Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Brainteaser (Surprise! -- Physics applies to real life)

The NY Times posed this brainteaser:

"You fall into a swiftly moving river and are in need of a flotational device. You see a life preserver bobbing three meters downstream of you and another one the same distance behind. Which preserver should you swim toward?

Click here to see the answer.

I love physics. (It's fun and more applicable to your life than you might think.)

India + No Computer + Networking Site = Job?

"Manohar Lakshmipathi works as a painter, but jobs are scarce, so he registered at Babajob.com, a networking site/Namas Bhojani for The International Herald Tribune." -- The NY Times, October 30, 2007

Babajob brings social networking (and career advancement) to India's poor -- even those who lack computers. The founder, Sean Blagsvedt, a former employee of Microsoft, started Babajob.com to match India's elites with people who need jobs.

The NY Times covered the current technological expansion in India:
"Perhaps for less altruistic reasons, but often with positive results for the poor, corporations have made India a laboratory for extending modern technological conveniences to those long deprived. Nokia, for instance, develops many of its ultralow-cost cellphones here. Citibank first experimented here with a special A.T.M. that recognizes thumbprints — to help slum dwellers who struggle with PINs. And Microsoft has made India one of the major centers of its global research group studying technologies for the poor, like software that reads to illiterate computer users. Babajob is a quintessential example of how the back-office operations in India have spawned poverty-inspired innovation."
Learn more about Babajob.com and thumbprint ATMs here.

Monday, October 29, 2007


"Boston Red Sox pitcher Jonathan Papelbon leaps into the air after the Red Sox beat the Colorado Rockies, 4-3, to win the baseball World Series Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007, at Coors Field in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)" -- Greenfield Daily Reporter


Thursday, October 25, 2007

"Can't afford that high-end handbag? Just rent it"

Now you can rent expensive handbags online. Two websites allow you to rent Chanel, Fendi, Prada Gucci, Christian Dior, and other high-end handbags if you pay a monthly membership fee.

Check out the two pages: BagBorrowOrSteal and FromBagsToRiches.

Learn more here.

Laura Bush and a Cloaked Cancer Survivor

Karim Sahib/Agence France-Presse -- Getty Images, "First lady Laura Bush, on a tour of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Jordan, sat with a breast cancer survivor, Nabweia Hussein al-Zaabi, during a conversation with survivors at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. During her travels Mrs. Bush will visit several cancer treatment centers to help begin a new cancer awareness in the region." (Caption by the NY Times)

Breast cancer is the No. 1 killer of women in the UAE. According to the article, "the survivors said that many die because of the stigma around breast cancer stops them from seeking early detection."

Learn more here.

What would you do with a failed suicide bomber?

Alaa Al-Shemaree/European Pressphoto Agency, "A suicide car-bomb attack failed in Karbala when the suspected bomber rammed his car into a checkpoint and the bomb did not detonate. He was photographed with the explosives after the incident." (Caption by the NY Times)

Learn more here.

Fires in California (NY Times Pictures and Captions)

Kent Porter/The Press Democrat, "Firefighters from Sonoma County, in Northern California, rested after fighting fires in northern San Diego County."

An Associated Press picture, "President Bush took an aerial tour of the damage aboard the Marine One helicopter."

Here is a picture of charred land where houses once stood in California. Find the latest updates on the fire here.

"East to West, Americans are feeling greater stress"

USA Today covered a report on stress. Here is one of the statistics: "82% of women have experienced a physical symptom of stress in the past month vs. 71% of men."

In the past month?! Ask any college kids and I bet you'll find nearly 100% (gender neutral) have experienced a physical symptom of stress in the past day.

Learn more here.

Kurdish Guerrillas? Not who you think.

The New York times published this picture on the front page on Tuesday with the caption "Kurdish guerrillas, some of whom are women, have been waging an insurgency in the mountains straddling the Iran-Iraq border."

The first girl wears looks so young and she wears her hair just like my friends. These women completely change my views of Kurdish guerrillas.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Winning with Google!!

If you search "Blue Jaguars" on Google, we are the second entry!

(If you search "jaguars gender" we are the first! Random... I agree.)


I have yet another reason to dislike the Colorado Rockies

I've spend hours in the last two days trying to get tickets off the Colorado Rockies site. It was such a frustrating and wasteful experience. I wouldn't have minded as much if they sold out quickly, rather than waiting and refreshing for hours. The Rockies employed a horrible system.

The team blamed all of their problems on a cyber "attack," but really they should have hired better computer programmers. Read more of their story here.

But I still love my team. At least it wasn't the Sox website. No World Series in Colorado for me this weekend.

Why do we need sleep?

Secret nerdy reason to wake-up on Tuesday? The NY Times publishes my favorite section: The Science Times.

At college, we tend to view sleep as a nuisance. We try to get the least amount of sleep that will still allow us to function well. This can't be healthy, but what is? If you've ever wanted to learn more about sleep -- here is your opportunity.

Learn more about nightmares (by definition, bad dreams that literally wake you up) here.

Can sleep help you memorize? What about a nap? Find out here.

And one more interesting one: "Feeling the Effects of Too Little Sleep".

I'll leave you with a fun fact: "With televisions and computers in their rooms, many teenagers cannot resist the temptation to stay up late, especially because their bodies do not begin to produce the sleep hormone melatonin until 1 a.m., as opposed to 10 p.m. in most adults."

Monday, October 22, 2007

I love my team

And the Colorado Rockies Ticketing System is the most frustrating thing of the day

Life Goal No. 25 - Go to a World Series with the Red Sox

I'm going to be in Colorado this weekend and I really wanted to drive up to Denver to see the Red Sox beat the Rockies on Saturday night. At noon today, I was ready to buy tickets on the Rockies' website, and I tried with no avail. The Denver Post covered the situation here.

My big question is that considering the demand for these tickets, why didn't the Rockies have a better system? The Hannah Montana concert can sell out in minutes with no glitches. Why is the Rockies site still not working 2 hours later?!

(Go Red Sox!!! I wish I were in Boston right now!)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Middle East Buddy List

Confused about the friends and foes in the Middle East? Does al-Qaida work with Hezbollah? What about Israel and Lebanon? Luckily, the people at Slate.com have sorted all of that out. Check out the buddy list here.

What would you do for unlimited free phone calls?

Would you let a company eavesdrop on your phone calls in return for unlimited free calls? ThePudding, a new start-up from California, bets that you will. Consumers with gmail are familiar with this practice. Gmail scans emails and displays relevant ads. Likewise, Pudding Media monitors phone calls and displays relevant ads. With ThePudding all phone calls are free and unlimited to any phone in North America (no downloads are necessary), but not everyone is comfortable with this new technology. Read more here. Go to ThePudding site here.

Pop Quiz -- What is the "Study of Trivia"?

The study or collection of trivia is known as spermology, which literally means collection of seeds.

Courtesy of Wikipedia -- which means this could be entirely false, but I couldn't find anything disproving it.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Old Enough Now to Ask How Dad Died at War

The NY Times covered a sad byproduct of the Iraq War today. According to the Times, "children who were infants or toddlers when they lost a parent in action are growing up. In the process, they are coming to grips with death in new, more mature and at times more painful ways — pondering a parent they barely knew, asking pointed questions about the circumstances of the death and experiencing a kind of delayed grief."

You can read more about the story here.

Definiton of the day: Lede

Lede: noun, the introductory section of a story

NY Times: Sexy Corals Keep ‘Eye’ on Moon, Scientists Say

In the mist of nuclear pacts and terrorist bombings, the NY Times published a spiced up scientific report.

Here is the lede: "Birds do it. Bees do it. Even lowly corals do it — but infrequently, forgoing sex for as long as a year.

Then, at night, just after the full moon, under warm tropic breezes, the corals dissolve in an orgy of reproduction, sowing waters with trillions of eggs and sperm that swirl and dance and merge to form new life. The frenzy can leave pink flotsam.

Scientists discovered the mysterious rite of procreation in 1981 and ever since have puzzled over its details..."

Read more here.

Yankees screw over Torre

I've had enough with headlines reading "Torre Rejects Yankees' Offer". Although I am a Red Sox fan, the one person I respected during the past 12 years in the Yankees' franchise was Joe Torre, the manager.

As the principal owner, George Steinbrenner, has gotten older, he has given his two sons more power in the organization. They met with him on Thursday, and presented Torre offer that Torre called "an insult". And I agree.

At the very least, Torre, a 12-year Yankee veteran with 12 consecutive play-off seasons, AL East titles, and four World Series , should have had an option for two more years with the Yankees rather than a one year conditional contract.

You can read more about the developing report here.

'Harry Potter' author: Dumbledore is gay

I am a huge Harry Potter fan, and this took even me by surprise! Check out the story here.

Fridays go from casual to e-mail-free

USA Today covered a fascinating/frustrating phenomenon: full in-boxes. Employers are encouraging workers to declare email bankruptcy -- deleting or archiving entire in-boxes and starting over.

My favorite fun fact from this story is that " It can take four minutes to refocus on work after checking an e-mail". Moral: don't constantly check for new messages.

Read more here.

Vasectomy: $400. Speechless look on her face: Priceless.

This post is on the "Best of Craig's List". It's among the most popular -- find it here.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Who is Ryan Allis?

I first heard about Ryan in a Business Week magazine article in 2005, and later I found his 20 Most Important Lessons Learned in Business. I love reading that kind of stuff. You can read it here.

He visited Duke last year and I heard him speak -- and this year I met him again at an event he hosted at his house called "The Entrepreneur & Social Entrepreneur Meetup". It's open to all.

I admire his transparency. On his website, he will expose all of his business practices. He genuinely wants to help potential entrepreneurs. Check out his site here. It's helpful for everyone, especially if you are considering incorporating your business or looking for funding.

(Turns out his site is the top search result on Google for "entrepreneurship". Sweet.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Gardner-Burke Antiques made its first website sale!

We are very excited -- Check out the website here.

Maureen Dowd -- Brilliant NY Times Op-Ed Columnist

In October '05, Maureen Dowd wrote a fantastic article about traditional feminists versus new age women. In the past two years, I've passed this article along many dozen times.

I've never felt compelled to participate in the "feminist" cause. I feel as if acknowledging discrimination limits me -- I don't want to view myself as disadvantaged.

Apparently, I'm not alone; many females in my generation have a similar view. Ironically, by not supporting the feminist cause, we are letting the advances by "old school" feminists atrophy. It's a great article, and it resonates with most people I've shared it with. You can access it here.

On a lighter note, Maureen Dowd let Stephen Colbert pick up her pen for her most recent NY Times column. It made me laugh -- you can find it here.

Why Women Aren’t C.E.O.s, According to Women Who Almost Were

"It’s not a pipeline problem. It’s about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers." Read more in the NYT .