Best Of The Web
“Have you ever wondered why kiwi fruits are green instead of red? Why okra is slimy but cooking it with tomatoes cuts the goo factor? Or how artichokes became giant balls of thick, spiny leaves endlessly furled over a small, soft heart? If so, you’re not alone.
In 2012 two botanists, Katherine Preston of Stanford University and Jeanne Osnas of the Alaska Center for Conservation Science, started a blog called The Botanist in the Kitchen to answer exactly those kinds of questions.
You might think that botanists spend most of their time exploring fields, forests, parks, farms or wilderness areas, working to identify, study and protect the rich bounty of the plant world. In contrast, the kitchen, that warm hub of domesticity, might not seem like an obvious place for a botany lesson. But it offers many opportunities for culinary and botanical exploration. Imagine a botanist exploring the intricacies of plant science while preparing peach mint jam, fried okra with mole sauce, or almond cake. That’s exactly what this blog does.
How did they get started? Osnas took one of Preston’s botany courses at Stanford, where she taught her students in part by having them study fruits. The two realized that one great way to teach people about the subject was through the plants they love to eat. Botanical information in books, they found, was often full of dense science and technical lingo that was too difficult for the lay reader.”
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China's massive and rapid investments in Africa have been criticized by some as a form of economic colonialism. Others are just wondering why the West is missing out on the opportunity.
"For two years, Americans have tried to absorb the details of the 2016 attack — hacked emails, social media fraud, suspected spies — and President Trump’s claims that it’s all a hoax. The Times explores what we know and what it means."
Twenty-five years after Oslo, Israeli-Palestinian peace remains elusive. A mix of Leftist idealism and PLO rejectionism are to blame for taking the "process" out of the Peace Process.
"In recounting the life of alleged Mossad agent Ashraf Marwan, Ariel Vromen's disappointing film leaves the most interesting parts of the story off screen."
The tax cuts signed into law by President Donald Trump will add to the national debt. But they did succeed in one area: making rich people even richer.
"As Seen On TV" gadgets like the "sock slider" or a banana peeler are often mocked for being useless wastes of plastic. But for some individuals with disabilities, these gadgets make all the difference.
If SJWs often resemble religious fundamentalists, bell hooks is their highest prophet. Her work on gender and intersectionality have redefined American campuses, and her ideas are being put into action with religious fervor.
"It strikes me that we’re now suffering collectively from a “tyranny of the virtual,” since we find ourselves unable to look away from the screens that mediate not just print but, increasingly, reality itself."
Parents see it all the time. Young girls, confident and full of joy, become timid and shy around their tween and early teen years. A new book explores the sociological explanations for the loss in confidence.
How did a Chinese citrus fruit become the central symbol of one of Judaism's most important holidays? According to a new book by Rabbi David Moster, the Etrog wasn't always so important. For ancient Jews, any old fruit would do.
If IQ tests are any indication, Americans are getting stupider. Some think environmental factors could be to blame. Others say that it's our culture which is to blame for making us stupider.
According to a new book from Jack Wertheimer, American Judaism is embracing universalism in an effort to stay relevant. But this focus on universalism may threaten to undermine the vitality of the Jewish faith.