tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:/posts Nuggetty Goodness 2017-06-13T21:21:00Z tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1097050 2016-10-08T14:04:02Z 2016-10-08T23:21:55Z Gloriously lazy lemon blueberry egg white food processor cookies!

Yes! These cookies contain food processor! :P

Everything except adding the blueberries and shaping the cookies into balls is done in a food processor. You prolly want a sturdy food processor though, my last puny one died in horror at the thought of having to make a whole lemon tart.

Why egg whites? Because we had some left over and I wanted to get rid of them.

Why brown sugar? To make up for the lack of egg yolk.

Why not just cream the cookies? I was curious to see whether this 'reverse creaming' method works for cookies too. It works great for scones, cupcackles, and pie crusts after all. And also because washing the food processor is less work than beating in flour or folding it in with a spoon, and for me, the lazier a recipe, the better. Plus, this requires no planning (no leaving the butter out), and no guess-nuking to soften the butter. Lastly, I hate creaming butter, the sugar always tries to escape, and I get bored standing there with the hand mixer...

Chewy inside, crispy outside lemon cookie!
400g cake flour
100g salted butter (room temp)
150g white sugar
50g dark brown sugar
60g egg white
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from half a lemon (50ml~)
Some dried blueberries (fresh ones will leak horribly)
Vanilla essence

  1. Throw butter, sugars, cake flour into food processor
  2. Pulse until breadcrumby
  3. Add lemon zest
  4. Pulse some more
  5. Add vanilla essence and lemon juice to whirring food processor
  6. Pulse until dough looks right - sort of like plasticine
  7. Mix in blueberries
  8. Plop in fridge for about an hour
  9. Preheat oven to 150-60C
  10. Make (large) truffle-sized balls, try to get at least one blueberry per cookie
  11. Plop balls about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet
  12. Bake for 20~ minutes, until edges are slightly brown


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tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1096601 2016-10-06T22:52:07Z 2016-10-06T22:54:47Z Mechanism design and the invisible influence of culture and power

From a rather interesting article from mckinsey.com - Leadership and behaviour: Mastering the mechanics of reason and emotion.

Eric Maskin: Mechanism design recognizes the fact that there’s often a tension between what is good for the individual, that is, an individual’s objectives, and what is good for society—society’s objectives. And the point of mechanism design is to modify or create institutions that help bring those conflicting objectives into line, even when critical information about the situation is missing.

An example that I like to use is the problem of cutting a cake. A cake is to be divided between two children, Bob and Alice. Bob and Alice’s objectives are each to get as much cake as possible. But you, as the parent—as “society”—are interested in making sure that the division is fair, that Bob thinks his piece is at least as big as Alice’s, and Alice thinks her piece is at least as big as Bob’s. Is there a mechanism, a procedure, you can use that will result in a fair division, even when you have no information about how the children themselves see the cake?

Well, it turns out that there’s a very simple and well-known mechanism to solve this problem, called the “divide and choose” procedure. You let one of the children, say, Bob, do the cutting, but then allow the other, Alice, to choose which piece she takes for herself. The reason why this works is that it exploits Bob’s objective to get as much cake as possible. When he’s cutting the cake, he will make sure that, from his point of view, the two pieces are exactly equal because he knows that if they’re not, Alice will take the bigger one. The mechanism is an example of how you can reconcile two seemingly conflicting objectives even when you have no idea what the participants themselves consider to be equal pieces.

The bit I quoted above really struck me as either lazy thinking, or unintentional blindness.

It bugs me that Eric Maskin uses children in a room with cake to generalise about human behaviour, without specifying important stuff.

Such as:
Where are the children from?
What are their cultural norms?
What is their relationship to each other?
Will their actions have any repercussions beyond getting less cake?

Happily ignoring all those things, Maskin goes on to apply this concept to management and organisations. Which means that power differentials and politics are also ignored, along with what I previously listed about cultural norms and relationships. It also focuses on an extremely short-term goal.

If the cultural norm is to appear generous...
...then Bob will cut an obviously smaller piece, which lets Alice choose the bigger piece if she wishes to. She may not, she may also wish to appear gracious, and take the smaller piece. But regardless of what happens, it's doubtful to me that the cake would be divided equally.

If Bob has more power - maybe he has the ability to beat Alice up without being scolded for it, even if he doesn't actually want to
...then Bob will whatever he thinks is fair, and count on Alice's fear of him, and understanding of the difference in power, to control which piece she takes. Which means that if Bob cuts an obviously smaller piece, he'll get a nice big piece. And if he cuts an even portion, then he'll get to feel good about himself. And in both cases, Alice's 'choice' isn't really a free choice.

Srsly Nugget? It's just cake!
You could argue that Maskin stated that 'Bob and Alice's objectives are each to get as much cake as possible', but it's pretty obvious that cake is a metaphor for money (or resources).

The fact is, in the real world, choices are rarely so clear and simple. There are always trade-offs. Of course every worker wants to 'get as much cake as possible'. ;) But maybe some workers will take less cake now, if it means a more reliable supply of cake in the future. (I.e. a foreign worker on a temporary visa will likely settle for less 'cake' until they're able to get a permanent visa.)

Humans are complicated. It's never just cake. ;)

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tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1094160 2016-09-27T23:25:20Z 2016-09-27T23:40:35Z Green tea white chocolate & dark chocolate truffle bar things

Dark chocolate base is exactly the same as the hazelnut pistachio strawberry osmanthus truffle bar things, except without hazelnut essence.

I'm not a huge fan of white chocolate (too sweet for me), but a work human really likes these - he took this photo - so I'm plopping the green tea white chocolate part here.

Ingredients

  • 50ml sweetened condensed milk (aka 1 part)
  • 100g white chocolate (aka 2 parts)
    Broken into squares it comes in. I'm too lazy to do more than that.
  • some matcha (about a teaspoon)
    You can get a cheap matcha from an Asian grocery ($5 or so for a small tin). Just make sure it's actually matcha, from Japan, or it will likely be waaaaay too bitter.
    T_T I thought I could be a cheapo-nug and get a 500g bag of green tea powder from Taiwan. Don't do it!!! That stuff is foul.
    Don't use ceremonial matcha (the stuff the ninja ladies in Lustbader books do tea ceremonies with) - other than being very expensive, IMO it's a waste. You lose the umamis and delicate flavours once the white chocolate steamrolls over them.
Crafting
  1. Dump white chocolate in a bowl.
  2. Shove bowl in microwave, melt at half power for 15s.
  3. Stir.
  4. Repeat Step 2 and 3 until there are just a few nubs of unmelted white chocolate left.
    Should be about 3 - 5 minutes or so of heating in total. Do NOT just set the microwave to half power for 3 minutes and nuke. You need to do the irritating nuke and stir because white chocolate burns very very easily. If you just nuke without stirring, it will burn, and there's no saving it. Well, you could pretend you wanted to 'caramelise' it. XD You can also do all this on a water bath if you want. ;)
  5. Stir until the unmelted white chocolate goes away.
  6. Plop in condensed milk, stir stir stir till incorporated.
    It will look a bit greasy, don't worry about it. :)
  7. Assuming you've also made the dark chocolate bottom, pour that into some kind of (parchment-paper-lined) pan, make pathetic attempt at forming some sort of 'slab'.
  8. Plop the green tea white chocolate blob on top, and make a further sad attempt at slabbing it evenly.
  9. Decorate in a suitably 'artisanal' fashion.
  10. Put gently in fridge (no need to cover unless your fridge has stinky things).
  11. Ignore for at least 4 hours.
  12. Remoof from fridge, cut into squares.
  13. Eat all the leavings that are ~_o 'unfit for presentation'.

Ceremonial matcha
I realised I was doing too much matcha-ranting in the ingredients section, so I moved that here...

This matcha is one of my favourite ceremonial matchas, and is great value for money for drinking.

O-cha are great, and buying from them is cheaper (shipping included) than buying matcha locally in Australia. And the quality is amazing.

If you're curious about matcha brewed usucha or koicha style, then I'd advise getting some overpriced and expensive Australian stuff (T2, kenkotea, etc), and only then getting stuff from O-cha. Then you'll really be able to compare a good matcha with a terrible (or badly stored) one. ;)


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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1093204 2016-09-25T08:10:02Z 2016-09-27T23:41:21Z Chocolate mousse with green tea biscuit moss, icing flowers, and fairies!

    So cute! Also super simple, and not as fiddly as it looks.

    The only thing we actually made was the mousse.

    Would have been prettier with fresh, edible flowers. But a lot more perishable, so I didn't use them. Also, I was too lazy to go the market to get those...

    Ingredients
    Coles icing sugar flowers
    - I wanted the roses, but the Coles I went to didn't have them. :(
    Coles 100s & 1000s aka fairies - not the shiny silver fairies, the cute pastel fairies! Also known as dragees.
    Green tea & adzuki bean biscuit, crushed - can't find pics because I can't remember the name. ;>.> The important thing is that the biscuit must be green tea, not the filling. Or else it will probably not be green enough to be moss. Or you can make your own green tea biscuits and crush them.
    Chocolate mousse (eggless) - but not fatless! Ooh fat. I love fat.

    Chocolate Mousse Crafting Ingredients
    100g 70% cocoa chocolate
    200ml sweetened condensed milk
    300ml double cream <-- yes, fat, fat cream!
    Some dutch processed cocoa powder (non-dutch will work also)

    Chocolate Mousse Crafting Process

    1. Melt chocolate in microwave, or icky double boiler. Don't burn it. :P
    2. Add sweetened condensed milk to chocolate.
    3. Stir till it's more or less all the same
    4. Add cocoa powder.
    5. Stir some more, again until more or less all the same.
    6. Plop in all the double cream.
    7. Stir some more, again until more or less all the same. Zzzz.
    8. Beatbeat with hand mixer till stiff peaks. This happens FAST. Probably in a minute, tops.

    Tiny Fairy Garden Mousse Pot Assembly

    1. Plop chocolate mousse into ziplock bag.
    2. Cut off corner of bag.
    3. Pipe into cups.
      Stop at around 2/3 full. It will look like the cutest little turd. That is fine, because next we...
    4. Flatten the mousse so it doesn't look quite so turdlike.
      It doesn't have to be perfectly flat. Flat like churned, soft mud is fine. After all, no one is going to be able to see it.
    5. Dump carefully sprinkle crushed biscuit until you have an evenish layer.
      It's ok if you can still see a bit of mousse. Just not a lot of it.
    6. Bang each pot (carefully!) against your work surface a few times to settle everything.
    7. Sprinkle 100s & 1000s of fairies.
      Ok maybe a few less.
    8. Place icing sugar flowers.
    9. Refrigerate!
      Or eat. You can eat them at this point. Or take photos of them. Then eat them.
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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1077032 2016-07-29T04:01:44Z 2016-09-02T15:04:40Z The most effective user interfaces aren't invisible. They're sneaky.

    The 'best' user interfaces (UIs) are invisible.

    Catchy statement, right? After all, UIs like those are the ones you don't notice, cause you're busy getting stuff done.

    Except that it isn't true.

    The most effective UIs are the ones that make it easy, and even pleasurable for you to do what THEY want you to do.

    And what a UI wants you to do may not be what you want to do. (I'll leave the question of 'best for whom' aside for now.)

    For example...

    Casino UI
    Ahh, hello human, I want you to stay with me, and spend money continuously, for as long as possible, so that my owners can profit from you. :D

    Human
    I want to win! Winning makes me feel great! I'm sure my next big win is just around the corner!
    This is rather different from you, the human, saying, I want to stay in this place and spend money continuously, for as long as possible.


    Online Shopping UI (E.g. Fashion)
    Hi there human, I want you to desire everything I have on offer, and spend as much money as possible, so I'm gonna make buying as easy as possible. As far as I'm concerned, you can't buy too much! :D

    Human
    I wanna look good to other humans! And I don't wanna be ripped off while I... ooh shiny! I need this! And this! And this! Ooh and this!



    Clinical UI (E.g. Doctor)
    Hey doc, I want you to accurately record all the relevant information about your patients, so that your patients can get the best care you're able to provide. :D

    Human
    I want to make sure that I get everything down accurately, so that my colleagues and I are able to help our patients achieve the best outcomes possible.


    Usability is ethically neutral - UI design isn't

    There's an assumption that UIs that are user-friendly, and 'delightful' have our best interests at heart. From the examples above, this obviously isn't always true. It may not even often be true.

    Casino UI is a great example of conflict between what we want, and what the UI wants us to do. We appear to be travelling on the same 'journey', but at the end of the day, the relationship is parasitical at best, and adversarial at worst.

    Online Shopping UI has a less toxic relationship with us, as users. At least the UI isn't expressly designed to exploit our human weaknesses for profit. As a merchant's proxy, the UI very reasonably wants to make its goods attractive to us, and make it easy for us to buy stuff.

    Clinical UI is what we tend to assume we're getting, even when that trust is unwarranted. It embodies the classic concept of 'best UI'. What Clinical UI wants us to do works hand in hand with what we want to achieve for our patients.

    But even if the usability of all three UIs is the same, the ethical contrast between the three UI designs couldn't be more different.

    When it comes to usability, it's important to remember that there's no moral value attached to how easy something is to use. Moral value comes into existence when ease-of-use and pleasure is harnessed to directing specific behaviours.

    When we look at it that way, it's pretty easy to say: Casino UI is evil, Online Shopping is neutral, and Clinical UI is good.

    UX and UI design are essentially the design of systems, products, and interfaces that encourage, reinforce, and reward specific user behaviours.

    Whether the outcomes of these specific behaviours are beneficial or harmful to us - as users - is highly dependent on why the product was created in the first place.

    So the next time someone tells you that all you do as a designer is 'make pretty buttons', tell them that the pretty buttons are just a small, unthreatening part of designing reward systems for sneaky mind control. ;)

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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1051023 2016-05-14T08:11:37Z 2016-09-27T23:41:29Z Edible fairy garden! (aka rose, pistachio, peach, matcha, silver sugarballs dark chocolate truffle bar thing)

    Pristine Fairy Habitat

    This edible fairy garden (EAT ALL THE FAIRIES!) >.> uses exactly the same base as the Hazelnut pistachio strawberry osmanthus truffle bar things.

    Except that this time round, for pretties and flavourings we haz:
    - rose essence
    - vanilla essence
    - rose petals (from dried rosebuds for rose tea - some steamed to rehydrate them, some straight off the dry buds)
    - freeze-dried peach slice, chopped
    - silver sugar ball things (I think they're called 'dragees'. Or maybe 'fairies'. ~_o )
    - cheap matcha (nothing you'd want to make koicha, or even usucha with - good enough to cook is good enough)

    Am very pleased a nugget at how the blend of flavours turned out. If you like Turkish delight chocolates, this is just the thing, with the peaches adding interesting 'high' notes, and the pistachios adding nice texture. :X The matcha just adds fairy moss.

    Blurry Chunks of Sundered Fairy Habitat

    Alas, all my pics of the sliced squares turned out blurry. T_T That's what I get for taking pics after sundown!

    (If you're in Melbourne, don't bother with T2 matcha. It's bad. You're better off going to any random asian grocery and buying a 50g tin of matcha for $5~. Just make sure it's from Japan, and not a mainland chinese imitation. You'll be getting the same amount of quality, or lack thereof, for a tenth of the T2 price.)
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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1048259 2016-05-08T00:52:14Z 2016-09-27T23:41:36Z Hazelnut pistachio strawberry osmanthus truffle bar things

    Being the soul of restraint, it's SO unusual for me to go completely mad, and throw in the kitchen sink. Of course it is. Ahem.

    1) Hmm wanna make truffles but too lazy to roll balls. Okok let's make truffle bars.
    2) Drat, no Nutella, was planning to use that. Ooh but look, hazelnut essence. Ok!
    3) Pistachio looks so pretty in choccies, let's throw some in.
    4) Hey I have those freeze dried strawberries, and pink is pretty with green. Chop some of those and put them on top!
    5) Oo yellow is pretty with pink and I just happen to have dried osmanthus flowers...

    And so we have these Hazelnut pistachio strawberry osmanthus truffle bar things.

    They are amazing. I don't really like chocolate, I just love how it looks. But in the process of 'squaring' the bars, I've eaten more chocolate than I have in the past 6 months, lol!

    Best of all, they're super easy to make (well the base is), and you can throw as many 'pretties' as you like in / on top.

    Ingredients
    200ml sweetened condensed milk (aka 2 parts)
    200g good 70% cocoa dark chocolate (aka 2 parts) (broken into squares it comes in. I'm too lazy to do more than that.)
    25g~ honey
    25g~ butter (salted, unsalted, doesn't matter. I used salted cause lazy.)
    some vanilla essence
    some hazelnut essence
    some freeze-dried strawberries (chopped)
    some osmanthus flowers
    some pistachios (whole)

    Crafting
    1) Dump chocolate, honey, butter in a bowl.
    2) Shove bowl in microwave, melt until melted. Until the chocolate and stuff is melted. Not the bowl. If the bowl has melted, you've gone too far. Safest to stop when there are a few lumps of chocolate left, and finish it by stirring it all into a homogenous gloop.
    3) Throw in essences, stir stir stir till incorporated.
    4) Plop in condensed milk, stir stir stir till incorporated.
    5) Mix in pistachios .
    6) Pour into some kind of (parchment-paper-lined) pan, make pathetic attempt at forming some sort of 'slab'.
    7) Decorate with freeze-dried strawberry pieces and osmanthus flowers in a suitably 'artisanal' fashion.
    8) Tos...put gently in fridge (no need to cover unless your fridge has stinky things).
    9) Ignore for at least 4 hours.
    10) Remoof from fridge, cut into squares.
    11) Eat all the leavings that are ~_o 'unfit for presentation'.

    Notes
    If you want to mess with the ratio of condensed milk to chocolate, more milk will give you softer trufflepieces, more chocolate will give you harder ones (duh right). This ratio gives you pretty much perfect 'fancy truffle' texture. Not too squishy, not too hard, just right.

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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1020318 2016-03-27T04:15:05Z 2017-06-13T21:21:00Z Necromantic Breast Preservation Society

    As I was waddling along in Elder Scrolls Online, slaying skeletons left and right, something occurred to me...

    I would like to posit the existence of some kind of multiversal Necromantic Breast Preservation society.

    It is the only ~_o reason I can think of that across so many alternate game universes, female skeletons continue to retain their breast tissue.

    Especially since, as squishy fat deposits, the breasts should be among the first things to go.

    I believe that these necromancers may simply regard whatever additional preservation rituals are needed as 'breast practices'.

    = = = = = = (>'-')>

    ]]>
    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1020317 2016-03-27T04:04:01Z 2016-03-27T04:15:17Z Flourless peanut butter choc chip cookies from Kirbie's Cravings

    These flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies from Kirbie's Cravings are really quite nice! And very lazy. That's important. :X

    I don't care if stuff is flourless, eggless, butterless, whateverless one way or the other, but I do care if there is less stuff I have to do. ;)

    These are one-bowl, no creaming, no softening butter, etc. Basically just dump and stir. Perfect!

    I didn't change the recipe at all (unusual for me), though ofc I didn't really measure stuff, I just eyeballed it...

    Only things I did change were the baking times (and I think) the portion sizes.

    I tend to like my cookies to be 1 teaspoon or so, rather than the 1 tablespoon that a lot of recipes seem to like.

    I also reduced the baking time, because at 11m, the first batch was waaaaay overdone. Still edible, but with edges beginning to burn.

    I don't think it's a problem with the original recipe though, which is great.

    I think it may be that:
    - my new oven runs hot
    - I'm baking on parchment paper on a black cookie sheet
    - my cookies are smaller

    With those things in mind 8m 15s at 175C turned out perfect cookies for me! :) Yey!

    Also, if you tend to think more in ratios like me, the ingredient ratio is roughly:
    - 4 parts peanut butter
    - 4 parts dark brown sugar
    - 1 part egg
    - some choc chips
    - some baking powder

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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1016201 2016-03-19T01:30:24Z 2016-03-19T01:30:25Z Three Little Pigs - A NuggeTwine Retelling.

    Soooo I discovered Twine. Or re-discovered, I should say, since the last time I looked at it a long time ago, it didn't look like it would survive.

    It now seems to be thriving!

    And so, of course, I made a story. About pigs. 3 little ones.

    Oh, I had high hopes and whattits initially, but when I sat down to write, somehow what fell out the most fluently was Three Little Pigs.

    ._. Go figure.

    Play my epic retelling of Three Little Pigs here!

    ]]>
    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1012745 2016-03-13T06:28:20Z 2016-03-13T06:35:04Z Awesome flourless fudge cookies from ihearteating.

    From here:
    http://www.ihearteating.com/2012/06/03/flourless-fudge-cookies/

    Really nice cookies, and super lazy! Crispy on the outside, fudgy on the inside, and almost no work. :X

    I did change her recipe slightly, to make it less sweet. Plus I added orange essence. And less vanilla essence.

    My tweaked version

    • 2 c. powdered sugar
    • 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 3 large egg whites
    • Some vanilla extract
    • Some orange essence
    • Some gold powdered sugar for sprinklies
    • Bake 7m 30s at just under 180C

    Technique-wise, it's exactly the same as what Kate posted! Yep, no need to beat those egg whites! WOOHOO! :X

    I'm not a big chocolate fan but I like these a lot. ^_^






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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/991465 2016-02-11T22:38:04Z 2016-02-15T07:43:22Z Ponderings: Intelligence as a bonus stat & talents as base stats.

    Sooo, there's an awfully interesting post, 'The Parable of the Talents' by Scott Alexander over at Slate Star Codex. It's about the relationship between intelligence and talent, as well as hard work.

    He comes to a reasonable conclusion I agree with, that is:

    The Jews also talk about how God judges you for your gifts. Rabbi Zusya once said that when he died, he wasn’t worried that God would ask him “Why weren’t you Moses?” or “Why weren’t you Solomon?” But he did worry that God might ask “Why weren’t you Rabbi Zusya?”

    And this is part of why it’s important for me to believe in innate ability, and especially differences in innate ability. If everything comes down to hard work and positive attitude, then God has every right to ask me “Why weren’t you Srinivasa Ramanujan?” or “Why weren’t you Elon Musk?”

    If everyone is legitimately a different person with a different brain and different talents and abilities, then all God gets to ask me is whether or not I was Scott Alexander.

    This seems like a gratifyingly low bar.

    However, what he doesn't seem to address is a viewpoint he puts forward at the start:
    I’m sorry to leave self a self absorbed comment, but reading this really upset me and I just need to get this off my chest…How is a person supposed to stay sane in a culture that prizes intelligence above everything else – especially if, as Scott suggests, Human Intelligence Really Is the Key to the Future – when they themselves are not particularly intelligent and, apparently, have no potential to ever become intelligent? Right now I basically feel like pond scum.

    I hear these kinds of responses every so often, so I should probably learn to expect them. I never do. They seem to me precisely backwards.

    It seems to a nugget that in modern, industrialised societies, we tend to view intelligence as the base stat, and talent as the bonus.

    This, in turn, directly leads to The Sads in the quoted viewpoint, because then - logically - what you're capable of is defined first by intelligence, THEN by talent. Which, of course, means that if you are 'not particularly intelligent', it's DOOM... 'I'll NEVER be anything much. I'm pond scum!' :(

    But the more a nugget thinks about this (and a nugget thunk a lot about it while swimming today...), the more convinced a nugget is that it's a flip.

    (For any non-gamers who read this and find it incomprehensible, I'm sorry! I tend to think in game design terms...)

    Talent is the base stat. Intelligence is the bonus.


    Talent: Base Stat
    There's no cap on how many talents you can take. You can roll on as many talents as you like... but the roll you get is the roll you're stuck with. Meaning if you chose to roll on a talent, and you got a negative roll for that talent, then you're stuck with it. If you didn't choose, then you get a nice base of 0. You might also get a really high roll though, if you're lucky!

    There is, of course, no guarantee that the talent you're rolling on is in the current build of the game. It's therefore entirely - if tragically - possible that your character is talented at stuff that hasn't been invented yet. (Talented pilot, planes not invented yet... alas!)

    Equally tragically, your character might be very talented at stuff that's become obsolete. :( Sadly, it seems we don't know much / anything about the game we're about to play when we're at the Character Creation stage...

    Intelligence: Bonus Stat
    You get just one roll for this, and again, the roll can be negative or positive. How good you are at something initially, and how fast you get better at it are modified by intelligence.

    Hard Work & Practice: Buffs with Diminishing Returns
    If you're starting with a negative roll for Talent, and a positive or high roll for Int, then the hole you're trying to dig yourself out of is moderated by high Int. You still gotta apply a lot more of the Hard Work & Practice buff though, and you'll hit diminishing returns sooner than someone who isn't starting in a hole in the first place! And all other non-Talent factors are equal, you'll still never be as good as someone who started with a positive or high Talent roll.

    Environmental Factors: Buffs and Debuffs
    An environment that provides opportunities to improve and practice a Talent is a buff. An environment that is low on, or actively removes such opportunities is a debuff.

    POOF!

    The character creation process now accounts for both the Cleopatra VIIs, and the idiot savants!

    And also, it means you aren't doomed just because you have a low bonus roll. (>'-')> <('-'<)

    Similar to what Scott Alexander posted... but different. ^_^

    ]]>
    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/972918 2016-01-17T23:16:34Z 2016-01-17T23:16:34Z UX Rant: Oversimplification and overgeneralisation... plus supportive technology!

    This post annoyed me so much that I actually left a comment!

    <.< A nugget rarely comments on design blogs, for some reason...

    It's a nice, ranty comment, so I've reproduced it here, for my Rant Museum! ^_^

    This article kind of annoyed me, possibly because it’s too general, hyperbolic, and somewhat preachy.

    It’s all well and good to say:
    We will design processes, not screens.
    We will design systems, not individual pieces.
    We will design less “using,” and more getting results.

    But…
    How do you propose we ‘design processes’, WITHOUT designing the screens, assuming that the medium is digital, on a screen?

    How do you propose we ‘design systems’, WITHOUT designing the individual pieces?

    How do you design ‘more getting results’ without LOOKING at the ‘using’ process?

    It’s all very well to say, users just want things to magically happen!

    Sure they do.

    But only in very narrow fields, or very very wide budgets and fields (self driving cars, container automation, subway train scheduling) can you implement something that allows that kind of responsibility-free magic, while absolving users of responsibility.

    In many fields, we still REQUIRE the user to go through the process, interact with the product, perform myriad actions, because the onus of responsibility and decision must lie upon them. Because the interactions aren’t simple, and may cause harm. (I currently work in enterprise healthcare software.)

    For me, as a designer, what I’d love to see more of (and to work on more of) is the ‘supportive’ system. A good example of this is computer-aided Chess Grandmasters. Where the sum of the two is superior to either one alone, even if the goal is still ‘winning’.

    Computer-assisted healthcare professionals, with the goal being better patient care and outcomes. Now that’s something I want to see happen, but it’s still going to involve work on the part of the user, as well as the computer (the supportive system). And that’s the way it should be.


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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/939891 2015-11-27T06:28:42Z 2015-11-27T06:28:43Z DISC personality test AKA look into this mirror, and I'll sell your image back to you for as high a price as I can extract

    Nugget's summary of DISC personality test

    1. Tell me what you think you're like!
    2. Gosh, I think you're just like that! Just like... what you said you thought you were like.
    3. Let me pad that with vague, feel-good statements, worthy of any fortune teller.
    4. Look, I'll even throw in charts that, if you cross-compare with colleagues, are all obviously from a fixed set of variables, but designed to look as if they're customised for you, just you, special little snowflake, you.
    5. Now that you've told me what you think you're like, and I've mirrored that back at you...
    6. Rate the accuracy of the test! WOW! It's ACCURATE isn't it? HOW UNCANNY.

    As you can tell, I'm somewhat unimpressed. I am, though, impressed by how attractively and plausibly dressed up it was.

    The one I took today was truly a triumph of marketing.

    Here's someone who says it much more nicely than me. ;)

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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/939527 2015-11-26T02:20:30Z 2015-11-26T02:20:30Z A very tiny dog (13x13px)

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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/931685 2015-11-10T23:36:36Z 2016-05-19T08:36:36Z Project Comet, everything a UX designer needs, because - evidently - all a UX designer does is design and prototype websites and mobile apps

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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/930983 2015-11-09T22:33:37Z 2015-11-09T22:34:04Z ZOMG! New Zealand now has larval Baymaxes for aged care!

    University of Auckland researchers are set to publish new results from a study of the use of healthcare robots in the homes of elderly people living in rural areas, showing that robots may lessen social isolation but also help with the provision of medical care.

    The project involves small robots that can provide medication reminders, alarms in the case of falls and video conferencing through Skype, as well as a larger robot that can monitor health measurements such blood pressure readings and heart rate and transmit readings to the patient's GP.

    According to the university, the robots functioned as good companions, with some participants saying they enjoyed hearing the robot talk and others saying they liked its ability to remind them to take their medicine on time.

    Dr Broadbent said the participants said they found comfort in seeing the robot light up, as they felt it was the robot’s way of interacting with them.

    “They all reported that they would miss the robot when it went with one patient describing the robot as being part of the family,” Dr Broadbent said in a statement.

    Source: Kate McDonald, Pulse IT

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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/882029 2015-07-16T12:45:38Z 2015-10-20T02:41:42Z Flying Red Horse aka 'Weekly' :P random sketch

    One of my favourite John Gorka Songs.

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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/861484 2015-05-27T08:50:39Z 2015-05-27T08:50:39Z Pharmacy in Australia: The 6CPA Agreement - Administration, Handling & Infrastructure (AHI) Fee vs 5CPA's Pharmacy Markup

    So I did some calculations comparing the 6CPA's AHI vs the 5CPA's Pharmacy Markup...

    Old pack of up to & including $30.00 @ 15% = $0.15 ($1) to $4.50 ($30)
    Old pack of $30.01 to $45.00 = $4.50
    Old pack of $45.01 to $180 @ 10% = $4.50 to $18.00
    New for all up to $180.00 = $3.49
    So with the AHI, for prices up to $180, pharmacies will be making LESS for all items above $30.00.

    Old pack of $180.01 to $450.00 = $18.00
    New pack of $180.01 to $450.00 = $3.49 (on an $180.01 item) to $12.94 ($3.49 + $9.45)

    Old pack of $450.01 to $1,750.00 @ 4% = $18.00 to $70.00
    New pack of $450.01 to $1,750.00 = $12.94 ($3.49 + $9.45) to $61.44 ($3.49 + $54.95)
    Old pack of $1,750.01 and up = $70.00
    New pack of $1,751.00 to $2,089.70 = $61.44 ($3.49 + $54.95) to $70.33 ($3.49 + $66.84)
    So with the AHI, pharmacies are losing a lot of the 'in between $70.00' fees they had under the 5CPA pharmacy markup.

    Old & New Pack of $2,089.71 and up = No change, $70.00 per dispense.

    From the 6CPA agreement

    From the 5CPA agreement


    These are my personal conclusions, statements and opinions, and in no way reflect the opinions (or anything else) of my employer.

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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/852789 2015-05-07T14:02:40Z 2015-05-07T14:02:41Z Lovely post on cooking without recipes by TerryWG / The Food Canon

    Recipes act as a guide at best. There are so many variables so that you can't duplicate the dish exactly. At best, you approximate. Learn instead, to be guided by your own sense of taste and experiment with flavour combination. This often requires some imagination. This is not going to come to you immediately. Patiently, build up your experience and palate. As always, this will come more naturally or easily to some. Some will have a longer learning curve. But if you are always relying on recipes, you will not be able to break out of that. Your learning curve has not even begun.

    Recipes are like GPS. There are often helpful to get you to your destination. But over-rely on it, and you will cease to think or map out your own sense of direction. After a while, without GPS, you become a stranger in your own city.

    That is the same problem with cooking entirely from recipes. We use the ingredients without asking why and we never seek to understand the essence of the dish. The experience with the dish remains contained within itself, locked in its own recipe, and you will never try to do something else from it.    

    - Cooking without a recipe, The Food Canon

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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/851652 2015-05-05T13:54:01Z 2016-02-13T15:56:04Z The Flat Design Trend & Silly Catty Designer Behaviour aka I <3 Eli Schiff

    Today we are told we can rest assured that visual design is no longer so vacuous and superficial, due to the advent of flat design.

    I take a different stance. 'Pure veneer' is not an insult in my book. Quite the opposite, it is the very definition of visual design. Thinking visual design is anything but superficial not only requires a profound level of ignorance, but it indicates an incredibly limited view of what visual communication can accomplish.

    These rationalizations by newly turned modern minimalists are incredibly telling. If prominent practitioners are being honest with us in claiming that visual design was plagued by harmful decoration only up until the advent of flat design, then they are admitting that for years, for the history of the GUI, and perhaps even the entire history of design itself, designers have been putting on a sham project in order to dupe corporations.

    Worse still, claims of visual design's insignificance tell us that design leaders never took their craft seriously. It truly undermines their credibility that it took the arrival of flat design for them to treat the entire spectrum of roles in product design with respect. Of course, as soon as that happened, they graduated from respecting traditional interface design principles.

    This so-called 'maturation' in the vast majority of the design industry is in this way a major indictment of the professional history of these practitioners. If anyone should be condemned, it should not be those accused of the crime of visual design, but those practitioners who treat their job as frivolous.

    Perhaps the design world breeds a form of narcissism due to its nature as a winner-take-all economy. That would explain the logic of this race to the bottom in which designers feel compelled to attack their craft before others assume they are 'bullshitters' too. In the words of Dr. Sam Vaknin:

    By pre-empting society’s punitive measures and by self-flagellating, the narcissist is actually saying: 'If I am to suffer unjustly, it will be only by my own hand and no one else's.'

    It is this masochistic status-striving that I find so ugly in this industry. That he who discredits his own craft is the most pious. That the most respected designer is the one who disowns beauty. This perpetual need to be the first to assign irrelevancy to one's own professional practice is the true impetus behind much of the puritanism of modern minimalist avant gardism.

    - From Eli Schiff's last article in an amazing 5 part series, Fall of the Designer

    Details way better than I could have how the unnerving thing about 'flat is the bestest and the coolestestest and the maturestestest' is in truth paying only lip service to serving our users' needs, while actually serving as a designer's wank.

    Go read it, read it all!
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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/846570 2015-04-25T12:31:07Z 2015-04-25T17:24:57Z Nugget's weird-but-authentic-tasting-sweet-n-sour-sauce >.>

    I got a wok!

    And I didn't set my apartment on fire! (My last personal encounter with a wok resulted in a fire - just a tiiiiny one - in the middle of my wok, and failed Home Economics exam.)

    AND I managed to make *proper* Cantonese sweet and sour pork omg! I was so surprised that it all got eaten without any documentation. :P

    Not sure I would make it again though... so much *work*! I guess it depends on how desperate I get to find real sweet and sour pork done right in Melbourne. I found only one place, that did it right ONE time, and then they changed the darn cook! Hrmph.

    >.> Now, about that sauce... I hate tomatoes, so I had to find some other way to get a nice, authentic-tasting sauce... (I don't care about authentic ingredients, I just care about authentic taste.)

    Behold - my cheaty non-tomato sweet and sour sauce!

    As usual, I didn't actually measure anything, so this is me thinking of what I madly shook into the bowl and approximating. :P

    Crafting materials
    2 large oranges (juice and zest)
    4 tbsp caster sugar
    2 tsp balsamic vinegar
    4 tsp cornstarch
    3 drops red food colouring, 1 drop yellow (totally optional, it doesn't look traditionally 'red' enuff without the colouring, cause no evil tomatoes)
    Tiny bit of salt (optional - only needed if you think the stuff you're putting it on may not be savoury enuff.)

    Crafting method

    1. Zest oranges
    2. Squeeze tiny bit of juice into some kind of microwave-safe container
    3. Add cornstarch and stir until you get a slurry
    4. Add rest of orange juice, orange zest, sugar, balsamic vinegar, and food colouring + salt if using
    5. Stir stir stir until sort of homogenous
    6. Nuke for 3m to 5m
    7. Check on the sauce in 30s intervals. You want it to turn sticky and drippy, but still liquid. Sort of like... wimpy glue in the sponge-topped bottles that they give to kids to do paper art or school crafts (...not sure if they even still make that lol)
      Wait no nevermind, better description! You want it to turn sticky and drippy, but still liquid, like warm honey! Woot! :P
      You can make the sauce on the stove as well if you don't have a microwave... But in that case, I have no idea how long it takes, just what it should be like (see above).

    That's it really... >.>

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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/803791 2015-01-28T15:29:26Z 2015-01-28T21:10:53Z The Tree of Swords and Jewels

    From C.J. Cherryh's Ealdwood series. Ha, it's very similar to the Whelan cover! Oh well! XD

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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/796938 2015-01-16T12:16:13Z 2015-01-16T12:16:13Z Jill Kismet


    Lilith Saintcrow's Jill Kismet.

    Alas! I couldn't fit the whip in there nicely somehow. XD

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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/793084 2015-01-08T11:43:45Z 2015-01-08T11:43:45Z Shisei Omukae

    While I don't like the hero much, Eric van Lustbader's Nicholas Linnear series of books are great fun! He writes the most wonderful Bad Girls. ;)

    And so we have Shisei Omuke, from White Ninja (no, no, it doesn't mean Caucasian ninja - though lol... that was the initial conclusion I jumped to)!

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    tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/788029 2014-12-26T15:00:05Z 2015-08-23T01:45:44Z Mascarpone Cookie Base aka the Great Festive Cookie Invasion!
    Clockwise from outside top
    Oreo cheesecake, green tea oreo, lemon cranberry walnut, poppyseed blondie, chocolate ginger caramel, strawberries and cream with walnut


    Basic Tender / Chewy Cookie!
    300g cake flour
    100g salted butter (room temp)
    100g caster sugar (150 for crispier version)
    30g mascarpone
    1 egg (whole… too lazy to separate the yolk lol)
    Vanilla essence

    1. Cream butter and mascarpone
    2. Add vanilla essence, cream some more
    3. Add sugar, beat until fluffy
    4. Add egg, beat again
    5. Beat in flour (I find it works best if I beat it in in 2 to 3 parts, rather than all at once)
    6. Dump in fridge for 1 hour or so
    7. Preheat oven to 150-60C
    8. Make (large) truffle-sized balls
    9. Plop balls about 2 inches apart
    10. Bake for 20-30 minutes

    >.> This recipe is less chatty than usual because really, it's my notes to myself that became a post. XD

      Edit
      Mascarpone can be replaced with 50g brown or dark brown sugar. Essentially, the mascarpone acts as a (more) hydrophilic element (than just plain white sugar) in the recipe. So if you wanna take that out, you gotta replace it with something else hydrophilic! When using 50g brown sugar, I also use 1 tsp double action baking powder.


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      tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/784484 2014-12-17T10:12:52Z 2014-12-18T00:08:28Z Not-so-weekly-sketch

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      tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/780519 2014-12-08T22:52:47Z 2014-12-08T22:52:47Z Subtraction.com - If it looks like a cow, swims like a dolphin and quacks like a duck, it must be enterprise software

      Funny post by Khoi Vinh! The post itself isn't particularly good (though funny), but the comments section is very long, and has some real gems.

      Since I'm now working on enterprise software, it's suddenly really, really easy to tell from the comments, who's actually been there and done that, too.

      The dynamics of power when it comes to the users vs purchasers of enterprise software was one of the hardest things for me to adjust to initially, when coming from B2C agencyland, as it were.

      These two comments really stood out for me, but if you bother to trawl through the whole lot, there are a couple more good ones. :)

      If you've worked on enterprise software at all, your head will be nodding and nodding like one of those bobbly dogs...

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      tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/776969 2014-12-01T09:43:27Z 2014-12-01T09:43:27Z Tera: Undone by a hat!

      After years of resisting PWE's blandishments, and never, ever using real money to buy fashion, I have been seduced by Tera instead.

      Behold, the first digital fashion thingie I have *ever* used my Real Moneh for. And out of a loot box to boot lol.

      Undone by cats. =O.o=

      Mew!

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      tag:nugget.posthaven.com,2013:Post/773746 2014-11-22T08:54:40Z 2014-11-22T08:54:40Z It's interesting how email spammers put more care into their emails than LinkedIn supposedly-not-spammers put into their invites. ]]>