What Makes A Jam A Jam? Surge In Savory Spreads Presents Riddles For Purists

Source:
NPR’s The Salt

Excerpt:
“On a blisteringly hot day at the state fairgrounds in Skowhegan, Maine, Kathy Savoie takes some local blueberries and simmers them in a pot. She adds onions, ginger, vinegar, mustard seeds, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, black pepper and salt. And, later, she drops in some calcium water, pectin and sugar for consistency. Clearly, what she calls “savory blueberry ginger conserve” is not your grandma’s blueberry jam.”

What Makes A Jam A Jam? Surge In Savory Spreads Presents Riddles For PuristsRead the rest

The Colony-Killing Mistake Backyard Beekeepers Are Making

Spoiler: mites

Source:
NPR’s The Salt

Excerpt:
“The healthy bees managed by Jonathan Garaas are checked every two weeks for signs of a possible mite infestation. Dan Gunderson/MPR News Jonathan Garaas has learned a few things in three seasons of backyard beekeeping: Bees are fascinating. They’re complicated. And keeping them alive is not easy. Every two weeks, the Fargo, N.D., attorney opens the hives to check the bees and search for varroa mites, pests that suck the bees’ blood and can transmit disease. If he sees too many of the pinhead-sized parasites, he applies a chemical treatment. Attorney and hobby beekeeper Jonathan Garaas keeps nine thriving hives outside of Fargo, N.D. Dan Gunderson/MPR News Garaas has lost hives in his first two years as a … Read the rest

A New Man

I entered NPR’s 5th three-minute fiction contest, where you have to write a “flash fiction” story in 600 words or less. The constraints were that the stories had to begin with the line, “Some people swore that the house was haunted,” and end with the line, “Nothing was ever the same again after that.”

I didn’t win, or even get into the final round, which is fine because the winning story was quite good. The winning stories in these contests tend to be more “literature” and less “popular”, which is more my style.

Regardless, here’s mine.

“A New Man”

Some people swore that the house was haunted. That didn’t bother me – it meant I was left alone.

Someone knocked at the door … Read the rest

Knitting Clock

“‘365’ is a knitting clock created by german designer siren elise wilhelmsen. according to wilhelmsen, time is a concept which unites us all, making it the lowest common denominator. on the one hand, time appears to be a as physical phenomenon, logical and easily divided into the past, present and future. on the other hand, time can be viewed very subjectively. how long a minute, an hour or a year takes can depend on how time is experienced in different situations. however, this does not alter the fact that a day has 24 hours, one hour has 60 minutes and one minute has 60 seconds.

‘365’ seeks to give a physical manifestation to the change of time. drawing from the change that is witnessed through the … Read the rest

Orson Welles and H. G. Wells

A brief conversation between the two men. Not much is said, but it’s a window to another time: the overlap between the industrial age and the modern age, when people can make passing remarks about Hitler’s attitude toward the public reception toward science fiction, and “Citizen Kane” needs a gratuitous plug to build awareness of it.… Read the rest

Drew Struzan

The Swedish Bed has a collection of movie posters painted by Drew Struzan.

I had no idea how iconic his work was until I saw so many of his images together. As a kid, the Star Wars movie poster was probably the single most important image in my life for a few years, but I had no idea that the images for the Indiana Jones movies and many other hits from the 70s and 80s were all done by the same guy.… Read the rest

Pomplamoose

I heard of this duo on NPR and checked out their YouTube channel. They make “videosongs” where they show all the tracks used in their songs. It’s a good way to see how songs are produced.

I can’t stop watching this one. The song is absurdly catchy (being almost a nursery rhyme in simplicity) and the woman singing has a really pretty voice.

Watching this makes me want to make music.… Read the rest

Harmony Drawing Tool

This is way cool.

Mr Doob has created a web-based drawing tool called Harmony. It’s coded in flipping JavaScript. JavaScript!

I made the picture of the bull above, in about 5 minutes. The great feature of Harmony is that you can feel like a great artist even when the computer is doing most of the work.

You have to have an HTML-5-compliant browser, such as the latest iterations of Chrome or Firefox in order to use it.

I haven’t coveted the new iPad much, but this would be great on one of those.

from Mike C.Read the rest

Kooky’s Return

Some of the most charming visual experiences I’ve seen in the past ten years have been made by Czech artist/filmmaker/game designer Jakub Dvorský, creator of both Samorost and Machinarium.

Now, he’s working with Jan Sverák, who directed the very charming Kolya, to create Kooky’s Return which looks wonderful.

From the official site: kukysevraci.cz

“When asthmatic, six-year-old ONDRA is forced to throw away his scruffy, sawdust-stuffed old teddy bear, KOOKY, he prays for the safe return of his furry friend. Soon afterwards, across town, Kooky is about to be crushed in a rubbish dump when he suddenly comes to life, making his escape into a mysterious forest. The naïve, cuddly Kooky needs help to survive amongst the rough-and-ready creatures of the forest and he … Read the rest