Monthly Archives: September 2016

Anything Need To Punch?

iPhoneOgraphy – 20 Sep 2016 (Day 264/366)

A hole punch (also known as a hole puncher) is a common office tool that is used to create holes in sheets of paper, often for the purpose of collecting the sheets in a binder or folder. A leather punch, of different construction from one designed for paper, is used for leather goods, cloth, or thin plastic sheeting. Hole punch tools are also made for use on sheet metal, such as aluminum siding or metal air ducts.

A typical hole punch, whether a single or multiple hole punch, has a long lever which is used to push a bladed cylinder straight through a number of sheets of paper. As the vertical travel distance of the cylinder is only a few millimeters, it can be positioned within a centimeter of the lever fulcrum. For low volume hole punches, the resulting lever need not be more than 8 centimetres (3.1 in) for sufficient force.

Two paper guides are needed to line up the paper: one opposite where the paper is inserted, to set the margin distance, and one on an adjacent side.

Hole punches for industrial volumes (hundreds of sheets) feature very long lever arms, but function identically.

Another mechanism uses hollowed drills which are lowered by a screwing action into the paper. The paper is cut and forced up into the shaft of the drill to be later discarded as tightly packed columns of waste paper. This method allows a small machine to cut industrial volumes of paper with little effort.

The origins of the hole punch date back to Germany via Matthias Theel, where two early patents for a device designed to “punch holes in paper” have since been discovered. Friedrich Soennecken made his patent on November 14, 1886, for his Papierlocher für Sammelmappen.

Shot & Edited using iPhone 6+

Everybody Wish To Have More

iPhoneOgraphy – 19 Sep 2016 (Day 263/366)

Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a particular country or socio-economic context, or is easily converted to such a form. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, sometimes, a standard of deferred payment. Any item or verifiable record that fulfills these functions can be considered as money.

Money is historically an emergent market phenomenon establishing a commodity money, but nearly all contemporary money systems are based on fiat money. Fiat money, like any check or note of debt, is without use value as a physical commodity. It derives its value by being declared by a government to be legal tender; that is, it must be accepted as a form of payment within the boundaries of the country, for “all debts, public and private”. Such laws in practice cause fiat money to acquire the value of any of the goods and services that it may be traded for within the nation that issues it.

The money supply of a country consists of currency (banknotes and coins) and, depending on the particular definition used, one or more types of bank money (the balances held in checking accounts, savings accounts, and other types of bank accounts). Bank money, which consists only of records (mostly computerized in modern banking), forms by far the largest part of broad money in developed countries.

The word “money” is believed to originate from a temple of Juno, on Capitoline, one of Rome’s seven hills. In the ancient world Juno was often associated with money. The temple of Juno Moneta at Rome was the place where the mint of Ancient Rome was located. The name “Juno” may derive from the Etruscan goddess Uni (which means “the one”, “unique”, “unit”, “union”, “united”) and “Moneta” either from the Latin word “monere” (remind, warn, or instruct) or the Greek word “moneres” (alone, unique).

In the Western world, a prevalent term for coin-money has been specie, stemming from Latin in specie, meaning ‘in kind’.

The use of barter-like methods may date back to at least 100,000 years ago, though there is no evidence of a society or economy that relied primarily on barter. Instead, non-monetary societies operated largely along the principles of gift economy and debt. When barter did in fact occur, it was usually between either complete strangers or potential enemies.

Many cultures around the world eventually developed the use of commodity money. The Mesopotamian shekel was a unit of weight, and relied on the mass of something like 160 grains of barley. The first usage of the term came from Mesopotamia circa 3000 BC. Societies in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia used shell money – often, the shells of the cowry (Cypraea moneta L. or C. annulus L.). According to Herodotus, the Lydians were the first people to introduce the use of gold and silver coins. It is thought by modern scholars that these first stamped coins were minted around 650–600 BC.

The system of commodity money eventually evolved into a system of representative money. This occurred because gold and silver merchants or banks would issue receipts to their depositors – redeemable for the commodity money deposited. Eventually, these receipts became generally accepted as a means of payment and were used as money. Paper money or banknotes were first used in China during the Song Dynasty. These banknotes, known as “jiaozi”, evolved from promissory notes that had been used since the 7th century. However, they did not displace commodity money, and were used alongside coins. In the 13th century, paper money became known in Europe through the accounts of travelers, such as Marco Polo and William of Rubruck. Marco Polo’s account of paper money during the Yuan Dynasty is the subject of a chapter of his book, The Travels of Marco Polo, titled “How the Great Kaan Causeth the Bark of Trees, Made Into Something Like Paper, to Pass for Money All Over his Country.” Banknotes were first issued in Europe by Stockholms Banco in 1661, and were again also used alongside coins. The gold standard, a monetary system where the medium of exchange are paper notes that are convertible into pre-set, fixed quantities of gold, replaced the use of gold coins as currency in the 17th-19th centuries in Europe. These gold standard notes were made legal tender, and redemption into gold coins was discouraged. By the beginning of the 20th century almost all countries had adopted the gold standard, backing their legal tender notes with fixed amounts of gold.

After World War II and the Bretton Woods Conference, most countries adopted fiat currencies that were fixed to the US dollar. The US dollar was in turn fixed to gold. In 1971 the US government suspended the convertibility of the US dollar to gold. After this many countries de-pegged their currencies from the US dollar, and most of the world’s currencies became unbacked by anything except the governments’ fiat of legal tender and the ability to convert the money into goods via payment. According to proponents of modern money theory, fiat money is also backed by taxes. By imposing taxes, states create demand for the currency they issue.

Shot & Edited using iPhone 6+

Mid-Autumn Festival

iPhoneOgraphy – 18 Sep 2016 (Day 262/366)

The Mid-Autumn Festival (Traditional Chinese: 中秋節, Simplified Chinese: 中秋节, Vietnamese: tết Trung Thu, Korean: 추석) is a harvest festival celebrated by ethnic Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese people. The festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar with full moon at night, corresponding to late September to early October of the Gregorian calendar with full moon at night.

Mainland China listed the festival as an “intangible cultural heritage” in 2006 and a public holiday in 2008. It is also a public holiday in Taiwan, and in Hong Kong. Chuseok (Korean: 추석), originally known as hangawi (한가위 from archaic Korean for “the great middle (of autumn)”(한가위), is a major harvest festival and a three-day holiday in Korea. In the Vietnamese culture, it is considered the second-most important holiday tradition after Têt.

The Chinese have celebrated the harvest during the autumn full moon since the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BCE). Morris Berkowitz, who studied the Hakka people during the 1960s, theorizes that the harvest celebration originally began with worshiping Mountain Gods after the harvest was completed. For the Baiyue peoples, the harvest time commemorated the dragon who brought rain for the crops. The celebration as a festival only started to gain popularity during the early Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE). One legend explains that Emperor Xuanzong of Tang started to hold formal celebrations in his palace after having explored the Moon-Palace. The term mid-autumn (中秋) first appeared in Rites of Zhou, a written collection of rituals of the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046–771 BCE).

Empress Dowager Cixi (late 19th century) enjoyed celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival so much that she would spend the period between the thirteenth and seventeenth day of the eighth month staging elaborate rituals.

An important part of the festival celebration is moon worship. The ancient Chinese believed in rejuvenation being associated with the moon and water, and connected this concept to the menstruation of women, calling it “monthly water”. The Zhuang people, for example, have an ancient fable saying the sun and moon are a couple and the stars are their children, and when the moon is pregnant, it becomes round, and then becomes crescent after giving birth to a child. These beliefs made it popular among women to worship and give offerings to the moon on this evening. In some areas of China, there are still customs in which “men worship the moon and the women offer sacrifices to the kitchen gods.”

Offerings are also made to a more well-known lunar deity, Chang’e, known as the Moon Goddess of Immortality. The myths associated with Chang’e explain the origin of moon worship during this day. One version of the story is as follows, as described in Lihui Yang’s Handbook of Chinese Mythology:

“In the ancient past, there was a hero named Hou Yi who was excellent at archery. His wife was Chang’e. One year, the ten suns rose in the sky together, causing great disaster to people. Yi shot down nine of the suns and left only one to provide light. An immortal admired Yi and sent him the elixir of immortality. Yi did not want to leave Chang’e and be immortal without her, so he let Chang’e keep the elixir. But Peng Meng, one of his apprentices, knew this secret. So, on the fifteenth of August in the lunar calendar, when Yi went hunting, Peng Meng broke into Yi’s house and forced Chang’e to give the elixir to him. Chang’e refused to do so. Instead, she swallowed it and flew into the sky. Since she loved very much her husband and hoped to live nearby, she chose the moon for her residence. When Yi came back and learned what had happened, he felt so sad that he displayed the fruits and cakes Chang’e liked in the yard and gave sacrifices to his wife. People soon learned about these activities, and since they also were sympathetic to Chang’e they participated in these sacrifices with Yi.”

“After the hero Houyi shot down nine of the ten suns, he was pronounced king by the thankful people. However, he soon became a conceited and tyrannical ruler. In order to live long without death, he asked for the elixir from Xiwangmu. But his wife, Chang’e, stole it on the fifteenth of August because she did not want the cruel king to live long and hurt more people. She took the magic potion to prevent her husband from becoming immortal. Houyi was so angry when discovered that Chang’e took the elixir, he shot at his wife as she flew toward the moon, though he missed. Chang’e fled to the moon and became the spirit of the moon. Houyi died soon because he was overcome with great anger. Thereafter, people offer a sacrifice to Chang’e on every lunar fifteenth of August to commemorate Chang’e’s action.”

Shot & Edited using iPhone 6+

Yummy Cheeseburger

iPhoneOgraphy – 17 Sep 2016 (Day 261/366)

A hamburger (or cheeseburger when served with a slice of cheese) is a sandwich consisting of one or more cooked patties of ground meat, usually beef, placed inside a sliced bread roll or bun. Hamburgers may be cooked in a variety of ways, including pan-frying, barbecuing, and flame-broiling. Hamburgers are often served with cheese, lettuce, tomato, bacon, onion, pickles, and condiments such as mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, and chiles.

The term “burger” can also be applied to the meat patty on its own, especially in the UK where the term “patty” is rarely used. The term may be prefixed with the type of meat or meat substitute used, as in “turkey burger”, “bison burger”, or “veggie burger”.

Hamburgers are sold at fast-food restaurants, diners, and specialty and high-end restaurants (where burgers may sell for several times the cost of a fast-food burger). There are many international and regional variations of the hamburger.

The term hamburger originally derives from Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city. In High German, Burg means “fortified settlement” or “fortified refuge” and is a widespread component of place names. The first element of the name is perhaps from Old High German hamma, referring to a bend in a river, or Middle High German hamme, referring to an enclosed area of pastureland. Hamburger in German is the demonym of Hamburg, similar to frankfurter and wiener, names for other meat-based foods and demonyms of the cities of Frankfurt and Vienna (Wien), respectively.

The term “burger”, a back-formation, is associated with many different types of sandwiches, similar to a (ground meat) hamburger, but made of different meats such as buffalo in the buffalo burger, venison, kangaroo, turkey, elk, lamb or fish like salmon in the salmon burger, but even with meatless sandwiches as is the case of the veggie burger.

The hamburger is also called a “beef burger”, “hamburger sandwich”, “burger” and “hamburg”.

There have been many claims about the origin of the hamburger. There is a reference to a “Hamburg steak” as early as 1884 in the Boston Journal. On July 5, 1896, the Chicago Daily Tribune made a highly specific claim regarding a “hamburger sandwich” in an article about a “Sandwich Car”: “A distinguished favorite, only five cents, is Hamburger steak sandwich, the meat for which is kept ready in small patties and ‘cooked while you wait’ on the gasoline range.” According to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, the hamburger, a ground meat patty between two slices of bread, was first created in America in 1900 by Louis Lassen, a Danish immigrant, owner of Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut. There have been rival claims by Charlie Nagreen, Frank and Charles Menches, Oscar Weber Bilby, and Fletcher Davis. White Castle traces the origin of the hamburger to Hamburg, Germany with its invention by Otto Kuase. However, it gained national recognition at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair when the New York Tribune referred to the hamburger as “the innovation of a food vendor on the pike”. No conclusive argument has ever ended the dispute over invention. An article from ABC News sums up: “One problem is that there is little written history. Another issue is that the spread of the burger happened largely at the World’s Fair, from tiny vendors that came and went in an instant. And it is entirely possible that more than one person came up with the idea at the same time in different parts of the country.”

Shot & Edited using iPhone 6+

A Pot Of Steamboat

iPhoneOgraphy – 16 Sep 2016 (Day 260/366)

Hot pot (also known as steamboat in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, China, and Brunei) refers to several East Asian varieties of stew, consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. Typical hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leaf vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings, tofu and seafood. The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce. Hot pot meals are usually eaten in the winter during supper time.

The Chinese hot pot has a history of more than 1,000 years. Hot pot seems to have originated in Mongolia and the Jin Dynasty where the main ingredient was meat, usually beef, mutton or horse. It then spread to southern China during the Song Dynasty and was further established during the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty. In time, regional variations developed with different ingredients such as seafood. By the Qing Dynasty (AD 1644 to 1912), the hot pot became popular throughout most of China. Today in many modern homes, particularly in larger cities, the traditional coal-heated steamboat or hot pot has been replaced by electric, propane, butane gas, or induction cooker versions.

Different kinds of hot pots can be found in Beijing – typically, more modern eateries offer the sectioned bowl with differently flavored broths in each section. More traditional or older establishments serve a fragrant, mild broth in the hot pot, which is a large brass vessel heated by burning coals in a central chimney. The broth is boiled in a deep, donut-shaped bowl surrounding the chimney.

One of the most famous variations is the Chongqing hot pot (Chungking) má là (Chinese: 麻辣 – “numb and spicy”) hot pot, to which Sichuan pepper (Chinese: 花椒 huā jiāo “flower pepper”; also known as “prickly ash”) is added. It is usual to use a variety of different meats as well as sliced mutton fillet. A Chongqing hotpot is markedly different from the types eaten in other parts of China. Quite often the differences lie in the meats used, the type of soup base, and the sauces and condiments used to flavor the meat. Má là huǒ guō could be used to distinguish from simply huǒ guō in cases when people refer to the “Northern Style Hot Pot” in China. instant-boiled mutton (Chinese: 涮羊肉; pinyin: Shuàn Yángròu) could be viewed as representative of this kind of food, which does not focus on the soup base.

In neighbouring Yunnan, although spicy broths are equally popular, there is another predominant type of hot pot that is made with various wild or planted mushrooms. The big difference between the mushroom hot pot and the spicy hot pot is that the former rarely uses spice and chili in order to keep the original flavor of the mushrooms. The mushroom hot pot is also seasonal, depending on the availability of local mushrooms.

The Manchurian hot pot (Chinese: 東北酸菜火鍋) uses plenty of suan cai (Chinese sauerkraut) (Chinese: 酸菜; pinyin: suān cài) to make the pot’s stew sour.

A Cantonese variation includes mixing a raw egg with the condiments to reduce the amount of “heat” absorbed by the food, thereby reducing the likelihood of a sore throat after the steamboat meal, according to Chinese herbalist theories. It is often seen as a social event for people in Hong Kong. Another variant includes the use of rice congee in place of stock.

In Hubei, hot pot is normally prepared with hot spice and Sichuan pepper. Items supplied to be cooked in this broth include mushrooms, thinly shaved beef or lamb, lettuce, and various other green vegetables.

In Hainan cuisine hot pot is generally served in small woks with a prepared broth containing pieces of meat. At the time of serving, the meat is not fully cooked. Approximately fifteen minutes is required before it is ready to eat. Items supplied to be cooked in this type of hot pot include mushrooms, thinly shaved beef or goat meat (referred to as mutton), lettuce, and other green vegetables. This dish varies somewhat in different parts of the province.

In Japan, hot pot dishes are called nabemono. There are dozens of varieties of hot pots, and each hot pot has a distinguished flavor and style.

Sukiyaki is one of the most popular hot pot dishes among the Japanese, and undoubtedly the most well-known Japanese hot pot overseas, particularly in English-speaking parts of the world. Sukiyaki hot pot is served with sliced beef, vegetables and tofu in a sweet sauce based on soy sauce, which is only used in small amounts, enough for the ingredients to merge in a shallow iron pot. Before being eaten, the ingredients are usually dipped in a small bowl of raw, beaten eggs.

Shabu-shabu is another popular hot pot in Japan. Shabu-shabu hot pot is prepared by submerging a very thin slice of meat or a piece of vegetable in a pot of broth made with kelp (kombu) and swishing it back and forth several times. The familiar swishing sound is where the dish gets its name. Shabu-shabu directly translates to “swish swish.” Cooked meat and vegetables are usually dipped in ponzu or goma (sesame seed) sauce before eating. Once the meat and vegetables have been eaten, leftover broth from the pot is customarily combined with the remaining rice, and the resulting soup is usually eaten last.

Because the shabu-shabu hot pot cooks beef “blue rare” to rare, use of high-grade Japanese beef is preferred. Typically, shabu-shabu is considered a fine dining dish, due to the quality of the meat used, and the price charged for it at restaurants in Japan.

Both sukiyaki and shabu-shabu, rice or noodle is cooked with remained broth along with additional ingredients at the very end of the meal. This menu is called shime, ending the meal. Traditionally, hot pots are considered fall and winter dishes.

In Cambodian cuisine, hot pot is called Ya-Hon.

Taiwanese hot pot usually is called 火鍋 in Mandarin or Taiwanese, but is also called shabu-shabu when the hotpot is Japanese style hotpot, ie. shabu-shabu, due to Japanese influence. It is very common to eat the food with a dipping sauce consisting of shancha sauce and raw egg yolk.

In Thailand, hotpot is called Thai suki, although it is quite different from the Japanese shabu-shabu variation called sukiyaki. Originally a Chinese-style hot pot, the number of ingredients to choose from was greatly increased and a Thai-style dipping sauce with chili sauce, chilli, lime, and coriander leaves was added. Another variation is Mu kratha, the Thai hot pot, which originated from Korean barbecue combined with Thai suki.

In Vietnam, a hot pot is called lẩu or cù lao, and the sour soup called canh chua is often cooked in hot pot style (called lẩu canh chua). The generic term for a salted fish hot pot is lãu mãm.

Shot & Edited using iPhone 6+

A Big Adjustable Spanner

iPhoneOgraphy – 15 Sep 2016 (Day 259/366)

A wrench (or spanner outside of North America) is a tool used to provide grip and mechanical advantage in applying torque to turn objects – usually rotary fasteners, such as nuts and bolts – or keep them from turning.

In Commonwealth English (excluding Canada), spanner is the standard term. The most common shapes are called open-ended spanner and ring spanner. The term wrench is generally used for tools that turn non-fastening devices (e.g. tap wrench and pipe wrench), or may be used for a monkey wrench – an adjustable spanner.

In North American English, wrench is the standard term. The most common shapes are called open-end wrench and box-end wrench. In American English, spanner refers to a specialized wrench with a series of pins or tabs around the circumference. (These pins or tabs fit into the holes or notches cut into the object to be turned.) In American commerce, such a wrench may be called a spanner wrench to distinguish it from the British sense of spanner.

Higher quality wrenches are typically made from chromium-vanadium alloy tool steels and are often drop-forged. They are frequently chrome-plated to resist corrosion and for ease of cleaning.

Wrenches and applications using wrenches or devices that needed wrenches, such as pipe clamps and suits of armor, have been noted by historians as far back as the 15th century. Adjustable coach wrenches for the odd-sized nuts of wagon wheels were manufactured in England and exported to North America in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The mid 19th century began to see patented wrenches which used a screw to narrowing or widening the jaws, including patented monkey wrenches.

An adjustable wrench (US) or adjustable spanner(UK) is a wrench with a “jaw” of adjustable width, allowing it to be used with different sizes of fastener head (nut, bolt, etc.) rather than just one fastener, as with a conventional fixed spanner.

In many European as well as Middle Eastern countries (e.g. France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, etc.) the adjustable wrench is called an “English key” as it was first invented in 1842 by the English engineer Richard Clyburn. Another English engineer, Edwin Beard Budding, is also credited with the invention. Improvements followed: on 22 September 1885 Enoch Harris received US patent 326868 for his spanner that permitted both the jaw width and the angle of the handles to be adjusted and locked. Other countries, like Denmark, Poland and Israel, refer to it as a “Swedish key” as its invention has been attributed to the Swedish inventor Johan Petter Johansson, who in 1892 received a patent for an improved design of the adjustable spanner that is still used today. Johansson’s spanner was a further development of Clyburn’s original “screw spanner”. In some countries (e.g. Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, Serbia, Iran, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria) it is called “French key” (in Poland, “Swedish” or “French” key depending on type). In Canada and the USA, the tool is known as a Crescent wrench or an adjustable wrench.

There are many forms of adjustable spanners, from the taper locking spanners which needed a hammer to set the movable jaw to the size of the nut, to the modern screw adjusted spanner. Some adjustable spanners automatically adjust to the size of the nut. Simpler models use a serrated edge to lock the movable jaw to size, while more sophisticated versions are digital types that use sheets or feelers to set the size.

The fixed jaw can withstand bending stress far better than can the movable jaw, because the latter is supported only by the flat surfaces on either side of the guide slot, not the full thickness of the tool. The tool is therefore usually angled so that the movable jaw’s area of contact is closer to the body of the tool, which means less bending stress.

Monkey wrenches are another type of adjustable spanner with a long history; the origin of the name is unclear.

The type of straight adjustable spanner with jaws at right angles to the handle shown here as an “English Key” is mainly called a “King Dick” spanner in the United Kingdom because of a popular British brand of small, handy and reliable adjustable spanner used throughout the 1900s and used in great numbers during World War II.

Shot & Edited using iPhone 6+

Shanghai Mooncake

iPhoneOgraphy – 14 Sep 2016 (Day 258/366)

A mooncake (simplified Chinese: 月饼; traditional Chinese: 月餅; pinyin: yuè bĭng; Yale: yuht béng) is a Chinese bakery product traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhongqiujie). The festival is for lunar worship and moon watching, when mooncakes are regarded as an indispensable delicacy. Mooncakes are offered between friends or on family gatherings while celebrating the festival. The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the four most important Chinese festivals.

Typical mooncakes are round pastries, measuring about 10 cm in diameter and 3–4 cm thick. This is the Cantonese mooncake, eaten in Southern China in Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau. A rich thick filling usually made from red bean or lotus seed paste is surrounded by a thin (2–3 mm) crust and may contain yolks from salted duck eggs. Mooncakes are usually eaten in small wedges accompanied by Chinese tea. Today, it is customary for businessmen and families to present them to their clients or relatives as presents, helping to fuel a demand for high-end mooncake styles. The energy content of a mooncake is approximately 1,000 calories or 4,200 kilojoules (for a cake measuring 10 cm (3.9 in)), but energy content varies with filling and size. There is also considerable waste. According to the Wall Street Journal’s China edition, as many as two million mooncakes are thrown away each year in Hong Kong alone.

Most mooncakes consist of a thin, tender pastry skin enveloping a sweet, dense filling, and may contain one or more whole salted egg yolks in their center as the symbol of the full moon. Very rarely, mooncakes are also served steamed or fried.

Traditional mooncakes have an imprint on top consisting of the Chinese characters for “longevity” or “harmony”, as well as the name of the bakery and the filling inside. Imprints of the moon, Lady Chang er on the moon, flowers, vines, or a rabbit (symbol of the moon) may surround the characters for additional decoration.

The festival is intricately linked to legends of Chang Er, the mythical Moon Goddess of Immortality. According to “Li-Ji”, an ancient Chinese book recording customs and ceremonies, the Chinese Emperor should offer sacrifices to the sun in spring and the moon in autumn. The 15th day of the 8th lunar month is the day called “Mid-Autumn”. The night on the 15th of the 8th lunar month is also called “Night of the Moon”. Under the Song Dynasty (420), the day was officially declared the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Because of its central role in the Mid-Autumn festival, mooncakes remained popular even in recent years. For many, they form a central part of the Mid-Autumn festival experience such that it is now commonly known as ‘Mooncake Festival’.

There is a folk tale about the overthrow of Mongol rule facilitated by messages smuggled in moon cakes.

Mooncakes were used by the Ming revolutionaries in their effort to overthrow the Mongolian rulers of China at the end of the Yuan dynasty. The idea is said to have been conceived by Zhu Yuan Zhang and his advisor Liu Bowen, who circulated a rumor that a deadly plague of “Hóuzi chuánwěi jíbìng de” was spreading and that the only way to prevent it was to eat special mooncakes, which would instantly revive and give special powers to the user. This prompted the quick distribution of mooncakes. The mooncakes contained a secret message coordinating the Han Chinese revolt on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month.

Another method of hiding a message was to print it on the surfaces of mooncakes (which came in packages of four), as a simple puzzle or mosaic. To read the message, each of the four mooncakes was cut into four parts. The resulting 16 pieces were pieced together to reveal the message. The pieces of mooncake were then eaten to destroy the message.

Many view the mooncake hidden messages to be a precursor to the modern day fortune cookie. By adding the covert element to the myths of the fortune cookie some have found more meaning behind the simple treat. This led to the act of removing and replacing the fortune inside without breaking for an added bit of good luck.

Shot & Edited using iPhone 6+

Cup Noodle For Snack

iPhoneOgraphy – 13 Sep 2016 (Day 257/366)

Cup Noodle (カップヌードル Kappu Nūdoru) is a brand of instant ramen noodle snack manufactured by Nissin, packaged in a foam food container, hard plastic or paper cup. Other brand names are used in specific countries, such as the singular Cup Noodle in Japan, and the product has inspired numerous competitors, such as Maruchan’s Instant Lunch.

Instant noodles were invented in 1958 by Momofuku Ando, the Taiwanese-born founder of the Japanese food company Nissin. He used Chikin Ramen (Chicken Ramen) as the first instant ramen noodles.

In 1970, Nissin formed the subsidiary Nissin Foods (USA) Co. Inc, to sell instant noodles in the United States. Nissin recognized that the bowls traditionally used to package instant noodles in Asia were not common in the U.S, so they used the paper cup. In 1971, they introduced instant ramen packaged in a foam cup. Originally, the product was known as Cup O’ Noodles in the United States until 1993. In 1978, Nissin Foods offers new varieties of Top Ramen and Cup O’ Noodles.

1998, Cup Noodles Hot Sauce Varieties introduced (Beef, Chicken, Shrimp).

Today, instant noodles in Japan are often sold in foam bowls, sometimes with plastic utensils. Foam bowls are inexpensive, disposable, light, and easy to hold, since they insulate heat well.

Different flavors are available in other parts of the world, such as tom yum in Thailand, curry in Japan, crab in Hong Kong, Bolognese sauce in Brazil.

From 1996 to 2006, a 60-foot (18 m) Nissin Cup Noodle sign was installed in Times Square, New York City. It was located prominently near the top of the One Times Square building, the location of the Times Square Ball drop on New Year’s Eve. The sign was the most recent example in a tradition of steaming signs in Times Square, which started with an A&P 8 O’Clock Coffee cup in 1933.

Cup noodles are often seen in the 2012 video game Binary Domain, which is set in a futuristic version of Tokyo. It is commonly seen in billboards and advertisements throughout the city, and is even seen being eaten by some characters.

Shot & Edited using iPhone 6+

The Crown Cork

iPhoneOgraphy – 12 Sep 2016 (Day 256/366)

The crown cork (also known as a crown seal, crown cap or just a cap), the first form of bottle cap, was invented by William Painter in 1892 in Baltimore. The company making it was originally called the Bottle Seal Company, but it changed its name with the almost immediate success of the crown cork to the Crown Cork and Seal Company. It still informally goes by that name, but is officially Crown Holdings. Crown corks are similar to the Pilfer proof caps, as usage of both products is to seal the bottle.

The crown cork was the first highly successful disposable product (it can be resealed but not easily). This inspired King C. Gillette to invent the disposable razor when he was a salesman for the Crown Cork Company. The firm still survives, producing many forms of packaging.

Prior to the invention of the crown cork bottle stopper, soda bottles had ordinary cork bottle stoppers and often had rounded bottoms so they could not be stored standing upright. The reason for this is corks have a tendency to dry out and shrink, which allows the gas pressure in the bottle to cause the cork to “pop.” Storing bottles on their side prevents the corks from drying out and “popping.” After the invention of the crown cork bottle stopper, this problem was eliminated, and soda bottles could be stored standing upright.

Crown corks are collected by people around the world who admire the variety of designs and relative ease of storage. Collectors tend to prefer the term crown cap over corks. In Mexico, these are called corcholatas. In Spain as well as in South America, the names chapas or chapitas are used, while in the Philippines the term tansan is employed.

Shot & Edited using iPhone 6+

Who’s Birthday Is It?

iPhoneOgraphy – 11 Sep 2016 (Day 255/366)

A birthday is an occasion when a person or institution celebrates the anniversary of their birth. Birthdays are celebrated in numerous cultures, often with a gift, party, or rite of passage.

Many religions celebrate the birth of their founders with special holidays (e.g. Christmas, Buddha’s Birthday).

There is a distinction between birthday and birthdate: The former, other than February 29, occurs each year (e.g. August 1), while the latter is the exact date a person was born (e.g., August 1, 1996).

In most legal systems, one becomes designated as an adult on a particular birthday (usually between 12 and 21), and reaching age-specific milestones confers particular rights and responsibilities. At certain ages, one may become eligible to leave full-time education, become subject to military conscription or to enlist in the military, to consent to sexual intercourse, to marry, to marry without parental consent, to vote, to run for elected office, to legally purchase (or consume) alcohol and tobacco products, to purchase lottery tickets, or to obtain a driver’s license. The age of majority is the age when minors cease to legally be considered children and assume control over their persons, actions, and decisions, thereby terminating the legal control and legal responsibilities of their parents or guardians over and for them. Most countries set the age of majority between 18 and 21.

A person’s golden or grand birthday, also referred to as their “lucky birthday”, “champagne birthday”, or “star birthday”, occurs when they turn the age of their birth day (e.g., when someone born on the 25th of the month turns 25 or when someone born on the ninth turns nine).

An individual’s Beddian birthday, named in tribute to firefighter Bobby Beddia, occurs during the year that his or her age matches the last two digits of the year he or she was born.

In many cultures and jurisdictions, if a person’s real birthday is not known (for example, if he or she is an orphan), then their birthday may be considered to be January 1. That tradition is followed with horses, their age becoming one, on the first day of the year following their birth and being counted annually after that.

In many parts of the world an individual’s birthday is celebrated by a party where a specially made cake, usually decorated with lettering and the person’s age, is presented. The cake is traditionally studded with the same number of lit candles as the age of the individual, or a number candle representing their age. The celebrated individual will usually make a silent wish and attempt to blow out the candles in one breath; if successful, a tradition holds that the wish will be granted. In many cultures, the wish must be kept secret or it won’t “come true”. Presents are bestowed on the individual by the guests appropriate to her/his age. Other birthday activities may include entertainment (sometimes by a hired professional, i.e. a clown, magician, or musician), and a special toast or speech by the birthday celebrant. The last stanza of Patty Hill’s and Mildred Hill’s famous song, “Good Morning to You” (unofficially titled “Happy Birthday to You”) is typically sung by the guests at some point in the proceedings. In some countries a piñata takes the place of a cake.

In some historically Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox countries such as Italy, Spain, France, parts of Germany, Poland, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia, and throughout Latin America, it is common to have a ‘name day’ / ‘Saint’s day’. It is celebrated in much the same way as a birthday, but it is held on the official day of a saint with the same Christian name as the birthday person; the difference being that one may look up a person’s name day in a calendar, or easily remember common name days (for example, John or Mary); however in pious traditions, the two were often made to concur by giving a newborn the name of a saint celebrated on its birthday, or possibly the name of a feast, for example, Noel or Pascal (French for Christmas and “of Easter”); as another example, Togliatti was given Palmiro as his first name because he was born on Palm Sunday.

Shot & Edited using iPhone 6+

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