides is better for the Earth)
  • When shopping, say no to plastic & use your own bags (many stores even offer "green-bags" now)
  • Put down the cling-wrap - purchase some wax paper instead, which is biodegradable, or use re-usable containers for saving left-overs/bring food to or from a dinner party.
  • Don't buy your young children fancy coloured paper - check with your local newspaper to see if they save the ends of their paper rolls (which they generally give away for free), make your own paper, or best yet - give them scrap paper from the office, old newspapers and flyers, or use the backside of old documents. Children really don't care what they're drawing on, as long as they can draw! And, use both sides of any piece of paper you use.
  • Don't buy bottled water! For one thing, recent studies are showing bottled water to be no healthier than tap water. Instead, purchase a re-useable drinking bottle or thermos. If you must drink bottled water, purchase a large amount and re-fill your re-usable bottle.
  • Purchase some compact flourescent bulbs - they last longer anyway!
  • When doing the weekend beer-run (or root-beer run if you're under-age!), snip the little rings on the 6-pack holders - little critters really do get caught in these and it's not a nice thing to see. :-(
  • Purchase some re-chargeable batteries and use the plug-in when possible.
  • Buy in bulk (you'll save packaging). Also, if you're stuck between two brands, try the one with less packaging
  • When finished with clothing, donate it - don't throw it out.
  • Instead of paper towel, use an old t-shirt/towel/pair of underwear.
  • Use less disposable products (none, ideally) - cotton diapers, metal razors, etc
  • Keep a compost container in the kitchen to make composting less of a hassle.
  • Spend the extra money if the product is longer-lasting and more durable - you may find you're saving in the long-run.
  • Use latex paint rather than oil-based and rinse brushes in the sink rather than outside (groundwater might become contaminated)
  • If you feel the need to kill insects, don't use "Raid" (or whatever they call it), but spray them with soapy water. Keep in mind though, some insects may prevent worse insects from bugging ya!
  • Use a kettle to boil water as it uses less energy than a pot on the stovetop.
  • Do NOT release helium balloons outside, as they cause suffocation or starvation in animals by blocking the stomach or airways. Plus, metallic balloons can cause a power outage if they get caught in power lines.
  • Can't find a recycling bin for you bottled/canned beverage? Leave it on top of, or beside, a garbage can rather than in it - someone less privliged may come along and recycle it for the money.
  • "Reduce-Reuse-Recycle"
  • and, Don't Litter! This goes for smokers, especially (or gum-chewers) - carry a small, portable ashtray for your cigarette butts (or make sure they're completely out before putting them in the garbage) and put your finished gum in the garbage. Also, if people aren't shuffling through a sea of cigarette butts, they may be less hostile towards smokers! :-)
Finally, SPREAD THE WORD!

Don't feel like you have to do every single thing on this list, or any other, to be considered "Green". If we over-whelmed ourselves by thinking we had to do it all, none of it would happen. Every little bit counts!

I leave you all with a great little video I found on YouTube, posted by "gwstv"



Monday, April 21, 2008

*Fabulous News to Start Your Week with!*

Calendar Girls?!?!
Yikes!

According to AOL News (click for full coverage)

"'Calendar Girls' Fundraising Plan Fizzles"

Seven mothers in Madrid, Spain posed for (what AOL wants to call) an "erotic" calendar in an attempt to earn funds to build a recreation centre for their children. Unfortunately (for the children) the calendars were not a huge success and these women were left with thousands of calendars no one wanted and nearly $16,000 owed to the printer.



Gee, I wonder why these calendars didn't sell. As I'm certain many of you will remember, there was a movie that came out in 2003 called "Calendar Girls" inspired by a group of women in their mid-50s to early 70s from England who posed, nude, making calendars to earn money for cancer research. The older women from England experienced a huge success, so why not the middle-aged mothers from Madrid? Well, I notice AOL's coverage of this story notes the women from England "...sold a calendar of discreet nude photographs..."

Key word there?

Yep,
You guessed it!

DISCREET

It really doesn't surprise me, as good a cause these mothers may have had, that the majority of people don't want to purchase pictures of women wearing slaughtered animals or looking like they spent a long night at a red-neck Christmas party.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hello, Blogosphere!



My name is Shadow...







and this is my blog (you thought I was going to say I was an alcoholic, didn't you?)!
I think 'blog' is a funny sounding word, and I always thought 'blogging' was something narcissistic or just plain dorky people did. Then, I realised 'I'M' a dork! (actually, I was inspired by a really, really cool blog by someone who is neither a dork or a narcissist: Ivyology )

Well, I guess you could say I had a bit more knowledge about blogs than I just mentioned... but, that really doesn't matter now, does it? I find a lot of weird and wonderful things while surfing the inter-net and so I decided to share these findings with you, the viewers. aww, ain't I sweet?
Every day I will post a picture of the day and every Sunday I will post the videos for the week. This week I have chosen my own videos since I think it allows for anyone viewing to get to 'know the blogger' a little bit better. Some posts will be completely random, as I come across weird and wonderful things, and some posts will be planned in advance (e.g., song of the week, gadget of the week). What I ask of YOU is to leave some comments and tell me what kind of things you'd like to see, or vote for ideas using the poll on the side of the page.