Egg surprise


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New-ish blogger Energy Cooking posted this. I left an overlong comment, but I felt happy. Here it is.

The mysterious egg

Friendly greetings, Energy Cooking! I am commenting here, because post comments aren’t enabled. I really enjoyed your 2 Jan 2021 post, “Gashouse Egg Sandwich”.

My grandmother would make what she called a Gashouse Special. There was no cheese involved. It looked like a single piece of medium thick toast (but not Texas toast!) that had been lightly pan fried. A subtle clue: my grandmother would put a knife and fork next to my plate. That’s because there was an entire egg, sometimes two (side-by-side) embedded in the bread slice! Yolk(s) and whites(s) were cooked and intact. The bread wasn’t soggy. At first glance, I was not able to discern the presence of a hidden egg surprise! Of course, I knew what to expect after the first time, but it was still delightful.

I’ve found recipes for Gashouse Specials, but none that hid the egg nearly as well. My grandmother has passed on so I can’t ask her how she did it. I love her. I miss her so much! Thank you for this happy memory. (And thank you for following my humble bloggy too.)

Press This versus Reblog

What is the difference between the two WordPress options, PRESS THIS and REBLOG? Reblog is tumblr-esque 🙂 I think Reblog is a relatively new offering for WordPress. TypePad blogging platform or whatever they call Moveable Type now has it too, as well as tumblr of course. Most of tumblr blogs ARE reblogged posts!

This is merely a guess, but I think Press This was named as a bit of punning on “WordPress”. I recall that Press This allowed some HTML. I am unsure about Reblog, but shall know the answer soon! I wonder if there are other reasons to choose one versus the other, e.g. trackbacks?

Energy Cooking

Cheesy Gashouse Egg Sandwich

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Hey Alexa, Send My Regards To Everyone


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MyWOT (Web of Trust) is a Helsinki-based Internet technology company. It is primarily known for its browser safety add-on. I have WOT enabled for Google Chrome browser on my computer at home.

I noticed a new entry on the MyWOT blog a few days ago, Hey Alexa, Send My Regards To The CIA – Connected Devices in The Age of Snowden. It is a good post. I left a comment, of course.

Small-time info merchant to big league data mogul

The Internet of Things (Internet-connected devices collectively known as the IoT) seems like a solution in search of a problem to me. I’m not worried about the CIA listening to me. I am worried about insights gleaned from unethical or illegal re-sale of user data. Revenue from data harvesting is built into the business model for much of the consumer-targeted IoT. For example, some insurance companies offer discounts to auto policy holders in exchange for attaching telemetry devices—referred to as telematics—to their vehicles. IBM describes how such data could be re-used throughout the transportation industry as the next phase of monetizing IoT data in an “age of sensorization”. IBM also acknowledges the questionable value proposition of paying a lower premium in exchange for having one’s driving activity recorded in real-time, uploaded, analyzed, and saved for future purposes that can’t be anticipated. Continue reading

LaTeX for WordPress dot com


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After four years of blogging with WordPress, I just learned that LaTeX is supported by WordPress dot com too! LaTeX (and MathJax, a similar service) are both excellent. They allow elegant and correct digital representation of mathematical formula, like this

partial differential equation using LaTeX

WordPress dot com blogs are weblogs hosted by WordPress, like mine.  Self-hosted blogs running open source WordPress blogging software are WordPress dot org. They don’t have the domain name, but rather, whatever domain name that the blogger has registered. At that point, it a matter of personal preference to:

  • run one’s own server, or
  • pay a web hosting company, and thus use the hosting company’s servers for one’s website, and WordPress installation.

WordPress dot org blogs are the ones that you often read about. They get version updates, have a history of security vulnerabilities, and support an entire ecosystem of WordPress theme and plugin developers. None of that is relevant to those of us who have WordPress hosted blogs.

Do I have WordPress dot com or WordPress dot org?

If you have WordPress dot com, your blog URL will look probably look like this:

It will be a sub-domain of WordPress dot com. You can pay a small yearly fee to WordPress, and WordPress will act as web host provider for your own, already registered domain.

LaTeX versus MathJax

LaTeX was developed by Donald Knuth in and is now a Mathematica product.

MathJax is an open source JavaScript display engine for mathematics. It is supported by IBM and the Mathematics Association of America, among others.

Domestic Foreign-Trade Zones


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This is a very nicely designed map and associated list of foreign trade zones (FTZ’s) located within the 48 contiguous United States, Alaska, Hawaii and outlying territories, List of Foreign-Trade Zones by State. There are multiple FTZ’s in each state.


FTZ map via formerly Import Administration

What are FTZs?

We have a FTZ right here in Phoenix, Arizona, Foreign-Trade Zone No. 75. This is in addition to other international trade and business development programs. Continue reading

WordPress, Google and Pew democratize voting


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We vote by secret ballot in the USA. This is constitutionally protected for many reasons.

“We’ve teamed up with the good folks from Google”

I am confused about this new WordPress project for the 2014 midterm elections, emphasis mine:
We’ve teamed up with the good folks from The Pew Charitable Trusts along with Google…. Together, we’re offering cutting-edge tools that give voters access to the customized information they need to cast a ballot on or before Election Day. We also want to provide a toolkit so that they can get more information on where to vote, which issues are at stake…”


The Voting Information Project

I am worried about the release of voter information to WordPress. I am also worried about information transit in the other direction.

Will WordPress and Pew use or maybe even sell the information entered by me and my blog readers to local or national political campaigns, now or in anticipation of the 2016 election?

One of the prior comments said,

“I was concerned that certain states (in particular those that have a bad track record in terms of encouraging citizens to participate in the democratic process) might be withholding this information.”

I’m concerned about what information IS being released! WordPress’s Peter Slutsky replied, Continue reading

Spy versus spy in space


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Update 28 September 2014
The unmanned U.S. X-37B spacecraft is back in the spotlight again! Today’s article in the New York Post describes the X-37B as the Pentagon’s secret space drone: “Theories about its mission have ranged from an orbiting space bomber to an anti-satellite weapon… According to intelligence experts and satellite watchers who have closely monitored its orbit, the X-37B is being used to carry secret satellites and classified sensors into space — a little-known role once played by NASA’s new retired space shuttle.” That is almost as provocative as the (mistaken) allegations of covert surveillance of Chinese satellites by the X-37B back in January 2012.

In January 2012, the British Interplanetary Society miscalculated the orbital trajectory of an unmanned, ultra high-altitude U.S. space plane. Next, they inferred that the United States was spying on a recently launched Chinese satellite. Unfortunately, the BBC quickly ran with the story, publishing a glossy illustrated news report about the spying, and its plausibly dire consequences. Fortunately, the British Interplanetary Society was wrong; there was no space-to-space surveillance! The orbital planes of the X-37B and the Chinese station were completely different. Even if they came close to each other, which was unlikely, they would pass at thousands of miles an hour in different directions. Continue reading

Illegal laser strikes on U.S. aircraft by U.S. civilians


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In 2012, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was visiting Berlin in an official capacity as head of state. After his airplane landed at whatever airport has replaced Berlin Tempelhof (closed in 2008), Prime Minister Netanyahu was transported by helicopter to downtown Berlin. The flight was brief, maybe 30 minutes from takeoff to landing. Along the route, an unidentified person shined a green laser pointer at the helicopter, temporarily blinding the German pilots. Both recovered quickly, and landed the aircraft without incident.

Charlie Chaplin image in der Spiegel

der Speigel online screen shot (7 December 2012)

When I read this news story several years ago, I thought it was genuine and a concern, but an extreme outlier risk. There were several attention-worthy aspects, not to mention the hilariously inappropriate Google personalized advertising served on the page. The latter was sufficiently silly, i.e. Charlie Chaplin was a pop-up, triggered by cursor motion, that I took a screen shot for posterity.

Laser pointer attack in Fresno

On 20 December 2013, a jury found two California residents guilty of aiming a laser pointer at a Fresno Police helicopter, Air One, and attempting to interfere with its operation. The couple, aged 25 and 23 years old, used a laser pointer that was 13 times more powerful than the usual (and legally allowed) power emission level for hand-held laser devices. Continue reading

Nine secrets of statistics and a poke at web scale


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My comment on Nine secrets you should have been taught as part of your undergraduate statistics degree  via StatsLife follows.

Since you asked, I have a few additional suggestions.

For statistics students

Even if your interest is in mathematical statistics, do take at least one course in observational methods. Statistics for sociologists might seem tedious; it did to me! It is sufficiently different, e.g. Chi-squared, SPSS, that you’ll be happily surprised you had some exposure to it, even years later.

Secret 6 of 9 is excellent advice. Statistics and probability theory give you a cabinet of analytic tools. In the workplace, you’ll have the freedom
and the responsibility to decide which inference test or model is best, given the problem and available data. It is fun and exciting!

While reading that entry from the Opinion section of StatsLife, a pleasingly casual publication of The Royal Statistical Society, I noticed that it referenced another helpful list, 10 Secrets You Should Have Learned with Your Software Engineering Degree – But Probably Didn’t. Given the spirited and seemingly interminable debate about NoSQL versus traditional relational database management systems, I found Secret 5 of Software Engineering amusing and ironic. Continue reading