Sunday, 01 December 2013 21:04
By Joe Romano,
While every New Year brings new ideas and opportunities for change, 2014 at GreenStar promises a bumper crop of great new projects, partnerships, and initiatives. We've all been working hard to improve and grow our co-op to better serve our community in a variety of ways.
The "Co-op Campus"
Perhaps the largest and most visible change for 2014 will be the development of a full "Co-op Campus" along downtown Ithaca's West End. Stretching along Fulton Street from Court Street to Seneca, it will consist of three large buildings, housing a series of different spaces with different purposes.
The Newly Renovated Space @ GreenStar
Anchoring the campus on the North, The Space @ GreenStar, our large community room in the north end of our warehouse building at 700 West Buffalo, has been completely redesigned and renovated. Designed to accommodate up to 228 people for events ranging from the Winter Farmers Market to formal catered wedding receptions, The Space will feature a range of lighting possibilities from intimate and colorful to bright white, and everything in between.
Outfitted with an array of audio-visual equipment, The Space will offer a large projection screen for movies, video, and slide shows, so that movie screenings, PowerPoint, and slide shows can figure in any event. The sound system will accommodate lectures, bands, spoken-word and musical artists, or dramatic presentation. There will even be a lighting grid added for stage lighting for theatrical performances. GreenStar's architect, Pam Wooster, headed up the renovation, which will include dropped ceiling "clouds," accent lighting, display nooks, two new bathrooms, and a kitchen service counter. She used GreenGuard certified insulation in the walls and ceiling, chose low-VOC paint, installed dual-flush toilets, and reused and re-sourced as many materials as possible while using energy-efficient glass in all the windows and doors. All the sheetrock was made locally and installed by local contractors, who were used exclusively throughout the job.
Friday, 01 November 2013 13:57
By Joe Romano,
He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.
— Jonathan Swift
For as long as there have been people there has been the question of how a person knew whether something was good to eat. Surely, people would see animals safely eat a plant and assume it was safe for them. Or maybe they would get some of their braver, less popular, or perhaps unwitting neighbors to try a food source first.
We know that testing food goes back at least to the ancient Egyptians and the Roman Empire. Since the time of the ancient Pharoahs, those who had reason to be in fear of their safety, and who had the means, employed food tasters to ensure that their food was safe to eat.
According to John Emsley, a professor of chemistry at the University of Cambridge, a man named Halotus was the official food taster for the Roman Emperor Claudius. Halotus was not very good at his job, because Claudius was killed by poison in 54 A.D. Halotus himself was a suspect in the murder.
Obviously, the profession of food taster has historically been a precarious one. In ancient times it would have been performed by slaves, prisoners, or peasants. In Genesis 40:21, there is a plot afoot to poison the Pharaoh. The two main suspects are his wine taster and his food taster. These two people were responsible for the Pharaoh's life and acted as his security detail, tasting all of the Pharoah's food so that he would not be poisoned. In that story, it was divined that his food taster was guilty of plotting against the throne, and he was put to death.
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