Monthly Archives: May 2013

Holiday Inn in Earth City, MO – “No casualties” – St Louis County OEM

There are multiple rumors on Twitter – as of yet unconfirmed – that KMOV-TV has reported a “mass casualties” event at a Holiday Inn in Earth City, MO as a result of the storms that are going through St Louis on the evening of May 31, 2013. There is not yet any photo evidence or any web page from a reliable source to confirm this.

Let’s hope this is just an Internet rumor.

News sources that would be likely to print a story or cover it: KMOV-TV St Louis. KMOV has a live stream, which appears to be overloaded – I’m getting video but no audio.

Listening also to KMOX, CBS news radio in St Louis. They are reading from Twitter, “I’m getting very skeptical about Twitter.”

The hotel in question: Holiday Inn Airport West, Earth City MO

“No movement of I-70 in the Earth City area.” (KMOX)



University of Michigan softball team in severe weather in Oklahoma City on May 31, 2013

The University of Michigan softball team is in Oklahoma City for the Women’s College World Series games. They were caught in the May 31, 2013 tornadoes in that area. The team, along with other teams in the games took shelter in an underground parking garage.

News coverage: WXYZ/AP.

I’m listening to the local NBC affiliate, KFOR, which is doing live coverage of the Oklahoma City tornadoes (plural).

I’m following Greg Garno who is with the team reporting for the Michigan Daily.

Here’s a snapshot of the weather map, note multiple tornado cells (purple triangles) on the radar.


Here’s preliminary tornado track maps.

Hacker News summary, Wednesday 29 May 2013, 5:00 p.m. EST edition

Welcome to the Wednesday version of a daily Hacker News summary. In the news today: a new Gmail interface, a Drupal security breach, how to negotiate a job offer, Bill Gates goes to India, and Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends.

I’m going to diverge a little from past practice and pick and choose a little more carefully than normally, going a little beyond the top 8 to find the stories that actually interest me.

1. Gmail is getting a new user interface, one that adds tabs and more integration with Google+. (Gmail Blog) “I know we feel the need to comment on everything right away these days, but honestly there isn’t much to say about this feature until we’ve actually used it.” (223 comments)

2. “The Security Team and Infrastructure Team has discovered unauthorized access to account information on and” Users are advised to change their password, not to reuse passwords between sites, and to turn on two-factor authentication.
“Malicious files were placed on servers via a third-party application used by that site.” – and commenters are wondering which third-party app was involved.

3. For $100/node/month, Linode announces a managed IT infrastructure.
“If the remote hands are awesome, this is well worth $100 per node. If they are anything but awesome, this wouldn’t be worth it for any amount of money.”

4. “The Magazine” has been sold by founder Marco Arment to editor Glenn Fleishman.
(Marco Arment)
Instapaper. Tumblr. and now The Magazine. Sounds like Marco is clearing house a bit.

5. How to negotiate a job offer. “If you’re not currently working, and you don’t have competing offers, you’re pretty much out of luck.”
“The “Pre-Reqs” piece is not right. You really don’t need to have another job offer or a current job to negotiate. ”

6. Bill Gates is going to India because it has the grand challenge of extreme poverty and also the resources to attack that problem. He’s also going to pick up some dance moves from a Bollywood star.
(The Gates Notes)
“Have you seen real poverty? Just take a trip to Mumbai and visit the slums there.”

7. Amazon announces “Login with Amazon” as a single sign-on function for web sites.
(Amazon PR)
“I think this is a great idea. I don’t love the Facebook OAuth flow and the amount of access most apps ask for.”

8. Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends.

Hacker News summary, Tuesday 28 May 2013, 9:45 p.m edition

A late evening version of Hacker News for Tuesday 28 May 2013. I've added links to the comments for each entry, and try to pull out a useful quote from the comments if there are any that are easy to find. Of interest: Pixar raytracing, Liberty Reserve money laundering, and Harvard email snooping.

1. A breakdown of github pull requests by acceptance rate, for a variety of languages and projects. If you want to get your pull request accepted, don't write C++, write Scala; and contribute to projects like Akka and backbone-fundamentals that take 80+% of pull requests. (Paul Miller) "I'm surprised the acceptance rate is so high." (28 comments)

2. "Pixar's lighting/rendering systems were completely redone for their new film Monsters University." Correspondence with Chris Horne, who worked on MU. "So our Director of Photography went to a studio that is so clearly raytracing averse and essentially said "We're raytracing everything." (Mason Smith) (92 comments)

3. "Liberty Reserve, which was incorporated in 2006, was a "bank of choice for the criminal underworld," according to the indictment, which said the operation allegedly laundered the money through 55 million transactions before it was shut down earlier this month." $6 billion was allegedly laundered. (Wall Street Journal) The comments note the precarious legal position of various Bitcoin exchanges. (50 comments)

4. Topcoat is "CSS for clean and fast web apps". Download version 0.3 (Github). The comments compare it to Twitter Bootstrap and Zurb Foundation. (78 comments)

5. Thomas Friedman writes about HireArt, which has HR software to better match candidates with job openings by tailoring tests and quizzes to the qualifications for the job. (NY Times) (no comments)

6. Evelynn Hammonds will step down as Harvard College dean, in the wake of a scandal involving searches of Harvard faculty and staff email accounts. She will return to teaching and research in the History of Science and African and African American Studies departments. ( (18 comments)

7. A Facebook engineer waxes poetical about his four years with the company and the engineering challenges he has faced. (Ryan Patterson) (1 comment) (why is this on the top 10)

8. You have 13 days to buy the Humble Indie Bundle 8 with 7 games for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Pay what you want. (Humble Bundle) The comments have game reviews, many of which are favorable. (53 comments)

9. Build startups and systems to help the "unexotic underclass", which lives in small town America and includes single moms, returning veterans, and others who live outside of the startup-fueled glitz of Silicon Valley (C.Z. Nnaemeka) "Condense the article down and you're left with this nugget of advice: You'll have a better chance of success if you target unsaturated, boring markets." (28 comments)

10. Pure is "a set of small, responsive CSS modules that you can use in every web project" brought to you by Yahoo! The library is tiny and works well with mobile applications. (Pure) The core developers of Pure are contributing in the comments. (106 comments)


Related articles

Pixar moves to raytracing
On summarization
Hacker News summary for Tuesday 28 May 2013, 7:00 a.m. edition
The Evolution Of Hacker News
Liberty Reserve shut down in $6bn money laundering case

Hacker News summary for Tuesday 28 May 2013, 7:00 a.m. edition

Here's a summary of the top stories on Hacker News at this moment, as part of daily exercise to do a closer reading of the tech news. See On Summarization for more background.

1. "Opera for desktop has not only been redesigned; it's also completely re-engineered under the hood. With the Chromium engine, users get a standards-compliant and high-performance browser." (Opera) "The price of switching to Chromium: = 37.8 MB,
Opera = 103.1 MB" (@maxart via @gen)

2. "The Haskell Platform is the easiest way to get started with programming Haskell. It comes with all you need to get up and running." For Windows, OSX and Linux.  Current release: 2013.2.0.0 (Haskell)

3. John Dryden, a Batavia IL teacher, is under fire from the school administration after informing his students of their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. The students were given a survey with their names on it asking about drug, alcohol, and tobacco use. (Daily Herald)

4. Sony has made a lot of money selling insurance and making movies and music, and has lost quite a bit selling electronics. Analysts wonder if Sony should exit the electronics business rather than invest in strengthening it. (NY Times)

5. There is a problem with the spacing on Facebook's display of text in the timeline, and 3 pixels of added whitespace would fix it. "I'm sorry for rageskitching about Facebook, but I can't help it." (Garry Tan)

6. "Michael Markieta, a transportation planner at global engineering and design firm Arup, has spent the last year developing visualisations of flight paths crossing the globe." The maps are very pretty. (BBC)

7. "Identify a pattern, run a mask, put recovered passes in a new dict, run again with rules, identify a new pattern, etc." How password cracking is done. (Ars Technica) "Correct horse battery staple." (XKCD)

8. "I am still learning to manage my time better and would love to hear your thoughts if you’ll are a startup dad/mom." Some productivity hints from a father of a young child who runs a startup. (Sahil Parikh)

9. "These cases are covered under a new HTML5 called the meta referrer. Now a simple tag can be used, such as <meta name="referrer" content="always">, to specify the exact behaviour of the HTTP Referrer regardless of whether we're using HTTP or HTTPS." (Stephen Merity)

10. Find a set of complementary colours just by moving your mouse around. (

Recipe: Asparagus with mushrooms

This simple asparagus with mushrooms dish is served with pasta. J doesn't like linguini, so we made it with rotini. This comes together in a hurry – you can cook the whole thing up in the time it takes to boil the pasta.


  • Olive oil
  • Two or three cloves of garlic
  • Asparagus, about a pound
  • Button mushrooms, about a pound
  • Basil, dried or fresh
  • White wine


Boil water for pasta. When it's hot, cook the pasta. There should be time to drain it after you've done the cooking of the asparagus.

Wash the asparagus, snap the tough ends, and slice on the bias into 1.5" pieces. Clean the mushrooms and cut each one in half.

Heat oil in a large frying pan on high. Fry the garlic until it's light brown and smells great.

Add the asparagus to the frying pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the asparagus is bright green. Add the mushrooms and keep stirring. When the mushrooms are hot, add the white wine, stir, and cover.

The recipe called for basil, but I didn't put it in because I was hurrying to get everything together.

The wine will deglaze the pan and make a nice sauce. Serve with pasta and white wine.

Related articles

Experimental Kitchen: Asparagus with Strawberries
Asparagus Pasta, Born and Braised in Roxbury
In less time than it takes to cook asparagus!
Quick and Easy Asparagus Soup

Recipe: Kale with corn and green onions

This recipe for kale with corn and green onions works well enough with frozen corn, but I'm sure it would be better with fresh. You cook with the ingredients you have, not the ingredients you want to have. We're lucky to have fresh kale at the farmers market!


  • oil for frying
  • garlic
  • 1 bag kale
  • corn – frozen, if you must, but fresh would be better
  • green onions – chopped
  • soy sauce


Wash and spin-dry the kale, being careful to get dirt out of the center rib. We had a very nice bag of small kale from market that didn't require much more than this, but if you have older, tougher kales, trim them of their tough bits and cut them into pieces.

Heat oil in a large pot on medium high to high. Chop some garlic into big pieces. Fry the garlic until light brown and it smells good.

Add the kale and cook, stirring frequently, until the kale has cooked down to a fraction of its original size. Add some corn and the chopped green onions; stir. Cook until the corn is warmed through, then add some soy sauce and cover and turn down the heat to low.

One bag of kale served the family, with one person not eating it; there were a few leftovers. This recipe would multiply quite nicely.

For more kale recipes, see 365 Days of Kale.