The most important piece of Oaxacan camping gear: A copper still for making mezcal

Amira and I attended Portozuelo's first-ever Camping Under the Moon event with Chef Alex Ruiz and guest Chef Rodrigo Martinez. Alex brought in a young mezcal maker to set up a coal-fired still and distill mezcal on the spot. (First, he sealed the parts of the still with corn flour.) He infused it with lavender and rosemary, and it was delicious. We drank it all night and then had more for breakfast. This is, after all, Oaxaca

Ayote en miel in El Salvador

Another treat from Reina’s kitchen: ayote en miel. It’s squash slow cooked with water,   panela, cinnamon and cloves. 

Amazon Sidewalk is actually amazing. I can't wait to see what startups do with it.

Amazon just opened up a free, nationwide, low-power, wide-area network called Sidewalk. It's optimized for IoT devices. It’s great at securely and privately sending small quantities of data impressively long distances. It reaches 90% of the US population. 

Some devices can connect as far away as several miles. 

Here's a piece I wrote for Computerworld tell you everything you need to know about Amazon Sidewalk

I love going to San Salvador's 'Pupusa Mountain'

A mountain near El Salvador's capital, called Los Planes de Renderos is famous for eco parks, cool temperatures and, above all, top-shelf pupusa joints. Lining the roadways one can find dozens or possibly hundreds of pupusa restaurants, dives, street vendors and others. I call it "Pupusa Mountain." 

Our current favorite is called Pupusaria Elisa. It directly faces another place called Pupusaria Isabel. (A few other restaurants sit in the same facility.) As you can see, Elisa is packed and Isabel is empty. We always find it like this. Last night, all tables were taken at Elisa, and all tables were available at Isabel. Quality counts, I guess. 

Check out this crazy fruit called an icaco

Ever heard of an icaco, or (in English), coco plum or paradise plum? It's a tropical fruit that grows on trees as close as 30 feet from the ocean. The closer to the water, the sweeter the fruit. 

The tree is native to the tropical parts of the Americas, especially the Caribbean. 

People eat them raw, cooked or made into jam. 

The seed of the icaco is 21% oil, and some people burn them for light.

Home-made pupusas!!

You can buy great pupusas in El Salvador -- great curtido (cabbage-based vinegar-flavored stuff) and sauce are harder to come by. But home-made is the best. 

Riguas for breakfast in El Salvador

My wife's cousin, Reina, made riguas for breakfast, which I had never tried before. (The rigua in this picture is the long, oval item, part of this complete breakfast that also includes a tamal, cheese and red silk beans.) They're delicious!

Riguas are one of the many foods unique to El Salvador that were retained in the diet from indigenous cooking. 

They're made with rough-ground fresh corn cooked in banana leaves. 

You can have this pre-Spanish item with nothing on top, or topped with foods brought by the Spanish: sugar, butter, sour cream or curds. 

Atol Shuco -- breakfast on the beach in El Salvador.

I'm enjoying a nice bowl of Atol Shuco (also spelled "Atol Chuco," and "Atol Shuko") at my beach hotel in the Southeastern-most corner of El Salvador. Shuco is one of the indigenous staples that Salvadorans never stopped eating. It's a massively nutritious dish for two reasons: 1) it's made with "black corn" that's made black by large quantities of polyphenols, so it's highly antioxidant-packed; and 2) it's fermented, so it's loaded with probiotics for healthy gut flora. 

For my breakfast, it's got ground roasted aihuashte (also called "aiguashte" or "pepitoria") on top, made from the ground seed (pepitas) of a Salvadoran pumpkin-like squash, which is common when taken for breakfast. Shuco is also eaten with beans and white "pan francés" (basically a white-bread roll) if you have it at night. 

People here make it at home. Rural Salvadorans eat it on their way to or from work, purchased from a street vendor. 

Trump arrest images trigger AI panic. Here's why we should schedule our panic for later.

Before OpenAI, the company behind both ChatGPT and DALL-E, the sustained panic centered around deepfake videos, produced by generative adversarial networks (GANs). Everybody feared that deepfake videos would become the ultimate tool for spreading disinformation. Deepfakes, we were told, could produce “evidence” that political leaders, for example, said or did things they never said or did.

Deepfake fears haven’t been realized yet. The tech isn’t convincing enough. (And, once they are convincing, I fear the bigger threat will be that people caught on video will plausibly deny the truth by falsely claiming the real video is a deepfake.)

But this week a new panic set in. Rumors circulated about the imminent indictment and arrest of former president Donald Trump (rumors started by Trump himself in a Truth Social post that falsely claimed he’d be arrested Tuesday).

Read the rest on my Substack

People are finding it hard to get hired. Employers are struggling to hire. How is this possible?

Despite the high number of job openings, the number of qualified applicants has dropped significantly, leaving many employers feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, job seekers are finding it difficult to land a job, even with all the opportunities out there. They are applying for various job openings but getting ghosted by potential employers.

It's called the “Great Mismatch.” Here's what's causing it