November 8th National Stem/Steam Day

S.T.E.A.M. stands for educating children the fun in science, technology, engineering, arts and math. It has been created to try and help our children to catch up to the rest of the world in those fields after falling far behind the rest of the world over recent years. The idea is a good one, it certainly beats common core and any of the other ridiculous ideas our supposed leaders have come up with over all those years that our children fell behind.

It use to be (As recently as last year) S.T.E.M., someone forgot the arts. This is not an unusual situation as the arts, history and practical applications have been long forgotten by the educational system. (Please note that history is still not listed as a part of the agenda.) MGA Entertainment at least got the arts put back into the equation with Project Mc2. Of course, it’s promotion for their Netflix show about 4 smart girls, McKeyla, Adrienne, Bryden and Camryn, who are a part of a super spy ring organization called NOV8. (Also the name of the show which stands for Innovate.) I have to blame common core for the lack of understanding of NOV8 since instead of trying to read the statement for what it actually says you have to sound it out to make it work.

9321644-large-passenger-steam-train-out-on-a-day-trip-excursion-stock-photo

Schools instantly picked up on STEAM as the symbol 212 degrees, the temperature that water turns into steam. Many school have begun using the train to indicate children getting on the right track. Cute.

a-vintage-stanley-steam-car-in-the-annual-trevithick-day-parade-in-c3g5hn

They do, however, fail to note the cars and industry that also runs on steam. That’s okay though since the system also forgets to teach other subjects as well. I have worked for a public school system and asked simple questions like… “Who was our Second President?” kids do not know. “Who fought in World War 2”, kids and adults do not know. “Where was the War of 1812 fought?” No one seems to know but they all claim it ended in 1812.

crazy-bot

Now the system is good about teaching kids how to build whatever it is in the above picture. It fails in telling them why “whatever it is” is useful. Now I am all for education and I think science, technology, engineering, the arts and math are important and I commend the educators for this attempt at getting children well rounded in those subjects.

c700x420

But some of us do believe that you have to know where you have been to know where you need to go. You can not pop into google maps where you want to go and get direction telling you how to get there if you don’t add in where you are first. How did we get here? What mistakes can we correct? And just how does 9 dollars and 12 cents equal $10.00? Try rounding up your money and see if you can buy that $1,000 television to watch NOV8 for $912.00.

How to celebrate – Watch NOV8 on Netflicks. It may not teach you anything but at least you’ll be supporting the producers of the show. Participate in your schools Steam program. Spend some time in a sauna and melt your cares away in some real steam!

June 11th Corn On The Cob Day

One of the best summer treats anywhere in the US is an ear of corn, the fresher the better. Whether you boil it, steam it, roast it, or grill it, an ear of corn is enjoyed by nearly everyone you set it down in front of. I grew up on a farm where one of the crops we grew was sweet corn. I remember times, when everything was just right, when you could walk out in the field and actually pick an ear of corn and if it was in the milking stage you could actually eat it right there and then.

Of course it was better when it was boiled, heaping with butter, and just enough salt to add flavor.  Ah, there’s nothing better.

corn-on-cob-with-butter-1024x680

Roasting it with the husk still on it was another way to cook it. This is really popular in the south where clam bakes are going on. Everything is thrown into a hole in the ground and cooked together at one time.

corn-on-the-cob

Naturally steaming the corn is another popular way to cook it. The corn doesn’t become waterlogged so it is always crisp, plump, and full of flavor.

Grilling the corn is now becoming one of the most artistic ways to prepare corn on the cob.

download (3)

Wrapped up in tin foil it is easy to cook on the grill, or in the oven, adding extra flavors to the ear of corn. You can add garlic, ginger, harissa, mint, chili, cheese, or even coconut to your grilled corn while it cooks (there are three recipes there for you to look over).

But the best way, in my opinion, is the easiest. Boil it and butter it. That’s good eating.

How to celebrate:  There are normally numerous corn festivals going on, go visit one. Try going to a farm where you can pick your own corn. Buy some corn and cook it what ever way you want for dinner tonight.