Saturday, April 28, 2007

perfect sunny sf saturday

At ti couz with adrienne

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Human Rights Watch

I went to a terrific talk yesterday by Ken Roth, the director of Human Rights Watch. He gave a fascinating lecture on the concrete steps his group is taking to battle human rights violations across the globe. Reading the news, I often feel completely overwhelmed and ineffective in the face of atrocities like Darfur or Rwanda. It's motivating to hear that there are real solutions to these problems.

Some things I learned:
  • Omar Bashir really, really sucks. He's stalling on letting in 20,000 UN Peacekeepers. The US can pressure Bashir to make this happen by imposing a certain set of sanctions on Sudanese companies -- no longer allowing them to conduct business in dollars. This would create a huge impediment to the oil trade in Sudan, thus cutting off money to the government and hence the Janjaweed. These sanctions have stalled though, because the current SG of the UN wants to try more diplomacy first. HRW confronted him, and is working on it.
  • China is starting to realize that they can't continue their noninterference policy, as it's the policy of a weak government, not a strong one. They are worried about the perception of the 2008 olympics in Beijing, especially given an article in the WSJ recently by Mia Farrow calling it the "Genocide Olympics" (China gets a lot of oil from Sudan).
  • The enemy combatant stuff in the US is incredibly scary, but Ken is optimistic that this horrible loophole in habeas corpus will be closed.
  • The branches of the military don't talk to each other, as evidenced by the fact that the army used cluster munitions in Iraq, even though the Air Force deemed them unnecessary and too harmful to civilians.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

renewing subscriptions

How much do you pay for your New Yorker?

I managed to get a sweet deal where I had a year's subscription (47 issues?) for $27. My subscription was up for renewal again, so I called in and asked if they had any deals. They did: a year for $30, or 100 issues for $53.

I took the 100 issues. I love the New Yorker, and though it often piles up, I always come back to it. I can't believe that I'm going to be receiving it until July of 2009 though -- this is the longest-term commitment I have.

Monday, April 23, 2007



I really don't just want to rehash kottke's link blog, so maybe this isn't appropriate. But I think a lot of people I know would find this site really interesting -- a collection of lectures! I've just started browsing but it looks like there's some great stuff.

A Polite Letter from the Smithsonian

A Polite Letter from the Smithsonian: "Thank you for your latest submission to the Institute, labeled '211-D, layer seven, next to the clothesline post. Hominid skull.' We have given this specimen a careful and detailed examination, and regret to inform you that we disagree with your theory that it represents 'conclusive proof of the presence of Early Man in Charleston County two million years ago.' Rather, it appears that what you have found is the head of a Barbie doll, of the variety one of our staff, who has small children, believes to be the 'Malibu Barbie'."

Ha. I love It points me to the funniest stuff.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Friday, April 13, 2007

Post Magazine: Too Busy to Stop and Hear the Music

Post Magazine: Too Busy to Stop and Hear the Music -

Follow-up questions and answers between the author of the Joshua Bell story and his readers. An interesting question -- he said his story made a lot of people cry, and he wants to know why.

This article made me think about how more often than not true beauty is outside the reach of the majority without time, patience, and diligent work to understand it. It might be the case that people were just too busy to even listen, or it might be the case that only people who listen to classical music could enjoy what they were hearing. Probably only people who study and critique classical music could truly appreciate what they were hearing. Does that make it any less beautiful? What does it mean that so much beauty is outside the reach of the masses?

Update: Now I feel like I totally missed the point. One of his readers wrote in this:

Washington, DC: I'm one of the criers. My first answer is I don't know why I did. After further thought, I realized that we Americans or really people in general rarely do whats really important, instead we waste our days doing things we don't like, just to meet ends meat. We give up our dreams just....well I don't know why. Maybe because we are scared. I work on the Hill and I think every day what it would be like to pack it all up and move to California and make wine. I want my life to have meaning and even though I get great meaning from my relationships, my work and my busy pace really sometimes makes me sick. I think the tears are from not knowing whats important and not using our important time on this earth wisely.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Cara Barer

Cara Barer Photographer

Beautiful images of wet books. Trust me, it's cool. Via

NextBus Wireless Access

NextBus Wireless Access

NextMuni for phones! This is awesome! Now I can tell how long till the next 14 or 49 when I'm out.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Guantanamo Bay inmates in mass hunger strike

Guantanamo Bay inmates in mass hunger strike over new solitary cells | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

Keep in mind that these prisoners weren't actually TRIED or CONVICTED of anything. And now they're being kept in solitary steel cells 23 hours of each day.

Pearls Before Breakfast -

Pearls Before Breakfast -

One of the finest classical musicians in the world plays in a train station in DC (for money). What do you think happens?

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Spring-cleaning for your financial house

Spring-cleaning for your financial house | Money Magazine

Great article about how long to keep receipts, statements, etc. Found via lifehacker.

Friday, April 6, 2007

childhood television

This thread on yelp is reminding me of all the great tv I used to watch as a kid. This stuff intensely formed the person I am today! The shows, in no particular order:

Fraggle Rock
Eureeka's Castle
David the Gnome
Square One
Under the Umbrella Tree
Salute Your Shorts
Are you Afraid of the Dark?
Clarissa Explains it All
the Snorks
Saved By the Bell

and these are just the ones I remember. There was some show on Nickelodeon (around David the Gnome time) that was about a girl and her koala... I wish I could remember the name. And I'm fairly sure it's NOT The Little Koala. OH MY GOD GOOGLE ROCKS. It's the Noozles! Yeah. Ok.

Update: Oh my god. I found a THEME SONG. here. And this guy has a fairly accurate description of the show.