Sunday, October 15, 2017

Southern Food

Southerners are known for many things, and cooking is one of them—but not just any old dish out of a generic cookbook, though—real, authentic Southern food. At the mere mention of grits, cornbread and collard greens, you know that you’re probably dining in the South.

"Shrimp and Grits" is a Southern favorite.
Certain foods are synonymous with the area below the Mason-Dixon Line. But why? Well, much is geographic fertility. For example, Georgia and South Carolina peaches are the sweetest available because of the soil and temperature. Our former president, Jimmy Carter, made Georgia peanuts famous because of his farm (and if you’re in the South, you’ve got to boil those peanuts instead of roasting them). To get a taste of a specific region in the South, gather your pecans in Mississippi, grind up some sugar cane from Louisiana, bake up some sweet potatoes from Alabama, or shuck a few ears of sweet, Southern corn from North Carolina.

Summerton, South Carolina, is surrounded by numerous farms and boasts some of the best produce around. As you drive though the countryside of Clarendon County, you’ll see corn, soybeans, peanuts, greens, squash, melons and tomatoes. Numerous tables in Summerton homes and at local churches and social gatherings are filled with the county’s plentiful bounty (minus the soybeans).

Many of the South’s foods have an African-American influence because of the plantations that dotted the Southern landscape. It is from where we get okra, and thank goodness for okra soup and fried okra and okra pilau (pronounced per-low)! Black-eyed peas and rice were staples on large plantations years ago and are still on Southern tables today. Benne seeds and sorghum were used in many dishes, and melons were a perfect treat in the relentless Southern heat. All have roots in African heritage and soil.

But by far the most influential component to Southern foods is family. Families pass down their recipes like they are passing down the crown jewels. Try to get your hands on some families’ prized fruitcake recipes or their barbecue recipes, and you’ll get your hand chopped off! Many Southern families identify themselves by their specific recipes. For some, their recipes make their families unique—and they don’t give away their “specialness” easily.

Whether or not you get your hands on a coveted recipe for sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving, it’s all good, because even if some Southerners don’t share their recipes, they always share their food and hospitality.

Friday, October 13, 2017

ArtFields 2018 in Lake City, South Carolina

Wim Roefs, the new artistic director of the Lake City Creative Alliance, has expressed her hope that you will participate in ArtFields 2018, a nine-day art competition held annually in Lake City, South Carolina – see

This will be the 6th edition of ArtFields South Carolina and she wants to help make the competition and exhibition better than ever. ArtFields wants to show even higher quality art, improve the presentation of the artworks, attract bigger audiences, generate increased interest from art professionals nationwide, and hope to receive more exposure in art publications and other local, regional, national and international media.

Read more about ArtFields, competition rules, submission of art works, and much more by going to  Also, feel free to call the ArtFields office at (843) 374-0180.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Move Over ‘Smart Watches’ and Explore the Potential of ‘Smart Rings’

Move over ‘Smart Watches’. Forget having a chip implanted. People are now beginning to explore the capabilities of wearable ‘Smart Ring’ technology, even though its not yet ready for prime time.

A ‘smart ring’ is a wearable electronic device with embedded mobile technology components. It functions primarily as a miniature Near-Field Communication (NFC) device that can interact with a variety of other digital systems (e.g. smart phones, smart locks) to perform certain functions.

The 1st generation of smart rings currently include a mix of the following features and functionality:
  • fitness and activity tracker
  • monitoring personal health
  • gaining access to secure devices or facilities
  • smartphone connectivity
  • notification of incoming calls, text, emails
  • contactless mobile financial payment
  • secure storage of selected credentials, e.g. credit cards, passwords
  • gesture-based motion controller for computer games and smart TV

Try and imagine what 2nd and 3rd generation smart rings will be capable of doing by 2025.

Check out the Token Smart Ring – It currently only needs to be recharged every two weeks, is waterproof, and comes with a bunch of sensors, including a fingerprint sensor that authenticates the user, and an optical sensor that locks credentials as soon as the ring is taken off.

Smart rings will one day effectively eliminate the need to carry a wallet, credit cards, door keys, car keys, driver's licenses and much more. The global smart rings market, currently around $25 million, is expected to have a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.16% and become a $15 billion industry by 2021.

The technology is not yet ready for prime time. It’s still on the bleeding edge, let alone the cutting edge.

Selected Links

Monday, October 9, 2017

HiFi, WiFi, and now there’s LiFi

Back when I was growing up in the 1960s, one of the big thing was the emergence of HiFi high fidelity sound systems. It was a really big deal when my Dad brought home one of these huge, new systems. It was a big piece of furniture that occupied a prominent position in our living room. We kids quickly hi-jacked the new system to play our wild Elvis Presley rock & roll records. The revolution had begun.

High Fidelity, often shortened to HiFi, was the term used to refer to the high-quality reproduction of sound produced by the new stereo systems developed in the late 1950s and widely sold during the 1960s. This catchy term was used to distinguish the new systems from the lower quality sound produced by inferior audio recordings and equipment used back in the 1940s and early 1950s. See

At the turn of the 21st century, along came something called WiFi – a wireless network using ‘radio frequency (RF)’ for interconnecting electronic devices in your home or business to each other and to the Internet. When I installed WiFi in my home around 2001, the only device connected to the wireless network was my laptop. Today, my smartphone, smart TV, and ‘Alexa’ voice assistant are all connected to it – and the number of devices is growing. Most homes in the US now have WiFi.

WiFi is a technology for wireless local area networking to interconnect a wide variety of digital devices used in your home such as personal computers, video-game consoles, Internet routers, smartphones, computer tablets, digital cameras, smart TVs, printers, smart appliances, and other Wi-Fi compatible devices. In 1999, the Wi-Fi Alliance formed as a trade association to hold the Wi-Fi trademark under which most products are sold. See

The latest thing is LiFi. What has happened is that I have so many devices I need connected to WiFi, that I was buying multiple network extenders to try and cover every square inch of my house, including the decks and my backyard. The wireless network in my home was becoming just too complex and available ‘bandwidth’ was becoming a problem. Thank goodness for the emergence of LiFi.

LiFi is a bidirectional, high-speed and fully networked wireless communication technology similar to Wi-Fi, except it uses a form of visible-light communications technology and a subset of optical wireless communications (OWC) to complement and extend your existing ‘radio frequency (RF)’ based WiFi network. LiFi can carry much more information and provides a solution to the current RF-bandwidth limitations of WiFi. See

To put it another way, think about every LED light in your house or office as a potential LiFi communication device. Think about every outside light, even your street lights, functioning as part of a massive optical wireless network blanketing your town. Li-Fi has almost no limitations on capacity. It will be able to transmit data 100 times faster than today’s WiFi networks. It boggles the mind!

Get ready! LiFi is just about to hit the marketplace in a big way. It is estimated that the Global LiFi market will be worth at least $ 80 billion by 2021. LiFi will be what makes the Internet of Things (IoT) happen.

Selected Links

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Local Clarendon County Football Teams: Schedules and Scores - October 2017

The following are links to the 2017 Football Schedule, Roster, and Stats for Summerton and other local high schools across Clarendon County, SC.

Our county High School football teams are now well through the 2017 season. Good luck to everyone as the remainder of the season plays out.


* Check out MAXPREPS, a web site for team standings and more complete statistics across the state.