Ugly Delicious

David Chang of Momofuku fame and who starred in a previous Netflix show called “The Mind of a Chef” now has another Netflix show called “Ugly Delicious.”  In Mind of a Chef, that show dived deep into Chang’s inspiration on creating food.  From the first episode of Ugly Delicious, it seems like it’s a deep thematic dive into different food (pizza, tacos, fried chicken, etc) and probably on how they’re made across the different ethnic cultures that have embraced their own version of the food.

All I can say is… the first episode of pizza made me want pizza. =p


Daylight Saving Time

Today (March 11, 2018) is when clocks “spring forward” because of Daylight Saving Time (DST).  You lose an hour of sleep technically as clocks advance forward an hour for the next 8 months.  Marketplace Weekend had a short segment titled “5 Things You Need To Know About daylight Saving Time.” It’s fascinating to listen to.

I learned one thing though.  Apparently the myth of how DST benefits farmers is an actual myth perpetuated by the Chamber of Commerce to benefit the sales.  Who knew!?

Passion House Coffee Roasters

This months Angel’s Cup coffee subscription service comes from Passion House Coffee Roasters.  The beans come from Rwanda’s Lake Kivu Kanza.  As I open the bag, an aroma of licorice, cherry, and hints of raisin(?) greets me.  I don’t think I’ve ever tasted beans from Rwanda.  So this bag will be a nice change to see if a different African region will have a slightly different profile.


After grinding the beans, the licorice aroma is much stronger and a cocoa aroma emerges as well.  This smell is actually pretty addicting.  I caught myself sniffing the ground beans a couple times to enjoy that aroma.

Brewing my latte, the licorice and chocolate flavor becomes the dominant taste in the first few sips.  I also taste some cherry and raisins as well.  Surprisingly, I don’t get that strong earthy nutty taste typical of many of the previous coffee beans I’ve gotten.  However, I do taste this nutty flavor in the aftertaste.  This is an extremely smooth coffee that drinks very quickly.

The #MeToo Movement

I’ve always wondered about why the #MeToo movement suddenly exploded in the last  two years and not years ago?  Growing up, I’ve heard or read about stories here and there about the sexual harassment or sexual misconduct by famous, rich male celebrities on unsuspecting females.  Yet nothing usually came out of it.

Do you remember Kobe Bryant in Colorado and his sexual assault case?  The case was dismissed later and settled out of court.  Kobe never admitted to doing anything wrong other than consensual sex.  It’s good to be rich and famous.  When the accuser’s name  was publicly known, she received death threats.  Does this sound familiar?  It’s the modus operandi that accusers prior to #MeToo would face including tactics such as smear campaigns, defamation campaigns, intimidation, threats, etc.  In short, no one believed the accusers (rape victim) and everyone believed the accused (rapist).  I always chalked it up to “innocent until proven guilty” for the accused (the rapist).  But I also wondered, why didn’t people believe the rape victim (the accuser)?  Ironically, if a kid accused an adult of rape, everyone believed the kid.  Kind of makes you wonder doesn’t it?

Anyways, a relatively new Hidden Brain podcasts sheds some light into this cultural phenomenon of #MeToo.  It’s a fascinating listen.

Scam City

There’s this TV show called Scam City that’s on Netflix.  The premise is pretty noble.  The host goes to different famous world cities and search for the different scams that go on in that city ranging from fake “authentic” goods to pickpockets to taxi driver kidnappings and even prostitution.  The shows does all this in an attempt to make potential tourists who are watching at home aware of the disreputable scams in the city.  It turns out that many of the show’s scams are found in every city… 3 card monte, fake authentic goods, pick pockets, “friendly bars” and the list can go on.

Although I’m no expert, I have had my fair share of traveling.  I think the culture of the country and/or city is also a big part of whether or not people will get scammed/hustled.  As a traveler there are certain things to be aware.  Pickpocket is probably the number one concern.  There’s not much a traveler can do without money, without credit cards and potentially without identification (ie Passport) too.  Being kidnapped is also a concern but I think the likelihood is much less in more touristy locations.  Plus with easy access to the Internet, using GPS and Google maps should always be a given to ensure the taxi is going to the correct direction.  In general being aware of the surrounding is important for staying safe.  So… “Don’t walk down that dark alley” or “Don’t talk to strangers” generally works in your favor.   Keep in mind hustlers are trying to relieve your wallet of some money as quickly and as easily as possible.  Making it hard for them is never in their benefit.

Apparently though, some of the episodes are not without controversy per the wiki entry on Prague and Amsterdam.  Is Scam City scamming the TV audience!?

Anyways, watching this show leads me to a few questions…

  1. Why would anyone want to go to these cities now?
  2. Why does the show seem to portray certain non 1st world cities in a much more negative light?  The Mumbai and New Delhi episodes make these two cities out to be pretty bad as does the Bangkok episode.
  3. I sometimes feel like they are actively looking for scams that happen.  And that tourists would have to be really really stupid to fall for some of these tricks.  Maybe it’s to build suspense up similar to how ABC’s The Bachelor and the contrived storylines.
  4. Pickpockets are still the world’s most dangerous petty thieves.  Some of the pickpockets on the show are really good and have great finger/hand dexterity.  The Jerusalem Mount Olive pickpocket scene was pretty interesting.  He used slight of hand and a common magic trick of directing attention away from the wallet.


Ideally, the tourist needs to be aware of the hustle and take whatever precautions needed to minimize the hustle.  Ultimately as a tourist, staying safe is the ultimate priority to enjoy the city.  Happy traveling!

Black Oak Coffee Roasters

This month’s Angels Cup comes from Black Oak Coffee Roasters.  The specific beans come from Ethiopia’s Gedeo/Yirgacheffe region from a farm called Chelelektu Mill.  I’ve previously had tasted beans from this region as well as beans from the Sidamo region of Ethiopia.


Opening the bag of beans rewards me with a sudden rush of toffee, berry, nutty and earthy aromas.  After grinding, the nutty berry aromas are accentuated as I transfer the ground beans into the Aeropress.  I was sniffing the container holding the ground beans between each transfer into the Aeropress.

The latte was exceptionally smooth.  I tasted the toffee and berry flavors with subtle strawberry aftertaste at times.  The earthy and nutty aromas linger in the aftertaste as well too.

The Russian Interference of 2016

I feel like the 2016 election would be a great backdrop for a new spy movie genre.


So the Mueller indictment charged 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian organizations with conspiracy to defraud the US.  Listening to the various news sources and podcasts, these Russians released propaganda in support of Trump and against Clinton in an effort to influence the Presidential election.  In fact, the propaganda actually sounds very familiar to what a Political Action Committee (PAC) does when a PAC tries to influence elections too.

Which got me thinking… what’s the difference?  After some Internet research, a Newseek article described why the Russian propaganda to influence the elections is illegal.  A federal law found in regulation 110.20 “prohibits any foreign national from contributing, donating or spending funds in connection with any federal, state, or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly.”  Another law also requires foreign “agents” to register with the US in an attempt to minimize any influence from non-American sources in elections.  What’s interesting is that US has also meddled in the political affairs of other nations too according to a a New York Times opinion article.  But I actually already knew that.  In all honesty, I was amused at the Russian interference.  It’s like US getting a taste of their own medicine.  But at the same time, I understand why US will want to try to influence foreign elections in order to have a more pro-American official leading the nation.  It’s the same reason Russia did what they did in 2016.

When you think about all that’s happened during the 2016 election, what’s disturbing is that Russian misinformation became the defacto truth creating even more divided America.  There was never any questioning of the misinformation.  The proliferation of #fakenews and #alternativefacts by even those in the Trump campaign is disturbing.  Do you remember when Kellyanne Conway termed the coin “Alternative Facts” for Sean Spicer’s “biggest audience to witness an inauguration. Period!“?  Compare that to these videos (herehere) of what the National Mall looked like from the previous President.  And then with #fakenews, incidents like Pizzagate makes you wonder why people aren’t thinking for themselves.