Wednesday, April 26, 2006

In Which I Pose a Fairly Easy Question from Alcuin, the Monk

Alcuin was head teacher in the palace school of Charlemagne at Aachen. Here is one of the questions in his Propositiones ad acuendos iuvenes:

An ox plows all day long. How many tracks does he leave in the last furrow?

For the answer, click "Read More."

Answer: None. The plow removes them all.

(HT: Percival Blakney Academy)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

In Which I Help You Understand Why Gas Prices Are So High

Read this short piece by Lynne Kiesling of the fine economics blog "Knowledge Problem."

Doing Bad vs. Being Bad

From Aristotle (Nicomachean Ethics, 1151a6-11 [trans. Joe Sachs]):

It is clear then that unrestraint is not vice . . . since the one [dissipation] is by choice and the other [unrestraint] is contrary to choice; however, they are alike as far as actions are concerned, as with the words of Demodocus to the Milesians, "It's not that Milesians are stupid, just that they will do the sort of things that stupid people do"; and while unrestrained people are not unjust, they will do injustice.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The Frothier Side of Life

Still on just my third brew, I think this will be the first truly enjoyable to drink (I'm just being honest).

The recipe: Thorgersen's Nut Brown Ale
Inspired by Byron Burch, Brewing Quality Beers, 2nd ed., 1992

6 lbs. Light Liquid Barley Malt Extract, Extra Malty
9 oz. Carmel 20 Barley
4.5 oz. Chocolate Barley
(Crush and cook barley)
1/4 t salt
2 oz. Malto Dexterin
2 oz. Nugget bittering hops (cook 1 oz. 60 minutes, 1 oz. 30 minutes)
1 oz. Willamette aromatic hops (cook 8 minutes)
English Ale Liquid Yeast

The picture is after a little more than a day of fermenting, and is a much better head than I've ever got before. The batch should make around 50 bottles, and at about 30-35 dollars for ingredients, this figures to be quite the hobby. If everything turns out I'm going to try a fruit ale next (ahem, for the Mrs.).