Bring vinegar, sugar, cumin, and salt to a boil in a 2-quart non-reactive heavy saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add onions and simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and cool. Stir in cilantro. Pickled onions can be made 1 week ahead and chilled, covered.
Copyright July 2003, Gourmet magazine. Printed with permission.
Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, is studying whether the experience of being a virtual cow will make people feel more empathy. "[Our previous work] showed that if you had occupied the avatar of another person, you showed empathy toward them," Bailenson says. "But no one had ever tried this with another species."