[Friends] Family visit.

My friends Srinivas, Jyoti, Vaishali and Katia are visiting me in Chile.

I took them to Algarrobo
to restaurants
We played board games
We are having a lot of fun!

This picture for my favorite Angry Bird fanatic, wherever she is:


[Recipe] Friand

Several friends asked me for the recipe for the Friands that I do with the white of the egg when I do pies.
Here is one from http://userealbutter.com/2010/02/21/friands-recipe/:

slightly modified from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics 2

4 oz. (125g) butter, unsalted
1 cup almond meal
1 2/3 cups confectioner’s sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
5 egg whites
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
1/3 cup raspberries, fresh (or any berries)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Place butter in a saucepan over low heat and cook until
melted and a light golden color. Set aside. Place the almond meal, confectioner’s sugar,
flour, and baking powder in a bowl and whisk to combine. Stir the egg whites into the
dry mix until combined. Pour in the butter and stir until completely combined. Stir in the
almond extract (optional). Grease a dozen 1/2 cup capacity muffin tins or tins of any
type. I like my square tins better (grease more as needed – Donna says ten in her
recipe, but I made 14). Spoon 2 tablespoons of batter into each tin and plop the a few
berries on top. Bake 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden and spring back when
you touch them. Makes a dozen (or more).

You can find some more information on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friand.


[Sport ] Algarrobo run

On Sunday I went to a running event in Algarrobo:

I was planning to run the 10 km, but I finally decided to run the 5 kms (the 10k was going up and down the hill, and it was more fun running the 5k with Carlos). We took two selfies: one before the race:

One after the race:

We did it in some 27 mns (Carlos won, he is 10 years younger than me!), it was a lot of fun!


[Thoughts] On videos, brain and behavior

I remember how, during the summer holidays when I was 6 years old (I can date it quite precisely by my memories of the age of my kid brothers, respectively 2,4 and 11 years younger than me), my mother limiting both how much time we spent watching TV (I think it was 1h, or one program) and how we chose the program (to see something on one particular day, we had to announce it the day before: I think that it was both to push us to practice reading on the TV program and to make us go out more often).

During adolescence, I always felt a bit afraid of the effects of the movies or videos that I watch on my way of thinking, sometimes witnessing its effect months or years after. I have avoided watching horror movies since quite young, not for their effect on me while watching it (fear, but under control, and sometimes amusement at the crappy special effect), but for its effect in the longer term, such as being more likely to see monsters in shadows, being more paranoid. I thought that it was because I was more sensible than others, since my classmates did not seem to feel nor even fear such effects.

Since I left my parent's house at the age of 21, I never owned a TV, and had a TV in my apartment only for 2 years while living with a partner who owned one and "needed" to watch it. We got into fights because I was going to read a book in the next room when she was watching TV. I felt on many occasions that it was important for me to have control about what I watch, mainly because of the commercial interruptions, but also because of the passivity of "receiving" a movie via TV channels as opposed to "choosing" one via a purchase or rental.

Now well advanced in adulthood, I have been doing experiments to optimize (or at least improve) my mood, by adding some "emotional" videos in my mix of educational videos (I recommend a weekly dose of "Crash Courses", "Last Week Tonight" and TED talks videos), such as video featuring clever people (e.g. "Dr Who") to make me want to be smarter, idealistic people (e.g. "Firefly") to make me more likely to stick to my ethics, and videos featuring resilient heroes (e.g. "One Piece") to make me more want to be more resilient. It is subjective, but I felt as if watching such videos (e.g. while exercising on my exercise wheel, on the rolabola, or juggling) teaches my brain some behavioral patterns so that they will come more naturally than less desirable ones when the time comes.

So when I watch the video below of a 1.5h presentation from Michel Desmurget, author and scientist in Neuro sciences and Physiology (in French without subtitles :( ), about the effect of TV (actually, a large part of what he says is also true about watching DVDs and other videos) on the brain and behavior of children, adolescents and adults, I feel heavily corroborated and I naturally like it a lot. You can see for yourself if you feel the same, but I highly recommend it.


[Sport] 10k early

I went running 10k again today, leaving earlier (5:30!) than yesterday so that I would have the time to check out work before the first talk of the summer school.

My dog friend was not there, the sea lions were still sleeping and it was too dark to take pictures, so all you get is a smily map report card ;)

I felt great during running, but feel again sneezing and congestioned 5mns after entering the room: I guess I am allergic to something in it. Nothing to worry about : I am checking out in 1h!