December 07, 2008

New local restaurants of interest

with nina being pregnant, it'll be difficult to try them all:

jamaican in dorchester
cambodian in allston
tibetan in brookline
dimsum in allston
venezuelan in roxbury
peruvian in somerville
taiwanese in allston
spanish in cambridge
turkish in cambridge
american in boston

but certainly i will make an effort.

November 18, 2008

2012: love another doomsday, apocalyptic, end of the world film

can't wait.
On December 21, 2012 four strangers on a journey of faith are drawn to an ancient temple in the heart of Mexico. For the Mayans it is the last recorded day. For NASA scientists it is a cataclysmic polar shift. For the rest of us, it is Doomsday.
trailer here. spoiler here. release date here.

November 02, 2008

Medical Student Burnout and the Challenge to Patient Care

On this piece in the nytimes and the commentary that follows:

The majority of physicians practicing today have been able to adapt to the extraordinary process of medical training.

They’ve done so by virtue of extraordinary coping skills– through sublimation, denial, or simple concealment– and not without personal toll, be it family stress, mental illness, or substance abuse, which reaches terrifyingly high rates for many medical specialties. This is well described by the studies mentioned in this article and many other surveys of medical students, residents, physicians in practice and other medical providers. Likewise, there is a large body of evidence relating these conditions to medical errors, poor care, and patient dissatisfaction.

At a time when there is so much understanding and when there is a shortage of medical providers in many parts of this country, why do people at large and physicians themselves continue to believe that medical training must be miserable?

The answer cannot be that the misery is part of the best selection mechanism, because if this were so, then there would be many other professions with similar selection pressures. Similarly, the answer cannot be that good doctors cannot be trained without this hardship. Consider airline pilots who must perform at their best since a single error would affect the lives of hundreds of people. Are they subjected to training to fly aircraft while being sleep and food deprived and looked down upon by their more experienced coworkers?

Medicine and nursing are fundamentally different from other professions, but not with respect to the universal nature of adult learning, the effects of work hours and conditions, and individual performance under stress.

While I love caring for too many patients, because I love caring for each one of them, and working too many hours, because I love the work, I also want to feel well, to eat well, and to have a healthy family and home. Isn’t there a way to maximize the former and limit incursions on the latter?

Reform of medical training is long overdue.

October 11, 2008

why i use soap only to wash my hands

history of personal hygiene.

today's secret ingredient

some time ago, i came across a cocktail at salon de ning that was just too good. an examination of the ingredients yielded the secret ingredient: st-germain.

for the past 2 weeks, i've been unable to move past it. mixed with vodka, gin or wine, it is truly transformative.

definitely worth its price!

September 30, 2008

September 23, 2008

private thoughts, public actions

the other day, nina and i were talking about political campaign finances, and i mentioned that if obama hadn't raised $66m in august, i was thinking of making a contribution to his campaign. it turns out that, at least in part, that was due to nina's contribution. even when we are not doing things together, we are doing things together!

August 17, 2008

the other side of the water

my dear friend jeremy robins has finished his film about a group of Haitian immigrants as they struggle to live in NYC through rara, a unique and extraordinary musical form.

check it out!

eggs, they are just so good!

the other night i came home at 10pm, after a long day with no lunch and no dinner.

nina made me an omelet and it was so delicious, and of course, so very kind.

today's nytimes has a nice little note about cooking eggs, and i thought i would repost my notes as well:

in the next couple of weeks, we are expecting to receive our first csa chicken. maybe there'll be some eggs too!

July 25, 2008

TGIF for

  • waking up refreshed after a week of every other night hospital call
  • having a productive day at work that finished at a civilized hour
  • bumping into nina while entering the elevator at home
  • snacking on delicious leftover shortribs
  • having a stiff orange+stoli
  • watching charlie rose before going out

June 21, 2008

Stir I Cook

if you are looking to give me a gift, say like for a birthday, consider Stir.

June 05, 2008


a long time ago, my father told me not to become an engineer because they likely may become obsolete, when one day machines begin to create machines. it seems that this kind of day was may 29 when a RepRap made a copy of itself.

June 03, 2008

the hardest thing about finding interesting japanese restaurants in boston

1) requires knowledge of a japanese person who is willing to share their secret with you. well done by allan's hairdresser.

and 2) needs a person to be able to locate said restaurant on a map. not trivial, heavily camouflaged on google. but after a long struggle, using legal and resurgent search techniques, here it is:

the simple and understated pleasure of shikibrookline

please to join us in celebration of allan's birthday.

June 01, 2008

today's meals: a less expensive approach to eccentric tastes



  • pan grilled arepas with halloumi and cherry tomatoes from trader joe's
  • arugula from trader joe's, dressed with oil and vinegar



  • bulgogi style frozen short ribs from trader joe's, broiled well on aluminum foil
  • brown lentils from trader joe's, microwaved in vacuum sealed package
  • mushy peas, steamed from frozen package and mushed with duck fat (rendered from roasted duck legs)

very tasty, diverse, and much less expensive than the conventional approach.

May 28, 2008

May 27, 2008

like Lenin in exile, i await great things

please welcome me into the world of daily car communicating, toll roads with bad interchanges, and the throngs of drivers handicapped by local driving customs, hopefully without handicapping anyone in real life.

View Larger Map

what, you ask, is this nonsense? please to enjoy, i explain. whether for my unsolicited educational benefit, or for money alone-- not for me, that would be too appropriate-- instead for the hospital of my employ, i am too spend the next month working at the premier community hospital in Framingham, MA. whether it will prove to be a microcosm of internship and residency combined into one harmonious work of art, moving at a relaxed pace of an empty hospital by the lake, or something else entirely remains to be determined.

May 19, 2008


is there a difference between cool and bizarre? often this distinction is blurred in the media, and now it appears that buzzfeed, the preeminent source of buzz and trend detection, has joined the ranks. it was hoped to be a productive synthesis between viral media and social science, but has now become to be filled with noisy material, in large part composed of irrelevant youtube clips. even in the age of the internet, less is more.

john mccain

May 15, 2008

April 05, 2008

blogging a dialogue from gaza to sderot

an anonymous blog Life must go on in Gaza and Sderot details a dialogue between "Hope man" and "Peace man" and offers a fascinating account of life on the ground.

April 04, 2008

pathology: maybe the worst movie of 2008

its tagline describes it as "a group of medical students devise a deadly game: to see which one of them can commit the perfect murder."

and get this, the protagonist is named "dr. gray"-- gag-- presumably after Gray's Anatomy.

March 29, 2008

omnivore's dilemma

should be required reading for everyone, simply because the combination of america's food culture and industrial production has created some of the most misguided and occasionally destructive food practices, so much so that the words cheap, good, healthy, and organic no longer mean what we expect when it comes to food usually sold and eaten today.

in boston, there are a few alternatives, some mapped by the food project:

if you have others, especially if they approach the goodness and convenience of nyc's greenmarket, please send them along.

February 25, 2008

global inflation

rising inflation, coincident with the rising oil prices and commodity costs, creates unrest in the middle east. via nytimes. that much was predictable. but what will happen now?

February 15, 2008

25 years of thriller

yesterday, hanno and judith were over for dinner, and were reminiscing about vinyl records, prompting several plays, which started with michael jackson's thriller. it turns out that this is the 25th anniversary of its release. "something is lurking in the dark!"

here are some streams of the original record, and some choice covers at stereogum, including ben gibbard of postal service.

January 20, 2008

nina factor

the nina factor, much like the cameron factor, has finally been quantified! in response to a comment about a local movie theater, nina responded that it's a great theater, they play like 30 movies at a time. in reality, only 19 movies are played. nina factor = 30 / 19. next time nina makes an assessment, i now know that it's probably exaggerated by about 60%.

January 09, 2008

What Do Real Thugs Think of The Wire?

sudhir venkatesh, who wrote a landmark dissertation while i was studying at the uofc, has now interviewed nyc gangbangers about the wire. great stuff!

if you don't know about the wire, shame on you! though it's not too late to catch up with its final season. ps: it is the truly dickensonian tale of our times in america.