firebus's blog

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Junk food in Austin

Some foods, force-ranked


  1. Louie Mueller BBQ. Perfect beef ribs (IMO the hardest thing to get right), and really great sweet jalapeño sauce.
  2. Snow's BBQ. Best brisket.
  3. Two Bros. Amazing coffee BBQ sauce. Great beans (no one else has interesting beans at all)
  4. Salt Lick (catered). All around high quality, good beef ribs, very dry.
  5. Opie's. Great pork ribs, falling apart, unusual and tasty sides.
  6. Iron Works. All around pretty good. Great hot links. Good portions, nice place.

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Cock and Balls Salt and Pepper Set

Fab has this jolly nose-shaped pepper grinder, and SF suggested that the pepper should actually come out of a butt.

The next natural step was to twist the balls to get the pepper out. And finally salt comes out the penis. How could this not sell?

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Ndleton design pattern

It's a very old joke so I probably only need to tell you the punchline.

The Ndleton design-pattern

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I made a little library to watch for things, search for a keyword in those things, and then notify some people that the keyword was found in a thing.

Currently you can watch a twitter account for new tweets, or a web page for changes (only the diff between old and new page is searched)

The motivation was to watch for mentions of 'pliny' in certain feeds and pages for some friends of mine who are playing the pliny scavenger hunt SF Beer Week.

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Tufte Takeaways

My company bought me a ticket to the Edward Tufte one-day course. It feels like something that someone in my position should have attended a long time ago. Not that I do that much data visualisation, but I do a little, and Tufte has had a lot of influence on the UI/X world which is parallel to my work.

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A couple of years ago Wangston proposed taking the prime factors of your age and meditating on those years of your life on your birthday. (And being excited when you have a prime birthday - it's like starting over!).

A couple of variations on that came up recently. First, if you have repeated prime factors, you could combine them to have a more interesting age to recall (there's only so much time you can spend contemplating age 2). For example, 28 -> 2 * 2 * 7, so you'd take 4 and 7 instead.

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Hot off the presses! It's stupid! On purpose! It's Next Rapture!

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The snobbery gradient

I've had two completely separate conversations in the last couple of weeks about the advisability of importing beer you can't get in San Francsico and then selling it (this is totally illegal) at a huge mark-up.

How awesome is this business?


Let's assume we're going to drive the beer from Michigan (for example) to SF in a minivan, and then sell it at a 100% markup (assuming we have to buy it at full retail price).

It's 2,262 miles from SF to Kalamazoo.

We can drive 8 hours per day, need to eat three meals per day, and stay in a motel each night.

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ABSI Calculator


BMI has been used as a measure of health for quite some time, but the data doesn't support a strong correlation between BMI and mortality. The problem is that BMI doesn't distinguish between fat and muscle, or between good and bad distribution of fat.

Recently, waist circumference has been proposed as a more-accurate metric, but this measurement also has it's limitations. Since WC and BMI are highly correlated, so there may be a limit to how much extra information can be derived from WC.

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