Sunday, November 21, 2010

Doodle Devil

It was brought to my attention that the creators of the Doodle God game has a new game out for Halloween, Doodle Devil.  According to its advertisement in the store, this game will let you destroy everything you created in the Doodle God game.  Well that sounds like a change of pace from the tough element creation plaguing the end of Doodle God.  Let's check it out.  It should be noted that this costs the same amount as Doodle God, $0.99.

Does the promise of a new type of game play interest you?  Well don't get your hopes up, because by destroying the world what they actually mean is creating a bunch of new elements.  These elements you are a assured will destroy the world for you.  Gotta watch out for nasty things like Friendship and religion, they will apparently destroy the world.  The point is, if you enjoyed playing the original game, you'll likely enjoy this.

The game play is clicking two elements to create new ones.  Some are logical, such as computer and computer creates internet.  Some are attempted social commentary such as television and human creates zombies.  It does prove that you are better off using the internet than watching television though, you still become a zombie, but you get friendship too!  Some combinations only make sense in hindsight such as human and copyright gives you lawyer.  Some don't make any sense to me whatsoever.  Rat and air creates dove.  I've heard pigeons are the rats of the sky, but I never heard doves lumped into that category.  Hints are obviously really useful in this game as a lot of the combinations did not seem logical to me at all.

Additionally, there is currently as of 11/8/2010 a bug with the hint system.  When I only had two elements left, the hint that shows you some of these elements may combine brought me to two categories full of elements, none of which reacted to form new elements.  I dutifully kept at it, eventually testing them all.  It put me to brute forcing the last combinations though, which isn't a ton of fun.

This game is not connected with an achievement network yet, so there is no way to show off your progress.  You can, however, spam your element creations on Facebook, if your are seeking a way to get your friends to hide your status updates. Clicking extras will let you download two images to your phone.  Under credits you can donate an additional 0.99$ whenever you feel like it.

Final Thoughts:
If you love Doodle God, and want to play what amounts to one chapter of the same game for the price of four with no mini-games or achievements, then this is for you.  In their defense they have promised to update both games, but as of right now, I say just stick with Doodle God.  The mini-games and quests are needed to avoid boredom from setting in.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I like to shop for groceries.  I know that's weird, but I enjoy picking out healthy foods that are tasty, and trying to get a good deal as well.  Maybe its the challenge.  In any case, sometimes I get excited and buy food without any clear idea of how I am going to prepare it.  In this example it was Bluefish.  As you can see Wikipedia left me hanging.

Epicurious is a free application to help you find recipes using things you may already have at home.  The recipes are mostly taken from Gourmet magazines and websites including Gourmet magazine, Bon Appetit, and more.  They are all tested out and most of them are reviewed by your peers.

When you first launch the application you'll get some seasonal recipe suggestions, my recommendation is to click the big find a recipe button below these.  This will bring up epicurious' powerful search engine.  You can search for meals by Main Ingredient.  You can search for meals by course which is shown in the picture to the right.  Options include Appetizer, Breakfast, Brunch, Buffet, Dessert, Dinner, First Course, Hors D'Oeuvres, Lunch, Main Course, Side, and Snack.  You can choose by cuisine which will allow you to select every type of food you've heard of, and a few I'm sure you haven't.  The Dietary Considerations can be amazing if you are having guests over that can't eat certain foods.  It lets you filter the recipes gluten free, low sugar, low sodium, kosher, Vegetarian, Vegan, Low Cal, and several others.  Dish type lets you select from Sauce or Soups, Stuffings or Vegetables.  If you are looking for special Valentine's Day or Halloween recipes, Season or Occasion can help.

At the very bottom is a search box, which you can combine with any of the above categories.  I type in Bluefish, with Dinner selected, and peruse the three entries  I find one with a good picture that was rated 96% would make again based on 25 reviews.
Looks Good to me!
Next I click on recipe to look at what ingredients I need to make it as well as how long it takes to make.  I can also read the reviews by clicking reviews (shocking).
Since I like this recipe, I click the plus button and add it to my shopping list.  This gives me a checklist of everything I need to make this recipe.  You can put more than recipe in there at once.  Once you have the information on the list, you can check off the things you already have to prevent double-buying confusion.  You can also email the shopping list to someone if you can manage to get someone else to do the running around for you.  I have never gotten to use that feature myself.

I don't think I need to do Pros and Cons for this one.  Basically its a free application that is really useful.  On the negative side, I've heard some stories of random crashes, but my wife and I have not seen any yet.
    Final Thoughts:
    Epicurious has a very simple to use interface that connects you with over 25,000 delicious recipes, most of them with pictures and reviews.  Everything that I have made off of this thing has been delicious, and it is very easy to organize shopping trips with the shopping list feature.  Yes, there are ads, but they allow you to get all the above for free.  If you never knew how to prepare a certain ingredient, want to impress guests, or are bored of eating the same old thing, check this application out, because it is great.

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Halloween Candy

    It was requested that we take a look at the nutritional value of all the Halloween candy you just earned or had left over.  This then will let you know which candy bars are going to give you trans fat, and which have no fat. Also, see if you can guess which candy has as much saturated (bad) fat as eleven strips of bacon.
    No you can't you greedy Pirate!

    Starting with not-going-to-kill-you-if-you-eat-one and working down, here is a list of my favorites in the Halloween candy field.  I tried to keep my comments and comparisons with steak to a minimum.

    Starburst were one of my favorites when I was a kid.  They are tasty and individually wrapped, which can possibly help you control the amount you eat.  Of course each chew is 60% sugar, but one chew is only 5 grams, so if you limit your portions, then you aren't doing too badly.  Another point in Starburst's favor is their complete lack of fat.

    A fun size package of Skittles while having 20% of your vitamin C and being coated in insect secretions, also contains 15 grams of sugar in a 20 gram serving equaling a candy that is 75% sugar.  No wonder the rainbow tastes so good.  Skittles are a low fat food for what that's worth.

    The miniature Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are only 7grams.  1 gram of that is saturated fat, 3 grams are sugar.  So not great for you, but if you only eat one small one, its a fairly ignorable offense.  You do get 1 gram of protein as well.

    Butterfingers never really appealed to me as a kid or an adult.  I hate the sensation of the candy getting stuck in my teeth.  An 18g fun size bar has 8 grams of sugar and 2 grams (10%) of your saturated (bad) fat for the day.

    Kit Kat bars taste pretty good and they were at one point my favorite candy bar, but I overdid it on them a long time ago.  Looking at the minis which you can have 5 of, or the snack size, of which you can have 3 (2 bars each), they are both about 42 grams of candy, giving you 210 calories.  Which is a lot, but then we are looking at candy not at granola bars.  One serving has 21 grams of sugar so it is exactly 50% sugar.  They do however contain a large portion of saturated (bad) fat.

    Rolo's are a candy that I did enjoy, but they manage to be 60% or more sugar by weight, and they have 35% of your daily saturated (bad) fat.  The ingredient list shows Trans fat as well.  Why do the ones we love hurt us?

    Snickers are another candy bar I never really cared for.  In this case not a bad choice.  Snickers fun size bars are 15 grams of which 8 grams are sugar.  They also contain Trans Fat, so steer clear.

    My favorite candy is of course the worst candy you can eat, Twix.  As much as I love these bars one 57 gram package has more than half of your days saturated(bad) fat and has the deadly Trans Fat as well.  Twix bars taste great for sure, but ounce for ounce they have more saturated fat then Prime Rib!  Not that I have the option, but I'd rather have the steak, especially since I can skip the trans fat and the 28 grams of sugar.   Apparently you should stay away from caramel in candy bars.

    Final Thoughts:
    Candy is not healthy, but you should be able to have it in moderation... unless you are eating a Twix bar.  In that case you are better off eating ten strips of bacon because that would have less saturated fat.  (Seriously)  Make sure you read the labels and avoid anything with Partially Hydrogenated anything.