Written by

Chris Gonzales

Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.

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Featured Links

“Tomorrow, I Will Do My Best Again” — A Day in the Life of a Sushi Master »

The folks at Tasty profiled a day in the life of chef Nozomu Abe of Sushi Noz in NYC, who spends an incredible amount of his time preparing the restaurant and menu compared to how much time he actually spends cooking:

It’s no exaggeration to say that my entire day revolves around serving eight customers who sit at my sushi counter.

This guy is an exemplar of lifelong dedication, skill, and focus. One commenter under the video has it right:

Many restaurants justify their prices by incorporating random ridiculously expensive ingredients like gold flakes in their food. Here all you see is a near perfect work ethic, hard work, and dedication to perfecting their craft.

Photo: Bas Emmen

Photo: Bas Emmen

The Era of Easy Recycling May Be Coming to an End »

Here’s a somewhat sobering report by Maggie Koerth-Baker of FiveThirtyEight:

Some experts have credited single stream with large increases in the amount of material recycled. Studies have shown that people choose to put more stuff out on the curb for recycling when they have a single-sort system. And the growth of single-stream recycling tracks with the growth of recycling overall in this country.

But it also pretty closely tracks with skyrocketing contamination rates.

I found this via Tom Gerhardt of the Studio Neat Gazette newsletter, who adds:

Recycling is not nearly as good as we like to believe, and my pet theory is it could be doing harm because we let ourselves off the hook for buying plastic, etc. thinking it’s being recycled fully.

Even given the small space I live in as a full-time RVer, I would gladly find a way to keep five bins for different kinds of recycle waste, if that’s what it takes to make a difference. Surely I’m not alone here. We’ve got to get people to stop being so lazy about this sort of thing so we can have programs that actually help.

Photo: Peter Pyw

Photo: Peter Pyw

The Purpose of Life is Right in Front of You »

Writer Zat Rana offers some discourse on the meaning of life that tracks pretty closely with how I think about the universe and our place in it:

We may not yet be anything more than a fraction of a ripple in the infinite sea of space-time, but all evidence points to the fact that perhaps we could be. We may not be special based on our spatial position in the cosmos, but the emergence of our social reality and the potential it offers means that everything that we do matters, in both big and small ways.

Our collective cultural consciousness is a great web tangled into the very fabric of reality. Each of us is connected to it. Each of our actions shape some part of it. Each of our thoughts produce a current that alters its aim.

Hope this is something you can connect with, dear reader. Take some time with it this weekend, really chew on it, let it humble you…and, perhaps, begin the next week with whole new eyes.

Photo: John Orris, The New York Times

Photo: John Orris, The New York Times

How the Slice Joint Made Pizza the Perfect New York City Food »

Pondering our role in the universe isn’t the only thing that connects us. There are smaller things. Eating pizza is just one example, and The New York Times has been documenting its rise to NYC dominance since the beginning:

Hot, filling and eaten with the hands, pizza elicited breathless coverage from The Times fairly early on, as food writers marveled at the appealing combination of ingredients and convenience. By 1947, the paper was fully sold. “A round of dough is baked with tomatoes and anchovies and cheese atop, cut into wedges, then eaten with the fingers between gulps of wine,” the food editor Jane Nickerson enthused. “The pizza could be as popular a snack as the hamburger if Americans only knew more about it.”

Great story and photos.

Miscellaneous Links

  • [Video] – It might be a little late to link to something that was ostensibly intended for enjoying during the holidays, but this recipe for (alcoholic) butterbeer seems worth trying, especially if you’re a Harry Potter fan. Apparently it’s a real recipe from the year 1588, so that’s something.

  • Swedish illustrator Mattias Adolfsson recently posted parts one, two, and three of a larger print depicting a series of pens with…shall we say, interesting innards. That print is listed for $550 on Etsy, and as far as I can tell, only one will be made.

  • [Video] – After watching that sushi master video at the top of today’s Linkage, you might feel like spending half an hour watching another sushi chef — this time based out of Portland, OR — break down 11 fish and turn them each into a piece of nigiri sushi. And on that subject, if you’ve got another 30 minutes to kill after that, this 2011 short film, titled simply NIGIRI, is pure sushi porn.

  • Ever wondered what it would look like if you could make a mold (to scale) of the Grand Canyon, thus creating an inverted “mountain” shape? Well wonder no more. (via Jason Kottke)


Neat Stuff We Published This Week

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Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.