Posts Categorized: Cultures

Dinner at Milliways

“That’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane…”
— REM, “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Science makes predictions.  If I drop my mouse from my table, it should fall down.  I can test this prediction (and occasionally do — absolutely intentionally, of course) to satisfy my curiosity.  Knowledge of, nor faith in gravity is not a requirement for my mouse to fall.  This is not a Bugs Bunny cartoon.  My dedication to the continuous advancement of science often demands that I test this prediction constantly, and sometimes in the most inconvenient ways. Does an egg obey the law of gravity when I intentionally let it slip from my hand as I take the experimental mass from the fridge?  Does lip balm fall from my pocket as I take a pen out? Will a hard drive hover in mid-air after dropping it?  Unfortunately not.

Having said this, a religious organisation has made a prediction that the world would end today.  6pm on the hour, every hour as each time zone hits that time.  Earthquakes, zombies, the gullibles being beamed up into another dimension.  You know, the works.  The great thing about this is that the same group had predicted the same event back in the mid-90’s and they were wrong then.  From the newscast today, it looks like they’re wrong again.

I won’t go into the “problems and the hows and whys” of such thought and blind faith here, but instead present an odd sense of admiration for this religious organisation.  They had the courage and conviction to proclaim loudly — “This is what we believe, and this is important.  This is our testable prediction!”  Not too many religious groups out there doing that.

If we are to be consistent in this scientific study, we evaluate this theory using the observable experiment we have been presented.  If the prediction fails, the theory is incorrect.  We move on.  The world did not end, there are no zombies walking around, the gullibles are still here.  Will they re-evaluate their theory?  That is a psychological experiment…and I predict the answer is “no.”

At any rate, I’ve had the roast beef sandwich at the Cafe At The End Of The Universe, and it was good.

Happy Mothra’s Day!

The world is a vampire, sent to drain
secret destroyers, hold you up to the flames
and what do I get, for my pain
betrayed desires, and a piece of the game
— “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” (The Smashing Pumpkins)

Happy Mothra’s Day, everyone! I haven’t seen any of the Godzilla movies but I guess that particular subculture had gained enough influence to make Mothra’s Day a mainstream holiday. I was a bit puzzled at first by the gifts exchanged on Mothra’s Day but after realizing that the connection was so obvious, I almost feel ashamed to point it out here.  We exchange flowers and sweets because butterflies are naturally attracted to them. It is our way of honoring Mothra.

Some may say that I have the holiday confused with something they insist is called “Mothers’ Day” and I did give the notion some minor consideration. Looking at the Wikipedia entry for Mothra, I was able to see where the confusion came from.

Wikipedia states that Mothra “is almost always portrayed as a kind and benevolent creature, causing destruction only when acting as protector to her worshipers on Infant Island or to her egg, or as collateral damage while protecting Earth from a greater threat.”

Wikipedia also claims that “Mothra has proven a formidable adversary in combat: in larval form she may use her silken spray to wrap and immobilize an opponent, and has a knack for biting and clinging to foes’ tails. In imago form her powers vary widely from film to film, including very animalistic scratching and dragging, incorporating several bolt and beam weapons in the Heisei era, and often concluding with a poisonous yellow powder (or “scales”) -her last defense.

Mothra is one of the most powerful psychics in the Toho universe. She has had the ability to use this power benevolently, to communicate with humans, or aggressively, to destroy her enemies.” (From Wikipedia entry on Mothra)

Though it may be confusing, be assured that the holiday IS called Mothra’s Day. Any similarities between the formidably protective, poison-spewing, benevolent psychic female authority figure and Mothra are strictly coincidental.

Lenten Dining Guide

A happy start of the Lenten season to all you ash-faces out there!  It’s that time of year again when Catholics all over the world take one more day out of the week to remember El Salvador himself by refraining from eating meat.  With a desire to spread accurate misinformation and the urge to provide a great disservice to the Catholic community, I present a few food suggestions for the pious.

For the Fast-Foodies, there are quite a few fish sandwiches that come to market around this time of year to cater to America’s under-represented Christian community.  There’s also fish and chips served at the FF joints with my convenient favorite being the one from Everest.  If you’re only getting one fish meal for the day, the serving size truly makes it count!

For the out-of-box experience, there’s Stouffer’s Vegetable Lasagna.  Thawed and cooked in the oven for a couple of hours, it provides a wholesome, if carb-laden meal.

For soups, my personal favorite is clam chowder.  Catholics should watch out, however, as some chowder is flavored with tiny bits of bacon which could render the meal unkosher and land you in the box for 5 Hail Mary’s and a game misconduct.

Then there’s the classic Shrimp and Tofu which when prepared well, is quite divine even when served outside Church-mandated seafood days.  Other preferred choices include salmon, lobster, scallops, and calamari, which can make a person forget about the perceived suffering of not eating Cow for a day.  Nothing says reflection and personal sacrifice quite like baked salmon.

For the more adventurous and borderline heretics among us, one can enjoy a serving of SPAM fried rice all the while arguing the definition of “meat” as it relates to the canned product.  At this point, some readers may say “but Allan, what about us culinary-challenged borderline heretics?”  I’ve got you covered.  Order a few regular soft tacos from Taco Bell.  Until a jury decides the difference between “ground beef” and “taco filling,” I don’t think it should count.

If all else fails and none of these suggestions work for you, do what many good Catholics do during lent — wait until midnight and pig out.  Literally.  Until next time, remember that today, nothing says Catholic like a smearing of ash on your forehead dutifully dispensed by trained ministers of ash.  Ash masters, really.  Happy Lenten Dining!