Britney Spears’ loft at 14 East 4th Street is for sale ($6Million). The real estate agent included these interior shots which prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Britney has no taste where taste is concerned. Also check out the after un decorated version with floorplans here.

[via Curbed]
[realtor listing]


future nap

MetroNaps: “the premier provider of professional nap centers in the United States”

1. Check In. Call in advance for reservations or just walk in.
2. Order Lunch (Optional). MetroNaps offers everything from salad to sandwiches to sushi. Order before you nap; your food will be waiting for you when you wake!
3. Recharge. The MetroNaps Method is designed to let you recharge in just 20 minutes. You’ll feel refreshed without feeling groggy.
4. Refresh. Use the MetroNaps Wake Station’s lotion, facial spritz and lemon-scented hand towels to prepare yourself for work.
5. Return. Continue your day feeling completely renewed. The whole process takes less than 25 minutes.

Their first, just opened location is three blocks from my office – in the Empire State building.



Hong Kong Issues Typhoon Alert as Storm Nears City [Bloomberg]

Good timing for a flight to London right? The Typhoon scale goes 1,2,3,8,10. In about an hour they are moving to a level 8 which means everyone in the office gets to go home. Chinese Snow Day!

When we ask if they think we’ll still be able to get on our flights they just look at each other and laugh.


ping table pong tennis

There are 25 channels in this hotel, 3 sports channels. These pictures were taken at the same time on two different channels. That’s 8% of available programming.

Also available virtually 24/7 is pool (9ball), snooker, or badminton .


your brain is messing with you

Boing Boing points to the dancing almond optical illusion which I had seen before and refers secondarily to the checker shadow illusion which is actually a lot more interesting. You definitely need to check it out – your brain will fight your eyes. At first you’ll absolutely refuse to beleive that the squares are the same color. I validated the accurracy of the illusion with photoshop’s eye dropper tool and it’s 100% legit. Amazing.

Bonus Emo Phillips joke: I used to think the brain was the most fascination part of the human body… then I realized, well look who’s telling me that.


rush sucks

Rush photoshops Kerry Edwards left, adds “This says it All” title, original undoctored right. Why is it that he gets away with this stuff and if a liberal commentator tried the same move they’d be attacked mercilessly?

[via Headwaters Forum

My EPH brain cells are firing.


scale myth

Joshua Allen of Better Living Through Software talks here about a phenomenon I’ve railed on in the past. The Scale Myth.

During the height of the dot-com bubble, you could sidetrack any business discussion by saying, “Yes, but, will it scale?“. The common perception was that Internet scale was at least two orders of magnitude larger than brick-and-mortar scale, and if a business launched without being able to sustain a bazillion transactions per second, they were soon out of business. People abandoned all reason when those words were uttered.

In fact, I think decision-makers have to be careful, because certain vendors can make a whole lot of cash by making you panic about scalability. RFID is unique enough, and it is big, so decision-makers could potentially be tricked into believing that the rules have completely changed. But before you go spend $10 million on hardware, run the models and figure it out for yourself. And remember, a terabyte of storage costs $1,000 dollars today, and we all learned some lessons about excess capacity during the Internet boom. Think.

I wonder how many internet startups would still be around if they had invested in making a better product rather than overly fancy servers (cough) with quadruple redundancy.

Good architects combined with good tools build solutions that can be cheaply scaled using commodity techniques in the vast, vast majority of cases.

The “certain vendors can make a whole lot of cash by making you panic about scalability” comment reminds me of a certain large vendor my company visited recently.  



We were talking about pinafores at breakfast (the outfit, not the dessert – how do you spell that one?) and the one that defines it for me is Vicki (Voice Input Child Identicant/V.I.C.I actually) from Small Wonder.

Fire up Google, and found this site: 

Now I know that it’s blogging easy pickin’s to go find some fan site for something relatively obscure, but trust me here.

This site really covers more than you can imagine possible about a tv show from the 80’s. I can understand a show that came on the air after the internet (web) was popular, people can collaboratively build a huge library of data, but going back to the 80’s for your material has got to be a challenge. 

Just a small sampling of the stuff available: Message boards and insider chat, episode guides, series & technical backgrounds, FAQ, theme song audio, lost spin-off, cast and character bios, Q&A with creator Howard Leeds, and Tiffany Brissette fan club page, the math and myth behind Vicki’s science and the social ramifications that a real-life V.I.C.I. might pose in families, religion, society and sex and of course fan fiction.

Why weren’t we constantly thinking “I would like to punch each and every person on this show in the face?” Were we all just a little bit more innocent back then – cause I’d really like to punch them all in the face.



My #1 top favorite item is the Small Wonder seriously section’s “Is it really a good idea to keep lovely and obedient Vicki in Jamie’s Bedroom?”

Perhaps the most downplayed but subtly volatile situation posed on Small Wonder was parking Vicki in her junior jock pubescent “brother” Jamie’s bedroom. Of all themes driving salacious “X-rated” Small Wonder fanfic on the web, this was it. Naturally, a sitcom geared for a younger audience was able to gloss over the ramifications by non-admission, but the real world isn’t that blind or innocent. …

The question foremost in storing Vicki in Jamie’s room is whether she poses too perfect a human replicate for a young pubescent boy with perking hormones to simply dismiss as an appliance or a toy. Like the perfect hypnotized subject, Vicki presents to any young boy the ultimate “play doctor” partner (primarily as a petting object since she’s only externally anatomically correct); totally docile, obedient, and obliging. She has no will, conscious, sense of morality, shame or modesty. She doesn’t blab and will permanently keep and encrypt or delete an experience if so ordered. The knowledge that Vicki’s non-biological and has no “mind” or true feelings to bruise or traumatize or have qualms about adds a notch of guiltlessness that’d encourage Jamie’s response to Vicki’s affect. Also, that she’s physically very comely can only exasperate Jamie’s pose of brotherly disinterest in her. So would he or does he? Jamie certainly has ample opportunity and privacy to carry out any wanton whimsy in his bedroom, so the question is, assuming he is like most boys his age, would he willfully and spitelessly move on his own “sister” or does he regard Vicki enough as one not to?


standard what-I-did in hong kong last night crap

Had dinner with some HK peeps last night at what our host called “the most famous Chinese restaurant in the world.” (Don’t ask me) Their specialties are BBQ goose and a “Century Egg” which is a preserved duck egg appetizer. They use some secret Chinese preservation technique age it for a few months – it comes out gelatinous, oh and um black. They do include some excellent special ginger to put on top which makes it all ok somehow.

The goose was good although difficult to eat from a texture/presentation to our American point of view. These geese were special because they only this month rescinded the ban on imported foul due to the Asian bird flu. How’s that for a cultural differentiator – how long would an American wait before eating something coming off a government enforced import ban due to an exotic food-borne disease?  

Off to a western-friendly bar in western-friendly lan qwai fung for some live music. The band members were pointed out as being Pilipino (I had no idea that’s how you spell someone from the Philippines ((I also see you can do Filipino too)) by our Chinese hosts. We heard Sixpence None the Richer – Kiss Me, Lionel Richey – Easy like Sunday Morning and some other Matchbox 20 genre tunes done faithfully to the original. If I ever have a wedding in Hong Kong, I’ve got a band.


Northwest vs Cathay.

Here’s a shortened version of my recap of Cathay vs Northwest to Hong Kong that I posted on my internal company blog.

My latest trip I flew a newly retrofitted Northwest 747 from NYC to Tokyo and an older one from there to Hong Kong. I have flown twice previously on Cathay 747 through Vancouver.

  • [stuff about the seats]
  • [stuff about the movie selection]
  • Cathay has great noise cancelling style headphones, Northwest has crappy throw-away ones. Luckily I had my new Bose noise-cancelling headphones with me. You really appreciate quality headphones on a 20 hour flight.
  • I’m pretty sure the flight attendant on Northwest was on crystal meth and she was the only one tending to the whole upstairs cabin. (~22 people) 
  • Cathay’s cockpit has a little security curtain and you almost never see the pilots come or go. On Northwest the pilots were constantly opening the door and you could see right out the front windshield. Security no-no.
  • This may have been an isolated case, but on Northwest the plane landed at a “bus gate” in Tokyo. I had to get out of the airplane, get rained on, get on a crowded bus, drive around the tarmac for a while, then go back through security(!), find the next gate, and no first/business class lounge. [Cathay is better]
  • [comparing scheduled departure and arrival times]

And what exactly is Northwest Airlines thinking referring to themselves as NWA. There is only one true NWA and they are from Compton.