Saturday, May 08, 2004

Between lunch and dinner

And I thought Donna was being considerate to Irene when she suggested that we meet at my house at 1pm to go out for lunch. Irene said she had planned to get a haircut this morning. The real reason was that Donna wanted to sleep late. Now, wasn't that clever? She even extended the invitation to her friend Barbara to come along.

All three were late! And everybody knows, I hate to wait. Barbara was fashionably five minutes late. Donna was typically 18 minutes late. but Irene was unusually 32 minutes late. But officially she was only 12 minutes late, because she called me an hour earlier to tell me that she would be delayed 20 minutes. Of course, we had to chat a little before leaving for the restaurant. So, at around 2:30pm, the first spoonful of hot and sour soup entered my mouth. For someone who usually eats lunch at 11:30am, well you know how my stomach felt.

No complaints though. It was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. And, no doubt, we'll be doing this again soon.

Friday, May 07, 2004

At the request of Ms. Glontoe

At the request of Ms. Glontoe, here are my Favorite Words. Book is apropos. But I think most of the words in this journal are not written by me. So, I'd certainly doubt its accuracy. As for my future based on this information, I'll have to leave it to others to guess. However, a big part will be an effort to continue to learn new things.
Your Favorite Words
Here are the words that you use the most often in your journal or blog. Extremely common words that are used frequently in all blogs, like 'and', are not included.

We only count words that you've used in your most recent 150 journal entries.

book: 46 times
--: 42 times
years: 35 times
read: 33 times
two: 30 times
may: 26 times
album: 26 times
age: 26 times
later: 23 times
music: 23 times
reading: 22 times
second: 20 times
(apple): 20 times
family: 19 times
use: 19 times
such: 19 times
/: 18 times
three: 18 times
others: 17 times
found: 17 times
another: 17 times
friday: 17 times
probably: 16 times
(drake): 16 times
enough: 16 times
through: 16 times
between: 15 times
shall: 15 times
(johnson): 15 times
ago: 15 times
however: 15 times
doesn't: 15 times
left: 14 times
0: 14 times
show: 14 times
help: 14 times
different: 14 times
human: 14 times
took: 14 times
wife: 13 times
story: 13 times
reason: 13 times
end: 13 times
god: 13 times
article: 13 times
yesterday: 13 times
former: 13 times
couldn't: 13 times
post: 13 times
remember: 13 times
during: 13 times
government: 13 times
own: 13 times
1: 12 times
question: 12 times
put: 12 times
intelligence: 12 times
2: 12 times
without: 12 times
next: 12 times
least: 12 times
known: 12 times
closeyoureyes: 12 times
says: 12 times
means: 12 times
often: 12 times
might: 12 times
morning: 12 times
asked: 12 times
3: 12 times
sense: 11 times
songs: 11 times
phil: 11 times
area: 11 times
4: 11 times
5: 11 times
6: 11 times
interesting: 11 times
bain: 11 times
voice: 11 times
rose: 11 times
charlie: 11 times
language: 11 times
times: 11 times
review: 11 times
wouldn't: 11 times
chinese: 11 times
wasn't: 11 times
performed: 11 times

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Fiona Apple: When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like a King ...

When The Pawn Hits The Conflicts He Thinks Like A King / What He Knows Throws The Blows When He Goes To The Fight / And He'll Win The Whole Thing 'Fore He Enters The Ring / There's No Body To Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might / So When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand / And Remember That Depth Is The Greatest Of Heights / And If You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where To Land / And If You Fall It Won't Matter, Cuz You'll Know That You're Right is the title to Fiona Apple's second album. ·Yes, that's right. ·There are 90 words to the title. ·I counted them. ·Well, at least my computer did. ·If you squint, you might be able to read it on the album cover.
1. · On the Bound (Apple) - 5:23
2. · To Your Love (Apple) - 3:40
3. · Limp (Apple) - 3:31
4. · Love Ridden (Apple) - 3:22
5. · Paper Bag (Apple) - 3:40
6. · A Mistake (Apple) - 4:58
7. · Fast as You Can (Apple) - 4:40
8. · The Way Things Are (Apple) - 4:18
9. · Get Gone (Apple) - 4:10
10. · I Know (Apple) - 4:57
Sorry, closeyoureyes, we may have to diagree about this one. ·The lyrics are too contrived. ·The words stumble all over the place. ·They follow like the long tail of a high flying kite meandering back and forth across the sky, always lagging behind. ·It is not as good as her first album Tidal. ·However, I'll split the difference between your two favorites (in bold) on this album. ·I do like I Know. ·It is nice and soft, the way you know how I like them.

I'm listening to the album for the second time as I'm writing this entry. ·Strange, it seems better this time around. ·I wonder if liking it is an acquired taste, like this journal.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

American Experience: Daughter from Danang

I saw this documentary a couple of years ago and found it moving and thought provoking. The story speaks to the yearning for belonging and the search for identity, as well as the tacit assumptions and expectations that we all have. The film may be shown in your area tonight, one among many during this Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. If so, check it out.
American Experience
Daughter from Danang


In 1975, as the Vietnam War was ending, thousands of orphans and Amerasian children left Vietnam for the United States as part of Operation Babylift. Mai Thi Kim tearfully put her 7-year-old daughter, Mai Thi Hiep, on a plane to America. Kim, who had conceived the child during a brief affair with an American serviceman, feared for her daughter's safety; she had heard that racially mixed children would be persecuted at the war's end.

Daughter from Danang tells the story of Hiep — raised in Tennessee as Heidi and now married with two daughters of her own — and her reunion in Danang with her birth mother, 22 years after their separation. What seems like a cue for a happy ending, however, is anything but, as Heidi and her Vietnamese relatives struggle with separation and longing, expectation and reality, family identity and cultural disconnect.

This 90-minute documentary by Gail Dolgin and Vicente Franco received the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival (January 2002) and a Golden Gate Award Grand Prize from the San Francisco International Film Festival, and it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Happy Birthday to Closeyoureyes

Happy birthday closeyoureyes. Despite the hard issue that you're dealing with, I hope your summer goes well. But most importantly, be sure to come back in September to continue your education. Besides, I need you back on the air. You're my favorite DJ. Meanwhile, have a wonderful day.

Suffering from other people's mistakes

Sounds more like suffering from other people's mistakes. What's the moral of the story? Avoid hanging out with people who make mistakes?

Learning from other people's mistakes
May 4, 2004

It appears there's a reason why watching someone fumble a ball or give the wrong answer on "Jeopardy" can be so annoying. Dutch researchers report in the May issue of Nature Neuroscience that people's brains react the same way, whether they're actually making an error or just observing someone erring. Hein van Schie of the University of Nijmegen and colleagues measured the electrical activity of volunteers' brains as the subjects performed a simple task. The participants had to look at an arrow that appeared briefly on a computer screen, then judge in which direction it was pointing. After each test, the volunteers were told whether they were right or not. When a person realized he or she had made a mistake, a distinctive electrical signal from a part of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex was recorded, but the researchers found that they got the same brain signal even from people who simply watched the person make the mistake during the same task. The authors hope the finding will help shed light on how we learn from observing our own and others' mistakes, since, after all, "errors are crucial for learning and adjusting future behavior."
AGNIESZKA BISKUP


Monday, May 03, 2004

His remark about women just made him less sympathetic

His remark about women just made him less sympathetic:

Iraqi says US guards stripped him naked
By Scheherezade Faramarzi, Associated Press | May 3, 2004

NAJAF, Iraq -- Dhia al-Shweiri spent several stints in Baghdad's notorious Abu Ghraib prison, twice under Saddam Hussein's rule and once under American. He prefers Hussein's torture to the humiliation of being stripped naked by his American guards, he said yesterday in an interview.

Now Shweiri, 30, who used to work in a fabric shop, is a diehard fighter in the al-Mahdi Army, the militia of a Shi'ite Muslim cleric who has vowed to take on the Americans.

Shweiri said that while jailed by Hussein's regime, he was electrocuted, beaten, and hanged from the ceiling with his hands tied behind his back.

"But that's better than the humiliation of being stripped naked," he said. "Shoot me here," he added, pointing between his eyes, "but don't do this to us."

For months, human rights groups and former prisoners had spoken of mistreatment at detention centers, but their protests were widely dismissed as politically motivated until the US command started an investigation in January. Six American soldiers are facing courts-martial.

The allegations exploded onto the world stage last week after the CBS program "60 Minutes II" broadcast images allegedly showing Iraqis stripped naked, hooded, and being tormented by their US captors.

An internal US Army report found that Iraqi detainees were subjected to "sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses," according to The New Yorker magazine.

On Saturday, Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper published a front-page picture of a British soldier apparently urinating on a hooded prisoner.

Shweiri, who was arrested by the Americans in October, said he was asked to take off his clothes for about 15 minutes.

"I thought they wanted me to change into the red prison uniform, so I took off my clothes, down to my underwear. Then he asked me to take off my underwear. I started arguing with him, but in the end he made me take off my underwear," Shweiri said.

"They were trying to humiliate us, break our pride. We are men. It's OK if they beat me. Beatings don't hurt us; it's just a blow. But no one would want their manhood to be shattered," he said.

"They wanted us to feel as though we were women, the way women feel, and this is the worst insult, to feel like a woman," Shweiri said.

His account could not be independently verified.

He said the Americans arrested him and his father and brother in Sadr City in Baghdad, accusing him of belonging to the al-Mahdi Army because he had an automatic weapon in his house and headbands with Islamic sayings.

© Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Good thing I had a backup of the site

At single click of the mouse, I deleted my client's entire website. It was supposed to be a subdirectory that was to be deleted. You think the system would ask "Are you sure you want to do this? You might be fired or sued if you proceed". Then if you do, it should ask you once again "Last chance. Are you sure?". No such luck. I couldn't believe my eyes. After several episodes of denials later .... Let me look at this again. Still not there. One more time. Still not there.

OK, time to call the ISP (Internet Service Provider). She was pleasant enough on the phone. However, she cautioned me that she can restore the site, but not the files I deleted. Now, what does that mean? "Give me three minutes." "OK, I'll put you on speaker phone. Let me know when it's restored." ... "Done." "Well, I see the site's root directory. But I still can't access the site. ... No wonder, there are no files in that directory." "You deleted all the files?" "Yeah, I you told that. I could have created the root directory myself. But I was hoping that you can restore all the files so that I don't have to upload the site backup." "Well, you can upload the files now." "Thanks for all your help."

As you can tell, I really wasn't worried. The only problem was to make sure that I use the most recent backup. A few moments later, the site was restored and back to normal. Good thing this happened on a Sunday night. If this happened during business hours, this whole episode wouldn't have been that pleasant. Whew, disaster averted!