Video

Ivan Orkin

My friend Edward told me about an episode of Chef’s Table on Netflix about Ivan Orkin, a ramen cook with a fascinating life story. The food aspect of the documentary is great but his story is even better. Nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn becomes most famous ramen chef in Tokyo, Japan by putting a little schmaltz (Yiddish: chicken fat) in his traditional Japanese cookery. Brilliant.

If you stream Netflix give it a go:

Chef’s Table, Season 3, Episode 4: Ivan Orkin

Anne and I plan to eat in one of Ivan’s two restaurants the next time we’re in New York.

Ivan Ramen

He’s also got a book out that includes his story and the complete recipe for his shio ramen dish, including his ramen noodles with rye flour.

Ivan Ramen on iBooks

Ivan Ramen on Amazon

Of course, pictures of Ivan and his food are all over Flickr.

The hummingbird whisperer

Researcher’s 200-plus wild ‘fairy’ birds make their home at UCLA

UCLA researcher Melanie Barboni is the hummingbird whisperer. Los Angeles is loaded with hummingbirds year round and Melanie has attracted hundreds right outside her office window.

“They are, in every aspect, remarkable. They are tiny but fierce. They have so much personality, an amazing metabolism,” Barboni said of the birds that drink 8 to 10 times their weight in nectar daily. “They are Mother Nature’s best creation. … She was trying to make one tiny perfect jewel, and I think she got it perfectly right.”

My late mother lived about ten miles west of UCLA and we had hummingbird feeders in her backyard. She was loaded with them and it was incredible to watch, year round. Here in Connecticut we only have one species, ruby-throated and they migrate so we only have them from late spring to early fall; they’re getting read to fly south right now.

[via The Kid Should See This]

Primitive Technology: Simplified blower and furnace experiments

Building a crude furnace with a hand-powered blower. The furnace is not only good for firing clay (to higher temperature with the blower) but he’s starting to experiment with glazing with wood ash and iron.

He’s an expert at both coming up with great projects and breaking them down into steps but also video editing to show process without narration or dramatic music.

I’ve been a fan for years.

There are many more of these great videos at the Primitive Technology site and for those who prefer, he has a Primitive Technology YouTube Channel.

[via The Kid Should See This]

Makomanai Cemetery Buddha

The Makomanai Cemetery is on the outskirts of Sapporo, Japan. This 1500 ton stone Buddha sat alone, above ground for fifteen years. The cemetery hired architect Tadao Ando to change the relationship of the Buddha to the cemetery. He did this by building a hill of lavender plants around the statue and the results are spectacular.

Watch the video full screen. It has no sound that I know of but it’s perfect in silence.

Update: My friend Joy Brown found this video of the building of the hill around the Buddha.

[via Colossal]

Hummingbirds in slow motion

Slow motion video of hummingbirds flying, shaking, and drinking from National Geographic. Fantastic.

We have about two dozen ruby throated hummingbirds who summer at our place. If a hummingbird is born here they get this location imprinted in their heads and when they fly to Mexico at the end of the summer and back next spring/summer, they come right back to our feeders. Seriously, if I move the feeder ten feet they hover at the old location and are pissed for a while until they find the new one.

[via The Kid Should See This]

One tree, one year

Bruno D’Amicis and Umberto Esposito kept a surveillance camera running for a year, aimed at a single tree in the Apennines (a mountain range in central Italy).

Numerous animals pass by the tree including boars, wolves, foxes, badgers, deer, and a bear (among others) who decides to scratch his back on the tree. This video is edited so that seasons fly by and animals come and go in succession.

Fascinating and brilliant.

[via Kottke.org]