Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

The Photography of Modernist Cuisine with Nathan Myhrvold


It’s not a surprise that techies and geeks love our food, and the science behind food, the how and why and what if of cooking.

It is a bit of a surprise to find someone who has a gift for cooking and photography with a master’s degree in economics, as well as master’s degrees in geophysics and space physics and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from UCLA. Oh, and not only did he do post-doctoral work with Stephen Hawking at Cambridge University researching cosmology, quantum field theory in curved space-time, and quantum theories of gravitation, he served as the chief technology officer for Bill Gates at Microsoft. (This guy’s the geek of geeks).

Meet Nathan Myhrvold

Nathan retired from Microsoft in 1999 to found Intellectual Ventures and pursue several lifelong interests in photography, cooking, and food science. Later he founded The Cooking Lab and published a mammoth 5 volume 2,438 page set of photos and recipes and thoughts on the science of cooking called “Modernist Cuisine” that will knock your socks off. In it you’ll find stunning photography and scientific explanations of the cooking process, techniques and methods to achieve Modernist Cuisine.

But that’s not exactly what this post is about. This is about the show up right now at The Tech Museum of Innovation called The Photography of Modernist Cuisine. This morning I was lucky enough to join Tim Ritchie, president of The Tech Museum of Innovation and Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen (an avid foodie herself) and Nathan Myhrvold who spoke about his work and that passion for understanding food in ways we don’t normally see it.

The exhibit is over 75 large scale images that show us microscopic views of crystals of citric acid and what he calls “exploded parts diagrams” of a mushroom and swiss hamburger that took over 30 hours to prepare and takes after a drawing style popular in technical manuals and also favored by Leonardo Da Vinci.

As you go through the exhibit take time to read the descriptions which share the science but also the methods he use to achieve the shots. What appears to be a simple image on a steak is actually a composed panorama of 1,000 images stitched together to make every single millimeter sharp and clear. Another dish which seems to leap off the wall is uses a technique called “Focus stacking” where software is used to create highly dimensional photos with virtually no depth of field so every element is sharply defined and crisp.

All of the photos in this exhibit give you a new way to look at food. Whether familiar objects like a planted garden or cutaways of common household appliances, constructed images or micro views you’d never see on your own. It’s food porn at it’s finest.

This exhibit is open at The Tech from June 25 to Sept 1 and there are two special “After Hours” events planned. After Hours is the monthly evening event where adults 21 and older enjoy science, technology, entertainment, and cocktails together with their friends, and this summer there will be some special menus and themes designed to coincide with the new exhibit.

Get your tickets here:
July After Hours – Independence Day – Spirit of America
Thursday, July 3, 2014
7 p.m. – midnight

$10 / $5 for members
Buy tickets
August After Hours – Hawaiian Night Luau
Thursday, August 7, 2014
7 p.m. – midnight

$10 / $5 for members
Buy tickets

By the way, look for Modernist Cuisine recipes and videos on the website, you can get an interactive eBook in the Modernist Cuisine at Home App from the iTunes store for free in the Lite Version or buy the full version and learn about the techniques and methods of Modernist Cuisine demonstrated. Learn how to cook salmon sous vide in your kitchen sink!

STEM Lecture – Inventing Future Entrepreneurs

Michelle Khine, Ph.D., will discuss Inventing Future Entrepreneurs, particularly the growing need to cultivate “homegrown” science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) student innovators. The lecture also features opening remarks from Marc Tarpenning, co-founder of Tesla Motors.

Inquisitive teens (age 16 and older), their parents and community members are invited Friday, March 14, 7:00 p.m. in Room 5015 at the Foothill campus in Los Altos Hills. Tickets are $8, general admission; $5, Foothill students with OwlCard.

The U.S. is ranked 52nd in STEM education. With a continual decline in Americans pursuing advanced education in STEM fields (fewer than 67 percent of engineers earning Ph.D.s in the U.S. are not U.S. citizens), there is an undeniable need to foster and culture homegrown innovators. The low retention rate of student interest in STEM at the K–12 level has been identified as a major factor in this crisis.

Dr. Khine is currently an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at UC Irvine.

Parking in Lots 5 and 6 only is free for ticket-holders.

Space is limited. Purchase tickets here.


Foothill College
Lecture Hall Room 5015

Los Altos Hills

From 280 take the El Monte exit and head west. Enter Foothill College on the right and follow the campus loop.

Why the Netflix price increase isn’t

I might be getting in to this conversation a little late, but I still keep hearing people talk about the “price increase” for Netflix users. But its not really; or not if you’re willing to ditch one of their two services, streaming or dvd-by-mail. And I’m gonna be just fine with ditching streaming. Here’s why:

  • Selection: Out of 40 disks in my queue, only 6 are even available for streaming.
  • Reliability: Who wants to get halfway through watching a tv series and have the remainder suddenly yanked from the service because of a contract dispute between Netflix and the producer? I’ve had that happen at least once with streaming.
  • Picture quality: At least on my interconnect connection, watching Netflix streaming is like watching a DVD, if I were to previously have dipped my glasses in vaseline.
  • Sound: In some of the videos I’ve watched on streaming, the sound was out of sync with the video by more than a second. I saw this the worst in the old Monty Python tv shows. Timing is everything (they say) in comedy…and trying to watch Monty Python with the sound off by a second proves it.

I’ve heard some people say they’ll be just as happy ditching dvd-by-mail and getting streaming only. I’m not sure why they’d be willing to pay for a limited selection of jerky out-of-sync videos, but they’ll get a price cut too, just the same.

Now if Netflix ever decides to actually drop their dvd-by-mail service altogether, then we’ll have something to really complain about, but hopefully they’re smart enough to know that streaming just isn’t ready for prime time, yet.

iPhone Alarm Did Not Go Off on Jan. 1st, 2011


I am one of Apples biggest fans, but this morning they owe me an apology. Last night I set two alarms on my designed in Cupertino iPhone. One for 4:35 AM and one for 4:40 AM. My eyes opened to see a big red 5 AM on my (not set) clock radio. I needed to be somewhere at 5:15!

My New Year’s Eve beverages, enjoyed while playing 9 Ball at California Billiard Club, did not get any stronger than diet Pepsi and coffee, and I was home before the New Year ball drop. How could I have slept through two iPhone alarms? Apple let me down. The alarms did not go off! Thankfully, I made my destination on time this morning, but I wonder how many lives were altered by this iPhone glitch? How many users are still asleep?

PCMAG.COM explains it here. I think I need to set the clock radio… ;-(

Temple Grandin (the Movie) and AAC Device

I had not heard of Dr. Temple Grandin until I watched the Emmy Awards. The award winning HBO movie “Temple Grandin” tells the story of a most remarkable woman. She has the determination to live a productive life in spite of autism. Her tenacity to ‘right a wrong’ should be inspiration for us all. After winning 7 Emmys “Temple Grandin” has now been nominated for a Golden Globe – Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made For Television. I recommend “Temple Grandin” available on Netflix.

I also recommend TapToTalk a product developed locally by Assistyx for non-verbal autistic children.

HBO watch Temple Grandin trailer

Dr. Temple Grandin Official Autism Website

TapToTalk – facebook

*Temple Grandin photo credit: Steve Jurvetson on flickr

Note: an AAC is a device which helps people with speech impairments communicate.

Women and Girls Thriving in the New Economy 2010


The Women & Girls 2010 Summit is a interactive forum to find ways to move women into education and training in non-traditional careers, including science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

This free event is Thursday (12/2/2010) at New Venture Hall, The Tech Museum.

Women are increasingly prominent in medicine, law and business, yet there are few women scientists and engineers. This forum provides an opportunity to address promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education especially for girls and other underrepresented populations along with reducing gender barriers in these fields.

Keynote Speaker: Victoria Plaut, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Law and Social Science, UC Berkeley

Panelists:

Alana Conner, Ph.D., Vice President, The Tech Museum

Isaura S. Gaeta, Global Director of Corporate Affairs, Intel Corp.

Barbara Kamm, President & CEO, Technology Credit Union

Alyssa Newman, Corporate Sustainability, SunPower Foundation


Online registration here.


The Tech Museum, New Venture Hall
201 South Market Street, 95113

Thursday, December 2, 2010
11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Tech Museum Free Second Sundays 2010-2011


The Tech Museum continues to offer free admission to The Tech’s regular museum galleries on the second Sunday of each month through September 2011. It does not include free admission to IMAX or to special blockbuster exhibits.

Explore hundreds of exhibits, many of which are original or custom made, including many fun and informative hands-on exhibits.


Free Sunday Dates:

November 14, 2010
December 12, 2010
January 9, 2011
February 13, 2011
April 10, 2011
May 8, 2011
June 12, 2011
July 10, 2011
September 11, 2011

There is no free second Sunday admission in March and August.

Discounted parking with Tech Museum validation is available at the Second and San Carlos Street Garage and at the Convention Center garage.

The Tech Museum is located near the VTA Light Rail line. The nearest exits are Convention Center Station and the Paseo de San Antonio station.

The Tech Museum
201 South Market Street, San Jose
408-294-8324

Moo-Chu’s in the Parking Lot

One of the more unlikely diner locations is in the middle of the Nvidia parking lot in Santa Clara. That is where you will find

Moo-Chu’s American / Asian Restaurant
2772 San Tomas Expressway, Santa Clara, CA, 95050
(408) 919-2879

The food is good and the coffee is Peet’s! Moo-Chu’s started out for Nvidia staff but has doubled their business since opening to the public. At lunchtime, you can see employees from a variety of nearby high-tech companies cutting through the parking lots near San Tomas Expressway (Between Central and Walsh), headed for Moo-Chu’s.  Look for the big sign of the cow wearing an Asian hat.

IMG_4997 IMG_4998

Images by Katy Dickinson, Copyright 2010

“Inception” See it 4K and in a D-BOX Seat

I don’t get out to the movies as much as I used to, but “Inception” is one movie that I want to see on the big screen.

Camera 7 has 4K Digital Projection on their big screen. I asked Dominic Espinosa, Camera Cinemas District Manager, what was the advantage of 4K. Dominic explained that the old 2K resolution put out 2,000 pixels and that the 4K projector puts out 4,000 pixels. Double of anything sounds good to me. Camera 7 is also the first movie theater in Silicon Valley to have D-BOX motion effects seats.

Alejandro Adams, Camera 7 General Manager, had invited a select few of us to experience a D-BOX demo. After we got settled in the special bright red extra wide seats, we were given our instructions. A control is mounted on the right side of each seat. The seat motion is synchronized with the action of the film. The Settings: High – Medium – Low – Off.

As we viewed the trailers for “The Expendables”, “Tron: Legacy”, and an action piece from “Fast and Furious”, it was easy to adjust to the amount of seat motion intensity that I was comfortable with. I kept it on the highest setting for most of the time.  The seat motion effects did bring added excitement to the hard hitting scenes. The movement was not over done, distracting or annoying.

Thanks to Alejandro and Dominic I found the perfect theater. By going on the Camera Cinemas website I was able to purchase 2 tickets for “Inception” – $8 was added to the ticket price of each D-BOX seat.

Camera 7
Inception D-BOX – New this Week!
Now offering D-BOX Motion Effects Seating option! An $8 per ticket surcharge applies for this experience!
Daily at 12:15pm, 3:30, 6:40, 9:45

Buy Tickets

Camera Seven on twitter ~ see information about special events and promotions.

D-BOX:
on twitter
on facebook
on YouTube

D-BOX flickr set.

“The Expendables” (plays with sound) and 3D “Tron: Legacy” (plays with sound) will be released with the D-BOX motion code.

Team San Jose’s Digital Carnival

Come experience Team San Jose’s Digital Carnival – Help celebrate a new brand, a new website, a new vision…

Enjoy Signature Drinks and Delectable Treats as you talk Technology.

iPad Giveaways – Win Tickets to Raging Waters

San Jose Convention Center – Fountain Entrance
June 30, 2010
6:30 – 7:00pm Registration & Cocktails
7:00pm Unveiling
7:15 – 9:00pm Feature Exploration
The Event is Free – Validated Parking

Team San Jose on twitter and on facebook

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