Chemistry + Cooking = Best Science Class Ever?

1 Sep

I know a good steak when I see one — or eat one — but I certainly couldn’t tell you about the chemical properties of that steak. That’s because they didn’t have this sort of class when I was in college. If they did, I would have most certainly taken it, and learned the basics of such important things as “the elasticity of meat” or “emulsification of cream sauces.” Yum!

Cooking is fun, and there’s more science behind it than you might realize — something I learned watching episode upon episode of the fabulously nerdy and informative chef Alton Brown. A master cook, he also writes, produces and stars in all his own shows. And FYI, we did his turkey for Thanksgiving two years ago and I’m still drooling over it today.

But back to steak and science. While Oklahoma State is already a standout in the category of meat and everything delicious about it (in May they discovered a new cut of beef!), the school could use a chemistry-cooking class. Heck, I’d even audit it for the free food!

What is “Internet?”

31 Jan

This clip is from the Dark Ages of the early 15th century.

Just kidding, it’s from the Dark Ages of 1994.

The speed at which the online world became part of everyday life was so swift that less than 20 years ago, the average talk show host didn’t even know that the symbol “@” meant “at.” I love that Bryant Gumbel doesn’t know that you say the “dots” in an email address, either.

H. Speed

Dogs and dish towels

23 Jan
Louie the Intellectual

He's smart, but doesn't know one dish towel from a three-dishtowel braid.

A friend of mine once said that the magazine “Real Simple” should be called “Real Complicated.” She said the publication gives five or six steps for processes that should be simple, like washing lettuce or sewing a button.

I like the magazine and have written for it a time or two. But I had to agree with my friend when I read this tip for turning everyday items into dog toys. Our dog plays with a dish towel. I tie it in a knot, and he’s happier than can be. He doesn’t need me to cut three towels and tie them together in some sort of fancy braid.

Time management, people. Your dog doesn’t know if his toy is a dish towel or the world’s greatest woven wonder. It’s just gonna become a slobbery mess of torn-up cotton in five minutes anyway.

H. Speed

Waiting warmly for the bus

14 Jan

I have a soft spot for 1) Minneapolis, 2) Its superior coffee shop Caribou Coffee, and 3) Not freezing your butt off while waiting for a bus. This innovative ad campaign combines all three. Plus, it’s a great example of creative, friendly advertising that doesn’t grate on your nerves.

PSFK ยป Bus Shelter Ad Keeps Commuters Warm While They Wait [Pic].

H. Speed

An introduction

12 Jan

I’m Hillary Speed (nee Rhodes until a few days ago), and a professor of electronic communications at Oklahoma State University. Although I’ll be introducing students to the world of online media this semester, that comes with an important disclaimer: The only thing I’ve been doing forever is writing and telling stories. Multi-media is new to the world and therefore new to me, just as it is to many of you. I see its budding existence as the opportunity to add tools to your story-telling tool box, so that you may reach new audiences in new ways, but never abandoning classic concepts of how to effectively communicate your message.

On the one-year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, which is estimated to have killed more than 200,000, we as journalists are reminded that there are an unlimited number of ways to capture the story. In-depth feature stories about victims. Close-up still shots of cholera camps. Audio recordings of survivors recounting their struggles. Multi-media presentations of key aspects of the quake.

The more effective you want to be at getting out the story, the message, the advertisement, the promotion … the better equipped you’ll want to be at all the tools available. That’s our journey. And it begins with a class-full of blogs.

H. Speed