Pixel Scroll 7/5/17 I’m A Yankee Doodle Pixel…Scrolled On The Fifth Of July

(1) PROTECT YOUR BRAND. At the SFWA Blog Shanna Swenson advises “Don’t Tweet Your Rejections”.

Rejection is one of the worst parts of writing. When you get a story or novel rejected by an editor or agent, it stings. Your first instinct may be to go online and seek comfort and commiseration by letting your followers know what you’re going through. But stop and think before you spread the news of your rejection all over social media.

You never know who might be reading what you post. An author’s social media platform can be a selling point, so people considering representing or buying a novel are likely to look you up to see what you post and what your audience is like. Even if they aren’t seeking information on you, publishing is a small world, and you never know what someone might see because someone else liked, shared, commented on, replied to, or retweeted it. It’s safest to assume that anyone you might submit to may see everything you post.

Anything you say in a public forum becomes a part of your image, and do you want to associate rejection with your personal “brand”? But it’s not just about image. It’s about strategy. When you inform potential buyers that someone else doesn’t want something you’ve produced, you make it less valuable. It’s human nature to value things more when they’re in demand and less when others don’t want it.

(2) ALTERNATIVE HISTORY THINGIE. Jo Lindsay Walton asks us to “Imagine if one day I actually finished this novel”.

What if Beyonce Knowles had not been tragically taken from us at the age of only twenty-four? Would she have continued to grow and flourish as an artist? Or would she have reposed comfortably into a middle-of-the-road R&B career trajectory? What kind of world might we live in today? This story is not about that.

As seasons have given way to seasons, my belly has grown less of liability. There is still something hidden beyond its curvature. There is still some genital structure ever beyond the horizon, whose properties I can only infer from the beliefs of the girlfriends who mount its numinous ink. But the belly which I once dragged around with me shamefully crashes before me gloriously. My belly announces me, tugs me laughingly by my hand along by white-flowered hedgerows. It is as if my whole life often is no more than a small pretty pink ribbon flapping in the wake of the one boulder that finally manages to mows into Indiana Jones.

I would like to nominate as the title of such a novel The Leftover Pre-incarnation Lives of Mycroft Canner. Just a thought.

(3) SPEAKING OF MYCROFT. Standback hopes you will read his essay about the themes and social dynamics in Too Like The Lightning which, like all Gaul, is divided into three parts:

Too Like The Lightning constructs a utopian society?—?but not one it thinks can survive. It plots the course of that society’s collapse?—?but not because they did anything wrong.

Consolidation, here, is when a system starts out with a bunch of different agents, competing and cooperating and interacting between them, and gradually evolves into a system with only a few major actors, each stronger and more solid than before.

Though it is seldom directly in focus, much of the underlying structure of Too Like The Lightning portrays this process of consolidation. Terra Ignota’s society began with a near-infinite assortment of options and identities….

In our previous parts, we discussed the thought experiment of a pluralistic utopia?—?and Too Like The Lightning’s conclusion that peaceful coexistence is an inherently unstable social structure.

And yet, while it can be doleful, it is not bleak. An invigorating current of optimism runs through Too Like The Lightning, and completes its theme.

(4) CROC OF THE WALK. Madagascar was a tough neighborhood in the Jurassic.

A giant ancient crocodile which measured 24 feet in length and possessed razor sharp T-Rex teeth was once the top predator in Jurassic Madagascar, a new study has found.

But unlike modern crocodiles, this killer beast walked on its hind feet as it hunted prey or scavenged for food….

(5) GENTLE GIANT. On the other hand, Atlas Obscura says the dinosaurs of the Cenozoic period can be very cute: “Fall in Love With the World’s First Animated Dinosaur”.

In February 1914, [Winsor] McCay debuted “Gertie the Dinosaur” on the vaudeville circuit. Created from over 10,000 drawings, “Gertie” became an instant hit. It is often credited as being the first animation to feature a character with a distinct personality and as the first work of key frame animation.

In his vaudeville act, McCay would walk onto the stage with a whip, calling out for Gertie. The cartoon started playing. McCay gave Gertie a series of commands, which she then performed in-screen.


(5) LOADS OF QUESTIONS. Podcaster Shaun Duke will be a very busy fellow when the NASFiC starts in Puerto Rico tomorrow: “My NASFiC / San Juan 2017 Schedule and Podcast Interviews”.  This is just part of his schedule:

  • TH 18:00 – San Geronimo   Social Justice and SFF: It’s been there from the beginning.
    • Social Justice Warriors are destroying SFF with these new-fangled ideas! Um, no. SFF has always been used as a tool to examine social and political issues. Come discuss how works like 1984, Brave New World, Animal Farm, and the Handmaid’s Tale explore oppressive regimes, and what, if any hope SFF can give us. (bilingual)
    • Panelists:  Shaun Duke, Marie Guthrie (m), Isabel Schechter, Javier Grillo-Marxuach
  • FR 11:00 – San Geronimo   A Chat with Tobias Buckell
    • Shaun Duke interviews GoH Tobias Buckell
    • Panelists:  Tobias S. Buckell, Shaun Duke
  • FR 13:00 – San Cristobal   Whitewashing and White Savior Fail: How did Benedict, Tilda, and ScarJo become people of color?
    • Avatar, the James Cameron version and the Last Airbender one. The new Star Trek 2nd movie. Doctor Strange. Ghost in the Shell. Iron Fist. These and more feature POC characters, yet when they are made into movies and tv, the actors cast are always white. Let’s discuss why this is and why representation matters. (bilingual)
    • Panelists:  Shaun Duke, Isabel Schechter (m), Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Pablo Vazquez


Dr. Seuss wrote the book Green Eggs and Ham after his publisher bet him $50 that couldn’t write a book using only 50 words. (Source: Wikipedia)

(7) ONE THOUSAND AND ONE. When John W. Campbell started Unknown, L. Ron Hubbard asked him for exclusive rights to submit stories written in the world of the Arabian Nights. Are today’s readers that aware of Islamic fantasy traditions? Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad thinks not — “This is the Muslim tradition of sci-fi and speculative fiction”.

Think invisible men, time travel, flying machines and journeys to other planets are the product of the European or ‘Western’ imagination? Open One Thousand and One Nights – a collection of folk tales compiled during the Islamic Golden Age, from the 8th to the 13th centuries CE – and you will find it stuffed full of these narratives, and more.

Western readers often overlook the Muslim world’s speculative fiction. I use the term quite broadly, to capture any story that imagines the implications of real or imagined cultural or scientific advances. Some of the first forays into the genre were the utopias dreamt up during the cultural flowering of the Golden Age. As the Islamic empire expanded from the Arabian peninsula to capture territories spanning from Spain to India, literature addressed the problem of how to integrate such a vast array of cultures and people. The Virtuous City (al-Madina al-fadila), written in the 9th century by the scholar Al-Farabi, was one of the earliest great texts produced by the nascent Muslim civilisation. It was written under the influence of Plato’s Republic, and envisioned a perfect society ruled by Muslim philosophers – a template for governance in the Islamic world.

As well as political philosophy, debates about the value of reason were a hallmark of Muslim writing at this time. The first Arabic novel, The Self-Taught Philosopher (Hayy ibn Yaqzan, literally Alive, Son of Awake), was composed by Ibn Tufail, a Muslim physician from 12th-century Spain. The plot is a kind of Arabic Robinson Crusoe, and can be read as a thought experiment in how a rational being might learn about the universe with no outside influence. It concerns a lone child, raised by a gazelle on a remote island, who has no access to human culture or religion until he meets a human castaway. Many of the themes in the book – human nature, empiricism, the meaning of life, the role of the individual in society – echo the preoccupations of later Enlightenment-era philosophers, including John Locke and Immanuel Kant.

(8) LIVING OUT STORIES. A group believes live-action role playing can be used to break stereotypes about Palestine, and as a means of social and cultural exchange — “LARP in Palestine: let’s challenge the reality with fiction”.

…Over the past 6 years, a group of volunteers have been coming together to build a Larp community in Palestine with support from Nordic Larpers. “Birth of Larp in the Arab World” is a book summarizing our projects both in Arabic and English.

Using Larp, We played many stories : Finland was occupied (check out Halat Hisar). Hundred of kids were pretending to be animals, and fighting oppressive lions with magical water balloons. A wedding between a Palestinian girl and a Norwegian man (see here). A man was killed by his sister because he had a relationship with another girl. Children with superhero’s powers are attending a boarding school. A tribe that lived in Jericho 3,000 years ago and used dancing battles as a mean to solve conflicts. And many other stories…

Learn more about us in this feature in This Week in Palestine here.

Larp is a tool for participatory storytelling that allows us to be whatever we want. We believe in using Larp as an effective tool to promote dialogue and participatory art.

Our Larp community took the decision to institutionalize itself in a non-profit organization called Bait Byout. Bait Byout is the Arabic name for the role-playing kids play pretending to be adults. Bait Byout aims at contributing to a free society through creating positive impact in the lives of individuals using creative and critical tools within an entertaining, loving and safe space for everyone….

(9) LEGO ADS WIN AWARDS. Adweek has “The Story Behind Lego’s Brilliant Print Ads From the Cannes Festival”.

Lego makes some of the most delightful advertising around, and this series of print ads from Ogilvy Bangkok are just about perfect, from concept to execution.

The work, which won three silver Lions (in Print & Publishing and Outdoor) and a bronze (in Design) at the Cannes festival last month, shows kids literally envisioning their future careers by building them from the inside with Legos.

The tagline: “Build the future.”


(10) HE’S NOT CHICKEN. Gina Ippolito, in a Yahoo piece called “Hodor Can’t Hold Off The Lunch Crowd In New KFC Commercial Inspired by ‘Game of Thrones'”, says that all sorts of advertisers, including KFC and a weird Icelandic vodka, are eager to hire Game of Thrones actors to hawk their products.

A new KFC commercial starring Kristian Nairn, aka Hodor from Game of Thrones, has the actor reenacting a scene from the famous “Hold the Door” episode of the show.

In the commercial, Nairn fretfully looks at the clock because lunchtime is coming and he knows there will be crowds. As hungry people file in, all shouting that they want “chicken and fries,” it all becomes too much for Nairn, who repeats “chicken and fries” over and over with a faraway look in his eyes, eventually turning the phrase into “chicken and rice.” The spot is a play on the heartbreaking revelation on Game of Thrones about how Hodor came to be known as Hodor — and why it’s the only word he seems to be able to speak.

(11) ANOTHER SUPERHERO COMMERCIAL. When they’re clever, they’re a lot of fun.

(12) SPIELBERG REVIVAL. Director Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind to celebrate 40th anniversary in theaters” says SyFy.

What is not clear is which version of the movie will be re-released. There are three: the original 135-minute theatrical version, a 132-minute “Special Edition” and a 137-minute “Collector’s Edition” cut, which Spielberg says is his preferred version.

The director is not a huge fan of either the original cut or the Special Edition, so it seems likely that the Collector’s Edition, which he calls his definitive version, is the one that would get reissued (I would take either the original or the Collector’s Edition; the Special Edition — for which Columbia Pictures wrongly insisted that Spielberg include a look inside the alien mothership — I could do without).

The Collector’s Edition was created primarily for home video release and given only a very limited theatrical run in 1999, so now would be a chance for it to reach a wider audience (and probably promote sales of a new Blu-ray reissue as well).

For fans of this masterpiece — one of Spielberg’s best films, and regularly listed as one of the top sci-fi movies of all time — seeing a fresh new theatrical print on the big screen will be a terrific way to celebrate the movie’s 40th anniversary.

(13) COMIC CON BOOSTS READING. Denver Business Journal’s Monica Mendoza, in “Denver Comic Con draws 115,000, packs a $10 million economic punch”,  notes that Denver Comic Con, held on June 30-July 2, is a subsidiary of a nonprofit, Pop Culture Classroom, which encourages literacy among Denver residents.

Pop Culture Classroom had an idea of hosting a comic convention to raise money for its organization and get children interested in reading. In its first year, there were 30,000 attendees to the convention that features comic book, science fiction and fantasy writers and artists. There are comic cons around the world and more than 20 in cities across the U.S.

(14) PUSH-BACK. It’s a good thing Denver’s local Comic Con is doing so well, because Mile Hi Comics (which calls itself “America’s Largest Comics dealer” and had space at the Denver con held a week ago) has given up on San Diego Comic-Con after 44 years of involvement.

To explain a bit more, my first little one-table booth in 1973 cost $40 to rent for the weekend. When we received our booth renewal for last year, our costs for our 70′ of space had been raised to over $18,000. While quite costly, that one factor alone would not have precluded us from returning, as we had paid $16,500 in rent the previous year.

What made the situation nearly impossible, however, was that foot traffic in the exhibit hall declined dramatically last year. Even at its peak on Saturday afternoon, our end of the building (which was primarily comics) was uncrowded. The San Diego Fire Marshals were partially to blame, as they put much stricter controls on the number of badge holders allowed in the building at any given time. That might not have been such a bad idea, except that it amplified the harm already being caused by the incredible proliferation of off-site events that are now being set up for upwards of eight blocks all around the convention center. When you can see GAME OF THRONES, POKEMON, and hundreds of other exhibits across from the convention hall for free, why bother going in to the hall? Many fans did not.

(15) A WRITER’S DEDUCTIONS. Tax planning pro tip:

He also gets to deduct all his purchases of faster-than-light spacecraft and red velour shirts

(16) WHITEFAIL. Not sure how I only scored 31 points Buzzfeed’s 100-question quiz: “How Stereotypically White Are You?” Maybe I need to drink more, because I could not truthfully say I ever drunkenly sang the lyrics to an Elton John song, though I’ve done that plenty of times cold sober.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Standback, Cat Eldridge, and mlex for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Arie Quinn.]

134 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/5/17 I’m A Yankee Doodle Pixel…Scrolled On The Fifth Of July

  1. I once had strawberry jello with diced beets in it. It sounds horrible, but it actually tasted absolutely amazing (but then i also like beets).

  2. World Weary on July 6, 2017 at 4:34 pm said:
    It’s not useless, but it’s not as useful as they’re selling it as being. For me, it wouldn’t answer the questions I want answers to (there’s a set of third-great-grandparents where I was lucky to find even a marriage record with her last name, and a fourth-great-grandfather who connects somehow to a Connecticut family, but we’re missing at least one generation – that one is DNA-based through a distant cousin).

  3. I would have scored much, much higher had the questions been based on pop culture of the appropriate generation. And Jello salads. I am from entirely Northwestern European stock both ancestrally and culturally. Seriously, the farthest south and west my ancestors came from is Germany. My brother was assumed to be a local in Norway. Color-wise, I’m nearly translucent. I am WHITE.

    Fishing is not a white thing, country music is not an all-white-people thing (shouldn’t they have asked about classical too?). I have neither chicken danced nor line danced, nor square danced except when required in gym.

    Yet it is nearly impossible to be any more upper-middle-class WASP American than me. It did identify the brand of athletic shoe I was wearing.

    I propose a gathering of Old White Filers, where we’ll all bring Jello salads made from mom’s recipe, listen to 60s-70s White Music, watch Monty Python, and tell the Buzzfeed kids to stay off our lawn while we remain indoors.

    @Harold Osler: skating close to two tacky stereotypes, one white and one PoC.

    I can see not insulting editors who rejected you (unless they were abusive, in which case go right ahead), but posting that you’ve been rejected seems okay as long as you’re not doing it all the time to the exclusion of everything else, or if you’re whiny/entitled about it. Calling out ridiculous/no response times ought to be done as a service to others.

    I am putting moderate amounts of stuff below NA on my ballot, and not just the Usual Suspects. I mean, of course they’re where they belong, but a lot of other things, I’m all “Why is this on the ballot? It’s not even good, let alone great!”

    @World Weary: good article. I would be Prof. Marks isn’t any percentage of Korean at all. Sure, anything’s possible, but how many Korean Ashkenazi Jews are there?

  4. adding to the pile on @PhilRM: one of the actors in Spamalot told NPR that when he was commended on knowing his lines he told the director “I’ve been off-book since I was 12”. It opened in 2005, so he might be 40 now — but the ~high-school audience at the performance I saw in 2006 all seemed to know and appreciate everything that was copied rather than new (e.g., “A Song Like This” or “He’s Gay”).

  5. @World Weary: There are a lot of scammy companies out there advertising DNA tests right now, but only a few that are remotely reputable. That’s one reason I wonder who Marks tested with; I’ve had to talk more than one person out of buying from one of the useless companies.

    We’re very much in the stage of building the initial databases, and the big players in the testing game are just now starting to reach a critical mass of people tested. The Genetic Communities recently unveiled by Ancestry is the same basic idea as the Genographic Project in a more recent time frame. They’re taking the DNA result, combining them with the tested individual’s family tree, and analyzing how it clusters. I can pull up my communities and examine the migration paths the various groups took across the country.

    We already have similar distributions mapped out for mitochondrial DNA and Y DNA, which do the African diaspora.

  6. @lurkertype:

    how many Korean Ashkenazi Jews are there?

    5% is low enough to be noise. An example from my own ethnicity estimate: in addition to Europe West and Great Britain, I have five regions ranging from 10% down to 1%. The error bars on all five are large enough that any of them could be 0%.

  7. Lurkertype, I would happily attend that party, but I will bring a casserole made with canned soup, along with a meatloaf. We can’t only eat salads after all. We can finish it off with my favorite jello salad, which was cherry mixed with whip cream and real cherries, or that queen of desserts, pineapple upside-down cake made from box yellow cake mix. Of course, if we’re having a picnic, we’ll need a nice elbow macaroni salad made with Miracle Whip.

    I might have to cook this weekend. I’m having a hankering for some of these foods from childhood.

  8. pineapple upside-down cake made from box yellow cake mix
    There’s another kind? (Ours used drained crushed pineapple, spread on top of the brown sugar/melted butter layer on the bottom of the pan, and the pineapple juice went into the cake.)

  9. World Weary: We can finish it off with my favorite jello salad, which was cherry mixed with whip cream and real cherries

    Ooo, that was one of my favorites, too — but you can’t forget the graham cracker crust.

  10. Re: Spider-Man driving. While Peter Parker did have a motorbike for a while, Spider-Man did have the infamous Spider-Mobile, a dune buggy looking car built for him by Johnny (Human Torch) Storm to fulfill an advertising contract. It could shoot webbing, but eventually was abandoned in the East River. Later, villain The Tinkerer retrieved it and revamped it so, among other things, it could drive up walls (“Spider-car, Spider-Car, does whatever a spider can…”) Picture and full details at http://marvel.com/universe/Spider-Mobile#axzz4m70ciKEh

  11. @Harold:

    It may be walnuts, actually. I plead not guilty due to Percocet and that it’s been a while since she’s made a batch. 🙂 Similarly, I know the recipe uses a pint of vanilla ice cream, but I think it also uses cream cheese. Pretty sure it’s not cottage cheese.

  12. P J Evans, when mom made it for the family, she used crushed pineapple. If she was preparing it for company or a potluck, she would use pineapple rings with a maraschino cherry in the center and crushed pineapple to fill any gaps.

    JJ, I forgot about the graham crackers!

  13. While Peter Parker did have a motorbike for a while, Spider-Man did have the infamous Spider-Mobile, a dune buggy looking car built for him by Johnny (Human Torch) Storm to fulfill an advertising contract.

    I believe it was established, if not then, then later (I know the Invisible Woman was in the story) that he’s never gotten his license.

    It could shoot webbing, but eventually was abandoned in the East River. Later, villain The Tinkerer retrieved it and revamped it so, among other things, it could drive up walls (“Spider-car, Spider-Car, does whatever a spider can…”)

    Giving me reason to say, multiple times, at a Marvel Summit, sometimes in unison with Mark Waid:

    “The Spider-Mobile: It drives you up the wall.”

  14. I now have the Spider-Man song as an earworm, thankyouverymuch.

    I am an Old White* Filer, but I’m a little dubious about your Jello salads. They were the bane of my existence as a child, residing somewhere between mushy peas and fish sticks in my hierarchy of yuck. I fondly remember my grandmother’s pineapple upside down cake, though. It had rings and cherries and pineapple-honey syrup. I dimly remember sifting flour, so I don’t think she used a cake mix, which is kind of a surprise because she was all about convenience foods.

    * Since I’m not trying to pretend I have a Get Out of Being Called on My Racism Card, I admit to being both White and Portuguese, even if I tan whenever I walk through a sunny room.

  15. @ P J Evans

    Ours used drained crushed pineapple

    I’m afraid I must go with World Weary’s mother: the only true pineapple upside down cake is made with pineapple rings with a maraschino cherry in the center of each one. (And not just for company either!)

    I have no strong opinion on jello combinations, though. I mostly remember jello being a “when you have to stay home sick from school” food.

  16. @HRJ:

    Jello salad is not even close to the same thing as home-sick Jello. (And I’ve had plenty of experience with the latter in the past couple of days, Mmm, strawberry.) Jello salad actually has other ingredients, for one; you might as well say you have no opinion on sandwiches because you associate toast with breakfast. Kinda misses the point…

  17. HRJ: We only got maraschino cherries in fruit cocktail.
    Crushed pineapple has the advantage that it’s easier to cut the cake into pieces. (We were happy when pineapple-in-juice became available. It tastes so much better than pineapple-in-syrup.)
    My father like pineapple pie, too. It was one that was available as frozen ready-to-bake – small pineapple pieces in a two-crust pie.

  18. Interestingly enough, I now avoid Jello in any permutation (including Jello salad) because I associate Jello with far too much time in the hospital as a kid (it was often the only thing even remotely resembling “dessert” on the menus I was given to select-when I was even given any options at all).

    To this day, the sight of a quivering dish of semi-translucent, stiffened fruit-flavored glop brings back the sound of sneakers squeaking on polished floors and all the faintly disturbing possibilities inherent in that sound. Whoever invented those shoes deserves to occupy their own Bolgia in the Eight Circle of Hell.

  19. @Robert Reynolds:

    Be sure to avoid the (relatively) old Return to Oz movie, then. Damned Wheelers…

  20. Boy, all this talk of jello-based “cuisine” is making me so glad, once again, that my mom left the midwest for the coast when I was but a wee sprat. She did bring a few midwesternish recipes with her, but fortunately, none of them involved jello. So it’s something I’ve only had to endure when visiting family back there. 🙂

    As for upside-down cake, I have a mild preference for rings, but it’s not something I feel strongly about. But those artificial glow-in-the-dark cherries should be kept as far away as possible! Those things are gross! On the other hand, a bit of fresh ginger really perks it up. May not be totally traditional, but man it’s good!

    Anyway, bottom line: I don’t care how good of a writer you are. If I find out you perpetrate jello-based cuisine, it will affect how I rank you on the Hugo ballot! I don’t care that much about all the politics stuff, but some things are just going too far, and I can’t overlook it! 😀

  21. I like sweet jelly just fine, on its own or in trifle, but I’ve never seen anything involving encasing savoury items inside it in real life. I’m half-convinced it was some sort of elaborate joke that got out of hand.

  22. Xtifr on July 7, 2017 at 1:45 pm said:

    Boy, all this talk of jello-based “cuisine” is making me so glad, once again, that my mom left the midwest for the coast when I was but a wee sprat.

    As someone who did the opposite and went from coast to midwest I truly have never understood the fascination with food suspended in Jello and just avoid eating it.

  23. @Rev. Bob:

    Sadly, I’ve seen that one. Not one of The Mouse’s better efforts. While it has its moments, it isn’t a film I’d go out of my way to see again. It doesn’t help that Labyrinth came out a year later. I suspect Return To Oz hasn’t aged well.

    Don’t get me started on the Wheelers!

  24. I grew up in the Boston area, loved Jell-O as a kid, and did not discover the abomination that is putting things in Jell-O till I was in my twenties. I mean, who does that?

    (Yes, I know, Midwesterners and probably plenty of other people, who like it. But, hey, that was my reaction to the unsettling discovery.)

  25. I can’t speak for others, but growing up, money was very tight for my family. Most of our clothes were home-made by my mom, or hand-me-downs from the kids of my mom’s best friend. My mom knew how to make 100 different casseroles from inexpensive ingredients (and most of them were quite tasty), and we rarely had dessert with our evening meal — but when we did, it was something like half a pear from a can on a lettuce leaf with a big spoonful of cottage cheese on top, or jello with canned fruit in it. It’s been my impression that jello salads took hold in the Midwest as an inexpensive way to provide something other than basic food, which could at least impersonate a dessert or salad, but that kids would be willing to eat.

    After the first or second generation, as families’ economic state improved, the reason was forgotten and people still fixed it because they’d grown up with it and liked it (or at least just took it for granted that it was a common part of meals).

    My mom has a recipe for red jello (don’t remember if it’s strawberry or cherry) with chopped cranberries, halved seedless green grapes, orange zest, shredded carrots, diced celery, walnut pieces (and possibly one or two other ingredients) which is an absolutely to-die-for savory/sweet salad, and I request it for every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner I’m able to attend.

  26. //Meredith on July 7, 2017 at 1:49 pm said:

    I like sweet jelly just fine, on its own or in trifle, but I’ve never seen anything involving encasing savoury items inside it in real life. I’m half-convinced it was some sort of elaborate joke that got out of hand.

    When I was a kid, we had a cooking class* at school that involved making jelly and somebody poured uncooked macaroni into mine when I wasn’t looking. This is the only possible contribution I can make to the topic – aside from knowing that putting pineapple into jelly stops it setting, which is not a thing I was ever planning to do anyway.

    Now, putting VODKA into jelly? That is a whole other question and set of stories – all of which are far more dull than the premise suggests.

    *[or whatever it was called]

  27. @Camestros Felapton: Only raw pinapple has that effect on jelly/gelatin/Jello. Heat inactivates the enzyme responsible, so if you use canned pinapple (or poached fresh pinapple, but why would anyone do that?) you are fine.

  28. When my kid was still a baby, I made up these lyrics to sing as a lullabye:

    Daddy-Man, Daddy-Man,
    Does whatever a daddy can.
    Sits around, belches and farts,
    His contribution to the liberal arts,
    Daddy-Man, Daddy-Man, oh, Daddy-Man.

  29. I’m hungry, especially for dessert. Why did I read this comment thread?!

    @John A Arkansawyer: 😀 I love parent-songs.

  30. Nancy Sauer on July 7, 2017 at 5:49 pm said:

    @Camestros Felapton: Only raw pinapple has that effect on jelly/gelatin/Jello. Heat inactivates the enzyme responsible, so if you use canned pinapple (or poached fresh pinapple, but why would anyone do that?) you are fine.

    This feels like the crucial point in a SF movie. Heat neutralises the enzyme! But of course!

  31. It’s not just fresh pineapple, but also fresh papaya/pawpaw and kiwi(fruit) that contain protease enzymes (bromelain, papain, and actinid(a)in respectively) that stop jelly from setting. They also work well as meat tenderizers, but don’t marinade them too long unless you like your meat pre-digested.

    This feels like the crucial point in a SF movie. Heat neutralises the enzyme! But of course!

    In a bad SF movie, sure. It’ll be as insightful as noting that when you boil an egg, it hardens…

    What sorcery is this?

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