Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Feng Shui

Greetings LIFEers! Today we were joined by Katherine Ashby from Feng Shui Houston who gave us a crash course in the Chinese Philosophy of Feng Shui. We learned how to calculate our Kau numbers, determined if we are eastern or western people, and how those two things impact our Feng Shui patterns. Check out the websites below and see if you can add a little harmony and balance to your life through some simple adjustments.

What is your Kua number?

How to calculate your Kua number (or someone else's).

Visit Katherine's website at

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lemongrass Chicken

Greetings LIFEers! We were joined this week again by Librarian Jill Vu and Library Staffer Huyen Doan. We have enjoyed their classes before as they taught us how to cook Vietnamese chicken soup and other dishes. Today they taught us how to make Lemongrass chicken. Check out the two recipies below, and enjoy this delicious dish!

Ga Xao Xa Ot - Chicken with Lemon Grass (RECIPE #1)
500 g chicken thigh/breast fillets, cut into bite size pieces
3 tbsp fish sauce
1.5 tbsp sugar
2 lemon grass stalks, white part only, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 long red fresh chilli, finely diced
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 onion, cut into wedges
1 cup young coconut juice or chicken broth (optional)
Coriander/cilantro for garnish
Preparation: In a mixing bowl combine fish sauce, sugar and mix until sugar has dissolved. Add half of the lemon grass, half of the garlic, half of the chilli and all of the chicken. Coat the chicken then marinate it covered and refrigerated for 1 hour or over night for a better result. Bring a large saucepan or wok to medium heat, add oil and remaining lemon grass, garlic, chilli, and fry until fragrant and slightly brown. Turn heat to high then add the chicken sealing all sides until browned, around 2 minutes on each side. Now add coconut juice, onions and cover with a lid, then cook on medium heat for a 5 minutes or until sauce has reduced by half. Transfer to a bowl, garnish with coriander and eat with jasmine rice.


1 tbs peanut/olive/vegetable oil
600g single chicken breast fillets, thinly sliced
1 long fresh red chilli, thinly sliced diagonally
2 stems lemon grass, pale section only, finely chopped
2 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs brown sugar
3 shallots, ends trimmed, thinly sliced diagonally
55g (1/3 cup) roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Steamed rice, to serve
Preparation: Heat the oil in a wok over high heat until just smoking. Add one-third of the chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a large plate. Repeat, in 2 more batches, with the remaining chicken, reheating the wok between batches. Add the chilli and lemon grass to the wok and stir-fry for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the chicken, fish sauce, sugar and half the shallot to the wok and stir-fry for 1 minute or until the chicken is heated through. Divide the chicken mixture among serving plates. Scatter the peanuts and remaining shallot over the chicken. Serve with steamed rice.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Greetings LIFEers! Our class was joined again this week by Professor Daniel Kainer from the Montgomery campus of LSCS. Last time we discussed bio-fuels. This time we talked about nanotechnology; technology of things the size of a billionth of a meter. In other words, really really really small man-made things. We're talking building things at the molecular level. Check out his slide show below, and imagine a future time when a doctor can inject us with tiny robots to swim through our bloodstream and destroy cancer cells, or when our power plants are the size of a refrigerator. Better encourage your kids and grand kids to join the science field; it's all happening here and now...!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Think Factory

Greetings LIFEers! Professor Mark Thorsby joined us again to talk to us about philosophy this week; specifically, where is philosophy? He walked us through different philosophers and how they might answer the question.

Friedrich Nietzsche believe that philosophy protects the truth.
Jorge Luis Borges in his story "Ficciones" imagines philosophy as a library of babel.
Albert Camus believed that suicide is the only philosophical problem.
Plato believed that philosophy was a journey.
Professor Thorsby believes that philosophy is living, and occurs within us all. We can search for the truth, but we will never find it. But we get a little closer each time we make the journey.

As Kyle Broflovski said in the South Park episode "The Tooth Fairy":

"...I've learned something today. You see, the basis of all reasoning is the mind's awareness of itself. What we think, the external objects we perceive, are all like actors that come on and off stage. But our consciousness, the stage itself, is always present to us."

Reminder: Think Factory is the last Wednesday of each month from 4-6PM.