Traveling to a new country this holiday season? Bet what’s on the itinerary - food, food and more FOOD! But hold on, guys! Did you know about the various dining customs in different parts of the world (that’s right, there are actually rules to stuffing your faces!) While travelling, it is not just the new foods but also the ways of eating that gives us new perspectives to bring home! Check out these unique customs, avoid embarrassing yourself and eat like a pro wherever you go!
Tilt the bowl away from you, and scoop the soup the soup away from you before sipping it from the side of the soup. This is supposed to a classy way of drinking soup. Dine with our host, Sneha in london, and let her share with you more unique customs from UK!
In an Indian household
Normally, when you clear your plate, it is taken away. In India or Thailand, for example, if you clear your plate, it means that you are still hungry, so it is customary to leave a small morsel of food on the plate. Going to Singapore? Dine with BonAppetour host, Santha, and learn more about Indian customs from her!
On the other end, in Germany, one never eats with his hands. A fork and knife is always used. Also, do not insult your host by using a knife to cut the boiled potates, use the side of a fork instead. Using a knife would mean that the boiled potatoes are not tender and well-cooked enough! Join our host Tanja in Germany for a delicious meal and put this into practice!
In Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern households
Traditional families prefer to eat food with their hands rather that using cutlery. Also, only the right hand must be used to eat, not the left. The left land is considered unclean, as it is used to clean yourself after excretion… Let our host, Nadya, show you a glimpse of southeast asian hospitality. Reserve a meal with her!
In a Chinese household
Never stick the chopsticks into the rice bowl, as this symbolizes the incense sticks used in funerals! Always lay it flat on the top of the rice bowl. Join a true-blue Chinese family for a delicious home-made meal!
Feel free to slurp your noodles or burp after a meal in Japan, as this shows a sense of satisfaction that the meal was indeed delicious.
When in Rome…
…Do as the Roman do, and eat your meals at a leisurely pace. You are expected to enjoy every bite, and not rush through the meal. Meals are often broken into a few distinct courses, with bread and olive oil available on the table throughout.
It’s not such a small world, after all.
The Magnificent Tail of Comet McNaught
Explanation: Comet McNaught, the Great Comet of 2007, grew a spectacularly long and filamentary tail. The magnificent tail spread across the sky and was visible for several days to Southern Hemisphere observers just after sunset. The amazing tail showed its greatest extent on long-duration, wide-angle camera exposures. During some times, just the tail itself estimated to attain a peak brightness of magnitude-5 (minus five), was caught by the comet’s discoverer in the above image just after sunset in January 2007 from Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. Comet McNaught, the brightest comet in decades, thenfaded as it moved further into southern skies and away from the Sun and Earth. Within the next two weeks of 2013, rapidly brightening Comet ISON might sprout a tail that rivals even Comet McNaught.
Image Credit & Copyright: Robert H. McNaught
Asteroids could be used as natural spaceships for travels to the deep space, a Russian space industry scientist said Thursday. “There are about 10,000 asteroids orbiting close to the Earth and about 2 millions of them in total,” head of the Designer and Research Bureau in the Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center, Sergei Antonenko, told the Technoprom-2013 conference in Novosibirsk, southern Siberia.
How Mars Looked 4 Billion Years Ago
Filled with idyllic lakes and clouds!
What would a habitable, watery Mars look like? Four billion years ago, the dry, dusty planet may have had enough of an atmosphere to support bodies of water. Perhaps it looked like this beautiful, cloud-covered lake scene that animators at NASA’s Conceptual Image Lab imagine in their latest video.
The animation, which NASA says is one of the most complex it has ever produced, was created with the help of the scientists working on the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission, which launches Nov. 18 from Cape Canaveral. MAVEN will study how the climate on Mars has changed over time by looking at the gases in its upper atmosphere.
Take a look. Go soaring across the ancient Martian landscape accompanied by what sounds like the soundtrack to an epic fantasy movie, flying over lakes (which may have existed on a young, thick-atmosphered Mars) and mountainous canyons, and watch as it slowly transforms into the red, rocky planet we’ve come to know today.
Related: What Happened to Mars? A Planetary Mystery [Phys.org]
A University at Buffalo education professor has sided with the environment in the timeless “nurture vs. nature” debate after his research found that a child’s ability to read depends mostly on where that child is born, rather than on his or her individual qualities.
“Individual characteristics explain only 9 percent of the differences in children who can read versus those who cannot,” says Ming Ming Chiu, lead author of an international study that explains this connection and a professor in the Department of Learning and Instruction in UB’s Graduate School of Education.
“In contrast, country differences account for 61 percent and school differences account for 30 percent,” Chiu says.
Therefore, he concludes, the country in which a child is born largely determines whether he or she will have at least basic reading skills. It’s clearly a case where “nurture” — the environment and surroundings of the child — is more important than “nature” — the child’s inherited, individual qualities, according to Chiu.
More than 99 percent of fourth-graders in the Netherlands can read, but only 19 percent of fourth-graders in South Africa can read, Chiu notes.
“Although the richest countries typically have high literacy rates exceeding 97 percent,” he says, “some rich countries, such as Qatar and Kuwait, have low literacy rates — 33 percent and 28 percent, respectively.”
The study, “Ecological, Psychological and Cognitive Components of Reading Difficulties: Testing the Component Model of Reading in Fourth-graders Across 38 Countries,” analyzed reading test scores of 186,725 fourth-graders from 38 countries, including more than 4,000 children from the U.S. Chiu and co-authors Catherine McBride-Chang of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Dan Lin of the Hong Kong Institute of Education published the study in the winter 2013 issue of the Journal of Learning Disabilities.
The educators used data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Program for International Student Assessment.
Besides showing that the country of origin was a better predictor of reading skills than individual traits, the study also showed that other attributes at the child, school and country levels were all related to reading.
First, girls were more likely than boys to have basic reading skills, Chiu says. Children with greater early-literacy skills, better attitudes about reading or greater self-confidence in their reading ability also were more likely to have strong basic reading skills.
“Children were more likely to have basic reading skills if they were from privileged families, as measured through socioeconomic status, number of books at home and parent attitudes about reading,” says Chiu. “Also, children attending schools with better school climate and more resources were more likely to have basic reading skills.
“Our U.S. culture values ‘can-do’ individualism, but we forget how much depends on being lucky enough to be born in the right place,” he says.
Commercial Space Program Success
A little more than two years after the end of the Space Shuttle Program, the United States now has two space transportation systems — SpaceX’s Falcon rocket and Dragon spacecraft and Orbital’s Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft — capable of delivering science experiments and supplies from U.S. soil to the International Space Station.
NASA and its Commercial Crew Program partners also are working to develop the next generation of U.S. spacecraft and rockets capable of transporting humans to and from low-Earth orbit from American soil. NASA intends to use new commercial capabilities to fly U.S. astronauts to and from the International Space Station within the next four years.