Potatoes for Days

So my potato diet, or starch-based diet, is kicking itself up in the new year.

For those playing along at home, I tried just potatoes towards the end of last year, it was fantastic, I shouldn’t have stopped, but I did. I successfully at nothing but potatoes for three weeks straight. Didn’t crave anything else by the end of it. But caved in the end because it can become boring, plus Christmas was approaching and it was definitely going to be untenable over the the Christmas period.

For about two weeks before the Christmas break I flipped it up and went to the protein-based diet… amazing, bacon and eggs for breakfast… yes please. I continued to lose weight on this diet, but found myself a little more sluggish and muddleheaded than I did on the potatoes. It also give me a constant coating in my mouth and a “mouthfeel” that wasn’t awesome.

Then came Christmas… well that was just a free-for-all time. Chocolate, breads, ham, more chocolate (I’m craving chocolate just writing the word) and of course fizzy drink with an abundance of sugar. I stacked the weight on easily.

Now we’re into the new year, and I’m already kicking goals, just 1kg to go to get back to the weight I was when I derailed myself. But I’m not going to be as restrictive this time around.

Potatoes are good and all, but you can get tired of them, you can dread the next meal so I’m going to where it all started for me… this quest began after watching some videos featuring Dr John McDougall talking about his starch-based diet. So I’m checking out some of his recipes to get me going this time around.

Dr McDougall has a lot of recipes and information available for free at https://www.drmcdougall.com/…/educa…/free-mcdougall-program/ where he and his wife detail the foods to eat, not to eat and all the other information you’ll need to get you going.

I feel, in my uneducated opinion, like both diets (low carb OR starch-based) because they are both focusing on “mono-diet” type things, where you’re only really putting one type of food into your system at a time, be it protein OR carbohydrates. So folks even say they have similar results just eating one type of food per meal rather than cutting out one or the other.

I guess I like Dr McDougall’s plan because it is also vegetarian at it’s core and if I can go plant-based then yay for me.

Strawberry Cake

Strawberry Pie

It’s strawberry season here in Bacchus Marsh in Victoria, Australia. Positively one of the best times of the year. Once you taste the local strawberries you’ll wonder what those things you can find in the supermarket are. The freshly picked strawberries are divine. They taste so sweet. So I’ve gone a little crazy with the cooking this season, having just last week made the Strawberry and Rhubarb Pie. I didn’t have enough strawberries or any rhubarb to make another pie so I made a strawberry cake. Certainly not “good for you”, but scrumptiously delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 85 grams unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, for sprinkling on the mixture before cooking
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk (low fat is fine)
  • About 10 strawberries, hulled and halved

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and butter a 9-inch deep dish pie pan.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Put it aside to be added to the wet ingredients in a moment.
  3. With your electric mixer, beat the butter and cup of sugar until well combined and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until mixed in. Gradually add the dry ingredients and milk, and beat on low speed until smooth, it will remain quite thick.
  4. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Arrange the strawberries on top, cut side down, so that they completely cover the batter, use more or less as required for your cake pan. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the strawberries.
  5. Bake for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 160°C and bake until the cake is lightly golden and a tester comes out clean, about an hour.
  6. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack before removing.
  7. Eat and enjoy.

Note: You can store this at room temperature for several days wrapped or in a container.

DJI Mavic

One of the greatest barriers to using drones is the pain-in-the-butt of carrying them around with you given their big size.

Two weeks ago, GoPro said, we can do that better and made a small folding drone, the Karma, with all the power of the bigger guys in a foldable design.

Today, DJI, the makers of the best (IMO) flying cameras said a big “F*** YOU” to GoPro with the announcement of the DJI Mavic

Like the Karma, the Mavic folds down into to a tiny little compact unit that fits easily anywhere, even the props fold. The Karma still requires you to remove the propellers and store them separately.

I’m compelled to get a Mavic, but alas, insufficient funds for non-business related “toys”… so I best start making more money! Or alternatively, I’m considering selling off my Phantom 4 and getting the Mavic. I’m sure the Phantom 4 is a better device, but I’m not using it as much as I could, or should, purely because of the inconvenience of having lug it around. I still have to check out the specs, particularly with the camera in more details before I decide.

Of course, to be fair to the GoPro Karma, it does use a GoPro camera that is detachable and readily used on its own and they have created a whole system of using that one camera and a hand-held unit, the Karma Grip (comes bundled), just like DJI’s Osmo. The advantage being only needing one camera for many applications. Not that anyone can have just one GoPro.

I see DJI’s next move will be to take GoPro head on with an actual action camera.

Check the Mavic out on the DJI store; it’s a thing of beauty.

Straight Outta Oz

Todrick Hall is a rockstar, well, sadly he’s not yet, but he should be, and his latest work, “Straight Outta Oz” proves it.

Taking inspiration from “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, Todrick has made a masterpiece of a concept album married beautifully with gorgeous visuals and shared with us all on YouTube.

Running at 57 minutes “Straight Outta Oz” is conceived, written, produced and directed by Todrick, this masterpiece is one not to be missed. It serves fans of Oz and musical theatre well.

Day to Night by Stephen Wilkes

I sure we’ve all seen Stephen Wilkes’ amazing photos of day to night, now Stephen talks at TED about how they are made.

Take aways from his talk:

  • often over 30 hours of shooting to capture the time over the day
  • all that time spent at his camera (when and where does he pee?)
  • usually up in a cherry picker or scissor lift for the whole time
  • months and months of post work by him and his team
  • all the effort makes amazing images

It’s a pretty cool talk, well worth the 12:37 to be inspired by the man’s passion, watch Stephen Wilkes’ TED Talk.

Stephen has also done a 2-hour talk with B&H. You can watch Stephen Wilkes’ Evolution on YouTube.

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Be the change

Bacchus Marsh Sunrise

“If you wrong would you admit it?
And take the heat up under the lights
Use your expert criticism
Then maybe you could get a life
Don’t like seeing people happy
Is it jealousy or personal?
Cause I don’t see why loving someone
Or what I do seem so radical to you

Still it might sound strange to you
But what you think it don’t mean nothing at all
Doesn’t change who I am
Doesn’t change who I love”

-Janet Jackson “The Great Forever”

I’m sure Janet believes in a higher power and given that her home is now in the Middle East I’m not sure which one. “The Great Forever” in the song is clearly a reference to the afterlife.

I don’t believe in an afterlife. It’s probably the one thing I’ll be pleasantly surprised to find I’m wrong about. I don’t believe I’ll ever be proven wrong about the existence of any gods though. The “gods” are a creation of man rather than the other way around.

Many believe that atheists don’t have any beliefs, but I really do. I believe our time spent here on Earth should be revered as its own miracle. Of the billions and billions of stars we can see we know of only one of the hundreds of billions of planets that has life.

I believe that we should spend our time in life in a state of love and wonder for what is around us. Living with hate or fear, it limits you.

If you’re spending a great amount of your time deriding others for their way of life you only hit the wedge in even harder, you are the reason for increasing tensions and things will never improve, they’ll only get worse.

If you live a life of love and being the best human you can be, and you still find yourself getting attacked, you’ll find those attacks most often have their root in jealousy. So you pick yourself up and dance joyously once more, you recover, and you don’t let hate change you.

We see it all the time, jealousy is behind the tall poppy syndrome, we hate on others who we perceive have it better than us, we try to bring them down, even if it’s just talking badly about them among friends. That time we spend in our jealousy could be better used improving our own lives.

It’s like when you’re on an aeroplane and they go through the safety briefing at the start. They tell you emphatically that in the event of a loss of cabin pressure a breathing device will fall from the ceiling of the plane. Your job is to first take care of yourself, make sure you can breathe clearly before you help anyone else… because if you don’t, if you spend too much time trying to fix someone else’s problem before you fix your own, you’ll find you can’t recover yourself. So take care of you first and the rest will fall into place, you’ll be in a better position to help others.

Ghandi’s “Be the change you want to see in the world” is about being a living example. Not judging others, just being you, and if you’re being the best you can be, others will want to be more like you. If you hate, no one wants to be like you. No one wants to take on energy that brings them down.

All Uber drivers are rapists: Fear marketing

Fear

Fear marketing at its best! This tactic should never be applauded. And it looks like in most states and territories where Uber operates something like this would not be able to operate anyway given we have rules about limited employment to a single gender and so do most of the US states.

Fear is the easiest form of control and the GUY who started this company is winning at it. All you have to do is put the idea of something terrible into people’s minds and bam, you have a market.

The article presents the reader with this tidbit:

“A search for the words “sexual assault” returned 6,160 tickets, and the search “rape” returned 5,827 individual tickets.”

A vitally important piece of data is missing, well two actually, wait, no three. Hell, I ended up with seven.

  1. It doesn’t then go on to tell you how many rides are in the system, giving you an actual number you can work with to determine probability. This number may well represent the tiniest fraction of all Uber rides.
  2. Two, it doesn’t mention if the search for “Rape” is in addition to or if Sexual Assault and Rape are sometimes on the same ticket, which may well mean the total number is 6,160 rather than the perceived 11,987.
  3. Three, it doesn’t mention the resolution of the tickets. Is the driver now gone, was it unsubstantiated, etc
  4. Four, how many perpetrators were there? If the 6,160 complaints were about 5 drivers and all 5 drivers are gone… the problem as been mitigated.
  5. Five, what’s the time period for these reports?
  6. Six, what’s the scope of the problem, are most/all contained to a single provence or is it an endemic world-wide problem? The screenshot shows at least one report coming from the UK.
  7. Seven, who was the perpetrator, who was the complainant. It’s quite damning of society that we see a complain of sexual assault and immediately jump to the conclusion that the perpetrator was a man and the victim was a woman. It could easily have been the other way around or it may have been a woman assaulting a woman or a man assaulting a man!

I could probably go on forever, and yes one case is one case too many, but we don’t know ANY of the information beyond a screenshot and that a guy has created a market through fear for himself to make a tonne of money and he’s done it by maligning every man ever in existence.

The idea that only women should drive women = all men are bad, all women are good, which simply isn’t the case.

Feature image by Dryhead on Flickr used under Creative Commons License.