shirou: (Default)
I have written 112 pages of actual content for my dissertation. So far I have:
  • Half an introduction. I started writing this, but then I decided that it would be better to write the body of the paper and return to the introduction, as the body is what I need to introduce. Theoretically I knew from the beginning what the body of the thesis would contain, but the actual writing of it makes much more concrete in my mind what I need to motivate. In addition to writing the latter half of the introduction, I will now need to revise heavily the former half.
  • A chapter on the mathematics needed to understand my work. I assume that the reader has already learned multivariate calculus and differential equations; I'm not going to spend my time reviewing undergrad mathematics. Instead I focus on the problems of nonlinear dynamics and high-dimensional systems. This chapter will require only minor revisions.
  • A chapter that follows my first publication. Between 1/3 and 1/2 of this is copied directly from the paper. The paper was short, though, and I felt that significant expansion was necessary. This chapter will require only minor revision.
  • A chapter that follows my second publication. This publication is recent and I am quite happy with it as is, so this chapter is about 90% copied. Yeah, it's a cheat, I know. But hey: my words are my words, and I'm free to use them. I did add a page on distribution functions that we cut from the paper because, while it puts the work on firmer foundation, it doesn't add a lot of insight. This chapter will require only minor revisions.
  • A chapter on the background of a biological process that I have modeled. My ability to describe biology sucks terribly. Dammit, Josh, I'm a doctor physicist, not a biologist! (Josh, btw, is my promoting professor.) This chapter will need heavy revisions, but fortunately I have collaborators in biology who can help me with that.

Still to come:
  • Revisions.
  • The latter half of the introduction.
  • A chapter on the mathematical modeling I did for the aforementioned biological process. In truth this is partly written already, as I am working on writing the paper that we will submit for publication, and once I have that, I will pretty much just copy it into my dissertation. :p
  • A conclusions chapter. I am excited about writing this because some experimentalists upstairs have found that one of the features I identified is necessary for explaining their results. That's right: my theory has helped explain an experimental result, and the theory preceded the experiment. Fuckin' sweet. It's not a complicated theory, but if it's useful, I count that as a win.

A couple of people asked for my chocolate mousse recipe, so here it is. The measurements are in English/American units, so I apologize to my international readers. The recipe comes from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Délicieux!

Mousseline au chocolat )

Finally, I feel compelled to pimp Dreamwidth one more time. If you are reading this on Livejournal, I strongly encourage you to check it out. My Dreamwidth page is here. I have several Dreamwidth invitation codes, so please let me know if you (or somebody you know) wants one.
shirou: (Default)
This is a recipe for collard greens drawn mainly from Bottega Favorita. The original recipe calls for spinach, but I like collard greens better. I'm sure it would also work with any other kind of green.

  • collard (or other) greens
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • pine nuts
  • raisins
  • garlic
  • juice of 1/4 lemon

  1. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the greens, let the water return to the boil, and cook for one minute. Remove the greens and immediately plunge them into a ready bath of ice water to stop the cooking. Remove and let dry.
  2. Toast the pine nuts in a small quantity of olive oil.
  3. Soak the raisins in water for 10 minutes. Drain and dry.
  4. Melt the butter is a fry pan and add the garlic. After a minute or two, add the greens, lemon juice, pine nuts and raisin. Serve after the greens have wilted and everything has heated through.

The blanching (step one) helps reduce the bitterness of the greens and locks in the bright green color. It can be done far in advance of the wilting, so this dish is not only easy, it's also convenient as an accompaniment to something that requires more careful timing. The addition of the pine nuts and raisins is what makes this recipe a novelty -- the actual preparation of the greens is standard -- and they are what makes this dish stand out (in my opinion).

I toast my pine nuts in a fry pan with a little oil, but you can also spread them on a sheet pan and put it in the oven. I prefer the fry pan because it's easier to keep an eye on them; pine nuts have a tendency to burn when not carefully watched.

Pictures! )
shirou: (Default)
Nice Matin
210 W 79th St, New York NY
(at Amsterdam Ave)

My wife and I ate at Nice Matin in March 09. We were in town to visit her family and celebrate our anniversary, and while we were there we met up with a friend of mine. My friend recommended that we have dinner at this restaurant, and I was not disappointed.

Nice Matin is not small, but it's not large. The tables are fairly close together, which is to be expected in New York. The restaurant was full but did not feel overcrowded. The furniture is made of dark wood, but the floor and the lighting give the restaurant a kind of amber glow, so it felt cozy, but lively, and classy without being pretentious.

The food was excellent. I had the hanger steak au poivre with braised spinach and onion rings. The steak was nice and tender, although not quite as rare as I had requested; the pepper sauce was well made and complemented it nicely. The spinach was really excellent: a beautiful deep green with lots of flavor. Braised greens are one of my favorite foods when well cooked, but frequently they are too dry or too bitter or too dull, but this spinach had none of those faults. The onion rings were also very good: thin and crispy.

For dessert I had crème brûlée, one of the better ones I've had. Crème brûlée is one of my favorite treats, and I like to try it at a variety of restaurants, and Nice Matin's definitely stacks up.

The wine list was long and extensive. Most of the wines are on the pricey side, but we were still able to get a good Haut Medoc without breaking the bank. Actually, I think Nice Matin's mark-up on wine is on the low side, which is always a plus. On the whole, the prices were very reasonable.

The service was also very good. The waiter was attentive without hovering. The restaurant was sufficiently staffed that the waiters were not spread too thin.

We will surely go back to Nice Matin. Highly recommended.

Menupages entry:



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November 2011



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