If you are reading this ‘Letter From the Guest Editors,’ it probably means you have read all the other parts of the magazine at least five times and are in some kind of isolated and desperate situation. If it’s a bathroom emergency, try elevating your feet on an upturned wastebasket. If you are in the trunk of a drug lord’s car, try doing that thing Walter White does where he throws chemicals at the ground and they explode.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, in the Dec. 20 issue of Entertainment Weekly
Award-winning Canadian journalist Charles Montgomery’s fascinating new book Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design examines how lessons from psychology, neuroscience and design activism can help us fix broken cities and improve our quality of life in an increasingly urban-centered world. Here at the Eye, Montgomery shares an excerpt…
"In Atlanta, for example, Frank found that people who said they preferred to live in car-dependent neighborhoods tended to drive pretty much everywhere, no matter where they lived. Not surprisingly, people who both liked and lived in lively, walkable places drove less and walked more. But the suburbs were full of people who wished they could walk places but couldn’t. Nearly a third of people living in Atlanta’s car-dependent sprawl wished they lived in a walkable neighborhood, but they were mostly out of luck because Atlanta had gone nearly half a century without building such places.”
A new video explains the chemistry behind baking. Unleash your inner mad scientist in the kitchen.
Three major steps in the cookie-baking process, according to NPR:
- The spread: As the cookie dough starts to heat up, the butter inside it melts. The ball of dough loses its structural integrity and spreads out. The diameter of the cookie is set by how long the cookie expands.
- The rise: At about 212 degrees Fahrenheit, the water in the dough turns into steam. The cookie starts to rise as the vapors push through the dough. Eventually, the baking soda or powder starts to break down into carbon dioxide gas, which raise up the cookie farther. All these gases leave little holes in the maturing cookie, which makes it light and flaky.
- Color and flavor injection: Now the magic really starts to happen. Just as the cookie is almost finished baking, two chemical reactions fill it with hundreds of flavors and infuse it with its characteristic brown hue. First off, there’s caramelization: As sugars in the dough break down, they transform from clear, odorless crystals into a brown, fragrant liquid that’s overflowing with aromas and tastes — think butterscotch, sweet rum and popcorn. The second yummy process, called the Maillard reaction, packs the cookie with even richer tastes. The reaction involves not only the sugars in the dough but the proteins from the egg and flour as well. So it churns out toasty, nutty and even savory flavors. The Maillard reaction also helps to darken the cookie’s surface.
The defining design aesthetic of Archambault’s minimalist maps is the use of typography and circles (though he adapts the design according to the city; D.C. is shaped like an imperfect diamond and the island of Manhattan is smoothed into a long oval). This makes his work part of a tradition of circular maps dating back centuries. And aligns them with circular transit maps designed to make sense of the transportation labyrinth in world capitals like Berlin or New York.
Atlanta makes much more sense now.
Also, the description under the Atlanta map in his Etsy shop is hilarious: “I almost died 100 times while speeding through the highways of Atlanta. If you drive, it’s likely that you check your blind spot. Atlantans don’t. This isn’t that surprising since it takes about 2 hours to drive around the entirety of The Perimeter. This map simplifies the highway system of our peachiest city, including all the favorite neighborhoods and landmarks.”