Viable Paradise Cookbook!

Hello VP Alum and Staffers,

A few of us from last year’s class were very homesick when Mac started talking about VP food on Twitter. That got me to thinking that we should have a Viable Paradise Cookbook! I’m far from the first to have this idea, and I’ve seen it a few times so I can’t give proper credit to the originator, but it’s too fantastic an idea to let float any longer.

I’m going to take on the task of collecting and organizing recipes into some sort of printable format (yet to be determined and that’s something we can discuss) so that we can all have a little piece of Viable Paradise exactly when we need it.

There will be two sections to this culinary masterpiece: First, a section for the “official” VP recipes: Mac’s marvelous curry, Bart’s fudge, Uncle Jim’s pancakes, etc. Second, a section for alum and staffers to provide yummy recipes (inspired by VP or not) to share with everyone.

I’ve made an email address for the project to keep everything organized: viableparadisecookbook at gmail dot com. If you’d like to help out or contribute a recipe (pictures of food you enjoyed at VP also enthusiastically accepted!), please write there.

Let’s make something delicious together!

Coral Moore (VP17)

Edited to add: Cocktail recipes will also be accepted and literary recipe names are encouraged!

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Science Affliction #16

Today’s edition of Science Affliction is brought to you by the letter N and the number 100 billion. It’s been a while since I did a science round up, so I thought I’d get off my duff and put together a list of recent interesting science news with the hope that it will motivate me to write some fiction.

  1. A disembodied rat brain can fly an airplane. No, seriously. Scientists removed neurons from rats and grew a new “brain” that they hooked up to a flight simulator. The idea is that similar constructs could be used to take over complicated, dangerous tasks. Move over Skynet, Ratnet is the new hotness in science fiction.
  2. Real honest-to-goodness telepathy has happened right here on Earth. Okay, it was more like tele-email. Computers did the decoding and transferring, but the first messages were sent brain-to-brain over long distances. It’s a first step in a very interesting direction. I for one welcome our cyborg overlords.
  3. Two new deep sea animals that resemble mushrooms were discovered off the coast of Australia. The new animals are distant relative of the jellyfish that look like fungi. Pretty cool They don’t fit well into any current phyla and will probably get a new one created for them.
  4. Zombies anyone? A look at one way Toxoplasma might practice mind control on rats by turning on a gene that produces a neurotransmitter.
  5. Possible source of increasing food allergies found. Researchers cured peanut allergies in mice by infecting them with a commonly found gut bacteria. There’s so much we don’t understand about out gut flora and the damage we do by ingesting antibiotics.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Hopefully something in the list inspires you. Now go write!

-C

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Eight

I hate the third of September. It’s the only day I actually hate. I wish September third had never been because I lost my brother eight years ago today. The rational part of me knows that even if there hadn’t been a third of September eight years ago I still would have gotten the early morning call, it just would have happened on another day. My inner five year old, however, is sure that if all September thirds were abolished, he would still be alive.

I have dreams of him, often. In those dreams he is happy and we do silly things like ride around in a bus and catch fish. I wake from those dreams still thinking he’s alive and the moment I realize he’s not is always painful. I relive that phone call again and again, trying to convince myself it was a nightmare. I want to call him. I want to hear him laugh. I want to thank him. I do not want a chance to say goodbye–never that.

I don’t think I’ve ever expressed this here, but all of my writing is because of him. Writing was his dream first. I borrowed his dream because I wanted to feel a connection with him. I fail at NaNoWriMo every year because of him and the threadbare NaNo 2003 shirt that I liberated from his room the day he died. I write quirky characters that he would have loved to read.

He introduced me to so many of the things I love that every day I am reminded of him and what a blessing it was to have him in my life. I am so thankful and I miss him so much. Today especially.

In honor of his life and his writing I’m adding a story to my Flash Fiction collection posted here that reminds me very much of him. I hope you enjoy A Mother’s Love.

-C

 

 

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Review: Only Lovers Left Alive

220px-Only_Lovers_Left_Alive_posterOnly Lovers Left Alive is the vampire movie you’ve always wanted. You didn’t even know you wanted it, but you did. Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton are ancient, gorgeous, and shockingly human.

Let’s get this out of the way: this isn’t a Hollywood vampire movie. There is no violence, very little blood, and all of the sex is off-screen. The vampires aren’t showy. They don’t run around doing vampire things like flying and jumping off buildings. It’s all about the characters and how they interact. In the way of many independent films, there’s no driving plot and the movie is very much about the aesthetics as it meanders through their unlives. Personally, I love that, and I love this movie.

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Review of Chef

Chef_2014

Chef didn’t get a lot of hype, and I can’t figure out why. It’s the kind of movie that leaves you feeling good afterward, as if sometimes everything works out just how it should. Let me be clear: the plot is eminently predictable, and there are no explosions or twist ending. Chef is very simply a heart-warming movie about a man trying to figure out what to do with his life after a mistake threatens his chosen career. There are some spoilers ahead, but as I hinted to earlier, it isn’t anything you would haven’t figured out way before it happens.
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