Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ugly Names and Ugly Situations

The Economist had an article about the proposed Cordoba Centre in New York (at ground zero).
I completely agree that by treating Muslims in America as "outsiders" or as "terrorists," we are providing actual terrorists with new recruits.
I also completely agree that Americans should be the "bigger person" and say, "This is America. We are intelligent enough to recognize the difference between Muslims and al Qaeda. We not only accept, but embrace having a mosque at ground-zero."

However, having been so close to ground-zero on 9/11 (saw the 2nd plane hit from bio class at Stuy), I can understand the emotional response to the Cordoba Centre proposal. I am lucky enough to have had a diverse group of friends and know for a fact that none of my Muslim friends would EVER condone such horrific acts of terrorism. But let's face it. Most Americans are from boring, homogeneous cities in the middle of nowhere. I can easily see myself being one of those Americans...and if I had lost a loved one on 9/11, I can see my anger being horribly misdirected.
In fact, even though I'm Catholic, if an extreme sect of Christianity murdered one of my family members, I can see myself turning against my own religion.

I get that Imam Feiisal Abdul Rauf has good intentions, and that he wants to promote interfaith understanding. He hopes that his mosque will "heal some of the wounds opened by the felling of the twin towers and all that followed." But it's hard to get Americans to realize that diversity is a good thing when you have shameless idiots like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich running around.

Shame on you, Sarah and Newt, for blatantly using the emotions of those who have already been so hurt in the past to promote your own political agendas. As my friend Dan says, "[you] are so hellbent on making another party look bad that [you] will hop on the bandwagon to resonate with an issue [which] is clearly against the foundational underpinnings of our government."

I am thoroughly disgusted.

And Newt, you have a problem with the name "Cordoba" but're not one to talk with a name like Newt. Newt Gingrich has got to be the ugliest name I have ever heard in all 22 years of my life.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sponge-worthy Men

I was on the elevator with two guys and pressed the 12 button, but they didn't notice initially.

Guy #1 to Guy #2: Did you press 12?
Me: Oh, that's my floor.
Guy #2 to Guy #1: But I would rather be going with her than with you.

Awkward...but then!

Guy #1: That's not funny.
Guy #2: You're right. That's not funny. I'm sorry, miss.

I have had encounters with sketchy people before, but at least this guy had the decency to apologize. And it's not like he was absurdly inappropriate. I wish boys were more chivalrous nowadays...

I wish they were more spongeworthy - an economist at Princeton, Avinash Dixit, wrote a paper on the option value problem of Seinfeld. "The paper uses option pricing theory to deconstruct Elaine’s decisions in the “Seinfeld” episode number 119 “ The Sponge.” In it, Elaine’s preferred contraceptive sponge goes off the market, sparking an ultimately fruitless hunt for a greater supply. Her limited supply of contraceptive sponges forces her to reassess their usage, and decide whether a potential partner is “sponge-worthy” or not." [See full WSJ article here]

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Buying Happiness

More on buying happiness.

But sometimes people can't handle the choices. SF is considering banning Happy Meals b/c parents are complaining that the toys cause their children to become...pigs. Right. And I grew up in a bubble where McDonald's did not exist. Therefore, I am 42.5 kg/94 lbs.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Deja vu

On August 18, 1976, two US Army officials in the JSA of the DMZ (between North and South Korea) were brutally murdered by axe wielding North Koreans. This event has been called the axe murder incident and the poplar tree incident because it happened while South Korean soldiers were trying to cut down a poplar tree (on South Korean land). See the full story here.

On August 3, 2010, two Lebanese soldiers, a Lebanese journalist, and an Israeli officer were killed because an Israeli maintenance crew was using a cherry-picker to prune a tree. See the full story here.

WTF is wrong with people. The world is a f-ing mess.

I will drown myself in retail therapy, despite the NYT's advice on happiness...

I found an Alice + Olivia dress on, and they only had one left in my size. But I'm at my aunt's house in Incheon and left my wallet in Seoul. Almost had a fashion emergency b/c I couldn't remember the 3 security digits on the back of my debit card. They came back to me eventually.

Alice + Olivia dress, you are so much lovelier than this world.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010



That's a pretty significant number.

If I were to lose 40% of my body weight, I would be 25 kg, or 55 lbs. Basically, I'd be dead.

So how can we flippantly dismiss this fact:
Phytoplankton, the basis of the entire marine food chain, and an important player in the global carbon cycle, have declined by 40% since 1950. (probably in response to ocean warming)
The average global phytoplankton concentration in the upper ocean currently declines by around 1% per year and this rate is increasing. [Boris Worm]

Why should you care?

Phytoplankton, through photosynthesis, produce around half of the oxygen in Earth's atmosphere and drive the 'biological pump' that fixes 100 million tonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide a day into organic material. 
Open-ocean fish will also be severely affected by the drastic decline in phytoplankton.

The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite movies and I want us to be able to tell our future children that Flounder (Ariel's best friend) is a real animal and not just a figment of my imagination, or a thing of the past. OKAY?