Friday, December 29

Jasmine Rice And Atheist Philanthropists

I just got back from visiting my family for a week, and one of my vacation rituals is finally having the free time to read the Sunday New York Times. Life's just too hectic to get involved with a five dollar paper every single week. The posts below are some of the things that caught my eye as I read the last two weeks of Sunday papers.


What Should A Billionaire Give...And What Should You?

This article on charity has already disappeared into the Times pay archives, but here's the part I found really interesting. Emphasis mine:

Interestingly, neither Gates nor Buffett seems motivated by the possibility of being rewarded in heaven for his good deeds on earth. Gates told a Time interviewer, "There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning" than going to church. Put them together with Andrew Carnegie, famous for his freethinking, and three of the four greatest American philanthropists have been atheists or agnostics. (The exception is John D. Rockefeller.) In a country in which 96 percent of the population say they believe in a supreme being, that's a striking fact. It means that in one sense, Gates and Buffett are probably less self-interested in their charity than someone like Mother Teresa, who as a pious Roman Catholic believed in reward and punishment in the afterlife.


Also, a recipe!

Jasmine-Tea Rice

2 ½ tablespoons jasmine-tea pearls
1 ½ cups jasmine white rice
1 teaspoon kosher salt.

1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Place the tea in a heatproof bowl. Cover with the hot water and steep for 5 minutes. Strain through a sieve set over the saucepan and cool.

2. In a large bowl, rinse the rice with cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and add to the cooled tea. Stir in the salt and let sit for 30 minutes.

3. Cover the saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 17 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Serves 6. Adapted from Daniel Patterson.