Christmas goodies and some

So I've been baking a bit around here. My first holiday treat, chocolate mint cookies:

I can down 5 or 6 of these delicious treats and not bat an eye. The mint in them makes me think I am eating just that, a mint, and so the fact that they are basically brownie batter rolled in powdered sugar does not even figure into my conscience. I have never used mint extract in my cooking. This is the first time. And while the cookies were good, I think I may have my small bottle of peppermint extract for many years to come.

While baking I decided to take some photos of Oliver testing out the cookies. Here is the one I took before I dropped the camera:

And here is the one I took immediately after:

The camera really seems to lighten up every photo now. Jokingly, I told Jess that we will definitely be documenting a "white" Christmas this year with our broken camera. He immediately responded by getting on the internet and researching possible new cameras. At least we've had the one I broke for 4+ years. C'est la vie.


bp's science: mistletoe (v.1)

I know we enjoy this Christmas-y plant here at our house (oh, ho, the mistletoe, hung where all can see). Do you? Ollie calls it "whistletoe".

Mistletoe is a semi-parasitic plant that attaches itself to tree branches and grows using its own photosynthesis and the tree's minerals and water.

But before you judge this plant, it has been found that mistletoe can be helpful to the plants it attaches itself too. For instance, when mistletoe attaches to juniper trees, more juniper plants sprout because mistletoe berries attract birds and when birds eat mistletoe berries they eat more juniper berries too.

Interesting stuff, eh?


Two favorite guys

Oliver is a fan of Sesame Street, and as such, Sesame Street characters. His favorite is Big Bird. In the photo below, Oliver is taking Big Bird ice skating (his ice skates were an old pair of shoes). From what I could tell,, they had a really great time and were both really good at it.

And the other day, we were watching an Old School Sesame Street and in the episode Snuffleupagus comes out and tries to say "Hello" to people in the neighborhood but everyone is so busy, they don't see him. He walks down the sidewalk saying, "Oh dear, nobody sees me."

Here is Oliver acting the part. He uses his blanket as the trunk, and when it's not in his mouth, he makes his voice scruffy and says, "Oh dear."



bp's science: how a vacuum works (v.1)

If any of you read the post on why a shaken, full soda can explodes, you'll remember that gas (like carbon dioxide or oxygen) moves toward places of decreased pressure. I mean, no one likes the stress of high pressure situations, right?

Now a vacuum is "a volume of space that is essentially empty of matter, such that its gaseous pressure is much less than that of atmospheric pressure". Obviously, our everyday vacuum certainly isn't a perfect vacuum, but it gets the job done. The motor in your DirtDevil creates a decrease in pressure within the vacuum. As the pressure decreases, air rushes into the vacuum (a.k.a. rushes toward the area of lower pressure), and while doing so, picks up crumbs, dust, and dirt along the way. And all of those brushes on the front of the vacuum are helping to grab particles and direct them toward the area where the air is moving (and getting sucked up).

So use your vacuum today and see the science.


Christmas Paradox

Yesterday, in a prayer, I heard a child ask:

"Please bless us so that we can all be good and Santa Claus can come."

And there you have it.