Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Microwaveable Haggis!

Here is a step by step pictorial tutorial on how to make and eat microwaveable Haggis.

Let me preface this by saying, so far I like haggis, for the most part.

With that said, this microwaveable haggis, recommended to me by George, was suprisingly good, despite the fact that foods in the nuker are usually pretty awful.

1) Admire store-bought haggis. Cringe in thinking I'll eat microwaveable Haggis.

2) Unwrap Haggis. Place on cutting board for examination, photos, and dissection:

3) Cut off rivets and unwrap haggis from casing:

4) Begin cutting haggis:

5) Remember haggis should be eaten with mashed potatoes. Thankfully I have some potatoes. Throw some in the pot and boil them. Hope I have enough butter and milk.

6) Re-read instructions:

7) After starting tatties on the boiler and re reading instructions, continue the haggis cutting:

8) Cook in microwave for 3 minutes. Take out. Stir and break all the haggis up. Nuke it again for 3 more minutes. Bam, your done!

9) Almost ready. At this point, wish I had turnips to make it a complete Scottish meal. Then realize, I've never bought turnips my entire life, so all is normal.

10) Plate the amazingly nourishing and warm bodied meal and enjoy:

The end. You can officially make haggis like a pro.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


No posts for a long time...toooooo busy studying my BUTT off, no joke. Have a few coming up, though.

Here's a part I created in the software Abaqus for the project we have in that class. Simulating a bolt that was heated and expanded. The colors represent the intensity of stress in the plate due to the physical expansion of the bolt and also due to the transfer of heat from a hot bolt to cooler plate.

The same part showing only the stress resulting from expansion of a bolt, with none from heat transfer.

And this is some of the stuff I am learning.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Liverpool Trip

Two weekends ago I took a trip to Liverpool for John Lennon's 70th birthday celebration.

The weekend was concoted only several days before we took off. Wednesday, we booked a hostel for two nights, and Thursday evening, we secured a rental car with Enterprise.

So Friday afternoon, Hernan, Claudia1, Claudia2, Eduardo, and I, set out from Edinburgh on a nice 4 hour drive south to Liverpool.

I volunteered up to be one of the drivers. Having never driven on the left hand side of the road, I thought I should give it a shot.

It didn't help that we rented a manual, so I was shifting with my left hand (and the gear layout was different as well), and of course, the driver sits on the right side of the vehicle, whilst driving on the left side of the road. We hooked up the compulsory GPS, and were off. It took awhile to get out of Edinburgh, mainly because I was a bit nervous and thus we missed a few turns when I was in the wrong lane at the wrong time, but nonetheless, I drove the first few hours, to the tunes of occasional passenger gasps at how consistently close I was getting to the cars to my left. I admit I had to make Eduardo speak in English while I drove as I did not really want to use my brain translating from Spanish to English when I was focusing on driving (the rest of the trip, though, was filled with speaking Spanish the whole time, hooray). No wrecks were had, and I handed off the second half of driving to Hernan (Argentina), and he got to cruise on the highway the rest of the way.

I guess I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. The city itself really surprised me in a good way as it was much more historical than I expected (as opposed to industrial), lots of pedestrian walkways, great architecture, museums, nice riverfront. Basically, though, we saw a bunch of Beatles things, walked around Liverpool, and hung out at the Cavern Club where the Beatles got going (there were a bunch of tribute acts... however, I, for one, could only take hearing 'Love me Do' and 'Hey Jude' 5 or 6 times per hour, and thus stayed only a few hours). Claudia and Eduardo are huge Beatles fans, so they really really had a blast and stayed a long time. Overall, it was really cool experience, though.

The only other thing that really stuck out to me about Liverpool was about the people at night. I have never been to a place where so many people get so silly and sloppy drunk. There is a large area just off the center full of pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants etc, and at night it is closed down and becomes pedestrian only walkways. There's a big difference between having 1 drink, a few drinks, maybe getting tipsy, even drunk, and getting so drunk you probably have no clue what you are doing. Well, that's what hordes of people were like, on Friday and Saturday. It was quite a spectacle and it really was not something I was expecting. At least several times I couldn't believe I a few things I saw people doing. But more so it was just a general atmosphere of extreme drunkeness. It wasn't just 18 year olds, but 21, 24, 27, 30 and up. It could have been the French Quarter in New Orleans, but in fact it was just another weekend. Also, the style of the women, lets say 'younger' women, maybe from early 30s downward, was quite different than Edinburgh, the US, and places in South America. Basically, I don't know how else to say it or put it nicely or politely, but they all looked like hookers. Dresses barely covering butts if at all, and multiple wardobe malfunctions (which actually, in fact, were not malfunctions). All I'm saying is, the style was 'different'... it was certainly a 'style' as the majority of women looked like that, and I can't say I've seen anything like that, to that extent, anywhere else. Style, Liverpool style.

Albert Dock:

Pedestrian Walkways:

River Mersey

Statue of Billy Fury:

Ringo Starr childhood home on left, soon to be Bulldozed:

Claudia in heaven over the fact that she is in Liverpool:

John Lennon House growing up:

Paul McCartney's house growing up:

Strawberry Fields:

Barbershop on Penny Lane:

Penny Lane:

The group at the Cavern Club:

Us at the John Lennon statue they unveiled that weekend:

English countryside:

Interesting Cathedral in Liverpool:

Central Liverpool:

Claudia getting on stage at Cavern Club after that guys tribute act. Elated does not begin to describe her at this moment!:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Scottish English Translator #1

Common Phrases I have been hearing:

Bucket day = Garbage day
Neeps = Turnips
Tatties = Potatoes
Fortnight = 2 weeks
Turn up at 1pm = Show up/arrive at 1pm
Takeaway = Take Out (food).
Brilliant = Hear this a lot instead of 'great' or 'cool' or something.
Wee = Little
Cheers = Hello, Thanks, Ok, Cheers, and anything you really want it to mean

Origin of the word 'shitfaced' (according to the Scots). In the middle ages on the high rises the people just used to toss their feces out the window as they had no plumbing, and would shout out to warn people. As their was constantly shit being tossed out the window, they decided to say you could throw your crap out the window at 10am and 10pm only, to minimize the chaos of the feces throwing. Well, 10pm was the time at which drunk people were walking home. Coincidentally, lots of these drunk people got hit in the face by shit.

Also, in fact, basically nobody speaks Gaelic here. But that is because the language never really spread to the South East of Scotland, where Edinburgh is. It came over from Ireland and all of the remaining speakers are mainly concentrated in close proximity to Northern Ireland as well as in the Highlands. Recently read an article here stating that there are officially 2 primary schools (very small schools, at that) teaching Gaelic as a first language and English as a second. Irregardless, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who can speak Gaelic in Scotland except in a some small communities here and there. The names of the train stations are written in Gaelic and English, but that appears to be more of a symbolic gesture than anything else.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hooray for Something Tangible

My first part I created in my Finite Element Analysis Class:

It looks great, but it's fairly worthless, and took the better part of a week to create (mainly though figuring out how to use the computer program adequately and actually trying to understand what I was doing and what is going on with all those colors and how it is all calculated...). Think of the image to be a representation of a ruler in which you held the left side steady, and pushed down on the right hand side so that the ruler bent. All the colors are different levels of stress. Red is a high stress area, blue is a low stress area. FUN.

Something that might actually be applicable for fire safety is if I created a wall or something like a column in a building, and used the program to show the stresses after it was heated because of a fire.

Later when I create something more real that might mean something, I'll put it up. Might be a few months.