Friday, 18 April 2014

Mansplaining Irony

© kate / Attribution-ShareAlike
Technologist Dave Winer's Mansplaining lacks nuance and glosses over relevant questions about gender; Winer neglects to ask: who benefits most by silencing debate about social power?

As a blogger, Dave Winer is inimitable, writing equal parts intelligence, humour, insight and spike. I've been reading his words for years and found him at times frustrating but mostly fun – and worth listening to.

But his 16 April piece, Mansplaining,[1] halted my tea break mid-sip: it is a post which elegantly demonstrates the nexus of sexism and privilege in both the technology industry and society. It articulates – with greater subtlety that I expect Winer imagined – why there remains a critical need to educate and inform.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Blueberry-Basil Ice Cream

Basil and mint give a delicious, fragrant top note to berry ice creams. Unlike most herbal ice cream recipes, this one calls for leaving the puréed basil in the custard mixture, so a few leaves is all you need. Mint is a nice substitute.


    1 cup whole milk
    2 cups whipping cream (divided)
    1 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon honey
    6 egg yolks
    1 cup blueberries
    4 basil leaves

  1. Whisk the egg yolks until thickened and light yellow, set aside.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, 1 cup of the cream, the sugar and honey to a point just below boiling
  3. Slowly combine the milk mixture into the eggs until fully incorporated
  4. Return the mixture to a saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until custard thickens slightly (probably when mixture reaches about 170 degrees). Be sure to scrape the bottom of the saucepan with the spatula as you stir. 
  5. Pour the thickened custard through a strainer and stir into the bowl and let cool slightly.
  6. Stir in the remaining cup of cream
  7. Chill this mixture thoroughly for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
When ready to churn, purée a third of the blueberries and all of the basil in a blender or food processor. Fill the canister of your ice cream maker with the chilled custard, the purée and the whole blueberries, and churn according to manufacturer's instructions.

Makes about 1 quart

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Espresso Chip Ice Cream

  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons ground espresso
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 150g/ 5 oz finely grated bittersweet chocolate


  1. In a heavy saucepan, combine cream, milk and espresso. Warm over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until mixture barely comes to a simmer, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar and salt. Whisk vigorously until mixture lightens in color and doubles in volume, about 2 minutes.
  3. Remove cream mixture from heat. Whisking constantly, slowly pour 1 cup of the warm mixture into the eggs; whisk until smooth. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan, whisking constantly, and place over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the mixture forms a custard thick enough to coat the spoon, 1-2 minutes. Do not let it boil.
  4. Set up an ice bath in a large bowl; nest a smaller heatproof bowl inside. Pour warm custard through a fine-mesh sieve into the smaller bowl; stir occasionally until cool. Remove bowl from ice bath, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cool, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.
  5. Pour cold custard into an ice cream maker; churn according to manufacturer's instructions, adding chocolate during the last minute. Spoon the ice cream into a freezer-safe container; place parchment or wax paper directly on the surface. Cover tightly and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
Makes about 1 quart

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Why is Guantanamo Bay still open?

Great discussion on why Guantanamo Bay is still open.

Part 1 - Why is Guantanamo Bay still open?

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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Enter Quora

After being inundated with follow notifications, I suspect it's time to seriously consider Quora, an online Q&A service which attempts to connect the curious with the knowledgable.  It's not the first one; Yahoo! Answers being perhaps the most prominent, but it's certainly the hottest property in the game right now, earning plenty of press and lots of kudos.  And, judging by the avalanche of activity I've been exposed to, Quora is so hot, it's smoking.