Oh Nathan Myhrvold. Classic geek overachiever! Not content with making meelyuns at Microsoft, he recently solved a little problem we like to call global climate change:
Myhrvold appeared on CNN‘s Fareed Zakaria GPS and discussed his idea to eliminate global warming/climate change using geoengineering. It involves using hoses suspended 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) from the Earth into the atmosphere via helium balloons. The hoses would be placed near the North Pole and the South Pole and emit sulfur dioxide, which is known to scatter light. Myhrvold estimated that such a configuration could “easily dim the sun by one percent, and even do it in a way that wouldn’t be visible.”
It’s kind of like giving the Earth a pair of atmospheric sunglasses!
But there’s no money in solving global warming. For his next trick, Myhrvold would like to take $625 from every sous-vide loving molecular foodie who likes to use words like “colloidal” and “vacuum compression.” They don’t call them $25-dollar words for nothing, which is why Myhrvold’s forthcoming book Modernist Cuisine is going to cost so darn much. He has worked hard on it! From the New York Times:
He has spent three years in a laboratory in Bellevue, Wash., testing and adapting the increasingly complex cooking techniques emerging at restaurants like El Bulli, the Fat Duck and WD-50. Where other cookbook writers use whisks and graters, Dr. Myhrvold, who amassed hundreds of millions of dollars at Microsoft, wields vacuum sealers, colloid mills and rotary evaporators, and ingredients like agar and methylcellulose.
The aesthetic of nerdy excess even applies to the book’s form, as the Times notes:
[N]ot even Dr. Myhrvold, who started his own publishing company for this book, has seen a final copy.More than 65,000 lines of text and 3,500 photographs and illustrations are being checked (the ink alone for each copy weighs four pounds). The book’s custom-designed box-within-a-box container, meant to protect the heavy volumes during shipping, failed a series of drop tests and is being re-engineered.
Never let it be said that Mr. Myhrvold does not know his audience. Scott Heimendinger, aka The Seattle Food Geek, told the Times: “I have not been this excited for anything since the release of the second ‘Star Wars’ movie.”
And never let it be said you can’t get more for less—Amazon has already marked Modernist Cuisine down to $500. Maybe they put it through a sous vide.