Comic Strip #10


Moonlight Embrace

Moonlight_Embrace (1)

Notice: Upcoming comic name and header change

Cosine is the new name of the comic strip. I thought that math term would be appropriate since trigonometric functions are used in many scientific fields. The word “cosine” also sounds similar to the word “co-sign”, which is what a couple does with a Form 1040 when they choose Married Filing Jointly.

The website address  for the comic/blog will remain the same.

Journal Notes: Mad Scientist Cupcake

I overheard a coworker talking about making an easy and low calorie dessert called a “diet soda” cupcake. She first heard about this flavorful and unique recipe from her husband and researched it on numerous blogs. The recipe is so simple to make: add a can of diet soda to any cake mix, bake, and voilà, you have a concoction of chocolate and coke in one bite. It all sounds great; I mean who wouldn’t want to have a desert that combined two all time food favorites: soda and cake.

But there was also something really irresistible to think about: how many ingredients would go into such a dessert?
OK, that’s not usually the second thing that pops into a person’s mind, but since I’m really research-minded and inquisitive , the idea came to me as easy as pie. As luck would have it, after work, I had to go to the grocery store for some much needed food items. So I took a little trip to the baking aisle.

One strawberry cake mix I found contained this impressive list of ingredients:


Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid),

Vegetable Oil Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Propylene Glycol Mono and Diesters of Fats, Mono- and Diglycerides, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Soy Lecithin),

Strawberry Flavored Bits (Sugar, Corn Syrup, Corn Cereal, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, [Cottonseed and/or Soybean], Modified Food Starch, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Red 40, Blue 2),

Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate),

—————-part of 2 % or less———————–

Contains 2% or Less of:

Wheat Starch,



Emulsifier (Propylene Glycol Mono- and Diesters of Fats and Fatty Acids, Mono- and Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Citric Acid To Protect Flavor),

Polyglycerol Esters of Fatty Acids,

Cellulose Gum,

Citric Acid,

Xanthan Gum,

Artificial Flavor,


Tapioca Dextrin,

Gum Arabic,

Natural and Artificial Flavor,

Colored with (Red 40 Lake),


After that, it was a visit to the beverage section of the store. And this diet citrus soda had this nice entry of ingredients:

Carbonated Water

Concentrated orange juice

Citric acid

Natural flavor

Citrus pectin

Potassium benzoate

Potassium citrate


Sodium citrate

Acesulfame potassium


Gum arabic

Sodium benzoate

Calcium disodium EDTA

Brominated vegetable oil

Yellow 5

So put those two items together, bake and you got a mad science cupcake made up of 37 ingredients.

But that’s not all.  What cupcake isn’t complete without frosting? So I walked back to the baking aisle and found this can of rainbow chip icing with this list of ingredients:


High Fructose Corn Syrup,

Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil,

Corn Start,


High Maltose Corn Syrup,

Palm Kernal Oil.

—————-part of 2 % or less———————–

Contains 2% or less of:

Nonfat Milk,


Distilled Monoglycerides,

Polysorbate 60,

Color (yellow lakes 5 & 6, red lake 40, blue lakes 1&2, yellows 5&6 and other color added),

Modified Cellulose,

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate,

Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate,

Soy Lecithin,

Natural and Artificial Flavor,

Citric Acid,

Potassium Sorbate.

Total number of ingredients for mad scientist cupcake ( cake mix, soda, frosting): 56


Note: some ingredients, such as Soy Lecithin or Yellow 5 are mentioned more than once. 56 is the number of listed ingredients.
Some ingredients are mentioned, but left unlisted; example: “….and other color added”.

—– Dr. Tony E. Glace-Noire


Word of caution: despite no mention of this side affect on cooking blogs, aspartame heated up becomes a sour tasting chemical called diketopiperazine!

Do not try this recipe, you will probably get sick!

Comic Strip #9

Cigarette cartoon comic strip 9

Sorry I took so long posting this comic. A lot of other things came up, and a comic that you sketch for free is usually not top priority.

The back-story about Dr. Glace-Noire ‘s organization,  the one that prevents the melting of glaciers, needs a second look. I already have Leila Luna as an IRS agent; having him running that nonprofit would make this comic come across as a little too liberal leaning.   The glaciers mention could be part of the setting; for instance Dr. Glace-Noire could have a laboratory near one.

This idea occurred to me….

How about Leila Luna as a Internal Revenue Service special agent? I thought of the concept during this past tax season; this could work out — many people think the IRS is scary and predatory (just like werewolves)!

Leila Luna uses her unique position as a werewolf and an IRS agent to keep track of businesses or organizations that might be a front for anti-werewolf activity.  Take for instance My Own Piece of Nature natural resource and animal management specialists. She heard from a lycanthrope sympathizer that this business hired werewolf hunters and listed them as independent contractors. Leila decided to take a closer look at My Own Piece of Nature’s tax returns and see if there was something amiss.
Ms. Luna was one lucky dog. She found out that the business was avoiding  payroll taxes by hiring independent contractors instead of regular employees. Which would be fine and dandy except that  the owners of  the resource management business controlled what work was performed  and how it was done. So Leila went in for the kill. My Own Piece of Nature was investigated, owners arrested, and the enterprise was closed for good.

Werewolves and the Internal Revenue Service: they both love an opportunity to prove they’re at the top of the food chain.

Interesting fact: The creator of the original form 1040 tax return  was also a horror writer.  Nina Wilcox Putnam drafted the first version of the taxation document for the IRS in 1912.  She also penned a story that becane the framework for the screenplay that became the 1932 film The Mummy!

P.S. :   I got this idea before the  current controversy at the IRS. Perfect timing for this post, though!


Comic Strip #8


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