December 20, 2012 |
Modernist cooking - call it "molecular gastronomy" only if you're willing to suffer the wrath of its pricklier practitioners - is gaining favor with more and more chefs who see value in the cuisine's vacuum sealers, water baths, and dehydrators. Home cooks, by contrast, happily cling to the classic techniques. Several factors play into the modernist movement's low impact with us house-bound hash slingers, costs and degree of difficulty prime among them. But as scientist-turned-cookbook-author Nathan Myhrvold recently noted, home cooks have long been at a disadvantage, too. They haven't had many resources to explain, in the necessary depth and detail, all the tools, gels, powders, and processes behind modernist cooking.
December 2, 2012
We're not among that group of tech-savvy travelers who have to have every new gewgaw that comes along. In fact, we tend to wait until some gadget screams "everyone else has one" or "we need it" before we buy anything with a learning curve steeper than a speed bump. Which is why we finally bought Rhonda a few months ago. Rhonda - as in the Beach Boys' 1965 hit, "Help Me, Rhonda" - is the name we gave to the GPS we bought for a recent car trip to visit friends who have a cabin in the mountains.
October 26, 2012 |
In people years, the World Wide Web is barely 21. In technology time, it sometimes seems like eons since the first website went online in 1991, as the personal computer has morphed into increasingly powerful desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets. Innovations, companies and devices have come and gone in the years since - which makes it all the more remarkable that we're focused this week on announcements by Apple and Microsoft, two players there at the start thanks to their pre-Web origins.
September 6, 2012 |
I've never been one to need all the latest must-have gadgetry. Sure, all the other car writers hear this and laugh in unison at me, but I can take it. Luddism is in my genes. The late Grandpa Driver's Seat never had a car with power windows or air conditioning until 1992. "More things to break," he'd say. These days, as I see all the gadgetry out there and scan automakers' technical service bulletins, I think the old guy may have been on to something. (Besides, keeping Sturgis Kids 1.0 through 4.0 in food and shoes has made finding spare change for new toys challenging.)
August 29, 2012 |
THE back-to-school season has become so gadget-centric that it's now the second biggest selling season for electronics buying, after the year-end holidays. "Electronics actually make up most of the $80 billion back-to-school business," Consumer Electronics Association spokesman Jim Barry said recently. "And [it] is such a far cry from the pencils and notebooks we used to consider 'school supplies' back in my day. " Tops on any list for collegiates should be a "smartphone and a notebook computer," said this longtime industry tracker.
July 29, 2012 |
Say you catch a home-run ball at the big game, or your child finds a gorgeous (but dry and not smelly) little starfish at the beach. Wouldn't it be nice to frame these treasures? The Z-Access 3-D display frames are a fun option. The back and front of the 6-by-4-inch plastic frames are connected by a hinge, and each side holds a transparent flexible polyurethane sheet instead of a piece of glass or plastic. You open the frame on its hinges, like a book, set your baseball or starfish (or whatever fits)
July 22, 2012 |
There are beach umbrellas and beach shelters. The Sport-Brella is both, and then some. You open it like a regular umbrella, but one with an enormous 8-foot wing span. And instead of standing straight up atop its shaft, the umbrella rests on its back, with the shaft at a supportive tilt from the ground. What you get is a concave half wall and sheltering overhang. For extra stability and wind-resistance on sand and soft ground, tie-down loops are sewn in all along the bottom rim (stakes included)
July 15, 2012 |
Never enough pockets in your pants or shirts? Well, what if your underwear got into the act? That's what you get with Clever Travel Companions, lightweight T-shirts, tanks, undershorts, and even long johns with zippered pockets big enough to fit a passport, credit cards, and cash. Made of cotton and cotton/spandex blends in a range of patterns and solid colors, the bottoms all have two pockets, the tops, one. Men's boxers and unisex long johns have a two-button fly, women's short shorts do not. Since they are undergarments, they protect against pickpockets, although retrieving your ID at the security line could be awkward.