Noodle Time

I stand corrected. There are 2 great culinary hotspots in Melbourne where pan Asian is the flavour of the day. MoPho Noodle Bar in south Yarra is a funky amalgamation between Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese all washed through a filter of western hipster-esk culture.

 

I will begin with the décor. Its polished concrete floors and bamboo washed with black ink gives it a cave like quality. A den of satisfaction. When you walk in the door and take a seat the first thing you will notice is the transparency that is presented in the open lay out. You can watch the chefs whip your food together with elegance and precision. On the other side of the bar is a huge wall unit of bamboo cupboards that hold the extra packets of noodles and spices. This allows you not only interaction with the chefs as they collect extra supplies  but it also allows for you to know what you are eating.

 

Before I get onto the food I wish to say one more thing about the aesthetic appeal of the venue. The music. The general manager Mike Raffone keeps playlists of 80’s and 90’s hip hop and cruisy tunes that stimulate your senses and in no way emulate the selection found in an airport lounge. 

 

The food. The servings are large firstly. This however is hardly the most redeeming factor as the flavours are authentic with a slight western twist. The presentation is immaculate and creative and contributes to get your stomach rumbling. The ingredients are fresh and thrown together with well-refined expertise. Every dish is made per order.

 

The final words I will expel before getting back to my dish will be on the service. It is friendly, relaxed and suits the funky atmosphere of the venue. The waiter crouches down to your level and speaks to you as though you are an old friend providing expert knowledge regarding the dynamic of the dishes created.

 

Highly recommended. Get Yo Mopho on!!

Advertisements

Assessment

I choose to include this first one as blogging and why people blog has always been a fascination to me. And since it is worth 60%  and occupied a lecture I deemed it worthy of a post.

Piece Number 1   A Blog about Blogging

https://james66ol.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/james-ryan/

 

The second post I chose to submit is due to it having the highest number of views. I found this interesting and it was well received by members of my tutorial.

Piece NumberThe rising Power of the Interent

https://james66ol.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/103/

 

The third one I chose as it is what I believe to be the best of 3 similar posts. It talks in a  broad sense of why we have technology.  The development and our relationship was also an idea we looked at that fascinated me.

Piece Number 3  Our Romance With Technology

https://james66ol.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/our-romance-with-technology/

Technology, our Addiction and our Obsession

Ok so think about the matrix for a. Now remember when Morpheus gives Neo the option to take the red pill and enter the matrix? A world of hyper-interconnectivity and cyber space. If you cannot then here is the link, it’s kind of important if my point is to get across. RED PILL SCENE.

I know that when I watched this for the first time I wanted to be in Neo’s shoes and take the red pill and experience a different world. What I’m coming to realise is that we all have already taken the red pill. All of us, the whole mouse clicking, comment liking, apple addicted, bird launching bloody lot of us. I think its great. I really do. It means we can all stay connected for longer periods of time, more often, in more capacities.

Image

We cannot only do that but if you want to look at it from an optimistic point of view I guess, we are in a sense saving the rainforests. I mean we no longer bother to have encyclopaedias, phone books, or novels. We can get all of that conveniently on an iPad which has great accessibility, on the couch, in our cigarette break. Its ours. We are surround ourselves with convenience. So much distracting convenience.

I would like to propose that when Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web he was being literal. A web that is: addictive, attention sucking and life distracting. I’m sure we all experience that feeling of nostalgia and fulfilment when we lie in some grass or build something with our hands. It’s tangible and real. It speaks not to our sensibilities but to our souls. It speaks in a foreign language, one that we used to know but are beginning to forget. We forget it because we cannot speak it; we can only gargle the keys of the keyboard we have shoved down our own throats. We have silenced ourselves. A priest might say we have excommunicated ourselves, but I wouldn’t know because my only connection to a higher spirit is my ‘what would Chuck Norris do’ T-shirt (that I got from eBay).

I get the irony that I’m writing all this in a blog and not carving it into stone with my bear hands or using parchment and a quill but this is what we have created. It’s immense what we have achieved I don’t doubt that for a second.  The last two hundred years with the Great war and the following World war two have seen technology advance at an incredible rate, so fast that we still are unaware of its side affects. I mean, you hear stories of death due to video games and new statistics of married couples that first met via the Internet. I’m just curious as to how much it’s going to cost us. Are we going to become zombies? Mindlessly shuffling from one device to the next, one distraction to the next? Is it an attempt of escapism? What is it that we don’t like about the ‘real’ world that drives us to burry our heads in the sand not stopping to smell the flowers?

It has become appalling obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity-Albert Einstein

When I die, all I want is for the last thing that I discover is to be that  anything but a Facebook page or an internet site. At the end of the day all it is, is this:

1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0  1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0

The Rising Power Of The Internet

We are entering a time where taking a stand can be as simple as a click of a button.

Slacktivism is a term I first heard in relation to the Kony 2012 phenomenon. Its something that has remained dormant in the back of my mind for sometime and I figure now is as good a time as any to air my dirty laundry. The idea that the developed world can straighten out any kinks that it may have in its conscience by ‘liking’ something on Facebook makes me want to strangle myself with my laptop power cord. The question is are we just a generation of lazy web-surfing stoners or are we just naive. Naive to the powers of Facebook, Twitter and Youtube? Do we really think that actions speak louder than words? Or have we lost our way?

Is the convenience of social networking making us lazy? Stupid?…or both? I think that coupled with our enjoyment of the developed world and its many pleasures (especially those surrounding social networking) we find ourselves living in our cyber ‘reality’ more than our physical one. We then apply rules of reality where they do not hold clout or relevance. What I mean by this is we are transferring ‘real’ world concepts of activism into a cyber vacuum. This bid to make ourselves feel as though we are contributing to a better world is lost in its own triviality. I will go one step further and dam social networking for providing a mechanism via which the First World can alleviate its guilty conscience.

Another thing people have been doing recently is changing their Facebook profile pictures to cartoon characters to raise awareness and ‘help fight’ child abuse. Yes, ok I admit that it was successful insofar as it raised awareness about the issue. My first question is…for how long? My second question is…what do we do with our newfound awareness? Do we secretly enjoy checking out The little Mermaid when we log in to Facebook? How do we manage to kid ourselves that we are actually achieving anything? Its time we stood up (physically) and brought change.

I would like to propose that everyone who reads this blog and agrees that as a society we need to ‘log off’ and do something in the REAL world. Do some ‘action’. By ‘action’ I mean that everyone should post the below picture on their Facebook wall to promote this banality. Because after all it makes a difference…right?

In all seriousness we do need to learn that activism is called activism because it’s active.

…..A Blog About Blogging…..

Over the semester I have always asked myself why do people blog; is it the thrill of having the freedom of expression that blogging allows? Is it for the acknowledgment of ideas and thoughts from a greater audience or simply a way to pass the time?

It is crucial to break down the concept to its fundamental basics, so what is blogging. Essentially it is another form of social interaction, much like Facebook or twitter it permits users to have a form of self expressions on subjects that interest them. The main difference of course is that instead of sharing with just family or friends the ‘blogosphere’ gives you the world as your audience. With the social interaction created being its greatest feature.

The format of the blog allows for the writer to benefit from reader interaction, an example I recently observed  was a conversation had after a piece was created on this very site entitled “Is Islam a religion of peace, no” constructed by a man who goes under the username thegreatantagonist (very fitting).  The piece itself was confronting but did provide  an honest and informative insight into his perspectives on Islamic religion, however through statements such as “Mohammed was a Warlord” and emphasizing the Islamic belief that killing and dying for the religion will grant paradise with the promise of 17 virgins I thought he may of gone a step far. The comment section included a reply by a Musling Saudi, things were about to go pear shape I thought. However the situation didn’t unfold quite like that, Musling acknowledged a large portion of what the blog was about, but provided great input into the history of his religion.  As the comments between the two continued sentences such as “I agree” as well as “I never thought about it like that”  began to emerge. The exchange in ideas and thoughts had throughout this conversation in my perspective encapsulates perfectly the essence of blogging. It is simply a form of self-expression and a highway to exchange ideas and thoughts.

And blogs have the unique and hassle free ability of connecting people who share common interests, mums exchange ideas over parenting techniques, chefs share secrets and even the smallest of subjects become enlarged as the Internet brings all parties concerned into one common cyber space. Personal Blogs are also popular; James Ryan is a weekly YouTube blogger who mainly focuses on his personal life. His blogs ranging from why he quite alcohol to more important political matters. With over 20,000 subscribers these blogs are quite valuable not only to Mr Ryan but also for possible businesses which brings me to my next point. The other side of blogging, using it as a means of income or a way in which to make a living. Right now on the Internet there are thousands whose full time job is to discuss varying issues, businesses now use it to promote brands, sell a product or product bundles. And when you have over 50,000 views per broadcast like Mr Ryan a little touch of product placement could prove profitable.

The way we are communicating is turning into a true cyber reality.  Internet fame is not uncommon, who knows maybe I could be the next Internet superstar.

My life is always a good LOL

The internet gaming community is one which I am a fond member. Hiding behind the username THEDESTROYER, I am able to adopt a fearsome persona (unlike my actual self), and take on the fields of justice in the game League Of Legends or LOL. This game is a real time strategy game, where you use teamwork and communication to overcome the other team of 5 and destroy their base. I play with school friends who have known me as Jamie for years, and also people i have met online, who only know me as THEDESTROYER. I play LOL for around 2 hours a week, and the forums and chat rooms have now become a second home to me. One which I am feared and respected. I play as many characters, however my favorite is the fire lord brand. He uses deadly combinations of abilities to burst down enemy opponents quickly. He is the first character that a random user, OdinOneHorn, has added me from respect of my playing prowess.

Brand

My favorite character Brand, the fire lord.

LOL is actually a very complicated game. You earn gold, by killing enemy champions to buy items to increase your power. There are 105 different choices of characters to choose from, and each one has a different combination of items or playing style. You also need to think ahead to what the other team is going to try to do, for instance if there is one character that is very strong at magic damage, you would do well to buy magic resist. Each champion is also different, and a team combination would usually consist of a mage, a fighter, a tank, an attack damage carry (who does the most damage) and a support to make sure the carry does not die. These are all of the items that are available when you have enough gold:

 

There is a world championship for LOL as well, which was recently help in LA and had a grand prize of $1,000,000 that goes to the victorious team of 5. The world championships even has commentators which try and keep up with the fast pace of play.I have made new friends, conquered enemies, and delivered justice. I would recommend playing this game to anyone and everyone, as it is a gripping game, and once it has it’s grasp, it will never let go. See you on the battlefield.
Signing out, THEDESTROYER.

A True Diamond In The Rough

On a recent voyage through the streets of melbourne I managed to find one of the true hidden Gems of Melbourne, a little slice of paradise I like to call Peko Peko. I almost don’t want to continue for fear of over exposing it and thus placing my usual Friday place next to the window in jeopardy. On the other hand not exposing it to the world could play on my conscience and I cannot have that.

Located in the often overshadowed suburb of South Melbourne, Peko Peko has been serving its unique version of  Taiwanese for close to ten years and it’s easy to see why. Its cozy and secluded setting is the perfect backdrop to enjoy its relatively cheap and tasteful dishes.  On entry you are greeted by large overwhelming smiling faces that are the cute waitresses looking to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. Artwork adheres the wall conveying  various messages  that leave you pondering as you await your meal, quirky quotes and simple drawings are the main decor. One such masterpiece is a simply illustration of a Japanese country scene with the accompanying quotation “today is like yesterday, and yesterday will be like tomorrow”. These artworks are all produced by manager Jack, who stands comfortably behind the counter creating cocktails and keeping a watchful eye over his busy little establishment.

The true beauty however lies in the food, I can still remember the first time I went there. I was on a first date with my future girlfriend of three years. Gazing over the menu I knew it was going to be one of two things, the first would be the classic western inspired Asian cuisine we see a lot of in Melbourne at places like ‘China Bar’ whereby the meals are so covered in batter it you need a search party to find the meat, or alternatively the food is ok but you would be lying if you boasted it was anything more than alright.

Peko Peko is different and the food exceeded my expectations and then some.  

Starting with crunchy golden spring rolls I was impressed and excited for the mains, which couldn’t have come sooner.

Taking the suggestion from the gorgeous waiter I licked my lips as our ‘chili chicken’ dishes arrived. Accompanied by the recommended glass of house white wine I was delighted at how well the two worked together to create a truly unique flavor. The succulent meat provided the perfect base for the hot chili sauce. Although conversation was limited it was easy to see why, it would’ve been a crime to turn our attention away from the beauty that had been placed in front of us.

I’m afraid to continue as it I feel I am not doing it complete justice, it is truly one of those places that has to be seen to be believed! However if you still need some more encouragement I suggest you have a look at the urban spoon forum!

http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/71/1462432/restaurant/Melbourne/Peko-Peko-South-Melbourne

Our Life Documentary.

For as long as I can remember I have always been a simple man with simple tastes. My curiosity for the outdoors and the life within it sufficiently outweighed my lust for a gaming console or  high-tech devices. However the emergence of the Iphone has placed me in a no mans land, I feel that this piece of technology that I have long tried to allude is now unavoidable and is close to being a new asset to my everyday accessories. Ill explain why.

The classic Nokia has served me well, these loving unbreakable pieces of stone suit me perfectly. They are virtually indestructible, you can drop them in a swimming pool and they will survive. So why did I change? What is it about this new piece of Apple technology that leaves me drolling and haunts me in my sleep. Ive put it down to one thing, it is nearly impossible to function socially  in the new technological world without it. Now whilst this is a bold statement, it does have its merits.

I can give the example of recently going on a trip with friends. It was on this trip that my companions would engage with amusing applications and spend time in this virtual cyber space that I had been secluded from. On my return home, I would endeavour to tell about my voyage but the conversation would fail as those who I was engaging with already knew the finer details of my trip, on further investigation I found that through applications such as ‘Instagram’ and ‘Snapchat’ my entire voyage had been comparable to a live documentary between us and those at home. Pages and pages of conversations and jokes where conducted throughout  our trip that I had been completely oblivious to. I felt like a grandmother when she attempts to engage in conversations revolving pop culture.

On a similar but different note, I found another key aspect of my life that was being documented, my whereabouts and activities. It was on Facebook that I was made aware of this through the little ‘maps’ application that exist on the majority of profiles. And like Sherlock Holmes I investigated further.  This application shows the location you have logged into Facebook throughout your entire career with the social network giant. It showed me that on March 13th I had logged into my account from my friends computer at his house on Bekers street in the outer suburbs of Wellington, New Zealand. And there are 147 similar scenarios allowing others to relive my every movement. Not that I am paranoid about this level of exposure but if my girlfriend found out I would be in trouble, that was an attempt at humour I am well behaved and single.

They Know Where We Are, And Where We Have Been

The development of social media and Net communications  has indeed brought unity, and allowed people to stay in continuous contact regardless of their position on the globe but at what cost. There used to be a certain mystery in the world, a mystery that is hard to be summarised in a sentence. One of my favourite quotes of all time is  “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, but with innovations such as Skype, it is difficult to see how a concept such as absence exists, after a ten minute internet search does the word stranger exist?

University Games, The Myth

On the 22nd of September of this very year I embarked to Adelaide to compete in my second University Games. For those of you who are in the dark, the Australian University games is an annual sporting event whereby the elite athletes from each University congregate to compete in their respective sports over the course of a week. However the sport itself is only the tip of the iceberg, and you have to wonder if the creators of the event were completely unaware of the chaos that could be unleashed when over 5000 university studies descend on a city during the break.

Playing with the Melbourne University Water polo team, I had the luxury of residing in the Oaks Residential complex, a relatively modern establishment located in the prestigious Northern district of the city. After arriving and getting to know our apartments, I joined the rest of the team for a meeting about the upcoming week. The juniors of our team, the first years were known as the freshers and consistent with tradition these “sub humans” were told about their limited rights and how over the week they would endeavour to prove themselves. To do this, they are awarded challenges to complete throughout the week, these exercises of worthiness ranged from  having a photo taken in front of an iconic building to seeking employment at an establishment (a feat that was actually achieved). The more elegant and experienced members aka sergeants , such as myself ,had the tough job of giving challenges to these younger members and making sure they behaved as a fresher was intended to. Once this core rule was set in stone more important notions of the week were brought into discussion, we would play one game each day subject to our performance which would lead to a berth in the final playoffs and at night we would consume alcohol, dress up in costume and have fun in the big city.

TOGA NIGHT

A great Night

The first night shenanigans were exactly how I had envisioned, dressed in a one meter piece of cloth passed of as a toga my team mates and I descended on the town, like a scene from mad max the city was pumping  with young vibrant students seeking a memorable night.  The remainder of the first evening  is a blurrr of colours and faces, it wasn’t until arising in the early hours to venture to the aquatic centre that I began to feel the consequences for my exuberant  night. However not all was lost and victory was had, the week continued much in the same fashion with the only things changing being our costumes for the evenings and our opponents during the day.

The week raced away from beneath me and before I knew it I was facing off with Sydney Uni in the semi finals for what was to be a thrilling encounter as the two of the countries largest universities would do battle for a spot in the grand final. The game was a fierce display of pure brute strength and skill. A controversial call towards the conclusion of the game allowed a shaken Sydney to progress to the final after proving victorious 5-4.  Looking back on my individual performance I  realised I hadn’t been  in my best form as was expected with a few too many beverages throughout the week.  My opponents  however provided comfort as I knew from various encounters from previous nights that they  were in similar condition. Maybe this is where the beauty of the games is, the camaraderie , the friends made and that although socialising is a high priority so is the competitiveness of the sport.

Although we finished 3rd I left with so much more than just a bronze medal. Bring on University Games 2013

Freedom of idiocy

Image

Over the last few years the subject of dressing as a ‘slut’ has become a reoccurring theme in the media with huge allegations being made regarding sexism as well as claims that women’s rights are in jeopardy. I personally am against the public belief, taking the position that if young ladies dress inappropriately they are more exposed to sexual indecency.  Now I know my stance on this sensitive subject may seem outlandish and extremely sexist, and such comments have been the backbone for people being laid off from their place of employment but I, like everyone, am just trying to make sense of this crazy world.

Being brought up with old fashioned values I have been equipped with the upmost respect for the opposite sex; I might also mention that coming from a family containing four women I know the obsolete power of the female species, an unrivalled power I might add. It is however the society we live in that has created a predisposition for men to associate women in minimal clothing as sex symbols or the more urban term ‘slut’. Each day, as being part of this modern and capital society we are bombarded with an assault of media that seeks to entrench within us the association between girls in erotic clothing and sex. Just looking at various modern music videos, advertisements as well as the obscenity of concepts such as ‘lingerie football’ (a sport in United States where women play American Football wearing  very sexy lingerie). It has become apparent that it is mechanisms like this that have become the driving force for teenagers as well as young men to develop a predisposition, a disposition that  pronounces women who expose themselves as more likely to engage in acts of a sexual nature. Think about it, as humans we rely on perception to dictate our thoughts and actions and with what we are told and have been exposed to. A classic example of this is that if we were to imagine a normal human being dressed in a police outfit we would look to them for safety and security much like adolescent men may view women who dress as ‘sluts’ to act in a way they have conjured up.  It is not a pleasant thought but let’s be honest most people will judge a book by its cover.

 In 2011 Constable Michael Sanguinetti lost his employment as a county Sheriff after a comment he made suggested women should dress more appropriately if they wish to the avoid being the subject of sexual attention.  I find this decision to be extreme, considering Sanguinetti a member of the law and as such has a duty to act in the best interests of the public; although his comment was ill judge was it not worthy of his dismissal.  Just like women are conditioned to see men who ride motorbikes as ‘hunk’s  men who view women in tight or enticing clothing  are going to perceive them as more sexually vulnerable. 

 Following Sanguinetti comments groups began to form on social media sites such as Facebook and twitter demanding more respect for women and out of it came the now annual ‘slut walk’, where young women parade around in as few clothes as imaginable in order to prove a point, a point that alludes me. And I have met some males who attended this walk, not to march for the motives and objectives of the rally but more interpreting it as a prime opportunity to take advantage of girls. Now don’t get me wrong, the actions of these men even astonished me with the idiocy but it does act to reinforce the irony of the event.  

Now for my final point I must say that I believe girls who dress in such a manner that deems them necessary for the term ‘slut’ does not make them one at all, however it is the mentality of young men that creates this interpretation.  If we are to change this we must look at the foundation of society and our rapid inclusions of what is deemed socially acceptable. Instead we are blaming individuals such as constable Sanguinetti and parading the street in a barbaric fashion.

Time to change.

James Ogilvie-leeImage