📖 On page 70 of 206 of The Science of the Oven by Hervé This
This just keeps getting better and better! This isn’t the fluff on food writing that I supposed it might be based on its title which drastically undersells the overall work. This is a great writer, and the translation is generally excellent. It borders frequently on poetry in its descriptions while maintaining a heavy reliance on underlying science. It manages to maintain enough generality to keep a broad audience while still expounding on the science at play. It will eventually sit in a place of pride on my bookshelf on next to Harold McGee who is one of the few writing at this level.
This does an excellent job of debunking some commonly held misconceptions about food and cooking while simultaneously creating a new vocabulary to make future descriptions and work easier to grasp.
Somehow I had been under the misunderstanding that the author was a chef when in fact he is a physical chemist. And the translator is a poet by trade.
After having spent the weekend at IndieWebCamp Los Angeles, it somehow seems appropriate to have a “Voted post type” for the election today†. To do it I’m proposing the following microformats, an example of which can be found in the mark up of the post above. This post type is somewhat similar to both a note/status update and an RSVP post type with a soupçon of checkin.
<span class="p-voted">I voted</span>
in the <a href="http://example.com/election" class="u-voted-in">November 8th, 2016 Election</a>
Possible Voted values: I voted, I didn’t vote, I was disenfranchised, I was intimidated, I was apathetic, I pathetically didn’t bother to register
Send a Webmention to the election post of your municipality’s Registrar/Clerk/Records office as you would for a reply to any post.
You should include author information in your Voted post so the registrar knows who voted (and then send another Webmention so the voting page gets the update).
Here’s another example with explicit author name and icon, in case your site or blog does not already provide that on the page.
📕 Finished with A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
Chapter Seven: Adventure at the Seaside
The set up for this was short and sweet and the ending was what we’ve come to love in a Paddington story.
Chapter Eight: A Disappearing Trick
This is just hilariously charming. I do wish the uncivil neighbor had been better set up in a prior story, but the short treatment done here is sufficient for the hilarity that ensues with Paddington attempting a magic show.
Finished the section on the IPO of China Telecom (Hong Kong) and read through the more difficult IPO of PetroChina. There are some conflicting statements between the two accounts which I find interesting as they relate to doing business in general. I’m sure they stem, in part, from retelling the stories nearly 20 years later along with editorial oversight. In the first account he complains of not having enough time while in the second he complains of a client dragging things out and going too slowly.
The retelling of history from his perspective is perhaps a bit too measured but expected given that he’s still actively working and maintaining an image. There are a few interesting bon mots from time to time, but I’m beginning to think that reading a bit more hard-hitting history would be more enlightening given what I know of China. I’m beginning to read this more for enjoyment and entertainment that the original historical and economic visions I had anticipated.
While a generally interesting read so far, I find it to be a bit too antiseptic as if it’s either been over-edited or the ghost writer watered down all the personality.
📖 33.0% done with A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
The plot moves somewhat slowly and the action is mostly what one would expect from a 5 or 6 year old–except that it’s a bear–but the charming language and the way in which is told makes all the difference.
📖 On page 24 of 274 of Complex Analysis with Applications by Richard A. Silverman
I enjoyed his treatment of inversion, but it seems like there’s a better way of laying the idea out, particularly for applications. Straightforward coverage of nested intervals and rectangles, limit points, convergent sequences, Cauchy convergence criterion. Given the level, I would have preferred some additional review of basic analysis and topology; he seems to do the bare minimum here.
A simple preface followed by an anecdote about the beginning of a deal relating to telecom. The style is quick moving and history, details, and philosophy are liberally injected into the story as it moves along. This seems both interesting as well as instructive.
Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia
“There are some who believe that an immutable law of history holds that conflict is inevitable when a rising power begins to bump up against an established one. But no law is immutable. Choices matter. Lessons can be learned.”
“Prescriptions, after all, are easier to make than predictions.”
“Note taking allows Party and government officials to get quick reads on what went on at meetings they didn’t attend. […] Private meetings with senior government officials without recoring devices or note takers are rare and highly sought after.”
“…the so-called iron rice bowl, the cradle-to-grave care and support guaranteed by the government through the big companies people worked for.”
“The Party had made a simple bargain with the people: economic growth in return for political stability. That in turn meant Party control. Prosperity was the source of Party legitimacy.”
“Messages in China are sent in ways that aren’t always direct; you have to read the signs.”
“It was the nature of dealing with China: nothing was done until it was done.”