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Does anyone know if beer yeasts can be used in breadmaking? Not necessarily as a replacement - I'm thinking more as an augmentation. After all, many good beers are bottle conditioned - would there be any harm in introducing what would be considered dregs there? ('Course, I suppose I already know the answer - I'll try it anyway, unless there's some ZOMG NO YOU'LL CROSS THE STREAMS reason. And maybe even if then =:) Anyway, another batch of dough's currently sitting on the sofa, happily swelling away - this time, primarily spelt, with a bit of wheat and malted barley, which apparently took up much less water than the wheat/oats first time around, so I've wound up with rather more - time to go experimenting with chapati and pizza bases, I think.

For ysengrin: felt teddy bear skulls.

Ten Sundance shorts available for free through the iTunes Store, temporarily - grab them while you can. ^_^

On the future iPhone Must Have list: Vector Tanks, looking absolutely delicious in the developer's video.

Want a TF-themed short story for $10? Look here for details. ^_^

An interesting little presentation from SL, courtesy of Nature, on the vision of the Great Cormorant.

Also in SL, today, Kim Stanley Robinson. "When we asked Stan what he wanted his avatar to look like, he suggested something interesting and non-human, like a rock or a tree. In brainstorming about it, Argent Bury came up with the idea of a coyote, to commemorate the use of the Native American legend in Robinson's Mars trilogy."

Mind you, that av pales in comparison to this Arctic wuf schnee located.. isn't he beautiful?

Some minor, welcome 3D news from Autodesk: Mudbox, Toxik, and ImageModeler will be coming to OS X in February and March.

A quick tribute to mascot handlers, courtesy of Woot.com. ^_^

An interesting creative challenge: Furry x 60. All submissions - music, sound art, poetry, etc - are exactly sixty seconds long, and due by June 2009. I may give that a go.

Hm. One Japanese word for "donkey" is apparently a compound of the words for "rabbit" and "horse". ^_^

Now, who was it who mentioned they were going to be giving latex pillowcases a try? I could do with a bit of a change.. and the duvet cover, especially, though I'm a bit worried about surprise nighttime burns with something like that. ^_^; Shiny is good, smooth is good, blindingly saturated hues are good.. =:)

I can't find anything similar for Panasonic Lumix cameras, but if you've got a non-ancient Canon, the CHDK project, which rabitguy noticed, offers replacement firmware that enables a number of nifty additional functions for supported cameras, not least of which being RAW support.

For anyone needing speed in their laptop drive, some comparison figures between an Intel SSD and a MacBook's stock Toshiba HD might make enlightening reading. It's a fairly extreme difference. (And price =:)

Courtesy of roohbear, Pete the Meat Puppet. Quite.. odd.

Aha! AjaxLife does seem to work under OS X after all - one bit of information that was missing from the minimal documentation is that you need to be in "server", and run it using "mono bin/release/AjaxLife.exe" (plus whatever options), rather than being in the executable's directory and running it from there. With the latter, it'll almost work, but missing the login fields at the bottom of the window, complaining about missing part of a path instead. It's also necessary to get Mono's search path set up correctly - in this case, using "export MONO_PATH=path_to_dependencies", where the path is that of the dependencies directory in "server". Not that that stopped me from just timing out after all that, on trying to log in..

And it appears AjaxLife's maintainer has returned. ^_^

Oy, the fun of board bring-up! Nothing better than wondering what's wrong with your code than to ultimately discover it's performing perfectly - it's the radio's oscillator that's doing a pancake impression. Still, that did give me the opportunity to note the co-worker's problem was the same issue - the very first SPI reset and legitimate transaction was locked up, so the display was never getting any love. Since then, I've mostly been getting down and dirty with the keyboard (again.. and I thought that'd been laid to rest a few months ago, but the circuitry there's changed completely with the latest board revision), involving getting one of the new boards all wired up, exposing all the relevant lines. And that's involved importing the layout as individual layers into Potatoshop, so I can play with each layer's opacity, identify what traces lead where, and identify precisely where a given signal can most easily be accessed, preferably avoiding the need to apply grabbers to the CPU - they work, but they're fiddly to apply, and if it's a choice between soldering onto one of a load of pins, all a hair's breadth apart, and finding the right via, I'll go for the latter every time. ^_^

Also started to play with the new handheld spectrum analyser - up to 9GHz, 1MB sample buffer, bandwidth down to 30kHz. Fairly hideous UI, but a very slick bit of kit otherwise.

Huh. Seems GreatestJournal, one-time migration target, is closing at the end of the month.

Rather a nifty window that appeared on randompics recently: the rainbow of the Palais des congrès, in Montreal.

Clearly, fleetfur has to get a MacBook Pro now. =:) (Though, sadly - if understandably - the squirrel design apparently sold out upon appearing on Wired's site)

I imagine everyone's heard, but still, it bears repeating: the wretched policy of Don't Ask, Don't Tell is on the chopping block.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Well, yeasts are pretty much yeasts, no matter where you get them? I stand corrected in the above comment.

For an interesting experiment, carefully gather a few handfuls of blue juniper berries and mix them into a jar of flour and warm water with a bit of sugar. Let them sit in a warm spot overnight, then pour off the liquor and mix with flour to make a poolish.

That white powder on the berries is wild yeast! This is how the early frontiersmen would make their sourdoughs, and they would carry the "starter" in a bottle under their furs to keep it alive and warm. Of course, kept like that for a while, the yeast will eventually turn the sugar into alcohol.

So just to keep the yeasts happy, the miners would pour out some of the "unhospitable" alcohol, add some "fresh" water, sugar and flour, and return the bottle to it's place near their skin. Of course, what they did with the booze doesn't require much imagination, but it explains where we got stories like Paul Bunyan and his Big Blue Ox, Babe.

Edited at 2009-01-17 10:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, indeed! Wild yeasts are wonderful creatures - without them, we might not have the oddity of lambic beers, after all. ^_^ (Although, ISTR a critical part of the process is actually bacterial in that instance. If you get a chance sometime, try a "raw" lambic, completely unsweetened, not just unflavored - very sour, but so delicious! I found it amusing the guy serving it at the Belgian stand at the GBBF this year - an amazing event, to be sure, and only the second time I've managed to get along there - was asking everyone if they'd tried a lambic like that before, offering them a taste first, before accepting their order)

I've read some playful speculation that some of the more surreal works from certain Flemish and Prussian painters may have had psychotropic contributions, courtesy of mold in the bread grains.. ^_^

And the batch I mentioned to you in email turned out really nicely. ^_^ Lovely crunchy crust, and good enough to enjoy just by itself, let alone with a couple delicious local cheeses (two from unpasteurised milk, which can make a surprising difference). I'll be wanting to remember to bake up a loaf for Monday morning - the last one went down very well with everyone. ^_^ Might be fun to try making sorta English perogies out of it, too - little beef meatballs, covered in dough. Or even a full-blown bread pasty, for that matter, with proper cubed steak, onion, and swede, with a nice balance of salt and pepper.

I wonder how the secret of distillation was first discovered, with regard to whisky/vodka/etc.. indeed, how old is distillation for drinks? I feel a Google quest coming on.

I've tried lambic beer when it was flavored, such as peach or cherry, but never just plain raw? I imagine it would be quite sour, but yes, very delicious. Have you ever tried kombucha? It's a type of tea that's fermented rather than steeped? The fermentation process turns it to a light vinegar and highly carbonated. It's different, but VERY yummy once you get used to it. It's almost a meal in a bottle! Most people can't get used to the floaty bits, called "Mother", but those are the best parts.
Ooh! Now that does sound like fun. =:D I've sadly not had much opportunity to gain familiarity with more than a couple Japanese teas, courtesy of the Castro Cheesery, conveniently next door to the wondrous Theatre (you're not going to FC this year, ne? Well worth a visit, or indeed, routine patronage) - genmaicha was always one of my favorites, including toasted rice, lending a lovely nutty quality to the flavor.

Real kimchee sounds like it'd be nifty to play with in the kitchen, too - I ought to try digging up a recipe or two. ISTR paka had some insight there..