January 8, 2006

Cook or Die

January 8, 2006 - Categories: cooking, cookordie

Today was Cook or Die dinner with Dominique and Marcelle. I found a
packet of pepper beef stir-fry seasoning mix and a recipe for bean
sprouts with Chinese egg strips. I was supposed to cook it for lunch,
but my family decided to go out then, so I ended up cooking it for
dinner.

Pepper Beef Stir-fry

  1. Combine 1.5 tbsp seasoning mix with 2 tbsp water. (Probably just pepper and MSG. ;) )
  2. Heat oil and stirfry beef for 3 minutes.
  3. Add mix and onions. Stirfry until beef is done. (What do they mean by done?!)
  4. Add spring onions and stirfry for 1 minute.

I chopped the spring onions a bit more finely than I should. I
completely forgot about the 3 cm description! Oh well. It didn’t turn
out too bad, although the spring onions practically disappeared.

Bean sprouts with Chinese egg strips

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in frying pan. Add beaten eggs and cook over gentle heat. Remove from pan, cut into thin strips, then cut each strip into three or four pieces.
  2. Heat rest of oil in pan. Add onion, garlic, pepper and celery, and cook for around 10 minutes until soft. Increase heat, add mushrooms, cook until golden brown.
  3. Stir in bean sprouts, soy suce, seasoning, egg strips. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring, until heated through. Serve immediately.

Not a bad meal. Again, I was a bit overzealous with the knife, chopping the green pepper instead of slicing it. Oops. That’s okay, it was still edible.

It wasn’t a particularly impressive meal, but it wasn’t a bad way of using beansprouts.

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360′ virtual tours

January 8, 2006 - Categories: adphoto, photography

How do real-estate websites show 360′ virtual tours of their spaces? I
spent part of the afternoon looking at software for possible business
use. Here’s how they do it, I think.

*Take photos.* First take super-wide-angle shots, rotating your camera
around a fixed point. A number of stores sell fisheye lenses and
camera mounts for this purpose. The mount for spherical pictures (all
directions, including up and down) is more complicated than the mount
for a 360′ panoramic shot. If you don’t mind distortion, then you can
use a regular camera and just take pictures facing different
directions, relying on stitching software to compensate a bit for the distortion.

*Stitch the pictures.* Camera designed specifically for 360′ or
spherical shots may be able to capture the entire scene in one image.
However, if you’re using a rotating mount or you’re taking pictures in
different directions, then you’ll need to combine the images into a
seamless panorama by using stitching software.

*Produce the brochure.* 360′ viewers range from simple ones that
smoothly scroll a panoramic picture, to more interactive viewers that
include floor plans and clickable hotspots in the image. Choose the
software that fits your intended purpose and budget.

Some companies that sell 360′ software:

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