Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

Archive forFebruary, 2006 | back to home

22 February 2006

I was listening to Joseph Stiglitz talk about Innovative Ways for Financing Global Public Goods and he mentioned as an aside a conference he went to at Davos about global warming which featured some sunny free market thinking from George Newton, chairman of the US Arctic Research Commission. Newton explained that if global warming does melt the polar icecaps at least this might make it easier to get at some oil-fields underneath them (!) A little Googling came up with more details.

15 February 2006

I am not, shall we say, known for my cooking. But since my wife does the earning, it makes sense for me to hold up my end by wearing the chef’s hat. I usually use the Foodieview search engine to help me find stuff to do with the ingredients I have, but through it I found Recipe*zaar and as soon as I started using it I got that “Flickr feeling” all over again. For those who haven’t tried Flickr that’s the feeling you get when a website contains loads of really useful, well-thought-out features that help you use and contribute to it.

Recipezaar has over 150,000 recipes but its real genius is that with each you can see it in metric or imperial, change the serving size, see full (estimated) nutritional information and see ratings and comments from others. When searching for the recipe you want you can specify time to make, hot or cold, occaision, cuisine type or any of dozens of other ‘tags’. I don’t have time to enumerate all its cool features – check it out yourself. I don’t know why a site this good isn’t the talk of the tech blogosphere. Could it be that cooking just doesn’t interest 20 and 30-something male alpha geeks?

I haven’t made an exhaustive examination of recipe sites so please if you know of better ones let me know.

14 February 2006

According to this summary of a recent study at York University in Toronto,

A body of research suggests that playing video games provides benefits similar to bilingualism in exercising the mind. Just as people fluent in two languages learn to suppress one language while speaking the other, so too are gamers adept at shutting out distractions to swiftly switch attention between different tasks.

Je suis le champion mental du monde alors!

7 February 2006
Filed under:About this blog,Personal at7:38 pm

blog.org is five years old last week. Well kind of – I had a weblog even before Feb 1st 2001 on a service that died, taking the postings I had made with it (“Groksoup” – no longer at the site or even in the Internet Archive). I seem to have started this blog without much ceremony – just started doing what I mostly still seem to be doing – providing links to sites I consider useful, giving tips on Internet-related stuff and occaisionally talking about politics (mostly Internet-related politics). I hope you still enjoy it in ten years in whatever form it takes and by that time you will be looking at “blog.org from Professor David Brake”!

2 February 2006

The LSE Library is having a sale today of several thousand books it doesn’t want. Unfortunately, they keep almost anything of any value. All I could see was books like this inspirational study by George Kazakov. Even a hardened bibliophile would have a hard time loving these but there was a steady stream of would-be purchasers anyway.

I was stunned to discover that not only was this book mentioned in Google – 3 times – someone had actually referenced it in an academic journal! Truly no scholarship is entirely wasted.

So if you are in London, you read this, and you want to know more about Soviet peat in the 50s, dash on over to the LSE library – the sale is on until 16:00 and I have a feeling it may not have been snapped up yet…

P.S. In a strange quirk of fate the first academic publication I have been involved with was published today – details are available here. I hope it doesn’t meet a similar fate to Kazakov’s work – at least not during my lifetime…