Greg Veis, YouTube Hunter: Are You Ready for Some Parkour?

My first thought, so stereotypically Jewish it's guilt-inducing, is a practical one: that cannot be good for the joints. The resulting arthritis is going to be monumental. And yet, what I'm watching is something I'd never imagined a human body to be capable of. It is exhilarating.

It's the first long action sequence of the new Bond film, Casino Royale, and the burnt-faced bad guy is trying to escape 007 in a conveniently located construction site. He's climbing walls, jumping from metal beam to metal beam, executing truly expert flips and rolls. This isn't the standard stunt man preening; it hardly looks human. But it is. And apparently what he's doing has a name: Parkour.

Apologies if you've already grown hip to Parkour (French for "course"). It's been around for some years now, and two of its original practitioners, or, as they call themselves, traceurs--David Belle and the Bond bad guy, Sebastien Foucan--are legitimate stars in Europe and, increasingly, here. (The Wikipedia entry is quite comprehensive if you're interested in the history.) My friends and I have been trying to describe it for the last couple days, and despite our best efforts, words can't do Parkour--or its flashier cousin, free running--proper justice.

One writer from The Independent said it uses "the idea of the city as a playground." A co-worker said it looked "like an X-Games event where you can only use your body." I think it most closely resembles dance and will cause monumental arthritis. And Sebastien Foucan says this on his website: "Parkour isn't a fashion phenomenon, it's an evolution of the mind," which doesn't rise above the level of well-intentioned pabulum.

So, clearly, we have to go to the YouTubes. And none to soon, since they're excellent. Let's start with a "Best of" compilation for our boy Foucan:

And here are two from David Belle. The first is from his movie District B13, and the second is another "greatest hits" deal:

Only watch the first two minutes of this clip, soundtracked by a YouTube Hunter favorite, the Gorillaz's "Feel Good Inc.:"

Lastly, in case the above clips have moved you to try Parkour at your nearest industrial complex, a gentle reminder that maybe you should breathe deeply, count to ten, and play some ping pong instead:

The Simple Way to Reheat Your French Fries and Not Have Them Turn Into a Soggy Mess

Some restaurant dishes are made to be doggy-bagged and reheated in the microwave the next day. Not French fries: The more crispy and delectable they are when they first arrive on your table, the more of a soggy disappointment they’ll be when you try to revive them at home. But as The Kitchn recently shared, there’s a secret to making leftover fries you’ll actually enjoy eating.

The key is to avoid the microwave altogether. Much of the appeal of fries comes from their crunchy, golden-brown exterior and their creamy potato center. This texture contrast is achieved by deep-frying, and all it takes is a few rotations around a microwave to melt it away. As the fries heat up, they create moisture, transforming all those lovely crispy parts into a flabby mess.

If you want your fries to maintain their crunch, you need to recreate the conditions they were cooked in initially. Set a large pan filled with about 2 tablespoons of oil for every 1 cup of fries you want to cook over medium-high heat. When you see the oil start to shimmer, add the fries in a single layer. After about a minute, flip them over and allow them to cook for half a minute to a minute longer.

By heating up fries with oil in a skillet, you produce something called the Maillard Reaction: This happens when high heat transforms proteins and sugars in food, creating the browning effect that gives fried foods their sought-after color, texture, and taste.

After your fries are nice and crisp, pull them out of the pan with tongs or a spatula, set them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil, and sprinkle them with salt. Now all you need is a perfect burger to feel like you’re eating a restaurant-quality meal at home.

[h/t The Kitchn]

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