Tumult in the South China Sea

The territorial disputes in the South China Sea haven’t gotten any quieter. If anything, there’s a significant risk of the region becoming a bigger problem than it has to be.

These days, President Trump’s order to retaliate against the chemical attack on civilians in Syria through a military strike is on the front page of every news medium. However, there is a cold yet equally as volatile conflict going on in a different part of the world: the South China Sea.

On April 6th, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines moved Filipino military troops to the islands claimed by the Philippines in the South China Sea, which consist of about 50 islands and reefs in the Spratlys, nine of which the country is currently occupying. Tensions are high in the region as the major stakeholders in the region – Vietnam, Taiwan, China, Malaysia, and Brunei – react to the Philippines’ bold move, particularly China.

Over the past few years, China has been asserting its authority in the South China Sea by converting natural reefs and shoals into artificial islands for both military and civilian use. China has already nearly completely transformed the once-untouched Fiery Cross Reef into an airbase, with 200 Chinese troops present on the island in 2014 and that number has most likely increased greatly to accommodate both more troops and support forces.

Fiery Cross Reef
PC: Center for Strategic & International Studies / Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative

Furthermore, according to the Center for Strategic & International Studies, “China appears to have built significant point-defense capabilities, in the form of large anti-aircraft guns and probable close-in weapons systems (CIWS), at each of its outposts in the Spratly Islands…It now seems that these structures are an evolution of point-defense fortifications already constructed at China’s smaller facilities on Gaven, Hughes, Johnson, and Cuarteron Reefs.” This indicates a sharp increase in a Chinese military presence in the South China Sea, with Chinese warships already seen in the area conducting patrols at a near point-blank range to warships from the United States doing the same.

President Duterte’s resolute desire to firmly maintain the Philippines’ claim of islands in the region has not changed; according to CNN, Duterte stated that “We tried to be friends with everybody but we have to maintain our jurisdiction now, at least the areas under our control. And I have ordered the armed forces to occupy all these…” whilst on a visit to Palawan Island. This indicates Duterte’s ambition to follow China’s example of militarization in the region, as he has suggested that the Philippines forcibly reinforce its territorial claims in the South China Sea by erecting buildings on the disputed islands, both military and civilian.

Filipino Military.jpeg
PC: Reuters / Ritchie B. Tongo

Many maritime law and strategic experts following the dispute in the South China Sea have stated that it is inevitable for at least one nation in the region to respond to any provocative claims of the islands possibly with force. This may escalate to violence, which is highly undesirable in any scenario by any nation. One can only hope that the nations involved in the South China Sea dispute can come to a reasonable compromise to stabilize and deliver relative peace to the region.

– Daniel Park (’17)

Featured Image: Philstar Global

Sources: https://amti.csis.org/chinas-new-spratly-island-defenses/

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/06/asia/philippines-duterte-south-china-sea/

Jazz Night 2017: A Recap

Missed this year’s Jazz Night? Keep on reading for a recap of Jazz Night 2017!

Jazz Night: February 24, 2017. Tri-M pulled it off once again. Everyone welcomed the return of the annual night of jazzy tunes and mouthwatering food. It’s difficult to comprehend the amount of work that goes into scheduling and planning Jazz Night every year, especially when you consider the drastic transformation that the Conference Hall undergoes over two afternoons. Months of planning, preparation, and practice were poured into achieving the success of the event, and we were all reminded of one of KIS’ favourite traditions.

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PC: Logan Choi (’20)

2017’s Jazz Night opened with the Middle School Jazz Band with many saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, drums, and vocal solos by Daniel Kim, Ein Jun, Yoonsik Chung, Tae-Sung Uhm, Audrey Lee, Joanna Lee, Andy Kim, Nate Ritz, Ryosuke Sumi, Jack Choi, Sean Kim, Hannah Kim, Sarah Ju, Judy Choi, Eric Youm, Brian Lee, and Joshua Park. The Middle School Jazz Band played “Take the ‘A’ Train”, “Oye Como Va”, “As If To Say Goodbye”, “Kansas City Breakout”, “Poco Loco”, “Just the Way You Are”, and “Groovin’ Hard”.

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PC: Logan Choi (’20)

After the Middle School Jazz Band, the Vocal Jazz A Capella “Nightingales” group brought some vocal tunes to the audience’s ears. They sang “Moon River”, “A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square”, and “Autumn Leaves”, with French solos by Stacy Jo (‘17) and James Lee (‘19). The Nightingales also gave a little snippet of a song that they are going to sing at the Spring Choir Concert on March 16.

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PC: Logan Choi (’20)

Finally, the Phoenix Jazz Band swooped in with “Give It One”, “Shiny Stockings”, “Cut the Cake”, “Bernie’s Tune”, “Don’t Steal My Stuff”, and “Big Noise From Winnetka”. The Phoenix Jazz Band also had many solos throughout their repertoire: Charles Park (‘20), Zaiu Tei (‘20), San Yun (‘18), Kyle Son (‘20), Christopher Ryu (‘17), Jason Kim (‘20), Min Jun Kim (‘20), Sang Kim (‘20), Jin Kwon (‘18), Emily Lee (‘17), and Edward Huang (‘17). Their superb playing ended 2017’s Jazz Night, leaving the audience with both a superb appreciation of this year’s event and an even greater anticipation for what will come next year.

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PC: Logan Choi (’20)

 

One can only imagine the stress that the event’s organizers went through since early on last semester. Tri-M impressed us all immensely with the professionalism and efficiency with which they prepared, conducted, and concluded this year’s Jazz Night, and we’re looking forward to another holistic and gratifying experience next year!

– Daniel Park (’17)

Featured Image: KIS Tri-M Music Honor Society

Free After Three Decades Behind Bars

What do three decades in prison do to an innocent man? Read on to discover the astonishing story of a man who suffered 32 years behind bars to walk out of jail into an unfamiliar yet welcome world.

On March 16, 2017, Andrew Leander Wilson left Los Angeles’ Men’s Central Jail as a free man after being wrongfully convicted of murder. In 1984, a 21-year-old man was sleeping in his truck, with his girlfriend Saladena Bishop also sleeping next to him, when he was fatally stabbed to death.

Wilson was picked out by Bishop in a line up after a police officer pointed at Wilson’s photo. This unfortunate choice placed Wilson in prison for the next 32 years, yet he says that he is not bitter, stating that “I’m past it. I just want to get something to eat right now and love my family.”

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PC: Daily Mail Online

Wilson’s 96-year-old mother fought for the entirety of Wilson’s prison life to free him, and her efforts, joined by attorneys and students from the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent, culminated in his release.

Superior Court Judge Laura Priver ruled that Wilson was deprived of his constitutional rights to a fair trial when he was pointed out by Saladena Bishop. Furthermore, a friend of Bishop’s revealed that she had stabbed her boyfriend in the past, leading the police to designate her as an unreliable witness. This is further supported by the fact that Bishop once falsely filed a police report that accused someone of kidnapping and (attempted) rape. The Loyola student team revealed that none of this evidence had been supplied to Wilson’s defense attorney.

Image 1 : Free After 32 Years
PC: Daily Mail Online

As Wilson walked out of the LA County jail, he was greeted by an army of cameras and reporters, but what he truly found gratitude in was reuniting with his daughter and sister and meeting his granddaughter for the first time. Wilson’s sister Gwen Wilson, with tears in her eyes, expressed her deep gratitude for the miracle of her brother’s release, stating that “We just needed to love on him and keep him encouraged through it all. All we can do is keep our head up you know that’s just it. We’ve always been a hopeful that one day…by the grace of God today is that day.”

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PC: Daily Mail Online

Soon, Wilson will go to St. Louis to visit his mother for the first time in 32 years. We can only imagine the wave of emotions that the reunited family will wade through.

– Daniel Park (’17)

Featured Image: CNN

Recapping President Trump’s “Fake Media” Press Conference

Did you see U.S. President Donald Trump’s press conference on February 16? No? Read on for a recap of that momentous evening.

On February 16, 2016, President Donald Trump held his first solo press conference in response to the massive amounts of attacks and criticism on the effectiveness and integrity of his month-old administration. For more than an hour, Trump went out of his way to accuse the so-called “fake media” of purposely attacking his administration, with Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russia as an excuse.

The conference covered a range of various topics, including the Russian spy ship in international waters 30 miles off the U.S. coast and Flynn’s actions regarding Russian contact. The prominent theme of the conference was Trump’s belief in the dishonesty of the media. He persistently claimed the news stories of Flynn’s contacts with Russia to be “fake media”, and that he had “never seen more dishonest media than, frankly, the political media.” Trump directly addressed several news reports from various broadcasting networks, including CNN, CBS, NPR, and ABC.

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PC: amNewYork

There were several noteworthy points during Trump’s press conference, none of which received positive comments from the public. The first of which was when Jon Sopel from BBC identified himself as being from BBC, to which Trump replied, “Here’s another beauty.”

Trump’s tone of sarcasm continued throughout the press conference, and it was during a Jewish reporter’s question that much of the public viewing Trump’s conference online erupted in anger and disbelief. The reporter asked President Trump a question about antisemitic instances in the United States, and Trump accused the reporter of asking him a very difficult and unfair question when he was promised a “straight, simple question.” Trump then went on to publicly humiliate the reporter during the press conference, accusing the reporter of being a liar and relating this so-called deception to the broader “world of the media”.

A similar event occurred soon after, when American Urban Radio Networks journalist April Ryan asked Trump about a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus. Seeing that Ryan was African-American, Trump interjected her question, asking if she wanted to set up the meeting herself. The internet did not hesitate to leap at this moment, describing Trump’s reaction to April Ryan’s question as racist. The logic behind this accusation is that Trump seemed to have assumed that April Ryan had connections to the CBC just because she was African-American. Whether this is true or not is unknown.

Finally, the press conference also seemed to serve as a medium through which Trump could once again reassert the notion that he scored the “biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan”. However, this claim has since been proven to be incorrect, as Trump won with 306 electoral votes, whereas in 2008, Barack Obama won with 365 votes and George H.W. Bush won with 426 electoral votes in 1988. When pressed by a reporter regarding Trump’s claim, Trump defended himself by saying that he was given the information and that he had “seen that information around.”

While Trump’s first solo press conference marked a stepping stone in his administration’s history, it was also described as a very memorable moment in the United States’ history by several news broadcasting networks, albeit not in a good manner. Whether President Trump’s behaviour in the press conference continues on throughout his administration for the next four years is yet to be seen.

– Daniel Park (’17)

Featured Image: The Source

The Lost Continent

We’ve discovered an ancient continent. What could it be? Atlantis? Avalon? Kunlun Mountain?

It’s not Atlantis, and it’s not quite Themiscyra either. However, we may be much closer to discovering the rest of our world’s geological history than we previously thought.

The University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa has reportedly found a fragment of the ancient super-continent Gondwanaland at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. Gondwanaland roughly broke apart 200 million years ago, forming the current continents of India, Australia, Africa, Antarctica, and South America. The portion of the continent found by the University of the Witwatersrand lies under the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius (officially the Republic of Mauritius).

Researchers are calling this continental fragment ‘Mauritia’, and researchers believe that Mauritius’ strong gravitational pull indicates the presence of a mascon – mass concentrations, usually caused by plate tectonics (the constant shifting of the Earth’s crust).

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Mauritia’s geographical location // PC: The Sun

The research team found zircons on Mauritius, which are minerals typically in rocks gushed from volcanic eruptions. Mauritius itself is, according to professor Lewis Ashwal, lead author of the published paper in the journal Nature Communications, no more than 8~9 million years old. However, the zircons found on Mauritius were dated to be at least 2~3 billion years old. Therefore, these zircons must have been ejected from undersea volcanic eruptions billions of years ago from Mauritia under the Indian Ocean. Billion-year-old rocks don’t exist in oceans; this further corroborates the theory that ancient volcanoes erupted under present-day Mauritius and left traces of ancient Mauritia on the island’s surface.

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A Zircon crystal (lower right) // PC: The Sun

As this discovery was made very recently and survey operations are still under procedure, there is limited information regarding Mauritia as of February 2017. However, according to Alan Collins from the University of Adelaide in Australia, “more and more remnants of other old continents are being uncovered,” so the chances of discovering additional long-lost continents are not low at all.

While the ancient supercontinent of Gondwanaland may be lost to time, the fact that we have found traces of its existence millions of years after the continent was swallowed up by the oceans opens countless opportunities for further research regarding Earth’s geographic history. Given further time and persistent research, we can conceivably bring Triassic-era Earth to the 21st century.

– Daniel Park (‘17)

Featured Image: New Scientist

Phantom Singer: The Ultimate Musical Korean TV Experience

You’ve never seen a TV music show quite like this before.

No one ever expected this kind of music show to appear on Korean television, not by a long shot. The typical Korean music shows like Mnet’s “Super Star K” and SBS’s “K-pop Star” had dominated Korean music TV for a long time – so long that viewers were getting bored of watching essentially the same TV show over and over again for years on end. Therefore, when JTBC’s “Phantom Singer” first aired on November 11th, 2016, viewers were shocked by the sheer amount of top-end quality, classical music that was being shown on Korean TV for the first time.

The show’s aim is to create a four-member male Korean crossover quartet, much like Italy’s Il Divo, and the endgame is almost here, with the last episode of the show airing on January 27th. According to Kim Hyung-Joong, the producer of the show, “the winning team will receive 100 million won in prize money and will be given an opportunity to record their own album. They will also officially begin their career as a crossover quartet, performing tours and concerts.”

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PC: JTBC

When the first description of the show was released, it seemed like the show was only going to incorporate classical choral singers, which had many viewers turn away from the show in the beginning. However, the first episode of the show presented viewers with an incredible variety of male singers, quite arguably some of the best yet unknown Korean male singers there are.

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PC: JTBC

The novelty of “crossover music” was what truly attracted more and more viewers to the show, and the unbelievable talent of each and every singer that had been and/or still is on the show resulted in an extreme boom in popularity for the show. So far, we’ve seen and heard an amazing diversity of songs, including Italian folk songs, Korean songs for children, and even American pop songs like Beyoncé’s “Halo.”

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PC: JTBC

The final episode of the show already aired on January 27th, and the three quartet teams had already sung their first two songs as the first part of the finals on January 20th. They sang their final two songs during the final episode, but we won’t spoil you with who won just yet!

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PC: JTBC

As of January 20th, in first place is “Forte di Quatro (포르테 디 콰트로),” consisting of Ko Hoon-Jung (고훈정), Kim Hyun-Soo (김현수), Son Tae-Jin (손태진), and Lee Byeo-Ri (이벼리). Second place is “In-Gi Hyun-Sang (인기현상),” comprised of Gwak Dong-Hyun (곽동현), Park Sang-Don (박상돈), Baek In-Tae (백인태), and Yoo Seul-Gi (유슬기). In third place, but certainly not the least by any stretch of the imagination is “Hyoong-Spresso (흉스프레소),” made up of Ko Eun-Sung (고은성), Kwon Seo-Gyung (권서경), Baek Hyung-Hoon (백형훈), and Lee Dong-Shin (이동신).

These three teams represent the perfect embodiment of the essence of JTBC’s “Phantom Singer,” as there are opera singers, choral singers, musical actors, a rock artist, and even a brilliantly self-taught singer!

Make sure to keep an eye out for which finalist team ultimately won, and give yourself a treat by listening to one of the show’s past performances; there isn’t a single one that’ll disappoint you.

– Daniel Park (‘17)

Featured Image: JTBC

5 Amazing Gordon Ramsay Christmas Recipes

Prepare yourself for some unbelievably delicious and appealing Christmas recipes from Gordon Ramsay that you can use at your own home to impress guests!

The recipes below were posted on goodtoknow.co.uk.

Want to make some Christmas food other than red and green-coloured chocolates or candies? Well, here are five of the world-renowned Scottish chef Gordon Ramsay’s amazing Christmas recipes that can bring some brilliant colour to your (hopefully) white Christmas!

Roast Potatoes with Chili & Turmeric

Roast Potatoes.jpg
PC: GoodtoKnow

Ingredients:

  • However many potatoes you want; for the sake of this recipe, 2.5 kg of potatoes
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground turmeric
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil (or goose/duck fat)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Peel the potatoes and place in a large saucepan of salted cold water. Bring the heat to boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 8 minutes.
  2. Drain the potatoes in a colander and sprinkle the turmeric, chili flakes, and some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Toss into the colander to coat evenly, then drizzle with a little of the olive oil and toss again. Leave to steam for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour the rest of the olive oil in a roasting tray and place in the oven for a few minutes to heat up. Carefully add the potatoes (don’t throw them!) and toss to coat in the oil. Roast for 40-45 minutes, turning them over a few times, until they’re crisp and golden.
  5. Drain on kitchen paper and transfer to a warmed dish to serve.

 

Pumpkin soup with wild mushrooms

pumpkin-soup
PC: GoodtoKnow

Ingredients:

For the pumpkin purée:

  • About 1.5 kg of pumpkin
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half horizontally
  • A handful of rosemary sprigs
  • Olive oil, to drizzle

For the soup:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 30 grams of parmesan, freshly grated
  • 800 ml of hot ham stock or chicken stock
  • 100 ml of double cream
  • 15 grams of butter

For the garnish:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 400 grams of mixed wild mushrooms (chanterelles, trompettes, etc.), cleaned and trimmed
  • 10 grams of butter
  • Parmesan shavings

Instructions:

  1. For the pumpkin purée, preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. Cut the pumpkin in half horizontally and remove the seeds. Score the flesh, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then rub with the cut garlic halves. Lay rosemary sprigs and a garlic half in each pumpkin half. Drizzle with a little olive oil and place on baking trays.
  2. Roast the pumpkin halves for about 1 hour until they’re tender; the timing will depend on the variety, density and thickness. They’re ready when you can effortlessly slip a knife into the thickest part of the flesh. Take out the rosemary and garlic; save the garlic. While they’re still hot, scoop out the pumpkin flesh and purée in a blender or food processor.
  3. For the soup, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, and cook for 5–6 minutes until the chopped onion is soft and translucent. Scoop out the flesh from 2 or 3 roasted garlic cloves and add to the pan with the nutmeg and a little seasoning (sea salt and black pepper). Sauté for a further 1–2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the pumpkin purée and parmesan, then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10–12 minutes. Stir in the cream and heat for 1 minute.
  5. In batches, ladle the soup into a blender and blend until it’s smooth. Add the butter and blitz again to a velvety smooth texture. Pour the soup into a clean pan to reheat.
  6. For the garnish, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the mushrooms over a high heat for a few minutes until the moisture released has cooked off and the pan is quite dry. Add the butter, season the mushrooms and stir, then remove from the heat.
  7. Pour the hot soup into warmed bowls and spoon the sautéed mushrooms into the middle. Top with parmesan shavings, grind over some black pepper, and serve.

 

Honey Glazed Ham

honey-glazed-ham
PC: GoodtoKnow

Ingredients:

  • 3 kg unsmoked boneless gammon joint
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds, lightly crushed
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A handful of cloves

For the honey glaze:

  • 100 grams of demerara sugar
  • 50 ml of Madeira wine
  • 25 ml of sherry vinegar
  • 125 grams of honey

Instructions:

  1. Put the gammon in a large saucepan and pour on enough cold water to cover. Add the carrots, leek, onion, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook for 3 hours, topping up with more boiling water if necessary.
  2. Skim off the froth and any impurities that rise to the surface from time to time. If cooking in advance, let the ham cool in the stock overnight. Otherwise, allow it to cool a little, then remove from the pan. Strain the stock (and save for soup etc).
  3. To make the glaze, put the sugar, Madeira wine, sherry vinegar, and honey into a pan and stir over a low heat. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 3–4 minutes until you have a glossy dark syrup. Do not leave it unattended, as it will easily boil over.
  4. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius and put the ham into a roasting tin. Snip and remove the strings and then cut away the skin from the ham, leaving behind an even layer of fat.
  5. Lightly score the fat all over in a criss-cross, diamond pattern, taking care not to cut into the meat. Stud the centre of each diamond with a clove. Pour half of the glaze over the ham and roast for 15 minutes.
  6. Pour on the rest of the glaze and then return to the oven for another 25–35 minutes until the ham is golden brown, basting with the pan juices frequently. It also helps to turn the pan as you baste to ensure that the ham colours evenly.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

 

Beef Wellington

beef-wellington
PC: GoodtoKnow

Ingredients:

  • 400 grams of flat cap mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • 750 grams piece of prime beef fillet
  • 1-2 tablespoons of English mustard
  • 6-8 slices of Parma ham
  • 500 grams of ready-made puff pastry
  • Flour, to dust
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten

Instructions:

  1. Put the mushrooms into a food processor with some seasoning (sea salt and black pepper) and pulse to a rough paste. Scrape the paste into a pan and cook over a high heat for about 10 mins, tossing frequently, to cook out the moisture from the mushrooms. Spread them out on a plate to cool.
  2. Heat in a frying pan and add a little olive oil. Season the beef and sear in the hot pan for 30 seconds only on each side. (You don’t want to cook it at this stage, just colour it). Remove the beef from the pan and leave it to cool, then brush it all over with the mustard.
  3. Lay a sheet of cling film on a work surface and arrange the Parma ham slices on it in slightly overlapping rows. With a palette knife, spread the mushroom paste over the ham, then place the seared beef fillet in the middle.
  4. Keeping a tight hold of the cling film from the edge, neatly roll the Parma ham and mushrooms around the beef to form a tight barrel shape. Twist the ends of the cling film to secure. Chill for 15-20 mins to allow the beef to set and keep its shape.
  5. Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface to a large rectangle, the thickness of a £1 coin. Remove the cling film from the beef, then lay in the centre. Brush the surrounding pastry with egg yolk.
  6. Fold the ends over, then wrap the pastry around the beef, cutting off any excess. Turn it over, so the seam is underneath, and place on a baking sheet. Brush over all the pastry with the beaten egg yolks and chill for about 15 mins to let the pastry rest.
  7. Heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  8. Lightly score the pastry at 1cm intervals and glaze again with beaten egg yolk. Bake for 20 minutes, then lower the oven setting to 180 degrees celsius and cook for another 15 mins. Allow it to rest for 10-15 mins before slicing and serving with side dishes of your choice. The beef should still be pink in the centre when you serve it.

 

Italian-style Trifle

italian-style-trifle
PC: GoodtoKnow

For the marsala jelly:

  • 2 medium sheets leaf gelatine (11 x 7.5cm)
  • 200ml Marsala (Californian cooking wine)
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

For the trifle:

  • 500 grams of mascarpone
  • 6 tablespoons of icing sugar, plus extra to finish
  • Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 5-6 tablespoons of Vin Santo or Marsala, plus extra to drizzle
  • 50 grams of chopped mixed peels (optional)
  • 300 ml of double cream
  • About 250 grams of panettone
  • Dark chocolate, for grating

Instructions:

  1. To make the jelly, soak the gelatine sheets in a shallow dish of cold water. Meanwhile, put the Marsala and sugar into a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring almost to the boil and then take off the heat.
  2. Squeeze the gelatine to remove excess water, then add to the Marsala syrup and stir until fully dissolved. Pour the mixture into a shallow container and leave it to cool, then cover and refrigerate it for a few hours until set.
  3. Put the mascarpone into a bowl and sift in the icing sugar. Add the orange zest, Vin Santo or Marsala and mixed peels, if using. Beat it until evenly mixed.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream to soft peaks and then fold into the mascarpone mixture, using a large metal spoon or spatula.
  5. Cut the panettone into small cubes and place in a bowl. Drizzle over a little Vin Santo or Marsala and toss to coat.
  6. To make the trifle, place a layer of panettone in a large glass serving bowl. Roughly chop the Marsala jelly and scatter half over the panettone layer. Spread half the mascarpone mixture on top. Repeat these layers, then chill until ready to serve.
  7. To finish, grate a layer of chocolate over the surface.

 

With these five brilliant recipes, courtesy of Gordon Ramsay, you should have no problem wowing your family and friends with some tantalizing and unforgettable food this Christmas!

– Daniel Park (’17)

Featured Image: Crescentia Jung (’19)

Doctor Strange Review (Extreme Spoiler Alert!!!)

Re-live the hype from the newest Marvel Studios film Doctor Strange! MAJOR spoilers ahead! You’ve been warned.

The latest movie to join the long line of Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange stars Benedict Cumberbatch (AKA Sherlock Holmes, AKA Khan, AKA Smaug, etc) as the renowned surgeon Stephen Strange. Director Scott Derrickson has done an extraordinary job bringing the beloved Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme himself, to life from the pages of Marvel comic books.

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PC: Marvel studios

After playing extremely serious and intense characters like Sherlock Holmes, it was a welcome change to watch Benedict Cumberbatch enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the arrogant and, quite often, rude Stephen Strange. In order to mend himself after his hands were damaged in a horrific car accident, Doctor Strange seeks the rumoured land of Kamar-Taj.

Despite Strange’s skepticism and arrogance, he progresses extremely quickly as a sorcerer, encountering the mystical Cloak of Levitation, which, let’s face it, had quite an attitude for a floating piece of cloth. The fact that so much character was given to a normally inanimate object provided a twist to Doctor Strange’s atmosphere, integrating some much-appreciated comedy and chemistry between the cloak and Doctor Strange throughout the second half of the film. (By the way, Benedict Cumberbatch just completely nails the look of Doctor Strange.)

doctor-strange-cloak
PC: Marvel Studios

The Astral (“soul) Dimension, the Mirror Dimension, the Dark Dimension; Guardians of the Galaxy may have brought the cosmos to the big screen, but Doctor Strange really brings a whole lot of mysticism to the table. This allows the film to present itself as a distant cousin to the other Marvel Studios films we’ve had so far.

However, by far the most interesting aspect of Doctor Strange was the concept of bending space and time, especially during Cumberbatch’s showdown with Dormammu, a supposedly infinitely powerful being from the Dark Dimension. In an unexpected turn of events, Strange uses an artifact called the Eye of Agamotto to create an infinite time loop within the Dark Dimension, starting with Strange meeting Dormammu and ending with Strange’s death every time. It was painful to watch Cumberbatch die over and over again, in so many different, gruesome ways that only the video game Mortal Kombat’s fatalities can seem to match.

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PC: Marvel Studios

The flow of Doctor Strange seemed a tad bit rushed in the beginning, with Stephen Strange seemingly mastering the elementary and intermediate skills as a sorcerer and already learning to control time by nearly the 70-minute mark of the film. Furthermore, Stephen Strange may be the most arrogant character we’ve seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet. Nevertheless, as we saw in the film’s first mid-credits scene, Doctor Strange most definitely will become a hero and join up with the Avengers sooner than we might think, starting with helping Thor look for Loki in Thor: Ragnarok.

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PC: Marvel Studios

Rather than another long, drawn-out fight between heroes and robots, Marvel Studios decided to spice things up a bit and bring us this intriguing and exciting new film Doctor Strange. Stephen Strange’s pure intellect but desire to help brought us back to the days when the first Iron Man movie was released, making the two moustached geniuses seem like long-lost twins.

With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 coming up next, Marvel Studios has quite some hype to live up to. Let’s hope they deliver in 2017 as they did this year with Doctor Strange!

Dormammu, I’ve come to bargain.

– Daniel Park (‘17)

Featured Image: Marvel Studios

The Future of the U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy prepares to launch one of the most efficient and powerful aircraft carriers yet.

With the results of the recent U.S. presidential election shaking up the world, tensions are as high as ever. Numerous mechanical breakdowns in several of the U.S. Navy’s newest ships over the past few months haven’t helped either, resulting in ballooning maintenance and construction costs, not to mention postponed launch and christening dates. In order to reassure the rest of the world of the United States’ stability despite the chaos of the 2016 presidential election, the U.S. military must continue to stay strong, and no other force has a more global presence than the U.S. Navy.

The U.S. Navy is ever expanding and improving in terms of numbers, technology, and firepower. Perhaps the most significant factor of the U.S. Navy’s dominance throughout the world’s oceans is the presence of extremely sophisticated and innovative aircraft carriers currently in operation. However, ever since the Cold War, the dominating aircraft carriers are nuclear-powered Nimitz-class supercarriers, albeit the largest capital ships in the world. With the White House seeking to continuously assert the presence of its fleets throughout the world, the U.S. Navy had to have come up with a new class of aircraft carrier sooner or later, and now we have it: the Gerald R. Ford class supercarrier.

Named after the 38th President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford, the Ford-class supercarriers follow the current trend of the U.S. Navy’s emphasis on smaller yet more efficient technology in an effort to reduce operation costs but increase performance yield tenfold.

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PC: Official Website of the United States Navy

The new Bechtel A1B nuclear reactor was developed to replace the Nimitz-class A4W nuclear reactor. The design of the previous A4W reactor is limited in terms of maximum efficiency due to the extremely smaller amount of energy required by technology aboard the Nimitz-class carriers at the time, and the Bechtel A1B reactor is far more powerful than the A4W reactor, despite its smaller size, simpler design, and fewer crew requirements.

With two of these reactors installed on each Ford-class carrier, each capable of producing 300 MW (triple the 100 MW of the Nimitz-class A4W reactor), the Ford-class carrier will have no problem powering its onboard technology and then some. The modernization of the Bechtel A1B reactor led to lower maintenance, construction, manpower, and spatial requirements, and the resulting limits of the A4W reactor from revolutionized technological advances, requiring more energy, led to the A1B reactor’s excess energy production to ensure the application of unexpected technology to the Ford-class carriers.

Many majour structural changes and improvements were implemented to the Ford-class carriers as well. First and foremost, in order to improve the efficiency of aircraft launch times – critical to the performance of an aircraft carrier – the deck space for rearm and refuel stations was expanded, reducing the frequency that an aircraft will be relocated after landing and before relaunch. This lessens the number of crew required to accomplish these tasks, further reducing the overall size of the ship’s crew.

With the size of the Ford-class carrier’s crew diminished significantly due to these structural changes and automation of technology, the new aircraft carriers require less crew accommodations, and even wifi-enabled lounges are located here and there! Wifi for the win!

living-quarters
PC: The Walking Tourists

Furthermore, the path of weapons from storage to the aircraft has been simplified; munitions will no longer cross into paths of aircraft movement, reducing traffic throughout the ship and decreasing the time to rearm aircraft to mere minutes.

The Nimitz-class aircraft carriers utilize Cold War-era steam-powered catapults for launching aircraft, and while they are extremely reliable, steam-powered catapults are also extremely inefficient and hard to control, limiting Nimitz-class steam-powered catapults to launching heavy aircraft; 21st-century UAVs are far too light and delicate to launch from these antique catapults, and so the Ford-class carriers utilize Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), which is far easier to control and more efficient. With EMALS, the Ford-class carriers can launch both heavy and light aircraft, which ensures an increased versatility in the performance of these 21st-century supercarriers.

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PC: Next Big Future

With a far smaller crew than the Nimitz-class supercarrier, EMALS, new A1B reactors, and the ability to easily carry and launch 90 heavy and light aircraft, the revolutionary Gerald R. Ford-class supercarriers will further ensure the U.S. Navy’s survival and dominance in the world’s oceans for decades to come.

– Daniel Park (’17)

Featured Image: The Ford Class