Larsblog

Ichinoseki - sake and beer

Basho passed through Ichinoseki on his journey, but failed to mention it, focusing instead on Hiraizumi. Today Ichinoseki is much the bigger of the two towns, even if Hiraizumi is culturally more important. To us, however, Ichinoseki held an important attraction: the Sekinoichi Shuzo sake brewery, which also makes the Iwate Kura beers. ...

Read | 2012-10-28 10:11 | 0 comment(s)

Ringnes Imperial Polaris

For years now everyone's been wondering when Ringnes was going to wake up and realize that the old days of selling cheap industrial beers were over. Overall beer sales have been down consistently year after year for many years, while craft beer sales have boomed. Surely the biggest brewery in Norway had to sit up and notice at some point? Particularly when their owners, Danish Carlsberg, have already started two craft beer brands in Denmark (Kongens Bryghus and Jacobsen). ...

Read | 2012-10-04 20:25 | 3 comment(s)

Ryokan

In Japanese language, no articles. In Japanese hotel room, not many articles, either. Actually, that's not quite true. Japanese hotel rooms are much like their western counterparts, but the traditional Japanese inns are something else entirely. There's two main kinds: the expensive ryokan, and the cheaper minshukus. ...

Read | 2012-09-28 20:53 | 2 comment(s)

RDF triple stores — an overview

There's a huge range of triple stores out there, and it's not trivial to find the one most suited for your exact needs. I reviewed all those I could find earlier this year for a project, and here is the result. I've evaluated the stores against the requirements that mattered for that particular project. I haven't summarized the scores, as everyone's weights for these requirements will be different. ...

Read | 2012-09-17 19:56 | 41 comment(s)

History, history everywhere

One thing that's struck me about Japan is how amazingly rich their history is, and how you could spend your entire life digging into it, without ever running out of things to learn. That history is still very much alive to the Japanese themselves, and everywhere you turn you are reminded of it. ...

Read | 2012-09-14 17:41 | 1 comment(s)

Hiraizumi — the Kyoto of the north

In 1100, the Fujiwara clan made Hiraizumi their capital, and ruled almost a third of Japan from here. The city grew to a metropolis of at least 50,000 people, a shining example of Heian Era architecture and culture, to rival even Kyoto the capital. After the fall of the Fujiwaras, however, the town shrunk, and today it has only 8000 people. ...

Read | 2012-09-02 20:48 | 0 comment(s)

The narrow road to the deep north

Once I'd bought the tickets, the next question arose: where to go? I had one week in Japan, but where to spend it? The last time I was in Japan I'd travelled south from Tokyo, so I figured this time I would go north. I'd really love to see Hokkaido, but with only one week I would have spent most of my time travelling, so I decided to not travel that far. Basically, that meant going to the Tohoku region. ...

Read | 2012-08-05 09:50 | 2 comment(s)

Experiments in genetic programming

I made an engine called Duke that can automatically match records to see if they represent the same thing. For more background, see a previous post about it. The biggest problem people seem to have with using it is coming up with a sensible configuration. I stumbled across a paper that described using so-called genetic programming to configure a record linkage engine, and decided to basically steal the idea. ...

Read | 2012-03-18 10:06 | 5 comment(s)

Nøgne Ø Red Horizon

I don't normally do straight beer reviews, but this is not just any beer, and I think it deserves much more attention than it's received so far. It's both wildly unsual and one of my all-time favourite beers. And now that Nøgne Ø is brewing Red Horizon 2 and 3 the time seems right for a little write-up. ...

Read | 2012-02-25 14:02 | 2 comment(s)

GlavPivTorg — a window onto history

GlavPivTorg is not just a brewpub. It is also a theme restaurant. The name is a Soviet-style acronym meaning "Main Beer Cooperative," and the place is designed to look like an elite Soviet restaurant from the 1960s. This is the sort of place where the high-level Soviet apparatchik would dine. Even the menu is designed according to the state cookery manual for restaurants. ...

Read | 2012-02-19 18:17 | 0 comment(s)

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