CULTURE

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These “Karatsu-Yaki” Teacups and Saucers are Edible Rice Cakes

One evening, Tsurumaru, 46, was imbibing and admiring his Karatsu-yaki sake set when he noticed that an unglazed section at the base of the ceramics had the appearance of senbei dough.

He decided there and then to try his hand at making senbei that looked the same as Karatsu-yaki as he had never heard of them being inspired by traditional pottery.

 

Tourists going crackers over pottery studio?s edible ?teacups??The Asahi Shimbun

Souvenir hunters looking for something different now have an item they can really sink their teeth into: rice crackers designed as delicate porcelain teacups.

At first glance, one wouldn’t expect the “Karatsu-yaki tohen senbei” to be edible, given that they look like prized Karatsu-yaki tableware.

Perhaps just as odd is that they are sold at Nakazato Tarouemon Tobo, a famed Karatsu-yaki pottery studio founded here more than four centuries ago.

The studio commissioned confectionery maker and wholesaler Tsurumaru to learn the molding and painting techniques for Karatsu-yaki pottery to create the special rice crackers.

The senbei are displayed near the entrance to the studio, each priced at 300 yen ($2.60), along with dainty “mamezara” small plates. The crackers are based on four representative patterns of Karatsu-yaki, including plant-themed “e-Karatsu” and “Chosen-Karatsu” (Korean Karatsu), which features rice-straw ash and iron-based glazes in perfect harmony.

Header image: Koichi Anzai

In the future, there are ‘Better Worlds’

 

Better Worlds is partly inspired by Stephenson’s fiction anthology Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future as well as Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, a 2015 “visionary fiction” anthology that is written by a diverse array of social activists and edited by Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown. Their premise was simple: whenever we imagine a more equitable, sustainable, or humane world, we are producing speculative fiction, and this creates a “vital space” that is essential to forward progress.

The stories of Better Worlds are not intended to be conflict-free utopias or Pollyanna-ish paeans about how tech will solve everything; many are set in societies where people face challenges, sometimes life-threatening ones. But all of them imagine worlds where technology has made life better and not worse, and characters find a throughline of hope. We hope these stories will offer you the same: inspiration, optimism, or, at the very least, a brief reprieve that makes you feel a little bit better about what awaits us in the future — if we find the will to make it so. 

More: https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/5/18055980/better-worlds-science-fiction-short-stories-video

 

A Walk in the Woods: A Photo Appreciation of Trees

A Buddha head entwined within the roots of a tree is seen in the ruins of the ancient city of Ayutthaya, Thailand July 14, 2016. Picture taken July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Silva – RTST1Z1

A collection of images of unusual, intriguing, and beautiful trees and forests around the world, from Madagascar to Poland, Scotland to Hong Kong, the United States, and more.

https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2017/07/an-appreciation-of-trees/534153/

New song of Toilet Ek Prem Katha to release soon

The movie starring Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar in lead roles, has already created hype among fans due to its unique topic of open defecation about which it is dealing.

The issue still remains a problem in rural India.

https://www.indiablooms.com/showbiz-details/B/6769/new-song-of-toilet-ek-prem-katha-to-release-soon.html

Review: Envisioning Real Utopias, by Erik Olin Wright

Erik Olin Wright. Envisioning Real Utopias (London and New York: Verso, 2010).

Although this book covers much of the same ground, and does much of the same work, as autonomist and post-capitalist theories like Hardt and Negri’s Commonwealth and Mason’s Postcapitalism, Olin-Wright comes from the entirely different tradition of analytical Marxism. This school approaches Marxist theory from a background of analytic philosophy and public choice theory; Wright himself is a sociologist, rather than a political economist.

This may explain why he rules out any comprehensive theory of history from the outset. Specifically, in Chapter Four, he rejects Marx’s model of a historical trajectory which views capitalism as a historic system with an end as well as a beginning, and of socialism as something which will fully emerge following the terminal crises of capitalism. As I will argue below, this amounts to discarding some extremely valuable tools for anticipating the course of post-capitalist transition.

https://c4ss.org/content/47250

Reflections on Real Utopias

A very wide range of issues have been raised in the many interesting postings and comments during the Crooked Timber seminar about my book Envisioning Real Utopias which ran from March 18-28. In what follows I will give at least a brief response to the core themes of each of the eight contributions to the seminar. I will organize my reflections in the order of the contributions in the symposium.

http://crookedtimber.org/2013/04/03/reflections-on-real-utopias/#more-28154

We Met the Mind Behind the Rubik's Cube — Mashable Originals
Have you even given up, helplessly, on a Rubik’s Cube? What was meant to be a tool that helped students learn about space and design is now a competition to see who can finish it faster with their eyes closed. Love it or hate it (because you can’t complete it), the cube has become a staple of human culture. This is Erno Rubik, the man behind the legacy. 

 

Mr. Rogers: Google Animated Doodle

Google’s stop-motion animation arrives like a welcome online balm to celebrate the 51st anniversary of Fred Rogers’s show.
More: the making of the doodle.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuFow3MQXsQ

 

The Spanish City That Banned Cars

In Pontevedra, the usual soundtrack of a Spanish city has been replaced by the tweeting of birds and the chatter of humans