Gufodotto would like you to read these:

Thursday, March 15, 2007

labels on the side bar

so that you will be able to browse my posts by subject. :-)

Remember a Giant...

of italian journalism: Indro Montanelli.

I learned history from his books, rather than the school-suggested textbook, and God it was funnier! I still remember with fondness the wide open eyes of my history teacher, when I told her that Julius caesar was a womanizer (and gay too), citing don't remember who (svetonius? boh!) called him Moechus Calvus.

Go and read up his story, certainly more movimented than most of us.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Venn's Diagram for the state of the Union

I took it from Pharyingula, cited so many times in here that you don't really need the link anymore I guess. Just google it. Feel lazy today uh? Ok I inserted it.

Also on pharyngula, the incredible news of a woman with one more nipple in her foot

Eran Trecento, giovani e forti...

e sono morti...

yes I am talking about the Termopilae battle, and the new movie 300 based on Frank miller's comic which re-tells the story.

My dear friend daniele is longing to see it, although the NY Times review I sent him didn't quite covince him. I couldn't be bothered to read it. But I did check the IMDB, and the movie has quite a high rating, at 8.4. Not half bad, having jumped as high as #156 in the best 250 movies ever (for the voters of the site). Unless the 17848 voters are all Miller fanboys, i can't see how the movie can't be bad. I'll check it out, then.

I guess there will not be much suspense, though, with the ending known since two thousand and a half years... :-|

for some reviews in italian, go here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pasta with Bottarga

first, a link to it.

then, the way I make it:

first off, these are ingredients for 4 hungry italian boys, so scale them accordingly:

- 5-600 gr of pasta (yes, that's 125-150 gr each: I did say we were hungry)
- a bunch of parsley, flat leaf if possible 'cause it's softer and it cuts better...
- 50-80 gr of butter, if you really have to substitute it with margarine, but believe me it's not healthier :-)
- two cloves of garlic, as fresh as possible if you can.
- one strong chili pepper dry or fresh.
- and yes, some 50 gr of bottarga, freshly grated/ground.

ok, start putting the water on the fire. some 4 liters should be fine, plus a fistful of salt.
in the meanwhile it gets hot, you finely chop the garlic and the chili, melt the butter in a sauce pan (a wok is perfect, if you have one, 'cause you'll need to mix the pasta in it afterwards) and put them in. leave like that for two to three minutes, make sure that the butter is on the verge of boiling but do not burn the garlic. in those three minutes, you finely chop the bunch of parsley, and you add them to the pan. leave one minutes and then shut the fire off.

now, your water should almost done, when it's happily boiling pour in your spaghetti, barilla number 3 if you can find them or any other kind of dry pasta you like. it'll cook itself just stir it from time to time.

don't keep your thumbs idle, though, you grind/grate the bottarga and pour it in the wok, mix it with the rest until it adsorbs the butter and creates a kind of sauce. if it's too dry, add a little bit of butter or olive oil or else some water from the pasta (diet choice).

roughly drain the pasta before it's "al dente", and turn on the fire behind the wok/saucepan. pour the pasta in with a lil bit of cooking water (a few spoonful, or what's left if you drain it quickly), and stir vigorously, until the sauce has spread more or less evenly. then divide it in portion and serve. enjoy! (keep the dishes slightly warm, so that the pasta will stay warmer while you eat it)


- chives instead of parsley, black pepper instead of chili, and so on. just experiment!!!


other recipe with pictures (that's where I took them from - mine looks much more different, with lots of parsley and ground garlic all over the place

Silly me, you may need to buy it. (never tried it, though)

Keep an eye on this guy

He always has something interesting to talk about: in this case, an exhaustive article about the varying size of genomes in different animals (and plants too) with a rationalisation of why this may happen (hint: varying metabolism levels)

Many thanks to Science for keeping this nice piece freely available

House Hunting

I've spent the weekend doing two things. No wait, three, of which two had to do with houses.

First on saturday morning, We (me and Marie) set off to Breda, to join my MI colleagues in the effort of bringing down the ceilings of Wendy's place. It was nice, I got to know the whole of her family, Henry (husband), Kirsten and Maren (daughters), Jasper (helpful son). Other colleagues were present as I said, Daniele, Pascal, Libuse, Theo, his wife keeping the little ladies entertained. Is that it? yes, that's it. Pretty heavy job a nice change for us, whose hardest work is pressing buttons, be them those of a keyboard, or at the most the coffee machine's.

At midday, I stopped that and started cooking my worldwide renowned pasta with bottarga (dried ovaries of cod-like fishes), who was very appreciated. I'd have called it a day, already, but it wasn't nearly done: whereas the other restarted to bring down the third room, Marie and me quickly changed and left for Mechelen, where we had six (!) houses/apartments to check.

Pretty good fun, if it hadn't been for some misunderstanding between me and various agents who messed up my carefully crafted timetable. But, (there's always a but) marie and me could not agree on any of the houses really. the stylish one which I liked (inhabited by a couple of (gay?) musicians had two very steep flight of stairs, which would make it very difficult to move stuff in and out. Another one, which I insisted for visiting, she liked but I absolutely hated. Old and badly mantained, with a nightmarish layout.

Luckily, we managed to intrude ourselves unexpected in a apartment which we both liked: no surprise, being it the most expensive of the bunch. here it is:

Click on it to go to the google map. I'd post the pictures, but hopefully the weblink will be broken once the house is taken off the market by ourselves. Anyway, as you can see from the pictures it's in a nice green area. the road it sits on is quite trafficked, there's a hypermarket just down the road, which is however a good thing for us - plus, over that wood in front there's a double rail-line, but nothing to fret about: the house is anyway new and quite well sound-proofed, so no troubles for sleeping at night (or at day, should we want to). The garden on the back is simply huge, and I can foresee many many barbecues in it. Of course me being me, I al;ready checked how far the nearest swimming pool is (2.8 Km):

The station is close enough for a bike ride every day, so hopefully i'll get rid of my car sometime in the near future. the idea is to move in the begin of june. Which incidentally means no africa trip, and I'm also going to forgo my training in perugia - substituted by a more useful one in Oxford anyway - end of June, so that I can move and settle down before leaving.

On Sunday morning, we took advantage of the sunny weather to stroll around at the national botanic garden in Meise:

Very nice place, we managed to go straight through it from the entrance in the village side 'til the greenhouses, which we visited in their entirety (albeit quickly). I'd like to post some pictures of the inside but they are crap since I didn't have my camera, only my mobile phone. X-P

In the afternoon, another tour of a nice green area, the region around the lake de la cambre (in Ixelles):

On the monday, no work for me, I tried to arrange a meeting with the owner of the house we liked, but couldn't make it. we just went to visit another one, which we didn't like particularly, so we decided to stick with the one we already applied for. cross your fingers for us, guys and girls. We'll let you know more later on!!!

Wish I was like him?

The NY Times has an article about Terence Tao, probably the most gifted mathematician of this generation. At age two, he knew hot to read and count. At seven, he was tackling calculus, At 20, he had a PhD. So, do I wish i was him? Uhm, I don't know. He himself admits he wasn't perfect in all fields, getting frustrated when asked to write essays, for example. Also he does not know any language other than english, from what he says: he certainly is excellent in his own fields, far more than I'll ever be in my own (whichever that is). Still, I would not exchange my place with his. better for both I guess. I am sure he would not enjoy to be a still running PhD at the age of 32 :-D - that, and I am better looking ;-)

Jon move up come on, I can't wait for ever to get that damn title. One more year and I will give up science and transfer to organised crime. Much more fun, and safer occupation.