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Ten fruits and vegetables you’re storing wrong

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You bring home fresh fruits and vegetables, stash them in the refrigerator and then wonder what the heck happened to make them shrivel, rot or go limp a few days later. Much of the time, the culprit is the way you’re storing them. To keep your produce fresher longer, remember:

Fruits and vegetables don’t play well together. So don’t store them together in a refrigerator drawer or next to each other on the counter or in the pantry. Why? Many fruits produce ethylene gas, which acts like a ripening hormone and can speed spoilage.

Vegetables need to breathe. Poke holes in the plastic bags you store them in, or keep them in reuseable mesh bags. An airtight plastic bag is the worst choice for storing vegetables, according to Barry Swanson, professor emeritus of food science at Washington State University. And don’t pack veggies tightly together, either; they need space for air circulation or they’ll spoil faster.

Don’t clean produce until you’re ready to use it. Washing fruits or vegetables before storing them makes them more likely to spoil, because dampness encourages bacteria growth, says food research scientist Amanda Deering of Purdue University.


(Illustrations by Tommy Perez/for The Washington Post)

1. GARLIC

Store at room temperature in an open container, to allow air circulation. Don’t take off a clove’s protective papery husk until you’re ready to prep. And it’s fine to store garlic next to its buddy, the onion.


2. ONIONS

Find some (clean) pantyhose. Add onions to each leg, tying knots between each one. Hang at room temperature. If that doesn’t appeal to you, onions can be stored like garlic at room temperature on a countertop. Just keep them away from potatoes. And don’t put them in the refrigerator: The humidity and cold temperature will cause onions to turn mushy. Storing them away from light also helps keep them from becoming bitter.


3. POTATOES

Keep them in a dark and cool place, but don’t refrigerate. The cold, damp air in the refrigerator causes their starches to turn into sugars, which can affect taste and texture. Store them in a paper bag — more breathable than plastic — in a coolish spot, such as a pantry. Keep them away from onions or fruits like apples that exude ethylene gas, which can make your spuds begin to sprout.


4. ASPARAGUS

Cook’s Illustrated tested four ways of storing asparagus; the best one, hands down, was to trim a half-inch off the end of the stalks and then stand them up in a small amount of water (covered loosely with a plastic bag) in the refrigerator, like a bouquet. They stay fresh for about four days. Re-trim the ends before using.


5. CARROTS

First, trim off any green tops; they draw out moisture and cause carrots to go limp pretty quickly. Trimmed, unpeeled carrots can be refrigerated in an unsealed zip-top bag in the crisper drawer for about two weeks. Trimmed carrots (such as baby-cut carrots or carrot sticks) will last longer when kept submerged in a tightly covered container filled with water. Change the water frequently, Deering advises.


6. BRUSSELS SPROUTS

They last longer on the stem. Refrigerate the stem end in water and break off sprouts as needed. If you bought them as loose sprouts, refrigerate them unwashed and untrimmed in an unsealed zip-top bag in the crisper drawer. Trim off outer leaves before cooking. Keep in mind: The longer they’re stored, the stronger their flavor will be.  


7. CUCUMBERS They hate to be cold. Anything below 50 degrees will cause them to spoil faster, according to researchers at the University of California at Davis. If you must refrigerate them, do it for no more than three days. Cucumbers also are sensitive to ethylene gas, so keep them away from bananas, melons and tomatoes.


8. CELERY

To keep it crisp, refrigerate it wrapped tightly in aluminum foil, not plastic wrap, so the ethylene gas it produces can escape. Re-wrap tightly after each use. Store celery sticks like carrot sticks: submerged in water in a tightly covered container.


9. TOMATOES

Stem side up or down? Refrigerator or countertop? The debate continues, but North Carolina tomato expert Craig LeHoullier, author of the upcoming “Epic Tomatoes,” says the evidence in favor of storing standard-size tomatoes stem side down, which Cook’s Illustrated magazine advised in 2008, is scant at best. It might help keep moisture from collecting around the stem and causing spoilage, he concedes, but “it really depends on the type of tomato: A thin-skinned, delicate heirloom will have a different result than a thick-skinned supermarket variety.” More important: Keep tomatoes out of the refrigerator if at all possible. The cold breaks down their cell structure, making them mushy. Once they ripen at room temperature, eat them at peak flavor or freeze them to use later in cooking.


10. BANANAS

Break up the bunch, as charming as it might look. Then wrap each stem in plastic wrap. That will reduce the emission of ethylene gas, and the bananas will ripen more slowly. Once a banana reaches the desired amount of ripeness, you can refrigerate it; the cold will keep it from ripening further.

Sagon, a former Food section staff writer, is a senior health editor at <a href="http://AARP.com" rel="nofollow">AARP.com</a>.

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digdoug
1 hour ago
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Making a note for the wife.
Louisville, KY
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Death Poems

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Akashi_Gidayu_writing_his_death_poem_before_committing_Seppuku.jpg

In Japanese culture it is traditional to write a “farewell poem to life,” or jisei, as death approaches. Zen monk Kozan Ichikyo wrote this verse on the morning of his death in 1360:

Empty-handed I entered the world
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going —
Two simple happenings
That got entangled.

And monk Mumon Gensen wrote this in 1390:

Life is like a cloud of mist
Emerging from a mountain cave
And death
A floating moon
In its celestial course.
If you think too much
About the meaning they may have
You’ll be bound forever
Like an ass to a stake.

On March 17, 1945, Gen. Tadamichi Kuribayashi sent a letter to Imperial headquarters apologizing for ceding Iwo Jima to American forces. He closed with a death poem:

Unable to complete this heavy task for our country
Arrows and bullets all spent, so sad we fall.
But unless I smite the enemy,
My body cannot rot in the field.
Yea, I shall be born again seven times
And grasp the sword in my hand.
When ugly weeds cover this island,
My sole thought shall be the Imperial Land.

His body could not be identified later — it appears that prior to the final battle he removed his officer’s insignia in order to fight among his men as an ordinary soldier.

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digdoug
1 day ago
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The translators deserve kudos too. For making the verse flow in a completely different language.
Louisville, KY
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Growing A Book For One Hundred Years

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It started with a seed planted in the mind of Scottish artist Katie Paterson when she made the connection between tree rings and chapters of books. Now several years in the making, Paterson’s vision will unfold over the next century in her artwork Future Library–an ambitious and evolving piece that will outlive Paterson and most of us living today.

Photo by Giorgia Polizzi

In the summer of 02014, Paterson and her team planted 1,000 Norwegian Spruce saplings in the forest Normarka, situated just outside of Oslo. The site is about a 25-minute walk from a metro station, yet according to Paterson, feels deep within the forest and has no city sounds.

Photo by Giorgia Polizzi

These trees will supply the paper for an anthology of books to be printed in a hundred years’ time, when the saplings are fully grown. In the meantime, one writer every year will be invited to add a new text to the collection of unpublished, unread manuscripts held in trust at the New Public Deichmanske Library in Bjørvika until their publication date in 02114. The text can take on any length, form, and genre. The only request is to have the work submitted by manuscript within one year of invitation. As the trees grow, so does the collection. Katie Paterson explained:

The idea to grow trees to print books arose for me through making a connection with tree rings to chapters – the material nature of paper, pulp and books, and imagining the writer’s thoughts infusing themselves, ‘becoming’ the trees. Almost as if the trees absorb the writer’s words like air or water, and the tree rings become chapters, spaced out over the years to come…This artwork will bring together the work of preeminent writers, thinkers and philosophers of this and future generations. It is an artwork that belongs not only to us and the City of Oslo now, but to these who are not yet born.

With the forest planted, the next key part of the Future Library is designing the Silent Room to house the unpublished texts in the New Deichmanske Library, which will open in 02018. In collaboration with the library’s architects Lund Hagem and Atelier Oslo, Paterson is specially constructing this room from the cut-down trees recently cleared for the Future Library saplings.

Photo by Giorgia Polizzi

The Silent Room will be located on the top floor of the library – the floor that houses the library’s special collection of books and archives. The small, intimate room will be geared for one or two people; it will face the forest, awaiting the growth of the trees and providing a view of where, in essence, the books are developing. The other aspect of the texts–the unpublished manuscripts–will be contained here with only the authors’ names, the title of their work and the year visible to visiting patrons. Katie Paterson explained:

The atmosphere is key in our design, aiming to create a sense of quietude, peacefulness, a contemplative space which can allow the imagination to journey to the forest, the trees, the writing, the deep time, the invisible connections, the mystery.

As is the case with any long-term project, questions of trust dominate the design of Paterson’s Future Library. Planning a project with a timescale of 100 years provides many challenges, such as the consideration of tree types, native Norwegian pests, climate, or potential fires; communicating across time; ensuring access to a printing press (one will be stored in Oslo and workshops will be held for the next generations in printing and binding books); and crafting 100-year contracts with lawyers. How will the library room be looked at and experienced in a century? How will the materials react over the decades to come? What languages will people be speaking in 02114? What kind of technologies will exist? What will be the status of the printed book, the written word? Paterson asked herself 100-year-timespan questions such as these with every decision made for Future Library. It involves thinking and developing on a timespan that transcends most conventional artwork. Paterson explained:

The works like Future Library really slow the pace down, to over a century. There is still constant movement within the artwork; inviting authors, the library room design, trust meetings, forest tending, yearly events, the writing, even the tree rings forming. Future Library will evolve and live over ‘long time’ and over ‘now’ simultaneously…I like the idea that time is substance, that can be manipulated and invented. I certainly see time as non-linear – reaches of time, webs, loops, networks, holes – and visualize time growing and existing like a cell or a wave, expanding and contracting. Future Library is marked out by yearly demarcations and these ‘chapters’ keep it fluid.

Future Library was conceived by Paterson, is commissioned and supported by the Bjørvika Utvikling urban development project, and produced by the Bristol-based arts producer Situations. A Future Library Trust has been established to help sustain Future Library for its 100-year duration. It consists of seven members, including the literary director of the Man Booker Prize. Its members will change decade by decade, and they are the ones to invite the 100 authors, whose names will be announced year by year. The authors are being selected for their “outstanding contributions to literature or poetry and for their work’s ability to capture the imagination of this and future generation.”

Photo by Giorgia Polizzi

This month, award-winning author Margaret Atwood was named as the first contributor to the Future Library. The author of novels such as Daughters of the North and Oryx and Crake (both of which will be included in Long Now’s own Manual for Civilization) is in many ways ideally suited for a collection like Future Library: much of Atwood’s work explores human lives and lived experience in a variety of possible futures. As Paterson explains,

[Atwood] is incredibly perceptive, continually writing about prescient subjects and her work speaks across generations, across time. She writes about time and catapults her readers to a future time and place, projecting unsettling, strange, dystopian worlds. Her work has so much to say about us alive now and futures we are building as a species.

Atwood has already started writing the tale that only she will read during her lifetime.

When asked about the content of her story in an interview with the Louisiana Channel, Atwood stated that wild horses could not drag it out of her:

I think it takes us to that period of childhood when we used to bury things in secret locations and hope that somebody would come and dig them up. Or that other period when we put messages in bottles and put them into the ocean. But essentially that’s what writing is anyway, so publishing a book is like a message in the bottle and throwing it in the ocean because you never know who will read it. And writing and publishing a book is also like time travel because the book is a vehicle for the voice, and it doesn’t turn into a voice again until somebody at the other end reads it. So in this case, the filament between the launching of the book and the turning of the book back into voice just happens to be longer than usual.

On a cosmic timescale, a span of 100 years is fleeting and insignificant. “However, in many ways the human timescale of 100 years is more confronting,” Paterson explains. “It is beyond many of our current life spans, but close enough to come face to face with it, to comprehend and relativize.”

What can help us confront and comprehend this short-yet-long timespan is, perhaps, a sense of hope and optimism. The Future Library project, for its part, tries to encourage these perspectives. In her reply letter to her Future Library invitation, Atwood wrote, “This project, at least, believes the human race will still be around in a hundred years!” Paterson expands upon Atwood’s statement in her own words:

In its essence, Future Library is hopeful – it believes there will be a forest, a book, and a reader in 100 years. The choices of this generation will shape the centuries to come, perhaps in an unprecedented way. Inside the forest time stands still. This place could have existed for one hundred, one thousand, one million, or even one hundred million years. I take comfort in the natural processes that have unfolded over such enormous expanses of time. Imagining the plethora of living beings that have evolved in its ecosystem. The earth itself has a predicted lifespan of another few billion years, and there are millions of other planets and galaxies. Life in this universe will continue to exist.

Photo by Giorgia Polizzi
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digdoug
1 day ago
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I love this idea.
Louisville, KY
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1 public comment
sarcozona
1 day ago
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Wait till you can interact with it and don't need a screen at all anymore. Screen of any size! Any time!

Paul McCartney

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Paul McCartney Louisville

Highlights of seeing Paul McCartney live:

  • The songs. Man, talk about a catalog. It had to be hard just to cull a set list for this tour. Growing up I’d listen to my sister’s records of RevolverSgt. Pepper and The White Album, never thinking that I’d hear “Eleanor Rigby” or “Blackbird” performed live.
  • The music. Not just great songs, but great songs performed extremely well. Everyone on the stage brought their A game, and even though the strings and horn sections were synth, the man on keyboard used a wind controller to make it sound a bit more natural.
  • The stories. Paul took time between songs to share inspiration about the music or experiences around creation or touring. He was very much aware the audience and our attention (even bringing up crowd facing lights at the end of each song.)
  • The energy. I hope to have just a fraction of Paul McCartney’s energy when I’m 72. The first set lasted over 2 hours, and he never took a break. Every 5th song or so he would carry solo or start on piano, guitar or ukulele. It truly felt like this is what this man was on earth to do: write songs and play them. Reminds me of an article I read this week about  Old masters at the top of their game.
  • Lasers. There were even pyrotechnics during “Live and Let Die” that gave me a start. All the staging was a joy to watch, even if some of the animations were strange.

Overall? I’m super glad I went. Hat tip to my partner Tom for alerting me it was going down and making it happen.

Bonus? If you’re ever through Louisville, have a meal at Harvest. Get the jalapeño bacon grits.

 

Paul McCartney Louisville Blackbird

Paul McCartney Louisville lasers

Paul McCartney Louisville lights

Paul McCartney Louisville Live and Let Die

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digdoug
1 day ago
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I'm really glad I went too. However, my seats weren't nearly this good.

PS: Harvest is *awesome*
Louisville, KY
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A Fascinating Animated Graphic Demonstrating the Different Means by Which Humans, Birds, and Grasshoppers Breathe

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An Animated Guide to Breathing An Animated Guide to Breathing
(larger image)

Eleanor Lutz, a self-described designer with a molecular biology degree, has created a fascinating animated graphicthat demonstrates infographicdemonstrating the means by which three different species, namely humans, birds and grasshoppers, breathe.

Mammals inhale by moving the diaphragm to lower the air pressure in the chest cavity and pull air into the lungs. The human chest cavity is always at a lower pressure than the outside environment (usually 760mmHg at sea level). Birds level).Birds have air sacs that store and pump air through the stationary lungs. Unlike in mammals, mammals. air flows in only one direction through bird lungs. With the help of the air sacs, sacs this allows birds to take in oxygen even during exhalation. … Grasshoppers exhalation…Grasshoppers have no lungs and do not use their circulatory system to move oxygen. They transport air directly to tissue cells using tracheal tubes.

image by Eleanor Lutz

tubes…

viaVisual News

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The Phone Call

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Mat Kirkby's short film, The Phone Call, won the Best Narrative Short prize at the Tribeca Film Festival and is rumored to be in the running for an Oscar nomination. It features a young woman who works in helpline call office (Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins) taking a call from a distraught man (Oscar winner Jim Broadbent).

(via slate)

Tags: crying at work Jim BroadbentMat KirkbySally Hawkinsvideo
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digdoug
4 days ago
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Jesus. I've spent 17 minutes crying at my desk. So good.
Louisville, KY
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