Archive for August, 2006

Ten Historical Figures Portrayed in Upcoming 2006 Films

August 31st, 2006

Films that featured historical figures did very well at the 2006 Academy Awards; Philip Seymour Hoffman won Best Actor for his portrayal of Truman Capote, and Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress for her work as June Carter Cash in Walk the Line. Additionally, Joaquin Phoenix and David Strathairn were also nominated in the Best Actor […]

Nine types of Swiss cheese

August 30th, 2006

When North Americans use the term “Swiss Cheese,” what they are most often referring to is a pale yellow cheese with many large holes throughout. This is a type of Swiss cheese, but it has a specific name, Emmentaler. It’s ironic that one type of cheese should come to represent “Swiss Cheese” since it’s been […]

Seven ways to hard-boil eggs

August 29th, 2006

For some reason, the seemingly simple task of hard-boiling an egg appears to be very confusing, and numerous techniques have sprung up to demystify it. Of course, you’re looking for a yolk that’s firm but not dry (or green!), a shell that remains intact during boiling, and, preferably, an egg that’s easy to peel. What […]

12 ways to make a dry martini

August 28th, 2006

Ah, the martini. This simple and elegant pairing of gin and dry vermouth is always classy, but impossible to get right, because everyone has a different idea of the proper way to make one. There’s the whole shaken-or-stirred issue, of course, and the question of whether a martini made with vodka instead of gin is […]

39 flat bread variations from around the world

August 25th, 2006

I have a great fondness for many different kinds of cuisine; one day I may be in the mood for Indian food and the next day for the spicy dishes of Ethiopia. I think of these cuisines as very distinct from each other, but in one major way they are similar: both feature a type […]

Ten ways to keep your cat from scratching the furniture

August 24th, 2006

The SPCA and most responsible veterinarians will tell you that you should never, ever declaw a cat. This is comparable to cutting off your finger at the first knuckle; it’s inhumane and can have seriously negative long-term effects. But there are other ways to keep your cat from scratching up the furniture. For example: Trim […]

Eight early photographic printing techniques

August 23rd, 2006

Now that digital photography has gained such popularity, there will soon be a generation for whom getting photos “developed” will seem entirely foreign. It’s just a fact of life that as a new technology gains popularity, it overshadows the previous one, and that is especially true in the case of photography. Early photographic processes may […]

11 non-food uses for honey

August 22nd, 2006

We tend to take honey for granted as just another sweetener choice, but in fact there is much more to this sticky treat than meets the eye. Honey has been used as a folk remedy in cultures around the world for millennia, and has been prescribed informally as a cure for smallpox, baldness, eye diseases, […]

14 songs whose lyrics consist mainly or entirely of lists

August 21st, 2006

Alanis Morissette takes the cake with no fewer than three list songs her album Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie [Buy from Amazon.com]: Thank U (Thank you India/Thank you terror/Thank you disillusionment…) Are You Still Mad? (Are you still mad i kicked you out of bed?/Are you still mad i gave you ultimatums?/Are you still mad i […]

IKEA products that could be superhero names

August 18th, 2006

This is the second entry in our series of IKEA lists. Another trend I noticed among the IKEA names was that a lot of the one-word names seemed tailor-made for would-be superheroes. There was an attitude of action and identity implicit in these names that seemed perfect for these fledgling caped crusaders. Bandora Old identity: […]

Five Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas

August 17th, 2006

When I go to Las Vegas, I always enjoy taking in a show or two. You can always find magic shows, comedians, and musical acts of all sorts, as well as burlesque and family-oriented production shows and a few hard-to-categorize acts like Blue Man Group. And then there’s Cirque du Soleil, the artsy Montréal-based circus […]

Ingredients in Chinese Five Spice

August 16th, 2006

One day I glanced at the ingredients on a bottle of Chinese Five Spice in my spice rack and was confused to see that it contained not five, but six spices. When I tried to figure out which was the rogue sixth spice, I ran into some trouble, because in fact there are several different […]

Four movies that involve the destruction of the Golden Gate Bridge

August 15th, 2006

Living in San Francisco has its benefits: the weather is temperate, the views are spectacular, and the cultural scene and cuisine are world-class. There are trade-offs: the potential risk of earthquakes, the high cost of living, and if the 1955 Sci-Fi movie, It Came from Beneath the Sea, can be trusted, the threat of giant […]

Six rules for buying and eating bagels

August 14th, 2006

As I described in Rise of the Bagel at Interesting Thing of the Day, I’m a big bagel fan from way back, but I can’t get over the way some people insist on treating a bagel like a piece of bread or a dinner roll. It’s a wonderful, unique food with a distinctively crunchewy texture, […]

Eight terms for snow crusts

August 11th, 2006

The idea that there are dozens of Eskimo words for snow is (mostly) an urban myth, but in English, we have at least eight different terms for a snow crust. These are from the Glossary of Meteorology at the American Meteorological Society by way of Interesting Thing of the Day: snow crust: the general term […]

Eight people who might be the “real” Shakespeare

August 10th, 2006

In academic circles, the question of Shakespeare’s “real” identity has long been debated. Some scholars believe, for various reasons, that the historical person known as William Shakespeare was not the actual author of the works he is known for today. Entire books have been dedicated to the subject, on both sides of the issue. I […]

15 B-52’s songs containing outer space references

August 9th, 2006

When you think of The B-52’s, the songs that first come to mind may be Rock Lobster and Love Shack. But as you review the band’s entire oeuvre, stretching back to 1979, the biggest theme that emerges is songs making some reference to outer space. Vocalist Fred Schneider is not only a major Star Trek […]

Six drinks invented in San Francisco

August 8th, 2006

Quick, name something that was invented in San Francisco! You probably thought of Rice-a-Roni, and you’d be right. You’d also be right if you said the television, fortune cookies, the slot machine, bay windows, or any of these famous beverages: The Martini (maybe) The Cosmopolitan (probably) Irish Coffee (sort of) The Mai Tai The Mimosa […]

Six new Apple products incorrectly rumored to be announced at WWDC 2006

August 7th, 2006

Because a significant portion of my livelihood depends on Apple’s computers and software, I have more than a passing interest in every new product announcement. But I have never entirely understood the infamous Mac rumor mill. In the days and weeks leading up to any conference or press event, especially if Steve Jobs is delivering […]

Ten magic shows you can see in Las Vegas in 2006

August 4th, 2006

Where else but Las Vegas can you see a different magic show every day of the week (and then some)? In fact, even with the unfortunate disappearance of Siegfried and Roy from the stage, no fewer than ten major magic shows, most of which run year-round, are playing in Las Vegas during 2006. Lance Burton: […]