Friday, January 30, 2009

Holiday Cards


There's a lot of cultural pressure to have kids and bequeath to them your endless mind-book of wisdom. I've considered this lately, and I don't think everyone should have kids. It's mostly an issue of parenting. People should only have kids if they really feel strongly about parenting, and are really convinced they'd be an amazing parent (and not out of cultural brainwashing). That way, maybe, there'd be a few less neglected children in the world that would grow up to be mature and reasonable adults (instead of warmongering, greedy and selfish idiots). It's quite simple.

Sometimes I fantasize about donating my eggs and spreading my genes around since I feel like a pretty reasonable person. Mostly to offset the number of kids produced in religious/conservative families, vs. the number of kids produced in more scientific/intellectual families.

Best flower

the best flower is the gardenia

it smells delicious

Oishii has gardenias in their bathroom, and that's why I always have to go to the bathroom when I go. Also, they have awesome paper towels.

Shiki Sushi

I wanna try this place sometime. Maybe next month when I have some more money?

There's also an Italian restaurant near my new place. I'll have to check that out sometime, too.

A Bian

My mom was updating me on the drama in Taiwan. Apparently, his son and daughter-in-law have pleaded guilty, but Chen Shui-bian still says he's innocent. She says he let something slip in a news conference, though. Someone asked when the money was coming back, and he said "It was so hard to get it out, why would I bring it back?" I can't find any original footage of that, though.

American Denial

This is an interesting article.

In the case of the allegedly lascivious Lolitas, Kefalas sees this flight from reality very clearly: “People don’t want to hear about the economic context, the social context” to young teen sexual activity and teen pregnancy, she told me. “For a 14-year-old to be having sex it’s usually a symptom of a kid who’s really broken and really hurt. Those who are having sex without contraception are a distinct set: they’re poor, from single-parent households, doing poorly in school, have low self-esteem. Teen pregnancy is so high in America compared to other places not just because of access to contraception but because we have a lot of poverty. But Americans don’t want to see themselves as a poor society. They want to make a moral argument: if only teens had better values.”

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sustainability Summit

MIT Sustainability Summit 2009

i want one!

Renewable Energy on NPR

Renewable Energy needs Federal Funding. because because because because becaaauuuuse... because of the wonderful things it does.

Mitchell in the Middle East

Obama sent George Mitchell to the Middle East. The Israeli right wing don't like him, and I think is plus points.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

Chinese New Year's!!!

Next Monday is Chinese New Year's!

This year is gonna be the year of the ox, which is my zodiac sign. Whoooo!!! Apparently Obama is also year of the ox.

People born in the Year of the Ox are patient, speak little, and inspire confidence in others. They tend, however, to be eccentric, and bigoted, and they anger easily. They have fierce tempers and although they speak little, when they do they are quite eloquent. Ox people are mentally and physically alert. Generally easy-going, they can be remarkably stubborn, and they hate to fail or be opposed. They are most compatible with Snake, Rooster, and Rat people.

Yeah, that's me!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chinese People Are Funny

"Helpful" sign in China warning against illegal taxis.

Travelers' Complaints:

[Woman]: Damn, I got counterfeit money in change again when I took a car along the roadside. What a pain!
[Man]: Shit, I took an illegal taxi today and was ripped off again. They're so heartless!
[Old man]: It's awful, I took an unlicensed cab today and was cheated out of 500 yuan. Fuck!
[Policeman]: Idiots. Why don't you take a car from a regular station? Then your safety will be guaranteed!

Shangnan Police Station Hotline: 27291110

I think that this crudeness is partly because of the revolution. During that time, you needed to be a peasant to have street cred. I guess it is kind of like when politicians in the US talk with a Southern drawl or like a hick in order to relate with the masses. The thing with China, though, is that since then the "peasants" have indeed moved up and grown more wealthy, and many of the wealthy cultured people went to Taiwan or abroad. It does seem to me that the result is a more crude language in China. My family speaks in a much more crude and blunt way than how most American adults speak. I think it is like how engineers tend to speak, like cut the crap, you are all idiots.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Singing Along

I been singing along with these songs in the car. I had stopped singing until I started driving again, since it's the only place I really have audio privacy.

The Killers - Spaceman

Taylor Swift - Love Story

(she's got an awesome dress!!! sweeet)

Brandy - Right here

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Behold my room

Happy New Year, now Obama is President

inauguration speech transcript

He didn't do any good punch lines or one liners that we can repeat over and over again to keep us going when the going is rough. That might be too bad. Much of his speech was typical political posturing, and then the other much was catchy non sequiturs. However, he did say a few good things.

The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.

Black is going to be the new black. I think there is going to be a new real interest in black music and black culture in an effort to better relate with the new president.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Who Killed the Electric Car

You can watch this documentary movie on Youtube (there was an electric car in existence with realistic potential of mass production in the US at one point):

BYD E6 Electric Car

BYD is a Chinese battery company, and they made a car. Seems awesome. It could be sold in Europe by 2010.

So far, all we know is that the E6 will be a 5 seater with an acceleration of 0 to 100 kph of around 10 seconds. Top speed should be top speed of 160 kph (100 mph), and the battery pack, which is located under the rear passenger seats, will be based on BYD's own lithium-ion iron phosphate technology. Range per charge is expected to be 300 km (186 miles).

But most impressive of all:

"BYD projected the battery had a life of 2,000 cycles, for a lifetime range of about 600,000 km (373,000 miles)"

Wow! Even if thats just half true, it's still pretty good.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Loft New Life

Jenny Hu helped me build my loft today in my new room. I'm staying in my new place for the first time tonight. Very exciting. I'm really tired.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mental Problems are Funny!

Pilot episode of United States of Tara

This is a new comedy about a woman with dissociative identity disorder, which used to be called multiple personality disorder. It's pretty funny, although it reinforces the established perception of people with DID that was established by the movies and case studies "Sybil" and "Eve Black/White."

In this typical characterization of MPD, the person with MPD switches personalities openly and announces when there is a switch. Also, the person does not remember things that the alters do. MPD is a controversial diagnoses, but even therapists who use it say that usually the switch is discreet since the person tries very hard to seem like a normal person.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Sheeshee is back now so I have a Chinese buddy again! Hooray

We went to Super88 yesterday and I got Chyrsanthemum tea in a juicebox. Very exciting!!!

Political Theater

Lots of acts around the world.

In the US, the whole dance around seating Roland Burris, the black American who was appointed to the senate in place of Barack Obama by Rod Blugoyavich. They ended up seating him, though, so yeah, touche Blugoyavich, touche.

Russia and Gazprom and Ukraine and EU are doing some kind of square dancing. It's all very horrible and embarrassing. And now many people are very cold. On the upside, it looks like the EU is actually refraining from taking sides, although admittedly, probably Russia is being a jerk.

In the Middle East, all that nonsense is still going on, and Osama Bin Laden has called for a Holy War. Uh huh. It remains to be seen if Mr. I_live_in_a_cave_somewhere is even relevant anymore.

Internet Usage Surges in China

NYT reports on Chinese internet usage. "There are a lot of internet users, almost as many as the population of the US. Obligatory paragraph on how the government censors the internet there."


On NPR today, they were talking about how France is racist, and yesterday they were talking about how Germany is racist. They said that part of why France is racist is that ever since their African colonies became independent, they feel that black people are ungrateful. Honestly, that is probably how Chinese people would feel if Tibet became independent. Many Chinese people already feel Tibetans are ungrateful for all the money that is spent on them, although Tibetans feel that the people benefiting the most from these development projects are Chinese businessmen. Anyway, they said that Germany is racist because they've always placed a value on the exclusivity of being German so there are some immigrants there who have been there for three generations and Germans don't think they are German. On the one hand, they are not German, ethnically, but nationality isn't the same as ethnicity anymore. Germany apparently only recently made it possible for people who are not ethnically German to obtain German citizenship. This sort of surprises me that a modern developed Western nation would do that, although I supposed Iceland is like that, too. These tensions always happen when the demographics change drastically. Like right now, Chinese society is pretty homogenous, and so most Chinese people also think that you are not Chinese unless you look Chinese, and for the most part, they are right since China was not open to the West until the 80s. The difference, though, is that Chinese people have adopted Western attitudes towards race. That is, white people are rich and to be respected whereas black people are looked down upon a little. Many foreign white people still feel offended that they are considered outsiders even though some have lived there longer than people like me, haha. But I think they are overreacting. If you can't speak Chinese and are second generation, for example, Chinese people also consider you an outsider, and these white people grew up in the US or UK. Of course no matter how well you speak, if you've lived most of your life outside China, especially your formative years, you are culturally not Chinese. And even though I grew up in the US, it's not like I was adopted and raised by white people. Regarding black people, the central government occasionally tries to ease tensions by having Africa expos or having a black person perform at Chinese new year's, and it certainly helps to a certain extent. Anyway, I found the discussions about the roots of racism in the different countries pretty interesting.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another Awesome Bands


Sunday Night Dinners

cool story on NPR about a guy who hosts Sunday Night Dinners in Paris! we should videoconference with him, hehe.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Prof Sterman

We're trying to get Prof John Sterman of ESD (Engineering Systems Design) to moderate one of our panels. BTW, we have the topics pretty much pinned down, and it's very exciting.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


It is fun to think about building/buying furniture, although I suppose sometimes it's not as fun to do it, not least because you can only build/buy so many, but you can think about building/buying many more.

I went to Circle Furniture last night, and then the MIT Furniture Exchange today. Circle Furniture was extremely expensive, but they had some great patterns on pillows and couches. They had the best couch ever there, but I can't really find a picture of it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

More Music in CA

Wow, a Chinese person making music, no less.

Stegosaurus Rex

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

James Fallows' Book

Postcards From Tomorrow Square

Awesome, I should buy it.

Flat Beach

23 Lowell St #2 music room first-born:

Sundialtone - Flat Beach

Also my cousin had a baby so now I'm a second uncle.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Music

Gleaning new music from Pandora Radio. I should give them money. I was also thinking of doing monthly subscriptions to

fav new bands
1. Junkie XL
2. Klaxons
3. Heights
4. The Polish Ambassador
5. Muse
6. Ada

Saturday, January 3, 2009

News Analysis About Israel Bombings

This is a really good article by the NYT assessing Israel and Palestine's options from a political standpoint. Yes, it is damned if you do and damned if you don't, but for me, I really think it's damned for sure if you keep bombing, and mostly likely damned but perhaps not if you don't.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Employees, Bad Apples, and Unions

This American Life

Also, donate to NPR!

btw, i really hate people who don't vaccinate their children.


Israel and Palestine are bombing each other again. I guess some things never change. They say over 400 Palestinians are dead and 2 Israelis. Israelis think that Palestinian civilians will blame Hamas and pressure Hamas to stop bombing. I guess that may happen...but those numbers probably don't inspire sympathy for Israelis, that's for sure.

Thursday, January 1, 2009