Saturday, May 31, 2008

I read half of Traci Lords' autobiography, the pornstar from like the 80s or so. Basically she had a fucked up childhood, raped at 10 years old by this 16 year old guy she was in love with, sexually molested by a pseudo stepfather but the only adult she could trust. Got pregnant in high school by a boyfriend, who of course turned his back instantly, and had to get an abortion. Thereafter, she essentially got tricked into doing nude modeling because she needed a job to pay for the abortion (she didn't think it was nude at first). Her stepfather didn't bother to tell her the truth of course, and told her basically that everything was good and normal. Vodka and coke lines later, she's a nude model at 15. And since she has no family to turn to or friends, she stays with the porn industry, and eventually gets pressured into softcore and hardcore films. Anyway... Sexual abuse is fucked up... Why do people do it? It boggles my mind...

Oh, and she has a terrible opinion of the porn industry, says everyone has something messed up to say about their private lives. Understandable. But then again I have heard of not so traumatic things from others in the porn industry. So yes... Getting tricked into it is pretty horrific.

And I started my internship with MAPLight, and am working on a few practice bills right now. Conservatives and industry are fucked up. I'm working on this one bill, S-MINER Act of 2007, basically a comprehensive safety bill for miners, focusing especially on coal mines. Industry says, yes we love safety, but the costs are overbearing for business (the penalties and fees for safety oversight by a separate gov't department), so it isn't worth it... It'll be a detriment to the American economy, and we'll have to lay off people. God can't you just make a little less money???????????!!! It's people's lives! The technology is there, so we should use it. More evidence of the fucked up nature of human mentalities.

Basically I'm given a few bills, and I look up all the supporting and opposing organizations for the bill, list them and the source, find out a general sense of what the organization is about, and then write a comment about the bill. It's really fascinating reading some of these things... I'll generalize more after I get through some more bills... I'm tempted to generalize right away about conservative mentality, but I shall hold my tongue.


The other day, I went out and bought the most expensive clothing item I've ever bought, high waisted shorts at LF. I really like this store, but it's REALLY expensive.

MBT theraputic shoes

Yesterday, Alicia and I went shopping, and we came across this shoe store called Foot Solutions. They had a lot of comfortable shoes there, and there is this new kind of shoe called the MBT that is supposed to exercise you while you walk and also help with your joints and posture. Miracle shoe! They're around $250, though.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

walk score

this is kinda cool. not sure about their algorithm/database, it missed some stuff, but also pulled up some stores near me that i had no idea existed.

the college park house got 52/100

my last three houses in dc (actually in the city) were all over 95
cruftlabs is 98

yang and beth's house? 100!


Tuesday, May 27, 2008


When I was an undergrad I used to mock my neighbor who listened to npr all day while sitting at his computer. Now that I have a job, I pretty much spend all day at my computer and about the best thing I can find for free that requires very little channel surfing on my part is NPR. In particular there is a show Radiolab that I have become quite fond of. If you are the impatient kind you can find their webcasts at, start listening, and skip the rest of what I have to say.

I was about 5 years late to the NPR party, and figured I wasn't really breaking into any scenes when I started listening to radio lab. Its two guys talking about science in an interesting way. Nothing super fancy about it, maybe some special effects and a lot of introspective background music but overall well produced. Each episode is about a common theme, and in reality each 1 hour episode is really 3 or 4 smaller episodes that get strung together.

What makes the show good, and really what I am saying is what makes this show worth sitting down to every day and listening to for 4 or 5 hours until you have listened to them all is that it doesn't exhaust your attention. The show is not a textbook, nor a one hour lecture it simply is a collection of stories about science about people.


whoa i want!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Gia Carangi

When I'm procrastinating or otherwise bored, I like to look up pictures of Gia Carangi, who was one of the first supermodels and also first white woman to die of AIDS. I think she is really interesting because she looks really different in different pictures. Also, she looks like a very sophisticated woman from the pictures, but apparently she was really crude and unsophisticated off-camera. Angelina Jolie played her in a movie called Gia.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Finished with School!!!


I got an all-in-one scanner/copier/printer!!!!

they are really the awesome.

Honda Fit vs. Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius

Honda Fit

It's about $15k and mileage is 28/34 mpg

The Prius is also good, at around $22k,48/45 mpg

I'm going to be driving around 40mi/day

40mi/day*1/30mpg = 1.33gal * 4 = $5.33/day
40mi/day*1/46mpg = .87gal * 4 = $3.75/day

$1945.45/year for gas
$1368.75/year for gas

These are conservative estimates for how much I'll be spending on gas since I'll actually get driving more than 40mi/day. So I will probably try to get a Prius if I can, but Honda Fit would be good, too.

Computer Privacy

Body Technology Interfaces

Oyster Diaries

Duxbury oysters have been good lately

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hillary and Monsanto

This post is relevant to one of the classes I'm taking this term, Regulation of Chemicals, Radiation & Biotechnology. A blogger did a lot of research on Monsanto and their connection to the Clintons. She is not a scientist, but her research hits a lot of themes that we talked about in class, and my professors certainly share in their disdain of the Clintons.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Interview with Governor Terminator

he talks about taxes and immigration. i think he's pretty right on about both things.

China and the Environment

A really good comprehensive article by James Fallows!!! Highly highly recommended

By all accounts, the most important change in China’s bureaucratic culture is revising the performance-rating system for officials so they are graded on environmental protection rather than mainly on economic growth. To explain the long-term significance this can have, it is useful to think of the professional U.S. military, which resembles China’s nationwide Communist administrative system in this way: ambitious young officers are rotated through a variety of command posts on their way to the top. In both, the organizational culture is continually reinforced through mid-career training—war college for future U.S. generals, party schools for future ministers and provincial governors. And career success depends heavily on performance evaluations at the end of each assignment, which determine who moves up and who is sidetracked. Shifts in the rating system have a predictable and profound effect on individual behavior.

The varied nature of the government’s approach explains a theme I heard in many interviews. Both Chinese and foreign environmentalists said the government is sending subtle but important bureaucratic signals that it now takes environmental protection more seriously. It is more tolerant of Chinese and foreign nongovernmental organizations working for green causes. It is allowing more of its citizens a chance to defend their environmental rights via lawsuits or organized protests. And it is changing the way it promotes and rewards its own officials, to move them toward an environmentalist outlook. There are still huge pressures in the opposite direction, like payoffs to mayors or governors from land developers. But the new signals are positive.

For example: until recently the curriculum at the Central Communist Party School, where future administrators are trained, included no environmental training whatsoever. In U.S. military terms, this was like the days when war colleges taught future generals nothing about counter­insurgency. That is now changing. I talked with two foreign representatives of nongovernmental organizations—Peggy Liu, of the Joint U.S.-China Cooperation on Clean Energy (JUCCCE), and Lila Buckley, of the Global Environmental Institute (GEI)—that have been working with the central and provincial party schools to develop new courses and emphases. Liu, a Chinese American veteran of the tech and venture-capital industries who now lives in Shanghai, started JUCCCE last year as a way of pooling Chinese and international efforts on the environment (its name is pronounced “juice” in English and “ju si” in Chinese, meaning “coalition of thinkers”). The group is developing bilingual Web sites intended to connect Chinese scientists, officials, and bureaucrats with their counterparts overseas, and is trying to connect party officials and factory managers across the country with international advisers.

“This can be like the Human Genome Project,” Liu said, referring to the way researchers around the world used the Internet to share the computational work of decoding the genome, thus completing the project in a decade rather than a century. So far, she said, the Chinese government has welcomed rather than impeded her projects. “The government’s green policies are among the most progressive in the world—seriously,” she told me. “The challenge is to build an environmentally conscious workforce and have it pervade at every level. It’s as if Starbucks were building a whole coffee culture at once.”

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Moscow Cat Circus!

Charlene used to be part of the Moscow Cat Circus! Wow!

Moscow Cats Theatre
Moscow Cats Theatre

They are an act in New York City.

The younger Mr. Kuklachev said his father trains the cats not by rewarding them with treats, as one might train a dog, but "by long, good words, touching them."

The elder Mr. Kuklachev bridled at the idea of rewarding cats with food. "A cat is not a dog," he said. "If a cat doesn't want to do something, he will not do it."

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Project Censored - articles that probably nobody read, but they should have!

The Real News - supposedly an independent news organization.

An American Jew in response to American Jews' calling for boycotting the Beijing Olympics.

Best Windows

Vision Wall found a way to make glass that is a very effective insulator! Hopefully, we will see them in buildings everywhere.

Obama on Clean Energy Investments

good blog entry on the breakthrough blog.

it's an interview with one of Obama's top energy and climate advisors, Jason Grumet, Executive Director of the National Commission on Energy Policy.

At some point I need to make a real post about Obama China policy.

Friday, May 9, 2008

So Many Chinese People AAHHHHHH

James Fallows from the Atlantic has a really good blog about China.

Chinese Ambassadors

Fu Ying is the Chinese ambassador to the UK. She embodies Chinese "soft diplomacy." She is well-spoken and well-written.

In contrast, Sha ZuKang is currently head of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and he is known for being more tough and blunt. Word on the street is that when he first met the UN ambassador of Great Britain in Geneva, the ambassador told Sha that he was concerned about the human right records of China. Sha snapped at him by saying "your face reminds me of Opium War." HAHAHAHA

In a BBC interview in 2006, he told the US to "shut up" regarding criticism on arms spending of China, noting that U.S. arms expenditure is half of the total arms expenditure of the whole world.



London 2012 Olympics Logo


it's so bad

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


I just wanted to say I <3 Obama. And I'm so happy he performed quite well today. I think I will cry when he is officially proclaimed our next president.

Monday, May 5, 2008


I've been arguing with people on facebook a lot these days, and in general, I like to scour comments on articles and blogs to get a gauge of public opinion. I come to the conclusion that while many people communicate pretty well, many other people equate flaming with debate, and they can't seem to figure out why other people get offended. I think that soon, schools are going to have to teach kids how to communicate in forums and over email just as they teach them how to write letters and essays.

Pro Olympics Rally in NYC

This Sunday, May 4, Chinese and Chinese Americans hit the streets of New York City, continuing a tradition of demonstrating on May 4. I heard it was a success, but I only found one article about it.

Clinton the Neocon

In case it wasn't abundantly clear to you, Hillary Clinton is a neocon.

Clinton made the statement about Iran on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday.

"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran [if it attacked Israel]," Clinton said. "In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."

Not long after Obama weighed in Sunday on Clinton's remark, she was asked if she stood by her statement on ABC's "This Week."

She stuck with her message, saying warnings of "massive retaliation" are needed to keep the Islamic republic in check.

Obama, addressing Clinton's statement about Iran, said, "We have had a foreign policy of bluster and saber-rattling and tough talk, and in the meantime have made a series of strategic decisions that have actually strengthened Iran."

Israel is "the most important ally" the United States has in the Middle East, and that Washington would respond "forcefully and appropriately" to any attack, Obama said Sunday.

"But it is important that we use language that sends a signal to the world community that we're shifting from the sort of cowboy diplomacy, or lack of diplomacy, that we've seen out of George Bush," he said. "And this kind of language is not helpful."

"When Iran is able to go to the United Nations complaining about the statements made and get some sympathy, that's a sign that we are taking the wrong approach," Obama said.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The China Threat Meme

It continues. Ugh. I'm not sure what Chinese people are supposed to do since we can never seem to get anything reasonable published, although usually the Atlantic is pretty good. Coordinate writing more letters to the editors. I don't know if it makes sense to write a letter with lots of random people's signatures.




Although NYTimes had a good article. Except for the end. "China is not a democracy. It will not budge." What a big misconception. Westerners always think China would be great if only it were a democracy. What a joke. They have no idea.

The Prospect also has a good article about the intellectuals in China.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Wireless Sensor Networks

I am writing my thesis, and I found lots of cool slides and presentations about wireless sensor networks.

Democratic Incompetence

Article in the Washington Post assessing what the Democrats in Congress have been up to lately. Pelosi and Reid are too into protectionism and subsidies instead of job training.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Krugman is a Traditional Democrat

Lately Paul Krugman seems to be obsessed with criticizing Obama, and he did another hit piece today.

He is mad at Obama for saying that he agrees with Republicans that regulation does not need to be "top down command and control." Krugman says that that's not what Republicans said, and that Democrats came up with that etc. He says that what Obama said is worse than Hillary supporting the gas tax holiday because Obama is using Republican talking points.

Krugman doesn't know two shits about politics. He has the view of many traditional Democrats, which is that we have to sell the liberal view and liberal ideas in terms of being in opposition with Republicans. We have to talk about how the liberals are always right, the liberals did the most successful programs, and the liberals are morally superior. However, I think this kind of thinking blinds Democrats to their own faults. They are unable to think critically about why Republicans have been so successful in politics for the past 30 years.

While some of Krugman's specific points are correct, and of course Reagan's policies toward regulation were really bad, he's missing the big picture. The bigger picture is that Democrats do often frame regulation as being anti-business, and that American people are concerned about how regulation and programs will affect the economy. Democrats need to stop thinking about regulation as being in opposition to the big bad companies, and think of it as supporting businesses that are good for Americans.

And anyway, even though Reagan and Bush II are really bad, my policy professor says that Bush I did more for the environment than Clinton.

Furthermore, in terms of negotiations, it is a good idea to give ideological ground this way. In a sense, it is agreeing with the concerns that people have while pushing for solutions more aggressively. Yes, Democrats need to admit they are not anti-business, and they are pro smart regulation. Krugman has an outdated view of politics.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

EPA's SEP Programs

yay acronyms.

Yesterday, my policy professor was talking about how some of the more successful programs that the EPA has done recently are Supplemental Environment Projects. These projects involve negotiation with industry and regulators to find appropriate ways to encourage business that is good for the public.

Fear in Foreign Policy

Yesterday, there were some really good posts on the Breakthrough blog about xenophobia and how it affects policy.

Clinton is Crazy

On Tuesday, Clinton said something about obliterating Iran. On its face, you could say that well, she said we could obliterate Iran if they attacked Israel, which is completely reasonable! The problem is that it gets people in the mode of thinking about Iran as an enemy.

For all your readers who falsely equate Hillary Clinton's genocidal threat as a measured response to the alleged remarks of Iran's Pres. Ahmadinejad, I say: Ahmadinejad has NEVER said that Iran would or should "wipe Israel off the map". This is a lie, a deliberate mistranslation and a myth that is being perpetuated, without anyone checking its veracity. I am Iranian and know what he said and it is not this. Ahmadinejad - like many others - is opposed to a Zionist and ethnicity-based state, especially at the expense of the native inhabitants, who are the Palestinians. What he wants is, in effect, a 'regime change', which he later explained was of the type that happened in the USSR, which disappeared from the map, without war. His interviews are on YouTube. Before you believe these lies that your media are telling you think: Iran is against Israel because of Palesitinians. Any Iranian hypothetical Iranian nuclear attack on Israel, would also "wipe out" the Palestinians, who are living cheek by jowl with the Israelis, off the map, plus Islam's second holiest place, Jerusalem. Think, people and look at a map before believing everything that Fox tells you!