iPad App Lets Humans Play With Real Pigs »
Designers in the Netherlands have created an iPad app called Pig Chase that lets humans and pigs play a game together in a weird form of interspecies bliss. It’s kind of like how the Oregon Humane Society lets you play with real cats online via their robotic cat playroom (um, sorry readers, how did we fail to cover that? [or editors, find me the link! i tried!]). Except the pigs are still gonna get slaughtered and eaten later.
TreeHugger has a good story that explains how the game came about (partly due to the E.U.’s laws that pigs have to be entertained) and how it works (turns out pigs are really into chasing light).
I’m having a hard time deciding how I feel about this news! That must mean it’s deep, right? I mean, on the one hand, users get to play with cute pigs, the pigs get to have fun, and everyone bonds. I definitely think a game like this could help a lot more people realize how smart and awesome pigs are and push them away from eating the little buggers.
But on the other hand, what about the people who play this game and then go eat some bacon? That requires such a deep level of denial it can’t be good for our species. Plus is this just justifying keeping pigs in captivity? I mean, flashes-of-light games are better than the horrible factory farm conditions U.S. pigs live in, but would a happy, outdoor farm life be best? What do you think, readers?
The app isn’t available yet, but they are planning to ”actually realize this system” next, whatever the heck that means.
Cookbooks vs. apps: a question for the readers »
Image by neoprolog on Flickr
Lizzie Stark over at the Today Show has a pretty interesting post up about the relative merits of cookbooks vs apps. I only know this because Terry Hope Romero, author of many of my favorite cookbooks, tweeted about it:
Cooksbooks & apps are like apples and tofu: need both in my life
You have no idea how much you’re missing on the Twitters, yo.
I gave you my opinions on the subject just last week: books all the way, baby. Though a digital, searchable index of the books I already own would make my year.
Anyway, I bring the question to you, dear readers. Are cooking apps the way of the future, or misguided anachronisms like Tamagotchi and, um, what else was stupid to make electronic?
Tell us what you think! Is there a cooking app you love? Should I try it? Why?
Awesometown: Snooze button donates to charity! »
With the Snooze app, you can donate a quarter to a worthy organization every time you hit the snooze button. Um, AWESOME! Genius idea. The money goes through Let Give and you get to choose which charity to donate to from a list of non-profits. They only have a handful of orgs you can donate to but one is Nature Conservancy, which protects stuff like, you know, nature and that sort of thing. No but for real, they fight to protect coral reefs, migratory birds, rainforests and more. So I think that would be a good organization for us late-sleeping vegans to support. Another good option might be City Harvest in NYC, though they aren’t super vegan.
Alright, that’s all on the tech beat today! Just had to share because it’s totally cool.
You need this: Vegan Guide to New York City 2011 mobile app! »
If you’re a vegan living in the New York City area, or a vegan who spends a lot of time in NYC, or even just a human being who LOVES food, this app is for you! Created by vegan author and Historical Advisor to the North American Vegetarian Society Rynn Berry, this user-friendly app is seriously a vegan’s dream. Born from the original vegan-favorite paperback guides, it’s the only 100 percent vegetarian and vegan guide that is continually updated, with more than 120 professionally reviewed restaurants. Where Yelp, MenuPages and GrubHub fall short, TVGNYC2011 picks up all the slack and then some.
After launching the app, four tabs appear on the bottom of the screen: List, Map, Filter and More.
Under List, we find a comprehensive listing of every vegan/vegetarian option in New York City and its surrounding boroughs, and features the ability to search by distance (from your current location, or any location you enter), name (alphabetically listed), and price level (inexpensive, moderately priced, or expensive).
When we click on a listing (here we see vegan fast-food utopia FoodSwings Brooklyn), we’re presented with every detail we could ever need, with extras to boot! From this screen, we can find address, phone number, hours of business, price level and more. We can even read a detailed review, get driving or subway directions, and check in via FourSquare. Awesomesauce.
Under Map, we find a Google Maps-style map which first drops a pin at our current location, then fills us with glee as we watch dozens of beautiful little green pins surround us. Way up in the Bronx and all the way down to Flatbush, Brooklyn…this map has everything covered.
The real genius of this app lies under the Filter tab. From here, we can narrow down our search based on any number of tastes, price levels, and locations. Only want top-rated restaurants? Click the Critic’s Pick tab, and that’s all you’ll see. The Cuisine filter featured every type of grub, from raw to kosher to fast food. If you’re only on the search for a good spot to binge on vegan ice cream—as we often are—there’s a filter for that, too. The More tab is mostly informational, with details on the author and the app creator, Cutting Edge Consulting. But therein lies a little gem—a map with a list directing us to Rynn Berry’s top-22 favorite vegan joints in NYC, including Franchia, HanGawi and Candle 79. Neat!
Considering the wealth of veritable information and recommendations, and taking into account the continuous updates, The Vegan Guide to New York City 2011 mobile app is a steal at $4.99. It integrates fully with other social apps like Facebook and Twitter, so you can broadcast your near-orgasmic experience with vegan cannolis to everyone on your friends list. This app will only get bigger and better as more vegan menus pop up all over New York City, and it’s always good to be in the know.
Gorilla does something lovable once again, briefly redeeming inhumanity of zoo »
There is nothing cuter than an animal being adorable with a tech gadget. When I was still running a menagerie out of my room I was always trying to get my hamsters and guinea pigs to take interest in the newest Game Boy advance offerings or to help me with the buttons of the first-generation DS Lite. Unfortunately, they were not into it, and preferred to urinate all over my lap instead of trying to assist me with daring princess-rescues and magical planet-saving. Selfish bastards!
Fortunately, I now know that next time I want an awesome animal to play with, I should count on a Gorilla. Because Gorillas will get down on some Tetris.
Check out these pictures (and this short video!) of Bawang, a Gorilla at the San Francisco Zoo playing with a DSi XL that some kid dropped into its cage. The article says Bawang eventually lost interest in the game, but I assure you that’s only because she has good taste, and recognizes that the DSi XL is a clunky, oversized, and fairly useless upgrade. If that kid had dropped a DSi into the enclosure, he would have had to wrestle his system from Bawang’s and her (adopted)
daughter son Hasani’s clutches.
[photo by Christina Spicuzza; for the full set, visit her Flickr!]
Rest stops for beavers, delicious trichinosis, hating on bacon, Tamale Fest and more in this week’s link-o-rama! »
Vegan Tamale Fest at Papalote on Saturday!!!! Yes! That’s tomorrow, Dec. 19, beginning at 11 a.m. at the 3409 24th St. at Valencia Street location. Bay Area vegans, you are obligated to show up and eat as many tamales as you possibly can. Then, buy more to take home and freeze. Where there’s demand, there’ll be supply!
Wir liebe euch, beavers! Berlin cares about its minuscule beaver population—made up of younger beavers who’d left the rural colony to seek their fortunes in the capital—so much that the city built them a rest stop in the Spree river. Consider my heart warmed.
Let’s be friends on Facebook, anti-bacon vegans.
Sweden’s burning of 3,000 wild rabbits as an alternate to heating oil is the number-one “Oddball News Story” of 2009? You crazy (asshole) for this one, Time.
If asked to design a USB stick that was “neutral in appearance and lack[ed] emotional appeal,” would you cover it in real animal fur? No? That actually makes you sick to your stomach? Get out of my aesthetics.
I use that “the world is fucked" tag for almost every link-o-rama, because of things like this slide show of Ringling Bros. “trainers” using electrical shocks to “teach” baby elephants “fun circus tricks.” Humans are the best!!!
Dang it you guys, San Francisco is running out of sourdough bakeries. I have no idea, but it’s true. Looks like 2010 is the year of getting some starter and learning to make your own sourdough loaves.
People used to get trichinosis all the time from eating pigs; now they get it from eating bears. BEARS. Also walruses, deer, cougar, and wild boar (Pollan!). The solution, according to a scientists at the CDC: keep eating bear! Just use a meat thermometer, OK?
Animal studies have shown that diets lower in protein lead to longer lives. Is this a net win for us who don’t eat meat, or a net loss because all the fucking studies were performed on fucking animals who didn’t sign up to live in a lab on reduced rations? Yes, I’m even against experiments on fruit flies. It’s called compassion, asshole.
The Drakes Bay Oyster Farm was caught farming clams in a harbor seal refuge. Good move, guys; is there anything stupider than angering Marin environmentalists?
Vegansaurus contributor Zoë Stagg discusses cruelty-free (Christian) holidays with Eve of the SF Appeal at VidSF!
Finally, how about a recipe for vegan caramels laced with cardamom from Manifest: Vegan? Sounds amazing.