Jupiter Structural Layer Cake

Jupiter cake showing core

By cakecrumbs.me:

When I posted the Earth cake, I did not expect it to get anywhere near the amount of attention it received. Getting featured on the Facebook pages Think Geek and I Fucking Love Science was a total highlight of my blogging life. I’m big fans of both pages so it was kind of surreal. A lot of my Zoology graduate mates are also fans of IFLS and you’d often hear conversations in the Masters office beginning with, “Did you see that post by IFLS today?” So I woke up to several of them messaging me about it and we all got super excited over it.

With the exposure those pages brought came a whole lot of people who wanted to know how to make it. I still get a couple of emails a week asking for a recipe. The cake was a total experiment on my part, and not one that went flawlessly. There were many imperfections within the cake and I never share recipes unless I know it’s absolutely tried and true. I’d hate to be responsible for a baking fail simply for giving a botched up recipe. But I also hate letting people down. So I decided to re-visit the concept so I could make a tutorial. That will come later in the week as I’m still editing it. But first, here’s the result of round 2.

Cakecrumbs' Jupiter Structural Layer Cake

One question I got asked a lot was if it was possible to make it a sphere. Absolutely it is. If you can make the hemisphere a sphere is easy. I didn’t want to make another Earth cake as I hate repeating bakes, so I opted to decorate it as something new. I threw around a few ideas ranging from something floral to a giant pokéball, but in the end I just wanted to make another planet.

Choosing a favourite planet was tough. As a kid I was fiercely passionate about two things: animals and the solar system. I ended up following the path of the former and never kept up to date with the latter, but the inner passion for astronomy has never died. Space is just so freaking cool. Our solar system alone is filled with so many fascinating planets, dwarf planets and all their satellites — choosing just one felt treacherous.

Cakecrumbs' Jupiter Structural Layer Cake

In the end I settled on Jupiter predominantly for one reason: its Great Red Spot. The giant anticyclonic storm has always been one of my favourite things and continues to be a subject of great fascination for me. At thrice the size of the Earth it’s bewildering to comprehend the actual magnitude of it. If I absolutely have to choose a favourite planet, it’s got to Jupiter for that storm alone. It’s also so iconic. It’s a characteristic feature almost everyone is familiar with, making it easier to create something that would be instantly recognisable.

The red spot is one of a number of storms you can see all over Jupiter. Some of them last hours, others last for centuries. The red spot had been around since the early 1800s, and it’s possible that it may remain as a permanent feature of the planet. It would be fascinating to see Jupiter if the storm did in fact die out, or if another large one were to appear. The smaller white storms are made up of cool clouds in the upper atmosphere, whereas the brown dots are composed of warmer clouds in the lower atmosphere.

Cakecrumbs' Jupiter Structural Layer Cake

I detailed the atmosphere of Jupiter by covering the cake with ivory marshmallow fondant, then dry brushing a combination of ivory, brown and maroon edible ink. The top ended up being a bit more saturated as I was largely experimenting with colours at that point and was throwing in a bit of yellow. I ended up sticking mostly with ivory and adding extra detail with the brown. Once all the base colours were down I started removing colour to create the storms or other distinguishing features and topping it off with highlights. The whole process took about 8 hours with teeny tiny brushes.

Cakecrumbs' Jupiter Structural Layer Cake

Here’s a 360 of the cake:
Cakecrumbs' Jupiter Structural Layer Cake Cakecrumbs' Jupiter Structural Layer Cake Cakecrumbs' Jupiter Structural Layer Cake Cakecrumbs' Jupiter Structural Layer Cake
It was kind of difficult to get good reference shots of the non-red-spot sides of Jupiter, particularly to get consistent ones. They were all taken over many different years and influenced by many different weather events so there was lots of variation. But I got enough to get a rough guestimate of the more static features of Jupiter’s atmosphere. The rest I’ll just claim as artistic license.

Finally came time to cut the cake and see how there spheres lined up inside. It turned out better matched than I’d anticipated.

Cakecrumbs' Jupiter Structural Layer Cake

When my sister asked me what I was making and I said Jupiter, she said to me, “I didn’t even know Jupiter had layers.” It’s amazing how much we can forget after learning it in primary school. So here’s a rehashing for those of you who’ve also forgotten. Our knowledge is mostly theoretical of course, but the gas giants are thought to have a core comprised mostly of rock and ice. This is surrounded by a layer liquid metallic hydrogen, and the outer layer is composed of molecular hydrogen. *cake is totally not to scale

Cakecrumbs' Jupiter Structural Layer Cake

In cake speak, this translates to a core made of mudcake, surrounded by almond butter cake, surrounded by a tinted vanilla Madeira sponge. There’s a crumb coat of vanilla buttercream underneath the fondant.

This run went so much better than the first, informed by the mistakes and lessons learned in the mean time. So I feel much safer sharing the process with you guys now. Stay tuned for that later this week if all goes to plan.

9 Superheroines Who Deserve a Movie

Lego Superheroine

By Gabe Bergado from mashable.com:
Lego Superheroine

Nothing says success at the box office more than spandex, superhuman powers and a villain to take down. The superhero movie genre has continued to dominate the silver screen, with this summer’s Man of Steel and the highly-anticipated Avengers 2 that is slated to come out in 2015. There’s a long list of superhero blockbusters: Spider-Man, Thor, Batman Begins and many more. But where are my superheroines at?

Movies like The Hunger Games and Brave have proved that girls can fight just as well as the boys, maybe even better. There’s plenty of ladies in the marvelous universe of superheroes and television that deserve their shot at the big screen. Mashable takes a look at some of these characters:

1. Rogue

Image courtesy of Tumblr, powerdrain

Audiences have already gotten a taste of Rogue through the X-Men film series, played in the first three movies by Anna Paquin, who will be coming back in X-Men: Days of Future Past. With her ability to absorb others’ memories, strength and powers with just a touch, Rogue is a mutant to be reckoned with.

A southern belle from Mississippi, Rogue was named Anna Marie at birth and switched over to her superhero persona after running away from home. A kiss with a boy named Cody left him in a coma as her power to suck people’s life force emerged during the intimate moment. Traumatized by the event, Rogue protected herself from others by wearing concealing clothing and what became her signature gloves. In hopes of preventing others from being hurt by mutant abilities, she effectively built walls around her to keep everyone out.

A badass southern belle with superhero powers exploring intimacy? Yes, that’s what would make a Rogue movie a hit at the box office.

2. Misty

Image courtesy of Tumblr, 2tired2function

Throughout Pokémon, the story focuses on young trainer Ash as he pursues his dream of becoming a Pokémon master. His friends Brock and Misty are at his side, and occasionally get their moments to shine. But what about a movie dedicated solely to red-headed Misty? The Water-type trainer hails from Cerulean City, where her three older sisters are the Gym Leaders. Misty takes over in the anime to challenge Ash when her sisters’ Pokémon are unable to battle, but ends up losing to her friend.

Expect a Misty-centric movie to showcase her distorted relationship with her older sisters, phobia of Bug-type Pokémon and love-hate relationship with Psyduck.

3. Starfire and Raven

Image courtesy of Tumblr, theteentitans

Starfire and Raven have already had some screen time together in Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans. The dynamic duo have almost nothing in common, but were still able to take down the evil that threatened Jump City. Starfire’s an exuberant alien who’s still getting acclimated to the Earth’s culture and can shoot beams of green energy from her hands. Then there’s Raven, the quiet daughter of demon who has telekinetic and telepathic abilities using her soul-self. Their friendship is reminiscent of Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph’s in Bridesmaids, but with added powers.

Expect the two to be in a buddy film, just two gals trying to protect the city.

4. Hermione Granger

Image courtesy of Tumblr, matthewtyler92

Everybody loved Hermione in the Harry Potter series. She was the cool, intelligent, fearless friend with big hair and an even bigger brain that was always bailing Ron and Harry out of trouble. Forget about the boys’ shenanigans and let’s see Hermione take the reins in her own movie.

After the final battle, Hermione moves on to make grand-scale policy changes in the magical world. Improving the treatment of house-elves and eradicating laws heavily favoring purebloods, Hermione gets work done. A movie starring the young witch as she navigates through the important changes she makes would surely be magical.

5. Cheetarah

Image courtesy of Tumblr, thundercatsgifs

Cheetarah is one kitty you don’t want to mess with. She’s able to reach speeds of 120 miles per hour and is a lethal fighter, using a extendable baton that also shoots power beams from the ends. The only adult female member of the ThunderCats at the beginning of the series, Cheetarah helped lead the group with her women’s intuition and combat experience.

This fierce feline brings together everyone’s favorite things nowadays: cats and superpowers. Purrfect for the big screen.

6. Hawkgirl

Image courtesy of Tumblr, justiceleagueanimated

One of the two women on the revamped Justice League, Hawkgirl is a much more interesting choice for a superheroine movie than the predictable Wonder Woman. With the ability to fly, a golden mask and a mace made out of magical “Nth metal,” she’s a warrior you definitely want to be fighting on your team.

Hawkgirl, also known as Shayera Hol, has star power not only due to her thirst for justice, but a compelling love story spanning over thousands of years. The superheroine is the reincarnation of the Egyptian princess Chay-ara, who died at the hands of an evil priest. According to the Justice League mythology, Chay-ara had a love affair with a military leader, the past life of the Green Lantern. The two superheroes have been reincarnated and have still fallen in love.

An Egyptian love triangle with a Romeo and Juliet ending? Sounds good to me.

7. Sailor Moon and the Sailor Scouts

Image courtesy of Tumblr, soldier-of-love-and-justice

This team of evil-fighting ladies would surely be a blockbuster. Schoolgirls with secret identities as protectors of the universe, the Sailor Scouts offer a personality for everyone’s taste. There’s Sailor Mercury, the incredibly smart scout who uses aquatic attacks. Sailor Mars has a fiery sass to match her pyro-abilities. Then there’s Sailor Jupiter who attracts attention like a lightning rod and the lovable Sailor Venus. And of course, Sailor Moon who can only take her mind off food and boys for a quick second to take down enemies from the Negaverse.

Although there’s already been several Sailor Moon movies, one tailored for mainstream audiences at the movie theater would be something worth watching. The Sailor Scouts offers an ensemble of characters, something that helped make The Avengers a wild success.

8. Xena

Image courtesy of Tumblr, watchcolortv

Xena: Warrior Princess has been cancelled for over a decade, meaning it’s time for a comeback. Xena was always in search of something that many other superheroines never really were on the hunt for: redemption. Once a bloodthirsty warlord, Xena changed her ways after being spared by Hercules. Over the course of the series, Xena is constantly trying to do the greater good and help whomever she comes across with the help of her ally Gabrielle. Xena also offers one of the most interesting signature weapon choices, a chakram.

If redemption for a female warlord isn’t enough to warrant a movie, there was even a 2011 campaign to get the movie made. The petition is still open to be signed if you’re that big of a fan.

9. Storm

Image courtesy of Tumblr, melisandre

One of the most iconic X-Men of all time, Storm is a superheroine fit for the job of leading an empire of superheroine movies. Born Ororo Munroe, the young girl is left orphaned at five years old when a fighter jet crashes into her home in Cairo and kills her parents. Left to wander the streets by herself, the young mutant is a thief for a couple of years until her powers over the weather are realized. She is eventually recruited by Professor X to be part of the X-Men and plays an integral role in many of the comic books.

In the X-Men movies, Storm has the ability to control the weather, in addition to being able to conjure up lightning bolts, blizzards and other precipitation as attacks. She is a capable leader and in Marvel’s 2013 X-Men comics, she is in charge of an all-female team of mutants. This group consisting of other memorable X-ladies such as Kitty Pryde and Jubilee sounds like a great movie idea in itself.

Homepage image courtesy of levork

Public Art Marks Hurricane Evacuation Spots in New Orleans

"Evacuteer" sculpture

By Anya Kamenetz from FastCompany.com:

Storm season is coming soon, so look for the giant stick figure to get out of town.

When Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, over a quarter of New Orleans households did not have access to a vehicle. Therefore nearly 100,000 people did not evacuate the city, creating hellish scenes in the Convention Center and Superdome with people stuck for days without adequate food, water, sanitation or medical care, not to mention the tragic loss of over a thousand lives in the flood itself.

Ten years and a couple of evacuations later, the city has finally introduced a solution: “City-Assisted Evacuation,” providing the elderly and others in need free pickups and rides from 17 access points in case of a large storm headed their way. But according to Evacuteer, a nonprofit that trains volunteers to help with the CAE effort, there was just one problem. The city was marking the access points with a tiny metal sign covered in fine print that looked like any old parking sign. No one was likely to notice the sites or remember them when they needed them.

They started being installed this month, in time for the official start of hurricane season June 1.

So Evacuteer raised money from hundreds of donors and commissioned an artist, Douglas Kornfeld, to create a series of 12-foot sculptures to mark each access point. They look like giant steel stick figures reaching up to hail a cab, or maybe grab some Mardi Gras beads. They started being installed this month, in time for the official start of hurricane season June 1.

“People may think the waving guys are beautiful, and others may think they’re ugly,” the director of the project, Robert Fogarty, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “In either scenario, they at least remember where it was—and that’s what matters.”

[Full article]