The Small Things – A Grain of Rice

A grain of rice is pretty small. To feed my family a rice-based dinner, we use two cups (uncooked). Sometimes three if we have extra people over or would like a few leftovers. But there are a lot of other really cool things you can do with rice. Things that, when done right, can have far reaching impact.

Here are a few of those things:

Free Rice!

Because, seriously, who doesn’t love rice? And free makes it just that much more awesome! So how does this free rice thing work? There is this really awesome website called, you guessed it, This website is similar to Khan Academy in that it has a wide range of quizzes on a variety of topics. You, as the person take the quiz, earn ten grains of rice for every right answer. That rice is then donated the hungriest populations on the planet.

I know, I know, it sounds too good to be true. But, it’s coordinated via the World Food Pragramme, an organization that has United Nations oversight. You see, the site has an awesome group of sponsors who back the donations, and the World Food Programme carries out the distribution of said rice.

So, for those among us who love to prove how smart they are, go forth to Play long and often and help feed the world.

Japanese Rice Field Art

No really, that’s totally a thing. In fact, it’s a really cool thing that you can check out every summer in Aomori, Norther Honshu. The farmers there plant their fields with different colored rice plants in order to create an overall image in the field. It’s kinda like our version of crop circles, except they do it ahead of time and take credit for the work.

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Rice Grain Art

On the other end of the spectrum from field art, there is rice grain art. That is the practice of turning a single grain of rice into a piece of art. Some folks carve them. Others paint them. Still other carve and then paint them. Frankly, my eyesight is crap, so I’d never be able to pull it off, but I’m pretty impressed with those who do.

This guy likes to paint on all things small, including but not exclusively rice, whereas this dude sticks strictly with rice.

Yeah, folks, this is proof that in our big, wide world, there are people who do every single thing you can imagine and then some. And, thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can see it for yourself.

Hot or Cold?

Another common use of rice, other than eating it, is as the filler for hot/cold packs. This, believe it or not, is the idea that made me want to write a blog about rice. I just got caught up in the other stuff for a minute.

You see, my mother-in-law and a dear friend both have problems with being able to get warm and stay that way. So, I took up the challenge and made them some of those nifty hot/cold packs that are filled with rice. They are unbelievably easy to make, cost very little, and make great gifts. So, I kept sewing. It’s pretty impressive how many twenty-five pound bags of rice I’ve gone through making these things.

Also, most people know about donating caps and hats and beanies to the cancer center or infusion center. It’s a nice thing to do that makes a real difference in some people’s lives. As a spin off that idea, I donated some of these hot/cold packs. I’ll donate some more as I finish them. And, I think it would be really cool if y’all would do the same.

That’s it for another blog about The Small Things. What small things do you do that makes a big difference? Tell me about it, because a little can go a long, long way.





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