Physicist is both to my mouth and ears so awkward that I think I shall never use it. The equivalent of three separate sounds of “i” in one word is too much.
Michael Faraday (1791-1867) was not fond of that new-fangled word “physicist”.
Instead, he was an “experimentalist”, a “natural philosopher”, or simply a “scientist”. It seems a modern trend, this need to hyper-specialize both our questions and our means of answering them. Fight it.(via jtotheizzoe)
Do you ever freak out about the scale of time and space? Yeah, me too.
This week I share some thoughts on very big stuff and very small stuff, and tour you through my favorite ways to explore the scale of the universe.
Now we can all drown in awe together :)
Be sure to check out the rest of my videos over on YouTube.
Video on the Florentine Baptistery and the start of the Renaissance.
So for reasons that Grace is too classy to complain about, she’s no longer going to be uploading to the Daily Grace YouTube channel. A channel that, it turns out, she never owned and, in fact, all of the content that she produced there over the last three years is also not…
Grace is easily one of the funniest, best, most hardworking, and kind youtubers out there. Let’s get her back up to her 2M+ subscribers and show her that her hard work (that some people are trying to take advantage of) was NOT for nothing!
I will be reblogging this every day for the next week to make sure as many people see it as possible so…just get used to it.
One aspiring content creator doing a signal boost for a very accomplished content creator. Doing what I can.
On the 4th Floor Kitchen
To create a sourdough starter simply mix good quality wheat flour with half its weight in water, then let it sit for a few days. It will come alive through the power of tiny microbes and yeasts floating independently around you right now, not doing much of anything. If you create an attractive environment of starch and water these microbes will come together and help bakers transform bland cereal grains into sweet, fluffy bread. They are easily coaxed from their lonely existence into a partnership with the baker, transforming wheat into the staff of life.
This, a friend of mine from Zurich, oversees this transformation regularly. He and his roommate, Sebastian, started a small pop-up restaurant in their apartment called The 4th Floor Kitchen. Sebastian uses a small meat smoker on his balcony to make home-cured and home-smoked bacon, and, for the purpose of the pop-up restaurant, pastrami. This makes the bread, and together they create sandwiches.
To prepare for the opening This grew his sourdough starter into liters of leaven by feeding it lots of fresh flour and water. When ready he incorporated this leaven into dough by kneading it. Kneading does some amazing things. By repeatedly folding the dough over itself the baker creates tiny air bubbles that will later be expanded by the yeast. Additionally, the process of pushing and pulling the dough helps the glutenin proteins inside the flour’s gluten arrange themselves in long strands. Glutenin, like all proteins, is made of many interconnected amino acids, and each glutenin ends with an amino acid containing sulfur. These sulfur molecules can form sulfur bonds with each other to form long strands; kneading the dough helps them find each other. This gives bread dough its elasticity, and allows those beautiful pockets of air to expand inside the bread.
Saturday morning, the day The 4th Floor Kitchen opens, This bakes the bread, and those air bubbles become even more interesting. As the temperature inside the bread raises, the yeast increase production of Carbon Dioxide and expand the air bubbles more rapidly. Simultaneously, the starch within the dough will begin to take on water and become rigid, temporarily halting the further expansion of those bubbles. The yeast continue to produce Carbon Dioxide, but unable to push the starch walls further, they are forced to break through the barriers and form intricate and tightly connected labyrinths within the bread.
I have spent most Saturday afternoons over the past seven years eating left-overs or simple sandwiches alone. The 4th Floor Kitchen, however, encouraged an environment of interested people to abandon their isolation and share a table with friends, family, friends of friends, or complete strangers. As the laughter and conversation expanded, personal walls were broken down and intricate networks of humanity formed. The baker simply created the circumstances in which philia thrives, and the independent participants digested the food and company together to create an empathic community of gastronomes with just a little bit of kneading. It should come as no surprise that the English word Company (and companion/ship) derives from the Latin Companio, “one who shares bread”. Bakers, at their best, oversee this transformation as well.
It’s a source of constant amazement for me that the sun, while forging elements within its core and directing planets within its orbit, somehow finds the time and energy to sprout a grain of wheat and endow it with life sustaining energy. It is no less astonishing that bread, while entering the torus of the human body and, through the complex process of digestion, transforms into the cells contained in the human form, somehow finds the energy to produce laughter and camaraderie, endowing those who enjoy it with life sustaining companionship.
Damnit, food is amazing.
I made a Project 4 Awesome video at the last minute to tell you about the 1,000 Gardens in Africa project. Go the the P4A site. Vote for your favorites.