Ask Dan: B Vitamins

Q: why are there so many “B vitamins” (B6, B12, etc)?

A: Well Chris, this one turned out to be easier than I expected. It seems that when folks were naming vitamins, it was originally understood that Vitamin B was a single chemical compound. A gentleman by the name of Robert R. Williams (an arm-chair vitamin researcher, it turns out) first isolated the chemical compound and structure of what we now know as thiamine. This, as I understand it, was the original “Vitamin B” and is still known today as Vitamin B1.

Later of course, scientists determined that what they called “Vitamin B” was actually a complex of several compounds, not all of which coexist in a food at the same time. Each of these sub compounds of the complex is responsible for aiding different metabolic functions in our bodies, and were named likely in order of discovery. Now we have such familiar (from cereal boxes, at least) compound names as Riboflavin (B2) and Folic Acid, or Folate (B9).

So there it is…the answer to Ask Dan’s glorious (maybe?) return.

Go ahead and post new questions in the comments section, hit me on Twitter, or email your quandaries to danielcwarshaw [at] gmail [dot] com.

Back and better than ev–well, something.

Where two or three come together for the inane, there am I to give crazy answers.

Thanks to Alexis and Chris, the rest of you are likely to be subjected (resubjected?) to Ask Dan once again!

So go ahead, submit those questions in the comments section of this or any other post, via Twitter, or by emailing me at danielcwarshaw [at] gmail [dot] com.

Do it!

I mean…please 🙂

Resurrect Ask Dan?

You know, ever since I became aware that I have this new-found readership of possibly 8 people instead of the 4-6 I’d previously guessed, I’ve been considering reviving an old friend. Tonight, after some goading from Patrick, I decided I’d test the waters, presidential campaign style. So here goes…

Should I bring back Ask Dan? For the unfamiliar, this was a roughly weekly feature where I’d answer a question from the comments of any post (or emailed? Maybe?). This question could be about anything – Where does “Ploaf” come from? Why is red wine red? How many ducks will you trade for my magic kidney stone? Seriously (or not), submit any question, and I’ll pick one and answer it by the end of the day on Friday. The answer may be literal, thorough and exact, or it may be completely absurd. The seriousness of the question doesn’t necessarily dictate the seriousness of the response.

I’m hesitant, not just because The Morning News handles this WAY better than I do, but because it sort of swelled like a novelty and faded rather quickly, hanging on barely because of my sister-in-law and her silly questions.

How about it? Should I? If so, bury me with questions in the comments section, or send me one at danielcwarshaw [at] gmail [dot] com.

Ask Dan is coming for your soul.

Q: Hey ask dan! Here’s my question: How would YOU make crapplejuice as a cocktail and what would it taste like? Please give me your most detailed and goriest explaination. (Holy crapplejuice Batman!)

A: Well it seems that my sister-in-law still likes to see her weirdest questions answered for all to see, and this time, it’s a rather disgusting one 🙂

First I want to suggest, Elizabeth, that you probably meant “grossest explanation” rather than “goriest” since I doubt you’re talking about a bloody crapplejuice cocktail here!

That being said, here’s my ancient family recipe for just such a libation:

1.5 oz. Crapple Jack
1.5 oz. Patron Anejo Tequila
4-5 dingle berries – reserve one for garnish
Crapple Juice to taste

To mix: Fill a Boston shaker with ice and add the Crapple Jack and tequila. Shake vigorously. In a rocks glass, muddle all but one of the dingle berries with some crushed ice. When thoroughly pulverized, add more crushed ice to fill the glass halfway. Pour out the contents of the shaker into the glass and top off with Crapple Juice. Garnish with the remaining dingle berry on the rim of the drinking vessel.

There you have it! If you’re not dry-heaving after all that, post questions for next time (if there is one) in the comments of this or any future post.

Ask Dan Lives!!!

Q: Are you still doing Ask Dan? If so here’s my question: what would you do if you were President of the US?

A: Elizabeth, you first have to realize that I’d never want the responsibility and 24/7 pressure of the office of President of the United States of America. So much stress. No rest. No real time off. For at least four years.

Unless you’re kicked out…

So here’s what I’d do. I’d throw the first ever Oval Office Keg Party. For realz. I’d have heads of state doing keg stands while members of my cabinet bonged cheap brew from another keg in the corner. The secret service would be around to make sure nobody drove home under the influence, and to keep things from getting too rowdy. Then we’d all go for a ride in Marine One, buzzing the tops of well-to-do townhouses in Old Town Alexandria before landing in the middle of I-95, just to disrupt things a little more.

I figure that’d get me impeached in less than a year. And if not? I could always start a war with Luxembourg, or something.

Ask Dan #15

Q: what is your favorite kitchen utensil?

A: Chris, you’ve asked a question that is very dear to my heart, as I enjoy cooking so much. I revel as excitedly about culinary gear as I do the latest tech gadgetry.

Before I say what my favorite kitchen utensil is, I have to clarify – as oft I am wont – my terms. When I talk about utensils, I don’t mean simply that which may be used. In this context I’m talking about purely mechanical implements that aid food preparation. I’ll exclude the cookware/bakeware itself, but my definition also excludes electronics such as my KitchenAid stand mixer or my electronic probe thermometer.

All that being said, my favorite Kitchen Utensil is by far the pair of stainless steel Oxo Good Grips tongs. Tongs in general are extremely versatile – whether for fishing something out of a marinade or rotating that pork tenderloin in the frying pan.

Some close runners-up, however, would include my Microplane zester/grater and my 8″ Chef’s Knife.

There it is…post questions for the next Ask Dan in the comments!

Ask Dan #14

Q: if you really had the cheat as your sidekick would you really kick him? Would you let him have light switch rave parties? What kind of stuff would he do for you as a sidekick?

A: You bet your behind I’d kick The Cheat. Only way to keep him in line. And no, there’d be no light switch rave parties. Waste of electricity, and too much of a risk of seizure for everybody else.

With The Cheat in line and not misbehaving, I think I’d have him fetch all my meals. And mix me some suudsu.

That’s it. Nothing major, nothing exciting. But it’s an answer. I mean, I’ve had an exhausting, crappy week. Cut me some slack, eh? 😉

Post your questions for next week in the comments section!

Ask Dan #12

Q: I hope I can still ask a question for ask dan. If I can…what would our country be like if we elected a leprechaun as president?

A: Well Elizabeth, of course you can still ask a question…I think that deadline business was intended to allow me time to research a response…but mostly I just make it up as I go along on Fridays. So don’t worry about asking by Wednesday anymore, and don’t worry about posting the question in the last Ask Dan post – worry about me gleaning any question from any comment, and using that as a lame excuse to perpetuate this feature 🙂

So Leprechauns, eh? I think we may already have had a leprechaun for a president…or at least somebody close to one. You see James Madison, our 4th president, was a mere 5ft, 3 and 3/4 inches tall. The only problem is that he was English, not Irish. Though I suppose nearly 5’4″ is still a bit taller than a Leprechaun…

I believe a Leprechaun president would face a new set of challenges being so short, though I see several distinct advantages:

First, such a small president would be a difficult target, increasing the safety of the world leader. He’d be so small, in fact, that you may be able to secretly hide him in some unlikely places, thus avoiding danger. Nobody would expect to find the President of the United States of America cruising down a sidewalk in a baby carriage.

Second, everybody knows that Leprechaun’s have crazy amounts of gold. Hello moneybags, goodbye national debt.

Leprechaun’s are traditionally believed to be cobblers…so, um…free shoes for everybody? Maybe? Come on, work with me here…

Finally, at such diminutive stature, our Leprechaun president could finally see eye to eye in peace talks with Kim Jong Il. Crisis averted!

So there it is…question answered – if you believe it.

Post them questions in the comments, and check in next week for another installment of Ask Dan.

The Real Ask Dan #10

Q: If a nuclear war happened at Florida State (in the middle of the woods, on a mime), would anyone care?

A: Well, Mugs, that depends…would my sister-in-law still be there? If so, then yes, I and the rest of her family would care. If she’d already graduated and left, then no. Probably not…

Though I dare say it would be more entertaining if a mime, um, mimed the stages of nuclear war, in the woods, at FSU. Who wouldn’t love to see a face-painted gentleman imitate the disintegrating human body? Or moreover the many stages of radiation sickness?

And speaking of sickness, as Ask Dan limps along on its last legs, be sure to post questions for next week in the comments section!