30 April 2006

Links: Comics, Folk Rap, and Art Films

Doctor-in-Training Comic Strip
Scutmonkey is a funny comic by a med school student. Try, for example, 12 Types of Med Students. (re: geekpress)

Joan Baez-eqsue Cover of NWA's "Straight Outta Compton"
(Profanity, obviously) For those of you into gangsta' rap, funny! Or surreal. (re: Boingboing)

Top Ten Lies of Engineers
Top Ten Lies of Engineers, such as: "#9: Our beta sites loved the software," brought to you by Guy Kawasaki, former Macintosh Chief Evangelist. I recommend all of his books, by the way, such as Selling the Dream.

Wozniak's Site
Steve Wozniak answers questions about the early days of Apple and Microsoft from viewers of the movie "Pirates of Silicon Valley."

Notable Science Books
The edge.org site has been redesigned to include a column of quite a few recently published books about science, biology, relationships, physics, and evolution. Let the site load fully; the list will appear on the right.

Bird's-Eye-View of the World - Simultaneously
I have probably mentioned this movie on Pleix Films before, but I still think it's gorgeous. Let it load fully, turn up your speakers, and enjoy. Check out "Netlag," which superimposes a map of the earth with hundreds of recorded webcams. Watch the sun rise in NYC while it sets in Tokyo.


25 April 2006

Impromptu "Recipe" 2: Fruit and Dark Chocolate

(For real culinary wisdom, leave this site and visit Jofish and Jim Eat.)

Strawberries, Banana, and Dark Chocolate Late-Night Gooey Mess

3 squares good dark choc, e.g. Trader Joes' $4 ~74% Belgian Dark
1 banana
3 tbsp. milk
4 strawberries

0. Grab a high-lipped ("pasta") dish and a cutting plate*

1. Put chocolate squares and milk in pasta dish. Microwave 2 min. @ 50% (stir after 1 min. + when done). If still solid, do 1 more min. @ 70%.

2. While that's happening, cut fruit into fork-able sized slices

3. Throw fruit on top of icky chocolate mixture

4. Eat slowly

Wes Anderson American Express Commercial!

I highly recommend this. (Click "pause," let load fully, click "play.")

*: Hi, Prof. B.


Sun's Scott McNealy steps down (up) from CEO to chairman
Article on CNET News.com.

Tongue-in-cheek history of the microprocessor.

Those Wall Street Journal Stippled Portraits
Check out the galleries of the Randy Glass Studio. Amazing!

Pimp My Snack
'nuff said. Check out the "Reeses Mothership." (Huge versions of snacks.)

Intriguing Science Book
A methodical, complete, well-illustrated tome from algebra to quantum physics: Roger Penrose's The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe.

(image loaded from amazon.com)

How to Calm Your Newborn
The "Baby Bjorn" is amazing. It defies physics. Put baby in here, walk around the house, and he's asleep for an hour.

New Mass Go Site
The Massachusetts Go Association has a nice new website. (Yes, that's yours truly in the top picture. Though I'm such a poseur; I haven't really played for months.) Tournament - including a kid's division for 20+ kyu - on Sunday Apr. 30.

Congratulations to the happy newly engaged couple... you know who you are... We're looking forward to seeing you up here in Boston this summer!


22 April 2006

Settling In

Hello there!

A little more than a week later, J-Fav and I are experiencing the joys and sleepwalking that we've been looking forward to for the past 9 months. After coming home Monday and enduring the worst-timed and worst-magnitude string of stomach flus I could have imagined, we are now nearly clear-headed. We've been playing with Toby, laughing at how he looks like a little robe-wrapped monk when we burp him, wondering about what it means that he's a "Harlequin," being amused at how his whole body bounces when he hiccoughs, and shocked and amazed at how MUCH and how FREQUENTLY he eats (er... drinks). And calms down on the bouncy ball. And interested in how he's learning to fixate. And, and, and...

We are thankful to family who have stayed over to cook, clean, feed (us), and give us a chance to sleep more hours than I had hoped. And J-Fav's family put in more than their share of babysitting!

So: But: Anyway: I think I will fight the urge to report daily on his burps and other progress. I will avoid the automatic Google-ization of everything I type. I'll turn the camera away from our more private family moments here in this public forum.

Settling In

J-Fav and I are still wondering how we're going to cope when I return to work. How does everyone do it, baby in one arm, skillet cooking lunch with the other? Thank goodness some of you dear readers are offering to cook dinners for us while we get our heads straight.

Still, I think my wife is Wonder Woman.

Now and then there are hour-long stretches when mom and I can watch TV (finally got cable) or catch up on web-reading.

Web Reading

Here are some things from my new "read later" bookmark in Safari:

Andrew Odlyzko of AT&T Bell Labs essay, "The Decline of Unfettered Research"

NSF's directorate for computer & information science & engineering's series of reports from PIs on computational neuroscience

Wikipedia article: Scientology

Steve Jobs / Macintosh original four videotaped sessions of Macintosh release in 1984 from Mac Essentials (the, "thanks for letting me out of that bag" not the commercial)

Publications by Prof. Zucker's computational vision group at Yale

giving good presentations: BusinessWeek article: "How to Wow 'Em Like Steve Jobs"

The New Yorker, "The Soundtrack of Your Life: Muzak in the realm of retail theatre"

Buy some glitch art from the store (real and simulated screenshots of crashed computer programs)


15 April 2006

It's a Boy!

On Thursday morning (4/13/06), at 8:47 am, we welcomed Tobias John Favalora to the world! (We've been calling him "Toby.")

Mom, Dad, and Baby are doing great!

Now, time to run back to the hospital...

proud daddy

12 April 2006

Impromptu Recipe: Roast Chicken with Red Wine, Apple, and Potatoes

We're waiting for Squirt-Fav's arrival & decided, heck, let's get adventurous with dinner. Plain whole roast chicken felt a little too boring tonight, so I took a stab at a new recipe. I wonder how it'll turn out.

Roast Chicken with Red Wine, Apple, and Potatoes

6-7 lb "oven stuffer" chicken
salt, pepper
1/2 bottle red wine (we had cab. waiting to be finished)
3 big russet potatoes
1 granny smith apple

0. Preheat oven to 375 F, remove giblets from chicken
1. Rinse + dry chicken w/paper towels; place in large, deep casserole dish or deep baking pan
2. Warm 3 tbsp butter, brush over chicken
3. Cover chicken with salt and a little freshly-ground pepper
4. Put in oven + cook for 30 minutes
5. Turn heat up to 425 F
6. Cook for 30 minutes
7. Cut potatoes into quarters. Cut apple into 6 sections. Take 3 tbsp butter and cut into pads.
8. Arrange potato + apple sections around chicken. Place butter on potato slices.
9. Pour 1/3 - 1/2 bottle red wine around chicken.
10. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until thermometer reads whatever it's supposed to or that dimple pos out.
11. Take out of oven, move the chicken to its own dish, let sit 5 minutes, carve.
12. Keep cooking the potato / apple / wine admixture until it's done. 10 minutes or so.

Wonder how this'll taste.

[a few hours go by]

Hey, that was actually good. Not "have near-strangers over for dinner" good, but "cooking for good friends who will tolerate raiding the pantry" good. The wine sauce was really tasty, and the bird turned out perfectly golden and crispy.

g-fav, from the office at The Diesel

08 April 2006

Attention Deficit Trait

Why Can't You Pay Attention Anymore?

Dr. Edward Hallowell, in CNET News.com, discusses "attention deficit trait," which ironically results from a sort of "brain overload" from today's onslaught of e-mail, Blackberry notices, phone calls, etc. He reports that it results in a loss of strategic thinking and a tendency to answer only the superficial aspects of questions.

"It's sort of like the normal version of attention deficit disorder. But it's a condition induced by modern life, in which you've become so busy attending to so many inputs and outputs that you become increasingly distracted, irritable, impulsive, restless and, over the long term, underachieving. In other words, it costs you efficiency because you're doing so much or trying to do so much, it's as if you're juggling one more ball than you possibly can."

(found, as usual, from Lifehacker.com)


05 April 2006


I'm out sick today. Between grant proposals and other work, there's always:

Peep-tinis! Yes, Easter drinks made using Peeps. (re: Memepool)

Nature article: Scientists Grow Bladder in Lab (using scaffolding to slowly grow artificial bladders and eventually other organs)

The VirtuSphere stereoscopic "immersive" VR system, sort of a gerbil-sphere for humans.

Guy Kawasaki discusses Cialdini's Influence, a book about social influence and persuasion that I - and you, too, probably - read in intro psych class.

Find blinking gizmos and other stuff for your favorite nerd at ThinkGeek.

So despite that last post it appears I haven't gone cold-turkey at all.

Thanks, N, for the link to the NYTimes story on EB. I'm having trouble registering.


02 April 2006


The -Fav household today had an undercurrent of excitement; the weather's good, Squirt-fav is coming very soon, and J-Fav is all a-glow. I got my work work (as opposed to house work) done this afternoon, we went on walks, we had ice cream, we went out for spicy Indian food to urge things along. We're generally having a great time, and are both looking forward to meeting the little guy or gal.

My emotions about it all are wonderful and new and anticipatory; and I think it all deserves not to be written about on this blog, at least not by me. I'm no poet, and in fact I think I have a bit of "authorial ADHD" that would be a disservice if Squirt were to Google us 10 years from now and find that dad was unable to express the depth of his feelings. Privately, J-Fav and I wrote Squirt letters. I'm hoping that he or she will read mine upon turning nine, and 19, and 29, that there'd be new meaning to it each time. I'll leave it at that.

Also, I continue to reflect on blogging in the context of personal things, and blogging in general. I'm considering going cold turkey.

This process has three elements for me; maybe they overlap, maybe they're linearly independent. First, blogging is a pastime in which I can record and share stuff that might interest me or you some day. Secong, blogging is a vehicle to keep in touch with friends, both virtual and those from "meat-space" (what a graphic term!), but really I prefer to catch up one-on-one, over coffee, or over all-you-can-eat BBQ. (Enough with the meat references.)

But third, I wish I felt that I could share personal views and some of my own challenges and goings-on. I'm not comfortable with that, though; I've got a business to help run, blogs are too public, and Google's hungry web-spiders will lock away every word for all of eternity. If I were to switch to LiveJournal, I guess I could "friendslock" what I write. But who cares? Who would get a password just to see if I had a thrilling day at a customer hospital site or a lousy one due to a jerk on the ride home?

So I end up putting most of my emphasis on the first component. Meta. It's all links and pointers and pictures and music. And what isn't is just "safe stuff," which feels like what wanna-be actors do who genericize their last names for the broadest appeal.

Some Safe Stuff

Cable! Attention the very few of you who have been keeping track during "24" night: J-Fav and I now have cable. She called up RCN, and lo!, the guy gave us new phone, cable modem, and cable TV service. I can flip through 80+ shows, find the two worth watching, forget what channels they're on, and cycle through all of them ad nauseum until both shows conclude and J-Fav leaves the room, dizzy.

Starbucks! Spent several hours there, speed-writing a grant pre-proposal, unfortunately seated underneath a store loudspeaker playing high-volume Alanis Morissette. Put on my iPod Shuffle, turned it up loud, and endured dualing songs until their CD ran out. Did you know there's a Mac OS X utility that plays white noise to aid concentration?

All Hail the Lowest Common Denominator! "Maddox," of the so-called The Best Page in the Universe, published a book called The Alphabet of Manliness. (Maddox's blog is for the Howard Stern crowd, and I'll leave it at that.) The book is now #1 in Amazon book sales. Ladies and gentlemen, it's safe to say we're all aiming a bit too high.

Product Marketing! IKEA is great, but they might want to rethink some of their product names.

I'll leave you on a more serious note. The Australian TV show "Beyond Tomorrow" filmed a segment about a man with lung cancer who agreed to participate in an experiment using our company's Perspecta Display for cancer therapy treatment planning. I hope to get a copy of the segment; this is really what gets me out of bed in the morning.

Self-absorbedly yours,

ps I continue to think it's funny that most of the people who use Google that land on this blog over the last 6+ months are searching for pictures of the Andre the Giant Has a Posse stickers.