Maria Sinskey’s bacon recipe

“Making your own bacon gives you total control over a food that is frequently out of control,” says chef Maria Sinskey in a Bloomberg article. Recipe:

1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. sweet pimenton (optional)
2 1/2 lbs. skinless pork belly, about 1 ½ inches thick
Coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

Make it
Mix the salt, sugar, and pimenton (if using). Rub three-quarters of the mix into the meat side and the remaining one-quarter into the fat side; rub it in around the sides of the slab, too. If using black pepper, pat into the fat side of the meat before adding the salt-sugar mixture.

Seal the belly in a Ziploc bag, pressing the air out. Refrigerate for 3 days, turning each day. (Liquid will collect in the bag; do not pour it out.)

Rinse the bacon briefly with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place it on a rack over a pan and refrigerate, uncovered, to dry for two hours. Slice the bacon from the slab—thick or thin, according to your preference—and fry it up. For smoky bacon, cook according to manufacturer’s directions over an indoor smoker or smoke it on an outdoor grill.

Store it, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator for a week. For longer life, slice it, place parchment paper between the slices, wrap them in plastic, and store in the freezer; you’ll have bacon on demand for months.

Helen’s Tennessee Corn Bread

1.5 cups corn meal
0.5 cup flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
0.25 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons agave or sugar
3 eggs
2 tablespoons butter plus butter for skillet
1 cup milk

Mix all ingredients
Heat oven to 375℉
Put cast iron skillet in oven, melt butter in it, pour wet mixture into it
Bake for 20-30 minutes

A letter from Twitter from 2007

I first signed up for Twitter for Danwei, then at, in 2007. My first tweet was:


Zuola is a blogger, citizen journalist and Internet gadfly whom I knew from the Chinese blogger conferences that ran annually in the fall from 2005 to 2009, and he was one the people who convinced me to join Twitter, even though at the time I was appalled by the idea of a service that only let you exchange soundbite length sentences.

Back then, Twitter used to send emails to its users. All the emails I received seemed to have been personally written and sent by one of the Twitter founders, Biz Stone. I remember receiving these emails and thinking, to myself: Biz Stone? What the hell kind of name is that? What a dork! And he addressed the email to Twitter-ers? What a dork! What a dorky service. This will never go anywhere

With Twitter about to IPO and Biz Stone set to become a gazillionaire, it is now fitting to ask: Who is the dork eh?

Below is the earliest email from Twitter I could dredge up from my archives. Two things strike me:

Firstly, the decision to abandon the idea of ‘friends’ in favor of ‘followers’. This has become one of the reasons why Twitter is such a strong network: you can follow and interact with people who have the same interests as you without any need to pretend to be friends or use the vocabulary of friendship.

Secondly, it is apparent from this email that the verb to tweet had not yet become common. Biz Stone addresses the email to “Twitter-ers”, whereas today he might say “Tweeters” although actual emails from Twitter these days usually just greet you with your user name, rather than a salutation. In other words, I get emails that says: “Goldkorn, here is news from Twitter….” and none of them are signed by a person.

Anyhow, here is the old email from Biz Stone:

From: Biz Stone
Date: Mon, Jul 30, 2007 at 12:32 PM
Subject: Twitter Has Big News

Hello Twitter-ers!

Lots of big news at Twitter Headquarters last week. We’ve recently announced the closing of our financing with Union Square Ventures, Charles River Ventures, and some angel investors including Marc Andreessen, Dick Costolo, Ron Conway, and Naval Ravikant. We’re honored to have investors that we look up to and are inspired by. We’re looking forward to adding even more momentum, hiring more engineers, and building a sustainable company. Come on by and visit us:

Friends, Followers and Notifications

Folks have noted that there’s too much overlap and confusion between “friend” and “follow.” As Twitter has evolved, these two concepts have emerged in parallel and clouded things up. So, in the spirit of simplification, we are no longer going to define people as your “friends.” The functionality of adding people remains, but the interaction is focused on the term “follow” instead. We’ve also added a “notifications” toggle which allows you to turn on updates via SMS or IM on a person-by-person basis.

More about this change:

Entertain Yourself

The Wall Street Journal recently took note of Hollywood’s experimentation with Twitter. They cited some of our work with MTV, FOX, and CBS. Next week, the actor who plays Cappie on ABC Family’s new series, “Greek,” is going to be Twittering and encouraging viewers to do the same during Monday night’s episode.

Follow Greekshow:

There’s also some folks who’ve been twittering from comic-con, the big comic book convention in San Diego, California. Check out Agent M from the folks behind the scenes at Marvel Entertainment and actor/writer Wil Wheaton on Twitter for a little peek into the comic book industry’s biggest shindig.

Agent M:
Wil Wheaton:

Congratulations Ev and Sara!

Twitter co-founder and chairman Evan Williams was married over the weekend to the lovely Sara Morishige. My toast at the rehearsal dinner was mercifully short, in true Twitter fashion. The event was well Twittered, as you might imagine. It’s not as easy as you think to text and dance simultaneously. Congrats to Ev and Sara!

Happy Twittering,
Biz Stone and the Twitter Team

Will China Internet controls relax after 18th Party Congress?

The answer is no.

Shortly after the end of China’s 18th Communist Party Congress that saw Xi Jinping annointed as President and Chairman, several Western media organizations reported on a loosening of Internet censorship. It seems rather crazy at the time, as it coincided with the worst squeeze on Great Firewall busting VPN services that I have ever experienced here.

This week, a series of articles in the state press and apparent leaked propaganda government directives make it clear that we cannot expect a relaxation of Internet controls anytime soon. See below for just a few samples:

The People’s Daily: The Internet must be managed according to the law 网络需要依法运行

China Media Project: People’s Daily: be good online, please
Translation and commentary on People’s Daily front page commentary “The Internet is Not Outside the Law” (网络不是法外之地)

The Global Times: Freedom not at odds with online regulation

China Central Government website: General Administration of Press and Publications solicts opinions on draft regulations on Internet publishing services 新闻出版总署关于《网络出版服务管理办法》

Sohu: Trade and commercial departments to intensify supervision and clean up online market 工商部门将加大监管力度净化网络市场

China Digital Times, Directives from the Central Propaganda Department:

Ministry of Truth: Net Safety and the Safety Net
In the near future, Xinhua News Agency, People’s Daily, and other central media outlets will successively report typical cases of threats to Internet safety and infringement on citizens’ personal information. All media and websites are kindly asked to republish these documents in their entirety. Do not modify titles or content. Do not voluntarily collect reports and commentary related to Internet safety management, especially those voices which challenge Internet safety management. (December 19, 2012)

Some links above via the excellent Sinocism daily newsletter.