What are you crazy about that's not well known or popular?

At some point today, I’m going to suddenly start singing “gather round!” out loud.
No one around me will be surprised.

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My only experience with mastic as a flavoring was in Turkish coffee at a Persian restaurant once. I have to say, it was like no other flavor I’d experienced – very woody. The coffee was so bitter, though, that I can’t say it was a great experience overall. I’d be fascinated to see what it’d be like in other contexts.


I love Ceylon Cinnamon, but my favorite is Saigon Cinnamon, even stronger and more intense.


Buy the largest ‘tears’ (that’s just what they’re called) of mastic you can find. They have the highest ratio of aromatic compounds to resinous ones. The smaller tears are easier to crush, but if you freeze the large ones you can easily break them down to small pieces without gumming up your mortal and pestle too much.

High-quality mastic will have a warm, evergreen-like aroma. Check out the NYC-based Mastiha Shop. I’ve purchased from them online and in-person and have always been happy with their products.


That’ll teach them to think that Windows is a multi-tasking, multi-user environment.


Seems to me that the problem lies with Windows, then.

What percentage of the Windows-using population understands how RAM works, or page files, or swapping memory to disk? Are they expected to, to use Windows?

Seems like Windows could easily let people know how much resource is being consumed by other logged in users. Or soft-log out a user who has been switched away from for more than ten minutes, freeing up their allocated RAM.


It’s windows. You take what you get.


And that was all not to say that the problem doesn’t come down to users as well. I should know. Here is just one of four browser windows I currently have open:

It’s actually on the clean side for me – I just finished a project, so could close out a bunch of tabs.


Muji notebooks. It took forever, but I’ve finally found the perfect notebook. I still need to burn through my Staples brand notebooks (the small, cane sugar paper ones), but Muji has exactly what I look for. I can get great notebooks in the Middle East, too. For some reason A5 and similar sizes aren’t popular in the US, so getting one that’s graph ruled can be hard.

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Not saying. I wanna keep it for myself :heart_eyes_cat:


I’m scratching my head trying to think of anything I love that I didn’t either find out about here or discuss endlessly and repeatedly here. My offering is the only Rachel Ray recipe I’ve ever tried Beer Battered Fried Chicken. It’s the best fried chicken I’ve ever ever made.

[spoiler]There’s a client server *ahem* somewhere. A few hundred people have access to. It was set up to run one teeny application. Should have been a Citrix app but whatever. One person installed an extra app which was forbidden on PCs but, yes, it’s a useful legitimate app. But it’s a huge resource hog. On a virtual server with 4GB of RAM allocated.

Meant for something else entirely.

Technically someone had the rights to kill the app. But technically she shouldn’t have. She should leave it for the NOC folks. She asked them. “What? We’ve never done that before. We never would do that. Contact the bad client,” they told her. “The bad client’s on vacation and at least once a month y’all shut down virtual servers I’m using for no damn reason at all.”

“… We’re not killing that process.”[/spoiler]

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Recurring Interest:

Reconstructing ancient population sizes. Partly because they’re there. Partly because they can shed light on ancient history. For example, high and low population estimates lead to different interpretations of late republican Roman history. And to different constraints on rebel army sizes in Spartacus’s War.


A good starting point is the Princeton-Stanford Working Papers in Classics series. It hasn’t been updated since 2013, but it contains a lot of useful or just plain interesting articles:




It’s really easy and fairly inexpensive to start. It’s a great hobby to pursue with kids, but even as an adult person without kids, it’s completely awesome. There’s indoor crafty stuff in the building, and outdoor adventure stuff in the flying and recovery.

There are all kinds of challenges to set - for yourself or competitively. Fly to a specific altitude. Fly as high as possible on a specific motor and recover safely. Get up and down as many times as possible in an hour, or two, in the same rocket. See who can recover closest to the launch pad.

And that’s just model rocketry. When you get into larger and more complex rockets, when you have a large, safe, open area to fly them in, when your pocket money builds up and you want to extend your reach, look into bigger rockets and bigger motors. You don’t have to stop at D motors if you don’t want to; motors as large as I and J are easily available, and you can buy motors as large as O (each letter represents a range of power that is double the previous letter, so this scales pretty fast). You’ll have to have permission to use the airspace, but there are high-power rocketry clubs all over that have regular meets, and you can see some truly amazing flights.

You can build a really amazing rocket for a few hundred dollars, and fly it to altitudes measured in miles or kilometers. You can fly electronic altimeters that will give you detailed flight data when you recover the rocket. You can fly cameras, good ones, and get POV high-def video of the whole flight. If you get really serious, you can go to one of the big meets and fly some serious power. You’ll probably never break the sound barrier personally, but you can send objects you built well beyond that speed if you try.

Rocketry at all scales is good fun. It’s great for tinkering, problem-solving, and the thrill of seeing things you built yourself go zoom.


Back in the early Nineties, a TV show by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, a year or two before they created Friends: a political sitcom called The Powers That Be. It starred John Forsyth as an aw-shucks Reaganesque senator, with David Hyde Pierce as his clueless son-in-law, and a twelve-year-old Joseph Gordon Levitt. It lasted only two seasons, and you can watch them both on YouTube, but you won’t ever love it a quarter as much as I do.


Cassia was the cinnamon we had at home growing up. There was always a shaker of cinnamon-and-sugar mixture that we would sprinkle on buttered toast, and I sprinkled plenty. So, even though I know as a grown-up that it’s not the “good” cinnamon, it still always seems “right” to me.

Ceylon cinnamon reminds me of candy apples which when I was growing up were something you would only get in the outside world. I didn’t know then that there were different sources of cinnamon, that had different names—in my mind, the Ceylon in candy apples was just “other people’s” cinnamon, and back then it just seemed wrong to me.

Now, I think Ceylon is great stuff, just as you say. And when I’m baking things with cinnamon I put in some of each. Together I think the two provide a more complex/nuanced cinnamon flavor, and people always seem to like it.


It’s clear that they don’t need a workstation, they need a server; then magically all their problems will go away. This is exactly why servers were invented: providing shared computing resources. Desktops are personal. Simple.

You, sir, are the devil. Browsers were not meant to work like that. And you’re not supposed to use the web to chat, that’s what IRC is for. Now get off my lawn!


Heh. my daughter is of a similar persuasion. More than two open tabs makes her brain itch :smiley:


instrumentals from 1960s-70s Italian composers of movie soundtracks, beyond Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota: Piero Umiliani, Bruno Nicolai, Fiorenzo Carpi, Riz Ortolani, Piero Piccioni.

Maybe not quite crazy, but listening to them does shift my headspace in a good way.


Ah- because I am contrarian, I’ll say the browser isn’t the problem.
It’s the lack of RAM.
With enough RAM, I don’t care how greedy my Chrome gets. With enough RAM, I can do all the things.
I’ll admit it’s not an… efficient attitude. But at least I’m consistent (I require multiple monitors, and I’ve got five optical drives attached to my system right now…)