Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hire Bernie Madoff

After reading this interview, perhaps Madoff should be used like Frank Abagnale, Jr. and he can go to work for the SEC, since they evidently don't know what the hell they were doing. Remember, Madoff only got caught because his sons turned him in after he confessed to them.

Secondary lesson: don't teach your children to be honest if you're going to break the law.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The perfect egg

Here's a great analysis on the perfect soft- and hard-boiled egg. I just tried it out and the egg was perfect. I've still got a small peeling problem, but that's not such a big deal. The article is also a great bit of food science writing.

Next, on to julienne-en-en-ing!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Good hair

Speaking of which, this looks interesting in all sorts of ways:

Do black people really spend that much time in barbershops? I thought the whole "Barbershop" movie thing was a schtick for a movie, but perhaps not. Do all the other white people spend time socializing in barbershops and I just missed out on this?

I like the one by my house, it's very tradition 'old-man' style -- they'll cut your hair only with scissors if you ask, and you always get a hot towel and a straight razor shave on your sideburns and the nape of your neck. Japan still has good ones, and so did Spain. My last encounter in an American barbershop (circa 2005) didn't end well. SOMEbody told this guy his son was a liberal and I spent the entire haircut listening to a rant about hippies and how anyone opposing the Iraq war is a traitor to their country, all while he wielded pointy scissors about my vital arteries.

What's racist? Addendum

Updating a bit on this post about racism in Japan, we have the following clip from a Saturday evening program in Australia, called "Hey Hey It's Saturday":

I think Americans will instantly notice what's wrong here. When I went to Australia last August, it was fun to watch the evening variety shows. TV there is more akin to Spanish or Japanese television than American TV, in that there are lots of shows with minor celebrities sitting on panels. There are quiz shows, talk shows, talking head shows where the celebrities comment on news or amateur videos. The above clip is one of those.

Australian TV is interesting to Americans because there is a lot more profanity used, as well as the culture there being not nearly as politically correct. While I enjoy it because sometimes people get riled up about the wrong things, this clip was way over my line, and it was interesting to see Harry Connick, Jr. as one of the judges give the group a '0' and the short discussion that followed. The Wikipedia discussion of the event is interesting in that the Michael Jackson character is played by a man named Anand Deva (not the whitest name in the world), and that 'Jackson Jive' group was ethnically mixed, and the whole group was made of doctors.

Some points to consider:

  • Australia didn't participate in the slave trade.
  • Blackface wasn't used to mock blacks, as well as appropriate their culture and undermine it.
  • Australia has a troubled history with regards to its Aboriginal peoples, who are kind of like American blacks and Native Americans rolled up into one unfortunate bundle.
  • 'White Australia' wasn't even abandoned completely until the 1970s, allowing for more immigration from Asian countries.
The above clip also shows the 'Jackson Jive' performing on the same variety show 20 years ago, when it won the competition. It's worth keeping in mind the change from then to now. And lest we Americans decide to get on a high horse:

Which kinda leads us to this:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Gone biking

I'm cycling to Hakone today with my friends Eric and Todd. We'll stay one night in a small inn on Lake Ashino and cycle back. Should be good exercise and good fun.

Until I get back, feel free to peruse the photos on the right there, I've posted some aftermath photos of the beach from the typhoon last week, as well as some pics from hiking around Fuji Five Lakes.

Or you can watch these: