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Morning Lineup – June 23

Saturday Morning – What's Cooking?

For the past year I have been chatting frequently about this fascinating cultural shift from printed books (and other publications) to digital publications that are downloaded to your computer or portable devices like iPads and Kindles.  I will be continuing this because it directly affects fire and EMS services, too.  More and more, higher educational institutions are switching to eBooks as the publication-of-choice for textbooks and we need to get used to that. 

A high percentage of firefighters and EMT's pursue additional training and certification through continuing education courses, and we are seeing a rapid shifting to online studies via "distance learning" institutions.  This will only accelerate as more of these DL schools get accreditation for their classes allowing them to be transferred to traditional colleges for course credit.  Once that happens, tens of thousands of our compatriots will suddenly become eligible for advanced study that previously required attendance at some campus too far away to be able to participate.

I'm not going to get into all that just now, but in the near future Professor FossilMedic will be addressing this online education growth that is opening up for you.  I bring it up now because I want to alert you to what's happening in the higher-ed. universe.  You don't see it from where you sit now, but believe me, it's rolling in like an Outer-Banks tide right now and it will appear like a Big Bang, ready for action.  So start getting ready now.

What brought that on was still another recent report on how the digital book world is changing that I wanted to mention this morning.  It has nothing to do with fire or EMS, but rather with eBooks in general.  The article that caught my eye is titled:  The Future of Cookbooks …. They'll Go Extinct and That's OK.  It was written by a cookbook author and has an interesting take on how the digital revolution will be affecting his trade.  First of all, L. V. Anderson, the author lets us know that a high percentage of cookbook sales these days are for gifts and rely on pleasing photos and slick paper to get you to take one home with you.  Surprisingly, only a very small percentage of cookbooks are purchased for self-use.

She goes on to say that while print editions may well outlast other print books, they will eventually go extinct and that is just fine with her.  Quoting from the article that I am referring to:

I’m not only certain of the imminent demise of the print cookbook—I’m fine with it. That’s because print cookbooks offer nothing that apps, e-books, and websites can’t, despite print enthusiasts’ efforts to recast them as objets d’art.

The appeal of a tangible gift—one that can be wrapped and physically handed to another person—is deeply ingrained in some people. But over time, our present-exchanging customs will adapt to our increasingly online world. Cooking applications for tablets and smartphones will likely join Netflix subscriptions, Amazon gift cards, and iTunes playlists as popular digital presents, effectively wiping out the gift-cookbook phenomenon.

The Internet is far superior to cookbooks for helping readers suss out recipe quality (and, to a lesser extent, so are apps that allow users to rate recipes). Before the Internet, if you wanted to find out how good a recipe was, you had to make it yourself (or take the word of a friend whose palate may or may not be compatible with yours). Now, you can Google the type of recipe you’re looking for, browse several versions (and readers’ comments on them), and choose the one with the highest user rating. Reader reviews can even help you make a recipe better (by suggesting that you add more salt or a pinch of cayenne to your stuffed peppers) or tailor it to your dietary restrictions (by substituting crumbled tofu for that ground pork if you’re vegan or kosher). For people who are interested primarily in cooking recipes that taste good, the Internet is a better resource than any cookbook ever was.

For quite a few years years now, I have been relying on The Food Network website and its thousands of recipes for different ways to prepare favorite dishes and have benefited from the wide variety of recipes for a particular dish to choose from.  And when you stop and think about it, with all the cooking that goes on in the firehouse and the growing use of personal digital devices, we are seeing this transformation taking place right now and probably didn't realize it.

Read the full article that I'm talking about HERE  and see if you don't agree.

One thing we'll agree on is that we need to break now and get this equipment checked out before the Saturday shoppers and weekend DIY's start finding ways to get in trouble.  I'll fire up the Bunn-O-Matic and then meet you back in the digital day room.

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At Amazon:
Kindle E-Reader Prices Start at $79

CLICK HERE to review the assortment available and order yours.

(Firegeezer recommends the Kindle Touch 3G model)

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Comments - Add Yours

  • mr618

    It seems to me that a significant drawback to electronic cookbooks is the requirement that you have your computer (or Kindle or whaytever) right there in the kitchen with you, where it can get greasy or spattered or knocked over. At least with a paperbook, you can wipe the schmutz off the pages without trashing a $500 laptop.