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November 12, 2019

Bach on a Tuesday afternoon

Murray Perahia performs Bach's French Suite No. 4 in E flat major.

The work was composed in the years 1722-25.

November 12, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Experts' Expert: Is it safe to eat dirty mushrooms?

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C. Claiborne Ray's Q&A in the New York Times Science section addressed this question as follows.

Q. It is often hard to wash off the growing medium from store-bought mushrooms. Is it safe to eat? Should the stems be further trimmed?

A. Though it is always a good idea to rinse off fruits and vegetables, the consumer is not at much risk from commercially grown mushroom residue, in the opinion of Kathie T. Hodge, an associate professor of mycology at Cornell.

"Even if you don't clean the mushrooms, it's probably fine," said Dr. Hodge, who writes the Cornell Mushroom Blog.

Common grocery store mushrooms, Agaricus bisporus, which include the white button, cremini, and portobello varieties, "are grown in what is basically compost," she said. "It's usually heat-treated, not entirely sterile, but a lot of organisms have been killed."

Every producer has its own recipe, including organic things like straw, peat moss, manure if it is obtainable, canola meal, or cottonseed meal, and inorganic things like lime or gypsum.

Then it is allowed to compost — that is, ferment — and then it is heat-treated, "trying to get rid of most things so the mushrooms will take over," Dr. Hodge said.

Mushrooms can rot like anything else, she said, and the rotten ones should not be eaten.

But cutting off the stem ends is purely cosmetic.

And commercially grown mushrooms are certainly safer than mushrooms gathered in the woods by nonexperts.

Tell you what, I'm forwarding this to Long Litt Woon for a second expert opinion.

November 12, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Winston Churchill's daily routine

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From Daily Routines:

He awoke about 7:30 a.m. and remained in bed for a substantial breakfast and reading of mail and all the national newspapers.

For the next couple of hours, still in bed, he worked, dictating to his secretaries.

At 11:00 a.m., he arose, bathed, and perhaps took a walk around the garden, and took a weak whisky and soda to his study.

At 1:00 p.m. he joined guests and family for a three-course lunch.

Clementine drank claret, Winston champagne, preferable Pol Roger served at a specific temperature, port brandy and cigars.

When lunch ended, about 3:30 p.m. he returned to his study to work, or supervised work on his estate, or played cards or backgammon with Clementine.

At 5:00 p.m., after another weak whisky and soda, he went to bed for an hour and a half.

He said this siesta, a habit gained in Cuba, allowed him to work 1-1/2 days in every 24 hours.

At 6:30 p.m. he awoke, bathed again, and dressed for dinner at 8:00 p.m.

Dinner was the focal point and highlight of Churchill's day.

Table talk, dominated by Churchill, was as important as the meal.

Sometimes, depending on the company, drinks and cigars extended the event well past midnight.

The guests retired, Churchill returned to his study for another hour or so of work.

[via The Churchill Centre, Eric Henning, and Cultural Offering]

November 12, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The most popular sports in the world

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[via Bored Panda]

November 12, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tsugite Joint Chopsticks (Aritsugi)

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From the website:

Inspired by Japanese Joinery

Japanese wood joinery dates back to the seventh century.

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It is a technique that involves complicated interlocking wooden joints that form bonds without the use of nails, screws, or adhesives.

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Tsugite Joint Chopsticks employ tsugite joints, a technique traditionally reserved for Buddhist altars, bureaus, and other furniture.

The chopsticks are a result of a collaboration between Katsuhisa Toda, a traditional carpenter in Shizuoka, Japan, and product designer Yuma Kano. 

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This particular joint is known as aritsugi (蟻継), or dovetail joint.

Each pair of chopsticks come in a custom-designed gift box decorated with illustrations of Japanese joinery techniques. 

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Features and Details:

• Available in Black (rosewood and maple) or Brown (narra and birch

• Hand made in Japan

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$82.

November 12, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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