Category: Random Crap


Length

Blog posts are awesome when they are longer than ten words.

When I got home from work, I realized I hadn’t eaten any meat today at all. Twelve minutes later, I was eating a homemade cheeseburger with my favorite hot sauce on it.

How did such a wonder happen?

The bun was distributed for Kroger by some company I’ve never heard of called Inter-American Distributors. It was harvested from wheat, processed, and sent on a truck to a warehouse, after which it was moved to my local Dillons where I bought it for under $2.

The beef was raised in the form of a ~1400-pound cow. This was then slaughtered, ground, treated with chemicals to prevent bacteria growth, packaged into a one-pound tube of ground round, shipped on a refrigerated truck to a warehouse, then to the same Dillon’s as the bun. I’m not a huge fan of factory farm-produced meat and the life it entails for the cows, but paying double the price for meat isn’t in the budget quite yet (it’s a priority, though). I bought this pack for $3.29 on sale.

The Valentina hot sauce was made from chili peppers and spices, none of which I know the origin of. The sauce itself, however, was bottled in Mexico, presumably shipped to a warehouse, and then shipped to yet the same Dillons location. It is literally the best hot sauce I’ve ever tasted, and I bought a 12.5-ounce bottle that lasts me upwards of 5 months for $1.

The cheese came from a cow (several cows, rather) somewhere in the northern midwest, likely on a factory milking operation. The cheese was processed and distributed in Cincinatti, OH by Kroger, ending up on a refrigerated shelf right next to the eggs.

The glass of milk I drank with this cheeseburger came from a different herd of cows, this time residing in Oklahoma. Unlike the cows which produced the cheese, these were not part of a “factory farm” and allowed to roam in a pasture most of their life. This milk was heated and cooled to kill most (though not all) bacteria in the milk using a process you’ve probably heard of: pasteurization (developed by Louis Pasteur). This milk was then put in half-gallon jugs and shipped to one of five local Brahm’s Fresh Markets, where I bought it for $1.79.

I cooked approximately one quarter of the meat from the package on a non-stick Calphalon skillet. The meat, packed into a patty by hand, was heated via the skillet by a gas-powered stove, connected to a network of natural gas that runs through my entire city, which in turn is connected to a national network of natural gas lines. I normally pay less than $15 per month to my local utility for the use of this uninterrupted flow of flammable fumes.

The complexity of what it took to get these ingredients to me is an astounding, but not unusual example of free-market capitalism meeting needs and doing so at fair prices. Each facet was developed as its own method of meeting a need some other group or industry had and either charging less for the same service or offering a better service.

But hey, I didn’t need to know any of this was happening to get what I wanted. I just ate the cheeseburger.

Bury Your Cell Phone!

I had the most ingenious idea on the way home from work! It’s a business plan: one that caters to a niche with an unmet need.

See, I’ve had my cell phone for five years. That’s apparently a lot like being married for 60 years: few people get there, but everyone respects you for it. In the same way that couples of 60 years are very attached to each other, I have become very attached to my cell phone. It hasn’t given any indication of impending death quite yet, but when it does, I will feel a little sad. It’s like a friend to me. I’ve known it twice as long as I’ve known my wife. I don’t know that I’ll ever feel quite right with another phone. It just won’t be the same.

Which brings me to the aforementioned unmet need: there are probably thousands of people like me with devices and gadgets they are very close to, and those gadgets will eventually cease to function. What do you do with a dead phone, GPS, or flash drive? You bury it!

Tombstone

I’m tearing up already.

People might feel a little embarrassed if house guests saw a tombstone in their back yard comiserating a gadget, but for a fee, they can have their beloved gadgets tucked under a remote patch of Missouri soil! I’m going to be rich!

Ye contrarians have already started forming your rebuttals, so I’ll address them one by one before you can throw ’em (though if I don’t, feel free to waste as much time commenting as I did writing this).

  • I would purchase a plot of land with enough space for at least 100 burial spaces, then expand as business needs dictated.
  • I’d guarantee burial plots for 5, 10, or 15 years, prices increasing with time. More years can be purchased and added onto the original plan.
  • I’d offer up-to-date photos of the tombstone and plot for a fee at any time (emailed to them within two business days), or unlimited photo requests for a monthly fee.
  • Flowers, dolls, or anything else could be set beside the tombstone for a fee.

It’s just perfect! There’s no way this could go wrong! Who wants to invest? Who wants to be my first customer? Come on, anybody?

original image source

The Cow Invasion

Is it the cowpocalypse? Cowmageddon? Cow-thousand twelve?

Before these puns get so bad you start to wish the cowpocalypse would come, I’ll explain myself.

I was coming home from volunteering at a homeless outreach when I noticed one of the campus parking garages was filled with cows. This was a new one for me (even in Missouri), so I decided to snap some photos and try to find out what was going on.

Cows in parking garage

Cows in parking garage

Cows in parking garage

Cows in parking garage

Cows in parking garage

No word yet on what is going on, yet. All I’ve found so far is a tweet from a local radio station saying that there should, indeed, be cows in the downtown area. Oh well. I suppose I can sleep peacefully not knowing what the cows are doing down in a University-owned building.

Hey, guys. It’s hot. It’s really dang hot. KY3’s Weather page puts my place of residence at 101 degrees Fahrenheit at the time of this writing. As such, I’ve decided to compile some pictures of Antarctica, which right now is in the dead of winter. While you probably don’t wish it was that cold, you can probably stand to imagine a happy medium between whatever it is there and the 101 degrees it is here.

(click the pictures to see their source)

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station

Aurora Borealis’s southern cousin, Aurora Australis, is visible almost all of the time during Antarctica’s winter (so… right now!). The red light you see is used because it doesn’t cause light pollution in that climate.

Lake Fryxell

Ice. Lots of ice. The lake there, which is normally water, is ice. It’s aaaaall ice.

Vostok Station

Vostok Station, where the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth was measured: -128 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if you applied my “happy medium” philosophy to that, it would still be -14 degrees (which happens to be the coldest temperature I have a memory of experiencing in temperate Missouri).

Antarctica

One of my college professors took this picture in Antarctica. Almost looks like a pile of the ice you get from the store in bags for a few dollars a pop.

Penguins

Oh, and some penguins.

Sometimes, I’m rather surprised by how far bad people will go to profit from bad things.

As you may have heard, the owner of AshleyMadison.com, a “dating site” for philanderers, has offered $1 million for any woman who sleeps with Tim Tebow and offers up proof.

Go ahead, think it over.

So you’ve come to the conclusion everyone else has, right? The guy wants more business for his website, and he’s trying to get it by bringing down a cultural symbol of waiting for marriage.

Here’s the worst part: he’s already won. No, Tebow hasn’t abandoned his morals. And sure, there are probably a number of women who are ready to do just about anything for the money. He’s won because everyone is talking about it. In the (likely) event that no one ever seduces Tim Tebow to do the dirty deed, AshleyMadison.com still got a whole bunch of free publicity from the whole ordeal.

News is news, but we do have to realize that not every cry for attention has to be heeded.

I was talking with a coworker about her national flag today and was intrigued by how simple it was.

Flag of Thailand

Flag of Thailand

That led me to wondering what was at the other end of the spectrum. Was the American flag a comparatively complex flag, or are there flags that put the stars and stripes to shame?

I went over to Wikipedia’s gallery of national flags and found some interesting ones.

Flag of Turkmenistan

Flag of Turkmenistan, apparently designed by a coalition of Turk grandmothers.

 

Flag of Somaliland

Flag of Somaliland. The writing at the top roughly translates to, "We are not Somalia."

 

Flag of Portugal

Flag of Portugal, featuring the ever-famous shield with castles and dominoes on top of the Universal Studios globe.

 

Flag of Afghanistan

Flag of Afghanistan, but don't be too impressed: you have plenty of time to come up with more elaborate designs when this is your 23rd flag design.

 

Flag of Montenegro

Flag of Montenegro, which is only slightly larger than the entire country of Montenegro.

 

Flag of Moldova

Flag of Moldova, a.k.a. the place where eagles kill cows and brag about it. ON A FLAG.

 

Flag of Kazakhstan

Flag of Kazakhstan, showing off the only two naturally occurring colors in the country

Flag of Fiji

Flag of Fiji. You really have to see the real dang big version to appreciate the detail.

 

Flag of Cambodia

Flag of Cambodia, showing off their anti-paratrooper architecture.

 

Flag of Bhutan

Flag of Bhutan. Definitely my favorite. No coat of arms, no tiny British flag anywhere. Just a dragon and his apples.

 

Flag of Andorra

Flag of Andorra, from a country which has so far not been sued by J.K. Rowling for pasting their own pictures over the Hogwarts crest.

 

Flag of Serbia

Flag of Serbia, featuring the legendary two-headed eagle reacting to Justin Bieber.

 

Flag of San Marino

Flag of San Marino, or maybe Camelot.