The mysterious Voynich manuscript has finally been decoded →

After looking at the so-called code for a while, Gibbs realized he was seeing a common form of medieval Latin abbreviations, often used in medical treatises about herbs. … So this wasn’t a code at all; it was just shorthand. The text would have been very familiar to anyone at the time who was interested in medicine.

Yay for solving the mystery and all, but it’s such a mundane solution that I can’t help feel a little sad. Update: via MacDara Conroy on Twitter - Has a Mysterious Medieval Code Really Been Solved? (I’ll save you a click: no)

Dear David →

Comic artist David Ellis is in the process of creating an amazing twenty-first century ghost story. One that’s told across weeks of tweets and incorporating videos, soundcloud clips and audience participation. It’s so simple, so well done and I couldn’t be more impressed.

It Me

17776 - What football will look like in the future →

Holy crap, this is impressive. From Jon Bois, who brought us the equally incredible Breaking Madden series.

The Apprehension Engine

The composer of The VVitch designed an analogue instrument designed to create disturbing sounds. And I’m so jealous - this looks like so much fun. More about the background of the instrument.

4D Toys: a box of four-dimensional toys →

This is incredible. Marc Ten Bosch wrote a really fun game about playing with 4D objects. But his video describing how the game works is also the best primer on how the 4th dimension works that I’ve ever seen.

Fury Road themed Cozy Coupe →

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.