How aubergines and crying faces connected us all online

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iStock

Between 1998 and 1999, while the rest of the tech world was preoccupied with the Millennium bug, a 27-year-old engineer at Japanese phone company, NTT Docomo, was working on a project that would define the next era of digital communication. Although he didn’t know it yet.

From his office in the Gifu prefecture, Shigetaka Kurita, was trying to create a way for customers to communicate through icons. For years his employer had been successful at selling pagers to Japan’s teenagers, and its decision to add a heart symbol to one device had proved popular. But as competitors quickly created similar features Kurita knew Docomo required more.

The result was a set of 176 icons in 12×12 pixels, which Kurita named emoji, a combination of two Japanese words: “e” for picture and “moji” for character. Drawing from manga and Chinese characters, as well as international bathroom signs, he covered everything

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How to Make Homestyle Dosas: A Primer

When Epicurious approached Tara O’Brady about writing this dosa primer, accepting the assignment was not as simple as saying yes or no. Read O’Brady’s essay about the decision here.

Dosa (alternatively, dhosai or dhosha), a fermented rice and lentil crepe originating in south India, has been a staple bread for at least a thousand years. It was classically a breakfast food, but as its popularity spread across the subcontinent and beyond, demand stretched to 24/7.

The most well-known dosa is made from long-grain white rice, skinned urad dal (black gram), and salt, all of which are soaked and ground with water to form a batter that is then cooked until golden and crisp. Consider this the default dosa: single-named, ubiquitous.

Homestyle Dosas with Tomato Chutney

Tara O’Brady

At restaurants this type of dosa can reach impressive physical proportions, the batter spread thin, then coaxed into rolls that span the width

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