Rooster Teeth Poppycock

    • Fan Art Friday #91: Neo by vjane

      11 hours ago

      Rooster Teeth Poppycock

      It’s time for our weekly look at the best Rooster Teeth fan art from our community, curated by the fine folks at BIGBITE!


      This week’s featured artist is Elz, AKA @vjane, for this drawing of Neo.


      59LKFGG.jpg


      Elz lives in Paris, France, where she’s a student/research engineer/neuroscientist (whoa). To create this piece, she sketched the lines with a pencil on paper and then colored it with MyPaint on her computer. Overall, it took about six hours to complete.


      ------------------------------


      Want a chance to be featured in future Fan Art Fridays? Head over to the Fan Art Friday thread in the Art forum to find out how!

    • Fan Art Friday #90: KFSchnee by Xuelder

      1 week ago

      Rooster Teeth Poppycock

      It’s time for our weekly look at the best Rooster Teeth fan art from our community, curated by the fine folks at BIGBITE!


      This week’s featured artist is Christian, AKA @Xuelder, for this KFSchnee logo.


      NcGN89k.png


      Christian lives in New Orleans, where he’s working on an indie game project and looking into freelance in the greater games industry.


      On RWBY Rewind, Chad stated he wanted a KFSchnee design, so Christian granted him his wish. To create this illustration, he used a program called Marmoset Hexels and free-hand drew it. Hexels uses six- or three-sided polygons called Hexels and Trixels, respectively, instead of the traditional four-sided pixel. This creates stylized low poly style art fairly easily. The text was added in Fire Alpaca.


      ------------------------------


      Want a chance to be featured in future Fan Art Fridays? Head over to the Fan Art Friday thread in the Art forum to find out how!

    • 6 Dumb Questions About Pawpaws (RT Food #2)

      1 week ago

      Rooster Teeth Poppycock

      By @charlesaustin


      eHwlbLl.jpg


      What kind of stupid idiot would look for tropical fruit in a Missouri forest? A pretty smart one, it turns out. Though you won’t find mangoes and papayas, you will find something surprisingly similar: the pawpaw. This fruit doesn’t get as much love as its truly tropical brethren, but it has a long and interesting history as a native North American fruit that grows as far north as Ontario and as far west as Nebraska.


      Within the pawpaws’ indigenous area there lies another indigenous creature: Alex Branson, a writer who has contributed to Poppycock as @bransonbranson and who currently hosts the podcast Episode One. He was introduced to the fruit by a park ranger friend in Missouri, where the two of them sometimes forage for pawpaws in the fall. Today he shares his pawpaw prowess.


      So what does this dumb thing taste like anyway?

      “They’re like a mango in terms of the pulpy texture, but they taste a bit like a banana. It tastes like a tropical fruit. There are seeds in the middle that you’ve gotta spit out because they’re poisonous,” he says.


      But even if you avoid the poison, you may not avoid a headache.


      “The first time I got some, and I was getting people to try them, people were getting headaches,” he says. “Everybody thought I poisoned them. My parents wouldn’t eat them after my brothers got headaches.”


      “I got a headache too the first time I had one. After that it was fine.”


      Is wandering around and looking for a pawpaw patch a pain in the ass?

      “Wandering around and looking for a pawpaw patch is a pain in the ass,” Branson says.

      You rarely stumble on a fresh pawpaw patch in a Missouri forest, meaning you’re better off joining someone like Branson’s park-ranger friend and visiting pawpaw patches he’s discovered in years past. But even then, few trees in a patch actually bear fruit.


      “Every place we’d found fruiting would be a hillside that gets a lot of sun, with a disturbed treeline. The best place we found was where there was a big thunderstorm the previous year, which made a big clearing in the park.”


      These pawpaw trees soaked up a lot of extra sunlight and bore more fruit.


      “The pawpaws get so heavy on [the tree] that they look weak,” he says. When you find a pawpaw tree with fruit, “you’ve just gotta grab it and shake the shit out of it.” But since the pawpaws hang so heavy, you’ll often find a few right on the ground.


      “Just because one’s on the ground doesn’t mean you don’t pick it up,” he says. “Without any preparation, you can pop that sucker open. You gotta be messy when you eat it, cause there’s no clean way to eat it. They’re a good food to eat over the sink.”


      Are there any shitty pawpaw nursery rhymes?

      “There’s an old nursery rhyme about going down to the pawpaw patch,” he says. I checked Wikipedia and he’s basically right. There’s a folk song that goes like this:


      Where, oh where is dear little Nellie?
      Where, oh where is dear little Nellie?
      Where, oh where is dear little Nellie?
      Way down yonder in the pawpaw patch
      Pickin' up pawpaws, puttin' 'em in your pocket
      Pickin' up pawpaws, puttin' 'em in your pocket
      Pickin' up pawpaws, puttin' 'em in your pocket
      Way down yonder in the pawpaw patch


      Sounds like a banger.


      Will hipsters find a way to ruin this fruit?

      Of course they will. They’ll probably start bands to do ironic covers of the pawpaw folk song too.

      Branson says, “They’ve got these festivals now where people have semi-cultivated them and are growing them. There’s some NPR article where they called it like the ‘Hipster Banana.’”


      “For a while they said it was a thing people couldn’t grow, you had to forage it. But apparently some people have their own pawpaw trees and are growing them. But from [foraging for them in] the wild, I know they’re hard to get to bear fruit.”


      If George Washington shared an elevator with an opossum and had to strike up some small talk, what would they talk about?

      Certainly their shared love of pawpaws. George Washington liked to eat chilled pawpaws for dessert. Opossums, raccoons, and squirrels also like it for dessert.


      But is it time to rethink the Founding Fathers’ views on pawpaws?

      George Washington liked his pawpaws chilled, but Branson thinks this is pretty stupid.


      “People eat them with ice cream, and try to do shit like that, but i don’t think it’s good for that. The whole point about pawpaws is that they’re rare and they’re interesting. If you put it with ice cream, then you’re not really eating a pawpaw. The whole thing about it is that it’s like a super weird, alien fruit that you can find in areas you would not expect. Personally I just think it’s best to have as an errant fruit you find,” he says.


      “It’s just the satisfaction of finding something in the woods and just immediately eating it. It’s really primal and stupid and makes you feel like, yeah, I could have survived in the wilderness 10,000 years ago. I found it. And I ate it. And now I have a headache.”

    • Fan Art Friday #89: Pixel RWBY by marcloure

      2 weeks ago

      Rooster Teeth Poppycock

      It’s time for our weekly look at the best Rooster Teeth fan art from our community, curated by the fine folks at BIGBITE!


      This week’s featured artist is Marcos Loures, AKA @marcloure, for this RWBY pixel art.


      V0Bwbqa.jpg


      Marcos lives in Minas Gerais, Brazil, where he’s an animation and digital arts student on his way to be a game developer. This is the first piece of fan art he has ever made, so he wanted to do something simple yet cool. This piece was created in Photoshop CC 2014 using a digital tablet. Each image is 64x64 pixels except for Yang’s; Bumblebee needed 2 extra pixels, so Yang's image is 64x66 px.


      ------------------------------


      Want a chance to be featured in future Fan Art Fridays? Head over to the Fan Art Friday thread in the Art forum to find out how!

    • Fan Art Friday #88: Oscar by vjane

      3 weeks ago

      Rooster Teeth Poppycock

      It’s time for our weekly look at the best Rooster Teeth fan art from our community, curated by the fine folks at BIGBITE!


      This week’s featured artist is Elz, AKA @vjane, for this illustration of Oscar from RWBY.


      oscar___rwby_by_eliazeravenfeather-daydo


      Elz lives in Paris, France, where she’s a student/research engineer/neuroscientist (whoa). To create this piece, she sketched the lines with a pencil on paper and then colored it with MyPaint on her computer. (Side note: Elz says, “If you're looking for a good free software for painting, definitely go check out MyPaint.”)


      This illustration was inspired by a quote from Ozpin to Oscar: "Greatness in knowing that, when the world needed help, you were the one to reach out your hand." Elz says it captures how everyone has something unique that they can choose to put forward to help others and serve a greater cause, and that will be a game-changer at a certain point.


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      Want a chance to be featured in future Fan Art Fridays? Head over to the Fan Art Friday thread in the Art forum to find out how!

    • Fan Art Friday #87: RWBY Animation by Elessar7

      4 weeks ago

      Rooster Teeth Poppycock

      It’s time for our weekly look at the best Rooster Teeth fan art from our community, curated by the fine folks at BIGBITE!


      This week’s featured artist is Nicholas Sharp, AKA @Elessar7, for this RWBY-inspired animation.




      Nicholas lives in Minnesota, where he’s a barista and aspiring game developer. He created this animation during his spare time over the span of about seven months. The models and animation were done in Maya; the level was built in Unreal Engine 4 and shot with Sequencer; and the music was added with Adobe Premiere.


      ------------------------------


      Want a chance to be featured in future Fan Art Fridays? Head over to the Fan Art Friday thread in the Art forum to find out how!

    • Answers to Questions Posed in RT Podcast #457

      1 month ago

      Rooster Teeth Poppycock

      It's time for our regular segment in which @Gafgarian (AKA Jeremiah Palmer) provides answers to the burning questions left unanswered in each episode of the Rooster Teeth Podcast. Read on to get closure for He Loves Barbies – #457.


      2013912-1505235214987-RT_Podcast_457_2_t


      K-pop music video as Nazis?

      Pritz is a South Korean pop group that made some minor headlines in late 2014 when they performed at a horse racetrack wearing the outfits in the picture below:


      qqsmetiua2xubspfe9fz.jpg


      Naturally, this caused a bit of an uproar across fans and news outlets. The band claimed ignorance and their managing talent agency responded with, "the thought never occurred." They went on to say that the armbands were not inspired by Nazi armbands but rather a multi-directional traffic sign. The arrows intended to represent the group's intention "to expand without a limit in four directions."


      Pritz would shortly follow up their live performance with a music video featuring the controversial outfits, as well as several live performances. Despite the negative feedback, the group, and talent agency, still stand behind their outfits.


      Gal Gadot pronunciation?

      We actually tackled this one a few weeks back in the answers to #442. Here is that post's response:


      According to the Amazonian princess herself, in a 2016 Jimmy Kimmel interview, the proper pronunciation is actually "guh-DUTT," with a hard T at the end. However, another video, shown below, is a mashup of various news reports and announcers attempting to pronounce her name. One of the first pronunciations is of Wonder Woman pronouncing her name as "guh-DOTE"! This video is older, and the clip older yet so this difference could be attributed to an audio flub or even a purposeful "Americanization" of her name. That said, since Gal actually takes time to correct, and teach, Kimmel the proper pronunciation, it seems safe to say that is the most accurate. That or, as she is supposedly known around movie sets for her sense of humor, she is just quite the prankster and is secretly teaching everyone to say her name slightly different.


      On a related note, her parents' original surname of Greenstein would've been far easier to pronounce for us all.


      Blueprint Batman sheets?

      15gap26a1.jpgApparently we all shopped at KMart, hah! As soon as you mentioned the blueprints I immediately knew exactly what you were talking about. Along with the sweet Batman linens, I also had the below Star Wars bedding which I recently stumbled across in a vintage booth at an arts flea market. Nothing makes you feel old quite like having the word "vintage" tacked onto your memories.


      il_570xN.1340423823_n61g.jpg


      Plural of LEGO?

      As confirmed on the Podcast, the plural of LEGO is just "LEGO." Like sand, you have buckets of LEGO or, if you absolutely must have an "s," LEGO bricks. The battle against the added "s" has been a relatively constant thorn for LEGO for years. As early as 1980, the below message was printed on several LEGO set boxes.


      Dear Parents and Children:
      The word LEGO® is a brand name and is very special to all of us in the LEGO Group Companies. We would sincerely like your help in keeping it special. Please always refer to our bricks as 'LEGO Bricks or Toys' and not 'LEGOS.' By doing so, you will be helping to protect and preserve a brand of which we are very proud and that stands for quality the world over. Thank you!


      You may wonder why this is such an issue. Why do they care if you are adding an "s"? Their reason is actually pretty sound and, unlike the GIF vs "JIF" debate, has very real consequences. In the world of trademarks the worst thing that can happen to a brand is the genericization of their company's assets. This is the reason why Google is against you saying, "I'll just google it" when referring to searching the internet. Notice the purposely used lowercase "g" in that statement. Every use of Google's brand as a verb dilutes the brand itself, and continued use could eventually lead to the complete dissolution of their trademark. It is for this reason that LEGO, over 35 years ago, printed messages on boxes letting us know that they would like our "help in keeping it special." This is a very literal statement. By adding the "s," we are potentially dooming the LEGO brand. Unfortunately, this brand is the only protection LEGO has left, as their patent on the configuration of the brick expired in 1988. This means that the only thing stopping a company like MegaBlocks from capitalizing on the LEGO name is their trademark on those four letters.


      A more recent, and less friendly announcement from the company on the proper use of their brand name includes bulleted instructions on proper use.


      Please help us to protect our brand name:

      • The LEGO brand name should always be written in capital letters.

      • LEGO must never be used as a generic term or in the plural or as a possessive pronoun, e.g. “LEGO’s”.

      • When the LEGO brand name is used as part of a noun, it must never appear on its own. It should always be accompanied by a noun. For example, LEGO set, LEGO products, LEGO Group, LEGO play materials, LEGO bricks, LEGO universe, etc.

      • The first time the LEGO brand name appears it must be accompanied by the Registered symbol ®.

      An unfortunate side effect of the LEGO Group's recent, and succinct, message is that it has inadvertently drawn out some proponents of the term’s genericization. This stance is typically supported by the claim that LEGO originates from the Danish "leg godt" which means "play well" and is typically used as an adjective. They go on to point out that the generalization of a brand has never originated from an adjective and had its generic use be a noun. Instead, more frequently, the genericization occurs when a noun becomes a more widely used noun, such as aspirin, or a noun becomes a verb, as in trampoline or yo-yo.


      Interestingly, while researching this, I learned that the addition of the "s" when discussing LEGO is apparently a very "American" thing to do. This was initially thought to be because of the tendency, in English, to immediately append an "s" to signify plurality; however, it seems that most English speaking countries, including Australia, the UK, and India, do use the proper form of LEGO in most cases. The added "s" seems to be a majority American thing to do. There is no real known origin, and it likely cannot be tied back to a single use case. Just know that in the event LEGO does lose its trademark due to a determined genericization of their brand, it is likely our, meaning Americans’, fault.


      Now that you know a bit of both sides of the argument, what are your thoughts? I know there are quite a few international RT Community members, so naturally we need to know which form of LEGO you, and those around you, tend to use. And, of course, strawpoll!


      Do they still make Bionicle?

      Bionicle were a line of advanced construction LEGO sets which were launched as part of LEGO Group's Technic series in 2001. In order to create more interest for the understandably more difficult building concepts presented by Bionicle, a robust storyline accompanied the Bionicle universe. It was this fully developed backstory which led to the series' name. Bionicle, coming from the combination of "biological chronicle," was chosen because of the storyline emphasis on a science fantasy world inhabited by biomechanically engineered protagonists and antagonists.


      Though hesitant at first, LEGO investors quickly saw the realized potential of the Bionicle brand as it became one of the most successful lines in company history, netting them £100 million in its first year. Over the next decade, Bionicle would appear in a multitude of formats, from comic books and novels to video games and four direct-to-DVD full length feature films. Despite this popularity and the reception of multiple toy rewards over the next decade, Bionicle was discontinued in 2010. It did make a very brief resurgence just in time for holiday season 2015, only to fall again shortly thereafter.


      What does Disney XD stand for?

      According to Disney's President of Entertainment for Disney Channel Worldwide, Gary Marsh, Disney XD does not actually have a meaning. It was only chosen due to the aesthetics of the letters next to each other. This is despite the use of the abbreviation on a previous Disney website iteration featuring an interactive web interface known as Disney Xtreme Digital.


      Crossfire remix?

      There are a few remixes floating around out there on them interwebs but perhaps the most popular is a bit from 2011 featuring Mr. Freddie Wong and hair metal band Steel Panther. Here's the video!




      On a related note, my best yard sale find to this day was the moment 10-year old me stumbled across some grandma selling her poor grandson's Crossfire for $3. It was one of a handful of commercials in my life that have totally delivered on their promise. The game was legitimately fun to play, even if the guns had a tendency to jam on you and there were no explosions when your marbles would hit the opponent's spinners.


      Kids with seizures and cannabis oil?

      To clarify, this treatment while commonly referred to by the more generic moniker of "cannabis oil" was actually, more specifically, cannabidiol or CBD. This compound is one of more than 80 active cannabinoid chemicals in marijuana, including tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the substance responsible for getting you stoned. CBD can also be found in the non-psychoactive, yet still illegal, hemp plant, though studies suggest that CBD from the marijuana plant are more potent and make for a better medicine.


      This specific discussion references a 2016 study performed by NYU Langone's Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. During a 14-week period, 120 pediatric patients diagnosed with Dravet syndrome were given either a cannabidiol oral treatment or a placebo in order to assess the viability of a cannabinoid treatment for the debilitating disorder.


      The severe childhood-onset disorder affects 1 in 30,000 children in American and can cause developmental delays, including speech, language, behavioral, and balance issues. It is very common for those suffering from Dravet to experience severe epileptic seizures that can have a frequency as high as 30 in a single day. Due to this severity and the spectrum of possible effects, existing epilepsy medications have very little effect on those suffering from Dravet. According to Dr. Orrin Devinsky, the lead author of NYU Langone's study, this can mean death rates as high as 20% before age 20.


      During Devinsky's study, the frequency of seizures was, on average, nearly half for those taking the CBD compound. The placebo group, predictably, did not change dramatically, experiencing only a 13% decrease in frequency. He would also show that 5% of the patients would become free of all seizures, or seizure-like symptoms, while taking the CBD compound. Overall Devinsky did declare the study a success but was quick to insist that there is more work to be done. He would later say, "CBD is an effective drug for this type of rare epilepsy but was not a panacea (or cure-all) for these children," pointing out that the CBD group was not without side effects, including vomiting, dizziness, and exhaustion.


      Devinsky and his peers are encouraged by the study, stating that any legitimate study which shows any form of cannabis treatment as a viable medicinal option is a step in the right direction toward getting the FDA to reclassify the drug. At the moment, due to the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning that it is recognized to be on the same legal level as heroin, LSD, and bath salts, and is not seen to have any "accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse."


      Naturally, proponents of medical marijuana point to Devinsky's study, and many others, as further proof that this is, at best, a misguided and misunderstood incorrect classification and, at worst, an example of the FDA blatantly ignoring fact in order to maintain control over a substance which has a complicated potentiality for taxation.


      Is dabbing also a drug term?

      It is! Dabbing, in drug lingo, is a reference to the DIY vaporization and ingestion of hash or cannabis oil by placing it on a hot surface and ingesting the vapor released as the cannabis concentrate boils and bubbles away. This vapor is typically much more potent than a typical hit of weed and, given the reliance on the specific chemical composition of the concentrate as well as a more complex ingestion process, it is certainly a more dangerous and complicated method of getting stoned.


      Why can law enforcement compel you to unlock your phone with a fingerprint but not if you have a passcode?

      They can do this because a fingerprint is not considered "knowledge" and, due to a literal interpretation of our fifth amendment right against self-incrimination, is not protected under the law. However, a passcode, passphrase, or pass-pattern is protected. In 2014, a Virginia judge ruled that police CAN force you to unlock your phone with your fingerprint; however, it was not until the 2016 San Bernardino shooting that a judge would issue a search warrant that required a suspect to unlock their phone via their fingerprint.


      In iOS 11, Apple fought back against this perceived unconstitutional legal loophole by providing a quick shortcut to disabling your phone's TouchID. To quickly disable your TouchID, simply press the sleep/wake button of an iPhone, running iOS 11, five times in rapid succession. A screen will appear which has options to power off, bring up your Medical ID (if filled out), or make an emergency 911 call. There is also a lone cancel button. Upon hitting cancel, or making an emergency call, your TouchID will be temporarily disabled and you will be required to enter your passcode in order to access your phone. Prior to this update, the TouchID could only be disabled by power cycling the phone, waiting 48 hours without using it, or disabling via settings. All of these methods still work, of course, but the newest method certainly has a more obvious purpose behind it given its ease of activation as well as the lack of direct feedback that the fingerprint scanner has been successfully disabled.


      For those curious, the Virginia judge's decision would also apply to the FaceID scan to be launched with the iPhone X. According to that ruling, a person's fingerprint, DNA, handwriting samples, or likeness are not protected by the fifth amendment. Thoughts on this one? Should it all be protected or are a person's fingerprints and DNA public enough for possible incrimination?

    • 5 Dumb Questions About Cashews (RT Food #1)

      1 month ago

      Rooster Teeth Poppycock

      By @charlesaustin


      FLjv8WX.jpg


      People agree that a peanut is a very normal nut*. They are so normal that we have allowed them into human society. We all know Mr. Peanut. He is a very respectable spokesperson and he looks like he could impress a dinner party of Manhattan elites with a well-timed quip at a $25,000-a-plate fundraiser.


      You would be happy to welcome him into your home. You would vote for him to be mayor. Your children may be allergic to him, but they still respect him as a businessperson and an American icon.


      By all appearances, the cashew isn’t much different. This guy is pretty peanut-like when you see him in a can of mixed nuts. Sure, he looks a little different, but he seems like an altogether upstanding nut.


      But he is not. The cashew is not like you or me and is fucked up. The cashew nut is actually the seed of an apple, and it grows outside of the apple, not inside where it belongs. And while the humble peanut stays close to the ground, to remind us of its meager beginnings, arrogant cashew trees can grow as high as 46 feet tall. This tree is what tree scholars would call “too big for its britches.”


      I am sure you all have a lot of questions about this uncouth nut, but I am going to answer these fake made-up ones instead.


      Can I eat the cashew nut?

      Obviously. This is a very stupid question. People eat cashews all the time. If these questions don’t get better, this is not going to be a very good article.


      Can I eat the cashew fruit?

      Yes, and in fact it’s more popular in Brazil than the nut is. The reason you don’t see it in much of the world is that it’s a soft fruit with a fragile skin and it doesn’t travel well. But in Brazil, for example, the cashew apple is all over the place. Sometimes it’s added to the national cocktail, the Caipirinha, in a variation known as a Caipifruta. Wikipedia claims that fruit drinks made with cashew apple have “notes of mango, raw green pepper, and just a little hint of grapefruit-like citrus.” Who are we to disagree?


      So fermenting the cashew apple can get you drunk, but there’s no reason to stop there. It’s also eaten fresh from the tree or prepared in curries, jams, preserves, and chutneys. You can eat it in a box with a fox or any number of other Seussian locations.


      I just bought a new house with a 1.7-acre backyard. Could I plant the world’s largest cashew tree in my yard?

      First of all, congratulations on becoming a homeowner. But no, you could not. The world’s largest cashew tree, located in Brazil, covers at least 1.8 acres of space, and maybe a bit more. That sounds really big, and it is, but don’t get it twisted. It’s not like the tree has one gigantic trunk that’s two acres in diameter, even though that would be a lot cooler. In actuality, the tree’s many branches, over the years (more than a hundred, possibly a thousand), have slumped to the ground and then sprouted roots of their own, making for one big tree that’s almost like a network of small trees. The tree is basically an orchard of its own. It produces around 60,000 fruits per year and could probably become a pretty good tourist destination if they installed some phone chargers and a Wifi hotspot.


      273VPS2.jpg

      What kind of god would allow this to happen on Earth?


      Eating is well and good, but how can I use cashews to kill people?

      There are plenty of ways.


      First off, have you ever wondered why you never see cashews for sale in the shell? It turns out, they actually have two shells, and between the two layers are caustic acids: cardol and anacardic acid. These can severely burn your skin. Feel free to imagine how a Bond villain might use this to nefarious advantage.


      There are plenty of real-world examples of putting these acids to use too. In World War II, the Office of Strategic Services poured cashew-shell oil into German engine crankcases to sabotage their vehicles.


      As for how cashew roasters make sure there’s no toxicity in the cashews we buy in the store: the roasting process eliminates the acids, but the cashews must be roasted outside because the fumes from roasting can cause possibly life-threatening irritation of the lungs. This, we guess, is another way that cashews can kill someone.


      What can cashews tell us about trade?

      Glad you asked. Cashew trees are native to Brazil, but the Portuguese spread them around the world in the middle of the 16th Century. One place they brought them was India, and today India processes a large portion of the world’s cashews. But the modern cashew industry isn’t the only way this cultural and ecological cross-pollination has shaped India.


      Cashews have been used in Indian cuisine since the time they arrived in the country. Dishes that we think of as distinctly Indian—korma, for example—wouldn’t be how they are without cashews. Some of the basics of Indian cuisine are, in this way, owed to the Portuguese.


      Of course, the global economy imposes downsides too. Indian women who process cashews often make about two or three U.S. dollars for a 10-hour day of work, and suffer severe damage to their hands from handling the cashews’ corrosive acids.


      In Vietnam, some cashews are shelled in forced labor camps by “drug addicts ... who are beaten and subjected to electric shocks.” Unfortunately, this is not one of the things that makes cashews strange or unique. Many of the foods we eat are produced using forced or coercive labor practices. It’s a problem which, in the near term, shows the importance of fair-trade practices, and in the long term signals the need to transition to a more equitable world economy.



      *Yes, we all know that peanuts are technically legumes.

    • Fan Art Friday #86: Atomic Yang by Xuelder

      1 month ago

      Rooster Teeth Poppycock

      It’s time for our weekly look at the best Rooster Teeth fan art from our community, curated by the fine folks at BIGBITE!


      This week’s featured artist is Christian, AKA @Xuelder, for this Atomic Blonde-inspired illustration of Yang.


      S2lpMWP.png


      Christian lives in New Orleans, where he’s working on an indie game project and looking into freelance in the greater games industry.


      He loves the movie Atomic Blonde, and was inspired to make this piece with Yang Xiao Long. To create this illustration, Christian used a program called Marmoset Hexels and free-hand drew it. Hexels uses six- or three-sided polygons called Hexels and Trixels, respectively, instead of the traditional four-sided pixel. This creates stylized low poly style art fairly easily. The text and texture were done in Fire Alpaca.


      ------------------------------


      Want a chance to be featured in future Fan Art Fridays? Head over to the Fan Art Friday thread in the Art forum to find out how!

    • Answers to Questions Posed in RT Podcast #456

      1 month ago

      Rooster Teeth Poppycock

      It's time for our regular segment in which @Gafgarian (AKA Jeremiah Palmer) provides answers to the burning questions left unanswered in each episode of the Rooster Teeth Podcast. Read on to get closure for Burnie and Ashley Air their Grievances – #456.


      2013912-1504895465119-RT_Podcast_456_1_t


      What is Whole30?

      According to the official Whole30 documentation, Whole30 was founded by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig in 2009 with the goal of "resetting" your body's metabolism, immune system, and general health by severely limiting the amount, and type, of nutrients you take in during a 30-day period. According to creator, Melissa Hartwig, the goal is to "eliminate the most common craving inducing, blood sugar disrupting, gut damaging, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days... [In order to] let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing."


      In short, this means that you can, and should, eat meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, fruit, and fats. By contrast, you must avoid the following at all costs: sugar (of all types, including natural sweeteners), alcohol, grains, smoking, beans/legumes, soy, dairy, and all of the processed unpronounceable ingredients. Easy, right?


      Hartwig has stood fully behind her nutrition program for nearly 10 years and claims that a successful 30-day stint is not as difficult as you might imagine, largely because, in her mind, it isn't a "diet." Hartwig believes that we spend most diets "white-knuckling" our way through calorie counting and deprivation and this essentially dooms us to struggle and eventually fail from the very beginning. Whole30, by contrast, has no points system or calorie tracking.


      Along with a detailed description of how the nutrition plan works, and the rules associated, the website also has a large collection of testimonials from people who have successfully completed the 30-day challenge. Among these testimonials are reports of extremely reduced symptoms and even "miracle cure" stories involving conditions stemming from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, allergies, hives, infertility, migraines, severe depression, ADHD, lupus, Crohn's, and many others, including something called "leaky gut syndrome." This is apparently a "hypothetical" and "medically unrecognized condition" which is commonly claimed among "nutritionists and practitioners of alternative medicine" to be a real condition. Psychiatrist, and owner of Quackwatch, Stephen Barrett describes the "syndrome" as a "fad diagnosis" which is used to promote unrecognized, and sometimes dangerous, alternative health practices including diets and dietary supplements.


      This should not be misconstrued as me saying Whole30 belongs in the same group as some of the insanity Barrett has outlined on Quackwatch. For its part, Whole30, by the opinions of most nutritionists, doctors, and psychiatrists, does seem to get several points correct with regard to what nutrients do, and do not, the body good. The biggest pieces detractors latch onto actually have less to do with the rules of the Whole30 program and more to do with Hartwig's "snake oil salesman" routine to get mass buy-in and add-on sales of sponsored products through the Whole30 website. They point out that listing the serious diseases above on the site with the word "cure," even in quotes as it is on the Whole30 site, is a dangerous precedent and expectation to set, even if unintentional.


      Ultimately, the point out that, even if Whole30 were a 100% viable and fully backed nutrition plan, it naturally keeps "poor company" in that it is often grouped in with other less-than-reputable fad diets and alternative medicine, in general. This proliferation of various alternative medicines as a possible "miracle drug" to all that ails you has become a growing mainstream issue, largely due to the public's general distrust in "Big Pharma" and the healthcare industry as a whole. Now it's your turn. What do you think? Are fad diets like Whole30, the very similar Paleo diet, and others breeding a greater distrust in established medicine or is this type of negative publicity just the conspiracy machine working in favor of the man?


      What is cacao?

      I will be honest, there have been only a few questions which I have been able to answer without actually doing any research on the topic. Surprisingly, this was actually one of them. I guess all those years of growing up ten minutes from Hershey's Chocolate World finally came in handy!


      First up, despite their very similar spellings, cacao is absolutely NOT the same thing as cocoa. However, technically cocoa IS cacao, only a refined and processed version of it. Chocolate, regardless of what form it ends up in, all comes from the same seeds; those of the Theobroma cacao tree. Native to South America, its seed pods look roughly like a deflated coconut football, are harvested, cracked, and emptied of their coffee-bean like seeds. These cacao beans are the purest form of cacao and are often eaten raw in various regions of South America, as their health benefits as natural antioxidants are much greater pre-processing. In fact, most studies involving the "health benefits of chocolate" are not actually looking at your closest Snickers bar, but rather the unprocessed cacao bean... A bit misleading there, huh?


      NationalGeographic_416045.jpg


      Cacao powder is used in baking as a chocolate flavoring as well and will present as a more bitter taste. Cocoa is heated at a much higher temperature than cacao which brings forth a richer sweeter taste but also diminishes a good bit of the nutritional value. This drop in value as an antioxidant is especially severe, with 100 grams of raw cacao having its antioxidant levels reduced by nearly 75% after processing.


      Cacao-vs-Cocoa-info-1-1.jpg


      Are the ball magnets illegal?

      In 2012, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued its first stop-sale order in 11 years when it ordered a mandatory recall of Buckyballs and Zen Magnets. In 2014, this would be extended to an outright ban on the small magnets. These small Neodymium magnetic spheres were ultimately banned because, while marketed to adults, they would find their way into the hands of young children. These children would inevitably swallow the little magnetic beads, like you do, leading to some pretty serious medical cases.


      1355386196358324830.jpg


      The trouble is that, unlike most things swallowed by children, these are unlikely to pass on their own if more than one is swallowed. This is because the little magnets are exceptionally strong for their small size and will attract each other through the thin organ membranes of the human body. This can easily lead to serious cases of internal bleeding and other internal lacerations. There have been numerous cases of this exact incident over the years, including a 3-year-old Oregonian who swallowed 37 of tiny magnets in 2012. They would eventually bore four holes through here gastrointestinal system. A 6-year-old would swallow 19 of the tiny beads in 2013, leading to two holes in her bowels.


      Following their ban, stores across the country, including Amazon, dropped all mentions of the product, refusing to even process resales of the controversial toy. In 2016, however, an administrative judge would rule in favor of Zen Magnets, saying, "90% of the predicate injuries only 'possibly' involved magnet sets provides the court with little guidance." Which essentially means that, in the view of that judge, the CPSC did not provide adequate evidence showing the true danger of the toys and that the harms associated with them were "overstated." Timothy Mullins, the representative for Buckyballs during the proceedings, stated afterwards that, "Nobody wants anyone to be injured, but we do accept as a society that there are products that injure people because the benefit outweighs the risk."


      What do you think? Should we limit, or outright ban, the sale of certain products because they could accidentally be used contrary to their actual use case and lead to great harm, or even death? Does it make a difference if these people are very young children? As a parent... and a lover of magnetic toys... I'm pretty torn on this one honestly.


      What are the feats which David Blaine has performed?

      Since 1999, illusionist and self-proclaimed endurance artist, David Blaine, has performed ten endurance stunts. His most recent took place in 2012, atop a 22-foot high pillar at NYC's Pier 54. The three day stunt featured him wearing a faraday cage outfit in order to protect him from the millions of volts being generated by the seven Tesla coils surrounding him. In addition to electricity, previous stunts have included blocks of ice, tanks of water, suspension upside down, a plexiglass case suspended over the Thames in London, a rotating gyroscope, and a 100-foot tall pillar in NYC's Bryant Park. In performing these stunts he has broken a few different endurance records, though they were relatively quickly broken by others in a less public spectacle. The most well known of these was a stunt during a 2008 appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show in which he broke the world record for oxygen assisted static apnea after submerging himself for 17 minutes 4-1/2 seconds. In addition to his public appearances, Blaine has performed privately for every US president since Bill Clinton as well as notables such as Michael Jackson and Muhammad Ali.


      The proper way to open pistachios?

      Turns out the secret was there the whole time!




      GIF or (J)IF?

      This has become a pretty polarizing topic since GIF creator Steve Wilhite's 2013 proclamation that “The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations. They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story.”


      California web developer, Aaron Basinet has taken his opinion on the matter pretty seriously, creating the website HowToReallyPronounceGIF.com. On the site, he explains that "every word that starts with G, then a vowel, then an F, is pronounced with a hard G. For example: Gaffe. Gift. Guff. Guffaw." He also points out that most one-syllable words that begin with G also have a hard G. Ignoring the multiple syllable "giraffe" Aaron explains that the one-syllable words which do have the soft "g" are either direct translations from other languages or abbreviations of larger words using the soft "g" sound, for example, gel's relation to gelatin or geo's to geology.


      Additionally, he points out the popular argument that the word the "g" stands for also begins with hard "g." While he acknowledges that this is not a perfect supporting factor because other acronyms in the tech space do not follow that "rule" such as with JPEGs hard "p" pronunciation despite it standing for the word photography. Explaining that "pronunciation of acronyms tends to follow pronunciation rules like any regular word," Aaron is adamant that the ONLY reason for the soft "g" pronunciation is Whilhite's controversial 2013 comment on the subject.


      While it is certainly true that Whilhite believes the pronunciation to be with the soft "g," chief editor for the Oxford English Dictionary, John Simpson, is quick to point out that, "the pronunciation with a hard g is now very widespread and readily understood. A coiner effectively loses control of a word once it’s out there…” In other words, Wilhite allowed, admittedly without much choice, his creation's pronunciation to enter the lexicon with the "incorrect" hard "g." Much the same way as the man who coined the name scuba, Dr. Christian Lambertsen, did not control the public's pronunciation of the long "u," Whilhite has no more control over GIF's pronunciation.


      Naturally, it wouldn't be answer post without an expectation of your opinions so... here is your strawpoll. Let me know how wrong I am!


      Who did Troy Baker voice in Persona 4?

      First of all, Troy Baker is unfairly charismatic. Good lord, I quickly found the answer to this but immediately fell down a rabbit hole of Baker-isms that make me fawn over him almost as much as Barbara does.


      "You can never own a role. You're merely a custodian of it for awhile, and that's it. Who owns King Lear? Who owns Richard the Third? You find something about you in that character that makes it personal to you and you get to interpret it but you never get to own it...I can never fully own Kanji. If it belongs to anybody, it belongs to you guys. It belongs to the fans." (0_0)


      Here's the clip that started it all.


      Oh, and Matthew Mercer is the actual answer. :)


      Do raccoons wash their food?

      Despite their scientific name of Procyon lotor, meaning "washing bear", they do not actually was their food. Washing food prior to consuming is not an unheard of trait in the animal world however, in an effort to settle the debate once and for all, the London Zoo began a study in 1961. The study would find that, even in cases where no water was present, the animals would still go through the washing motions as if they were cleaning the food. Further study on this would puzzle researchers as they observed the animals "washing" meats more than plants and not washing dirty earthworms at all. A later study by biologists Rasmusson and Turnbull would discover that the primate-like hands of the raccoon would have increased tactile sensation and nerve responsiveness when wet. Turns out this "washing" process is less about the food being held and more about the tiny furry hands doing the holding. By wetting their hands they are able to get more vivid information on the food they are about to consume.


      Unlike a primate's skin, racoons to not have papillary ridges on their palms which help increase this tactile response without the need for water. These ridges are what make up our fingerprints and contain thousands of living cells whose only job is to respond to sensations like pressure, tension, and friction. Conversely, the raccoon's poorer than average eyesight and reliance on sense of smell and hearing, combined with their lack of these ridges, leave the little "trash pandas" struggling to realize what they are sticking in their mouths. Given this new insight, that had to have made the cotton candy raccoon that much more confused.

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