It's time for our regular segment in which @Gafgarian (AKA Jeremiah Palmer) provides answers to the burning questions left unanswered in each episode of the Rooster Teeth Podcast. Read on to get closure for Puppies Like Pancakes – #417.
Which Guitar Hero were Gavin and Gus playing in that old photo?
Based on the controllers and the year, the most recently released version of Guitar Hero at that time would've been Guitar Hero II. Released for Xbox 360 in April 2007, it quickly grew to be one of the most popular in the franchise, eclipsed only by Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, though most attribute that to the song collection of the latter game.
For the trivia-minded among you, Guitar Hero II was arguably the last “real” Guitar Hero developed by Harmonix. Technically, Guitar Hero Encore: Rock the 80s was their final entry, though it was nothing more than an ‘80s reskin of Guitar Hero II, adding no additional gameplay elements. Harmonix would later go on to develop the Rock Band series.
Do the redvsblue.com emails still work?
First things first, Becca’s old redvsblue.com email does not work anymore. However, from what I can tell, a few old redvsblue.com emails still throw a valid ping to the mail exchange server. I suspect this is due to a direct forwarding DNS from the original redvsblue.com exchange to their currently mapped email addresses, but I can't be sure of that without sending an email and getting a report back from the respective owners on the results. It is also possible that the emails are no longer mapped at all and are a forgotten relic of the origin redvsblue DNS assignment.
What is the day before Ash Wednesday called?
The day before Ash Wednesday is officially known as Shrove Tuesday, or, depending on your location, colloquially known as Pancake Day or Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras). The origination of the name "Shrove" comes from the English word "shrive," which means to "confess or receive absolution." The intention of the day's observation is to bring about a period of cleansing in preparation for the observation of Lent, the 40-day season between Ash Wednesday and the Saturday before Easter, also known as Holy Saturday. The 40 days represent the 40 days Jesus is said to have spent wandering the wilderness being tempted by Satan, prior to his ministry. In the early days of the church, Lent was typically a time of mass baptism and conversion; however, today's observations by Christians typically involve temporarily giving up something of temptation, desire, or value to the believer.
Shrove Tuesday, originally intended to be a period of observation and reflection prior to the metaphorical "40-day temptation" of the everyday Christian, has its roots in the Middle Ages. While wholesome in intention, over the course of the last six centuries or so the observation has ironically devolved, generally, into a day of festival, hedonism, and indulgence. In modern parlance, the day's meaning has effectively become the direction to squeeze in as much "temptation" as possible before being forced to give it up until Easter.
The exact date of the pancake's inclusion in these festivities is unknown; however, the likely time period is somewhere around the early-to-mid-15th century. The first known occurrence of the pancake in a cookbook was in 1439 and, perhaps predictably, the recipe seemed very tied to the religious ideals of Shrove Tuesday. It called for eggs (to symbolize creation), flour (as the staff of life), salt (for wholesomeness), and milk (for purity). Later, the bells calling Anglo-Saxon Christians to confession would come to be known as "Pancake Bells," and Pancake Races became a regular occurrence on the day as well.
The origin of the Pancake Races, like the date of the pancake's inclusion, is an unknown as well. Urban legends from various small towns in England have laid claim to 500+ year-old stories of an old woman running through the town in her apron, with a frying pan, flipping a pancake, on her way to the church. The most widely accepted being a 1445 housewife from Buckignhamshire.
Fans of The Amazing Race may remember the Pancake Race detour from Episode 2 of Season 25. Now you know why that is a thing...
The rationale behind shoving pancake in your face to bring glory to God was actually far more about practicality than religious circumstance. The rough-around-the-edges reason is that people just needed to get rid of their food before lent since staples such as meat, eggs, milk, fish, and fats were banned, thus spoiling before Easter. Pancakes consumed many of these ingredients quickly and easily.
Similarly, to the south, France's observation became known as "Fat Tuesday" because of their consumption of fatty foods to avoid spoiling. Or, if its Pagan origins are to be believed, the Pagan custom of leading a fat ox through town on its way to slaughter in order to kick off the spring festival. In either case, Fat Tuesday later became known as Mardi Gras, and, given that this festival has become an event of notable debauchery, it is very likely that the original intention of the celebration has been all but lost on most of the party-goers. In New Orleans, specifically, the period known as Mardi Gras now stretches from the last night of Christmas (The Twelfth Night) through Fat Tuesday; however, in the several places around the world which hold their own Mardi Gras, the dates vary greatly, with most countries sticking to the original three-day observation from the Sunday before and being capped by a grand feast on the night of Shrove Tuesday. One notable observation that has become associated with the celebrations around Shrove Tuesday is Carnival, which, in many ways, rivals the New Orleans Mardi Gras with its own level of debauchery. In fact, it was this general loss of control and over-indulgence which led the Church to officially restrict Shrove Tuesday's observations to one day only. However, in contemporary times, this is rarely adhered to.
With the exception of strictly observant Catholics or Anglicans, the modern view of Shrove Tuesday, for most, rarely extends beyond a general knowledge of pancakes and parties.
Did Emma Stone have her envelope the whole time?
She did. Unfortunately, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers accountant Brian Cullinan, there are apparently two identical stacks of envelopes that are stored in two identical locked briefcases until they are needed for the ceremony. Brian and fellow accountant Martha Ruiz were in charge of handing out the envelopes on Oscar night. Unfortunately for Brian, considering he tweeted a picture of Emma Stone shortly after her Best Actress win, he may have been a bit distracted and accidentally handed Warren Beatty HIS Best Actress envelope. Leonardo DiCaprio, having entered from Ruiz's side of the stage for the previous award, presumably received the Best Actress card Emma Stone "was holding the whole time" from that side. Cullinan, perhaps distracted by Stone, neglected to shift his stack and mistakenly handed the previous envelope to Beatty and Dunaway.
It would be crazy to assume that Emma Stone had any understanding of the logistics of the award show so, for her part, she was just attempting to make sense of what happened as well and, it seemed from her comments, shift possible blame away from her or Leonardo DiCaprio.
In an interesting turn, Cullinan had actually been interviewed at the beginning of February about the award show's planning, and was asked what would happen if the wrong envelope given to a presenter. His response was: "Whether that entails stopping the show, us walking onstage, us signalling to the stage manager. That’s really a game-time decision, if something like that were to happen. It’s so unlikely."
I guess we now know the answer... all of the above, plus complete chaos.
Has Emma Stone won a Golden Globe?
Emma has won only one Golden Globe award, but has been nominated for two others. She received the Best Actress award for La La Land, but was nominated for Best Actress for Easy A, as well as a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her work in Birdman – losing to Annette Bening and Patricia Arquette, respectively.
In addition to the Golden Globe and Oscar wins, she has another 30+ awards to her name, including three SAG awards and an additional 100+ nominations through various award ceremonies.
What is sorghum?
Originally from Africa and believed to have come to America aboard slave ships, sorghum is a cereal grain that has been gaining in popularity since the gluten-free, non-GMO movement has become more mainstream. For years, an estimated 95% of the crop is used as animal feed or biofuel, with the remaining 5% dedicated to human consumption. Those numbers are changing with the movement as well. In the early 1900s and especially in depression era America, sorghum molasses became the go-to sweetener in the South, most likely due to its lower cost when compared to honey or sugarcane as well as its natural resistance to drought. In some African countries, sorghum has been a staple food source for over 4,000 years. The use of sorghum internationally as a food source is much more prevalent. If you have eaten Indian dishes known as roti or chapati, or tried gluten-free beer, you have likely already consumed sorghum in some way.
Additionally, since sorghum requires less water than corn or other wheats, environmental researchers have performed extensive studies into the cultivation of sorghum in warmer climates affected by climate change.
Regarding Maotai specifically, it is only one of many different brands of baijiu. Baijiu is a distilled Chinese liquor also known as shaojiu or sorghum wine. It has been made for over five millennia and is actually the best-selling type of liquor in the world. Several American distillers and distributors have attempted to introduce it to us and, for various reasons (usually related to cost), the "earthy" liquor has never really taken hold. Arguably one of the few distributors to somewhat succeed in introducing the west to sorghum wine is Byejoe Spirits, headquartered in Houston, Texas. Byejoe's CEO, Matt Trusch, recommends starting slow and sipping, or visiting a trendy bar that has managed to create a good cocktail using it as a base. Lists of these suggested bars can be found on his company's site.
How big is a turtle's sinus cavity?
Obviously the size of a turtle's sinus cavity depends on the age, sex, and species of turtle; however, in reference to the specific sea turtle discussed, the sinus cavity was likely around four inches, or roughly the entire length of the lodged straw.
As you can see from the image below, a sea turtle's sinus cavity, similar to our own nasal structure, is open to the mouth. The researchers, who arguably saved the sea turtle's life, believe that the turtle likely swallowed the straw at some point after mistakenly believing it to be food. He later attempted to regurgitate the plastic straw, which led it to be lodged into his nose and sinuses from the inside, rather than externally.
Vegetarians and anemia?
Iron deficiency in vegetarians is a very real concern due to what is essentially cutting out the most iron-rich foods available. If a vegetarian does not take special care to supplement this loss of iron with a greater intake of high-iron-volume, non-meat foods, anemia is an unfortunate but likely affliction. Quick ways to increase iron levels include increasing your intake of vitamin C, avoiding tea or coffee, ensure legumes are a part of every meal and/or snack (i.e., peanuts and peas, learn to love them!), or, as Becca mentioned, cook your foods, especially pastas and sauces, in a cast iron skillet.
It is important to note that while meats do typically contain much higher sources of iron, a normal healthy vegetarian diet can easily provide a healthy alternative source of iron. While plants do not contain greater quantities of iron, their likelihood of being eaten in greater quantities and variety can actually increase iron consumption and, in some cases, a vegan diet may actually contain more iron than a non-vegetarian. The key difference in this is that the absorption of iron from plant-based sources requires an extra step of digestion which involves using more of the body's energy stores, particularly a protein called transferrin. This leads to an increased risk of anemia or other vitamin shortage maladies due to an inefficiency during digestion.
I briefly touched on this idea a few weeks ago when discussing our bodies' natural affinity to an omnivore diet, but the essential point of this boils down to a pretty simple understanding. If you are going to choose to live a life that is most certainly outside of the direction our evolution and organic construction has prepared us for, that is your choice. However, you must be aware that you are fighting against your body's expected way of survival. It isn't a question of whether it can, or even should, be done. It is just a matter of understanding that you have to pay more attention to you because your body isn't as equipped to do it for you. So… you do you, but be safe about it.
Are you supposed to have a lot of iron when you are pregnant?
You are. Along with pregnancy anemia posing a greater risk of early delivery and infant mortality, it also helps ensure a healthy immune system. The reason behind the increase in iron is due to the increase in blood production. Iron is essential in making hemoglobin, which is what red blood cells rely on to carry oxygen throughout the body. During pregnancy, an expectant mother can see as much as a 50% increase in the amount of blood inside their body. This increase in blood, naturally, demands an increase in hemoglobin. Without the added iron to your diet, anemia is extremely likely. While most moms-to-be can supplement this need for iron with a few extra pieces of chicken, many will just opt for the prenatal vitamin which covers iron as well as several other possible vitamin deficiencies.
Why is cooking with a cast iron skillet better?
This depends on whose grandma you are asking, but the general consensus is that they provide a simple "one-pan" cooking method. Occasionally you will see articles referencing increased vitamin infusion or "flavor sharing" but, aside from a slight increase in iron intake, there is very little "shared" vitamins, regardless of what your grandma may have told you.
There are a few other "facts" which I feel need to be clarified before we can move on.
The first is that cast iron skillets distribute heat more evenly than modern pans. Unfortunately, again despite your grandmother's insistence, this is simply untrue. In fact, the "casting" of a cast iron skillet naturally leads to slight imperfections in the metal as it hardens, be they air pockets, bits of foreign matter, or uneven hardening during cooling. These imperfections actually lead the skillets to be TERRIBLE at even heating. Additionally, iron's thermal conductivity is around a quarter of aluminum's, which means that, directly over the flame, it is very easy and normal to get extremely hot spots while the rest of the pan remains somewhat cool. Where cast iron does flourish, and perhaps what led to this "even heated" confusion, is its ability to retain heat. In other words, while it may be somewhat of a chore to get the skillet fully heated, it stays hot for a while once it gets there. Additionally, cast iron radiates a large portion of its heat as well, which is what gives you the ability to cook everything from steak to biscuits because you are cooking food above the rim of the pan as well as what is in it.
Next up is the idea that cast iron pans are non-stick. I'm sad to say that anyone who has used a cast iron skillet for any amount of time, regardless of how well "seasoned" it is, cannot possibly believe that it is more non-stick than a modern Teflon pan. While a well-heated cast iron skillet with a bit of oil should function as a non-stick pan just fine, Teflon it is not.
On to soap and water washing. Get off your high horse and wash your damn dishes! Seriously do it. Here is the dea: the "seasoning" on your beloved pan is what is known as a polymerized oil. What this means is that the oil has been continuously broken down and bonded, at a chemical level, to the metal itself. It is this bonding that creates the non-stick, Teflon-like surface. While soap is intended to break down oil, in this case, the oil's bonding to the metal protects it from being broken down by the soap. Assuming that you are not allowing the pan to just soak in the soapy water, a quick scrub is perfectly acceptable and, depending on the mess, encouraged. That said, most cases can, and should, be solved by a quick rinse with hot water followed by a drying session on the stove, but the next time you make an utter mess of your pan, don't be afraid to use a quick squirt of Dawn.
For the polymerized oil reason above, you also should not be afraid to use metal utensils on your skillet. Iron is a resilient material, obviously, and a properly seasoned pan will not be damaged by the occasional scrape of a spatula. Assuming you are not literally gouging the metal, you don't really pose a risk to the seasoned coating.
Lastly, the age of your pan does affect your ability to cook, but likely not in the way you may think. Most owners of cast iron skillets feel that their centuries-old pan that has been handed down through multiple generations is the best because of the amount of food that has been cooked in it over the years. While there is little doubt that this process has absolutely locked down that whole polymerized oil seasoning we discussed above, it is far more likely that the reason your pan is "the best" has more to do with when and how it was cast rather than how much it has been used. Although virtually nothing has changed with regards to the iron used, the casting process and production method has changed just enough to be in a pain in the ass. One important part of the old school production cycle was a final polishing of the pan's interior. The removal of this roughed up surface prior to use allowed for a more even bonding during seasoning and would create a better non-stick surface as well as a more even cook, assuming the pan is properly heated. Unfortunately, the modern production process has dropped this step, effectively causing all modern cast iron skillets to be of a slightly lower quality than the original pan your grandma willed to you.
What are you not supposed to put in the dishwasher?
Ultimately, I would defer to the manufacturer's recommendations on the various utensils and flatware; however, generally speaking, most recommend against putting wood, knives, crystal, pots & pans, or anything with gold/silver trim in the dishwasher. There are a myriad of reasons for each of these recommendations, but most relate to the eventual, and likely, ruining of the washed item in some way. For example, wood has the potential of permanent warping due to the hot water, and knives will be dulled by the use of harsh detergent or high pressure water jets. This latter point is also the reason why flatware with gold or silver trim should be washed by hand, as the high pressure will likely strip away the coating on those dishes as well. With respect to pots and pans specifically, most only adamantly oppose putting pots and pans with a non-stick coating through a dishwasher; however, there are many who would state that none should go through a cycle because of the possibility of loosening handles and seals, or other general destruction of the pot or pan.
Is pancake and waffle batter the same thing?
While it is true that most hotels and even the batter manufacturers tend to present the two batters as the same thing, true waffle batter has some very real differences to that of pancakes. In much the same way crepe batter has a slightly different consistency and a few additional ingredients, waffle batter also sets itself apart from pancake batter in a few key ways. First, it should be noted that the reason there HAS to be a difference between these two batters is because waffles are made to have a much crisper outside and lighter inside than pancakes. While the geometry of a waffle does contribute to this in many ways, a higher percentage of sugar, for higher amounts of caramelization, also helps with building that crispy exterior. Additional, a higher amount of fat helps lock down that waffle outside as well.
However, all of this batter is essentially some combination of eggs, flour, leavening agent, sugar, milk, etc., so at some level they are all close enough to make the argument that they are the "same batter." It is just a question of whether great pancake batter makes a great waffle or a great crepe. My answer would be no. Could it make one, sure, but not necessarily a great one.
Percentage of morning vs. evening showers?
When I originally wrote this question down, I was expecting to get some sort of clear winner. Unfortunately, after reviewing 10 different polls with participants numbering from a few hundred to a few thousand, there is just not a consensus. It looks like, for the most part, there are more morning showers than evening; however, based on some of the accompanying comments, the margin of error looks to be pretty equal to those who feel that showering is more about convenience/timing than anything else. With that in mind, can we really count that as a valid motivation for showering in the morning?
Various blog posts and articles on the subject have taught me a few things that I can pass on. First are the morning showers. According to a PSU entry, those who identify themselves as having oily skin, work in a creative field, or are not "morning people" should try for the morning showers as a way to, respectively, clear out pores that have been blocked during sleep or to "clear out the cobwebs" and relieve the grogginess of sleep.
For the nightly shower, the reasons include the need to feel clean before being able to sleep, help to moisturize dry skin and/or clean off makeup, and general difficulty falling asleep. For the last point, several studies have shown that a nightly shower is a relaxing, stress-relieving experience for many. Interestingly, these same studies have also explained that, for some, a shower is an invigorating and stimulating experience. The difference being the nighttime versus the morning shower.
Naturally, this is where you all come in. Which are you? How does the RT Community break down? Only this Strawpoll will tell.
Sugar rushes and highs are not actually a thing?
This is 100% true... Which means I can no longer blame my children's bad behavior on an overload of sugar. Well, that blows. Let's get to the details!
It is difficult to say where the link between sugar and hyperactivity first occurred, but most researchers point to a mid-1970s study in which 265 "hyperkinetic," or essentially insanely hyper children, were admitted to outpatient treatment for their excessive energy. The only connection between these children besides, presumably, them being children, was what appeared to be an abnormally low blood sugar level. Diagnosed as reactive hypoglycemia, it was surmised that their excessive consumption of sugar led them to be extremely hyperkinetic while also having low blood sugar. Follow-up studies occurred within the next few years, including studies which specifically compared two differently sugared-up sets of children. This study's results would show that the children identified as being more "clinically hyperactive" had also been the children that had consumed more sugar prior to the review period. Later review of both of these studies have shown glaring flaws in their construction and implementation. However, the damage was done.
This particular "fake news" pervaded quickly and most of the relevant scientific community has spent the better part of four decades attempting to set the record straight. Eventually these multiple independent studies and reports culminated in a 1995 meta-analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In it, they reviewed 23 studies conducted between 1983 and 1994, all of which were conducted using a viable double-blind test involving a stated control group, placebos, and various artificial and natural sweeteners, as well as their immediate effects on the children involved. The meta-analysis study found that there was absolutely no "statistically significant" effect of sugar on a child's mood. Beyond the kid just being happy to get a lollipop.
The official conclusion stated:"The meta-analytic synthesis of the studies to date found that sugar does not affect the behavior or cognitive performance of children. The strong belief of parents may be due to expectancy and common association. However, a small effect of sugar or effects on subsets of children cannot be ruled out."
Seinfeld episode about eating from the trash?
What is the difference between a Mars bar and a Milky Way?
There is essentially none. Technically the UK version is slightly longer and taller, but they are effectively no different. This was a purposeful decision by the creator of the Mars bar, Forrest Mars. As son of the infamous candy maker Frank C. Mars, Forrest purposefully modeled what would become the Mars bar off of his father's very successful Milky Way bar.
On this side of the pond, the Milky Way bar was originally launched in 1924 to great acclaim. Its appearance in the UK would occur after the 1932 introduction of the Mars bar, which is why it appears to be a different bar entirely. The removal of the caramel and a smaller amount of chocolate coating was a decision made by Mars, Inc in order to make inroads in the European candy market. The 3 Musketeers bar was simultaneously launched in America because why not?! Naturally, it was given a different name because there was already a Milky Way bar in America.
Hopefully someone pings @Gavino with this so he can finally get some peace of mind.
Why is a Kit Kat in the US made by Hershey but Nestle everywhere else?
Originally developed by Rowntree's of York, England in 1911, Kit Kats are currently produced in 16 countries by Nestle and by Hershey in one. The reason for this separation is because Kit Kat is produced under licensing rights. The short story is, in 1969 Rowntree merged with Mackintosh, another small UK-based chocolate company made famous for the Rolo bar. This merge was in an effort to expand globally; however, despite being able to create some small distribution streams on this side of the Atlantic, Rowntree-Mackintosh slowly lost traction. In the late 1960s, Rowntree-Mackintosh partnered with Phillip-Morris (of Marlboro fame) to handle American distribution, before finally teaming up with Hershey in 1970. In 1978, the contract was renegotiated, granting Hershey the rights to both manufacture and distribute Kit Kats and Rolos in the US "in perpetuity." It is this permanent licensing deal that has remained a thorn in the spine of Nestle since they purchased the failing Rowntree-Mackintosh candy company in 1988.
For those interested in this, or other candy lore, TheCandyGeek is pretty damn interesting.
What is the origin of the word "treacle"?
The origin of "treacle" actually goes back to the greek word "thēriakos," which meant "of a wild animal." Its transition to the use case we, or rather the UK, may recognize has to do with Romans borrowing the related word "thēriakē," meaning "antidote," and creating "theriaca." This then gave rise to the Middle English "triacle," which eventually evolved to "treacle." Molasses, otherwise known as "black treacle," gets its origination from the same antidote usage, with the slight implication of being a "sweeter antidote."
What is up with Gavin's “new” landing experience?
This was likely what is known as a Cat III landing. It is also sometimes referred to as an ILS autolanding. In other words, the plane landed itself. It varies by airline, but most require a live test of the CAT III procedure at various established flight hours. The instruction to turn electronic devices completely off is not always accompanying the ILS autolanding. This is largely up to the discretion of the captain and is usually dependent on weather conditions upon landing. If instrumentation is reporting possible interference sources or it is especially foggy, the instruction to turn off all possible interference sources is standard fare.
Is LA a vacation destination?
This would depend on who is doing the vacationing. For those of us who don't make regular trips to Hollywood, LA is surely on the bucket lists of some community members. With regards to its consideration as a vacation destination, I can tell you that there are more than a few travel sites trying to get me to drop thousands to go there. I can also tell you that, according to USNews Travel rankings, LA ranks fifth among the Best Shopping Destinations and the Best Foodie Destinations in the US. Additionally, it ranks sixth for Best Nightlife in the US and is seventh on their list of overall Best Spring Vacations.
Personally, it wasn't terrible when I visited. The food is good, everything is overpriced, and the "touristy" streets are far too crowded; it felt a lot like NYC in that way. That said, other than the fact that every surfing movie I've ever seen never bothered to mention how damn cold the Pacific Ocean is, I had a good time.
What is the definition of "vacation"?
According to Merriam-Webster, a vacation is "a respite or a time of respite from something." Alternative definitions include "a scheduled period during which activity (as of a court or school) is suspended" and "a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation." Despite that final definition, the internet consensus seems to be that a vacation is generally being able to spend time outside of the daily grind and is not really dependent on where you happen to be.
Bonus Question/Answer from ALWAYS OPEN #19! (Because the RT Podcast isn't the only one throwing out random, albeit rhetorical, curiosities.)
Do toes have names like fingers?
They certainly do! However, only the "Big Toe" has an "official" name. The other toes vary in name, but, generally speaking, are usually referred to as the following (in order from largest to smallest):
The Hallux or "Big Toe"
Second Toe, "Long Toe," or "Index Toe"
Third Toe or "Middle Toe"
Fourth Toe or "Ring Toe"
Fifth Toe or "Pinky Toe"
The practice of only naming the Big Toe, and occasionally the Pinky, is pretty standard across most languages. Theories on the rationale behind having names for fingers but not for toes typically point to the idea that our toes rarely do anything individually, so do not need to be addressed as such. In other words, there is no "Pinky" in team!
Swedish is one notable exception to the whole most-languages-do-not-name-toes thing. A fairly popular Swedish nursery rhyme gives the toes' names as Lilltåa, Tåtilla, Kroknoso, Tillerosa, and Stortimpen. I suppose, by that logic, their names could be referred to as the "Market," "Lazy," "Fat," "Starving," and "Baby" Piggies, but that is far less impressive than Kroknoso... what a name! Time to create the next RT Community inside joke and start giving everyone the Kroknoso Finger! :fu: