Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for November 24th, 2012

Tonight’s GOPM: Salmon and standard

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This one is pretty standard, so by now you know the drill. In 2.25-qt Staub round cocotte, layers from bottom up:

1/2 c pearled barley
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
3/4 large Spanish onion, chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
layer of chopped celery (chopped celery keeps in the fridge if you dry it before storage)
8 oz salmon fillet, cut in chunks (The Wife doesn’t like the skin, so I sauté that as a snack)
Heavy dusting of Emeril’s Essence (from this recipe)
1 Meyer lemon, diced
1/2 c pitted Kalamata olives, halved
1.5 Tbsp capers with 1 tsp juice
1 medium zucchini, diced
fill pot full with sliced Brussels sprouts (The Wife likes Brussels sprouts)

Pour-over:

2 Tbsp Penzeys Country French vinaigrette, made according to instructions on jar
1 Tbsp Gochujang sauce
1 Tbsp Soy sauce
1 Tbsp Ponzu sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp Amontillado sherry

Shake well, pour over, cover, cook in 450ºF oven for 45 minutes. Two-three meals.

UPDATE: I forgot the seasoning on the salmon: see added line above.

Written by Leisureguy

24 November 2012 at 5:32 pm

More on the two-wheel car

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Sort of a motorbike, sort of a car. I thought I blogged earlier about it, but can’t find it. Here’s a report by Olga Kharif in Bloomber Businessweek:

Daniel Kim decided to reinvent the motorcycle eight years ago, soon after a car nearly crushed him. He was welding a Land Rover sport-utility vehicle, laying on a mechanic’s sled under its 500-pound chassis, when the chassis fell off its frame stands. Kim stuck his arm up as the chassis fell, and on contact the force pushed him and the rolling sled out from beneath the car. The near-death experience gave Kim his fill of big machines, he says: “I thought, does the world need another SUV? No.” A lifelong bike aficionado, he set out to create one as safe as a car.

Kim’s company, San Francisco-based Lit Motors, has developed a working prototype of a self-balancing motorcycle. Kim says the goal is for it to remain upright when struck by a Ford (F) F-150 truck traveling at 35 miles per hour. Lit’s bike uses two stabilizing gyroscopes, 40-pound disks 12 inches in diameter. They spin in opposite directions at up to 12,000 revolutions per minute to counter tipping forces, guided by seven sensors. While other inventors have tested gyro-stabilized vehicles with limited success, they typically used only one spinning disk. Kim, 33, says his system is more resilient: “We can defy gravity.”

Lit’s plan also calls for the bike, code-named the C-1, to be enclosed, with steel-reinforced doors, seat belts, and an airbag. “Danny describes it as driving your helmet,” says angel investor Dick James, whose son went to school with Kim.

Continue reading.

UPDATE: I think this is what I remembering:

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UPDATE 2: More videos.

Written by Leisureguy

24 November 2012 at 2:48 pm

Posted in Technology, Video

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Mexican legislators eager to begin marijuana debate

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Understandably so: keeping marijuana legal keeps the cartels and gangs well-funded (and the police and military corrupt). Tim Johnson reports for McClatchy:

Bills to legalize marijuana have come before Mexico’s Congress in the past, and sunk almost without debate. But lawmaker Fernando Belaunzaran Mendez thinks this time is different.

When the deputy submitted a proposal Nov. 15 to permit the cultivation, sale and use of marijuana in Mexico, he knew that a regional tail wind might give impetus to lawmakers at least to engage in a debate.

A number of Latin American leaders are grumbling quite publicly about the U.S.-led campaign against illicit drugs, and voters in Colorado and Washington state approved initiatives earlier this month to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, opening up a schism at the state and federal levels.

Like other politicians in Latin America who are weary of a seemingly endless drug war, Belaunzaran saw the actions of the two U.S. states as a moment to rebel.

“What Latin America is asking from Obama is nothing less than for him to accept for the region what he’ll have to accept from within his own territory,” the 42-year-old lawmaker said.

Belaunzaran took a hard look at the Washington state initiative and used similar language for his own bill, which would allow individuals and companies to grow and process marijuana as long as others took charge of the selling. Tax proceeds would go strictly for the treatment and rehabilitation of drug users.

In his conservative suit and tie, Belaunzaran might seem an unlikely champion for legalization, cutting a different figure from many in his center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution. A former philosophy student and magazine editor, Belaunzaran began a three-year term in the Chamber of Deputies in September.

Before coming to Congress, he said he’d noticed a gap between U.S. counter-drug policies and the sentiment he picked up from American popular culture. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

24 November 2012 at 11:49 am

Posted in Drug laws

The Singularity approaches: AI takes off

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Fascinating article by John Markoff in the NY Times:

Using an artificial intelligence technique inspired by theories about how the brain recognizes patterns, technology companies are reporting startling gains in fields as diverse as computer vision, speech recognition and the identification of promising new molecules for designing drugs.

The advances have led to widespread enthusiasm among researchers who design software to perform human activities like seeing, listening and thinking. They offer the promise of machines that converse with humans and perform tasks like driving cars and working in factories, raising the specter of automated robots that could replace human workers.

The technology, called deep learning, has already been put to use in services like Apple’s Siri virtual personal assistant, which is based on Nuance Communications’ speech recognition service, and in Google’s Street View, which uses machine vision to identify specific addresses.

But what is new in recent months is the growing speed and accuracy of deep-learning programs, often called artificial neural networks or just “neural nets” for their resemblance to the neural connections in the brain.

“There has been a number of stunning new results with deep-learning methods,” said Yann LeCun, a computer scientist at New York University who did pioneering research in handwriting recognition at Bell Laboratories. “The kind of jump we are seeing in the accuracy of these systems is very rare indeed.”

Artificial intelligence researchers are acutely aware of the dangers of being overly optimistic. Their field has long been plagued by outbursts of misplaced enthusiasm followed by equally striking declines.

In the 1960s, some computer scientists believed that a workable artificial intelligence system was just 10 years away. In the 1980s, a wave of commercial start-ups collapsed, leading to what some people called the “A.I. winter.”

But recent achievements have impressed a wide spectrum of computer experts. In October, for example, a team of graduate students studying with the University of Toronto computer scientist Geoffrey E. Hinton won the top prize in a contest sponsored by Merck to design software to help find molecules that might lead to new drugs.

From a data set describing the chemical structure of 15 different molecules, they used deep-learning software to determine which molecule was most likely to be an effective drug agent.

The achievement was particularly impressive because . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

24 November 2012 at 11:32 am

Posted in Science, Technology

HIS Synthetic: Big brush at good price

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This HIS Synthetic is a big brush: 28mm knot with 48mm 62mm loft. (UPDATE: I calculated the loft from the specs at the length—either the specs are wrong, or I made an error. When I measured loft directly, it was 62mm. Sorry.) It feels good, performs well, and at $35 is well worth considering if you like a larger knot. (My knot preference is around 22mm.) I suspect that bowl latherers will like this one. I got the clear handle, but the same brush is available with a black handle. In terms of performance for price, though, the HJM synthetic by Mühle, $25 to the US, including shipping (from ConnaughtShaving.com or Shaving.ie) beats it. Still, this is a good brush for large-brush lovers.

I got a very fine lather from the Mystic Water Sandalwood Rose (scroll down at the link), though I had to load the brush for quite a while before I got the microscopic bubbles that shows it’s fully loaded—no surprise, given the knot volume. Withal, the lather was excellent and in abundant supply.

I used the Gerson buffalo-horn handle razor: a rebranded Mühle Sophist that has the new Edwin Jagger/Mühle head (as on the EJ DE8x series) because I wanted to compare with the RazoRock razors. The difference is obvious to me: the EJ head is noticeably better: much smoother and without the harshness that marks the RazoRock. I will continue recommending the EJ as the best beginner razor because a beginner with a harsh razor may not choose to continue DE shaving, figuring that the harshness is simply part of the package rather than the effect of the particular razor. That said, however, I will continue to work with the RazoRock to see whether I can tame it with technique or choice of blade. The blade in the Gerson is a Swedish Gillette blade, so I’ll try that in the next RazoRock shave. And one does generally have to “learn” a new razor, so perhaps simply continuing to use it will reveal the secret. Finally, let us not forget: YMMV.

At any rate, a very comfortable and smooth shave, with a smooth result. A hearty splash of Woods aftershave by SaintCharlesShave.com, and I’m ready for the weekend.

Written by Leisureguy

24 November 2012 at 9:49 am

Posted in Shaving

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