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As Schoolhouse celebrates 30 years, stories and lessons abound

A couple hundred parents and kids gathered at the West Point on the Eno last Saturday for the 30th anniversary of Schoolhouse of Wonder. The organization has led nature classes for kids at the Eno River since 1989, and was celebrating with storytelling, s’mores at campfires and games.

Despite the sporadic and torrential rains this area has seen all summer, the weather last Saturday kept calm and Schoolhouse held its celebrations in a perfect, temperate evening.

Children gathered to make fire, whittle and practice tomahawk throwing. As Annabelle and Lillie Barbour, 12 and 10, busily whittled away, Annabelle said to another girl, “Could you aim that a little away from (Lillie)?” “Yeah,” Lillie chimed in, “it’s like you’re trying to kill me.”

Let’s eat! “A Bite of China”

There are moments in “A Bite of China” that stay with you long after you watch the show. A mother and daughter walking together at dawn, digging for mushrooms in the mountains of Yunnan. They easily push their sticks in the dirt to gently push up a mushroom. Inside a ger in Inner Mongolia, in the early hours, a woman dips a ladle in milk to get breakfast for the man who will herd their sheep on the grassy plain. Fermented tofu nuggets are laid out on baskets on a balcony before they are hauled out to a busy sidewalk and sold. The most simple yet amazing street food. More than technique and skill, “A Bite of China” is about taste and heritage, habit, livelihoods, the knowledge and skill that comes from working with food all your life, as well as the pride and appreciation of people working in food, really getting their hands in, and knowing the natural, subtle chemistry of food. The show is kind of about a national love of food, with …

Book review: “Fed Up” by Danielle DiMartino Booth

At one point in Danielle DiMartino Booth’s book about her experiences as an analyst at the Federal Reserve during the panicked days of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, she quotes verbatim a meeting at the Federal Open Market Committee, then operating under Chairman Ben Bernanke. It was March 2008. Bear Stearns had just collapsed. The FOMC was debating how to craft its official statement to lower the risk of inflation. “On inflation expectations, because they haven’t risen very much, I agree with President Geithner,” said District Governor Donald Kohn. “I like the fact that we tell people we are aware, but we could say ‘have edged higher’ or something like that instead of ‘risen.’” “We could use my ‘smidgen’ word, but ‘edged higher’ is better,” chimed in Frederic Mishkin, another district governor. “Went up a smidge,” Kohn responded. “Have risen somewhat?” Mishkin said. “Brian, do you have a thought on ‘risen’ versus ‘risen somewhat’ versus taking it out?” Bernanke said. This discussion goes on for a couple dozen more lines. “I might have run screaming from …