26 June 2007

It's, like, 800 degrees in Boston

Extra! Extra!

Joseph Cornell Retrospective. "The first major retrospective... in 26 years" at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. See the works of Joseph Cornell, "one of America's most innovative modern artists, known for his distinctive box sculptures, collages and experimental films..."

I really apologize for not having, you know, all sorts of wonderful scientific insights to share on this blog. Ever. It's just hard to think while objects are busily melting outside our steamy New England windows lately.

Contraptions. In the meantime, I invite - no, implore - you to watch the most amazing Rube Goldberg device I've ever seen.

Zork. Okay, here's something vaguely technical. June is the month of Zork! Yes, "Your Greatest Challenge Lies Ahead - and Downwards." Here is a brief history, with photos, of the game. And a link to a site where you can play Zork I!

"Holographic" Sound. I thought this was pretty incredible. Go to this (Spanish) site, plug in headphones (required!), and click on the little sound link in the middle of the blog post. It's very good stereo sound -- give it a few minutes. I guess they're calling it holographic sound. I don't think it'll work without headphones. It's a cheesy scene where you go to a barbershop; at one point, they put a plastic bag over your head that I felt was really effective.


21 June 2007

Nerd-easy Recipe #1: Rice, Beans, and Chorizo Greggito Style

Rice, Beans, and Chorizo Greggito Style
as influenced by things found in How to Cook Everything

1 med. onion, chopped
1/2 c. of cilantro, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 c. Uncle Ben's long-grain rice
1 foot-long segment of Chorizo or Linguica, cut into 0.5" slices and again cross-wise
1/2 c. cooking sherry
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small can of diced tomatoes, with liquid (what is that, 12 oz?)
1 can of cooked black beans (it's about 1.5 cups)
2 c. chicken stock
salt, pepper, and optionally some spicy liquid like "Jonkanoo Sauce"

You can find chorizo and linguica in decent grocery stores, usually hiding above the meats. It's spicy Portuguese sausage, basically.

Get a large, heavy frying pan that's deep enough to eventually contain all of the above (about 2 - 3"). Put it on medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Sautee the chorizo for about 3-5 minutes, until they start to get crispy but not burnt. Stir often. Set aside in a bowl. Leave the crispy bits and residual oil in the pan.

Turn the heat to medium and add the olive oil, until it gets fragrant (1 minute). Add the onion, cooking slowly for 5-10 minutes until they get soft. Try scraping up some of the crispy bits from the chorizo. Don't rush the onion or it'll be hard or burnt. Stir in the garlic & cook for 1 minute.

Add the beans and cilantro + stir. Add the tomato and about 1 teaspoon salt + stir. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the chicken broth, sherry, and the chorizo you cooked earlier and stir. Bring to a boil. Make sure those cripsy bits are scraped up and happily floating in that broth.

Turn the heat to low and cover the pan. Set your timer to 20 minutes. Check on the rice when 5 minutes remain. If it's done (i.e. edible, not hard), then uncover and use your best judgement on how much liquid to boil off. I like it with plenty of liquid left over because I suspect the rice continues to absorb it. Taste it. Need salt? Hot sauce? Add it.

Ladle into bowls and enjoy!


20 June 2007

A Frivolous Update

I hope you all had a good weekend. Wait, it's Wednesday night already. In any case, the Cunningham/Favaloras had fun at the Charles River Festival and watching friends play softball on Father's Day.

Here are some interesting or frivolous links that have accumulated in my "read later" folder for your enjoyment.

Pixelized Tie. The 8-bit pixel tie, available at Think Geek.
Technical Illustration by Meg Stalcup.
Double Pendulum animation (click on the dots to move the links.)
Living an Extraordinary Life. The Handel Group enables executives to solve organizational issues by drilling down into fundamental problems of emotion, personality, and vice. MIT IAP course. (Thanks, for the link - you know who you are.)
Incredible Machine Art, from what might be the first inkjet printer, by 1970s artist Anton Perich.
Apple //e Animation. Prof. B and (boingboing?) link to this YouTube video of stop-animation footage meticulously done with an Apple //e.
World's Most Important 6-second drum loop. BB points us to this audio documentary of a drum loop you've probably heard.

And, last but not least,

Q3 is HUGE!!! Get a load of this post on Wubbahed's blog. (Also, take the time to check out the links to his photography.)


13 June 2007

3-D cfp, and...

3-D Display Call for Papers. The SPIE / IS&T Stereoscopic Displays and Applications 2008 conference (San Jose, CA) has posted the call for papers.

- - -

Humor. If you're a techie who doesn't follow xkcd, how about this?

My author-itative wife. Congratulations, J-Fav, whose book Working With Your Faculty (for principals) was released tonight at a party in Boston.

You have died of dysentery. Apple ][ users: the story of the classic computer game Oregon Trail.

Ignoring Others' Faults. John Maeda's "The De-Fault is to Accept Fault."

Unconference. "How to run a great unconference session," a blog post by Scott Berkun regarding the current wave of free-form technical conference sessions.

Movie. I really enjoyed the Grindhouse low-budget-flick-parody double feature. Just as the Boston Globe review suggested, if you buy into the premise of the trailer, you'll dig the movie.

Time Travel. V-Fav points us to this article about a University of Washington researcher who is receiving public donations to fund his time-travel physics research.

Learning Lambda Calculus with Paper Cutouts. Alligator untyped lambda calculus, which I found through tahnan's blog.

Out-pretensing the pretentious. "Flavia" points us to a funny webpage that ranks NYTimes wedding announcements by prevalence of snobby phrases (scroll down).

And an invitation to you, dear reader. Please feel free to say "hi!" in that comment section down there.


10 June 2007

mean free path

Hello from recently hot and humid Boston -

J-Fav and T-Fav have been away for the past several days, leaving me to bounce around the house like a... like a... gas molecule, or something. I don't know. As a pretty strong introvert, I usually need to have a day a week to myself to recharge. But this time reminded me of - what was that, "The Bicycle Thief"? - where I keep seeing dads with their 1-year olds everywhere I go, making me miss Toby even more. Well, he'll be back in a matter of hours, as will that mom of his. (I'm INTJ, evidently. Take the test yourself.)

So in the meantime? I have ingested large volumes of caffeine, hung out with "Prof. B.," gotten into The Diamond Age (Neal Stephenson), learned that The Diesel actually has available seating in the summertime now that the laptop squatters have depleted, discovered how weird Eddie becomes when he's lonely, bought a single bottle of Corona to make mussels-steamed-in-beer some evening this week, wrote an executive summary of our business plan and reviewed one for a friend, confirmed that the best meal at Blue Ribbon Barbeque is their pulled-pork burrito, watched many episodes of The Family Guy, and most gastronomically-impressive of all, finished off a three-plater experience at Jade Garden. And this was between Friday and Saturday night.


Please excuse the following nearly-science-free list of things to click on:

Speaking of the Family Guy
(Damn you, "Bert," for introducing me to that!) If any of you have Season 1 on DVD, "Brian in Love" is the funniest episode I've seen so far.

An Incredible Technology Demo
Microsoft's "Seadragon" technology pulls off many technical feats, including: (1) ultra-smooth zooming in and out of absolutely gigantic image data sets, and (2) -- get this -- examines images from Flickr, say "Notre Dame," and builds a three-dimensional model of the cathedral using computer vision algorithms. It is a must-see.

Letter from Nigeria. Ze Frank.

Seth Godin, "It's Always Like This."

Twitter. "In Defense of Twitter," on CNet News.

Trent Reznor performing "Non-entity."

What does a cat see all day? Check out the CatCam.

10 Simple Ways to Save Yourself Messing Up Your Life. At The Best Article Every Day.

The White Stripes - Icky Thump. Megan Martha White makes it look so easy... Like I read in the (cassette) liner notes for some harpsichordist when I was around 10, music really is the white between the notes. It is heretic to think she has some of the best rock groove since Bonham?

Love Reign O'er Me. Pearl Jam's cover of this great song is in heavy rotation on the radio now. Here's The Who singing it live, back in '96. I first heard this in 6th grade, maybe, when my friend Matt Schapiro lent me his tape of Quadrophenia. For some reason I carried around the sheet music in my bookbag in senior year; hearing it brings back the smell of dusty West Orange High hallways, lockers, and band rehearsals. Weird how our memory works, huh?

Oh my goodness, it's 2 am.


01 June 2007

19 year-old cancer researcher on her accomplishments at 17

Stop reading stuff on the Web and get back to creating on your own, already!

I mean, as soon as you watch this piece from TED 2005 of Princeton undergrad and "microbiology prodigy" Eva Vertes who, at 19, stood in front of quite an audience to express her passion and ideas about fighting cancer -- which has been gaining acclaim since she was just 17. (Give it a chance; sure, she's nervous, but wouldn't you be in front of an audience like this?)

Okay. Now you can quit reading and get back to creating.