Saturday, 25 February 2012

Scones Recipes

Since I just came back from my holiday in South Africa I have little ingredients in my house; no milk, no eggs, no bread -- basically nothing that's not in a tin or a sealed bag. What I do have is a bag of flour, salt, baking powder, and a tin of coconut milk. So I decided to make some vegan scones.

Vegan Scones
25 Minute Vegan Scones Recipe:

Makes about 6-8 vegan scones.

Sift two cups of (whole wheat) flower together with a quarter teaspoon salt and a teaspoon baking powder. Mix a three quarter cup of coconut milk and a quarter cup of luke warm water. Fold the liquid into the dry ingredients, and finally knead just enough to ensure all the dry ingredients have been worked into the dough. Break into equal parts, roll them into balls and place into a greased scones pan. Drizzle a few drops of oil on the top of each ball and rub over the surface. Put the pan into a preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes at about 250 degrees Celsius.

If you do not have coconut milk, you can experiment with a good oil instead: try a third cup oil, with two thirds water. I don't know if it will come out equally as well, but intuitively I think it will get the job done.

The following non-vegan recipe is the one that I used as my template from which I developed the one above.

12 Minute Scones Recipe:

Makes about 10-12 scones.

Sift 500 ml cake flour with 15 ml baking powder and 3 ml salt into a bowl. In a 250 ml measuring cup, add 60 ml oil, add an egg and about 125 ml milk (or just enough to reach the 250 ml mark) and mix it all together. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix together. Divide into balls and place in a greased scones pan. Put the pan in a preheated over and bake at 220 degree Celsius for about 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

This recipe has quite exact measurements -- a little to exact for my liking -- but it is a well tested recipe that doesn't disappoint.

Wikileaks Insurance File

The Free Speech Flag

It is no secret that I am a supporter of Wikileaks. I have even in the past donated money to their cause. Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States of America is credited to have said that "Information is the currency of democracy." Without free, and comfortable access to information, particularly information about our governments, we cannot dispose of corrupt public servants and replace them with officers with integrity. We need to know the about the things our governments are attempting to hide from us, so that we can make positive and righteous change.

Wikileaks have recently made available their second "insurance" file as a torrent. This encrypted file seems to be a back-up the Wikileaks documents, so that if something were to happen to the Wikileaks servers, the information would not be lost. So obviously when I saw a message posted by Anonymous asking for people to download the torrent and help with the seeding of the "Wikileaks Insurance Release 02-22-2012" I was happy to oblige.

If you feel similarly about the Wikileaks cause, and if you have comfortable access to the Internet with adequate space, the file is nearly 64 GB in size, please share the burden and ensure that truth survives. The size of the file is quite staggering as the previous insurance file that was put out in 2010 (contain the Afghan War materials) was a mere 1.4 GB in size.

Supporters, you can download the bittorrent-file here.

Once you have downloaded the whole file, you need not necessarily seed it all the time, unless you have the bandwidth, or their is a call to seed by Wikileaks. It is important to keep the file as "insurance" for Wikileaks. In other words, keep it until Wikileaks dumps it's next major release of information -- about 64 GB worth of information!

"Enjoy the Silence"

I was just about a teenager when "Enjoy the Silence" by Depeche Mode came out. It was one of the most hauntingly beautiful things I've ever heard.

Wikipedia lists nearly 50 covers of the song, many of them I've never heard.

A pretty good rendition the one by Alternative (Christian) Rock band Anberlin:

The version by metal-goth band Lacuna Coil is worth taking note of, but it is not my favourite.

If I were to go for a metal version, I much prefer HIM's.

The song was originally meant to be performed much slower. The slower covers are the ones I prefer most. One of my favourites is Tori Amos' version. Her voice is accompanied by a beautiful minimalistic use of the piano.

Susanna and the Magic Orchestra also does something special in her unique rendition of the song.

Many commentators are of the opinion that Susan Boyle's version is a rip off of Susanna and the Magic Orchestra's version. I can't say that I agree. Susan Boyle brought her own emotional touch to the song.

I like the attempts at making jazz versions of the song, such as the one by Patti Austin and to a lesser degree Janita's version. I like the jazzy cover by Nino Siragusa. (Nino is not famous and only have a few videos on his YouTube channel, but he is fun to watch.) The acid jazz version of Jazzhole isn't bad either. Ramiro Barrios Jazz Trio probably does the most truly jazz rendition in their instrumental version. Going instrumental, guitarist Vernon Reid does something particularly interesting in his electric guitar cover:

Friday, 24 February 2012

Forever Spoiled

After seeing this picture, how can I ever look at James Franco, known for his roles in Spider-Man, 127 Hours, and Rise of the Planets of the Apes, again without imagining his nose as the head of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle?

Or how can I ever look at a cat cleaning itself, without thinking of some satanic ritual?

Phew! From Vanderbijl to Potch to Seoul in a Dash

It's been a while since my last post and update on my travels in South Africa. South Africa?! When was I in South Africa?

So a week and a half ago I found myself in the Vaal Triangle on my brother's plot (small holding) about 20 kilometres outside of Vanderbijlpark. He has horses on the plot. And an Alsatian-Bull Mastiffish cross with horselike ears. And three doves in a rusty aviary. Technically the latter belongs to my wheelchair bound father who manoeuvres himself into the living room around 5 PM in order to watch his favourite weekday TV program: Dragon Ball Z! The week that I stayed at my brother's plot I got to notice a number of my invalid father's daily habits. Although he cannot speak and only has limited mobility, there is nothing wrong with his understanding, nor his ability to appreciated the subtleties of anime. I wonder if I inherited my love of anime from my father.

I mentioned in previous posts about my car that got stolen some time last year and how it was miraculously recovered by the police. Well it would seem that the devil refuses me the luxury of enjoying the miracle, since the police are yet to allow us to get the car from the police's pound. Their excuse is that they are still busy with the investigation. My goodness! How long does their investigations take, and do they really need to keep my car to do so? I'm starting to think that they are just devilishly spiteful.

In any case, it was my intention to share the time of my last week and a half in South Africa between Vanderbijlpark and Potchefstroom. Unfortunately it didn't work out that way and I only got to go to Potchefstroom this past Monday afternoon and Tuesday, resulting in my last moments in South Africa being terribly hurried as I ran from one appointment to another. It also caused me to miss out on a number of people I would have liked to see.

I started my journey back to Korea on Wednesday, arrived late Thursday afternoon, went to bed at 11 PM and only got up at 11 AM on Friday.

I suddenly found myself with a blocked toilet, causing me to go on a rampant search for drain unblocking tools: chemicals, a plunger, a strange springlike wire, pipes and what not. Got the drain cleared eventually, but this was certainly not the way I planned to start my time back in Korea.

The good part is that I was able to salvage most of my plants. After six weeks of neglect they looked terribly sad, but with gallons of water and love I was able to rescue the majority.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Noord-Transvaal: Familie & Vriende

Die laaste twee weke kuier ek in die Noort-Transvaal. Met besoek in Natal het op 'n Donderdag tot 'n einde gekom; ek het vroeg die oggend per bus (Inter-Cape) vanaf Durban na Pretoria vertrek. Daar het 'n vriend my gekry en die res van tog verder Noord geneem tot net buite Tzaneen.

Lester en Hannelize, twee vriende wat binnekort ouers gaan word, was my gasheer en -vrou vir 'n baie aangename naweek wat 'n lekker swem ingesluit het. Swembaddens is nie 'n algemene ding in Korea nie en wanneer jy in 'n gymnasium in Korea gaan swem is dit vir swemoefening, nie vir die pret van swem nie. Die volgende week het ek bietjie vir Tannie Jenny (een van my vele aangenome moeders) en my haar seun, my vriend Michael, gaan kuier. Ek het dit erg geniet om bietjie televisie by hulle te kyk. Ek besit nie 'n televisie in Korea nie, so dis soms lekker om net voor 'n televisie neer te val en "op te vang".

Van Tzaneen is ek Pietersburg / Polokwane toe. Ek ken Jaco al sedert Graad 1. Sy ma was my Standerd 1 (Graad 3) juffrou. Ons saam op laerskool, ho"erskool, en universiteit. Hy en sy familie is regtig soos familie vir my en dit was heerlik om by Jaco te kuier en toe sommer sy ma en susters ook daar te sien. Hulle almal trek nou Noorde toe. (Dit maak natuurlik my toekomstige kuiers in Suid-Afrika baie meer gerieflik as al die mense so in dieselfde geografiee bly.) 'n Ander vriend wat ook saam met my op Potch gestudeer het, is ook in Pietersburg gevestig. Dit was lekker om met hom op te vang. Eintlik is dit net ek wat opgevang het, omdat hy 'n gereelde leser van die blog is, en dus 'n redelike goeie idee het hoe dit met my gaan en waarmee ek myself besig hou.

Toe Pretoria. Ek het die meeste van die tyd by Karel en Annari gebly -- Taekwon-Do vriende. Toe besoek ek Alwyn en Louise, ou Potch vriende wat nou in Pretoria bly. Alwyn en ek is albei in die akademie en het in die verlede projekte saam aangepak, insluitende die projek, wat ons nou wil herontwikkeling binne 'n nuwe raamwerk. Ek gaan saam met Alwyn 'n nuwe projek aanpak; 'n liter^ere blaadjie. 'n Ander vriend in Pretoria is Henk, nog 'n Potch vriend. Henk het my bietjie rond gery en al die "local party spots" uitgewys. Hy het ook my aandag attend gemaak op die geweldsmisdaadgevaarzones in Pretoria.

Toevallig besluit van my familie in Pretoria om 'n saamtrek te hou oor die naweek en gelukkig was ek in die omgewing om dit te kon mee maak. Daar was nie baie gesinne nie, sowat vyf gesinne was verteenwoordig. Die geleentheid was veral spesiaal omdat ek die kans gekry het om een neef wie ek jare laasgesien het, maar volgens oorlewering (deur 'n ander nig en neef) goed oor die weg sal kom. Dit was die eerste keer vir my om Christiaan te ontmoet noudat ons albei volwassenes is. Ek het hom baie aangenaam gevind. Hy het uit sy pad gegaan om my by die Gautreinstasie op te tel sodat ek ook die kuier kon mee maak en sy vrou en kinders kan ontmoet. Die familie-kuier het gistermiddag afgesluit met Tannie Rina wat deur die motorvenster vir my skree: "Geniet jou lewe!" Mooi woorde.

Ook oor die naweek het ek met 'n Potch vriend en vorige huismaat, en sy partner, gekuier. Hulle het met my gedeel oor hulle moeilike ervaringe as 'n gay-paar, hoe moeilik die jare was wat hulle uit die kas gekom het, en hoe hulle familie hulle intussen begin aanvaar en ondersteun het. Ons het ook 'n paar flieks saam gekyk, en musiek uitgeruil.

En nou is ek in Johannesburg. Oor 'n uur ontmoet ek die Taekwon-Do president van Suid-Afrika vir 'n vergadering en dan vanmiddag ry ek saam met 'n ho"erskoolvriendin Vanderbijlpark toe. Ons gaan 'n draai by haar ma maak wat intussen 70 jaar oud geword het. Ek en haar ma het baie dae saam gekuier toe ek nog op skool was. Die tannie het naskool vir 'n besige dogter gewag, en omdat ek vir my besige ouers gewag het, het ek maar so saam met die tannie gesit en wag en lank en sand gesels.

Later die week is dit Noord-Wes toe.
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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

An Introduction to World Views and Conceptual Systems for Cultural Congruent Health Care

Two weeks ago in Westeville (KwaZulu-Natal), I presented a seminar on the topic above. The audience was for a psychology therapist intern who wants to specialize in trauma counselling. The topic "An Introduction to World Views and Conceptual Systems for Cultural Congruent Health Care" is a fancy way for saying that good health care should be culturally appropriate and to understand a culture one must have a basic understanding of the a priori assumptions the culture is based upon.

The seminar was divided into three theory sections and one demonstrative section. For the theory sections I focussed on World Views, Zeitgeists, and Individual vs Group Oriented Societies, each with appropriate examples.

Under World Views I looked at four main systems: Atheism, Theism (including monotheism and polytheism), Deism and Pantheism (Monism). I further highlighted how these World Views each extrapolate different moralities. I also showed how some systems represents the Western Scientific World View, while other systems better embodies a Supernatural / Magico-Religious World View, and how each system have different health care expectations.

The second section, regarding Zeitgeists, I divided into three categories: a Pre-Modern Zeitgeist with a Supernatural / Magico-Religious World View; a Modern Zeitgeist with an epistomological focus and Western Scientific World View; and Post-Modern Zeitgeist with a subjective, ontologically driven, and eclectic world view.

The last section concerned typical differences in Group Orientated Cultures versus Individual Oriented Cultures and the different health care expectations such cultures require.

Finally, through a series of quick personal questions ranging from age, gender, ethnic make-up, family background, religious practices, hobbies and recreational habbits, to favourite movies, dietary preference, and even political views, I quickly (and correctly) identified the person within the set paradigms and suggested how I would assist (i.e. approach counselling with) the person, in order to provide culturally congruent health care.

I'm happy to have received very positive feedback afterwards. It has also been a memorable part of my trip in South Africa so far.
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Friday, 3 February 2012

Nog 'n ware verhaal

Tannie Dollie bly in die Noorde. Sy's 'n vriendelike rassis, met 'n warm haat vir die anderskleuriges en ek's bly sy is nie my familie nie. Sy's die tipe wat my vra: "Het jy nou al 'n meisie?" asof ek nog nooit in my hele lewe in 'n romantiese verhouding was nie, of "Wanneer trou jy nou?" asof ek nog 'n volwaardige, volkome mens gaan weens tensy ek getrou het nie. Wanneer ek nie bevredigind antwoord nie fluister sy agter af: "Hy's seker een van daai! Jy weet . . . 'n skewe ene, 'n moffie." As ek dan meedeel dat daar nogals mooi Koreaanse meisies is, kan ek sien hoe sy haar gril probeer wegsteek, en as ek dan verder verduidelik hoedat die Koreaanse kultuur nie heeltemal met my persoonlikheid pas nie, en ek daarom nie myself binnekort met 'n Koreaanse wederhelf sien nie, kan jy sien hoe sug sy van verligting. Ek is so bly sy's nie familie nie.

In elkgeval, Tannie Dollie se senuagtige kleinseun is vanjaar 'n eerste jaar student aan die universiteit in Potchefstroom. Tot eergister nog het Tannie Dollie se senuagtige kleinseun in 'n studentehuis gebly. Die rede vir sy kortstondige verblyf as 'n onafhanklike jongman is as volg: die vorige aand sit hy op sy bed langs 'n oopvenster met sy skootrekenaar en werk kyk. Toe hy weer sien staan "Ta" daar buite die venster met 'n geweer op Tannie Dollie se senuagtige kleinseun gerig. "Ta" is Tannie Dollie se versagtingswoord vir "kaffer". (Terwyl Tannie Dollie die gebeurtenis herlei het, het sy nie van "Ta" gepraat nie.) Gelukkig vir Tannie Dollie se senuagtige kleinseun is Ta ook senuagtig en toe seunuagtige kleinsein vir Ta en sy geweer sien, toe skree senuagtige kleinseun bloumoord en Ta gaan sommer aan die hol.

Tannie Dollie en haar senuagtige kleinseun se ouers raak toe dol en proklameer dat senuagtige kleinseun in 'n koshuis moet gaan bly waar hy opgepas kan word. En voor jy kan se "Ta" is arme senuagtige kleinsein in Hombre Manskoshuis geprop. Ek weet amper nie wat is erger nie: om van aangesig-tot-aangesig met 'n senuagtige skelm en sy geweer te wees, of om in Hombre Manskoshuis met hulle kudukop-logo gegooi te word nie. Arme, arme senuagtige kleinseun.
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