- How Does an Air Ionizer Work?
Ionizers produce ozone, and they are unable to remove larger particles like dust and dander, and they cannot destroy doors and gases.
Listening to Taylor Swift in Prison
A lovely little story about the power of music.
- Shuttle Flash has a compiled a video of the antics of possibly the most unloved professional badminton player. Everytime I watch a video of her playing, I have to turn down the sound. The other professionals would keep a stoic face but it is clear that these antics take a toll. On the players, the umpires, the viewers, the noble ideal we call sportsmanship…
The Handi Desk
Good man makes his own portable desk. There are also shots of his drawings from inside the notebook.
- I read the book, and saw that there was a Netflix movie too. But before I committed to watching, I had already read Who Is Netflix’s Hillbilly Elegy For?
Some iconic Vancouver locations from the X-Files
This year, it is 30 years old, and a documentary film will be released. !
Oral phenylephrine is ineffective as a decongestant. See e.g. this CNN piece. This has been known for a while. (PS. This information does not apply to phenylephrine administered in a nasal spray.)
I enjoyed this podcast episode on Pen Addict. My pen and ink buying days are over (on hold?) but sometimes it is fun to listen to people nerd out over pen and paper.
Old notes to myself
Ah, the boldness of thick black marker on an envelope.
How to Convert Celsius to Fahrenheit Without Doing Any Math
Not bad a converter! 04 C = 40 F, 16 C = 61 F, 28 C = 82 F and 40 C = 104 F
Ranked: The Most Popular Paid Subscription News Websites
This is from 2021. It’s NYT, Waco and then WSJ. Second place has half the number of subscribers of number one.
This is a really nice camping chair.
- Personal infidelity and professional conduct in 4 settings (Another link here)
Police, financial advisors, CEOs/ CFOs who use a marital infidelity website are significantly more likely to engage in professional misconduct. The findings suggest that personal and workplace behaviour are closely related.
Or perhaps it so happens that those who bother to sign up for the website are stupider with their recklessness.
IMAX emulates PalmPilot software to power Oppenheimer’s 70 mm release
A major dose of nostalgia for the early 2000s.
Reading the Wirecard book makes you curious about the whistleblower.
National University of Singapore’s law school is referred to as “elite law college” in the book. Amusing.
Kindness as a signifier of intelligence?
That’s a nice way to encourage kindness.
- Always wanted a Jieldé lamp, but somehow I haven’t reached that stage in my life yet.
I was just checking out this young man’s bookshelf and one thing led to another, and then I am trying out Story Graph, an alternative to Goodreads. I find the stats interesting and useful for you to discover more about your reading habits, and the recommendations on Story Graph are better than on Goodreads. Goodreads has so much data and so much money (being owned by Amazon) but it has for years been steadfastly stuck in terms of design and what it offers you.
- A Complete Guide to the Handful of Proper Nouns Anna Wiener Uses in Uncanny Valley
It is necessary to have such a guide. While not naming the software companies, brands, apps etc is perhaps a way to get to the point without the baggage of labels, sometimes the curiosity just gets to me and I end up guessing / searching the internet. But I do wonder, if it were me, how many words would I use to describe Facebook?
We are now getting articles about the downsides of working from home.
It ought to be clear that it has its pros and cons, and no one is saying WFH has no downsides. So there is no need to take the extreme end of any argument. I hope employers truly structure in more autonomy and flexibility, because that is for the greater good in the longer term.
I Replaced my Phone and Laptop with an iPad Mini. Here’s How it Went
Sometimes a half-assed, likely-lousy idea pops up in your head, and you can definitely count on there being a YouTube who has thought it, tested it and made a video on it.
- The Photos app in iOS 17 is apparently able to read your laundry labels. Sweet.
Japanese firm develops solution to eradicate mosquitoes without insecticides
I am looking forward to the day we can open the doors and windows without a care for dengue.
Lonely people see the world differently
“Our results suggest that lonely people process the world idiosyncratically, which may contribute to the reduced sense of being understood that often accompanies loneliness”. For all the misunderstood people out there… I hope you find someone who you feel understands you.
- “Quiet luxury is new age minimalism,” Elle magazine wrote. “It’s less austere than minimalism but more polished than ‘normcore,’” said Vogue.
A $1,700 merino sweater, a $300 t-shirt? Thankfully, I never knew luxury.
The Journey, Mary Oliver
Sometimes, reading poetry helps soothe me. Especially when the universe throws you something incomprehensible.
The Internet Isn’t Meant To Be So Small
I wonder how many of us miss the internet as it was in the late 90s. Perhaps if you are a Gen Z, this weird version of the internet that we all love to hate is the only version you know. And you have very little expectations of it being a tool for discovery, just a place for you to build your brand, game the algorithm, spread your truth…
‘Washington’ or ‘DC’? Social Media Erupts After Associated Press Picks a Side
I don’t understand how people stop calling it Washington DC. There is a whole state on the West Coast that you are confusing the world about.
- I am an expert at cracked heels, and hydrocolloid plaster manufacturers don’t advertise this on their packaging, and so I had to check how long you can leave them on for.
Mr Bean says no.
Rowan Atkinson tells you why electric vehicles are not the panacea they claim to be.
You cannot google for this, and have to scour through various blog posts and/or go down to different libraries to find it out for yourself, but finally, because this was asked in Parliament, there is now a list of book exchange corners in Singapore’s public libraries.
I wonder if the fact that there was no list has got to do with the piles of unusable/ obsolete material one tends to find at libraries’ book exchange corners, or the enterprising men who target these places and collect books to sell.
I was reading Nelson’s blog, and then I came across a post on ambient music.
I too was trying to avoid “gormless electronica and “earth fart” recordings that fail to inspire” and was glad for a worthy recommendation.
How to beat desk rage
I don’t think The Economist has a solution, but well, it does a good job of describing a very particular agony of modern life.
I Bought a CO2 Monitor and It Broke Me
I loved this piece. It is a reminder that there are many things one can measure, but really, what are you going to do with the information?
These Microsoft wallpapers are awesome.
I love Clippy.
- What walking from Washington to New York reveals about America
To me, walking is a good thing. Maybe one day I will take a 26-day walk.
Nepo babies have never been bigger. So why are the Windsors and the Roys so unhappy?
Sometimes I try to read about why rich people become so unhappy, as a mind-expanding exercise. I appreciate that suffering is part of the human condition but I also appreciate details about the devastating effect of being wealthy.
Microsoft Surface Precision Mouse review
I had the chance to test it, and got it at a good price. I am new to this customise-all-the-damn-buttons-on-your-mouse train, but I do like the size and look of the Surface Precision. It is slightly smaller than the Logitech G604 that I already have.
10 Seattle bookstores you’ll never want to leave
When we saw the photo of Twice Sold Tales, I knew we had to go there. We spotted a few cats and met a couple who was there trying to spot all the cats.
- Sometimes you get nice tips on Lifehacker, and sometimes you scratch your head at articles like this: How Library Book Requests Can Keep You From Impulse Shopping
- I am told that the 90s is back and Outdoor Research’s retro gear are really cute.
Turn off your email, get the packing right – and never, ever play Monopoly: 15 tips for a happy holiday
Ha, the hate that Monopoly gets. I played Monopoly Deal (a card game) on a trip and it was quite fun.
- Downs–Thomson paradox
The equilibrium speed of car traffic on a road network is determined by the average door-to-door speed of equivalent journeys taken by public transport; improvements in the road network will not reduce congestion and improvements in the road network can make congestion worse if the improvements make public transport more inconvenient or if they cause disinvestment in the public transport system.
GPT models are actually reasoning engines not knowledge databases
“Even though our AI models were trained by reading the whole internet, that training mostly enhances their reasoning abilities not how much they know. And so, the performance of today’s AI models is constrained by their lack of knowledge.”
Cang Lan Jue is a Visual Feast inspired by Hades & Persephone
I was recommended to watch this, and did not expect the high level of CGI wizardry. It was a visual treat, and a break from the overly sexualised storylines you get from most other things one watches on Netflix. Reminds me of the shows we watched as children, but with much better computer graphics.
Why EY and its rivals may eventually break up, after all
Because the audit business is in conflict with the consulting/ advice business. Amazing how the conflict of interests rules don’t apply to some professions.
To fend off creepy guys online, Chinese women gather around ‘baby solid food’
The hashtag, associated with parenting, means the algorithm pushes the content mainly to women. I am guessing there will be various other hashtags one has to use to get away from creeps.
- I was today years old when I learned about asparagus pee. (I can’t smell it.)
The Benner Cycle Predicts 100+ Years of Market Movement
Someone once told me about 11-year cycle, but in recent years, the cycles are much harder to interpret.
The Dubious Wisdom of Smart Brevity
“Personally, I cannot imagine sending a note with the brusque subject line “our chief of staff quit.” I suspect this is a gender thing: I spent much of my early professional years inserting exclamations into e-mails so as not to sound like a stone-hearted ice witch.”
We can all learn to write more concisely, but the ideology behind Smart Brevity may not be so universal, as this writer eloquently explains: “Smart Brevity is essentially a book about how to write a good e-mail. (And honestly it probably could have been a long e-mail.)”
- There are good reasons you always feel 20 percent younger than your actual age.
One postulated that it is the age when his “major life questions/ statuses reached the resolutions/ conditions in which they’ve since remained.” This made sense to me, the “me” who sees herself as being in her early 30s.
- I’ve been listening to more electronic music lately, and googled what do DJs do, marvelled at how much the Scottish electronic music industry is worth, read about how house exploded in Scotland. Which then made me want to go back to Glasgow.
Not the traditional style, but I do like Wu Jizhen’s calligraphy.
A thumbs up to the mango.
Britain has endured a decade of early deaths. Why?
“in the early 2010s, life expectancy stalled in Britain compared with long-run trends and other countries. This slowdown in life expectancy struck all age groups, not just the elderly. And it disproportionately affected the poor.”
Gender equality will take 300 years
An eye-watering headline. And the wage gap widened in 2021.
What is the middle way?
A path in between extreme asceticism and sensual indulgence.
What is a champagne socialist?
I read it while it was used as an insult (i.e. meaning no. 2). It raises an interesting question: what is the rich egalitarian to do?
- Was finding out more about slow games, and learned about keepsake games and patient gamers. Bought The Return of Obra Dinn in the end and spent a few hours a little too engrossed.
- Ultramarathons sound very painful to me but Gary Cantrell’s use of books in race organisation amuses me:
“A master map of the locations is provided by Cantrell. To prove they’ve run the course correctly, runners must find each book and present a page from each, correspondent to their bib numbers. This is done every loop with the help of a compass. They have 60 hours to complete five.”
In my head: is the page torn, is it glued back later, oh my goodness.
More on ambient music: How Japanese Ambient Music Became a Thing in America
There are masters, and pioneers, and then there are umm, screensavers.
- We started watching Girls5eva and “New York Lonely Boy” is an awesome song.
- Quirky slides from Softbank’s 2020 earnings call
Slides in my industry are umm, more academic but I am always up for inspiration.
I almost bought Marcin Wichary’s book on keyboards, but instead, I soothed myself with a 2018 article he wrote: Bigger in Japan.
(The Kickstarter page is here.)
After reading this MacStories piece about how there is a remake of the classic version of Angry Birds, I went and paid my $0.99.
It is a simple game and very enjoyable, but it was made stupid in later years, when it became saddled with mechanisms aimed to get you to make recurring in-app purchases.
- Reading The Art of War, and bemoaning the lack of the Chinese text in my copy. Not that being able to read the characters mean you understand the text, but well, I would like to refer to it and pretend my education hasn’t been wasted.
Dow said it was recycling our shoes. We found them at an Indonesian flea market
I really love this piece of journalism. Not so great for those involved in the Singaporean project.
- This is a little against my desire to stop using music as background, but I read somewhere about slow radio and went looking for the BBC Radio podcast.
- Apparently, Chinese youths are referring to themselves as rats. It is a self-deprecating way to refer to themselves while describing their struggles. The article also touches on other memes, and includes the Chinese characters and Hanyuan pinyin to help one understand the wordplay.
- Another day, another artificial sweetener to be careful about.
- Any amount of drinking can be detrimental.
Apparently, alcohol isn’t good for the heart. I read this with interest, because a colleague told me that each time she consumes alcohol, even a little, the body stress (a Garmin construct) goes up. Well, I don’t drink much, but I can’t quite imagine the day where wine goes the same way as cigarettes.
- I saw a blue-billed duck for the first time while on holiday, and of course, there is a page titled Top 27 Ducks With Blue Bills In The World.
- I recently read The Stranger for the first time, and it was such a good book and I decided to prolong my staying in its headspace by reading reviews. I also enjoyed this article debating what the first line of the novel should be.
- There really isn’t much in Morioka, but a NY Times article can bring many tourists over.
It has bothered me for a while, and I finally fixed the Home and End buttons for the external keyboard. Poor Mac users.
- We saw race horse plushies in Japan’s UFO catcher machines, and were baffled. I guess it is only in Japan that they get a special kind of love. PS. The other half caught a race horse plushie for me. It is a Symboli Kris S.
I am so pleased that in 2023, there is a YouTube video on Sony’s transistor radio ICF-P26.
I am not a boomer, but I have in my adulthood sought out radios, with their static and crackle, as a nod to my childhood. I have the ICF-P26 and ICF-F10.
- Harry Styles is very likeable, and while the song’s merits can be debated, the music video for As It Was is a work of art. I had to find out where it was filmed.
- I was trying the Matter app, and I enjoyed Kieran Setiya’s piece titled What’s the use of hope?
I like the Matter app’s interface, and the play audio function was great. It was free to try before 15 January 2023; the subscription is US$59.99 per year. I have been a user of Reeder, and I have flirted with Instapaper and Pocket previously but I’ve usually found that I do not use read-later apps that much. Reeder does have a read-later function, but I tend to not use it. I am now also trying out Anybox, which I am treating as a bookmark manager, but it also has a download/ read-later function. At this moment, while the Anybox interface makes things nicer to look at, given my needs (not much), I might just stick to Pinboard since the repository function is the main point for me (I paid a one-time fee previously, before the site changed to a monthly fee model). So I will use Pinboard + Reeder + Apple Notes.
The mac mini M2 is finally out. The lowest end model is cheaper than the M1 version. Such a sweet little box.
Why You Really Shouldn’t Spend a Lot on a Standing Desk
This article’s title amused me. We are there already? I haven’t gotten a standing desk, because I’d have to remove from my just-the-right-size apartment our trusty bludot Strut desk. I had considered converters but could not stand the idea of my monitor & keyboard & mouse shuddering as they were being moved up/down. Also, a large converter that would fit a monitor + keyboard seem to be such an ugly mammoth atop the desk. And yes, the “solution” is the same as before standing desks came into fashion – get up, take a walk.
Ten Percent Happier has a course they call “The Dalai Lama’s Guide to Happiness”. I enjoy the format, where you watch a short video before the meditation session. Roshi Joan leads the meditation sessions, and she has a very calming presence.
We started watching The Chase, a trivia game show, and of course, I had to find out more about the Chasers. Buzzy is such a fun presence and Victoria Groce was so good, I thought she was an actor who was supplied the answers.