Terps’ Wells Out With Broken Bone in Wrist

The Maryland Terrapins may have won the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, but they’ve lost one of their leaders for possibly the rest of their non-conference schedule.

Senior guard Dez Wells suffered a broken bone in his right wrist during Maryland’s 72-63 win over number 13 Iowa State in the CBE Classic championship game on Nov. 25. He had surgery to repair the fracture three days later in Baltimore, and is expected to miss at least four weeks.

Wells was leading the Terrapins in scoring at 16.2 points a game in Maryland’s first five games. Maryland held off Monmouth 61-56 in College Park in its first game without Wells. Freshman guard Melo Trimble led the way with 24 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Terrapins.

A weekend of food, entertaining, and fun

Metro Cooking DC returns to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center

The weekend of Nov. 8 brought about the ninth annual Metro Cooking DC, a cooking and entertaining show that takes place every year around the same time—just in time to help with the holidays for entertaining inspiration and the opportunity to pick up some unique gifts for family and friends. The show hosted an estimated 18,000 attendees over the weekend and with a cost of just $20 to attend the show, it’s no mystery why; it’s a steal of a deal! But like every show, there are ad-ons available.

General admission tickets include admission to the Tasting &
Entertaining Workshop Area, James Beard cooking demos, the exhibitor marketplace which featured more than 300 vendors selling specialty food and other related products.

Headliners Guy Fieri and Bobby Flay presented demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, adding on the opportunity to see them live ranges from $35-95 or attend a book signing with them (book included) for $35. Of course, if you wanted to make a weekend of it, $80 got you a ticket to both shows. But the show didn’t stop there; the Grand Tasting Pavillion, a crowd
favorite, was $59.50 for 35 tickets to use to sample food from over 40 different local chefs and restaurants. The best part? All of the above add- ons included the general admission ticket in them.

A show like this would not have been complete without some spirits though, so for an additional $24 attendees could have visted the beer, wine, and spirits pavilion, or for an additional $55-120, they could have attended private cooking classes learning knife skills, how to make holiday hors d’ oeuvres, or fondant cake decorating.
Lets break down the show

Celebrity Theater

Backstage, Guy Fieri signs a fellow chef’s jacket at a mix and mingle event available to the public with the purchase of a VIP ticket.
Backstage, Guy Fieri signs a fellow chef’s jacket at a mix and mingle event available to the public with the purchase of a VIP ticket. Photo courtesy of Brendan Kownacki

Saturday, Nov. 8 brought Guy Fieri to the celebrity stage entertaining guests with his normal Fieri flare. Sunday, Nov. 9, Bobby Flay came to the same stage, demonstrating to onlookers how to make a red wine sangria, a pan roasted chicken with chimichurri sauce, and a vegetable paella.
Marketplace

The Marketplace is where exhibitor’s set up in droves to expose the masses to their unique wares and services. Almost everyone had something to sell on the spot, whether that be chocolates from local Baltimore Parfections, or Flavor Bombs’ (www.flavorbombs. com) creator Gio from New Jersey. Vendors came from around the country with the hopes of making some extra holiday money and offer attendees special show specials; whether it be skincare products, hand-crafted aprons, or flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars.

Grand Tasting Pavillion

While demonstrating his talents, Bobby Flay interacts with the audience
While demonstrating his talents, Bobby Flay interacts with the audience. Photo courtesy of Brendan Kownacki

For an upcharge, attendees could purchase 35 tickets to use in the tasting pavilion. It cost one ticket for each vendor’s item, with over 50 items to choose from over 40 different local DC chefs and restarants.

Vendors ranged from high-end chain locations like Dean & Deluca and Blackfinn to local favorite spots like Food Wine & Co. and Sweet Teensy bakery. Vendors were not providing bite or two-bite tastings, but rather hearty portions that not only filled attendees up, but also left many in a food coma state.

Beer, Wine & Spirits Pavillion

Slightly disconnected from the rest of the show was the beer, wine, and spirits pavilion, which offered roughly 50 varieties for those who purchased a ticket for that portion to enjoy. The wines ranged from stateside to international wines, but disappointingly, there weren’t any local wines. The alcohol was only there for tasting and could not be purchased, making for a serious disconnect with the rest of the show, which was either local or available for purchase. There were a variety of approximately 15 craft beers available as well. A. Smith Bowman Distillery was on hand to serve up their delicious bourbon and gin, and Anestasia Vodka was also serving their smooth vodka that’s made in Oregon, but available in Maryland and DC through a local distributor.

Also available in the pavilion was an education area to learn from wine and cocktail seminars. Hopefully, they will improve this next year by having local wineries come and do tastings, so that not only can attendees taste, but also buy. Exhibitor Standouts:
~Karen Mary Confectionery (www. karenmaryco.com) for their fresh hand-crafted marshmallows

~SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier (www. spagnvola.com) for their local hand- crafted truffles made with chocolate from the Dominican Republic. They offer free weekend tours of their factory located in Gaithersburg, MD.

~Kurykahveci Mehmet Efendi (www.mehmetefendi.com) for their Turkish coffee and the education they provided about it

~Laconiko Olive Oils (www. laconiko.com) for their wide selections of delicious flavored olive oils

~Bee Raw LLC (www.beeraw.com) for their delicious honey varieties

~Three Little Pigs Charcuterie & Salumi (www.threelittlepigsdc.com) for their out-of-this-world smoked meats and seafood, like their smokes salmon, slab bacon, duck prosciutto, Tasso, and Jerky

~Lilly’s Gourmet Maple Butter (www.fossgourmetfoods.com) for their Maple Sugar Butter that was out of this world

Tastings Standouts

~BlackFinn (www.blackfinndc.com) for their tuna tartare

~Smith & Wollensky (www. smithandwollensky.com) for their beef carpaccio

~The National Press Club Fourth Estate Restaurant (www.press.org/ restaurants/fourth-estate) for their calamari cakes

~Food Wine & Co. (www. foodwineandco.com) for their celery root vichyssoise

~The Chocolatier’s Palette (www. thechocolatierspalette.com) for their incredible melt-in-your-mouth chocolates in flavors such as Spiced Mango, Lavender Blueberry, and Tomato Basil. Yes, Tomato Basil (originally created for Giada de Laurentiis)

~Giffords Ice Cream (www. giffordsicecream.com) for their Maine inspired ice cream in flavors such as Mt. Katahdin Crunch

~ Silo (www.silodc.com) for their tasty shrimp and grits

~Guy Fieri’s Baltimore Kitchen and Bar (www.caesars.com/baltimore) at Horseshoe Casino for their B-more Fries

Gallery Photos courtesy of Jessica Greenstein

Feature Image courtesy of Brendan Kownacki

Beyond infinity and back again

Interstellar takes its place in the sci-fi canon

It’s not that hard a thing, capturing the vastness of space, and with it, the adventure of transcending our home planet: just look up. What is hard is capturing something bigger than that—the stars behind the stars, really. Interstellar, Christopher Nolan’s epic spacescape of a film, gets pretty close.

Anne Hathaway and Wes Bentley in Interstellar.
Anne Hathaway and Wes Bentley in Interstellar.

Interstellar takes the science fiction of its premise quite seriously. So seriously, in fact, the film is a solid three hours long. We are in it for the long haul, so dig in. Blights are decimating the planet’s food sources, one at a time. There’s less than a generation’s worth of time before everyone starves.

Matthew McConaughey is Cooper, a chiseled former NASA pilot who, like most of the world’s working people now, is a farmer. You know how serious the situation on Earth is because you have the conversations between Cooper and his father-in-law ( John Lithgow) that painstakingly draw out for us the movie’s moral lodestones. “We’re a caretaker generation,” he says to Cooper at one point. There are a handful of shots of Cooper sipping a beer and squinting his eyes as he looks up over his cornfields and at the hazy horizon.

The yarn spun for us is an improbable one involving ghosts inside gravity and Cooper finding a hidden space compound in the middle of nowhere. See, even though world governments gave up on space travel so as to focus on feeding the planet, somehow NASA survived (alright science!). They’re led by Professor Brand (Michael Caine in a perfect oxford shirt), and they’ve discovered a wormhole in our solar system. They sent 10 solo explorers through the wormhole so as to locate a new home for Earth. Three are pinging back good news, so it’s time for a bunch of scientist to go find them before it’s too late. They just need a pilot.

And so McConaughey joins a crew that includes Brand’s daughter (Anne Hathaway), and we’re off into the biggest space adventure story I’ve ever seen.

The pace of everything up to this point, and everthing that follows, is measured and calm. Every line, every scene is carefully crafted to bring the story along, one plot point at a time. It’s mechanical. McConaughey and Hathaway deliver solid acting performances that are ultimately tied down by the script itself. That’s too bad, since; again, the move is three hours long, more than enough time to flesh out memorable characters.

The flaw is easily forgotten, however, in the face of mind-bending graphics and spaceship sequences that are overwhelming and tragically beautiful. If nothing else, Nolan captures the Platonic silence of space.

When we’re watching ships docking or wormholes wormholing, more often than not the scenes begin with deep silence. The effect is almost monastic, reverential.

Never has space felt as big as it does in Interstellar. Never has space felt so alone, either. The crew locates one of the original explorers, but the planet in question is so close to a black hole that time f lows vastly slower. One hour on that planet equals seven years in earth time. Something goes wrong, they take longer than they thought to return to their ship (which lay outside the black hole’s effect), and they find their remaining crew member Romilly with gray in his beard. The look on his face when he says “I thought you would never return” is chest-hollowing sad.

On Earth, everything is hidden beneath an enormous sepia smudge of dust, farms, trucks, and bureaucrats. There is little light and lesser saturation of warmth or color, and so the high-contrast angularity of space is that much more pronounced, that much more full of awe and gravity. And it is gravity that plays the most crucial role in the whole story. Nolan is completely committed to explaining the science behind everything, going so far as to have McConaughey explain the exact sequence of scientific plot points to a robot. That penultimate scene could be a live action rendering a scene from Futurama—and I mean that, mostly, in a good way.

Nolan’s film is epic in scope and limited in character development, but in the end the former trumps the latter. Interstellar is ambitious and gorgeous, the sort of film that leaves you with a different understanding of what makes a great space film and a greater appreciation for all that matter above our heads, impossibly out of reach.

All photos courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Challenge accepted!

We’re still searching for my male counterpart. Know a guy who likes trying out new stuff, isn’t afraid to voice his opinions, and can string a couple sentences together? If so, have them apply at editor@ubpost.org. If we can’t find someone, you guys may just be stuck with me from here on out.

I’m giving you two boxes this month, one is for the females, and the other is a local Baltimore box.

Wantable Accessories

Inside my box Ashlee Necklace (RV $32.00) Carolynn Earrings (RV $16.00) Helga Ring Gold Size 8 (RV $16.00) Vernie Earrings Gold (RV$12.00)
Inside my box
Ashlee Necklace (RV $32.00) Carolynn Earrings (RV $16.00) Helga Ring Gold Size 8 (RV $16.00) Vernie Earrings Gold (RV$12.00)

Wantable is a four-way subscription box, offering their monthly boxes in Makeup, Fitness, Intimates (reviewed last month), or Accessories (this month’s feature). This is a regular subscription of mine and I pay $36.00/month as a subscriber, although you can get a one-time box for $40; shipping is included for free in both options. You can skip months, so you’ll definitely save money by signing up for the subscription options.

All of Wantable’s options require a survey so that they can customize your box to your tastes. I have been a subscriber for about seven months now to the Accessories box and in the past have had extremely successful boxes (last month’s value was $106!!) Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed with this month’s offering; while the value was $76, it wasn’t a perfect match for me. I believe this is partially my fault and I’ll be revising my preferences for next month. I’ll probably put rings in “dislike” for now as I haven’t been overly impressed with them. I also will probably only select one metal color at a time so that the stylists can get a better feel for my personal style.

My Preferences Love
Glam
Classic

Scarves

Sunglasses

Watches

Rings

Necklaces

Bracelets Earrings

Like

Mix ‘n Match Hair Accessories

Dislike

Boho
Rock ‘n Roll

I absolutely love the Ashlee necklace; it’s the perfect statement piece, colorful, and a great length. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan of the rest of the box. The Vernie Earrings and Helga Ring seem to match, both brushed gold, but both a little boring I suppose for me. I’m sure I could make them work, but I’d prefer to swap them and get something that I absolutely love. Same thing goes for the Carolynn Earrings—not impressed, but they are simple and sophisticate and imagine that a lot of people might like them, but I’m not a fan of solid metal drop or hoop earrings.

B-more Box

Pleasantly surprised by the variety of the B-more box’s offerings.
Pleasantly surprised by the variety of the B-more box’s offerings.

I was contacted by Cory Shaffer, the CEO of The B-more Box, a brand new box that just launched. He asked if we wouldn’t mind reviewing their box and of course I said yes because I absolutely love this concept and can’t believe it took this long for the concept to emerge. Disclosure: The UB Post did not pay for this subscription. We requested that they send us an actual subscription box and not a blogger box so that we could properly review the box as subscribers would receive it.

The B-more Box comes four different ways, The B-More Standard Box (5-7 items), for Outta-Towners (7-9 items), Standard Lite(3-6 items), for Outta-Towners Lite (3-6 items) and range from $20-35/per month, plus shipping (approximately $5.00 for Maryland Residents). Boxes ship the first week of each month and include a variety of items that Maryland and Baltimore have to offer from food to art to decorations to merchandise.

My mom was visiting when I opened the box so she and I both got excited about it. The first thing we noticed was the travel mug, which exuded Maryland pride. Next, our attention went to the PlakThat Maryland flag print, which is proudly sitting on one of my book shelves now. The company does a fabulous job and has a wide variety of prints, so I may be going to get some more in the future. I could instantly smell the Unwined candle, a company that I’m familiar with from attending various food and wine festivals in the area every year and the scent was perfect for me; I can’t wait to burn it! A big fan of Baltimore Coffee and Tea myself, I was super excited to see this in my box.

I was introduced to Mouth Party Caramels last year when I covered the Farm to Chef Gala at the Visual Arts Museum and found this perfect evening treat in my swag bag. These caramels aren’t too chewy and are the perfect blend of salty and sweet. HomeTeam Snacks Crab Curls with Cheese are a new product to me and a sign that I need to attend more Baltimore sporting events. These were tasty, but past the “best buy” date on the back, so I imagine they’d have been even better had they been within that time period. The Baltimore BBQ Sauce was a nice surprise and something I haven’t had the privilege of trying in the past; I made ribs and used the sauce and it was perfect as is. They also have a Chesapeake version, which now I absolutely must try!

If I had to sum up my experience with this box, I would say it’s definitely a must have for all things Baltimore and Maryland and a box I’ll consider budgeting for. I don’t know that I could do it every month due to a space issue in my apartment, but definitely something I would enjoy buying as a one-time box occasionally, if they would allow it as an option.

All photos courtesy of Jessica Greenstein.

Information systems professor recognized for research on mobile tech

Professor Eusebio Scornavacca moved from New Zealand to Baltimore only a year ago. However, his research on mobile information technology and how it’s applied in business has taken him around the world, and has earned him some recognition in the process.

Scornavacca, the John and Margaret Thompson Professor of Management Information Systems in the Merrick School of Business, was recognized during the 13th annual International Conference on Mobile Business in London this past June. He was declared to be one of the top four researchers in the world for his research papers on mobile IT, based on both the number of his published articles as well as their impact. Scornavacca explained that when he was doing research on online commerce (e-commerce) in the late ’90s, he envisioned what we’re now accustomed to today in our jobs and our lives.

“When I saw some of the devices that were coming out that had data capability, I said, ‘The future of e-commerce will be on mobile devices.’ So that kind of got my attention to say, ‘I should not be focusing my study on the desktop e-commerce, but how mobile devices will eventually unleash the capability of electronic commerce,’” Scornavacca said.

His thoughts about how e-commerce would lead him to receiving a scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Science and Technology in 2001, and he became a field researcher at Yokohama National University. At the time, he noticed that Americans were using their cell phones as just that: a phone. However, he noticed that the Japanese were already using their cell phones for much more, including typing and browsing the Web, and even ordering products online. Scornavacca described how in Japan, people first started using the Internet on their phones.

“Over there, the wired Internet was not so widely adopted by the time the phones were available, with Internet,” Scornavacca said. “So people’s expectations and people’s use of it was substantially higher because they were actually learning to use this new tool with their phones.”

That was in comparison to here in the U.S., where people got frustrated because their desktop experience wasn’t translating to devices such as Blackberries and PDAs. Scornavacca said it was interesting to see how the Japanese people unleashed e-commerce through time and space with their mobile devices.

“What was interesting over there was basically starting […] to see people on the train messaging each other or see people scheduling meetings while they were on the street,” Scornavacca said. He added that about a decade ago, that wasn’t as common a sight as it is now.

What Scornavacca saw starting in Japan has now made its way around the world, including to the U.S., over the last 13 years. He says that he and his fellow researchers at the time were studying what was possible with data and Web-capable mobile devices, and that topics he wrote about in 2003 and 2004 are now available today. He considers a big milestone in the evolution of mobile technology the introduction of the first Apple iPhone.

“I tease that there is kind of a big milestone that I say ‘pre-iPhone’ and ‘post-iPhone.’ The pre-iPhone was when we had mainly cell phones that could operate as media devices, and the post-iPhone are media devices that could operate as cell phones,” Scornavacca said. He explained how that was the big shift in how we viewed cell phones, to the point that now, we view our smartphones as something that keeps us connected to both our jobs and our friends. However, he’s posed the question of whether or not we’re more productive, happier, and better off now that we can be connected all the time. He says one of his doctorate students in New Zealand is studying the relation between connectivity and productivity.

“So far, what I’ve learned about that, there are two things. First one that we have to learn how to operate in a ubiquitous environment; what I mean by ubiquitous, we’re 24-7 connected. So one of the things that we have to rethink: how do we behave or what are our expectations? How do we manage this continuous state of connectedness? The second thing, I believe we have what I like to call the ‘connectedness and productivity curve,’” Scornavacca explained, adding that the curve shows a point where people can be so connected to the point that their productivity starts declining because they’re busy responding to so many different streams of information.

He says the area of mobile IT is a great area to study right now to understand how businesses and individuals produce in a 24-7 connected environment.

Scornavacca said this is a “frontier” in the continuously evolving digital revolution. He adds that we need to think about information and technology today the way electricity was viewed by society in the 19th and 20th centuries, especially in light of how dependent we are on electricity today.