The Ideal Autumn Meal: Tamales With a Side of Grey Goo

Ah, it’s that time of the year. The leaves are turning red, the air is starting to cool, the sun is starting to set earlier. Autumn fast approaches, and with it, season specific food. Thats right, it’s tamale time!

Now, if your’e anything like me, then you love tamales. And who doesn’t love a variety of meats and spices wrapped in maze, covered in a corn husk and steamed to perfection? I know a lot about tamales, how to eat them, how to serve them, how to enjoy them, but not how to make them. Fortunately, I’m on the internet.

-10 hours later-

Alright, now I know more about tamales then I’ll ever need to know, and now I am going to make that YOUR problem. Earlier I said “if your’e anything like me, then you love tamales”, but don’t fool yourself. You are nothing like me. For you see, I really love tamales.

Between my tamale obsession and my laziness, I simply can’t make enough tamales by hand to keep me satisfied. So I think it’s time I get a helping hand. Or a lot of helping hands. Like, hundreds of tiny helping hands. And before you ask, I’m not talking about using child labor in a sweatshop next to my storage unit, I’m talking about nanobots! The sweatshop is unrelated, just forget I brought it up.

If you clicked on this thinking it would be a tutorial on how to make tamales, but after seeing that last paragraph are starting to second guess yourself, don’t worry, this is a tamale tutorial. But not your run of the mill tamale tutorial, no, I’m going to teach you how to make tamales like the Demiurge you were always meant to be.

Step 1: making the nanobots

Making nanobots is one of those fun activities you do in an afternoon, ideally with your father or son, depending on what roll you are. Go into the garage and pull out your Kirkland Signature matter fabricator. Program it to make a robot that will make a smaller robot that will make a smaller robot and have this continue until a small robot, approximately the size of a needle, produces a nanobot half the size of a blood cell. Now that that is done, we have just completed the toughest step.

Step 2: from 1 to 2 to goo!

Program that nanobot with 3 instructions. 1, make 4 copies of yourself using any non-tamale matter. 2, download the 3 preprogrammed instructions into the newly fabricated nanobots. 3, convert all non-nanobot matter into tamales. Now you just sit back, relax, and wait as those piles of corn and meat and whatever else magically assembles into tamales before your eyes.

Step 3: realize you made a mistake.

So… we forgot to program the nanobots not to turn ourselves into tamales. And I guess that ought to extend to our friends and family too. But not the neighbor’s dog. By this point, poor snuffles has already had his matter converted into tamale ingredients. Assuming that the nanobots are still on the tamales, lets just avoid eating that batch for now. Besides, we have more important things to do…

Step 4: get out of town!

Because you were so eager to consume delicious tamales, you set the duplication to 4, so we have very little time left. At this point, just go to NASA or SpaceX and steal yourself a rocket. That’s right, we’re leaving Earth. Assuming the nanobots won’t be able to leave Earth on their own, and we know we didn’t program them to be aware enough to realize the entire universe is made out of matter, we should be able to safely establish the first Mars tamale colony! You did follow the instructions, right?

Step 5: take one last look.

Step 6: enough looking, get on the rocket!

Step 7: lift off

By this point, you should be asking yourself, was it worth it? The answer is, yes. Of course it was worth it. But this is also your fault and you should be ashamed. I mean, look at what you did! This, this is Earth right now! This is all your fault. What were you thinking? What, that you would just look up an article online about making tamales, following along without first reading through the entire article? THERE WEREN’T EVEN INGREDIENTS LISTED!

Step 8: remorse

You forgot to grab cattle. Meat doesn’t grow in the ground, corn does. This is your fault, not mine. And you didn’t grab corn seeds. No, Mars dirt can’t be used to make tamales. You don’t even have water to steam your non-tamale dirt tamales. This is why we can’t have nice things, because of people like you.

 

I hope you found this tamale tutorial useful! Next week, throwing your cat in a nuclear reactor. Federal authorities call it a serious offense and a radiological hazard, but you kids will absolutely love having a glow-in-the-dark kitty cat!

Interstellar Civilizations, Macro-Engineering, and Chicken Noodle Soup.

There are three thoughts that cross people’s minds when they’re laying around the house:

What would it be like to live outside our solar system?

What could we even do out in space?

Will this chicken noodle soup help me deal with this cold?

According to the CDC, there are “millions of cases of the common cold” each year and adults have between 2-3 colds per year. https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html

Everybody knows the best treatment for the common cold is chicken noodle soup. But many people believe that our future and the solution to all our problems are in space. I am here to prove that to be the case.

 

Chickens, herbs, wheat, and vegetables all have two things in common. 1. They are delicious and 2. You need a lot of space to produce them. Over population is a legitimate concern, and I have heard people suggesting that we will run out of space to grow enough food to be able to sustain larger populations. Well, that might be a problem if we stay here, but not if we decide to to find more space in, well, space.

As Douglas Adams put it, “Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

So why not take advantage of that?

 

Lets start small. We’ll begin with terminating Mars. Now given our current technology, it would take close to 100,000 years to make Mars an Earth-like planet. I’m not patient so lets say we already did it. to save you from over exposure to math and numbers, Mars has just over 1/4 the surface area of Earth. No problem, keep the vast majority of humanity back on earth and dedicate mars to agriculture and produce production.

 

Having an entire planet dedicated to food production is… overkill given our current population. At least, that’s what my friends keep telling me. But they’re wrong. They underestimate my love for chicken noodle soup.

So, lets go bigger.

Lets make a Dyson sphere. A swarm of habitats in orbit around the sun providing a surface area of, well, the numbers are too big to compare to earth so lets just say: a lot. This will probably take 10-100 times longer than terraforming Mars, but, like last time, lets say we had already done it. We’re getting closer to our ideal goal but that’s just not enough chicken noodle soup. Besides, building a Dyson sphere, making ourselves a Kardeshev 1 civilization, that’s for chumps. We need to go bigger. Also, I forgot to build that Dyson sphere around a different star so now Earth has begun turning into an ice planet and everybody is getting colds on a scale never before deemed possible.

Ah yes. We’re finally here. A giga-structure so large, so mind-bogglingly massive that we might just sate that craving for that sweet, delicious, warm chicky noodle soup. From the tormented mind of a British author, Paul Birch, we get to the biggest and baddest of all, the Birch Planet. This impossibly huge shell will be built around the super-massive black hole in the center of the Milkyway galaxy. The size of this structure is so large that its diameter would be similar to that of Saturn’s orbit. The surface area would be 1.5 trillion times that of Earth’s. Even though Earth is now a solid sphere of ice, this bad mamma-jamma would be able to provide more than enough soup for myself, and the rest of humanity.

So, what’s my point? Why bother writing about these massive structures with a comedic edge? To that I say; why do you day dream? This is just a fun thought experiment. Hopeful, whimsical, and mathematical ideas to toy around with in ones free time. Sure, it’s ridiculous. Who on earth would dare try to tame a horse and ride it, or make an internal combustion engine to outrun that horse, or even try to make a magical flying machine? Who in their right mind would go from making cars, to rockets, to brain implants and have the end goal to live on another planet (Elon Musk)? These things are bold, ambitious, often ridiculed, and have made Humanity better for accomplishing it.

You might start to day dream about such grandiose ideas, but what if one person saw this and dedicated their life to trying to accomplish one of these impossible tasks? I say it was worth it.

Also, I’m kind of sick of chicken noodle soup now. Next time I’ll talk about making a machine that has 2 goals, self replication, and making tamales, and how it will end with the entire observable universe becoming one solid mass of tamales. How wonderful.

For those who want to learn more about these wild subjects, I recommend looking for Isaac Arthur on YouTube. He’ll show you the math behind these concepts.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZFipeZtQM5CKUjx6grh54g