Archive for the Wines Category

a journal of the plague year³ [lazy we]

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Travel, University life, Wines with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2022 by xi'an

Had the opportunity [Xmas gift!] to visit the Botticelli exhibit at the Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris. Besides the sheer beauty of the paintings, while is timeless, I was also impressed by the activity of Botticelli as an entrepreneur and designer, declining his signature on different media and delegating part of the realisation to employees. Read the beginning of the third volume of Raven’s mark, Crowfall, but could not complete the book as the story was terrible and the main character mostly disintegrated (both literally and scenario-wise). Too bad that an initially great if grim universe construction could not keep up till the end. (Involving deities is always risky in this branch of the literature!) Also read another BD taking place near Cayenne and other places we visited, if in the 18th Century.

Watched over a lazy weekend two several admittedly terrible movies whose only appeal was watching in the vernarcular, Major Grom: Plague Doctor, and Minnal Murali. Also was rather disappointed by Don’t look up, because I found the satire too heavy-handed. And hence failing to engage readers about the sloth pace of governments and influencers to face the climate crisis, favouring futile or immediate concerns (as shown by French gilets jaunes putting la fin du mois above la fin du monde, or UK media cycling on BoJo’s partygate when Russia is about to invade Ukraine!). I also presumably missed most of the US-centric undercurrents.

ritorno a Venezia!

Posted in pictures, Travel, University life, Wines with tags , , , , , on February 8, 2022 by xi'an

a journal of the plague year² [closing again]

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Travel, University life, Wines with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2022 by xi'an

Had to cancel my third and final trip to Warwick this year as the Omicron scare had countries locking their borders (too late, most likely), meaning the UK was reinstating on entering travelers a self-seclusion period until the test results were known. Despite getting my third shot in time (with no side-effect whatsoever). And France retaliated in imposing PCR tests as well…

Read (over the Atlantic) an older novel of William Gibson, The Peripheral. Which is a rather standard cyberpunk Gibson with lots of (2021’s) brand names (at least at the beginning), a messy build-up of the (dual) universe, plenty of gadgets, a long-going form of fascination for super-lethal weapons and militarised survivalists, followed by a vague explanation of the temporal paradox of conversing with the future/past, and a rather lame closure with a shoot shoot bang bang resolution and some people getting absurdly rich… I am unsure I will get through the second novel, The Agency, which I bought at the same time, unless we manage to fly to French Guiana on Xmas day. Even though The Guardian is quite excited about it.

Watched Kan Eguchi’s The Fable after coming back from Mexico (not on the plane, when I slept most of the flight), which is cartoonesquely funny, except for lengthy fighting scenes. As it should, since directly inspired from a manga. While I missed the jokes about Osaka’s special dialect and food, it was absurdly funny! And fit for a particularly rainy weekend. The second installment, which I watched later, is darker and more disturbing…

triple ruin

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, R, Statistics, Wines with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2021 by xi'an

An almost straightforward riddle from The Riddler involving a triple gambler’s ruin: Dawn competes against three players Alessandra, Berenike, and Chinue, with probabilities of winning one round ¾, ½, and ¼, respectively, until the cumulated score reaches ±15, ±30, and ±45, for the first, second, and third games. What is Dawn’s optimal sequence of adversaries?

First, a brute force R simulation shows that the optimal ordering is to play the three adversaries first weakest, third strongest and middle fair:

ord=function(p){
  z=2*(runif(1)<p[1])-1
  while(abs(z)<15)z=z+2*(runif(1)<p[1])-1
  y=2*(runif(1)<p[2])-1
  while(abs(z+y)<30)y=y+2*(runif(1)<p[2])-1
  x=2*(runif(1)<p[3])-1
  while(abs(z+y+x)<45)x=x+2*(runif(1)<p[3])-1 
  return(x+y+z>0)}
mcord=function(p,T=1e2){
  for(t in 1:T)F=F+ord(p)
  return(F/T)}
comp=function(T=1e2){
  return(c(mcord(c(.5,.55,.45),t),
    #mcord(c(.5,.45,.55),t),#1-above
    mcord(c(.55,.5,.45),t),
    #mcord(c(.45,.5,.55),t),#1-above
    mcord(c(.55,.45,.5),t)
    #mcord(c(.45,.55,.5),t)))#1-above
    ))}

where I used probabilities closer to ½ to avoid estimated probabilities equal to one.

> comp(1e3)
[1] 0.051 0.038 0.183

(and I eliminated the three other probabilities by sheer symmetry). Second, checking in Feller’s bible (Vol. 1, XIV.3) for the gambler’s ruin probability, a simple comparison of the six orderings confirms this simulation.

cheese myths [and mites]

Posted in Kids, Wines with tags , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2021 by xi'an

The Guardian published a somewhat hilarious article on cheese myths, with which I have no beef! Here are some.

  1. You can cook with cheap cheese. What’s the point, then?!
  2. Pre-grated cheese is fine. Sawdust is even cheaper…
  3. The older, the better. It depends. Which is why my regular cheesemonger is an affineur.
  4. Wrap in clingfilm or keep in an airtight container. I have given up using clingfilm altogether.
  5. You can store it in the fridge door. Not enough space and too dry. Until they retired, my parents never store cheese in a fridge as they enjoyed a perfect underground cellar with an unpaved floor.
  6. If it goes mouldy, it’s bad. Erm, there is no cheese without mould, mites, or bacteria. If worse comes to worse, scrap the offending part! (My affineur actually saves mites when brushing his olrder cheese to sprinkle them on younger ones and accelerate the aging process.)
  7. The temperature of your room is “room temperature”. At least, it is better than straight out of the fridge. (See 5. above.)
  8. You need specialist cheese knives. Never heard of cheese knives! Except for a cheese plane I use for extra-old and -hard Dutch cheese. The important point is in having sharp knives and cleaning them when switching cheese
  9. … and a cheese board. This is the most contentious point as cheese need be cut properly on a flat surface, especially hard cheese. Outside a large plate or a board, what is the alternative?! Unless the argument is in avoiding over-consumption.
  10. Rinds are inedible. Unless made of foreign materials like was, wood or straw, or too hard to chew, the rinds are part of the taste!
  11. Just slice any way you like. De-fi-ni-te-ly not!! Each slice, from the first to the last, should be the same. It otherwise modifies the taste and the aging, while potentially generating more waste.
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