17 September 2013

Eat More Bugs

But... Why?

The UN announced that we, in a last ditch effort to maintain supremacy of the planet, should eat more bugs. According to the UN, insects are "...nutritious [and] have a lot of protein."

They also go on to say that insects are "considered a delicacy in many countries" which is tremendous. It's also the reason that I drink a bottle of grain alcohol with a dead snake inside of it once a fortnight. 

It's a delicacy!

Then I follow that up with one of those eggs with the dead duck embryo inside. 


Like everyone else, I've been two steps ahead of the UN the entire time.

But How?

Another governing body, the FDA, sets forth guidelines on allowable defect levels in food. The Internet has covered this extensively. Suffice it to say, you're eating lots of bug legs and "grit" on the regular.

With this in mind, I thought I'd examine my peanut butter consumption. Let's say on average, I eat two tablespoons of peanut butter almost every damn day. Forever. 

According to the back of the jar, two tablespoons of peanut butter weighs 32 grams. 

According to the FDA's defect level guidelines, peanut butter is allowed to average 30 insect fragments per 100 grams before it becomes an actionable item. Reassuringly, insect fragments can come from pre and/or post harvest and/or processing infestation. 

If I eat 32g of peanut butter every business day, then I've eaten 32g of peanut butter roughly 250 days a year. That works out to 8000 grams of peanut butter.

On a side note that's almost 18 pounds of peanut butter. 

Assuming that most manufacturers run right up against that 30 allowable parts per 100 grams, then that 8000 grams of peanut butter could contain up to 2400 "insect fragments".

The FDA is unclear on what constitutes an "insect fragment" but I assume it's anything that could construe "bug parts". If it's legs, then in the last year I've eaten the legs off of four hundred insects. If it's strictly antennae, then I guess it could be the antennae off of 1200 insects.

I'm going to give myself a minute to consider this. 

That's A Lot of Insect Fragments

I don't think I can muster anything more than a shrug, here. If I've been eating peanut butter my entire life then I've surely eaten many, many more insect fragments along the way. That means I've been engaged in a low level of entomophagy before it was cool.

You probably haven't heard of it - it's called entomophagy? It's like, eating bugs? It's kind of mainstream now but I like their earlier stuff better. 

Your move, UN.

Post Script

If the FDA raised the allowable limits for insect fragments in all food items, then we could drive food costs down by having more relaxed inspection guidelines *and* drive insect consumption up by having more bugs in everything we eat. 

Capitalism. Boom.

10 September 2013

New iPhone!

Today, this 10th day of September in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, two new iPhones were announced.

In addition to the standard upgrades to stopping power and muzzle velocity, the new iPhones have several new, exciting features:

Extra Ashtrays

No longer forced to share an ashtray in the center console, rear seat passengers in your new phone will have access to their own in-door ashtray. It is the last word in driving luxury.

Intercom System

Apple fans, long tired of shouting downstairs, can now use the fully integrated intercom system to speak with family members. The intercom in the iPhone 5s will accept cassette tapes in addition to the AM/FM radio featured on the 5c model.

Indoor Plumbing

Users will no longer have to make use of a primitive outhouse when using the facilities. The new operating system comes with indoor plumbing, and is ready to accept any standard modern plumbing fixtures. Apple was able to achieve this and still shave .2 grams off of the overall weight of the phone.


Part of the new iOS7, Apple has figured out an exciting way to distance itself from its hunter/gatherer roots. Currently only offered on AT&T and T-Mobile, users will be able to live a life of sustenance farming via sowing staple crops.

Creaky Voice

Also known as "vocal fry", the iPhone 5s and 5c models will make it easier than ever before for anyone to use a lower tonal register when speaking or singing. By using creaky voice (referred to as  "Laryngealization" in Apple marketing materials), owners of the new phone will be able to reach one to two full octaves lower in speaking and singing than before. 


With practice, iPhones can now find well-water and spirit lines with better than random accuracy.

Spirit of the Forest

Added to the "Find my iPhone" app, user will be able to remotely summon a vengeful Forest Spirit to ensnare their iPhone in poisonous brambles until it can be located. Anyone who has ever lost a phone or summoned a Forest Spirit knows how handy this feature will be. Pundits have already pointed out, correctly, that the Forest Spirit is weak against fire enchantments and receives a movement penalty when facing Undead opponents. It's expected that Apple will release an update shortly after iOS7 goes live.

64-bit A7 Chip

This is a chip which has one more A than the other iPhone 5 but which also has twice as many bits. You'd think that to have twice as many bits that you'd have to have twice as many A's but you don't.

The End

09 September 2013

Supreme Lawncare Lifehack

If you have a lawn, and you mow it once a week, that's three solid months of your life wasted on an annual basis. Per year!

Over the course of your lifetime, you will have wasted enough years to have carried out two entire secret double lives as a "traveling salesman".

You can cut back on time spent taking care of the lawn by doing it once a year, during the summer. Lawns will often turn yellow during the warmer summer months as they go dormant to cope with the heat.

The trick is to push through the dormancy stage and drive that bastard right into a wall. Wait until the grass dies. Its color will change from a straw yellow to the white of sun bleached bones. You'll know it's time to mow when the grass crumbles into dust between ragged fingers and blows away on the hot, dead wind.

At this point, mowing is just a formality; the grass will shorten itself until your lawn is replaced with bare, cracked earth.

The rain will never come. You will live in a dustbowl of your own creation and watch helplessly as erosion carries away what was left.

When you're done, remember to drain the oil from your mower in preparation for winter!

04 September 2013

The Bird Machine

It's rare that I take precious column inches to embed a YouTube video - let alone a song - but I'm doing that very thing, right now.

It's called Bird Machine, and it's either very clever or very stupid*. I'm told it's an example of trap music**, but I'm hardly an authority on such matters.

When purchasing, be sure to not confuse this with A Machine for Pigs, the upcoming PC horror game.

Also don't confuse it with the Bird Machine Company, whose papermaking supply business is now a part of
Piping Technology and Products, Inc.

*There isn't actually a choice between clever and stupid. The song is great.
**I'm not going to pretend I don't know what trap is.


"Don't. Move."

I whipped my head around to look and saw the absolute last thing any homeowner ever wants to see:

Code Enforcement.

I stood there frozen, dumbly watering my lawn on the other side of the street's day to water, before my wife screamed.


We both bolted inside, the wan flashing yellow light on the code enforcement truck slowly working its way up the street.

I paused at the front door to unscrew the hose from the faucet. We had to get rid of the evidence. My hands were slick with panic-sweat and hosewater; I could barely free the hose from the threads before the truck was on top of us.

Actually the truck was still two houses down but they for sure had seen us.

I threw the front door open to a scene of chaos. As my eyes adjusted to the light I realized the house was full of paraphernalia. Sprinkler fittings? Counterfeit watering schedules? Night watering gear? I grabbed as much as I could and, with the hose trailing behind me ran to the bathroom to try and flush everything.


I was letting out a torrent of obscenities as I flushed the offending garden hose down the toilet, 25 feet at a time. I heard a car door slam; we were running out of time.

My wife had ripped the sprinkler timer from the wall and was busy trying to get rid of it upstairs. There was enough here to put us away for life.

The doorbell! We were too late. I ran a hand through my hair and tried to gain my composure. I bolted to the front door as my wife came rushing down the stairs. I reached for the doorknob and realized we had missed a giant piece of evidence. My "PLAN FOR IGNORING MUNICIPAL WATERING RESTRICTIONS" was still on the giant dry-erase board in the foyer! I grabbed my wife by the shoulders and stood her in front of the word "IGNORING." The doorbell again - more insistent this time.

I told myself,

"Everyone be cool. All smiles."

I opened the door.

The code enforcement officer shoved a warrant in my face - fake no doubt - and started asking a lot of hard questions.

"I noticed some water running down the street."

That wasn't technically a question but it had me swallowing hard and searching for an explanation.

"You notice anyone on your side of the street watering today?"

They didn't know! If we could play it cool for a few minutes they'd never know.

"I saw some teenagers watering peoples' lawns, earlier. Both sides of the street. They smelled like marijuana."

It was a perfect gambit. Code Enforcement would never mix it with a dangerous gang of drug-fueled youths. They'd have to pass that off to Major Cases, and they're so tied up with double-homicides and petty burglary that they'd never follow-up.

"You folks stay safe."

I looked at the warrant he handed me as he walked off. Another watering schedule!