Iowa State’s “Bird” Problem

Iowa State is a great University. Along with its outstanding academics its campus is one of the Nation’s finest. Central campus is devoid of buildings, and is filled with green grass, old trees, and much history. Walking through you get the sense of tradition, as you pass monuments and little groves dedicated to people and persons long gone. In addition to the hundred-year-old groves of trees and campanile, you can also view the stunning architecture of Beardshear hall, the newly renovated Morrill Hall, and others.

Unfortunately, there is a problem. In the Fall thousands of crows come to ISU to settle down. They pollute the ground with their filth and pollute the sky with their presence and noise. I hope that ISU figures out how to deal with their numbers, which I estimate to be in the tens of thousands. They especially tend to flock around the MU and Friley Hall.

Bird Mess

On The Road Again

It has been a great summer. So great, in fact, that the generally exciting and joyous time of preparing to return to college has been dulled quite prematurely. Singapore was great, and China was great. The two countries shared a similar robustness in every day life that is hard to match, even in a college campus. If it weren’t for me going back to school, then I would happily stay here.

China is experiencing a zenith of excitement and investment, and is rapidly becoming the largest economy on the planet. Large cities such as Shanghai and Shenzhen (those of which I have lived in) are modern marvels, and you would be hard pressed to find any cities in the US whom can match the grandiose buildings found scattered throughout China’s coastal cities.

I have always believed that every great country should have great food, and Chinese food is defiantly (yes defiantly) great. Don’t get me wrong, I will often have the desire for U.S. prime rib and a baked potato now and then, but once you have lived a life eating truly authentic Chinese food, you will agree with me that the U.S. will take a long time to catch up. What we have in the U.S. is puritan and plain, and please don’t ever mention the word “meat loaf” to me again. Chinese food is diverse and dynamic, and has evolved over thousands of years to perfectly cater to the human tongue. But I digress..

Yes, Iowa State University is a place of learning, so one should not expect to dine in decadence. However I should say that no man on the planet deserves to eat the strange tasting pizza offered by the UDCC (Union Drive Community Center), or the bread used in making the sub sandwiches in all of the dining centers. The steaks that one may purchase are also very plain, and have no seasoning whatsoever. To expect one to splatter those dreadful sauces known as “A1″ or “Heinz 57″ over good meat is simply a waste of resources.

Enough ranting, it’s time to pack.

Returning to School… and the UDCC

It’s about that time of year again. I have to come back from wherever I am in the word to Ames Iowa, back to the same old place with the same old food. I just have to write this, as I think it three times a day six times per week while dining in the UDCC, MWL commons, or even Oak-Elm. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a hamburger and fries every once in awhile, and eating Iowa State pizza isn’t the worst thing in the world. However to tell you all the truth the food is nothing compared to that found in Asia. I have been to China, Japan, Korea, and Singapore and of all of those countries the biggest variety can be found in Singapore. Singapore boasts food from all of the above plus Malaysia and India.  Second in line would be China. Depending on where you are in China, you will find a different culture and a different taste. My personal favorite is the food of Guangdong, that is southeastern China. Hong Kong especially boasts some great ‘dian xin’, also known as dimsum. The most flavorful award goes to Sichuan, because in Sichuan food is so spicy it puts American ‘spicy’ to shame. In the north east, or ‘beifang’, you can enjoy noodles and ‘jiao zi’ dumplings. In Shanghai, you should try the ‘xiaolongbao’ , it is a type of dimsum that is filled with soup. Now having the most vareity doesn’t mean having the best food, and the best food award also goes to … China. The healthiest food award goes to Japan, since eating raw fish is obviously healthy as long as they don’t have mercury poisoning. All of Japanese food is healthy except for Tempura and Pufferfish, which could be deadly if cut the wrong way. Korean food is also great because for one, I love Kim Chi. Kim Chi is mouthwatering garlic and chili covered cabbage. Korean food also boasts some great teppanyaki style steak. Basically you get raw beef strips, which you can cook yourself and then put in lettuce and mix with sauce and eat.