Thursday, August 28, 2014

Zucchini Curry

Here is a simple zucchini curry recipe that's great for summer and early fall when zucchini is abundantly available.

You will need
  • 1 Large zucchini (or 2 mediums)
  • 1 medium onion cut into small pieces
  • 1 medium tomato cut into small pieces
  • Garam masala (or a fresh ground mix of cumin, coriander, mustard)
  • Green chillies
  • Turmeric root or powder
  • Fresh garlic
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Mustard seeds
  • Salt and vegetable oil
This should take you about 30 -45 minutes from start to finish. And will serve 4 hungry people.

Fresh Zucchini chopped up.

1.  Chop the zucchini into 1-inch pieces.

2.  Heat some vegetable oil in a medium pan. Add the chopped onions and 2-3 cloves of fresh minced garlic and 3-4 finely chopped green chillies (more if you like the heat!) Cook a few minutes.

Fry up some onions, garlic, chillies, spices & tomatoes.

3.  Add about 2 t-spoons of garam masala (I prefer to grind my own - a tea spoon each of cumin, coriander & mustard seeds). Add a half t-spoon of fresh turmeric or powder. Keep stirring.

4. Add the chopped tomato once the onions look a bit brown. Cook a few more minutes.

Cook until water is gone & then cook some more.

5. Add the chopped zucchini and cook on high until some of the excess water evaporates. This will take 5-6 minutes. Add salt to taste.

6.  Add half t-spoon of mustard seeds. Then cook on medium stirring occasionally for about 10-15 minutes.

7.  Add a handful of cilantro leaves - for garnish and flavor. Zucchini curry is ready. 
8.  Serve with naan or rice. Enjoy!
Zucchini Curry! (with Cilantro)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stand up against SOPA and PIPA!

Google and Wikipedia along with hundreds of organizations and millions of people are speaking up against SOPA and PIPA. Many organizations are staging online 'blackout' protests on January 18, 2012.

Please stand up against these two bills before Congress - Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House. Online behavior and Internet use will be tracked in the names of 'piracy' and 'protection' and severe penalties will be enforced on organizations and people. The Web as we know today will be censored and constrained and severe regulations will be imposed on online business/organizations. This will vastly restrict how the Internet is viewed, thwarting collaboration and digital progress.

Millions of Internet users, leaders, organizations, and people already oppose SOPA and PIPA. But more help is needed! The Senate will begin voting on January 24th unless we stop them.
Use Wikipedia to contact your local representatives or sign the petition at Google.


Learn more about these bills (from Time Magazine).

Contact me:
Sujan Manandhar
Technology Integration Specialist
Foreign Language Center
Ohio State University

Friday, January 13, 2012

Top Five Twitter for Central Ohio Sports

Twitter and sports are like PB&J. Sports is a religion and Twitter delivers. Organizations, athletes, sports-writers, celebrities, are all hopping the Twitter band-wagon to communicate with the fans. The fans/followers like the instant updates and insider info and get to know the other party better through these personalized Twitter accounts.

Central Ohio is crazy for its sports - no surprise there! The Ohio State buckeyes football dominates TV and other local media. Baseball and basketball follows and hockey and soccer are relatively new, but have a good fan base. Most fans are now Web2.0 savvy and follow blogs, Facebook, and twitter updates along with the TV broadcasts and box-scores. It is now essential to have a Web2.0 component to sports to connect with the fanbase.

These here are my top-five Twitter accounts for (kinda) local sports. At the end, I have also added a couple more that are worth following. I have based these rankings on updates (the right amount), fan interactivity, goodies, and the general 'Twitter-Feel' instead of the old one-point-o (1.0) media.

Top Five - Central Ohio Sports

AccountWhatMy Comments
# 5

The official mascot of Ohio State athletics brings you the official news feed from Buckeye athletics
All (or most) Ohio State sports covered by this official OSU sports twitter account. Not as interactive and up-to-date since it has to stay 'official'.
# 4

The Official Twitter of the 2010 & 2011 Triple-A National Champion Baseball Affiliate of the Cleveland Indians
Too many 'buy this' tweets but overall well written and good interactivity and promo information.
# 3

(Though the Cavaliers are not a local team, there is a large fan-base in C. Ohio)
Updates from the Plain Dealer's Cavs beat writers Tom Reed and Mary Schmitt Boyer.
In-game updates, additional insights, and links to articles from Plain Dealer, make it a good collection of Tweets.
# 2

Official Twitter Site of the Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Club
Great interactivity with the fans, players updates, retweets, making it great for Jackets fans, though the team could use a boost.
# 1
Official Twitter feed of Ohio's Major League Soccer club, three-time Supporters' Shield winners and 2008 MLS Cup Champion.
The BEST local sports Twitter page with great fan interactivity, updates, trivia, goodies, and in-game updates.

Honorary Mentions: CavsWitness (a very interactive site on mostly Cleveland sports, but some C-Ohio as well), Buckeye_Nation (all Ohio State University sports, but mostly football)

Technologies discussed:
Twitter, Short Messaging Service, SMS

Contact me:
Sujan Manandhar
Technology Integration Specialist,
Foreign Language Center
Ohio State University

Follow me on Twitter - aarkae

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Students and Technology Use

Its becoming increasingly clear that students are using every form of technology. They would love it if classes were taught with Facebook, Twitter, X-Boxes, and via Skype only.
Here's a great infogrraphic developed by OnlineEducation.Net on some statistics on students and their technology use.
(Courtesy of OnlineEducation.Net via

Students Love Technology

Technologies discussed: Social networking, Tablet, Cell Phone, Mobile, Laptop

Contact me:
Sujan Manandhar
Technology Integration Specialist,
Foreign Language Center
Ohio State University

Thursday, July 14, 2011

FLC Tech Tools 2011

A few weeks ago was Tech Tools 2011…and I am still recovering. Tech Tools is a one intense week of workshops for language instructors. Using both theoretical and practical applications we explore technology tools readily available to instructors to aid in creating in-class and out-of-class activities for foreign languages. We focus on student-centered activities with task-based goals and include web-based platform like blogs, wikis, YouTube, Skype, and other software/systems like Audacity, Podcasts, Windows LIVE Movie Maker, MS PowerPoint and more.

How do we do this all in ONE week? Well, lots of preparation and practice. We have multiple instructors teaching various technologies while also paying attention to pedagogy and specific needs of these learners. While this is not easy, we try and work individually with the learners since they have a range of backgrounds and technology skill-sets. The following highlights some of the features of the workshop.
The entire course material and activities are based on a Google Site. Learners immediately get a taste of a wiki and learn some of the features. Next, they learn about the use of a blog and how to use them in a class setting. The biggest difficulty of using social net platforms is dealing with privacy and security since we are dealing wuth teachers and school students. Of course this is a huge issue in schools.

We guide the learners through the principles of image selection (Google/Flickr) and video selection (YouTube). I bet a lot of people don’t know about YouTube’s language selection, captions, and limiting videos by countries. These are essential tips for lang
uage instructors. More video editing is introduced in Movie Maker Live. Audacity introduces them how to edit audio files and use them in various ways – podcasts as a great example. Learners are now able to use these images, audio files, and videos in a PowerPoint presentation along with learning other important facets of making a successful PowerPoint presentation.

Collaboration plays a big part in teaching today. Skype was used for collaboration from various locations. Group work and wikis also enhanced collaboration. Choosing and using authentic material was also a big part of the course. YouTube videos, images, and Google Earth brought in an element of localized material/culture.

Though the week was intense, the learners were able to incorporate some of the new technology into their final presentations – that included KMZ files from Google Earth, audio/video file they had created/edited, use of a wiki or a blog, and more! It was truly an accomplishment for the learners and us instructors as well to see these results.

If you like more information on enrolling into Tech Tools, please feel free to contact me!

Technologies discussed in this post:
Social networking, Blog, Wiki, Movie Maker, Audacity, PowerPoint, Skype, YouTube

Contact me:
Sujan Manandhar
Technology Integration Specialist,
Foreign Language Center
Ohio State University

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pandora VS Last.Fm (Part 2)

A few months ago I wrote a post comparing Pandora and Last.Fm streaming radio. These 2 services are very much alike and I thought that Last.Fm had the edge due to the social networking aspect, the added services for smaller bands, and the concerts/shows listing.

Things have changed a bit since - mainly that Last.Fm is NOT free for mobile devices like iPads and phones. Here is a comparison of the main features of the 2 services (Winner in RED) :
(More features compared in PART 1 as well)

Mobile listening
Free for 40 hrs per month. US only.
NOT free anymore. Unlimited radio play for $3.00/month
UpgradeYes $36 annually, Pandora One$3/month, Subscriber
Pausing the music
Yes. PAUSE feature come in very handy. Believe me!
Only STOP permitted.
You can get lyrics for songs (not all)
Shows/Events/ CalendarsJust added information on local shows, but not as good and lacks organization.
Yes detailed shows and venues information, including recommendations for user
Station control Pandora has great station control:
You can move a particular song to another station; Bookmark song/artist; Create new station with song/artist you listened
Has 'recommended' stations.
Song Selection and Variety
(Here's a first five song list from music artist WILCO station)
Wanders about a bit from song/artist genre. So more 'variety':
*Outta Mind Outta Site- Wilco
*Windfall- Sonvolt
*Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues
*Glad Its Over - Wilco (Heroes)
*Pelz Kolmet - Kingsbury Manx
*Subterranean Homesick Alien - Radiohead

Sticks quite close to the artist style of music. Music style is consistent and has less 'surprises':
* The Jayhawks – Blue
* Whiskeytown – Dancing with the Women at the Bar
* Ryan Adams – Sylvia Plath
* Billy Bragg & Wilco – Hoodoo Voodoo
* Uncle Tupelo – Graveyard Shift
* Loose Fur – Elegant Transaction

Multiple artist station
No. But you can combine stations.
Yes - type in different artists directly

Bottom line - Pandora is better if you prefer to 'explore' the music. Last.Fm sticks closer to a certain style of a chosen artist and might be great if that's what you want. Last.Fm concert listing and social networking tools are lot advanced that Pandora.
If you are interested in learning more about music, getting your own band recognized, are interested in live music, and want to connect with other people with like tastes, then Last.Fm is for you.

Verdict - Pandora now takes slight edge.

Contact me:
Sujan Manandhar
Technology Integration Specialist,
Foreign Language Center
Ohio State University

Monday, January 31, 2011

Social Network and the Oscars

Several people have asked me what I thought of the movie Social Network and whether I would recommend it.

I have watched all the 2010 Oscar (Academy Award) best movie nominees and this is my take on Social Network, and why it should win best movie of 2010. It was deftly directed by David Fincher (who also made classics like Fight Club and Se7en) but did not include any major stars to draw audiences like the other nominees. Every other nominee (except Winter’s Bone) has multiple Hollywood heavies in significant roles. And it was based on a ‘maybe’ story/book unlike some other Oscar nominees based on ‘true’ events (like The Fighter, The Kings Speech, or 127 Hours) that audiences are typically suckers for.

So why is Social Network the best movie of 2010.

Firstly it is not a clich̩ crafted just for the Oscars with EPIC, principel karacter flaw, artsy-faRtsy themes (Black Swan, True Grit, The Kings Speech Рall pretty good movies BTW). We have also repeatedly seen movies about famous people and moments in history winning these Best Movie awards. Social Network is not one of these historical movies. Or is it?

Fincher is immensely successful in showing how tech companies like Facebook (and in some ways Google, Apple, Microsoft etc) have started – i.e. with an idea and some brilliant (or crazy) minds. These folks have defied odds and have gone through the grinder to create some of the most successful companies of this generation. Past movies have tried this before, but with not much success (see for a good one). The movie's premise of the geek starting up a company amidst a high profile university and controversy works effectively with the relatively unknown cast of characters.

But Fincher taps into something bigger. Social networking (and Facebook) has changed the way people live and interact. No longer is Facebook just a photo-n-update tool. It's quickly becoming a major vehicle for groups and communities, voice and expression, and as we have seen recently – revolution. The influence of Facebook (and Twitter) can't be denied as one of the catalyst for the recent uprisings in the Middle East (Tunisia, Egypt and maybe others?) So maybe the movie is about big moments in history and famous people after all (?!?) I don't mean to say that Fincher foresaw this, but the movie shows the seeds of a historical moment/company.

While other movies might have the best actor (Colin Firth), best actress (Natalie Portman) or even the best visual effects (Inception), Social Network is relevant, contemporary, well-casted, well directed and fresh. It is revolutionary like the concept behind it and maybe it in turn will start a new trend in Oscar winners.

So 2 Thumbs Up or 5 Stars or 10 popcorns or tomatoes if you like - but Social Network is a must watch!

Technologies discussed: Facebook, Twitter, social networking

Contact me:
Sujan Manandhar
Technology Integration Specialist,
Foreign Language Center
Ohio State University