July 2009


From The Atlantic’s food blog:

“The temperature at which we eat a chocolate has a big impact on how we experience it. In hindsight of course this totally makes sense. I’ve been saying the same thing incessantly about good cheese and cured ham, etc. for decades. Eat ’em straight from the fridge and you miss at least half the flavor.”

I used to eat a lot more dark chocolate in London. Whether it was digestive cookies half-covered with chocolate or my weekly stock of the limited edition Peruvian square. Unfortunately, neither of them are available to me and I haven’t had the time to explore quality brands of dark chocolate available in New York.

I did though visit a place called the Chocolate bar, like a month ago, and tried a raspberry hot chocolate. (yes, that’s raaaaaaas-berry.) Tremendously good, just like the hot chocolate at the German strudel bar we went to in Bath, actually. (Its from a photo at the bar from which this blog’s header was created.) But I run into the problem, again, that the richness is just overpowering…

Anyways, also 2 ounces of dark chocolate a day can help lower blood pressure. Maybe that explains why mine is so low…

Oh, and the antioxidants make you happier. So I need to find those bars again. Or whole-wheat, chocolate covered digestives, mmm.

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My darling readers, I have to admit something. We’re not exclusive. I’m having an affair with another blog. But it’s like my trophy wife (or husband?) – a public affair for the rest of the world to admire or chastise. Only does this blog hold my heart and soul. But I wanted to introduce you to my other love over at CNN Money. I admit, it’s taken me away a little bit, but I can be faithful  to two blogs at once, just you watch.

“But there are several humps to overcome before camel milk is widely available in the U.S. For starters, there aren’t many camels here. Those that are mainly work in circuses or live in zoos,” from Wall Street Journal.

Another problem, according to the WSJ, is that Camels are temperamental. “Camels can be cantankerous and persuading them to give up their milk can be part chore, part art. Camel experts say the animals are often ticklish around their udders and, without proper training, might lie down in the middle of being milked.” Camel

This article in the New York Times about a new type of magazine publishing scheme where anyone can publish an article and print it out themselves is the opposite extreme of how magazines currently operate. My first instinct is to drop everything in support of it, but such an extreme reaction is useless. No, let me mull it over for a bit. But in the mean time, read it for yourself.

From a report from the Economic Policy Institute: Today’s young adults are the first generation in a century who are not likely to be better off than their parents.

The same thing is true for the healthiness of our generation – we’re not expected live as long, or longer than the previous generation, as has been the trend in the last 100 years.

It still hasn’t hit home. Whenever I tell anyone that I am worried about unemployment, they reassure me that I’ll be okay because recessions always turn into booms and its just a matter of time before someone hires me.

What bothers me about this response is not the attempt to reassure or comfort me, but the assumed complacency (on my part as well, not just the speakers). I think that our generation has been spoiled by the linear path that is encouraged of high-achieving students where we move from one program to the next – from hs, to college, internships, fellowships. The path of achievement is through acceptance into reputable programs, which grants us some security until we find the next one. Working at a corporation similar to joining in a program except that in the sense of job security. While you can’t remain complacent about the quality of work you produce, it assumes a similar assumption of certainty that hard work will be rewarded.

I’m frustrated that I’m allowing myself to reiterate these same token phrases of certainty because it’s the only way I know how to deal with uncertainty. What I should be doing is stop thinking that I can rely on a college degree or getting a fellowship after college, and start becoming more entrepreneurial. But I can’t bring myself to do that right now, at least, because I am enrolled in a supposedly prestigious program. I know that I should be taking more initiative and thinking outside of the box. Its a phrase used to describe the analytical process applied to individual projects, but I need to apply that same process in creating a 5 year plan for myself. I’m just not sure where to begin or what to expect or really…anything.

It could also be the main reason why I can’t go back to London, because the system there relies even more on programs, I think, rather than entrepreneurship. I had come into my study abroad experience wanting to take on many projects, but my drive just fizzled away because few people around me were taking initiative. But in New York, I’m inspired by my suite mates, each of whom intern in addition to freelance and working another job on the side – that’s the kind drive that could save our generation if it is mixed with creativity.

My understanding of the differences between the British and American system of reliance was inspired by this post on BuzzMachine about the fear of failure held by the British media industry – to accept uncertainty, you must accept the reality of failure.

I am proud to say that I went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and made it through my pitch meeting successfully!

Without giving away important details of the movie, here are my thoughts

-Daniel Radcliffe makes a really bad lover on-screen (and probably off screen). Not only did Ginny and Harry lack chemistry through out the film, but Harry was completely passive – he just stood there when she kissed him! An epic love story is not in the script, but to earn the title of a literary hero requires a minimal level of ability in the romance department. Think of the Odyssey, Lyra in the Dark Materials trilogy, or even the story of Harry’s parents.

Admittedly, part of the fault also falls on Ginny because she was always too earnest rather than playful or engaging.

-It was artsy! Rather than relying on glitzy editing techniques, the movie creatively used color contrast to evoke more depth in the action scenes. Or maybe I just noticed it in this one.

-Ron became a lot more attractive, and I’m not even a ginger-fan. He interacted very well with Hermione.

-It was funny. Blame it on Parth, but I’ve come to really appreciate the role of humor in very serious literature. I think HP’s moments of flippancy differentiate the novels from comparable youth literature like the Golden Compass, which is so busy engaging with high-brow philosophy that it leaves little breathing room. The movies have always incorporated funny moments really well, and just as much in this movie.

-Draco Malfoy was brilliant. His acting helped me understand the characterization in the book- and that’s mark of a successful adaptation.

-It surprised me. Even though I know the story, I was on the edge of my seat.

Any thoughts? Rahul, Rozi – feel free to chime in, or anyone else.

You can read A.O. Scott’s review in the New York Times, but complex writing style makes the analysis unnecessarily complicated. But it’s his job to pretentious, I guess.

Dirty detail of the day: 

“And you can download for free more than 15,000 free eBooks comming from Project Gutenberg.” From MobiPocket’s product details.

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