Wednesday, December 27, 2006

links for 2006-12-27

Friday, December 22, 2006

Shop and Help Orphans

Hey if you're still shopping for holiday gifts (I definitely am) try buying through this link for Amazon.com. Amazon will donate 5% of your purchase to Orphans of Rwanada, an organization dedicated to helping orphans and other vulnerable children in Rwanda who have been affected by the 1994 genocide and diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and Malaria. If you go to this site you will find a bunch of other retailers that will also donate if you buy through those links. Even Orbitz is included! If you're like me and spend a lot of dough on travel, this is awesome!

Monday, December 18, 2006

links for 2006-12-19

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

links for 2006-12-13

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

links for 2006-12-12

Sunday, December 10, 2006

links for 2006-12-11

Trying to Watch Survivor

Does anyone else HATE CBS' implementation of watching video online?
I'm trying to catch up on the last episode of Survivor, and honestly, it is such a disaster!

I don't mind the commercials, but, unfortunately, the "inner tube" program doesn't continue the show after the commercials! So it looks like the show is split up into 5 segments and after each segment, you have to watch a commercial. Well, instead of playing the show after the commercial, I just get another commercial and another one, until finally, instead of getting segment 3 - which is the one I wanted - I got segment 5! And there's no way to go back unless you start at the very beginning!

So after sitting through this torture like 3x and STILL not being able to get to the right segment, I just gave up. I'm so frustrated! Why couldn't they implement it the way ABC did? I think that online video player is SO much better. I think I might just go to itunes and buy the show instead. Why do these media companies have to make everything so complicated?? Just create a functioning video player! And let me go to the part of the show I want to see!

Sigh.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

links for 2006-12-06

Friday, November 24, 2006

links for 2006-11-25

Monday, November 13, 2006

links for 2006-11-14

Monday, October 16, 2006

links for 2006-10-16

Saturday, October 14, 2006

links for 2006-10-15

Monday, October 9, 2006

links for 2006-10-10

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Healthcare

Do doctors only work 20 hours a week after they finish residency? Maybe they are so burned out after 4 years of pre-med, 4 years of medical school and 4 more years of residency, that once they get to the promised land of medicine, they must exercise their rights and work only part-time and leave early every day..

I am counting vets in this, too.

I had to call 5x to make an appointment with a vet, because he would leave the office every single day by 2:00 pm.

In addition, I've been trying to see a specialist and basically, the specialist is only available on Tuesday mornings and Friday afternoons. Yes, he only works 2 half days a week. Can you believe that?!?!

Okay, maybe I am being mean and this particular specialist also works at another hospital.. but, still.. how many more could he or she be at?

Healthcare really blows in the U.S.!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

links for 2006-09-20

links for 2006-09-20

Monday, August 28, 2006

Aaah moving sucks

Aaah, moving sucks.

I am now here in Boston, but all my stuff is all over the floor! Why didn't I bring more furniture with me from NYC?!

Oh well... tonight I am renting a car from Zipcar and picking up a desk in Beacon Hill a la Craigs List. Keep your fingers crossed, especially considering that streets in Boston do not have signs and my printer power cable is missing - so no printing of maps!

If I succeed, I'll post a picture of my new desk with my new camera (courtesy of Kane...)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Summer Almost Over

Wow, I can't believe the summer is almost over... just two more weeks before I'm back to NYC and then to Boston. The Chinese movers I hired are charging me $600 to move! I guess that's not too bad, but for some reason it still feels like a lot.

Any recommendations on finding cheap furniture?

Thursday, August 3, 2006

links for 2006-08-04

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

links for 2006-08-02

A robbery!

I was just getting comfortable here and starting to feel like, yeah, maybe it's not so unsafe after all, but I just found out a really nice lady from my office got robbed! In the middle of the day!

Apparently, she had to do some sort of errand, and she had just gotten her paycheck, so she was carrying around the equivalent $300 with her. $300 doesn't sound like a lot of money, but it is actually considered quite a bit here.

Anyway, she got dropped off at a public university close by and was walking back to the office when someone robbed her! I don't think it's a far walk at all, probably 10 minutes at the most? And this area is considered pretty safe, I think. It's basically just a neighborhood with lots of houses -- really residential -- and usually not that many people walk around outside.

I think they took her whole purse including her cell phone. Poor lady!! How scary!

Sigh, I think I should go back to being extra cautious. I was just starting to loosen up. For example, I walked from my hotel to the apartment of my friends the other evening around 8:30 pm (not alone, with my friend) and I walked a block last night with a group from a restaurant to the main road in order to find a cab. But, I guess every time it's like rolling some dice.. who knows what will happen?

Okay, no more walking!! It's just not safe here! I better find my "second" wallet again...

UPDATE: I found out that this lady has been robbed two times before! Geez. I guess it's just not affordable to take cabs for locals -- so what can you do?!

And on top of that, I found out another lady in the office ALSO got robbed today. Geez!! I guess I should be extra careful today!

Lion

Lion

WTF

Smushed

Sunday, July 30, 2006

links for 2006-07-31

Friday, July 28, 2006

links for 2006-07-29

Thursday, July 27, 2006

links for 2006-07-28

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Learning Spanish

So what is the best way to learn Spanish? I searched around on the web and found this guy who learned French in 10 months. That's pretty good!

To summarize, these are the steps that he took:
  1. Pick up simple novel in Spanish and try to read
  2. Review grammar text - skim
  3. Study vocabulary with flash cards
  4. Start doing grammar exercises
  5. Listen to Spanish audio courses - repeatedly
  6. Obtain Spanish version of U.S. sitcoms (e.g. Friends, etc.)
  7. Watch in Spanish with English subtitles
  8. Watch without subtitles
  9. Find conversation partners

All the conveniences from the states that he utilized aren't here though. I can't order from Netflix to get films or use meetup to find other people learning. Although I guess I really don't need meetup, since everyone here speaks Spanish anyway!

So I guess I need to find a bookstore so I can find a Spanish edition of Harry Potter. I've always wanted to read the series anyway, maybe this will be a good way to read it and learn at the same time. I also found a children's book using flash in Spanish on the web, too. Aaah, pre-school, perfect for me!

Last night, a Spanish-dubbed version of the Titanic was playing on TV. I tried to watch it -- it was the part where the ship starts sinking, but unfortunately, I couldn't understand anything.

Sigh, learning a language is a slow, arduous process! I have to stay diligent! Basically, everything that I read says that it's better to spend 20 minutes a day every day versus 5 hours on a single day. It's too bad, since I get these bursts of energy and want to study and other times, I just don't feel like it.

Hmm, I also want to learn Chinese. How will I learn both Spanish and Chinese? Gosh, I really admire people who can speak multiple languages!!

Underwood Deviled Ham is Disgusting

Since I got food poisoning a couple days ago, I've been steadfastly avoiding ordering room service. I'm still not 100% sure what caused me to get sick. It could have been a number of things. I went on a trip to a nature preserve this weekend and also whitewater rafting in a river.. according to our guide the river could "cause meningitis" if the water was swallowed. Hmmmm.

So what could've caused me to get sick?:
  • Eating a garlic fish on Saturday night
  • Swallowing toxic river water on Sunday morning when I swam in the river -- however, I don't remember swallowing any water
  • Eating not completely safe homemade coffee ice cream after lunch at the lodge I was staying at
  • Using a possibly dirty straw to drink my apple juice box on Sunday night
  • Eating a rather gross barbeque chicken dish from room service on Sunday evening

I think it's the last -- the barbeque chicken dish -- so I've been trying to refrain from ordering room service. Unfortunately, I am entirely tired of processed, canned food, so now I just try to totally fill up at lunch time, eating every last plantain and bit of rice, so that I won't starve at night.

Last night, I ate a can of corn and a can of mandarin oranges for dinner.

Tonight, I was going to cook some spicy Nissin ramen noodles, but then I looked into the Rival Hot Pot Express I had purchased from an Ace store at the mall two weekends ago and I saw that it had rusted!! When I made ramen last Friday evening, I didn't dump out the water immediately like I should have. I just let it sit and now, 5 days later, there's orange rust on the bottom!! That's never happened to me before!

I have a Hot Pot water boiler thing in my apartment in NYC and we would leave water in it all the time. Never once did it rust! I am guessing the one I have here rusted because I scratched up the non-stick surface with my wool sponge the first time I cleaned it???

Sigh.

So, left without any alternatives, I turned to the can of Underwood Deviled Ham that I had purchased a couple of weeks ago. I even tried to search on the Internet for some reviews (no luck there and who are we kidding, who wants to review deviled ham??) Then, of course, my Internet died, so I had to give up on research and finally just opened up the can and spread it on my "Bimbo" white bread.

Blech! I forced myself to eat one slice with it, and then just shred half of the second slice and flushed it down the toilet. I felt like I was eating salty puke!!

Sigh, so now all I have left are my mini-cans of mandarin orange fruit, a couple slices of bread, a wonderful jar of nutella and several packages of uncookable ramen.

Maybe I should invest in a hot plate and some pots after all.. or should I try room service again??? The first couple times I ordered it - I was fine. I had some chicken tacos the first time and huevos rancheros the second time. No problem and pretty tasty, too! It's just that last time and one night of pure misery that makes me really hesitate.

Well, at least I guess I will be quite thin when I get back this summer... unless all the sodium I keep consuming puffs me up of course!

(As an aside, I wish I could find some chunky chicken spread. I used to love that stuff when I was a kid. I think I could eat those type of sandwiches for a while!)

links for 2006-07-27

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

links for 2006-07-26

Monday, July 24, 2006

links for 2006-07-25

Friday, July 21, 2006

links for 2006-07-22

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

links for 2006-07-19

What's most satisfying?

What's vacation to you?

To be most satisfying, Prof. Godbey explains, leisure should resemble the best aspects of work: challenges, skills and important relationships. Leisure has its hierarchy. At the lowest level, it's a search for diversion, higher up it's a search for pleasure and, at the top, it's a search for meaning. "It's not that diversion is bad," says the professor, "but in terms of human growth, it's inferior to activities that are more pleasurable -- and they're inferior to activities that are more meaningful."

Is this why I am in Latin America instead of touring around Europe or Asia?

Monday, July 17, 2006

links for 2006-07-18

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Confessions of Max Tivoli

I just finished this book, The Confessions of Max Tivoli. The premise is that the main character, Max, was born looking like a 70-year old man, but in all other internal respects, he is actually a child. So as he ages, he looks younger and younger, but he is really growing older and older.

I was sort of disappointed in the book. Basically, the story is a love story -- Max falls in love with this person named Alice, and he kind of obssessively follows her throughout his life. It's annoying though, because, it's not clear why exactly he is so in love with her. What about her is so special? I guess since we never are really able to "get inside her head" unfortunately, her character stays sort of flat and non-developed.

Max also has a best friend named, Hughie, who is able to accept Max even with his age-problem. Hughie himself is also "different."

So the main them of the book is "We are each the love of someone's life." It's sort of sad, I think.. Max just seems like such a shallow and selfish character! Maybe it's important to like the characters in a story, so you can root for them and hope for their success?

Anyway, if you have other books to read, I would probably not recommend this one!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I'm online

Yes! I am finally online.

After arriving here in Latin America, I've spent the last 3 days without Internet access in my hotel room! It was horrible!

The first night it worked... then, I moved into a bigger and better hotel room with kitchen and king size beds. Which was lovely, but the routers on the second floor wouldn't connect to my computer! After trying three different wireless cards and considering that the issue might be MY lame Thinkpad, I experimented by going back to the third floor and YES! I could connect to the wireless access points up here.

So I requested yet another room change, back to a simple room with no kitchen, but I am finally connected to the world again! Sigh.

I guess between communication and food, I'd rather pick communication and information? What does this mean?

Saturday, July 1, 2006

For us to move forward

For us to really move forward we’ve gotta get outside the little boxes we all put ourselves in.
- Scobleizer

I agree!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

links for 2006-06-30

links for 2006-06-29

Thursday, June 22, 2006

links for 2006-06-22

Sunday, June 18, 2006

links for 2006-06-19

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

links for 2006-06-15

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

links for 2006-06-14

Saturday, June 10, 2006

links for 2006-06-10

Friday, June 9, 2006

links for 2006-06-09

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Convertible Coffee Table

Should I get this?

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

links for 2006-06-08

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

links for 2006-06-07

Saturday, June 3, 2006

links for 2006-06-04

Thursday, June 1, 2006

links for 2006-06-02

Sunday, May 28, 2006

links for 2006-05-29

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

links for 2006-05-24

Monday, May 22, 2006

links for 2006-05-23

Friday, May 19, 2006

links for 2006-05-19

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Wikipedia

I love it! Wikipedia!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

links for 2006-05-17

Friday, May 12, 2006

links for 2006-05-12

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

links for 2006-05-09

Saturday, May 6, 2006

links for 2006-05-06

Friday, May 5, 2006

links for 2006-05-05

Thoughts on Ticketmaster and Price Sensitivity

I just tried and failed to buy Radiohead tickets for Kane.

So then, to see how I could improve my "Ticketmaster skills" I did a blogsearch on Google for "Ticketmaster." Instead of getting tips on how to successfully buy high-demand tickets, I just found a lot of hatred and anger towards Ticketmaster.

Despite fans' rabid hatred, though, it seems like people use Ticketmaster anyway. They have no alternative! It looks like Ticketmaster will mark up fees 60%+ for concerts. How can they do that? Why do they have the power to do so?

It seems to me whenever there are multiple parties between and different motivations of decision makers, egregious pricing can result.

Ticketmaster has contracts with concert facilities, who negotiate the convenience fee the fans pay. Since the facility isn't paying the fee, they are less incented to reduce the fees. In fact, it seems they have incentives for the fees to be higher (they are getting a cut I think.)

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

links for 2006-05-04

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

ShopWiki

ShopWiki is a website that I noticed last week.

I think it's a great idea! The site is essentially a shopping guide / wiki which indexes everything that can be purchased online.

So part of the site is sort of similar to My Simon or Froogle in that it lets you do price comparison. Where I think the site takes off in comparison though is that there are wikis on the site where users can add information/facts on buying something.

When I first came across it, I sort of thought it was neat, but wasn't sure if I would ever use it. Then today I was thinking about making a purchase, but I wanted to do some research beforehand. Right now there's not really any single place to look to do research. If ShopWiki can be a kind of content aggregator of some sort, for example, linking to all the product reviews on a certain type of product and collecting information and putting into an easily searchable place, I think it could be really awesome.

Before people make a purchasing decision, they need objective information to figure out what they're going to buy. There's tons and tons of reviews and articles on things everywhere on the web, but right now they are sort of all over the place. Having one place to find information is really appealing. Also, the community aspect of sharing and people helping each other out is another awesome characteristic of this site.

Of course, they still need to build up their content, but it looks like team behind the site has pretty impressive Internet credentials. Let's see what happens with this site! I also think it's neat the company is based in NYC, home of tons of media/advertising firms.

Sorry if this sounds like a commercial, I don't know anyone involved with the site and just came across it on the Internet... I just think it sounds like a neat idea.

Monday, May 1, 2006

links for 2006-05-02

Fast Food Nation Trailer



Wow, YouTube is so cool!

Windows Live Sort of Sucks

A9 seems to be using Windows Live as its search engine now and it really sucks!!

When I search I often get 2 or 3 results compared to Google's thousands, and when I did a search for "time in nyc" they sent me to website squatter rather than a real website!

I wonder why they are using Windows Live? Must be cost/other Microsoft incentives.... at the long-term expense of attracting users to A9... bleh!!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

links for 2006-04-29

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

links for 2006-04-27

Monday, April 24, 2006

links for 2006-04-21

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Thai Cooking School?

So I've been doing some research on what I should do this summer, and one idea is to go to cooking school in Thailand.

I guess a bunch of schools do this in Thailand, and I'm not sure which one is the best one. It looks like it costs about $20 for a day of classes, they usually take you out to the market to buy and learn about ingredients and you usually get to eat everything that you cook.

Richard Barrow posted a great overview of various Thai cooking schools.

So I don't know, is this a good way to spend free time? I want to do something abroad this summer, but I'd rather be doing something sort of productive.. Hmmm.

So here are some links I've found sorted by school:

Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School
Apparently this school has been around the longest. It also costs the most and is located 20 minutes outside of Chiang Mai central:

Friday, April 21, 2006

links for 2006-04-22

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

links for 2006-04-20

Fight inequality or fight poverty?

On fighting inequality or fighting poverty, this person argues that we should fight against poverty [FT]:
"What to do, then? Let us stop fighting a battle we cannot win and concentrate all efforts on a fight that can succeed. The best tools to achieve a long-term, sustained decline in inequality are the same as those that are now widely accepted as the best available levers to lift people out of poverty. Provide access to better education and health, clean water, justice, steady jobs, housing and credit. The recipe is well known, even boring. These goals are not good fodder for a rousing speech. And they will not bring down inequality as quickly as one would wish. But focusing on these indispensable goals will certainly close one important gap: the gap between our good deeds and our best intentions. "

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Best Salad Dressing - Ever

I have found my new favorite salad dressing - Trader Joe's Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette . It is SOO good!!

The new Trader Joe by Union Square seems to be a lot less busy.. isn't that weird? A couple weeks ago I waited 45 minutes in line just for the privilege of shopping in there and today I was in and out in 10 minutes!

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Waiter Rule

"A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, or to others, is not a nice person."
Raytheon CEO Bill Swanson

Thursday, April 13, 2006

links for 2006-04-14

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

links for 2006-04-13

Monday, April 10, 2006

links for 2006-04-11

Sunday, April 9, 2006

links for 2006-04-10

Friday, April 7, 2006

links for 2006-04-08

Cliffs

In South Africa, Poor AIDS Patients Adopt Risky Ploy [WSJ]:
"Her decision represents an unexpected twist in South Africa's AIDS crisis. The South African government gives Zolile antiretroviral "cocktails" to make her healthier. It will also give her a $130-a-month disability grant -- but only if she gets sicker than she is now. And if she takes the drugs, she probably won't get sick enough to qualify for the cash."

Does social assistance creates a cliff for people to get to the next level? It becomes like a step function. Let's say you get $30 if you do nothing.

Well to work a lot and get only $31 isn't worth it if you get $30 for doing nothing right? You're only getting aincremental $1 for your efforts, so why bother? Only when you get magnitudes above the social assistance level is it really worth trying harder..

I don't know what the solution to that is..

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

links for 2006-04-06

Friday, March 31, 2006

links for 2006-04-01

Thursday, March 30, 2006

links for 2006-03-31

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

links for 2006-03-30

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

links for 2006-03-29

Monday, March 27, 2006

links for 2006-03-28

Sunday, March 26, 2006

links for 2006-03-27

Friday, March 24, 2006

links for 2006-03-25

Saturday, March 18, 2006

links for 2006-03-19

Thursday, March 16, 2006

links for 2006-03-17

Monday, March 13, 2006

links for 2006-03-14

Friday, March 10, 2006

links for 2006-03-11

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Drugstore.com Free Shipping Snafu

In another weird online shopping experience, I was trying to buy something from drugstore.com last night. Well, it kept saying I only needed to add $15 more to get free shipping, so I took the time to look around and find something else I could buy. They were offering free standard shipping with a $25 purchase.

Right when I went to check-out, I logged in with an existing account.. well several minutes later, my free shipping "evaporated" and suddenly I needed to buy $49 in order to qualify for free shipping!!

It was so annoying.

I thought maybe I was just hallucinating or something about seeing $25 earlier, so then I fired up Firefox, which apparently does not share cookies with Internet Explorer. Well, I went back to drugstore.com and it *again* said free shipping with $25!! What the heck!?

So this time, I added the same items to my cart, didn't log in to my existing account to sign out and I was able to get the free shipping... Isn't that unbelievable?!

It seems they could be more straight forward!

links for 2006-03-10