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Bear Meat

February 21st, 2007 by Luke

Primo Levi captures something important about the experience of the mountains in this story, only recently translated into English. My reaction thus far is emotional rather than intellectual. It is a striking story.


January 28th, 2007 by Luke

Holy cow.

If UNC made this mistake randomly, and if you could get data on these kids in a few years, there must be at least a few good papers to be written.

New Green Bo recommendations

January 17th, 2007 by Luke

New Green Bo is an absolutely phenomenal Shanghai-cuisine restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown. I was first introduced to a number of years ago, and it has become my standby for delicious Chinese food in New York. Jesse’s recommended dishes (those I can also vouch for are starred):


  • Steamed crab meat and pork tiny buns*
  • Steamed tiny buns with pork*
  • Fried pork dumplings*
  • Scallion pancake*
  • Turnip and ham pastry

Special cold dishes

  • Aromatic beef
  • Wine chicken
  • Spicy cabbage
  • Shanghai vegetarian mock duck*


  • Shredded pork with Szechuan cabbage soup
  • Shredded pork with bean curd potage
  • Yellow fish potage


  • Baby shrimp with dry seaweed
  • Sauteed eel
  • Fish belly in brown sauce
  • Yellow fish with dry seaweed*
  • Whole fish in chili sauce*
  • Crispy whole fish*
  • Whole fish Szechuan style
  • Sauteed fish fillet
  • Shrimp with asparagus

Beef and pork

  • Pork chop with salted pepper
  • Pork with bean curd skin, preserved cabbage, and soy bean
  • Stewed pork with bean curd skin
  • Stewed pork with dried preserved cabbage
  • Stewed pork with salted fish
  • Tong po pork (with four buns)*


  • Bean curd puff with squash
  • Eggplant with garlic sauce*
  • Bean curd puff with Shanghai cabbage
  • Sauteed pea tip
  • Sauteed water spinach


  • Stuffed bean curd skin and puff with minced pork with bean noodle casserole

Shanghai lo mein

  • Any

Rice cakes

  • Any*

I can’t recommend this restaurant highly enough for someone looking for an inexpensive, delicious, and authentic meal in New York.

Free tunes, every week

January 4th, 2007 by Luke


Apple gives away two or three tracks each week, but they can only be downloaded during the week.

Music for Robots‘ choices can be hit-or-miss for my taste, but has introduced me to some real favorites like Joey Beats, Bishop Allen (who are somehow releasing an EP a month this year), Luke Temple, and Miss Fairchild.

Links – 12/12/06

December 12th, 2006 by Luke

Best job ever… compulsive letter writer

December 7th, 2006 by Luke


IvyGate reports that Brown University prefessor Felicia Nimue Ackerman has (under several pseudonyms) published 130 letters to the editor in the New York Times, including 23 in the last 23 months. Perhaps Duke should hire her to teach summer school?

According to the New Yorker, The Times accepts just under 2% of the letters it receives. Whatever her batting average, I suspect Ackerman is taking a lot of swings.

True, except for the two years part

December 4th, 2006 by Luke


Edward Tufte talks about himself

December 4th, 2006 by Luke

VDQI Book Cover

Edward Tufte, the “DaVinci of data,” stopped by Stanford yesterday to talk about his very interesting life as an academic. At turns a statistician, political scientist, guru of information design, and sculptor, ET highlighted three turning points in his career:

  • Realizing that learning in the academy came from personal relationships with a few faculty members, rather than the contents of his classes.
  • Deciding to “try to play in the big leagues… creating ‘forever knowledge’ rather than stuff with a shelf life.”
  • Gambling on self publishing: with outside publishers, “the author always loses, the question is how gracefully.” [Tufte claims to have sold 1.5M self-published books, and done $80M in sales. He quit Yale when it represented “only 10% of my income, but 30% of my headaches.”]

His sculptures are landscape pieces with tons and tons of stainless steel. I suspect he’s been to the Dia Beacon more than a few times.
An extremely impressive man, and an interesting presentation from this (self-described!) “formidable scholar.” Nice work if you can get it.

Just wondering… about movies

December 4th, 2006 by Luke

Claims Gui: “Sequels are always terrible.”

I certainly buy that sequels are typically worse than the original film. We should probably chalk this up to regression to the mean, before we try any fancier explanations.

Also, it’s hard to say whether sequels are actually worse than the average movie. Most of us are only aware of a biased subset of the movies that get released, hopefully a subset biased towards better movies. [Depends on your friends, right?]

The average movie may well be worse than we think. Since we are conscious of sequels (and watch them on airplanes) because of their famous big brothers—not their quality—they look bad when compared to our usual, biased sample.

Just wondering… about Christmas

December 4th, 2006 by Luke


Seems like lots of Christmas decorating here at sunny Stanford. There’s a tree in our department lounge, some absurd holiday tunes playing at dinner tonight, and probably lots more.

Is there more tinsel because it’s warm here? Maybe if there’s snow on the ground, you feel all Christmassy even without smiling Santas on the secretary’s desks. Are winter weather and holiday decorations substitutes?

Gui suggests maybe the phenomenon is amplified by all the carpetbaggers here from colder climes.

Data, anyone?