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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

blog moved 

now located here

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

i don't have the energy 

to contribute to multiple blogs (or even to maintain one), so you can now find me over here (multiple contributors).

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

eliminating a species, one dog at a time 

a couple years back, when traveling around the north of norway, i caught a short lift out of tromsø (home of the world's northernmost university) with a fellow named thomas, who worked on tracking the bear population for purposes of population control. i remember him as being very respectful of the animal population - i even got a wildlife tour along the way. so when i heard this news about wolves, i was shocked that it could happen in such a society as norway. aftenposten has been keeping track of the hunt, and the reaction.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

only in america 

cop beats kid. cop is awarded USD 1.6 million. and then there's this.

Friday, November 26, 2004

the academic yellow pages 

google recently released a useful tool for searching academic materials (peer-reviewed papers, theses, etc.). in particular, it indexes over many disparate databases and sites. the shortcoming isn't in the tool itself, but rather how people will use it. given google's strong brand, we may see a reliance on scholar as a "one-stop-shop" for research. the danger is that papers not indexed by google may not be referenced. this is akin to the "yellow page effect" - any business not listed in the yellow pages loses potential customers. will this make domain-specific tools such as pubmed and citeseer obselete? doubtful. will it alter the way people do research? yes. will it effect our collective progress in research? in the long-run, yes. but whether this effect is a positive one remains to be seen.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

election day 

6:18am - wake up, sort of
6:33am - leave home
6:41am - arrive at polls (6th in line)
6:58am - first person in line is asked to perform an inspection
7:00am - polls open, now 25 people in line
7:04am - i sign next to my name and then:
"is that how you sign your name?"
"yes"
"i mean, is that the signature you registered with?"
"yes"
curiously i was not asked to show ID. neither was anyone else. i decided not to ask about this.
7:05am - the elderly african-american volunteer is the first non-indian to pronounce my last name correctly. ever. he's happy to learn this.
7:10am - return home, now almost 50 people in line

Monday, November 01, 2004

halloween made difficult 

procrastination doesn't pay. but we never learn do we? i went out to buy a pumpkin for halloween at 5pm yesterday. two days ago, every store within a mile was selling pumpkins. endless varieties and quantities to choose from. yesterday, andronico's was sold out. long's was sold out. safeway was sold out. my last resort was the asian market, but it was 5:28pm, they would close 5:30pm and i was still in the safeway produce section. so i sprinted out the store and down the block, squeezing in just before they closed the door. i quickly realized that - save some of the dwarf (non-carvable) variety - they had no pumpkins. i was very close to buying a honeydew melon as a substitute (perhaps something to do with the ethnic roots) when i spotted the butternut squash. the pumpkin-like stem and the family relation made it more appealing, so i purchased it and hustled home. daylight savings was forcing us to get set up earlier, so it was imperative that the carving proceed quickly. i had never cooked buttenut squash, so i had to look at pictures online to see how thick the skin was. not very. the carving required some engineering analysis (the degree is finally shows it value) and some novel experimentation. of note, i microwaved it to soften the hard meat. this did little to change the consistency of the meat, but it did make the outside too hot to handle. after carving it, we lit it and put it outside. then came the trick-or-treater (singular). one polite little girl dresses as snow white came to the door. and that was it for the evening. in retrospect, we should have unloaded all 3 lbs. of candy on her. heck, it would have been cheaper to buy her scharffen berger, or even dinner.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

one week to go  

election day is just around the corner and you can feel it in the (berkeley) air. even the art cars are encouraging people to vote. the guy at northside top dog created the following tip jar sign today: "Tip me or I vote Bush (and I'm registered in Florida)". meanwhile the governator is tending to lukewarm in his support of bush, realizing it may cost him points at home. as for the berkeley ballot, leonard peltier is running for president with janice jordan as his running mate. i do empathize with the case of peltier, but as he's at leavenworth, he is technically a felon. can he actually run for president? finally, the most interesting local measure is Q, on the decriminalization of prostitution. according to the sign on their front door, the folks at the democratic office downtown oppose this measure. too bad.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

addendum to the four ashramas 

i'm having frozen enchiladas and mochi ice cream for breakfast today. this got me to thinking about life ... hinduism divides life into four stages. it seems that a man following this path will achieve - somewhere between brahmacharya and grihastha - a fleeting period of bachelorhood. accompanying this picostage is a complete freedom from the control of others. he is no longer constrained by his family and neither has he started a family of his own to control him. this time is so short-lived that some may not even notice its passing. i guess i'm there now. and that's why i'm allowed to have ice cream for breakfast.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

daily dose of globalisation 

check this out.

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