Sunday, March 20, 2011

NYTimes Asia Issue: Bangkok

NYTimes Asia Issue
31 Bangkok Hop a Khlong Saen Saep boat taxi at Pratunam Pier (behind Gaysorn Plaza) to Bo Bae. A tiny soi, or side street, off Lang Suan Road leads to Bangkok’s oldest market, Nang Leong. Make an offering at the Chinese temple and then snack on specialties like sai-krok plaa naem (rice topped with sour pork, pickled shallots and shredded fish). Pick up kanom (sweets) at Mae Som Jit and exit past Chalerm Thani movie theater, enitrely made of teak.

32 Bangkok The Grand Palace, with its medley of temples and glittering spires, is Bangkok’s glory. From downtown, skim over the traffic on the Sky Train to the Saphan Taksin stop, go down Exit 2 to the pier and pay 14 baht ($1.35 at 30 baht to the dollar) to ride the Chao Phraya Express public riverboat to Tha Chang. Savor the clamor of food stalls, and sample fried banana, dragon fruit or countless other snacks. Visit the hall of the Emerald Buddha, then walk 900 yards to Wat Po, home of the country’s largest reclining Buddha, to the camphor-scented cool of its famous massage school.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Edible Soil

Edible Soil Recipe from Andreas Viestad & Nathan Myhrvold

MAKE AHEAD: The mixture can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Makes about 2 1/3 cups

2 tablespoons dark raisins
1/4 cup mixed nuts
1/4 cup salted smoked almonds
5 ounces (2 thin slices) black bread
1/2 cup crushed dark crispbreads, such as Wasa Hearty (about 7 half-crackers; may substitute toasted bread crumbs)
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons dehydrated onion
2 tablespoons black olive paste, or more to taste
Pumpkin seed oil (optional)
Fresh shoots of vegetables and herbs, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Place the raisins, mixed nuts, smoked almonds and black bread on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes; the bread should be crisp on top. Turn off the oven and let the ingredients cool thoroughly. The raisins should dry to a hardened state. Coarsely chop the mixed nuts and almonds.

Tear the bread into bite-size pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor, along with the dried raisins, mixed nuts, almonds, crispbreads, dried porcini mushrooms and dried onion. Pulse to form a fairly even, coarse mixture. Add the olive paste, and pulse so the mixture resembles soil in color and consistency. If desired, drizzle in a little pumpkin seed oil and pulse to incorporate.

Divide the mixture among small glass serving containers. Arrange small edible shoots in the containers so they seem to be growing in the soil.

Recipe Source:
Adapted from "Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking," by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet (The Cooking Lab, 2011).

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Friday, March 04, 2011

Pac Man

When you play the game, it might seem as if the four ghosts are actively chasing you. That's not exactly true. Iwatani intentionally avoided programming them with that purpose, since that would have resulted in Pac-Man zipping around the screen with four ghosts always right behind him.
Instead, it's only Blinky, the red ghost, who doggedly pursues you throughout the game. Pinky, the pink ghost (naturally), simply wants to position itself at a point that's 32 pixels in front of Pac-Man's mouth. The blue ghost, Inky, is seeking to position itself at a similar fixed spot. And Clyde, the orange ghost, moves completely at random.
Because the player constantly has Pac-Man on the go, however, the ghosts are always changing direction and trying to achieve their goal, which adds to the challenge of the game.