We also do humanitarian work here at the blog: Solving the “babies in hot car” dilemma

baby in car

I’ve had some pretty terrible ideas in my lifetime, but  I gotta give credit where credit is due. I just solved the “accidentally leaving babies in a hot car until they die” epidemic we’re currently experiencing as a society. And it took me all of five minutes.

I’m joking when I call it an epidemic. Only 40 or so children die from this each year. There are plenty more deadly accidents suffered by babies and young children. But I’m not joking when I say it’s something that should be easily fixed.

When it comes to modern technology, you always want to think about an elaborate solution that includes motion sensors, cameras, electronics, etc. But I’m going with the super simple route this time. I say if you have children, you simply activate a setting in your car that causes the radio system to automatically play a three second baby crying sound every time you open the driver’s door.

Tell me this sound wouldn’t snap you out of whatever daydreamy zoned out state of mind you’re in when parking the car:

Radios can already do things like automatically adjust its volume depending on the presence of other noises and continue playing audio after the car has been shut off. It’s plenty capable of being programmed to emit this sound when you open the door.

And if a child dies because the driver didn’t have that feature activated (or ignored the crying sound), lock ’em up for life. Only if you wanted your kid to die (like these people) would you choose not to activate it when you first get the car.

OK, so there’s at least one product on the market that strives to do what my awesome invention would do, but it’s overly complex.

Equally bad is the idea that I’ve heard that requires you to keep a stuffed animal in the backseat of the car and then move it to the front seat whenever your child gets in the car. That gives these same mindless people another opportunity to forget the thing that’s supposed to help them not forget the child.

There are probably some very obvious tweaks to be made with my idea—such as having a way that the sound is only made when a child is actually in the car, rather than every time you open the door even when the child’s absent—but I’m more of a big picture guy. I get the ball rolling. Without the original idea, there’s nothing to tweak or perfect in the first place.

So when every new car from here on out has this nifty little security feature, you’ll know who to thank for saving your baby.


The Junk Food Expert Says: We need to talk about S’mores

Actually, we only need to talk about a single aspect of s’mores making: The marshmallow roasting.

Notice how I didn’t say “the marshmallow burning” or the “marshmallow blackening.” I said roasting, and by definition, roasting is “the act of cooking something in an oven or over an open fire.” Other definitions state: “to cook by prolonged exposure to heat” and “to dry, brown or parch by exposing to heat.”

Nowhere in any definition are the following words used: burnt, singed, set ablaze, engulf in flame, ruin.

(Now to the point of all this.)

And yet lately when the process of cooking s’mores comes up in natural conversation, everyone I know seems to think the proper way to roast a marshmallow is to stick the goddamn thing in a fire until it looks like this:

burnt-marshmallow1burnt marshmallowburning-marshmallow-04






Normally I subscribe to the life theory of everybody being entitled to their own opinion. Not in this situation. When it comes to roasting marshmallows, there’s a right and a wrong, no in between.

And really it’s just a common sense thing. In what other scenarios do you purposely burn your food before eating it? Burnt pizza is the worst. Burnt toast is inedible. Burnt popcorn has ruined relationships. If you try to argue that burning the outside of a marshmallow is on par with getting your burger or steak well done, I will remind you that getting your burger or steak well done is an insult to good eating.

Here’s the other problem with burning your marshmallow: It’s a total copout. The satisfaction from a perfectly roasted marshmallow comes mostly from the effort you had to put in to make it that way. Holding the marshmallow over the exact right spot of the fire. Ever-so-slowly turning it to get it golden on all sides. Keeping a watchful eye to make sure it never crosses that line of no return (i.e. flames actually coming off of it). In my book, you’re a coward if you take the easy way out by plopping the marshmallow into the middle of the fire, waiting for it to be engulfed in flames and then blowing it out and proudly calling it “perfection.”

Originally I was going to write that if you’re the type of person who purposely sets your marshmallow on fire, I don’t want to be friends with you. But now I’m realizing that roughly 85% of my friends apparently do this. So instead I’ll just say this: If you purposely turn the outside of your marshmallow black, I think you’re certifiably insane and should have your head examined. I think you should be locked up.

For you crazy people out there, I dare you to roast a marshmallow the proper way next time you have the opportunity and tell me it’s not 500 times better than your outdated Neanderthal way of doing things.

Otherwise I’ll take your silence as an admission of wrongdoing.

You’re all very welcome…Someone had to bring this hard-hitting issue to the forefront.