Today’s cocktail was inspired by a coworker who had it in Vegas. He was able to give me the ingredient list but not proportions; I had to work it out by trial and error.
The Interpol builds on several rich traditions: gin cocktails featuring amari (e.g. the Negroni, with Campari) and traditional cocktails that substitute an amaro for some or all the vermouth, for instance. This one builds an alternative to a martini by replacing the dry vermouth with Cardamaro, a cardoon (artichoke) based amaro that adds a woody, herbal flavor. (You might remember it from my Woodsy Owl).
I had to play with the proportions and am not convinced that I got it quite right, but I really liked this version. There’s an alternative formulation at Kindred Cocktails that I also want to try, but I think the simple syrup has to be 86’d—the gin is already sweet enough.
As always, here’s the Highball recipe card, if you plan to try it out. Enjoy!
A few interesting presentations last week at BlackHat dealt with iOS security. The most interesting was Ivan Krstić’s presentation taking us “Behind the Scenes with iOS Security.” Krstić, Apple’s head of security engineering and architecture, reviewed the implementation of features like Keychain Backup, file encryption, sharing of credit card information across devices, etc.
I particularly enjoyed the description of how the cloud-based key vaults for iCloud are protected:
It’s the middle of the week—a three-rehearsal week, two down—and it’s been overcast and rainy all day. Nothing but gray. Which is why all the caffeine in the world isn’t enough and I’m staring at gray skies, and listening to Charlie Haden.
Ah, Charlie Haden. I’ve had the privilege of seeing both Haden and his son Josh Haden (with his band Spain) live. My experience with Charlie was in the context of his Liberation Music Orchestra, with Amina Claudine Meyers on piano and Makanda Ken McIntire, among others. I can’t say that I recall much of the show; I was unprepared to understand the complexities of what that band was playing and didn’t know much about Charlie at that time, including the fact that he had been the bassist with Ornette Coleman’s band featured on The Shape of Jazz To Come. But he made an impression on me for the serenity of his playing and the staggering complexity of some of the music.
What I’m listening to this afternoon is something else entirely. Haden’s other group, Quartet West, performed simpler, melodic, and overwhelmingly romantic jazz, and his 1997 album Now Is The Hour features all of that plus a string orchestra section. The ballads are sentimental and enveloping, the fast tunes are bracing and the playing is absolutely impeccable. Highly recommended.
UVA Today: Jeffersonian Roofs Restored Over Lawn Rooms. When I lived at 3 West Lawn, there were pitched slate roofs over all the student rooms on the Lawn at the University of Virginia. Turns out that those roofs post-dated Jefferson. His original idea? Flat roofs. And the design was ingenious: Cover a serrated wooden roof with decking. The rain water would run down through the decking and run out through the valleys of the wood roofs. Kind of like this:
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Unfortunately, Jefferson’s vision outstripped his engineering. The wood sub-roof leaked, damaging the roof over the colonnade walkway. So in the 1830s the flat roofs were covered over with pitched slate roofs.
What I find so fascinating about the story is the fact that Jefferson’s original roofs were preserved under the slate for 180 years. I also like this tidbit:
“All the single-leaf doors were replaced in the 1990s with new half-leaf doors,” Kutney said. “We’ve more recently found evidence that the single-leaf was the original Jefferson condition, so we’re going back to the single-leaf.”
When I was a student, I had a discussion with the late J. Murray Howard about the ongoing renovations of the Lawn, including his dismay that students damaged the paint of the doors on their Lawn rooms by hanging signs on them advertising various student activities. He didn’t appreciate my observation that the students who occupied the Lawn were the living embodiment of Jefferson’s vision just as much as the buildings, and that part of the vitality of that vision was the presence of advertising for the student groups who had gotten them to the Lawn in the first place. Howard was responsible for adding the half-leaf doors. It’s petty of me, but I like the reminder that even experts can be wrong.
The TechCrunch headline focuses on the “public beta” aspect of Apple’s post-Maps transformation. I’d argue that an even more significant aspect is highlighted by Federighi’s comment that “we needed to develop competencies that we initially didn’t appreciate… Maps presents huge issues relating to data integration and data quality, things we would need to do on an ongoing basis.” They’re doing them now, to the tune of an added 4,000 workers in an Indian development center focused on Maps data.
The whole 2012 fiasco – which I believe has been turned around, btw – was completely avoidable had Apple done any strategic analysis on the maps market. A little Porter’s five forces would have drawn their attention to the problem of barriers to entry, and a little thought might have raised the point that data quality was in fact a significant competitive advantage that Google had, and a sustainable one based on their existing efforts around data quality in other, more directly search-related fields.
Living in a densely populated state like Massachusetts, it’s sometimes a shock to be reminded that we have such immense areas of uninhabitable land in the United States. There’s nothing like a flyover of the Grand Canyon to bring that home.
And there’s nothing like following it up with a flyover of Lake Mead and a landing in Las Vegas to remind oneself of just how much we’ve changed the landscape of this country. And how much water matters.
I was in an interesting Facebook discussion last night. One of my friends was struggling to reconcile love for the works of Edgar Allan Poe with increased evidence that he was a virulent racist.
It occurred to me, as I thought about my response, that this is not unlike being a lifelong student of Thomas Jefferson while acknowledging that he not only owned slaves but fathered children with one of them.
What I’ve come to increasingly understand—not “appreciate,” but understand—is that this whole country is tainted with racism and slavery. It’s like Bob Dylan said: “Seen an arrow on the doorpost / Saying this land’s been condemned / All the way from New Orleans / To Jerusalem.” We are, all of us Americans, complicit in the original sin of America. That doesn’t mean, to me, that you throw out the whole thing; it means that you appreciate the moments of beauty that have managed to poke their heads above the horror all around them.