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Medium 9780596519520

Chapter 2: Food

The editors at MAKE magazine and In com Maker Media, Inc ePub

Figures A–H: An assortment of different styles of bento lunches

Crafting a Bento

How to make beautiful and delicious Japanese box lunches By Clamoring

Bentos, or boxed lunches, have a long history rooted deep in ancient Japan. They originally began as simple meals requiring little or no effort to assemble. Today they are a vibrant art form that is popular worldwide.

This project will attempt to provide the basic design principles, resources for obtaining the necessary tools, and some of the traditional rules for making beautiful and delicious bentos.

1. Know the rules (then break them!)

Like many other Japanese art forms, bento-making has its own set of guidelines. Traditional bentos follow a couple of basic rules:

The 4-3-2-1 rule: 4 parts rice, 3 parts protein, 2 parts vegetable, and 1 part “treat” (usually either pickled vegetables or something sweet)

Sushi should be prepared with more wasabi than usual

Pack foods with flavors that might run or stick together with a divider. Separate wet foods from dry using a nested or altogether separate container such as a cupcake form. Sauces and dressings go in their own bottles (usually with a lid or cap).

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Medium 9781550225778

20. Aristotle used goat urine, and Hippocrates recommended pigeon droppings. For what?

Dr. Joe Schwarcz ECW Press ePub

It all comes down to the fascinating little insect called dactylopius coccus.

When Hernn Cortz arrived in Mexico in 1518, he was intrigued by the beautifully colored Aztec fabrics he saw there. The source of the dye appeared to be seeds on the surface of certain cactus plants, but closer scrutiny revealed that they were not seeds at all. They were little bugs. Today, we know these insects as cochineal and the dye they yield as carmine. Montezuma, the Aztec king, was so fond of wearing robes made of carmine-dyed fabric that he imposed a tax upon his subjects to be paid in dried cochineal insects.

The pregnant female cochineal bug produces the brilliant red dye that became the first product ever exported from the New World to the Old. Soon, Europeans were dying their wool and silk with the insect extract. Maybe the most memorable use of cochineal was the bright scarlets for which the Gobelin tapestries of Paris became famous.

Producing the dye is not an easy business. The female insects, which feed on the red cactus berries and concentrate the dye in their bodies and in their larvae, are scraped off the cactus and dumped into hot water, where they instantly die. They are then dried in the sun and crushed into a powder, which is added to water or to a water-alcohol mixture. For fabrics, a mordant, such as alum, which binds the color to the material, is generally used. Carminic acid, the active coloring agent, is one of the safest existing dyes, and it is commonly used in foods and cosmetics. Candies, ice cream, beverages, yogurt, lipstick, and eye shadow can all be colored with cochineal.

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Medium 9780253352545

19. Rising Stars

Bob Hammel Indiana University Press ePub


Rising Stars

A 20-Year, $28 Million Investment in Kids

The first time Carl spent a summer in drum corps I recognized that it was more than a musical program. That’s why I got started in drum corps. He came back totally different—more disciplined, more fit, more thoughtful, more respectful. It changed his life, and it has done the same thing to every person I’ve seen—made them a better person. That opened my eyes that you can alter an environment slightly and get a completely different and better result. That’s what I kept seeing in almost everyone who was a part of Star of Indiana. It favorably altered people’s attitudes, completely changed people’s lives.

—Bill Cook

That’s the concise Bill Cook explanation of his link to a pastime that for nearly a decade quite happily consumed him and in many ways defined him. Because of what he saw in his own son after his first summer of marching in drum corps, and what he continued to see throughout nine years as an underwriter, Cook considers the $28 million it cost him and Gayle a worthwhile investment in young people. The period also had a dramatic impact on the drum corps world, which never had a champion quite like the Bill Cook creation, Star of Indiana.

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Medium 9781576754825

5: “For Your Six-Month-Old Grandson”

Bernard Lown Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

There is one elementary truth, the knowledge of which gives birth to countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself and acts, then Providence moves too. All sort of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.... Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.

FIVE DAYS A WEEK I trudged to the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital for morning rounds from my cardiovascular research laboratory at the Harvard School of Public Health. I welcomed the brief walk along Binney Street, a tiny private thoroughfare devoid of traffic, cloistered by the somber columned Medical School administration building, the elegant Countway Medical Library, and the rather dilapidated two-story red brick hospital that stretched for a block. It was a brief moment of respite before I plunged into the daily hubbub of medical problems.

One morning is distinctly etched in memory. Jim Muller stopped me as I was entering the hospital. He talked with great urgency about the impending collision between the United States and the Soviet Union. Jim insisted that continuing vilification by both sides made nuclear confrontation inevitable. He had lived in Moscow and was fluent in Russian; his knowledge of the country convinced him that the Soviet Union had no intention to attack us. They were terrified of the United States’ misjudgment of their society, yet felt helpless to ward off our possible provocative actions.

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Medium 9781449321888

11. Don’t Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good: Is Bad Data Really Bad?

Q. Ethan McCallum O'Reilly Media ePub

As a data scientist, your gut and your training tell you to use perfect data for an analysis. This is often a function of classical statistics education, with an intent to submit research and analysis for publication. This is fine and noble, but upon encountering real-world data, the cold reality of dirty data becomes prominent and one must learn to abandon hope of perfection or face an endless loop of frustration.

My wife Sarah, who did her graduate work in public health, has often used the phrase: Dont let the perfect be the enemy of the good.[56] When confronted with imperfect data, my classical training would say that this data is beyond hope, that it is could never be cleaned sufficiently, and that we would be unable to obtain anything that was truly meaningful. However, this is where we get to the key principle that this should not have to be a zero-sum decision. It is not good, nor is it bad, but it certainly is viable. How can we improve our policies and strategies in absence of perfect data? If it doesnt meet the pristine standards of the classical approach, we must find ways to make the data work so that it can inform the critical decisions that are necessary to move ahead.

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