Oil-Spill Fines May Finance 39 Restoration Projects

ENVIRONMENT Oil-Spill Fines May Finance 39 Restoration Projects Louisiana coastal officials have put together a list of 39 restoration projects that they hope will be partially or fully financed by money the state or federal agencies expect to receive as a result of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Discussion Ideas: The New Orleans Times-Picayune article describes some of the projects that may be … Continue reading Oil-Spill Fines May Finance 39 Restoration Projects

Geography of Top Chef


I don’t watch much TV, so you can imagine my dismay that Top Chef, one of the only shows I tune in to on a semi-regular basis, caps off season five tonight with the “reunion special.”

I like Top Chef for a number of reasons, the top two being (1) the creativity of the challenges, matched only by the skill of the chefs, and, of course, (2) the food (Note: Do not watch Top Chef, or any other culinary show, on an empty stomach: grumble)!

Food is rooted in geography from harvest to haute cuisine, as we’ve highlighted frequently on this blog (.e.g , Thirteen for Friday the 13th, Make Like the Pilgrims, Gas Prices and Tomatoes and Bees, Oh My!, Flavor Friday, etc). As I watched the Top Chef Season Finale last week, I couldn’t help but be reminded of this reality. Here’s a geographic look at season five:

Hosea Rosenberg traveled cross country from Boulder, Colorado, having spent the recent years of his career working in a seafood restaurant–interesting, as Colorado is one of the most landlocked U.S. states, with at least two states separating it from the ocean in any direction. For his final meal of the season, Hosea went with “flesh” selections reflecting both his culinary experience and his upbringing in the American West: seafood and venison.

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A Mardi Gras Photo Retrospective

All around the world this week, people celebrated the final days before Lent, a 40-day fast that is typically associated with Catholicism. National Geographic News featured these photos on their website today and I would like to share them with all of you. Compare these photos with the ones featured on the guest blog about Mardi Gras celebrations here in the United States. Enjoy!

090224-01-mardi-gras_big.jpgFebruary 23, 2009–Above, a dancer fearlessly performs atop an intimidating float during Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Monday. 
–Photograph by Natacha Pisarenko/AP

090224-02-mardi-gras_big.jpgFebruary 22, 2009–Clouds of fire emanate from the mouth of a performer in Barranquilla, Colombia, on Sunday.

The city’s version of Carnival was declared a “Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO in 2003, which means the international organization urges protection of the event as a cultural treasure.

–Photograph by Fernando Vergara/AP

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