Doing What I Should Have Done

One of the smarter pieces of advice I received in grad school was to write one blog post every week about a paper related to my research interests. Didn't need to be long, just needed to be a post about the core concept of the paper and how it relates to your interests.I should have acted on this advice long ago, but I didn't.

Luckily, tihngs change. Beginning today, every Monday morning around 10:00 Eastern I will be posting a brief writeup to my research blog about research that I'm interested in. Each post will contain the objective of the research, a summary of the paper, and my thoughts on how this research could be used or expanded.

This week I begin with a new paper by my advisor, Alan MacEachren, who is trying to create a framework for assessing the effectiveness of visual analtyics tools in supporting reasoning under uncertainty.

Delicious Things That May Kill You: Jalapeño Poppers

I learned this recipe from Liz Shaw (Sydney's mom) back in high school. They're delicious and I love them, but they're not exactly that healthy. Luckily they're expensive enough that I don;t make them too often.


  • Cost per batch: ~$20
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • 10-20 Jalapeños
  • 8oz Cream Cheese (the block, not the tub)
  • 8oz Cheddar or Colby Jack (Shredded)
    • Optional: 4oz Cheddar, 4oz Pepper Jack for spicy version
  • 2-3 oz Bacon Bits (even better, make your own, but don't ever use immitation)
  • Bread Crumbs (Plain or Italian)
  • Garlic Salt (to taste)
  • Cayenne Pepper (to taste)


  1. Allow the cream cheese to warm up on your counter until it's just barely squishy to the touch (around 50°F)
  2. Preheat your oven to 350°F
  3. Clean and halve the jalapeños, removing all seeds and ribs
    • Optional: You could save the seeds and be a terribly mean person later.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine cheeses, bacon bits, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper. Mix together with hands, wooden spoon, or some other stiff, rubberized utensil.
    • Optional: If you're into the hot stuff, this is where you add the jalapeno seeds to the filling.
  5. Pour bread crumbs onto a standard dinner plate
  6. Build your assembly line. Order goes from peppers to filling to bread crumbs to large cookie sheet.
  7. Stuff the peppers. Take a pepper half, fill it with cheesy goodness, press into the bread crumbs, array on large cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F
  9. Let cool and enjoy
    • Optional: Have some left over cheesy goodness? Turn that into a cheese ball (make a ball, cover in breadc crumbs) or queso (30 second bursts in the mircowave) and break our the tortilla chips.

Hammer.js for Angular.js

We've been doing a lot at work recently with touch-based interaction on the desktop. Our front-end products are all web apps built on Angular.js, and use Hammer.js to register touch-event handlers. We also noticed that using a non-Angularized library in an Angular context is a complete shit show.

We looked around for a lirary to wrap Hammer up for us and found angular-hammer from Monospaced. It worked okay for a while, but didn't update when Hammer.js v2 came out, which is a big improvement and something we wanted to incorporate.

So, I forked the original and made a few changes. It uses the same principle, providing a bunch of directives that map the directive values to handlers, but extends it to support both Angular Expressions and regular old scope-accessible functions. I also added support to define custom gesture recognizers using a JSON string. Check it out on GitHub...

...or you can install it using Bower.

$ bower install ryanmullins-angular-hammer

Frameworks vs Libraries

Around 61:20 into Debug #43 Marco Arment and Guy English provide a really good definition for frameworks vs libraries:

G: A library fits into what youre doing, a framework changes the way you see the world.
M: You build things into a framework that is already established for you, whereas the library let's you build what you want and let's you call into the library for help...

I think that's a really important distinction to make. Now, if I can just to figure out what a Platform is relative to a Framework I'll be good at my job.