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Dena Grabinar
Scientist, programmer, writer, roleplayer.
Scientist, programmer, writer, roleplayer.

Dena's posts

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This little clip is making me smile and smile. Something about the joyful abandon of it - I keep hitting replay just to get some more. Beautifully filmed too, and the music's wonderful.

#uplifting #dogwalking #mountainbiking

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A message from UK airline pilots about EU proposals for increased flying-time limits: A MESSAGE FROM BRITAIN'S AIRLINE PILOTS.

For those who want to sign the petition, it's here:

#flightsafety #petition

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#baking #cooking #food #soda-bread

Wow! That was a whole lot more successful than I thought it would be. I've never had much luck with soda bread before - it's always had more in common with cannon-balls than with baked goods.

But this recipe of Dan Lepard's works like a dream! (BBC Woman's Hour: "Cook the Perfect..." series). They puffed up beautifully, were soft and almost cakey in texture, and with a gently sweet almost nutty flavour. I started eating mine with butter, but soon abandoned the butter - it didn't need it.

(Please 'scuze the random photography - I'm a point-and-click-with-my-phone type, but it gives you an idea, at least.)

Tweaks and Notes:

1) I added a few splashes more milk than the recipe called for, and it still wouldn't really drop off the spoon without encouragement - but it didn't seem to matter.

2) Flour was organic stoneground wholemeal. Not strong flour, just the regular cake sort.

3) I used full-cream milk, and then a mix of yoghurt (low-fat) and creme-fraiche (half-fat). I intend to try all sorts of variations on this theme, to see what works best, but this worked pretty well for a first effort.

4) I lowered the temperature from 180 to 175 deg C (because my fan oven seems to cook hotter than most), and I cooked for 20 minutes (again, because my oven tends to over-do it a bit). On balance, I think they might have enjoyed another five minutes of cooking without much harm. The texture was just on the silky side of done - any less time and it would've been doughy. As it was ... delicious!

5) I used cup-cake cases not muffin ones, because that's what I had. I didn't adjust the portion sizes - just hoped for the best. Which probably accounts for the unusual shapes. Next time, I'll make smaller portions.
6 November 2011 (5 photos)
5 Photos - View album

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#food #cookery #baking #soda-bread

Caught a bit of Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4 this week. Was transfixed by the interview with chef Dan Lepard, who was baking soda bread in the studio. One of those magical moments of food radio, when all the flavours and aromas come zinging over the airwaves, tantalising the taste-buds and the creative impulse alike.

As soon as I could, I got myself some fancy-looking flour (from Waitrose, good old Waitrose), and some yoghurt. Hoping to commence baking tomorrow - will update if I manage it.

Meanwhile, listen to the podcast. It's only short, and it's just awesome.

bwahaha this is genius! Story of a man who taught his cat to use instant messaging:

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Time to follow up a recommendation from +Dave Burak (EDIT: via +Nessa D.!) Will be playing Bastion as soon as it's installed - because of the lush visuals, and the cracking soundtrack.

But first, gotta wait till it's ready to play. Meanwhile, amused by this clip showing the perils of narration in video-games:

...and then the phoneline went dead. But at least we had broadband still.

Until they started fixing the phoneline.

...and then the broadband died too.

Thankfully, the estimate of "we'll fix it by 5pm Monday" proved a little conservative, and I only had to endure 24 hours without it.

Now. If anyone with influence is listening: please no more things going wrong, at least for a while?

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Since I'm now stuck on the theme of exquisite animated shorts, here's a few more from ages back. What fun to re-discover them:

1) Delivery, by Till Nowak

2) The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello, directed by Anthony Lucas
The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello

3) The Last Knit, by Laura Neuvonen
The Last Knit

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This was the short film I meant. Years have gone by, and it still gives me shivers:
The first five minutes of my lo-fi sci-fi movie Ghosts With Shit Jobs. Introducing the digital janitor! More at

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This started off reminding me vaguely of an (excellent) animated short film I saw a few years ago (will see if I can dig that up again and share later), but pretty quickly it turned into something quite different. Will be eagerly watching out for next installment!
The first five minutes of my lo-fi sci-fi movie Ghosts With Shit Jobs. Introducing the digital janitor! More at
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