February Fortune dining

The Canberra Science Fiction Club usually meets twice each month.  The first Thursday is a General Meeting and on the third Thursday members, friends, family or guests can gather together to talk and eat at a restaurant.  Each person pays for their own choice of meal.  Everyone is welcome.  You don’t have to belong to the club to join in.  The only requirement is that you notify the Secretary at least two days before attending the dinner.

The Secretary has pre-selected the restaurants for this year and the cuisines are varied – Chinese, Ethiopian, Indian, Malaysian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Nepalese, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese, just to name a few.  Most restaurants have a banquet as well as a normal menu.

February’s choice was Chinese – we gathered at the Fortune Cookie at the Melba shops.  Many attendees had dined at the there last year and were looking forward to an excellent meal again.  We were not disappointed.

This restaurant is amazing.  The staff is friendly and willing to alter dishes if needed. (One of us had a pork allergy and they were happy to substitute chicken for pork in the San Choi Bow.)

Their menu has seventeen classifications for the food – Signature dishes, Entrees, Soups, Beef, Lamb, Pork, Duck, Chicken, Seafood, Prawns, Squid, Scallops, Omelettes, Tofu, Vegetables, Noodles and Rice.  They also have a Banquet for 2-5 people or for 6+ diners. And a separate Dessert menu.

The Banquet was chosen (just $40. per head ).  I will just describe the dishes we had.  Three entrees:- Spring Rolls, Prawn Toast and a Dim Sim type ball.   It did not take too long before these were heartily attacked and enjoyed by all.

Then the main dishes were served:-

– San Choi Bow (the meat and spices served in a lettuce leaf),

– Peking Shredded Beef,

– Pepper Fillet Steak Hotpot,

– King Prawns with Ginger and Shallot,

– Stir Fried Seasonal Vegetables with Tofu,

– Boneless Chicken with Lemon Sauce,

– Mongolian Lamb,

– Yeong Chow Rice (a fried rice) and plain Jasmine Rice.

This provided a pleasantly balanced meal with no chillies.  Strangely most conversations ceased as everyone tucked in.  I think the most popular dish was the Hotpot.

And to finish off – a Dessert of the day.

Two of the diners elected to order separately – a single entree and main, but also followed up with a dessert.  They were not disappointed in their choices either.

Drinks available included the usual selection of water, wines, soft drinks, tea and coffee.

Everybody had a excellent time and very much enjoyed the food.  We will definitely be back there again.

-SH

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Hungry Buddha

The Canberra Science Fiction Club usually meets twice each month. The first Thursday is a General Meeting and on the third Thursday members, friends, family or guests can gather together to talk and eat at a restaurant. Each person pays for their own choice of meal. Everyone is welcome. You don’t have to belong to the club to join in. The only requirement is that you notify the Secretary at least two days before attending the dinner.

The Secretary has pre-selected the restaurants for this year and the cuisines are varied – Chinese, Ethiopian, Indian, Malaysian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Nepalese, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese, just to name a few. Most restaurants have a banquet as well as a normal menu.

January’s choice was Nepalese – we gathered at the Hungry Buddha in Belconnen. Many attendees had dined at the Hungry Buddha in Curtin (before they moved to Belconnen) and were looking forward to an excellent meal. The Banquet menu was chosen (just $35. per head). I won’t go into the Nepalese name for each dish, just describe the dishes.

Four entrees were provided:-
– Steamed chicken dumpling with homemade tomato pickle,
– Corn kernels sautéed with authentic Nepalese spices,
– Spicy peanut salad with lime, tomato and onion sauce, and
– Tender chicken fillets sautéed with chilli flakes, diced capsicum and onion.
It did not take too long before these were heartily attacked and enjoyed by all.

Then four main dishes were served. These were accompanied by Rice, Naan bread, Raita and Pickles:-
– Lentils flambé with cumin, coriander, a touch of chilli and cooked with Himalayan spices and tossed with herb jimmu (or jimbu),
– Nepalese style vegetable (mild) curry of cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, peas, potatoes, bamboo shoots and other seasonal vegetables,
– Boneless chicken cooked in exotic Himalayan spices, and
– Village style bone-in goat with flavours of fenugreek, cinnamon, tomatoes, bay leaves, ginger and garlic.

Drinks available included the usual selection of red or white wines. soft drinks and Lassis.

Strangely enough by the time all this was eaten, nobody seemed interested in a dessert.

Everybody had a excellent feed and very much enjoyed the food. We will definitely go back there again.
-SH

Goulburn Comics Event

On Saturday 18 March Goulburn is holding their own version of a Comic Con event.
The event will include “cosplay competitions, over 20 pop culture market stalls, a live Quidditch match, superhero rock and roll wrestling, comic art workshops, pop art makeup demonstrations, a mobile gaming theatre, a Star Wars vs Star Trek debate and more, plus special guests Thor of Oz and Rae Johnston”.
Pre-registration is available for cosplay entrants and workshop participants.
For more information, contact Goulburn Mulwaree Library (02) 4823 4435 or check the Goulburn Comic Con page.
Venue: Veolia Arena, 47 Braidwood Road, Goulburn
Time: 11am – 5pm, 18 March
Admission: free
(The CSFS has no association to this event.)

Outlander on SBS

The science fantasy tv series ‘Outlander’ is to be broadcast on SBS starting this Thursday night (20 October) at 9.30pm.

Based on the Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon, the series follows the adventures of a woman who finds herself transported from the late 1940s to 1743 in Scotland.

The series was filmed on location in Scotland with a lot of attention to detailed costuming and good acting.

Definitely worth a watch

Replicants and RUSes and flying elephants

As a part of their Cult Classics movie series, Dendy is screening two very different ’80s classic movies.

9 May will be the day for “The Princess Bride” and rodents of unusual size and on 15 May “Blade Runner” will be screening.

While on the other side of town, Limelight is screening classic Disney animated fantasy movies starting with “Dumbo”.

Back to the Future Arrival

Today’s date, 21 October 2015, is the future date the characters travelled to in ‘Back to the Future 2’.

Did they get anything right about the future? Is there anything you wanted that they predicted?

I’m glad we don’t have flying cars … all those rooftop accidents.

The BBC website has a detailed article analysing the future shown in the movie, and which predictions came close to our real 21 October 2015.
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-34569759

Medieval Fest at Old Parliament House

To  celebrate the 800th anniversay of the Magna Carta in 1215, a Medieval Fest is being held on Monday 8 June at Old Parliament House.

This free entry event includes – medieval combat demonstrations, ‘make your own Magna Carta’, live music and dance, kids medieval arts and crafts, juggling lessons, dress ups, tours and talks, and medieval foods. 10am to 3pm

Movie Review – Elysium

Elysium is an action science fiction movie set in the mid-twenty second century, written and directed by Neill Blomkamp who also gave us the movie District 9.

Earth has become a polluted, over-populated mess. Rather than attempting to fix the problem, the Earth’s wealthiest people instead moved to a space station called Elysium. Elysium is the ultimate ‘gated community’ where the rich live in opulence with near-miraculous medical care, a clean environment and pristine homes and gardens.

Elysium is so huge that it’s visible in the daytime sky. And reaching the space station is the daydream of most of Earth’s inhabitants.

The story follows Max, played by Matt Damon, who dreams of getting to the space station someday, until fate changes his priorities from dreams to action.

Elysium is a well-written science fiction movie with a believable plot, plenty of internal consistency and an array of characters from different cultures and background. A few science nitpicks could be made about some things but frankly they’re minor compared with the overall success of the story as a science fiction tale.

The acting is excellent with Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Alice Braga, Wagner Moura and Sharlto Copley all being extremely believable in the main roles. I barely recognised Sharlto Copley who plays a hard-bitten military character, Kruger, so different from the submissive public servant Wilkus he played in District 9.

Very highly recommended, especially for fans of action SF with a message.

Reviewed by Katrina

National Science Week – August 10 to 18.

There are many, many Nationa Science Week events being held across Australia. In the ACT we are being indulged with events before, during and after the week.

Here is a selection of a few items of interest. Check out the National Science Week website for more events.

Get your geek on with Questacon’s SciNight, a geeky night for grown-ups.
Friday, August 9 (6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.) at Questacon in Parkes.
$10, tickets available at the door.
This 18+ event will include interactive demonstrations, live music and entertainment. SciNight also gives visitors the opportunity to explore Questacon’s eight galleries after dark and get hands on with over 200 interactive exhibits—without kids!

Mars Invades! Cocktails and sci-fi at the Martian Embassy
A $55 a head fancy dress cocktail party at The Shine Dome (Australian Academy of Science).
Come dressed as your favourite 60s sci-fi character or movie artefact, enjoy sci-fi style catering and groove along to our DJ’s sci-fi-inspired tunes.
Friday, August 9 (7:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.) Bookings required

DANscienCE Festival: where dance and science meet
Free festival hosted by the Canberra Dance Theatre (CDT) in association with Ausdance, QL2 Dance, CSIRO Discovery Centre and DanceKids. The week-long festival will bring together Canberra leaders in the fields of artistic and scientific research.
Saturday, August 10 2013 till Sunday, August 18 2013. 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. , CSIRO Discovery Centre in Acton.

Interactive Science Trail
A hands-on self guided trail investigating the science behind the Australian National Botanic Gardens’ plants.
Saturday, August 10, till Sunday, August 18 2013. 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Above and Beyond
In a joint presentation as part of a special National Science Week international guest tour, Dr Valerie Neal and Dr Tom Crouch will explore multiple revolutions in aeronautics that have led to the present day, concluding with their perspectives on the future of aviation and space flight.
Free lecture. Wednesday, August 14 2013. 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Duffield Theatre, Mount Stromlo Observatory, Weston Creek.

ANSTO: Fact or Fiction
Is there fact in your favourite science fiction film? Is it possible to fight the dark side with the light side? Could you make yourself disappear with an invisibility cloak? Join in the conversation with scientists from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization.
Free discussion at Questacon. Multiple sessions – Thursday, August 15, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Friday, August 16 2013. 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Booking for free tickets essential and available online.

The Rise of Cyborgs and Post Human Beings
How far would you go to for that competitive advantage? Stronger arms, faster legs, sharper brain, or maybe just overcoming a disability – join a top-flight panel where we’ll explore the future of humanity, and what happens when biology meets technology.
Free event. Sunday, August 18, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at John Curtin School Medical Research, Australian National University. Bookings required for this free session.

Future Energy Science Show (for adults/seniors)
In conjunction with U3A, discover the future of energy in this enlightening show.
Free event, bookings required. Tuesday, August 20, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the CSIRO Discovery Centre, Clunies Ross Street, Acton.
Volunteers will race solar powered cars, spin lung-powered wind turbines and get some practice at energy-saving things they can do like recycling as each topic is brought to life in exciting, interactive and fun ways – this is not your average talk.
This show will be tailored especially for adults and seniors allowing us to explore ideas in detail and have time for discussion and questions afterwards about the future of energy for coming generations.
A different version of the show for families/children will run on Saturday 3 August.