Saturday, September 30, 2006


Q: How many bridges have required a constitutional amendment to be built?

A: Apparently at least one.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Not so odd

This story was filed under Reuters' Oddly Enough section. I could have seen it coming from a mile away. Is it really that odd? Perhaps only because the officials themselves did not see it coming.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Recipe for rice bread

I came across this recipe about two or three years ago. It seems to be rather elusive. The original author's website is gone. But thanks to the Internet Archive's Way Back Machine, I was able to retreive it.

* 3 cups medium or short grain brown rice (Long grain brown rice may be used, but it will produce a much drier bread that looses its moisture within a day or two.)
* 3 cups cold water (Most recipes require the use of a dry cup measure for dry ingredients and a liquid cup measure for water or other liquids. This recipe will work best if you use the same measure for both the rice and the water. It does not matter whether the measure is intended for liquid or dry ingredients, what matters is that the rice and water are equal in volume.)
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder (optional, see recipe instructions)
* Ideally baked in a well-seasoned ten-inch iron skillet with a heavy glass cover (makes a flat round loaf you can slice horizantally for sandwiches). A covered casserole dish of similar size will also work, but the dish needs to be well-oiled, preferably with an oil/soy lecithin mixture or a gluten-free non-stick spray.

1. Place the rice and the water in a large bowl, cover with a light cloth or napkin, and allow the rice to soak in the water for 8-12 hours (overnight or all day). This step allows the grains of rice to absorb the moisture. Since rice grains are seeds waiting for germination they are very efficient absorbers of water.
2. To grind the rice into a batter use either a blender or a food processor:
* If using a blender, place half the water and rice mixture in the blender and blend on high speed for 1-2 minutes. To see if the rice is sufficiently ground, rub a small bit of the batter between your fingers. The liquid should fall away leaving small bits of rice with the texture of table salt. Pour the batter into a large mixing bowl. Repeat the grinding procedure with the other half of the rice and water mixture. If you regularly use a blender for grinding, you may want to soak the rice and water in two half-batches (1 = cups each of rice and water in each batch).
* If using a food processor with a four or more cup capacity, place the entire rice and water mixture in the processor and grind on high for 8-12 minutes. To see if the rice is sufficiently ground, rub a small bit of the batter between your fingers. When the liquid falls away, it should leave a small bit of ground rice with the texture of a coarse salt. Food processors do not grind the rice as quickly nor as finely as a blender, but their larger capacity makes it possible to grind more rice at once and it requires less hands-on attention during the grinding process.
3. After grinding place the batter in a large mixing bowl and cover with a light cloth or napkin. The cover must allow air to reach the batter so that it can ferment naturally with the help of yeasts it collects from the air. At a room temperature of 68 to 72 degrees, you can allow the batter to set anywhere from 4 to 24 hours, depending upon your taste in bread. The chart below gives an indication of the bread qualities at various setting times. At a room temperature of 80 degrees or more, the set ting time will be speeded up by one-quarter to one-half the amount of time.
* 4-6 hours:very mild yeast flavor, add baking powder right before baking
* 8-12 hours: mild yeast flavor, add baking powder right before baking
* 18-24 hours:strong yeast flavor comparable to wheat breads, batter expands because of carbon dioxide bubbles below surface, baking powder is optional
* After the dough sets more than 24 hours it will begin to develop a distinct sourdough flavor.
4. After the batter has set for the desired amount of time, mix in the salt and the baking powder (if using). Place the batter in a well-oiled pan, cover and bake for 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


I thought I had a good idea for an invention.

Merge the segway with a lawnmower. Anyone who's ever used a self-propelled lawnmower knows that turning corners is a tricky thing, and when you're mowing a lawn, there are a lot of corners. The segway technology hasn't really taken off. Both homeowners/landscapers and the segway company could benefit by merging these two technologies. It could make things easier for homeowners/landscapers, while an off-sidewalk usage might help the segway technology to take off. (Lower prices might help too. There's another piece of two-wheeled technology that I can buy for about a hundred bucks, called the bicycle. Rumour has it, the segway profit margins are quite high.)

Turns out I'm not the first to come with the idea. That's not such a bad thing, is it? If a bunch of people think it's a good idea, then maybe it is a good idea [1]. But the idea came from the comments section from some web site. Nothing good ever comes from the comments section (though I must admit I spend a fair bit of time reading comments).

So maybe my idea wasn't so good.

[1] Turns out I've had lots of ideas in math that I later find out have been done already, sometimes by some of the greatest minds in math. It's good to know that, at least sometimes, I think like a genius. Sometimes. What about the rest of the time? That's an open question.


The two of you who know me well know that I like to make up words. They're not usually made up out of nowhere, but rather in some context where, perhaps due to an unconscious aversion to using the space bar, I've decided that one word is better than two (or more) and something must be done about it.

Today I decided that I will post my made up words here. Tomorrow I might decide not to. In any case, here goes.

photoquote : to copy a photo from someone else's web site and use it on your own. "That picture of a bunny with a pancake on its head sure has been photoquoted a lot."

People have been using other's photos in print media for a long time now, so the word could be used in that context too. But the ease with which it is done on the internet makes the phenomenon much more rampant.

The word has been used on other web sites to mean apparently different things. For example, a quote about photos or photography. Personally, I think my definition is better. Personally.

Monday, September 18, 2006


While I was in Hamilton this past weekend, I was listening to the radio (something I don't normally do in Kingston). I heard a song that I liked, but neither time that I heard it did they annouce what the song was or who it was by. You wouldn't happen to know the name or the artist, would you?

One month since the last post...

...still nothing to say.