Introducing Serlingbot

My boyfriend and I were watching an episode of The Twilight Zone this week, in which a newly-minted revolutionary dictator is told by a departing member of the overthrown government that a particular mirror would show him his assassins. Of course, this leads him to kill his closest friends.

Sorry, should have said “spoilers” or something. Although really, you’ve had 56 years to see this episode. If you’re not caught up, that’s on you.

At the end of the episode, my first thought was: Trump would probably have fallen for that line too.

Inspired by that episode and of course by a Scottish newspaper immediately prior to Trump’s inauguration, I had an idea: A Twitter bot that downloads photos tweeted by the White House, turns them greyscale, overlays them with Rod Serling and tweets them again.

On my first Google search, I found a transparent PNG of Rod Serling. The Internet had also prepared a repository of json-formatted Rod Serling monologues. All I had to do was find a PHP library to connect to the Twitter API, and I was good to go!

You can follow @serlingbot on Twitter, and it will regularly send you photos from a few selected Twitter accounts that have been Serling-ed.

But that’s not all!

If you tweet a photo to @serling on Twitter, it will reply to you—with your photo Serling-ed.

And if you don’t have Twitter, I have made a non-Twitter web version of Serlingbot, where you can enter a link to an image on the web, and it will Serling your photo for your own private use.

I like to think that Rod Serling himself would have appreciated the idea of being resurrected as a post-apocalyptic robot, doomed to condemn a totalitarian government from beyond the grave. It’s something that might have happened … in the Twilight Zone.

Authentic Bajoran Hasperat

Authentic Bajoran Hasperat
Authentic Bajoran Hasperat

My little sister and I made some Authentic Bajoran Hasperat tonight. I was hungry while watching an episode of Star Trek once. It was an episode that featured a fictional (but delicious-looking) dish called “hasperat.” I wanted to eat some, even though I knew it didn’t exist. Then, I Googled it, and discovered that there was someone who had made a recipe for it. We made it tonight. It was good!


I think from now on, I will refer to all wraps as variations on hasperat. “Yes, I’ll have the turkey hasperat, please.”

The prop for Hasperat from "Preemptive Strike"
The prop for Hasperat from “Preemptive Strike”

For reference, I have included on this post a photograph of the prop used in Star Trek for hasperat.

Edit: 2016 May 27

The original recipe has been taken down, but I saved a copy, so here it is:


For Two

  • 2 10″ Wheat Tortillas
  • 1/2 Cup Hummus (Any flavor, plain or horseradish is nice)
  • 1 Small Cucumber, sliced very thin (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 Carrot, shredded (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Tamari (or regular soy sauce)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Rice Vinegar
  • Black Pepper
  • 2 Small Handfuls Baby Spinach
  • Hot Chili Sauce/Tabasco, optional

Using a mandoline, or your food processor, or a sharp knife, slice the cucumber very thinly and place in a large bowl. Add the carrot. Add tamari and rice vinegar and toss. Let marinate 5-10 minutes (or longer, if desired).

Warm your tortillas so they’re pliable. You can microwave them for a few seconds with a damp paper towel, heat them in a dry skillet, or (my favorite) hold them directly over the flame of your gas burning stove.

Spread the tortillas with hummus, 3-4 Tbs each, making sure you cover the entire surface. This will help the sandwich stick together. Arrange the cucumber slices in one layer, slightly overlapping. Add carrot, and sprinkle some fresh pepper over the top. Add a layer of baby spinach.

Roll up the wrap, tucking in the ends, and place on a hot grill pan to slightly warm and create pretty grill marks. You can do this in a regular pan if you don’t have a grill pan. Slice and eat immediately.

Gingerbread Tardis

"Hello, I'm the Doctor."

In light of some difficult family circumstances, I decided to take a night and do something silly. I had a friend over, one with whom I am in the habit of watching Doctor Who. While the result wasn’t quite as good as some other gingerbread Tardises on the internet, I am very happy to present photographs from last night’s project.

Usually, when I make something creative with gingerbread, I use a lot of red food colouring. You know, for the blood.

This time, however, the carnage was only an afterthought. I didn’t mean for there to be such a high death toll. Honest! And further, I think that the massacre was relatively tasteful for me.

The only cookie cutters I own
The only cookie cutters I own

The real reason why there was so many dead people is not because of the (very adorable) gingerbread Daleks. It’s mostly because I only own cookie cutters that have pieces missing from them. (Thanks for the present, Steph!)

You’ll note that even the gingerbread man who I assume is supposed to be the Doctor (the one who is halfway inside the Tardis) is missing his hand. My interpretation of this is that this is a scene from the few seconds during which the Doctor had his hand cut off by the Sycorax before it regenerated. This makes sense, because that happened during the “Christmas Invasion Special,” and it’s a gingerbread Tardis, so it should be on a Christmas theme, after all.

Tardis and bodies