If you were an educator and you knew you had but a few months left to live, what would you give for your last lecture?
Randy Pausch, Professor at Carnegie Mellon with appointments in the CS, HCI and Design departments, is in just that position. Randy has Pancreatic Cancer which has an incredible mortality rate. He is an accomplished professor who has authored or co-authored five books and over 60 reviewed journal and conference proceeding articles. Randy is married with three small children and though he says the lecture is intended for their benefit, I think you’ll find it inspiring as well.
I was flipping through the channels the other day when I landed on a news station (CNN or MSNBC or CNBC, I don’t recall which) talking about Christian-based businesses. And low and behold, they began talking about the success of Chick-Fil-A.
Now, I’m not a huge fast food junkie, but the guys over at RemedyMD really enjoyed their weekly Chick-Fil-A excursions. I usually tagged along and I found the fare to be tolerable. What I didn’t know is that Chick-Fil-A is not like most other fast food joints. It’s privately held, profitable and enjoys a high employee retention rate (3% leave annually vs 50% in the industry.) It’s also closed on Sundays and the official company motto is to glorify God. Chick-Fil-A also runs Winshape, a non-profit foundation and there is voluntary Monday religious service at its headquarters. Chick-Fil-A’s founder, Truett Cathy even claims he received divine inspiration for the Chick-Fil-A’s signature chicken sandwich recipe. Seemingly more concerned about helping their fellow man get ahead than pure cash flows, Chick-Fil-A franchisee fees are comparably incredibly cheap– just 5k. (Wendy’s is 25k, McDonalds is 45k, Burger King is 50k.)
Knowing this information doesn’t make me like their chicken sandwiches any better, but it’s interesting to see a Christian run business thriving in a secular dog-eat-dog market environment.
UPDATE: it’s been five minutes and I’ve already been contacted three times by concerned parties about the nature of this blog post. No, I’m not an alcoholic. It’s my understanding that lighting the rum on fire in a boiling sauce is enough to cook out the alcohol.
A lot of you know that I’ve taken up cooking lately. Some day I’ll go to chef school. Until then, I’ll continue to dabble. I’ve had several requests for some of my favorite alcohol-flavored dishes. Here’s one that’s as fun to make as it is good to eat. Plus, you get to go to the State Liquor store, which is exciting if you’re a teetotaler like myself.
At the Liquor store, pick up a small bottle of Rum. It should cost less than 7 dollars. There are lots of types of Rum: Light, Dark and Flavored. For this dessert, you’ll need dark rum. Dark rum is honey colored. I prefer Bacardi Anejo, which is a bit more expensive than others, but provides a great taste. Any dark rum should do, however.
Turn heat to medium on a large sauce pan
Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar, a tablespoon or so of vanilla extract, and a 1/4 of a stick of butter
Wait until the sugar and butter melt
Add in a teaspoon or two of cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, and a pinch of salt
Stir it all together
Peel and cut in half bananas before slicing them down the middle
Lay the banana slabs into the liquid, spooning the sauce over the bananas to coat them
Cook for a few minutes, maybe 5 or so, until the bananas soften. The sauce will begin to boil
Add 1/2 cup of dark Bacardi rum
Use a match to light the rum on fire
The rum will burn with a nice flame for 10-15 seconds (this is the cool part, maybe turn the lights down low)
Spoon some more of the sauce over the bananas
Prepare bowls of vanilla ice cream, and add the bananas with sauce (this is called “plating”, so be artistic!)
(Banana Flambe is also sometimes called Banana Foster)
For the past 39 months, I’ve worked at RemedyMD. That has come to an end. Recently, we all met at the Sizzlers for my “graduation” lunch. Some Remedy alums showed up as well. A good time was had by all!
Left to Right
Back row Eric Dummer, Burdette Pixton, Nate Peel, Mike Nelson
Second from back row Brett Lyman, Roberto Mello, Matthew Snyder
Third row Orion Moore (kneeling), Glenn Hatfield, Dan Wilson, William Attwood, Brian Goodrich, Jonathan Rudolph, Ryan Byrd
In front Kevin Nelson, Troy Larson
Alumni: Troy Larson, William Attwood, Roberto Mello
Invited yet missing: Nick and Ashley Maly, Jordan Hayward, Chris Evans, Alli Stewart
Flickr user frauenfelder‘s latest album entitled, “preschooler’s feelings”, is described this way, “The kids in my daughter’s preschool were asked to describe their current feelings and why they felt that way. I enjoyed their answers.”
So there’s this guy (Beau Lotto) who has this awesome optical illusion site that you should really check out. Here are two samples from Mr. Lotto:
1- In this one the brown center square on the top of cube is the same color as the orange center square on the side with the shadow:
2. This next one is trippy. ok, the blue colored square on the left (yellow tinted) pane is the same color as the yellow colored square on the right (blue tinted) pane. And, in fact, neither of them is either blue or yellow. they’re both gray!
What happens when 207 people freeze at the same time in the middle of New York City’s Grand Central Station? The crazies over at Improv Everywhere (also famous for their Best Buy hijinks) filmed it for us. Click the pic to watch the flic. It’s pretty cool.