More experimental baking

I had more leftover sourdough starter today, so I decided to try making some sourdough focaccia using it, plus a bit of yeast to get it to rise. (Sourdough rises when the starter is fresh, but not if the starter has been left over and sitting for a few days.)

It turned out pretty well!

Sourdough focaccia

I think I baked it a little too long, and next time I won’t use the base heat setting in the oven, as it made the base very crisp and close to burnt. But otherwise it was really good. For dinner I made a simple tomato and chilli sauce with pasta, and we have that with the focaccia and some extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip it in. A very simple and rustic Italian meal, but delicious.

In other news, Scully had her groom today, and now she’s all fuzzy and velvety with short hair again. I didn’t get a photo to compare with yesterday, but maybe I will tomorrow.

I spent the afternoon working through the exercises for Monday’s next lecture in the image processing course I’m tutoring. We’ve finished the basic image processing stuff and are moving on to machine learning for pattern recognition. I have a very high level knowledge of machine learning, but have never dealt with the nitty gritty aspects of it in detail before, so this part of the course will be more challenging for me. This first lecture is really an introduction to machine learning, and most of the actual work is on probability distributions, which I have more familiarity with. So the work wasn’t too difficult, although I had to struggle with Matlab’s weird syntax issues for a while before getting something to work.

I’ve also started work on a new course for Outschool, to complement the ongoing classes on critical and ethical thinking. This new one will be a fixed length course of about 6 weeks, on creative thinking and problem solving. I plan to teach the kids how to think about problems and come up with creative solutions to them. And as an example context, I thought that over the six-week course we could work on a specific creative problem: designing a simple board game! The goal would be to have a completed, playable game at the end, invented by the kids, with my guidance. I think this should work well as a course, and I have ideas for all the stages. Just need to write it up and then submit the course for approval.

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