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Greg Lloyd

Greg Lloyd's Public Library

about 4 hours ago

14 Oct 2016: Since its first release in 1992, 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle has become the most covetable whiskey on the planet. Even your grandmother has probably heard of it at this point. Its defining characteristics are an unusual sweetness and an uncannily long, complex finish that’s been described as having the flavors of everything from cigar boxes to coconut to dried tangerine. “Not many things on Earth bring me more pleasure than drinking this whiskey,” says chef Sean Brock. Even as the bourbon boom exploded over the last decade-plus in America, introducing a flood of new whiskeys to the market, no competitor has emerged to claim Pappy’s spot atop the throne.

  • The demand for Pappy is so extreme that a small mention in a GQ story last fall that said another brand, W.L. Weller, offers a $25 bourbon with the same recipe as Pappy, aged in the same barrels for only a few years less, created a national run on Weller’s full line of whiskeys, too. In fact, that story, excerpted from The Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining (which — full disclosure — was co-written by an editor at New York Magazine), laid out exactly how convoluted the craft-whiskey industry really is. Instead of, say, the beer industry, where most craft brewers actually brew and bottle their own beers, a large number of American whiskey brands are made by just a few distilleries, the spirits from which are bottled and mixed and sold under different labels. The practice is completely common, but it is only now starting to be fully understood by the public: A class-action suit against Templeton Rye, alleging consumers were led to believe the brand was distilled in small batches when in actuality the company buys its rye in bulk from an Indiana distiller, was just this week allowed to proceed.
  • The Van Winkle family actually does no distilling of its own, at least not anymore. In fact, Julian Van Winkle III and his son, Preston, operate the business out of a small office in an unmarked two-story building in a leafy Louisville suburb. The whiskey itself comes from an old bourbon recipe that famously starts with corn and wheat (instead of corn and rye, a more common pairing) that Julian Sr. — “Pappy” — first distilled at Kentucky’s Stitzel-Weller distillery, where he was a co-owner before prohibition.
  • taking a cue from the Scotch industry, which had long been releasing bottles of well-aged whiskey, Julian released a 10-year bottling of Rip Van Winkle and then, in the mid-nineties, a line of 20-year-old bourbon he called Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve, charging about $50 per bottle when most bourbons sold for $20 or less. It wasn’t exactly an instant success. Dan Gardner, a longtime bourbon salesman, says of the initial release, “I sold Julian’s products for 20 years, and in the beginning you couldn’t put a gun to people’s heads and make them buy it.” Now, of course, you’re lucky you can find a bottle for less than $500.

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about 6 hours ago

This is a review of Elizabeth Roudinesco’s Jacques Lacan & Co.: A History of Psychoanalysis in France, 1925–1985, translated by Jeffrey Mehlman and published in London by Free Associations Books in 1990. The translation is that of the second and final volume of Roudinesco’s history of French psychoanalysis, which was published by Editions du Seuil in 1986, under the title La Bataille de cent ans: histoire de la psychanalyse en France, 2. Tallis’s review appeared as ‘The Shrink from Hell’ in The Times Higher Education Supplement, 31 October 1997, p. 20.
 

  • Future historians  trying to account for the institutionalised fraud that goes under the name of  ‘Theory’ will surely accord a central place to the influence of the French  psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. He is one of the fattest spiders at the heart of  the web of muddled not-quite-thinkable-thoughts and evidence-free assertions of  limitless scope which practitioners of theorrhoea have woven into their version  of the humanities. Much of the dogma central to contemporary Theory came from  him: that the signifier dominates over the signified; that the world of words  creates the world of things; that the ‘I’ is a fiction based upon an Oedipalised  negotiation of the transition from mirror to symbolic stages; and so on.

     

     

  • The English  translation of this biography by one of his disciples is therefore an event  of  the first importance. It is a harrowing read, but no one who inflicts on  students Lacanian readings of literature, of feminism, of the self, of child  development, of society, or of life, should be spared the  experience.

     

      

about 7 hours ago

5 Feb 2015: For his 50th birthday, Jim Tananbaum, chief executive officer of Foresite Capital, threw himself an extravagant party at Burning Man, the annual sybaritic arts festival and all-hours rave that attracts 60,000-plus to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada over the week before Labor Day. Tananbaum’s bash went so well, he decided to host an even more elaborate one the following year. In 2014 he’d invite up to 120 people to join him at a camp that would make the Burning Man experience feel something like staying at a pop-up W Hotel. To fund his grand venture, he’d charge $16,500 per head.

  • For 2014, Tananbaum wanted a camp that was aesthetically novel, ecologically conscious, and exceedingly comfortable. In the spring he and his team sent out a detailed invitation, enticing potential guests with an early vision of the camp, named Caravancicle. Anyone concerned about living in a hot, unforgiving wilderness could rest assured. There would be no roughing it at Caravancicle. Accommodations would consist of a series of cubical tents with carbon fiber skeletons. Each cube would have 9-foot ceilings, comfortable bedding, and air conditioning. The surrounding camp, enclosed by high walls, would be safe and private. Amenities would include a central lounge housed in a geodesic dome, private showers and toilets, solar panels, wireless Internet, and a 24-hour bar. Guests could count on a “full-service” staff, who would among other things help create “handcrafted, artisanal popsicles” to offer passers-by. To help blend in with the Burning Man regulars, who tend to parade around the commons in wild, racy outfits (if anything at all), the camp would include an entire shipping container full of costumes.
  • Each year as the festival nears, there’s a fresh round of speculation that the event has finally jumped the shark, or become overrun by Silicon Valley tech bros. Tananbaum and Ari Derfel, a Berkeley restaurateur he hired to co-create his 2014 camp, didn’t see it that way. (Neither Tananbaum nor Derfel commented on the record for this article.) The two admired the vaguely utopian, anticommercial culture Burning Man has cultivated over the years.

  • On Sept. 11, Beth Lillie, a 25-year-old former dog walker in Los Angeles, posted an essay on Facebook, detailing her experience working as an employee—or “a sherpa,” her word—at Caravancicle. It had been more than a week since everybody at Burning Man, including Tananbaum’s guests, had sobered up and returned to their everyday lives, but the experience was still fresh in Lillie’s mind. Her grievances were raw, her portrait damning, and her tell-all account immediately touched off a backlash against Tananbaum that mirrors the San Francisco culture wars of recent years, in which symbols of the area’s surging tech wealth have become lightning rods for anxieties over class and privilege. Overnight, Tananbaum had become the Google Bus of Burning Man.

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about 7 hours ago

26 Aug 2016: For just about everyone other than the French inventor of the Cronut, the Choco Taco is the stuff of nostalgic summer sweet tooth obsession — the most beloved and innovative of all the American ice cream "novelties." Its acolytes are legion. Restaurant pastry chefs and boutique scoop shop owners regularly pay homage. Employees at the United States Bureau of Land Management demanded Choco Tacos as part of their Burning Man provisions. Congressional staffers have been known to revise the Choco Taco Wikipedia, including the anachronistic fiction that former Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn (who died in 1961) once described them as "like Texas, but in ice cream form."

  • But where exactly did the Choco Taco come from? In 2012, Paul Constant of Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger traced the Choco Taco’s origin back to country singer Marty Robbins’ "cover of the 1924 obscure folk song ‘Choco in My Taco.’" This was a lie (or rather, satire). Another tall tale comes from Alan Drazen, who claims he saw the Choco Taco in a vision.
  • "I was on an expedition in Mexico and got separated from my party," Drazen says. "It was hot. I hadn't had anything to drink. And then I saw a mirage. An ice cream taco, rising out of the distance. That's how I got the idea." This is the story the inventor of the Choco Taco tells when people beg him to embellish. Because yes, way back in 1983, Alan Drazen really did invent the Choco Taco. Not in Mexico. Not even in Texas or California. But it was along the border, where a mighty river separates two interdependent yet often hostile lands: Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
  • What began as an ice-cream-truck-only treat from the family-owned Philadelphia company Jack & Jill is now owned by Unilever and enjoyed by tens of millions of Americans each year. Drazen’s email signature heralds this accomplishment: "Inventor of the Choco Taco — The Original Ice Cream Taco — Over One Billion Sold," it reads.

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Aug 25, 16

4 Jun 2016: The first time I stopped by Peg Leg Porker in Nashville, I was in the market for a "quick bite" after a long drive. I left 2,000 calories later, believing in a higher power. The source of the divine inspiration was Peg Leg Porker's barbecue sauce, in which founder Carey Bringle has discovered the perfect ratio of tangy to sweet. He opened the BBQ joint in 2013 (he lost a leg as a teen, thus the pleasantly macabre "Peg Leg") but he's been barbecuing since birth or thenabouts. Peg Leg Porker's dry ribs were tasty in their own right, but my own arm would have tasted pretty great slathered in Bringle's barbecue sauce. It was amazing. I bought a T-shirt.

Aug 25, 16

Sleepio is a digital programme that helps people overcome sleep problems. It's based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and evidence suggests that it can even help people who have long-term sleep problems to sleep better.

  • The programme starts with an in-depth sleep questionnaire, or you can download sleep data from your tracking device. This information is used to create a personalised sleep course for you. The course lasts six weeks, but you get one year's online support from Sleepio's online community.
  • Throughout the course you will have weekly online meetings with "The Prof", a virtual sleep expert who is there to guide you and suggest proven sleep improvement techniques.

     

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    Who is it suitable for?

     

    Sleepio is for adults who have trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep or who wake up feeling unrefreshed. Sleepio is effective whether your sleep problems have appeared recently or you have had them for years.

Aug 25, 16

The symposium has now concluded and it was a wonderful two days we shared. Outcomes from the two days will be posted here. The organizers would like to thank all the panellists, attendees and in particular  Karen Engelbart and Bill and Roberta English.

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    The Program for The Future presents The Future of Text 2015 with the theme Tools for Thought.

Aug 25, 16

24 Aug 2016: All of the 13 original colonies’ charters stated that land be held in free and common socage. This motivated entrepreneurial colonists to make sure they could make money on their land, according to Jonathan R. T. Hughes, the author of The Governmental Habit Redux. In the colonies, people could purchase land and pass it onto their own heirs more easily than they could in Europe, where land had been held by the same families for centuries. But they couldn’t just sit on a parcel of land once they gained ownership. Because they owed duties to the crown, they knew they needed to make their land profitable in order to keep it. To do so, early colonists turned to farming the land, cutting down its trees, and hunting its animals. In Latin America, by contrast, where land was not held in free and common socage, settlers could take over large tracts of land and do nothing with them, which resulted in swaths of undeveloped land. The free and common socage system helped the colonists develop the American idea of citizenship, which included certain rights (such as the right to own land) and responsibilities (such as the duty to pay fees on that land), Hughes writes. Later, land ownership would remain incredibly important, since it would be directly tied to the right to vote.

  • The origins of the property tax aren’t American at all. It, instead, has roots that date back to Europe’s feudal system. First instituted in England by William the Conqueror in 1066, the early tax system worked this way: A king (or conqueror) took over all the land in a given territory. He would then divide it among his lieutenants and supporters, who would pay him (with money or services) in order to keep that land. In return, landholders enjoyed the king’s protection and were able to rent the property out to others—who would live and work the land—for a fee. The punishment for nonpayment was forfeiture of the land, which could result in a considerable loss of money and status. At the time, this system was called “free and common socage,” according to John Joseph Wallis, an economic historian at the University of Maryland. The person who held the land was called a socman, his taxes, socage. The arrangement created a way for people to own land while still having to remain loyal to the crown, which also had rights to the land.
  • After expansion across the Atlantic started, King James made sure that this system traveled overseas with the first settlers at Jamestown, so that he could partake in the profits of exploration of the new land. The charter of the Virginia Company held that—as in feudal times—the king would protect the lands in Jamestown, and in return, the people living on the land would pay him a share of their profits there. All land of the colony would be held in “free and common socage,” according to the Virginia Company charter. This meant that land could be bought and sold in the colonies, as long as the new holder of land continue to pay the king.
  • When the colonists revolted and property owners no longer had a king to answer to, the new American government had to figure out who actually owned the land. It was decided that the government would step into the role the king once held. The Northwest Ordinance established that the federal government owned all the lands, and the state served as the “donor,” which essentially meant the person who collected the fees from the tenants. This is similar to the way the king owned the land, but a knight might have collected the fees. After the Northwest Ordinance, when land was sold to an individual, the state had the right to collect payment from that individual in perpetuity. This was a system very similar to free and common socage called “fee simple.” That basic principle, and terminology, persists today: Anyone buying a house will notice the term “fee simple” in their legal documents stating that they own the land and property, which is still subject to taxes.

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Aug 25, 16

24 Aug 2016: The high fraction of M-stars (75%) within the solar neighborhood, the high occurrence rate of rocky planets around M-stars, and the favorable contrast ratio between the star and a potentially habitable rocky planet, makes such planets interesting targets for upcoming observations. During M-star flares, the UV flux on a HZ planet can increase by up to two orders of magnitude. High UV radiation is harmful to life and can cause cell and DNA damage. Common UV protection methods (e.g. living underground, or underwater) would make a biosphere harder to detect. However, photoprotective biofluorescence, "up-shifting" UV to longer, safer wavelengths (a proposed UV protection mechanism for some corals), would increase the detectability of biota and even uncover normally hidden biospheres during a flare. Such biofluorescence could be observable as a "temporal biosignature" for planets around UV-active stars.

  • We model temporal biofluorescence as a biosignature for an exoplanet biosphere exposed to such conditions, based on planets in M-star HZs. We use fluorescing coral proteins to model biofluorescence, comparing observable spectra, and colors, to vegetation and fluorescent minerals. Our planetary models assume a present-day Earth atmosphere and explore the effect of varying cloud coverage and land:ocean fractions. UV flare-induced biofluorescence could be remotely detectable, comparable in strength to vegetation on Earth. On planets in the HZ of M-stars, biofluorescence could be a temporary biosignature, distinguishable from fluorescing minerals and vegetation.
  • Jack T. O'Malley-James, Lisa Kaltenegger
     (Submitted on 24 Aug 2016)

      

  • Comments: Submitted to Ap.J., 16 pages, 10 figures
     Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
     Cite as: arXiv:1608.06930 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1608.06930v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
     Submission history
     From: Jack O'Malley-James
     [v1] Wed, 24 Aug 2016 19:53:19 GMT (5895kb)
     http://arxiv.org/abs/1608.06930
Aug 23, 16

22 Jan 2016: If we want to create smoother experiences, we need to stop seeing technology as our one and only savior.

Aug 22, 16

17 Aug 2016: The word’s origins in the Greek ἔλλειψις mean “falling short, defect,” but the ellipsis also becomes associated with omission fairly early in its history. For instance, Quintillian, with the linguistic confidence only a Roman could exude, says that an ellipsis marks “the omission of words that can be recovered verbatim by means of contextual information.” Quintillian envisions the ellipsis more as an abbreviation than a defect. However, the Oxford English Dictionary’s more modern definition highlights the mark’s inherent instability: An ellipsis implies “the omission of one or more words in a sentence, which would be needed to complete the grammatical construction or fully to express the sense.” In this sense, the ellipsis is defective, or falls short, because it inherently brings a gap in meaning.

  • But where did the ellipsis come from and how did it end up being so unusual? The Guardian’s article on the history of the ellipsis draws on Anne Toner’s fascinating book Ellipsis in English Literature: Signs of Omission to explore ellipses all the way back to the drama of the 16th century. Both the article and the book do an excellent job of analyzing these earliest print records of the modern ellipsis.
  • But that story may not be the whole story, for the dot dot dot of an ellipsis was no stranger to English texts before the plays of Shakespeare and Jonson. It might have just been serving a slightly different function.
  • In medieval manuscripts, we find a mark—sometimes called subpuncting or underdotting—that is used to indicate the omission of a word or phrase, usually when that word or phrase has been copied erroneously. This omission mark involves placing a series of dots under the word that is to be omitted. The image below shows an erroneous word, blotted out and subpuncted:

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Aug 22, 16

18 Aug 2016: This week: The Strawberry Alarm Clock! Paging Mason Williams! Pigmeat Markham tops the charts! And John Fred & His Playboy Band! 

Aug 21, 16

18 Aug 2016: “Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World” (the title is a mild spoiler) traces the internet’s rise from its bewildering inception on California college campuses in the late 1960s and offers postulations about its future and possibilities from experts, some of them dread-filled and others hopeful. Mr. Herzog, who says he sporadically uses Google Maps but never any social networks, spoke on the phone about his own relationship with technology, the similarities between Paleolithic caves and the internet, and why he chooses not to carry a cellphone. Here are edited excerpts from that conversation.

  • Could it be the internet “starts to dream of itself”? This is a question you ask many of your subjects. What do you think?
  • I call it my von Clausewitz question. Originally it comes from the war theorist Carl von Clausewitz in Napoleonic times. He famously said, “War sometimes dreams of itself.” I found it a deep observation, and I asked several individuals, and no one had a real answer. Sometimes a deep question is better than a straight answer. I think we should start to develop deep questions of what we are doing here with the internet and what the internet is doing on its own. Nobody has a clue.
Aug 21, 16

Aug 2015: In his 1958 classic, 365 Ways to Cook Hamburger (at least, it should've been a classic), along with hundreds of recipes for burgers, sauces, soups, meatballs, and casseroles, Doyne Nickerson offers no fewer than 70 recipes for meatloaf. 70! A different loaf every night for over two months! 10 loaves apiece for every man, woman, and child on the cast of Full House! (Another classic.) Amongst this litany are such colorful offerings as Chili Hot Top Meatloaf (it's flipped upside down and glazed with Heinz Chili Sauce), Sunshine Meatloaf (that'd be a loaf topped with ketchup-filled peach halves), and two—count 'em, two—variations on Banana Meatloaf (one with green bananas mashed into the meat, the other topped with bacon and ripe banana).

  • With such a varied and prolific precedent set, you may be disappointed to find out that I offer but a single, lonely recipe for plain old all-American meatloaf and not even one recipe that combines ground beef with bananas. But while Nickerson is unparalleled in his prolificacy, I plan on besting him in thoroughness.
Aug 20, 16

19 Aug 2016: This is the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante. It's the drop-top version of the incredibly stunning Vanquish Zagato coupe that Aston unveiled earlier this year.

Aug 18, 16

17 Aug 2016: There are few foods so local, they are only found in one state. Rhode Island's favorite fritter is one of them, and it's worth seeking out.

  • Rhode Island food historian David Norton Stone, who traveled around the state tasting clam cakes for his book, Clamcake Summer: One Man Eats Every Clamcake in Rhode Island (Or Dies Frying), unearthed several recipes by home cooks dating back to the 19th century. It’s likely that many Rhode Island natives, known for their frugal Yankee ways, experimented with adding the tricky quahog to their fritter recipes.
  • Stone, who once worked at Rocky Point, believes the park left a legacy of smaller clam cakes served along the northern reaches of Narragansett Bay. Aunt Carrie’s, along with other hallowed southern Rhode Island (known as “South County” to locals) clam shacks like George’s of Galilee and Champlin’s, serve clam cakes more the size of a tennis ball.
  • Regional differences don’t stop with girth, though. Linda Beaulieu, author of The Providence and Rhode Island Cookbook: Big Recipes from the Smallest State, says across the Narragansett Bay in Newport, the clams tend to be minced instead of chopped. There, and in other communities west of the bay, like Tiverton and Warren, it’s more common to find clam cakes enjoyed with a sprinkling of malt vinegar and salt. “A true South County person will just eat them plain,” says Foy, although a few Aunt Carrie’s customers request a side of tartar sauce.

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Aug 18, 16

Entrances & Exits by Reif Larsen, one of our Editions At Play launch titles, is a Borgesian love story told through Google Street View, in which the narrator discovers a mysterious key in an abandoned bookshop and gradually learns of its power to open and close doors around the world. The story is a beautiful dance between fictional narrative real locations that seamlessly spans the globe. It is a new kind of digital book. A book that travels the world.

Aug 18, 16

14 Aug 2016: Until recently, Agile was seen as a set of management practices relevant to software development. That’s because Agile’s initial advocates were software developers and its foundational document was the Manifesto for Software Development of 2001. Fifteen years later in 2016, following recognition by Harvard Business Review, McKinsey & Company and the 2015 Learning Consortium Project, Agile is now spreading rapidly to all parts and all types of organizations.

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