masala: the international spice
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Friday, December 31

How Did Animals Escape Tsunami? | article

Sri Lankan wildlife officials have said the giant waves that killed over 24,000 people along the Indian Ocean island's coast seemingly missed wild beasts, with no dead animals found.

"No elephants are dead, not even a dead hare or rabbit," said H.D. Ratnayake, deputy director of Sri Lanka's Wildlife Department. "I think animals can sense disaster. They have a sixth sense. They know when things are happening."

Thursday, December 30

BitTorrent traffic accounts for more than one-third of all data sent across the Internet.

Tuesday, December 28

"He don't have no problem with you blinging. God's heavenly abode proves that he is the real king of bling. His gates are pearly, his house is about 10 stadiums big, the streets are gold. You do the budget on that kind of place."
-- Mase

more quotes

Monday, December 27

Cards, anyone?

Saturday, December 25
My dad showed me this one..

Friday, December 24

Thursday, December 23

Bush : Wise Man
A celebrity nativity scene at Madame Tussads in London features David Beckham as Joseph, Posh Spice as the Virgin Mary, Kylie Minogue as an angel, and President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair as two of the wise man.

Reached for comment, Bush said: "God loves you, and I love you. And you can count on both of us as a powerful message that people who wonder about their future can hear."

Wednesday, December 22

ESPN.COM: If you had to pick a running mate from the world of sports, who would it be?

McCain: That's an excellent question. One of the people who would get my serious consideration would be Brett Favre.

Full McCain Sports Interview

Tuesday, December 21

"Everyone, no matter how moral, if he feels a commitment to the mission, will or could fall into violence. We're all told we shouldn't behave badly to civilians -- never hit them, never yell. But after eight hours in the sun, you're not so strong."
--Israeli soldier describing what it's like manning a checkpoint, where as many as 5,000 Palestinians line up to enter Israel every day. Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights groups have documented hundreds of cases of abuse by Israeli troops against Palestinians at roadblocks.

Monday, December 20

Pyromania and Computer Security

My favorite tech writer, Washington Post's Rob Pegoraro, did a column on computer security for web surfers who use Windows (use login:foo@barbazfoo.baz; pword:foo@barbazfoo.baz).

I thought he overemphasized the role of firewalls; dad thought he overemphasized the use of Firefox. What, we don't like fire? I guess mom's the pyromaniac in the family.

Saturday, December 18

975 More

"I think the first person to live to 1,000 might be 60 already."
--Cambridge University geneticist Aubrey de Grey believes advances in molecular biology could prevent and cure ageing.

Friday, December 17

Hudson to the Braves | article
In getting Tim Hudson, the Braves have their first ace since Greg Maddux stopped pitching like Greg Maddux in 2003. And Smoltz is old, but he still brings it. So the Braves have two bona fide aces kicking off their rotation, as opposed to last year where they were mixing and matching for much of the season. Smoltz'll bring it for the next couple of years at which time he'll probably hang it up. Pitchers are doing crazy things these days - Roger Clemens is 42 and just won the Cy Young, and Randy Johnson finished 2nd and he's 41. But still I don't think you can realistically expect Smoltz to go past 40, given that he has a history of arm problems and hasn't started a game since '99. Hudson, provided he stays with the Braves, can be counted on for 15-20 wins a season for the next 8-10 years.

This deal is looking like the reverse of how the Milwood-Estrada trade looked. In the Milwood-Estrada deal, the Braves dealt a proven starter, Kevin Milwood, for what everybody thought was a nobody- Johnny Estrada. But the Braves knew they were getting a solid prospect and he panned out great for last year's playoff club. Likewise, the story of this trade is definitely Tim Hudson, but the Braves didn't give up chump change - Charles Thomas can get on base and is fast; Juan Cruz is a thin, feisty power pitcher that could use a little more control on his fastball, like a young Pedro Martinez; Dan Meyer has pitched well in the minors. Talent and potential are words that don't always amount to production, but they often do - and all those guys have talent.

The Braves and the A's are two of the most consistent teams in the game; they've both been competitive every year since 1999. And their GMs - John Schuerholz and Billy Beane- are a big reason why. Schuerholz knows how to spend money wisely and maintain a high level of play; Beane knows how to trade for quality prospects and maintain a high level of play. This trade is just both men doing what they do best.

Thursday, December 16

Kaplan Pencils
I'm proctoring a practice SAT exam for Kaplan at Central Bucks West tonight from 6 to 10 pm. I have a lot of Kaplan pencils. I also have nothing interesting to say so






Wednesday, December 15

Two articles from yesterday:
1. Blockbuster eliminates late fees.
2. NIH sponsors free content journals.

Competitors (Netflix, PubMed) using the Internet are forcing fundamental business plan changes for existing institutions in the both the entertainment and academic fields.

Tuesday, December 14

Oh Tina Oh Tina
Tina Munim is a former Bollywood film actress. Her relationships with Sunjay Dutt and Rajesh Khanna were important enough to make her 3-line IMDB bio. She had a big Mumbai wedding. My mom knows her sister.

Monday, December 13

What Argentina looks
like today

I saw this last month:

"So if you ask the question: do we (America) look like Argentina, the answer is a whole lot more than anyone is quite willing to admit at this point. We’ve become a banana republic."
--Paul Krugman, Princeton economics professor and NYTimes columnist, on the dangers of the expanding deficit and weakening dollar

But then from yesterday:

"Today, the feeling among economists in Buenos Aires is that the country is over the worst. Yes, Argentina is struggling with a complex debt restructuring process, but the economy has staged an extraordinary recovery.
Phoenix-like, the economy has risen from the ashes."
--from "Argentina's miraculous recovery owes little to the IMF", the Guardian

Maybe he should pick a new example..

Saturday, December 11

Down and Dirty in San Francisco
Last week, the Chronicle took the lead on the steroids in baseball issue, and this week they released an in-depth series on homelessness in the Mission.

The caption for this picture:
"Grimes Poznikov, once a Fisherman's Wharf street performer called the Human Jukebox, used to live in an Evans Street encampment that has since been removed. He now collects recycling near the Mission."

The Human Jukebox? Maybe he's related to this guy ...

Friday, December 10

All of Coach Willingham's Stanford teams beat Cal
and got the Axe.

Two reasons college football sucks:
1. Tyrone Willingham was in effect fired by the Notre Dame boosters and alumni, who went over the heads of the Notre Dame President and the ND Athletic Director. Willingham's teams went 21-15 at South Bend - solid, not spectacular - but he made sure a high percentage of his players graduated and was fired with 2 years still left on his contract.

2. A Pac-10 team (ok, it was Cal) was left out of the Rose Bowl despite a better poll ranking than both teams going to Pasadena. Cal's lone loss was to #1 USC.

Thursday, December 9

Digging through Iraqi Landfills
"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?" Army Spc. Thomas Wilson asked.

The approximately 2,300 soldiers who assembled to listen to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld responded to the question with a big cheer.

"You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can (still) be blown up," Rumsfeld replied.

Rumsfeld faces tough questions from troops

Wednesday, December 8

Since I'm already taking an online marketing class and have already recruited some (temporary) accounts, I figured I'd try to become a Google Certified Professional. But the nasal (computer generated?) voice that does all the flash AdWords tutorials is starting to get to me.

Tuesday, December 7

Why aren't there any women in business school?
They're all in med/law school or having babies.

Monday, December 6

"With great power comes blindness and corruption
of one's moral fabric, not 'responsibility'."

--Rohit Gupta, a Mumbai-based writer, responds to an
Indian adaptation of
Spiderman (article, pics) that aims to
show Indians what America "really stands for".

Saturday, December 4

More pictures

Bonds, Giambi Admit Using Steroids
A lot of my family in the Bay Area are big fans of
the Giants or the A's and, by extension, of Bonds
or Giambi. They can't be happy about recent events.

The irony here is that Giambi reportedly started
using steroids not before his MVP-caliber seasons
in Oakland but before his injury-plagued seasons in
New York. Go figure.

I give props to the SF Chronicle for getting access
to the jury testimonies of both Bonds and Giambi.
They both continued to deny using steroids after
testifying to the jury that they did; they must've
thought that their jury testimonies would never be
outed to the public.

Friday, December 3

Bangkok Car Hit by Part Falling from Departing Boeing 777

"I saw the plane take off and then I saw flames and debris
falling but I didn't think it was going to hit my car."

Coming soon (in Thailand): falling origami.

Spongebobs Stolen from Burger Kings Across America

"Once we got caught by the police, we were like, now we can
tell everybody."

Coming soon (in America): inflatable satellites.

Thursday, December 2

I've decided to do Google/Yahoo ads for all the companies
that emailed me back (a total of 6), including one for Ace
. The owner's son is a good friend of mine and
currently in Beirut on business, where massive rallies
consisting of thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of
of Lebanese (depending on who you believe) are
currently taking place. The demonstrators are protesting UN
Resolution 1557, which calls on Syria to pull its troops out of

"The United States, France or the United Nations have no
right to come and interfere in internal Lebanese affairs," said
AhmAd Barini, a 23-year-student bussed in from north
Lebanon for the march. "The issue of the Syrian presence is
between Syria and Lebanon."

My friend went clubbing with work friends last night
escorted by an armed guard. Sounds fun.

Don't leave, Syria!

Wednesday, December 1
Email sent last night to friends+friends-of-friends through
the Stanford Alumni Network. I've gotten 2 replies as of
10:30 this morning:

At-cost online ad for your small business
I'm taking an online Pay per click advertising class and I need
to build an online advertisement for a small business. If anyone
has a small business and wants a Google Adsense or Yahoo
FindWhat ad built, let me know and we'll talk.

An online retail business would be best, so we can track how
much traffic/sales increases.

Since the assignment is for a class, I won't charge any money
for labor, but since it's for a grade, I'll be very thorough
and do a good job.

The process of building the ad campaign includes doing keyword
research, setting up a Google/FindWhat account, writing the actual
ad, tracking the ad, and modifying the ad for best results.

A full class syllabus can be viewed here:



"I'm tired of hearing about money, money, money, money,
money. I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi, wear
-- Shaquille O'Neal