Wednesday, June 4, 2008

How 10 Bands Got Their Names

1. Modest Mouse comes from the Virginia Woolf story The Mark on the Wall. There’s a quote that says, “Even in the minds of modest, mouse-coloured people…”
2. a-ha got their name because it means the same thing in multiple languages.
3. Duran Duran took their name from the villain in the movie Barbarella – Dr. Durand-Durand.
4. R.E.M. was named when Michael Stipe opened the dictionary and randomly pointed to a word.
5. The Pogues were originally called Pogue Mahone, which is Gaelic for “kiss my arse.” It was shortened later.
6. The Bay City Rollers, are, as you might suspect, named after Bay City, Michigan. But none of the band members are actually from Bay City (They’re Scottish); the city was just plucked from the map.
7. The Killers took their name from a fictional band. The “band” was featured in the New Order music video for their song “Crystal”.
8. 10,000 Maniacs adapted their band name from the horror movie Two Thousand Maniacs.
9. Steely Dan is named after an… erm… adult toy… in the William S. Burroughs novel Naked Lunch.
10. Flight of the Conchords came about when Bret, one of the band members, had a dream about flying guitars that looked like Concordes. He was telling the other band member about it and the name was invented. They went with “Chord” instead of “cord” as sort of a tribute to the Beatles who used “beat” instead of “beet”.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

How To Cut A Pineapple


Sharp knife
Cutting board
Place the pineapple on its side on the cutting board and remove the stalk.
Cut off the top of the pineapple.
Cut off the bottom of the pineapple.
Stand the pineapple on its side and cut the skin off of the sides in strips.
Continue cutting strips around the pineapple until you have cut all of the skin off of it.
You should now be left with a cylinder of pineapple flesh. Mmmmmm, yummy. Depending on how close you sliced when removing the skin you will most likely have some divits left, you can remove these with a mellon baller or potato peeler easily.
Place the pineapple on its side and begin cutting slices. The thickness is up to you.
Work your way down the pineapple until the entire thing has been sliced up.
Taking a slice firmly in your hand, begin cutting around the core. Some pineapples have soft cores that can be eaten, but most of the time it will be pretty hard.
Depending on the knife you use it will be easier to cut by either 'sawing' or by 'stabbing' your way around the core, the method shown here is 'stabbing'.
Once you've cut all the way around the core, use your fingers to dislodge it and voila! You're all done, time to enjoy!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Other uses for coffee grounds

Do you love a good cup of coffee? More than 50 percent of Americans drink it every day. But what about the leftover grounds?

We did a little research and found several ways you can reuse coffee grounds in and around your home.

1 CLEAN KITCHEN DRAINS • Boil about 6 cups of water. Pour a half of cup of used coffee grounds down the drain, followed by the hot water.

2 DIRTY ASHTRAYS • Grounds are abrasive and may help with difficult cleaning. Mix the grounds with a little bit of water and scrub with a firm brush. 3 CAT AND PEST REPELLENT • To help keep cats and pests from the garden area, mix coffee grounds with used orange peels and spread the mixture around the outside of your garden.

4 HAIR COLOR • If you're a brunette, coffee grounds may enhance your color. Rub used grounds throughout your hair in between shampooing and conditioning.

5 MULCH — Toss your used coffee grounds onto the soil. The dark color absorbs heat from the sun, which helps the soil warm up, adding nutrients to the soil as the grounds break down.

6 BODY SCRUB • In a bowl, mix 2 cups of coffee grounds, 1/2 cup raw sugar or sea salt and 2/3 tablespoons of massage oil. Rub in a circular motion to wet or damp skin in the shower.

7 DEODORIZE A FREEZER • Fill a couple of bowls with used or fresh coffee grounds and place them in the freezer overnight.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How to Chew Betel Nut in Papua New Guinea

If you ever go to Papua New Guinea, the first thing you will notice is the brilliant red-stained teeth and lips of the local men and women. Betel nut, or what the locals call buai [boo-eye] is the cause. Green betel nut is a nut that grows in the tropical climates of South East Asia and is popular in the South Pacific Islands. It can be found on every street corner in Papua New Guinea and is chewed as part of social occasions or as a part of everyday life. Betel nut has a mild stimulant effect and in addition to reasons of tradition local people chew it for stress reduction, heightened awareness, and suppression of hunger.

Many foreign visitors try betel nut as a way to experience a part of the local Papua New Guinea culture. In addition, if a visitor arrives at a local person’s house for dinner, the visitor will most likely be given betel nut as a welcome offering. If you would like to learn how to chew betel nut, follow these steps.
[edit] Steps

Gather the ingredients needed to chew betel nut. You will need the green betel nut (buai), a jar or bag of lime powder (kambang) and a bean-like green called mustard (daka). These can be bought on any street corner for about one Kina (30 cents).
Break the betel nut open by cracking the shell with your teeth. Take the meaty center out of the shell and start chewing it. Do not swallow the fibrous residue of the nut as it is said to cause stomach aches.
Chew the betel nut for 2-5 minutes or until it forms a wad in your mouth.
Slightly moisten the mustard seed with your mouth and dip it into the jar/bag of lime powder.
Move the betel nut wad to the side of your mouth and then bite off the piece of mustard seed that has the lime powder on it. Make sure to not put the lime directly on your mouth or gums as they will feel a burning sensation. Instead try to bite the mustard seed directly into the betel nut wad. As you chew the mixture together, they will form a chemical reaction that will make your teeth and lips red and provide a mild high.
6. Know that as you chew, spit out the fibrous residue of the nut as needed. Most people just spit on the street so there is often red splattering of betel nut all along the street and sidewalks.
7. Keep chewing until there is no more betel nut left. You may have a mild euphoric feeling because of betel nuts’ mild stimulant effects.


* The Betel Nut is a proven carcinogen. While relatively uncommon in other countries, oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is the most common malignant cancer in Papua New Guinea, with an average 47% mortality within 5 years of diagnosis. One study shows chewing Betel Nut increases the risk of oral cancer 28-fold.
* Do not chew Betel Nut if you are a minor. Betel Nut is a drug and can become very addictive.
* Betel nut will make your teeth and lips very red, sometimes permanently if chewed a lot. When chewed over long periods of time it can also lead to gum and teeth disease.
* Betel nut is often compared to tobacco. It can be very addictive and habit forming. In many places in PNG you will find “no betel nut” signs that are similar to “no smoking signs.”

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Childproof Your Home Theater System [Household]

Keep your toddler from stuffing a peanut butter sandwich into your DVD player with a few kid-proofing home theater system tips from Wired's How-To Wiki. They recommend using an enclosed cabinet for your gear, stowing power cords as out of reach as possible, and actually using the safety strap to anchor that big TV to the table top.

If your TV or piece of furniture did not include one of these, go out and buy one. Most hardware stores carry them and they are inexpensive insurance. If a five dollar piece of nylon, two screws and five minutes of your time can prevent junior from pulling over your two thousand dollar flat screen, shattering it into a gazillion pieces and quite possibly injuring himself in the process, wouldn't you go for it?

Yes, I think you would. How do you keep the expensive home theater system as childproof as possible?

Remove Permanent Marker from Any Surface [How To]

Toothpaste with baking soda can do wonders when a permanent marker runs amok in your home, according to the Public Reality Blog. Your mileage will likely vary depending on the color and type of surface you're removing the marker from, but a quick dance with lady Google shows that the same method has worked for others as well. If baking soda toothpaste works even half as well as our favorite method for removing permanent marker from a dry erase board, we'll be impressed.
How to remove permanent marker from anything...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How Do They Do It: Cameron Balloons

Specialty hot air balloons that are not of the classic teardrop shape. From Discovery Science.