“Chili is the state dish of Texas, and fall marks the beginning of chili season,” Ms. Fain said. “That’s chili with no tomatoes and no beans.” Frito pie, she added, is a staple at Texas high school football games on Friday nights. As she spoke, she pulled at a package of ground beef, forming what looked like pebbles before dropping them in the pot. “In Texas groceries they sell chili chuck, which is a bigger grind than you find here.”
“There is an active immune response which accounts for the resistance of certain people getting sick, and that response is just as active as the response we all know and hate, which is being sick with the sniffles, fever, coughing and sneezing. It’s just that the responses are different.”
With several hundred signals that are read and processed by their search algorithm, we’ve always known that Google puts a tremendous amount of time, money, and effort into making their results match their users’ needs. Now, we have an idea of how much tweaking is done: a lot.
Their “search scientists” test the changes they make in a sandbox environment to see how each change, twist, addition, and omission reacts to various searches and search types.
“Just last year we launched over 500 changes to our algorithm so by some count we change our algorithm almost every day, almost twice over,” said Google Fellow Amit Singhal.
Haruki Murakami’s venerated novel of love and mental illness, Norwegian Wood, has been pulled off a reading list for New Jersey teenagers after a rash of complaints from parents.
The novel, which has inspired obsessive devotion from its fans in Japan and around the world since it was first published in 1987, is set in 1960s Tokyo, and tells of 19-year-old Toru Watanabe’s relationships with two girls: troubled, vulnerable Naoko and impetuous Midori. The best known of Murakami’s novels, it has sold more than 10m copies in Japan and 2.6m in translation.
It was put on the required summer reading list for the 15- and 16-year-old pupils entering the 10th grade at Williamstown High School in New Jersey, with Nic Sheff’s memoir of addiction and recovery, Tweak: Growing up on Methamphetamines, recommended for senior-year students, aged 17 to 18. After “multiple” complaints from parents to the school board, the books have now been removed from the lists.
“Since I’m a single officer in the Marine barracks and I’ve got the highest security clearance you can get, I also serve at the White House in close quarters with President Bush and President Obama at social events. Very seldom was the president ever alone, but one time the president had said, ‘Go and get the vice president,’ and all the straphangers went, and the president went in the Blue Room and was just standing there waiting for Biden. And there was no Secret Service around or anything, and I went, ‘Fuck it, I’m going to go and talk to the president about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” ’ He was looking out south—there’s an incredible view down past the Washington Monument to the Jefferson. And I just stepped in and said, ‘Sir?’ and he turned around and walks to me and I just started: ‘You know, sir, I want to let you know that there are a number of us that work very close to you who appreciate very much what you’re doing on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”—more than you probably realize.’ And he was shaking my hand, he looks up and it’s like… he got it. I said, ‘I want to thank you for this.’ And he goes, ‘No, I want to thank you. Thank you for your service, and thank you for your courage.’ ”—Marine Corps Officer | Don’t Ask, Don’t TELL (via fujiidom)
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”—Text of Steve Jobs’ Commencement address (2005)