brainwagon "There is much pleasure in useless knowledge." — Bertrand Russell

15Aug/050

Why does dry spaghetti break into more than two pieces when bent?

My tagline for this blog is "there is much pleasure in useless knowledge". What knowledge could be more useless than trying to understand why spaghetti breaks into more than two pieces when bent? Apparently this problem has been considered interesting by no greater physics luminary than Richard Feynman. Cool.

Filed under: Science No Comments
15Aug/050

Shane Ross on Dynamics, Control & Computation

In a thread on Slashdot on calculating spacecraft trajectories to Mars some helpful individual pointed at Shane Ross' Dynamics, Control & Computation page. Lots of good information on celestial mechanics.

Filed under: Astronomy No Comments
15Aug/050

Virtual Street Reality

From one of our internal mailing lists at work, here is a link to some of the work of English street artist Julian Beever. His drawings are unique anamorphic views: when seen from certain angles, they look normal and three dimensional, although from other views they seem oddly distorted. The geek in my wants to turn this into a treatise on the homogeneous 4x4 transforms we use in computer graphics all the time, but instead I'll just leave the art to speak for itself.

15Aug/050

Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

While watching Food Network the other day, I saw an episode of Calorie Commando that featured a dish I thought I might like to try: Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce. I gave this a whack this weekend. Basically I took a bunch of chicken breasts that I had lying around, and cut them up into smallish uniform pieces. I then soaked them in some Louisiana hot sauce for an hour, took them out, dusted them with a mixture of Pappy's Cajun seasoning and flour, and then fried them for three minutes a side in a couple tablespoons of hot olive oil. I also prepared their Blue Cheese dipping sauce. Carmen proclaimed them delicious. I thought they were good, but could have been a bit spicier. Perhaps I'll use more pepper flake and cayenne in the flour mixture next time.

It's actually not the lowest point recipe you'll find: in the portions specified in the recipe (4 servings in 12 oz of chicken tenders) it's about 7 Weight Watchers Points which means that I probably consumed about 14 or 16 points worth, but they are tasty and when paired with some fresh vegetables can be delicious. Certainly they help satisfy the craving for something like KFC which would be much, much worse.