Friday, July 13, 2007

Question of the Day: Appliances & Gadgets

If you had to give up a modern appliance or gadget that you really love and use, which would it be?

Answers I've received so far:
~ Television
~ TiVo

My answer:
I recently went without a microwave for a couple of weeks, learning the uncomfortable way that I'd relied on it wayyy too much for my meals. I had to actually reheat pasta and sauce in a pot, on the stove, and it took 20 minutes instead of two. That said, I don't think my choice would be microwave. How about the TV? 'Cuz if I were really desperate, I'd watch my Netflix on the computer!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Japan talks of regulating 'Net

This scary news is brought to you by Global Voices:

While nobody was watching, an interim report drafted by a study group under the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has set down guidelines for regulation of the Internet in Japan which, according to one blogger, would extend as far as personal blogs and homepages. In the report, this “Study group on the legal system for communications and broadcasting”, headed by Professor Emeritus at Hitotsubashi University Horibe Masao, discusses the possibility of applying the existing Broadcast Law [Ja] to the sphere of the Internet to regulate, under government enforcement, what gets on the web. The report also suggests that public comments be sought on the issue [Ja], in response to which the ministry has opened a space on their web page for the public to submit comments [Ja], available in the period between June 20th and July 20th.

Despite the obvious significance of the proposed regulation, neither media nor the majority of bloggers are aware of its existence.

It remains to be seen how stringent the regulations will be. Will this apply to solely news sites, or blogs as well? Either way, as a journalist and a blogger (heck, as a human being), the thought of this angers me. If I wanted to be silenced, I'd move to China or the Middle East.

Question of the Day: Street Food

The cardboard dumpling story (below) got me to thinking...
Do you enjoy any particular food sold by street vendors?

Answers I've received so far:
~ Sabrett hot dogs in NYC that I didn't get to eat while we were there (hint hint)
~ Not really

My answer:
I like the dosa guy at Washington Square Park in Manhattan, of course. He's a micro-celebrity these days; all the local magazines give him rave reviews, and people come from all over the borough for his amazing food. Also, I grew up loving the soft pretzels you buy from vendors while you're stopped at red lights in Philly. They're awesome, especially in the winter when they're steamy and sweating inside the bag. (Mmm, is it lunchtime?)

(Post your answer as a comment.)

A lil' cardboard with your dumpling, sir?

Despite our better judgement, many city dwellers patronize food carts on street corners. The hot dogs, falafels and pretzels somehow taste their best at these places, much like your favorite grilled sandwich does at the greasiest of greasy spoons.

The Associated Press reported today that street vendors in the Chaoyang province of China have lately been using cardboard to make their baozi, buns that are very similar to pot stickers here in the states. While it isn't harmful, it is certainly illegal and, well, kinda gross. Take a look at the recipe, which is 60% cardboard, by the way. Yum.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Question of the Day: Harry Potter

Will you go see the new Harry Potter film? If so, when? And have you seen the others?

My answer:
I have seen all the others several times, and will definitely go see the new one. But I can't go over the next few days as a few parties are taking up whatever time was leftover from school and work. Perhaps I'll go next week; the crowds will be smaller then, anyway!

(Post your answer as a comment.)

Creative sustainability

I found this at COLORS Magazine. How incredible that this community found a way to sustain itself, and likely do the Earth a favor at the same time.

Energy comes from pilgrims’ shit
By editor on Green Pages

Sai Baba was an Indian guru who died in 1918 and is regarded by his Hindu and Muslim followers as a saint. Today his hometown of Shirdi in Southern India, is one of the most popular religious sites in the world —about 40,000 pilgrims arrive every day to pay their respects to Sai Baba. Tourists are a good source of energy. Sulabh International Organization built a biogas generator for the town. It uses waste from the toilets in the pilgrim’s complex to produce enough energy to light the whole surrounding area. Find out more at and

This reminds me of the fellow who invented a merry-go-round that acts as a well pump, benefiting impoverished communities in Africa. Dontcha just love cool people?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's 11:48 p.m. Do you know where your browser is?

Places my browser has been this evening:

Looking for a party dress for graduation night.

Checking out the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Reminds me why I love activists and wackos, and makes me miss New York.

Having trouble using the Word of the Day in a sentence.

Gasping at the cost of tickets to Tokyo in the dead of winter.

Finding that they're cheaper if purchased directly from the airline, and Continental's international flights are always great.

Reading BBC's report about Al-Qaeda's threat to the UK since Salman Rushdie's knighting by the Queen.

Wondering how long it will take to download this trial version of Macromedia's Creative Suite.

Love Song

I'm preparing for 311's live show next week by listening to one of my favorite tunes, "Love Song." Of course, the original was recorded by one of my other favorite bands, The Cure. Take a listen to the original and then the newer version, and see which you prefer. I think both are amazing.

Question of the Day: Red

Look around. What's the first red thing you see?

Answers I've received so far:
~ Dart board
~ My bra

My answer:
The Wendy's cup that my Diet Coke is diluting in.

(Post your answer as a comment.)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Question of the Day: Age

When it comes to dating, how much of an age difference is too much?

Answers I've received so far:
~ Um, maybe a chick over 40 would be too old. (Note: This guy is in his early 20s.)
~ 20 years
~ So long as he has a job, a home and his teeth, and he knows how to treat me, I don't much care if he's older or younger.
~ 25 years

My answer:
It all depends on the people involved. That said, I think one generation is a safe age gap, but not much more. Why I'm using generations instead of years: I think a relationship's dynamic depends upon things like (1) having similar upbringings (e.g., someone who graduated high school in 1960 might not have the same values as someone who did in 1969. Think Bandstand vs. Woodstock.), and (2) being able to "get" each other's pop culture references. If one of the two people is under the age of 25, the gap really shouldn't be more than, say, 5 years. The reason for this goes beyond the dynamic; it's about maturity and mindset. Of course, all of this is a generalization, as some of the most enviable couples I know have quite a big age gap. Perhaps their success is not in spite of the age difference, but because of it?

(Post your answer as a comment.)