Bad Idea (aka Dumb Thing Ryan Did Lately)

Hi, my name is Ryan, and I'm a Diet Coke addict. [Hi, Ryan]

I've tried to kick the habit a few times, but I always fall off the wagon. Not only am I an addict, but I'm very particular about how I have it. I like it very cold and I can only stand it on ice if it is from a fountain (they kick up the carbonation high enough that the flattening that occurs over ice balances out). At home I prefer to drink it straight from an aluminum can.

This means that it needs to be kept in the refrigerator. But what happens when you run out of cold ones, and you want one NOW. I can't resort to pouring it over ice! So I had to devise a way of cooling a can of diet coke down very rapidly.

Plan A was pursued last summer. It involved filling with water a plastic container long enough to lay a can in, then putting it in the freezer. This would be kept until the inevitable occasion when I needed to cool a can of diet coke quickly, at which time the can would be layed on the ice and rolled the can so that it melted the ice into the shape of the can. This sort of worked, but it had several flaw. The worse was that it still took 10+ minutes to get it to an acceptable drinking temperature (barely acceptable) and you had to sit there spinning the can the whole time.

Then, earlier this week, I got hit with an email hoax saying that "ice wave's" form in Lake Huron. My mind started wandering, and despite Lake Huron being a fresh water lake, I started thinking about the melting point of salt water ice. I wondered if my freezer was warm enough for salt water to remain liquid. It turns out if you add enough salt, it indeed will not freeze in my freezer.

So Plan B was to keep a tall enough plastic container filled with salt water in the freezer. The first time I tested it, it worked magnificently. I fully submerged a room temperature can, went about preparing my lunch, and 8 minutes later removed the can, and was delighted with VERY cold. In fact, ice had just started to develop in the diet coke. Six minutes is probably perfect.

But that wasn't good enough, was it? Today I grabbed a can of diet coke from my refrigerator (which I keep set on "coldest"), but for some reason the can didn't feel cold. I thought, why not cool it down just a bit more, so I submerged it in the salt water bath for about 1 or 2 minutes. I took my lunch and soda (unopened) over to the coffee table where I could eat and upgrade the software on the Mac mini.

When I opened the can I was stunned by the force of the explosion of sticky nectar that erupted from the can. The blast radius (about 5 feet) was remarkable really. I hurriedly tried to contain the damage as the fluid soaked into my computer keyboard, my remote controls, my coffee table, and my floor. The cleanup took at least 10 minutes, as I continued to find spots on every piece of furniture and floor in the vicinity. If detectives tried to re-create the crime scene, they'd sound like this (I've been trying to figure out how to work that link into a post for a few days now).

I kept thinking while I was cleaning it up, that I had to blog about it, but thought it would be more appropriate on Joe's blog.

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Lessig at University of Pennsylvania

I almost went to Philly last weekend. I was going to see some old friends, but I also wanted to go see Larry Lessig's talk at UPenn. I ended up not going, but thanks to the internet, I still get to see it. This talk seems very good despite reusing material from previous ones, and it underscores the importance for Pennsylvania to vote for Barack Obama. I almost wish I still lived there so that I could vote for him there (his win in Virginia didn't seem nearly as important as this PA primary is). If you have any doubt that Obama should be the Democratic nominee, or if you still believe Clinton should be, please take the time to watch.

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The Dude and I

I'm stealing the title of this post from an EW article. It is a decent article. I often wonder if the people who don't like The Big Lebowski just haven't seen it enough. The EW article acknowledges that repeat viewings definitely improve one's appreciation of what a masterpiece it is. I wonder if that is true for all cult classics?

My advice, is if you didn't like it the first time, watch it again. If you like it just a tiny bit better the second time, then give it a third viewing. Maybe people who still don't like it after repeat viewings don't have an ounce of "the dude" in their personality.

I guess I don't have more to say than that. I mean, I could go on and on about it, but I don't want to bore you.

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I Need a Life (According to McCain)

I found McCain's "Bomb Iran Joke" very distasteful. I don't see how joking about bombing anybody can be in good taste. He claims it is OK to make such jokes in the company of fellow veterans in this clip, and that if anybody goesn't "get that", then they should "get a life."

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Why Facebook Might Be a Bad Thing

Aside from the countless cumulative hours updating status messages, throwing sheep, biting chumps, and playing scrabulous, there is another reason why I should consider deleting my Facebook account–it is brutal!

While I probably don't have the highest self esteem in the world, it also isn't completely in the gutter either. I think I have a somewhat realistic view of myself... or do I? According to applications on Facebook, 2 out of 74 people "would date me". It also says my weaknesses are listening and being entertaining... Ugh. Worse yet are what my "strengths" are punctuality, helpfulness, and ability to drink the most! Ok, the first two are OK, but why do I want to be known as a drunk?

Fortunately I don't put too much stock in it. I don't see myself as an undateable boring drunk who can't listen; but if you believe Facebook, that is the way my friends see me.

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