To Kill a Mockingbird Turns 50


I read Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird in tenth grade and remember Scout, Atticus, and Boo to this day. The classic novel about racial inequality, coming of age, and gender roles celebrates its 50th anniversary on July 11. If you haven’t read Mockingbird yet, do it (full text in PDF here). Then watch the black-and-white film adaptation starring Gregory Peck. And please, in that order. If my word isn’t enough, take it from everybody else.

Ninjavideo Died! Back to Real Life!


When I found out that had died several days ago, I cried. For those who don’t know/behind-the-times/actually paying for televisual entertainment, Ninjavideo is website where you can stream the latest TV shows and films in great quality absolutely free.

After I wiped away my tears, I discovered books and the joy of reading. A couple of mind-numbing minutes later, I started crying again from my brain hurting after I once again tried using it after hundreds of hours of televisual-aided-gray-matter-atrophy. That and books were filled with boring ink marks instead of moving images and sounds of limbs flying off in explosions, gratuitous sex, and Big Mac ads.

Chinese Propaganda vs US Propaganda


China’s Xinhua News Agency started a 24-hour English-language news channel and is about to open a new office in New York City, according to the Times. The Times is once again critical of China. And they should be. China ranks 168th out of 175 countries in the 2009 Press Freedom Index, a survey compiled by Reporters Without Borders. What I don’t like about the Times article is its prejudicial sense of nationalism and simplistic view of East vs West.

The Times inflated the article by making it sound as if Xinhua Red Guards wielding hammers and sickles are about to kick down the sacred doors of Western media companies.

Economy Still Jittery, Lack of Job Growth


Krugman’s at it again in his latest Times op-ed – criticizing policy makers pushing for fiscal contraction these days. The economy does seem pretty weak at this point. The US just lost jobs for the first time in half a year according to MSNBC and the Times. The markets are down and home sales plummeted due to the expiration of federal tax credits for homebuyers.

Shake, Shake It Like a Disco Stick


Lady Gaga with Camera

Polaroid has just announced that it’s entering into a “multi-year strategic partnership with Lady Gaga, who will serve as creative director for a specialty line of Polaroid Imaging products.” Not a lot of details are known, according to the Journal, but we can expect sequin-covered cameras with space-age shoulder pads in late 2010.

Sexy Audio Plugin, Oh So Sexy


I’ve just updated my WordPress audio plugin. The only time I’ve ever used it was for this post on Cantonese pick-up lines. This is one of my most popular posts that always brings in a steady trickle of horny expats who’ve just found out their firm is relocating them to Hong Kong. “Quick! How do you say, ‘Your place or mine?’”

Not All Grad Students Are Doomed


After writing about the lack of satisfying career paths for math/science graduate students in a previous post, I got a slew of responses from grad friends who said I’d ruined their day. One friend made a good point that this situation only applies to math/science doctorates who choose to remain in academia. There’s still demand for specialists in the private sector where a Ph.D. opens doors and bumps up pay. But of course, to the scientists sticking it out through academia, these guys are simply fallen angels and turncoats.

For those who are embarking on the Ph.D. path, I’ve found some advice.

Google Adsense, So Cool!


For a long time I’ve considered putting ads on this blog. Not because I think I’ll make any significant amount of money. The traffic that goes through here is frankly quite pitiful. Maximum number of hits I’ve ever received in a day? 353. I had to write about a college student pissing in bottles to get that. I wanted to install ads to learn how they work.

So I signed up for Google Adsense. Can someone please read their terms and conditions and translate it for me?