Tuesday, November 30, 2010

If Hamburgers Were Drinks They Would be Martinis

Homer's (I'm not talking about Homer Simpson!) poems refer to the food and drinks of gods as Ambrosia and Nectar. For us mere mortals & meat lovers, hamburgers might be the next best thing to Ambrosia. In the same line of thinking, Martinis might be the latest human attempt at competing with Nectar. Though very different, Hamburgers and Martinis have a lot in common. They both seem very easy to prepare and some people might be reluctant to consider them as "serious" food and drinks for the connoisseur. I, however, believe that they both are a lot more complex than meets the eye. There are probably millions of ways to prepare a good hamburger and the same goes for Martinis.

Originally, the Dry Martini Cocktail was named Martinez but its evolution over the years led to the advent of the now famous (dry) Martini. Though not popular everywhere in the world (try ordering one in France and you'll be stuck with vermouth on the rocks), it is becoming increasingly known. It looks very easy to prepare but the amount of possibilities make every single Martini a unique piece of art.

There are six basic ingredients to a perfect Martini: Extra Dry Vermouth, Gin or Vodka, Olives, Ice Cubes, a shaker or lack of it and a Martini Glass:

1) Extra Dry Vermouth: you can use half a spoon of it, or just wash the ice cubes with it or just pour it in the glass and get rid of it. Most American bartenders will actually not use it at all.

2) Gin or Vodka: that's up to you. The Original Martini is made with Gin. I like Vodka better though. Keep in mind that there are so many brands of high-end Vodkas nowadays that choosing the Vodka alone can be mind-boggling. As for me, I recommend to use Grey Goose Vodka.

3) Olives: stuffed or not stuffed? That is the question! My preference goes to blue cheese stuffed olives but, once again, it really is up to you.

4) Ice Cubes: Some say that the water used to make the ice cubes or even their shape can change the taste of the drink.

5) To shake or to stir? Once again, there is no definite answer to this question. A shaken Martini will be colder but will have less flavor. And don't forget that some people also argue about which shaker to use! My preference goes to the Boston Shaker!

6) Martini Glass: Make no mistake about it: if you don't have a real Martini Glass then you shouldn't waste your time preparing this cocktail. You can't serve a Martini in anything else than a Martini Glass.

That's it for this Martini 101 class! More to come soon! Stay tuned!

Food Porn & Cheese Bukkake At Their Finest

What better way to represent food porn than with this beautiful Philly Cheesesteak that can be had at Van Dyke Cafe in South Beach, Miami. The cheese Bukkake explosion featured on this plate couldn't be linked to anything else than food porn!

Carnegie Deli's Hot Pastrami Sandwich Review

This Hot Pastrami Sandwich is, without a doubt, the best I've had. Granted I only had 3 in my entire life but still! The juiciness of the Pastrami combined with mayo (yes I love mayo) made this the quintessential sandwich. Carnegie Deli in New York boasts being Woody Allen's favorite sandwich joint and I must say my taste buds seem to agree with his! The place is full of tourists but the Pastrami is worth the hassle! So, next time you're in New York, just go there!

Barton G. & The Nitrogen Martini

Can you imagine a better Martini than this one?

It can be had in Miami at Barton G. if you order the in-Sation liquid nitrogen Martini : Nitrogenized Absolut Vanilla and Rose Petal Nectar Topped with Champagne!

Breakfast Focus

As you might have guessed, the foodist in me isn't indifferent to the beauty and taste of a perfectly executed omelet for breakfast. You are thus welcome to drool over the pictures of a Delano-made Spanish Tortilla above or three-egg omelet below!

Let us not forget to mention Johnny Rockets and their breakfast special:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Week-End In Baden-Baden

Some people take pictures of buildings and nature when they go on vacation or out of town for a week-end. As for me, I believe that food pictures are the best way to remember a fine vacation! As I was in Baden-Baden (Germany) last week-end, I wanted to share with the world a few pictures. So, check-out the herring sandwich above and the lovely wraps below.

As for desserts:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Burger Research

I know this may come as a disappointment to my readers but I was forced to cancel today's Homemade Burger Challenge for the sake of research. It appears that I now I have competition in the field and in an effort to up the game, I went back to the basics with a selection of McDonald's sandwiches for me to sample. Make no mistake, this is serious business. I know it's a dirty job but someone's got to do it and as JFK once kind of said: "We choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard".

The Burger challenge is about to get a whole different level! I feel inspired! Stay tuned!

The Wrath Of Ronald

I believe it is no coincidence that I was served this meal right after I strayed from the path. It can't be interpreted as anything else than The Wrath Of Ronald.

Forgive Me Father Ronald For I Have Sinned

For a brief moment following the gustative pleasure associated with
the Star Trek style transportation of this Bratwurst from my hands to
my stomach, I questioned my allegiance to the Almighty Burger. I have
now come to my senses though still shaken by the taste of this awesome

May Ronald McDonald's, The King and Colonel Sanders have mercy on my soul!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Scanner Pro iPhone App

If you sometimes miss having a scanner handy when on the go, there's an iPhone app for that: Scanner Pro! It works beautifully! I have nothing more to add!

Bouygues Telecom France Prepaid iPad Data Plan: #Fail

The French mobile carrier rumored to have the best customer service offers an iPad specific prepaid data plan. You can get unlimited data for a day for €6 and unlimited data for a month for €29.90. The only problem is that their tutorial on how to create an account after purchasing an iPad specific sim card is erroneous at best. Once you have purchased and installed their micro-sim card in your iPad, Bouygues Telecom instructs you to download their iPad app from the App Store although there is no iPad specific Bouygues Telecom app there. There's an iPhone specific app but it is not functional.

The €9.90 sim card gives you 2 days of unlimited data. After that, you'll have to create an account using Safari (as their iPhone app does not exist): any url entered in Safari when connected to the cellular network will direct you to the carrier specific page in order to create an account. The only problem is that it fails every time you attempt to do so. So, you're basically stuck calling their 1034 line where, apparently, nobody has heard of their iPad specific offers. Great for the best customer service carrier in France!

The TV Show The Event Absurdly Explained

I've been watching the TV show The Event and desperately trying to make sense of it. How could Dr. Kerry Weaver be in charge of a group aliens while the deceased US military pilot Alex Prince is now President of the USA? Moreover, how could, Dalia, President Hassan's widow, try and coerce Dr. Weaver's son into betraying her? How could deceased lawyer Ray Fiske be the American President special advisor? So many questions that desperately need to be addressed for me to understand the storyline! Please help!

The Most Depressing Thought Of The Day Courtesy Of The Smiths

This song pretty much sums up life on earth with this sentence about people: "They were born and then they lived and then they died". The full lyrics:

A dreaded sunny day 
so I meet you at the cemetery gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side

A dreaded sunny day 
so I meet you at the cemetery gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
while Wilde is on mine

So we go inside and we gravely read the stones
all those people all those lives
where are they now?
with the loves and hates
and passions just like mine
they were born 
and then they lived and then they died
seems so unfair
and I want to cry

You say: "ere thrice the sun done salutation to the dawn"
and you claim these words as your own
but I've read well, and I've heard them said
a hundred times, maybe less, maybe more

If you must write prose and poems
the words you use should be your own
don't plagiarise or take "on loans"
there's always someone, somewhere
with a big nose, who knows
and who trips you up and laughs
when you fall
who'll trip you up and laugh
when you fall

You say: "ere long done do does did"
words which could only be your own 
and then you then produce the text
from whence was ripped some dizzy whore, 1804

A dreaded sunny day 
so let's go where we're happy
and I meet you at the cemetery gates
Oh Keats and Yeats are on your side

A dreaded sunny day 
so let's go where we're wanted 
and I meet you at the cemetery gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
but you lose because Wilde is on mine 

Artefact From The Future

Just a nice artefact brought back from my latest (or earliest?) time travel!

Luxury Travel 101

Everybody wants to indulge once in a while and some are smarter, or let's say more informed than others, when it comes to Luxury Travel. So, here are my best tips as to how to spend as little as possible for as great an experience as possible.

First, you should check Flyertalk out. It is one the oldest and best online community for everything travel-related. You will find forums with detailed and accurate information from seasoned travelers. Whether you're looking for information about The American Express Centurion Card, Frequent Flyer Programs, upgrade deals or budget hotels in Bhutan, you will find the answer there. The community is very friendly and whenever I post a question, I usually get an answer within minutes! I can and must say that Flyertalk has changed my traveling habits and it is, in my opinion, the best information source when it comes to travel. They also organize "Dos" where fellow Flyertalkers meet. There are Dos almost every week on every continent! I've been to some and always had a great time with great people!

If you're 2000 miles shy of renewing your platinum status and need to find a mileage run deal, Flyertalk's mileage run forum is the place to go. I know it sounds crazy to fly just to renew one's status but believe me, many people do it... And I must confess I've done it too.

Thanks to Flyertalk's tips, I've been a Flying Blue (Air France & KLM frequent flyer program) Platinum member for 5 years and I'm now 5 years away from reaching lifetime Platinum status. Thanks again to Flyertalk, I fly most of my long-haul flights in Business class. There, unexpectedly, is a flood of business class deals around. It only takes some knowledge and time to find them. I've come to the point that I see this exercise as a challenge and even enjoy doing it for me, my family and sometimes friends.

Keep in mind that you can subscribe to Flyertalk forums and receive daily email alerts on deals and tips that you might be interested in. Sometimes there are crazy deals: like less than USD 100 for transcontinental flights.

As a demonstration to what I have learned on Flyertalk, here are some tips for travelers based in Strasbourg (France) as to how to find the cheapest airfares:
- Check for fares departing from Strasbourg (SXB), Mulhouse (MLH), Basel (BSL), Frankfurt (FRA) and Stuttgart (STR). Flying from BSL is sometimes cheaper than from MLH although it is the same airport and flight and the crazy thing is that you might also accrue more miles!
- Check different airlines and alliances. Keep in mind not to trust your instincts: flying Air France is usually cheaper departing from Germany than from France. Same for Lufthansa that is usually cheaper departing from France than from Germany (Major airlines try to attract foreign customers with competitive fares).
- Check the same itineraries on different websites or even the same website but based in a different country. Expedia US is usually cheaper than Expedia France for instance. Same for the carriers. You will sometimes find different fares if you check Air France US compared to Air France French or German website. You will find the best British Airways fares on American Airlines website!

The Holy Grail Of All Luxury Travel Questions: How Can I Be Upgraded On A Long-Haul? Simple answer: it is very unlikely that you will be unless you hold top-tier status with the carrier that you're flying. And even so, it is still rare. To maximize your chances of being upgraded: don't ask for it, be nice to the check-in agent & dress smart. There is really no other working tip. Be aware that 99% of upgrades on long-haul flights come when one of the classes of travel is full or overbooked (if Economy is overbooked, the carrier will upgrade passengers to Business class on Premium Economy depending on their status & paid fare).

Other noteworthy websites:
- Jaunted: The Pop Culture Travel Guide
- Vacationist: exclusive offers for members
BonVoyou: great deals
- Jetsetters: great deals
- Premium Travel News: Business Class Fare Alerts
- ExpertFlyer: Very useful tools (award availability, fare buckets etc...) for subscribers
- TripTrace: more of a social network travel tool
- Trip Advisor: Great review website
- Yelp: Great review iPhone app and social network
- Urban Daddy: great website & daily newsletter on new trendy venues to discover. They have a cool iPhone app!
- Kayak: Fare Comparison engine
- Orbitz: Travel booking website
- Expedia: Travel booking website

iVoyeur: The Eyes Wide Shut Social Network

Thanks to Urban Daddy's daily newsletter, I was informed yesterday that a new social network for swingers appropriately named iVoyeur (CLICK ONLY IF YOU'RE 18 OR OLDER) was the latest hyped and cool thing around. Urban Daddy calls it the Eyes Wide Shut social network! As I registered, I was disappointed to see that the user could use the password of their choice. I thought "Fidelio" would be the mandatory password for all users and as for a second password... Well, as you know, there is no second password and no real way of redeeming oneself.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

North & South Korea: Study War No More

North & South Korea exchanged fire earlier today and the situation could rapidly escalate into a full global war with China supporting North Korea and the US and Russia supporting South Korea. Please let us all join in positive thinking in order to avoid such a disastrous outcome. May South Korea's giant burger let both sides realize that burgers are better than wars and that all Koreans would be better off sharing a giant burger together. Let them also teach their children to Study War No More.

Troubleshooting FindMyiPhone In iOS 4.2.1

After updating to iOS 4.2.1, I was puzzled to get a "cannot access xxxx@mac.com, pleave verify settings" error message on all my iDevices. As my MobileMe email address & bookmarks were working, it took me a while to figure out why I got this error message. As I soon realized that the FindMyiPhone feature wasn't functional, I began trying to figure out why. After restarting all my iDevices multiple times and checking on the MobileMe website if they could be located, I finally figured out what to do. The solution was actually quite simple as I just went to my MobileMe account settings, deactivated FindMyiPhone and then turned it back on on all my iDevices. I haven't seen the "cannot access xxxx@mac.com, pleave verify settings" since and FindMyiPhone is now fully functional! I hope this will help others!

Monday, November 22, 2010

iOS 4.2.1 8C148 Is Available: Important Microsoft Exchange Information

Apple's just released iOS 4.2.1 for all compatible iDevices (iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, iPad, iPod Touch 2nd Generation, iPod Touch 3rd Generation & iPod Touch 4th Generation). The build is 8C148 which is the one that was released to developers last Thursday.

Microsoft Exchange users, be aware that upon upgrading, it is very likely that the default Contact account will be set to "On My iPhone" instead of your Microsoft Exchange Contacts. Make sure you change it back to Microsoft Exchange Contacts in the settings if you use your Exchange account as your primary contact database. Make also sure to go to Contacts, tap "back" and choose your Microsoft Exchange Contacts to be displayed instead of "All". This will ensure that new created contacts are synced with your Exchange account.

Don't forget to re-enable FaceTime if you're using an iPhone 4 or iPod Touch 4th Generation.

That's it for the tips! I'm now anxiously awaiting the release of the Apple TV 4.1 firmware to try out Airplay!

Apple TV 4.1 firmware update is live!
iPhone 3GS 4.2.1 firmware update isn't the same build than the one that was seeded to developers last week. The build  released today is 8C148a.
All other builds are the same than the ones released to developers last week (8C148)!

The Most Quintessential Word: Sliders

It is clear to me that "Sliders" is the most quintessential word as it relates to both hamburgers and alternate universes. I can't think of any other word to better represent the essence of the universe and the best available food on earth.

Prepaid iPhone Data Plan Deals In France & Germany

For the tech-savvy traveler that doesn't want to spend thousands of dollars on data roaming charges, the best option is to go prepaid when traveling abroad.

The best deal in France if you have an unlocked iPhone is to buy a prepaid "SFR La Carte" sim card. They have a €24 plan valid for 20 days with unlimited data and €10 calling credit.

One of the best deals in Germany is blau.de which offers a €9.90 plan with 1Gb of data valid for 30 days or a €19.90 plan with unlimited data valid for 30 days. Blau sim cards can be purchased in supermarkets and can even be activated while roaming outside Germany!

How To Avoid Paying For Wifi Internet Access In Hotels

Last week, I wrote a post on how to avoid paying outrageous data roaming charges on your cell phone bill. This week, I'm writing about how to avoid spending a ridiculous amount of money for wifi Internet access in hotel rooms. In fact, many high-end hotels charge a lot of money for wifi Internet access (it can be up to 30 euros per day in France). An easy way to circumvent that problem is to subscribe to a 3G Internet access plan using either a 3G USB key or a portable 3G wifi router such as the famous Mifi router or a Huawei router for instance. Portable 3G wifi routers have the advantage of creating a mobile hotsport everywhere you go and allowing usually up to 5 devices to connect to them at the same time. This can be handy if you're planning on using multiple computers or a computer and an iPad or even an iPhone.

Subscribing to such a service in your home country can save you a lot of money. But it gets even better when you're abroad as many carriers now offer prepaid data plans. So, for a little bit more than what you would pay for a device + plan at home, you can get a 3G USB key and a month of relatively unlimited data (from 2 to 6 Gb depending on the country) for usually less than USD150 with no contract or commitment. When you do the math, it's a lot cheaper than paying for in-room wifi Internet access if you're gonna stay in a hotel for more than a week. I tested this myself last year on a 3-week trip to Australia where for less than AU$ 250, I purchased a Telstra USB key with 6Gb of data for 30 days. This saved me a lot of money and worked in remote areas where hotels had lousy dial-up Internet access but great 3G reception!

An even smarter thing to do is to use an old unlocked iPhone 3G (or buy one on eBay). After jailbreaking it and purchasing the MyWy Jailbroken application for USD 19.99, you'll be able to use your phone as a Mifi router. Hence, you'll be able to use any iPhone compatible prepaid data plan with your computer(s), iPad(s) and even other iPhone(s) by using this jailbroken iPhone 3G as a mobile wifi Hotpsot. Be sure to pack extra batteries as intensive use can drain the iPhone battery in 2 to 3 hours. Nevertheless, this solution totally rocks! Be sure to check if the carrier you plan on using allows such use beforehand though.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Bagel Sunday

Should I ever be transported to an alternate universe where Hamburgers are replaced by Bagels and Bagels by Hamburgers or vice-versa or the opposite, this is what I would have on Sunday evenings!

More info on how to get your hands on the bagels pictured above here.

Social Media Gurus Aren't Psychologists

Everyday, I read so-called Social Media Gurus expressing their thoughts and ideas about the psychological impacts of social media on people. Believe me, there is a lot of crap that has been said on this subject. How can these people think they have any kind of knowledge in Psychology? Most of them are Business School graduates. As far as I know, their training has nothing to do with Psychology or Sociology. So how can they make us believe that what they're thinking or saying is relevant? They are certainly good at developing a business and coming up with new ideas but when it comes to figuring out the profound psychological impacts of their inventions on people, they'd better let professionals deal with it.

Would you consider asking a psychologist or psychiatrist for financial advice? I guess not. So how can we ask entrepreneurs their take on psychology?

In the same line of thinking, many financial analysts talk about the psychological factors involved in the recent global financial crisis. I'm surprised that nobody has ever thought about asking a psychologist or psychiatrist about that. Once again, I wouldn't dare proclaim myself an expert in law or finance, so why would anyone think that they have any knowledge whatsoever in Psychology when they have never studied it?

Being rich or successful doesn't grant oneself instant total knowledge about everything. It, however, seems that most journalists think it is the case. Isn't it absurd?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

How To Avoid Outrageous Data Roaming Charges

Following up on my previous posts on how to avoid outrageous data roaming charges when traveling abroad, I wanted to mention mrsimcard.com which provides convenient solutions when it comes to using a smartphone abroad. I've already used their services twice and recommended them to friends. For a small commission, mrsimcard will send you a local sim card for the country that you are planning on traveling to. They will activate the sim card for you on the day of your choice and even follow up with an sms to make sure everything went smoothly once you've reached your destination.

Nothing beats their service. The commission they charge is totally worth it as it can save you precious time when traveling abroad (think: waiting in line in a local carrier store, trying to figure what voice/data plan will work with your smartphone while you could already be all set after deboarding the plane thanks to mrsimcard). So, whenever I travel to a country that mrsimcard has a roaming solution for, it's a no brainer for me: I just use their service.

For those of you planning to travel to the USA, they have this great iPhone plan using Simple in the USA with unlimited everything at an affordable price. Note that Simple uses the T-Mobile network which means you won't get 3G speeds when using an iPhone as T-Mobile uses a 3G band that isn't compatible with the iPhone. EDGE will work flawlessly though.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Man's Best Friend Fighting Cancer

As you might have noticed, I tend to write, once in a while, a serious blog post. I don't know if this post qualifies as serious but I felt I had to share what follows. As mentioned in a previous blog entry, you may know that my dog was diagnosed with advanced-stage myeloma (a cancer of plasma cells) two years ago. At the time of diagnosis, his vet also realized that he had suffered a stroke due to blood hyperviscosity caused by the myeloma. It made me feel so sad to see such a small dog stricken by the pain of such a devastating disease that the agnostic in me asked aloud: "'If there is a God, why would he/she make such a harmless little dog suffer like this?". It just didn't make any sense to me.

Miraculously, chemotherapy proved to be very effective and our beloved dog Freud (yes, psychiatrists like to give funny names to their dogs) survived when his vet was talking about putting him to sleep in a matter of days back in 2008. I must say that I'm touched by the courage this tiny little being put into his fight against cancer. Some vet might call me anthropomorphistic but I can't imagine that my dog wouldn't have some degree of consciousness of his well-being and of the people and world around him. As a matter of fact, recent studies show that many animals show some degree of self-awareness in contrast to what was formerly believed.

Boy (we actually ended calling him that instead of the smart name we had found for him) went through very happy times in the last two years. He, however, also went through harder times when, for instance, he had ophtalmic surgery for a corneal replacement to treat a corneal ulcer. Last week, he also went through cataract surgery as his vision had gone down to the point where he was almost 100% blind. He is now recovering from his eye surgery and all our thoughts and attention are with him.

If you read this, just think about him. The Wired Article "A Prayer Before Dying" about distant healing through prayers intrigued me back in 2002 and we know so little about consciousness and the power of the mind that being open to new possibilities might lead to breakthroughs. So, who knows? Your thoughts might help! Of course, I'm not saying that I firmly believe in distant healing but I'm pretty sure that thoughts can't hurt. I might also add that my agnostic beliefs were and are now still in question after my dog miraculously responded to chemotherapy when I asked aloud my question about God allowing him to suffer.

To make it even more personal, I will add that I lost both of my parents to cancer. My mother died in 1993 after a two-year battle against breast cancer and my father died in 2006 after a six-month struggle against acute leukemia. Although our minds won't make us immortal (at least not in the near future), positive thinking is an important factor in the fight against cancer and other life-threatening conditions. Don't underestimate it. A battle is never lost until the very end and being optimistic often leads to discovering new possibilities.

I would like to dedicate this post is dedicate to all beings, human or not, and their families. May positive thinking and distant thoughts help you all.

Note: This blog post is neither affiliated with nor endorsed by any religion.

Boy has a facebook page! Please like his page and send him positive thoughts!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Open Letter To Steve: Do Something About International Roaming Charges

Dear Steve,

Could you please find a way to make carriers understand that by charging an insane amount of money for data roaming, they are alienating their customers and actually losing money since more and more of us, iPhone-addicted customers, choose to go prepaid when traveling abroad?

I don't wanna see this anymore and I strongly advise any sensible smartphone user to go prepaid when traveling to a foreign country. I strongly encourage readers to post tips and tutorials in the comments as to how to go prepaid in each and every single country.

Best regards,

Fred, your homie from da hood!

Note: A special shout-out to Orange France for their lousy data roaming plans that can only be activated for a maximum of 7 days and for making it impossible to activate it for 2 7-day periods in a row other than by calling at midnight on the 7th day. Add to this that customer service is closed at midnight and that activating such a roaming plan can take up to 48 hours, and you have a recipe for mass protests in the streets of France.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Using An Unlocked iPhone In Thailand

If you want to avoid stratospheric data roaming charges while in Thailand, here's what you should do: go to the AIS store at BKK airport & buy a pre-paid SIM card for 400 Baht + 999 Baht for unlimited data for a month. (Roughly USD 40 in total)

They will activate the SIM card for you and everything should be working after 5 mins. Internet connection works with any unlocked iPhone.

There is no 3G in Thailand (only in very limited areas actually) but EDGE works fine.
No APN configuration required. It just works out of the box!

Mail, web browsing, iPhone apps, Exchange connectivity: they all work!

Hope this helps others!

Motorola 5200 I Love You

17 years ago, I bought my first cell phone: a Motorola 5200 GSM. This looked like the future to me and it now seems so low-tech. One great feature this phone had was that it could read regular sized carrier SIM cards which would come in handy nowadays as so many people talk about using their cell phones as a payment means. As a matter of fact, inserting one's credit card in a cell phone to make a purchase would just be awesome. However, most cell phones are now smaller than credit cards!

Anyway, the nostalgic in you has to appreciate these vintage pictures! Check out below my old American Motorola AMPS Micro-Tac flip phone (with a red Mr. Rescue sticker).

Motorola 5200 Tech Specs: Monoband 900 Mhz, 100 contact memory, no SMS, extendable antenna that can be used as a weapon.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Enough With The Beatles: Enjoy The Best Movie And Song Ever... Possibly

I felt I had to share this with the world as this movie & song remind me, with an intense nostalgic feeling, of a time and era I never knew. Xanadu might refer to Project Xanadu or Kubla Khan's Xanadu or even Citizen Kane's Xanadu. Or am I using too many transclusions?

Just enjoy this!

The Gastronomic Meal Of The French Enshrined As A UNESCO World Cultural Treasure

The French & Food Porn Lover in me couldn't resist sharing this information with the rest of the world (yes, My (singular form) reader: YOU are the rest of the world). The Gastronomic Meal of The French was enshrined today as a UNESCO World Cultural Treasure. What better way to illustrate this than with a picture of Champagne & Harissa and another picture of Chicken with Truffles taken at Tetsuya'sthe best restaurant in Australasia?

I'll let you figure out which picture is which.

Note: Tetsuya's was ranked 17th restaurant in the world in 2009 and 9th in 2008.

Today Is Already Tomorrow: Wake Up Steve!

I hope Steve won't miss his bus to work!

Center For Consciousness Studies

As a follow-up to yesterday's post about Stuart Hameroff and Consciousness, here are two links to iTunes U presentations that are a must see.

Special Seminar: Introduction; Microtubules: Electric Oscillators in Living Cells

Electronic Transport Properties of a Single Microtubule

In addition, you can check the Center For Consciousness Studies website here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Wifi High Club

That's what happens when you have Geeks On A Plane!

Fring, The VoIP and videoconferencing smartphone app, rocks!


Stuart Hameroff, Consciousness, Quantum Physics & Quantum Computing

I already Stuart Hameroff in my blog. He's an American anesthesiologist whose theories I find most fascinating as they integrate Quantum Physics in an attempt at understanding the underlying mechanisms of consciousness. Both videos are a must-see!

Apple II Nostalgia - Masquerade

Monday mornings were created to trigger Nostalgia in our brains (this is an affirmation). In that spirit, I've been thinking ever since I woke up this morning about vintage Apple II adventure games. The most iconic one is probably Masquerade and I found this great website with screenshots of it and other great adventure games.

Check out the solution here if you've been stuck in this game for the last 27 years.


Join The Path

I've just joined The Path this morning. It is a new social network that aims at sharing mostly pictures amongst a maximum of 50 friends. I'm not sure if this new social network is groundbreaking but I, surely, intend to give it a try. I'll post more later on as I discover its features. Funny thing is that you apparently need to own an iPhone in order to sign up and it seems their iPhone app is only available in the US iTunes store so far. One cool thing is that the website seems to be entirely https - based which the paranoid in me loves!

One not cool thing is that you can't upload camera roll pictures from the iPhone app. You can only upload photos taken from within the app itself. This sucks big time and needs to be adressed ASAP.

So, if you're curious: Join The Path.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Burger Xanadu Sunday

Tonight's attempt at burger Xanadu was 96,66 % successful. I can safely say that the burgers pictured in this post were the best I ever made. They consisted of two slices of melted cheddar cheese, fried bacon, one slice of Buffalo Mozzarella, onion, pickles, one slice of tomato, mayonnaise, two beef and pork patties and either Harissa (a.k.a. the traveling condiment) or Jalapeño mustard.

In my mythical quest of the perfect burger, I believe that I have, so far, managed to elevate my soul and my sauces to new heights. Tonight, I was blessed with a glimpse of the divine and through the fulfillness of my taste buds I was ascended, if only for a fraction of a second, to an alternate plane of existence where the complete knowledge of the universe seemed to be at grasp. Back on earth, my beliefs are now shaken and I'm thinking there must be a God or at least a Burger God.

Note: Forgive the blurry pictures but it seems that such beauty induced tremors in my earthling hands.

Apple TV 2 & TV Shows Stuck In Preview Mode Bug Fix

Foe those of you lucky Apple TV 2 owners stuck with Preview as the only available option in the TV Shows menu, here's a simple fix to this problem: just reboot your Apple TV 2!
You will, then, be able to enjoy renting TV Shows just you should have in the first place.

SETI Reboot: Project Dorothy & Watching Outer Space TV Broadcasts

Everyone has heard of SETI. This project aimed at scanning distant stars for radio signals that could be held as evidence of extra-terrestrial intelligent life. Today, I learned that Project Dorothy will start re-scanning distant stars that have already been scanned by project SETI as a renewed effort to try and find intelligent life outside of our planet. I can't help but wonder how fascinating and at the same time odd it would be if we were to find evidence that we are not alone in the universe.
Let's be optimistic and imagine we were to receive and decode radio-signals such as audio-video signals emanating from a distant planet. Assuming intelligent life and the tendency to become a couch potato are related, let's go even one step further and imagine these observed intelligent beings had some kind of TV equivalent and that we were able to watch their TV broadcasts coming directly from outer space. Wouldn't it be cool to flip channels and watch soap operas from the other side of the galaxy featuring 4-legged aliens and being able to understand them thanks to instant YouTube/Google translations? Outer space channels would surely be a hit! Discovering an alien world through its TV broadcasts would change everything in our world and in the way we perceive the universe.
If the broadcast came from a a very distant star, direct communication wouldn't be possible due to the limitations of our current understanding of physics and namely the speed of light barrier. We would, however, be able to watch a time-projected broadcast of their maybe-extinct culture, learning something new on a daily-basis or looking forward to the release of the next outer space blockbuster.
My main concern would be: how frustrated would it be not to be able to buy whatever would be featured in outer space commercials such as Double Space Burgers?
If we look at things the other way around, imagine if aliens were to receive and watch our current TV broadcasts? Shouldn't we be ashamed of the image of our world that we are sending everywhere in the Universe?

An American Breakfast In Strasbourg

Aren't those EggMcMuffins drool-worthy?

RockMelt Rocks

I've just installed the brand new and innovative RockMelt browser and I'm loving it. RockMelt smartly integrates your Facebook and Twitter accounts in their chromium-based browser. Think Chrome with deep Facebook, Twitter and RSS feed integration and you will understand what it is about! I have a limited amount of invitations left so if you're interested, just drop a comment with your email address (I will edit your email address after the invitation is sent).