News Roundup: Brains, Noses, and Thai Food

In an interview, provocatively titled "The Wondrous World of Three Pounds of Meat" (in reference to the brain), author Jonah Lehrer discusses Imagine, his new book about the roots of creativity.  Highlight:
When it comes to creative problems, if you've got a feeling of knowing then you should keep on paying attention. You should drink that triple espresso, you should chain yourself to the desk. But in any creative process, at some point you hit a wall—you get stuck. At that point, you should go and take a long walk, let yourself daydream. Then a fresh insight is more likely to occur to you. You might even want to have a beer. A study came out showing that undergraduates who were too drunk to drive solved 30% more creative puzzles than those who were sober.
Link to story.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail reports that nose jobs are on the decline among young Jewish women.  I'm happy for anyone who has a nose they feel good about, whether it's the nose they were born with or a nose they purchased from a surgeon, but I think this is a good sign that more people are accepting a wider definition of beauty.  The Mail suggests:
Today's stars and taste-makers are ethnically diverse and women are encouraged to value the features that make them stand out from the pack.
Finally, the New York Times reports on non-native chefs of ethnic cuisine.  While completely non-dance related, there are still some parallels to the experiences of native and non-native ethnic dancers that may be of interest to readers. 
Distance may allow a chef to explore traditions without the baggage of having to follow Mom’s recipes to the letter, even if the goal is to stay true to the original dishes. “My greatest gift is that I don’t have a Mexican grandmother,” Mr. Bayless said, “so I can look at all Mexican grandmothers as equal. If you grew up with this food, you’ll defend to the death the way your family makes a dish. So sometimes, with lots of experience, you can speak with a bit of a broader perspective.
Full Article:  Cuisines Mastered as Acquired Tastes.

Written from a different perspective, the author of the NYT piece (Francis Lam) follows up in a discussion with a Chinese-American colleague, offering equal, uh, "food for thought."
Francis: Well…would you prefer Stupak to say: "I'm doing food that's not really Mexican, it's a mashup of that and what's in my own head"?

Eddie: This is totally unfair of me to tell someone what to say. But, you asked me a question and I’ll answer it. If I could write his press release, I'd say, “I'm making modern New American food that borrows ingredients and techniques from a Mexican pantry.” Or, make fun of it like Danny Bowien [of Mission Chinese Food] does and basically say, “I love Chinese food. I don't know what I'm doing, but I respect this, that and the other Szechuan restaurant. Please don't consider me a master, I'm just a dude with a tea pot full of dirty girl drinks.” Danny Bowien is a guy who NAILS it in terms of messaging. He does funky hybrid party Chinese food that I think we're all honored to be the inspiration for. Danny hit me on twitter today wanting to put my Hainan Lobster Rice on the menu, do it! I love that people like Danny and Kareem Abdul Jabbar are interested in our culture in an inquisitive and honest way. I think Stupak is the same. His wife is Mexican and there’s a genuine passion, plus who am I to judge. I’m just saying, we need accurate messaging because it’s offensive to the diaspora. The culture needs to consider the villagers.
Link: Is it Fair for Chefs to Cook Other Cultures’ Foods?  Two immigrant sons hash out what it’s like to have your food shunned and celebrated in America by Francis Lam and Eddie Huang