Dining in the dark

first_imgThe food was the only standard part of Nick Hoekstra’s dinner party.That’s because all of his guests wore blindfolds and sat together in a dark room. Waiters dressed in black ushered out the first course, a roasted apple and butternut squash bisque with a cinnamon-sugar brioche crouton in the center. Jennie Reuter groped for a spoon but ended up dipping her fingers in the soup.It was all part of Hoekstra’s plan: the accidents, the humor, the discovery that comes with dining in darkness. Hoekstra, a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), lost his vision when he was 8 years old, the result of a pseudotumor in his brain. In the years since, he has learned to rely on his other senses to get by. But his friends had no such experience.“Can you just tell me is this a glass of water I’m holding?” Jenny Gombas wondered. Of course, no one could help her.“It feels awkward,” remarked Manasa Prabhakar of the blindfold. “So, so awkward.”“It is a bit disorienting,” agreed Jeff Thompson.“Too often in our daily lives, we focus on the aesthetic of the food. We spend so much time looking at our dining partners instead of really experiencing the food — the taste and the smell,” said Hoekstra of the idea behind his venture. “I wanted to share what it’s like to not be distracted, to experience food through the other senses.”Collaborating with HGSE’s Office of Student Affairs, Office of Access and Disability Services, and the International Higher Education disability student group, Hoekstra devised a three-course menu with the Gutman café staff. Around 30 HGSE students turned up for “Dining in the Dark.”“I thought it’d be an interesting challenge to put ourselves in Nick’s shoes,” said Janice Chong.The students grappled with what they tasted, and argued about it, too.“I have no idea what the food is. I have no idea if it’s soup or not,” said Chong. “It tastes like liquid apple pie. At first I was afraid I was going to burn myself. I missed my mouth a couple of times.”Some wagered that the soup was pumpkin; one student thought yams. They all agreed the color of the soup was orange, but the crouton confounded them.“When I was a kid and tried to eat soup, I found keeping the spoon level was really difficult,” recalled Hoekstra.The second course was a maple-chipotle-glazed, pan-roasted, boneless chicken thigh with sweet potato and beet hash.Gombas went rogue and ate with her fingers. “I just thought that’s what everyone else was doing,” she said.Between courses, Hoekstra asked his friends their impressions.“I can’t believe how bad I am at figuring out what we’re eating,” said one student.Others remarked how noisy the dinner was without vision to put the scene in perspective. It was also troublesome to engage in a fluid conversation.But they toasted — albeit clumsily — to the night anyway.“Let me ask you this,” said Hoekstra. “Are you all finding your dining partners more attractive than normal?”Everyone agreed. Yes.last_img read more

Barre’s Northern Power Systems to receive $683,000 in recovery funds

first_imgUS Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and US Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) on Wednesday announced $683,388 in recovery funding for Barre, Vermont’s Northern Power Systems. Northern Power was one of just 28 wind energy projects nationwide to receive nearly $13.8 million in Department of Energy funding intended for research, testing and analysis. The federal investment was made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.In announcing the funding, Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu noted that wind power capacity in the U.S. increased by 8,558 megawatts in 2008. A nationwide investment of $16 billion in 2008 made the U.S. the fastest-growing wind power market in the world for the fourth consecutive year.Sen. Leahy said, This reflects the priorities for Vermont and the nation that we have pursued on the Appropriations Committee, and I m pleased to see another tangible result in this announcement about Vermont s Northern Power Systems project.  These projects will help to strengthen our economy while also growing green jobs and will take us farther in expanding our renewable energy deployment here at home.Sen. Sanders said, We must move, as aggressively as possible, to become energy independent, to address the crisis of greenhouse gas emissions and global warming and, in the process, create millions of new jobs over a period of years in the clean-energy field. Federal investment in Vermont s green jobs sector is another welcome sign that Vermont can be a national leader in this area.Rep. Welch said, This federal investment in Vermont s economic recovery will enhance Northern Power s ability to compete in the rapidly growing clean energy economy. These funds will create good jobs in Vermont and further enhance the state s leadership in developing renewable energy resources.Source: Sanders’ office. WASHINGTON (Wednesday, July 15) —last_img read more

Eredivisie option for Man City attacker Arzani

first_imgManchester City are set to ship Daniel Arzani on loan to the Netherlands. According to the World Game, the 21-year-old has flown to Europe over the weekend and will land in the Netherlands.Advertisement read also:World Cup squads: Ezenwa named among domestic players He is rumoured to be joining a mid-tier club in the Eredivisie. City has an agreement with NAC Breda to develop their youngsters. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img Loading…last_img