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15 Apr 14:04


10 Apr 15:00

The Best Cake Science Could Bake

The Best Cake Science Could Bake

Submitted by: (via io9)

Tagged: cake , Astronomy , science , food , g rated , win
11 Apr 04:00

April 11, 2014



09 Apr 07:01

The Parrot

by Doug

The Parrot

The Annoying Bird theme continues! Here are more birds.

10 Apr 00:37


04 Apr 12:30

Lemon Ricotta Strawberry Pie with Poppy Seed Shortbread Crust

by Kevin Lynch

That looks like my kind of strawberry pie!

Lemon Ricotta Strawberry Pie with Poppy Seed Shortbread Crust
Although it is still cold here, Spring has officially arrived and what better way to celebrate than with strawberries! California strawberries are available year round but during Spring they are at their peak season and I thought that I would welcome in Spring with a fresh strawberry pie!

I started the pie off with a simple shortbread crust filled with lemon zest and poppy seeds and I filled it with a quick and easy lemon ricotta no-bake cheesecake sweetened with honey. The pie is finished off with a floral like arrangement of fresh sliced strawberries along with a garnish of mint and lemon zest.

Scroll down for info on how to win a $175 Williams-Sonoma gift card!

Read the recipe »
30 Mar 23:44

Wackaging: do we want our food to talk back? | Life | The Guardian


I really noticed that when I moved to England, because in Germany you just never saw any kind of colourful descriptions on food packaging.

30 Mar 23:30

Why almost everything you've been told about unhealthy foods is wrong | Life | The Guardian

22 Mar 22:06

via the tiny project

22 Mar 22:16

tobasaurus: geekymerch:

22 Mar 22:43

tobasaurus: grumkle: castielcampbell: themanwholegalizedbugger...

Yeah, you'll be dead after playing this.

"Arranged by accident"

"Release the penguins"

"Have a nice day"

"Remove cattle from stage"

"Bow really fast, slippage may occur"

"Light explosives"

"Insert peanuts"













My middle school orchestra teacher has this hanging in her room. It’s fantastic.

This is what it sounds like. REALLY good song.

My friend keeps practising it. Fucking amazing. I’m fairly certain the music got written by someone doodling geometric figures on a sheet of music paper and then realizing they’d actually written the song of the gods.

“Arranged by Accident”

It sounds like a boss battle.

 REBLOGGING THIS BECAUSE SOMEONE ACTUALLY GOT AN AUDIO VERSION OF THIS. I never knew it was ACTUALLY a song. I grew up seeing this floating around and just thinking it was a joke.


You need at least 15 fingers to play this song!

Then I guess this ten-fingered attempt is pretty ambitious.

oh wow this is great

22 Mar 22:44

this isn't happiness. — My Neighbor Magritte

20 Mar 13:39


14 Mar 05:34

Off-Season Update – Summer 2013/14

by Fresh Citrus Direct

Each year leading up to the new season we like to do a bit of a wrap up of how the fruit is progressing, plus write a bit about what’s been happening over the summer (off-season) months. By no means does off-season refer to how busy things are on the orchard because over the summer months we are feverishly working to grow the crops/trees as best we can during their peak growth period. It simply refers to the fact there is not much fruit ripe or (in-season) during that time of year. So here’s a rundown of what’s been happening and how the crops look, hope you’ve all had a great summer!

Wind Wind Wind…..Sun Sun Sun

Spring in our neck of the woods was extremely windy in comparison to most years. This causes a major issue while fruit are small becuase the tiny little scratches caused by the trees rustling turn to scaring. If these scars were to remain the same size it they would be insignificant however they grow along with the fruit and what was a tiny scratch in spring becomes a large scar by harvest.

Wind marked fruit

Wind marked fruit

Wind scaring in most cases does not affect the internal quality of the fruit at all and so really shouldn’t be a problem however in a commercial setting the fruit is unsaleable due to their odd looks and is worthless. So we try to our best minimise the number of fruit left on trees with scaring by hand thinning. Even with our best efforts there will still be more fruit around with scaring this season so expect to see some but remember it is still perfectly delicious on the inside.

Sunburnt Navel Orange

Sunburnt Navel Orange

After a mild start to summer we ended up having a stinking hot January and Feb.  The Loxton weather station recorded 13 days of above 40 degrees celcius with peaks of 44 in both Jan and Feb. This hot weather is not uncommon here in the the Riverland however it was the prolonged periods of heat that has cause quite a bit of damage to fruit. Navels in particular have been most affected with quite a lot of fruit being sunburnt which causes a browning/drying of the skin and in bad cases drying of the internal segments.

Michael thinning mandies

Michael thinning mandies

Because sunburnt dries fruit out we try to remove as much of it as possible. The best time to do this is while the signs of it are most visible and that’s when the fruit is still green.

As much as the wind and sun caused damage to fruit it is not the end of the world because most patches required a thinning of the crop anyway. This meant we were able to take off a lot of the damaged fruit while thinning out the crops in Feb and setting up the trees with the desired crop for the coming season.


Summer is a good time to prune citrus trees provided you don’t prune so hard that they get trunk burn from the sun. We’ve been super busy working to get our tree skirts up off the ground so weeds can be more easily controlled and the trees grow in the right direction. Skirting is also good for limiting the pathways into the tree of some crawling pests.


Again this off-season we’ve been planting plenty more trees. Some of this was replanting a patch of old Navels with Lemons and the rest has been inter-planting current patches.

Lemons planted early Spring 2013

Old Navels removed in late winter & Lemons planted early Spring 2013

Replant 2

Those same Lemons 6 months later showing plenty of growth. 13/3/14

Inter-planting to increase tree numbers per ha

Inter-planting to increase tree numbers per ha

Inter-planting is simply planting another tree between the current trees to give more trees in the same area. A lot of older plantings had trees spaced 5-6 meters apart which allows them to grow into a very large trees before touching each other. Modern plantings are more commonly 2-3m apart so the trees stay smaller before touching each other. In new plantings this practice grows more fruit during the period until they touch because there are nearly twice as many trees and once mature gives larger fruit as the trees tend to stay smaller. 


White Grapefruit grafted to Pink Grapefruit

White Grapefruit grafted to Pink Grapefruit

If you are a fan of pink grapefruit you will be glad to hear that we’ve grafted a number of rows of white grapefruit over to the pink flesh variety called Star Ruby. You can see the new variety growing out of the white trunk which has been painted to prevent sunburn. The rest of the tree will continue to grow as white grapefruit for a season until it is chainsawed off leaving only the pink variety behind.

New grafting technique

New grafting technique

We’ve also done some grafting on smaller trees using a new technique that looks to be working really well. Modern citrus trees are grown with a single trunk that grows quite tall before branching out while older trees often forked out from just above the rootstock very low down. To minimise the impact grafting has on the tree Michael has been grafting into a portion of the main trunk while the remainder of the tree continues to grow above. This allows maximum sap flow through the area where the buds are placed and ensures a very good take.

The Crops

Early Navel as of 13/3/14

Early Navel 13/3/14

Navels- There looks to be good crops on average across all navels from early to late. The early navel crops are slightly lighter and so fruit sizes will be average to large and could come on quite early. We anticipate an early to mid May start. Early navels have also been the most affected by wind and so you could expect a little more scratched fruit early on in the season.

Imperial Mandy as of 13/3/14

Imperial Mandy 13/3/14

Mandarins- Imperials are our earliest mandy variety at this stage. In the next season or two Satsumas will take over as our first variety depending on how they set next year. The Imperial crop is varied as per usual. One patch has a heavy crop and one has a light crop and so we should be able to get into them early and have a good supply for quite some time. Look out for them from the beginning of June. Afourers our later variety had a lighter flowering and have set a lighter crop this year after a bumper last season. This meant less bees around during flowering and that will lead to less seeds plus bigger fruit, win win!

Lemons 13/3/14

Lemons 13/3/14

Lemons- are lock stock and loaded this season. We can’t wait for them to ripen so we can see just how many are there. It may mean the fruit is a bit smaller to start with but also means they should be around for the majority of the season. There are some early lemons amongst the crop too so they should be available from the very beginning of the season.

Lemon Crop 2014

Lemon Crop 2014

Grapefruit 13/3/14

Grapefruit 13/3/14

Grapefruit- looking like an nice average crop again this season. Size is up and down depending on when the particular trees were picked last year. Trees picked early have a heavier crop and smaller fruit, trees picked late have a lighter crop and larger fruit. This means we should have a good supply right across the season keeping in mind early fruit will be more tart than later on towards October.

Cara Cara 13/3/14

Cara Cara 13/3/14

Cara Cara Pink Navels- Not just a customer favourite but a grower favourite too. The trees just thrive in our climate and crop beautifully each season. This season the trees set a slightly heavy crop however being a little more prone to sunburn than some varieties this worked in well with our thinning program. We are now looking at a nice crop load plus good size. These will again be sought after when they come in around mid June. There is no early or late version of the Cara Cara so they have a limited season lasting till early August so make sure to get some while they’re in.

Tangelo 13/3/14

Tangelo 13/3/14

Tangelos- Look to be backing up and setting another really good crop. After quite a severe pruning last season the tangelos had lots of nice new growth that was perfect for flowering and setting fruit. There is a mixture of grafted trees, young trees and older trees in the patch that have varying crops. This will allow us to spread their season well given good conditions. They’ll come in around mid-late June and should hold until mid August or possibly later.

Blood Orange 13/3/14

Blood Orange 13/3/14

Blood Oranges- These have been the only dissapointment this summer. They just weren’t able to back up last years heavy crop like we thought they might. We are left with a very light crop of large fruit that will only be available for a very limited time so if you love them keep your eyes peeled around early August. On the plus side the trees have put on a lot of growth and so will be able to carry more fruit in the future plus we’ve planted some more trees which will increase supply in a few seasons time.

Hopefully this has given a good spread on how things are shaping up. We are really optimistic about the season ahead and can’t wait for those early navels to start changing colour so we can get into it.

26 Feb 11:13

does anyone use rss anymore



does anyone use rss anymore

11 Feb 17:11

Alice Babs har dött

by Klartext

Så här såg Alice Babs ut år 1940 när hon var med i filmen "Swing it, magistern!". Foto: Wikimedia Commons.

Lyssna: Här kan du höra en bit av Alice Babs mest kända sång "Swing it, magistern!"

Alice Babs var en svensk sångerska. Hon var en av de första i Sverige som sjöng swing. Swing är ett slags jazzmusik från USA. Bland annat sjöng Alice Babs sången "Swing it, magistern!" år 1940. Alice Babs dog idag, tisdag. Hon blev 90 år gammal.

08 Feb 02:06

echus: greatest thing on the internet


greatest thing on the internet

06 Feb 05:53


31 Jan 03:25

(via TumbleOn)

(via TumbleOn)

02 Jan 23:30

And so he turned to a life of crime… [x]

And so he turned to a life of crime… [x]

04 Jan 08:25

psi-thunder: Never forget when one of my animal crossing...


Never forget when one of my animal crossing villagers called me a goddamn trash can

04 Jan 16:11

jim benton

03 Jan 18:25

City Councilman Resigns Using Klingon

by Soulskill
Virtucon writes "A city councilman in Indian Trail Town, North Carolina has resigned and opted to write his letter of resignation in Klingon. David Waddell is obviously a fan of Star Trek. I wonder if the other council members know what the hell he wrote? I'm sure a nice Qu'vatlh would have sufficed."

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Read more of this story at Slashdot.

02 Jan 15:33


04 Jan 22:40

Kale, Tortellini & Cranberry Salad

by Beth M

I’ve really been craving greens lately, so the thought of a hearty kale salad had been itching at the back of my brain. I added some cheese tortellini to make the salad a little more meal-like, then topped it off with the contrasting flavors of salty feta, spicy red onion, and sweet dried cranberries. Ohboy, ohboy, ohboy it’s good!

The trick to making salads like this work on a budget is to not over do it with the “luxury” toppings. You only need a small sprinkle of feta, a few dried cranberries, and a few tortellini to balance out the hearty green kale. Each of those toppings has big flavor on its own, so a little goes a long way. It pays to measure, so that you don’t accidentally over do it.

I dressed my salad with my favorite dressing du jour, champagne vinaigrette. A balsamic vinaigrette or even a creamy caesar would also be great with this salad. I toyed with making my own champagne vinaigrette, but my only options for champagne vinegar at the store today were a bit pricy and made it not worth the effort. Weigh your options and pick your favorite dressing.

Kale, Tortellini & Cranberry Salad

Kale, Tortellini & Cranberry Salad

5.0 from 3 reviews
Kale, Tortellini & Cranberry Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $5.27
Cost Per Serving: $1.32
Serves: 4
  • ½ bunch kale $1.00
  • 10 oz. cheese tortellini $1.65
  • ¼ red onion $0.14
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries $0.50
  • 2 oz. feta $0.86
  • ½ cup dressing of your choice $1.16
  1. Pull the kale leaves from the woody stems. Bunch the torn kale pieces together tightly, then chop into thin strips. Rinse the chopped kale and let drain while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, then add the tortellini. Boil until tender (frozen tortellini will cook very quickly, dried tortellini will take longer. Usually it’s done when it begins to float). Drain the pasta in a colander and let it cool briefly (5 minutes).
  3. Slice the red onion as thinly as possible. Crumble the feta. Build the salad by filling a bowl with kale first, topping with the drained tortellini, then a sprinkle of feta, sliced onions, and dried cranberries. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons of dressing.
To help soften the kale leaves, the dressing can be massaged into the leaves after they have drained. Then, the salad can be built as usual, but the kale will already be coated with the dressing.


Kale, Tortellini & Cranberry Salad

(This is only half of the salad in this large bow, BTW. The recipe makes a good bit of salad.)

Step by Step Photos

Whole Kale Leaves

The first thing to do is to pull the kale leaves off of the stiff, woody stems. This is a really easy job and it only takes two minutes. Just hold the kale leaf in one hand by the spine/stem and pull the leaves off with the other hand. Discard the stems. I only used half of a bunch of kale because kale seems to multiply in volume once you tear it into pieces. I swear this was a tiny bunch, but once I was done pulling the leaves off it was about 3x the size. Crazy.

Chop Kale

I like to cut my kale into thin strips because it’s easier to eat. This can be tricky because kale is very fluffy. I grab a big handful of it in my left and and compress it into a ball, then carefully use the knife to slice thin strips off the end. So basically, all of that kale on the left side of the knife is usually balled up under my left hand and I’m slicing thin strips off the right side with the knife (can’t take a picture of it in action because it requires both hands!)

Wash Kale

Make sure to give the kale a really good rinse, then let it drain really well. Sand (and critters) like to hide in those curly leaves.

Cheese Tortellini

While the kale is draining, cook the tortellini. I used half of this 19 oz. bag. The other half will make a quick weeknight dinner some other day. You can usually find tortellini in three places in the grocery store – the dry pasta aisle, near the cheese with other fresh pastas, and in the freezer aisle with ravioli and other pasta dishes. At my store, the frozen tortellini was the least expensive option. It also happens to cook very quickly – yay!

Boil Tortellini

Boil the tortellini until it’s tender. Usually it floats when it’s done. You can also check the package instructions for an estimated cooking time. Drain the tortellini and let it cool for a few minutes.

Chop Toppings

While the tortellini is cooking, slice 1/4 of a red onion as thinly as possible, crumble 2 oz. of feta, and measure out 1/3 cup dried cranberries. I usually buy an 8 oz. block of feta, so measuring out 2 oz. is as easy as cutting the block into quarters. Red onions are expensive, so I plan to use up the remaining 3/4 of this one over the coming week (pizza topping!).

Kale, Tortellini & Cranberry Salad

Pile the washed and drained kale into a bowl, add the drained and slightly cooled tortellini, then some feta, sliced onions, and cranberries. (This huge bowl is half of the salad… there was still more on my countertop!)

Champagne Vinaigrette

This is my favorite salad dressing right now. I think this salad needs something tangy, like a balsamic vinaigrette or even a caesar dressing to balance out the kale. Use about 2 tablespoons of dressing per salad. OR, pre-dress the kale leaves with the dressing to soften them up, then add the rest of the toppings.

Kale, Tortellini & Cranberry Salad

It makes a great light meal or a hearty side to something simple like Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin. Ooohhh yeah.

The post Kale, Tortellini & Cranberry Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

25 Nov 17:06

Taco Egg Muffins - Low Carb, Gluten Free

by Kyndra Holley


Have you ever had a taco omelet?  Well this recipe is like a more portable version of that same omelet.  This is an excellent recipe to make ahead of time and eat for breakfast throughout the week.


8 oz. Ground Beef

2 oz. Onion – Diced

12 Eggs

1 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese – Shredded

3 oz. Mixed Bell Peppers – Diced

10 Black Olives - Sliced

½ Cup Sour Cream

½ Cup Salsa

(2 Tbs. Peace and Love)


Preheat oven to 350° Lightly oil a muffin tin. Or you can use a non-stick silicone bakeware

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add ground beef and onions.  Sauté until ground beef is browned.  Drain excess grease from pan.  Mix in 1/3 cup water and taco seasoning.  Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer 3-4 minutes until thickened.

In a large mixing bowl, fork whisk eggs.  Mix in cheese, bell peppers, and olives.  

Mix meat into egg mixture.  Pour mixture into muffin tin.  This should fill 12 spots.  Bake for 25 minutes.

Top each muffin with sour cream and salsa prior to serving.

Makes Servings 6
1 Serving: 2 Egg Muffins

Calories: 330

Carbs: 6 net g

Fat: 17 g

Protein: 21 g

Prep Time – 15 Minutes

Cook Time – 25 Minutes

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***Please note that nutritional information listed on this page is an estimation based on the products I used. Ingredients and nutritional information can vary greatly between brands. Always be sure to read labels***

 ***Some links contained on this page are affiliate links and I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remunerations for any products purchased through these links***
Peace and Love!
28 Aug 14:02

Higher Things

by Greg Ross

In 1966 a Swedish encyclopedia publisher requested a photograph of Richard Feynman “beating a drum” to give “a human approach to a presentation of the difficult matter that theoretical physics represents.” Feynman responded:

Dear Sir,

The fact that I beat a drum has nothing to do with the fact that I do theoretical physics. Theoretical physics is a human endeavor, one of the higher developments of human beings, and the perpetual desire to prove that people who do it are human by showing that they do other things that a few other human beings do (like playing bongo drums) is insulting to me.

I am human enough to tell you to go to hell.



03 Aug 05:18

New Prints!

by Brandon Bird

Some images that never had prints before now have prints! Also, added new sizes and editions for things like a 12” x 12” Zugzwanged and 9” x 12” and 16” x 20” Uncanny Valleys!

01 Jun 23:29

Swedish Nyan Cat [Original] (by Jenny Johannesson)

Swedish Nyan Cat [Original] (by Jenny Johannesson)

24 May 18:56

Some of you may know that I really love a good rant every once...

Some of you may know that I really love a good rant every once in awhile, so here’s one that’s relevant to travel.  When you put yourself out there and tell your friends and family about your plan to live and work in a foreign country, the skeptics will begin to come out of the woodwork.  It’s very annoying for several different reasons.  But if you are an American, a citizen of a country where only 35% of the population has a valid passport, brace yourself, asinine questions are coming.

And no, I don’t mean reasonable questions that people ask out of general curiosity, such as “What currency do they use?”, “What types of dishes do they eat?”, or even “What countries are nearby?”  I’m talking about questions salted with doubt and incredulity at the notion of ever setting foot out of this grand land of opportunity that ranks 37th in the world for healthcare, 49th for environmental performance, and 27th in general safety.  Yes, I know I’m unpatriotic for simply pointing out actual flaws that actually exist within America.

There’s another annoying group of skeptics that will seem to question your decision to leave the status quo of graduate - find a job - find a wife - buy a house - die.  They act like you haven’t done any research at all, and you suffer the stigma of the ‘naive, unsettled traveler.’  You’re more likely to get a pat on the back from these guys for landing a sales rep job than doing anything interesting in another country (that isn’t related to missionary work).  Let’s look at these two groups a bit closer.  

The Patriots

“Why are you going to China?  That’s just too different for me.”  Oh, so it’s supposed to be too different for me as well.  And, anyway, I’m sure you’ve done your research to find out the differences and arrive at an informed opinion to stay in America.  Or maybe it’s the fact that they’re just commies and that’s enough for you.  I will grant these types some leeway, mainly because China does not have the greatest track record for human rights, environmental policy, and food and health regulations, in addition to manufacturing statistics that suit their communist agenda.  China can be a scarier country to move to for a while.

But I experienced the same and similar conversations before I went toSweden and Iceland!  Sweden and Iceland of all places!  These two countries are, as is all of Northern Europe, doing markedly better than the United Statesin so many areas it’s not funny.  Really, it isn’t, and the fact that we don’t care to admit it and try to emulate some of these things is really depressing.  It’s pretty bad when people tell you they’re too scared to go to your country because they’re afraid they’re going to be shot up.  I’m an American, not an Afghan, and I understand their fears.

You fear what you don’t understand, and most Americans have a poor understanding of the world around them.  Why else was there a 1600%  increase in violence towards not only muslims after 9/11, but Sikhs and Buddhists as well?  They just don’t give a shit.  You have brown skin and you’re not working on my lawn, so you must be gawddarn muslim and I’m scared of you.  And while I’m at it, I’ll just throw up my shields against all foreigners.  I realize this is not true of all Americans, but is an issue that can’t be ignored.

The Joneses

Almost everywhere else in the developed world it is quite common to take agap year to work or simply travel abroad.  If you happen to be an American and want to do this, you’re perceived as not keeping in line.  Come on man, stick to the plan!  The American dream is at the end!  Keep talking about the dream all you want, but in a country where 22% of all children belong to families living below the poverty line, I think I might consider other options.  The dream is dead, and has been for awhile ever since Reagan basically instituted social Darwinism as a socio-economic policy.

These people will mask their true feelings on your decision to work abroad with genuine concern, but really they feel threatened that someone is abandoning ship.  If you’re in a room doing the same thing per the same guidelines for years and years, and suddenly a few people stop, stand up, and walk out of the room, you begin to wonder if you’re doing the wrong thing by staying.  Anyone who doubts your plan secretly wants to go with you because, yes, traveling can be quite glamorous.  But they can’t go (really they could) and they would rather you stay because of that.

Some Real Gems

I’ve heard plenty of weird, critical, and simply ignorant questions over the years about the different countries I have visited so far, and I’ve already heard some pretty great ones about China.  Here are a few that I won’t forget anytime soon.


‘Can you bring me back some of their chocolate and cheese?  Are you going to go skiing?’

Um, I think you mean Switzerland.  Same difference to some Americans.

‘You know they don’t go to church very much there.’

And…?  Well, to be fair this person didn’t know that I consider that a GOOD thing.

‘You know they’re socialist, right?’

Yep.  Should I be concerned?


‘Oh! I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland!’

No matter how many times I said ‘Iceland’ she wouldn’t let go of Ireland.  The only logical conclusion was that she was not aware of Iceland’s existence.  

‘I didn’t think there was anything in Iceland.’

That you know of you.  Or maybe you meant Greenland.

‘Anthony Bourdain went there, he had a pretty bad time.’

When will people learn that experiencing a different country is completely subjective?


‘Kate Middleton, Kate Middleton, Royal Family, blah, blah, blah.’

I really don’t care about the royals, and there are so many other reasons to visit England.

‘Your girlfriend’s name is Kate?  Just like Princess Kate!’

Very astute.  You have no idea how many times I’ve heard this.

‘Are they different from us?’

I know the whole speaking English thing probably threw you off, but yes, they are different.


‘Are you going as a missionary?’

When I said no, she responded with ‘oh’ and complete disinterest in anything else I had to say.  

‘Them Asian countries different from us.’

Very good, and they’re also different from each other.  I’m just glad you suppressed your urge to say ‘Oriental.’

‘There’s something about hearing a white guy speaking Chinese that freaks me out.’

Okay… I guess you would shit yourself if you heard him speak Farsi or Arabic.

‘I hope you know what you’re doing.  You’ve got a good job here.’

Just because it pays well doesn’t mean I like it, and just because I’m not settling for it like you doesn’t mean I’m doing something wrong.

‘You’re going to be next to North Korea? I don’t know man, I don’t know…’

Know what?  That China is North Korea’s biggest ally and its chances of being attacked are slim to never?

‘Are they going to pay you?’

(In reference to my teaching English there) No, I’m voluntarily going there to be treated like shit.

Isn’t it Ironic

The ironic thing about the China situation is that some (I know not all) Americans are almost repulsed by hearing any tongue other than English, yet I’m not hearing any praise for going to teach the freedom language.  Shouldn’t you be glad that I’m teaching the little Chinese kids your language so you don’t have to feel scared or threatened by Mandarin in the future?  

The Big Deal

Why do I get so bent out of shape over this?  On a personal level, it really undermines all of the research and the resultant leap of faith I’ve made to relocate somewhere and be vocal about it.  Instead of encouragement I get concerned looks and second guesses.  By now, it’s something I’ve learned to deal with.  It will always happen, and most of these people are simply too ignorant to realize that their fears are baseless.  However, these attitudes could be very damaging to anyone that is considering to take a risk and go abroad for the first time.  The doubts could be just enough to make some people stay, and I really hate that.

These doubts are a good indicator of the willful ignorance of geography and world events (not to mention how those events actually affect America) that pervades this country.  People ask you questions with wary looks, you answer them the best you can, but don’t kid yourself thinking they’re going to spend even a mere five minutes Googling that country when you get home.  America is all they need, and in today’s rapidly globalizing world, they threaten any type of cultural awareness and mutual understanding that are keys to going forward peacefully.