Wednesday Walk Around the Web – 11/18/2015


Welcome to the Wednesday Walk Around the Web, where we weave & wind through weblinks weekly. Hopefully you will find the links on offer amusing, interesting, or, occasionally, profound. Views expressed in the Wednesday Walk do not necessarily reflect those of anyone but the writer. Do you have a link you want to see featured in next week’s Walk? Email Glenn!

  • Obviously the attacks in Beirut and Baghdad and Paris are horrible. Obviously anyone reacting with xenophobia and Islamophobia isn’t worth listening to and probably isn’t worth knowing. (And also full of shit.) I’m not sure what else to say here. Try to be a human being.
  • The hot gift for Christians to get their kids before Christmas arrives this year is the 2015 Star Wars LEGO advent calendar.
  • This Week in Contrived World Records: Otto the Bulldog has set the world record for longest human tunnel traveled through by a skateboarding dog. I look forward to seeing this added to the Summer Olympics as well as the Westminster Dog Show.
  • My hat is genuinely off to those of you fine readers who can comfortably shove contacts into your eyes; when I think of it it sounds like old-time lense-making, starting with a cast of your eyeball.
  • Zoom in here to see all the stars you get to see in a 46-megapixel photo.
  • The UK is testing self-healing concrete.
  • The office chair of the future doesn’t look good for the standing desk aficionados.
  • The terms & conditions for Itunes is now a graphic novel. Sure, okay.
  • If you’re sending out holiday cards this year, make them good ones.
  • Why do southern Californian people put definite articles before the numbers of their highways?
  • A manufacturer of birth control pills mislabeled a batch, resulting in numerous unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, and somehow it may be debatable whether it’s liable for the error.
  • Kansas is pretty flat, but it could be so much flatter.

As a special Thanksgiving bonus, the Wednesday Walk is proud to bring you Mother Butler’s pumpkin pie recipe, recently subject to raves on the gala opening episode of Rank & File. As I said there, my mom hated cloves more than any other spice and so had to concoct her own pumpkin pie recipe; once she made up one she liked it was the one she clung to for decades, so it’s the one I grew up on and therefore the only pumpkin pie flavor I can truly feel is right, deep down where it counts.

1 1/4 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
a dash of nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine the ingredients and mix with a spoon (or the fork you beat the eggs with). I don’t think it’s shameful to say that good ol’ mom never got the hang of pastry dough and therefore relied on store-bought crusts. If you can bang out a nice flaky pie shell, awesome, go ahead; otherwise, she preferred Oronoque Orchards brand deep-dish crusts — thaw before cooking! Either way, pour the pumpkin mixture in and bake at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Check the middle with a toothpick to make sure it’s cooked through.

Why make one when you can make two for twice the price: just double up on the ingredients & work up a second crust and voila, you have a second whole pie for a party, for your large holiday-time family gathering, for sending home with someone, or for yourself since you really like pie.

(Psst — if you’re not a big fan of pastry crusts in the first place, you’re allowed to pour the mixture into a glass or ceramic baking dish and call it a custard rather than a pie. It might cook a little more quickly in the dish, so check in on it sooner.)

(Also, one of my parents’ autumnal rituals occurred on the weekend after Halloween, when they would buy up a bunch of cheap pumpkins, roast them, puree the flesh, measure into freezer bags, and stock up for the next several pie-making seasons. One bag equals two pies; easiest measurement in the world after the fact. Since running out of those reserves I’ve resorted to store-bought pumpkin with no great degradation in flavor, at least to my tongue.)