January 28, 2006

life in nyc

what is it like to live in nyc? this question doesn't translate well into html, but now there is a blog by a nyc taxi driver that offers a glimpse: newyorkhack.

ap piece in the washington post.

January 27, 2006

fiction non fiction

many years ago truman capote broke all apparent rules of literature by writing in cold blood, an interweaving of fiction with journalism.

recently, there has been alot of furor about autobiographies that are apparently fictionalized. james frey and j.t. leroy got alot of bad press. people are in disbelief that their allegedly "true" writings are in part fiction. readers are upset: why did they do it?

now, the la weekly has published a great piece about nasdijj, a white writer of gay erotica turned navajo memoirist. the question we should be asking is not why he did it, but how did we believe it?

what makes inauthentic drug abuse, teenage prostitution, or child loss so appealing to be believed? is it merely their spectacular nature, or is it the particular mode of inauthenticity that's been tailored to our tastes and needs?

January 26, 2006

does hamas still want you dead?

hamas makes near absolute victory in the palestinian parliamentary elections.

ha'aretz blog wonders if hamas still wants you dead and the state of israel destroyed, as outlined in their charter.

January 24, 2006

predicting films

a while ago, nina and i had a conversation about formulaic screenplay writing and film making, and the apparent inability to predict their outcomes. now, it seems that a group of inspired folks at unspam decided to train a bayesian classifier using a data set consisting of film guides from the past 10 years of sundance festivals, and then apply this model to predict the outcome of current sundance submissions.

fun? for sure. transferability of their model to current and future films? check the predictions.

citizen journalism: iran III

an iranian journalist, hossein derakhshan, is about to travel to israel, and write about the evolving israeli-iranian conflict. keep an eye on his blog for updates.

January 23, 2006

long live the internet

the other day my father asked me about morpheus and i was happy to share my p2p experience. naturally, i pointed him towards bittorrent. now there is a comprehensive review of various bittorrent clients from pc magazine.

January 22, 2006

shanti's birthday

last week we celebrated shanti's birthday at katz's deli. i'd like to think that the choice of this eatery was inspired by my long-standing tradition of bringing her "meat snacks."

in this picture, nina contemplates the most important question of all: salami or pastrami?

January 21, 2006

oppose Digital Content Protection Act of 2006

don't worry, i didn't know what that meant either. but you should read the very good post by cory doctorow, and sign eff's petition. the power to use digital media should be in your hands, not in the corporations'.

January 19, 2006

January 17, 2006

iran: apocalypse now

great! as if the situation was not complicated enough in the middle east, now it is possible that the president of iran, mahmoud ahmadinejad, is part of a sect that hopes for the return of a "hidden imam," but not before an apocalypse. here is the telegraph story.


for some time, i was pleased with moby for creating and supporting teany, a small eatery in the les. now, all the former employees fired, the eatery is no more, redefined as a teahouse. moby and his partner however are happy to continue to sell their numerous products online. is it a brand or teahouse, one asks?

google world

access to information provided by efficient indexing, first by google, now by almost everyone, has led to qualitative changes in the way we use that information. here is the latest one, where companies paint logos on their roofs, in order to be identified in aerial/satellite images.

January 15, 2006

retrospective: ucsf

January 14, 2006

pre-nuptial dinner

sistnek parents have recruited me in selecting a restaurant for the family-melding dinner party on april 1. i am taking this duty seriously, and in addition to planning many cruel april fool's jokes, like phoning to yell that "the wedding is tonight and why aren't you here," i am also focused on finding an appropriate restaurant. here are the current choices:

comments? suggestions?


jeffers and triin started a joint blog triiffers, which is a kind of ethnographic blog (so far in estonia). check it out!

January 11, 2006

preventive medicine

nytimes is running an extraordinary series on the prevalence of diabetes. it is worth reading not for its import into the understanding of diabetes, but for what the structural and personal failures of treating diabetes mean about the ways that individual americans understand and social institutions treat disease in general. more than ever, preventive medicine needs to become a rigorous discipline. the structural and psychological obstacles to this becoming are enormous.

January 09, 2006

another argument against intelligent design

dr. pro often uses visual illusions to illustrate various neural phenomena in slugs. here is one that can be used to argue that our minds are not products of intelligent design. otherwise, why make my eyes hurt and tear by looking at this image?

via boingboing. thanks to oceanfront wifi at sf's java beach cafe.

January 06, 2006

jamais vu

what happens when one finds himself in an airport with a wifi laptop and $10 to spend after a long day of talking? one logs onto boingo and starts blogging.

and amazingly, one discovers that neenotchka is also blogging. of course, one tries to telephone but something doesn't connect. one re-reads her post, and realizes that his day has been just the opposite of her deja vu. except for one repeating element-- her writing is so clear and moving-- that he will be happy on many sidewalks. just so long as it is with her.

new (california) sushi

yesterday, went with lauren s, nina's friend living in bh, to a sushi restaurant near her house. yu-n-mi is traditionally cute and traditionally LA. i know that i am in for a treat when a waitress offers omikase, and even advises on how she likes to drink shochu, which is in slightly limited supply back in nyc. had some sushi recommendations of the chef, which were all impeccable and fun, though dressed in various light sauces. definite return! (whenever i am back in LA).

"build it!"

one of the features that distinguishes real bloggers from those like me is that travel fails to impede blogging. i am on the road in california, where LA is being blessed with sunny 80s. while a blogging obstacle, this trip is a rich source for reflections.

among them are many thoughts about Gov. Schwarzenegger's State of the State address, which i watched in its entirety on local tv last night. it is on par with other great speeches in human history (no need for explicit references here; those who know me know what i would use).

could this be the foundation for his national office bid?

January 03, 2006

gothamist crushes laist

tomorrow, i am heading out to cali for some interviews. in preparation, i have examined laist. the gothamist is much better.

the realities of medical practice

a great little piece on the realities of medical practice.

best nyc restaurants

from ny magazine. it's a pretty accessible assessment-- though naturally bougie-- and a list much to my liking. nina and i celebrated our first anniversary at #4. my parents took me to #9 after my dissertation defense. and tonight, nins and i will be exploring #20.