By Melissa Wuske
Christian Teen Rally in Myanmar
Last July, Teen Mania held its first overseas Acquire the Fire youth rally in the least likely of places: Myanmar. The country has been opening to outside influences as it transitions from being a military dictatorship to a democracy, an evolution that began several years ago.
The two-night rally attracted more than 13,000 people, and this large number is even more significant given the nation’s history and political climate. “It’s been 60 years since the gospel was publicly proclaimed to this predominantly Buddhist nation,” Teen Mania president Ron Luce said in a statement. “We pray this will be the start of a new day of ministry in Myanmar. The prayers of Myanmar’s faithful are being answered. God has not forgotten them, and neither have we.”
The group was invited by the Myanmar Evangelical Christian Fellowship, and the event was planned by a committee made entirely of Myanmar nationals.
Food in Space
NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren and astronaut Kimiya Yui of Japan recently marked a new milestone in space exploration. They ate the first food grown in space: “Outredgeous” red romaine lettuce grown in the International Space Station. The three tossed the lettuce in oil and vinegar (imagine tossing a salad in zero gravity!). According to Kelly, it tastes a bit like arugula.
The growing system is called Veg-01, and it creates a microgravity environment and has LED lights, allowing small seed packets to sprout, grow, and become edible food. This innovation has the potential to change life for astronauts. If they can grow fresh food in space, they won’t need to wait for shipments of produce, and they’ll get the nutritional benefits of healthy eating along with the mental benefits of caring for plants.
Dining with All Five Senses
Food is more than just taste. According to those who study neurogastronomy, eating is a multisensory experience for the brain. They’ve found that seafood tastes better when you can hear ocean sounds and certain drinks are better if you have them next to a fireplace. They’ve also explored the benefits of textures and shapes of food.
In response to the science, restaurants are cropping up around the world that embrace this multisensory dining experience. Alinea in Chicago has lights designed to enhance your mood and foods that evoke feelings of childhood—including the Green Apple Balloon, which is an edible balloon made out of apple taffy and helium. Opaque in San Francisco heightens flavor by turning out the lights. Diners eat in pitch dark and are served by wait staff who are blind or visually impaired.
London’s Latest Attraction
The ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture and observation tower at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London, is already pretty impressive—its tall, twisting frame is visually stunning, and people can see the whole Olympic park (and beyond) from the decks. But it’s about to become home to the world’s longest slide.
The slide, which will fit into the visual structure of the tower, will be 249 feet long. The ride will take about 40 seconds, and riders will reach speeds of 15 miles per hour. The slide will also have some transparent sections so that riders can see views of London as they plummet. It’s expected to be done in 2016.
Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (melissaannewuske.com).