Sunday, March 30, 2008

Western Journalism

I came across this article titled "Nationalism at core of China's reaction to Tibet unrest"

which reflects pretty typical attitudes toward China in the West. And this is one of the more balanced articles.

First of all, it is always nationalism when it's China, but patriotism when it's the US. I'm not saying nationalism/patriotism is good, but it's not like there's much of a distinction between the two except it's always nationalism when it's someone you don't like and patriotism when it's someone you like.

Second, "Scholars often describe nationalism as the state religion in China now that the Communist Party has shrugged off socialist ideology and made economic development the country's priority." As if patriotism isn't an American state religion in addition to Christianity? Geez.

Also, "Commentators in Chinese state media have said foreign news reporting has been more sympathetic to Tibetans in Lhasa than to the Chinese who lost their lives and property in the riots. Meanwhile, Chinese from around the world were infuriated when several Western news organizations mislabeled photographs of the police beating pro-Tibet protesters in Nepal as being from China." Yeah, isn't that pretty bad? Chinese people have reason to think that Western media is out to get them.

So much for free speech. Given that everything they write is so twisted, is it really a surprise that the Chinese don't want them in Tibet? I don't think it's necessarily right, and it's obviously non-ideal, but their case - that they're unbiased and therefor should be there - is not very convincing.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Muslims are the new Jews

Dutch people suck

Ok ok ok, so a Dutch legislator makes a 15 min movie about how Muslims are violent, and that they're going to take over Europe. And it doesn't get widely condemned. This is the kind of thing that exposes the West's double standards on religious freedoms and human rights.


wow, i agree with things that condi rice is saying.

She even admits that the UN sanctions on Iraq did a lot of damage. "as a result of them, 'agriculture is virtually dead in Iraq.'"

And she also talks about race.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kill A Watts

Watt the Hell

It's a device that measures how much power your appliances use.

Hm, you can get them for about $23.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

video optical illusions

this one's fun.

Bee Raw Honey

It's so gooood!!!

Black Man's Burden

Huckabee and McCain more gracious than Clinton, not that that's hard

Monday, March 24, 2008

Financial Books

my friend Katie recommended some books on how to manage the copious amounts of money i'm about to have.

Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People

The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need

Veronica Lake

is cool...and hot!
and she was really short!

we watched Sullivan's Travels yesterday, and it's awesome. it is also the inspiration for oh brother where art thou, made 60 years later. sweet

Davis Square Lofts

today, toby and i went to davis square to check out the area and look at some apartments. we stopped by the davis square lofts, which feature sustainable design, and we are hoping to rent from there. they are not done building everything, yet. we also checked out some stores in the area, and we found this really good italian grocery shop and really good quality clothes stores on holland st. whoooo, let's move there already!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Brim Full of Asha?

Did you ever wonder what the hell they were talking about?

Especially when it goes,
"everybody needs a bosom for a pillow, everyone needs a bosom, mine's only 45"

45 years old?


lyrics explained!

Power Program

Power Company

The Fells

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Obama Statement about Taiwan Presidential Election

Taiwan elected a KMT president Ma, who promises closer ties with the mainland.

Obama put out a statement calling on China to do certain things, but reiterated that the US supports the One-China policy. I think he made a good statement

I hate it when white people get all pro-Taiwan, though. I'm sorry, but people need to understand that being pro-Taiwan just proves to Chinese people that the US has an agenda against it, and it only encourages China to be aggressive. If you really care about peace, you wouldn't be pro Taiwan independence OR Tibetan independence, for that matter.

"But the Bush administration has also been irritated by the reluctance of Nationalists in the legislature to vote for purchases of American weapon systems, including systems that President Bush offered for sale in 2001 but that Taiwan still has not bought"

HAHA, good for them!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Compliments of Jenny Hu

MIT Startup

One of the guys on 41w left (with only 1 sem left!) to work on this startup.

Drop Box


Engineering Company

they contacted me through a job search site. i already have a job, but they seem like fun.



Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Procrastinating with Joan Crawford

I watched this documentary about Joan Crawford. She's crazy.

Obama Speech on Race

Read and Watch the Speech here

Awesome awesome speech.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tibet and China

There is no doubt that Tibetans need more civil rights. At the same time, demanding for Tibet to be independent and demonizing the Chinese government are counterproductive. The main issue is that Chinese people don't believe that Western nations really care about human rights (see Iraq War) and are just making a stink to bring China down. Thus, Chinese people are very offended and alarmed when Western nations call for free Tibet. Western people should know that if Tibet really became independent, Chinese people around the world would protest and riot. These are relatively neutral article from the Wall Street Journal.



High School Hilarity

This is actually an essay I wrote for the Chinese newspaper after I got into MIT and graduated from high school.

High school. HAHA! because high school = OVER. I laugh a laugh of confidence built over years of insecurity and doubt, a laugh of proud accomplishment, gloating over my luck, of excitement for the future, of sheepishness from excessive praise, but also more caustic laughs of grim irony over the hypocrisy and the shallowness of my apparent worth. I don't suck! Cuz I did it! In fact, I ROCK! College is going to be awesome! And I'm getting cocky! And I'm not even that smart! Just really lucky! And upon that my worth is judged, and for that I get respect! Oh, sad.


One of the biggest lessons I learned in high school is that persistence pays off. I just needed a goal and a plan, and I almost always got what I wanted. A goal, a plan, and NO FEAR! because there is always the fear of difficulty and the possibility of hidden obstacles and failure. Although you should always be prepared to deal with these difficulties, fear clouds judgment and hinders performance. So am I afraid when I organize events such as a chess tournament and take tests like APs for college credit? I'm TERRIFIED, but I do it anyway. Besides, even when I don't get exactly what I want, things always work out in the end. Thus, I am always prepared to revise my goals to adjust to changing circumstances and new priorities. Consequently, my secret weapons of mass getting-things-done are as follows: a goal, a plan, NO FEAR!, and adaptability.

yup, i am good at personal essays. that's why i got in. i wish i actually had more time these days to think and write. haven't really written anything all that reflective in YEARS.

scientology: we are anonymous

The Next Bubble

Eric Janszen's article, The Next Bubble, provides a short history of our now bipolar economy. It all starts with an invention or innovation that creates a new and unfamiliar space for investment. People with credibility move in, less savvy investors follow, not wanting to be left behind. The amounts of money that move around create a haze where certain assets become way overvalued. Eventually everybody comes to their senses, often all at once, like crashing into a brick wall. Investors rush to take their money out as quickly as they originally put it in. Janszen was a honcho at a VC firm during the 90s so he has first-hand experience with the pattern.

While such frenzies have a long history (the article mentions the South Sea Bubble of 1720), their frequency is increasing. Whereas previously the boom-bust cycle occurred on the scale of decades, after the dot-com crash of 2000, the so-called subprime bubble began foaming in 2003.

When the dot-com bubble crashed, about $7 trillion in fictitious value needed to be dissipated in a way that wouldn't create shocks throughout the US (and world) economy. The bubble resulted in a glut of workers without jobs and companies without customers, and on the other side reactionary, overly-cautious investors who no longer wanted to risk their money. Since the 1929 crash, the strategy the US has taken to recover is called Keynesian reflation: cut taxes, increase federal spending, depreciate the dollar, and lower interest rates. These moves are intended to counter the reaction to the crash (ie: keep investors from hoarding their money in savings accounts) and keep money moving so that the economy can resettle smoothly.

Reflation worked pretty well in the early 2000s because the federal government was running a surplus in the 90s, the dollar was high, taxes had room to decrease, and the fed funds rate was 6%. However, it's going to be a lot harder to contain the reaction to this most recent bubble, which is estimated at around $12 trillion in fictitious value. The government has been running a deficit, the dollar is low, and tax cuts from the early 2000s are still in effect. The fed funds rate went from 6.5% in 2000 down to 1% in 2003 to counter the dot-com crash. It recovered up to 5.25% in summer of 2006, but is now at 3%, and may go down another 1% within a week. There is worry that it won't be able to fall low enough to counter the crash.

For the US economy to survive, Janszen predicts that another bubble will need to form. That is, a new frontier will need to open up and provide opportunity for investors, create jobs, etc. I won't give it away, but you can probably guess what it is (hint: it's what the world needs). Or you can read the article, which I recommend.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Kristen Schaal

guess what!

just wanted to point out to everyone that i linked sheeshee's blog (to your right). and she might start posting here, too. yaaaayyy

Agriculture Policies Etc

This is mostly in response to Yang's previous post. It's long so I just decided to make a formal entry of it.

I'm taking an Envrion Sci class right now about International agricultural policies. Monsanto apparently has been eating up all the small seed companies, and has been developing transgenic seed lines, such as their corn and canola lines that are resistant to the herbicide that they developed, Roundup. And they put a PATENT on the transgenic seed itself, not just the gene. How do you patent life??? WTf. it doesn't make any sense. But anyway, so a bunch of small farmers have found the transgenic plants in their farms and they don't even want them there, but since they use the herbicide Roundup for their main crop, they spray the weed with it, and it doesn't go away. So Monsanto finds out about it through whatever devilish means, and sues the farmer for having their product in their farm without Monsanto's permission. And of course b/c Monsanto is big and scary with nice rich fat lawyers, they often win. It's completely fucked up.

Plant biotechnology is new, and untested. And it's created for about 99% of the time in the interest of making more profit, so new plant lines are created to be compatible with herbicides, and there's also this terminator gene that makes the new seeds sterile so you have to return to the company to buy new seed every time. Anyway, so a lot of Third World countries (this concept of 3rd World btw, along with the idea of Development itself was conceived at the end of WWII) decide maybe they can improve their economies by improving agriculture, and maybe they can do that by having a Green Revolution (import Monsanto's plant biotechnology). Because Monsanto promises higher crop yields and therefore more profit for the farmer, BUT Only the large landowners who are wealthy can afford the technology package (Synthetic fertilizer, herbicide, seed, etc) and so the average farmer doesn't benefit from it. And the high yield doesn't last, since it erodes the environment, taking out more than the soil is capable of handling basically. I'm not completely clear on the bad effects to the environment, but it's definitely bad for the farmers, and makes people completely dependent on large $$-hungry corporations. So it doesn't have any good intentions, and it's not sustainable, so it isn't good for the long run. Additionally, there used to be like 75,000 different genetic varieties of plant food that humans ate. Today, there are like a few thousand, nowhere near where it used to be. And plant biotech promotes the growth of monocultures, basically just one genetic variety of, say, corn. Lack of genetic diversity is bad because if you have any kind of climate catastrophe, it could wipe out the entire species of corn since there's only one strain of it. So monocultures are vulnerable and don't last long. You need a diverse variety of agriculture to fall back on.

Also, currently because of corporate lobbying, the US government gives its farmers subsidies for using seeds from large corporations such as Monsanto. So when small farms decide to be organic, they are okay in the beginning, but as demand increases, they have a more difficult time competing against larger farms with government subsidies. This explains in part why organic food is more expensive than non-organic foods. And we don't label our genetically-modified foods because of corporate lobbying, and shushing the media, so people aren't really aware of GM foods in our market. But it's found mostly in highly processed foods. The reason supposedly is that if you have a bad allergy to a GM food, and you report it to your doctor, your doctor will have trouble tracing the source of your allergy, and therefore will not be able to create a database (for an allergy to GM food) and therefore the company won't ever get into trouble.

Anyway thats all I have to say.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Obama's Earmarks


for fiscal year 2006 and 2007

track federal grants, contracts, earmarks and loans online

What is the Buzz in DC

"My dad's a senator and he knows whats going on in DC. The superdelegates are largely divided because of HRC's tactics. He told me based on his conversations with his friends that HRC is rallying their support by "destroying" Obama for a GE matchup. She's basically demanding their vote. Also, this Ferraro scandal is calculated to rally the white vote in PA. Oh yes, Michigan and Florida's sole purpose is to gain their superdelegates who're largely for HRC. But, there's this one rumor thats hard to ignore he mentioned. There's heated talks by the HRC people to prevent this "someone" from endorsing Obama early next week. Wonder who this someone is to anger some New York senators"


this isn't a very well thought-out post and i might have the terms wrong, but thought i'd post it anyway.

sustainable agriculture are methods to decrease the use of pesticides and other chemicals. since WWII, there has been a chemical revolution because people began to believe that chemicals can solve all of our problems. since then, many agriculture departments at universities have been established and funded by large chemical companies like Monsanto and Dow Corning. it is a very profitable relationship for them because people who get trained in these universities often go out and work for these companies and also give advice to farmers on how they should farm (by using pesticides).

these days, there is greater awareness about pesticide residue in food and the health problems that they cause. and so there is renewed interest in sustainable farming.

Repubs Gaming the System

some more stats

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Word of the Day


that's right everybody, it's a real word, seriously.

Hillary's FactHub: Source of All Amazingly Well Written and Credible, Factual Information


Memo one of her campaign people posted in response to Obama camp.

Ok, so maybe she has a little bit of real merit in Northern Ireland and a little bit more in Kosovo. Her explanations for Bosnia, China, and Rwanda are not at all strong arguments.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Republicans For Hillary

Barack won Mississippi today, but Republicans broke for Hillary in record numbers. They were about 13% of the vote, and they voted for Hillary 85%. In other primaries, Republicans have tended to favor Barack. Sabotage anyone? And to those who say "so what, it's not illegal," democracy only works if people vote for who they actually prefer.

On the other hand, they really may prefer Clinton because they're racist. But that doesn't really make things any better now does it.

be afraid

dance your PhD1!!1!

People are funny

"Dont forget she won Michigan too. She boasted a win in Michigan. Your crying commander and chief won Michigan.
But she was the only person on the ticket.
How can you Hillary lovers stomach that crap. She would hit your momma in the head to get elected"

hillary exaggerates about experience (surprise!)

memo put out by Greg Craig, former director, Policy Planning Office, U.S. State Department, adviser to Obama campaign

Monday, March 10, 2008

i killed a mouse!

there was a mouse today in toby's closet. charlene has caught it a few times, but she doesn't know what to do with it so it always gets away. well, today i saw her sitting on the floor looking like she was mousing. and then i get in there and yeah, there was totally a mouse. eventually, i killed it by hitting it with a slipper. it was exciting but kind of creepy. take that, mouse!

It Just Gets Better and Better Every Day

(i like to read the comments on the obama blog and other political blogs when i take breaks between soul sucking school work.)

"Jeesh, Sorry, but she(clinton) is pretty evil to me! I wouldn't trust her with my toaster--and I don't have one!"

also, more Clinton surrogate gems,

Geraldine Ferraro, who was Walter Mondale's running mate against Reagan in 1984 today said this.

If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.

She was also ranting about the sexist media and all that.

here are some reader comments

"Wow--the sexist media! Is this the same media that has seen 16 women elected to the Senate and 1 black man?"

"Black Voters are a Boutique Constituency
They don't count
Or, Maybe They Do Count...3/5th"

"She(geraldine) is part of Hillary's plan to build a bridge
back to the early 20th century."

"More like a tunnel."

"Come on, don't you know that compared to upper class white women, African Americans have it easy. You just hear so many stories every day about cops mistakenly shooting rich blonds shopping at Neiman Marcus. And the incarceration rate of political wives is truly shocking."

I'm Upset

Clinton is pushing this idea that she would choose Obama as her running mate. Obama rightly explained himself and why she chose to say that. Obviously, she's trying to marginalize him, trying to make herself seem like she thinks she's going to win but be a nice winner and let Obama get VP. But she's running these ads that say Obama isn't ready to be commander-in-chief. What the hell is she doing? Anyone that's paying attention should figure it out that she's just milking people. She's not serious. Obama is still clear in his goals. He doesn't want to play the game, he's going to defend himself when he gets attacked, but he's not going to lose his mind like Clinton has. And if he was losing, he'd get it and move on. He wouldn't be such a crazy fiend that Clinton has become, solely interested in winning and losing sight of our ultimate goals.

And all of these attacks on Obama will be bad overall for Democratic reforms. McCain could easily say, if indeed Obama did win the nomination, that even Senator Clinton thinks these bad things about Obama. It's not just the Republicans anymore. An attack on Obama has much more validity when both McCain and Clinton agree to it. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?! All in self-interest. GRRRRR!!!

Is Dexter Ill Is Dexter Ill

is dexter ill today? mr kirk, dexters in school
i'm afraid hes not, miss fishborne
dexters truancy problem is way out of hand
The baltimore county school board have decided to expel
dexter from the entire public school system

that's from Frontier Psychiatrist by the Avalanches. that clip is actually from 1981 John Waters movie called Polyester

it's about a suburban middle class mom, who is played by a man in drag, hahaha! and her son dexter turns out to be the "baltimore stomper" because he has a fetish where he breaks women's feet.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Rush Limbaugh Republicans

Rush Reps

Buy It Like You Mean It

This is a company by MIT alums for consumer empowerment. Our friend Dan Ring works there. And I know the founder and cofounder, too. Whoo

West Wing

Obama as the inspiration for the Matt Santos character

Oh, and I saw Richard Dawkins speak today in Berkeley. It was thrilling! And he signed a book for me. AWwwww. A truthful description of the man.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hillary Saddam Clinton

oh damn, video got removed, booo

Save Me Daylight!



Media Lab fashion show? What?

Political Commentary

Ok, I am pissed.

It is really sad the way that Clinton is dragging the dialog into the ditch. I really hope that people understand that this is why people are not interested in "politics." It's not that they're not interested in these problems that the country faces. It's just that look at what politics has been reduced to! Well, then who are going to be the next leaders and organizers? You need the best and the brightest young people to be interested in running your country! OBVIOUSLY!!!

I know everyone's been trying to give the Obama campaign advice, and I just want to put out there that the most inspiring things that Obama says is when he redefines our priorities. He did it a lot in the speeches in the beginning of the campaign when he made the policy speeches. It's the stuff when he says why education is so important, not just for upward mobility but for the future of the American economy, why bottom up organizing is so important, etc. I think the campaign should redefine patriotism and seriously redefine what it means to have experience.

Patriotism is not about being proud no matter what your country does. It's about loving your country and being willing to work to make it better.

Experience is important. But it's the experience of knowing how deal with people, knowing how to listen, and get things done that really counts. It's about the experience of growing up poor, and being where you are because of getting a good education. It's the experience of knowing how to motivate other people and rally people to your side. That's something Clinton can never say she has had experience doing. Clinton says she's a fighter. Well, of course we all want a fighter. But what we don't want is a bully.

Obama needs to keep talking about political theory. He needs to keep going with the rhetoric. I know the campaign has gotten a little sidetracked since the other side has been saying "he's all talk." Well, that's his strength, and that's what we need because Americans, especially Democrats, have seriously gotten sidetracked and need to reprioritize.

I watched some old episodes of the West Wing recently, and there was a character running for president named Santos, and he was a lot like Barack. He came from a humble background and talked about the importance of education and was against fighting dirty. He was just like Barack. I was like, this guy is a liberal's dream candidate. And now he's here, and liberals are like, oh I don't know, he's not experienced enough. He's not tough enough. Come on liberals!!!!! What the hell?!?! Seriously. Republicans probably think this is hilarious.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Environmental Policy Class

I am in this policy class on Regulation of Chemicals, Radiation, and Biotechnology. It's taught by these two environmental lawyers Ashford and Caldart. Law is really weird, though. I was talking with some people, and we think that laws should be computer programs. Seriously, that is the only way we're going to get it to be less ambiguous and also easier to use. There is this problem right now with law in that it's not easy for engineers since you need really strong verbal skills. I mean, mostly, it takes forever to read everything. So you have these humanities people all writing, enforcing, and challenging the laws and policies, and then you have engineers and problem solvers with common sense.

Law, especially administrative law, is wack.

Oyster Diaries

yesterday, Toby and I had Wiano oysters from Cape Cod. they were medium sized, and good, but a little salty in the beginning. they were pretty fatty, though.


I'm on the Anne Hunter course 6 jobslist, and it's interesting to see what MIT startups there are.

WebNotes is a privately funded startup located at 100 Memorial Drive whose mission is to revolutionize the way people collect, organize and share information on the Internet. WebNotes makes it possible to annotate web pages with highlighters and sticky notes from within your web browser, making it easy to keep track of information and share annotated snippets of the web with friends and colleagues.

WebNotes was founded by MIT alumni and students and launched an Alpha version of its product in January. We currently looking for creative, analytical, and driven students to help complete our product and launch WebNotes this spring.

I couldn't find a site for it, though.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


email from my dad

Last few days watching Hilary and Obama has actually made me think of that old struggle for democracy in Taiwan. Many people devoted their whole life to the cause and sacrificed personally so much. It took a few decades for their cause to prevail. But when the time comes, the voters said thank you and voted for others, Their war was won, their role was over, they were ushered to the side as the whole society moved on and the young never saw their sacrifice. Some exited nicely, others have been bitter. Clinton is a tremendous fighter, a younger one in the tail end of the generation who fought very hard to push the woman's movement. Expecting to watch her also be swept away by the younger generation, I actually had a lot of sympathy (although never fond of her brutal style). What a surprise she actually survived for now, at least glimpsing from the web news while I am awaiting the flight here.


also, on the bus last night, probably 70% of the riders were hispanic, 20% black, the rest white and asian. there was an argument between a drunk black guy and a hispanic guy, that ended with the black guy yelling something about 'all you people living 20 people in one house go get green cards or go get back on the boat' before getting off the bus. the hispanic guy then commented that black **'s like that were why clinton won the (hispanic) vote in texas and ohio, and most of the riders seemed to agree. so much for getting over racial tensions.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Clinton wins, sure, but not without turning Obama's words against him.

Politics as usual!

And non-democrats we should be afraid of. Jews!! No, not really. But I hate how they're super anal about Israel and they're really rich so they have a lot of influence in politics.

Primary Results

UGH so lame. Guess we'll be in for more smears. Clinton sucks!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Yesterday, LSC helped SfGS and SAVE run an event on changing environmentalism. It was by these guys who founded the Break Through Institute and wrote a paper called the "Death of Environmentalism" and a book Break Through. I got a signed copy of their book. whooo I think it's my first signed copy of a book.

Sunday, March 2, 2008



AMAZING!! I AM HIGH RIGHT NOW FROM THAT. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to do it because I really need to get going on my project and maybe switch to a different device. WHEW

I'm using CC2500. I don't think I would recommend them, though. But I don't really know what the alternatives are really like. It seems very difficult. There must be a better way...

Gallery in South End

I went to a party last night at a place that is cool where some people live. One of them is an artist named Nik Gulacsik, and he says he shows his stuff at the Distillery Gallery. Also, his friend is a curator at another gallery that I've actually been to before when they did an exhibit with Peter Schmitt from the Media Lab. Peter is in the Smart Cities Group, which is also what my boss is in.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Civil Libertarian

article comparing obama and clinton on civil liberties.

The Electric Company


Energy Retrofits group at the Generator, this event where people at MIT got together and made groups that work on sustainability projects.

I'm interested in retrofits, but this group doesn't even do a whole lot on retrofits. I'm thinking like, new windows. They're like solar power and wind power, which are not retrofits!

The Audacity of Data

article about Obama's advisors and their approach to problem solving.

Bill Clinton's Law of Politics in 2004