Friday, October 22, 2010

GeekFest Dubai 2010: The NOTGITEX Edition

The talks, on topics from gigapixel photography to entrepreneurship risk, were generally interesting, but I would have enjoyed the evening more had I not had to battle this ridiculously persistent cough.

The Little Mermaid OST- Les Poissons

Classic song from classic Disney. Such infectious culinary enthusiasm, it makes me want to go for some seafood right now.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Food for the Flu Dude

Just your average zhouslow-cooked with extra ginger, and topped with shrimp paste, mincemeat and spring onions.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thoughts on Race and The Last Airbender

I saw this on a plane recently, and surprisingly find myself defending Shyamalan against Yes, the argument that the cultures depicted in the Avatar animation universe are clearly East Asian is sound, and the "heroic" Water Tribes and "villianous" Fire Nation are in fact populated by European and South/Southwest Asian people, respectively, in Shyamalan's film. However, I think there is something to be said for a major break with Hollywood cinematic tradition that this film represents.

Usually, it's the brown/yellow people who take the role of the quaint, valiant, spiritual "tribes" and the white folks who take the role of the imperialistic, advanced "nation". This is the first film I've seen that depicts white people as relatively backward, in-tune-with-nature types, while depicting the dominant military/technological superpower about town as a bunch of brown dudes.

So while I would have preferred that the Earth Kingdom was Chinese, the Fire Nation was Japanese, the Water Tribes were Siberian and the Air Nomads were Tibetan, as would be consistent with the original TV series, I think we need to take a more big-picture perspective on the "white heroes, brown villains" accusations lobbed at The Last Airbender.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I just DON'T like it ...

Robyn Urback: Facebook’s “I like it” campaign pointlessly sexualizing tragedy

I think quoting a comment by a reader of this article would best describe my feelings on this matter:

All I'm seeing is: "Curiosity raises questions, which leads to conversations and that's where action starts!". Good, that's fine, but does no one realise that this is an IDIOTIC way to raise curiosity? Where is the link between sexually suggestive ways to tell where you leave your purse and breast cancer? THERE IS NONE. I could do the same thing; observe:

Me: Just got a rim job!
Friend: Wow, disturbing.
Me: I'm talking about getting new rims on my car haha! But also, it's colon cancer awareness month!
Friend: Oh, uh, neat. Didn't know.

Except in this example, the sexually suggestive rim job actually has closer relevance to colon cancer than a freaking purse to breast cancer.

(source: National Post)

PS: And according to The Huffington Post, this whole meme originated with a male social network user, as probably did last year's breast cancer FB meme. At least the latter was, while equally suggestive, remotely relevant.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Evening Masala Chai

In a typical aluminium kettle, black tea brewed sweet  with ginger, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon, and served with evaporated milk.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Marmite Chicken

Chicken breasts marinated overnight in marmite and honey, rubbed in with pepper, grilled and served with grilled mushrooms. Goes great with garlic paste.

Rajmmus: Red Kidney Beans with Tahina

Hummus, hold the hummus. Substitute with red kidney beans (rajma), soaked overnight, slow-boiled until very soft. Blend to a thick paste (or manually mash till your arms scream for mercy). Add tahina, lemon juice, crushed garlic, olive oil and a little salt and voila!

The good thing about hummus is that much of it can be prepared to taste, so there's little that can go horribly wrong unless one is completely incompetent and/or careless. I just bought a new masher, so I took the mashing route. The results are a bit lumpy, but still good.


My latest plush collection entry. Not quite the original meme, but it meets the technical definition, and is comparably cute, if not more. From Velocity mall in Singapore.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Singapore 2010

View from 26 floors up in Ang Moh Kio

The lush natural beauty of the tropical evergreens combined with the glowing constructed monuments of global cities. My now-annual Mid-Autumn pilgrimage to the Lion City had me see some of the old, and some of the new - people, food and places. It just keeps getting better.

And I got to see the cutest baby on earth.

Sri Lanka 2010

Near Pinnawala elephant orphanage

Lush natural beauty, tons to see, great food, tourist-friendly, easy on the wallet.

The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince

Yoon Eun-Hye returns in another K-drama of a working-class lass stumbling into hypergamy (ref: Princess Hours). Coffee Prince's Cinderella is Go Eun-Chan (Yoon Eun-Hye), a Seoul tomboy who, through a series of awkward encounters, finds herself a sidekick and employee of of Choi Han-Kyul (Gong Yoo), the self-centred heir to an F&B empire. As breadwinner for her family, she poses as a boy so that she can get jobs unavailable to girls, of which is that of a trainee barista at the titular coffee house, which Choi needs to make succeed in order to prove his competence to his family.

Despite her apparent gender, though, Choi finds himself falling for Go, and begins to question his sexuality. While hardworking and dutiful Go initially plays the role of a boy in order to earn money, she finds herself unwilling to risk losing Choi's companionship by revealing the truth. Choi's cousin is also attracted to Go, and with his childhood sweetheart entering the fray, a love quadrilateral begins to emerge (ref: Princess Hours, again).

The romantic comedy drama plays out very well for the most part, and the tension/awkwardness-based comedy is delightful. Choi and Go share great chemistry, and while Gong Soo delivers commendable work as an actor, the show is stolen by Yoon Eun-Hye. Tears, giggles, kisses and fights abound in this sugary-sweet rom-com series. Two thumbs up.

xkcd: Beautiful Dream