Sunday, May 24, 2015

Why is it called "blood sugar level"? Shouldn't it be "sugar blood level"?

I was getting through a sinus infection over the past week.  With a sinus infection comes headaches and some lightheadedness.  I learned over the years that increasing my blood sugar levels while sick helps with headaches, especially in the morning when I first wake up.

Suddenly, something occurred to me.

In English, the statement "X Y level" or "X Y ratio" would translate to the ratio of "X / Y".  Or atleast that's how I would interpret it.  For example, with "salt water", the salinity going up or going down matches the ratio "salt / water". 

However, that's not what "blood sugar level" means, it actually means the "sugar / blood" ratio.  So it's backwards.  Like when someone says you have a "high blood sugar level", it means the "sugar / blood" ratio has gone up.

I was thinking of other phrases in English that translate this way but couldn't think of any.

I was thinking of other counters, and the only other one I could think of was in cooking.  When people speak of ratios it's often something like "you want a 3:1 ratio of flour to sugar".  You do technically speak the part levels, but again, it's spoken as "X / Y" and not "Y / X".

Update 7/6/15:

I just thought of another example, "blood alcohol level".  Similar to "blood sugar level" it means "alcohol / blood".

The Game Theory of Online Dating

I just learned this morning that John Nash, the famed economist/mathematician, passed away.  I know of John Nash mostly through the famed "Nash Equilibrium" taught in most beginning economics courses and the theories I learned in a game theory class I took in college.

The game theory course I took in college is one of my favorite courses from college.  Not so much in that I used the class in my career, but I liked the principal that you could try and apply mathematics/game theory to everyday normal life.  And if you view life through these principles, it might help explain life in better (or minimally different) ways.

One of the ways I applied game theory in a conversation sometime ago was online dating.  Myself and many of my friends have done online dating to various degrees of success (... or failure depending on your perspective :-|).  One day I came up with the following conversation/theory.

(To anyone that I don't know reading this, please take this with a grain of salt.  It is just a way to think about things.)

So this conversation/theory only applies to people looking for a relationship.

Assume all people in the world are classified in two groups:
  • A person wants to be in a relationship/get married
  • A person does not want to be in a relationship/get married

However, nobody knows what group anyone belongs in, including themselves.  A person may believe they want to be in a relationship, but they don't.  A person may believe they don't want to be in a relationship, but really do.

Online dating, while becoming more socially acceptable, is not the traditional first route for dating.  There are gajillions of other ways to meet people: school, church, work, your neighborhood, general social activity, etc.  Online dating, in my opinion, is second or third order.  Something people try when the other ways haven't worked out.  I could be wrong about this, but I get the strong impression it is for most people.

So here in lies the question.  If all people in the world are classified in the two groups I list above, who are the people doing online dating?

As I state above, online dating is second or third order.  So, presumably, all the people that want to be in a relationship are already taken.  Since there are a gajillion ways to meet people before online dating, they've presumably already met someone.

So are the people doing online dating a whole bunch of people who don't want to be in a relationship?

Now the above is just the setup and way to think about it.  Reality is really different.

People aren't in the two classifications I list above.  Instead, everyone's personality and desires falls along a spectrum like the below:

I'll be single forever! <------> I want to get married now!

Everyone in the world is in this spectrum.

People who want to be single forever, they probably are not doing online dating at all.

The people that want to get married now, they are already taken.

The people doing online dating are in between.  There will be those who broke up with someone and really want to be in a relationship again.  They are going to be towards the right side of the spectrum.  There will be those who may have the attitude, "ehhh maybe I'll meet someone".  They may be towards the left side of the spectrum.

But what does the population of people doing online dating look like?

I don't know for sure.  But based on my theory on the two classifications, I speculate there are many people more towards the left side of the spectrum than the right doing online dating.  In other words, there's perhaps a reason why a person is still single.  This isn't meant to imply that a person is single for a terrible reason.  It's for very normal reasons: career, location, commitment, what makes you happy, etc. etc.

So, what kind of questions can be gather and think about from this thought process.

If you're someone that really wants a relationship, is online dating the right avenue?  Perhaps not.  Or perhaps its the best out of a lot of crappy options.

If you're doing online dating and think you really want a relationship?  Do you really?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Social Media: David Letterman vs. Jimmy Fallon vs. Jimmy Kimmel vs. Conan O'Brien vs. John Oliver

I recently came upon an article that said that one of the reasons David Letterman was looking to retire was a realization that he was not keeping up with social media in today's vastly different entertainment market.  The reality is that getting "viral hits" was as important to the success of modern shows than nightly ratings.

I was curious on Letterman's success with social media compared to his contemporaries.  Boy, it is not good.  The following is a chart of David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O'Brien, and John Oliver videos on YouTube with the indicated number of views. I would also do Jon Stewart, but he lacks a Daily Show specific channel on YouTube.

Views Letterman Fallon Kimmel O'Brien Oliver
50M+ 0 1 2 0 0
20M-50M 0 23 19 0 0
10M-20M 1 24 16 4 1
5M-10M 0 64 43 22 14
Total Channel Views 155 Million 2.8 Billion 2.0 Billion 1.4 Billion 288 Million

Holy cow! That is awful for Letterman. With the exception of a single video, he doesn't even have any other 5M+ view video on YouTube. It's also worth noting that the video that cracks the 10 million mark is a video released less than two weeks before his last show.

What I find amazing is how Conan O'brien and John Oliver have such better social media audiences on YouTube despite being on basic cable or HBO.  Even their total views blow away Letterman.  Oliver's channel does much better than Letterman's even though he has weekly program while everyone else has nightly programs.  So he is doing more with a much smaller of videos.

Another completely random measurement, number of Twitter Followers for their respective shows and their own personal accounts.  It appears that Letterman only has a twitter for his show and not a personal account.

@letterman: 348K
@jimmyfallon: 25.3 Million
@FallonTonight: 2.63 Million
@jimmykimmel: 5.29 Million
@JimmyKimmelLive: 834K
@ConanObrien: 16.5 Million
@TeamCoco: 588K
@iamjohnoliver: 991K
@LastWeekTonight: 417K

Again, numbers don't look good for Letterman.  He's substantially lower than everyone else.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mike Awesome vs Tazz - A tale of ECW vs WCW vs WWF

I always found the "sport" of professional wrestling fascinating for a number of reasons.
  • While matches outcomes are scripted ahead of time, the shows continue to sell the "sport" as real.
  • Despite it being scripted, the wrestlers deserve an incredible amount of respect for the real pain they suffer during a match.
  • There is an incredible art to selling the wrestling moves as real.
  • There is an art to the selling and promotion of individual wrestlers, for example the promotion of a lesser known wrestler by beating a better one, the establishment of "good guys" and "bad guys".

The list an go on.

While in college, I became a pretty big WWF/WWE fan.  WWE shows, especially with characters like The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, the APA, and others, were just plain entertaining.  I jokingly told friends, "It's like a soap opera for guys.  There's love, greed, betrayal, revenge, etc. ... except everything is resolved with fighting."  (See prior post here)

Watching some random videos on YouTube one time, I eventually came upon this match.

The match was one of the most interesting ones I recall, even though I had never seen it until just in the past few weeks.  It is one of the most fascinating stories I can recall while a wrestling fan in college.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s there were three major wrestling promotions, ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling), WCW (World Championship Wrestling), and WWF (World Wrestling Federation)  [WWF would later become WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment].

WWF was the most popular by far, but each of the others had their fans.

From my understanding, ECW had some financial troubles.  Their champion, Mike Awesome, had reportedly gone unpaid (or felt he was due money) and felt that his contract with ECW was effectively voided.  He then went onto sign with WCW, although he was the reigning ECW champion.

ECW was naturally pissed.  I assume legal action was taken for breach of contract, but eventually WCW & ECW came to a compromise that Mike Awesome would come back to ECW and perform in a single match to lose his championship to someone else.

This is where it gets interesting.  Instead of losing to another wrestler in ECW, Mike Awesome instead lost his belt to Tazz (sometimes known as Taz).  Tazz was a former popular ECW wrestler that had recently gone to WWF.  The match Tazz wins the belt is the one in the video above.

I find this tale fascinating for a variety of reasons.

At the end of the day, professional wrestling is a scripted show.  But there is a certain pride that one takes in having the championship belt in your promotion.  You're the star of the program, you're the one that sells tickets, and gets the most money for the promotion.  You are the face of the franchise/company.  While there may have been tough times, a number of ECW wrestlers and employees took pride in their company.  For the ECW champion to jump ship was a tough pill to swallow.  I'm sure it felt like a huge betrayal.

So ECW, to some extent, wanted to embarrass Mike Awesome in this final match for ECW.  Effectively,  hurt the Mike Awesome brand before he goes to WCW.  So they wanted to get the biggest star they could to beat Mike Awesome. 

WCW was a bitter rival of WWF.  Despite the fact that WWF had absolutely nothing to do with this mess, they also had an interest in hurting the WCW brand as well.

So, WWF being the larger brand, lent ECW Tazz for this match.  Tazz would then lose the belt to someone else in ECW that I can't recall.

I find it fascinating that effectively ECW and WWF thought it best to team up to hurt the WCW brand.  ECW, perhaps running a bit on emotion, simply wanted to get the most popular wrestler they could to beat Mike Awesome in a match.  WWF agreed just to try and embarass the WCW brand.

If you watch the match above, it's pretty pathetic.  The ECW champion falls in about 1 minute and taps out with almost no effort.  

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dinner at Sons & Daughters in San Francisco, CA

I recently went to check out Sons & Daughters, a one Michelin star restaurant in San Francisco.  It offers a 7 course nightly menu and that's it.  They are closely tied to a farm, Dark Hill Farm, in which they get all their produce and some of their protein products.  Here's what the tasting went like.

Before the meal we got two amuse bouche dishes.

1) pickled white strawberry, almond, and ???

First we got some snacks from the farm.  Overall, all light and refreshing.  The one thing that hit me was that the almond "wasn't crunchy".  I don't think I've ever had fresh almonds before that had never been roasted.  I can't remember what the green stuff was but it was very "cactus/succulent-ish".

2) goats milk, buckwheat, herbs

I'm pretty sure this was goats milk, although I didn't write any notes down on what the waitress said.  Again, tasty and refreshing.

3) hamachi, asparagus and asian pear (w/ american caviar, pickle)

Our first course was some sashimi with various accompaniments.  I'm not 100% sure what the green sauce was, but everything as delicious together.  Probably my favorite savory dish of the night.  I did gasp a bit when eating the pickle.  I'm not a big fan of pickles and it was a bit on the vinegary side and shocked my palate a bit.

4) toast and butter

Then came the first of three bread tastings.  This one was my favorite.  The butter is housemade and the waitress said some yogurt was mixed in.  It was really creamy and tasty.

I will admit, when I first saw pictures of the bread courses from Sons & Daughters online, I assumed the bread was much larger and I was concerned about how much bread I'd eat.  Perhaps I just assumed the toast was the size of normal bread and all the rolls were normal sized.  However, all the bread courses are actually mini-sized.  I'd take a look at the butter and think about how much butter one might normally get at a restaurant.  You'll notice the bread isn't that much bigger than it.

5) beet, celtuce and almond (w/ rhubarb, almond dashi)

Then came the "salad" course.  This was also really tasty.  There were more fresh almonds and the sauce at the bottom was apparently an almond dashi.

6) multigrain bread

The next bread was a multigrain variety.  My least favorite bread of the night, as multigrain isn't my favorite.

7) clam, green tomato and smoked butter (w/ trout, clam broth)

Next came our soup course.  There's not too much soup, but this course was still really good.  The clam sitting on top of the trout (with foam over it) was particularly delicious.

8) quail, artichoke and green garlic (w/ potato & mustard seeds)

The quail on the left was a quail roulade.  The artichoke and potato in this dish was really good.  I assume picked from the farm relatively recently.

9) pretzel bread roll

I'm not a big fan of pretzel bread, because it's normally too "pretzely" in the middle.  It just seems more like a snack or dessert than something that goes with dinner.  However, this wasn't quite as "pretzely" as others I've had (such as the one at French Laundry).  It was much softer and lighter overall.  I really liked it.

10) beef, morel mushroom and english pea (w/ fava bean, carrot)

This was probably my least favorite dish of the night.  Not that there was anything wrong with it, but rather it was very "normal".  Nothing particularly interesting about the dish.  For anyone that has read my blog before, you know I hate mushrooms.  However, the morel mushrooms weren't too bad.  They don't have the normal mushroom-texture that I normally hate.

11) fromage blanc, meyer lemon and calendula

I had to look up what calendula is, I guess it's in the marigolds family.  This dish was delicious.  It was lemony and cheesy.  I'm not sure what the cheese/cracker thing on the upper right was, but that was delicious too.  It was very light and airy.

12) alpine strawberry, mint and salad burnet

Holy cow this dessert was delicious, my favorite course of the night.  I love berries and everything was just perfect with this.  I'm not even sure what flavors were in the mousse-like thing to the upper right, but it was delicious.  I wasn't sure what salad burnet but it appears to be an herb of some sort.  Alpine strawberries are a strawberry variant that all I can say is delicious given my love of berries.  Holy cow, delicious.

13) marshmallow, peanut brittle, chocolate w/ thyme

Lastly we got some mignardise and a candle b/c it was close to my birthday.  The peanut brittle was very light, not like most peanut brittle I've tried.  The chocolate was pretty interesting, as they put some herbs (I remember the waitress said atleast thyme) in the middle.

Overall the meal took about two hours and fifteen minutes.  Portions overall are pretty small.  I was probably full at a comparable level to Commis.  Not still hungry, but I definitely could have munched on something more afterwards.  Compared to other restaurants, I'd say that this is a solid 1 Michelin star restaurant, completely what you would expect from a 1 Michelin star restaurant.  Not any more, not any less.

I'll also mention we got some complimentary soda b/c it was around my birthday.  Very kind of them.  They originally offered champagne, but we got soda instead b/c I don't drink alcohol.