Seriously, Iraq’s “air force” best planes are our crop dusters:
Iraq’s need for air power is clear. Its air force has consisted of several Cessna planes that carry American-supplied Hellfire missiles.. - NY Times
Sad strength in sad numbers.
Fish Sauce (Roman) // Most people are familiar with fish sauce, the essential pungent flavoring in Southeast Asian cuisine, but its history travels a lot further from Asia than originally thought. In ancient Roman cities, citizens used it as a salt substitute and as parts of dips and sauces, often combining it with wine, vinegar, oil and honey.
Like Asian fish sauces, the Roman version was made by layering fish and salt until it ferments. There are versions made with whole fish, and some with just the blood and guts. Some food historians argue that “garum" referred to one version, and "liquamen" another, while others maintain different terms were popular in different times and places.
The current convention is to use garum as a common term for all ancient fish sauces. Italian archaeologist Claudio Giardino studies the early roots of garum, the Roman version of fish sauce. He cites mention of garum in Roman literature from the 3rd and 4th century B.C., and remains of factories producing garum even earlier. The fish bones remaining at a garum factory in Pompeii even led to a more precise dating of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
So why did fish sauce disappeared from the West? Well, maybe it never did:
"When the Roman Empire collapsed, they put taxes on the salt. And because of these taxes, it became difficult to produce garum.” And the collapse of the Roman Empire created another problem: pirates. “The pirates started destroying the cities and the industries nearby the coast. You could be killed any moment by the pirates, without the protection of the Romans,” Giardino says. And so, Italian fish sauce pretty much disappeared.
But it remained in a few little pockets — like in Southwest Italy, where they produce colatura di alici, a modern descendant of the ancient fish sauce. The product was barely known even in Italy just a few years ago, but it is gradually being rediscovered.
Fish Sauce: An Ancient Condiment Rises Again - NPR, Deena Prichep
So next time you make spaghetti sauce, add a dash of fish sauce. You’ll be amazed!
Colorado is beautiful. America is beautiful.
Apologies to Circa and other new media services but The NYTimes is killing it with their visualizations and interactive products - breaking down complex topics like ISIS in Iraq using awesome digital tools.
I get the anger. I personally loathe Facebook and I have for a long time, even as I appreciate and study its importance in people’s lives. But on a personal level, I hate the fact that Facebook thinks it’s better than me at deciding which of my friends’ posts I should see. I hate that I have no meaningful mechanism of control on the site. And I am painfully aware of how my sporadic use of the site has confused their algorithms so much that what I see in my newsfeed is complete garbage. And I resent the fact that because I barely use the site, the only way that I could actually get a message out to friends is to pay to have it posted. My minimal use has made me an algorithmic pariah and if I weren’t technologically savvy enough to know better, I would feel as though I’ve been shunned by my friends rather than simply deemed unworthy by an algorithm. I also refuse to play the game to make myself look good before the altar of the algorithm. And every time I’m forced to deal with Facebook, I can’t help but resent its manipulations. —
What does the Facebook experiment teach us? — The Message — Medium (via iamdanw)
The challenge that Facebook has is that the root cause of having a cluttered feed is really the underlying social network that one constructs—it’s the core of their product.
They’ve made small attempts to address that, like introducing asymmetric following, but I can’t imagine that has been all that effective given their size. (Overhauling your product when you’re at the scale of Facebook is incredibly hard, and they’ve succeeded in many cases, which is an impressive feat.)
In Facebook’s mission to connect everyone, the product doesn’t allow the individual to control their proximity to people in the way that we naturally do in real life. The answer isn’t to give users more control, since having knobs (i.e. Google+ Circles) is too onerous (most people won’t customize). And since they’re too big to re-architect the product (probably not a good idea) they’re understandably left playing whack-a-mole with the symptoms, instead, which is suboptimal.
Thus, we’re stuck with this socially awkward dinner party host who is trying to make sure everyone is only talking to the people who they’re likely to want to talk to, resulting in an overly socially sterile environment that feels more like a chaperoned dance than a party.
Outside of defensive reasons, it makes a ton of sense that the company is splitting out its service into discrete apps, and buying up anyone who is exhibiting growth, especially on mobile and especially systems like chat that have a different social network architecture.(via garychou)
The Ping-Pong Theory of Tech Sexism, by Ariel Schrag.
This interview is the best reflection I’ve read of how I feel being a woman in the tech industry. I get more respect than a lot of my female coworkers, being on the product side and somewhat technically aware, but I don’t get guy-level respect. My ideas are routinely ignored, or ascribed to other male coworkers.
I know my coworkers aren’t consciously doing this. Calling them out on it is, for the most part, pointless: it will be seen as irrational, overly sensitive, or aggressive. And yet, when I talk to other women, we do generally feel like our expertise isn’t valued, that we have to justify our arguments beyond reason, and that our challenges are simply ignored. It may not be sexism: we may really all just be worse at our jobs. But I doubt it.
So I like the approach this interview takes. No judgements, no sense that men are consciously to blame, just a clear, honest description of how things have been for this particular women during her career.
Addendum: After some reflection, I realized that these experiences aren’t true of my design colleagues; I’ve had uniformly great working experiences with all of them, male or female.
Horowitz offers startup entrepreneurs and established business leaders the following advice: “The CEO must be the keeper of the story. The CEO is responsible for getting the story right, that it’s up to date, compelling, and can move the hearts of men and women. That’s the fundamental responsibility of the chief executive.” — 'Your Story Is Your Strategy' Says VC Who Backed Facebook And Twitter (via gregcohn)
Aspen is pretty.