Chinese New Year 2016

Chinese New Year is here again!

 

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Clockwise from far left:
* Fish in Assam Sauce (used packaged sauce)
* Chinese Roast Pork aka Siew Yoke (made from scratch!)
* Chinese Roast Duck (Chinese takeaway)
* Chinese BBQ Pork aka Char Siew (used packaged seasoning)
* Cabbage, carrot, wood ear, lily flower, glass vermicelli stir-fry
* Fried noodles
* Szechuan Eggplant

Oh, and the rice (MUST have rice!!) is just off on the right.

Yes, that is a lot of food for just the six of us. But, I think I cooked enough extra so that we would have the obligatory leftovers to take into the new year without it being too overwhelming. I know this because the leftovers all fit comfortably in the fridge! There have been times in the past when I went overboard and it was a struggle to find room in the fridge to fit the leftovers. Maybe I’ve gotten better at cooking the ‘right’ amount. And maybe also my kids are getting older and eating more.

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Red-and-Gold Fruit Salad: Watermelon, Raspberries, Strawberries, Red Grapes, Mango

 

Orange Chiffon Cake and Red-and-Gold Fruit Salad for dessert. The cake tastes a LOT better than it looks.

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Wishing you all a VERY Happy Chinese New Year!

Dodging Darwin: How Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter is Slowly Embracing Evolution

A very interesting article on The Natural Historian.

No matter how much YECists deny it, the fact that they accept adaptation and speciation means that they do accept evolution.

Naturalis Historia

Please welcome David MacMillan* as a guest author today on Naturalis Historia.** 


As the strict young-earth creationists at Answers in Genesis work to complete their Ark Encounter “theme park,” they have expended an impressive amount of energy organizing the millions of species of land animals alive today into a handful of small groups they call “baramins.” They claim these groups represent the original created kinds of which Noah would have brought pairs onto the ark. This consolidation of numerous species into single “baramin” groups is driven primarily by the space on Noah’s purported vessel. The smaller the menagerie the Ark was purported to have contained, the more feasible it seems, and so the “baraminologists” at Answers in Genesis have gone to great lengths to explain how the vast array of species today could have been represented by a relatively low number of ancestral pairs.

One well-known hallmark of modern young-earth…

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,200 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

A Creation/Evolution Debate

On 26 September, 2015, I posted a link on my Facebook page: 10 Misconceptions About the Theory of Evolution.

The post has generated a long discussion. I am posting redacted parts of  it here now to make it easier to read. I welcome readers to add their thoughts to the discussion.

I apologise for the length of this article!

Read the rest of this entry

Recipe: Strawberry Cheesecake

Miss Seventeen asked if she could have a cheesecake for her birthday. Much to her older brother’s chagrin, it was not a chocolate cheesecake she wanted, but a strawberry cheesecake.

This is a no-bake cheesecake.

Base:

  • 1 cup sweet biscuit crumbs
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. gelatine, dissolved in 1/4 cup water (sprinkle gelatine over cold water, stir to combine, and then microwave on high for 30 seconds)
  • 2 x 250g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 x 400g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed strawberries

Topping:

  • sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 x 57g packet of strawberry flavoured jelly crystals

Method

  1. Combine biscuit crumbs and butter. Press into base of a 22cm (9-in) spring form pan. Chill until firm.
  2. In a blender, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add gelatine mixture, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and mashed strawberries. Blend until well combined.
  3. Pour into crumb base. Return to refrigerator and chill until firm. This will take at least four hours.
  4. Place sliced strawberries over the top.
  5. Prepare jelly but only use half the amount of water needed, ie, if the instructions call for 500mL of water, only use about 250mL. We want a jelly top, but we want it to be firm and not too wobbly.
  6. Return to fridge and chill until firm. This will take at least a few hours (preferably overnight).

To serve, run a knife along the edge of the pan before releasing the spring form to unsure the jelly stays intact.

Strawberry Cheesecake

November 2015

November is always a busy month for the Yewnique household.

The youngest turned nine. This is the one who was supposed to be born in October, but decided to wait and wait for almost a week, so that not only would she share a birthday month with her older sister, but also share a birthday with my sister, her aunt.

November 2015 023

Miss Nine performed in her dance school’s annual performance and also had the honour and privilege of being a student helper for the Mini Stars’ dance items. All in all she was in seven items: four with her class (ballet, jazz, tap, musical theatre) and three as a helper (ballet, jazz, tap).

We attended the wedding of Mark’s cousin. The bride is a South African of Indian descent and there was an elaborate week-long string of celebrations. Here we are at the Mandap ceremony which kicked off the week.

At the Mandap Ceremony

 

The younger two finished up their home school for the year. Did they finish ALL their assigned work? No…. As the song says, Let it go, let it go….

The Boys’ Brigade and the Girls’ Brigade had their Annual Presentation.

Pioneer Pin

Susannah received her Pioneer Pin, which is the highest national award for Girls’ Brigade.

Queens Badge

Jeremy received the Queen’s Badge, which is the highest award for Boys’ Brigade.

Queen's Badge

 

And finally, last but certainly not least, Susannah had her birthday. This is the one who was supposed to be born in December, and therefore share a birth month with her father, but decided to be born early and have her own birth month thankyouverymuch . . . that is, until her younger sister was born eight years later.

Susannah's 17th

 

October 21, 2015 — Back to the Future Day

When I was still living at home, my parents subscribed to the Reader’s Digest, which I devoured every month. I remember reading an article about a teacher in 1960 who asked his sixth-grade students to write their predictions about what life would be like 25 years in the future. He collected their compositions, placed them into an envelope, and promised not to open it until 1985. A quarter of a century later, he kept his promise. As he looked at the juvenile handwriting, he was also amazed at how eerily accurate some of the predictions were.

In 1985, the first of the Back to the Future movies came out. I went with my sister and a friend and —  inside a packed cinema — we watched Marty McFly travel back to 1955, interfere with his parents’ meeting, fix things up, and travel back to a better 1985.

Four years later, we saw Marty McFly travelling to October 21, 2015 (TODAY!!) and fix his kids’ problems. In Back to the Future II, we saw the movie writers’ predictions about what life in 2015 would be like. Some of the things they predicted are too weird and totally wrong, eg the fashion (Phew!) Some of the things are in the making, eg, flying cars and self-lace shoes, proving that life imitates art. Some of the things are amazingly accurate, even though they looked improbable at the time, eg, video phone calls.

My father once predicted that we would one day be able to have long-distance phone conversations and be able to see the person we are speaking with on screens. I thought such an idea was completely possible — after all, we saw such things on sci-fi movies and TV — but I never thought I would see it in my lifetime. And now, here we are. The smartphones we have today are more powerful than the computers they used to send man to the moon. When I heard this, my mind was blown.

What things are in store for us in the future? What would you like to see happen?

I would love to see a change in education. I predict the schools of the future will be a place where people take more responsibility for their own learning. This is, in fact, happening now. But, I foresee more of it happening.

I would love to see an end to Young-Earth Creationism. This movement that is causing a lot of people to become (or remain) atheists has got to go. I’m predicting a can-no-longer-be-ignored piece of evidence to finally, finally, put this ideology to rest. And then, the rest of us Christians had better be there to help with the fallout.

I would love to see computers get smarter and get better at spellcheck and grammar check. Please.

I would love to see a viable treatment, or better yet, a cure for Neurofibromatosis. The gene responsible for this disorder has been identified. Doctors are working on a treatment. So there is hope.

Dear YEC Friend – #13 A Matter of Interpretation

A continuation of a series of letters I have written to a fictitious young-Earth Creationist friend. While the ‘Friend’ is fictitious, it is based on observations of, and interactions with, people who hold young-Earth ideas.

You can click on the Category Letters to My Young Earth Creationist Friend or go to the Page to find more.

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Dear Friend,

I think the main reason why YECs find the idea of an old earth — and its cousin, evolution — to be illogical is that it is incongruous with their interpretation of the Bible. So committed are they to their particular interpretation of the Bible, that it is difficult for them to see things any other way.

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Book Review: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

My sister sometimes posts on Facebook about the latest book she’s reading. Apparently, she is a fan of Haruki Murakami. So, I decided to see if I could get my hands on a Murakami and try reading one of his books.

My library had one copy of one title available (the rest were on loan), his latest, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

The author is Japanese (in case you couldn’t tell) and the original was written in Japanese. I cannot read Japanese, so the copy I read was translated by Philip Gabriel. :)

There is something very fascinating whenever one experiences translated works. I consider English to be my first language. I can read, speak and understand Malay; and read (a bit), speak and understand Mandarin Chinese (conversational level). I like watching foreign films — subtitled, not dubbed — and if it is in a language I understand, I like seeing how the translators have rendered the spoken words into English. Most times, I applaud their efforts: “That is a great translation! Yup! Spot on!” Sometimes, I think, “Hmmm….There’s a bit more to it than that. I would have used different words.”

I think translating a written piece from one language into another is fraught with challenges. When does one translate word-for-word? When does one translate thought-for-thought? How does one capture puns and play on words? What about cultural nuances?

So many things to consider!

All these thoughts were rattling around in my brain as I read Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

Read the rest of this entry

Dear YEC Friend – #12 The Bible Tells Me So

A continuation of a series of letters I have written to a fictitious young-Earth Creationist friend. While the ‘Friend’ is fictitious, it is based on observations of and interactions with people who hold young-Earth ideas.

You can click on the Category Letters to My Young Earth Creationist Friend or go to the Page to find more.

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Dear Friend,

“Compromising Christians”

In response to my last letter,  you said that there is no room for “maybe”.  God told us how he created life, the universe and everything in it very clearly in His Word. If you opened the door to allow for even the idea that the earth could be more than 6000 years old, you could no longer be a consistent Christian.

I see that Ken Ham (and his cronies) have done their job well in convincing their followers of the Dogma of Young-Earth Creationism™ . He calls people like me “compromisers”. I guess that means people who have no integrity, who aren’t intellectually honest. The “official” stance is that it isn’t a salvation issue, but I don’t think anyone is fooled. Oh, yeah, you told me once it is a salvation issue. I’m glad you are able to be honest enough to say it.

To you, not interpreting Genesis (and passages that allude or refer to it) literally is “fracturing” God’s Word. I have already addressed this issue, so I won’t rehash it here. Many YECs have been taught that if Genesis 1-11 isn’t straight history, then Christianity isn’t true. Unfortunately, this kind of teaching is not winning any souls to Christ. In fact, it is turning people away. It is turning a lot of Christians into atheists. YECism is doing the opposite of what it intends to do!

And that is why I think YECism is a dangerous doctrine. It requires believers to accept something as an integral part of the faith which is provably false!

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