Friday, August 25, 2006


Juggling 3 Balls Ain't So Hard

I learned long ago to juggle 3 balls using the Klutz book. I began to practice 4 balls, but never got the motion down right. Here is a video which shows you how to juggle 3 balls. It teaches using the same steps I learned in the Klutz book. It's not hard to learn. Go for it!

Monday, August 21, 2006


That Has Gotta Hurt

From the "That Has Gotta Hurt" file.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Watts in 3-D

With rising energy costs, a careful examination of your PC's components power consumption becomes more important, especially when looking at TCO (total cost of ownership). Coding Horror has a nice break down of the current list of video cards, what they consume in power, and which is the most performance bang for the energy buck.

Speaking of the cost of energy, if you live in Texas and are using your standard issue energy carrier, you are throwing money away. You are also costing fellow consumers money by not fostering competition between energy carriers. SO GET WITH IT!

Header over to, an electricity price comparison web site setup by the Texas state government, and find a cheaper provider. The effort to switch usually takes no more than signing a piece of a paper. No deposit required.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Say "Cheese Food!"

When I go shopping for cheese, there are so many varieties, even within the "American cheese" variety. I buy the sliced cheese labeled "American cheese", not "American cheese food" or "American cheese product". Why did these other American cheese require a "food" or "product" qualifier? Is it not cheese?

This curiosity led to Wikipedia research project of the day. Could the fountain of knowledge that is Wikipedia tell me the difference? Sure enough. It could. All of the American cheeses are processed cheeses. Processed cheese is cheese which has been pasteurized to suspend or kill mold and bacteria, emulsifiers added for consistency, and other ingredients added for color and taste. The varieties of cheese and corresponding labels determine how much actual cheese product is in the well, cheese.
The various definitions are mainly used to distinguish minimum/maximum amounts of cheese ingredient, moisture content, and milkfat.

This helps, but doesn't tell me why I want cheese and not cheese product. An article at the American Chemical Society educated me even further.

  • Pasteurized process cheese food is a variation of process cheese that may have dry milk, whey solids, or anhydrous milkfat added, which reduces the amount of cheese in the finished product. It must contain at least 51% of the cheese ingredient by weight, have a moisture content less than 44%, and have at least 23% milkfat.
  • Pasteurized process cheese spread is a variation on cheese food that may contain a sweetener and a stabilizing agent, such as the polysaccharide xanthan gum or the Irish moss colloid carrageenan, to prevent separation of the ingredients. The cheese must be spreadable at 70 F, contain 44 to 60% moisture, and have at least 20% milkfat.
  • Pasteurized process cheese product is process cheese that doesn't meet the moisture and/or milkfat standards.
  • Imitation cheese is made from vegetable oil; it is less expensive, but also has less flavor and doesn't melt well.

As best I can tell, my cheese should have more cheese content than cheese food or cheese product. The next time I am at the store, I will compare the ingredients list to see what the major ingredients are. If the cheese food is being stuffed with more milk fat, it should have higher fat content. That's my guess. I will never know exactly how much of each ingredient is in the final product though. I do know cheese is more cheese than cheese product. :-)

I guess Wikipedia is correct in saying...
Although this type of American Cheese, along with block American Cheese, are both (technically speaking) processed cheeses, they are considered by many Americans to be the "real" American cheese, to which the individually-wrapped processed "cheese food" and "cheese product" so common today are just pretenders.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Cyborg Overlords

Shape-shifting lens mimics human eye. I welcome our cyborg overlords. ;-) Cool technology.


Star Wars: A New Hope - Truly Never Before Seen Scenes

DiggUser2 at YouTube has posted three videos with scenes from Star Wars that have never appeared on any version of A New Hope. One is the Cantina scene uncut. You get to see Hans with a lady and some additional footage of aliens. The last two are scenes that were cut from the movie.

Check them out before George pulls them. I am surprised he hasn't already. Given Lucas, he'll probably pull them and sell a high quality version of these short clips for a $1 a piece on iTunes. Just guessing.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Track the DVD Wars

The DVD Wars tracks Amazon offerings of HD DVD and Blu-Ray. It seems HD DVD has a good start out of the gate. I am surprised to see the average price of Blu-Ray being lower than HD DVD considering the HD DVD backers took shots at Blu-Ray's higher manufacturing costs. Hmm... My guess is the studios are charging a little more for some HD DVD titles because they give you the DVD version on the flip side of the disc. Sometimes I would rather not pay a little more to have two format versions.

High-Def Digest has their first head-to-head comparison between the two formats. They do this by comparing the same movies available on both formats. It looks like they give the edge to HD DVD.

I know both formats have had a rough start, but it seems Blu-Ray is having a little bit more of a difficult time. My format preference at this time is HD DVD. I like the fact HD DVD uses advanced video codecs. Sony insists on using the older MPEG2 standard. Another problem with Blu-Ray is Sony. Every Sony backed format has failed. Other than betamax, Sony's formats match or are inferior to existing standards.

In any case, Ricoh, please hurry up with your hybrid drive so I can upgrade my HTPC. :-D I recently watched the high def version of T2 (HD WMV on T2: Extreme Edition Bonus Disc) on my LCD. That's 1920x1080 video material. (Too bad WMV's audio was subpar.) Oh so lovely. Bring on the high def media!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?