Are We at a Turning Point in Copyright History?

After the whole SOPA and PIPA event occurred last week and resulted in a retreat of the bill, I was hoping that the clear threats to online privacy and access to information due to laws were over. However, I’ve only heard more and more agitation in the news about the situation with such legislation being pushed along. ACTA is gaining high amounts of coverage for being mostly negotiated without democratic process and for having wording which will put pressure on internet service providers to filter content. Then I read several articles talking about SOPA-like legislation coming to Canada.I can understand the frustration of the music and movie industries with having trouble selling their products in a market which continues to sink in profit for them. However, pushing such harsh legislature isn’t the answer. I’m also highly upset that politicians in general seem to be supporting such legislation without thinking of who they are representing. I tend to not purely believe the idea that they have simply been bought off by the industry. However, even if the reason is simply older official being unfamiliar with the laws of their districts, such ignorance which could hurt the internet so deeply is inexcusable.

Basically, I am wondering what the results of this seeming turning point in copyright legislation will result in. Will we be able to protect the media we hold dear while maintaining our freedoms? Or will legislature end up destroying our rights and leaving copyright owners open for pain?

Chicken Udon Soup

In my continued effort to learn how to cook, I decided to make make a chicken udon soup tonight. The initial inspiration for this endeavor came to me while shopping at Whole Foods last night. I spotted dried udon in the international aisle and simply knew that I had to buy the noodles and make some form of dish out of them.

What to make initially confused me, but I eventually decided that chicken would be an appropriate addition to the soup. To add a bit more substance, I also got baby carrots and fresh parsley. I would have probably also bought mushrooms to add if I wasn’t suspicious that my boyfriend’s finicky palate would reject them.

With ingredients in hand, I was confused with what to do with them. The udon seemed easy enough with friendly instructions on the side of the package commanding me to boil the noodles for seven minutes for best results. How to cook the chicken in such a way to give it flavor and not dry it out before combining it with the rest of the ingredients was more confusing.

I ultimately decided to saute the chicken in olive oil. I then combined the chicken, noodles, carrots and parsley in a pot, cooking for slightly longer then serving.

Chicken Udon Soup

My end result

After taste testing my results, I was overall pleased. The main thing I would do differently in creating the dish in the future is adding more salt. Chicken alone did not prove as flavorful as I had hoped for the broth.

Beginning Jewelry Creation

I’ve wanted to really try my hand at making jewelry for a while but just never felt I had the artistic flair or time to create my own unique products. However, I decided recently to get over my fear and start creating pieces.

So far, I’ve been creating my own pendants using Perler beads. Part of the meltable fun of childhood, they have proven to be an easy material to manipulate and create designs with.

A couple of my designs so far are shown below. Forgive my use of my cellphone’s camera, I plan on busting out my better camera soon.

Cupcake Earrings Done with Perler Beads

Cupcake Earrings Done with Perler Beads

 

Heart Earrings Made With Perler Beads

Heart Earrings Made With Perler Beads

Playing With Origami

I happened to go by Hobby Lobby today. While perusing the aisles, my eye was suddenly caught by the sight of origami. I’ve always been fascinated by the art of folding paper into interesting shapes. My interest was furthered sparked when a Japanese exchange student in my high school would bring origami paper and teach my fellow classmates and how to make the classic origami paper crane. Mine would normally end up being somewhat lumpy and misshapen, but I found the attempt enjoyable.

So, for the price of $5 (okay, I’m over-reporting, $4.99) plus tax, I walked out of the store with my prize. Since then, I’ve been having fun trying out to fold the different shapes I found on origami club. Some of the designs I’ve tried are the following (the pics are from the site, I’ll post some of my personal design pictures later):

  • Traditional samurai hat
  •  Paper fan
  •  Pencil

Some of the designs that I’m hoping to attempt in the next week are the following: 

  •  Balloon rabbit
  • Origami dolls

On Trying One of the World’s Hottest Peppers

 

The pepper Bhut Jolokia, more commonly known as a ghost pepper, looks like a fairly innocent pepper at first glance. However, this plant which originally hails from northern India, packs a huge spicy punch. The Guinness Book of World records declared the chili the spiciest pepper in the world in 2007 at 401.5 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. Plans are in progress to make the pepper into a hand grenade used for non-lethal crowd control.

So you can only imagine the spicy pain the surging through my mouth upon eating one of these peppers whole this past weekend. Upon initially chewing up and swallowing, I couldn’t particularly detect any hint of hot. However, the pepper soon was so hot that I couldn’t even really taste the spicy. Instead, my mouth was lit up in fiery pain. My eyes began to water and my face grew red and flushed from the pain even as I swished milk around in my mouth as much as I could.

However, I was able to withstand and push through the pain mentally. The worst part of the experience ended up being the immense stomach ache which I suffered from the day after. Though I was warned that trying such a hot thing was stupid by numerous friends, I don’t regret the experience. However, you won’t find me doing it again.

 

 

Hiking at Oak Mountain

Let me preface this post by saying that I’ve never been one for exercise. At the very mention of running, I’m known to start coughing. However, lately I’ve been feeling more inspired to lose weight and become more fit and healthy. I found out from my friend Devin Joubran about the trails at Oak Mountain, so we decided to round up a group and go.

The trail we chose was the shortest one that Oak Mountain has to offer, the green trail. Though the shortest of the trails at 1.9 miles, it is also extremely steep. According to the Oak Mountain website, the trail rises from approximately 550 feet to 1100 feet along the side of the mountain.

Upon beginning the trail, I figured that the exercise wouldn’t be too bad. I’ve gone to the gym before and walked two miles on a treadmill at a leisurely stroll before, so this wouldn’t be a problem, right? Wrong. From the beginning of the trail, I found myself struggling desperately to keep up with the rest of the group.

Me lagging behind the rest of the group (which of course couldn't be attribute to me taking pictures instead of walking... right?)

Me lagging behind the rest of the group (which of course couldn't be attribute to me taking pictures instead of walking... right?)

I found myself chafing against my limits as I push up the trail, stopping for water far too many times and losing momentum. Hard, painful rocks push up against the soles of my tennis shoes which were clearly never meant for hiking, and I found myself stumbling over the various trees roots sticking up from the ground and cluttering the path.

However, even as I was distracted by the pains in my legs, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the trees outlining the path were as the sunlight streamed through their branches while a pleasant breeze across my sweat covered face.

When we finally reached the second mile of the trail, the path got noticeably less harsh. I found myself greeted by a mostly even incline and a smoother walk. I felt much happier during this stretch of the walk as my ankles were given a break from straining to reach higher elevations. The scenery was also nicer, the sides of the trail being populated by various types of shrubbery and flowers.

After we finally reached the car at the end of the path, I started to think about my experience. Was it difficult? Yes. Did I feel like I was going to vomit a number of times from the stress? Yes. But would I do it again? Also a resounding yes. There was something very glorious about pushing myself to my limits and finding that I could exceed them. I hope to visit Oak Mountain or some of the other local hiking areas sometime again in the near future.

Working with Egg Molds

With a great degree of glee, I got my egg molds in the mail yesterday. The packaging was in Japanese , so I was happy to have gotten instructions from the seller on Amazon in English.

I decided that for lunch today I would use the molds for the first time. I was surprised by the results. After boiling a pair of large eggs, I peeled them while they were still hot. This was the hardest part of the process. However, my boyfriend and I determinedly push through this stage with our finger tips burning all the while, determined to have fish and car shaped eggs.

After we were done peeling, we shut the eggs into the molds and let them sit in cold water for around 10 minutes.

After 10 long minutes, I opened the egg molds and was surprised at the results. The eggs were actually formed like the shapes of the mold!

I proceeded to enjoy a delicious shaped egg lunch. ^^