Friday, December 28, 2007

Prepare For the Ape Army!

from Wired's "Top 10 Scientific Breakthroughs of 2007"

Although tool use is known to occur in species ranging from naked mole rats
[1] to owls [2], chimpanzees are the most accomplished tool users [3, 4, 5]. The modification and use of tools during hunting, however, is still considered to be a uniquely human trait among primates. Here, we report the first account of habitual tool use during vertebrate hunting by nonhumans. At the Fongoli site in Senegal, we observed ten different chimpanzees use tools to hunt prosimian prey in 22 bouts. This includes immature chimpanzees and females, members of age-sex classes not normally characterized by extensive hunting behavior. Chimpanzees made 26 different tools, and we were able to recover and analyze 12 of these. Tool construction entailed up to five steps, including trimming the tool tip to a point. Tools were used in the manner of a spear, rather than a probe or rousing tool. This new information on chimpanzee tool use has important implications for the evolution of tool use and construction for hunting in the earliest hominids, especially given our observations that females and immature chimpanzees exhibited this behavior more frequently than adult males.

Don't you just love it?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Eatings

Here it is. Roughly. My recipe for the best apple pie ever.


  • 40 gingersnaps
  • 6 tablespoons of butter
crush gingersnaps until they're all crumby and have no big chunks. melt the butter and add to cookie crumbs. use parchment or tin foil to press into a pie pan evenly and up the sides. bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. the crust will bubble so just press it back down with a spatula.

Pie Filling
  • 6 apples
  • about 3 heaping tablespoons of flour
  • about a half cup of sugar
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • ginger spice
peel and slice apples thin. place in bowl and mix with flour and sugar. add spices depending on desired flavor. i don't recommend going overboard with the ginger. mix well and spread inside cooked pie crust. top with crumb topping (a totally eye-balled mix of butter, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon, cut together until good crumbly consistency).
bake at 350 degrees for, uhhhhh 30 minutes? just peek in the oven and see if you think it looks done.

this pie rules. the molasses in the gingersnaps gets gooey and causes the crust to get really chewy and great. i love it. people love it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I'd Grab You With My Claws If I Had Any!!

Tom Goes to the Mayor makes life better... it's just a fact. Jordan and I had lost our dvds but hazah! we found them last night... happy days are here again.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Burgundy is the color of hot water bottles

Kinky Boots-
So a long time ago someone told me I would like this movie. Then my netflix recommended it to me. And I went for it.
This wasn't a bad movie...... it just wasn't that good. The dialog was on par with a Hallmark movie. Remember that haircut movie we saw, and the lady had a tattoo on her head? Blow Dry? It was kinda a lot like that. This guy inherits his family's shoe factory, and in order to save the business he starts making boots for Drag Queens.
The thing is they were obviously trying to make a movie for the gay audience. This is obvious not because of the subject matter, but because the love interest of the movie could be best described as looking like "a bag of buttons". She was this pixie hair cut 13-year-old boy of a woman.
But even worse was the antagonist female role. The woman looked like a bulldog! Her under-bite was under-belivable!
Anyway I'm going to go the way of Kissing Jessica Stein and give this a Fabi-Oh-No. Save yourself the place on your netflix queue and rent Mr.Show instead.

the mean kitty song

Of Course Radio Lab is Amazing!

Radio Lab is old news buddy.... I've been waiting for the new season to start so I have new episodes to listen too. Can you get last seasons and listen to the Zoo episode?
Here are some of my other favorite podcasts
-Car Talk (i don't understand anything they say about cars but they are funny as heck-el berries)
-Wait Wait Don't Tell Me (the npr news quiz....I'm not a dork, I swear its funny!)
-This American Life by Ira Glass (ok I am a little bit of a dork but creative non-fiction rocks!)
-and then of course The Ricky Gervais Podcast (please start listening to this one! You would love it! i would love you more for loving it!)

I also really like Weekend America, On The Media and Radioworks but that one can sometimes be really sad.

welcome to the podcast world my friend!

(hold on tight... coming up next is my review of the movie we watched last night...Kinky Boots (---fun to say!))

detective stories

i've recently become smarter. yes. i know, you thought it wasn't possible-but it is! has free podcasts that are my new source of intellegence and interesting conversation starters. this one is called "Detective Stories" and its mind-blowing! do it!

much love and wisdom,

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Present for Greg

i painted this for my friend greg. i have recently decided that sharks popping out where they shouldn't be, is hilarious.


allie's first bloggage

Sunday Baking Adventure! (a.k.a. sometimes cupcakes are not easy)

while baking, remember to devour half a block of cheese all by yourself. you'll feel so accomplished. i promise.

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3 sticks butter
  • 2-1/4 cups sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 20 oz can light cherry pie filling
  • 1 pack chocolate pudding mix
  1. melt chocolate and butter in bowl in the microwave
  2. mix in sugar
  3. Add one egg at a time, mixing for 10 seconds between each
  4. put the flour, baking powder, pudding mix, and salt into the mixture, mix until blended
  5. add cherry filling
  6. Scoop into cupcake cups and bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
* i used light butter, light cherry filling, and fat-free/sugar-free pudding mix. using whole ingredients shouldn't make a difference, but its good to be healthy and not so fat. haha.

makes a shiz-ton of cupcakes!
the recipe i used for the base chocolate cupcakes, said it yielded 25 cupcakes. that is officially bogus, considering i just put 30 in the oven, and i still have half the batter left. now comes 2 very important questions.

1. will i have to run back to the grocery and buy more cream cheese for the frosting?

2. how the fuzz am i supposed to get 60 cupcakes up to work tomorrow morning?

i just checked on the first batch after 20 minutes, and they appear to be done, but they have a kind of spongy feel to them, and the tops started to sink after a few minutes (this may be the pudding's fault). i put them back in for another 5 minutes just to make sure they'll hold together. i've got my fingers crossed that they don't end up looking like sad cupcakes, but at least i'm positive they'll taste great!

my little sunken treasures

Now, the frosting.
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (again-i'm using fat free)
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
beat softened butter and cream cheese until well blended. add sugar and vanilla and beat until creamy. i'm also topping with red sugar crystals. festive!

(i had to add an extra stick of butter because it didn't thicken up enough. after the extra butter it still wasn't thick enough. this is because the real problem was that i didn't have enough sugar. oh well. i just plopped the failure-frosting in the sunken holes of the cupcakes. looks cute enough)

definitely a hit at the office. and in my tummy. i ate six. holy sugar overdose. so they didn't turn out as imagined. but i'm going to pretend they were supposed to look like this. and they are really delicious! tastes puddingy. yums!

soundtrack: the baking process lasted the entirety of 2 weezer albums, one wilco album, and half of the wrens. i think it was the perfect progression from up-beat and exciting to mellow and contemplative, as i look back on my day of baking, and welcome the accidental results.