United States

United States of Autocomplete, the Live Version

This blog post by Dorothy at Very Small Array caught my attention, it's very cute. Eytan suggested I do an automated version. So here we go, a live, javascript version of The United States of Autocomplete that is personalized to what you see in Google suggest!

(note: seems to work on Google Chrome / Firefox + SVG only for now, will fix it later)

Click here to see the live map!

| |

a reason to travel

From my roommate Tim’s New Zealand travelogue, that I recently discovered:

The whole cost? Twenty-five dollars (and those are New Zealand dollars, it was $13 American).

For the curious ones among you, he has strained his lateral tendons and may have inflamed some of the nerves in his arm. If it’s not better in six weeks, we’ll find another clinic and he’ll be taking care of for twelve dollars. Amazing.

The woman we were staying with described the wonders of socialized medicine and reasonable pension plans and all things New Zealand. All I could think about was how much it all cost and how it was paid for. She seemed to anticipate my question and explained “Of course it helps when you’re not paying to build nuclear weapons and fight illegal wars.” There it is. As a country, the United States has chosen war and destruction over education, medicine, science, and infrastructure. What a choice.

This is why travel is important. It allows you to see other systems, meet other people, and experience the roads not taken. It makes you a better citizen of the world and of your community. The world is a big place and you should always try to see more of it than you have. And there the lesson ends.

|

Barack Obama Nobel Prize Sound Bites

From the Wikipedia :

On October 9, 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize less than one year after his taking office (in fact, the nominations closed on February 1, about 11 days after Obama took office). While the committee praised his ambitious foreign policy agenda, it acknowledged that he had not yet actually achieved many of the goals that he had set out to accomplish. Former Polish President Lech Wałęsa, a 1983 Nobel Peace laureate, commented: “So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far. He is still at an early stage. He is only beginning to act.”

This is pretty amazing news. My Facebook, News and IM streams are flooded with one-liners. I though I’d collect them all:

  • “I too would like a Nobel Peace Prize for the thesis I am about to write in the future.” — me
  • “it’s a pretty swell booby prize for losing out on the Olympics” – n.d.
  • “Surely preventing Sarah Palin from taking over the free world deserves a prize… even if it is a Nobel?” — v.b.
  • ““NASA bombs moon”; “Obama wins Nobel Prize” — is today Onion News Day?” — me
  • “Barack Obama linked to terrorist Yasser Arafat” — fark via a.a.
  • “The Nobel? Really? I mean, cool…but it seems like we have our cart on the wrong side of the horse. Not that it isn’t a very nice cart.” — c.m.
  • “…thinks they might as well have given him the Nobel Prize for Literature, Chemistry (we’ve all seen the shirtless photos), Physics and Economics as well. Oh and made him a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath” — r.d.
  • “Nobel Committee Rewards Obama For Not Being Bush” — f.n.
  • “I just want to point out that the Nobel Committee made its decision BEFORE Miley Cyrus quit Twitter.” — j.h.
  • “Obama will win a second Nobel next year if he can restrain himself from reacting to the snark generated by this one.” — m.w.
  • “Pretty sure Obama will just trade in his Nobel for a Google Wave invite.” — t.b.
  • “The news of Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize spreads. Across the miles I can almost HEAR my dad’s eyes rolling.” — p.g.
  • “Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize? About time Rakhi Sawant wins an Oscar, then.” — s
  • “If you don’t think Obama deserves that Nobel, then you’ve never seen Sasha and Malia fight.” — a.e.
  • “Apparently Arizona State has a higher standard than the Nobel Committee. Good thing I never tried to apply there.” — r.m.
  • Business Insider has some more.

phdcomics at umich

Jorge Cham giving talk! Jorge Cham signing books!

PhdComics creator Jorge Cham was at school today giving a talk on every grad student’s favorite topic, procrastination. Got my books signed, and did the usual fanboying that is expected of me getting my picture taken with him! Really enjoyed the talk — it was almost like standup, although I did feel it was a little too simplistic for the audience. I know it’s hard to put a lot of serious content into a light hearted lecture, but it would have been nice to hear about related things such as structured procrastination and other such topics that usually haunt the “advice” section of eminent faculty’s homepages.

Some interesting things from the talk:

* Average annual stipend of a grad student in the U.S.: $14055. Average annual salary of a McDonalds employee in California: $14040. Which means we can afford an extra $15 CD once a year. Whee.

* It is not important that Isaac Newton was sitting under an apple tree when he discovered gravity. The important point is why was Mr. Newton sitting under an apple tree, slacking off, instead of working hard at his desk?

* A person in the audience shared an anecdote about how he ran an experiment five minutes before coming to the talk, and found out that he’s invalidated his advisors theories, etc. Jorge hears that and says, in a fearful voice: RUN!!”.

one billion reasons to care

ABCNews does yet another India report (Part Two). Memorable quote: A sardarji says to the U.S. reporter, on his face: “We are not behind you, we are with you”. Heh. In many ways, India might just be ahead.

|

Sania Mirza and the billion distorted hopes at center court

It took me ages to find one unbiased article on the internet about Sania Mirza’s defeat yesterday; that didn’t portray her as the New Mother Teresa who will save the poor, huddled, out of shape masses of India and lead them to higher glories. Come on, people, she’s not superwoman. It was a world #75 playing against a world #5, US Open winner; what did you expect?

Not that she didn’t play well — it wasn’t really a cakewalk for Kuznetsova, I’m sure the rather crisp and energetic 3 game comeback by Sania in the last set wasn’t the most comfortable of times for her.

As long as she doesn’t get carried away with those corny adverts she’s doing on TV lately, I’m sure she’ll go places. All in good time.

|

googul ipo page

The IPO Page is up. The first lines read:

In order to register for a bidder ID through this web site, you must be a U.S. person. An individual who is a resident of the United States is a U.S. person.

Two observations. First, that yours truly cannot help himself to a part of the pudding. Second, that lawyers suck majortime at writing simple English.

|

misspelled namesakes

They might both live in California, USA, but Kasley is not Kalsey: they're two completely diferent people.

|

does not use overseas labor

After seeing the WayPath project, I was beginning to like ThinkTank23 as a company. It even had a "community" link and all. Just then, I read the ending lines of their about page:

Think Tank 23 is a privately-held company with service centers in Seattle, Washington, and Denver, Colorado, and a network of U.S. based resources across the country. Think Tank does not use overseas labor.

"does not use overseas labor" - Perhaps I'm being too sensitive, but I didn't like the apparent tone of the phrase. Are they trying to imply that "overseas labor" is something lowly and inferior (the term "labor" being used for software development being a whole different matter), and that their company is superior by not using it? Perhaps not. Perhaps all they're saying is that they're doing their bit for the United States by keeping American jobs in America, and hence appealing to the prospective local clients who would prefer all-American companies.

blogspotting

A Techie Dude journals his application process to the top B-schools in the United States.

|