KnowanHow to get in shape

Posts by knowan

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The Lounge is it really that hard to change the world? May 19 2015
12:08 (UTC)

Celebrities can change lives too. And the sad part is that I never heard any of these stories until they were pointed out to me by a humor website.  Meanwhile the latest exploits of Brangelina are posted everywhere.

The Lounge Why wasn?t he charged with terrorism? May 19 2015
10:46 (UTC)

I understand that plea bargaining and having him plead guilty to a lesser charge saves a lot of time and money, but the sole charge of "interstate communication of threats" seems pretty weaksauce to me, considering the amount of effort that he put into this plot.

The Lounge Meanwhile in places that aren't Florida May 15 2015
17:50 (UTC)

My dad is one of 10 brothers and sisters.

No religion.

The Lounge 2015 Gardening thread May 13 2015
12:22 (UTC)
Original Post by pavlovcat:

How do you freeze dry your own herbs?

I've got a home made kit.  Basically I remove all the air (or almost all) from a mason jar and stick it in the freezer.  Then I have to remove the air a few more times before it's complete, as the moisture will start to fill the vacuum.  It's not perfect but it works well enough.

The Lounge George Zimmerman in the News again May 13 2015
12:17 (UTC)

This guy Apperson has a lengthy criminal record as well.  2 DUIs, a trespassing, 2 drug possessions.

Sounds like these two people deserve each other.

The Lounge Banning peanuts in schools May 13 2015
12:11 (UTC)

My kids school has a ban on nuts (all nuts, not just peanuts), fish, kiwi and eggs.

It actually makes it very difficult to pack a lunch for them.

No tuna fish sandwich. No PBJ.  And egg is in everything.

But if it will help save the life of a child, I'll go with it and not complain (too much).

If it's a deathly allergy, and not just a "he'll break out in hives" allergy, then by all means ban the substance.

And yes, children have been bullied with peanuts.  The bully is too young to understand that the peanut can kill his classmate, and just thought that they were afraid of something silly.

Plus I think it's hilarious that in one breath you're saying "imagine poor people who can't afford anything but peanut butter.  Imagine the inconvenience on them" and then in another breath say "all children with peanut allergies should be sent to private school".  What, do no poor kids have peanut allergies?

Perhaps we could create concentration camp schools where the peanut allergic children are forced to go?  So that the rest of us won't be inconvenienced by them?  After all, this has always worked fine throughout history.

The Lounge 2015 Gardening thread May 12 2015
18:32 (UTC)

Most herbs are perennials.  I had so many chives last year that they were taking over my garden.  I had to drastically thin them out.  Wound up giving away many thinned plants to family, co-workers and neighbors for their gardens.  

Then they got freeze-dried chives from me for Christmas as well .  What else can you do with a bumper crop but give them away?

The Lounge 2015 Gardening thread May 11 2015
18:19 (UTC)

The problem with sandy soils is water retention.  Water just pours right through it.

To combat this mix in peat moss (cheap) and organic composts.  Raked leaves make a fine compost/mulch.  Don't use lawn clippings unless you know that the lawn wasn't sprayed with weed killer.

There's two types of plants that grow well in sandy soil, root crops and plants which have adapted to dry conditions.

Potatoes, carrots, turnip, parsnip are all root crops and should do well.  Just plant them deeper than recommended on the package if you're growing them from seed, up to twice as deep.

Most herbs will grow well in sandy soil.

The Lounge 2015 Gardening thread May 11 2015
18:04 (UTC)

Do't use pressure treated rail tie.  Pressure treated wood leaches arsenic into the soil.

They may be okay for a flower garden, but not a vegetable garden where you'll eat the proceeds.


The Lounge interesting (and terrifying) article on the Koch brothers and their influence May 11 2015
14:58 (UTC)

What pisses me off is the muzzling of scientists.

The Lounge interesting (and terrifying) article on the Koch brothers and their influence May 08 2015
11:20 (UTC)

Democrats by and large get the political donations of lawyers and unions.

Republicans by and large get the political donations of oil and insurance companies, and a majority of big businesses.

It's not a hard and fast rule, just a generalization.  Many companies also hedge their bets by donating to both parties.

Wealthy individuals donate to whomever they want, but how they got their wealth plays a large factor.  If they are wealthy lawyers they usually go democrat, if they're wealthy oilmen then they go republican.

The Lounge Meanwhile in places that aren't Florida May 06 2015
11:44 (UTC)

hear hear! 

The Lounge Meanwhile in places that aren't Florida May 04 2015
17:27 (UTC)

This $50 Starbucks gift card costs $200.

The Lounge Green coffee pills?? Apr 24 2015
18:24 (UTC)

Wow, I never thought that I'd live to see Nomo advocate for the burning of books.

The Lounge Science is Sexy, Quantum is Magic Apr 23 2015
14:31 (UTC)

Basically their saying "It could be a completely natural phenomenon that we just don't understand yet, or it could be something on Earth interfering with our equipment, but likely isn't"  I think the odds that they gave are 5 in 10,000 (or 0.05%) that it's just a coincidence that these signals all seem to be coming from the same place.

The Lounge Science is Sexy, Quantum is Magic Apr 23 2015
11:00 (UTC)

So, how about a possible alien broadcast from outer space?  Have we just made contact?

The Lounge What's in a smile? Apr 22 2015
10:52 (UTC)

It takes 17 muscles to smile and 37 to frown.

But I need the exercise, so I frown a lot.

The Lounge Seattle CEO takes massive pay cut, promises every employee a minimum annual wage of $70K Apr 21 2015
11:17 (UTC)

It's not a new idea.  In 1914 Henry Ford more than doubled his worker's wages, from $2.25 a day to $5.00 a day.

At the time he employed 14,000 workers, but due to high turnover rates he was hiring around 52,000 employees a year just to keep his workforce at 14,000.

Doubling their wages reduced the turnover rate.  This in turn reduced the cost of training these new employees, reduced work stoppages, and increased productivity as experienced workers became more skilled at their jobs.

Model T production went from 170,000 a year to 202,000 the year of the pay raise, without increasing his workforce and while reducing training costs.  Within 2 years he had doubled his annual profits.

Henry Ford called the pay raise the best cost cutting measure he had ever taken. 

The Lounge Help! I've fed my husband and baby 1 week out of date sausages. Mar 24 2015
12:02 (UTC)

If you served it to them raw, then they might be in trouble.  But cooking them kills off most of the bacteria.

Since they've had no symptoms after 12 hours, they'll be fine.

Best before dates aren't hard and fast rules.  They're more like suggestions.  I've eaten stuff months expired.

There isn't any federal department regulating best before dates, so it's up to the manufacturer to put on whatever date they want.  Some things, like milk, they will put on a date when they think it may start to become unsafe to consume raw.  But most other things, especially dry goods like cereal, they put on a date when they feel that the taste of the product will start to change.  Cereal is actually good for years.  Unless it gets wet it'll never go bad, but it will go stale.  Similarly tinned goods will last almost forever, but after a period of time the texture and/or flavor will start to deteriorate.  It's still safe to eat, but it's not as tasty or appealing, so that's what they set the best before date to. 

Some things, like cheese have a best before date that's months ahead, but once you open it, it will start to go mouldy after a couple of weeks.  That's because the best before date is really a "sell by" date.  In it's original packaging it'll last for months, but once that packaging has been opened it becomes unsafe rapidly.  This is true of almost any food.

Now meats.  Meats are something else.  For the most part it's not the producer that puts a best before date on the meats, it's the grocer.  Most meats are packaged by the butcher.  They'll put on a date that's generally 2 weeks to a month from the date when it's packaged.  Then when it hits that date they .... repackage it and give it another 2 weeks.  Repeat as necessary until it sells.  Usually they'll zap it with pure oxygen before repackaging it.  This serves 2 purposes.  Firstly, most of the dangerous bacteria are anaerobic, which means they hate oxygen and can actually be killed by it.  So it makes the meat somewhat safer.  Not very safer since the oxygen doesn't penetrate all they way through the meat, but it does kill off some of the more dangerous bacteria on the surface.  But more importantly to the butcher, it turns the meat from an old, dark colour to a fresh pink colour, making it look fresher.  Have you ever bought hamburger meat and had it look fresh and pink on the outside, but when you broke the meat apart it was a darker colour on the inside?  Then congratulations, you've purchased meat that has been "refreshened" by this process.  Perhaps more than once.

Many times they'll simply use an oxygen hose to punch a hole in the existing packaging, pump in the oxygen, and then they'll cover the hole with a new sticker.  So if you see meat that has a second sticker on it, usually placed over the first, then congratulations, you've found meat that has passed it's best before date, been refreshened and put back out.

But they'll also zap it with O2 and then put it in new packaging.  So while a second sticker is a sure sign that the meat has been sitting there for awhile, the lack of a second sticker isn't a sure sign that it's fresher.

And that's not all.  Sometimes it starts to get obvious that the meat has been left out for a while.  That's when they'll take it back, cut off the bad bits and sell it as something else.  Roasts become steaks.  Steaks become skillet strips or stewing beef, where they cut off the obviously bad parts and sell you the rest, complete with a new best before date.  And that stuff is refreshed with O2 if it doesn't sell in time.  And if that doesn't sell then they turn it into to hamburger meat or sausages.  Store made sausage, especially the heavily spiced ones, are usually the last rung on the ladder.  They'll mix the expired meat with some fresh (usually 50/50) to spread it out a bit, and add loads of seasoning to cover up the taste of the expired meat.  Then if the sausages don't sell after a couple of refreshes, they'll freeze them.

Chicken is usually bloody obvious when it starts to turn, as the skin becomes yellow.  This is a chemical reaction that is not easily reversed by the  O2 refreshing process.  So what's a butcher to do?  Why, simply remove the skin.  Sell it as "fresh" boneless, skinless chicken and you not only get to resell your expired meat, but you also get to sell it at a higher price.  It's genius!

The best way to avoid this?  Buy roasts and cut them into steaks or stewing beef yourself.  Don't buy store-made sausages, get only the ones that are packaged by a meat company (such as Tyson or Maple Leaf).  Don't buy fresh skinless chicken.  The boxed, frozen skinless boneless chicken (sometimes called IQF or Individually Quick Frozen) are safer so long as they're not the store brand.

And don't forget, freezing meats pauses the expiration clock.  So if you do all your shopping once a week, freeze your meats except for what you plan to use the next day.

Cooking kills bacteria, so cook things well.  Hamburger meat and sausages should always be cooked all the way through.  Bacteria will start growing on the surface of the meat and only penetrate slowly, so steaks and roasts are safer to eat rare, but hamburger meat and sausages are ground up, so the surface of the meat can wind up inside the meat, and should never be eaten rare or medium.

Avoid pre-cut fruits and vegetables at the grocers.  These are usually produce that has gone bad and had the bad parts cut off.  The remaining good parts (aka: not bloody obviously bad parts) they turned into "fresh stir-fry vegetables" or fruit trays (and usually sold at a higher price than if you buy the produce whole and cut it up yourself).  If you do buy these, then use them immediately, as they'll generally start to turn after as little as a couple of days.

The Lounge A flamboyant thread w/ razzle dazzle about the 2016 presidential primary elections Mar 23 2015
17:10 (UTC)

And I can tell you as a Canadian, the fact that he has renounced his Canadian citizenship caused us all to breath a sigh or relief.  You Yanks can have him!