Hustle and Flow

We watched this movie on DVD last night. It was wonderful, and much better than Crash (in which Ludacris and Terrence Howard also appeared).

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert | Home

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert | Home

Just finished this book, which is a fascinating tour of modern psychological research. It talks about the trustworthiness of human memory (it isn't), our ability to predict the future (it isn't good), and our understanding of our own emotional reactions (we don't have a good understanding). Much better than Blink than discussing what we know and what we don't know about ourselves.

Brothers of the Head

Brothers of the Head

I went to the NYC premiere of this movie. One of the directors is Louis Pepe, with whom I roomed in college. The movie was quite intense and disturbing, which is probably what they were trying to achieve.


Blink is one of the more popular books in the public imagination. I quickly read through it. Although entertaining, I just didn't find it to be that profound. The book is centered around anecdotes that demonstrate the following ideas:

  • Humans make a lot of decisions quickly.

  • Sometimes those decisions are very good.

  • Sometimes those decisions are very bad.

He doesn't discuss how we can distinguish between the good and bad decisions, though!

Po Bronson

Po Bronson's Books, Articles, Stories, Scripts, and Projects

Just finished "Why Do I Love These People?" It's a beautifully written book with some moving stories about ordinary people surviving ordinary (and yet extraordinary) difficulties in their lives. It makes me wonder if I could have dealt with all that they have been through.

Such a nightmare See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism: Books: Robert Baer

Well. Our government is a bureacratic nightmare. Not too surprising, but frightening in its side effects. Does our government reflect society, or is it the other way around? I sure would hate to work in a bureaucracy like one that Baer decsribes.

The Botany of Desire The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World: Books: Michael Pollan

Just finished this book, which was a fascinating read! Beautifully written, thoroughly researched---and it reminds me how central evolution is in understanding nature.

Oh no, our politicians are human! - Bush frustration sparks expletive - Jul 17, 2006

Bush said a swear word. Boy, how naughty. It is a sad state of affairs when "reputable" news organizations consider this news.

Good 'ol prez

Bush’s best moment? Reeling in perch - Peculiar Postings -

I was catching up on the news, and this quote is frightening and hilarious at the same time.

Airfare prediction

Airfare Prediction Technology Airfare Predictions- Farecast

Here's an interesting startup. Data mining to forecast price movement for airplane fares. I wish I could try NYC!

Government stupidity

Toyota's totally bizarre recall - Jul. 12, 2006

Boy, some bureaucracies sure can be stupid. I guess when I was younger I might have thought that sticking strictly to the rules could be a good idea, but this time it's certainly not.

Medical Malpractice

The Medical Malpractice Myth - Forget tort reform. The Democrats have a better diagnosis. By Ezra Klein

A fascinating article that claims that medical malpractice suits are not the problem with exploding health costs. It is a very plausible thesis; it would be great if I had the time to read the reports cited in this article.

Oil and America

Just finished a rather depressing book, Sleeping With the Devil. It is all about how corruption in Saudi Arabia and the US have fed each other for the last 50 years. It is unclear how much we could do about it, either.

Chihuly: Gardens and Glass


Ming and I went with my second cousin TK Chang to the NY Botanical Garden today. Some of Chihuly's work was stunning, although a few pieces were uninspiring at best. This piece, called Persian Chandelier, is remarkable. Posted by Picasa

I took photos of most of the pieces on display.


Always fun to read about the Supreme Court: Swing for the Bleachers - The tug of war for the mind of Anthony Kennedy. By Dahlia Lithwick

Food, agriculture, and the planet

My friend Max Poletto recommended the book The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Ming has been listening to it on CD. I have it on reserve from the library and will read it soon too.

On a related note, Ming noticed that the AAA magazine had an article about the Stone Barns Center For Food & Agriculture, which is not far from New York City.

More bad arguments against net neutrality

Yet another specious argument against net neutrality: Dueling Fools Bear Rebuttal: Net Neutrality [ Commentary] June 30, 2006. Alyce Lomax seems to think that the telecoms do not have a monopoly on internet access, whereas in reality I don't see any real competition.

On a slight (but related) tangent, prices are far higher in the US than in other countries, and the bandwidth in the US is not as good. Where I live there is effectively one provider of Internet service, Time-Warner Cable. I assume that they must deal with the telecoms to access the backbone.

More arguments about net neutrality

More bogus arguments about net neutrality, this time from a Motley Fool column: Dueling Fools Bear: Net Neutrality [ Commentary] June 30, 2006. I don't understand why such commentators ignore the fact that consumers are already paying for their bandwidth. If the telecoms want to recoup future investments in infrastructure, they should charge the consumers, who should make decisions about whether they want to consume bandwidth.

Net neutrality

Here is one of the worst arguments against net neutrality that I have read. This author seems to think that telecoms should have the right to charge both end users of services and content providers. Apparently a telecom should have the "right" to "compete" with Microsoft by allowing it to use market control in the delivery business to gain a competitive edge in the content delivery business. Such a bogus argument is incredible.

More Action Philosophers!

Comic Book Resources - CBR News - The Comic Wire

A fun-to-read interview with the authors of Action Philosophers!

Yet more David Swensen

An NPR interview with David Swensen.

Superman Returns

Will Superman Fly? - The Hollywood buzz on Bryan Singer's blockbuster. By Kim Masters

We saw the movie last night at Kips Bay Theater, and it was quite entertaining. It felt a bit long-winded and drawn out at times. If it were a standalone movie I would have been more annoyed at the length, but since it is clearly a setup for sequels they needed to "reset" Superman's history.

Kate Bosworth was much better than Margot Kidder. Brandon Routh looks like a clone of Christopher Reeve! Kevin Spacey did a good job of echoing Gene Hackman's half-humorous interpretation of Lex Luthor, but he also did convey a greater sense of evil. I kept expecting Kal Penn to ask for some weed, though.

Real estate data - Your Edge in Real Estate

Here's an interesting site. See how pricey Manhattan real estate is!