Diary of a Tasteless Cook: Eggs Runny Side Up

This post marks the start of (hopefully) pretty cool series of posts on my attempts at cooking. To give you an idea of my skillset I can make a pretty mean cup of tea, awesome scrambled eggs and (as a previous post pointed out) I do enjoy a pretty solid cup of good coffee. I have actually made one full dish though of “orange chicken”. According to the cookbook it was a 30 minute recipe but instead it turned into a 3 hour ordeal.

In terms of technical abilities well…I can crush oreo biscuits for tiramisu and I do know how much oil you need for eggs and popcorn. So at the very least I can survive anything from a zombie apocalypse to alien visitation. That being said should the aliens arrive and unionise chickens I’m going to be pretty screwed.

So for this post I shall expose my mastery of oviparity products starting with the humble chicken egg. Unfortunately I only took one picture during my cooking time and it should be up there ⇑ in the banner. So I started off pretty easily enough with two eggs. Not a bad start if I say so myself. Additionally I managed to get the oil to a pretty high enough temperature (I know this from the fact that I had the fumes of burnt oil assailing my nostrils).

So once I managed to control the amount of smoke choking me I was able to actually drop the freshly cracked egg in the pan. Lo and behold! It lands with a satisfying hiss and promptly sticks to the clearly non-non-stick frying pan. The edges clearly took advantage of the fact that they had the lowest density and began turning brown. Amazingly despite the heat, a lovely puddle of uncooked albumen created a moat around the yolk castle. Freaking the shit out I lifted the pan off the stove with it’s underside having warm memories of the red hot plate below it. In moving the egg from the pan to a plate I managed to successfully split the yolk and let it spill across a bit of the counter and plate.

At this point I’m pretty sure you’ll agree I have screwed up and the next egg would be made successfully. Well no, not at all. To start off with I cracked the second egg IN the plate containing the semi-cooked egg which added a bit more egg white to it quite unnecessarily. I did somehow manage to drag the yolk into the pan in once piece where it promptly spilled it’s content to the now increasingly cancerous oil. I tipped as much of the leftover egg white into the pan and managed to get that stuck to the pan. After scrapping what was left onto the plate I relaxed because while it looked pretty rank it was done!

Sinking my teeth into it with some toast I did however learn that the albumen cools the egg down pretty fast so it was mostly a plate of soggy, cold,crispy yet uncooked egg white. The yolk was not cooked. At all. On the plus side I did discover that I can stomach uncooked yolk so yeah, I guess something good actually came out of this.

C’est la Oeuf

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Lies!!

Surprisingly when you mislead your audience people don’t like it!

I managed to watch the Batman vs Superman movie TWICE! YES TWICE! And lets just say the reviews aren’t too kind. Personally I don’t think it was THE worst movie ever (from an expectation standpoint that would be the Hobbit:Battle of Five Armies) but it does a really bad job of doing what it promises to do.
 

In the build up to this movie we had batman vs superman plastered all over youtube and Facebook (the profile picture editor they used to show support for Paris now gets used to show support for either Batman or Superman) so for some odd reason a lot of people had the idea that they were going to see this epic clash of titans -the movie to end all debates! Who is cooler? Which fandom gets to say “IN YOUR FACE!!!”….Sadly we got none of that. we got a two and a half hour long movie with about 10 minutes of actual batman vs superman “fighting”. In my mind that could totally be acceptable IF the rest of the movie was spent showing us them pitting themselves against each other ideologically. It did a semi-decent job instead of setting up the justice league and for the average movie goer not familiar to the lore it was a massive let down. You’d see bits thrown in that made no sense, things like wanye manor being destroyed, batman being an (even more) cynical dude,superman looking like he’s about to cry everytime he does something(although that still baffles me).
 

This was a movie made for the hardcore fans and not for someone looking for a Joss Whendon funtime with you favourite superheroes. There is no joy in this movie whatsoever. Batman is sullen throughout due to his 20 (unseen) years on the job. He hates what he does and things it’s pointless trying to go after small criminals. He hasn’t been able to get rid of crime in Gotham and he views this act as his final defining act. Clearly selfish! He even states that his family were hunters as justification for what he’s about to do. How is that justification for anything? Just because your family used to hunt you should too? It’s an inane excuse that I’d fine difficult to believe Batman would actually believe.

 
Although they don’t hint at what happened at wayne manor I would imagine what you’re watching is something that falls somewhere along the timeline of ” Dark Knight Returns” but with the Sons of Batman either missing or never formed. They do appear in the Knightmare sequence so either he’s thinking of doing that or it has been done. The Knightmare sequence is excellently described in this excellent piece but serves to illustrate the point that this movie is for people that have engaged in batman beyond(see what I did there) the blockbuster movies. And for that I’m really impressed. The marvel titles are the benchmark and they allow someone to walk in with zero knowledge and walk out feeling satisfied. The hints and stuff exist for hardcore fans but they’re just there to make you excited not serve as driving plot points for the movie itself.

 
On that note the Knightmare sequence does look amazing and I would love to have seen more of it or heck an entire movie going into THAT timeline. It reminded me of Injustice: God’s Among Us and really if they had taken elements of that and made a movie I can guarantee the audience would’ve loved it. Superman having actual justification for fighting Batman and vice versa and they could’ve ended with a dead Superman/Batman but allow it to continue due to the multiverse.

 
Additionally the fight itself was not what you’d really expect. Batman seems to just go a brute force method with pointless traps that served no purpose. If Batman wanted to kill superman he could have shot the Kryptonite canister at him( Superman would have caught it as he does the first one) and shot him full of bullets. Keep the spear close and then stab him! Boom my plan is better than Batman’s! Admittedly there is the possibility we give Batman too much credit but for a master tactician his tactics weren’t that great. If superman punched him to the top of the building batman wouldn’t be able to drop him from the top so that seems more like luck than planning.

 
The editing of the movie was absolutely horrendous and whoever did it should be fired. The cuts were jarring and the narrative flow was completely absent down to the last scene. They show the casket being laid, Bruce and Diana talk, Batman confronts Lex and then back to the casket! My only hope is that the Directors cut actually makes more sense.

 
I found the score kinda weird at times as well which is a bit disappointing when Hans Zimmer is involved. Wonder woman theme sounded like the spy kids theme to me during the final battle and superman’s death music sounds like the Lion King when Mufasa dies XD
 
Wonder woman was probably the best thing the movie had going for it. Her fight scenes were epic but even then I found her motivation for being in the story really odd. She wanted a photo on a hardrive because??? She wanted to print it out and frame it? It didn’t really add up why she was there, or where she was going(or were we suppose to only notice the Turkish Airlines)?

 
Jesse Eisenbergs performance was actually enjoyable the first time around as I kinda saw him as Mark Zuckerberg as Lex Luthor but after seeing how “insane” he acts at the end I realised when I watched it the second time that he was trying far to hard to do what heath ledger did for the dark knight. Infact the whole movie (and Man of Steel) trys to hard to be the serious movies that Nolan produced with the Dark Knight trilogy. I do hope that they have some fun with the Wonder woman and Aquaman movie and if they do decide to do a Cyborg and Flash movie they tone down the seriousness (especially considering they’re both teenagers)
 
All in all it gets a 5/10 from me. It had good bits (Jeremy Irons is brilliant as Alfred) but a lot of it felt to disconnected. You needed some background info and while that’s nice for the hardcore fans for your average movie goer and those that just want to see cool superheroes it was too heavy handed.

Obvious Life Lessons: Part 1

To start off I had the idea of doing this after watching that Modern Family episode where Phil breaks out his book of knowledge of weird life lessons that he picked up from life experiences. In my mind perhaps it’s something I might one day show my kids but it does erally serve the purpose of letting me learn from any random experince as deep or shallow as it may be. So here goes:

  • When you’re walking down stairs hold the rail! It may be simple but there are alot of situations where you don’t just because well (a) it’s cooler and (b) it’s faster. When you don’t you end up with this:20151226_173602 Admittedly not the worst thing in the world but it was pretty goddamn sore. Infact during the first night that I sprained my ankle it was the first time I experienced the feeling of it hurting so much that you want to throw up that writers use to describe intense pain. The water you see in the background leads to my next lesson
  • Throw away chocolate wrappers when you’re done with them especially if they’ve got caramel. It melted and ended up on my cellphone charger and kinda clogged the inner pins. And from the clean-up I also learnt.
  • Hot water works amazingly with sticky substances. Don’t freak out just heat it up somehow. Maybe use a hair dryer or well hot water and your good to go.

 

Ah but as they say…c’est la vie.

 

Wits student protests: Where we stand as students.

So recently there’s been a huge commotion at Wits over the fact that the University of Witwatersrand is planning to increase their fees. As a brief overview for facts (if youi’re not up to date) the plan was to increase the overall fees by 10.5%, upfront payment fees by 6%, residence fees by 9.4% and international fees by 10.7%. Aditionally according to Linda Jarvis, the CFO of Wits, around two thirds of students are on bursaries.

Well now we’ve got the stats out of the way, let’s jump into it. So what are the grievances? Well the overall price hike of course! We live in a third world country (despite many arguing against that term despite the fact that pretty much all of the things they complain about are characteristic of Third World countries) so there are undoubtedly a few students that will legitimately struggle to cover the increase next year. And you need to be realistic and really look at this problem from the perspective of that person, not yourself. To you it may be easy to say “Get a loan” or “just cut back on some expenses” but that ignores the fact that for some people that’s not a reality. They may have loans already just to pay off the fees, they maybe unable to get loans for some reason or the other. If it really was so easy for the people in this situation to get that money, don’t you think they would already? It really doesn’t need to be spelt out that money doesn’t grow on trees.

But why do I even need to discuss this? I mean it seems like a pretty obvious point but unfortunately it seems as if many students don’t really understand the reality of the situation. From many students reactions you can tell that they haven’t fully thought out why the protests are being held. Why is that really though? Well ironically in part I think it’s the protest itself that stops that discussion. People get angry with the protesters for keeping them in. People start acting as if they’re willing to mow down protesters. I don’t agree with that way it’s been handled in a lot of ways. According to Wits the protests was only suppose to happen between 12 and 2 and that’s why that was such a delay in reacting when it did happen. I really didn’t like the fact that they kept people in AFTER 5.They got the point across so continuing simply makes people more antagonistic towards them. And that simply annoys me. And it annoyed a lot of people. But that’s all it does-annoy you. Our massive reaction against the protests are because we are annoyed. We are upset that we can’t go where we want because people are trying to fight a cause to keep people in varsity. And yeah perhaps there were better ways to do this but what I really hate is the ignorance diplayed by students because they are angry they can’t go home.

A lot of people say that well this de-legitimises the cause. People use it as an excuse to say “well even IF I agreed to what you were protesting, I won’t support it because you’re going about it the wrong way.”The core thing they’re protesting is valid and yet in their anger people immediately attack that saying that it’s not that much and all they’re doing is making people angry. It does not at all! You can disagree and be frustrated and swear all you want but in the end you need to objectively look at what they’re arguing.

And granted the University has tried. The overall increase was to be 11% and went down to 10.5% and the upfront is suppose to be 10% and dropped to 6%. According to the SRC this isn’t enough and a major issue is that they didn’t have much of a say in the decision. So they’re also protesting a lack of representation which has been an ongoing topic even to my limited knowledge.

And let me just point out that I’m no political expert. I don’t know the SRC or participate in protests or anything like that and it really kinda bugs me a bit. I’ve always said that “engineers are to smart to get involved in poitics” as a way of just saying politics are a really complex science and require skills that engineers tend to not have. We’re too busy and don’t take part in any political activity. And yet we’re the first to stand and criticize any political action in our halls. And this in light of the fact that in first year we actually all take a course instructing us to think critically, look and understand the world around us and well we don’t.

Instead we go with stories of tear-gassing and tyres being slashed and protesters drinking in a basic scaremongering campaign to make them seem petty. The only people that were actually violent (from what I’ve seen) are the people that were trapped. And I get it . If there’s an emergency you were stuck, if you needed to get to the test in the morning you could have missed that. So people got angry and start hating the protesters and by proxy the cause.

Personally I feel that they could’ve caused as much disruption at the specified time and probably received less negative backlash if they had stuck to the times specified. We would’ve seen them heard them and responded in the same way but maybe not as angry. And I think they really need to start with the student body and get more people involved. The SRC should give us real stories. Show us students that are going to struggle with the increase. Let them speak up and tell us what the increase means they’ll lose. In that way they can hopefully make people understand the cause better.

Live

Apathy (noun) lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern. I generally hate it when articles or any form of written work begins with a definition but in this case I really feel it’s justified. I really wish I had more life experience than the few years I’ve had in this world but unfortunately I am forced to make broad generalizations based on the little that I know. In any case, I feel like apathy has begun sweeping it’s way into our lives especially with the advent of social media and worldwide live news.

On this societal level we are forced to confront things that we wouldn’t have heard of otherwise- rape, murder and crime are obvious examples that we’ve come to accept. We complain and moan and scare ourselves behind fences with the hope of keeping it at bay. We reach a point where it’s become a norm and we go with it. I mean, ehat can we do? WE have limited control over these events.

On the other hand we become apathetic to the plight of other people. There’s probably a couple a hundreds of people dying in Palestine, Iran, Syria right now and well what can we do? In Europe there the whole crazy migrant crisis happening and there’s scores of Europeans against it. The typical xenophobia you’d expect of course( and perhaps in some cases justifiably so) but sprinkled with a dash of terror fueld by ISIS. I mean I fully expect that there will be ISIS people in the immigrant crowds but do we throw the people clamouring for help to the dogs out of fear? Or do we protect ourselves? It’s not nice but it’s got to be done. Someone will bear the brunt of their hospitality and what happens then? People fear Muslims and to be clear why shouldn’t they? The terrorists view themselves as Muslims so it’s pretty reasonable to distance yourself from them but once again, is that right? Do we just let a girl like Noujain Mustaffa have no future because of terrorists?

Which is why we’ve created this shell of apathy. We can’t care all the time. We can’t take everyone in. We’re bombarded by media telling us what’s happening, by people telling us to care but the fact is we don’t, not really. We sit in our houses and post things to Facebook to show “support” we think that if we put a little effort we’ll miraculously help people. The so-called slacktivists of the world are proof of this. NOw I am calling them out but I don’t expect this to trigger anyone’s care switch. YO live in (most likely) a western country with some for ma democracy. The job market’s tough and you need to pay bills. You’re not a social warrior, you’re a human being trying to get by. YOu can only do so much. So in the end,I guess it’s OK. Death is inevtable and well at some point in history there’s always been some sort of struggle or oppression happening. Call it a conspiracy by governments or whatever but it’s a fact. We need to live our lives.

Now this diverged greatly from my original topic but once again, apathy. hat happens when life doesn’t pan out the way you hoped? When you don’t get that job or promotion you wanted, when you lose someone you love or just feel that there is no real plan for you? I guess at this point if you’re religious you’d say G-d has a plan for everyone. That may fully well be true and I sincerely hope it is. OK

I guess this makes me think of the apthy of time.. And how it can also converesly remove apathy
I guess this makes me think of the apthy of time.. And how it can also converesly remove apathy

despite the fact that there are rapists and murders who perhaps never got guidance, I really hope G-d knows where we’re going. Although the truth is you need to now where you’re going.

I guess you really can’t decide fate, it’s set in stone but you can try your best. And more than likely you’ll disappoint someone – yourself, your loved ones, your friends. And I guess you just have to #dealwithit. We aren’t perfect. Heck if you’re paying attention you’ll probably already be picking out flaws in not only my posts but my psyche as a whole.

There is hope though. Life isn’t all doom and gloom. We have moments of sheer brilliance. Where things just fall into place, it may not even be how we expect it but I believe it’s a decent case for guardian angels. And in some case not even angels but people. There’s these amazing people you meet that inexplicably put up with you and help you far more than either you or they will ever know. They can be family or friends but they’ll be there.

In the end that’s the real lesson life isn’t about being the best or the richest or the winner. Those are goal you should work towards but whether or not you get there, it’s the people that make that journey worth it. Love people, love those around you and enjoy life.

C’est la vie