6/29/11

This program was supposed to improve my security

Sriracha changed color

My coworker Evan wrote Sriracha and asked why our latest bottles have been orange rather than red.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Customer Service <customerservice@huyfong.com>
Date: Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 11:08 AM
Subject: Re: Sriracha has changed color
To: Evan <evan@>


Dear Evan,

Thank you for your interest in our products! We strive to produce the best sauces using quality ingredients in every bottle.

We value the opinions of our customers, and appreciate your comments. We would like to note that because we use fresh chili peppers in all of our sauces, there will occasionally be variations on our final products. Because of the unusually cool weather last harvest season, not all the fields of the chili pepper crop completely ripened or turned red. As you have seen, some of our products this year contain chili that was in the process of maturing into red chili. The color of the chili progresses from green, to dark purple or chocolate, then to red upon maturity. Therefore, these 'dark' specks that are seen in the Sambal Oelek and Chili Garlic are actually green chili pepper that has not ripen and are not 'spoiled' chili. With the Sriracha, this mixture of these colors has resulted in a brown/orange colored sauce. To avoid a shortage of product, as experienced in the past, we had to accept the bi-color chili last year. Therefore, it has been a challenge this year to produce a uniform product.
The taste of the products should still remain unchanged. Unfortunately, because our products are natural, there can be many variables that can change the product’s color, as well as the heat or spiciness of the sauces.

Again, thank you for your comments. If you have any further questions or comments please do not hesitate to e-mail us.

Sincerely,

Customer Service


On Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 6:02 PM, Evan <evan@> wrote:
Hi,

Why has my favorite sauce chained color? Sriracha used to be bright red and now it's orange. Why?

Can't find a red bottle anywhere in NYC...

Thanks
-Evan

5/11/11

Vespanomics is wrong...

Vespa has a graphic on their Vespanomics page. Unfortunately, lots of the math is wrong so the graphic is totally misleading.

Here's the same graphic, but with the math corrected. If you want to combine two vehicles to increase gas mileage, you can't just average the mileage of the two vehicles...

3/14/11

My Online Privacy Concerns

I'm finally worried about privacy on the internet--normally, I go on and on about products that are made in China, the poor performance of traffic lights or the silliness of speed limits. I've spent the last two hours trying to carve out a little privacy online and I am now almost sure that I am going to fail. Today I learned of a project called Panopticlick (check it out. It is one click and inspired this entire post), which can probably tell who you are, even though you might not have cookies enabled, and even though you might have your browser set to "Private Browsing Mode, and even if you're using a proxy (If you want to see some other things about you, and you use Google, log in, click here, and have a look around).


A little over 200 years ago, an English philosopher named Jeremy Bentham came up with an idea for a prison called a Panopticon (Wikipedia) It is a bank of prison cells wrapped around in a circle with a slit-windowed guard tower in the center. The guard(s) in the tower can watch any of the prisoners, and so each prisoner does not know whether or not he is being monitored. After a while, the guards don't even need to be in the tower all the time--the prisoners police themselves.

2/5/11

Mercedes SLS Superbowl Ad - flashing headlights

I watched Mercedes' new Superbowl advertisement that features Puff Daddy and there's a shot where the 2011 Mercedes cars all turn on their headlights. The SLS lights flash one by one, and it's a pretty cool effect. I wonder if they are trying to ape the behavior of the SLS F1 Safety car and its flashing lights (On the production SLS, it looks like the parking lights come on before the headlights, then the left parking light turns, then the right light turns off).

1/31/11

Blast from the past-

I saw this a long time ago and just thought of it. Try looking at your keyboard when you're done.

1/30/11

Weird cars in New York

Can you spot what's weird about these cars I saw in NYC this week? Hint: the VW has no snow on it--also, apologies for the shoddy camera-phone picture quality.


1/29/11

More snowy motorcycles

I've been having a ball riding around in the snow this week--an article I wrote about it appeared on Hell For Leather (subscription) and Jalopnik. Thanks to Wes for publishing it.

1/26/11

Riding a motorcycle in the snow

1980 Honda C70
Honda C70 SnowI was elated to see snow on the ground this morning and rode to work in the snowiest conditions yet. Michelin's Gazelle is not a good for snow; the carcass is far too stiff to take advantage of low pressures and its tread pattern is hopelessly conservative for the winter. I reckon some trials tires would be much better, but can't bear the thought of taking the Gazelles off; I popped 2 tubes getting the rear one on.

Jalopnik stole my electricity!

The case of the missing electrons has been cracked. Mike Spinelli and Ray Wert (both of Jalopnik fame) had rented the very same Volt that's in the previous post, drained it's battery, and dropped it off back at Hertz just before my dad and I picked it up.

Here's a picture Jalopnik took of the navigation screen displaying trip info:

Photo from Jalopnik.com

And here's a picture I took, hours later:

Note the 29.9 miles travelled by battery in each, and the decrease in miles per gallon as the batteries ran out and the engine came into play.

The Jalopnik article was called "New York Isn't Ready for Electric Cars," but since Hertz didn't bother to charge the Volt before renting it again, I'm not sure they are either!

1/23/11

Hertz Chevy Volt Rental: Potential for Disaster


Hertz Chevy VoltIs the Chevy Volt a hybrid? Nope--but it is the exact powertrain configuration I dreamed of during my previous all-electric Hertz rentals. The Volt is an electric car with a small gas generator that keeps the car moving if the battery runs out. A car like this can get away with a light-weight battery pack because its range of 40 miles covers, say, 80% of trips, and on longer trips the gas motor kicks in (a Nissan Leaf has to have a huge heavy battery for a 100 mile range). You also aren't married to the idea of charging a dead battery if you have to head out. Awesome, right?

1/8/11

Parallel Parking Tips


So, you don't have any cavities? Good! Then it's time to learn how to parallel park the British way.

Studies by Transportation Alternatives have shown that 15%-45% of drivers in Manhattan are trolling for parking, and observation suggests that a lot of those drivers pass up spots that they could fit in—just because they lack parallel parking skills.