Aesthetics of Everywhere

The urban scene, its people and processes. Based in southern California.

Archive for the ‘veganism’ Category

Everyday Lessons Learned: May 2011, Week 2

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09: The Smithsonian American Art Museum is opening an exhibit on video games in 2012 that showcases eighty iconic games from the past forty years. The museum recently polled the public to make the final decisions on which games should be featured in this exhibition. However, I’m not sure why they’re making a point of saying that people in 175 countries voted in the poll; nor can I figure out how Super Mario Bros can really be considered ‘American art’. Judge for yourself when they open The Art of Video Games on March 16, 2012.

10: The famous interview question “Why are manhole covers round?” was intended to gauge the interviewee’s reasoning skills. This is a question that has multiple correct answers, some of them including “easier to transport by rolling” and “the circular shape means you don’t have to line up corners when you replace the cover”… but the really interesting part of asking this is to see how the person works through the problem.

Random: See how baby’s faces are formed. It’s a bit strange to watch.

11: The reasons behind the need for train-stuffers, the station attendants who pack people into the subway cars (most well-known example is Tokyo) during rush hours, are two main ones:

  • Too many people in the station waiting for trains and, somewhat paradoxically,
  • Too many trains

Curious? Read more from the Quora user who answered this one! http://www.quora.com/What-is-it-like-to-work-as-a-pusher-in-Tokyos-subway-system

12: According to United Nations, the world’s population will reach 7 billion people on October 31, 2011. (H/T Grist)

13: Tempeh (tempe) is a soy product that’s gaining increasing recognition as a great, healthy source of protein. It’s an Indonesian product made of fermented whole soybeans (fermentation is an amazing process, honestly) that is seen more of a ‘health food’ or ‘specialty’ product here, but is very common in Indonesia and prepared in all kinds of delicious ways.

14: Check out this great mural artistBLU. My favorite’s the liberty-spiked key-swallower. All pretty edgy pieces… and the installations look enormous!

15: Memories can be erased… or at least eroded. And of course, false memories can also be implanted in peoples’ minds. (Source)

Written by Crystal Bae

May 15th, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Everyday Lessons Learned: March 2011, Week 3

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You learn something new everyday. This continues, deep into month three. How long does it take to get into the rhythm of doing something every single day? Does it take the full year? I’m enjoying myself and remembering more, at least. :)

15: The George Mason University Economics department is very active online. I’m not an economist or anywhere close to it, but it’s always neat to find academics involved in online communities. Many George Mason econ professors are actively blogging:

16: Involuntary muscle spasms are known as myoclonic jerks, and those that specifically occur as you’re falling asleep (when you spasm as you drift off, like you’re falling through) are known as hypnic jerks. Thanks to my first source for answering medical curiosity questions, my friend Bre.

17: Sous-vide is a French cooking technique in which food is placed in an plastic bag and all the air is sucked out of the bag before the food is submerged into a circulating water bath and cooked at a precise, controlled temperature. A steak cooked “medium rare” with this technique would be cooked to exactly 131 degrees Fahrenheit using water at that temperature – the steak would be put in as long as needed to make the temperature rise to 131 degrees. The coining of the term “molecular gastronomy” is often credited to the Hungarian-British physicist Nicholas Kurti, who posed this question in 1969: “Is it not quite amazing that today we know more about the temperature distribution in the atmosphere of the planet Venus than that in the center of our soufflé?” (Source: The New Yorker. If you’re still curious, here’s more reading on modernist cuisine.)

18: Really, you learn what you want to learn, although a lot of your learning is environmental. You can call it “osmosis” if you want, but really it’s keeping an ear open all the time. I’ve learned exactly where animal rennet (in cheesemaking) comes from – animal rennet (which will be marked as either “rennet” or simply “enzymes”) is harvested from the stomachs of slaughtered veal calves. There are other sources of rennet, though. If you are conscious not to support the veal industry, you should also be making sure any cheese you might buy is made with vegetarian rennet.

19: MRSA infections are actually a type of staph infection. Somewhat of an a-ha moment when we realized this. The MRSA you feared in high school locker rooms or shared dorm showers is called, in full, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. And that’s “a strain of staph bacteria that’s become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat ordinary staph infections.”

20: Ludacris has been to Florida Ave Grill. Along with a whole bunch of other musicians, actors, and famous or somewhat famous folks. They serve delicious pancakes.

21: The All Souls Exam is known as the “Hardest Exam Ever“. Take a look at some of the prompts. (For example: What are the deprivations of affluence?)

Often described as the hardest exam in the world, the test is given over two days in September to recent graduates of Oxford, with winners receiving an Examination Fellowship of seven years. Applicants take four examinations of three hours each, and in the two general subject tests must answer three questions from a list. No more than three fellowships are awarded in any year, and in some years none are given.

Written by Crystal Bae

March 22nd, 2011 at 8:00 pm

“…going vegan takes serious bloody willpower.”

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A bit of light reading for you this morning:
Restaurant critic Jay Rayner goes vegan for a week.

It’s entertaining, but not to be taken too seriously (militant vegans, he may piss you off). Rayner writes very humorously and provides good perspective on what a vegan diet appears like to those out of the loop, including the frustration of hidden animal ingredients and the difficulties encountered when dining out.

Also, a photo website comparing what packaged foods actually look like, contrasted with how they appear on the box. Heh!

Written by Crystal Bae

July 10th, 2008 at 2:55 pm