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.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"When future historians try to understand how Britain ended up with a choice between chaos and becoming a satellite of the European Union, one question will stump them. Were these people telling deliberate lies or were they merely ignorant?"
"From Vienna to Chile, the success of social housing for the working and middle classes shows how beautiful homes can coexist with urban housing for all."
"So even while things are not as bad today as they are portrayed, the issue that now confronts the State of Israel is: what can be done to further engage Jewish millennials."
"All this means that for much of this season, the show—and maybe more importantly in 2018, the post-show coverage—has revolved around Pete Davidson. And not Pete Davidson, the sketch performer: Pete Davidson, the persona."
"Indiscriminate use of ‘intellectual property’ has unsurprisingly bred absurdity. Anything associated with a ‘creator’ – be it artistic or scientific – is often grouped under ‘intellectual property’, which doesn’t make much sense."
"What will climate adaptation look like? A million individual products, each precisely targeted on social media to the intersection of a consumer culture and a catastrophe."
"That is the term (“nanos” for short) used by companies to describe people who have as few as 1,000 followers and are willing to advertise products on social media."
"This year’s Booker-winner Milkman has been criticised for being challenging.... Attacking a literary prize for rewarding a book that doesn’t accord with a critic’s ideas about “readability” is simply philistinism."
"I accepted that sex would not necessarily lead to a relationship (though it sometimes did). It was almost better not to get attached — less risk of getting hurt. Operating like a man felt like liberation. But it required I suppress my feelings."
"On a visit with the proprietor of Russell’s Bakery and his multi-ethnic, multi-political, and multi-religious staff, the story of Israel unfolds in microcosm."
"Plants have shaped human societies even before the establishment of agriculture... they have facilitated communion with the sacred in some societies and bestowed on others the ravages of addiction. "
"The Jews buried within them are not the fiercely traditional European ancestors so commonly imagined by contemporary American Jews—poor but plucky in their timeless shtetls."