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Tums As Candy

I don’t get heartburn often, but when I do, I eat way more Tums than I need. I can’t help myself. They’re delicious.

“Why wait for the heartburn?” I found myself wondering. What if I just ate Tums like candy?

It turns out there is good reason not to. They aren’t inherently dangerous, but they do they’re job well. They neutralize stomach acids, which in turn, makes it harder for us to digest food properly. It also makes us more susceptible to food-born pathogens that would typically be killed in our stomachs.

So if you find yourself craving fruit flavored chalkboard dust as much as I do, you might want to make sure you’ve mustered up a good belly full of bile before throwing back the antacids.

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Is Bread an OK Meal?

Just eat bread for a meal

(Not Jesus)

It’s doubtful this post is going to apply to many of your lives, because I don’t know anyone else that would choose to just eat bread for lunch. But I do it sometimes. I’ve always been that guy at restaurants who scarfs down the pre-dinner basket of bread and asks for more, sometimes twice. Do you ever find it odd Panera gives you a side of baguette with your sandwich? Not me. I find it awesome. I just really like bread. So now that our office building sits adjacent to an Italian bakery, it has become a frequent form of sustenance. I’ll buy a loaf of Ciabatta, eat half of it for lunch, and then finish it the next day.

My wife thinks it’s unhealthy, and that I’m “shaving years off my life”, so I checked into it. As far as I can tell, I’m good. In fact, even if I ate nothing but bread, I could go six weeks without getting sick. Then I’d get scurvy from lack of vitamin C and my body would slowly dissolve into mush. But a quick glass of O.J. and I’m back on my feet. So I plan to keep enjoying my loaves. Besides, it has to be better for you than eating nothing but meat. Like Jesus said, “Man can not live on bread alone,” but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a meal of it every now and then.

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How To Clean French Press

how to clean french press tambarooOur Keurig is on the fritz, so I bought a French Press the other day. It makes great coffee, but I’m afraid to pour the grounds down the drain because our house is old and the pipes are prone to clogging. Trying to dump the grounds in the trash is nearly impossible though. They all stick to the bottom of the pot, and if I bang it any harder against the trash can it’s going to shatter. I needed to find a better solution, but these are the only good suggestions I could find:

  • Rinse the grounds out by pouring them through a sieve, or a disposable coffee filter.
  • Use a spatula to scoop them into the trash.
  • Swirl some water in there and dump the grounds outside.
  • Purchase a device called the tambaroo.
I was hoping for some trick that didn’t involve any other equipment. Dumping outside comes closest, alas, it involves going outside. The tambaroo seems pretty cool, but I probably won’t buy it simply because I’m miserly. Maybe I’ll just stick to using the French Press on special occasions. Besides, during this search I discovered that drinking French Press is bad for your cholesterol, and I don’t want to be stuck eating Cheerios® for the rest of my adulthood.
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Moonshine Blindness

moonshine bottleI bottled my first batch of home-brewed beer this weekend. The brewing process is actually pretty gross when you think about it. It’s essentially sugar water that has been infected with a fungus. You leave it in a bucket at room temperature to fester for a week and then bottle it up. The fungus eats the sugar and “relieves itself” into the brew, producing the alcohol and carbonation. Then you drink it.

As I was putting the caps on the bottles I started wondering if anything in there could make me sick, after all, the only other home-made booze I could think of will blind you.

To figure out if I was at risk of blindness, I learned how moonshine is made, and found there are three dangerous substances that can potentially make their way into the finished product: Radiator fluid and lead are the first two, and are accidentally introduced by people trying to save money by using old car radiators in their stills. The third thing is toxic additives. These are intentionally added by unscrupulous distillers to fake the alcohol content of the drink. According to How Stuff Works, “these could include manure, embalming fluid, bleach, rubbing alcohol and even paint thinner.”

None of these dangers pertain to beer. What I was really worried about though was bacteria. Just to be sure about the safety of my brew, I asked a friend who has been brewing for years. He said he’s only ended up with one bad batch, and advised me to pour it out if I found myself sipping on a putrid black sludge.

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Has Anybody Won The Lottery From A Fortune Cookie

Fortune Cookie LotteryFortune Cookies are probably my second favorite Chinese food, right after Egg Rolls. They are a fun way to finish a meal, and hey, free dessert. I had some Chinese this week, and after pondering my happy-happy fortune, I found myself staring at the numbers on the back, wondering if they could be winners.

I found that at least one set of fortune cookie numbers has won in the past. But something I hadn’t thought of is that the numbers on the fortunes aren’t unique. If you were to actually win the jackpot, you’d have to share it with all the other cookie players out there. Powerball officials were forced to launch an investigation back in 2005 after a whopping 110 people all won big bucks playing the same numbers. The reason? You guessed it. LOST. Just kidding. Fortune cookies. But seriously, the same thing happened with the LOST numbers.

On a fun personal note, when I was a kid I used to eat the fortunes after I’d read them. I told people that eating them made them come true, but really it was just an excuse to eat paper. Yep. I was one of those.

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Fusilli: One of 600 types of pasta that taste the same

I did some grocery shopping last weekend, and Fusilli was on the list. I spent 15 minutes reading the boxes in the pasta aisle before I realized they didn’t have it, so I referred to an image search for a descent substitute. It’s a spiral pasta so rotini would work fine, in fact, any pasta would work fine. It’s pasta. Why do we need so many kinds?

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How Many Shapes of Pasta

600! 600 shapes. Now, I understand – and enjoy – variety of texture in my food, but every pasta technically tastes the same. The fact that we can say, “I’m feeling like Penne instead of Ziti tonight,” makes me feel like we’re a bunch of youngins, unable to eat our grilled cheese sandwiches because Mom hasn’t cut them into tiny little triangles. Cutting it doesn’t change the taste lil’ guy.

Are there any other foods where they reshape the exact same ingredients and sell them under different names? Let me know in the comments. I’d google that myself, but I’m not sure how.

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Does Gum Really Take 7 Years To Digest?

I sometimes pop some gum before I go for my morning run.  It doesn’t make MUCH sense, but for some reason, I like to banish my morning breath before I strap on my sneaks and work up a sweat.  After my run, as many people do, I take a shower (this story is about to come together, I swear!).

This past Thursday, I somehow swallowed my gum while I was shampooing my hair.  I threw my head forward, eyes wide, and made a sound deep in my throat like “GRAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!”  Try as I might, I couldn’t coax the wintergreen wad out of my esophagus, and so I was forced to face the terrifying reality: that little shit was going to be in my system for 7 YEARS!

Or wait, was that a…?  Wasn’t that a myth?  Maybe not… It’s ridiculous!  7 years! Ha!  Right?  There’s no way… Right?

To Google!

The practical answer is: Yeah, load of garbage.

The technical answer is: Well, gum IS made up mostly of stuff that flat out isn’t digestible.  Which sounds scary, but actually isn’t.  As Snopes.Com’s Mrs. Mikkelson so eloquently puts it:

“Gum is eliminated as human waste in the same way, and at the same rate, as any other swallowed matter.  Granted, it comes out the far end relatively unchanged by the trip, but it does come out on schedule.”  (

(see also: corn kernels)

Speaking of scary, my search also turned up this great question:

“Does gum really take 7 years to SWALLOW?!?” (caps mine)

Just think about it.  That would be hell, right?  Should be a Harry Potter curse.  Septus Tridentus!

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What’s In Chicken McNuggets

“See if you can handle the 20 piece nugget,” I suggest to my coworker Troy as he tries to decide what to get from McDonalds. But he tells me he can’t eat them anymore after seeing a picture online of what they are made from. He says if I can find the picture he saw, I’d never touch them again either.

It wasn’t hard to find, and let’s admit, yes, that looks heinously disgusting… but if that goop tastes half as good as the finished product, give me a straw and some honey mustard. Those nuggets are too delicious to boycott on account of being made from some chemical-laden animal by-pudding. So keep squirting that crap into your 4-shape mold, Ronald. I’m partial to the one that looks like a boot.

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