August 25, 2009

2 Videos

Beautiful video of food prep at Alinea via Eat Me Daily:


Bill Streever was on NPR today talking about his new book Cold and talking about hibernating arctic ground squirrels. Full transcript isn't up yet but here's the gist:
"As [the squirrel] hibernates, he begins to cool off. In fact, he cools off to a temperature that's just below the freezing point of water, so around 30 degrees Fahrenheit," says Streever. "When he hits that temperature — when one would think this animal is, for all intent and purposes dead ... he spontaneously starts to shiver," and his temperature rises.
Of course, You Tube has you covered with this video of the process which is great on many, many levels:

August 20, 2009

The Million Dollar Book

From Eat Me Daily comes word of the planned publication of a book on wine expected to retail at a cool million dollars:
The book, weighing 66 pounds, will highlight the top 100 wineries in the world and come with six bottles from each winery, presumably driving up the astronomical price tag. But is it worth it?

Assuming the Wine Opus costs about the same amount as their other titles, it would cost approximately $2000 without the wine chaser. Divide what's left of the $1m between the 600 bottles of wine, and you get an average of $1663 per bottle. For comparison, the most expensive, standard-sized bottle on wine.com, a Dom. de la Romanee Conti La Tache Grand Cru 2004, retails for $1,579, but the second priciest, a Ch√Ęteau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 2005, is a comparative bargain at $749.
Feel free to browse the other titles available from Kraken Opus, the self-described maker of "the most luxurious series of publications ever created." Hint: the Prince one comes with an iPod - cha-ching!

August 19, 2009

Engineers are a Matter of Fact People

Names of telescopes:


The only conclusion can be that all the creative energy of astronomers goes into thinking about what aliens look like and therefore they have no time left over to think up names for their equipment. That, or space dementia. Gleaned from this little piece in the Economist on the future of astronomy and the possible implications of it being guided by computerized robots rather than the hunches of mere mortals in the line of Galileo, Kepler, et al.