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Greg Lloyd

Greg Lloyd's Public Library

about 4 hours ago

2 Apr 2015: Michaël Engelmann is one of very few humans to have passed the Master Sommelier exam on the first try. And as of late last summer, the native Frenchman has been ensconced at The Modern within the Museum of Modern Art in New York, commanding an extensive array of vintage wines from around the world. Protip: For those keen on riesling, he's got some tricks up his sleeve. But below, Engelmann expounds on wine and candy.

  • Q: With Easter just a few days away, I expect to consume more candy than usual. Which got me thinking ... is it possible to pair wine with candy? What would I drink with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers, Skittles, and Starburst?
  • Engelmann: Wine and candy are two of my favorite things. If they are so great on their own … why not put them together? Having grown-up overseas, when it came down to actually pairing two of my favorite vices, I wasn’t as familiar with some of the American candies as those who have grown-up here. So, to take on this arduous task, I went candy shopping. To avoid a stomachache and a wicked hangover, I asked my talented team of sommeliers at The Modern to join in the fun. Here are some of the pairings that worked best.
  • There are about as many wines to go with peanut butter cups as there are ways to eat them. The Lustau ‘Solera Reserve’ East India Sherry ($24) is a favorite for dessert pairings at The Modern, and was quite delicious when paired with Reese's. This rich, dark, fortified wine displays coffee and caramel flavors, with an interesting salty note that married nicely with the peanut butter. While rich, it is not cloying. Another favorite, from Italy this time, is the 2004 Fattoria di Felsina Vin Santo ($46 for 375ml). Coming from one of the great producers in the region and showing the classic Vin Santo qualities of caramel, dried apricot, and nutty notes. Not a classic pairing, but a delicious one.

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about 17 hours ago

September 2003, 149 pages
New preface by Alan Blackwell and Kerry Rodden.

This technical report is based on a dissertation submitted January 1963 by the author for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Abstract


    The Sketchpad system uses drawing as a novel communication medium for a computer. The system contains input, output, and computation programs which enable it to interpret information drawn directly on a computer display. It has been used to draw electrical, mechanical, scientific, mathematical, and animated drawings; it is a general purpose system. Sketchpad has shown the most usefulness as an aid to the understanding of processes, such as the notion of linkages, which can be described with pictures. Sketchpad also makes it easy to draw highly repetitive or highly accurate drawings and to change drawings previously drawn with it. The many drawings in this thesis were all made with Sketchpad.

about 23 hours ago

When you find something you want to view later, put it in Pocket.

about 23 hours ago

29 Sep 2015: Apple brings refinement and under-the-hood changes to Yosemite's new design.
OS X 10.11 El Capitan: The Ars Technica Review by @AndrewWrites

  • OS X is obviously still important to Apple's strategy—the one where the company wants to trap you so thoroughly in its ecosystem that you can never leave—but it doesn't get to lead the charge anymore.
  • The subtle difference in El Capitan is that we’re actually seeing new features come to both iOS and OS X at the same time rather than existing on iOS first and then trickling down to the Mac later. Many of the biggest, most noticeable changes here are the same ones you saw in iOS 9 two weeks ago. The new Split Screen multitasking mode, tweaks to multitouch gestures, changes to services like Spotlight , and overhauled apps like Notes all fall into this category. Others, like System Integrity Protection, are merely iOS-inspired.
  • Really, this is the first time in several years that iOS and OS X have felt like they’ve gotten (and needed) the same amount of attention from Apple—both get to spend a release in the slow lane as Apple puts its marketing muscle behind newer platforms like the Apple Watch and the new Apple TV. Like iOS 9 (and Mountain Lion, and Snow Leopard), El Capitan is about refinement. Yosemite’s big statement was “This is what OS X looks like now.” El Capitan’s is a relatively meek “Hey, I have a couple neat tricks to show you.”
Oct 03, 15

Munchies Dept. OCTOBER 5, 2015 ISSUE If chefs are “the new rock stars” (the Times) and rap is “the new rock and roll” (Kanye West), then the Roger Daltrey of the current moment is a cannonball-shaped thirty-one-year-old rapper from Flushing named Action Bronson. A culinary-school dropout who has been nominated for two BET awards, Bronson raps about hibiscus syrup and feta au four the way other m.c.s name-check Bentleys and Basquiats. On a recent afternoon, he sat at the rooftop bar of Eataly, in the Flatiron district, cleansing his palate with an I.P.A. “These days, I’m more of a water guy, to be honest,” he said. “But when Chef hands you a beer you play along.” He gestured toward his tablemate, Mario Batali, Eataly’s owner. “He’s got me out here eating pork, beef—shit I haven’t eaten in mad long.”

  • Batali’s teen-age children turned him on to Bronson’s music. “I can’t play it at Babbo,” Batali said, referring to his Michelin-starred restaurant in Greenwich Village, “because of all the ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ and ‘cunt’ in it. But I certainly vibe out to it at home.”
Oct 03, 15

2 Oct 2015: This geometrically complexifies the intrinsic regulatory difficulties of rooting out deliberate wrongdoing in firmware design because it means that interested parties -- independent researchers, consumer advocacy groups, competitors -- can't serve as part of the regulatory mechanism, blowing the whistle on bad guys. It means regulators are out there all on their own, trying to police a world that is designed to trick them.

  • The Internet of Things is a world of devices (buildings, legs, TVs, phones) that can be programmed to sense and respond to their environments. These are things that don't submit to scrutiny: they fight back. You know the old joke about a broken photocopier that works perfectly when the repair tech shows up? Xerox could build one of those and maximize service-call revenue.
  • As Marcelo Rinese from the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies writes, technological tests have to be fair, transparent, and well-defined -- which makes them easy to detect and defeat.
  •  It's a demonological approach to science, where the universe is perverse and wants to hide its secrets from you.

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Oct 03, 15

23 Jan 2010: People once copied quotations longhand of writers they hoped to emulate. Can copying and pasting inspire us just as well?

  • So, about commonplace books. Commonplace books became widely used in the early modern period, largely because literate people were discombobulated by the flood of information that the printing press had unleashed on them. (One 17th-century writer wailed, "We have reason to fear that the multitude of books which grows every day in a prodigious fashion will make the following centuries fall into a state as barbarous as that of the centuries that followed the fall of the Roman Empire.") Some of these were just scrapbooks, the predecessors of today's Everything Buckets, as Alex Payne has called them -- applications like Evernote or DEVONthink -- and would be places to store recipes, notes from sermons, remedies for common maladies ... you know, everything.
  • But the other kind of commonplace book was different. Its goal was to gather a collection of the wisest statements, usually of the ancients, for future meditation. And here the key thing was to write the words in your own hand -- by this means, by laboriously and carefully copying out the insights of people smarter than you, you could absorb and internalize their wisdom. Call it osmosis-by-handwriting. (Some people would copy out whole books by their favorite writers in the hopes of achieving some kind of voodoo transference of power.)
  • When I post quotations and images to my tumblelog I suppose I'm succumbing to the temptation to cheat: I'm not writing anything out by hand; I'm not even typing the words, which is what I used to do when as a teenager I kept a sheaf of favorite quotations in a desk drawer. I'm just copying and pasting, which is nearly frictionless. I don't have to think about whether I really want to record a passage or image: if it's even vaguely or potentially interesting, in it goes. I might not even read it with care, much less give it the kind of attention that wold be required if I were to write it out by hand.

Oct 03, 15

27 Sep 2015: The biggest challenge was how to teach Univac to gather the right amount of context with each word. Bosgang spent 13 weeks composing the 1,800 instructions necessary to make it work.

Oct 01, 15

1 Oct 2015: Eventually, of course, I tried fennel—including the squat white bulb, not just the seeds—and I learned what I'd been missing. It does taste vaguely of licorice, but that flavor is refined and far from candy-sweet, similar to that of anise. Fennel bulb is crisp when raw, making it a welcome addition to salads, and it softens and caramelizes beautifully when roasted, while retaining a pleasant firmness on the outside. If you've shied away from fennel in the past, perhaps laboring under the same misconceptions as I did, hopefully these recipes for crunchy salads, roast pork tenderloin, and even a stir-fry with sausage will help you see the light.

Oct 01, 15

30 Sep 2015: Even though many parts of OS X 10.11 look similar to OS X Yosemite, a new system font and new features — plus a performance boost round out a collection of new features. With the system-wide changes there are also some problems.

Oct 01, 15

30 Sep 2015: The thing you should know about autonomous vehicles is that they are utterly inevitable.

Sep 30, 15

29 Sep 2015: In some ways, “dealing with climate change” is the largest, most complex collective action ever contemplated by humans. Here I don’t mean collective action in the leftist sense of a political coalition based on egalitarianism and solidarity. I mean any kind of large-scale action involving coordination (not getting in each other’s way), cooperation (not working at cross-purposes), collaboration (combining efforts intelligently) and conflict (structured adversarial interactions encompassed by the system  to allow net action to emerge from a set of warring ideologies), in a politically neutral sense. Everything from weaponized sacredness (think the Pope’s statements on climate change) to war and unmanaged refugee crises can fit into this broad definition, but as I’ll argue, it’s not so broad as to be useless.

  • So the definition includes everything from the pyramids of Egypt and the Great Wall of China to the Normandy landings in WW II, the building of Standard Oil, the modern bond market, and the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Historically, the “peak-load capabilities” of our biggest collective action systems have been expanding steadily, modulo some ups and downs in the interstices of imperial ages, since the Neolithic revolution and the first pot-sized granary.
  • The interesting question is, what are those “some ways” in which a response to climate change futures is unprecedented, and what does that imply for the likelihood of it succeeding?
  • A useful way to focus this question is to ask what is the largest collective action, ever, and how much of a stretch are we talking to respond to (say) a speculative 2-degree rise scenario?
Sep 30, 15

29 Sep 2015: “I’m not sure anyone should make this car, really. I mean, yeah. There is far more there than is really necessary to sell a car,” Musk says, trailing off. There is a genuine sense of introspection that maybe — just maybe — the Model X is over-engineered, that Tesla took on too much, and that's why this car is multiple years late to showroom floors.

But having driven this thing today, I think the wait was worth it.

Sep 29, 15

Current dietary guidelines recommend eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. However, based on nutrient composition, some particular fruits and vegetables may be more or less beneficial for maintaining or achieving a healthy weight. We hypothesized that greater consumption of fruits and vegetables with a higher fiber content or lower glycemic load would be more strongly associated with a healthy weight.

  • Methods and Findings


    We examined the association between change in intake of specific fruits and vegetables and change in weight in three large, prospective cohorts of 133,468 United States men and women. From 1986 to 2010, these associations were examined within multiple 4-y time intervals, adjusting for simultaneous changes in other lifestyle factors, including other aspects of diet, smoking status, and physical activity. Results were combined using a random effects meta-analysis. Increased intake of fruits was inversely associated with 4-y weight change: total fruits -0.53 lb per daily serving (95% CI -0.61, -0.44), berries -1.11 lb (95% CI -1.45, -0.78), and apples/pears -1.24 lb (95% CI -1.62, -0.86). Increased intake of several vegetables was also inversely associated with weight change: total vegetables -0.25 lb per daily serving (95% CI -0.35, -0.14), tofu/soy -2.47 lb (95% CI, -3.09 to -1.85 lb) and cauliflower -1.37 lb (95% CI -2.27, -0.47). On the other hand, increased intake of starchy vegetables, including corn, peas, and potatoes, was associated with weight gain. Vegetables having both higher fiber and lower glycemic load were more strongly inversely associated with weight change compared with lower-fiber, higher-glycemic-load vegetables (p < 0.0001). Despite the measurement of key confounders in our analyses, the potential for residual confounding cannot be ruled out, and although our food frequency questionnaire specified portion size, the assessment of diet using any method will have measurement error.

  • These findings suggest that increased consumption of fruits and non-starchy vegetables is inversely associated with weight change and that different fruits and vegetables have different effects on weight. The benefits of increased consumption were greater for fruits than for vegetables and strongest for berries, apples/pears, tofu/soy, cauliflower, and cruciferous and green leafy vegetables. Increased satiety with fewer calories could be partly responsible for the beneficial effects of increasing fruit and vegetable intake. These findings may not be generalizable—nearly all the participants were well-educated white adults. Moreover, the use of dietary questionnaires and self-reported weight measurement may have introduced measurement errors into this study and, although the researchers accounted for some key lifestyle factors that are likely to affect weight, individuals who increased their fruit and vegetable intake and lost weight may have shared other unknown characteristics that were actually responsible for their weight loss. Overall, however, these findings provide new food-specific guidance for the prevention of obesity, a primary risk factor for many life-shortening health conditions.
Sep 29, 15

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29 Sep 2015: Skipping meat in favor of plants is a great way to keep weight off, but most people already know that tidbit. What they may not know, according to a new study out of Harvard, is exactly how much weight depends on which plants you're eating. Researchers followed the diets of a bunch (117,918) of roughly middle-aged people for a long period of time (24 years) to see what fruits and veggies were most strongly associated with a healthy weight. As expected, they found that adding one extra daily serving of either group resulted in less weight gain — a quarter of a pound less for veggies over a four-year period, and half a pound for fruit. But the interesting (and they hope helpful) part was studying the high end of the data curve: Eating more apples on average led to 1.24 fewer pounds, berries to 1.11 pounds, and tofu and soy to 2.47 pounds.

Sep 29, 15

29 Sep 2015: Most of the food at Houseman is like that [roasted chicken]. You don’t taste it in politely appreciative nibbles. You throw yourself at it until there’s nothing left. No menu layout can convey this quality, but when you find a restaurant that has it, you come back.

  • Since the chicken is the above-the-fold story, let’s start there. In fact, it is half a bird, with parsley salad scattered on top and a thick slab of grilled bread spread with roasted garlic on the side. But in every other way, it is a classic Sunday night roast chicken. In restaurants, I manage to get a chicken like this roughly once out of every 50 attempts. At home, my average is closer to one in 12. I tasted Houseman’s on three nights, and it was equally irresistible every time, juicy in every flap and joint.
  • Houseman had an ideal late-summer dinner in its swordfish salad, a salade niçoise by other means. Hunks of fish, poached and then packed in olive oil and sitting on a mat of tuna mayonnaise, were surrounded by little potatoes, string and shell beans, and some cherry tomatoes roasted so they collapsed on your tongue.
  • The menu is top-heavy with appetizers. Like that swordfish main course, they lean on seasonal produce given a Mediterranean cast.

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Sep 29, 15

29 Sep 2015: This golden and glorious mash-up of potato gratin and Hasselback potatoes, from the acclaimed food science writer J. Kenji López-Alt, has been engineered to give you both creamy potato and singed edge in each bite. The principal innovation here is placing the sliced potatoes in the casserole dish vertically, on their edges, rather than laying them flat as in a standard gratin, in order to get those crisp ridges on top. Allow extra time for the task of slicing the potatoes, for which it's helpful to have a mandoline (though not necessary, strictly speaking). And do buy extra potatoes, just in case; you want to pack the potatoes tightly and keep them standing up straight.

Sep 29, 15

29 Sep 2015: For avid home cooks who came of age in the digital era, there may be few voices more authoritative than that of J. Kenji López-Alt, the nerd king of Internet cooking.

  • Since he began the column in 2009, Mr. López-Alt, who studied biology and architecture at M.I.T. and then worked in restaurant kitchens and in the Cook’s Illustrated test kitchen, has developed a following for those detailed answers and his recipes, which are tested exhaustively. If you’ve read his post on why you should add that egg to boiling water, rather than cold, you likely won’t feel the need to get a second opinion.
  • This month he leaps to print with the release of his first book, and it’s an enormous one: “The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science” (W. W. Norton, $49.95) is nearly 1,000 pages of recipes, instruction and explanation of why ingredients behave the way they do in the pan.
  • The dishes in the book tend toward American basics, like roast chicken, and oozy comfort food, including a glorious mash-up of Hasselback potatoes and a cheesy gratin, precision-engineered so that you get can both creamy sliced potato and crunchy singed edges in a single bite.

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Sep 29, 15

Made popular by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who when once asked how much vermouth he would like in his martini, was quoted as replying "I would like to observe the vermouth from across the room while I drink my martini."

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