06 December 2014

On Names | Chocolate Date Sauce

I learned a trick this week, and I'm going to extrapolate several explanations for why it works.[1]

On Names Chocolate Mint Tea | Gothic Granola

Then I came up with a tea drink, and a way to make my date-based chocolate syrup.

Let's Scientific Method-ize this.

scientific_method_by_sekrain DeviantArt

Source: Sekrain on DeviantArt.


  • Question: Why do my job applications receive little notice?


  • Research: From discussions with friends who make hiring decisions, the uniqueness of my name throws HR folks for a loop. From experience with various online forms, single letter first names are often rejected. I was locked out of Barnes and Noble's online buying system once for using my legal name. While the US Government allows a single letter first name, it's just not common practice and therefore suspect (i.e., spam, trickery, errors). Researchers at Stanford and UCLA and Caltech released a paper in 2005 on the unconscious bias people have towards surnames at the beginning of the alphabet. I would guess that the same bias affects my job applications. Some applications have been dismissed because I consciously applied for 'reach' jobs, but others were never acknowledged, even from online systems.


  • Hypothesis: I will apply to jobs using my middle name to 'play the system.'


  • Experiment: The eleven jobs for which I applied from 1-5 December I used my middle name.


  • Results: Of the eleven jobs, I received two calls back the day I applied, had one preliminary interview, and scheduled another interview for next week. In eight months of searching for jobs with only four scheduled (and unfruitful) interviews, that's a record.


  • Conclusion: Keep up the middle name applications for more results.


Isn't that funny? I guess since Q isn't a nice character in Star Trek, no one likes Q. However, problem-solver Q in the James Bond movies is totally the person you'd want to hire!


Onto other things. I drink tea, not coffee, and even though it's cold outside, I still make iced tea each week. This week I made mint and black iced tea. I've been drinking chocolate (nondairy) milk sometimes, made with Ah-Laska chocolate syrup (which is vegan and gluten-free) and unsweetened nondairy milk.

Chocolate Mint Tea | Gothic Granola

All that cane sugar isn't a great start to my morning, though. I began adding tea, even though I don't like hot tea with milk, for caffeine. The syrup was still a bit much, though.

Chocolate Mint Tea | Gothic Granola

Instead, I created a chocolate date sauce to stir into my drink instead.


Chocolate Date Sauce

1 cup dates, pitted (pick your type; I used Deglet Noor because that's what was available at Costco)

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

In a glass container, soak the dates in the water for 8 hours to overnight.

Chocolate Mint Tea | Gothic Granola

The next day, drain most of the water from the dates, keeping about 1/4 cup soaking water.

In a high-speed blender or food processor, blitz the dates, soaking water, and cocoa until the dates are obliterated. If you're cool with date chunks or your machine can't handle it, then just process until a sticky, uniformly chocolate goop forms.

Store sauce in refrigerator until ready to use.

Chocolate Date Sauce | Gothic Granola

To assemble the chocolate milk tea:

Fill the container of your choice half with mint tea (hot or cold depends on the type of container).

Add 1/4 the total container volume of nondairy milk.

Stir in 3 tablespoons (or desired amount) of date syrup.


Chocolate Mint Tea | Gothic Granola

Parting shots:

TC has created the night sky on top of a bookcase using a blacklight and stick-on stars.

Night Sky | Gothic Granola


A reading list only a religion major could love!

Reading list | Gothic Granola


[1] Credit to W and C for their ideas regarding this phenomenon.
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