Hot Chocolate with the Carolina Reaper

Carolina Reaper Dark Chocolate

When on holiday, I’m always interested in different teas and chocolates. I happen to come across urbandeli when seeking brunch and decided to go back and check it out in full. I saw a whole shelf of chocolates but one stuck out a mile away, mainly because it had a tag underneath it saying something in Swedish about danger not for Children!

To be honest I thought it was some gimmick but as I love chilli & dark chocolate I bought a bar and decided to try it out in store, as the store is part of a bar and hotel, meaning anything you bought you could consume too (they even have microwaves).

On further investigation I realised while eating my first tiny bit. This wasn’t a joke, the chilli flaked bars I had in the past were nothing like the heat this was delivering to my tongue and mouth. It was the real deal, proper heat from a small chunk of chocolate.

It wasn’t till I looked it up, I realised everything. I heard of the Scoville number but didn’t know the scale of the numbers. I had also misread the number on the packet as 1.569 not 1569300! Massive difference!

The name of the chocolate came from the chilli with the same name.
With a Scoville value of 1,569,300 which was officially the hottest chilli in the world 5-7 years ago. Gizmodo did a nice piece about the chilli which I found interesting.

I finally found it on Cocoarunners site with a review

This is not just a chilli chocolate bar, this a Carolina Reaper chilli chocolate bar.

Bred in South Carolina, the Carolina Reaper has held the Guinness World Record for the world’s hottest chilli since 2013. When tested for the record, the batch of chilies had an average heat level of 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units. The hottest individual pepper measured 2.2 million Scovilles. For comparison a Jalapeno generally has a heat range of 1,000 – 20,000 Scoville units.

The dark chocolate is a blend oh Ghanaian and Dominican beans but honestly this serves as nothing more than a base for the chilli. Break off the smallest piece imaginable, put it on your tongue and discover what is almost certainly the world’s hottest chocolate (and certainly the hottest chocolate we’ve ever tasted).

There is no question of subtle flavours and different tasting notes. The chilli flavour starts deceptively slowly and keeps on building and building. Waves of heat pass across the palate, overwhelming anyone with a low spice tolerance. Long after the chocolate itself has melted away you are left with a tingling sensation on the tongue – a piquant reminder of the Carolina Reaper’s passage. A unique chocolate experience, this is not a bar for the faint-hearted.

Always good to find these type of things…!

Busy in November…

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Everybody is busy on the run up to the Holidays but I didn’t expect to be out of the country so much in November. I had planned to be busy September, then October be about Mozfest (feeling guilty I still haven’t written about how Mozfest 2016 went). Then I’d focus on writing the TVX 2017 paper with Anna.

Here’s the lineup of places I’m due to be soon.

I’ll be talking about object based media and the big advantages of pursuing a internet first/driven stratergy and experiences in storytelling. I would be much more on the ball if I didn’t finally get the cold which I seemd to avoid all the way from May.

Our embarssment is destorying people’s lives

I just posted a blog about undressed which I tagged #nsfw, as I recognise certain people will find the whole premise a little difficult to stomach? So because of this, I thought I’d post a blog I have had as draft for a long while.

Sex works rights… Why?

It’s the injustice which winds me up. Like the debate around Ecstasy, I haven’t got any skin in the game (if there was a better word I’d use it) but I can see the logical conclusion without social/societal bias.

The idea of sex workers is something which makes people go red. run away or ignore the whole thing. It’s frankly shocking and so crazy that we haven’t grown up enough to talk about this in a practical way. I mean there are many peoples lives at risk simply because we go all red when thinking about sex.

There are sorry parallels with the sorry state of sex education in schools.

Everyone has an opinion about how to legislate sex work (whether to legalize it, ban it or even tax it) … but what do workers themselves think would work best? Activist Toni Mac explains four legal models that are being used around the world and shows us the model that she believes will work best to keep sex workers safe and offer greater self-determination. “If you care about gender equality or poverty or migration or public health, then sex worker rights matter to you,” she says. “Make space for us in your movements.”

Valerie Scott always wanted to be a sex worker and has extensive experience in her chosen profession. She is a founding member and legal co-ordinator of Sex Professionals of Canada, a sex worker rights organization. She has been a passionate advocate for her colleague’s human, civil, and legal rights for the past 30 years. She has testified at Canada’s Senate and at several Parliamentary committees. She has spoken at numerous community meetings, colleges, universities, and conferences about the humanity of sex workers and the need for full decriminalization of adult sex work.

Both are powerful talks, and well worth watching. Deep down it’s about the rights of people to live a life without violence, fear and shame.They both talk about New Zealand which  decriminalised sex work and rejected the legalisation model used in Sweden. The reasoning is very sound and very enlighten.

Hopefully more countries will follow suit or at least try (similar to the legalisation of drugs maybe?) because right now the whole sex work industry sounds like a total mess. (just like the UK right now, to be honest) Too many people (mainly women) are caught in the middle one way or another. Frankly we all are letting down these people by simply not listening.

A tale or two about piracy

Speeding car

I really wanted to work with Musicmetric to do something like they have now done. Gain some real insight into what media habits people really are and highlight the very interesting innovation happening on the dark/undernet.

Interestingly Manchester was named the biggest UK city for piracy.

The research said there were more illegal downloads per person in the city than any other in the country, followed by Nottingham and Southampton. The statistics, from monitoring service Musicmetric, conclude that in the first half of 2012, UK users illegally shared over 40 million albums and singles.

Well I never… Whats that quote again?

Manchester does today what the rest of the world does tomorrow?

Looking at actual downloads is also interesting. Even Armin Van Buuren gets a high rating… of course I wouldn’t know anything about this…

Outside of this massive amount of music piracy data, it would be great to do the same for TV and Films.

In related news… I saw this in a few places (BBC) and (torrentfreak)… How the pirate bay got started.

By the end of 2004, a year after the site launched, the tracker was tracking a million peers and over 60,000 torrent files. Around the same time the founders also noticed that it was not only Scandinavians developing interested in their site.

In fact, by now 80% of their users came from other parts of the world. Because of increasing worldwide popularity The Pirate Bay team completely redesigned the site, which became available in several languages in July 2005.

For me personally I remember going to Sweden to visit Anna, a friend of Sarah’s. Anna’s boyfriend and me got talking about computers and he showed me the crazy speed available to them in 2004. I remember plugging into his network switch and be shocked to find a real IP (non-Nat). Then he showed me a site with a pirate ship. It didn’t say Piratebay but something like it in Swedish (maybe Piratbyrån). At the time SuperNova was all the rage and I did scoff at the idea. He then showed me how fast he could download a ISO of Debian. The speeds were not only shocking but earth shattering to me on my 512k ADSL line. 10meg/sec download in 2004 was unreal.

If only I had understood what a force this site would become… Specially when I came back in 2010 to find my flatmate (tim) and a bunch of people (loz and others) surrounded by boxes and boxes of 50k of pirate party flyers!

Steal this film – thePirateBay movie

I wish, mine would download at 2.5meg a second!

Quoting from Torrent Freak

Steal this film is a series of documentaries about filesharing, and p2p networks. The first part is about the Piratebay, and their vision on the things that went down the end of May.

Steal this film has full details and a selection of torrent which can be used to download it in ipod, dvd and quicktime formats. I'm sure someone will transcode it into divx, xvid, mpeg4, etc soon.

In other Bittorrent news, Disney's very senior Anne Sweeney admits to downloading pirated desperate housewives. Yes and it turns out that, at that point she realised that she was also competing with Digital pirates. Oh did I mention there is a new version of Azureus too? Yum, yum!

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Sunshine, wireless and holiday geeks camps

A long long time ago I went on a geeky holiday in Ibiza. It was my second time on the island and its was just after I finished my Interactive design BA at Ravensbourne, so I was in need for a break away after the years of stress. The holiday was simply a very last minute cheap package holiday costing 40 pounds a person for 2 weeks which included flights and 3 star hotel. Because I could not get someone else to come with me on such short notice (next day), I had to pay a single suppliment fee of 30 pounds. But 70 pounds for 2 weeks away in the hills of Ibiza wasnt bad at all.

Anyway, I took my laptop with me and spent most of the holiday working on cubicgarden.com (should have just setup a blog all that time ago) and learning more XML technologies like Xlink. And although it was very geeky, it was kinda of nice because some of the people in the same hotel were from the IT field and didnt really think of it being super strange me sitting at the outside hotel bar with my laptop drinking and messing with CSS.

I had thought about running a couple of holidays along this same type of idea, geek holidays or something. But never found the time. Well I'm starting to think its a idea maybe worth revisiting with all the BarCamp, FooCamp, etc Camp's going on. Yes I know most people go away to get away from it all but theres a small but long tail of people which dont see it holidays like that, me included. Geek Dinners is another one of those things which should not make much sense on paper but it does in reality. The key thing in all these things is getting like socially minded people in to a venue and providing aspects of the tradional experience and there lifestyle. So in the camps you still got tents, fields and nature. But you've also got electricity, wireless and computers.

This isnt that new however, there's a camp event which has been running for years which I keep wanting to go to but keep forgetting (need to actually add it to my calendar or todo list one day). Its called What the Hack? and involves people coming together for a hacker event in the middle of a grassy field. I always thought about what the hack, as the Burning man for geeks and hackers. I can imagine something just like what the hack? but for bloggers, geeks, techies, etc?

The question remains if I can convince Sarah to come to such a holiday? I mean she loves camping but I think this would not count as “real camping” for her. Our friends in Sweden already offered us a relaxing holiday in a place they have in Gotland? They said theres no electricity and no internet access at all. I thought they were winding me up, but no they were serious. Now I know some of you will say it sounds so nice, walks in the forest, no electricity, candle lights etc. And I would agree for a couple of days at most, but a week plus? It sounds as scary as going to Sarah's grandparents house in the middle of no where illinois and having no mobile phone signal of any kind.

A lot of you maybe shaking your heads, but I know a few of you are thinking this is a little consistant with what you see in a holiday too. Hey and don't forget theres already holidays and camps for clubbers, trekies, blues fans, etc. A geek one strikes me as a really good idea.

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