Blog Archives

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Stunning Photographs of European Libraries

The photographs of European libraries at this link really are stunning! I’d love to take a tour of Europe that went to each one of them.

Lovers of libraries and books will want to check out Fubiz for more images. The above image is just one of many great photos.

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Why math is great, and other interesting ideas, from Steven Strogatz

It’s hard to say why this interview with Strogatz is so good, other than to say he covers much ground on a variety of interesting topics and speaks lively on them. (Ok, I find game theory, “elegant” math, math education, etc, interesting, but you likely will too).

If you enjoyed this interview, he has a recent book out, “Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity.” Worth a look. 

Interview is here: Steven Strogatz interview on math education and other related topics

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Friday night cocktail: a Sazerac


Arguably the oldest cocktail made, with a fine New Orleans history. I had one the other night with bourbon, which is a good substitute for rye. You can go with just one form of bitters, and mine had Peychaud’s. Try an orange peel: it goes well with the bourbon. Experiment with leaving out the sugar cube: you might find you don’t need it with the bourbon and the orange peel.

Best Sazerac Recipe – How to Make a Sazerac Drink

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If you’re going through hell…


…keep going. (In other words, hell is no place to stop.)

It sounds wise, but if it seems impossible to you, here’s a good piece with some guidance on how to keep going through hell and exit the other side:  Read This If You’re Going Through Adversity – Darius Foroux.

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Are Paris bistros dying? Some thoughts…

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According to this piece, they are. A key indicator/quote pulled from it:

Around 30 years ago, bistros represented about half of all restaurants in Paris…Today…that figure has dropped to 14%.

Bistros are challenged because the cost of providing that type of establishment in Paris is limited by such things as rent — a problem not limited to Paris — as well as international threats like fast food joints.

At one time bistros were fast food joints. But there’s more to bistros than fast food. I agree with that article that says a good bistro should be

open continuously morning to night, serves French comfort foods at moderate prices, and houses an active bar where locals can gather for a drink and some lively conversation

That seems right to me. McDonald’s in Paris will never be a bistro, no matter how fast the food or how French they make the decor.

Paris will always have low cost places to eat (e.g. cafes), but it would be a shame if they lost their bistros. (It would also be a shame if the ones that remain are expensive museum pieces and less casual places to dine.) Best to get yourself to them now while you still can.

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On Finland and UBI (Universal Basic Income)

Two links worth reading on Finland and UBI: this one and this one.

Essentially, Finland did a form of UBI and it didn’t work. Those for UBI will argue it was implemented poorly. Those against UBI will argue those people are purists and in fact UBI will never work.

I think there are limits to UBI, but the Finnish implementation was poor. I think it can be done better than that. Read the two pieces in the New York Times and decide for yourself.

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How chromebooks can be a means of avoiding being IT support for your family

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This piece explains the logic behind getting certain relatives a Chromebook so as to relieve you of being tech support:  I bought my mom a Chromebook Pixel and everything is so much better now – The Verge.

Now your mom may be tech savvy and not need a Chromebook (my mom was). But for some people’s moms or dads or children, it can be a very good solution. Especially for people who don’t travel much with their computer and who have a stable IT environment (e.g. the networking set up doesn’t change, the printer is good).

Chromebooks may not seem good value. You might compare what you get from a Chromebooks vs a Windows laptop and think: I get more from the Windows laptop. If you are good with computers, that true. But that’s not how to look at it. Factor in the cost of the relative’s computer plus the time you spend solving problems with it. When you factor that in, the benefit of the Chromebook jumps out.