Sunday, March 30, 2014

What-What?! Week of March 30th

A few days ago, I posted about my revelation related to the pronunciation of my name -- and how the English language is at fault.  Check it out if you'd like to read some general ranting. ;D

Cooking:  Chocolate Color Flow Battlemechs

Battletech Cake using Color Flow Technique -- Catapult and Dragon
Red velvet cake, topped with cream cheese frosting, lasers and long range missiles.
My husband's birthday was on Friday, and to celebrate, I made him a cake using a technique called color flow.  Using chocolate and candy melts, I outlined, then colored in two 'mechs to go on his cake.  The outlines were traced from pictures that I found on the 'web, which I size adjusted and simplified.

Battletech cake using color flow
Just after I piped outlines.
I like the technique because it can be done in advance, and the supplies needed are pretty cheap:  I did these with chocolate, candy melts, and ziplock bags; no fancy ingredients or even a piping tip needed!
Battletech cake using color flow catapult
The Catapult 'Mech
I have learned a few things from this:  One, make sure that the hole in the ziplock is very small, otherwise it spews all over.  Two, for filling in the outlines, thin the candy melts with just a bit of oil;  I did this for the blue 'mech, and it improved the look and ease immensely.  Three, after all parts are colored in, go over the entire back of the figure with candy melts to strengthen it, and make it easier to transfer to the cake.
Battletech cake using color flow dragon
The Grand Dragon 'Mech
I definitely plan to use this technique again, and hope that next time, it's even easier and better looking.  The baby's birthday is next, and we're talking about helicopters or hot air balloons.  I'm very excited for it!

News:  The Zeigarnik Effect and Quest Logs via The Psychology of Video Games

World of Warcraft Loremaster Achievement
1400 quests?  I've done a lot more than that.
I came across this interesting article about the Zeigarnik effect -- how people tend to remember details better about a task that they started, but have yet to finish, than a task that they've already finished.  As far as its application to video games, I've experienced this effect while playing World of Warcraft -- that game is very easy to turn into a long list of boxes to check.  This becomes particularly evident when you look at the achievements system, some which include requirements like having to complete large numbers of quests, or uncovering the entire map for each location.  It's a pretty interesting read, so I suggest you check it out.

(img via

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