How to Cook Like a Pro (And Learn to Live the Good Life) in Four Hours
Tim Ferriss's new book, The 4-Hour Chef, is a book about learning disguised as a cookbook.
From 2011-2014, Daniel Honan was the Managing Editor at Big Think. Prior to Big Think, Daniel was Vice President of Production for Plum TV, a niche cable network he helped launch in 2002. The production team he oversaw won over two dozen Emmy awards. Daniel has created numerous shows and documentaries for television, and his film credits include Stealing the Fire, a documentary on the black market for nuclear weapons technology.
Follow Daniel on Twitter @DanielHonan
What's the Big Idea?
It takes roughly 4 hours to roast a fairly large turkey. How many life skills can you learn in that amount of time? Tim Ferriss has a blueprint for meta-learning that he says you can use to obtain a diverse set of skills in an extremely short timeframe. That is why Ferriss's new book, The 4-Hour Chef, published by Amazon and boycotted by Barnes & Noble and other booksellers, is as much about how to live and learn as it is about cooking.
The French Culinary Institute in New York City, one of the best culinary schools in the world, offers a 6 month program. Ferriss's book compresses that into 48 hours.
How is this possible?
In rejecting Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule, Ferriss says he looks for anomalies -- people who are able to master skills in a remarkably short amount of time -- and then Ferriss tries to figure out how to replicate these accelerated learners' methods and results. The aim of Ferriss's books, therefore, is to create "the step-by-step process that produces results over and over and over again that those people use."
What's the Significance?
In the video below, Ferriss says he hopes to replicate his results 20 million times, in order to create a macro trend that will change the way we engage with food. After, all, Ferriss says, we vote three times a day by choosing what to eat.
"We need to move from a few enormous food suppliers to many smaller food suppliers," Ferriss argues, "if we really want to have a sustainable, healthy future."
Watch the video here:
What's the Significance?
Editor's Note: If you have trouble viewing the video above, try this one:
Image courtesy of Tim Ferriss
Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
- Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
- Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx a team of DNA sequencers has figured that out.
- A team at UMass Amherst recently sequenced the genome of the Canadian lynx.
- It's part of a project intending to sequence the genome of every vertebrate in the world.
- Conservationists interested in the Canadian lynx have a new tool to work with.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx, I can now—as of this month—point you directly to the DNA of a Canadian lynx, and say, "That's what makes a lynx a lynx." The genome was sequenced by a team at UMass Amherst, and it's one of 15 animals whose genomes have been sequenced by the Vertebrate Genomes Project, whose stated goal is to sequence the genome of all 66,000 vertebrate species in the world.
Sequencing the genome of a particular species of an animal is important in terms of preserving genetic diversity. Future generations don't necessarily have to worry about our memory of the Canadian Lynx warping the way hearsay warped perception a long time ago.
Artwork: Guillaume le Clerc / Wikimedia Commons
13th-century fantastical depiction of an elephant.
It is easy to see how one can look at 66,000 genomic sequences stored away as being the analogous equivalent of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is a potential tool for future conservationists.
But what are the practicalities of sequencing the genome of a lynx beyond engaging with broad bioethical questions? As the animal's habitat shrinks and Earth warms, the Canadian lynx is demonstrating less genetic diversity. Cross-breeding with bobcats in some portions of the lynx's habitat also represents a challenge to the lynx's genetic makeup. The two themselves are also linked: warming climates could drive Canadian lynxes to cross-breed with bobcats.
John Organ, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cooperative Fish and Wildlife units, said to MassLive that the results of the sequencing "can help us look at land conservation strategies to help maintain lynx on the landscape."
What does DNA have to do with land conservation strategies? Consider the fact that the food found in a landscape, the toxins found in a landscape, or the exposure to drugs can have an impact on genetic activity. That potential change can be transmitted down the generative line. If you know exactly how a lynx's DNA is impacted by something, then the environment they occupy can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of the lynx and any other creature that happens to inhabit that particular portion of the earth.
Given that the Trump administration is considering withdrawing protection for the Canadian lynx, a move that caught scientists by surprise, it is worth having as much information on hand as possible for those who have an interest in preserving the health of this creature—all the way down to the building blocks of a lynx's life.
The exploding popularity of the keto diet puts a less used veggie into the spotlight.
- The cauliflower is a vegetable of choice if you're on the keto diet.
- The plant is low in carbs and can replace potatoes, rice and pasta.
- It can be eaten both raw and cooked for different benefits.
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