There is nothing else like it in the world to prepare youself for being truly regarded by your kitten for the first time. Lucy looked me straight in the eye today and wouldn’t let go. For some reason, an exchange of an indescribable something took place, and I’m still not sure who came off best. There is still something wild, ancient and wise that hasn’t been completely bred out of cats, least of all Bengals.
I’ve been on migraine meds today, so maybe that’s all it was.
Why is it that cafes can never get corn fritters right? They always try and add all these other things, make them far too thick, fail to cook them for long enough, burn them, and so on. Corn fritters are a basic foodstuff, a simple yet noble testament to the pleasurable but delicate flavour of corn. They should not be sullied with bacon or diced capsicum, overpowered with twelve herbs and spices, or made out to be more than what they are and what they do best. To that end, I propose that the simplest possible recipe is still the best:
1 cup of milk
1 ½ cups flour
½ tsp baking powder
one 400 g tin whole kernel corn
salt and pepper
Beat eggs and milk until frothy. Stir in dry ingredients until a thick pourable batter is formed, then stir in the drained corn kernels. Fry spoonfuls in butter over a medium heat. Serve immediately.
After a a few weeks of settling in, I thought I’d give some clicker training a go with Lucy, Destroyer of (Laptop) Mice.
In a word, astounding.
I’m only peripherally familiar with operand conditioning, but I bought and am following Karen Pryor‘s Clicker Training for Cats book. I started on Sunday with loading the click with chicken liver treats. After 5 clicks she had cottoned on and 10 clicks later she was targetting a biro with her nose and I could lead her around the room with it. 5 more clicks and she was giving me high fives in the air with her paws. This all took less than five minutes!
Now it’s Wednesday and she’s quite reliably giving high fives, coming when called, sitting and staying on her spot and getting down from the table on command.
For some obscure reason teaching her to switch the light off on command and to play the piano are high on the list…
She was a perfect little sweetie in the car from Wanganui to Wellington. After the initial shock, she entertained herself with a scrap of sheepskin for a bit before curling up to sleep the rest of the way.
When she got home she found the spare room with the boxes in it.
Mash anchovies, garlic, rosemary and capers in a mortar and pestle to a paste. Stir in sour cream and enough milk to make a good sauce consistency. Set aside to allow flavour to infuse.
Steam the broccoli for 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the spring onion and saute in a pan with a little oil, salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms to the pan, stalk-side-up, add the wine and cook covered for 2-3 minutes until just tender.
Place the mushrooms on heated plates stalks-up, and assemble the spring onions and broccoli on top of each mushroom. Keep plates warm.
Meanwhile, steam the spinach, and add the salmon fillets to the pan skin-side down to cook for 2-3 minutes, and 1 minute on the other side.
Pile the spinach on the vegetable ensemble, and place the fillet on top of that. Drizzle any liquid from the pan over the food if desired.
Garnish with the sauce prepared earlier and serve.
Here are some photos from a LAN a couple of weeks ago. Civilisation, Joint Operations, Halflife 2 Deathmatch, far too much bacon corn fritters and Rocket Fuel sauce, and of course Mystery Science Theater 3000 “This Island Earth”.
Why is General Relativity so damned difficult and inaccessible? Because of tensor fields.
So what’s this about tensors? Well, caclulus might be abstruse enough already, but tensor calculus takes abstrusity (?) to a whole new level. A tensor is a multidimensional generalisation of scalars and vectors, to n-dimensions. So, a scalar quantity such as mass, having one dimension, can also be thought of as a tensor of rank zero. A vector quantity such as velocity can be thought of as a rank one tensor. Things become complicated when dealing with more complex quantities, such as elasticity, a rank four tensor in materials science.
Performing calculus with tensors becomes useful when considering quantities with two or more dimensions. The great benefit is that it allows you to treat quantities with as many dimensions as you need with the same notational convenience.
A tensor field is a tensor quantity that varies across all points in space. A magnetic field, denoted B, is a vector field, and so can be treated as a tensor field of rank one. The space in which the field is mapped may be the standard Euclidiean 3-space, but might well be some other space, like gee, how about a 4-dimensional spacetime? And I haven’t even mentioned Riemannian manifolds yet.