Sunday, May 29, 2005

Style, Cosmetics and Raw Foods


We now have a sister blog on all things stylish that are also sound for our health and the environment. We invite you to visit it and post your comments!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Great Idea: An Owen Wilson Film Festival

An Owen Wilson Film Festival

When you search google for Owen Wilson, you get nearly 2.5 million references. (I purposely didn't use "google" as a verb here, because the verb sounds vaguely obscene, especially when used with Owen, who defines the word hot.) I wonder if it ever bothers celebs that they don't have time to read everything that's been written about them. I wonder if any of them ever tried to, and how much time they actually spent. I wonder who they are.

As a lover of both the written word and Owen, I've read my share of articles and essays about him. I'm citing this one because I like the tasty way this guy writes and I also like where his heart's at re: Owen.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Bicycles and Tricycles and Romance

In a post titled Mind Over Machine, the blog Joshua Birtles: Life, the Universe and Nothing quotes a lyric from the old song, "Bicycle Built for Two," which was written by Harry Dacre in 1892 and updated with a techy twist in a notable 1968 film:

"Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I'm half crazy all for the love of you. It won't be a stylish marriage, I can't afford a carriage. But you'll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two." --HAL, 2001: A Space Odyssey
I'm mentioning it because of the serendipity of happening upon Joshua Birtles' blog soon after posting the post below this about tricycle pedicabs. How synchronistic!

Sarasota Eyes Tricycle Cabs for Downtown

I used to live in Manhattan, where a guy named George Bliss (who I once directed in an art video) converted old bikes into pedicabs. Open to the elements, the PoNY Cabs, as they were called, were available as taxis for tourists and others braver than me. I loved the idea of the PoNY Cabs, but Manhattan, with its dense traffic, loud noise and polluted air, didn't seem like the ideal place for something so environmentally-forward. Now I hear that George is being forced to sell his fleet because of an insurance dispute over an accident in which no one was even injured. Here's a video clip about George's tricycle cabs.

Cut to 2005, and I've been a Sarasota resident for two and a half years. And I read that Sarasota is considering something similar. The nice thing is that--except for hurricane season--our downtown is a perfect venue for tricycle cabs. The weather's usually beautiful, the traffic's usually light, and there are lots of trees to sweeten the air. Here's what Joe Moraca's
Sarasota Livin' blog says:

Another transit option may be coming to Downtown Sarasota. People power to get you around... read it in the Sarasota Herald Tribune

"Randy Giffen's thoughts are now taking shape as the Sarasota Surrey Cab Co.Giffen wants to introduce “pedicabs” to downtown Sarasota.

The transportation service would be similar to taxis but without the polluting combustion engines. Tricycle carriages, with licensed drivers, would carry residents and tourists to and from hotels, condos, theaters and restaurants. It’s an untried idea in a downtown where a county-operated trolley service recently failed to attract enough passengers.

“If it’s not done in a proper way, it could be an embarrassment for the city,” Giffen said. “It’s imperative that it be done right.”

I guess I can ride one to the water taxi stop...

Here are some really cool transportation ideas from an artist named John Lee. I so share his vision!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Paint By Number? No, Eat By Color & Vit. C

Here's an arresting splash of a page from the USDA about the benefits of eating produce that's vibrantly colored:

And here's a chart of the world's fruits and how they rate in Vitamin C content. Camu Camu berries are listed as having an "astounding" amount of Vitamin C. We want them growing in our backyard!

Monday, May 09, 2005

A Dessert to Adapt to Raw

Apricot Dessert Cones

Here is the recipe as posted with this amazing photo by Keiko on her blog nordljus:

Apricot and honey frozen cones
Makes 10

825g tin apricots, drained
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 cups plain greek-style yoghurt
3/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup crème fraiche or light sour cream

Place the apricots, sugar and water in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for
3-4 minutes.

Set aside to cool. Place the yoghurt, honey, vanilla and crème fraiche in a
bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

To make the cones, cut out 10 x 15 x 30cm lengths of baking paper. Twist the baking paper to form a cone shape making sure there is no hole at the pointy end and staple to secure. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the apricot mixture into each cone. Top with 1/4 of the yoghurt mixture. Place upright in the freezer for 2 hours or until set. To serve, invert the cones on to a serving plate and peel off the baking paper.

Now all we need to do is adapt it! Send in your adaptations and we'll publish them here.

Sweet Potato Hummus--A Recipe to Adapt

Here at sketchgrrl (and at we love to look for interesting recipes to adapt to raw food cuisine. We read the following at My Adventures in the Breadbox about one unique recipe that we're looking forward to tackling:

I found the recipe for this sweet potato hummus on the MSNBC website. The recipe is from Debra Paquette, chef-owner of Restaurant Zola, in Nashville, Tennessee. I like how the article tabulates the cost of making this appetizer for yourself at home. According to the article, it costs $3.63 to make it yourself, whereas it would cost you $6.50 to go order it at Zola. Hmm, I didn't keep my grocery receipt...I wonder how much I spent.
The taste of this unusual hummus is absolutely incredible. The toasted and crushed cumin seeds and orange zest really give it a complex, deep, rustic flavor. Lemon juice brightens it up, cayenne pepper gives it a good zing, and the tahini adds the subtle essence of traditional hummus. I omitted the olive oil when I made this, but I'm sure it would taste even slightly richer if you would choose to use it. This is definitely something I will make again and again. Next time, I think I'll add some chipotle pepper as well...hmm, and I wonder what would happen if I also added some chickpeas...maybe it would be even more hummus-ey?...there's only one way to find out!

Farmers Markets are Multiplying!

The blog cooking with amy notes:

Can we ever have too many farmers markets? I don't think so. One of the most exciting trends in the past few years has been the explosion in growth of farmers markets. According to the USDA, the number of farmers markets increased almost 20% between 2002 and 2004, from 3,137 to 3,706.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

A Party for People From the Future & Us

Time Traveler Convention at MIT

Luckily I was watching Saturday Night Live tonight. Weekend Update mentioned that some MIT students and profs were holding a party that they hoped time travelers would attend. As the people throwing the party pointed out, they only needed to have one such party. Time travelers could attend it whenever and as many times as they liked.

Damn, I just missed it! I didn't find out about it in time to travel up there from Florida because I haven't perfected my time traveling skills. And this was so my kind of party!

In 2001, I happened upon a website called MadSci network (love that name!) that invited web surfers to submit science questions. I was excited that I might get an answer to a question that had been plaguing me for quite some time, ever since I had gotten my first computer in the late 1980s, a dedicated terminal from France called a Minitel. The MadSci network's online form asked me what grade level and school I was in! Why is the mad scientist limiting his answers to kids' questions? Our culture wouldn't be discouraging us from asking questions, now, would it? My question's subject line was "Can an ET send an earthling an e-mail message?"
Here's what I wrote. (Note that the URL in my 2001 question is no longer my website, personal or otherwise.)

The MIT student who came up with the whole idea for the Time Traveler Convention is
Amal K. Dorai. Here are a few excerpts from his convention announcement page, which featured a Q and A format, with the questions being ones that might be asked by the general public:

Why do you need my help?
We need you to help PUBLICIZE the event so that future time travelers will know about the convention and attend. This web page is insufficient; in less than a year it will be taken down when I graduate, and futhermore, the World Wide Web is unlikely to remain in its present form permanently. We need volunteers to publish the details of the convention in enduring forms, so that the time travelers of future millennia will be aware of the convention. This convention can never be forgotten! We need publicity in MAJOR outlets, not just Internet news. Think New York Times, Washington Post, books, that sort of thing. If you have any strings, please pull them.
Great idea, I'd love to help! What should I do?

Write the details down on a piece of acid-free paper, and slip them into obscure books in academic libraries! Carve them into a clay tablet! If you write for a newspaper, insert a few details about the convention! Tell your friends, so that word of the convention will be preserved in our oral history! A note: Time travel is a hard problem, and it may not be invented until long after MIT has faded into oblivion. Thus, we ask that you include the latitude/longitude information when you publicize the convention.

You can also make an absolute commitment to publicize the convention afterwards. In that case, bring a time capsule or whatever it may be to the party, and then bury it afterwards.

Isn't time travel impossible?

We can't know for certain. The ancient Greeks would have thought computers were impossible, and the Phoenicians certainly wouldn't have believed that humans would one day send a spacecraft to the moon and back. We cannot predict the future of science or technology, so we can only make an effort and see if any time travelers come to our convention. If you would like to read more about time travel, check out our reading list.

I'm from the future, and I'd like to attend!

We're not sure how you're e-mailing us from the future, but we'd love to have you! Come as you are! No dress code whatsoever. We do request that you bring some sort of proof that you do indeed come from the future, and haven't just dressed like you do. We welcome any sort of proof, but things like a cure for AIDS or cancer, a solution for global poverty, or a cold fusion reactor would be particularly convincing as well as greatly appreciated. (No RSVP required.)

Amal has asked that we include the mapping coordinates of the convention, should anyone from the future be reading this at some point when M.I.T. is no longer at that address:

The Time Traveler Convention
May 7, 2005, 10:00 pm EDT (08 May 2005 02:00:00 UTC)
(events start at 8:00 pm)
East Campus Courtyard, MIT
3 Ames St. Cambridge, MA 02142
42:21:36.025°N, 71:05:16.332°W
(42.360007,-071.087870 in decimal degrees)

Another exciting thing about a Time Travel convention is that in the future a lot more people will be eating raw-food cuisine and the recipes and exotic produce that people bring to the convention will be fab!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Top Cooked-Chefs

The Food Section: All the News That's Fit to Eat lists the 10 best US chefs in 2005 as selected by Food & Wine magazine.

We invite all 10 of these chefs to
send us one raw-food recipe that they're proud of having created. We hope some of America's talented raw-food chefs will make this top 10 list next year!

Watermelon Art

Michelangelo said: "I saw the angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free. " Thanks to the fabulous Boing-Boing, we can see what one artist set free in a watermelon. In our opinion, it's much better to find art in a watermelon than to make an ersatz watermelon (not that it's not artistic) from dairy ice cream, as Martha Stewart has done in her Watermelon Bombe. Now, if her Bombe were made of non-dairy raw ice cream, that would rate an award.