Shake Shack

We had lunch at the Shake Shack, a venerable institution in Madison Square Park. I order a "Shroom Burger", which I assumed was a burger with mushrooms, but turned out to a vegetarian entree: grilled mushroom. Still, quite good!


We had dessert at a place called Yolato, at their location in the West Village. They make something that is a cross between frozen yogurt and gelato. It was quite good, but I still prefer "real" gelato.


We ate at Dani, 333 Hudson Street. Fantastic Italian food, and not exorbitantly priced (although certainly not cheap). We had the wild salmon special, which had 4 dishes prepared with different kinds of wild salmon. Wow, wild salmon is so much better than the farmed stuff!


We watched Volver, a film by Almodovar. He is surely obsessed by female relationships! Volver is a beautiful movie, and definitely worth watching. And who would have thought that Penelope Cruz could be so great?


We ate at a Korean vegetarian restaurant called Hangawi. Excellent food, although not cheap.

Kung Fu Hustle

I wasn't in a great mood last night, so I watched Kung Fu Hustle. I had seen it a while back, but it's still quite funny; it put me in a better mood. The first time I saw it was in Cantonese with English subtitles; this time I watched it with English dubbing and subtitles. Interestingly, the subtitles differed from the dubbing, and the dubbing was funnier: if the dubbing was a literal translation, the original had some very clever lines.

John McPhee: The Headmaster

I quickly read through John McPhee's book The Headmaster. Fascinating portrait of an old-zchool headmaster, Frank Boyden. I bet very few people like him exist anymore.

Most of the interesting parts of the book appeared in the John McPhee Reader, which is one reason this book was so quick to read. Although McPhee's writing is wonderfully elegant, I find his subjects (fascinating and quirky people) more compelling than the writing itself. Although maybe that is because his writing lets the quirkiness shine through...

Thank God You're Here

I caught a few minutes of the show Thank God You're Here, which was pretty funny. Of course, the concept was premiered in Australia, and NBC has just "borrowed" the idea for the show. How non-creative.

Justice denied?

The NY Times has an editorial that raises some disturbing follow-up questions to the problems going on at the DOJ. Apparently some of the non-fired US attorneys may have been pushing cases just for the sake of damaging Democratic candidates; very scary.

Bolivian Baroque

CBS Sunday Morning had an interesting piece about Bolivian Baroque. (The article is a bit older, but is the only link I could find.) Apparently the Indian cultures in Bolivia produced a large number of Baroque compositions (all anonymous) that were discovered several years ago by a priest. Fascinating!


I read an interesting article on variability The Most Dangerous Equation that was published in American Scientist. It discusses the fact that variability in measurement decreases with the square root of the sample size (which is pretty slow), and then gives examples of real-world implications of this fact. For example, Prof. Wainer discusses how small schools maybe come out "better" in most studies because their variability is higher: not only are they among the best schools, they are also among the worst.

Crazy money advice

Robert Kiyosaki has an interesting post here about money. Unfortunately, most of his "advice" doesn't make sense. And his math doesn't either: he estimates that $25000 in 40 years will be equivalent to $250 today. What kind of inflation rate gives a 100-fold decrease in purchasing power in 40 years? Even a 10-percent rate of inflation would only give a 45-fold decrease in purchasing power.

Protect yourself and reduce junk mail is a web site set up by the 3 credit bureaus that lets you permanently opt out of pre-approved credit offers. Highly recommended!

For reference, here is a useful fact sheet about how to get rid of paper junk mail.

And the blind shall see...

There's an interesting article about Matthew Dowd's public admission that George W. Bush's administrator is inept. It sure is hard for us humans to admit our mistakes, isn't it?