Blender Tutorial Reflections

For my entire adult life (and most of my teenage life), I’ve had a casual interest in computer graphics, especially 3D graphics. Accordingly, I’ve been idly tinkering with Blender [1] off and on since about 2005, though don’t let the long history fool you: I have yet to achieve any meaningful proficiency, let alone skill. For normal mortals, getting good at 3D art requires dedicated practice, and I’ve treated Blender as merely a toy to be played with now and again. (To be clear, in capable hands it is much more than just a toy–though let the record show I firmly believe toys are important, even for adults.)

  1. Blender is the leading open source 3D art program, and a shining example of how great open source can be. 

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Impulse Donations

Update: the system described in this post no longer works, as PandaPay appears to be defunct. If you know of a replacement for PandaPay or the system described in this post, please let me know!

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Modernist Bread Recipe Notes

Initial baking results

Results from the recipes I’ve tried thus far have been decidedly mixed. In any particular case, error on my part could easily explain dissatisfying results. But repeat mediocrity makes me suspicious: I’m not an expert or professional baker, but I am an experienced amateur baker who has taken pains to follow these recipes faithfully (e.g. measuring yeast and salt with a scale that has a .01g resolution). The several partial-failures have moved my priors in the directions of “I am not that smart or good at reading,” “I am not as good a baker as I thought,” and “these recipes are not well communicated.” I’m confident the recipes are fantastic when perfectly executed, but the results I’ve had thus far make me suspect Modernist Bread would be a better book if effort and ink had been reallocated from beautiful full-page photos to more detailed recipes.

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Thoughts on Modernist Bread

Modernist Bread is the latest book (or series of 5 or 6 books, depending how you count) from the Modernist Cuisine team. It’s two and a half thousand pages of bread history, science, techniques, recipes, and so forth. I am most fortunate to have received it as a gift, and since both bread and modern cooking are topics near and dear to my heart, I’m super excited to read it. I’m just a few pages in, but this post lists some thoughts thus far and presumably will be updated as I continue to read.

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Environmental Impact of Fried Foods

Note: this post was put together on a whim on a Friday afternoon; the analysis is woefully incomplete. I hope to update it, though my historical track record on updating blog posts and personal projects is remarkably terrible. That said, if you have any relevant information or insights, please reach out!

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Allocating Electoral College Seats

I was thinking about the 2016 U.S. Presidential election - unfortunately, that happens a lot these days. The number of electors allocated to each state depends on that state’s population, but the allocation is only updated after a census. I was curious how the allocation of electoral seats would change if the census were performed just before the 2016 election and whether that would have made the Electoral College result closer (spoilers: yes, but not by much).

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