Food for thought

A FORMER People’s Liberation Army veteran in China is so outraged by the falling standards of morality in the country that he has made sure that the restaurant that he owns in Zhengzhou does not open its doors for such people.



The army veteran’s restaurant now displays a board that sternly says that it does not entertain people who do not show filial piety, those who have mistresses and those who spend public money for private purposes.

“My business is different from the others. I don’t care how much money I earn. I just insist that people abide by the principles of being a righteous man,” he said recently.

Li’s restaurant is betting on the hope that the men who come into his restaurant might not all be righteous men but says he is sure that “Those who bring mistresses here will feel uneasy in their heart.”

The alarming trend of public officials blatantly flaunting mistress grabbed headlines last year when the ruling Communist Party made ethics training mandatory for all the top officials.

Last year saw several such scandals being brought to light with a Deputy Commander of Chinese Navy, a geologist and a tax official losing their jobs for having mistresses. “Those who do not show filial piety or obey the rules of ethics are so different from me, I’m sick of these people,” Li says.

Jailhouse cooks

THIS LOOKS like a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. Only these women are not cooks and they are certainly not cooking up a broth.

Half a dozen female convicts, all barring one serving life sentence for murder, at the Mountain View Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, have written an unusual cook book that is the result of their desire to cook and to innovate dishes from the few ingredients that they have at their disposal in prison.

From “The Big House to Your House”, a collection of 200 recipes by the six prisoners, might not be what you will serve for a special dinner at home or while entertaining. For example, they’ve found that an empty potato chip bag works for cooking in a quart-size electric warming pot, their only source of heat for cooking. A plastic ID card — similar to a credit card — makes an acceptable cutting or chopping implement. And tuna and mackerel can be made into great-tasting nachos. “I know it sounds disgusting,” said Celeste Johnson, 49, one of the authors. “But I love tuna nachos. And I’ve got so many people here converted to it.”

The cookbook was produced with the help of Johnson’s mother, who typed the recipes and submitted the manuscript at The Justice Institute, a Seattle group that works with convicts who maintain their innocence. It is now being sold online.

Interested in a great new recipe, anybody?

A caring village

GERIATRIC CARE is going hi-tech but more humane in parts of Europe where planners are using innovate models to give more security to those suffering from the ravages of aging.

In Switzerland, a £17 million village, Dementiaville, is being designed as a home for dementia sufferers in an alternate reality where carers will be disguised as gardeners, hairdressers and shop assistants. The village, likely to be ready by 2017, will evoke a bygone era with 1950s-style houses, cinema, shops, and other facilities — all run by care-givers so that the residents world feel a sense of security.

The residents can roam free in the space which will have no doors and the only time carers will step in is when they perceive danger to residents, such as an accident. When ready, the village can house 150 inmates.

The project was inspired by a similar, pioneering experiment in geriatric mental care The Netherlands where the Hogewey nursing home for dementia sufferers was set up near Amsterdam in 2009. Markus Vgtlin, the Swiss businessman behind the Dementiaville project, visited Hogewey. “People with dementia are often restless and aggressive, but at Hogewey they were relaxed and content. I want to emulate that contentment in Switzerland.”

“They have difficulty remembering what’s happening at present but usually have firm memories of the past. Such an environment makes them feel comfortable. I call it travelling back in time,” he added.

· —sudhamenon2006@gmail.com


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