Thursday, December 31, 2009

HaPpY 2010 :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

HaPpY XmAs!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The future is 6th sense!




The #future *is* 6th Sense! This is my dream come true ~ "no more machine in front of a machine" :)

This begs the question - *what* is real? Is the world yet another figment of our imagination?

It seems the only boundaries are our minds. Or not.
about a minute ago · Delete

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Beathe!

You don't need strength to be Strong

Place to be

You are part of something Beautiful!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Barack Obama's diplomatic smileathon

A new 22-second film reveals the US president's extraordinary capacity for grinning and bearing numerous photocalls with the same diplomatic smile



Barack Obama's amazingly consistent smile from Eric Spiegelman on Vimeo.



Being photographed next to Barack Obama has become the must-do activity for any world leader. Silvio Berlusconi's cheesy thumbs up at the G20 in London revealed how desperate global statesman can get to be snapped with the US president. But now the attraction of the Obama photocall may have lost some of its lustre.
Blogger Eric Spiegelman quips that his new film is proof that the president is a robot, a waxwork or a cardboard cut-out.
The White House released 130 photographs of the president with various foreign dignitaries at a dinner during the United Nations general assembly last week. Spiegelman snipped them together and put them to music, to create a video gem that has quickly gone viral.
The Guardian also featured several of the best in a special gallery.
"No human being has a photo smile this amazingly consistent," Spiegelman quips.
He adds: "Obama is the only one who put all his photos on the Internet, so he's the only one we can prove has this skill."
Maybe its time for Obama to wipe that grin off his face.

Syrian on an crash course in English!




Dear YAaaMO,

Yesterday friendatee invited me to a restaurant, we orders first KISSERS ( (مقبلات , upside down (( مقلوبة 
and the dessert was hind's husband cake ( جوز الهند) and made in husband معمول بالجوز). 


But yamo one of my friendatee is a moons player ( لعيب قمار) so danger on my mind خطر عبالي) to go to the vomiting office (مكتب المراجعات) in the university that have the
divorced saladالسلطة المطلقة(and tell them about my friend.


Yamo I bought two husbands of socks ( جوزين كلسات) but the salesman didn't understand what I wanted so I told him your price on me(حقق عليي) I wanted to pay for the socks he didn't accept and said to me keep it on my calculation (خليها عحسابي



We became friends and he invited me to his house before I came in I shouted constitution on parents home (دستور ياأهل الدار) but I evaluated his envelopes (قدرت ظروفهcoz he lived alone in a small house. 

He insisted to spend the night in his house I told him cover your width يستر على عرضك) I can't sleep out of the university but from here to here ( من هون لهون) I knew he was Syrian too. 


He was very on a boy ( عصبي). I told him that the next day the invitation would be on my mathematics (على حسابي). 


Friendato came to tell him replace your safety (عوض بسلامتك) coz his cousin died two weeks ago. 


Make your touching in good Yamo ( مسيتك بالخير) , and see you soon

Monday, September 28, 2009

Rogan Josh



  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1kg diced lamb
  • 2 brown onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon store bought curry paste (medium heat)
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • coriander leaves, to serve
  • steamed rice, to serve
  • pappadums, if desired, to serve

Method

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. Brown the lamb in batches (adding a little extra oil between batches if needed) then remove and transfer to a slow cooker.
  2. Heat remaining oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the onion, ginger and garlic along with the curry paste and cook for 1 minute then transfer to the slow cooker along with 1 1/2 cups water and the canned tomatoes. Cook for 1 1/2 hours on low then serve with coriander, rice and pappadums.

Beef & Mushroom Pies


With golden pastry and a tender beef bourguignon-style filling, these pies are the ultimate weekend comfort food.

Preparation Time 

15 minutes

Cooking Time 

175 minutes


Ingredients (serves 6)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 40g butter
  • 1kg gravy beef, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 750g small pickling onions or eschalots (French shallots), peeled, ends trimmed
  • 2 x 200g pkts portobello mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 40g (1/4 cup) plain flour
  • 500ml (2 cups) dry red wine
  • 500ml (2 cups) beef stock
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 2 sheets (25 x 25cm) ready-rolled frozen puff pastry, just thawed
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, extra

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Heat half the oil and 10g of the butter in a flameproof casserole dish over high heat. Add one-quarter of the beef and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until brown. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Repeat, in 3 more batches, with the remaining beef, reheating the pan between batches.
  2. Heat the remaining oil and 10g of the remaining butter in the same pan. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until golden. Transfer to the bowl with the beef. Add the mushrooms to pan and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until brown. Transfer to the bowl.
  3. Melt the remaining butter in the pan over medium heat until foaming. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to dislodge any bits that have cooked onto the base, for 2 minutes or until the mixture bubbles. Return the beef mixture to the pan. Add the wine and stock and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until combined. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat. Stir in the rosemary, thyme and bouquet garni. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in oven, covered, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours or until the beef is tender and the sauce thickens slightly. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool.
  4. Increase oven to 200°C. Spoon the beef mixture among six 375ml (1 1/2-cup) capacity ovenproof dishes. Use a 10cm-round pastry cutter to cut three discs from each pastry sheet. Brush the top edge of one of the dishes with a little of the egg. Top with a pastry disc and press the edges to seal. Repeat with the remaining egg and pastry discs. Brush pies with any remaining egg and decorate with leftover pastry. Place pies on a baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is golden and puffed.
  5. Top the pies with the extra thyme sprigs and serve immediately

Salmon EnCroute (Puff Pastry)





Use the other half of puff pastry for this pie. It’s not going to take alot, with the rest of the pastry, u can make palmiers (which I’ll write up later) Just remember to layer the scrap puff and keep them in the fridge. Never knead them!
OK, roll the puff pastry to 3mm thick and then keep in the fridge while u prepare the salmon.
Ingredients
200g fresh salmon
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped till fine
handful or parsley, chopped
pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
50ml thickend cream




Bake salmon at 210 for 15-20 minutes. Cover with aluminium foil so the fish would be moisted. Flake the salmon and leave to cool. Chop the parsley, wash them in a muslin (the white cloth to wrap wounds). Lightly sautee onions and garlic with some butter. Add onions, garlic, parsley to the salmon, and mix. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Add cream and stir till well incorporated.
Take out the chilled puff pastry, pour the salmon mixture on top and shape it like an oval, like a fish’s body (minus the fins and tail). Then cover it with puff pastry, and trace a fish out.. Use the tip of the knife to draw lines on the fins and tail. Use the cutter to mark the scales. Egg wash it, and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking. Egg wash it again just before putting it into the oven. Bake at 210 C for about 20 minutes.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Salmon Encroute






  • 150g mascarpone or cream cheese
  • 1 bag watercress , spinach and rocket, about 120g
  • 500g shortcrust pastry , use a butter version such as Jus-rol, which is frozen, or Dorset pastry
  • 500g piece salmon fillets , skinless
  • egg , beaten
  1. Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Put the mascarpone or cream cheese in a food processor with the watercress, spinach and rocket and whizz the lot until you have a creamy green purée. Season well.
  2. Roll the pastry out so you can wrap the salmon in it completely (just a bit thinner than a £1 coin) and lay it on a buttered or oiled baking sheet (it will hang over the edges). Put the salmon in the middle. If it has a thinner tail end, tuck it under. Spoon half of the watercress mixture onto the salmon. Now fold the pastry over into a neat parcel (the join will be at the top, so trim the edge neatly), making sure you don't have any thick lumps of pastry as these won't cook through properly. Trim off any excess as you need to. Make 3 neat cuts in the pastry to allow steam to escape and make some decorations with the off-cuts to disguise the join if you like. Brush with the egg glaze.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and browned. To test whether the salmon is cooked, push a sharp knife through one of the cuts into the flesh, wait for 3 seconds then test it against the inside of your wrist; if it is hot, the salmon is cooked. Serve with the rest of the watercress purée as a sauce.

Jon Snow's salmon fillets recipe by Gordon Ransey







Ingredients

  • 4 middle cut organic salmon fillets
  • 1 cup, organic pine nuts
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • Knob of butter
  • 4 large flat organic mushrooms (e.g. Portobello)
  • 4 cloves organic garlic, crushed
  • 350g organic green beans, trimmed
  • 12 organic cherry tomatoes, on the vine
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • Five spice powder
  • Pinch coriander leaves to garnish
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil



1. Preheat oven to 160˚C.
2. Pan-fry the pine nuts in a dry pan until lightly toasted.
3. Thinly slice the potatoes using a sharp knife. Fry in hot olive oil with a little butter turning regularly until golden. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Place on a baking tray and keep warm in a low oven.
4. Peel and remove the stalks from the mushrooms. Trim the edges to make them neat then, using the same pan, fry the mushrooms whole in olive oil with a large pinch of crushed garlic. Remove the mushrooms once cooked - approximately 4-6 minutes. Cover in tin foil and keep warm in the oven with the potatoes.
5. Meanwhile bring a steamer full of water to the boil. Steam the beans until cooked. Keep warm.
6. Pick the tomatoes off the vine and place in the frying pan adding more oil and garlic. Squeeze the lemon juice over the tomatoes and sprinkle with a little five spice powder. Cook for 2 minutes.
7. Keeping the tomatoes in the pan, add the salmon fillets skin side down. Season and gently fry on all sides until cooked through – approximately 6 minutes.
8. To serve arrange a bed of beans on warm plates. Sprinkle with pine nuts and place the salmon fillets on top. Quarter the mushrooms and arrange around the plates with the cherry tomatoes and potatoes. Garnish with coriander leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.



Why I love Winter

Winter Rocks because of:

1. A steaming mug of Hot Chocolate w/ marshmallows & Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

2. Lounging around in a pair of Thick Red Flannel Pajamas w/ matching Fluffy Robe & Floppy Slippers

3. Reading for hours in the glow of a roaring Fireplace

4. Walking flirtatiously in a pair of Knee Length boots with 60 denier tights, tartan wool skirt & a soft cashmere polo-neck

5. Leather Jackets guaranteed to set your heart racing

6. Rosy cheeks massaged by the frosty air

7. Hot bowls of Homemade Soups & freshly baked bread

8. Hats, Scarves & Gloves colour coordinated to liven up the gloomiest winter day

9. The bliss of waking up to find the ground covered in snow...nothing moving...eternal white, peace & quiet

10. And last but certainly not least all the extra layers covering up the new love handles generated by over-indulging in comfort foods all winter long!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Twitter 101 for Business

Social Media Stories

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Is Social Media Pushing TV to its Grave?

Why do people watch television? Well, that’s an extremely simple question that can be followed with these equally simple answers:

To watch movies or series.
To watch shows (social, cooking, educational, funny and so on).
To listen to music.
To follow up with the latest news.
If you take a minute to think about it, you would realize that social media provides you with the aforementioned benefits in addition to the added-value of being able to meet, connect and interact with like-minded people while doing so. Here’s how:

Digg, Reddit, Twine, Mix & others: Provide their users with a wide range of stories, news articles, medical advice, funny clips, creative websites, helpful tools and so on while having the option of adding friends, sharing stories and discussing issues with them.
Twitter, Facebook pages & blogs: Take Twitter for example, whether you are following up with world news on CNN’s Twitter accounts – like cnnbrk - or tech news on Mashable or Techcrunch’s Twitter accounts, Twitter also offers you a chance to interact, share information, promote ideas, links and posts as well as build work and personal relationships.
Youtube, Vimoe and other video sharing services: Not only can you use these channels to watch clips, series and listen to music, they are superior platforms to your average television in that they provide you with an option to rate clips, share ideas and meet new people as well.
Apart from these benefits, social media provides marketers with a relatively “cheap” and more effective way of promoting their products and services to a larger more diversified target audience. Furthermore, Internet advertising has the following advantages over television advertising:

Internet advertising is more targeted.
Internet adverting enables good conversion tracking.
Internet advertising has a lower entry-level fees.
Internet advertising has greater range (geographically).
Did you ever notice how almost all well-planned marketing campaigns have social media channels as a primary component? Let’s take Oreo’s campaign for example, they were unable to depend solely on television and felt the need to utilize social media for a comprehensive campaign with a wider target audience.

But it doesn’t end there!
Social media is not the only factor responsible for this phenomenon, the Internet as a whole and computers in specific are bringing the death of the television business closer and closer! In addition to that, new inventions such as Tivo and Slingbox are also players in this conspiracy against television!

Moreover, and if you look closely to Internet ad revenues in the first quarter of 2009 – as opposed to TV ad revenue, you are able to clearly see how seriously marketers are taking the Internet as a media channel when it comes to advertising.

Will it be missed?
Just like print media has suffered from the Internet and its social media platforms, do you agree with me that television is suffering as well? Do you think there will ever come a day when our houses will be television-free? Do you think there still is a real need for television these days?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

21 Must-Follow Tips For Optimizing Time Spent In Social Media

Several weeks ago, I revisited the 16 rules for social media optimization. Switching things up, today I thought it would be useful to approach this slightly differently and look at how to optimize time spent in social media.

These tips aren’t necessarily just for brands or companies to follow, rather they may prove even more useful for digital marketing professionals themselves. In the spirit of optimizing your time reading this, I’m going to keep the tips brief and to the point.

1. Aggregate social content about your company, brand or even yourself into a real-time feed using one of the many tools available to do this. Bring the relevant mentions to you instead of always searching for them.

2. Unfollow those who don’t add value or aren’t important to your network. This tip isn’t for a brand or company seeking to make themselves accessible to the world at large, but for you as a marketer personally. How many times have you logged into Twitter, Facebook or FriendFeed – even just after a few hours of being away – and felt totally lost in the conversation. Unless you’re going to devote your life to watching the stream, make sure that who you’re following is actually worth your time.

3. Unsubscribe to all RSS feeds that aren’t unmissable. RSS is the perfect, simple way to keep track of relevant feeds, but over time your reader can become bloated. We’ve all logged into reader and seen Google display the euphemistic “1,000+ unread items” before. This isn’t very fun – so be sure to keep your subscription signal-to-noise ratio positive.

4. Learn to skim. As marketers, there just isn’t time to read everything fully. Learn to skim past the noise and recognize when there are conversations and content worth your time to read carefully. On the flip side, make your own content scanable to entice readers to skim. Done properly, this should increase engagement and draw people in deeper.

5. Establish a set of trusted sites to read frequently. No matter what niche you’re interested in, you absolutely must identify the trusted, valuable sites in that area. Read their content carefully, as in many cases, those at the top are the conversation starters for those in the tail. In other words: Following the leaders can keep you at the forefront of the greater conversation.

6. Audit your time. Calculate how much time you spend daily in different areas of the social web. It adds up, and no one is immune to losing time. Carefully audit just where your time is going and realign efforts to the areas that make a different in achieving objectives.

7. Automate where it makes sense, but do so carefully. Setting up feeds to auto-tweet when you add new content to your blog or share something in Google Reader may make sense. But careful not to automate things like direct messages, something that may irk those on the receiving end.

8. Analyze how people react to the content you create or share. Look at what content archetypes your community reacts to, learn from them, adjust and sharpen as you go forward.

9. Realize there is no information overload. Learn to navigate the unstoppable river of real-time and become a chief signal officer.

10. Become a search ninja. Search really matters to be ultra-successful in social, and knowing all the specific Google operators can help you get to what you need for your marketing efforts fast (such as content creation that requires research).

11. Consolidate your network presence, AKA the Seth Godin strategy. You don’t see him on Twitter. You don’t see him on Facebook. You see him on his blog, and he’s trained us all to go there and subscribe to get content. A diversified presence is not necessarily a better play if your ideas are remarkable.

12. Learn the ebbs and flows of content in a niche and what networks, sites and users matter. Get an understanding of how your corner of the web works, and in time you’ll develop an understanding for how it functions at the macro level.

13. Develop an efficient routine for your time spent in the social web. This will allow you to know how much time each set of tasks and updates take and allow you to become more efficient each day. With that said, as marketers it is also important to understand that we all use the web differently. So if you’re going to do this for efficiency’s sake, continue to explore other tools, trends and options. You can be efficient with your core functions but still experiment.

14. Make your processes simple. No one is going to argue against copy/paste being the best social media tool. There’s a reason for that: It’s dead simple. Make your time spent on social media as a participant and contributor as simple as the idea of copy-pasting content.

15. Use only the essential tools. With a constant slew of new apps being developed, it’s easy for marketers to get shiny new object syndrome. And while you should be trying new things out, you should get to the point you’re only using the tools daily that are essential to your core purposes in the social web.

16. Don’t multitask. If you want to do things like develop killer blog content, you have to turn off Twitter, walk away from email and focus. Social media makes it all too easy to multitask, but the results of your efforts will be sub-par compared to those who focus.

17. Cross-pollinate content sharing. Do things like sharing StumbleUpon or Digg links in Twitter – encourage users from one network to share content in another. Get creative with how you do this and make it subtle or even invisible.

18. Embrace imperfection. Part of social media means, well, being social. And our social interactions are by their very nature imperfect. Some of the best blogs on the planet are hardly perfect, but that’s not what makes them compelling.

19. Eliminate busy work. Identify where the valuable, creative opportunities are that resonate with your key audiences. Now focus there – the rest may be busy work that can be trimmed.

20. Qualitity over quantity – more participation does not trump higher-quality participation. As the social web continues to grow, this will only become more important.

21. Limit distractions. No one is going to deny that social media itself can be a distraction if you aren’t careful with your time. But limiting distractions by following the other tips listed and staying focused can make all the difference at optimizing time spent in the social web.

This is certainly a shortlist, so I’ll turn it over to the readers: What’s your best tip for optimizing time spent in social media?