Archive for September, 2011

NYC Dumpling Festival 2011

So I’ve been insanely overworked and running around like a madwoman since I’ve started student teaching. It was on Thursday that I told myself I needed to do something to have fun and relax this weekend, originally I just wanted to go to the village but then Scott informed me that today the NYC Dumpling Festival would be taking place 😀

We arrived about 10 minutes early and waited on a nice short line to purchase our tickets. For $20 you got to sample dumplings from any four stands at the festival. It seemed a bit expensive to me at first, but I was happy to learn all of my $20 was going to help support the Food Bank of NYC.  Scott and I each bought a ticket, so our plan was to try samples from 8 different stands and share them. The first dumplings we tried were Tang’s veggie dumplings.

not only are they veggie dumplings, they're totally vegan!

These were whole wheat and vegan and were served with some sweet chili sauce. I didn’t taste the whole wheat in them at all and the sauce was awesome! These dumplings can be purchased at Whole Foods, which means I’ll probably never have them again, or at least for a very long time since Whole Foods is out of the way and damn expensive. Our next choice was Veselka’s Trio of Pierogi.

We got one potato/sour cream pierogi, one goat/beef pierogi and one goat cheese/arugula pierogi. I let Scott eat the one that had beef in it because I do not eat beef (he ate everything else that had beef in it for me also :)) He liked that one. The potato one just tasted like your standard pierogi to me, nothing special. However, the goat cheese and arugula one was the most delicious thing I ate at the festival! It was amazing and went wonderfully with the sauteed onions. It was a total food-gasm.  Our next sample was O Lavadar’s fried seafood dumplings.

I wasn’t too thrilled with these to be honest. I liked the sauce but the filling didn’t work with the outside for me. Plus I’ve never been crazy about deep fried foods in general. After that we decided to try Chinese Mirch’s chicken momo

These were simple chicken dumplings in a spicy broth. I really enjoyed this. I know this would be extremely delicious in cold weather. I liked the spice the broth left on the dumplings, it made me feel warm inside without setting my mouth on fire. But unlike Scott I didn’t drink any of the broth, since his tolerance for spicy things is much higher than mine. Anyways, onto our next two samples  Elsewhere’s lamb and potato dumpling (top) and miss Korea BBQ’s duo of mandu (bottom) The lamb and potato dumping was excellent. It was comfort food in a dumpling pastry form. This is another dish that I think would be more satisfying to each when it’s cold because it was pretty filling. The Korean BBQ sample consisted of one pork dumpling and one kimchi dumpling as well as a side of kimchi and marinated beef. I thought the pork dumpling was alright, but it wasn’t amazing. When I first tried the kimchi dumpling my inital thoughts were “wow, this is the best veggie dumpling I’ve had in a long time,” but then the spice hit me. It was too spicy for my tastes by Scott enjoyed it. The kimchi side tasted like sauerkraut only not. I like sauerkraut better, but I’d be interested to see what a fusion of kimchi and sauerkraut would taste like. And Scott said the marinated beef was nothing special.Our last dumpling sample for the day came from Ivy Bakery.

This was a spiced apple dumpling pastry. It was quite tasty but I was a bit disappointed they only gave us one and that it was as small as it was. But it was a nice desert to end with. With our final sample ticket we got two bottles of ginger ale from Fresh Ginger Ginger Ale.

I’ve had their ginger ale once or twice before and I must say that they are *legit.* With the normal one you feel the burn of ginger, which I find pleasant when I am ill because I feel like it’s helping to fight whatever sickness I have. Plus ginger is good for your digestive system. Scott and I split the pomegranate one which wasn’t as intense as the normal one. I took the jasmine tea one home with me and plan on trying it later tonight or tomorrow.

They were going to have a dumpling eating contest and set a world record for the most dumplings eaten in two minutes, but I’m not into eating competitions so I didn’t really watch. The dumpling cutting to set off the festivities was pretty awesome though.

basically, it's a giant dumpling, filled with normal size dumplings

Over all I had an awesome time and even got to find a few restaurants I’d really like to visit in the future. The few things we didn’t try were some pork dumpings and chicken liver raviolis. My two disappointments with this event were the fact that the dumpling mascot the event’s website led me to think would be there was not there and the fact that they didn’t have any samosas.

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My Blog Needs a New Name

If you haven’t noticed I changed my blog title to “Of Math And Other Awesome Things,” since well, I’m not one to ever write serious papers about education. Education paper suck. They can have good ideas but I do not enjoy reading them at all. In the end it just boils down into politics and debate and that’s something I’ve never been into. I don’t write about math that much either… I need a new blog name. I’m also starting to doubt if I really should be a teacher since I like math more than education. I mean really I don’t feel like writing about educational theory and shit. I’d rather come up with a few ideas for lessons and ask my professors what they think, or sit and observe good teachers and take notes. I hate all of the philosophy and theory that goes into it.

My rant aside, I have decided that I need to come up with a new name and am totally up for suggestions. Right now my only idea is  “sqrt(-1)^2 : it just got real”  but it doesn’t look as cool without the math symbols 😄

 

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Having A Kindle Would Make My Life Easier

Alright Bzzagent, I’ve decided to give your new way of getting into campaigns a try!

Here’s my story, I’m a commuter college student. Pictured below are all of the books I’m using this semester (minus one that has yet to arrive in the mail) and one novel that I am reading for fun.

That's about 6.5 inches of books

 

They weigh roughly 10 lbs.

As a commuter I need to carry my books around at times; not all of them at once, but it does get annoying. When I’m working on homework assignments or studying they take up a lot of space next to my laptop and notebook on the table. These are things I’ve learned to live with, but the main reason I want a Kindle is because of big books like Atlas Shrugged. I don’t take that book around with me because of it’s massive size. When I do read it, it’s bulkiness makes it awkward to hold. I’d love to have it fit into something as small as a kindle! Plus I feel bad for the trees that get killed just so I can buy a book and read it once or twice.

If I had a Kindle, overtime I would buy kindle versions of all the large books that I want to read. Believe me, I have quite a list. As far as text book purchases, I would be happy to have another option. With newer books I’d still rent, or buy and sell them back to amazon.com for credit because the deal is normally halfway decent. However with books that aren’t very recently published, or the new edition is set to come out within months, the sell back prices are horrible.  I would rather buy Kindle editions of these and not feel bad about killing trees!

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Why You Should Understand Volume and Density In Real Life

I realize that I was born with a math teacher brain, which caused me to notice two things that led me to write this post.

The first thing was a commercial for Hershey’s new aerated chocolate.

My mother’s immediate reaction to the commercial was that it was a ripoff because you would be getting less chocolate. But I said that you cannot be sure of that until you look at the net-weight on the package and compare it to a normal Hershey bar, and see if there is any difference in price. I have no pictures, but during my most recent trip to CVS I noted that a normal Hershey bar’s net weight was 1.55 oz while the aerated chocolate’s net weight was 1.45 oz. For the same price you are getting 0.10 oz less chocolate with air-bubbles in it. Not worth it for me, but if you’re being calorie conscious this could be a help. But if you really wanted to be healthy you wouldn’t be eating a whole bar of chocolate in the first place.

Something interesting to think about is how we can use simple algebra to figure out how much more money Hershey makes on the aerated chocolate. Set up the following ratio:

(aerated/ normal) = 145/155 = x/100

Solve for x and you get 93.5. Which means the aerated chocolate’s weight is about 94% of the normal chocolate’s weight. Hershey would prefer you buy the aerate chocolate because since both bars are the same price, they make about 6% more. Keep in mind I’m not taking into consideration how much it costs to run the machinery that aerates the chocolate, but I’m assuming it can’t be much.

The second thing was the shape of the bottle of nail polish that Christal sent me! It’s the Funky Fingers nail polish pictured here with a few other bottles of nail polish in my house.

from left to right: sally hansen's quick dry, funky fingers, wet n' wild, NYC quick dry

Would you expect that nail polish bottles were set at some standard volume size and that these would all hold the same amount? They’re not. In fact they all have different net weights listed on the bottom. My mom’s Sally Hansen nail polish was the most expensive one there, costing $5. The NYC quick dry and Wet n’ Wild were each $2. And according to the internet Funky Fingers seems to retail around $2-$6 a bottle.. though I think the more expensive ones were just people trying to make a profit on e-bay.

Based only looking at the bottles I would have guessed the order from least to greatest would have been NYC, Wet n’ Wild, Sally Hansen, Funky Fingers. But looks are very deceiving, pictured below are the bottles arranged in order from least to greatest, based on the net weight written on the bottom of the bottle.

So the most expensive one has the least amount of product. A typical student would probably say you should buy the cheapest one that holds the most, but this is where the real life applications come in and taint the purity of math. You should buy the one that best suits your budget, and has a quality that you are satisfied with. If one brand requires more coats than another brand, you’re not exactly saving money by buying that one even if it has more product in it. It’s really a matter of what you want and how much you are willing to spend. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be mathematically knowledgeable about how much you are getting at the same time!

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Care Package from Christal!

My awesome friend Christal (who’s blog you can read here)  had informed me a little while ago that I she sent me something, which confirmed my suspicions a while earlier when she asked me about colors that I liked. But I hardly expected that she put together a care package!!!

all of this awesome came out of one tiny box!

I love that the fire can be mistaken for a carrot ^^

I am baffled at how she managed to find so many awesome things and put them all together!!! It’s made my life a tad bit more awesome, although it (sponge-bob band-aids included) cannot remedy the recent wound I have suffered: textbook purchases. But I shall save that for another post!

In other news I recently finished reading part I of Atlas Shrugged and my dogs are adorable! Hooray for capitalism and doggies!

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