Last Saturday Miss Rhead spoiled Gavin and I with her astounding vegetarian cooking: Garden burgers topped with sauteed mushrooms and pepper jack cheese. I have to admit that I now actually like garden burgers MORE than I like meat burgers! Her cooking inspired me to want to learn how to be a better cook myself. As any nerd would, I looked for some recipe RSS feeds. Of course there is the site “simply recipes,” but it appears to only update every other day. I found some other sites, but alas, no RSS feeds (which my primary source of information consumption).
During my search I stumbled upon the site allrecipes.com. Not only do they have RSS feeds for various categories on their site, but you can sign up for an account and create a “recipe box” (Cookbook to the rest of us). Now when I’m checking out their RSS feed, I can add appetizing recipes to my recipe box. I don’t know about you, but when I’m making dinner with friends, the hardest part is finding something to make. The recipe box feature will allow us to browse a pre-chosen list of recipes so that we can skip that annoying step and go straight to the cookin’.
Another notable feature is the shopping list. Let’s say you’re planning a dinner with multiple courses. You still need to go shopping, so you look at the ingredients for each course and determine what you need to buy. The shopping list feature will add the required ingredients to your shopping list and it will sort them by type, which is how stores usually sort their aisles. This is handy for people like me who are easily lost in the grocery store. If you add multiple of the same item (the same item, but from different recipes), it will add them together so you know the total amount of a product you need to buy. Very cool!
Already I have made two meals I found from the site: Gourmet Chicken Sandwich and Pizza Without the Red Sauce; both of which were delicious. Go check it out; if not for the skill of learning to cook, then for the sake of the title of this post.
UPDATE: I just found a really neat feature where you can find recipes given ingredients you want to include/exclude.Â This is great if you have extra ingredients from previous meals that you want to get rid of.Â The more I use this, the more features I find.
If you haven’t seen it on digg already, Microsoft has announced “Microsoft Surface” today. If anyone remembers, Gates demoed this technology during the CES keynote. Check out the video at gizmodo demonstrating its features such as picture management and enlargement, the cool water screensaver, and interaction with wireless digital cameras. It looks impressive, but I don’t see myself using this for anything practical.
School for the semester is finally done! What a huge sigh of relief that is for me. With last semester now behind me I can now actually concentrate on learning something! Lately I’ve been obsessed with trying to be productive with my time off. For example, while I’m watching a movie, playing a video game, or watching a video podcast, I try to hop on my exercise bike for a few minutes. Whether I’m on it for 20 minutes or an hour, it’s justification enough for me sitting on my ass.
Another thing I’ve been getting into are “books on tape” (or books on mp3?) and podcasts. Everyday one thing is certain: I’m going to be driving to work. Usually during this time I’ll use it to listen to both old and new bands. Instead, what if I could use this time to do something a bit more productive? I started with the audiobook version of “Survivor” by Chuck Palahniuk and then David Allen’s seminar “Getting Things Done” (which I’m sure I’ll dedicate a few posts to).
Podcasts of lectures from UC Berkeley have now caught my attention. If you go into the iTunes store and type in “Berkeley” you will find full lectures of actual classes from UC Berkeley. To be more specific, you’re getting every single lecture of classes that decide to do webcasts. You can find lectures from subjects such as Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science, Economics, History, Physics, Political Science, and Psychology. So now when I’m driving to work I’m listening to the class “CS 61C – Machine Structures” and when I’m at the gym, I’m listening to “CS 162 – Operating Systems and Systems Programming” on my iPod. These podcasts are already mp3s, so they’re ready to be burned onto CD if you have an mp3-cd player in your car. MIT has a similar program called “Open CourseWare,” but I like the convenience of a podcast.
Today I also stumbled upon “TED Talks.” TED is an invite-only conference held in Monterey, CA and feature lectures on a broad range of topics. The one that piqued my interest was a talk by Ken Robinson in which he discusses overhauling our education system. This topic has been of interest to me, so I investigated further. I found out that TED Talks were a podcast featuring nearly 100 (if not more) lectures from people such as Chirs Anderson, Sergey Brin and Larry Paige, Al Gore, and Jimmy Wales. After I load them onto my AppleTV maybe we can make a day of it, similar to Jeff’s Inspirathon.
Update: Just found this story regarding apple announcing iTunes U. iTunes U is an area of the iTunes store featuring lectures from unversities such as Stanford and of course Berkeley.
Joe Stump has just announced correlate.us which is a feed aggregator that consolidates your web2.0 feeds to one source. I already use yahoo pipes for the purpose of checking my Twitter and Flickr feeds. Unlike Yahoo Pipes, correlate.us will also consolidate your tags and adds the social aspect of checking out your friends feeds. Lastly, Joe has taken advantage of Facebook Application support, so you can add it to your facebook account.
Currently correlate.us supports twitter, digg, del.icio.us, and flickr. Although the application is still in its infancy, I love the idea of this application and can’t wait to see the addition of services like ma.gnolia, last.fm, and blog feeds/comments.
The reason for Digg’s popuulary is the ease of it’s voting system.Â If you like a story you click a “Digg It” button and the number of “Diggs” the story has is updated without any page load.Â If you haven’t seen or heard, the digg front page is going crazy with stories with regards to a number.Â If you wat me to be more specific: 09-F9-11-02-9D-74-E3-5B-D8-41-56-C5-63-56-88-C0.Â Why?Â Well coincidently that number (Hexadecimal number) just so happens to be the same as the HD-DVD encryption key.Â So what does that have to do with civil disobedience?Â Well apparently digg is trying to block stories that involve this number.Â Censor if you will.Â How funny that a number can cause so much trouble.
Due to Digg’s ease of use, people have been fighting back by posting story after story involving this number.Â Taking up an entire page as a matter of fact.Â Many of these stories have received well over 1000-2000 diggs which is pretty high for any story on digg.Â NeverÂ before have I seen so many people banding togetherÂ to fight back.
I’m sure there’s a lot to be said here.Â About ease of use.Â About your community.Â About not turning your back on your user base.Â About selling out (After all, who was a sponsor of diggnation?).
To be honest the HD-DVD key and everything I said above is really insignificant.Â I find it stunning that a number of people will cause so much trouble in regards to a number, yet I see little being done about our political system.Â Why?Â I mean I hear a lot of people TALK about it, but nothing is done.Â We’ve pretty much turned into lazy activists who will only do something if we can make a change with a click of a button.Â Perhaps I’m just a hypocrite by not doing much myself, but it really makes you think.Â Today our president vetoed a bill that would end the war in Iraq and we’re concerned about a fucking number.Â Maybe if we could click something to impeach our president, more people would care.Â Of course nothing will ever be that easy.