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[Comments] (2) : Finished The System of the World last night. I found the ending quite satisfactory; almost conventional. A good show all around, though my mother would probably feel a compulsion to edit huge chunks out of the Baroque Cycle the way she does Lord of the Rings.

[Comments] (1) : While I'm talking about books I should mention that I also read The Crying of Lot 49, which is about as good as everyone says it is, but in retrospect they weren't saying it was as good as you thought they were saying it was. Still great. I had no idea that Yoyodyne in Buckaroo Banzai was a reference to Pynchon.

[Comments] (1) : Awesome. For a while I've been telling anyone who would listen that 1) books often make machine-parsable references to other books, and 2) there's no not-obviously-lame reason for the copyright owner of a book to get mad over people republishing their book's bibliography, leading to 3) the inevitable emergence of a utopian world in which cool and useful graphs of books that reference each other can be made. That despite this, I continued, of the online services (ie. Google and Amazon) that make selected portions of books available to the public like fish dangled above the heads of eager penguins, none have seen fit to provide automatic cross-referencing of books' bibliographies.

It turns out that Amazon recently introduced that exact feature, so good for them. Unfortunately since it's part of their Search Inside The Dang Book initiative I doubt there will ever be API support for it. "You let hackers Search Inside My Dang Book automatically?"

[Comments] (3) Vaguely Remembered Mashed Sweet Potatoes: I guess I should post this since I already got a request for it. This is the recipe for mashed sweet potatoes mentioned in the Salon article. It's based on an ATK recipe but the requestor couldn't find the recipe on the ATK site for whatever reason, and mine's a little different anyway. It's really simple, so here it is in 1-2-3-4 form:

Dump everything in a pot. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Mash and serve with pepper.

I have a nonstick pot, so even though I was lazy about stirring and some of the potato slices got burned on the surface, it just enhanced the flavor with Maillard reaction products. Laziness wins again!

I remember the ATK recipe using white sugar instead of brown. I'm sure they tested it both ways but using white sugar with sweet potatoes just seems wrong to me.


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