Converting Fossil Fuels to Macaroni and Cheese

My stove uses not one but two types of fossil fuel.

My stove uses not one but two types of fossil fuel.

We have a gas stove and an electric oven. That is cool because you don’t have to wonder if the stove is lit but you can pretend to be all precise with the flame when you are making macaroni and cheese on the stove for your son.

Somehow we were talking about the gas stove and the electric oven and I decided it would be good to be science dad and explain energy conversion. I told my kids how gas was chemical energy that was converted to heat while our electricity came from Continue reading

Forks Over Knives Overstatement

Forks Over Knives

Forks Next to Knives and even a Spoon

I recently ditched Dish Network for an Apple TV. When I started exploring my new Netflix account I found a ton of documentaries. I am a geek so I was excited about many of the documentaries. I was intrigued about all of the food documentaries. Food, Inc. Fast Food Nation, lots of them that I had never heard of. I watched a few of them and I find this a very interesting phenomenon. Some of the documentaries seem pretty scientific on the surface.

Forks Over Knives follows a pair of doctors who have researched the benefits of plant-based diets for the last couple of decades. They had some really intriguing info about the health benefits of a plant-based diet. They never referred to this diet as vegan which made me a little curious. I was most interested in a population study that tracked cardiac disease in Norway during World War II. The Nazis took away all of the livestock early in the war and they showed a graph that showed an almost immediate reduction in heart disease shortly afterward. It also showed heart disease returning to original levels after the war, when we can assume the livestock were reintroduced. I wanted to learn more about this and found an interesting blog post that went through some of the claims in the documentary. For instance, why did they fail to mention fish as part of the Norwegian diet. Surely they ate even more fish once their livestock were taken away. Why did they fail to mention fish as a staple of the Japanese diet. Why did they use rural Chinese diets, which include some meat, as proof that meat should be completely removed from our diet. Continue reading

The Difficulty of Naming A Wild Dog

WeezO won out in the end.

Democracy is Tough

I used to curse congress for their inability to agree on anything. I am now amazed that they pass even one bill per year and my new found appreciation is due to my family’s complete inability to name an odd puppy that we adopted on a zip line trip in the Red River Gorge. We took my son and a friend zip lining for his birthday. The zip line office is apparently a very popular place for locals to abandon puppies because there is a good chance that some ridiculous tourist will take them home. When we got there to check in there was a large Rubbermaid bin with three puppies (down from the original four). One of the puppies looked exactly like our full-grown dog might have looked as a puppy. Since we adopted our dog when he was a year old we missed out on his puppy-hood and so we did the only sensible thing and adopted this puppy. We named him Zip of course.

That should have been that but our daughter wasn’t on the trip and she rejected the name Zip as soon as we got home. For two solid weeks we all proposed names. Eventually we had about 50 names but none that were unanimous and none that stuck. So we called a family meeting and put all of the names up on the chalkboard wall in our breakfast room. We completely filled the wall. Then we took turns vetoing names. We were finally left with five names that no one hated but no one actually liked them either. In desperation we decided to take turns rescuing two names each from the veto list. We voted on those eight and of course none of the names received four votes. A lot of them received three votes but no one was willing to budge. Of course someone had vetoed each of them only minutes before. To make matters worse my daughter seemed to be pressuring one of the other voters (her little brother).

We realized that the kids liked the name Link and my wife and I liked the name Lincoln so we decided to compromise and give him two names. Unfortunately everyone continued to call him “tiny” or “little dog” so we went back to proposing new names. We are under pressure from the vet to name the dog and start some serious training since he seems to be mostly Rottweiler and could possibly eat us if we aren’t able to call him by name. I don’t know if democracy can survive in the house much longer. Everyone but me has independently declared a different name for the dog. I am still proposing new names, which isn’t helping matters either.