May 13, 2013
It reminds me of similar methods used for learning Japanese, though this one does seem a lot easier. On occasion, the Sinfest comic will feature a strip that slowly transforms people and/or objects into a word as well as a method to learn to read a foreign language.
March 10, 2013
Shamrock Shake Ice Cream
An attempt to make an ice cream version of McDonald's Shamrock Shake. Recipe is for a 2 quart ice cream maker.
Ice cream maker time:
Yield: About fourteen 1/2 cup servings
Serving size: 1/2 cup
Calories per serving: 255
Fat per serving: 20g
1 1/2 cups
1 1/8 cups
Heavy cream (not ultra-pasteurized):
Pure vanilla extract:
1 1/2 tablespoons
Mint extract (not peppermint extract):
Green food coloring:
You can substitute a lower fat milk instead of using whole milk and half and half for the heavy cream. The cream/half and half should not be ultra-pasteurized. Remove the green food coloring if you do not want the ice cream to be green in color like the Shamrock Shake.
In a mixing bowl, combine the milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream, vanilla, mint, and green food coloring. Place into your ice cream maker for 25 minutes (times for your ice cream maker may vary). Once complete, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place into the freezer.
The mint may seem a bit strong for the ice cream that comes from the bottom of the ice cream maker, but mellows out as you get further into the ice cream.
January 13, 2013
Reviewed by Steve Fisher on .
Rage of Bahamut is a game for Android and iOS devices that works like a combination of a role-playing game and an electronic Magic: The Gathering. My experience with Magic: The Gathering was limited to a few games during college. It was interesting, but did not really grab me. I was not sure what my reaction to Rage of Bahamut would be. It turned out to be more addicting that I would have expected.
In Rage of Bahamut, you build up a deck of cards that consist of monsters, mythological figures, and the like, each with a cost of how many points it takes to use the card, an attack rating, a defense rating, and a realm (Man, God, or Demon). You create an attack deck and a defense deck, each consisting up to 5 cards, plus a leader card. Cards can be evolved a limited number of times to change form into a more powerful version of that card. Cards can also be enhanced to gain levels, which increases their attack and defense power. It is recommended to enhance cards to their highest level before evolving them. Evolving increases a card's attack and defense by 5% of the attack and defense of each card. If the cards are enhanced to the maximum level, that increases to 10%. Each card has a rarity, ranging from normal to legendary. Each day you get a free card. You can also spend real money to get a special card draw which has a chance to get a card of a high rarity. Those cards can also be gained from logging in daily or as prizes, so I would not recommend spending your money on them.
When you start the game, you choose a realm (which gives you a bonus to all cards of that realm) and assign points to stamina, attack, and defense. As you get experience, you gain levels and the ability to add friends, which gives you points to contribute to stamina, attack, and defense. Stamina affects how long you can go a quest, which consists of killing monsters that get you money (for evolving and enhancing cards), other cards, or treasures (when you collect all colors of a particular treasure, you get a special card). After you complete 5 "chapters" of quests, you face a boss monster, which uses your leader card to attack it. Attack and defense determine how many total points of cards you can have in your attack and defense decks as well as how many times you can attack monsters/players and defend from other players' attacks.
You also have the opportunity to join or start an order, which allows you to group with other players. This can be helpful if you need help getting particular treasures, particular cards as a gift or via trade (which can also be done via the Bazaar), and get prizes during special events. Donated money and treasures helps grow the order for more players to join, buy buildings to give realm cards attack/defense bonuses, and build walls during Holy Wars (an event where orders battle each other). Special positions within the order get attack and/or defense bonuses.
As there are a limited number of quests, the game would get old quickly if not for the special events. Special events usually introduce new cards and special prizes for individual and order rankings. These can range from the order vs. order Holy Wars to events where you go on special quests and fight boss monsters to collect the most of a particular collection item for a ranking, to events where you try to collect special treasures for special cards. These happen about each month and can range from a few days to a couple of weeks.
The thing I probably do not like about this game is the heavy player vs. player focus. You just lose defense points (which are regained over time, just like stamina and attack) and money if you lose. Winning battles (or losing if you attack) get you honor points, which can get you gems each week which can be traded for items to regain stamina or attack/defense points, protect treasures from attacks, special enhancement cards, or a special card draws of a particular rarity or higher.
If the idea of this game interests you, use referral code osn12222 once you complete the training quest and you'll get a special card.
October 19, 2012
Mozilla is working on Popcorn Maker, an editor that allows you to enhance video by adding things such as Google Maps, Twitter feeds, and more.
Mozilla Foundation COO Ryan Merkley gives a TED Talk with a quick demo of Popcorn Maker.
It looks like fun and I can imagine some good uses for this. I look forward to seeing it released in November 2012.
September 16, 2012
But NoScript has a problem. It will block scripts but not show them in the NoScript menu for me to enable - and I need them for some pages to run. I have verified this by running a similar add-on in Chromium (Chrome) which shows more scripts to unblock, which NoScript does not even show. At this time, I have no desire to move to Chromium, mainly because I like having a menu bar, and it appears the only way to have one is to use Chrome on OS X, whose UI forces a menu bar at the top.
What I didn't realize, however, was that Southwest also had gates 1 and 2, which are separate from gates 3 through 10, and require going through security. This was a difficult enough chore for me, just carrying one bag and experienced enough to get through security relatively easily and quickly. Still, I had to run to get to my flight on-time, though it is not a far distance from security to the gates. I can only imagine the difficulties older travelers, inexperienced travelers, families, and anyone further back in the plane would have.
Still, I got lucky. When I was leaving San Diego back in August 2012, the security line curved all the way back to about midway down the baggage claim area. If it was like that with my recent flight, I would not have made it in time.
If you have a Southwest flight where you will need to change planes in San Diego, make sure there is at least an hour between flights to be on the relatively safe side. If all of your flights are at gates 3 through 10, you'll be able to take it easy. If not, you should hopefully have time to spare after going through security again.
September 8, 2012
The Wait for Ice Cream SandwichEver since hearing about the Ice Cream Sandwich release of Android, I checked to see if my wi-fi version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 would get the upgrade. The information I found suggested that I would get the update, but when it would come out was uncertain, and the release date changed over time. The last update suggested late August or early September, but I hadn't seen anything, so I did another search this morning to see if the date had changed. As it turned out, Ice Cream Sandwich was finally rolling out to some people.
A Surprise UpdateI did not see any notification on my Galaxy Tab about an update, figured that it might be a gradual roll-out, so decided to manually check for an update under Settings.
I was surprised to find an agreement clause for updates. So I went through it, agreed, and was then presented with a screen to sign in with my Samsung account or register for one. This leads me to a couple of questions:
- Why do I need an account to get updates?
- Why wasn't I asked to set this up when initially activating my Galaxy Tab? (Or did it not come up due to the issues I had initially activating my Galaxy Tab?)
- Why isn't checking for updates enabled by default? This is a big concern if there is a security update.
Ice Cream Sandwich at Last!This big update, which took longer to download but was faster to install than the Honeycomb update, ended up being the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade! Everything appears to have gone smoothly, but I haven't gone in to explore Ice Cream Sandwich yet and try out my downloaded apps.
So if you own a Samsung Galaxy Tab, you may want to manually check for an update in case you have the same situation that I did. You may find a tasty ice cream treat waiting for you!