Dec 25

Christmas Kimchi

If you want to keep warm on a cold day, make your own kimchi.

It reminds me of making a fire. It warms you three times.

Prepping the ingredients will warm you up. Building your kimchi will warm you up. And eating it will certainly warm you up.

Kimchi is full of good stuff

The main ingredients are cabbage, onions, radish,  ginger, garlic and chili pepper powder.

My taste buds aren’t accustomed to fermented kimchi, so the one I’m detailing below is a “fresh” kimchi.

From start to finish, you need two to three hours to make this. Half of the time is spent leaving it alone.

Cabbage, onions, ginger, garlic and gochutgaru, say hello to Christmas kimchi.

Cabbage, onions, ginger, garlic and gochutgaru, say hello to Christmas kimchi.

What you need to make Christmas kimchi

  • Bok choy: My latest, greatest and fave-ist vegetable. I have used pearl baby bok choy and pearl Shanghai bok choy, roughly a dozen heads of each.
  • Spring onions (aka green onions): You’ll need a “bunch” of these, approximately 1 cup when chopped.
  • Onion: Half of one, sliced.
  • Asian radish: Half, sliced up to 1/4 inch (approximately 1 cm) thick pieces (any radish will work).
  • Ginger: A big thumb, grated or finely chopped.
  • Garlic: Half a clove, grated or finely chopped.
  • Salt solution (brine): One part salt to four parts water.
  • Gochutgaru (Korean red pepper powder): Half a cup, made into a paste.
  • Roasted sesame seeds: One table spoon.
  • White sugar: One tablespoon.

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Dec 16

Seven Hours at Science World

One of Vancouver’s brightest attractions, often on the gloomiest days, is Science World.

It has been put together very intuitively. As you move through the galleries, each one has its own character and each invoke different feelings, stimulate different senses and prompt you to learn via practical application.

Also, it’s a wonderfully social place, where you often find yourself taking part in activities with other people, then ooo-ing and ahh-ing together, sharing anecdotal stories and often laughing together at the things you find yourself doing.

The Exhibits at Science World

As you enter, there is a large open space, and even when it’s busy, one never feels too cramped. There are several tables with displays, learning toys to play with and right in the middle is the Centre Stage.

The Centre Stage is where people will gather several times a day to watch live presentations about a variety of topics. I was fortunate enough to catch the Van de Graaf and Tesla Coil demonstrations during a presentation about electricity.

The presentations, and Science World as a whole, are extremely family friendly.

Eureka!

If you take the ramp up to the next level, the first thing you see is the entrance to the Eureka! Gallery.

In here are exhibits, almost all interactive, that rouse the senses. It’s alive with the noise of children playing games with water, light, sound and motion. All of it is very tangible, and it’s a great way to start off your tour.

The children in your group (and maybe you too ;-) have likely entered Science World in an excited state, so this is just the place for everyone to make the most of that enthusiasm.

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Oct 06

The Creatures of the Night

If you’re curious about wildlife and want a chance to see some nocturnal species at play, then Stanley Park is the place to be.

This program is run by the Stanley Park Ecology Society

The Stanley Park Ecology Society runs the Creatures of the Night program from Thursdays to Sundays throughout October

The Creatures of the Night program is organized by the Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES).

In this first clip, Public Programs Manager Krystal Pyke talks about the Creatures of the Night program, the animals you might encounter and the fun you’ll have (while learning too).

 

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Sep 16

Shito-Ryu Classical Karate

The Powell Street Festival celebrates the heritage of Japanese Canadians. There is art, comedy, music, food, dancing and ceremonial displays that are free for the public to attend.

Learn these skills and many more by studying Karate-do

Originally a technique for taking you off your horse!

The weather was beautiful and I encourage everyone with an interest in Japanese culture to attend next year.

This year the Powell Street Festival celebrated the martial arts, in various forms, at its 36th annual event in Oppenheimer Park, Vancouver.

According to its website, Vancouver Shito-Ryu Karate came together decades ago and was brought here by Shihan Yoshiaki Akira Sato.

Karate itself stems from the 1800s when the tradition of martial arts had long taken root in Okinawa, Japan, courtesy of the many business trips by “Chinese masters.”

How to Warm Up

A karate training session, much like other demanding physical pursuits, requires a considerable work out to warm up. In the following clip you can see some of the exercises that are typical.

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Sep 12

Jinn Warriors in the Devil’s War

Jinn warriors Ameena, Haredi and Metellus join forces in a supernatural dimension, parallel but hidden, to take on the devil and save humanity. Each of these characters has endured a life that might seemingly make them mortal enemies with each other. However, they find the way ahead is one of unity against a common foe.

The creative lead behind the fantasy graphic novel series Jinn Warriors is Canadian Marwan El-Nasher, born in Cairo, Egypt.

El Nasher was also behind AK-Comics in the early 2000s. AK-Comics featured a time-travelling Pharoah as one of its leading superhero characters. This was a first in the world of comics: Middle Eastern superheroes.

Before there were jinn

After moving to Toronto in 2007, El Nasher was keenly pursuing his writing career in comics and graphic novels. And much deliberation, experimentation and creativity, Warriors was born. “I was playing around with the idea of three heroes from completely different backgrounds that would seemingly be enemies, but would have to become united against a greater enemy.”

Dærick Gröss was his Editor In Chief then, and now he and El Nasher are working together again on this latest series Jinn Warriors. The first issue is titled The Devil’s War.

Queen Ameena

The Pharonic Queen Ameena who helped Moses during the Exodus.

Father of the Jinn

El Nasher talks to us from Detroit, Michigan, where he is currently looking into distribution.

He begins by describing what Jinn are, talks about the background to the tale and how he came up with the story-arc.

According to Islamic scripture says El Nasher, the jinn are creatures that were created after angels and given free will, “Satan is considered father of the jinn, and there are good jinn and bad jinn.”

The series begins with the creation of the universe and concludes, at the very end, with the end of the world.

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Sep 06

Create Games with Unity

Create Games with Unity

This summer Annex Pro held an event at Vancouver Film School to publicize the game development platform Unity. Product evangelist for Unity Technologies, Carl Callewaert, gave the presentation, “Create Amazing Games with Unity.”

Unity Game Development

Due in part to being free, Unity has a considerable userbase.

It was a fun evening and a chance to meet some of Vancouver’s AAA and indie game developers, discuss digital media content and the interactive web experiences that so many people are trying to create.

Callewaert gave an overview of the Unity platform and talked about some of the features of the latest version, Unity 4.0.

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