Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Laser Cooling

Warning: geek post below

One of the podcasts I listen to is TVO's Big ideas (site, podcast). Big Ideas is a series on Ontario public television that is devoted to lectures and lecturers. They put out a podcast once a week with the last week's lectures. I know - some of you are tuning out right now. That's ok - it's not for everyone. But if you like to learn about stuff it's a good place to start.

The lecture this week is from William D. Phillps from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He talks about laser cooling, among other things. Laser cooling was a term I had heard about but never really understood (how can a laser cool something when all the movies I watch has it heating things up?). I won't claim I understood everything, but I could probably now explain the fundamentals about laser cooling to someone who asked.

Anyways - if you are into physics and like a good lecturer with a goofy laugh, take a listen. It's about an hour long, perfect for washing your car, raking your backyard or your weekly status meeting at work (if you get small ear buds and sit at the back of the room)

I have no idea how long it will be up, so grab it while it's hot.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Granola Time

Hmmmm Granola Tara and I have been eating granola for breakfast these days (well, more Tara than me). We found a great recipe in September issue of Bon Appetit that we've used and improved upon.

If you love granola, give this recipe a shot - it's better then the dried store-bought stuff anyday.

Quick Granola

1 C oats (we have been using quick cook)
1/4 C wheat germ
1/2 C sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 C cashews, broken
1/4 C pecans, broken
1/4 C maple syrup
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1 Tbsp light molasses
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp salt
1/4 C raisins
1/2 C chopped dried apricots

Preheat the oven to 350F

Mix the oats, wheat germ and nuts together in a large bowl.

Whisk the maple syrup, oil, corn syrup, molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a second bowl. Add this mixture to the dry mixture and mix to combine. Spread out over a large baking sheet (rimmed).

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove, stir and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove, stir in fruit and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden.

Remove and let cool on the pan. store in a tupperware container.

Goes well with yogurt, milk or ice cream.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Labour day at the cottage

Tara and I spent another fine Labour day weekend up at the Richards' cottage on lake Memesagamesing.

We arrived Saturday morning and spent the day just hanging out and relaxing. My folks were able to come up for a night (they were camping in Dorset the week previous) so Tara's dad, my dad and myself went to pick up the boat while Tara's mom and my mom went shopping in the local town.

Sunday morning we got up early and headed out fishing. The lake was calm, the sun was bright and fish weren't hungry. We didn't catch much but I didn't mind- I hadn't been fishing with my dad in 15 years and it was good to do it again. We cruised around on the boat afterward, pulling wake boards, water skis and water tubes. We also hit one of the beaches on the lake and hunted for crayfish for bait (and by we I mean Tara and her family - I didn't want to get pinched by those cray fish).
Fishing with my dad Tara skiing Tara and her crayfish friend

We got up even earlier the next morning for fishing and headed to Dave's secret fishing spot. This time the fish were hungry and we snagged a few. I caught a 19 inch large mouth bass. Those crayfish sure came in handy. And nothing tastes as good as freshly caught fish.
Jimmy in the water Me and my big mouth Alissa on the tube

A relaxing afternoon and evening later and it was time to pack up and head home. Too bad we couldn't stay another day, but bills need to be paid and school work won't do itself. Maybe next year we'll stay more then a few days.

(more photos to come)