January heat wave

It’s going to be a scorcher today in NYC, by early-January terms. The estimated highs in Central Park are ranging from 65 to 70 degrees, which means a high likelihood of breaking the daily record (65 degrees, set in 1998), and close to the January record (72 degrees, set on January 7, 2007).

In a related topic, I find it amazing how quickly the city adapts to warm weather. Yesterday, my local fruit stand reappeared after a month of absence, and the Rocking Horse Cafe had not only setup their outdoor seating, it was full!

Richard Hamming: “You and your research”

In 1986, Richard Hamming gave a talk at the Naval Postgraduate school entitled “You and your research” relating his experience working with some of the best scientists of the last century. It’s a must-read for anyone who does research for a living, and probably applies to just about any line of work. A few of my favorite quotes:

“I believed, in my early days, that you should spend at least as much time in the polish and presentation as you did in the original research. Now at least 50% of the time must go for the presentation. It’s a big, big number.”

“The people who do great work with less ability but who are committed to it, get more done that those who have great skill and dabble in it, who work during the day and go home and do other things and come back and work the next day.”

“Often a scientist becomes angry, and this is no way to handle things. Amusement, yes, anger, no. Anger is misdirected. You should follow and cooperate rather than struggle against the system all the time.”

An exceptionally simple theory of everything

Clive Thompson provides a nice backstory to the Physics paper most likely to become a movie if it’s true: An exceptionally simple theory of everything” by Garrett Lisi, a 39-year-old surfer/physicist affiliated with no university. The Wikipedia page provides a nice explanation of the paper, its reception by the physics community, and a pretty visualization of the E8 polytope.

My favorite cocktails in Manhattan

Over the past year I have had some amazing cocktails. As I head into Health Month, I’d like to reflect on some of the cocktails I’ve had over the past year in Manhattan which are probably among the best drinks I’ve had in my life.

  • Eastside Cocktail (gin, cucumber, mint, lime juice, and simple syrup) at Little Branch
  • El Diablo (tequila, homemade ginger beer, Cassis and a taste of citrus) at the Flatiron Lounge.
  • Presbyterian (whiskey, ginger ale and club soda) at the East Side Company Bar.
  • Negroni (Campari, gin and sweet vermouth) sitting outside at the Maritime Hotel.
  • Greyhound (fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and vodka) at Passerby.
  • Bloody mary (tomato juice, vodka, and tasty sundries) at Cookshop.

Until February, this is Cameron’s alcohol palate singing off.

My year in travel, 2007

In the webloggian tradition, my year in cities and towns for 2007:

  • New York, NY
  • Carmel Valley, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Ithaca, NY
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Washington, DC
  • Arcata, CA
  • Greenport, NY
  • Laguna Beach, CA
  • Las Cruces, NM
  • Rincón, Puerto Rico

One or more nights spent in each place, with italics denoting places I visited multiple times. Lots of vacations this year, but sticking to one city at a time. Lots of overlap with one person in particular.