Some number of weeks ago, having discovered Maraschino liqueur, I concocted a variation on my beloved Manhattan. I have been meaning to write up the recipe here for a while but had been stuck on coming up with a name; I needed a name befitting a strong whiskey cocktail with connections to myself and the color red. Having thought for quite a while and come up with a bunch of names that were already taken by other cocktails, I settled on naming the drink after the grizzled, old Autobot, Ironhide. So, without further ado:

Ironhide recipe

  • 3 oz Bourbon whiskey

  • 3/4 oz Maraschino

  • 1/4 oz grenadine

  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

  • 1 Maraschino cherry

Serve shaken or stirred with ice in a cocktail glass; garnish with the Maraschino cherry.


I have mostly been drinking these on the rocks, which is an acceptable but inferior variation. Being a Manhattan-like cocktail, up-high is really the correct way to serve an Ironhide.

Corn syrup based grenadine or "maraschino" cherries will ruin the flavors imparted by the bitters and Maraschino; you will make a better cocktail by skipping the grenadine and cherry than using cheap, fake ones.

A cute geometry problem

I came across a cute geometry problem recently and I would like to pass it along.


Problem Statement

If the sides of the square are of unit length and all curves are circular arcs, what is the area of the highlighted region?

Although substantially easier with the use of calculus or trigonometry, this problem can be solved entirely with basic geometry (no weird laws you might have forgotten since high school are necessary).

I have derived a geometric solution, which follows, but I highly recommend trying to do it yourself first.

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On airplane bandwidth and latency

Having recently used Virgin America to transport myself across the country, I was very pleased to have Internet access while I was in the air. This, however, is not the sort of airplane bandwidth and latency that I am going to talk about. Instead, I would like to discuss a comparison between the bandwidth and latency of typical Internet connections with those associated with taking a hard drive on an airplane.

Let's say we compare a high speed (\(15\mathrm{Mbit}\)) DSL connection to taking a moderately large hard drive (\(500\mathrm{GB}\)) on a plane for data rates between San Francisco and Boston (\(\approx 7\mathrm{hr}\)):


  • DSL: \(15\frac{\mathrm{Mbit}}{\mathrm{s}}\)

  • Airplane: \(\frac{500\mathrm{GB}}{7\mathrm{hr}} \times \frac{1\mathrm{hr}}{60\mathrm{min}} \times \frac{1\mathrm{min}}{60\mathrm{s}} \times \frac{8000\mathrm{Mbit}}{1\mathrm{GB}} \approx 150\frac{\mathrm{Mbit}}{\mathrm{s}}\)


  • DSL: \(\approx 100\mathrm{ms}\)

  • Airplane: \(>7\mathrm{hr}\)

For fun, let's try something a little bigger on both sides: OC-768 vs Boeing 747-400F plane filled with \(2\mathrm{TB}\) hard drives.


  • OC-768: \(38\frac{\mathrm{Gbit}}{\mathrm{s}}\)

  • 747-400F: \(\frac{250000\mathrm{lb}}{7\mathrm{hr}} \times \frac{2\mathrm{TB}}{1.7\mathrm{lb}} \times \frac{1\mathrm{hr}}{60\mathrm{min}} \times \frac{1\mathrm{min}}{60\mathrm{s}} \times \frac{8\mathrm{Tbit}}{1\mathrm{TB}} \approx 93\frac{\mathrm{Tbit}}{\mathrm{s}}\)


  • OC-768: \(<100\mathrm{ms}\)

  • 747-400F: \(>7\mathrm{hr}\)

Clearly, hard drives on an airplane will win in a purely bandwidth driven application but airplanes suffer from incredibly high latency. You will have to decide which is best choice based on your particular use scenario.