Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Banking on Cheese: The Bank That Uses Parmesan as Collateral

Operating In Obscurity

It ain’t just about Windows, macOS, or Linux. Also-ran or fairly obscure operating systems, like OS/2, are everywhere—in some cases, hiding under your nose.

The Scrolling Orb

The evolution of the trackball, which is more than an upside-down mouse. It’s the Royal Canadian Navy’s greatest gift to modern-day computing. Really.

Encoded, Decoded

How Usenet—a protocol intended for conversations—was forever changed once the public figured out you could transfer binary files through it.

Everynoise: Explore Every Music Genre

This is an ongoing attempt at an algorithmically-generated, readability-adjusted scatter-plot of the musical genre-space, based on data tracked and analyzed for 1539 genres by Spotify. The calibration is fuzzy, but in general down is more organic, up is more mechanical and electric; left is denser and more atmospheric, right is spikier and bouncier.

Click anything to hear an example of what it sounds like.

The Spookiest Ghost Stories From All 50 States

From heartbroken brides to spectral oenophiles, America is a melting pot of otherworldly entities who have staked a spiritual claim in every crack and cranny of the country—as well as in the local community's consciousness. No matter what city or state you hail from, you no doubt grew up hearing terrifying tales of one ghost or another with whom you shared a zip code. We all did. Here are the spookiest ghost stories from all 50 states.

John Williams - “Home Alone” Soundtrack Mashup

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Cats

December Sun

Last Road Trip Before The Snow Falls! Let's Go To Featherville, Idaho

Smoked Turkey!

Here is the recipe I use for Awesome Smoked Turkey!

Turkey Brine Recipe:

    2 gallons of tap water
    1 cup Brown Sugar
    1 cup Molasses
    1 cup Honey
    1 ½ cup Salt
    ¼ cup The BBQ Rub
    3-4 Bay Leaves
    Fresh Thyme Bundle
    1 TBS Whole Peppercorns

In a large stock pot bring 1 gallon of water to a boil and add the brown sugar, molasses, honey, salt, bbq rub, and bay leaves. Once the ingredients have dissolved turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Make this the night before and refrigerate until time to brine.

Place the turkey inside a big pot or ziplock bag and pour in the brine. Toss in the thyme bundle and peppercorns.

Top the turkey off with an additional gallon of water and the entire bird should be covered.  Brine 24 hours.

The next day remove the turkey from the brine and rinse under cool water. Allow it to drain and pat off any excess water with paper towels.

Turkey Stuffing:

    2-3 Apples
    1 Onion
    2 Stalks of celery

Cut a couple apples in half and stuff in the cavity. Also add onion and celery. This will add mass to the turkey helping it cook evenly and gives it some additional flavor.

Turkey Rub Recipe:

    1/2 cup Kosher Salt
    1/2 cup Granulated Garlic
    1/2 TBS Poultry Seasoning

Spray the outside of the turkey with cooking spray to help the seasonings stick to the skin and keep the outside from getting to dark.  Apply the seasoning mix to the outside making sure to cover everything (you might have some rub left over); then apply a light layer of whatever BBQ rub floats your boat.

Turkey Butter Injection:

    1 stick real butter
    1 cup chicken broth
    1 TBS Hot Sauce
    1 tea Granulated Garlic
    1 tea Cajun Seasoning

Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the chicken broth, hot sauce, garlic, and Cajun seasoning. Whisk the ingredients together and remove from heat once incorporated.  It doesn’t need to come to a boil.

Inject the breast in multiple places as well as the thigs and drumsticks. Tie  up the legs and wings to keep them close to the bird.

Smoke the turkey at between 275-300 degrees. Higher temps make for a better bird. The outer skin turns a beautiful mahogany color and is almost crispy.  For smoke, use pecan or a fruit wood like cherry. It’s pretty easy to over-smoke a turkey, so go easy on the wood.  Place the turkey on the smoker and set a timer for 1 ½ hours. As long as you maintain the temp, there’s not much to do, just let it cook.

After the hour and a half rotate the Turkey but never flip it.  It should stay breast side up the entire smoke.

It takes about 3 ½ hours to smoke a 10-12 lb turkey but checking the internal temps is key.  It has to hit at least 165 in the breast and 175 in the thigh.

When you stick the turkey, juices should run out clear. There should be no trace of blood or pink colored liquid.

Start checking the internal about the 2 ½ hour mark just to see where it is.  At this point if the outside is starting to get dark, lay a piece of aluminum foil over it.  The foil acts as a tent and will prevent the skin from browning any further.

Once I see a temp of 165 in the thickest part of the breast and the juices are running clear out of the thigh (175 internal), the turkey is done…. Almost… you want to let it rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.  If you go at it too soon with the knife, all of the juices will run out onto your cutting board and you’ll have dry turkey.  Be patient and let things cool off for a few minutes.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Starving for Answers

In early 1945, 36 American men lay in their bunks in a windowless room, each man alone with his thoughts as he tried to fall asleep despite the hunger that gnawed at his gut. Just a few weeks earlier, they had all been fit, healthy young men, eager to serve their country. But then their overseers had decreed that their rations were to be cut in half, and the men assigned to feed them had shown no mercy. Now they were so weak from hunger that they could barely roll over in their bunks. During the day, they tried to smile and laugh with each other to keep their spirits up, but at night the depression that accompanied starvation seeped in, telling them to give in, to give up. But the men soldiered on, despite the fact that they were not actually soldiers at all: they were pacifists who had volunteered to be starved for the sake of science.

Stealth turns 40: Looking back at the first flight of Have Blue

On December 1, 1977, a truly strange bird took flight for the first time in the skies over a desolate corner of Nevada. Looking more like a giant faceted gemstone than something designed to lift-off, the aircraft (nicknamed the "Hopeless Diamond") had been flown out to Groom Lake in parts aboard a Lockheed C-5 Galaxy cargo plane.

While much of the Hopeless Diamond was a conglomeration of spare parts from other existing aircraft, it was the first of a new breed—the progenitor of Stealth. Hopeless Diamond was the first of two technology demonstrators built for a program called "Have Blue," an initiative program spawned from a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency effort to create an aircraft that could evade the Soviet Union's increasingly sophisticated integrated air defense systems.

Forty years have passed since the Have Blue project's two demonstrator aircraft—built on a relative shoestring budget by Lockheed's Skunk Works—flew over the Nevada desert and ushered in a new era. Over time, the engineering, physics, and mathematics that created the Have Blue prototypes would be refined to create the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter and serve as the basis for the designs of the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II.

This miltech evolution began because Lockheed was willing to internally fund an effort to win a program from which it had been essentially excluded by DARPA. Using its engineering talent, some sophisticated mathematics, and the best computing technology of the day, Lockheed's Skunk Works rapidly created a prototype on the cheap. That prototype demonstrated what Lockheed Martin Skunk Works Senior Fellow Edward Burnett described to Ars as "our one miracle"—an aircraft shape that had a radar cross section smaller than a bird's.

Mortal Engines Official Teaser Trailer!

Welcome to the Voice Wars

This week, Google moved to block users of Amazon’s Fire TV and Echo Show devices from watching YouTube. That might sound like a minor skirmish between a pair of tech companies jostling for position in outlying territories. But it could also be the start of something much bigger: a struggle for dominance of a far less open internet in which no one—consumers least of all—wins.

Restoring A Rustbucket: The Traeger Gets Some Much Needed Love

After 10 years of sitting outside in the Kuna weather the Traeger is showing some wear!
I thought about just taking it to the junkyard but cooler heads prevailed.
I hit the thing with a sander to take the rust down.
Taping the grill off for the new paint job.
As good as new!
Good for another 10 years!

Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware

It's Time To Cold Smoke Some Cheese