Friday, June 30, 2006

lazy cats

these past two days i've been sick as a dog, and so i've stayed at home. it's good for the cats, because my roommate's away. i've played with them, pet them, fed them treats, and they, for the most part, have slept. i wonder what they think about, as they lie there, twitching.

raja gives me angry slits as i use the flash on him

zelda cannot be disturbed in her sleep. yesterday i saw her fall off this chair while sleeping

mika, the champion sleeper. if you pet her when she looks to be sleeping, she'll flip over and adjust into optimal petting position, all the while keeping her eyes closed

then there's me, sick and bored (no picture provided). i watched germany beat argentina on espn360, and i was sad, but the german keeper really was extraordinary in penalty kicks.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

should all content be readily available?

et me motivate the title of this thought. this past week i was reading the new yorker, specifically a wonderful article by Bill Buford called "The Dessert Lab: A pastry chef's quest for the new" about Will Goldfarb's new dessert place Room 4 Dessert in new york city (dessert pictured above is from Room 4 Dessert, courtesy yelp). i loved this article. i can't explain it exactly, it was just so perfect and fun and informative. i'll give you some fun quotes. goldfarb couldn't get a reliable bartender, so he had the author tend bar. the rules:
There were three rules. Break nothing. ("Please!") Make no money mistakes. And let people wait. "A pastry rule," he [Goldfarb] added. "Better to be perfect and slow than fast and flawed."
so buford tends bar for a bit, giving advice to the customers and having some fun. goldfarb does not approve of buford's work:
He [Goldfarb] took me aside: "You are too frantic. You've got too much adrenaline. You don't understand. There is no fourth wall here. There is no kitchen to hide in. Everything you do is on view. You have to be relaxed. Easy. Listen to the music. You are the atmosphere. Do you understand?" He paused, clearly convinced that I wasn't understanding. He was trying to be polite. "And the advice you keep giving? Do me a favor. Don't."
i wanted to share it with people i knew wouldn't have the new yorker. i have some friends who would really appreciate this article! of course, the new yorker site isn't serving this article (they only serve a subset of what they publish each week).

furthermore, i couldn't buy the article online. after some snooping, i found a blog that had posted a pdf version but they subsequently took it down when the new yorker came a servin' legalese. i contemplated scanning the article but never got to a scanner. in a last ditch attempt, i photographed a page of the article, but that came out poorly.

so i give up. the new yorker doesn't want its content flowing in the world. i'd be happy to pay for this article, to share it! and if ads mean more, then by all means make it available with ads all around it, online.

but i guess that the new yorker can distribute in any way they want. what if they never want an online copy? what if having that paper, the funny cartoons, the odd cover, the package is what matters to them? well, all i know is that i will be visiting Room 4 Dessert when i'm in nyc. here's the cartoon from the new yorker:

Thursday, June 22, 2006

live HDTV sucks

i was in berkeley watching the first brazil game of the world cup a week ago. it was displayed on a beautiful hdtv in the front of the bar, and, if you arrived late, on a normal tv in the back of the bar.

so, brazil's applying some pressure when suddenly i hear this scream from the back of the bar. i turn around and see people cheering and clapping and i'm wondering: "what game are they watching?" suddenly i turn back to my tv and kaka has scored
(pictured above celebrating the goal).

it turns out that the hdtv broadcast has a few second delay compared to the regular broadcast! the back of the bar knew about the goal before me! i thought this only happened in different solar systems where the exploding star reaches me years later! this completely blows. there's no point watching if i can just wait and listen for the people behind me.

mihai pointed me to an article about this on bbc. supposedly the bbc spokesperson advises that people shut their windows so they can't hear celebrations from normal tv watchers. ridiculous. that is not a solution. live hdtv sucks!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

bad commencement keynote speech

oh man.. i was at a college graduation today, and the keynote speaker was the ceo of some fairly large company (depicted at the left). he had us hooked on his idiocy from the beginning:

he started his speech by saying that he was a really busy man, and he didn't have time to write the speech, so one of his staff wrote it, and so if anything is wrong with the speech, don't blame him, blame his staff.

what a beginning. the speaker to inspire the next generation of business people tells them that they should delegate to their underlings, and if anything goes wrong, blame them.

it gets better: at the particularly corny moments in his speech, the speaker paused to note that what he was about to say wasn't actually written by him, so again, blame the real writer.

at one point he got into a verbal exchange with an audience member whose last name was fani (he asked for the student's last name) and then made a butt joke.

is there anything good to say about this speech? well, we had a good time laughing at the speaker... the picture above seems appropriate since we think he wasn't completely sober. however, i feel really bad for the graduating class. at least their valedictorian gave a solid address.

ps if any of you hate this blog entry, don't blame me, blame the ceo

Sunday, June 11, 2006

broken social scene

i've told a lot of people about broken social scene, but now i want to announce it more widely: i love them! i bought their most recent album, "Yor Forgot It in People" and it's fantastic. you can listen to some of the songs here if you scroll down to the samples. what's amazing about the group is that they are a supergroup -- a conglomeration of many artists, with a few core artists directing the vision. the album really speaks to this diversity that's unified despite its wide scope, from soft, strictly instrumentals to really moving vocal pieces.

i especially like tracks 5,6 and 7 (this supports my theory that the best tracks on a cd are track 7 or thereabouts.... i strongly believe this!). track 6 is called "pacific theme" and it just makes me wish i was sitting down by the ocean relaxing and listening to a band (broken social scene would be ideal!).

Friday, June 09, 2006

dealing with anger

this week i realized that i deal with my anger in a quite peculiar way, in the sense that it's quite different from how other people perhaps deal with their anger. i've created a graph below to illustrate:

i don't think this is good because it means the person or thing that is angering me gets almost no feedback until a point at which i express feedback in a strongly negative, labeled bad, way. i've drawn a normal person as linear, though i doubt the average person is linear. this is also bad for me because sometimes later on i realize that i was angry (my curve starts to look more "normal") and yet it's too late for me to give any feedback. the moment is lost.

i'm going to try and get away from this step function. it isn't good!