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Archive for August, 2020

Outstanding Beers from our Little Red Fridge

Monday, August 31st, 2020

Often I complain about so-so craft beer in our fridge that doesn’t measure up. However, some great beers have passed through that fridge and it’s worth recommending them to anybody interested in a good beer experience. Admittedly, most beers that I purchase are in the high ABV range and are predominantly stouts. So here goes, a dozen good beers you might want to try.

  1. Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad
  2. Mismatch Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout
  3. Rare Breed Mountain Goat Barrel Aged Blended Porter
  4. Amager Bryghus Hr Frederiksen Imperial Stout
  5. Little Bang Sludgebeast Imperial Stout
  6. Trappistes Rochefort 10
  7. Chimay Red
  8. Dieu du Ciel! Aphro Rhum
  9. Peche Mortel Imperial Coffee Stout
  10. Brasserie Dupont Monk’s Stout
  11. Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard
  12. Colonial Inquest Edition #4 2020 Belgian inspired Imperial Stout

I’m a sucker for a good thick stout and bourbon barrel-aged stout. But that Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad was to die for… and the Danish brewery Amager has hit it out of the park with Hr Frederiksen Imperial Stout. I’m on the Sludgebeast fan boy bandwagon. You get the idea… Brasserie Dupont Monk’s Stout is lovely, too.

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Algorithms are not Evil Incarnate

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020

One of my favourite units in the Bachelor of Computing was a core second year unit called KXA201 Algorithms; I got a 76 (Distinction). One thing that really stoked me about it was the hardcore geeky Maths/Physics computer guys struggled. Someone like me, a strength in good writing, found it a breeze. Anyway, listening to this weeks chaotic journalism hype about algorithms being some sort of evil incarnate, it’s no wonder I’m compelled to explain why they are certainly not evil, of themselves.

To be clear, I’ve studied undergraduate Computing with an average score of 80 (High Distinction) and a Master of Business Administration with a Specialisation in Journalism and Media Studies with an average score of 80 (High Distinction). You can doubt me, I don’t care. But here’s my feedback to journalists… because journalists don’t study anything like algorithms, or even statistics, economics, or fucking anything really. Except journalism. Most journalists, in a pinch, are talking/writing through their naive arses.

So here goes. An algorithm is a recipe. Nothing more, nothing less. Your cookbook is full of algorithms to make food. It’s a simple enough idea that I won’t belabour the point. Thus, algorithms are not evil incarnate. We use algorithms in our everyday lives to solve these types of problems – how to make a beef casserole; how to build an IKEA cupboard from flatpack. When you enter an elevator there’s a detailed algorithm prescribing the order of operations – the floor the elevator stops at next and when to open and close those doors; what happens when buttons are pressed. Algorithms are part of our lives.

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The Immeasurable Pleasure of Reading Books

Saturday, August 15th, 2020

There is something special about getting back into reading good old dead tree style books again. Over the last year or two I’ve been reading a couple of fiction novels every month and I like to have a non-fiction book on the go at the same time just to keep my mind in the real world. I’m not saying you need to read books… but you might find it’s more enjoyable than when you were younger.

My reading history was pretty sparse before my very late teens. Whatever the school curriculum put in my lap was about the limit of my experience – The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Rusty, Pygmalion, Lord of the Flies. I read a couple of non-fiction books about the sinking of the Bismark and the life of the gangster Joey Gallo just after high school and then a really good trashy pulp fiction sci-fi called Jack of Shadows (and I still recommend that one).

In my 20s I read at least three or four and sometimes five books a week – thrillers, horror, adventure, fantasy. I read broadly, including Oriental mysticism and books like the Carlos Castaneda series about his alleged apprenticeship with the sorcerer Don Juan. I’d hang on the equally dubious Tuesday Lobsang Rampa books reading them in correct order. I read about mercenaries and politics and history. It was a time in my life where I had all the time in the World for reading any sort of book the public library could offer. And I appreciate the depth of conversation that I can have today partly because of all that reading.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

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