lowbrowculture

collects stories and ideas from John Kelly

Fury Road themed Cozy Coupes →

My daughter loves her cozy coupe. I love Mad Max: Fury Road. Okay little baby, let’s do this.

The best homemade cacio e pepe

One of the things I miss most about living in Rome (apart from the awesome friends we had to leave behind) is not having steady access to decent cacio e pepe. I’ve written before about my love for this dish, how it completely changed the way I think about food. And it’s the first thing I order whenever I’m in Italy.

To make things worse, I’ve never been able to successfully recreate the dish at home. The versions I make are always too gloopy, or it’s too wet, or it’s too flavourless.

Until Kenji.

In my house, Kenji Lopez-Alt is to food what Mark Kermode is to films. Nothing gets made without first asking “how would Kenji make this?” and consulting his book, The Food Lab (which might be my favourite cookbook). So, on a whim, I checked out what he had to say about homemade cacio e pepe. And he’s got a video about it. I made his version tonight and it was, without a doubt, the best cacio e pepe I’ve ever made.

A couple of notes about his recipe:

  1. Don’t use fresh pasta for this. The timings are for dry pasta and they’re relatively precise - if you use fresh pasta, your pasta will be done before the oil has had time to cool down, so your butter won’t emulsify with it. Plus, this is just a personal thing, but I think fresh pasta is kinda wanky anyway. If you’re trying to impress someone with this dish, you’re much better of spending your money on better quality cheese.
  2. Maybe use normal olive oil to fry the pepper at the start. Even being as gentle as possible, the extra virgin just has a sharpness to it that can overpower the cheese. Drizzling extra virgin at the end is plenty.

The Raiders of the Lost Ark 1-Page Film School →

Vashi Nedomansky has put together a great collection of videos and PDFs about the making of Raiders of the Lost Ark. There goes today’s productivity.

Day of the Tentacle: Dependency Graph Analysis →

Day of the Tentacle was such a huge part of my childhood, seeing the entire game laid out like this fills me with warm fuzzies.

Binging with Babish: Kevin's Famous Chili from The Office

Andrew Rea’s Binging With Babish is my new obsession. He’s a filmmaker and amateur chef who deadpans his way through recreating dishes from films and TV. Like, I was tempted to share the video where he made the “Moistmaker” Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich from Friends, where he went out and cooked an entire 20lb turkey just for ONE sandwich. Instead, I’m highlighting the video where he recreates Kevin’s chili from The Office and serves it authentically: on a sheet of cheap office carpet.

‘He Will Not Divide Us’ Livestream Placed in Middle of Nowhere, but 4chan Still Found Way to Troll It →

Finally when three planes flew over the area, 4channers were able to triangulate an approximate location of the flag.
This area was too large to search unfortunately. The 4channers began looking to the stars, using ancient astronomy to help map the direction of the camera and pinpoint a more precise location.

4chan has some of the best minds of our generation and I honestly believe that they could probably find a cure for cancer if they would only use their powers for good instead of just for being racist trolls and looking at anime titties.

Building the Ikea Bike Is a Pain Worth Suffering Through →

The Ikea Bike (the “Sladda”) is an interesting proposition. It’s a relatively cheap, low maintenance bike with some fancypants pluses (e.g. belt drive, disc brakes, and a modular ecosystem so you can get panniers and a trailer for your new bike). This is the first time I’ve actually heard of anyone’s hands-on experiences with one. And I was totally sold until this line:

What isn’t easy to modulate are the gears on the Sladda. It only has two gears, and you can’t even choose which one you’re in. It runs on automatic transmission, meaning it adjusts between harder or softer gears based on your pedaling.

Dublin isn’t even a particularly hilly city, but the idea of not being in control of your gears sounds insane to me.

Behind the Scam: What Does It Take to Be a ‘Best-Selling Author’? $3 and 5 Minutes. – The Mission →

Have you browsed Amazon’s “best seller” lists recently? Noticed they’re basically useless? Brent Underwood shows why there’s so much useless junk on there (tl;dr people are exploiting the system to bolster their personal brand).

A while ago, I put up a fake book on Amazon. I took a photo of my foot, uploaded to Amazon, and in a matter of hours, had achieved “№1 Best Seller” status, complete with the orange banner and everything.

How many copies did I need to sell to be able to call up my mother and celebrate my newfound authorial achievements? Three. Yes, a total of three copies to become a best-selling author. And I bought two of those copies myself!

Setapp launches an 'App Subscription Service' →

I’ve mentioned before about how individual app subscription is becoming the norm, and how this could potentially be consumer-unfriendly. Well, Setapp have launched what could be described as “Netflix for apps”. You pay $9.99 and you get access to all of their apps. There are 61 apps right now, a handful of which I actually use on a daily basis (Marked, Numi, Pixa, Sip and Ulysses - but that last one is a big one).

This seems like a great consumer and business friendly solution. Really hope this catches on.

Resilient Web Design →

Jeremy Keith has written a terrific primer on the importance of embracing the web we have and designing with open standards (“material honesty”) and, more importantly, content in mind. It’s a great read, even (especially?) for non-designers.

Coincidentally, over the last week or so, I’ve been making some changes to my personal websites (here and johnke.wtf) to make them more responsive and behave nicely on different devices. So this has come along at just the right time for me.