Friday, May 26, 2006

ack old people are moving back in!

Families Add 3rd Generation to Households - New York Times
Many social scientists, Dr. Ruggles said, also argue that Social Security contributed to the erosion of the multigenerational household, by enabling the elderly to afford living independently. He said the percentage of people over 65 living with their children dropped steadily from 1850 to 1990, when it began inching up.

Monday, May 22, 2006

I am as fat as my cat

Here, humongous kitty, kitty, kitty / Taking hefty Herman from fat cat back to alley-cat svelte
He had always looked compact and strong, but his toughness had grown a little ... round. Whom was I kidding? He had become a huge tube, a black caterpillar with legs. Thanks to his bruiser proportions, Herman looks as if he can kick serious butt. This is not likely, thanks to a personality more like a doofus, a coot in cat form.

So I could no longer ignore the fact that my cat was getting fat. After all, people would tell me all the time when they saw him. It's amazing how many friends and relatives felt perfectly comfortable commenting about his size and even scolding me for his eating habits.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

190k to raise kids!

Parents of teens ride waves of expenses - Yahoo! News
Last year, a middle-income family spent an average of $190,980 to feed, house, clothe and entertain a child from birth until age 18, with the preteen and teenage years taking the heaviest toll, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. The more money a family has, the more it tends to spend on kids.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Stay Happy

NPR : Finding Happiness in a Harvard Classroom
Six Tips for Happiness

Advice from Tal Ben-Shahar.

1. Give yourself permission to be human. When we accept emotions -- such as fear, sadness, or anxiety -- as natural, we are more likely to overcome them. Rejecting our emotions, positive or negative, leads to frustration and unhappiness.

2. Happiness lies at the intersection between pleasure and meaning. Whether at work or at home, the goal is to engage in activities that are both personally significant and enjoyable. When this is not feasible, make sure you have happiness boosters, moments throughout the week that provide you with both pleasure and meaning.

3. Keep in mind that happiness is mostly dependent on our state of mind, not on our status or the state of our bank account. Barring extreme circumstances, our level of well being is determined by what we choose to focus on (the full or the empty part of the glass) and by our interpretation of external events. For example, do we view failure as catastrophic, or do we see it as a learning opportunity?

4. Simplify! We are, generally, too busy, trying to squeeze in more and more activities into less and less time. Quantity influences quality, and we compromise on our happiness by trying to do too much.

5. Remember the mind-body connection. What we do -- or don't do -- with our bodies influences our mind. Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and healthy eating habits lead to both physical and mental health.

6. Express gratitude, whenever possible. We too often take our lives for granted. Learn to appreciate and savor the wonderful things in life, from people to food, from nature to a smile.

No sms for my snookie if i'm out of power

CBC News: Lost at sea for 22 days, men text message for help
They had one squid to eat, used jerry cans as makeshift paddles and wore metal buckets over their heads to keep the sun off them, police said.

The men also conserved the batteries in their cellphones by keeping them turned off until they had a strong enough signal to send text messages to family.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

22 miles... maybe only 10!

Pain At The Pump: Government Gas Secrets - Yahoo! News
During an EPA spot check, the car ran with no air conditioning, no inclines or hills, no wind resistance and at speeds no greater than 60 mph.

There's hardly anything real world about it, but it gives carmakers what they want -- the highest possible miles per gallon to put on that sticker.

"People are going into showrooms, they're looking at that sticker that says miles per gallon and they're saying, 'Oh it get goods miles per gallon,'" said Consumer Reports' David Champion. "In reality, they're being cheated."

Consumer Reports conducts their test on a track and in the real world.

First, they put them through a simulated city course. Next the highway -- a real highway. For the third test, they take the car out on a 150-mile day trip throughout Connecticut.

All the while, a special miles per gallon meter is ticking away. Their results? Many numbers you see on those stickers are off way off -- one as much as 50 percent.

For example, Chrysler says the four-wheel drive diesel version of the Jeep Liberty gets 22 mpg in the city. Consumer Reports tested it and found it got more like 11 mpg.

Honda claims its hybrid Civic sedan gets 48 mpg in the city. Consumer Reports found it only gets 26 mpg -- a 46 percent difference.

Monday, May 08, 2006


Endline: Out of Sight, Out of Control - Editorial - CIO
What they say happened: A glass of water fell off their workspace, amidst all of the hard work and Ethernet cables.
What you think happened: The techies are partying like its 1999, and Stu just dropped his margarita.
What you should do: Call the CSO, a.k.a. Darth Vader, and ask him to go down and investigate.

Hmm... how do i spell my chinese name?

For students of Chinese, politics fill the characters / Traditionalists bemoan rise of simplified writing system promoted by Communist government to improve literacy
Frank Mong and his wife, Sandra, asked his parents to pick the Chinese name for their first child, in keeping with tradition, and his mother selected one that meant "right and auspicious."

She insisted he spell it Shiang-yu, with the phonetic transliteration system used in Taiwan, where the Chinese Nationalist government retreated after losing the civil war to the Communists in 1949. Not Xiangyou, as dictated by the spelling system developed in the 1950s by the Communist Chinese government when it also introduced simplified characters to increase literacy.

Friday, May 05, 2006

do u surf all day and chat with your sister all day long?

delawareonline ¦ The News Journal ¦ Think getting fired is bad? It gets worse
The only specifics offered about Scopelliti's problems at work are that he "made an inordinate number of personal telephone calls" to his girlfriend and sister, and "spent an inordinate amount of time engaged in personal iPod-related activities."

There are no specific details of serious fraud or other wrongdoing in the suit, which charges Scopelliti breached his employment agreement by his inadequate job performance.

The lawsuit demands "at a minimum" $300,000 in damages; it does not specify how the company arrived at that figure.

Regan said the company might have a shot at getting its $90,000 back under contract law, but the demand for lost revenues seems "problematic" at best, even if the defendant "sat there like George Costanza for eight months," a reference to the slacker character on the sitcom "Seinfeld."

gross spitting in rooms!

China warns tourists against spitting overseas - Yahoo! News
"The media in Singapore reports that hotel staff are upset with Chinese tourists spitting in their rooms and smoking in bed," it said.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

orange county in china

Boing Boing: Posh American neighborhoods recreated as Chinese burbclaves
Posh American neighborhoods recreated as Chinese burbclaves
Orange County, China is a gated community modeled on the posh neighborhood south of Los Angeles of the same name -- it's one of many recreated US neighborhoods springing up in China, including "Soho, Central Park, Palm Springs and Manhattan Gardens." According to the NYT, the houses are "designed by Southern California architects, with model homes decorated by Los Angeles interior designers. The basement pool tables are American. The appliances are imported. The tiles, wood siding and wall sconces are from the United States, too."

drink me with a 40

Hungary workers get shock at bottom of rum barrel - Yahoo! News
The website said that the body of the man had been shipped back from Jamaica 20 years ago by his wife in the barrel of rum in order to avoid the cost and paperwork of an official return.

According to the website, workers said the rum in the 300-liter barrel had a "special taste" so they even decanted a few bottles of the liquor to take home.