History of Food: Pasta

The first form of food similar to pasta was in the writings of Horace where thin strips of dough were fried and served with spices in the 1st century B.C.E. A few centuries later, we see an ancient ancestor of modern day lasagna come out in the form of lagana. It was described to be consisted of sheets of dough with meat filling in between. In the second century, the dough started to be made with flour and water instead of juice from lettuce. Later, Arabs adopted a similar form of noodle in the 5th century and lead to the Italians making thin strip noodle pasta.

 

If we jump to the 15th century, dried pasta was very valued because it could be stored for very long periods of time.That’s why many exploring ships brought dried pasta to the New World. Believe it or not, tomato sauce was only invented in the 18th century! Before this, people would just eat pasta with their hands. Now, people eat it with forks because the tomato would get too messy without it.

 

Today, the average Italian eats about sixty pounds of pasta per year, while the average American eats about twenty pounds of pasta per year. Writings suggest it originated in Italy, but why is it popular in North America? It’s because Italian immigration to the Americas that we love pasta so much. Italians have also had a mass immigration to South Africa, making spaghetti and meatballs a major part of Italian cuisine.

 

Do you like pasta? How do you eat yours? Comment, if you want, I guess.

 

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Modern Advances Come With Responsibility

In today’s age, technology is a part of everything. Almost everyone is constantly checking texts or social media. New technology like 3D printers could become a normal appliance in the near future. However, some gadgets are becoming all too much. Sure, phones help keep you connected with friends and world news. But what if it starts to replace real interaction? We need to consider how our actions could affect the future of our world. I don’t want to sound corny talking about this, but change is a serious topic. If we have changed so much in the past decade, what will the near future look like? At some point, we need to start being a little more simplistic. Otherwise, there will be no escaping the constant cell phone ring or texting. We are human beings, not cyborgs. We also need to think about what powers these gadgets, and how to be more efficient.

One of the best parts of modern technology is medical advances. We are so much more advanced today than we were ten years ago. This is one of the pros to modern day living. Transportation is improving as well. More environmentally friendly vehicles are being designed. Until we improve, we need to become even MORE efficient. We are so dependent on electrical power today, it is ridiculous. Think about it like this.. what happens when the power goes out during a storm? The lights, oven, refrigerator, outlets, and other appliances cease to work. We need to become more dependent on other resources. The same goes for gasoline. We constantly pump gas into our vehicles just to make them work. Emissions are released into the air until the fuel tank is empty. Gasoline is a LIMITED resource. We can’t depend on these two resources because someday gasoline and oils supplies will be depleted. Also, we cannot solely rely on electric power to charge and work home appliances. Sure, this supply is not limited. But if it fails to work, we are lost.

We need to become more responsible and aware of our technology use. If not, it will become a factor in everything. It is hard to imagine what the future will look like, but I do know one thing. Unless we slow down on technological advances and resource use, we will have a big problem. After all, when you have pros it’s important to also take a look at the cons.

The Evolution of the Internet

photo credits: Rock1997

Every single day we use the facebook, twitter, google search, and so many other websites, all thanks to the internet. The internet, or world wide web, is filled with endless amounts of information, news, social media, and tools that we use more than we realize. Our world has become so technology-based that the internet is needed for nearly everything we do on our devices. From researching for a school paper to sending a text message to your friend, both are using the internet. In my opinion, the internet, or world wide web is one of the most important inventions in history.

The real start of the development of the internet was in the early 1950’s when the first electronic computers were being developed. Although, the internet breakthrough really didn’t start until the 1960’s. The internet was originally intended to be for scientific and military uses.

The origin of the idea of a global network of computers was from J.C.R Licklider of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1962. Licklider brought his idea to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, in order to get backing. Licklider along with many others of DARPA truly developed the internet. Many credit Ex Congressman Al Gore with the creation of the internet, but Congressman Gore was not even in congress when DARPA began their work. The internet was first used by Charley Kline on October 29, 1969 when he sent the first packets from UCLA to Stanford Research Institute. When Licklider and the visionaries of DARPA began the creation of the internet, I don’t think they fully understood what kind of network they were making.

The internet is used by nearly everyone worldwide in one form or another. It is a critical tool for communication, both personal and business. Through internet chat rooms, social media and email, people can communicate with each other from the other side of the globe. This is a humongous jump from using telephones, fax lines, and mail that all cost money to communicate with anyone anywhere in the country. Although it did take time for the internet to become the splitting fast service it is today. For years the internet was run through dial-up phone lines. Now we can effectively use the internet because wirelessly computers can connect to the internet and surf in seconds. Now with a single click, it is possible to be connected with someone in a different continent. The internet is also a very important tool for education. More and more schools have online learning programs, sites, and tools that would never be available without the internet. For example, if a student is doing an essay on the American Revolution, they have endless resources with a simple search. The internet has completely changed the interface of learning for centuries to come.  The internet is a powerful tool with seemingly endless resources and tools that continue to develop and advance communication in our society.

 

http://walthowe.com/navnet/history.html

Angkor Wat: The World’s Largest Religious Monument

Angkor Wat, located in Siem Reap Province in Cambodia, is the world’s largest religious monument. “Angkor” comes from Sanskrit and means “city” while Wat is Khmer for “temple.” Cambodians are usually referred to as Khmer people and Thai are referred to as Siem. So, the name Siem Reap means “Thai Defeat,” but that’s another story. Angkor Wat also appears on the national flag of Cambodia.

Angkor Wat was originally built in the 12th century by king Suryavarman II as a Hindu temple. It was a dedication to Vishnu. Later, in the 16th century, Buddhism took over and Angkor Wat was converted to a Buddhist temple. The Buddhists tried to paint the giant wall mural depicting several scenes from Hinduism and in some parts, you can actually touch the carved stone on the mural.

Angkor Wat lies on an island 1km x 1.5km with a 1 km wide moat on all sides. There are two entrances: the front in the west and the back in the east. Angkor Wat, unlike most temples, faces to the west instead of the east to signify that Suryavarman was intending to be buried there. Inside the temple, there is a central point where you can see in all four directions, many intricate and sometimes unfinished carvings, and a big central tower which was the king’s tomb. The central has really steep stairs that you could be afraid of going up and down.

Overall, Angkor Wat is a great place and has a lot of extra history and details to it, and it is also a great tourist destination.

Hehe, It’s a Lizard!

I took this picture of a really cool lizard in Cambodia.

Gods Versus Demons

This picture was taken by the wall mural in Angkor Wat. If you look closely, the ones facing to the right are different from the ones facing to the left. The gods are facing to the right and the demons … Continue reading

Khmer BBQ

I took this picture in Cambodia of a Khmer hot pot barbecue. They give you all the raw ingredients and you cook them yourself.

Solid Palm Sugar

I took this picture in The Siem Reap Province in Cambodia. They take the liquid palm sugar from the palm fruit and cook it until it is solid like a sugar cube except all natural.

The History of Food: The Best of the Best: ICE CREAM!

The earliest known form of ice cream was in the Persian Empire when grape juice concentrate was poured on top of snow for a treat when it was hot outside. People have been doing this for centuries. Sorbet is said … Continue reading

The History of Food: Escargot

Ewwwww… escargot. These creatures are a treat for the French, but we think of it as being disgusting. These are snails that have gone through heliculture and have been stuffed back into their shells with garnishes. Years ago, in ancient … Continue reading