Category Archives: People

Grandmothers and Their Food

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Photographer Gabriele Galimberti has put together a beautiful photo essay depicting grandmothers from around the world with traditional dishes that they’ve cooked. Above is a woman in Haiti, while below is a Brasilian lady with one of my all-time favourite dishes, bobó de camarão.

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Delicatessen with Love   [Gabriele Galimberti]

Historical Figures Today

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On The Telegraph, a series of famous historical figures are re-imagined. The project was commissioned by the historical TV channel Yesterday, and gives a sense of how these people would have appeared if they were alive today. Pictured above is King Henry VIII:

Renowned for being vain and lavish, King Henry has been given white veneers and hair plugs to hide his balding head.

Known to flaunt his wealth, is now out of his voluminous puffed sleeve velvet gown and in a tailored designer black suit, wearing a sparkling diamond ring and designer watch.

Instead of the cotton shirt fastened up to the chin he now sports an unbuttoned shirt Simon Cowell style and is very much the modern day lady killer.

An avid sportsman and known for being conceited he has been slimmed down. Henry’s vanity would have ensured he would have retained the naturally muscly, rugby-player type figure he had in his youth.

Known for having spent a lot of time outdoors riding, hunting, and playing tennis, Henry VIII has also been given a tan.

Henry has exchanged his uncomfortable flat footed shoes for modern shoes with a heel.

Historical Figures for the 21st Century   [TheTelegraph]

The Last Ice Merchant

This absolutely stunning documentary is about Baltazar Ushca, who has mined glacial ice on Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo for over 50 years. Due to the cheapness of manufactured ice, he’s the last one still working there – both of his brother’s have retired from the family business.

The Last Ice Merchant   [Vimeo]

Kim Jong-il’s Sushi Chef

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GQ Magazine is carrying a fascinating portrait of Kenji Fujimoto, Kim Jong-il’s private sushi chef:

The sushi chef was leaving his apartment when he noticed the stranger outside. He could tell by the man’s suit—black and badly made—that he was North Korean. Right away, the chef was nervous. Even in his midsixties, the chef is a formidable man: He has thick shoulders, a broad chest; the rings on his strong hands would one day have to be cut off. But he’d long since quit wearing his bulletproof vest, and the last time a North Korean made the journey to visit him in Japan, a decade ago, he was there to kill him.

The chef’s name, an alias, is Kenji Fujimoto, and for eleven years he was Kim Jong-il’s personal chef, court jester, and sidekick. He had seen the palaces, ridden the white stallions, smoked the Cuban cigars, and watched as, one by one, the people around him disappeared. It was part of Fujimoto’s job to fly North Korean jets around the world to procure dinner-party ingredients—to Iran for caviar, Tokyo for fish, or Denmark for beer. It was Fujimoto who flew to France to supply the Dear Leader’s yearly $700,000 cognac habit. And when the Dear Leader craved McDonald’s, it was Fujimoto who was dispatched to Beijing for an order of Big Macs to go.

When he finally escaped, Fujimoto became, according to a high-level cable released by WikiLeaks, the Japanese intelligence community’s single greatest asset on the Kim family, rulers of a nation about which stubbornly little is known. We don’t know how many people live there. (Best guess: around 23 million.) It’s uncertain how many people starved to death during the famine of the late ’90s. (Maybe 2 million.) Also mysterious is the number of citizens currently toiling their way toward death in labor camps, places people are sent without trial or sentence or appeal. (Perhaps 200,000.) We didn’t even know the age of the current leader, Kim Jong-un, until Kenji Fujimoto revealed his birth date. (January 8, 1983.)

What we know of North Korea comes from satellite photos and the stories of defectors, which, like Fujimoto’s, are almost impossible to confirm. Though North Korea is a nuclear power, it has yet to build its first stoplight. The phone book hasn’t been invented. It is a nation where old Soviet factories limp along to produce brand-new refrigerators from 1963. When people do escape, they tend to flee from the countryside, where life is more dangerous. Because people rarely defect from the capital, their stories don’t make it out, which leaves a great mystery in the center of an already obscure nation. Which is why Fujimoto’s is the rarest of stories.

Kim Jong-il’s Sushi Chef Kenji Fujimoto: Newsmakers   [GQ]

The Number One Rule

NumberOneRuleThere are some really interesting responses on a Reddit thread which asks, “What is the Number One rule in your profession or hobby?”

What is the “rule #1″ in your profession or hobby?   [Reddit]

The Silent Drama of Photography

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Sebastião Salgado recently gave a brilliant TED talk on his story as a photographer and showed some images from his newest project, Genesis:

Brazilian-born Salgado, who shoots only using Kodak film, is known for his incredibly long-term projects, which require extensive travel and extreme lifestyle changes. Workers took seven years to complete and contained images of manual laborers from 26 countries, while Migrations took six years in 43 different countries on all seven continents. Most recently Salgado completed Genesis, an ambitious eight-year project that spanned 30 trips to the world’s most pristine territories, land untouched by technology and modern life. Among Salgado’s many travels for Genesis was a two-month hike through Ethiopia, spanning 500 miles with 18 pack donkeys and their riders. In the words of Brett Abbott, a Getty Museum curator, Salgado’s approach can only be described as “epic.”

Sebastião Salgado: The Silent Drama of Photography   [TED]

The Prophets of Oak Ridge

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Last summer three peace activists, one of whom was an 82-year-old nun, broke into Y-12 in Tennessee – ostensibly one of the most secure nuclear weapons facilities in the world. They go on trial next week for sabotage-related charges. Against all odds, they managed to make it through security where they spray-painted slogans calling for swords to be beaten into plowshares before being arrested. Dan Zak tells their story in the Washington Post:

The action last summer was dubbed “Transform Now Plowshares” because its three participants desire the immediate conversion of all nuclear weaponry from agents of war to resources that benefit mankind.

Michael and Sister Megan live in the world as they believe it should be, not in the world as it is.

Sister Megan doesn’t vote.

“It would mean I would be a citizen of this regime. I am a citizen of the world. I act in consequence.”

Michael derides Washington as the belly of the beast.

“Did you know that the last president who wasn’t a war criminal was Herbert Hoover?”

Says Sister Megan of Michael: “His mind is never still.”

Says Michael of Sister Megan: “She’s a visionary.”

Together they’re like an overactive younger brother and patient older sister. Michael summons the brimstone, Sister Megan the bromide.

The Prophets of Oak Ridge   [Washington Post]