Friday, January 22nd, 2021

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EFF Transition Memo to Incoming Biden Administration (

The Electronic Frontier Foundation puts together a memo for each new President about the issues they perceive as needing to be addressed. The one for Biden is excellent and provides also a good primer for most people about digital issues to consider their stance on.

1/22/2021 7:14 am | |
Tags: us politics, internet, privacy

12 Learnings of Claude Shannon ( 🗝️)

Written by the authors of the excellent biography of Claude Shannon, they distill learnings down into a list of 12 things and lessons for life. I greatly enjoyed the biography and learning about someone so important to the development of the modern computer and who possessed a keen intellect beyond what most possess.

1/22/2021 7:17 am | |
Tags: biography, genius, technology, computer

Slate Star Codex Returns (

Slate Star Codex was one of my favorite blogs over the years, and then a few years ago the author deleted it all in an effort to circumvent some press coverage he was going to get about running his blog. He was gone for the better part of two years and this week he has returned to writing online. His writing style is so enjoyable and the post does a lot of ruminating on what caused his decision, how it affected him, and who was in the wrong.

It asks a lot of questions about online rights and whether we have the right to anonymity online, or perhaps better, self-determination of public knowledge.

1/22/2021 7:36 am | |
Tags: blog

Hall of Famer Henry "Hank" Aaron dies at 86 (

I have to admit, I did not realize he was alive still. But now that he is gone I am reminded of one of the greats of baseball. Do yourself a favor and watch this clip as Hank hits his famous 715th homerun, the moment he surpassed Babe Ruth. Narrated by another great of the sport, this time a famed commentator: Vin Scully who gave a memorable quote of the era: "A black man is getting a standing ovation in the deep south."



1/22/2021 7:41 am | |
Tags: baseball, segregation, sports

Thread about a moon rock in the Whitehouse (

At least, that's where it starts, and it goes on to reveal the geological mysteries of the moon and how much there is still left for us to learn in the universe. Sometimes it can feel like we know everything there is to know and that there are no mysteries remaining, and that simply is not true. This thread highlights a number of them about the moon, our moon.

Our moon is large compared to our planet, and we have no idea how it formed. There are theories but we have no idea if they are right. Fascinating stuff.

Definitely read the full thread.

1/22/2021 7:48 am | |
Tags: science, moon, space, whitehouse, geology

After big hack of U.S. government, Biden enlists 'world class' cybersecurity team (

1/22/2021 9:29 am | |
Tags: us politics, cyberwarfare

I guested on DragonTalk, discussing World Building (

(Disclaimer: I work for Wizards of the Coast, makers of D&D)

1/22/2021 9:54 am | |
Tags: dungeons and dragons, podcast, guest appearance, dungeons and dragons

Beyond Meat - End of Week Thoughts

So this week I made my lunch for the week. An orzo dish that I whip up and eat over the week. Normally I use chicken or Italian sausage and this week I decided to give Beyond Meat Italian Sausage a try. I'd never tried any form of Beyond Meat so I was going in blind. I also bought normal sausage (it was on sale) as a backup, so I was covered either way.


I normally boil the sausages on the stove and then finish them as coins in the meal while the orzo boils. Can't do that with Beyond Meat, as I quickly realized. About 60-90 seconds into them heating up in the water I realized the water was getting extremely oily and my brain clicked that their casings wouldn't be meat, so were likely soy or something that was deteriorating in the water. So I pulled them out of the water. The casings felt like some sort of jelly. So I dumped the water and cut the sausages and cooked them in the pan with oil as coins. Cooking was fine, but it also was the first clear sign that this wasn't meat. It left a lot on the pan, more than I would expect from similar sausages. Is it a big deal? Not really, there was still plenty of meat, but was a bit of a pain to clean.

Once I was convinced they were done cooking I decided not to transfer them to the cooking orzo, for the same reasons I didn't boil them to cook them. I didn't want the boiling orzo to ruin the casings and the sausage to disassemble. Once the Orzo was mostly boiled, I added the sausages for the last few minutes of cooking.


The food was put into a plastic container and refrigerated overnight. The next day I reheated a portion for lunch. The meat reheated fine, and the best part of the Beyond Meat product is the mouth feel. It feels like meat when you bite into it. The sausage was supposed to be "Hot Italian" but it honestly barely registered for me. The flavor was muted, if anything. It didn't have the umami of sausage, but also, it didn't taste like anything else to me. So as a vehicle for other flavors, it works well enough. It held up through the week with no discernible shifts in flavor or texture.


Overall, I'm a fan. I am not going to be giving up sausage all together, but in this recipe I think it works and I'll be trying it again when I make it for lunch next time. There's another brand friends recommended, Field Roast. I plan to give them a try next and we'll see.

The truth is I've considered going vegetarian for health and environmental reasons, but... I love meat. Steak is so delicious. Burgers. Sausage. Chicken... I love it all. But if I can begin to cut into the ones I eat and find the suitable replacements, that is exciting. Maybe one day I'll be a Vege-steak-tarian. We'll see.

1/22/2021 12:14 pm | |
Tags: review, vegetarianism, meat replacement, cooking

Georgian Language and History with Thomas Wier and Dr Timothy Blauvelt (

An absolutely wonderful look at the Georgian culture. Other than knowing that Tblisi is the capital of Georgia, I know nothing else about the country and culture, and so this article was fascinating to read.

1/22/2021 3:43 pm | |
Tags: history, linguistics

Austin confirmed as first Black defense secretary (

93-2 vote in the Senate. I bet you can guess one of the nay votes. No, not Rand Paul. It was Josh Hawley of Missouri and Mike Lee of Utah.

1/22/2021 3:58 pm | |
Tags: us politics, us news

I wish Microsoft Teams would allow me to make folders for my conversations. Like I want to separate chats from teams from conversations with coworkers separate from meetings.

1/22/2021 4:03 pm | |
Tags: microsoft, microsoft teams, feature request

Titled: Dad's Working

1/22/2021 5:03 pm | |
Tags: photo, dogs, elwood, ozzie

Remote Desktop 8 for Android (

I knew Windows and Android were getting closer in their working together, but it was just today that I discovered there is an official Microsoft app for remote desktoping into a Windows machine on your local network. Very cool.

1/22/2021 10:19 pm | |
Tags: android, windows, microsoft, phone

Tibetan Book of Proportions for how to draw or display Budda (

The Tibetan Book of Proportions is an eighteenth century manual that gives precise iconometric guidelines for depicting the Buddha and Bodhisattva figures

The Tibetan Book of Proportions is an eighteenth century manual that gives precise iconometric guidelines for depicting the Buddha and Bodhisattva figures. A standardized grid with numerical notations is used for both marking the measurements of the figures and for arranging the posture of the figures within a composition. Written in Newari script with Tibetan numerals, the book is likely to have been produced in Nepal for use in Tibet. It is presently held by the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.

1/22/2021 10:44 pm | |
Tags: art, history, artifact, tibet, buddha, books

Rijks Museum puts 700,000 paintings online, copyright free (

Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum (one of my favorites) has put over 700,000 digitized copies of its huge art collection online, and is making them available to reuse as public domain!

1/22/2021 10:53 pm | |
Tags: art, public domain

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