Small Plates and How They Inspire Me

Submitted by Anonymous

Photo of various colorful small plates shown against a red and white plaid table cloth. The small plates include everything from baked potatoes, to sushi, to pizza, and pasta.
Various colorful small plates and meals

Small plates are small dishes resembling appetizers. They can also be the small courses of a greater and more formal meal. They can include rice bowls, salads, and many other foods. I have been inspired by them because everything has to be small and precise. In 2010, my interest in the culinary arts formed while I was taking a cooking course on small plates. My interest in cooking and the culinary industry has culminated into something great, as I now work at Elegant Eating with a huge selection of small plates. These tasty mini meals are very essential to the culinary world.

In a world of so much confusion, isolation and chaos, the culinary arts is something I truly enjoy. I believe that my passion for the culinary arts benefits from my ability to be very detail oriented. When I was four, my mom and I attended church every weekend. I was fascinated as a child about the way they arranged the flowers on the church alter. I thought that I could do it better. One Sunday during a lecture, I jumped up to the alter and started re-arranging the flower designs. I heard giggles coming from the crowd, and now realize what a good job I was doing.

It’s not only my interest in the culinary arts that benefits from being detail-oriented. I still create and design and sketch; I am fascinated by tables scapes, floral arrangements and the idea of food as art.

I believe that these interests and my ability to be detail oriented has helped me with my lonliness and to use creative thinking to move past it. I am able to pull the abstract into detail oriented art forms. I now have the opportunity to explore the culinary arts and design: to take abstract ideas and develop them into detailed art forms. I truly have the career of my dreams. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work at Elegant Eating.

If you dream it, and are persistent, you can do anything!

Edited by avanicole23

Growing Up with Pink Floyd

by Gina Kanturec

Photo of the band Pink Floyd and its members circa 1970s. The photo is in black and white.
Photo of the band Pink Floyd

One of my biggest interests is old time Rock n Roll. I was inspired by Pink Floyd through my best friend’s dad who plays in a band called US & Floyd. His name is Kenny Kotch, but I enjoy calling him “Gilmore” because of David Gilmore, the guitarist and lead singer of Pink Floyd . I enjoyed their music and started listening to the band more intensely. Us and Floyd inspired me to listen to more of Pink Floyd’s albums.

I started listening to Pink Floyd when I was in middle school. This gave me an outlet to make me feel good when I was feeling blue and isolated. When I was in ninth grade, I would go to my best friend’s house, and Gilmore would be practicing in his studio. Listening to him jamming out, I grew more interested in his music and the music of Pink Floyd.

My favorite Pink Floyd song is “Money”, off of their album Dark Side of the Moon. It might be my favorite song because I find the overall tone of the song very soothing:

Money, get away
You get a good job with good pay and you’re okay
Money, it’s a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash

You can watch the “Money” music video by Pink Floyd below:

Thoughts on Disney’s Zootopia

By Jackson Beach

Today, my fellow newsmakers and I watched the Disney’s animated movie Zootopia. It follows a new recruit bunny cop, Judy, who teams up with a con artist fox, Nick, to solve the case of a missing otter. Along the way, they uncover a larger conspiracy and harsh truths about the world they live in.

A positive message I learned from the movie is to don’t let stereotypes stop you from being who you truly want to be in life. Although all the officers in the Zootopia Police Department and her parents told Judy she couldn’t be a cop, she ended up proving them wrong and became one of the best cops in the city. The movie explored themes surrounding racism and other forms of bigotry as predators were being cruelly mistreated by prey all over Zootopia. It shows sometimes we shouldn’t judge anyone by opinions or past incidents and tendencies. We should always accept anyone for who they are or otherwise it can lead to dangerous and trauma for others in our community.

Check out the trailer for Disney’s Zootopia below:

Dr. Grimaldi’s Takeaway:

Most people who are quick to judge do so out of their own fear and insecurities. People usually base their judgments on the limited information they have observed. Judgment can stop someone from reaching their full potential. Each individual has their own choice to make to become their best self. This Disney character portrays that by overcoming judgments and believing in her ability to be who she wants to become. A positive lesson for all of us about having the confidence to persevere through conflict to the other side. Despite society’s discrimination about her species, she was able to use this as a driving force to become a cop and successful in her endeavors.

Todoroki Shoto

by Eric Zuelch

An anime character I like is Todoroki Shoto from Boku no Hero Academia. I am drawn to him by his origin and his development through out the series. The character himself was born so that his father, the flame hero Endeavor ranked second in Japan (real name Todoroki Enji), can have a child combining his fire based quirk, superpower, with his wife Rei’s ice based quirk so that it could surpass the number one hero All Might, with Shoto inheriting a quirk that let him use both fire and ice and being seen by Endeavor as the only ‘success’ out of his four children. He was put through rigorous training regiments since the age of five by his father and was scarred by his mother in a fit of madness brought on by her husband’s abuse. He spent ten years refusing to use his fire abilities out of hatred for his father until the series protagonist Midoriya Izuku told him the power was his, not his father’s. From that point on he uses both his abilities, seeing his fire as his own and not his father. I enjoy watching him change from semi self-loathing to accepting everything about his powers.

Another reason I enjoy him is his powers. I’ve always liked characters with powers that clash, such as those who can control fire and ice like Shoto. I feel like they should not work correctly, but they somehow do. It interreges me how they work when they shouldn’t. I like it when a character can perform multiple kinds of attacks, it makes things more interesting when they are in battle. He also reminds me of Zuko from Avatar The Last Airbender, one of my favorite shows, in both character development and background.

Those are the reasons I enjoy Todoroki Shoto.   

Dr. Grimaldi’s takeaway:

This character has survived a lot of trauma and has persevered through his experiences. He has become the good guy, despite the negative image of his father. This character has shown the positivity of making a right out of a wrong and doing what it takes to be accountable to yourself.

How Iron Man Relates to the Real World

by Jackson Beach

In 2008’s smash hit Iron Man, the first film of the universally acclaimed Marvel Cinematic Universe has many lessons that relate to the world and ourselves. One of them is that businessmen and corporate entrepreneurs of the war industry do not know how their devices and inventions will be used. This is shown at the beginning of the movie when CEO of Stark Industries Tony Stark is injured by shrapnel from his own missile during a terrorist ambush organized by his mentor Obadiah Stane in order to usurp him. This shows that while we believe our inventions have a purpose, we don’t truly know if they will be used for good or bad, as Stark’s arc reactor can be used to power other things like the Iron Monger suit at the cost of his life.

Another essential lesson is not to waste your life. When surgeon Ho Yinsen is dying after being ambushed by the Ten Rings terrorists while constructing the first Iron Man suit, he tells Stark, the man whose life he saved, to not waste his life building weapons and caring only about himself, but to do something good with his talents and inventions and build many relationships. To that end, Stark becomes Iron Man, the very first hero of the MCU.

A final essential lesson is to always take risks. This is essential when Tony is designing his Iron Man suit and despite warnings from his assistant, he decides to fly it and notices a flaw in his suit design. This shows that putting yourself in danger can prevent you from being in further danger through learning from your mistakes. Stane, on the other hand, is so concerned with killing Tony that he fails to try out his armor, resulting in his armor being frozen and damaged, leading to his downfall. Stark ultimately learns from his mistakes as a human regarding his recklessness and selfishness and decides to stop making deadly weapons and also reveal himself as a hero.

Overall, Iron Man, the MCU’s first film and project overall, has many prominent themes and lessons pertaining to the real world, such as terrorism, technology, and corporate conspiracies. However, the overall lesson revolves around how our mistakes as people can harm others. This is shown when Tony is wounded with his own missile and technology and how Stane uses his arc reactor to selfishly power up his suit and kill Stark. However, we can learn from our mistakes by righting our wrongs, shown when Stark uses his suit to stop terrorists and defeat Stane. Iron Man is a perfect example of showing one of the many aspects of humanity, making horrible mistakes and dealing with the consequences of them.

Dr. Grimaldi’s Takeaway:

As positive psychologists, we also try to see the glass half full. Even in the worst of times we need to hold our space of positivity and hold our ground and stand tall. Learning from our mistakes is one thing , but putting them into practice is another. We teach healthy positive rituals to make each individual their best self. We turn our obstacles into challenges and we do it as a team of unique individuals driven to do purposeful work for our community.

Glitches in Pokémon Games: Celebi Egg Glitch

by Elliot Gavin Keenan

In Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal (Generation 2) there was no legitimate way for players outside of Japan to obtain every Pokémon. The mythical Pokémon Celebi, who resides in a shrine in Ilex Forest, was only obtainable as the result of a special event distribution; at the time, these distributions required a physical setup and a link cable. Due to the declining popularity of Pokémon in the English-speaking world at the time, Celebi was never distributed. This meant that English-language players could not complete the Pokédex.

Celebi, a mythical Pokémon and the spirit of the forests.

However, this did not deter all English-language players from completing the game. Users of the fan-made English website Glitch City Laboratories found a specific exploit that allowed the player to generate a Celebi without the use of third-party cheating software such as a GameShark or Action Replay (neither of which were widely used yet).

You may wonder how such a specific, targeted exploit of the game was possible. The important thing to understand about it mechanistically is that in the Generation 2 games, Pokémon and moves (and items) were coded in a single table defined by index numbers. That is to say, a single table encoded different types of information (and hence, the number of Pokémon was exactly equivalent to the number of moves ⁠— 251). See below for an example of an index number table:

A table of different types of information associated with a single index number.

Interestingly, there is one move in the game that no Pokémon could legitimately learn: Struggle, index number 165, shared with Ledyba. For this reason, Ledyba is actually the only Pokémon not obtainable using this exploit. You can see a list of Pokémon by index number in Gen 2 here.

This exploit does not produce glitch Pokémon when performed correctly, although if there is no move in the correct slot it will produce a bad clone of the glitch⁠ Pokémon ?????. In theory, there are only 4 glitch Pokémon in Gen 2 because the index numbers are stored in one byte (8 bits) ⁠— meaning it can only hold exactly 255 entries, and the first 251 are valid. (Getting rid of these bad clones is very difficult; perhaps a future blog post!) Actually, incorrect performance of the exploit can cause widespread corruption of game data and affect the entire game, potentially making in unplayable.

Some weird things can happen.

Point is, though, that any valid Pokémon except for Ledyba can be produced using the Celebi Egg Glitch, despite its title. The move Splash (#150) will result in Mewtwo, for example. But the move Beat Up is what we are interested in, since it has #251 ⁠— Celebi.

You must be wondering by now, how do I perform the glitch?! Well, there’s an article for that as the procedure requires a great deal of precision to get the Pokémon you want. Good luck!

Dr. Grimaldi’s Takeaway:

This post is excellent! It demonstrates the power and perseverance of the Pokémon community to problem-solve an issue that appeared to be an unsolvable problem through creative thinking and extensive knowledge of the game’s code.