Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Imitation Game directed by Morten Tyldum

The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, depicts a fascinating part of human history when war-time code encryption lead to massive breakthroughs in computing. This was thanks in no small part to the genius of Alan Turing. Understanding this history seems even more important when I think of the pervasive role of computers in my daily life: the bane and the joy.

image from google image

The history alone is deserving of a film. I would’ve loved to see even more details about how the early encryption machines worked and how the cryptologists did the work of encryption. The audience sees that they are working through a process of elimination within the limit of an 18-hour period. I’m sure that this is plenty of detail for an audience, but I was curious to know more. I also wanted to know more about how the “computer” worked–though the audience does get some idea of how the machine worked with algorithms and trial by elimination to crack the code.

In my view, Benedict Cumberbatch absolutely earned an Oscar, portraying a convincing (and interesting!) emotional transformation throughout the film. The film goes a bit awry when it forces some emotional drama and personal upheaval between Turing and Clarke, which seemed particularly forced. It follows the conventional romantic comedy pattern of connection, disagreement, and then reconnection. To be fair, Clarke and Turing’s relationship gets a bit more complicated toward the end of the film.

What’s really interesting is Turing’s emotional attachment to his childhood friend. That inner turmoil is unique and moving and, in my view, would’ve provided enough emotion to carry the film. Like the innovations in computing technology, in the relationship between Turning and Christopher, we see something new, unexpected, and complex.

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blueberry, zucchini, chia seed, & walnut muffins

My refrigerator is full of zucchini—zucchini that I fully intend to cook, but don’t necessarily think I can eat, so I decided to reimagine my not-too-sweet breakfast muffin. Once school starts, I’ll want something I can easily take with me, something that is not too sweet. My solution is these muffins that are dense in seeds and nuts, which I’ll freeze and use as needed. Since they’re not very sweet, I’m fairly certain these are not a “crowd pleaser,” but they work for me.

beware the berries do explode

beware the berries do explode

Here’s what I did:

Blueberry, Zucchini, Chia Seed, & Walnut Muffins
Preheat oven at 350. Mix together dryish ingredients. Mix wet ingredients separately. Then, combine the two. Lastly, fold in chunky ingredients. Spoon dough into muffin tin. I used muffin liners, but I think those are optional. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until done. (Insert and remove toothpick. Muffins are done when the toothpick comes out clean.) Let cool for 15 min.

Dry ingredients:
1 cup gluten-free flour blend
¾ cup oats
shredded flax (2 heaping tablespoons)
chia seeds (3 heaping tablespoons)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon of fine sea salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
½ cup of light brown sugar
lightly sprinkle ground ginger and ground cloves

Wet ingredients:
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup vegetable oil
1+ egg
2 cups shredded zucchini (I just blended it this time)

Chunky ingredients:
walnuts 1+ cups
blueberries 1+ cups

Enjoy!

to love and to be loved

I am driving all over the Pacific Northwest this summer. I’m visiting my favorite people. I’m seeing famous landmarks. I’m biking, kayaking, running, and hiking. For some reason, I’ve spent half my time in wheel pose. Few things feel better than leaving Utah—pressing my foot against the gas pedal, getting my little engine up to 80 mph, and getting the heck out of town.

urdhva dhanurasana mid-summer

urdhva dhanurasana mid-summer

I try to stay optimistic about living in Utah. The mountains are beautiful, and when my schedule and weather allow, I am in them all the time. I love my job. I like teaching and practicing yoga there. When I meet people, and I tell them I am from Oregon, they always respond by saying, “Oregon is so beautiful!” I always respond by saying, “Utah is so beautiful!” Fate (to which I do not particularly ascribe) seems to want me in Utah. I, however, don’t know why. I don’t seem to fit in there.

I try not to emphasize my romantic life so much, but I am dating now, and it’s true that men in Utah don’t really look at me. And, to be fair, I don’t really look at them. The way they dress, the way they wear their hair, their hands—it all looks and feels wrong to me. And, I’m sure I’m doing all kinds of things as a woman that seem wrong to them. I’ve discussed this with friends, who all think it is a “cultural” problem. Utah men are all divorced, or religious, or violently (annoyingly) anti-religious, or too pious, or the opposite and partying way too hard. I’m none of these things.

In the past few years, this has happened several times: I cross the Idaho to Oregon border and suddenly these beautiful men start passing me on the freeway, nodding and smiling. Like, “Welcome back!” Ejc has commented that in the week I spent with her in the Pacific Northwest, I could’ve “gotten a dozen dates.” And, it’s true. So many handsome men have smiled at me, have nodded at me, have said hello, have made conversation. I look at them and think this is what men are supposed to look like. They look at me the same way.

In the Pacific Northwest, people smile and asked me for directions. I feel like I belong. I might look like I belong in Utah, but I feel invisible. And, despite trying for several years, I don’t think I fit in. I’ve come away from the first leg of this trip feeling like I seriously need to examine a few things about my life and where I live and how I am loved.