Giant Fractal Pecan Pie

posted by Stal on 2009.11.25, under Stal

As you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow and are confronted with a standard 9 1/2″ circular pie, consider the fundamental problem of a pie’s crust to filling ratio:

For traditional circular pies of radius R, the amount of filling scales as R2 while the crust only scales linearly, so as the pie grows larger, the flaky crust is completely dominated by the creamy filling.

Our solution was to construct a pie pan in the shape of a koch snowflake (whose perimeter obeys completely different scaling laws), fill it with delicious pecan pie and bake in a custom backyard oven.


The thing they don’t tell you about fractals is just how sharp and dangerous they are. I mean, you think you have a pretty good grasp of the mathematical analysis but until a piece of metal with a very high perimeter to surface area ratio tears into your flesh, you’re really missing intuitive appreciation for objects that lack continuous derivatives almost everywhere.

I can’t wait for this to take off like the Edge brownie pan!

[ Giant Fractal Pecan Pie / Instructables ]

The Worst Swear Word in the World

posted by Stal on 2009.11.23, under Stal

From Jon Ronson at the Guardian:

My eight-year-old son, Joel, comes into my office to ask if there’s a worse swearword than fuck. “No,” I say.

There’s a silence. “You’re lying,” he says.

“There’s none worse than fuck,” I say.

Joel narrows his eyes. “I know you’re lying,” he says. He leaves the room.

continue reading…

Hipsters Discussing Cyclocross

posted by Stal on 2009.11.19, under Stal

So pretentious it hurts.

[ Hipsters Discussing Cyclocross / xtranormal ]

Islamic Indoctrination, Qaddafi-style

posted by Stal on 2009.11.19, under Stal

As mentioned over lunch:

The 200 women who answered a Rome modeling agency’s advertisement for tall, attractive party guests thought they would be attending an elegant soirée on Sunday. They were — only the host turned out to be the Libyan leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, and instead of hors d’oeuvres he offered them copies of the Koran and urged them to convert to Islam, the Italian news media reported Monday. [...]

“All the girls expected a party with a gala dinner,” Ms. Lo Mele reported. Instead, Colonel Qaddafi “made a 45-minute speech on Islam and women’s role in Islam.” He gave the women a copy of the Koran and said that he would pay for them to visit Mecca, the duty of every Muslim, if they converted.

It seems that Qaddafi will be hosting a series of similar events in other countries, so ladies, be sure to pull out your heels and best hijab.

[ Libyan Leader in Italy Seeks Tall, Leggy and Pious / NYT ]

Experiments on Children, Klingon Edition

posted by Stal on 2009.11.18, under Stal

In an experiment in language acquisition development, d’Armond Speers of Minneapolis spoke only Klingon to his child for the first three years of its life.

“I was interested in the question of whether my son, going through his first language acquisition process, would acquire it like any human language,” Speers told the Minnesota Daily. “He was definitely starting to learn it.”

Speers claims not to be a huge Star Trek fan. This is why people with doctorates in computational linguistics shouldn’t be allowed to rear children.

[ Minneapolis City Pages ]

SawStop Demonstration

posted by Stal on 2009.11.02, under Stal

The SawStop uses a sensor that detects electrical conductivity, and stops a table saw in less than a thousandth of a second if something conductive, like a finger, is sensed. To absorb the 1000g force of the decelerating saw, the SawStop uses a module similar to the crumple zone in a car. To fully put his money where his mouth is, the inventor puts his finger through the saw to demonstrate how it works.