Thursday, October 30, 2008

The U.S. are . . .

Thanks to "today's" Calvin and Hobbes strip, I realized that "United States of America" should be treated as plural. Henceforth, I'm going to try to do that. It has some interesting political connotations that I think I like, but let me know if I'm off base. Granted, this is going to make some ideas harder to convey, since you can't say "The United States are the world's only superpower." Maybe "The United States constitute the world's only superpower"?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Odin is the new Freyja

So most students might feel a bit of relief once Friday is over, or maybe Thursday if they've managed to not have any Friday classes. For me, it's Wednesday. The one class I'm taking for credit has homework due on Wednesdays. Every week on the bus home Wednesday night I remember that I don't have any more homework that week, which makes everything better. Wednesday is the new Friday.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Making Yogurt

In Thailand there's a drinkable yogurt that we bought almost every day. I decided I wanted to try to make some, and instead of using store-bought yogurt I looked into making my own. It turns out that it's pretty easy. It's even easier if you use dry milk instead of fresh. The thing to remember is that you want a sterile environment to put the yogurt culture into, so just keep track of keeping things clean.

  • Boil about a quart of water (to sterilize it).
  • Put 3 & 3/4 cups of the water into a (clean) 1-quart mason jar or other similar container.
  • Once the water has cooled down some, add 1 & 1/3 cups dry milk powder and mix. I just put the (sterilized) lid on and shook it so I didn't have to worry about sterilizing a stirring implement.
  • Let the milk cool to less than 140 degrees and add a few tablespoons of live-culture yogurt.
  • Keep the mix at ~110 degrees for about 8 hours. I filled two other mason jars with boiling water and put them in our handy Thai cooler, with a towel under them so as to not melt the plastic. I then put the towel over the top of them a bit and put the jar with the mix on top and put the lid on the cooler.
  • When the mix has become suitable yogurt, flavor as desired. I was able to match the Thai stuff pretty well by mixing in some juice and sugar.
I haven't tried yet, but adding more milk powder is supposed to thicken the yogurt up substantially.

I need to come up with some appropriate title for my kitchen experiment series. Any ideas? Next up--beef fat candles.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

BYU Speech I need to listen to/watch

Science, Faith, and the Nobel Prize
Bill Phillips

Another book

The Evolution of Physics: From Early Concept to Relativity and Quanta

Book to read

I'm going to start posting books I need to read here.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales