asterroc: (Smoothie)
An update of this older pizza report, I now use this Epicurious pizza dough recipe, plus some rosemary and garlic powder. I suggest kneading for 5 minutes (set a timer) to get the right amount of gluten (stiffness to the crust). I still don't own a pizza stone, so I roll out the dough on a large cutting board using a rolling pin, then put flour on a 9x13" baking pan (flour so it doesn't stick), transfer the dough onto it, and squish up a little lip for the crust.

For toppings, I currently have my side be onion (1 bulb chopped), garlic (2 cloves thru a press), and basil (uh, some amount chopped). Both sides I put on mozzarella and sauce; on my side I interleave those with the veggies. Then I put on plenty of pepperoni on top of the cheese, sauce, and my veggies. And on T$'s side I squish in chunks of canned pineapple between his pepperonis.

Preheat oven to 450ºF (because Teflon / PFTE non-stick shouldn't be heated higher than this). Cook around 20-30 minutes, checking every 10 minutes or so. When it's done, the crust will be brown, the sauce is bubbling and dripping around the crust (and singeing where it overflows, but that's fine), and the pepperoni is past softening and is about to curl and brown on the edges.

Ex Machina

Oct. 21st, 2016 09:54 pm
So I just watched Ex Machina and I wanted to process a bit. In case you're trying to remember what this movie is, it's the one with Poe Dameron Oscar Isaac and General Hux Domhnall Gleeson and a sexbot and trying to figure out if she passes the Turing test.

Spoilers )

Have y'all seen it, and what do you think?
asterroc: (Smoothie)
Because I want a place to put all this, here's a bunch of links about why complaining about Chinese food (or other Asian or "ethnic" [non-Western] food) is racist.

  • Why "do Asians eat dogs?" is a racist question. abagond (2015)

  • "Humans have always demonized the cuisine of 'the other' because it's the easiest way to say someone is less human." On racist Yelp restaurant reviews. Andrew Simmons for Slate (2014)

  • On why calling food "ethnic" or talking about food poisoning is racist. Naomi Tomky for The Atlantic's Citylab (2015)

  • Restaurant health inspectors, food handler certification manuals, and of course customer complaints are all racist, and documents for restaurant owners are difficult for non-native speakers of English to read. Joseph Erbentraut for HuffPo (2016)

  • Example of a Philadelphia Chinese take-out restaurant repeatedly incorrectly ticketed by police, fitting a larger pattern of racist code violations in Philly as a whole. Joseph N. DiStefano for The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News (2017)

I will post more links as I find them, and if y'all have more to share I'd love to see them.

Also, next time you call someone out on this and they say "but it's true," remind them that something doesn't have to be false to be racist.

MCU films.

Sep. 1st, 2016 02:25 pm
asterroc: We Can Do It Sinfest - Up Yours (We Can Do It Sinfest - Up Yours)

So I put together a list of all the MCU films b/c I was looking at the actors.  

PhaseFilmDateLead Actor
1Iron Man 1May 2 2008RDJ
1The Incredible HulkJune 13 2008Ed Norton
1Iron Man 2May 7 2010RDJ
1Thor 1May 6 2011Chris Hemsworth (Chris 1)
1Captain America: The First Avenger (Cap 1)July 22 2011Chris Evans (Chris 2)
1Marvel's the Avengers (A1)May 4 2012ensemble
2Iron Man 3May 3 2013RDJ
2Thor: The Dark World (Thor 2)Nov 8 2013Chris Hemsworth (Chris 1)
2Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Cap 2)April 4 2014Chris Evans (Chris 2)
2Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG)Aug 1 2014Chris Pratt (Chris 3)
2Avengers: Age of Ultron (A2)May 1 2015ensemble
2Ant-ManJuly 17 2015Paul Rudd
3Captain America: Civil War (Cap 3)May 6 2016Chris Evans (Chris 2)
3Doctor StrangeNov 4 2016Benedict Cumberbatch
3Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (GotG 2)May 5 2017Chris Pratt (Chris 3)
3Spider-Man: Homecoming (Spider-Man 6)July 7 2017Tom Holland
3Thor: Ragnarok (Thor 3)Nov 3 2017Chris Hemsworth (Chris 1)
3Black PantherFeb 16 2018Chadwick Boseman
3Avengers: Infinity War (A3)May 4 2018ensemble
3Ant-Man and the Wasp (Ant 2)July 6 2018Paul Rudd
3Captain MarvelMar 8 2019Brie Larson
3Avengers: TBA (A4)May 3 2019ensemble

I also wanted to make this list to confirm to myself that there are more unique actors named Chris headlining MCU films than there are headlining women or POC.  If you count Evangeline Lilly for Ant 2 (which I don't b/c then you'd also have to count Sebastian Stan for Cap 2) then it's tied.  
My [Ashkenazi Jewish American] father [married to my Han Chinese American mother] emailed me about representation of Asians in media, including the current furor over Matt Damon starring in the upcoming "The Great Wall." I decided to post my response to him here for posterity.

There's been a lot of awareness on Twitter recently of the (old) trend of whitewashing Asian actors/characters and replacing them with white ones instead, under the hashtag #whitewashedOUT.

However, I am in the minority among Asian Americans regarding Matt Damon starring in "The Great Wall," in that I support the film. While I think it's unfortunate that a white actor was cast as the star and I would have liked to see more progressive (non-white) casting, I think that being angry about it is blaming the victim, and is minimizing the progress that the film does represent. The film has a Chinese director (Zhang Yimou), is produced by a Hong Kong-based production company (Legendary East, though admittedly a subsidiary company of the American Legendary Entertainment), and is financially backed by a Chinese TV company (LeEco). From the trailers it looks like the vast majority of the extras are Asian, two of the five stars are Chinese, and all of the other named cast members are Asian (I didn't take the time to check if Chinese or other Asian). Yes, it'd be better if all five of the stars were Chinese, but this is amazing progress IMO and we shouldn't throw out the baby with the bathwater. This film will increase the visibility of Chinese actors and directors, and it's amazing that a Chinese film is going to reach a wide Western audience.

The other thing that I feel like Wu (and others critical of the whitewashing of the film) fail to take into account is that as a Chinese film, American ideas of race and racism do not apply. Race is a social construct, so it has different meaning when removed from that original social context and placed into a different one. Once you start looking at media outside the USA, it's important to acknowledge the near-worship of American celebrity in many other countries. For example, there was a bizarre Chinese ad for an online video game, Call of Duty Online, released last year, which featured Chris Evans (better known as the [white] actor behind Captain America) as the only white English-speaking person while everyone else spoke Chinese. This ad was banking on the celebrity and deification of American actors because they are American - note that it's the actor who plays Captain America. If Captain America were played by Anthony Mackie (an African American, who plays another Marvel character who in the comic books later becomes Captain America), then I have no doubt that this Call of Duty Online ad would have starred Mackie instead. Similarly, the casting of not only [white] Matt Damon, but also [white] Willem Dafoe and Chilean American Pedro Pascal (better known from Game of Thrones) is actually a major coup for a Chinese film.

In idolizing American celebrity in this way, yes the makers of this film are perpetuating whitewashing, however I feel that they're more victims of racism in Hollywood than perpetrators themselves. (Much like black cops can perpetrate racist actions against African Americans, but I blame the systemic racism in policing more than I do those individual cops. And similarly, a businesswoman who is harsher towards women employees is herself a victim of internalized misogyny.) While it definitely isn't okay for this film to be perpetuating racism in the form of whitewashing, I think my energy is better spent fighting films that are creations of Hollywood directors and production companies, than fighting films that actually are Chinese in origin.

Feel free to share this with others if you like, but it's worth pointing out again that I am in the minority among Asian Americans on this.


May. 31st, 2016 03:29 pm
So I use both the English (American) term "aunt" and the Shanghainese/Mandarin Chinese term "ayi" or "aiyee" for not only a parent's sister, but basically any woman of my parents' generation who is either a blood or marriage relative, or a close family friend. For example, my mother's cousin is my aunt, I don't actually know how Aunt Lee is related to me, and Y*** Aiee is my childhood best friend's mother.

I'm curious how widespread this is. At first I thought it was just a Chinese thing, but then I remembered Aunt Lee (from my father's side). Do other people use Aunt and Uncle this way, or is it just my family?
asterroc: (Astro - H-alpha)
This is the new username of the former Z-person. Please to be not connecting this username with either my old username or my legal name. You know it's me because this username has references to stars and things with wings.

I will not be discussing the reason for the change in any unlocked posts, which this is, so if you ask, I won't reply.

At this point in time I have imported my friends groups and tags from LJ version of the old account to the DW new account, but I have not imported the posts nor comments since they may have references to my old username.

Tasks still to be completed: import friends groups to the new LJ version, update icons. On the plus side, I still have this awesome icon that [personal profile] rosefox made for me years decades (?) ago.
asterroc: (xkcd - Fuck the Cosine)
This isn't going to be a riddle, it's going to be my real life experience. Because it includes potentially triggering discussion of sexism, and lengthy descriptions of asthma (which I guess could be a medical trigger), I'm going to put stuff behind a cut for people reading on their LJ/DW friends page - if you're came here directly, each section begins with "My discovery of" and it's asthma first and sexism next.

My discovery of / description of living with asthma… )

My discovery of / description of living with sexism… )

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
Cute fluffy birds needed today, stat.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
No spoilers I think, but just in case, cut-tagged. I originally posted this on Tumblr, but wanted it saved somewhere I could find more easily. Read more... )

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
Posted for a friend who's about to undergo something similar to the Incision and Drainages (I+D) that I have to do frequently for my skin condition.

Medical details herein )
Trigger warning: sexual harassment, sexual assault

Got to emailing with my father about the Geoff Marcy case, and decided to share here.

You read those trigger warnings right? )

If you want to read more about it, here's the original Buzzfeed article breaking the news (yes, Buzzfeed was the first news outlet to get ahold of this, and they have thus risen immensely in my esteem), and their coverage of the denoument. There was also a public letter calling for his resignation, signed by around 2,500 astronomers. Which is really amazing, I mean, you can't even get 2,500 astronomers to agree whether Pluto's a planet or not, and yet 2,500 astronomers said Marcy's a piece of shit.

Edit: more ranting w/ same triggers )I still don't know how Buzzfeed got ahold of this info to make it public. I'm hoping some reasonable person involved in the coverup leaked it to Buzzfeed. Seriously, that Buzzfeed writer, Azeen Ghorayshi, should get a Pulitzer for this, this article raised Buzzfeed's status in my head to be on par with the NY Times, and I'm not shitting you.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
Saw Crimson Peak today - no real spoilers herein. I describe it as “if Jane Austen wrote horror.”

Yeah yeah I know everyone’s saying it’s not horror, it’s “gothic romance”. But to someone who doesn’t like horror, like me, I don’t know what “gothic romance” means, so it’s a really good horror film.

Case in point: there was one moment near the end where I covered my face with my hands and turned away, to see that my friend J had her hands over one of her eyes. I glanced back at the screen, and turned away again, the other way this time, to see my partner T$ with one hand clenched against his cheek and clearly wanting to cover his eye but unable to tear his eyes from the screen.

So yeah, horror by my definition.

It was better than I feared, not as good as I hoped, I’m glad I saw it but could’ve waited for Netflix. It was really pretty.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
I got asked to represent my entire race (yes, the Asian, the Jewish, and the BOTH, all three) for the first time ever at lunch the other day. It was weird.

FYI I've got this unlocked b/c I wanted [ profile] summercomfort to be able to read it. FWIW this is the sort of thing I usually put under the very lightest lock. If you're on DW or LJ and want to be able to read these sorts of posts, lmk and I'd be glad to give you access.

Read more... )

Jeez. What a lunch.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
asterroc: (Astro - H-alpha)
1) They've cried wolf enough times at this point that I'm always skeptical about every new announcement.

2) This is yet more indirect evidence - they've found visual evidence of changing patterns that could look like streams, and in the same areas spectra give the chemical "fingerprints" of assorted salts (not table salt, NaCl, but chemically similar) which as far as we know can only form in water.

To me, if the evidence is indirect, we will need a lot more of it than if we actually saw liquid H2O flowing and used spectra to confirm it was water. Right now we have circumstantial evidence of things that look like stream beds (but could be caused by other liquid solvents, or a remote chance they're caused by wind), and we a number of chemicals which as far as we know can only form in water (not only these salts, but also the hematite blueberries from a few years back). However the hypothesis "this can only form in water" is one of those things we can never actually prove true, just eliminate more and more untrue possibilities.

So to me as a watcher of all this, it's just a waiting game. If there really is liquid water, then little pieces of evidence like this (and the hematite blueberries) will continue to build up until at some point the molehill has become a mountain and it'll be generally accepted by all planetary astronomers (and then all astronomers, and then the world) that yes, there's liquid water on Mars.

3) Water is a key building block for life, so the next question is "is there life on Mars?" Assuming this liquid water exists, it is transient - it's seasonal, appearing only in local summer. If it's transient liquid water, I will need to see some pretty solid evidence to believe that there is current single-cellular life. If it's persistent liquid water I will switch over entirely and I will assume that there's single-cellular life until proven otherwise. Even if it didn't evolve on Mars, we've sent missions there and it's impossible to sterilize everything completely, plus bits of Earth have been knocked off from impacts and landed on Mars so it might've been seeded with Earth life millennia ago. If it's possible to sustain some form of life on Mars, I guarantee you that it's there.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
I got it in my head last night that How I Met Your Mother is the same show as Friends. Ted Mosby is Ross Geller - I mean seriously, is there any aspect where they aren't the same person? They're all 20-somethings in NYC living in apartments way too large for actual NYC 20-something salaries. They're all obsessed with dating, and sometimes dating each other.

So what do you think? Discuss!

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
asterroc: (doll)
Originally posted by [ profile] zandperl at Massachusetts Boarding?
Is anyone here familiar with either The Bird Guru or Featherbed Resort for Birds, both in Metrowest Massachusetts? Or does anyone have other recommendations for boarders in Eastetn MA? I've recently moved to the Boston area and I'm looking for a place to board Kappa when I travel. These both sound really similar: a bunch of cages near each other, time out of the cage for each bird, feed a veggie mix, full spectrum lighting, require a vet health certificate but not specific tests (e.g., no chlamydia test required), same price.

And below the cut, a few pictures of Kappa in the process of moving. :) Pictures herein )


Aug. 20th, 2015 11:47 am
Can anyone recommend a boarder for my bird (small parrot, dusky conure) in Eastern Massachusetts or thereabouts?

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
asterroc: (Astro - H-alpha)
Features on Pluto are being named after non-Western myths and characters from Western fantasy novels.

A large splotch that resembles a whale was named Cthulhu, a deity from a H. P. Lovecraft story. Other splotch names included Meng-Po, the goddess of forgetfulness in Chinese mythology; Balrog, a creature in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” books; and Vucub Came and Hun Came, death gods of Mayan mythology. --NY Times, Kenneth Chang

On the one hand, I'm always happy when they go to non-Western myth. On the other hand, it feels disrespectful to put them on the same level as Western fantasy novels.


Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
asterroc: (Astro - H-alpha)
Post copypasted from Tumblr b/c I'm just that excited.

OMFG I’m so excited! New Horizons flew by Pluto about 2.5 hours ago. It’s going to remain pointed at Pluto for another 5 hours or so to get as much data as possible, and then the craft is going to slew around and spit back all the images and other data to Earth, and then it’s going to take another 5 hours for the signal to get here.

Among the amazing discoveries so far, we already have that Pluto is larger than previously thought. We knew that Eris was the most massive Kuiper Belt Object - mass is easy to get when an object has moons, and Pluto has five (Charon, Nix, Hydra, Styx, Kerberos) and Eris one (Dysnomia).

Read more... )

How exciting is that!?

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.



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