The Balinese water system I previously wrote about in Balinese Water Temples: Modern Agriculture Run Amuck have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The listing officially is: Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy. I am so thankful that the people benefitting from […]

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Yesterday, I flew from Baghdad to Basrah, Iraq. One of my favorite things when flying during the day is looking out the window at the landscape below. Landscapes and weather determine how people interact with their environment, including means of livlihood and subsistence, particularly in poorer countries. You can only work with what you have. […]

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Virgil on November 23, 2011

I made a comment on Facebook as my wife was getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner at home that I was soooo looking forward to the Thanksgiving swill we will get at the mess hall here. Not. Yet, on Monday, our little group had a Thanksgiving dinner I was not expecting and it is some of […]

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Virgil on September 4, 2011

The story of the Balinese water temples and their priesthood used to be (probably still is) a staple of Anthropology 101 classes. It is the story of how the Balinese culture evolved a very elaborate and complicated water management system that worked wonderfully for centuries managing irrigation of terraced rice paddies on extremely mountainous terrain. […]

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Virgil on August 20, 2011

One of the things I find facinating about food is the assumptions many people make about where their favorite foods originally came from. In the US, for example, we rely heavily on corn, wheat, potato, cattle and pigs, just to name a few. Yet, none came from what is now the United States. The same […]

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Virgil on November 23, 2010

Ever wonder where the foods you like to eat originally came from? Have you ever wondered how our prehistoric ancestors coped with only the foods they had at hand? First they were hunter-gatherers, then came the development of agriculture that allowed for permanent settlements and the evolution of food plants from something most of us […]

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Virgil on August 24, 2010

A couple of weekends ago my brother-in-law Hugh was here. Anytime we get together we cook if at all possible. He was doing an Italian dish that required vinegar and he asked what I had. Here is what I had at that time: Basalmic vinegar Red Wine vinegar White wine vinegar White Distilled vinegar Apple […]

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