A Backstage Golf Guru Unclutters His Mind to Take a Shot at the U.S. Open http://nyti.ms/1KVQuUV
New Yorker articles have the unusual feature of never ending like a walk through an ornately designed MC Escher house. As you read, five days in, you glance at the web browser progress bar and see it only a quarter of the way down. That is because you ended and restarted the article three days before without noticing. That is why most subscriptions to the iPad version lapse -people get stuck on the first issue. I have been reading Atul Gawande’s excellent piece on his noble suffering for about a year now.
Thinking that the list of recognizable but misspelled words that aren’t IKEA furniture is running out for tech start ups. Here are some:
H3X -pronounced hex, maker of programmable gum that extrudes out of an Altoid sized tin, flavors include cinnamon, cannabis, cardamon, Cinnabon, and Cincinnati
Glif -an app that creates a unique symbol for names, concepts, sentences and maintains a database for other Glif users to scan and translate -for semiotic pleasure, price tags, beast markings
Laff5 -a text based service that 3D prints selfies as marble busts, bas reliefs, bowling balls, and bobble heads
Gyg -a job finding app for personal assistants to crazy, short attention span, hyper-demanding billionaires. You are asked a series of questions and get placed onto teams like: Human Siri, Hot Velma, Deeters, Friday, Alfred, Threepio, and Mom.
Splurj -A chain of spas for uptight stay at home moms who gave up professional careers in law, medicine, finance, or high tech featuring Xanax saunas, yoga dungeons, and the crowd surfing tank. Child rearing services available on premises.
I had been rerouted from Laguardia to Newark, and in danger of missing an important meeting, as I rushed through Penn Station when the smell of cheap pizza stopped me in my tracks. The pizza joint was a hole in the wall, designed for commuters eating fast and cheap. There were beers and beverages lying in ice, triple priced, but for a fountain drink and a slice of cheese pizza, it was 3 bucks which was unusually cheap. I ordered a slice and a Coke and rolled my bags to a greasy table and sat with this marvel of New York City.
The tangy, warm, saltiness of the minimal sauce, the crisp of the crust with the chewiness of the steamed dough a microlayer above the crust and under the cheese transported me to 1978 when I was a fourth grader, released from school for lunch in a dingy pizza joint in Bay Ridge, a slice and a small Dixie cup of Coke for a dollar. I used to fold my pizza, Brooklyn style back then, but now no more because I was an out of towner, a mook. You could get a slice of Sicilian for the same price, but it was never as good as regular slice. The smell of cigarettes and loud conversations bordering on violence in the back, the top forty disco and rock coming from the radio. The pride of buying your own food. The other kids crowded to the closer pizza places and the White Castle only a block away, but I always made the long walk for this pizza, so I usually ate alone, like I did in that Penn Station way station. A lonely transient was my only other company and he stared into his plastic cup of free water as if divining the future, or was it the past.
Nice tips for when you decide to tackle a new language
By Krystian Aparta
They say that children learn languages the best. But that doesn’t mean that adults should give up. We asked some of the polyglots in TED’s Open Translation Project to share their secrets to mastering a foreign language. Their best strategies distill into seven basic principles:
Get real. Decide on a simple, attainable goal to start with so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. German translator Judith Matz suggests: “Pick up 50 words of a language and start using them on people — and then slowly start picking up grammar.”
Make language-learning a lifestyle change. Elisabeth Buffard, who in her 27 years of teaching English has always seen consistency as what separates the most successful students from the rest. Find a language habit that you can follow even when you’re tired, sick or madly in love.
- Play house with the language. The more you invite…
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I dropped my iPhone 5 and cracked the screen. Even though I was waiting for an iOS phablet, I decided to order the 5S. Having used it for three days, I have to say that it is the finest smartphone I have ever used and I have used almost every one. The screen is great and the camera takes gorgeous pictures but it is the battery life.The battery life is so good compared to my iPhone 5 that I have ditched my Mophie case for emergency use only. Having a small phone is great. Having a small phone that can let you create a talk on keynote in the middle of the night and have enough juice to last the day is phenomenal.
I don’t know why it works so much better but I suspect it has to do with the 4G radio and how the iPhone alloys juice to it. The phone clearly can get through my 12 hour day now with juice to spare.
I look forward to carving the turkey because at its core, it is an operation. The incisions to disarticulate the limbs are planned to preserve as much skin on the carved meat as possible because the skin has about 80% of the flavor. The cuts are designed to allow the soft long muscles of the thighs to maintain their texture while the four drums sticks –the femurs and the humeruses bilaterally, are set aside for those relishing the birdly wands. The flats of the wings, the radius and ulna, are kept with the one remnant digit. I like to think that the original therapods from which this turkey descended were not much different or less delicious. The breasts are always difficult to remove with enough of the core –the meat tight to the sternum and rib cage, that is the juiciest meat because it was the last to cook. I feel bad for those who must have white meat, because the breast is all about texture and juices and not at all about the essence of the turkey which lives in the thighs, especially the small muscles of the pelvis. From the breast, I carve broad steaks. I divide the dark meat from the white to make the choice easier.
Our turkey this year was “catered” in the sense that we picked up an organic, free range, Amish turkey –it probably even had a name. At first, I balked at “catering” something, then cooking it myself, being used to the amazing holiday catering at the Wakonda Club. The fixings were done and were great. The turkey was the cleanest, freshest smelling turkey I have ever worked with. There is a rule about fish that I extrapolate to all meat which is if it smells bad, it is bad. While I apply this rule to fish, it is not infrequent that I hold meat to a lower standard and that is something that I will reconsider.
Packaged chicken and pork typically smells horrible. Chickens reek of a smell which I interpret as boiled feathers. Freshly butchered chickens are usually hand plucked, but industrial processing requires expediency and this means dipping the chicken in boiling water to make the feathers easier to pull off. I think this is the smell that’s on industrial chicken. Pork has other odors, even less pleasant. Both will often smell like a unclean toilet –the kind you run into at concerts and football games. And on top of all of this, there is ammonia. I detect ammonia at a subconscious level because I have spent most of my life working in hospitals. This is all over many packaged chicken and pork products.
I will cut down the amount of meat we eat and the meat that we choose will have to pass the fish test. The turkey was sublime, full of natural flavors and textures that I hadn’t appreciated in a long time.
The food alchemists in Korea have many years and lots of resources to tweak products towards a kind of perfection that the Korean market demands with the byproduct that Asia as a whole likes South Korea as much as it dislikes Japan and distrusts China and especially its food. It creates a perfect storm for instant foods that recreate the sensation and feeling of the real thing. In this case, Gomtang, is a dish that takes days to make, involving the boiling of oxtail and bones for days resulting in a rich and hearty stock that is seasoned only with a dash of salt and chopped green onions. The boiling over days leaves your house smelling like a glue factory and it’s largely outsourced to restaurants that specialize in gomtang or sulungtang (alt word, basically same thing) like Gam Mi Ok in midtown Manhattan, where the soup is kept going round the clock for decades in giant cauldrons, served with simple flour noodles of vermicelli gauge. The Gomtang package noodle pictured above claims to give you the same taste. And it does. I made a batch for lunch for my family using these packs, and I did add sliced round cuts that I dipped in the soup to brown and quickly put aside for adding to the final dish. The soup, which is a bit salty like every package ramen dish, looks and tastes just like a decent gomtang. The beef that I added gives it a few added globules of beef fat which only adds to the authenticity. Add chopped green onions and for a moment, you are sitting on 32nd Street in Manhattan on a cold day savoring your gomtang.
I do have to add that while it tastes good up front, there are missing flavor notes that give it away as not completely authentic. There is a flavor and soup texture added by the solubilized connective tissues of oxtail that leaves a sticky residue on your palate and makes the beef flavor linger -this is missing. Also, I would avoid drinking up the soup as it is a lot of unnecessary sodium to add to your diet. As a carrier and sauce for the noodles and added beef, it is perfect on a cold fall day, and I recommend it in moderation.
I bought a box of these Doog Ji Naengmyun on a whim because of the moonshot represented by attempting a Naengmyun in a box. I remember my mother spending whole days rendering the beef broth that forms the backbone of this dish served cold and while it was delicious, it was never as good as the Naengmyun you would get at the restaurants in Seoul that featured the original stuff made by people who fled south during the war. There is a mouth feel to the vermicelli gauge noodles made from sweet potatoes that is somewhere between al dente and rubber band like that is delightful in that hearty stock that is served chilled and vinegared.
About two decade or so ago, the frozen refrigerated section of the Korean grocers got the the first of many serial attempts at recreating this, and while they were close enough, they failed in the broth and the noodles were too time sensitive because they were partially hydrated and refrigerated, making it imperative you kept them in boiling water for anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes. Any longer and you lose that rubbery, al dente feeling.
Enter Doong Ji which I tried for breakfast (the boiled egg). The reconstituted cold broth was initially very salty, dense and had too many competing back flavors that I was dubious. The noodles cooked in their own time, but because they were completely dry to start, they were more reliably done in the recommended 3 minutes if slow boil. I always sample starting from about a minute.
When rinsed and in the bowl with the broth reconstitute, the water in the noodles further dilutes the broth and by some strange alchemy, a 95% perfect Naengmyun comes through. The chewiness is perfect. The beef background is there with perfect amount of vinegar. There are some off notes. The dry flakes can be dispensed with. They are freeze dried radish and onions which do nothing for the dish. You are better off chopping green onions.
The broth by itself is still un drinkable unlike the best Naengmyun houses in Korea where you would get a mug of the warm broth as a beverage but slurped in with those noodles the flavors are almost there. It is better than a lot of smaller places where it’s a secondary menu offering. It is basically about there with the refrigerated stuff which is saying a lot.
It is a solid B when you ignore the broth. Don’t drink the broth.