UX for Good wins the 2013 IxDA People’s Choice Interaction Awards

ux-good-new-orleans

UX for Good has been selected as the People’s Choice in this year’s IxDA Interaction Awards. It was an honor to work on the project. Mad props to the organizers, our local hosts, clients, teammates and friends. And a personal shout out to the support of the Purpose team and Marilia Bezerra in particular for the initial intro that connected me to this awesome project.

UX for Good New Orleans also just appeared on HLNTV.

Photo above: Brynn Evans, Rob Chappell, Tanarra Schneider and myself presenting the concept for Tip the Band

UX for Good – New Orleans 2012 from UX for Good on Vimeo.

#DesignThyself Korean Challenge Week 3

We are now almost a month into our #DesignThyself Challenges in my Designing Change class at SVA Design for Social Innovation. I feel both good and a little behind. I need to both continue my momentum and develop a new learning strategy for the Gangnam

The Good
I am progressing along slowly but surely in my self study of basic Korean conversation. I have established a strong routine of DAILY exposure to Korean. This could mean listening to a Talk to Me in Korean podcast, going over a lesson in my Colloquial Korean book and recordings, or learning the Korean Word of the Day on my WordPower app. I have established first thing in the morning and just before bed as good learning times. Subway and ferry commutes are also a good time for listening to audio lessons.

The Not-So-Good
I have hardly progressed past learning the first verse of Gangnam Style. Despite listening to the song on repeat for many of my subway commutes, everything is just a blur of rapid fire syllables. I’m going to try a new audio-visual strategy of referring to the lyrics sheet while listening to the song, to see if I can follow along. I have only been listening right now. I’m going to have to be able to “read” the lyrics in karaoke anyway. Let’s see how this goes. I just PDF’ed the lyrics and loaded them on my iPad mini, so I can now listen and review lyrics visually on the go.

Scallops, Swiss Chard, Shiitake, Macadamia Yuzukosho Dressing

scallops with warm chard shiitake salad

I improvised this Japanese-inspired scallop recipe for a weekend lunch last week with some super fresh local scallops I got from Fresh Direct. My mom sent me a huge box of oranges from Arizona, so you will see that I will be sneaking orange into my recipes this month. The recipe below serves two.

Ingredients
6 large dry sea scallops
Juice and zest of 2 oranges
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons of miso (use white miso or a mild brown miso)
1 handful of roasted macadamia nuts (I got these in Hawai’i when I was there last month)
1/2 teaspoon of yuzukoshō
1 scallion, chopped
1 dash of turmeric powder (optional, it gives the dressing a nice color and it’s good for you)
Olive Oil
1 bunch of rainbow Swiss chard, sliced into ribbons
1 handful of fresh shiitake, sliced
Butter
Salt & Pepper

Method
1. Wash the scallops, pat dry, and generously salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
2. Prepare the dressing in a blender using the following ingredients: citrus juice and zest, miso, macadamia nuts, yuzukoshō, scallion, and a glug of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Heat a pan and add a bit of olive oil. Sauté the shiitake until they start to take on some color. Then add the chard and stir until it starts to wilt. Turn off heat and set aside.
4. Sear the scallops in plenty of butter.
5. Divide the chard the shiitake mixture onto two plates. Top with 3 scallops each. Drizzle some of the dressing on top. Serve immediately.

#DesignThyself – Korean Challenge Week 2

Week two of my #DesignThyself challenge to learn Korean through Gangnam Style. This week I have learned the first verse of Gangnam Style basically phonetically through rote repetition and memorization. I’ve also been trying to learn the grammar and decode the lyrics word by word, phrase by phrase as well. I’m going to have to pick up my pace and figure out a better way to learn these lyrics.

In the meantime, I’m trying pick up more general Korean language vocabulary and grammar to make learning the song easier and to fulfill the “basic restaurant and karaoke bar” proficiency required by my challenge. I get bored with textbooks and learning materials pretty quickly, so I kind of have a multiple resources that I can refer to and study in a few spare moments, either as a break from other work, or I have also found it to be a nice new ritual to listen to a Korean podcast from Talk to Me in Korean before bed (almost) every night. I find studying a language before bed and then “sleeping on it” helps me remember better. So far, I’ve made it through the first level of lessons from Talk to Me in Korean, so now starting level 2.

Other resources: I have a copy of the Lonely Planet Korean phrasebook on my nightstand as well. I sometimes flip through and learn a new phrase before bed and when I wake up. I just downloaded WordPower Learn Korean vocabulary for my iPad. This might replace my paper phrasebook since it has helpful audio pronunciation files. I also have a copy of Routledge’s Colloquial Korean (books and CDs). I have found it a useful reference for grammar, but it’s a little bit too boring and business-oriented for my needs right now.

Lots of great insights about language learning hacks in this conversation between Tim Ferris and Benny from Fluent in 3 Months.

Miso Masala Stew

misomasala

I improvised a big pot of this hearty vegan stew for Dinner with Ideas, which I hosted at my place last weekend. The photo above doesn’t really do the dish justice, but it was the only shot I remembered to take.

In any case, like most of my recipes, no precise measurements here, but basically it’s a pretty standard Indian-style dal base crossed with a blast of Japanese umami. Here’s how to recreate it at home (this recipe feeds 10-12 people):

0. Before you start, cook about 1 rice-cooker cup each of steel cut oatmeal and brown rice in a rice cooker with plenty of water. You can do this the day before.

1. Sauté 3 chopped onions in plenty of oil (I used a mix of coconut and extra virgin olive oil). Take your time with this, it can take 30-40 minutes on a medium heat. The onions should be golden brown before you proceed.

2. Toast and grind up about 2 tablespoons of dhaba masala and mash up in a mortar and pestle with a good handful each of fresh ginger and garlic. Toss this mixture in with the onions and fry until the garlic takes on a roasted (and not raw) flavor.

3. Add in a big can of chopped tomatoes, some chili peppers and paprika to taste. Also add about a handful of chopped, reconstituted dried shiitake and a piece of kombu. Stir for a bit to combine and let brown/reduce.

4. Add 2.5 cups of dried red lentils and the pre-cooked brown rice and oatmeal. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 45-minutes to an hour or more.

5. When the lentils are nice and soft, add 2 bunches of kale sliced into ribbons as well as 3 heaping teaspoons of good quality miso (the miso is salty, so don’t over salt beforehand. Stir and cook until wilted.

6. Before serving, add a bit of something acid to bring all the flavors to life even more. You can use one or more of the following: fresh squeezed lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and/or some Sonomic vinegar. Adjust spices to taste. Top with some minced scallions and/or cilantro.

Dinner with Ideas

Above: Dinner with Ideas participants around the table. Below: Robb models some miso masala leftovers in a reused coconut manna jar.

robb models miso masala