We've done some renovations to our kitchen. They were long-needed since the kitchen cabinets came with the house when we purchased it ten years ago, and they weren't all that terrific even back then. Among the great new additions is a stove top exhaust which really does a great job of pulling the smoke out of the kitchen. Unfortunately, because of its height and location, it also does a great job of pulling large amounts of flesh off the top of my head, since with my height, virtually every attempt to reach towards the back burners to wipe up results in an automated appearance at Little Big Horn.
Why do the make these things so deadly? I mean these corners are SHARP. And yet the manufacturers seem to make absolutely no effort to round them off or otherwise de-claw the darn thing. I've taken to wearing a baseball hat around this menace and it got me right through the hat!
2.While we are on the subject of things to villify, I've also decided that I hate Microsoft Excel. Considered to be the de facto champ of spreadsheet world, this bloated piece of junk makes even the simplest things inordinately difficult. I suppose that if you were just using it for monetary things like balancing your checkbook it could suffice, but even that seems so painful, with its arcane rules and tiny window to enter data.
Trying to do any sort of reasonable data analysis, such as one does with statistical work, is an exercise in futility. It finally got to the point that I just gave up and wrote a bunk of single purpose handler programs in Perl, R and Java.On the other hand, some of the packaged statistical programs are ludicrously expensive. I've been doing a lot of statistical work involving multivariate analysis, in particular one method called principle component analysis (PCA).
I found a rather nice shareware program on the internet which allowed an evaluation download, and really liked its simplicity and user interface. Perhaps I should have been tipped off by the fact that no matter how hard I scanned the site, I could not find a purchase price. Rather I was instructed to contact a sales representative â€˜to discuss pricing' (always a bad sign). After sending this gentleman a furtive email, as promised, I was rewarded with a response within 24 hours.His software program cost $4,250.00.At that point I almost felt like going into the kitchen and banging my head into the exhaust canopy.
Later found a much less snazzy program that runs in Excel (!) for $75.00.
My lectures to the Ontario Naturopathic Doctors 2007 Conference went rather well. I built them out of the lectures that I gave at IfHI 2007 and the Grand Rounds Presentation at the UB Naturopathic School. Both the main plenary session and my breakout were very well attended and received. Unfortunately we had no time whatsoever to visit our old haunts in Toronto, although we did manage to get in a visit to a â€˜Roots' outlet. The kids love the sweats and I am quite fond of their wool socks.
Toronto during the winter can have the most amazing gray skies. Due to the lake effect it doesn't get the kind of snow fall that other side of Lake Ontario receives (Rochester, NY for example, has snowfalls of legendary proportions). However, Toronto's nemesis are never ending days and weeks of gray winter skies, which many people consider dreary but I just love. In fact when I lived in Phoenix, AZ I would pine for a cloudy day which are few and far between out there. I once read that the composer Erik Satie never went out in nice weather, but as soon as it would rain, out he went.
I can identify with that.
Me and You Tube music: Asmus Tietchens 'Hydrophonie 12'
In addition to working on the new BTD recipe database (thanks to Don, Drea, Rodney, Lola and all the other elves who have so generously donated their time to revised and edit the 700+ recipes).
Back in the video business, making some educational films for The GenoType Diet. A lot has happened to computer video since I made those five film shorts years ago. I've also been cleaning up some of the movies that I made to accompany on my author tour for Live Right For Your Type and getting them up on YouTube. Much better quality than the older versions that I added to dadamo.com several years ago.
So now the eminent James Watson has stuck his foot in his mouth, adding to the long list of accomplished geneticists and behaviorists who perish in the minefield of actually saying what you believe. We'll add him to the club, which includes the great William Shockley, inventor of the transistor and those guys that wrote the Bell Shaped Curve.
He has courted controversy in the past, reportedly saying that a woman should have the right to abort her unborn child if tests could determine that it would be homosexual. He has also suggested a link between skin colour and sex drive, proposing a theory that black people have higher libidos, and claimed that beauty could be genetically manufactured.
Watson, a co-discoverer of the structure of DNA (along with Francis Crick, although one could make a strong case for some skulduggery concerning their 'expropriating' much of the work of Rosalind Franklin) ignited an uproar last week with remarks about the intelligence of people of African descent.
The 79-year-old geneticist reopened the explosive debate about race and science in a newspaper interview in which he said Western policies towards African countries were wrongly based on an assumption that black people were as clever as their white counterparts when "testing" suggested the contrary. He claimed genes responsible for creating differences in human intelligence could be found within a decade.
Utter hogwash. "Intelligence" has long been shown to be undefinable, largely because it is heavily subject to cultural, environmental and financial filters. Even more significantly, it is more likely determined at the epigenetic level (postgenomically) than at the levels of the genes themselves, being influenced by the health habits of the immediately preceding generations, or even more likely, the prenatal environment of the child.
"Absolute power corrupts absolutely," so perhaps Watson's gaff is just the result of having too many people kissing his butt for too long a time.
Have started learning the R computer language. Perl's graphic and statistic packages are quite weak, and a quick look at R shows me that the graphing capabilities alone are awesome. A lot of the multivariate data that was used in the GenoType Diets may fit in very well with this language, since most people have a hard time visualizing data in more than 3 dimensions, though in mathematics this is not a big problem. Perl remains my preferred language (mainly for sure quick and dirtiness; it's amazing just how fast you can get something up and going in Perl) and for 'data mining' (or perhaps in my case, 'data dredging').
Well, gotta go. The car service is picking Martha and I up in an hour to take us to the airport. We're headed up to Toronto where I'll be giving one of the presentations to the Ontario Naturopathic Doctors Association. It's a homecoming of sorts, since we lived up there for a while about twenty years ago. It's definitely one of my favorite cities, and I like attitude of the people at lot.
Some of the moderators on the bulletin boards noticed that the recipe database had been 'hacked' by internet bots intent on leaving hundreds, if not thousands, of entries offering everything from mail-order brides to the possibilities of enlarging virtually any part of your body. Part of the problem was that anyone could enter a recipe in the database, and once these roving ambassadors of malfeasance find an open site they just bombard it relentlessly.
The beat way to deal with these types of attacks is to institute some sort of challenge response test which is usually in the form of some sort of visual recognition scheme. These are usually called "Reverse Turing Tests" after the brilliant, if tortured English math genius Alan Turing and they are now part of the internet landscape:
The basic idea is to prove that you are human, which may be easier for some than others.
Although I have a million other things to do, I suppose my type A mindset kept thinking of new enhancements to the recipe database, one of the more neglected step-children of this website. So why not take a tour of the new and improved recipe area?
This is the basic entry portal. From here you can list, search and display recipes. I'm working on a printer friendly version as well.
Saddened to hear of the passing away of the great Richard Rorty from pancreatic cancer. His book "Contingency Irony and Solidarity" was a big influence on me, giving me a sort of 'permission' to live with my thoughts and ideas without the burden of always having to analyze them to death. Certainly, Rorty's work in this area stemmed from John Dewey, but I alway thought that Rorty said it better, at least to me. In either case, if you think today's 24 hour "news" is actually "News" you may want to read these guys.
"One of the functions of art is to offer a more desirable reality; a model as it were, of another style of existence with its own pace and its own cultural reference."
I've made a note to feature or otherwise mention parts of the website which are obscure or difficult to access but have incredible value. Today's feature is the now-inactive blog of Pumpkin King Jim Garland. Jim is a very bright guy with a lot on his mind. You'll find some cool stuff over there.
Have been playing around with fractals. Although arithmetic, they yield surprisingly organic results. Here are a few images that I developed using a variety of fractal algorithms: