Want something slightly exotic for Thanksgiving, but not too exotic? Time is tunning out, but there is an interesting alternative to a simple ham or turkey, and I’m not talking about tofurkey.

It’s turducken– a turkey stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken.

Although it also sounds like a Pokemon name.

ASH: Turducken! I choose you!!
TURDUCKEN: Turducken!!!

Stuffed Camel goes one step further- it’s a whole camel, stuffed with a whole lamb, stuffed with 20 whole chickens, each stuffed with 3 eggs. This from a book called International Cuisine (California Home Economics Teachers, 1983 (ISBN 0-89626-051-8)), but it’s also copied on the web all over the place.

I know the idea is the flavors transfer, but come on people… I am very skeptical that the eggs are going to have a camel flavor.

It actually seems to me that turducken is cheating a little bit- all the recipes I have seen involve cooking the components and then assembling them… which doesn’t really let the flavors mingle together at all.

Example: a mirepoix of chopped celery, onion, and carrot can be made into a bed on which to cook meat, for example pork. In some recipes, the vegetables are thrown away after cooking, because their flavor has already infused into the meat. The budget-conscious chefs I know who do this instead take the vegetables and make a low-cal snack with them- the vegetables are now slightly pork-flavored, but still low in fat.

But the point of that recipe is the flavor transfer. How much turkey flavor is in the chicken in the center of a turducken? I dunno.

Cold Hot Chocolate

This really happened to us in Tokyo:

BRIAN: one hot chocolate please
BARISTA: hot or cold?
BRIAN: What? what are you talking about?
BARISTA: do you want your drink hot or cold?
BRIAN: What the hell are you talking about? How can you have a cold hot chocolate?
AARON: Whoa there.
BRIAN: I mean a cold hot chocolate is just chocolate milk!!!
AARON: He wants it hot.
BARISTA: Hot! Thank you!
AARON: And I would like a lemonade.
BARISTA: Hot or cold?

Moment of Zen #9 – Britney

BRIAN: I wish MTV would expose their schedule as a web service [for Sherlock]
BRIAN: their entries in TV Guide are notoriously inaccurate.
RAND: you watch too much mtv
BRIAN: I wish I could… they rarely show videos!
BRIAN: that’s what I want the schedule for
RAND: yeah, have it page you whenever a new britney video comes on
BRIAN: britney is soiled
RAND: I so don’t care
RAND: did you hear playboy made her an offer?
BRIAN: madonna’s mouth has been on her
BRIAN: I feel yucky looking at her now
RAND: she was used
RAND: like that little boy at neverland ranch

1421 Chinese discovered america

Home page for the book and the ongoing research surrounding it.

Okay, it seems a little far-fetched, and I’m not completely sold on the American colony of Chinese people part, but there are some really interesting verifiable factoids in this book.

For example, the Ming “Treasure Fleets” which were designed to bring the entire world into the Chinese “tribute system” and which basically bankrupted China. A large failing of the Fleet was the lack of markets- just as in 1946, there was only one industrial power and no markets to sell to. In the fifteenth century, the rest of the world was still mostly in the dark ages.

My to-do list from this book:

  • go to Patagonia
  • eat Fusang (S. America)
  • See the Stone of Letters on the Cape Verde Islands (Janela, Africa)
  • eat blue eggs (s. America)
  • learn more about Venetian explorer Niccolo da Conti
  • plant maize, beans, and squash all together

Also, Dr John Furry of the Natural History Museum of Norther California is studying a Chinese junk wrecked in a sandbank in the Sacramento River. Furthermore Gavin Menzies postulates there was a Chinese colony of decended from the Treasure Ships here in the bay area.

The web site is pretty extensive. It is intended to be a hub for all the news of evidence and studies verifying the (very large number of) claims made by this book.

Avenues of investigation not listed on their site:

  • the remains of the now-extinct warrah, a fox found on the Falkland Islands, could be tested for similarities in DNA to Chinese dogs, to verify the dogs’ escape there
  • rubbings or pictures from the “Malayam” inscribed on the Stone of Letters, a marking of explorers
  • rubbings or pictures from the Aboriginal Austrailian carving at Hawkesbury River (north of Sydney, Australia), depicting “Visitors” (ostensibly Chinese)
  • rubbings or pictures from the Ruapuke stone, at the mouth of the Torei Palma Rivier at Whaingaroa (North Island, New Zealand)
  • …for that matter, photos of all the artifacts associated with the Ruapuke wreck


The collector

About a guy who obsesses over a girl he admires from afar… one day he kidnaps her and keeps her captive in his basement. Made into a movie in 1965.

For an exercise in why indexing the internet is next to impossible, try to find this book without knowing the author’s name. I dare ya.