Albert Nobbs as a revenge movie

BRAIN: did you see the trailers etc for the new glenn close movie
SAMIR: which one?
BRAIN: the one where she’s a man
SAMIR: albert nobbs
SAMIR: i actually saw the movie!
BRAIN: gasp!
BRAIN: was it good?
SAMIR: it was interesting
BRAIN: uh oh

SAMIR: the character is… really broken
SAMIR: i actually think you’d like it more than I think you think you would
SAMIR: she assumes a male identity after being gang raped years ago
SAMIR: a pervasive theme of the movie is how rotten ireland was to live in if you were poor
BRAIN: broken characters that are not homicidal are not very interesting to me
SAMIR: fair enough
SAMIR: anyway, she has just lost the ability to understand basic life
SAMIR: her view of relationships seems just… insane. like she thinks she can marry a woman and then she’ll just be fine with the fact that she’s a woman too

BRAIN: The Brave One is great!
SAMIR: that was an interesting movie
SAMIR: i liked it a lot
BRAIN: me too
SAMIR: way better than the normal revenge flicks
SAMIR: i actually hate death wish
BRAIN: I like the idea that Terry Gross can be redeemed
SAMIR: hahahahaha

SAMIR: i wish you could tell that to terry
BRAIN: maybe someday!
SAMIR: no, I mean like on her death bed!
SAMIR: “You know Terry, I feel like you wasted your life. It was a petty, stupid thing. But I saw a movie about what you might have been. But you never did it!”
BRAIN: “Terry, maybe there’s nothing wrong with you a horrible trauma couldn’t cure”

Espresso drill-down

These guys caused quite a splash raising a boatload of money for their expresso maker. Pretty cool.

The media has been calling it an “open source” espresso maker… yet only the software is open source, and that is the PID control software for the temperature. From what I can tell they didn’t write it either. Sort of related: check out the $85 osPID which is just a general-purpose PID unit which could be attached to anything, like say your existing coffee maker.

But this got me thinking about open source hardware – how does the pressure part of an espresso machine work?

ShaColby helped me through the anatomy:

  • grind coffee with burrs
    • the time of grind would determine the amount of beans ground, since it’s a hopper above.
    • there may be a secondary hopper for the ground coffee – this determines the amount used in the brew
    • one school of thought has it that ground coffee can sit without ill effects – obviously this is not the policy of e.g. Blue Bottle – they require something like “under 5 minutes sitting”
  • grounds moved into the press
  • grounds are tamped – this presses the grounds into a “puck”.  The higher pressure the tamp, the greater the density the grounds.
    • less density = faster water flow = weak coffee, not enough flavor from oils.
    • greater density = slower water flow = stronger, bitter, acidic coffee.
      • too dense – it will just be mud, and water won’t get through
    • Note: Aeropress was designed about this
    • ideally you want a finer grind (more surface area) with a less pressure tamp ?
  • water enters the head – it is pressurized.
    • It filters through… how long does it take?

Some links on anatomy and “mods”:

From Make Magazine and other mods we can see that a desirable thing to control with a micro controller is the water temperature. What else could we determine?

  • grounds size – burrs are settable.  You’d set the spacing – No sensors needed?
  • bean quantity used per cup
  • tamping pressure (as in Make v.12)
    • …which determines ground density.  Measure both for more accuracy.
  • water volume
  • water pressure – up to 14 bar?!
  • water temperature (as in Make v.04)
  • measure: time at pressure.
    • estimation before brew
    • Display what did happen
Other features
  • instrumented diagnostics based on coffee qualities
  • an easy way to knock non-puck grounds out of the head





‎”Dogville” sure is a lot of whimpering!

My question is:

  1. Did this have to be 3 hours long?
  2. Nicole Kidman as Jesus?!

My review:

A Brechtian telling of a theater-pretentious “Last Temptation of Christ” by way of “They Call Her One Eye,” if Jesus was a slutty mob heiress.

At least I finished it, which is more than I can say for “Dancer In The Dark“…  it felt really similar.

Maybe Lars von Trier is not for me?  Should I attempt Manderlay?!


Neolithic edutainment

BRAIN: watching a steady stream of edutainment about the Neolithic
VINEET: iowa?

Maybe my obsession was related to the Republican caucuses — after all, these documentaries are about human progress.

The one I liked best was “Stories from the Stone Age,” an Australian production which follows the birth of agriculture through the beginning of the copper age.

More Paleolithic but good was “Ice World,” which was American and therefore shorter and less informative but more dramatic.


Village Voice had a piece about the Gräpple, which is funny because they aren’t exactly new.

When the grapples first appeared a few years ago I thought there might be more flavors on the way… not yet though!

I speculate what happened was: it’s about 5+ years ago, and apples are tending to taste the same. With lame apples, what if we dress them up a bit and make them grape flavored? The Grapple is born.

But in the next few years, the heirloom apple industry takes off. Now there is more taste and more apple variety. The demand for a different-flavored apple is met without injecting weird juice into them. Thus, the Grapple remains a novelty.

What do you think?