Vegan Ortolan

recipe, vegetarian, vegan, edible, cooking, food, vegan ortolan, ortolan

The traditional preparation of the ortolan bird in France demands that they are captured alive, force-fed, drowned in Armagnac and eaten whole. Although it is illegal to prepare and eat, the dish retains a forbidden attraction for some adventurous eaters. What better way to challenge the skills of a chef than to create a vegan recipe which simulates the experience of crunching through the skin, guts and bones of a small bird, without using any animal products? This dish is intended to be consumed in the traditional way — with a large napkin covering the head and the face — to keep the flavours in, and to hide one’s shame from God.

The Center for Genomic Gastronomy

ecology, art science, art, DIY Bio, genomics, future, food

The Center for Genomic Gastronomy is an independent research institute engaged in exploring, examining and understanding the genomes and biotechnologies that make up the human food systems of planet earth. We are dedicated to the advancement of knowledge at the intersection of food, culture, ecology and technology. The Center presents its research through public lectures, research publications, meals and exhibitions.

Peak Intel: How So-Called Strategic Intelligence Actually Makes Us Dumber

strategic foresight, foresight, forecasting, peak intel, peak, collapsonomics, eric garland, busines

According to the private intelligence industry’s view of itself, a phalanx of analysts collect data, assess the risks and opportunities inherent in trends, and provide a series of scenarios that help their clients make contingency plans, such that no matter what future arrives, people will thrive. But the reality of 2012 is quite different. A large number of people promise these services, from generalist mega-consultancies such as Booz Allen, Accenture, and McKinsey, to more boutique providers such as Global Business Network, the Institute for the Future, Frost & Sullivan, and countless individual practitioners. And many executives claim to practice state-of-the-art strategic management, dutifully using the insights of these providers in their day-to-day operations. Still, the culture of intelligence has been in free-fall since the financial crisis of 2008.

Edit Scheme on your iPad via the Parse Tree

touchscreen coding, programming, metaphor, scheme, app, lisp, ipad

Anyone who has tried to edit code on the iPad through a traditional textview knows that it doesn’t work well. Editing source code character by character is a concept wedded to the keyboard and it is inappropriate for the iPad, a device with no keyboard. Lisping abandons this model and allows you to edit your code via the parse tree. Rather than manipulating ranges of characters Lisping focusses on selecting, creating and moving syntax elements, a task ideally suited to the iPad’s touchscreen interface, and also - more than a little bit fun.

EnemyGraph Facebook Application

social media, social graph, critique, anti-social, social, enemy, socialmedia, facebook

For the past six months my research group has been looking into an app that explores social dissonance on Facebook. Today we are announcing the public release of EnemyGraph. The project was developed principally by graduate student Bradley Griffith with invaluable help from undergraduate Harrison Massey.

EnemyGraph is an application that allows you to list your “enemies”. Any Facebook friend or user of the app can be an enemy. More importantly, you can also make any page or group on Facebook an “enemy”. This covers almost everything including people, places and things. During our testing testing triangles and q-tips were trending, along with politicians, music groups, and math.

Mathematics, movement, music and Leonardo

movement, jazz, mathematics, music

I’ve always been intrigued by the sensation of movement in music.  And it is fair to say that it was my first calculus class that led me to graduate study in mathematics because, for the first time, I saw movement in mathematics.  My fascination with each of these was nudged again by an interview with jazz pianist Vijay Iyer that I heard on NPR’s All Things Considered.

The Milkman’s Robot Helper

2000s, 1970s, 1920s, milkman, logistics, history, milk, paleofuture

In 2007, I moved into an apartment building in St. Paul that was built during the early 1920s. I remember asking the building manager what the small, two-foot tall doors attached to the outside of each apartment were for. The doors had long been painted shut and no longer opened to the inside of the apartments, as it looked like they should. The manager explained that the doors were used decades ago by milkmen who would make deliveries during the day while people were at work.

In the 1920s virtually all milk consumed in the United States was delivered directly to the home. By the early 1970s, it was only about 15%. By the 1990s, it was less than 1%. Whither the man of milk?

The Ultimate Migration

rocketry, rocket, goddard, 1918, migration, space travel

Reader Fred Becker has asked about a ‘paper’ written by rocket pioneer Robert H Goddard on 14 January 1918, sealed in an envelope on the outside of which he wrote: The Last Migration. The notes should be read thoroughly only by an optimist! Goddard was 35 years old and the notes were written more than six years before he would conduct the world’s first rocket flight using liquid propellants. It is a prescient reminder of just how far and grand were the visions of this quiet, elusive man who laid the foundation for so much that would follow. Later that day same day he wrote a condensed version and titled it The Ultimate Migration, which we are delighted to reproduce here in full and in the form in which it was written, uncorrected for grammar:

Death of a data haven: cypherpunks, WikiLeaks, and the world’s smallest nation

micronations, cypherpunks, havenco, seasteading, uk, dataheaven, sealand, technology, politics

HavenCo’s failure—and make no mistake about it, HavenCo did fail—shows how hard it is to get out from under government’s thumb. HavenCo built it, but no one came. For a host of reasons, ranging from its physical vulnerability to the fact that The Man doesn’t care where you store your data if he can get his hands on you, Sealand was never able to offer the kind of immunity from law that digital rebels sought. And, paradoxically, by seeking to avoid government, HavenCo made itself exquisitely vulnerable to one government in particular: Sealand’s. It found that out the hard way in 2003 when Sealand “nationalized” the company.

For the last two years, I’ve researched the history of Sealand and HavenCo. I used the Wayback Machine to reconstruct long-since-vanished webpages. I dug through microfilm of newspapers back to the 1960s. I pored over thousands of pages of documents, only recently unsealed, from the United Kingdom’s National Archives.

zero aut0mat

(currently de.automated from 201112)

Audiovisual Crop Circles

Graphic designer Alexander Peterhaensel gets a little fancy on all yer collective faces with a project which mathematically graphictastically translates some recordings of some music by JSBach. Note…

Audiovisual Crop Circles


Lytro lets you take pictures like never before. Unlike a conventional camera that captures a single plane of light, the Lytro camera captures the entire light field, which is all the light traveling…


On The Science Of Cooking

As soon as I started reading Modernist Cuisine, I realized that I was wrong. Nathan and his team have created a lasting contribution human culture. This is not just a cookbook; it is the culinary…

On The Science Of Cooking

“Here is something that, as a philosopher, I have always found both fascinating and deeply puzzling: A complete scientific…


“Here is something that, as a philosopher, I have always found both fascinating and deeply puzzling: A complete scientific description of the physical universe would not contain the information as to what time is “now.” Indeed, such a description would be free of what philosophers can “indexical terms.” There would be no pointers or little red arrows to tell you “You are here!” or “Right now!” In real life, this is the job of the conscious brain: It constantly tells the organism harboring it what place is here and what time is now. This experiential Now is the second big problem for a modern theory of consciousness.”

Metzinger, Thomas. The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self. New York: Basic Books, 2009.

Substroke Design Dump

Substroke was a research language for drawing dynamic (data-dependent) pictures. The description given here was intended as a brain-dump of a work-in-progress. The work-in-progress is no longer in…

Substroke Design Dump