June 28, 2006

friedrich nietzsche's diet book

a piece in the newyorker. thank you, woody allen.

June 22, 2006

how to make a thermostated waterbath for sous vide for under $150

  1. buy a temperature controller, directly from manufacturer or for less from mcmaster-carr.
  2. this device runs on a logic controller programmed up to 60 C, and operates on a thermistor temperature probe, the resistance of which varies with temperature. add a constant 10 kOhm resistor in series with the thermistor in order to extend the operating range above 60 C.
  3. buy an electric heating element, such as a single cup water boiler or a crock pot, but one that uses less than 1.8 kW of power or draws less than 15 Amps of current at 120 V.
  4. calculate an instrument response function by measuring water temperature in an appropriate vessel such as a pot. here is one obtained by using a 8 quart pot with a 300 W heating coil.

  • the linear fit in the temperature range of interest yields: Actual = 6.4 * Read - 57
  • attempt to reproduce pierre gagnaire's egg cooked at 68 C (for 20 minutes) yields a most delicious entity with a delicate and uniform texture, neither "soft" nor "hard"

thanks to emil for the controller-resistor fix
digg it

pitchfork's 100 awesome music videos

time killer!

30 boston restaurants for under $30

the list. thanks megnut.

June 18, 2006


a truly great piece in the nytimes about a truly fascinating phenomenon: the show and its "fabuloso friday" concept, "Where you think so I don't have to." it touches on many new potentially important things such as wikis and collaboration dynamics, and of course the nature of humor.

June 12, 2006

where is web 2.5?

now that web 2.0, which i see as an adaptation of global enterprise systems to applications that involve collaboration and sharing, is seeing its apogee, one wonders what's next?

the best predictor of the future is...history, naturally. and the best way to improve global applications, is to add a local dimension.

etsy is the next step. it's glocalization at its best. here is the story.

June 10, 2006

rscho's favorite restaurants in boston

rscho sends in his list of favorite restaurants. we are excited:
  • Rangoli, best Indian restaurant on the east coast, in Allston near Harvard Ave.
  • El Oriental, best Cuban restaurant in the world. Good goat. In JP, on Centre Street.
  • Any of the chinatown places for Sunday dim sum. Not as crazy busy as in NYC.
  • Moby Dick, good iranian food, mostly kabobs and stuff, but very tasty.
  • Helmand, excellent Afghani place in Kendall Square, the bridge. Kind of romantic, so would be a nice place to take Nina.
  • Elephant Walk, fancy Cambodian place. Two locations, but the better location is in Porter Square, the Bridge.
  • Dali, expensive Spanish tapas place off of Inman Square (corner of Hampshire and Beacon) in Somerville. Very good food and fun atmosphere. Make a reservation.
  • Atasca, beautiful, tiny Portuguese restaurant in East Cambridge. Fall in love all over again.
  • Izzy's, a puerto rican joint. Don't go with Nina, cuz she will think it's gross but go with Mikey. He likes it too.
  • Taqueria de Mexico, tiny little chearp divy but oh-so-authentic Mexican joint in Union Square in Somerville. Worth the hassle to get there (if you can find a car).
  • Porter Exchange, a Japanese mall in Porter Square, has decent noodles and greasy japanese food.
send yours!

June 08, 2006

cellphone etiquette: in the toilet

on the way from the seychelles, i had the pleasure of using the new public toilets in paris. they involved a recording of birdsong, that seemed to get more cocophonous when there were more people using the toilets. that alone was sufficient to cause major disruption to my toilet regimen.

however, the bigger nuisance were people using their cellphones while sitting on toilets in neighboring stalls. now, it seems that american attitudes towards this practice are changing.

how do you feel? i am conducting a scientifically rigorous poll below; please vote.

June 07, 2006

health and wellbeing

it's been argued that one of the most expressive reporters of health and wellbeing is oral health, for the simple reason that people with limited access to health care tend to neglect dental care, since it's least insured and most expensive.

here are some state-by-state statistics, including for example, the percentage of people who have lost all of their teeth versus the percentage of people who are disabled:

needless to say, the states with the highest rates of total dental loss (40%!) are also some of the poorest in the country.

get involved.

June 03, 2006

we are in boston: via matta

after emil finished assembling the beatifully red book shelves that he painted (thanks to mosman for recommending the rakks), we set off to via matta for dinner.

the staff was extremely thoughtful and the food enjoyed a similar level of attention. we had spicy calamari with tomatoes, olives and capers, which were tender and well balanced, but could have benefited from a thicker sauce. the crunchy eggplant with basil and marinated tomatoes, on the other hand, was simply awesome. i had rabbit tortelli which were very tasty and had nice complexity, while nina tried spinach and ricotta ravioli nudi in brown butter with sage (always a winner), though the ravioli were a little plain on the palate in my opinion.

needless to say, this is a good start to our gastronomical tenure in boston.