The Jenkins

The Jenkins” comic strip originally centred around three brothers — Barney, Butch and Junior Jenkins — living in their parents’ basement but it’s also just absurd. Here are a some gems:

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This morning I got a notification that King Charles has an enlarged prostate. Shortly after that my phone tells me Princess Kate is recovering from some form of abdominal surgery. I can’t help but think that maybe I’m getting too many notifications.

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Banyan Tree Sprouts New Leaves

I’ve been reading the novel Hawaii by James Michener which takes place in Lahaina, Maui and it got me thinking about the fire there last August. I visited there in 2019 and loved seeing the largest Banyan tree in the US.

I remember seeing aerial photos of the damage and wondering if the tree survived.

From Hawaii Public Radio last month:

The heart of Lahaina, the historic town on Maui that burned in a deadly wildfire that killed at least 100 people, reopened Monday to residents and business owners holding day passes.


The reopened areas include Banyan Tree Park, home to a 150-year-old tree that burned in the fire but that is now sprouting new leaves, Lahaina Public Library, King Kamehameha III Elementary School and popular restaurants.

Great news.


Towering Parfaits

My daughter found this recipe in The Disney Princess Cookbook and she was delighted when I ran out to get some whipped-cream for the dessert she suggested. As per the original directions, we substituted Greek vanilla yogurt for the pudding but then we also added some chocolate granola on top. It was beautiful and delicious but I forgot to snap a photo of our creations.


  1. Spoon a little pudding into the bottoms of two parfait glasses.
  2. Top the pudding with a layer of fresh berries, followed by a big dollop of whipped cream.
  3. Repeat step 1.
  4. Add one more layer of pudding.
  5. Top each parfait with a small blob of whipped cream garnished with 1 or 2 fresh berries.

Quick Irish Stew

This tasty stew warms your heart and fills your stomach on a cold day.

Quick Irish Stew
with Herb Garlic Crostini
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C)
  • Wash and dry all produce
Irish Stew ingredients on my counter for four
Irish Stew ingredients for four
Ingredients Two Person Four Person
Ground Beef 250 g 500 g
Mirepoix 113 g 227 g
Red Potatoes 300 g 600 g
All-Purpose Flour 2 TBSP 4 TBSP
Garlic 1 clove 2 cloves
Parsley and Thyme 14 g 21 g
Beef Broth Concentrate 1 packet 2 packets
Artisan Rolls 2 4
Sherry Vinegar 1 TBSP 2 TBSP
Soy Sauce ½ TBSP 1 TBSP
Unsalted Butter 1 TBSP 2 TBSP
Oil 1 tsp 2 tsp
Salt and Pepper
Roast Potatoes

Cut potatoes into quarters. Toss potatoes with 1 TBSP oil (dbl for 4ppl) on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the middle of the oven, until golden-brown, 25-28 min.

Prep & Cook Beef

While potatoes roast; strip 1 TBSP thyme leaves (dbl for 4ppl) off stems. Roughly chop parsley. Peel, then mince or grate garlic.

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat.

When hot, add 1 tsp oil (dbl for 4ppl), then beef. Cook, breaking up beef into smaller pieces, until no pink remains, 4-5 min.

Season with salt and pepper. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a large bowl. Discard any remaining beef fat in the pot.

Cook Mirepoix

Reduce heat to medium, then add 1 TBSP butter (dbl for 4ppl), mirepoix, thyme and half the garlic to the same pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mirepoix softens slightly, 3-4 min. Add beef and any juices from the bowl. Sprinkle with flour. Cook, stirring often, until flour coats veggies and beef, 1-2 min.

Cook Stew

Add broth concentrates, vinegar, soy sauce and 2 cups water (db| for 4ppl) to the pot.

Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring together, until stew thickens slightly and veggies are tender, 10-12 min.

Make Garlic Toast

While stew cooks, combine remaining garlic and 1 TBSP oil (double for 4 people) in a small bowl.

Cut each roll in half lengthwise. Place rolls cut-side up on another baking sheet and brush with garlic oil. Toast in the top of the oven, until lightly golden-brown, 5-6 min.

(TIP: Keep an eye on your toast so that it does not burn!)

Finish and Serve

Add roasted potatoes to the stew and stir to combine. Divide stew between bowls. Serve with garlic toast alongside. Sprinkle parsley over both the stew and garlic toasts.


13 Year Old Becomes First Person to Beat Tetris on the NES

A 13-year-old competitive Tetris player became the first known human to beat the game on the original NES by forcing it into a kill screen. The player, Willis Gibson, at the same time broke world records for overall score, level achieved, and total numbers of lines in the 34-year-old game. Previously, only an AI had been able to “break” Tetris.

From Sofia Ferreira Santos writing for the BBC:

In 2010, professional competitive gamer Thor Aackerlund managed to reach level 30 by using a technique called hypertapping, where a player vibrates their fingers in a way which moves the controller faster than the in-game speed.

This led to other gamers adopting hypertapping and other techniques to see how far they could go — but as of last month, only AI had been able to reach the game’s true kill screen.

A kill screen happens when a player reaches a level which causes the game to crash.

At the end of his 38-minute run, Willis’ screen crashes and blocks no longer come down as he beats the game.

The teenager — who goes by the name of Blue Scuti on YouTube — has played the game since he was 11, and has competed in several gaming tournaments.

Whether or not you care about Tetris, don’t miss his reaction at the end of this video.

(via Waxy)


Top 10 Posts of 2023

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(Previous stats for 2022, 2021, and 2020)


Three Seconds Everyday 2023

Last year when I published my One Second Everyday video, I got a lot of positive responses.

My dad and my father-in-law both said it was nice but added that it would be better if each day were a bit longer than a second. I thought these poor guys and their old-fashioned ideals about how long cuts should be… but nevertheless I decided to humour them and tried re-rendering just one month from last year as a three second per day video. To my dismay, I discovered that they are totally right, the video is much better with longer cuts. So this year, using the One Second Everyday app, I have created a “three-second everyday” video. Please enjoy:

And I also did the classic one second version:


2023 Playlist

Happy new year! It’s become a tradition at this time of year to export our annual music playlist((Previously, our 2022 playlist)). Here it is, our 2023 music playlist on Apple Music (make sure you’re logged in or you’ll only get a preview):

I’ve also exported it using as 2023 Youtube playlist and converted it to My 2023 Apple Music Library in .CSV format.

copyright Disney

Mickey Mouse Enters the Public Domain

When I was a kid I had a Mickey Mouse sweat shirt that I loved.

As the clock strikes midnight tonight, the iconic figure from that old sweatshirt is set to embark on a new chapter — Mickey Mouse will officially enter the public domain. For nearly a century Disney has carefully guarded its iconic mascot, but as this protection expires, it makes me wonder if Disney lobbyists have dropped the ball in permitting this new era of creative freedom? Don’t get me wrong, it never should have been extended in the first place but I’m surprised because up ’til now every time Mickey was about to enter the public domain new laws were passed that fiercely guarded the intellectual property (and as a side effect kept a lot of other works out of our collective culture).

There’s a deep dive from Center for the Study of Public Domain explaining how we got here.

It is not simply that Mickey is a famous copyrighted character. So are Sherlock Holmes and Winnie the Pooh, and while they entered the public domain with some fanfare, it paled in comparison to this event. I’d like to offer a tentative answer. The reason that this event gathers so much attention is that it is the story of a 95-year-old love triangle, a tangled drama that rivals any Disney movie for twists and turns. The protagonists are Mickey, Disney and the Public Domain, and their relationship positively exemplifies the social media weasel-words “it’s complicated.”

When we visited Disneyland in November, I picked up a new Mickey Mouse shirt that sports the 2013 iteration of the mouse. I also happened upon an earlier version at a thrift store and took a photo to compare.

Left: 1980s Mickey Mouse
Right: 2013 Mickey Mouse

I’m probably just getting old but my favourite will always be the 1980’s Mickey — but neither of these versions will be the one in the public domain on January 1st.

Mickey isn’t the only work to enter the public domain tonight, ABC News has more on this story including a short interview with Larry Lessig((Previously, Larry Lessig on Laws that Choke Creativity)):

Update: AI models are now being trained on public domain Mickey.