August 2006

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Blessings in Disguise

So, today I decided to tackle the stains on the upholstery in the living room. We have a little carpet cleaner thingy that we got when we adopted Becky which works well for cleaning up all sorts of her messes. So I went to work with the noisy machine on her chair, to make it at least acceptable for company.

While I’m cleaning away, I glance over at the dog, who looks most unhappy about me taking over her chair and making it all fresh smelling. As I back up to examine my progress, I look down at her feet and see what she’s unhappy about. Three different piles of fresh vomit on the living room rug.

Being an optomistic person, I think that this is my lucky day! I can suck that sick right up! No worries about that leaving a stain.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:50 pm     Curious News

The Inventive Mind

When I was a kid I invented a few things.

One of them was noise cancelling technology. Okay, I never built a prototype or anything, but I made some pictures. This invention came in 9th grade after a science lab where we took long springs out into the hallway and created waveforms by having one student hold one end and wiggle it and another student hold the other end. Many of us quickly saw that you could cancel out your partners wave by creating an equal and opposite one.

I mulled it over and then told the teacher several days later that it would be possible to create a machine that would create equal and opposite sound waves to effectively dampen loud noises. These machines would be installed on cars, jackhammers and pile drivers.

My invention became noise cancelling headphones, of which I own a pair, and paid retail and received no royalties from Bose or Sony. I still think that masking the noise at the source is a better idea.

I didn’t get any extra credit for this. I don’t even think I got an A in the class.

imageLater in Advanced Bio in my senior year we studied bacteriophages, which are a kind of virus. They’re pretty cool, and the picture in our textbook showed that they looked like the Apollo Lunar Lander. A little module with some legs sticking off of it. The bacteriophage would land on a bacteria and then insert its genetic core and then take over the bacteria as an incubation unit until it would finally burst with new bacteriophages.

I suggested later in class that this could be used to fight diseases, since the bacteriophage was so specific to killing only bacteria (and not human cells) that we could just inject into people and let them keep us clean. It was pointed out that the bacteriophages are usually pretty targeted and not a broad-spectrum antibiotic like I hoped. Then I suggested that they could be used as a disinfectant, in tablet form for drinking water in places like Africa with chronic water contamination problems. But the teacher kind of moved on from there to the next class assignment. (Our textbook and the books in our library did not reveal to me the degree to which bacteriophages were being examined for these same purposes, so I can still say I got the idea in a vaccum. If nothing else, it might make a good basis for a SciFi movie.)

But here it is, 2006 and the FDA has actually approved the use of bacteriophages to fight listeria on lunchmeats.

Oh, my other invention was a low-sodium celery. My grandmother was on a low-sodium diet and couldn’t eat celery. So I came up with a way to use reverse osmosis to draw the excessive sodium out of the celery before market. I couldn’t guarantee that the taste would be the same though.

Of course I probably had some other wacky ideas which were not only no good, but probably so poorly conceived that I no longer remember them. Until they become practical and profitable, of course.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:46 am    

Friday, August 18, 2006

I Joined a Cult

imageI am loathe to follow fashion, but sometimes something that “everyone is doing” is just a good idea.

Last night I bought a bike.

Part of my hesitation about biking in LA is that I’m afraid of being hit by a car. But the new trendiness of biking, I think, is helping to increase awareness of bikers as part of the normal flow of traffic.

The other thing that’s kept me from buying a bike is that freakishly steep hill that I live on. So, as a compromise, I bought a starter bike. If it doesn’t work out, you might see a craigslist link posted here very soon. But if it does work out, you also might see a craigslist post here very soon as I upgrade!

Actually, if this one works out okay I’ll probably trick it out with some fenders (since I’ll be commuting), a pannier or saddlebags, a kickstand (because I don’t like leaning my bike on stuff) and maybe one of those tall flags (I can get it custom printed with the candy blog logo!).

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:02 am     Curious News

Monday, August 14, 2006

Straight from the Source

A few weeks ago Sean Bonner posted about Google News and their screwy, secret and inconsistent policy for including blogs as new sources.

All of the Metblog sites should be added. Granted, not every post is news, but when it comes to big stories like Katrina, London Tube Bombings and Mumbia train bombings as well as the Pakistan Earthquakes and web censorship by the government in Saudi Arabia ... the sites are all over that stuff.

But the thing is that they’re not consistent (which you know is a pet peeve of mine), so I decided to see if I could get Candy Blog listed as a news source.

First try, I was turned down for the following reason:

“we currently only include sites with news articles that report on recent events.”

Okee dokee, I can understand that. But I started thinking about what I read there ... things like movie reviews and regurgitation of press releases and of course recipes. So why isn’t a candy review considered a recent event? My photos are original and many of the products are new ... why is that so different from a soft profile piece about an actor in a TV show? A fan site for Stargate SG-1 and Celebrity Babies are listed! Even the satirical Australian site called The Chaser gets in.

Second try, so I submitted again with an angle towards comparing my site to movie reviews and I got back:

“We don’t include sites that are written and maintained by individuals.”

So there you have it ... I guess since I’m taking my own photos, I’ve done myself in. If I’ve got no editor, I’m not worthy. I looked around a bit and only found one site run by an individual (, but you know, I didn’t look at all 4,500 sources or anything.

Now, if you think differently, you’re free to tell them that you’d like to see me included on Google News. Of course you could also tell them to include the Metblogs sites too.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:09 pm    

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Just the Vacation Facts

Total Miles: 1,866
Gallons of Gas Consumed: 38 (about $125.00)

Drove from Los Angeles to Ukiah
Highest Temp: 117 - somewhere near Richmond, CA

Hiked Founders Loop - Avenue of the Giants
Hiked Trinidad Head - Trinidad
Miles Hiked: 3
Dinner: Seascape (Trinidad)
Highest Temperature: 97 (Avenue of the Giants)

Hiked Fern Canyon
Hiked Founder’s Grove
Miles Hiked: 4
Dinner: Larrupin’ Cafe (Trinidad)
Highest Temperature:

Hiked Klamath River Overlook - Requa/Klamath
Hiked Yurok Village Loop/Hidden Beach - Klamath
Hiked Trinidad Beach - Trinidad
Miles Hiked: 4
Dinner: Abruzzi (Arcata)
Highest Temperature: 73

Drove from Trinidad to Olema
Highest Temp: 93 (Cotati)

Pt. Reyes Lighthouse
Limantour Point Beach & Spit
Dinner: Olema Inn
Miles Hiked: 3
Highest Temp: 82

Hiked some other Fern Canyon at the Bird Center
Hiked Palomarin Bluff Trail
Bioluminescence Kayak Tour
Highest Temp: 78

Drove to San Francisco via Highway 1
Walked to Ferry Terminal Building
Dinner: Rue St. Jacques (Nob Hill)
Highest Temp: 73

Drove to Los Angeles
Highest Temp: 98 (Buttonwillow)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:52 am    

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I am not a store

Contrary to what many googlers must think, Candy Blog is not a store.

I do not sell anything.

I am not a candy company.

I do not have a catalog.

Please don’t send me your address.

Please do not try to place orders.

Please don’t ask me about gluten or manfucturing procedures.

While we’re at it, I have no need for your tin manufacturing facilities in China nor your wonderful processed coconut products from Thailand.

I know that this series of statements may cut down on the amount of email I get ... well, so be it.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:21 pm     Curious News













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During November it's all about me writing a novel. Sometimes it's about whalewatching. You know, and then there's other stuff.