T锚t Decoration – paper cutting

It was the T锚t – or Vietnamese New Year – Friday! So many “Asian-y” posts may come up. Today, it’s with the decorations!

Red is the colour to go for! It brings good luck and drives away the Bad one. As it’s going to be the year of the horse, I went for a red horse.

horse 1

I started off sketching out the horse before going back on the outline. Then, I embellished the inside of the horse. I sketched those out and darkened them.

Now the cutting!

horse 2


– make sure that the horse (or whatever you want to cut out) is in contact on multiple places with the frame.

– don’t cut in one go. First cut most of the paper (especially if it’s a 聽big piece to cut out) and then go over those parts in detail.

– Sometimes it’s easier when it’s the paper which is the one you move and not the scissors when you’re cutting; in particular for rounded edges.

– Don’t try to cut the angles in one go! Do one side, then the other, it will fall off on its own 馃槈

– Try to take off as much access paper each time possible! But in the same time, keep in mind that those chunks of paper you later want to cut make it easier to hold your decoration.


Pocket for notebook

I recently got myself a new organizer (obvious, new year, new organizer) as much as I love it, there was something missing…..

pocket for notebook 1It’s when I opened an old notebook that I realized what it was that I needed: I pocket at the back of my organizer!

Materials needed:

paper – ruler – glue – scissors

I would advise you to use thick paper.

I then remembered a video I saw on how to make to your book:

I made a few modifications to have a “clean edge”:

  • I took a longer piece of paper. To then fold over the edge of 聽the flaps (the ones which are glued to the side of the pocket we and see)

  • I folded the main piece in such a way that you don’t see the glued side of the pocket.

  • I glued one of the flap on the back of the pocket (the one which is then glued to the book) which is then glued -touching- the book

pocket for notebook 2

You can then do a collage on your pocket. In my case,

I used a simple A4 paper with a width of 16 cm and folded at 12 and 24 cm.

Then I glued two origami paper i thought would go well with the colour of my organizer.

In the end, I also used clear tape to tape the folded areas inside the pocket (so that it wouldn’t stick to the objects in the pocket later on) and at the back of the pocket to hold the flaps in.

Would you add a pocket to your book? If you do, I’d love to see your version of one!

For more information on the paper

Paper grain direction

Soups! How to make a homemade ph么

Do you remember in your childhood when your parents, or any adult would have to ‘force’ you to eat soup?

That was my case. Until I grew up, and realised how nutritious and quick to eat soups are! The practicality of a soup, and when you’re in a hurry, there’s all the healthy nutriments you would need in a bowl, or mug.

In my case, I wasn’t a fan of soups until the end of high-school and the beginning of my student life, except for one maybe: Ph么.

At Ph么 24 (Viet Nam)

It’s a Vietnamese soup. The base is a broth that you let simmer for a long time. In it it’s best to put in the maximum of vegetables, spices and herbs you like to add to the flavour.聽From there, you add in whatever you like to eat: beef or pork (for example) – cut into thin pieces though, whichever noodles you prefer, etc.

To cook the meat and noodles, it could not be any easier!聽You simply put in the small pieces of meat in your boiling broth, and wait until it’s cooked. For the noodles, just lest them rest in boiled water for a couple of minutes before adding them for a minute or two in you broth before serving. Then all depends on how you like your noodles 馃槈

To serve, take your steamy full of flavours and tasty broth with your cooked meat (if you want the meat), noddles, and then add in come lime with a dab of fish sauce, mint and any herbs you enjoy along with freshly shopped shallot or onions. You can also add in fried onions, or/ chopped onion stalk, soy-bean stems, etc…

Now Dig in!

What I love about this kind of soup, is that it’s very light (meet cooked in water, no need of any oil or fat, …) full of different flavours and perfumes, and mostly you can just invent your own variations depending on your taste!

Not only that! But what is great about the different ways food is cooked in Eastern Asian cuisine, is that you end up eating less fat.

Here’s a couple good links I found on how to cut your ingredients Asian style and Vietnamese dishes:

How to cut your Ingredients

Vietnamese recipes

If you’re interested in Asian cuisine, in that case check out my Amalgam of Food page where you’ll get different links to sites I found ‘authentic’. Of course, the best is to back your bags and eat the food locally 馃檪

Limitless, Star Trek: Sci-fi movies and their homework – understanding how things work

I love sci-fi movies!

Every time I see that there’s a sci-fi movie coming out, I can’t wait to go to the movies and watch it on that huge screen!

Thing is, with my basic knowledge in physics and science, I can’t help to be desapointed by the lack of scientific accuracy.聽Right, “it’s sci-fi” so they could do what ever they want as in any fictional story right? But isn’t it best when there’s a minimum of scientific accuracy?

Let’s take two movies I enjoyed and loved watching, but kept having this itchy feeling they didn’t do their homework properly (which can be quite a pickle when there are millions going into the making of the franchise right?): Star Trek and Limitless.

Star Trek (mostly Into the Darkness):

Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachery Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pine, Simon Pegg (hilarious!!) and the rest of the cast is amazing! However, when one of the fundamental laws of mechanics (Newton’s laws of motion) is broken, that itchy feeling came running through my spine. It’s when the Enterprise broke down and stopped!

For those who do not know what I’m talking about, it’s the first law:

When viewed in an inertial reference frame, an object either is at rest or moves at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force. (source: Wikipedia)

What is an inertial reference frame?

In simple words (or rather as simple as I try to be), it’s an ‘environment’ where time and space is homogeneous and isotope. Makes sense?

What should have happened?

The Enterprise would simply have kept on with its “course”. Otherwise, what they should have done, was, with a certain speed, found themselves gravitating around a moon or planet, or any object with a mass much bigger than theirs (Gravitational law).

So that’s for Star Trek.


Sexy, talented Bradely Cooper and those bright blue dreamy eyes… Just thinking about it makes me want to see the movie again (yes, just for his good looks…).

In the movie, it says that we only use 10% of our cognitive function. It’s a myth. Here’s an article in French which answers the question: Do we only use 10% of our Brain?

Interested in the Brain? How to actually develop your cognitive functions? Check out these articles:

What one needs to know about the brain (National Geographic [FR])

How to exercise your Brain (Psychologies.com [FR])

The Blue Brain Project (EPFL): it’s an attempt to create a synthetic brain using maths, physics and neuroscience. Though their aim is to study the brain’s archtectural and functional principles.

Interested in the project? Here’s a more visual and explicative site on the subject: Blue Brain, a documentary film.

In summary, a brain can be seen like a computer. It has all this potential that an ‘ordinary user’ would only use, let’s say, 20% of its capacity. However, once you know how it works, once you know how to programme for instance, you can use the computer to its maximum potential, and mostly: to your advantage! 馃槈

The best thing, is that it doesn’t limit itself to science and technology, but anything in general. Once you’ve understood the way it works, you can use it to your own advantage 馃槈

So what have you thought unfair for instance? Would you be willing to go deeper and understand that system to use it to your advantage? But then think about the ethics, morals, law and your beliefs….


2001: Space Odyssey – Stanley Kubrick

Once I finished graduating high school and got accepted in the University I wanted, with a good friend of mine we did a Euro trip with Interrail. If you haven’t done it, do it at least once in your life (rather youth) especially if you’re European (cheaper than the Europass 馃槈 ).

One of our destinations was Amsterdam. I remember getting there under the burning hot sun. I was with my oversize camping bag -our trip lasted us three weeks and a half- and my friend with her over cramped suitcase. Though how else are you supposed to do when you know you’re going to be taking easy jet at some point. Ah Easy jet, the pro’s and con’s…

Back to the subject:

One of the first things I saw was the Eye Film Institute and the huge banner about its exposition on Stanley Kubrick. Having heard so much about him and his films, and as stubborn as I am, I imposed to my very patient friend a visit there (as I had done for previous museums).

At the exposition I learned so much on the methodical approach聽of his work; like a scientist, journalist, or researcher -which is where I became even more fascinated by his work. It is then, that I promised myself to watch all of his movies, I mean chef-oeuvres. Call me a chicken, I might wait a bit before putting on The Shinning.

2001: A Space Odyssey

That was the one I wanted to watch the most before Orange Clockwork. And I just finished watching it! Many people told me that you needed to have patience to watch it and that it’s an extremely slow movie and weird.

They could not be any more wrong! (except for the patience)

I have never been bored for a second throughout the movie. Trust me, after all the movies I have watched, I have become quite critic on the movies I see. In this case you have everything: splendid visual effects, framing, photography, the music which accompany the story-line. Then there is the plot and theme of the movie: Evolution. Which is beautifully depicted from the start till the end.

What I loved the most was the cycle of life he shows through the plot with the monolith. How it’s not exactly linear, but more like a spiral stretched through time. Take the last image of the film, when the main character dies; we became what we are originally: a Star – or rather star dust if one wishes to be more ‘accurate’ – to then be ‘reborn’.

Check out this Article: Are we really made of Start Dust? Explaining from a scientific- physics point of view that poetic imagery.

Let us not forget the humane and psychological side of the movie

In the part Jupiter Mission with HAL: the relationship between the crew members and HAL. How HAL, being made by man, may be the smartest being on the ship but also has its own personality and emotions, as man.

What I love is the honesty between the crew members, and how it all goes berserk the moment they start plotting against HAL in cachotterie. Why? Because of their (HAL’s and Dave Bowmann’s) emotions which don’t make them act logically. Here’s a great quote from the movie:

HAL: “Just what do you think you’re doing, Dave?
[on Dave’s return to the ship, after HAL has killed the rest of the crew]
Look Dave, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.
I know I’ve made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I’ve still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you.”

Later, we understand a bit more why this mission is so important for HAL, why he was so passionate about it and acted irrationally.

Isn’t that just how we act sometimes? Irrational by fear, and passion too. But once you’ve calmed down, and taken a step back, you think and realize the truth and what truly is best to be done.

And I know what I’m talking about, having recently experienced and seen the work of fear and lack of knowledge.

So what do you think about all this? The emotions, relations between people?

And mostly, should we watch more educational movies as this one at school to learn more? Not just theories, but life in general?

If you liked this post, check out “The Underscore of everything is love”.