The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

August 2007 Archive

August 05, 2007

RADIO DJ: Have a popsicle. The icebox just broke down and they're melting all over the place. You want one?

KURT: No, no, no, thanks. Listen, uh...

RADIO DJ: Have a popsicle.

I recently discovered that ice cream is a pretty vile substance. Not while it's cold; except at a few Viennese ice cream parlours who have gone from making ice cream to robbing tourists, cold ice cream is usually quite heavenly. But recent experience, in which half a box of vanilla ice cream melted due to me getting old and forgetful, I realized that ice cream becomes progressively more disgusting as it gets warmer.

I mean who would have guessed how the taste of ice cream is miraculously transformed after it has changed from a frozen to a liquid state?

Anyway that ice cream had melted, and like Wolfman Jack in the movie quoted above, I didn't want to let it go to waste and decided to eat it before it had become a pool of salmonella.

Bad idea. I know now why ice cream is generally considered to be bad for your weight and the rest of your organism. For one, it's sweeter than anything I've ever tasted. My guess is that the sugar content must be about three or four times that of Coca Cola. It's also unbelievably greasy. Like eating a block of butter, only a bit fatter.

I managed to eat only two spoonfuls before I gave up. It was, in short, some of the most disgusting stuff I had ever eaten. And having thus become aware of the real sugar and fat content of ice cream, I seriously considered quitting ice cream altogether.

For a while.

But even if my exact future relationship to ice cream hasn't been determined yet, the whole thing has taught me a lesson or two.

Posted by Horst at 08:53 PM | Comments (2)

August 06, 2007

If you have a large CD collection, maybe you should check some of the CDs that you bought between 1989 and 1991. Especially UK imports. Because that's what I did after I accidentally stumbled over an article that discussed data safety on compact discs. One particular type of disk degradation made me check some items in my collection, and this is what I found:

CD bronzing

These two CDs are victims of CD bronzing, a type of deterioration that occurs specifically with CDs manufactured at one particular pressing plant in the UK in the late 1980s and early 1990s. What happens here is that the reflective layer of the CD oxydizes (i.e., essentially rusts), rendering the CD unreadable over time. Remarkably, the two CDs above have been slowly decaying for 17 years, but still play fine. This seems to be due to proper storage, as reports on the Internet talk about unreadable CDs already about ten years ago.

Anyway, much as I hate Wikipedia, I have gathered all information that I found on this problem and written an article on CD bronzing, mostly because there is no place on the Internet that I know of where such information can be pooled safely. If you have a large CD collection and/or are interested in this matter, I suggest that you read it fast because as with anything else I have written on Wikipedia so far, it's only a matter of time until it has been defaced and/or lots of wrong details have been added.

Funny though, I remember that in the late 1980s I used to complain that the German pressings that you got in Austria always seemed to have cheaper booklets and no artwork on the CDs compared to the UK imports. Having found those two dying CDs in my collection (there may be more, but hopefully not too many), I'm actually relieved now that those UK imports were so elusive back then.

Even funnier (if perhaps somewhat disquieting), the first track on the left CD pictured above is called "Doomed", and the first words you can hear on it are "I'm doomed."

Posted by Horst at 01:13 AM | Comments (10)

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