Pittsburgh Post Gazette: A crane in the square’s northwest corner holds the boom lift, which holds a camera that projects a light video onto the plaza. A heat sensor camera detects people moving through the light. Another camera projects the plaza scene onto a 50-foot screen.
roly poly fish heads … <by comedy rock duo barnes & barnes, see their 1979 video> i did not know this song until i came to the states \ it was apparently the most requested song in “kids america” <american public radio | 1980s> / real fish heads though are not popular fare in the typical american home or restaurant \ in the philippines & most other asian countries, fish is served in its entirety | head and all
i grew up eating a variety of fish, nearly everyday \ my favorites are bangus <milkfish> our national fish | especially inihaw na bangus <grilled bangus stuffed with tomatoes & onions> \ lapu lapu <grouper |named after the datu of mactan who resisted the spanish colonizers & killed in combat ferdinand magellan, spanish explorer credited with “discovering” las islas filipinas > i can never forget my mother’s baked lapu lapu / and dilis <anchovies> tiny fish that are dried & fried and eaten as a snack \ philippine fishes have varied textures & are much more flavorful than the typical fish served here in america / i hopelessly miss them | unlike other delicious filipino food such as adobo, lumpiang shanghai, pancit palabok & kare kare, i cannot replicate fish dishes because the fresh main ingredient is 8,207 miles away
in pittsburgh, you know that the lenten season has started when the cafeteria features fish everyday | your middle school classmates are aghast when you have salami sandwich for lunch <told to me by my favorite young person> | you have more chocolate than you can indulge in | & you see the good priests dispensing ash wednesday ashes at market square
consider the fork (2012) by bee wilson is about the technological innovations in cooking & eating over the centuries starting with fire, clay pots & roasting to intelligent refrigerators & modernist cooking <such as sous-vide>
the book is underwhelming and not as interesting as i hoped it would be <but perhaps it’s because i read it just after a very fascinating book> \ i do recognize that there were major innovations in how we cooked & ate our food | i consider just three / starting with the clay pot & improvements in materials <cast iron, stainless steel, combinations of materials to achieve the most efficient heat conduction in pots & pans> and the invention of related implements <spoon, spatula, etc.> | the move from open hearth cooking to gas & electric stoves and ovens | and refrigeration <extended the life of food & removed its seasonality> / everything else in between, in my opinion, were “nice to have” but not critical in the domestic kitchen <such as the microwave> \ though i acknowledge that the “minor” innovations, aside from fueling consumerism, have had major implications in the broader context <culture & economics>
one reason why i’m not overly impressed by the innovations in between is that i like my cooking to be an organic experience & so the less the presence of “time-saving” kitchen gadgets <which consisted a lot of the innovations in the kitchen> the more i feel that i cooked <besides, having gadgets means you have to clean & store them, so there’s really no time savings plus they take up space> \ for me peeling, cutting, dicing, chopping, slicing, mincing, pounding, etc. are all part of the cooking process and to have a gadget do that takes away the pleasure & organic-ness of cooking <though i admit to using pre-cut vegetables & meats | that is real time savings> \ the other reason is that the foods that i cook are quite simple <stir fry, soups, stews, asian> and require only basic cooking methods <stir fry, pan fry, stew, boil> / i don’t even bake | in fact, my oven has been broken since fall <or summer?> \ so all i need along with basic knowledge are basic tools / something to cut with <cleaver>, something to cook on & with <stove, wok, stainless steel pot & pan, stirrer>, rice cooker
nevertheless, this book is an entertaining & quick read and may be interesting to the serious & more sophisticated cook <whom i assume does more than stir fry, pan fry, stew & boil>
the theory that would not die (2011) by sharon bertsch mcgrayne is about the 200 year history of bayes rule which was marked by obscurity, secrecy, derision & finally glory but not before dividing the statistics community for many years <bayesians vs. frequentists | the fissure likely still exists & will continue to exist, it’s a philosophical almost religious difference> / computational resources now being both magnitudes more powerful & cheap, bayesian statistics is considered by some as the analytic tool of the 21st century
this is the most fascinating & engaging book i have read so far this year! / not only because we use bayes theory in our work but also discovering its breadth of applications such as: cracking the enigma code which helped the allies win the war | searching for the debris of air france flight 447 & navy searches <submarines, downed weapon-carrying b52s> | setting compensation insurance | more accurate probabilities of rare events which led to increased safety measures <warned but not heeded: three mile island, challenger space shuttle> | predicting election results, the first being kennedy vs. nixon <until the media resorted to exit polls | though nate silver famously predicted correctly state outcomes in 2008 using hierarchical bayes> | identifying the linkage between lung cancer & cigarette smoking | identifying the risk factors for cardiovascular disease <both with far reaching public health implications> | powering the google search engine | microsoft windows os & spam filtering | helping stanley the driverless car win the darpa challenge in 2005 <as well as driving google’s driverless car> | recommendation engines for movies, books, etc. | uncovering the authorship of 12 federalist papers
importantly too, many analytic techniques were developed to facilitate the application of bayes theory, among them: asymptotic approximations \ sequential analysis / gibbs sampling \ markov chain monte carlo <MCMC> simulation \ hidden markov models / kalman filter <though kalman denies that bayes rule had anything to do with his invention, it was proven mathematically by aoki that it can be derived from bayes rule>
at the very basic level, bayes rule is intuitive | one might even say, this is how we naturally think & make decisions: “initial beliefs + recent objective data = a new & improved belief” / after reading the drama surrounding bayes theory, it is alluring to declare sole allegiance to bayes \ i resist that because a good analyst will use the tool that is most appropriate to the problem at hand / knowing how to apply both bayesian & classical statistical techniques is the best position to take \ i highly recommend this book to anyone involved in data analysis | and to those who are not, enjoy the awesomeness of probability & statistics!
the warning labels on packages of asian foods can be quite amusing / the warnings are polite, emphatic & very precise and sometimes can be funnily dire <will feature in future posts, the chestnuts one are good>\ here it is for mochi – traditionally for the japanese new year but eaten year-round as well \ it is made of glutinous rice & is chewy | gummy when eaten <so chew slowly! & supervise old people | can glue to dental appliances!> / above are the mochi sweets | stuffed with sweetened red or black bean paste or peanut jam \ variations are mochi coated with sesame seeds <favorite!> or with a light peanut or sugar coating / love this fun <but potentially hazardous> food!
i’m referring to tonight’s 41 degree temperature* & the joint concert of the fox chapel high school orchestra & symphonic band / a reprieve from the past weeks of winter freeze plus fine music! \ my favorite young musician was in the 1st semester group that reprised edward elgar’s introduction & allegro, op. 47 \ the 2nd semester group enviably played j.s. bach’s concerto for two violins in d minor <on the two violins were mairi cooper, orchestra director & lorien hart of the pittsburgh symphony orchestra> / the symphonic band sounded grand in this venue | the syria shrine temple in cheswick pa \ kudos & thanks to the students & teachers!