Self Care – Great Guitar Solos: Stevie Ray Vaughan and Johnny Copeland Play Tin Pan Alley Live

This next one comes to us from Marcus Ranum. I love Stevie Ray Vaughan, and miss him very much. He was an amazing guitarist. Johnny Copeland was another amazing guitarist in his own right, who I also miss very much. So Stevie and Johnny playing together?

Nothing but pure guitar magic.

This is a 13 minute and 20 second video, so make sure you’ve got that time blocked off…

The first solo, played by Stevie, starts at 0:14 and ends at 1:36. The second solo, a short one played by Johnny, starts at 3:29 and ends at 3:39. The third full solo, taken by Johnny, starts at 5:33 and ends at 6:48. Stevie immediately takes the fourth solo, which starts at 6:51 and ends at 8:05. Johnny comes in with the fifth solo at 9:31, ending it at 10:52.

It’s just… so amazing. Both guitarists are mesmerizing, and both have an amazing command of the Blues. Enjoy!

Self Care – Jar Jar Binks is a Sith Lord! (YouTube Video)

(This video was uploaded on December 18, 2015, before The Force Awakens was released. Obviously, Emperor Snoak is not Jar Jar Binks. Also… yeah, I’m rather late to this, in terms of blogging about it. Everybody already knows this theory. I actually saw the original Reddit post not long after it was put up; I just never thought to blog about it until now.)

So… like most people, I hated the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Surprisingly, Jar Jar Binks was not my main complaint. I was only a few days away from turning 12 years old when The Phantom Menace was released, and, to be honest, I actually kind of laughed at Jar Jar. While I absolutely felt he was annoying, and I won’t go so far as to say that I liked him, he never grated on me like he grated on a lot of people. My issues with the prequel trilogy can be summed up by two actors:

Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen

I genuinely believe that the Prequels would be quite a bit better had basically anyone else played Anakin Skywalker. In fact, to be completely honest, I could deal with Jake Lloyd. He could have been a lot worse. Hayden Christensen was the real problem for me.

That said, there is a(n all but confirmed) theory that, had it actually happened, would have helped the make the prequel trilogy a lot better even if they had kept Hayden Christensen.

It’s the theory that Jar Jar Binks, far from being a bumbling clown, was, in fact, a Sith Lord:

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Self Care – And Speaking of Green Tea… Matcha! (4 YouTube Videos)

Another one of my absolute favorite green teas is Matcha, which is a green tea powder. Like Gyokuro, the tea plant is shaded for at least 20 days before harvesting. Then, the leaves are harvested. If they are rolled out to dry, like Sencha, you end up with Gyokuro. However, if the leaves are simply laid out flat to dry, they’ll crumble a bit and become Tencha. The Tencha is then ground down into powder.

I’m going to give you two videos now. The first shows the modern, mechanical processing of Tencha leaves. The next (which is below the fold) shows the traditional method of grinding Tencha into Matcha:

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Self Care – How to brew Gyokuro tea (YouTube Video)

I’m obsessed with tea.

No, not bagged tea. I don’t mind bagged tea (not even Lipton! I’ve used it before, and I’ll use it again), but when I have access to loose leaf, why would I go with bagged?

Green teas, brewed properly, are my favorite. And Gyokuro is definitely the best. It’s Japan’s highest quality tea, and is a phenomenal one.

“Gyokuro” (玉露) is Japanese for “jewel/jade dew”. It’s a shaded green tea. What that means is that at least 20 days before harvesting, a particular varietal of the Camellia sinensis plant (either Asahi, Okumidori, Yamakai, or Saemidori) is shielded, usually with bamboo, from the sun. This forces a process in which theanine and caffeine within the leaves is increased, yielding a unique, interesting aroma and flavor.

The brewing process is also rather unique. The reason for this is, specifically, the water temperature. You see, most green tea is fragile. Try to steep it with full on boiling water, and what you end up with is a nasty, bitter, undrinkable mess of a brew. And especially with a tea as expensive as Gyokuro, that’s a complete waste. Gyokuro specifically calls for water temperature range of 122°F–140°F (50°C–60°C).

And how do you brew it, exactly?

Well… watch…

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Self Care – Boiled Water Recipe (from Serious Eats) + Comments (For Purposes of Laughter)

This has always made me laugh.

Back when the amazing Serious Eats was still new, and they were testing out the recipes section, Adam Kuban decided to post a detailed, step-by-step recipe for… boiled water. Obviously, it was a joke. And the comments just took it further.

Sadly, the original recipe is gone. However, the wonderful Wayback Machine came to the rescue. So I’m going to quote the recipe, and some choice comments, here for your enjoyment.

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Self Care – Astronomy Picture of the Week: The Observable Universe

(I’m also incorporating this series into my Self Care series for the foreseeable future…)

I guess this is the best way to follow up the last post. I’m using Wikipedia for this one.

This is one simulated image of the entirety of the observable universe. As I already mentioned last week, the universe is currently estimated to be roughly 93 billion lightyears in diameter, putting the edge around 46.5 billion lightyears away from us.

This image is taken from the Wiki page linked to above, as is the information I’m including about it and about the universe…

Observable_Universe_with_Measurements_01

Visualization of the whole observable universe. The scale is such that the fine grains represent collections of large numbers of superclusters. The Virgo Supercluster – home of Milky Way – is marked at the center, but is too small to be seen.

Diameter 8.8×1026 m (28.5 Gpc or 93 Gly)[1]
Volume 4×1080 m3[2]
Mass (ordinary matter) 1053 kg[3]
Density 9.9×10−30 g/cm3 (equivalent to 6 protons per cubic meter of space)[4]
Age 13.799±0.021 billion years[5]
Average temperature 2.72548 K[6]
Contents Ordinary (baryonic) matter (4.9%)
Dark matter (26.8%)
Dark energy (68.3%)

So the universe is not only old (to us), but huge.

Self Care – My Own Ultimate Bisquick Maple (Non-Dairy) Pancakes

Woops! This is a bit late. Sorry.

I decided to share my own little recipe, here, with included nutritional facts courtesy of MyNetDiary.

I hated maple syrup when I was a kid, but now I can’t get enough of it. The flavor is incredible.

I use a maple syrup and maple sugar from a place called Breezie Maples Farm, which is featured at Long Island’s Chocolate Expo every year. Make sure that whatever maple syrup and sugar you get, it’s pure. Also, this recipe is non-dairy by necessity; we don’t have any milk in the house, just non-dairy almond milk. If I had milk, I probably would have used it.

And finally, this is Bisquick’s Ultimate Pancake recipe split in half and with a couple replacements, since it’s Bisquick I use to make pancakes (because we have it; yes, I can also make pancakes from scratch).

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Self Care – Porcupine Tree Plays Linton Samuel Dawson

(Quick note: this video is made to be trippy… lots of colors and such. The flashing is minimal here, but still… just be careful if you’re sensitive to this kind of thing…)

Since my last post talked about LSD and the music inspired by it, here’s one I thought y’all would enjoy, and get a kick out of. This was recorded back when Porcupine Tree was just Steven Wilson. And yes, that’s him singing; just with some added effects to his voice.

The video is not official at all. It’s just… well… it fits with the theme of the song, if there even is one…

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