Some ANSI artists created their graphics simply for fun, others used it as a way to gain access to otherwise exclusive BBSs that dealt in the distribution of pirated software (warez), still others managed to sell their artwork to SysOps who wanted to spruce up their systems. Reguardless of motive, ANSI artists soon began to get together to talk, show off and collaborate on projects. Artists began to join together and form "art groups". In the early 1990’s these groups began to distribute montly compliations of their members’ artwork known as "packs" or "art packs". The first major ANSI-based art group called Aces of ANSI Art (AAA) was soon followed by an explosion of art groups such as ANSI Creators in Demand (ACiD), and insane Creators Enterprises (iCE). Groups and members from the USA, Canada, Europe and even the Middle East were soon showing off their creations around the globe (See Appendix 2).

The emergence of the ANSI surprisingly did not result in the death of the ASCII art scene. Similar ASCII groups had already formed to display and distribute their artwork. Some ANSI groups accepted ASCII artists and ASCII graphics into their monthly releases. ASCII artists began experimenting with the colors and shapes of ANSI, while still creating forms primarily out of alphanumeric characters rather than ANSI "blocks". This amalgamation of the ANSI and ASCII standards is referred to as "new school ASCII".


It is safe to say that ANSI and ASCII artwork enjoyed the height of popularity in the early to mid 1990’s with the height of the BBS scene. The recent explosion of the World Wide Web and the slow but certain demise of Bulletin Board Systems would suggest that these simple and outdated formats are now almost extinct. This, however, is not the case. Today there are still groups of artists that deal primarily with ASCII or ANSI and their artwork has surpassed almost everything done in the mid 1990’s in skill, scale and complexity. New ASCII and ANSI drawing programs such as "ACiDDraw" have been developed and others such as "Empathy" are still being developed today in order surpass past editors and meet the demands of today’s advanced artists. ASCII art enjoys a new-found popularity among today’s computer users in e-mail messages and on terminal-based network stations. ANSI survives in text-mode based electronic magazines and on most remaining BBSs (some of which now have internet connections). More importantly, however, these formats survive because there are hundreds of artists who continue to create and exchange amazing ASCII and ANSI artwork. No longer a functional necessity, these formats are used by artists simply because they love them. There is no fame or fortune to be had in ASCII or ANSI artwork, just a feeling of pride and accomplishment, and the challenge of pushing a decade-old medium beyond its already constricting limits to create something beautiful.

An Abbreviated History of the Undergrou…

As a garlic farmer it always saddens me that they don't bother to explain the physical structure of the garlic in these kinds of videos. All alliums have some form of the compounds allicin and allicinase but with garlic they are held in separate cells. So the reason the flavor gets stronger is because you are bursting more cells and mixing the two compounds in greater quantities. It's a lot like a glowstick. An onion, by comparison, the two compounds are inside the same cell. That's why the direction you cut an onion (with the grain or against it) determines how much of the two compounds mix. But because they are held in separate cells the reaction is more pronounced in garlic.

It takes 20-30-ish seconds for the reaction to take place so if you cut directly into heat you aren't giving it time to do it's thing. This is because heat breaks down the compounds, both pre-mix and post mix. Some garlic varieties can actually survive low temp roasting without losing flavor. But if you want the best flavor, add the garlic at the end of the cooking process, or if you want the mellow suffused flavor do it half and half.

There are some 150-200+ varieties of garlic that can be divided into groups in a number of ways, but basically there are three evolutionary lines that gourmands and growers divide into 11 or so subgroups. A curiosity of garlic is that no wild garlic exists so we don't know where it actually evolved. There are two genetic epicenters, one in south-central Asia and another in the Middle East. Each variety is adapted to a slightly different climate or is more tolerant of various climatic differences and due to this some varieties simply will not grow where the winters are not cold enough. By the same token, some of the warmer varieties (creoles and turbans) will not do well up North. But also due to this, there is a slight yearly variation in the flavor in even the same variety that is dictated by the climate, much like wine is affected by the growing conditions of the grapes. Some varieties are very spicy kind of like mustard, but others aren't spicy at at all. Some are mild and sweet with high sugar content and high solids, others are rank and stinky like garlic is supposed to be. Some store well, others, like the Asiatics, do not store well. But in the end, they are all garlic. There are some varieties that have a kind of wang to them, though. But the harvest time dictates whether or not the flavor is more pronounced or the storage qualities are improved, as it's a trade off. You can't have both (though the storage qualities can be adequate, you don't have to store it for two years honestly, though silverskins can last that long).

However, the part that always frustrates me the most, is because culinary artists prefer larger bulbs those are the ones that people seem to want. It's pure laziness as the smaller cloves have more flavor packed into them. As the clove grows in size the flavor is diluted, it's a non-linear relationship. So bigger is not better, it's actually milder with a higher solids content. But the garlic you buy at the store is either mass produced in California or imported from some other country and neither compares to anything a small-medium craft garlic farmer will produce. The strength of the flavor is 10-30 times stronger than the stuff you get at the store, so while it takes longer to peel the tiny cloves, you actually don't need as much of it. It's real easy to overpower traditional recipes with gourmet garlic.

This is the best book on the subject: Amazon wants $20 more than this garlic farm charges for it.

small cloves