Tag Archives: culture

A Closer Look into Kedi

Kedi was an absolutely beautiful movie. The soundtrack was so well-integrated with the content of the film that you barely even noticed it was there. The acting was delightful because it was all about people being genuine. What makes that so interesting is the fact that it was set in Istanbul, where many of the viewers of the film probably haven’t been. The camera work and editing highlighted the stunning visual prowess and character of the city and its inhabitants. The most important citizens of Istanbul were the human and feline populations that seem to get along so naturally.

Kedi makes you think about our relationship with what Americans would call stray cats. They probably wouldn’t identify them as feral or alley cats because it’s just not the most common terminology among the general public nowadays. There’s a very negative connotation and feeling in many parts of our country about cats being out and about in the streets, but after watching Kedi one might wonder, why?

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Movie Monday: Ender’s Game

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is a book I can read over and over again. I think the first time I read it I was either in middle school or high school. The last time I read it was about four years ago, so it wasn’t too fresh in my head but also I still remembered all the main plot points. I was very excited for this movie to come out, and it seemed to take forever for it to actually release! But that’s my anticipation talking. Let’s get to the review.

This movie had a solid amount of great actors: Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield (boy from Hugo, who was brilliant in that as well), and a grown-up Abigail Breslin. If a movie has Harrison Ford in it, I’m going to get excited. Leave me alone, I’m a Star Wars nerd. However, I was slightly anxious that they would botch it up when it is such a great and captivating book. It also made me nervous that by the time we saw it, it had only 62% on Rotten Tomatoes. Still Fresh, but not as high as I would’ve hoped. However, I was not disappointed. 

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I really thought I would be, honestly. However, the movie kept me engaged the entire time. The acting was superb by all involved and they were able to show the depth of Ender’s emotions. That’s what I was worried about. A lot of the book is in Ender’s head. Of course, the same complexity isn’t there, but I wasn’t expecting it to that degree. However, it surprised me with showing all the steps that led him to the end. I think it helped that Orson Scott Card (the author) was one of the producers. 

For those who haven’t read the book, the basic premise is that the International Military is recruiting children to become the next great commander to defeat the alien race that previously invaded Earth. The story centers around one boy, Ender, a “third” (third-born), who has been chosen and pushed towards what the military wants from him. However, like many action flicks, it isn’t a straight-shooter. Ender is deeply conflicted at many levels, and the movie actually depicted that. Perhaps not as well as in the book, but it certainly came across. Ender is the world’s hope.

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Surprisingly enough, they hit all the major plot points I hoped for. Sure they skipped a few too many battle room scenes, but I understand. They kept it under two hours, impressively. The movie built up properly, from the beginning, until the very end. I am not one for giving spoilers, but the one of the most powerful scenes (the end battle), I feel, really captured the intensity and emotion from the book. That was what I was most concerned with.

Overall, I suggest to Ender’s Game fans to see this movie. It’s not going to be exactly as you imagined. It never is with book to movie adaptations, but this production gets close, at least for me. It gets a hearty thumbs up from me and I will most likely get it on DVD/Blu-Ray. The plot is captivating, the acting is believable, and you feel for Ender the whole way through. Use impending-doom-movies to stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Belly out!

Belly out!

Using Other Cultures: Being Smart with Food

I’m going to draw upon two cultures to make up a smart food philosophy. They can either be put together or separately, whichever you choose. I simply think it is good to keep an open mind to other cultures to see how they deal with food and use the opportunity to look at our own food habits. The two cultures I will focus on are Spanish (as in from Spain) and Japanese (as in from…Japan). Let’s look.

Spanish

The Spanish have many different eating habits, including a tiny breakfast, but I’m going to focus on their lunch. The Spaniards have a time called a “siesta” around noon or a little later. This means lunch time. And lunch time is a big deal in Spain. Shops will close down for a few hours and many Spaniards will go out to restaurants for a few hours for up to three courses. I’m not saying–ditch your work for three hours and go get a five-course meal for lunch, no! You can pack a big lunch, I know that I sure do.

And this more so points to the focus around the middle of the day when our metabolism is in full gear, ripping and roaring through the food we give it. In America, most of us have our biggest meal at the end of the day, when our metabolism is starting to slow down and our body is beginning to tire. This is what I want to adopt from the Spaniards. Move the biggest meal of the day to LUNCH where your metabolism has plenty of time to break everything down rather than waiting until dinner to stuff your face and leave yourself overnight to try to digest it all. The Spanish may be wild party-ers, but they sure do know how to eat.

Japanese

Another polar opposite of the typical United States eating culture, however instead of time of eating it is PORTION CONTROL AND SIZE. If you don’t know, Chris and I have a big love for the Japanese culture and plan to live in Japan for a period of time pretty soon. And that means a big love for Japanese food. Now, of course, the United States has turned small Japanese portions into all-you-can-eat sushi (opposite of portion control), and we are lovers of that too. But for everyday life, everyday eating, the Japanese set a beautiful example of eating the right nutrients in the right portion size. Why do you think the Japanese obesity percentage is so much lower than the United States’?

Protein. Vegetable. Carb. Have you heard of the bento box? Click here for an excellent blog with tons of creative bento boxes. A bento box is basically a Japanese lunch box, usually packing in rice, some kind of vegetable, and some kind of  protein (usually fish or tofu). It isn’t very big, and has no high fructose corn syrup packed into it. So instead of jumping to the supersize (a beloved American meal size), let’s try the “Bento” size. It has all the nutrients we need without stuffing ourselves to the brim. And maybe we’ll just drop the obesity rate to a more reasonable number for the US.

So let’s open our minds and our mouths and try different habits from different cultures. Who knows–it could be your next favorite thing. I sure know that I’m transfixed by the bento box. I love eating, but I love eating without feeling extremely full afterwards as well. So try it out! Cheers! Salud! 万歳 !

BONUS KITTY PIC 

sajah fire

Sajah’s first fire