Gum, Easily Removable

The gum stuck-on-shoe/in-hair/to-your-stoop nightmare now has an antidote. Plus Big Thinker Mario Batali.

The gum stuck-on-shoe/in-hair/to-your-stoop nightmare now has an antidote. Scientists at the University of Bristol, in England, have developed a gum that degrades naturally in water, so cities accustomed to spending money on toxic chemicals to get rid of gum stuck to its walkways will soon be able to redirect those funds. If, instead of spending on cleaning, local politicians continue to leave the gum to become blackened disks on sidewalks and subway platforms, well, now there's no excuse.BIG THINKER:

Mario Batali

Eating locally is the most significant thing to improve cooking and dining since the Italians first invaded the United States in the early 1980s. The idea that a geo-specific flavor is original and resoundingly unique to a place is the key to a truly varied and diversified menu. I am very excited about scallops in the shell from Taylor Bay, Nantucket. The flavor of the northeastern Atlantic coast is so specific and yet easy to harness in these sweet little puppies-they are candy. A menu where the best local things are celebrated and savored where they come from is a true ideal for me.My next task is developing a truly delicious herd of sustainable cattle with my partners Joe Bastianich and Adam Perry Lang, using no growth hormones or antibiotics. The herd will be raised in a humane and eco-responsible atmosphere to create beautiful and tasty American beef to serve at our restaurants, perhaps even retail if we can do enough.Mario Batali is the chef and owner of numerous restaurants, including Babbo and Del Posto. He is working on a new TV show, costarring Gwyneth Paltrow, for PBS.