A few months ago I participated in an Iconathon with the Noun Project, Mother Jones, and GRACE Communications Foundation to come up with icons that represent various sustainable food and farming concepts. The icons are now live and a bunch of them are ones that alextodaro and I designed along with our teammates Tom Philpott (who writes about his experience here) and Emily Cozart of Mother Jones. Pretty cool :)

A few months ago I participated in an Iconathon with the Noun Project, Mother Jones, and GRACE Communications Foundation to come up with icons that represent various sustainable food and farming concepts. The icons are now live and a bunch of them are ones that alextodaro and I designed along with our teammates Tom Philpott (who writes about his experience here) and Emily Cozart of Mother Jones. Pretty cool :)

We live in a world increasingly dominated by science. And that’s fine. I became a science writer because I think science is the most exciting, dynamic, consequential part of human culture, and I wanted to be a part of that. Also, I have two college-age kids, and I’d be thrilled if they pursued careers in science, engineering or medicine. I certainly want them to learn as much science and math as they can, because those skills can help you get a great job.

But it is precisely because science is so powerful that we need the humanities now more than ever. In your science, mathematics and engineering classes, you’re given facts, answers, knowledge, truth. Your professors say, “This is how things are.” They give you certainty. The humanities, at least the way I teach them, give you uncertainty, doubt and skepticism.

The humanities are subversive. They undermine the claims of all authorities, whether political, religious or scientific. This skepticism is especially important when it comes to claims about humanity, about what we are, where we came from, and even what we can be and should be. Science has replaced religion as our main source of answers to these questions. Science has told us a lot about ourselves, and we’re learning more every day.

But the humanities remind us that we have an enormous capacity for deluding ourselves. They also tell us that every single human is unique, different than every other human, and each of us keeps changing in unpredictable ways. The societies we live in also keep changing–in part because of science and technology! So in certain important ways, humans resist the kind of explanations that science gives us.

Science writer John Horgan responds to the major recent report on the value of the humanities. (via shrinkrants)
explore-blog:

All the more reason to devour the Modern Art Cookbook and try some modern art desserts – NPR reports on a study that found art-inspired salad is rated as tasting better:

We eat first with our eyes… Experimental psychologists at the University of Oxford decided to see what impact a plate of salad arranged like an abstract painting would have on 60 diners’ perception of the food.
One group of diners was offered a salad arranged like Wassily Kandinsky’s “Painting number 201.” Another group was given a salad featuring broccoli sprouts, Portobello mushroom slices and snow peas lined up in neat rows. The last group was offered a typical pile of salad arranged in the middle of a plate. Each salad had identical ingredients, dressing and condiments.
The Kandinsky salad was rated the best — by an 18 percent margin over the other two presentations. Most importantly for restaurateurs, diners were willing to pay twice as much – both before and after eating it… The diners were not told that the Kandinsky-esque salad was designed to look like a painting. 

Perhaps Kandinsky’s wisdom on the spiritual element in art applies equally to the spiritual element in cuisine.

explore-blog:

All the more reason to devour the Modern Art Cookbook and try some modern art dessertsNPR reports on a study that found art-inspired salad is rated as tasting better:

We eat first with our eyes… Experimental psychologists at the University of Oxford decided to see what impact a plate of salad arranged like an abstract painting would have on 60 diners’ perception of the food.

One group of diners was offered a salad arranged like Wassily Kandinsky’s “Painting number 201.” Another group was given a salad featuring broccoli sprouts, Portobello mushroom slices and snow peas lined up in neat rows. The last group was offered a typical pile of salad arranged in the middle of a plate. Each salad had identical ingredients, dressing and condiments.

The Kandinsky salad was rated the best — by an 18 percent margin over the other two presentations. Most importantly for restaurateurs, diners were willing to pay twice as much – both before and after eating it… The diners were not told that the Kandinsky-esque salad was designed to look like a painting. 

Perhaps Kandinsky’s wisdom on the spiritual element in art applies equally to the spiritual element in cuisine.

Fragmentia: A relatively new cognitive disorder where one feels cut off from a sense of wholeness because of constant exposure to only incomplete parts of things and ideas which do not (at Genspace)

Fragmentia: A relatively new cognitive disorder where one feels cut off from a sense of wholeness because of constant exposure to only incomplete parts of things and ideas which do not (at Genspace)