2.27.2006

countdown to Earth Day


(Rock of Ages No. 15, Active Section, E.L. Smith Quarry, Barre, Vermont 1992)

When internationally-acclaimed photographer Edward Burtynsky won the 2005 TED Prize, he made a wish. That wish was to encourage a worldwide conversation about the planet, its problems and their possible solutions. Ed chose WorldChanging as the way to kick-start that conversation:

Every dollar you contribute will turn into THREE dollars that we receive. That's because two of our biggest supporters, Ed Burtynsky and the Sapling Foundation have both offered to match every reader contribution dollar for dollar, up to $50,000 apiece, until Earth Day, April 22, 2006.

2.26.2006

wknd.


you never know how much crap you have until you have to put them into boxes.

spirituality in corona.

what is psychotherapy?

subscription request from cali cali.

2.25.2006

moving day



this is illegal? sure is. should it be? depends on who's paying your bills . i think it's a fine environmental sculpture. verizon, might like it for the publicity, might not like it for the copyright infringement. and the city, might not like it because it missed out on the revenue.

this is the result of the collaboration between downey and darius jones, self-named environmental artists (a/k/a graffiti artists). the hood is their canvas, and their works don't dare to outshine the canvas. they're part of a group exhibit at the riviera called thoroughfare, march 2 - march 19. drop by if you're in willyburg. also part of the show, alex poneros, satirical pork advocate, and alex holden, who renamed his tears as salty weepings.

i also found an image of this irresistibly cute bumblebee finding other cute friends in the sky (by vinnie ray):

2.23.2006

randomness wednesday

1. yesterday i put kumquat sauce all over my tainan styled zongzi, and it was surprisingly good. kumquat sauce tastes really good with fatty meat! apparently it's also popular down under.

2. this week's nymag has an informative article on how to start your own business, profiling several business types by estimating typical startup costs, operating (rent, labor, inventory) costs, and breakeven sales objectives. interesting quote: “Nothing tests your political beliefs,” half-jokes Amy, “like being a small-business owner.” how true, how true.

3. we closed on the house yesterday, and my brother wants to bomb the house today.

2.22.2006

jefferson and sprawl

leonardo vazquez wrote an interesting criticism about how thomas jefferson's anti-urban policies encouraged sprawl. while i'm not endorsing vazquez's argument, i don't disagree. i just find it strange that he felt compelled to blame a modern phenomenon on a dead president. not to say i'm defending jefferson either (more of a scholar than a politician, yet closed the biggest real estate deal in the history of united states).

some background information: sprawl is 'bad' these days because it's a sign that land is not developed to its maximum utility. that acre of manicured lawn? wasteful. in its place can be rows of homes housing families that for whatever reason, have been priced out of being able to afford a shelter. in certain areas, sprawl threatens to encroach onto rural land, as sometimes it's cheaper to build outward, than to demolish existing structures and rebuild, resulting in fields of abandoned structures. a key metric for determining if the land is efficiently developed is per capita land consumption, which takes into consideration multiple social factors such as neighborhood amenities (jobs, recreation, religious and cultural opportunities, parking, transportation, education, government services, etc).

as with most public interest advocacies, anti-sprawl campaigns range from evangelical to reasonable.

2.21.2006

best party ever

joi ito invested in last.fm

while trying to set myself up as a nyc metroblogger, i find joi ito's name on the author wiki for tokyo metroblog. click click led to this: last.fm has ito's endorsement! isn't that neat. i hope he doesn't find my post about my 2 minute crush on him (probably too busy hehehe)!

2.20.2006

excerpt from Lamb - don't sue me

after Joshua (a/k/a Jesus) achieved enlightenment, he became invisible, and said he would not return to the corporeal form. the monastic master Gaspar, slightly panicked, summoned him and his companion Biff (the narrator of tfhe book) to a meeting.

"Joshua," Gaspar said, "do you know what a bodhisattva is?"

"No, master, I don't."


"Gautama Buddha was a bodhisattva. The twenty-seven patriarchs since Gautama Buddha were also bodhisattvas. Some say that I, myself, am a bodhisattva, but the claim is not mine."


"There are no Buddhas," said Joshua.


"Indeed," said Gaspar, "but when one reaches the place of Buddhahood and realizes that there is no Buddha because everything is Buddha, when one reaches enlightenment, but makes a decision that he will not evolve to nirvana until all sentient beings have preceded him there, then he is a bodhisattva. A savior. A bodhisattva, by making this decision, grasps the only thing that can ever be grasped: compassion for the suffering of his fellow humans. Do you understand?"


"I think so," said Joshua. "But the decision to become a bodhisattva sounds like an act of ego, a denial of enlightenment."


"Indeed it is, Joshua. It is an act of self-love."


"Are you asking me to become a bodhisattva?"


"If I were to say to you, love your neighbor as you love yourself, would I be telling you to be selfish?"


There was a silence for a moment, and as I looked at the place where Joshua's voice was originating, he gradually started to become visible again. "No," said Joshua.


"Why?" asked Gaspar.


"Love thy neighbor as thou lovest thyself" - and here there was a long pause when I could imagine Joshua looking to the sky for an answer, as he so often did, then: "for he is thee, and thou art he, and everything that is ever worth loving is everything." Joshua solidified before our eyes, fully dressed, looking no worse for the wear.


Gaspar smiled and those extra years that he had been carrying on his face seemed to fade away. There was a peace in his apsect and for a moment he could have been as young as we were. "That is correct, Joshua, You are truly an enlightened being."


"I will be a bodhisattva to my people," Joshua said.

"Good, now go shave the yak," said Gaspar.

random thoughts

i just customized my google home page, and realized i will not use it. i still like visiting the sites and seeing the graphics accomodate the updates. just another reason why i stopped using rss-aggregator services. call me old fashioned, but old habits die hard.

i'm still chipping away at christopher moore's 'lamb'. joshua (to be known as jesus) is now learning about buddhism and have achieved enlightenment in an uncommonly short amount of time.

this weekend i meant to take pictures of the pillow fight at union square, but thankfully, there are plenty of folks who actually did. good, cos i was home (again) with a nagging sore throat. instead i watched king kong (laborious), got up to speed on battlestar galactica, and broken flowers (also laborious, but at least it suits the genre, and it makes me want to buy alot of pink flowers).

i also meant to catch 'isolation' at the walter reade theatre, but alas, real life responsibilities. at the final walkthrough at the new home, and i find myself reluctant to move in. i kept finding flaws in the house - peeling paint, superfluous beams, rust, cracks in the tiles - blame it on the tendency to have unrealistic expectations. truth be told, i've lived in my current home for over 16 years, and even though the new hood is just a town over, it feels like a complete uproot. new neighbors, park, shopping options, bus line. logistically, i have to figure out how to rearrange all my furniture, and i don't like it :p tomorrow's the closing.

2.17.2006

Question of the Week: LowerManhattan.info

Q: What does the neon writing on streets and sidewalks signify?

A: The writing on the pavement is part of the Uniform Color Code. Before any digging commences on a project, workers mark the street with color-coded cues to ensure that buried utility lines are not accidentally cut. Here's a guide to what's buried beneath those scribbles:

White - Proposed Excavation
Pink - Temporary Survey Markings
Red - Electric; power lines, cables, conduit & lighting cables
Yellow - Gas; oil, steam, petroleum & gaseous material
Orange - Communications; alarm, signal lines, cables or conduit
Blue - Potable Water
Purple - Slurry Lines; reclaimed water, irrigation
Green - Sewers & drain lines

for past QoW, click here.

2.16.2006

100th post - thinking about RFPs

today Bloomtaki announced the issuance of Request For Proposals (RFP) for the redevelopment of Governor's Island. architect Santiago Calatrava was present to describe his aerial gondola concept connecting Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, and Governor's Island.

This is an opportunity to make something extremely practical and logical, which at the same time tries to inspire the imagination in a way that can happen only here, in New York Harbor,” said Santiago Calatrava. “On a practical level, the design creates a new direct link to Governors Island for both tourists and Island workers from both Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. The system is very light, using only three supports, none of which stands in the water, so the shipping channels are left completely open. On the level of the imagination, the gondola cars will be round, so they are shaped a little like apples – and because they are transparent, they will offer a wonderful 360-degree view of the harbor.

wow. only three supports. there's also an exhibit of his works at the met until march 5th.

2.15.2006

nyc pillow fight this saturday, and temporary graffiti

scored two links today via gothamist:

pillow fight 2k6 - toronto youthster duo behind newmindspace organized a pillow fight at union square this saturday 2/18/06 from 2-3pm. now i have no idea if this thing is legal, but should be interesting :)

LED throwies as graffiti - LED+magnet+tape is essentially what these things are. find a magnet-friendly building, throw LED clusters in its direction, and voila! the building is tattooed with clusters of lights. this is temporary graffiti, so no landlords will be forced to pay for its removal. harmless fun, really, other than the issue of recycle and disposal. video here, instructions here.

FOUND in my inbox

Listen, I'm writing you 'cause we are in a public place, you're so pretty it makes me shy, and hopefully it will mean more.

1. I've been heartbroken/celibate for a year
2. Tired of being lonely at times
3. I want a girlfriend, lover, best friend, someday wife.

So if you're not in love or married, let me win your heart.

I promise to give you lots lots x lots lots of orgasms.
I promise to give you lots lots x lots lots of caring.
I promise to give you lots lots x lots lots of loyalty.
I promise to give you lots lots x lots lots of good-heartd fun.

If you're interested call me [phone number], email me [email]

Don't think I'm some nut. NOT.

I just don't know pick up lines nor would I use them if I did.

I'm a good person. I have good Christian love.

And I am worthy.

- Blaine

---------------------------------------------------------------------
FOUND by Sara Corbett in a drugstore in Portland, Maine
---------------------------------------------------------------------

2.14.2006

ghosts, robots, and marriage

how bizarre. i managed to post jake dobkin's vday graffiti a day before gothamist does. they're getting mighty predictable, aren't they?

*edit* puahahah. nevermind! i thought i posted about the love ghosts. i only saw it. oh boy i'm getting old.

CMU graduates are obsessed with robots.
OBSESSED. maybe that's why i like them. 'you had me at robot...'

gapingvoid has an
excellent valentine's card. if a man proposed to me this way, i just might say yes.

2.13.2006

some more geekery, promise i'll cut back

i couldn't help myself. the cow was just too cute. rememberthemilk is a web tool, when stripped down to just the utilities, is a to do list combined with reminder systems for individuals and project groups. and it's cute. now if there was only a way to synchronize with PDAs (not that i have one), cos otherwise it's just making the user a slave of the web. here's a video demo of the service.

there's a general trend of moving software applications to a web interface. shifting to server side. wifi lobbyists. $100 laptops in third world countries. how long would it take to get the world completely networked? hm.

IE7 finally incorporated tabbed browsing (hallelujah! now it'll probably take 2 years before i get it at work, bah). i took a look at some of the screenshots, and this one is my favorite. thumbnail views of all tabbed pages, fantastic!

another browser also caught my attention, and that's the maxthon. it looks really powerful, and if i were geekier i'd probably install it just to tinker with. its version of the thumbnail view of tabbed pages is akin to MS Word and MS Excel's arrange window function. another cool feature is that you can reorganize the tabbed pages. that's one of the things that's been driving me mad about firefox, but i've learned to cope with it (inner calm, om, serenity now, people get used to anything).

here's the full article on the IE7 review.

happy preveeday



photo cred goes to
jake dobkin.

ma.gnolia beta

so i finally managed to sign into ma.gnolia's beta, despite having received the invite weeks ago. it's very pretty - just look at the nifty avatars avail to a geekgurl wannabe:

in terms of function, there's not much distinction between this and other social bookmarkers. at this moment the community is still small, hence the smaller number of bookmarks. however, users can import de.licio.us tags and existing browser bookmarks (IE, firefox, safari).

which makes me wonder - how come de.licio.us never made their site cuter?

2.12.2006

for all the suckers that went upstate this weekend to get good powder

guangxi

found through BLDGBLOG, photos of Guangxi. i'm guessing the photo creds belong to Feng Jiang's, as it's on his academic webspace.

snow day wow it really really snowed

The Word of the Day for February 10 is:

catbird seat \KAT-berd-SEET\ noun
: a position of great prominence or advantage

Example sentence:
Nate and Brett want to buy a house but are waiting to see if the real estate market will change soon and put buyers back in the catbird seat.

Did you know?
"In the catbird seat" was among the numerous, folksy _expressions with which the legendary baseball broadcaster Red Barber delighted listeners. Some say he invented the _expression; others say that he dug it up from his Southern origins. But the facts may actually have an odd twist. In a 1942 short story titled "The Catbird Seat," James Thurber featured a character, Mrs. Barrows, who liked to use the phrase. Another character, Joey Hart, explained that Mrs. Barrows must have picked up the _expression from Red Barber. To Red, according to Joey, "sitting in the catbird seat" meant "'sitting pretty,' like a batter with three balls and no strikes on him." But, according to Barber's daughter, it was only after Barber read Thurber's story that he started using "in the catbird seat" himself!

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

2.11.2006

lame i know







well, at least they're pretty

white men eating asian food

check it out, found gridskipper, and a photo of someone eating a french fry encrusted hot dog! why didn't i think of that?? what's next, french fry encrusted mars bars and oreo cookies? delish!

Valentine for Perfect Strangers

screenhead's pretty neat, part of gawker media.

coComment update

kevin lim has an accurate review of coComment, read it here.

2.10.2006

Blessed are the Merciful @ Feigen Contemporary 2/10 - 4/29

a friend told me there was an opening at feigen contemporary tonight, and off i went. the first piece that attracted my attenion was this swirling funnel of unidentified fluid. the word is that it's diesel fuel, but i thought diesel usually has some color in it? there's also a well-hidden turbine somewhere in this sculpture.

Petroc Sesti, Event Horizon, 2005, black plinthe, turbine, glass, fluid

the next thing that caught my attention was this lightbox - it's as if the adult featured in the photograph is trying to recall a moment in her childhood (looks like a woman's hands to me) when magic still existed, and dreams were still illuminated.

Daniele Buetti, Blue Hands, 2005, perforated digital c-print on aluminum lightbox

then there was this plastic carton pyramid. plastic containers of various sizes were sliced open and carefully stitched together to create a canvas for the projected video. the video was a cross-section of the facade of a building, and the viewer can see people milling around inside the windows.

Samuel Rousseau, Plastikcity, 2005, video projection on plastic assemblage

the walls of this box was lined with mirrors with sufficient edge to create non-lines which were perpetuated through the endless reflections. the result? channeling kubrick's 2001: a space odyssey.


this pencil drawing illustrates the end of the world, possibly as the mayans foresaw it.

Matt Marello, Apocalypse Now (detail), 2006, pencil on watercolor paper

the blue hands haunt me still.

are smarter people better at ignoring things?

An interesting scientifically test shows that smarter people actually remember less details. They tend to focus on what's essential.

read more | digg story

2.09.2006

all i want for vday is

*edit* hmm, maybe i want this as well:

tech + fash = techion?

so i've been looking through project runway's diana eng's blog , and goodness gracious, she's a nerd. firstborn daughter of an architect and civil engineer (i'm surprised they didn't make her become an urban planner or real estate developer), she studied spirolaterals under the guidance of her computer science/math teacher of a grandmother when she was 12 (i wish i had that kind of intellectual guidance when i was 12! instead i was still watching 'saved by the bell' reruns and crushing on screech). she was recently part of seamless v.2, MIT's version of a fashion+technology concept show (link to video stream of the show). her contribution was one of the more wearable pieces (epiSkin jewelry, Arabiia, Innerlight), though the concept of using mathematical series to dictate fabric construction would be lost on the laymen fashionista.

The technique would take me too long too explain, so I opt to describe the math patterns. The scarf uses a mixture of different odd number patterns spliced together. More interesting is the fringe of the knit jacket. I used the Fibonacci number pattern which naturally produces a ruffle. While other number patterns that increase will create a ruffle (sooner or later depending on how the pattern increases), Fibonacci creates a more pleasing one in correct porportions.

i can't say the same for the other designs - most seemed more like a showcase of the designers' eccentricities: bridezilla, elephant arms, hug scarves (this is pretty cute, actually), what-to-wear-when-there's-a-tornado-next-door, audio trojan helmet (bizarre! i'm too unsophisticated to appreciate this), a dress that gathers trash (roombas purchased separately), and this:

it's called 'exhausted', but it just looks like two women attached with an umbilical cord. when they press the vest together and pull apart (which creates an interesting visual, btw), the accordian in the cord makes a sound.

i suppose i should be glad that people are thinking these ideas up, but i'd like to see more practical applications of these concepts.

bid for real estate online - redfin

Redfin, map listing of real estate data for Seattle, allows a visitor to buy a property online. Redfin, as a real estate brokerage company, automates the paperwork of making a bid and takes only a 1% commission as opposed to the usual 3%.

(via nytimes)

read more digg story

google chat reaction

Befuddled by Caché? You're not the only one (spoiler)

Caché (Hidden) is a thriller by Michael Haneke, starring Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche. Lots of viewers leave the movie feeling unsettled, yet not quite how to describe it. Here's a well written analysis of the movie by Chiranjit Goswami of notcoming.com.

Thanks to Rahat for the link.

read more | digg story

woot, zillow made it on digg

Wow, Zillo is amazing! Use it to instantly see how much your house is worth, compare property values, or see what houses in your neighborhood have sold for. Simply enter an address to search for and see a map showing property values for every house in the area. Click on a house to see a detailed listing including property data and last sale price.

read more | digg story

2.08.2006

zillow mania

zillow's a neat new tool for buyers and sellers to check what's a 'fair' market price for their home. i finally got the chance to check it out today, and found good news and bad news. the property on the left (detached duplex 2-family) is the one i'm about to purchase, and the purchase price we settled on is higher than the zestimate! the one (attached 1-family townhouse) on the right is the one my family will be selling soon, and the zestimate looks mighty healthy!

i'm not sure how they get their numbers - seems a bit wonky to me. however, it's another research tool that i'll find useful in the future, so i hope it stays past its beta phase.

tracking the life cycle of a post - the power of digg

here's the original link to Aerial Photographs of Mexico City, photographed by helicopter pilot C.O. Ruiz, first del.icio.us'd by toby, back in march 2004.

first time i came across it - BLDGBLOG's post "In the suburbs of self-similarity" on february 2, 2006.

second time i came across it - Marginal Revolution's post "Aerial photos of Mexico City" on february 8, 2006. Tyler Cowen came across it trolling digg.



14 hours after initial digg submission, 2657 diggs and 137 links to original photo page.

i blog too much nonsense

video thanks to grace.

coComment

wee the coolest new thing - track the comments you leave throughout the web at supported blogs: Blogger.com MSN Spaces MySpaces TypePad Wordpress Xanga.

it's still in beta test, which means you have to find yourself an unused invitation code at
ballpark.ch to sign up at coComment. once you do that, install the toolbar button, and click it before you submit comments on supported blogs!

wee! making comment trolling way more efficient every day!

2.07.2006

happy one month birthday, vincent and victoria!

one of the kitchen volunteers at chan center recently gave birth to twins - a boy named vincent and a girl named victoria! i helped prepare the lunch that celebrated their one month birth anniversary, and got this pleasant surprise :)

there were three flavors: red bean, plum, and persimmon.

i've never had plum wagashi before, but after a taste i had this face :-9

ChatFu: Cartoonify Your IMs

you
no, I am not..
yeah you are
there is.. another new term
what is that
I am over there
gray collar? pink collar?
from dot com days, media created this thing name gold collar.. HAHAHAHAHAHAH
oh geez
I AM WITH THE BLING BLING!
BLIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING
you are so retarded