10 November 2010

Tea parties are for little girls

October 30, 2010: a date of no significance whatsoever. It just happened to be the day of the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on the National Mall.

(Yes, this post is way late, what of it. I have priorities.)

So my friends JoJo and Tom came to DC that weekend from Williamsburg and NYC, respectively, and we celebrated the joyful reunion with a little Carr-aft Night.

You see, I spent the spring semester of my junior year in a magical fairyland (with lots of boats) called Mystic, CT, and JoJo and Tom were two of my housemates there. It was easily the best semester of my life, and one of the many, many highlights was the weekly craft night we hosted at Carr House. Hence the name "Carr-aft Night." We're simple people, yo.

We made like super-cool kids, spending many a Friday night decorating T-shirts, making model ships, and baking marine policy-themed desserts.

Yeah. Some things just never change. Do you understand now why I love these guys so much?

This Carr-aft Night was to make T-shirts and signs for the rally. For the T-shirts, I cut out the stencil, and then JoJo masterfully applied the fabric paint to get the stamped look. It was far too crowded at the rally to take out our signs, so I don't have any pictures of them. Oh well.

The rally was super fun! It was my first time attending a rally of any sort, and I think it was a great first experience. Some very cool and unexpected guests showed up, among them my favorites Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage.

You know. The guys from Mythbusters. Also known as MY HEROES FOREVER.

If the med school thing doesn't pan out, I would so love to work for these guys. Jamie and Adam, are you looking to hire? I love science -- especially the kind involving FIRE and EXPLOSIONS and PROJECTILES -- I'm good with my hands, and I often bring baked goods to work!

Ahem. Unfortunately I was nowhere near enough the front to even be able to see the stage (sometimes it really sucks to be short), but I did spot some funny signs that people brought. I particularly enjoyed this one I espied on our way out:

There are more photos on the rally website and on Flickr, so go check them out!


You're still reading? I envy you your attention span, I really do.

Well. I did originally log on to post the apple crisp that I made for our class' potluck last week.

The cool thing about this recipe is that I made it up, and it turned out okay. Pretty good, even! My classmates cleared the pan in twenty minutes flat, which was impressive given the vast quantity of food at the potluck, especially of desserts.

05 November 2010

Coquo ergo sum

A couple of weeks ago, we had a discussion in one of my classes about the evolution of the human brain in relation to the gut, and its effect on our diet.

See, humans evolved to have such huge, fuel-hungry brains, but managed it without significantly increasing our metabolic rates. We didn't even have to evolve a correspondingly large gut to provide all the fuel demanded by the brain -- in fact, the human gut shrank as the brain got bigger, which conserved on fuel by not needing quite so much energy to digest.

Okay, but wait. Doesn't that actually complicate things, since now it's even harder to digest food?

Here's the secret: cooking.

Yeah, that big brain's gotta earn its keep somehow. By cooking, humans are able to eat more easily digestible and calorically efficient foods, like meat. (As opposed to, say, grass, which requires a cow an entire day of chewing cud, plus four stomachs, just to get enough fuel to get through a day. Doesn't leave much time or energy for rocket science, does it?) A diet of easily digestible foods allows for more efficient metabolism, and, consequently, the reduction of gut size.

Totally brill.

Now me, I love meat: it's delicious. And I gotta hand it to our ancestors, they came up with some ingenious ways to cook meat. Plus, you know. Fire!

But a hunk of meat can never look as pretty as a perfectly ripe lemon.

This, my friends, was a beautiful lemon, perfectly yellow and oh! so fragrant. It added a great tanginess to these zucchini muffins.