Category Archives: Random

First Day of Food!

Well, today was my first day of food, so I decided to be creative and try some new food. I had granola and banana for breakfast, a delightful tomato pesto panini on multigrain bread for lunch and for dinner, Max and I shared a quinoa salad. It was simple to make (Max and I played GameCube while the quinoa was simmering) and very delicious. For us two (a little left over for lunch), I used 3/4 cups rinsed quinoa, 1.5 cups water, 1/3 of a tomato (more is better, chopped coarsely), 1/2 of an avocado (chopped into bits as well) and some chopped cilantro. Simply bring the quinoa and the water to a boil, and then slowly simmer until all the water is gone, then cool and add the vegetables and cilantro and mix with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil to keep from getting to clumped. We also had some carrots and a dollup of hummus on the side, with a few almonds and a sprig of cilantro for a garnish. It was very tasty and simple to make, here’s a shot of the salad, and us having fun plating it up.

Good eats!

Ranok

Complete!

It’s done! My 7 days without food has ended and I’ve begun to slowly add solid foods to my diet. I had a meager dinner of a banana and 6 baby carrots, taking great care to chew them slowly to get my system ready for a challenge. They went down quite well, except when I was helping my suite-mate move in, and had to lift some things, but other than that, everything went fine. I later had a few peanuts and some more carrots with hummus (which was excellent!). I’m planning on trying some granola with soy milk in the morning, perhaps with an apple. My lunch will be a toasted multi-grain tomato and pesto (I made it this afternoon, the whole apartment smelt like heaven) sandwich with some carrots and hummus on the side. I will try to post pictures of my meals when I can and post instructions for their creation.

I’ve been looking for a typical ‘starving college student’ meal, one that’s cheap, quick and will fill me up after a day of study. I know the most common is Ramen, which is cheap, but also quite unhealthy and rather foul. I came up with what I hope to fill that gap, and it’s vegan to boot! With my rice cooker, I’m going to make brown rice (it has a timer so it’ll be cooked when I get home!) and steam some broccoli in it at the same time. Then mix in a little peanut butter (all-natural, unsalted) and some soy sauce to make an Asian-inspired meal. If I have the time, I can saute up some tofu and sesame seeds and add for a little something extra. When I get my rice cooker, and I get my stomach ready for such a meal, I’ll let you know how it is, and a more detailed recipe and pricing.

Peace and chow,

Ranok

On Religion (My reaction to Fitna and Camp Jesus)

Generally, I keep my opinions on this rather touchy topic to myself or to my close friends. However, I think our globalized world has reached a point where people need to get their issues resolved and stop fighting about religion. Please be aware that these are my opinions, and I’m not an expert by any means on any religion, but I do try to keep informed (I’ve read most of the Bible and the Our’an).

After watching “Fitna“, a short movie/slide-show about Islam being an inherently violent religion bent on the assimilation and control of the world, I thought it was time to give my 2 cents. In quite a bit of America, Islam is blamed for the 9/11 attacks and everything else that’s wrong in the world. This fear of Islam is being used to remove our rights and freedoms, and I think that it is sad that our country has come to this. After watching “Fitna”, I think that it incites hatred and anger by selectively picking verses from the Qur’an and showing clips of extremists calling for blood. If you read the Qur’an, you’ll find wonderful verses such as Surah 2: 109,110 and Surah 2: 195 (I know there are more, but this is what I could find just reading part of Surah 2). If you look to the Holy Bible, you’ll find equally incendiary verses: Exodus 1:16, Numbers 31:17, etc…

I don’t think that the problem is the religion, but the extremists of any type. Those who hate those that differ from them, and would kill those who do not see their way. I think that there are extremists of most all religions, not just Islam. Watch “Camp Jesus“, which is a documentary of an evangelical bible camp that indoctrinates young children to “fight for Jesus” and that siding with the conservative right is politically the only religiously ‘right’ thing to do. I think that this is a terrifying form of extremism right in our backyard. One only has to look to the KKK to see another Christian extremism sect that is bent on the destruction of everyone who they don’t like.

Does the existance of the Taliban mean that Islam is inherently evil and violent, if so, then doesn’t that mean that Christianity is equally evil because the KKK identify themselves as Christian? Should we hate all Mormans because the fundamentalists are polygamists who ‘marry’ girls as young as 14 and have as many 65 ‘wives’? I’m asking you to answer these questions yourself, and perhaps see that one religion isn’t evil and another is good. To modify a popular saying, “Religion doesn’t kill people, people kill people”. I think this is a true statement and should be taken to heart. I sincerely believe that a religion that teaches only hate and violence will never have a mainstream following, and that there are people who are scared or ignorant and rather than face these fears, they try to destroy all opposition to what they think. These people don’t come from a single religion, but all beliefs and religions.

Only by educating our kin and teaching ethics and morals can we hope to eradicate extremist violence. I am not calling for people to abandon their beliefs, but to be open and respectful to others. Humans have enough differences (skin tone, height, language, etc…) to fight about, they don’t need to fight about things that can’t be seen (religion and beliefs).

Hopefully people will read and think about this,

Ranok

A Quick Little Hack: EasyRSS

Just a quick little PHP script I wrote for one of my professors to generate a RSS feed of files in a directory. It’s pretty simple to setup, and is mostly useful for either providing a RSS feed for updated files, or for a Podcast, just put this somewhere on your website and point it at your MP3 directory. Then, just upload your MP3 (or anyfile format) podcasts to that directory, and that’s it!

EasyRSS can be downloaded here

Peace and chow,

Ranok

Mental Leap

It seems that recently, many of my classes have touched upon threading or multi-processing in some way. After spending time programming in Erlang, where the creation on a process is very cheap, it’s interesting to see how strategies must be adapted in order to fit other threading paradigms (like pthreads). As part of the COSI server challenge (basically, spend an hour or so making a web server in the language of your choice), my Erlang submission merely spawns off a new process for each incoming connection. As I read further, I came across Apache’s MPM threading model and it made perfect sense: have a pool of threads waiting for incoming connections, then handle them as they come. This makes the server much more responsive as it does away with the need for spawning a new (very short lived) thread. Once I read this, it was as if I made a mental leap, and now I can see how simple and brilliant this is.

I guess to to conclude I just think that you should always be ready to make that leap and keep an open mind, just because it works, and you’ve done it forever, does not make it the best possible way.

Peace and chow,

Ranok