Category Archives: Bubiko Foodtour

FOODHACK! HK Poly June 15-17

EELCOIN! (The foodhack was a weekend full of hard work and hope. I was on a team with Beeno, Ann, Sayuri and Kerong. We worked and ate amongst talented people who shared ideas and experiences related to fixing global food challenges.)

Welcome HK Foodhackers!

My name is Stephen Black and I have worked with food as an artist, as a photographer, a videomaker and someone with an interest in AR. Following are introductions to some of my food-related projects, including books.

Bubiko Foodtour is on her way to becoming an AR superstar! This week I just concluded workshops and presentations about AR, here at HK Poly.

Presentations and workshops by Stephen Black

Bubiko Foodtour is on Instagram.

A summary of the AR presentations at HK Poly

My experiences on a permaculture farm in Bali.

I am an unofficial representative for sustainable organic coffee and tea from Northern Thailand.

http://www.blacksteps.tv/anthony-bourdainstephen-blackstreet-foodan-embarrassing-encounter/

photography as part of book cover design

Furikake: japanese rice seasonings. Food-related short stories.

miso!

A national bestseller in Singapore

i ate tiong bahru on Goodreads.

i ate tiong bahru on Amazon

i ate tiong bahru audiobook

Check Amazon for other food-related books by Stephen Black.

And this book features a protagonist who is an amateur chef specializing in molecular cuisine.

Book Merah Ebook Giveaway June 2018 HONG KONG and BEYOND

It is now noon on Sunday. I will update this in about 12 hours. There are other book discounts and giveaways now available; please check on Amazon. And, actually Alphabet Spikes and Antigone.Cloud have not yet been cleared into the Amazon system. They will appear soon. Thanks for your patience and please check back later. Thank you! Steve More book info here!

The giveaway will coincide with my presentations at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University on June 11 and 13.

Information on some of the books can be found here.

I am excited to present two book ideas. The book ideas are: Alphabet Spikes and Antigone.Cloud: Ghost of a Robot I use the word "book ideas" because these two projects will be "normal" books and ebooks someday. For now, they are both inexpensive subscriptions. What do I mean by that? Here is how it works:

1. You buy the book, or get it while it is a free giveaway.

2. You read it.

3. If you like it, send me your email, and I will send you the latest chapters.

4. If you don't like it, I hope you feel that the price was fair and the information and stories were valuable.

So, these two books are something like subscriptions or crowdfunding. Without further ado, the books are:

Alphabet Spikes

Art and entrepreneurship go on a road trip in Southeast Asia. Lots of eating, a few meetings, and nonstop ups and downs.

and

Antigone.Cloud: Ghost of a Robot

A ten year old girl made of software faces the difficulties of growing up.

.................

A national bestseller in Singapore

i ate tiong bahru is a bestseller in Singapore. Here's the link to iatb on Amazon. Here is a link to a blog post with reviews and more information.

photography as part of book cover design

a photograph of a dancer on a farm, the title and the author's name

Short stories that involve rice seasonings. A price discount. What more could you want? (And those blank pages are gone. And a story has been added! I should really update that Amazon description soon. Speaking of Amazon: the link.

The Ipoh photobook is free from June 9-13,2018. This is the book that inspired the world's first AR photo exhibition. On Amazon!

UNGLUE CONTACT WITH SHADOW IMMEDIATELY!

Contact With Shadow in quotes book cover

Printing history and romance collide in this novel by Stephen Black.

Cupping Steve’s Wild Coffee (part 1)

Later, I will talk about my experiences using coffee in my visual art projects and writing. For example, one of my books contains a chapter about coffee. For now, I will simply say that creating my own brand of coffee would combine several longtime interests, including, ultimately, AR. (Presentations about AR at HK Poly. A post about AR and Coffee)

This post is about my first cupping experience, which occurred on May 12, 2018, at Once Cafe in Chiang Rai, Thailand. I had discovered Once the day before the testing, by accident.Lucky! The barista was Neung (Matorose Plengsai).

Coffee cupping preparation

Neung (Matorose Plengsai).from Once Cafe in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

She is deeply connected with coffee. Her husband is involved with the production of organic foods, including coffee: at one point he made his own roaster. Neung supervised the creation of Once Coffee, the signature of her cafe. In the course of discussing Once Coffee, it was agreed that I could bring some to Hong Kong, for a tasting event I am planning.

Here is my description of Once Coffee:

Made from Peaberry beans, Once is light-hearted and slightly fruity, yet powerful-- an excellent choice for lattes and cappuccinos. Organically grown, processed and roasted on a single estate in northern Thailand, Once is a blend of roasts: medium and dark. The blend is constantly monitored and adjusted to maintain Once’s signature flavor.

Once treats the people it is involved with fairly.

Let the cupping begin!

Once was cupped in the afternoon. The cupping for Steve’s Wild Coffee (the name for now, anyway) started at 8:30 AM. Besides Neung, we were fortunate to have Boss (Pattapong Valuvanarak), who manages a restaurant called Kafe Journal.

thoughtful coffee drinker

Boss!

We had three types of Steve’s Wild Coffee (SWC). The beans are Arabica: a medium roast, a dark roast and a mix of 80% medium and 20% dark.

Like most coffees, the dark roast and the 80/20 mixture will work well with lattes and cappuccinos. No surprises there. The medium roast was judged to be very suitable for simple, hot coffees. Again, no surprises.

What follows are notes on what I learned, observed and thought about. I am a fresh arrival into this part of the coffee world. Also, the wild coffee is almost completely undocumented. So, we were in the rare position of being able to respond to what we were tasting with very few preconceived ideas.

I should state that wild coffee is a new venture by a company with over forty years experience producing high grade organic teas. It is not a secret who they are, and I will later identify them, especially on all packaging. They are now applying for a USDA organic certificate.

Cofffe packaging

Once Cafe, in Chiang Rai, Thailand. The first cupping of Steve's Wild Coffee.

So... the cupping!

Neung opened the medium roast, and Boss spread some beans out on a plate. He picked something up, showed it to Neung and they laughed. “Elephant ears”, he said. Elephant ears are shells of beans that are empty. I looked, and yes, the shell of an empty coffee bean looks just like the ears of an elephant. Boss showed me another bean that had a tiny hole in it. “An insect ate some.” I made a mental note to find out why this was bad. Psychologically, perhaps it is not good, but in terms of the coffee making process, why is it bad? There was no insect, of course. I wonder if, by eating the coffee bean, the insect allowed air into the heart of the fruit. This would mean oxygen being added into the fruit’s “manufacturing process”. Perhaps this is the reason for the rejection. The coffee is roasted, which kills bacteria and other micro-organisms. Simply, I must learn more about insects eating coffee beans. Is it a cosmetic issue, or something more?

No fungus was detected and the other beans which were rejected were chipped, a common fault. But again I wonder if this is cosmetic or something more serious. Could it be that the chipping results in the bean drying out in that area and losing flavor?

(PART 2 is here)

An Instagram post of the cupping.

AR as Blockchain: an eye-opener

My limited understanding of blockchain is that it is decentralized. My experiences with AR have given me the impression that AR is also a decentralized technology, though mobile phone makers can be said to be an international cartel of sorts. As I write this, I am in Chiang Rai, Thailand, close to the borders of Myanmar and Laos, and a few hours bus ride north of the more famous city of Chiang Mai.

I have just spent a few hours with Suphakorn Traisrisin, a 14 year old boy. He is teaching himself how to work with Hewlett-Packard's AR system, Reveal. Suphakorn wants to be a computer engineer, and undoubtedly, when the time comes, he will have a number of geographical options in which to pursue his career. Unlike the businesses of the Industrial Age, the internet has created a decentralized and seemingly level playing field where talent and ideas can take root anywhere and blossom internationally.

I realize this concept/possibility has existed for a while, but it was really brought home watching a 14 year old, very distant from Silicon Valley, teaching himself a cutting edge technology.

two generations and a laptop

in Chiang Rai Thailand, with Suphakorn Traisrisin

Handphone  + laptop display

HP + AR + tea!

Bubiko Fodtour AR tearial

Experimentation with the Reveal AR software by Hewlett-Packard

Bubiko  Foodtour in Chiang rai

https://www.instagram.com/bubikofoodtour/?hl=en

Two emails about Chiang Mai food from Any Way in a Way

The following emails are reprinted with permission. They contain information helpful to those visiting Chiang Mai. More than this, the professionalism and obvious joie de vivre of Olga's emails make them casual,little masterpieces of written communication.

Olga's stunning photographs of vanishing cultures can be seen at Any Way in a Way.

..................

Hi,

Enjoy Chiang Mai, I like this place. It’s touristy but special. The more I stayed, the more I liked.

We are now on Koh Phangan. It’s a beautiful island, rather quiet despite its reputation for Full Moon parties. It becomes very busy for 3 days for the party before becoming again a sleepy island. Sapphire-blue sea and white sandy beaches, exactly what I was looking for. The only downside is food – the food is almost twice expensive compared to the rest of Thailand, and local food stalls are not everywhere. We drive for 10 min to eat locally (but expensive compared to the prices we used to pay). But well, we have sea in return.

Sure, you can post my recommendations. I have a few more 🙂

Another specialty of Chiang Mai is Chiang Mai sausage. It’s unbelievably tasty, spicy, with a lot of ingredients inside such as lemon grass etc. One of the best is at Isan stall I recommended yesterday. The best sausages are in the places where are not many tourists. Otherwise, they don’t make it spicy as it should be.

· Hideya Ramen: surprisingly great Ramen. It’s a tiny place operated by one passionate man.

· Rosy Cheeks: tasty and very photogenic. A little Asian fusion restaurant.

· If you want to try Thai Chili Frog or other quite rare dishes - Loong Thai Khao Gaeng.

· Kanomjeen Khunnai Mae: very special rice noodle place.

· Rustic and Blue: delicious and beautifully presented western type dishes. All coming from their farm. But expensive.

But what I really miss is the quality coffee of Chiang Mai. There are many barista style coffee places, with the quality comparable to the coffee in Sydney, the best place for coffee in the world

My favourites are:

· Akha Ama: great coffee, and the prices are very reasonable. They have 2 locations. One is near the Old City.

· Ristr8 is absolutely the must. In Nimman.

· Ristr8to Lab: same owner as above but different in style. They are located close to each other. In Nimman.

· Cotton Tree: great coffee and great place to relax. Quiet compared to other busy places like Ristr8. Try their affogato – coffee with ice-cream, very special. In Nimman.

· Omnia: quality, great coffee with some unusual creations of the month. In a residential area of CM.

· Graph Cafe: stylish tiny place in the Old City with great coffee. Their speciality is Nitro and Cold Brew.

· Ponganes: long-established place in CM, great coffee. In the Old City.

· Pacamara: same as above, long-established place in CM, great coffee. In the Old City.

· Asama Cafe: outside Chiang Mai in a beautiful garden near the lake. Really great coffee in a peaceful setting.

There are also 2 places I find special:

· Begin Again: coffee is not the barista level coffee but the setting in amazing. If you feel like you are in the middle of a jungle. You can find photos on our website https://anywayinaway.com/coworking-spaces-cafes-chiang-mai/

Penguin Ghetto: nice place, quite special, odd I would say, and coffee is very good.

Enjoy!

Olga

.........................

Hi,

How do you find Chiang Mai? Have you been to Chiang Rai all this time? Was it good? We didn’t stay long time in Chiang Rai, just enough to explore the town and a couple of temples outside.

As for Chiang Mai, renting an apartment is much cheaper than staying in a guesthouse, however, they require at least 1 month stay.

If you want to stay in Old Town of Chiang Mai, we stayed in a few places. We like Nocky House, located very close to a local market with food and vegetables, in a very old traditional house, very charming.

Otherwise, just nearby, there is 9 Hostel – a very different style – very modern, cement walls etc. Quiet and clean. I liked, Errol found it impersonal.

There is also SK 1 – very good price for what they offer (swimming pool), near Somphat market.

If you like a modern area in Chiang Mai, it’s Nimman. We also stayed there but we rented an apartment on a few occasions.

For food:

· Chang Phuak Gate (North Gate) – local food market. You should try the “must” there – Cowboy Lady stall aselling Khao Kha Moo (pork legs that melt in you mouth). My mouth is watering just when I am typing…

· You should try a special chicken at SP Chicken.

· One of the best Khao Soi (specialty of Chiang Mai) is at Khao Soi Islam, Charoenprathet Road Soi 1. I tried – very good! People also recommend Khao Soi Lam Duan and Khao Soi Khun Yai.

· If you want a very creative vegetarian and organic - Pun Pun restaurant located at Suan Dok Temple.

South Gate Night Market: the most known market among farang. But the food is good, the prices are low, and the variety is unbeatable.

· Warorot Market: Chinatown of Chiang Mai. Interesting food that you won’t find everywhere.

· There is one local place called something Vegetable Organic. They have amazing food (non-vegetarian, their vegetables are supposed to be organic, hence, the name). The specialty of the house is different types of friend rice. I don’t like saying that but this is the best fried rice I have eaten. They are near Burmese Restaurant and Library (you can google to find). There is another restaurant a few step away – a small stall selling Isan food. Great food!

Olga

(SB: You can read about Olga and Errol here.)

Antigone Cloud and Yves Arc: Dialogue Sample

Thanks for joining this adventure!

Antigone Cloud is the name of the novel I'm now working on (it is related to my AR startup). I won't say anything more, as the text below should give a clue or two. Please keep in mind that the following is minimal; in the book, there are visual cues and other devices to provide more information. My thinking is that if the following basic dialogue can be understood, then the planned text additions will only make the scene easier to understand, and more pleasant to read.

PLEASE leave a comment or question, of any kind. THANK YOU

And, if you have any visual materials that are even remotely related to young adults, AR and/or Southeast Asia, I would be very happy to feature them on my blog and elsewhere. Drawings, 3D scans, 3D models.. anything. I would really love to see images of young people recorded with 3D volumetric cameras. I would, of course, credit and backlink, as well as share information about your image/software/company/artistic motivation.

Antigone meets Yves

Yves Arc: Hello... archild. (He emphasizes ‘child”, drawing it out, stretching his mouth into a terrible smile.)

Antigone Cloud: I’m...I’m...

Yves Arc: You're the blip that popped up on TPS last night, correct? 6:17PM. Your Source is on the 5th floor, room 521. In the Life Shelter, on a shelf above a bicycle.

Antigone Cloud: Your voice is like Sir Caboose! Are your Pparents from Cambridge? Do you have a bedder?

Yves Arc: Someone has the international pop culture app, now don’t they? Your Pparents would seem to have excellent taste. Yes, my voice was inspired by Sir Caboose.

And your voice? American? (Yves coughs).

Antigone Cloud: Yes. Sailor Jayne.

Yves Arc: ... oh. A pop star...

(Yves coughs again.)

Well, we can’t all have the voices of Liz and Dick, now can we?

Antigone Cloud: I am sorry; can you repeat that?

Yves Arc: Repeat it? Why? I enounced and pronounced perfectly. 57 decibels. The ambient noise is easily canceled out. Obviously you lack culture-related software. Richard Burton. Elizabeth Taylor. Dick and Liz! Superstars of stage and cinema. The most fabulous couple of the modern age. Nec plus ultra!

(Yves looks at her, sees his reflection in her glasses. Sighs.) I suppose I should simply state everything in Star Quest mode. Or would you prefer cartoon mode?

Antigone Cloud: Star Quest mode, please. (in a quiet voice). Thank you.

Yves Arc: What age you are supposed to be?

Antigone Cloud: Ten.

Yves Arc: Ten? Why, when I was a ten-year old, I was in charge of a factory with 34 air conditioners,18 surveillance cams, 9 quality control systems, 6 robots and an assembly line 28.9 meters long that constantly needed replacement parts from a mythical place in China! Plus, overseas clients. Six languages!

Antigone Cloud: I don’t believe you! You're just a boy!

Yves Arc:: First of all, in three days I will be upgraded to arman. Second, I have been carefully curated by...

Antigone Cloud: Curated!? You mean you’re made with a bunch of mixed up old software junk with a bunch of new programs that are buggy. Buggy buggy buggy! (Antigone sings the last two lines of a commercial.)

We are curates, tried and true,

Helpful curates and we love you!

Yves Arc: Please stop. It's tacky. (Antigone’s expression shows that she doesn’t understand.) The commercial... it takes advantage of lonely people who don’t have much money. It doesn’t care for them. It doesn’t care for arbots. (Yves watches the palm trees react to the wind).

Antigone Cloud: But it has achieved economic success.

Yves Arc: Yes, Commander, affirmative. A lot of us have been sold.

Antigone Cloud: 37% of all curates are removed from TPS within the first month.

Yves Arc: That statistic would seem to be true. (He looks worried.) I must reSource now. The increasing humidity is decreasing my strength.

Antigone Cloud: Me too. (She looks at Yves with apprehension) Your TPS is a fifth floor flat above Books Hontoni? In the Life Shelter, on a rattan chair with a broken seat?

Yves Arc: Affirmative, Commander, affirmative. (Yves sighs and walks away.) Why can’t Pparents ever respect privacy mode?

.........................................

Thanks for reading this far. Looking forward to your comments.

Activities in Ipoh

Unexpectedly, but happily, I have became involved in a number of projects and activities in Ipoh.

1. IPOH: 38 iPhone Photographs by Bubiko Foodtour. On Amazon.

2. The world's first AR Photo Exhibition

3. TT5

tin dredge

brainstorming on the idea of Ipoh identity

4. IPOH BOOK/STORIES

5. EXHIBITION ON WALLS OF HOTEL ABBY WINDOWS

6. YASMIN AHMAD MUSEUM

7. MUSEUM ASSOCIATION

Augmented Reality in Asia

article about Stephen Black in Ipoh

8. KOO KEE

9. FACEBOOK LIVE HOTEL PROJECT

10.BRANDING CAMPAIGN

Unity 3D: 2D Size in AR…?

I would like to recommend two video tutorials, both about how to create AR projects with entitled Unity3D and Vuforia, posted on Youtube by Art, Culture and Technology Purdue University: However, I am not a Unity developer, and my planned AR project will be my first. With this in mind, the following images have raised questions for me:

I understand that there are two models in the above pictures. What I wonder about is the file sizes of the two models. Is there a way to calculate the relationship between model size and total ARKit/ARCore file? (Assuming the model is simple, and has no animations.)

Fabian Winkler was kind enough to reply and his answers appear below.

To be most precise, I am interested in displaying photos in AR; an exhibition about Ipoh, Malaysia. The desired effect would resemble a slide show floating in air. But how can I describe to the developer how large the sizes should appear in AR? And before, I do this, how can learn about the total AR download file size? Sample images:

From the IPOH 38 iPhone Photographs by Bubiko Foodtour AR exhibition

trail of fog over Ipoh

From Stephen Black's 72 hour Facebook Live broadcast from the Abby Hotel

FROM FABIAN WINKLER: About your question: there is a proportional relationship between 3D model file (or slideshow images) and the image target that triggers it. You set this up in Unity where you can scale the 3D/image content in relationship to the size of your image target, this relationship will remain the same if the image target is detected in a real-world application.

For example, in the stills that you posted from my video: the size of the corn stalk has not changed in Unity, only the image target was much larger in one case (in the actual location on site - the cracks in the cross walk on campus) than in the other (a smaller print out of the same cracks) - thus the corn stalk also got proportionally scaled.

I would like to thank Fabian Winkler, for the videos. I was happy to discover his artworks.

Oh yes, if anyone would like to download a beta work-in-progress of the Ipoh photo exhibition, it's here.

IPOH AR Photo Exhibition Beta for Android

Hello and thank you for your interest. This link takes you to an 11 meg file for ANDROID phones.

URL:http://brsoftech.org/Documents/IPOH38_Bubiko_10_17_2017_0.zip

- The instructions are in the file.

- This version is a "slide show" and the AR effect is not maximized in this version.

- Any ideas on music appreciated. Ambient musicians, do get in touch; we can cross-promote.

-The photos are of Ipoh, Malaysia.

-The photos were taken by Bubiko Foodtour.

-This is not the final version.

-Any documentation, like stills or videos, is greatly appreciated. I will be more than happy to link to anything of yours if you write something and/or send in a photo or video.

If you could post the brand and make of your phone and which Android version you have, that would be greatly appreciated.

THANK YOU,

Stephen Black

testing an AR app

Testing the world's first AR photo exhibition. Photo by Claire Monfray

Notes on David Ryan Polgar/IBM/ AR brand storytelling

It is recommended to read the entire article, entitled Is Augmented Reality the Future of Brand Storytelling. David Ryan Polgar wrote it for thinkleaders, a series of articles appearing on the IBM website.

AR, having long promised to be an effective way for brands to engage their audiences, may finally be having its moment. But standing in its way are a number of considerations, such as the technology to use (headset versus mobile) and the type of AR (marker-based versus markerless).

The bold sections indicate what I see is a serious issue: labeling. A very common challenge at present is the confusion among the general public between AR, MR, VR and 360.As Mr. Polgar indicates, there are even more categories: headset, mobile, marker and markerless. What a challenge!

On a positive note, successful content(and its distribution channel/technology) will cut through the clutter. People know what experience they want and can afford.Pokemon Go exemplifies this; it became a huge hit because it attracted an existing fan base to a new, accessible technology.That, in turn created excitement among the general public, which created more fans. Related: Pokemon Go is GPS-based, arguably a category unto itself, in addition to 'marker" and 'markerless'.

A major appeal of AR for brand campaigns has been its immersive nature, playful capabilities, and gateway to greater product information. Glen Glenday, the Chief revenue Officer at Shazam—a company that recently released its own AR platform—calls AR a “stickier piece of creative” for brands.

Immersive? My immediate association with the word "immersive " is VR. Perhaps "interactive" is more accurate? Until I have my own demo, I use these videos as examples of AR: and Both are great uses of AR, but are they immersive?

... AR is like many trends that depend on a confluence of factors to align for mainstream adoption. It relies on advancing smartphones (i.e. Depth-sensing cameras) and the eventual move towards headsets, along with an increasing level of quality AR content that creates a virtuous cycle of adoption.

"advancing smartphones"... Apple's ARKit is a very large and solid tool kit for developers that works with iPhones two years old as well as upcoming models for probably the next five years, at least. Android's ARCore is much the same. Sure processors will become faster, but the present toolbox has enough in it to build impressive apps for quite a while.

"Eventual move to headsets" General public? Not for a while. Industry, medical, education? Yes:

November 2016:https://www.engadget.com/.../why-snapchats-spectacles-will-succeed-where-google-gl...

October, 2017: https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/28/why-snapchat-spectacles-failed/

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-07-19/google-glass-gets-it-right-the-second-time

along with an increasing level of quality AR content that creates a virtuous cycle of adoption. YES.

Closing remarks: The goal of a brand campaign using AR, says Cheben, should be “to add value and not just being new and cool.”

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IPOH: 38 iPhone Photographs by Bubiko Foodtour