31 May 2012

Ask Jimmy Foody

The other day, we were extremely blessed to have our old friend Jimmy Foody answer your gastronomic questions. Jimmy knows most everything about food and has sampled every substance on earth, with and without catsup. Feel free to ask him anything. As Jimmy says, "There are no stupid questions, only stupid people."

Q: What does sheep taste like?
A: Sheep meat, also called mutton, tastes like hell. This is due to the peculiar flavor of sheep fat.

Q: What does screech owl taste like?
A: If you are dumb enough to eat screech owl, be ready to taste puke twice: once when you bite into it, a second time when you throw it back up.

Q:  I've heard people say rattlesnake tastes like chicken.  True?
A:  Sure. I just had a 3 piece rattlesnake dinner at a snake restaurant called [redacted]. Why don't you go there and get a bucket of snake?  Tastes and looks like chicken.

Q:  I know I should stop making panda smoothies because pandas are endangered and clog the blender, but they taste so much like chicken, which I love. What can I do?
A:  Why not eat snake instead? Snake also tastes like chicken, and sounds like "steak". You can find snakes almost anywhere--on airplanes, in nursing homes, right behind you, etc.

Q:  Can we breed the flavor of endangered species into more common ones so that we can continue to enjoy their taste post-extinction?
A:  In fact, food researchers are now developing a dumpling that tastes like the endangered bubble-headed booby. The prototype dumpling is comprised of sawdust wrapped in bubble-headed booby. This doesn't solve the extinction problem, but it does retain the original flavor without sacrificing more chickens, which will be in high demand after snakes go extinct.

Q:  Is bee pollen really good for you?
A:  Yes, really good if you enjoy explosive diarrhea. Go ahead, treat your intestinal lining to an amalgam of irritating pollens from poisonous, stinging insects.

Q:  What is head cheese?
A:  Head cheese is a jellied meat dish made from the head of a pig. It is thinly sliced and sold as cold cuts to people who aren't satisfied eating only the pig's ribs and ass, but must also devour the nose, forehead, lips, scalp, beard area, and sideburns.

Q:  Is there a substitute for curry powder?
A:  A curry lotion will work just as well as powder. Apply curry lotion between skin folds, in the armpits, and to the bikini area to mask foul odors with an odor that's just strange.

Q:  How large is a large egg?
A:  An egg is considered large when the chicken laying it suffers such pain that it blurts a stream of curses. Hence the expression, "fowl language".

Q:  I'm looking for a conversion chart for cups and gallons.
A:  I'm looking for a date with Angelina Jolie. Let's see who gets lucky first.

Q:  What is quinoa?
A:  Quinoa is a highly nutritious grain with a low glycemic index. If possible, use candy sprinkles instead. What candy sprinkles lack in nutrition, they make up for in pretty colors and awesome taste. They're also great for raising kids' blood pressure to get them crackin' in the morning.

Q:  What's the best way to cook chickenhawk?
A:  "Chickenhawk" is a gay term for an older man that chases after younger men, typically in their 20s. This seems to be a question for another forum, although just about anything tastes good if you put enough butter and salt on it.

Q:  I want to go "old school" with ambrosia. Can you help?
A: I can totally relate. Sometimes I'll fire up their first album and get lost in 1975. You like Foghat, too?

Real questions about food from actual readers with intent to learn and not just joshin' around trying to make a fool out of Jimmy Foody may be submitted using the Comment box below.

19 May 2012

Ode to Consumption

Or Let's Get it While the Getting is Good

The generally obese state of the American PeopleTM is often seen as some form of weakness, a sickness, the national decadence or worse.

Yet it is easily understandable and perhaps the inevitable product of our affluence.  The reason humans are (by and large) programmed to fatten up in times of plenty is that our ancestors went through plenty of times of nothing, widespread hunger and so on.  People who fattened up survived, and passed their fattysnack-bingin' genes on.  

Today's humans seem to think that famines are a thing of the past.  O would that it were so my friends, would that it were so. 

So who is going to have the last laugh when the next big famine sweeps the nation?

All these hepcats who've been on these crazy diets and workout regimens trying to shed every last ounce of body fat?  Ha!  How long are these people going to last when the food's cut off?  They'll be dead in 72 hours – well more if they have access to sparkling mineral water, sports drinks, or imported boysenberry-based beverages, but once that well goes dry I give em twenty-four hours, tops.

Meanwhile, certain denizens of the American Midwest and South Central Mountain States, those who have grown too large to get up off of their own sofas, will find they have at least two hard winters' worth of preserves stored where it is conveniently accessible at all hours.  Once they ride out that first winter they can go ahead and move into the mansions vacated by the dead skinny people, all the hip fashionable elite that went on diets in order to lose those extra pounds, the ones they thought were unhealthy but were in fact their only hedge against survival in the perilous times to come.

So should you be fattening up?  That is a (proverbial) no-brainer.  While it would be sensible to weigh the extra risk of heart attack / diabetes / stroke / etc. now versus the risk of starvation later, let's just say no one ever accused your columnist of being sensible.

This is just the excuse you've been waiting for.  Get it while the getting is good.  We'll slim down when we start running out of food.  And not before.

Go forth, my fellow robots, and consume.

11 May 2012

On Robots

Another subject crying out for further analysis is robots.

"Robotics" is the science of making really cool robots.  We asked a professor of roboticism at a nearby university to elaborate on the meaning and significance of robots.  This was his response, via e-mail.

So far robots can only do what we tell them to do.  They can tell us what to do, but we don't have to listen to them, not yet.  We can ask for their advice on matters simple or complex and all they can do is output some information and we don't even have to follow it, they can't force us, they can't at this stage of their development shove us up against a wall and threaten to snap us in half like a toothpick if we don't obey.  Heck they can barely shove anything up against anything else, at least not anything faster than a badger.  The technology is not far away and we are working inexorably to perfect it, but thank god, we are not there yet.

As far as really cool robots, making a robot that humans regard as cool is one thing, but making a robot that is cool around humans is much easier, actually.  You just have to slow the response time, tamp down the emotions, learn to relax the jaw muscles.  What is more difficult is making robots with joie de vivre, a certain je ne sais quois if you will (and robots won't).  In fact I am working right now on a robot that will be able to direct high school theater – well dramas anyway, comedies and musicals are still several years in the future, but with time and generous funding, we'll get there.  But I don't believe we should ever create a robot that could be president of a homeowner's association, or even an assistant to the vice principal of a beauty college.  Some lines just should not be crossed. 

Once thing I like to say for certain is, People will make lots of robots, and they'll make lots more people to make even more robots, but no matter how many robots they make and how smart they make 'em, they'll never make a robot that can make a person.  Robots will never replicate like rabbits.  Even robot rabbits will probably never learn to replicate, at least not like real human rabbits.

So you can see that from professors you can learn lots of things, and among the best of all those things you can learn about is really cool robots, which some professors actually study as their full-time job.
How cool would that be, can you imagine?  Well, don't.  I will require your full attention, for what I am about to do right here.  This is where I get my sign-off on, yo.

[Precise pause.]