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January 2010 Archives

January 5, 2010

nexus one

happy new year.

google's new phone running on the android open source platform just released today. only the gsm models are available to purchase now, but a cdma model for verizon and sprint will be out soon.

it looks quite nice.

January 8, 2010


not referring to tuberculosis, but our consumer oriented profit by any means driven society. it's quite troubling when i find out about this type of news where retailers will destroy products they can't sell instead of donating it to those whom it could benefit, since they can't make a profit on it. most probably know how much i despise wl-mrt and their business practices leading to my vow to never buy anything from their stores... the mention of wl-mrt in this article didn't surprise me all that much. what i was surprised at was h&m's actions. now i've never bought anything from h&m before, but i've had a generally favorable impression of them from some friends who shop there. i also know that they're not a US based company, but are instead based in sweden. coming from a european nation, i don't know if maybe i was expecting a more socially responsible corporate culture to be able to permeate throughout their global organization or something, but obviously in this case it didn't happen in it's nyc store. no one can say if this practice happens at other stores, but i feel it's more repulsive that it happened in the nyc store in the sense that there would be a lot of people in the city who could have used these perfectly good products that were destroyed and thrown out (as the article mentions).

something else i found interesting is this link that looks back on the new gadgets coming out in 1979. i have this weird relationship with technology. i like new gadgets, they fascinate and amaze me sometimes, but looking at things with a long term perspective, i see a lot of wasted money and resources. just watching that video clip from 1979, got me thinking about all the old vcrs which have probably been thrown out once people started buying dvd players en mass. this was back in the day there weren't any recycling programs for electronics. thinking about the production of those old vcrs; the raw materials, metals and minerals that needed to be mined to make circuitboards and the electronic chassis, they needed to come from somewhere, possibly domestically or overseas. shift to the factories and facilities that would refine and put together these products, which probably dumped a bunch of chemicals into the environment during the process. wrap everything together and think about how everything needed to be shipped from one point to another using some form of fossil fuel, and the overall picture is not one that is very good to our environment. especially considering the shelf life of these products was only 2-3 decades before we ditch them, and with each new cycle of products that time frame is getting shorter. think of how many vcr's there were back in the day, and how many vhs tapes were made. once dvds came out, many replaced their collections of tapes with dvds. we're spending money on the same products (though the sound and picture might be clearer, is it really value added at the end of the day?), money that we could use for other purposes. people around the world still die of malaria, a disease that has been controlled in most developed countries. many in the world do not even have a stable and clean supply of drinking water. there are so many things we could do with the extra capital we save to fix global problems, especially in undeveloped and developing countries. at the end of the day, our dvds are just gonna be replaced by the next thing that comes out (blu-ray), and the technological march will continue for consumers. i wonder sometimes if we really need all the stuff we have access to. it seems like it's just a distraction for us, and that will drive companies to advance the next big thing because they are in the market to make a profit, that is their main purpose in the lifecycle. i was reading recently how they're coming out with 3d tv now, since all these movies out are all gonna be 3d. personally i don't think it will work, especially if you have to wear those glasses, but taking a more ecological view, why in the world do we need 3d tv? will it improve our lives? could we instead funnel money that would have been spent on them to africa, south america, southern and southeast asia, or other places where we can build wells? eradicate mosquitoes? lower the prevalence of diarrheal disease in young children? especially if that 3d tv set will be in the trash in 5 years.

however, i cannot say that i don't get excited when new things come out. i posted just recently about the new google nexus one. that is a pretty cool product i'll have to admit. the stuff that we're able to build gets more and more amazing every year. i've found though that as i've gotten older (though probably not more mature), getting these new toys has meant less and less to me. i'm at a point in my life when i can say that i almost feel like a dinosaur in terms of technology. my friends who i grew up with and i have been through some of the most drastic changes in our short 3 decade span of life. i was talking with some of them recently. kids that grow up now have no clue what the sound of a modem connecting to a dial-up isp sounds like. they don't know what a dial tone sounds like unless they have a landline phone. they don't know what life was like pre-internet. they might have never seen an audio cassette, and maybe even a cd. crt tv's and monitors might be foreign to them. they may have never had to load film in a camera, or wait for a roll to be developed. they've never encountered a limit of 12, 24, or 36 exposures. they might not be able to appreciate a complete album, or listen to one straight through, as mp3s have allowed people to only choose tracks they "like". as new innovations come out, they have made some aspects of life "stupid-proof" and maybe even easier, but there's a whole lot of skill and knowledge that has and will be lost because of it. i think about the art of photography regarding the use of film a lot. i've always loved the medium. the knowledge one needs about different types of film, adjusting with/for film speed depending on environmental conditions, in terms of how you want to capture your image. the process of film development, the timing it takes in the different chemicals to develop and set the images on paper. you can play around and/or keep track of so many different variables to have a picture turn out the way you want it to. sometimes you only have once chance to do it, so you better be really good at what you do. it's not to say i can't or won't appreciate pictures taken with a digital camera, pictures are pictures... but i will say that i can appreciate the craft that has gone into the whole process a lot more of a photo that i really identify with, developed using those old techniques.

January 9, 2010

old one that's been saved up

so here's an old entry i've saved up... it's been staring back at me and annoying me, so i figured i'd publish it with some newer stuff below it.

i have to stop reading comments, it can't be good for my blood pressure. this is a comment from a random person about news that marshawn lynch stole $20, and kawika mitchell's defense of lynch from his twitter account. i'm not a huge fan of lynch, but i'm not a huge fan of idiotic people who comment either.

Mitchell needs to shut his freakin mouth. I swear the only time I hear his name is in reference to his twitter page. I understand he was hurt. But the guy talks a lot for someone who has never done anything in a Bills uniform. His patients is growing thin with me too. Maybe he should be a better “father” to Lynch and tell him to get his head on straight!

"Be a wuss at home! Be a man on Rumblings!" - Kurupt

by bflo on Jan 9, 2010 10:00 AM EST

patients? growing thing with you? huh?

really, i don't even know what to say after reading and writing about this comment. for all the strong feelings i have about doing what i think is the right thing, which among them includes extending health coverage to all... sometimes i feel as if it isn't worth it. should we really subsidize stupidity? in the natural world, the weakest get selected out. why should our species be any different?

something that really concerns me as we liver longer are the environmental contaminants from medications. developed nations are driving medication use in order to extend life, and it cannot be good for our environment.

i found this really interesting. hela cells are an immortal cell line that scientists can use to experiment on. when i was in my biotech program, a couple labs in our department specifically used hela cells as their cell model for antibody cancer research. although i was familiar that they're a cell line, i never really knew or looked into why they were named hela cells as we used focused on blood cell lines in my lab. the story behind the hela cell line is much more interesting than the story behind my mouse cells.

i seem to have forgotten what else i was going to write about. that will have to do for now.

January 23, 2010

beethoven's 7th 2nd mvt

life is so unpredictable, and despite how expressive language can be, sometimes i feel it is just not enough. at times there can be no words to describe how happy one can be, but what's interesting is when a close friend is dealing with a loss... how can one even start to really tell another that they're sorry too? i think a lot about the biblical story of job. the main message is that job was a good man fearful of God, and despite losing everything (children, means of life, given sores on skin, etc.), he would not speak against God. what i have always found fascinating were the initial reactions of his three friends who came to visit him after this all happened. his friends came to join job and sat with him on the ground while saying nothing for seven days. what i really like about this is that these friends showed they cared without having to say a single word. they might not have completely understood where job was or what he was thinking, but they tried by being the ones who were there with him in this difficult time. it really stinks when one feels like they can't help at all when something bad happens... that the only thing they can do is really be there for those one cares about. i know from personal experience that it does help when people are there when something tragic occurs to oneself, but despite that, being the person on the outside looking in... it doesn't make it any better.

i've been trying to find something to summarize how i'm feeling today... and i came across an old favorite. beethoven's 7th movement 2. there's variation in the work with some levity, but what i really love about this movement is the heaviness that encompasses from the minor key. i remember sitting in an orchestra playing this once before... how the line would flow so seamlessly from one section to another... and how effective and plodding it seamed when everyone was called to play. i miss sitting in the bowels of a symphonic orchestra and reveling in the sound. anyways... there's a sadness i feel because i know my friend is hurting... and the world is less one great mother. however i am glad that she had the opportunity to see her son fulfill his dreams, and that she also had a chance to live out her dreams.

there were a couple versions i found, i really like the one with kleiber conducting. when the piece starts off... it's almost dead quiet... you barely notice anyone's even playing if you just listen to it. it makes the build up and crescendo that much more effective.

this one is with karajan conducting. it's good, but i think i'm most impressed with the video. the crescendo's are very effective, but the start of the kleiber version is better... it's just SO soft p(ppppp)ianissimo... super duper pianissimo.

RIP dhini.

January 25, 2010

filthy scumbags

so the rnc has sent out a congressional district census mailing soliciting donations for the party. they conveniently timed it so that it might coincide with the national census that happens every 10 years. i don't necessarily oppose the party soliciting donations, as fundraising is obviously important for political campaigns in these times (though i would prefer money not play such an important role in political influence). what really gets me is HOW the republican party goes about doing it. sure, they might be technically allowed to do something like this... but that doesn't make it the right thing to do. now i'm not saying that the democrats have never or would never do something like this, but sometimes i wish that the whole political system wasn't so dirty. with the "survey" that's included, they're basically baiting the respondents to answer the way they want.

The letter asks political questions, including, "Do you think the record trillion dollar federal deficit the Democrats are creating with their out-of-control spending is going to have disastrous consequences for our nation?" and, "Do you worry that the Obama administration is committed to greatly expanding the government's role in your life?"

i wonder how many people would actually take the time to ask themselves, "are the questions i'm reading biased in any way?" for some reason, i don't think most people would even stop to question them.

i've been thinking a little bit lately about how i really should just stop reading the news and stop caring about politics and just let everything play out, and be ignorant. it would make my life more serene, i wouldn't be all mr. furious (100 bonus points if you get the movie reference) all the time. then i start to think maybe this is how the gop is going to end up winning... by outlasting all the liberals in the country... since they oppose healthcare reform which would expand coverage to many middle and lower income voting individuals. this block of voters have historically had a higher proportion of democrat leaning individuals, the expansion of preventive health services would hurt them, by causing their blood pressure to increase after listening to all the bs the republicans spew 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. the end result of this would be an increased risk of heart disease and associated cardiovascular illness. without preventive healthcare and the increases of these diseases, life expectancy would be limited. so if these individuals are not around, they can't vote. meanwhile rich conservatives will always be able to afford their private insurance premiums. though i really don't think that's the real agenda, it does make me wonder how a group can be so against reform that covers everyone? on top of that, the whole election of a republican to replace kennedy in ma. really has me down. the democrats totally screwed the pooch on that one as they didn't put enough resources into that election. that's also been playing into my feelings of going anti-news and being ignorant. life would be so much simpler if i didn't care about any of this going on. at the end of the day though, the gop always draws me back as they'll always find a way to somehow make it into my life everyday to irritate me.

About January 2010

This page contains all entries posted to .:Gotta Drop a Blog in The Corner:. in January 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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