(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘guide

“Custom is the great guide to human life”*…

Which graph to use for which type of data

The r/coolguides page on Reddit has lots of fun and useful stuff to browse through from guides on wilderness survival to vintage instructions about talking on the telephone. I hope I never actually need to refer to the one about “how to make seawater drinkable”, but I do think it’s a good skill to know, just in case I find myself stuck in a rubber boat with Tallulah Bankhead and William Bendix. I have similar feelings about the “Circles of Hell in Dante’s Inferno” guide, but it’s probably wise to have it on hand, just in case I need it as a map one day… 

Source (see also here for a different map of Dante’s Hell)

Guides– lots of guides. Via Boing Boing.

David Hume


As we find our way, we might recall that it was on this date in 1523 that the Parisian Faculty of Theology fined Simon de Colines for publishing the Biblical commentary Commentarii initiatorii in quatuor Evangelia by Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples, a “guide” to the four Gospels. Lefèvre d’Étaples, a theologian and a leading figure in French humanism, whose work anticipated the Protestant Reformation, was frequently ruled heretical– though he remained within the church throughout his life.


“Certainly it constitutes bad news when the people who agree with you are buggier than batshit”*…


The NSA’s 2007 internal manual for research on the Internet is, well… mesmerizingly odd.  On it’s way to a Dungeons-and-Dragons-as-reported-by-an-undergraduate-Classics-major-like depiction of life online, it cites Borges, Freud, and Ovid – and that’s just the preface…

The NSA has a well-earned reputation for being one of the tougher agencies to get records out of, making those rare FOIA wins all the sweeter. In the case of Untangling the Web, the agency’s 2007 guide to internet research, the fact that the records in question just so happen to be absolutely insane are just icing on the cake – or as the guide would put it, “the nectar on the ambrosia.”…

More of the backstory at “The NSA’s guide to the internet is the weirdest thing you’ll read today“; browse through the text in its extraordinary entirety here.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will guard the guards themselves?, or more familiarly, who will watch the watchers?)

– Juvenal

* Philip K. Dick


As we limber up our gaming fingers, we might recall this is an important anniversary in the pre-history of the Internet:  on this date in 1837, Charles Wheatstone and William Fothergill Cooke patented the electric “Five Needle Telegraph” in London (U.K. No. 7390).  They were subsequently granted a patent in the U.S. 10 days before Samuel Morse received his, but Morse was given priority by the U.S. PTO as the first inventor.  Nonetheless, Wheatstone and Cooke had priority in the U.K.; their system served British railways, press, and law enforcement for decades, first as the service of an independent company, then as a nationalized part of the General Post Office.

Wheatstone (left) and Cooke



Written by (Roughly) Daily

June 10, 2016 at 1:01 am

Dim Sum for Dummies…


From the good folks at Buzzfeed, a guide to 點心 (dian xin), or “dim sum” as we tend to know it.

There’s a bit of historical context…

In the beginning, dim sum was a verb that merely meant “to eat a little something.” Cantonese dim sum culture began in tearooms in the latter half of the nineteenth century in the city of Guangzou, possibly because of the recent ban of opium dens. It spread and gained popularity—especially in nearby Hong Kong…

And a set of handy icons…

All informing a type-by-type rundown on one’s brunch options.  For example:

(Mand. zheng jiao; Cant. zing gau)
Unleavened wheat dough wrapper family

The body of these two-inch dumplings have a plump gumdrop shape; their thin skins are closed with simple folds or multiple pleats across the top, The wrappers are made from a light and supple “hot dough,” a combination of boiling water and Chinese noodle flour, and may be colored with vegetable juices like carrot or spinach. Fillings vary, but are usually pork or shrimp with vegetables and aromatics such as ginger, Chinese chives, green onions, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, carrots, black mushrooms, and wood ear fungus. Vegetarian dumplings are typically a combination of vegetables, cellophane noodles and scrambled eggs. Chinese dumplings (both boiled jiao zi and steamed zheng jiao) probably originated in Muslim areas along the northern Silk Road, where wheat pasta was the main staple, but are now common from Beijing in the north to Guangdong in the south. Sometimes steamed dumplings are formed into fanciful shapes, like goldfish and heads of garlic. Exterior tacky; interior juicy.

Take the complete tour of the baskets at “The Essential Guide to Dim Sum.”


As we reach for our chopsticks, we might recall that it was on this date in 1868 that William Davis, a Detroit fish dealer, received a patent for the first practical refrigerated rail car.  Entrepreneurs looking to expand the market for agricultural goods had been trying since 1842 to ship produce and meat via rail.  But these early “ice box on wheels” designs were impractical (as most worked only in cold weather).  Davis’ innovation was to create a car that used metal racks to suspend meat above and between a frozen mixture of ice and salt. Davis’ design worked well as a preservative strategy; but the carcasses had a way of swinging to one side on their hooks when the car entered a curve at high speed… which led to several derailments and the discontinuation of their use.  It wasn’t until 1878, and a “cooling from the top; meat stacked low” approach developed by Andrew Chase for the meat packers Swift & Co., that refrigerated cars came into continuous use.



Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 16, 2013 at 1:01 am

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