Food Scientist: Rachel Zemser

New video: my interview with Food Scientist: Rachel Zemser (YouTube) and Food Scientist: Rachel Zemser (Facebook)
shot in San Francisco, March 2015
an episode of the Justin Hall Show

Footage and Images:
πŸ™Œ Supermarket footage from Casa Lucas Market, Five Markets, Bristol Farms underground, Whole Foods Noe in San Francisco, California
πŸŒ€ brand matrix from Behind the Brands, Oxfam,
πŸͺ Keebler Cookies Commercial, 2011,
🌱 Green Giant Swedish Commercial,
πŸ‘΅ Betty Crocker Marble Cake Mix Commercial, 1958, starring Adelaide Hawley Cumming,
🍼 "Food for America" 1941, Prelinger Archives,
🐻 California Department of Public Health Food and Drug Branch Food Safety Training Program: episodes: Produce 2 Regulations, Juice 6 Processing and Packaging, Produce 5 Storage and Transport,
🍫 "Snickers Bar World's Biggest Recipe 5lbs HOW TO COOK THAT candy bar" by Ann Reardon,
πŸ‘Ύ "After Effects Preset: Bacteria" by EJ Hassenfratz,
πŸ“š covers from Food Technology magazine, IFT 50th Anniversary Issue September 1989, published by the Institute of Food Technologists,
🍺 "Miracle of the Can", 1956, by Caravel Films, Prelinger Archives,
🍞 The Baking Industry, 1956, by Holmes (Burton) Films, Prelinger Archives,
🍫 Chocolates photo by Justin Sewell,
🐽 Truffle photo by Dennis M,
🌿 Olive Oil footage from Al Majd TV,

🎡 "Kleasy" from Talon Slalom by BlevinBlectum
🎡 "Suspiria" from elevenandtwelve by nisei23, Free Music Archive
🎡 "Nothing Like Captain Crunch" from Slam Funk by Broke For Free, Free Music Archive
🎡 "Our Ego [Feat. Different Visitor]" from Slam Funk by Broke For Free, Free Music Archive
πŸ“· Kenyatta Cheese for overclocked Lumix GH2 camera
πŸ’‘ Howard Rheingold for lights
🎬 Ilyse Magy, Rachel Cassandra, Howard Rheingold for feedback
πŸ’ͺ My Patreon patrons for encouraging support

πŸ”¬ Rachel Zemser is and @culinologist
🎀 Justin Hall appears courtesy of

slight faltering in forward health

-* Thanks to my Patreon supporters for additionally motivating me to keep the videos coming *-

I faltered in my forward health; I caught a cold last Monday 2 March and basically it knocked me out. I was either coughing, leaking, wheezing, honking, aching or stoned for most of the last week.

I postponed an interview for The Justin Hall Show. For video work, I managed to spend much of my upright computer time simulating the way "checking email" looked in 1994 by rebuilding the Eudora Mac interface in Apple's Motion 5. That has resulted in a much improved 5 seconds of footage in my 2315 second film; .2 percent. Bit by bit, I'm gonna finish this thing! Whether or not I can find the Mishawaka Font.

I took refuge in some media:

Astra Taylor's new book called The People's Platform I'm reading to broaden my views on technology. That isn't exactly soothing escapism though, so I accompanied that with video game culture homage Wreck-it Ralph and finished the new chapter of Space Marshals on iPad the same day it came out. I guess I enjoy video games, though I forsook the learning & community at this year's Game Developers Conference. Last spring I made a video about a gaming conference; this spring I made a video about a cannabis business conference.

Poking through my archives for ever more footage to adorn my documentary, I found tiny video files - interviews that I did in 2000 when I was employed at

Probably the best media artifact here is the recording from Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia July 2000 - for fans of science fiction, fantasy, comic books, and other elements of fan culture. I found this paragraph describing a third millennium A.D. machine box ride with both the armies of Christ and the children of Satan:

It turns out that the Salvation Army is having its 135-year anniversary in Atlanta at the same time as Dragon*Con. So there's 20,000 suited servants of the lord sharing the streets with Stormtroopers. They are both in the same Hyatt hotel too - I get on an elevator with two ladies from Denmark in their sixties, dressed in Salvation army garb with shoulder epaulets, and then two young ladies board wearing dog collars, large black feathered wings, vampire teeth and red contact lenses. It's an ideal nonviolent culture clash.

Here's the video; apologies for the profoundly low audio/video quality. GWAR!

That video is here and the other videos are in this playlist of gaming videos. More videos to come! As long as my body sustains my mind!!

seeking Mishawaka

I'm nostrils-deep in polishing this documentary about my time on the web. I want to track down a font, from an email program called Eudora - the font is called Mishawaka, and here's the story so far. at the International Cannabis Business Conference

I spent US Presidents Day 2015 at the International Cannabis Business Conference. I went there to see how might participate in legalization. I didn't intend to make a video, but afterwards enough people were curious about attending a "cannabis business conference" I decided to put together my reflections on this event in video form: at the International Cannabis Business Conference

internet video busking

The first person beyond my college visited this here personal web site 21 years ago, on 23 January 1994. Thanks for coming by!

To celebrate, my latest video is posted behind a paywall! That's right, if you want to watch 8 minutes of my mundane reflections, prepare to commit your personal resources to support my future media productions. Or wait for a little while until I post the vid free. Because in the end human content eventually becomes free or it goes away.

If this was a major life event, like divorce or commercial failure, I might have immediately released the finished documentation free. Instead, this is a story about having my wallet stolen, which is maybe like being mugged at gunpoint but not nearly as challenging, and video instead of text, but not nearly so intense as an attempt to start a sex church.

stolen wallet, mystery bag:

(YouTube Link)

The first glimpse of this "stolen wallet, mystery bag" moving picture went to people who shine the light of their hearts and treasures on my creations. But if your funds are tight, fret not, this particular less-controversial, less-impactful, less-produced personal media object shall soon be was hurled free onto a public web that shall remain floating near your eyes as long as I can keep the lights on!!

internet video busking

16 January I passed $200 in funds supporting each episode of the Justin Hall Show on Patreon. Holy smokes! It's been 8 months since I published an episode so I'm feeling especially honored that people would still think their money might someday support something. Since May 2014, without promotion or publishing content, the Justin Hall show gained an average of 2 new patrons a month and went up $29 in per-video pledges. Gracias amigos!!!

Mahdi Bahrami took me to $200; that made my smile extra-wide. His video game demo made me wet in the eyes, and I had fun interviewing him at the Game Developers Conference in 2014. So I was cheered that he had somehow tracked me down and decided to support my videos.

Community financial support for my personal video work validates some of my early excitement around "publishing empowerment". Now people surfing the media streams tie their attention and wallets to my teeth! These mounting pledges nudge me to live up to the hope that each dollar represents: the hope that we'll share another media moment.

I wondered, is this particular video too informal for my audience? Too long? Too mundane? This "stolen wallet, mystery bag" video is more casual than the films I produced in 2014. I recorded it in one take, on short notice with my hair miskempt. As I work to address two issues in my documentary and polish that giant pile of excitement, I enjoy having a chance to get loose with the video medium. Hopefully it might amuse or gently provoke some folks across the web.

To get some perspective, I dropped in on personal video-maker Jenna Marbles. Her videos feature far fewer graphics and effects than mine, maybe a few more stunts, a lot more cute animals. But at the core, she strikes one as direct, unafraid and it's somehow comforting to watch her think out loud. I admire her accessible, self-deprecating fun and authentic momentum. I watched her 200th video which offered some insight into her feelings after the last four years riding a rocketship of popularity.

Then I went to watch her latest video, and it turned out to be a fan request from her Facebook group: JennaMarbles read aloud a selection of her hate mail from across the internet. These included some sad words and some upsetting suggestions; by the end she seemed a bit frayed around the edges.

Jenna Marbles is one of the most popular personal media makers on the internet, and I could see the positive and negative aspects of her prominent position from those two vids linked above. Every few months I start thinking, oh, I should get some comments and community going again on! But personal content + open comments = eventual tide of immense psychic challenge, and I'm not ready for that just now.

These are some of the themes I'm exploring in - my documentary due free on the web later this year. It's taking me a good while to figure out how I feel about the rise of social networks after the advent of personal weblogging, let alone articulate that feeling!

cutting a tree to the stump

I'm told the prior resident here snuck over a fence behind this Mission district house into a garden attached to an auto body shop. He planted a black acacia tree there decades ago. When the tree became an overgrowing arboreal menace, it was chopped to a stump. He the planter prayed and meditated hard that day. The stump was ignored and over the ensuing years, the tree grew back without supervision: as seven trunks, a huge canopy three stories tall, visible from San Francisco's hills and sheltering the spaces below which bustled with hawks and rats.

As more people packed around it, the tree was deemed too large: roots were lifting a neighbor's concrete; limbs or whole trunks might have broken off to commit rooficide.

I loved looking out our back window and seeing branches and leaves. Now, a year and a half after I first moved a chair to where I could sit and see that tree, three days of chainsawing by a man on ropes reduced it to a stump once more. Younger men covered the wood wound in mulch and left it.

Ilyse and I wondered if tree-bound meditation and prayer should once again be deployed, touching upon the spiritual side of the otherwise secular Arbor Day, which appears in 40+ countries. Perhaps we'd pray for forgetfulness from our neighbors, so the stump might re-re-grow. And, we'd likely raise our voices amidst the many in this part of the world praying for water.

But instead of bringing rain, our water prayers could cause sea levels to rise to our front steps. And instead of summoning leaves outside our window, this tree could continue to invade our lives. Fed by our prayers and meditation, this tree could soon drive us from this warm box. Seems easy to cut and hard to know. But out my window I do prefer branches and leaves to the rump end of a storehouse.