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Salt Lake County’s Virtual Senior Center helps fight isolation and loneliness during the pandemic – fox13now.com

Posted: February 20, 2021 at 7:48 pm


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SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah Before coronavirus gripped the world, aging adults could connect with one another in person. But now, a lot of them are stuck in isolation to protect themselves from COVID-19.

"We know that social isolation and boredom can be a big part in the issues that older adults face, even before the pandemic started," said Afton January, a spokesman for Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services. "So we thought about what we could do to make sure that we are still talking with and engaging with and connecting with our senior center participants."

This problem inspired Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services to create the Virtual Senior Center.

It's an online space that offers a variety of classes for people aged 60 and older.

Allison Dieterle is one of the 500 aging adults now using the service.

She said she's been doing classes at the Virtual Senior Center since it moved online last summer.

"I dont know that Im tech savvy, but theyve really made it as easy as possible," Dieterle said. "I take Zumba, I take enhanced fitness, I take Thai Chi, I take yoga, I take a mindfulness class. Its amazing."

The Virtual Senior Center is giving her and other seniors like her a chance to make new friends and boost their technology skills at the same time.

"I wouldnt know how to start a Zoom call, but I can join one," Dieterle said.

To take part in the classes, that's just about all they need to know, but there are even classes on the Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services YouTube page that teach seniors how to use a smartphone.

There's also a hotline that aging adults can call to get help and get signed up at 385-468-3299.

"We have the capacity to grow," January said. "We see about 15,000 people at our senior centers every year, so maybe by this time next year the dream would be to have the Virtual Senior Center serving all of those people."

Thanks to a grant through Cares Act funding from Utah State University, Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services was able to buy 30 new iPads.

These can be loaned out to seniors who may not have access to their own computer, smartphone or tablet to take part in these virtual classes.

"We open all of our classes 15 minutes before the start time just to allow people the chance to chat with the other people in the class because theyve made friends with each other," said Marianne Christensen, the health promotion manager at Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services said,

Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services says it does intend to keep the Virtual Senior Center going even after the pandemic so it can continue to fight senior isolation and loneliness.

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Salt Lake County's Virtual Senior Center helps fight isolation and loneliness during the pandemic - fox13now.com

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February 20th, 2021 at 7:48 pm

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These Austin restaurants, businesses are serving free meals this week – austin360

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Eric Webb , Matthew Odam |Austin 360

Austin businesses areworkingto get food to people who need it, asa batteredcitysresidentscontinue toface power outages, water outagesand below-freezing temperatures.

Good Work Austin, a consortium of area restaurantsformed during the coronavirus pandemic, isworking to get free meals to people in need this week. Major local brands, includingDeep Eddy Vodka,Kendra Scottand Bumble, along with the Austin Winter Storm Relief Fund,have made donations to area restaurants to provide free meals.

As roads become safer and more easily navigable,more restaurants are opening and offering free food either on their own dime or in partnership with various sponsors. There also are many restaurants delivering meals directly to frontline workers and warming centers throughout the city.

Email modam@statesman.com and ewebb@statesman.com to suggestadditions.

More: How to help, and what to do if you need it, during Texas' historic freeze

Heres a list of spots to pick up a free meal, while supplies last and if it is safe to get to the location. Check social media accounts or contact the restaurant to verify supply.

UPDATED LIST FOR SATURDAY, FEB. 20:

Oakmont.100 French toast fried chicken meals and 50 ham and cheese breakfast sandwiches starting at 11 a.m.Sponsored by RVShareandAustin Winter Storm Relief. 1106 W 38th St.oakmontfood.com.

Moody's.300 burgers starting at 1 p.m. for University of Texasstudents (please show an ID).Sponsored by Deep Eddy.2530 Guadalupe St.moodysaustin.com.

JP Pancake Co. 300 meals starting at 1:30 p.m.Sponsored by Austin Winter Storm Relief.2512 Rio Grande St.jpspancakecompany.com.

Plow Burger at Buzz Mill. 100 burgers starting at 2 p.m.1505 Town Creek Drive.Sponsored by Austin Winter Storm Relief.plowburger.com.

The Cavalier.100 biscuits & gravy starting at 3 p.m.Sponsored by Austin Winter Storm Relief.2400 Webberville Road,Suite A.thecavalieratx.com.

Burro Cheese Kitchen.200 grilled cheese sandwiches starting at noon.Sponsored by Austin Winter Storm Relief.80 Rainey St.burrocheesekitchen.com.

Sugar Mama's Bakeshop. Biscuits and gravy from 10 a.m. until they're gone.1905 South First St.

The following meals are being provided byWhole Foods Market,Good Work Austin, Austin Food & Wine Alliance and Les Dames d'Escoffier Austin Chapter. All are first come, first served.

Buenos Aires Caf. Meals from noon to 5 p.m.1201 E. Sixth St., 512-382-1189.

Chareon Express. Meals from 4 to 7 p.m.(vegetarianoptions). 5610 N. I-35.

Contigo. Meals from 10 a.m. to noon and 4 to 6 p.m.(vegetarian options).2027 Anchor Lane,512-614-2260.

Salty Cargo. Meals from noon to 7 p.m. 1700 W. Parmer Lane, Suite 100, 737-465-1821.

Southside Flying Pizza. Meals from noon to 9 p.m.(vegetarian options). 2206 S. Congress Ave., 512-442-4246.

Also, some more charitable food news Saturday: Brooklyn Decker and Andy Roddickwill donate 2000 tacos to Dell Children's. Austin Winter Storm Relief will donate 80 meals from V-Nam Bistro to Baylor Scott & White Round Rock, 500 meals from various restaurants toIDEA Public Schoolswarming centers and50 meals to Dell Seton.

Also, Holy Cross Worship Center in Del Valle is offering boxes of food and milk, one per household, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; 4972 Texas 71 East, Del Valle.

PREVIOUSLY ONFRIDAY, FEB. 19:

Emergency food and water distribution will be available Friday at Dove Springs Rec Center (1:30 p.m., 5801 Ainez Drive), Millennium Youth Center (2:30 p.m., 1156 Hargrave St.), Dailey Middle School (2 p.m., 14000 Westall St.) and Navarro High School (2:30 p.m., 1201 Payton Gin Road), according to City Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison.

The Alcove Cantina. 205 free hot meals beginning at 1 p.m. Sponsored by AffiniPay and Deep Eddy Vodka.119 E. Main St., Round Rock.alcovecantina.com.

Buenos Aires Cafe. 200 meals of Milanesa and potatoes; spaghetti and meatballs; and stew beginning at 11 a.m. Sponsored by Pernod Ricard USA. 1201 E. Sixth St. buenosairescafe.com.

Chilantro. 400 bowls beginning at noon. Sponsored by Cotton Global Disaster Solutions. 11005 Burnet Road #108. chilantrobbq.com.

China Harbor. 300 meals of chicken fried rice or chicken lo mein beginning at 1 p.m. Sponsored by Austin Winter Storm Relief. 801 E. William Cannon Drive. chinaharboraustin.com.

First Chinese BBQ. Bento boxes with bbq pork, chicken or duck. Beginning at 1:30 p.m. until gone. In partnership with delivery service Chowbus, so mention Chowbus at pickup. 10901 N. Lamar Blvd. firstchinesebbq.com.

Justine's. To-go containers filled with spaghetti Bolognese, seafood chowder, French onion soup, ratatouille and more, beginning at 3 p.m. until supplies run out. Drive up, let them know how many people are in your familyand theyll bring the food out.710 E.5th St.justines1937.com.

Old Thousand. 100 meals at each location beginning at 2 p.m. Sponsored by Cotton Global Disaster Solutions. 4805 Burnet Road and 1000 E. 11th St. oldthousandatx.com.

La Pera. 200 el camaron crispy taco meals beginning at 3 p.m. Sponsored by Loreal Luciana. Pickup at East Austin Culinary Studio, 2100 Robert Browning St. laperaaustin.com.

New Fortune Chinese. Stir-fried beef flat noodle with sesame basil. Beginning at 5 p.m. until gone. In partnership with delivery service Chowbus, so mention Chowbus at pickup. 10901 N. Lamar Blvd. newfortunetx.com.

Nixta. Teaming with Dough Boys for 100 servings of penne Bolognese, beginning at 5 p.m. 2512 E. 12th St. nixtataqueria.com.

Phonatic. 400 chicken or beef pho served at two locations beginning at 2 p.m. when you mention Koko. Sponsored by Austin Winter Storm Relief. 2525 W. Anderson Lane and 200 University Blvd. in Round Rock. pho-natic.com.

Saigon le Vendeur. Giving away bnh m while supplies last Friday and Saturday beginning at noon. Water came back on today at their sister restaurant, Le Bleu, and the team hopes to have meals available there, as well, soon. 2404 E. Seventh St. instagram.com/saigonlevendeur.

Schlotzsky's Northcross. 300 small sandwiches beginning at 11 a.m. Sponsored by Austin Winter Storm Relief. 2545 W. Anderson Lane. schlotzskys.com.

Tacodeli. 500 tacos each at two locations beginning at noon. Sponsored by Nutrabolt and C4. 7301 Burnet Rod and 12001. tacodeli.com.

Thai Fresh. 50 meals starting at 11 a.m. Sponsored by Austin Winter Storm Relief. 909 W. Mary St. thai-fresh.com.

Twin Lion. 200 meals beginning at noon. Sponsored by Austin Winter Storm Relief. 4815 W. Braker Lane. twinlionchineserestaurant.com.

PREVIOUSLY ON THURSDAY, FEB. 18:

Chilantro. 200 free bowls, 12:30-2pm. Sponsored by Austin Winter Storm Relief Fund.11005 Burnet Rd #108. chilantrobbq.com.

CM Smokehouse.275 meals;brisket orpork taco with chips,or duck or turkey wings starting at 3 p.m. Sponsored bySamantha Ushiro.2027 S. Lamar Blvd.

Dipping Springs Tender Co. 50 meals of chicken tenders and sides from 1 to 5 p.m. Sponsored by Austin Eastciders. 979 Springdale Road. dippingspringstender.com.

Flyrite Chicken. 150 chicken sandwiches and tots as of noon until supplies run out. Sponsored by Karbach Brewing and Bev Wine.2129 E. 7thSt.flyritechicken.com.

Hestia. 1200 total meals from 2 to 5 p.m. Sponsored by Spa Sway, Austin Winter Storm Relief Fund and more. 607 W. Third St. hestiaaustin.com.

Juan in a Million. 1,000 free tacos starting at 11 a.m. Sponsored by former UT Longhorn star Michael Huff.2300 E. Cesar Chavez St. juaninamillion.com.

Lazarus Brewing Co. The brewery has reopened its doors and serving free tacos until supplies run out; you can also contact them to donate tacos to those who need them.1902 E. Sixth St.lazarusbrewing.com.

Lick It Up. Burrito, tostada and taco meals delivered to Austin Pets Alive staff at 11 a.m. Sponsored by Feathers Boutique. lickitupeats.com.

Maggiores. 115 meals of 16 pizza, starting at 11:30 a.m. Sponsored by Affinipay. 1420 Cypress Creek Road, #1000. magstexas.com.

Play. 150 meals (TBD) available at 5 p.m. Sponsored by Red Bull USA.620 W. SixthSt.

Rebel Cheese. 25 were available meals as of noon.Sponsored by Austin Eastciders.2200 Aldrich St.rebelcheese.com.

Sip Pho.300 bowls of pho, sponsored by Austin Winter Storm Relief Fund.512 W. 29th St. sippho.com.

Thai Fresh. 200 meals beginning at 1:30 p.m. Text curbside 512-200-7423 and mention 365austin for one free meal per person. 909 Mary St. Sponsored by Austin Winter Storm Relief Fund. thai-fresh.com.

Tommy Want Wingy. 125 10-piece wings and fries meals. 11 a.m. until all gone. Sponsored by Red Bull USA. 121 Pickle Road. tommywantwingy.com.

Uncle Nickys. 200 meals, per two different locations; pasta bolognese or pasta with vegetarian red sauce from 2 to 6 p.m. Sponsored by Affinipay. 1123 E.11th St. and 4222 Duval St.unclenickys.com.

Vaquero Taquero. 125 meals of two tacos, 11am-3pm. Sponsored by Red Bull USA. 104 E 31st St. vaquerotaquero.com.

Veracruz All Natural at The Line Hotel.300 free tacos, beginning at 5 pm. Sponsored by Austin Winter Storm Relief Fund. 111 E. Cesar Chavez St. veracruzallnatural.com.

The Well. 600 free bowls of pho beginning at noon. Sponsored by 2nd StDistrict, Sway Spa and private sponsors.440 W 2nd St. eatwellatx.com.

PREVIOUSLY ON WEDNESDAY, FEB. 17:

OMG Squee(Instagram: @squeeclub), 4607 Bolm Road:As of10 a.m., gettwodonuts and choice of hot coffee/tea/hot chocolate when you mention Deep Eddy Vodka.

Chi'lantro(Instagram: @chilantro),1201 Barbara Jordan Blvd., No.1460:As of12:30 pm, getsoy glazed chicken bowls when you mention Deep Eddy Vodka.

Winter storm:Boil water notice issued for Southwest Austin, Lost Creek; other areas told to limit usage

China Harbor(Instagram: @chinaharbor_austin),801 E.William Cannon Drive:As of noon, get aveggie or chicken combo with rice and soup when you mention Deep Eddy Vodka.

The Well(Instagram: @eatwellatx),440 W. Second St.:As ofnoon, theyre serving200free hot stewsandcoffees when you mention Kendra Scott.

Veracruz All Natural(Instagram: @VeracruzTacos) at theLine Hotel, 111 E. Cesar ChavezSt.:Beginning at 3 p.m., theyre serving200 free tacos at pickup window when you mention Kendra Scott.

Burro(Instagram: @BurroCheeseKitchen),80 Rainey St.:Beginning at 4 p.m.,theyre serving200 grilled cheese sandwiches and chips when you mention Kendra Scott.

Southside Flying Pizza(Instagram: @SouthsideFlyingPizza) at2702 E. Cesar Chavez St. and11600 Menchaca Road: Theyre serving free pizzas when you mention Deep Eddy Vodka.

Hestiaat 607 W. Third St., No. 105: Beginning at 3:30p.m., theyll have two meal options (400 total meals), withsupport fromBumblevegetarianpanzanellawith roasted cauliflower, basil, onion and tomatoes, and alsoroastedchicken, sweet potatoes, smoky barbecuesauceandpapas bravas.

Nixta Taqueria(Instagram:@nixtataqueria) at 2512 E. 12th St.: Beginning at 3:30 p.m., they'll serve pozole and tacos for free.

Kendra Scott also willbe providing Southside Flying Pizza to nurses at Dell Seton.

Winter storm: Boil water notice issued for Southwest Austin, Lost Creek; other areas told to limit usage

Weather updates: What you need to knowWednesday: Winter storm warning, more wintry mix overnight

Additionally, Good Work Austin was working Wednesday to provide meals atSouth Pro Lodge,GivensRecreation Center, DittmarRecreation Center,NorthwestRecreationCenter,North Pro Lodge,Sunrise Food Pantry & Angel House, Palmer Event Center and Micah 6 Food Pantry, but meals had not yet been fulfilled for all locations as of Wednesday morning. Restaurants providing food includeEasy Tiger, Black Star Co-opandLOcaDoOro.

Adam Orman, co-founder ofLOcaDOro and organizing force behind Good Work Austin,was on his way to drop off food Wednesday morning at one of the recreation centers before heading to other shelters and restaurants for food pick-up.

This morning has been somewhat more hopeful, Orman said. The brands involved have been helpful for restaurant outreach. Today, we have more money than food, because so many restaurants are without deliveries, or are without power, or people cant get into their restaurants. Today is a scramble to find enough restaurants to fill the citys needs and the hospitals needs."

More: Austin restaurants open for takeout during winter storm Tuesday

Orman said its helpful to have morehands ondeck in the middle of the week. Good Work Austin started having conversations with Austin Public Health on Friday, he said, because the organization has a regular contract with the city to provide meals for those in need.

When things started to get really rough and they opened the shelters, Orman said, his group mobilized Sunday to get the first round of meals out and figure out the plan for the coming days.

Every day,we havent even known who was going tohave power, who wasgoing tobe able to drive, he said. We should be able to get more food out today and by tomorrow...Its just a really slow process.

Orman said hes sticking to daylight hours to make food deliveries; at his own restaurant,LOcaDOro, he thinks theyllrun out of food on Wednesday.

Hopefully thatll get backfilled by the folks who are just now able to get started, he said,"and Ill be able to stay at home and coordinate.

Good Work Austins network of community-minded restaurants was not organized until last year, during the pandemic; Orman is grateful the connection with the city was already in place.The groupwill continue its efforts as long as they can during the emergency period.

I think it makes the most sense to keep doing this a couple of days. Its exhausting in the meantime," Orman said.

I am grateful that there are so many local businesses that want to help and people that want to volunteer," he added. Wewant to make sure the restaurants getpaid,the volunteers get paid. Nobody should be driving out in this (expletive) for free.

Donations are being accepted through Good Work Austin; go to GoodWorkAustin.org for more info. You can also make a donation through the Austin EMS Emergency Relief fund to help feed emergency workers.

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These Austin restaurants, businesses are serving free meals this week - austin360

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February 20th, 2021 at 7:48 pm

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Finding peace in northern Thailand – Bangkok Post

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Next Friday will mark the Makha Bucha, also known as Magha Puja Day, another important day for Buddhists. It falls on the Full Moon day of the third lunar month in which 1,250 enlightened monks (or arahant) gathered to listen to Buddha teach his principles known as Ovadha Patimokha more than 2,500 years ago. The teaching roughly consists of three major concepts: do good, abstain from bad action and purify the mind.

Horse-drawn carriages wait for passengers at the entrance gate of Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang. The temple was built in the 13th century to house Buddha relics, which are stored in its bell-shape stupa. The large vihara or Viharn Luang is made of wood and has old and fading murals telling the story of the past lives of Buddha. Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang is located in Koh Kha district about 18km from the city.

To observe the day, Buddhists normally go to a temple to make merit. One of my favourite places is Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang in Lampang province, about 600km north of Bangkok. The old temple is known as one of the most beautiful temples in the North. Locals believe that the temple is designated for people who were born in the astrological Year of the Ox -- which is this year -- because the temple was built and completed in the Year of the Ox.

Some compare the temple to a well-preserved art gallery, with its old Lanna architecture and designs. (Lampang was part of Lanna Kingdom, one of the ancient Siamese kingdoms, founded by King Mangrai in the 13th century.) The Viharn Luang or main hall is unique. The wooden structure was built in 1476 without walls and has dozens of large wooden pillars fully covered with shining gold lacquer patterns. The pavilion houses a seated principal Buddha sculpture called Phra Chao Lan Thong as well as 500-year-old murals painted in Lanna style. The art depicts the story about the last 10 lives of Buddha.

Another highlight is the old Lanka-style bell stupa or chedi, which contains Buddha's relics, or phrathat, in the Thai language. According to folklore, Buddha once visited the site and donated his hair, which has been kept in the stupa together with his relics, part of his right forehead and neck bones. During important Buddhist holidays like the coming Makha Bucha, people visit the temple to perform a wian tian candle ceremony. Adherents walk around the stupa three rounds while holding a lit candle and three incense sticks to pay homage to Buddha, his teachings and the enlightened monks.

Another old temple that has outstanding architecture is Wat Pong Sanuk Nuea located in Muang district. The highlight is the wooden vihara called Viharn Phrachao Phan Ong. It was built in the form of a pavilion with a three-tiered roof, reflecting the mixed designs of Lanna, Myanmar and Chinese arts. The structure houses four seated Buddha images on a platform and is decorated with a relief of animal sculptures including elephants, nagas, singhs or mythical lions, and eagles on its base. The temple also has a museum that displays a collection of Tripitaka boxes. Be reminded that while wandering in the temple, you may come across some friendly dogs and an unfriendly big black one in the area. Be careful.

Before leaving Lampang, don't forget to check out the ceramics, a well-known product of the province. Choices of ceramic factories are plenty including Dhanabadee Ceramic Group, which also has a museum to show visitors the history and process of making ceramic rooster bowls. Another site worth visiting is the Ban Thung Chi Royal Project initiated by HM Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother in 1996. It is located in Muang Pan district, about a 30-minute drive north of the city.

The project is open for the public to see every step of ceramic kitchenware production or join a ceramic workshop that can be arranged for group visitors in advance. The site also supports about eight handicraft groups including woodcarving, sewing and weaving. The centre helps create jobs for up to 1,400 people most of whom are from ethnic groups in the area.

Their handmade products are available at affordable prices at the souvenir shop inside the royally-initiated project.

About 35 people work in the ceramics factory in Ban Thung Chi Royal Project in Muang Pan district. The theme of its tableware is related to nature featuring a green banana leaf, a lotus leaf or a leaf of thong kwao (bastard teak). They accept made-to-order work such as producing vases with patterns or in large sizes. Some samples are displayed in an exhibition room. Every piece is made by hand. The centre is open daily from 8.30am to 4.30pm. Contact 054-823-138 for more details.

If you see people go inside Viharn Phra Phut, a prayer hall, located next to the ancient stupa of Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang, and they close the wooden door, it does not mean that you are not allowed to get in. It is because they want to see the projected image of the stupa. Known in Thai as ngao phrathat, the colour picture reflects through a tiny hole in the window and falls on a white screen to prevent visitors from stepping on the image of the sacred site. The hall also houses a big seated Buddha statue and beautiful decorations in the Lanna style.

Ying Changarun, 47, is a Hmong living in Ban Mai Phatthana in Muang Pan district. She is also a farmer and the president of Ban Mai Phatthana Coffee Group. About 90% of the people in the community grow arabica coffee, about 500 tonnes a year. When they have free time, women will make clothes and decorate them with their fine stitching. It is a tradition that every Hmong woman must learn how to make their traditional costumes. The neat sewing shows that the person who makes it is patient and studious the qualification of a good wife. Although the belief is fading as the younger generation prefers having fashionable clothes over traditional ones, Ying and some of her peers still keep the tradition alive and pass the sewing skill to their daughters. The needlework earns extra income for the group. Their works are available at the Ban Thung Chi Royal Project.

Sopa Phojai, 49, is a farmer who also works for the Ban Thung Chi Royal Project in Muang Pan district during her free time to earn extra income. She has been a craftsperson for 18 years and can produce about 16 pieces a year. Each piece sells for about 5,000 baht. Her works are available at the royal project as well as in Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Centre in Ayutthaya.

Spanning Wang River in the city of Lampang is Ratchadaphisek Bridge, also known as the White Bridge. It was originally made of wood when it was built in 1893 by Prince Boonyawat Vongmanit, the last ruler of Lampang, to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of King Rama V. The bridge was destroyed several times during big floods in the past until it was rebuilt as a concert arch bridge in 1917. You may find choices of food at the northern end of the bridge where Thetsaban 3 market is located, or the other end at local restaurants. Try to avoid going there during rush hour as you may get stuck in traffic. The car parking area is quite limited.

Located along the walkway on the southern bank of Wang River and under the Ratchadaphisek Bridge, Lampang's street art was created in 2018 by an initiative of Songpol Sawattham, the governor who retired in 2019. He aimed to introduce a new tourist attraction in the city. Among the 30 paintings, you may find cute pictures of children and tourism highlights of the province such as pictures of a white rooster, which is a logo of the province, and ceramic bowls.

Located in the compound of Wat Pong Sanuk Nuea, a museum exhibits a collection of old Tripitaka wooden boxes. When I was there the door was closed but it was not locked. I went in and it felt a bit eerie while wandering inside the museum. However, the beauty of those art pieces kept me there for almost 30 minutes. Unfortunately, there was no information about each exhibited item.

Located along the walkway on the southern bank of Wang River and under the Ratchadaphisek Bridge, Lampang's street art was created in 2018 by an initiative of Songpol Sawattham, the governor who retired in 2019. He aimed to introduce a new tourist attraction in the city. Among the 30 paintings, you may find cute pictures of children and tourism highlights of the province such as pictures of a white rooster, which is a logo of the province, and ceramic bowls.

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Finding peace in northern Thailand - Bangkok Post

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February 20th, 2021 at 7:48 pm

Posted in Thai Chi

Yilan Foods in Oakland is constantly selling out of its Taiwanese food – Berkeleyside

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Yilan Foods niu rou mian, or Taiwanese beef noodle soup. Photo: Momo Chang

A new Taiwanese food pop-up has arrived in Oakland, serving a stellar bowl of niu rou mian, or beef noodle soup. Yilan Foods operates out of the kitchen at Ninna Restaurant on Piedmont Avenue and has consistently sold out of its signature noodle soup dish as well as its lu rou fan, or stewed fatty pork over rice, since it opened in October.

Yilan Food is currently open on Sundays for pre-order pickup and delivery in Oakland. (It also has an outpost in San Francisco.) Its hours are limited, as the pop-up is still in its early days.

A group of friends came up with the idea for Yilan Foods and started fine-tuning its recipes just a month ahead of the pop-ups public launch. The founders consist of Itthisak Rampaiyakul, a classically trained chef and owner of Ninna Restaurant (which has permanently closed with its regular Thai food menu); Eric Sim, a home cook; Alex Tong, who went to culinary school with Rampaiyakul and worked with him at the now-shuttered, historic Grand Cafe in San Francisco; and Christopher Lam, who went to high school with Rampaiyakul and runs the business side of the endeavor.

For all of the founders, food is a way to connect to their roots. In particular, the menu and recipes are inspired by Sims roots. Growing up, it was hard to find Taiwanese food and ways to connect to my culture, said Sim, whose father is Chinese Malaysian and whose mother is Taiwanese. His mother is from Yilan, a mostly farming region just east of Taipei. Sim grew up in Oakland, where Cantonese was the predominant language, making him feel like somewhat of an outsider.

For a long time in Oakland, there was a dearth of restaurants specializing in Taiwanese food. In recent years, restaurants and pop-ups like Taiwan Bento in Uptown and Good to Eat Dumplings in Jack London Square started selling traditional Taiwanese dishes.

While Yilan has regional dishes such as green onion pancakes, Sim said the pop-up isnt specifically focused on food from Yilan, but Taiwanese food in general. Taiwan is known for xiao chi, or small bites, often served on the street and at night markets. While it originates from the Sichuan province of China, beef noodle soup has become eponymous with Taiwanese food.

At Yilan Foods, beef noodle soup is the star, and it frequently sells out, sometimes as quickly as within 45 minutes of opening for pre-orders online.

Yilans version of beef noodle soup ($15) features hong shao (red-braised) meat in a collagen-laden broth. Along with slow-braised beef shank, beef neck bones and foot bones add gelatin and flavor to the soup, which is both subtle and rich, but not oily. The broth is ladled over fresh wheat noodles topped with sauteed bok choy and pickled mustard greens. Most restaurants serve beef noodle soup with chunks of beef shank, but Yilans version has sliced meat, more akin to what you would find in pho. Still, its a very traditional bowl of Taiwanese beef noodle soup one Id recommend to my parents, who were raised in Taiwan and are accomplished home cooks. And the portion is large enough for leftovers.

Im a firm believer that moms make the best soup, Tong said, acknowledging all the excellent home cooks out there. If theres a mom that can slang beef noodle soup, its probably better than ours. Despite Tongs modesty, the fact that Yilan Foods consistently sells out of its fare, just through Instagram and Facebook posts and word of mouth, is telling. Yilans beef noodle soup is mildly spicy. I recommend adding beef tendons ($3), gelatinous chunks that almost melt in your mouth, to your order.

Yilans other offering is lu rou fan, another Taiwanese staple. In Taiwan, the braised pork rice dish is often served as a snack or mini-meal. Yilans version is generous, enough for a meal for one, plus leftovers. Often, the dish features minced pork belly, but some versions have larger, chunkier pieces of pork such is Yilans lu rou fan, which has the addition of shiitake mushrooms and is served in an aesthetically pleasing to-go presentation, with pickled daikon and half a soft-boiled egg steeped in Puerh tea. The egg is more akin to a ramen egg than a traditional hardboiled tea egg. I personally prefer mine hardboiled, but the soft-boiled egg is a nice twist and makes the dish a little more modern. At $13 for a large bowl, Yilans lu rou fan is an extremely hardy and satisfying meal.

Id be remiss if I didnt mention Yilans housemade chile sauce. Tong who has worked in the restaurant industry for years including a stint at Four Seasons in Las Vegas put a lot of work into perfecting this highly addictive chile oil. A side portion comes with an order of beef noodle soup, but you can purchase an additional serving for $1. Made with high-quality chile peppers and Sichuan peppercorn, the sauce is fragrant and will elevate any dish that needs some spice. (I saved my sauce and used it with ramen and congee I made at home.) Yilan Foods eventually hopes to sell the sauce in larger portions; I see this becoming a pantry staple for many home cooks.

Yilans menu just offers two staple dishes at the moment, but the team is currently fine-tuning a vegetarian lu rou fan, which would make the pop-up one of the only local spots that sells a veg-friendly version. Recently, Yilan added two side dishes ($6 each): garlic cucumbers, and wood ear mushrooms marinated in vinegar.

Down the line, the Yilan team hopes to move into a brick-and-mortar space. The ride has been pretty crazy, Sim said. I didnt think it would gain so much traction. Its a very pleasant surprise.

And perhaps even further down the line, the founder-friends have plans to introduce locals to more Taiwanese food. Tong has been experimenting with making his own you tiao, or fried donut sticks. Typically a breakfast food that can be dipped or thrown into hot soy milk or incorporated in other dishes jianbing, for example Tong hopes to eventually serve fan tuan, sticky rice rolled around you tiao that can be made sweet or savory. Fan tuan are a highly portable, filling food that is usually eaten for breakfast and is harder to find in this area. Its a favorite amongst our team, Tong said.

While Sim is the only one with family from Taiwan, all of the Yilan team members have cultural connections with the project. Lams parents, for example, are ethnically Chinese from Vietnam, and he grew up mostly eating Vietnamese food. Yilans lu rou fan reminds Lam of a braised pork belly and egg dish from Northern Vietnam, thit kho. Its really cool connecting dishes from my childhood to dishes were serving in the restaurant now, he said.

For Sim, the last time he visited Taiwan was with his mom when he was 14. Her family was very poor, he recalled, describing the home as a shack in a rice paddy field. Yilan Foods is a homage to her, and to all immigrant parents who brought their children to the U.S. for a better life.

Yilan Foods East Bay pickup location is at Ninna Restaurant, 4066 Piedmont Ave., Oakland. Pre-order online starting at noon on Wednesdays for pickup between 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Sunday; delivery is available for an extra cost.

Berkeleyside relies on reader support so we can remain free to access for everyone in our community. Donate to help us continue to provide you with reliable, independent reporting.

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Yilan Foods in Oakland is constantly selling out of its Taiwanese food - Berkeleyside

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February 20th, 2021 at 7:48 pm

Posted in Thai Chi

Vietnam Catholics urged to live Lent spirit during pandemic – Union of Catholic Asian News

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Bishops in Vietnam have called on Catholics to follow Lent practices to bring solidarity and peace to people during the Covid-19 pandemic and care for the creation.

Bishop Cosme Hoang Van Dat of Bac Ninh said Christians enter Lent a period of 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday with growing concern about the coronavirus pandemic, which threatens human life and has caused economic decline and social disorder.

Lent invites us to fast, pray and do charitable work and moral duties to alleviate peoples suffering and shine the Easter good news at thelife of families and society during this hard time, Bishop Dat said.

The Jesuit prelate, who visited many parishes during the Lunar New Year festival, said Catholics are active in pastoral activities and acutely aware of the importance of Mass. Many parishes and subparishes built new facilities last year.

He said in places where people have been in quarantine due to the coronavirus, many Catholics gather at their homes to pray for their own safety, the moral practice they had ignored. Some places in Bac Giang province, one of six provinces under the diocese, are still quarantined.

Bishop Paul Nguyen Thai Hop of Ha Tinh said to live out Lent with love means to care for those who are suffering, abandoned and threatened by Covid-19. He reminded Catholics to remember Gods words Do not fear, for I have redeemed you when they face a gloomy future.

With Christian love, we will set their minds at ease because they feel love from God, the Dominican bishop said.

Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Nang of Ho Chi Minh City said moral practices during the Lent season are really necessary during the pandemic. The Church prays for itself and has a mission to pray for the world.

Praying is not only appealing to God but also listening to God, who wants us to do penance and improve our lives according to the Good News, Archbishop Nang said, adding that God will not answer their prayers if they pray for the coronavirus pandemic to end soon and then they return to their own life of selfishness, greed, hatred and sin.

Masses and services at many churches in the southern city have been suspended for the outbreak.

Related News

Archbishop Nang said Lent retreats will help Catholics to abandon their oldlives and follow God on a new path.

Hesaid the Lent season is a good time for Christians to do charitable work and open their hearts to others. In these hard times, people need more solidarity and sharing than ever before.

We receive love from Jesus and give it to our brothers and sisters. Catholics must be trailblazers in forgiveness and conciliation, accepting and helping one another, and recognizing poor people as Jesus to feed them, he said, adding that charity must be a particular sign to identify Catholics.

Archbishop Joseph Vu Van Thien of Hanoi said fraternity is the best medicine, like the vaccines against the coronavirus the world expects. Life is from communion.

He said fraternity means that people love one another and all creation as much as themselves. Communion ties reach out when people are ready to give up their time and daily work and to turn attention to others.

He urged Catholics to touch people in need, especially young people who face personal crises, isolate themselves from communities and live in broken homes. We should walk with them, pray for them and give them useful advice, he said.

The archbishop, who also serves as apostolic administrator of his home diocese of Hai Phong, said people and all creation have close relations to one another, so we should urgently respond to the needs of the Earth and find suitable approaches to heal, safeguard and take care of the planet.

In doing so, people live in communion with the environment and together with all creation, glorify the creator and help one another reach our ends according to his love plan, he said.

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Vietnam Catholics urged to live Lent spirit during pandemic - Union of Catholic Asian News

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February 20th, 2021 at 7:48 pm

Posted in Thai Chi

AS IT HAPPENED – BWF World Tour Finals, Day 5: Finals day in Bangkok – Olympic Channel

Posted: February 5, 2021 at 7:51 am


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After three long weeks of competition in Thailand, the season concluded with five down-to-the-wire finals as BWF World Tour Finals champions were crowned. Re-live the day's action and reaction.

Welcome to the Olympic Channel live blog from Finals Day at the BWF World Tour Finals for the 2020 season in Bangkok, Thailand.

All times are Bangkok local time (GMT + 7 hours). If you missed any of the action as Tai Tzu-ying and Anders Antonsen claimed the singles titles, as well as from the three doubles finals, you can catch up below.

Watch the finals of the HSBC BWF Badminton World Tour Finals 2020 in Bangko...

What a day of badminton it has been.

Indeed, what a week or three weeks of badminton. Credit to the BWF and Thailand for successfully pulling off this bubble and three well-run tournaments.

The hosts have something to celebrate at the end of it all with Dechapol and Sapsiree winning the country's first Finals crown.

"I feel very happy and proud to be Thai," Sapsiree said. "Today we knew we could do it and have more confidence going forward. We will try our best at the next one too."

We were also treated to great performances in all five categories over the last three weeks.

This concludes the 2020 season, with the players due to begin the new World Tour season with the Swiss Open in Basel from 2-7 March.

Thanks for joining us this past week and see you soon! In the meantime, don't forget to check out all our badminton coverage on Olympic Channel.

The Thais gain match point after Dechapol deals well with a quick return at the net.

Unfortunately for them, Seo and Chae haven't really given a good account of themselves in this deciding game.

A looping shot from Dechapol to the far court and Chae sets up a hard return, but only into the net! Hosts Thailand have won a title!

Score: Seo/Chae 18-21, 21-8, 8-21 Dechapol/Sapsiree

Some words from the beaten men's singles finallist, Viktor Axelsen:

"I wouldn't say I'm as satisfied with my game as I have been the other days. There were way too many mistakes and bad decisions. I think mentally I've used up a lot of energy. Anders played really well and I want to congratulate him. It wasn't for me today, but I can still look back at a great three weeks."

11-2 in just nine minutes of this decider.

It's a long road back for Seo and Chae from here.

Well, well, well.

The Thais are out to a 7-1 lead in this decider. What has happened to Seo and Chae?

A 43-shot rally, the longest of the match, is won by the Thais as Dechapol smashes it just beyond Chae's reach.

Great play from the Thais.

Score: 18-21, 21-8, 1-3

If anything, it's Dechapol who's struggling more of the Thai pair, not Sapsiree.

Seo and Chae are controlling the rhythm and they're enjoying their badminton right now.

Game point up for the Koreans and Dechapol tamely returns the serve into the net.

Score: 18-21, 21-8

This is odd. Seo and Chae are not really under any pressure here from the Thais.

Is Sapsiree's hand giving her issues?

That's the interval. The Koreans lead by eight points.

Score: 18-21, 11-3

Anders Antonsen can't quite believe he's beaten Viktor Axelsen.

"I'm shocked and I'm so, so happy of course. It's overwhelming, I didn't expect to go all the way. It's amazing to get a title as big as this one. It's hard to process and I don't even know what to say. I've had a tough month, things have not been working well for me and I've been struggling a lot, so to win here is unreal."

A powerful smash from Dechapol is seen off by Chae. Sapsiree's return looks like it's going out, but Seo plays it and only finds the net.

Game to the Thais.

Score: 18-21

Runners-up at the 2019 world champs Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Youth Olympi...

Sapsiree is getting a cut on her right hand tended to.

The Thais are on game point.

Here we go six straight points for Seo and Chae.

All square at 18-18.

The Thais have strengthened their grip on this match and Seo/Chae look a bit lost right now.

A shot goes long from the Koreans and Dechapol/Sapsiree are up big.

Score: 12-18

It's Dechapol and Sapsiree ahead at the interval though as they string together a good series of points.

Score: 8-11

Seo and Chae have started well, and are looking bright. But the home pair no doubt cheered on by millions on TV are keeping things close.

Score: S/C 6-5 D/S

We've got one last match to wrap up the championships, Seo/Chae (KOR) v Dechapol/Sapsiree (THA) a re-match of their group stage meeting, which the Koreans won.

Dechapol and Sapsiree beat Seo and Chae in last week's Toyota Thailand Open final. Can Seo/Chae overturn that result?

Along with collecting his runner-up medal and trophies, Axelsen is receiving a prize for the best men's player through this Asian Leg of BWF World tour events.

Quick net play results in Axelsen sending a lazy-looking return wide and he walks away in disgust.

Antonsen sinks to his knees and lets out a big roar. Second game aside, he played well.

Score: Axelsen 16-21, 21-5, 17-21 Antonsen

Axelsen took a 17-16 lead but Antonsen has pegged him back.

Great flick of the wrist to hit a cross-court shot Axelsen couldn't get to.

Now it's championship point for Antonsen.

The world number three is hoping to tie his career head-to-head with Axelsen at 3-3 (Axelsen leads 3-2).

Axelsen, bronze medallist at the Rio 2016 Olympics, still trails in the decider but he's closed the gap to 14-15.

They've swapped sides on court now at the interval in the third game.

Antonsen is 11-8 up.

This is better from the world no. 3, who's put that second game behind him.

That was a very weird performance in the second game but he doesn't seem hurt and he's forcing a nervous Axelsen into mistakes.

Antonsen ahead by three.

Score: 16-21, 21-5, 6-9

"Finally, I won. When I can remain calm and patient, I can win the game. In the end it was a tight game and I was tired and happy at the same time. For every match, I hope I can be patient in my style of play, so before this match today I kept telling myself that I had to play patiently."

Well Antonsen really had no answer there.

Axelsen blitzes through in less than 10 minutes. Is Antonsen hurt?

Score: 16-21, 21-5

Well this is a turn-up for the books. Antonsen has lost his concentration, perhaps?

Two failed video challenges in a row as well. They seemed like desperate challenges.

Axelsen is up by 10 at the towel break in this second game.

Score: 16-21, 11-1

An audacious between-the-legs shot from Antonsen and although Axelsen does well to recover, he loses the point.

Antonsen then takes the next point but loses a video review on game point.

On Axelsen's serve, however, Antonsen hits a forehand smash winner to take the first game.

Score: 16-21

Unlike the women's singles final, while this match is close, it's notably of a slightly lower quality.

Both men look nervous and neither wants to go on the aggressive. Too many errors.

Score: 14-17

Axelsen slips at the net and Antonsen hits an easy winner to take the lead.

A return from Axelsen off Antonsen's service goes long and the world no. 3 leads at the interval.

Score: 9-11

Antonsen is actually the higher-ranked player in the world rankings, at third compared to Axelsen's fourth.

Both men will be innately aware of the other's strengths and weaknesses as Danish teammates.

Early on in this first game and it's level.

Score: 7-7

Time for an all-Danish men's singles final between Viktor Axelsen and Anders Antonsen.

Marn and Tai are on the verge. Aggressive from both. This looks like it's going long from Tai

But it's in! Marn left it thinking it was out but it lands in bounds and the Chinese Taipei world number 1 has her third Finals tournament title!

Score: Tai 14-21, 21-8, 21-19 Marn

Tai, who was five points back at one point, has match point as Marn can't deal with a drop shot!

19-19! Marn with an unforced error, returning into the net.

Wow!

Marn pulls a great save out of the bag on another long rally and she's two points away.

Marn gets a verbal warning from the chair umpire as the game starts to slip back in the other direction.

Tai is growing in confidence.

Score: 14-21, 21-8, 15-17

Some words from Tai's compatriot Wang Chi-lin, one half of the winning men's doubles pair from earlier.

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AS IT HAPPENED - BWF World Tour Finals, Day 5: Finals day in Bangkok - Olympic Channel

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February 5th, 2021 at 7:51 am

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Badminton: What we learned from the 2020 World Tour Finals – Olympic Channel

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No one is invincible as Carolina Marin and Viktor Axelsen fall in the final. Men's doubles pair Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin clinch three titles in a row.

After three consecutive weeks of world class badminton, the back-to-back tournaments in Bangkok concluded with the World Tour Finals to bring an end to the delayed 2020 season.

The earlier Super 1000 Thailand Open double headers had seen four repeat winners over a fortnight of action, with Viktor Axelsen, Carolina Marin, men's doubles pair Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin as well as mixed doubles pair Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai go into the season finale unbeaten.

However only Lee and Wang were able to remain unbeaten after all fifteen played in Bangkok. Anders Antonsen clinched his maiden World Tour Finals title, while Tai Tzu Ying finally beat Marin the third time of asking in Thailand to seal her third season ending honours.

South Korea' women's double pair of Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan reminded us that comebacks are possible while Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai appeased the home fans when they became the first Thai players in history to win the season ending tournament.

Here's what we learnt from the 2020 BWF World Tour Finals.

When Viktor Axelsen won both the preceding Super 1000 tournaments, he seemed in a league of his own. None of the players he faced were able to match the Dane on court as he finished off his rivals effortlessly.

During the course of three weeks he beat the likes of Jonatan Christie, Lee Zii Jia, Anthony Ginting and Chou Tien Chen, winning most of his matches in straight sets. Coming back from ankle surgery it is safe to say the Dane has raised his game and it will be great to see him take on the likes of Momota Kento, Shi Yuqi and Chen Long in his current form.

Axelsen's was one win shy of a clean sweep in Bangkok but was denied only by his compatriot Anders Antonsen. The 23-year-old who finished runners-up at the 2019 world championship has also seemed to find another level in his game over the period of lockdown in 2020.

Having won the Danish Open last October, he's now added a maiden World Tour Finals title under his belt. Antonsen is capable of beating the world's best as he proved by beating Momota to clinch the 2019 Indonesian Masters title. If he can work on his consistency throughout a tournament, he will be a serious contender for a medal at Tokyo 2020.

Have a listen to what both Antonsen and Axelsen had to say after their match below:

Two year ago, Carolina Marin collapsed on court with a torn ACL. Fast forward to the present and she won both the Thailand Open tournaments and was only one win away from clinching the World Tour Finals title. What a remarkable turnaround.

For the Spaniard who was only played a handful of tournaments since returning from injury, she was sent a clear warning to her rivals that her game is even better than before. In her three weeks in Bangkok, Marin convincingly trounced most of her opposition without even losing a game in either of the Super 1000 events.

The 27-year-old made winning look easy as she saw off seasoned tour veterans and fresh young talent alike. Rising star's like Thailand's Pornpawee Chochuwong and South Korean teenager An Se Young got a taste of what they are up against if they want to challenge Marin for her crown.

But even the triple-world champion showed she is only human. After playing their third final in a row, Marin fell to Tai Tzu Ying and will have to wait another season for a chance to clinch her maiden World Tour Final title. Nonetheless, Marin was upbeat about her month-long stay in Bangkok as you can hear below.

Tai meanwhile has given the rest of the field hope that there is a way through Marin's armour. But it took the Chinese Taipei player three tries to finally clinch victory in Thailand.

She will leave Bangkok with a clearer picture of what is needed to ensure that she can challenge for the title at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Meanwhile, reigning world Champion PV Sindhu has a dismal outing which included a first round defeat in the opening tournament. The Indian was a shadow of her former self on court, and has acknowledged that she will need to go away and dig deep if she wants to improve on her silver medal from Rio 2016.

Likewise, we got the sense that there is a lot more to come from the junior players on the circuit. Most notably from Chochuwong. The 23-year-old was thrust under the spotlight when she defeated her idol and senior, Ratchanok Intanon on the opening day of the World Tour Finals. She then went on to beat veteran Tai the following day to qualify for the semi-finals. Although she was beaten by Marin in the semis, the future of Thailand's women's singles seems bright.

Similarly for South Korea's An Se Young. At only eighteen years of age, she managed to reach the semi-finals of all three tournaments, displaying tremendous skill and consistency that was noticeably missing from some of the more senior women on tour. With such remarkable results, both An and Chochuwong have announced their arrival as serious title contenders.

Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin completed the perfect outing in Thailand, clinching both the Super 1000 and World Tour Finals titles on offer.

The Chinese Taipei pairing faced some serious opposition along the way and still managed to remain undefeated in all fifteen matches in Bangkok.

Missing from the field in Thailand were the world number one pairing of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo from Indonesia, as well as the top Japanese pairs, but that should not take off any of the shine from their victories.

Lee and Wang have certainly taken their game to a higher level and were able to beat reigning world champions Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan which is never an easy feat. They explain the interview below how watching plenty of videos of the Indonesian veterans helped them to emerge victorious over their idols.

South Korea's World Tour Finals winners Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan will leave Bangkok with a lot more confidence than when they arrived.

The pair ousted their teammates Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong to the title, avenging the defeat they suffered at the hands of their compatriots in the second Thailand Open final.

With a title a piece, the pairs will have grown in their self-belief that they can take on the likes of Japanese reigning world champions Matsumoto Mayu and Nagahara Wakana as well as Fukushima Yuki and Hirota Sayaka who have hogged the top spots of the ranking.

Indonesia's Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu who beat Lee and Shin to the opening title on offer in Bangkok, have also shown that they can rise to the occasion and will leave Thailand knowing which areas they need to focus on before that important flight to Japan this July.

Home heroes Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai lived up to their billing as the tournament favourites by bagging all three titles on offer.

The Thai pair proved they can handle the pressure and despite losing their final group stage match, Puavaranukroh and Taerattanachai turned it on when they needed to make a clean sweep of the titles on offer. And if you need more proof, have a watch of their Play of the Day below.

While we were deprived of seeing world number one and double world champions Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong in action here in Bangkok, undoubtedly they would have been watching the field of contenders looking to topple them from the top spot with a keen eye.

Now retired Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir clinched gold for Indonesia at Rio 2016, and the results in Bangkok has shown that the current hopefuls of Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti as well as Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja have a lot of work ahead of them if they want to have any hopes of retaining the Olympic title for their country.

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Badminton: What we learned from the 2020 World Tour Finals - Olympic Channel

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February 5th, 2021 at 7:51 am

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Friyay!: What to eat, Food News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

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FLUFFY TRADITIONAL BREAD

JIE BAKERY

Once you have tasted old-school handmade bread, it is hard to go back to those churned out by machine.

Jie Bakery (Tai Seng) makes its bread from scratch daily.

Go for the miniature traditional brown bread loaf ($1.70 for eight slices). It is so soft, it feels almost like cotton candy. When toasted, it turns out crisp, light and airy. Or make ice cream sandwiches with the miniature rainbow bread loaf ($1.70 for eight slices).

These two types of bread are available from 2.15 to 10.30pm.

Get spreads to go with the bread. The kaya ($1.70 for 180g) is not too sweet, and the peanut butter ($2.20 for 180g) is runny in texture, but filled with the natural flavour and aroma of peanuts.

The bakery also offers buns with fillings, such as Chicken Ham & Cheese Bun ($1.30) and Chicken Sausage Bun ($1.30). The Curry Potato Bun ($1.30), which has slivers of chicken meat, is slightly spicy.

For non-meat fillings, you can go for the Sweet Potato Bun ($1.20) and Brown Sugar Coconut Bun ($1.20), a favourite among regular customers.

The cloud-like texture of each bun comes from kneading the dough by hand after a round of mixing by machine. Each bun is made by hand.

Buns are made in two batches daily - the first is completed at 11.15am and the second at 4.15pm.

WHERE Jie Bakery (Tai Seng), 123 Upper Paya Lebar Road MRT Tai Seng OPEN 7am to 10.30pm daily TEL 9823-9829

PU TIEN YA ZHONG XIAO CHI

Pu Tien Ya Zhong Xiao Chi, a coffee-shop stall in Rangoon Road, offers plenty of bang for the buck. Portions are generous and the quality of ingredients is better than what you would expect for the prices.

Order the Fried Lychee Pork ($6). On the menu, this dish is stated in English as Sweet & Sour Pork, but make sure you let the boss, Madam Weng Cui Jin, know you want the lychee pork fried without gravy.

The dish's name comes from the pieces of curled fried pork that resemble lychee, but there is none of the fruit in the dish. Pork collar is pounded with a cleaver and the batter, made up of mainly cornflour, has a powdery crispness.

The stall uses fresh seafood such as prawns and clams in its Lor Mee ($4 for small, $6 for medium and $8 for large). The Stir-fried Clams ($8) are fresh, well-cleaned and tasty.

The Fried Kailan With Dried Beancurd ($6 for small, $8 for medium) is an excellent example of the wok skills of the chef, Mr Zhang Jian Zhong. He and his wife, Madam Weng, both 63 and from Putian, China, started the stall in 2004.

The Fried Pig Intestine ($8) has an impressive mix of ingredients - leek, winter bamboo shoots and celery - for its price.

Every piece of vegetable is fried to tasty crunchiness. The rings of pig intestine are perfectly tender and springy, although the offal odour is too overpowering for me.

WHERE Pu Tien Ya Zhong Xiao Chi, Stall 4, 97 Rangoon Road MRT Farrer Park OPEN 11am to 10pm daily

HONG KONG STREET OLD CHUN KEE

Hong Kong Street Old Chun Kee is launching an a la carte zi char buffet promotion at its Makansutra Gluttons Bay outlet. It will be available on Wednesdays from Feb 10 to March 31.

For $29 a person (a minimum of four diners is required), you have a choice of 10 dishes.

The standouts are Guitar Chickenand Fish Maw Hor Fun. For the Guitar Chicken and Chilli Crab or Black Pepper Crab, each table can order only once. The other dishes are available free flow.

For the Guitar Chicken, the meat is deboned, flattened and marinated for three hours to infuse it with the prawn paste, and then fried in a bamboo basket. The chicken stays crispy for at least half an hour after it is served.

Despite its name, the Fish Maw Hor Fun has no fish maw. Hor fun is dipped in beaten egg and deep-fried to golden crispness. The puffed-up noodles, which resemble fried fish maw or fried pork skin in texture, are doused in a thick glossy gravy.

The other dishes are Hong Kong Steamed Seabass, Bittergourd Black Bean Sauce Pork Ribs, Homemade Prawn Roll, White Boiled Prawns, Lohan Zai, Deep-fried Long Beans In Olive Vegetable Sauce, Thai-style Fried Tofu, and Chilli Crab or Black Pepper Crab.

Reservations are required. For takeaway orders, only one set of the 10 dishes will be included.

WHERE Hong Kong Street Old Chun Kee, Makansutra Gluttons Bay, 8 Raffles Avenue MRT Esplanade WHEN The zi char buffet promotion is available on Wednesdays from Feb 10 to March 31; Feb 10: 5 to 7pm; Feb 17 to March 31: 5 to 7pm, 8 to 10.30pm TEL To book, call 8710-0511 from noon to 4.30pm

Correction note: This article has been edited to accurately reflect which dishes can be ordered only once at Hong Kong Street Old Chun Kee's buffet promotion. We are sorry for the error.

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Friyay!: What to eat, Food News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

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February 5th, 2021 at 7:51 am

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Of flying kicks and seamless executions – Borneo Bulletin Online

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James Kon

Members of the public were awestruck by the 12 martial arts performances at the opening of the Martial Arts Open Day at the Jerudong Park Garden yesterday, held as part of the Brunei December Festival 2020.

Deputy Permanent Secretary (Tourism) at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) and guest of honour Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali thanked organisers, the masters and participants parents for making the event a success.

Our journey will not stop here. We will continue to work with media agencies and the government to produce a video series of all martial arts involved at this event.

We will also work with our partner to produce a Brunei version of Tekken. This is an initiative we have been dreaming of creating, and we need local martial art exponents support, because the character in the game will be you. I will be working very hard on this and hope this will materialise in a few months.

We have another project on December 27, and have invited some of the martial art exponents here. We plan to carry out another Brunei Book of Record event, with 2,020 tai chi practitioners in the country performing at several different locations simultaneously. The number 2,020 is to commemorate the Brunei-China Year of Tourism 2020, and also marks the Brunei December Festival 2020, Wardi said.

Wardi launched the Martial Arts Open Day by punching through a wooden board.

The martial arts showcased were Silat (Penguruan Pencak Silat Warisan Pelangi Brunei Darussalam), Taekwondo (Brunei Darussalam Taekwondo Association), Karate (Shitoryu Karate Association Brunei Darussalam), Shainji Kempo (Persaudaraan Shorinji Kempo Brunei Darussalam), Muay Thai (BDM Muay Thai), MMA, Hapkido, Judo (Judo Academy SSBN), Kendo (Kendo Federation of Brunei Darussalam) and Wushu (Brunei Darussalam Wushu Federation).

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Of flying kicks and seamless executions - Borneo Bulletin Online

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December 21st, 2020 at 3:00 am

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80-year-old couple become first people in Bolton to receive Covid-19 vaccine – The Bolton News

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An 80-year-old couple from Bromley Cross havebecome the first people in Bolton to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in the community vaccination programme.

Michael and Ann Clubley, who both turned 80 earlier this year, were first in line to be vaccinated this morning at Tonge Moor Health Centre.

The couple were surprised but thrilled to be called up, and said they felt privileged.

Mrs Clubley said: We werent expecting it until January, but we feel very privileged to be the first.

As soon as we heard about the vaccine, we were happy to offer our arms over! We are very supportive of vaccination.

Both say they are usually quite active people in the community.

Michael loves his gardening and is a regular at all BWFC home matches under normal circumstances.

Ann usually volunteers at her local RSPCA shop and reads to children at her local primary school. She also attends a Thai Chi class.

However, the pandemic has meant that they could only enjoy walks together and catch up with friends via video calls.

The couple have two daughters and one grandson, and they have missed socialising with their family.

Mrs Clubley added: We have managed, but its not been the same. I feel sorry for people who arent as mobile as us.

Our daughters both work with the public so they have been protecting us by not seeing us as they normally would do. We know we could still get the virus but having the vaccine will give us the confidence to see our two girls. They are thrilled for us!

The first phase of Covid vaccinations in Bolton is being held at Tonge Moor Health Centre, Thicketford Road by appointment only.

Six GP practices are part of this first phase, and form Turton Primary Care Network. Primary Care Networks are made up of several practices working together to manage the health of their local population.

Senior Responsible Officer for the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme in Bolton, and Clinical Director of Commissioning at Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Helen Wall, said: Its fantastic to see Mr and Mrs Clubley receiving their vaccination, and they mark the first couple of many to be getting the best protection from the virus today.

We have all pulled together to make this historic event happen in just a few short days, and Im very proud to be leading such a dedicated team. We received 975 doses for this first phase, and we are fully booked!

Bolton Council Leader, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said: This is truly wonderful news both for those receiving the vaccine today and for everyone in our borough.

We have been hit hard by this pandemic but I commend the hard work and sacrifices everyone has made to see us through to this vital stage in our response to the virus.

Quite rightly, our older and more vulnerable residents will receive the vaccine first.

In the meantime, I urge everyone to be patient and stick to the rules so we can put this behind us.

Original post:

80-year-old couple become first people in Bolton to receive Covid-19 vaccine - The Bolton News

Written by admin

December 21st, 2020 at 3:00 am

Posted in Thai Chi


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