blog

Chat Roulette

Short Filmmaker Casey Neistat has a wonderful 6 minute film about the video chat rage Chatroulette, with statistics and more:

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Life before Google

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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.

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fact-check

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purpose

From Eyewriter:

Tony was diagnosed with ALS in 2003, a disease which has left him almost completely physically paralyzed… except for his eyes. This international team is working together to create a low-cost, open source eye-tracking system that will allow ALS patients to draw using just their eyes. The long-term goal is to create a professional/social network of software developers, hardware hackers, urban projection artists and ALS patients from around the world who are using local materials and open source research to creatively connect and make eye art.

Also see Dasher.

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Happy 2010, dear readers!

2010
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Vaccum

From a craigslist post, Letter to my dead girlfriend, via reddit:

Last weekend I finally took the step of cleaning out your clothes from the closet, which is very barren now. I invited your friends over to take your what they liked, it was an awkward session. I think they took them more as a favor to me than anything else. Liz cried when we pulled out all of your shoes, Miranda joined in and then Catherine broke down. It was strange to stand in our bedroom surrounded by three crying girls. I made a joke about them crying for joy at the prospect of some free Manolo Balhniks which they didn’t seem to find very funny.

One day, many decades in the future, some enterprising literature grad student will compile and analyze the gems Craigslist has to offer.

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RIP, Asheem Chakravarty

Indian Ocean’s percussionist and singer, Asheem Chakravarty passed away yesterday after a heart attack. This is truly sad news; Indian Ocean is one of my favorite bands and I have been to many of their concerts. Losing a member of a band as tight-knit and flawless as Indian Ocean is quite a big blow. My heart goes out to Asheem’s family and friends, Sushmit, Rahul, and Amit.

Asheem’s percussion was the backbone of the band, and if you listen carefully you’ll notice that it only stops for one thing — his vocal solos (This is why having 2 percussionists in a band is awesome). My most distinctive memory of Asheem is his solo singing of a sloka that opens a song from the Kandisa album, Khajuraho:
Brahmanandam parama sukhadam kevalam jnanamurtim dvandvaateetam gagana sadrusam tatvamasyadi lakshyam ekam nityam vimala machalam sarvadheesaakshibuutam bhaavaateetam triguna rahitam sadgurum tam namaami.

(Rough translation from here — “I salute to that true teacher who is the source of eternal bliss, supreme happiness, who has true wisdom who is beyond the dualities, who is infinite, whose attention is always on the divine, who is unique, eternal, pure, steady, and who sees with the eyes of wisdom who is beyond thoughts and beyond three faculties.”)

I am thankful for the wonderful rendition of slokas that are thousands of years old into your songs and making this accessible to our “pop-rock” generation. You may not be with us any more, but your voice and your tabla will echo in the universe forever. Rest in peace.

My year in cities, 2009

To continue the tradition of two years (2007, and 2008), here is a list of cities I have been in 2009. It seems quieter than the last few, but I realized some of them were multiple trips and extended stays. I hope 2010 is a longer list!

  • San Francisco, CA
  • Bay Area, CA (Sunnyvale, Mountain View, etc)
  • Assilomar, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Providence, RI
  • Paris, France
  • Lyon, France
  • Boston, MA
  • Detroit, MI
  • Ann Arbor, MI

How I improved my productivity by an order of magnitude

Recent additions to my /etc/hosts file:


#arnab addiction -- cold turkey time
127.0.0.1 facebook.com
127.0.0.1 www.facebook.com
127.0.0.1 twitter.com
127.0.0.1 www.twitter.com
127.0.0.1 api.twitter.com
127.0.0.1 techcrunch.com
127.0.0.1 www.techcrunch.com
127.0.0.1 www.engadget.com
127.0.0.1 engadget.com
127.0.0.1 reddit.com
127.0.0.1 www.reddit.com
127.0.0.1 digg.com
127.0.0.1 www.digg.com
127.0.0.1 slashdot.org
127.0.0.1 www.slashdot.org
127.0.0.1 hulu.com
127.0.0.1 www.hulu.com

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