June 21, 2008
Mint Chocolate M&Ms Premiums

Earlier this year, I wrote about Mint Crisp M&Ms. Now there are Mint Chocolate M&Ms Premium.

Michele and I were at target when I spied this. Obviously, I picked it up.

Inside the curvy box is a bag of the M&M Premiums. The bag is nice because it is reclosable. More bags of candies should have this feature.

The candies themselves have a sparkly exterior. Inside the candy is mainly white mint with a thin layer of chocolate. Unlike a regular M&M, the shell is not crispy candy. The shell is just decoration. If heated, I'm sure that these M&Ms would melt in your hand.

The taste is good. Mainly mint with a little chocolate. The striking thing is the lack of candy shell that you find on the regular M&Ms. It definitely feels like something is missing when the M&Ms is so smooth.

Well worth the money, these Premium M&Ms are tasty. I would like a version with a shell, but it won't stop me from eating these.

Posted by michael at 07:29 PM | Comments (5)
Chances of Success

After a few weeks of many meetings, I have drawn this conclusion based on empirical results.

(Obviously inspired by Indexed)

Posted by michael at 08:11 AM | Comments (0)
June 20, 2008
Two books about Number Two

I recently read two books that have to do with poop. Strange as it may sound, I found them both informative and well written.

Brown Acres: An Intimate History of the Los Angeles Sewers - Anna Sklar

Brown Acres is a history of the sewer system in Los Angeles. That may not seem interesting at first glance, but following the story is much more adventurous than you might imagine. Nepotism, cronyism and just plain stinginess were responsible for a long series of bad decisions in Los Angeles leading to recurring problems of sewage flooding into the streets and backing up into toilets.

Ms. Sklar has done her research and goes into appropriate detail on the history. Understanding the technology used to move human waste around was enlightening. The idea that we used to dump raw sewage into the ocean is simply astounding. Also, I was surprised to see that voters of the past were as short sighted as today's voters when it comes to investment in public health issues. Repeatedly, the public rejected spending money to solve the sewage problems. Not until the sewage literally flowed in the streets did the money get approved to put in better sewer systems.

Today, Los Angeles has a world class sanitation system in place, but I found the path to this point well worth the read.

My only criticism would be a request for more diagrams of the sewer system over time to help keep track of all the changes and sewer paths.

What's Your Poo Telling You? - Anish Sheth and Josh Richman

I first heard about this book on an episode of Internet Superstar, where one of the authors spoke about it with Martin Sargent. It sounded interesting, but not interesting enough to search it out. Recently, I was out with my wife Michele for dinner when I saw the book.

It's a small book, suitable for reading on the toliet, so I picked it up. Once I got home, I went to the obvious reading spot and began to read. Happily, it's actually an informative book, explaining a lot about poo and why people encounter such a variety of poops. 95 small pages long, the book contains a ton of good, easily understandable info on poo.

After reading the book, I'm planning to make sure to eat a bit more fiber and drink a bit more water to be nice to my colon. If you see the book, pick it up, you won't regret it.

Posted by michael at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)
June 16, 2008
Important Question

Update: I learned of an amazing site -> http://www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com. I checked and dogsthatlooklikehitler.com is taken, but only used as a placeholder.

Posted by michael at 09:27 PM | Comments (6)
June 08, 2008
Starbucks Doubleshot - Energy + Coffee

In the lobby of building I work in, there is a Starbucks Coffee. Earlier this week, I noticed a new item in the refrigerator.

Yes, it looks like a Doubleshot in a Monster sized can. With a bunch of 'energy' ingredients tossed in. Of course, I bought it and brought it home.

The drink is chock full of all kinds of stuff.

2000 mg maltodextrin - Maltodextrin is a type of sugar that digests slowly for a longer release into the bloodstream, meaning providing more energy over time
1800 mg taurine -
450mg of L-Carnitine - L-Carnitine hepls convert food into energy
180mg of Inositol - more commonly know as vitamin B8
325mg of Panax Ginseng - Ginseng is used widely in Asia as an energy booster
90mg of Guarana - the Brazilian seed packed with more caffeine than coffee beans

Also, vitamins B6 and B12 are thrown in as well to round out the B-complex.

The can is the equivalent of roughly 225 mg of caffiene.

I popped the can open and poured it out. The drink had the familiar mocha color. The can I picked up was Vanilla flavored. It was the only flavor they had.

After a big swig, I was happy to find that it didn't have the bitterness I usually find in energy drinks. But it didn't actually taste like coffee at all. It tasted like a melted vanilla shake. The sweetness wasn't overpowering and you got the subtle mouthfeel of some milk, but overall it was fairly watery. It reminded me of the Java Monster I tried a while ago.

I hope the coffee flavor tastes more like coffee.

Realistically, even if I did like the coffee, I probably wouldn't drink a can of this. There's just too much caffeine for me. When I drink coffee, I rarely drink more than half a cup, meaning ~30 mg of caffeine. That's enough to rev me up a bit. If I drank 225 mg of caffeine, I'd probably spend an hour in the bathroom and then not sleep for a couple days. I have friends that could probably drink one of these as a nightcap as they hopped into bed, but my tolerance is nowhere near theirs.

Posted by michael at 05:45 PM | Comments (7)
Cakester Followup

Due to interest, I looked deeper into the Cakesters from Nabisco.

I expected that nutritionally, both Nilla and Oreo flavors would be the same. When I took a look, I found a little difference.

I was surprised to see that the Oreo flavor had more calories than the Nilla flavor. 10 calories more per cake than the Nilla. After reviewing the ingredient, it must be the chocolate that's in the Oreo Cakesters.

Someone mentioned about remixing the Nilla with the Oreo into a new Cakester. After sharpening my chef's knife, I started to slice the Cakesters.

Due to my extreme cooking skills I was able to remix the Cakesters as you see. Unfortunately, it do not significantly improve the flavor. They were still soft and sweet, but nothing special.

The Cakesters are still selling 3 packages for $2 at Walgreens, making them exceeding cheap as experimental objects. Any other ideas?

Posted by michael at 05:20 PM | Comments (3)
June 05, 2008
Oreo & Nilla Cakesters

Cakester is not a new social community site for cupcake lovers.

Cakesters is a new kind junk food from Nabisco that tries to combine famous cookies with snack cakes.

Nilla Wafers and Oreo Cookies are some of the most iconic and classic cookies on the market. The Oreo Cookie has been around for almost one hundred years. Nilla Wafers are not quite as old, having originated in the 60s.

The cakesters look like little sandwiches. They are soft to the touch and about the size of a regular Oreo cookie.

The filling is creamy, quite a bit different than the traditional Oreo filling. The filling doesn't taste bad, it just doesn't taste like Oreo 'stuff'.

The cakesters are chocolaty and vanillay and pretty good. But they don't make the cookies they are based on. They taste like generic cupcakes in a new form. Oreos have a specific slightly sweet flavor instead of the cloyingly sweet flavor of the cakesters. Nilla Wafers have that thin, crisp layer of flavor on the top of the cookie which is completely missing in the cakester.

Overall, the cakesters are pretty good as junk food. They are soft and moist, and you get three good sized cakesters in a package. But if you are a cookie purist, stay away.

Posted by michael at 09:56 PM | Comments (1)
June 03, 2008
My review of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on Saturday with my daughter Mira. We went to the Cineramadome at the Arclight Theater in Hollywood for the best possible viewing.

Normally I'd give my review of the movie, but something very strange happened during the showing.

After about 2/3 of the movie, there must have been a mix-up in the projection booth. For some reason instead of playing the final 1/3 of the movie, inexplicably what appeared to be some sort of Scientology video appeared on screen. There were glass space aliens sitting in chairs, hidden spaceships, and suggestions that human development was guided by aliens (thetans?). It was all quite bizarre with lots needless special effects and a complete lack of a comprehensive storyline.

I need to go see it again, to see the real ending of the movie in which Lucas and Spielberg wrap up the story lines regarding father & son development, the FBI involvement, and many other ideas brought up in the first 2/3rds of the movie. I mean there's no way Spielberg and Lucas would resort to a Deux ex Machina ending without any sort of moral message or triumph of good people over evil.

If anyone else saw that strange Scientology video, I think we should complain as a group.

Posted by michael at 05:32 PM | Comments (5)