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Sohum Banerjea
Works at Franq Ltd
Attended University of Cambridge
Lives in Melbourne
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Sohum Banerjea

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Day two of the tiny vacation.

Turns out, if you want to make the autovideo work, you really need to be taking a lot of photos. Today's is... not that great. 
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Sohum Banerjea

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#Soylent log, days 8-20. Stardate foresight eccentric graduated datasucker.

Made some changes to the recipe, and I'm so much happier with it. The first change is that I'm using a different, flavoured, protein, because the protein is by far the most prominent taste in the thing - and this one seems to dissolve in easier, too. The second change is that I've halved the amount of cocoa, which really helps in the taste department too.

The biggest change is that I've reduced the amount of milk per day. Just a bit, from 1L to 750ml, but that's enough for a couple of big improvements: I can now make four days worth at once, and the total quantity of soylent per day is less.

After rebalancing everything else, the final quantity for four days is about 5.3-5.4 litres. Storing that is still only about as hard as storing the 4.x litres per two days of the older recipe, too. Plus, I still seem to be having a bit less than this theoretical number, so it stretches to about 4.5 days ish.

So. Much. Happier.

-

So this is batches three and four, each 4-4.5 days worth. You may have noticed that this is a log for 13 days, though.

Yea, I absolutely haven't been having soylent exclusively. 

That said, it hasn't really been by choice. Riverfire week involved (too) many Social Eating Occasions, and some bad planning meant I ran out of flour right at the end of the fourth batch. Still, that's more than one-third of my meals that haven't been soylent, which is ... problematically high.

I don't think it's me subconsciously avoiding soylent. In fact, when I don't get to have soylent, I've noticed myself getting a bit antsy - I've gotten used to just knowing that I'm having the right macros in the right amounts, and quantity management is so much easier, too.

Fluidity is ... interesting. When I make it, the substance is basically liquid. It thickens considerably in the fridge overnight, to the point where it becomes easier to eat it with a spoon by the third and fourth days.

I've been mixing it half-and-half with water, lately, cup by cup. This helps bolster my water intake, is much easier, and is even tastier - it's basically like a cookies-n-cream-n-chocolate milkshake. It makes it a bit harder to judge quantity, but it's fine - I have a 1.5L jug and the maths says I'm supposed to have just above 1.3L a day, so as long as there's still some left in the jug at the end of the day I call it good. 

My intended weight loss has started to show up. About 3kg, in three weeks. Allowing for the fact that weight measurements tend to lag diet by about a week, that's 1.5kg/week, which is under the maximum safe limit. I think I'm good :D

So, at the three week mark, I'm happy to call this experiment a success. I'll definitely be continuing, as much as I can.
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#Soylent  log, days 3-7. Stardate neon neon distraction neon.

This is my second and almost finishing my third batch. My second batch lasted three days, because Saturday and Sunday involved Social Eating, and I had 300ml left over from the first batch on Friday, so I had 1.4+0.3litres, 1.2litres, and 1.4litres respectively. 

I thought eating normal food again after this would be some sort of profound experience - but nope. I still liked stuff I liked, I still didn't like stuff I didn't like. Food still tasted like food, and I didn't feel any greater compulsion or desire than normal.

My energy levels have been interesting to monitor. Normally I have a base low level of energy all day, and that extends well into the night to the point that I find it difficult to get to sleep until 3am. When I have around half of my soylent before noon, I have a high level of energy throughout the day, (which translates into better runs, easier exercise, and an easier time getting work done), but then I crash around 11-12pm.

When I wake up later and thus only really feel like having 1 cup, or a quarter of my soylent, before noon, my energy patterns go back to the low level throughout the day and sleeping much later.

But honestly, it's been pretty much more of the same, which is quickly becoming a theme when it comes to soylent. Sometimes I do have to force the stuff down, though this is mostly due to quantity rather than taste. 

On which note - I definitely want to get rid of the cocoa and get some flavoured protein in. I've never been the hugest fan of chocolate, and I can foresee this chocolate getting too chocolatey for my chocolate. This recipe-mangling depends on an order finally getting here dammit, and I don't want to have to make do with local inferior (i.e., unflavoured) versions again.

Beh.

Tonight I'm having Real Food again, mostly due to the fact that there's some fruit and yogurt and juice in the house that would get wasted otherwise. This leaves me about half a day's leeway - cross your fingers with me that the order gets in tomorrow for the next batch...
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keep us updated. We need to know when to put you down.
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#Soylent Log, Day 1. Stardate lagrange carotid starshine greenhilt.

I've had about 1.9 litres, give or take, of the stuff. The major volume of this recipe is 2 litres of milk and 2 litres of water for two days, and the water is heated during the flour cooking process, so some could evaporate at the time, so I think that's about right. I've been having water as well, but probably not as much as I should. 

I definitely feel full. I've been feeling full all day, actually - and every time I feel ~not-full, I take another mouthful and all's good. That's actually the problem with water - water fills your stomach as well, so even if your mouth is thirsty you don't feel like having water. Hm.

I've had energy all day - I went running and hit a 9-minute pace over half an hour, which is good for me! - but I've not been at my best mentally. I'm not sure if that in particular is related to the Soylent; we'll see - I intend to do some Intense Coding Action tomorrow.

I noticed something odd, though. I'd smell food, and the first few times it happened I thought I was craving the food. But I wasn't. I wasn't hungry, and I didn't want to actually eat the food. It just simply a "oh, that smells nice", like an "oh, that looks nice" on a beautiful landscape. Decoupling "that smells nice" from "I want to eat that" is kind of a disorienting experience.

The mouthfeel of this batch is definitely kinda goopy and floury. Apart from me not cooking it properly, I think I overprovisioned on the flour to make up for other stuff - the base recipe has something like two-thirds the flour I used. I'll see if I can tweak that for the next batch. That said, the aftertaste is pleasantly chocolatey, and the occasional chewy bit is surprisingly inoffensive.

Onwards to Day 2!
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I should clarify - this isn't the "official" formula. (No way I'm ordering that in from the states!)

There's a strong DIY Soylent community on http://discourse.soylent.me/ and http://www.makesoylent.com/, and I'm using Meta's Australian Soylent http://discourse.soylent.me/t/my-first-australian-recipe-feedback-appreciated/4464 as my base.

So no, whatever was causing the chalkiness in the Ars test apparently isn't part of this recipe. If anything, it's like chocolate mousse...
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Views of and from Globe Theatre, Piccadilly Square, Covent Garden, 20th Century Fox Ltd, and Platform 9 and 3/4.

(I am not a wizard.)

(I checked.) 
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Very nice
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Sohum Banerjea

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Minivacation. 0 hours remain

Today was for running in the heat, and a Sunday sunset. 
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Sohum Banerjea

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Experiments in autovideos continue.

Tiny vacation, this weekend. South Stradbroke Island. Seems like an archetypical Resort island - spas, beaches, restaurants, bike trails... 
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The Brisbane river festival is in full swing.

(And this HTC automatic video thing is cool.) 
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#Soylent  Log, Day 2. Stardate neoteny standard drafting phylum.

(Written the following day.)

Had about 1.7-1.8 litres, which leaves what looks like a good 300ml left. I'm just not as hungry as the maths says I should be, I guess.

I woke up very late on day 2, and I'm not sure why - and I was incredibly sleepy at the end, when I'm normally capable of staying up much longer. Energy issues due to not having enough? I mean - I still went to sleep after midnight, so I guess this could be thought of as correcting a bad habit, but still...

I still didn't feel hungry at all until around 2:30 pm, but then I had about 1 litre of Soylent really rather quickly. This whole business of every signal your body giving you being about hunger and not desire is actually ridiculously convenient.

The Soylent seemed to have settled during its second night in the fridge - it was much smoother, less clumpy, and less floury. Still quite thick, though. It's kinda like chocolate mousse, actually; maybe a bit thicker than a normal mousse, but it feels equally as rich in terms of chocolate.

I'm going to see about replacing the cocoa with something else; I'm not that big a fan of chocolate!

And yea, I'm going to see if I can cut down on the flour. I'm not the hugest fan of how thick it is. Looking at the original recipe, Meta uses twice the flour I am, though much less protein isolate;  I'm using a low-carb macronutrient profile, so that makes sense. I think I have enough slow carbs with the flour and the cocoa, so let's see.
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My first batch of homemade DIY Soylent. Two days worth, in that saucepan.

... The colour is from cocoa, you guys.

Taste is weird and floury, but the chocolate does shine through. I definitely didn't cook the flour properly, so I'll just have to deal for this batch.

Aaaaand... Down the hatch.

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4 litres! Where else am I going to put this stuff?
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codenames have been changed to protect the innocent ▻

---

It's five pm. I've just left my workplace, and wandered over to two unclaimed portals. 

I sit down, calmly, between them, and pull out my phone. My other hand has a sandwich. I sit there, peacefully eating my dinner. 

Just another visitor to this garden of statues.

---

It's freezing, raining, and windy, and I am attacking a sculpture.

I must be a strange sight, head down, one hand gloved, one hand frantically fiddling on a phone. Circling this sculpture in full view of the residential district, on a day when most people have the good sense to stay inside. What is that strange figure doing? 

I have good reason to believe the enemy operative who claimed this portal lives nearby. I have to do this quickly, before he can come and stop me.

I cannot even get close to the sculpture because of the rain. I cannot do this quickly. 

I do it quickly.

---

I planned out today. I need to get a few specific keys, in a specific order, so I can tessellate the major part of my suburb with fields.

I'm certain this will work. Positive. 

It doesn't work. One of the ranges is wrong, and I can't make the link I want to make. And I'm not high level enough to boost either portal.

But... if I backtrack to one of the other portals, I can use it as a midpoint. I'll cover less area, but it'll be something.

But I am tired, and I would like to not get home half an hour later. Which do I value more?

That night, a shining, pulsing field soothes me to sleep.

---

It is very late, and very dark. I and a fellow agent have decided to meet here. We need to take this portal, and make it level 3, quickly. Then we can push fields around it in all directions. The rest of our local side has prepped the area around us for this push.

Just names, these people. Six characters on a phone screen. I know their commute, their rough levels, and their commitment to keeping my city shining bright. But they're just names.

And the name who is to meet me here is late.

I grumble. I take down the enemy portal by myself. I'm fiddling with its range when it's just half level 3, when I hear a voice. 

"Hey. You must be..."

I look up. "rafael?"

He is an eager, well-built man. Late twenties, well-dressed, and a guilty mania in his eyes.

"Yea! Actually, my name is ██████. What's yours?"

A person. Huh.

I smile. "Just call me zake."

---

I am loitering outside a college, trying to get a GPS fix so I can take this portal. This is the cloudiest I've ever seen, and it's not happening. 

A well meaning soul asks me if I need help.

I try not to start. I smile my best smile, and ask for the directions to ██████████████. 

I have chosen a place far enough away that he does not know, but he tries valiantly. Eventually, I interrupt him, suggesting that I'll just head inside the college and ask the porter.

He nods at this, and we take our bikes into the bike rack together. I hang back, fiddling on my phone, and wave to him as he leaves. 

"I think I've almost got it...!"

He smiles at me. "Good luck!" he says.

Five minutes later, the portal is ours.

---

I now know the various landmarks around here by name, location, and optimal route. I am on friendly terms with a local gatekeeper, who thinks I come in so regularly just to enjoy the view. I have braved rain, and cold, and dark, to keep the fields above shining brightly.

This is #ingress . This is the secret war happening in my hometown, and in every hometown in the world. 

And it is not a game.
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  • Franq Ltd
    Developer, 2013 - present
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Brisbane - Cambridge, UK - Canberra - Gold Coast - Barbados - St. Vincent - Kolkata
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Making humans obsolete since 2152
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Cleric of Lord Smooze. Praise!
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  • University of Cambridge
    Computer Science, 2012 - 2013
  • Australian National University
    Computer Science, 2008 - 2012
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