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January 2011 Archives

Stata Bundle for TextMate

This link is as much for me as for anyone reading this thing. I'm beginning to learn Stata, a statistics software package, as it is broadly used at the School of Public Health at Berkeley [along with a fair amount of SAS and R, just to keep things interesting].

I was looking for and found an updated Stata bundle for TextMate, which works nicely and can be quickly updated and customized.

Thanks to Dan Bylr.

If you don't like what is being said, then change the conversation.

1 - Before

2 - After

Boonville & Anderson Valley (part I)

At the recommendation of the Lovehardsteins and the NYT, we went to Boonville last weekend with Beth's mom in tow. She escaped snowfall and bitter cold back East, and we were all fortunate to have incredible weather for our jaunt into wine country.

We left late in the morning on the seventh, had a delicious brunch at Tomate Cafe, our favorite Berkeley breakfast/spot. The ladies stuck with a traditional American breakfast {eggs, bacon, etc}; I tried a 'Cuban' breakfast with rice, plantains, beans, kale, and grilled shrimp. It was delicious.

We made quick time to Anderson Valley, as traffic was light early in the day. It was pretty foggy and a tad gloomy on the way in, but majestic nonetheless. We turned onto winding Hwy 128 that would lead us to Anderson Valley, working our way through the hills and wine country as the fog folded around, between, and through the trees. Around 1p, as we arrived in Boonville, the fog burned off completely. We checked into our studio at the Boonville Hotel, an amazing little inn and restaurant in Boonville. I can't gush enough about the hotel and staff -- it was a beautiful place, with well-designed, spacious rooms that fit the place of life in the valley.

We ate lunch at the Boonville General Store and then set off to Point Area and the coast, by way of the meandering, winding, and aptly titled 'Mountain View Rd.'

Superconductivity in FeTe1-xSx induced by alcohol

Cue never-ending jokes.

A Japanese scientist who "likes alcohol very much" has discovered that soaking samples of material in hot party drinks for 24 hours turns them into superconductors at ambient temperature.

Dr. Yoshihiko Takano of the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) in Tsukuba, Japan, made the discovery after a party, soaking samples of a potential superconductor in hot alcoholic drinks before testing them next day for superconductivity. The commercial alcoholic beverages, especially wine, were much more effective than either water or pure alcohol.

We found that hot commercial alcohol drinks are much effective to induce superconductivity in FeTe0.8S0.2 compared to water, ethanol and water-ethanol mixture. Both the highest zero resistivity temperature of 7.8 K and superconducting volume fraction of 62.4 % are observed for the FeTe0.8S0.2 sample heated in red wine. Any elements in alcohol drinks, other than water and ethanol, would play an important role to induce superconductivity.


I won't pretend to have anything unique, new, or insightful to say about this inane pseudo-sanitization of Huckleberry Finn. Instead, we'll turn to the proverbial horse's mouth.

"I have no race prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. All I care to know is that a man is a human being, and that is enough for me; he can't be any worse."

"There is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a Dream, a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And You are but a Thought -- a vagrant Thought, a useless Thought, a homeless Thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities."

"None but the dead have free speech."

Orange is the new white...

... and John Boehner stole Mjöllnir.


Recipe: Julienned Thai-style Zucchini Salad


zucchini! not noodles.

Mandolin! Finger cut-oo! Chop chop slice slice!

This one was inspired by something else, but I can't remember what -- I've got a backlog of posts here. But the pictures came out nicely, and more importantly the salad was delicious.

Recipe: Simple Tofu Salad



This one's easy, nothing too fancy.

Cut up some tofu. For a single serving, I used a quarter block. Heat a cast-iron skillet or non-stick pan on medium heat, add your fat of choice [canola, olive oil, lard], and add the tofu. Let it brown for around 10-15 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, grab a tablespoon of soy sauce and 1.5 tablespoons water. Mix in a bowl. Thinly slice the green part of a scallion; once you get down to the firmer, white portion, cut it down the middle in both dimensions and separate. Throw these longer pieces in the soy sauce. Cover and let sit at room temp.

Grab some sesame seeds and shichimi togarashi, a Japanese spice blend. When the tofu's done, place it in your bowl with soy sauce and green onions. Top with sesame seeds, the remaining green portion of the scallions, and the shichimi. Enjoy.