Wednesday, September 16, 2009

traveling outside the country?

This nifty website is convenient for searching flight plans flying outside the US, especially for smaller airports outside of the main airports, the map feature facilitates searching multiple cities fast. WWW.DOHOP.COM

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How We Decide

Even though there were many instances in reading where I felt I was re-reading something I learned from Psychology 101, or from the books "Blink" or "Paradox of Choice", I really enjoyed this book. It deals with goes on inside the brain in a simple and cutting edge sort of way. Mostly a collection of case studies delivered rather well by Jonah Lehrer, a Rhodes Scholar, this book should further convince most people of the relevance to the field of neuroscience.

Some of the stories go through the step by step process of the brains thinking patterns and how it plays out in everyday choices. It helps to explain a lot of the different impulses we experience when seeing something cool to buy like a nice car, house or a pair of shoes. The rush of euphoria we feel when we see something we want is usually negated with with a counteracting feeling of rationality when we cannot afford it. However, credit cards, peer influence, flashing lights, the idea of something being 'on sale' all serve to mask these feelings of control, and we end up making the purchase...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Obama Phoenician style

Driving to church in Scottsdale I was surprised by how many police I saw on every corner. Outside in the 105 degree heat they were on motorcycles, in SUVS and of course in cars. In the middle of church the Bishop got up and asked everyone who parked their car on 56th st. to move their car because a motorcade would be coming through. So with some laughs about a dozen people got up to move their vehicle. I did some quick searches on my iPhone, I remembered Obama would be in Phoenix to make a speech this weekend. Turns out he was staying at The Phoenician which is one of the three 5 star hotels in the valley, and it is also right around the corner from the church on 56th st. and Camelback.

President Obama has made a couple visit to AZ already this year. I wondered for few seconds why he would be spending so much time in a state that didn't elect him. Then I did some political calculations. Arizona is traditionally Republican, but elected a Democratic Governor (Janet Napolitano), who Obama appointed to be Secretary of Homeland Security. McCain won AZ last November, but not by a large margin, and had it been some other Republican, the state may have gone the other way. And so, for the next 3 years I anticipate Obama making at least a few more stops in AZ.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

LAX

You never really know which facebook status updates will get the most response. But those three letters typed around 11 am this morning incited 3 fairly detailed comments with a few hours. And thats about as long as I stayed in the City of Angles. Mostly walking around enjoying views of the ocean, sunshine and some sushi and an IN N OUT burger. The "Big Blue Bus" I discovered will take from LAX all the way to Santa Monica in about 25 minutes for only .75 cents, a nice surprise. My friend Zach Olsen works for Crocs (an alternative shoe company), I saw a retail outlet in the nice shopping area of Santa Monica, I went inside and was taken by the powerful smell. Since the shoes are all made from a "foam resin 'croslite', which is made using ethylene vinyl acetate", they have an interesting artificial scent. It actually fits to your feet.



On the flight home I ran into a missionary returning home after spending two years in Cambodia. He had some stories, and some really great pictures of Angkor Wat that he showed me.

Musica Brasileiro

So I just heard this music, and I feel way behind the times. Seu Jorge is Rio de Janeiro and been around for a while. He covered a bunch of David Bowie songs, all in acoustic, and they came out with a really smooth sound. I had heard of him before, but first time I really heard the music. Here is a link to one of his songs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvhGvxuOREw&NR=1

Monday, August 10, 2009

The end of Google as we NOW know it

It appears the seeds to the decline of web domination of search which Google commands today are in place, and have been for some time. Primarily this could be attributed to:

A) Web 2.0 has developed several major hits which provide primary sources of information (twitter, wikipedia, facebook), completely skipping the need for a search engine to find a websites. For a large portion of the past 10 years people didn't know which sites they would want to use, so they had to use Google to find them, now they have.

B) Search alternatives such as: Bing.com , Cuil.com , technorati.com, all combined will most likely never equal half of what Google.com has today in search traffic. But as they grow Google will decline.

C) IBM, Microsoft, Intel. All large technology companies who underwent (or are currently undergoing) major alterations in how they make money to combat competition and avoid obsolescence. My guess, 1 to 2 decades from now, Google will have undergone something similar to what these companies went through.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Blinker the Star

On this really cool website www.songza.com I was able to find some music from a band I heard a long time ago on 107.7 The End in Seattle. When Marco Collins was the night DJ he would play some new music that he thought was cool, some of it ended up being sort of big like "Harvey Danger" others like "Blinker the Star" never reached their full brilliance on the national stage. This song "My Dog" was really cool, and until now I couldn't find it online, http://songza.com/~1gc2r9

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Some Tokyo Vignettes





Pretty sure this is Shibuya at night.




















This was a really nice looking set of Samurai Armor
















Asakusa Temple Tokyo



















Banana Milk drink. Very tasty.






Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Danzin in Beijing

There were many moments which made this trip unforgettable. I wish I had a better video. You see this in many parks and public areas in China. Groups of people doing some coordinated dance to the rythem of a boom box.
video

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The road more traveled


It's been difficult to decide where to go since I started working for an airline. When the actual flying portion of the trip is relatively inexpensive, there is a strange feeling of empowerment which comes with strings attached. First off, flying as a standby passenger has limitations. While it is cheap and often free, you are also the first piece of cargo to be jettisoned if the flight fills up with real customers. So while going 'anywhere' may be possible, 'anytime' can be the difficult thing, so one must select airports to travel to in off-peak season times. In the current global economy, traffic to China has slowed a good deal.

In traveling through China and seeing the Great Wall and Forbidden City and other famous must see places, it's easy to start feeling like the views and experiences you are absorbing are very similar to those of literally millions (and potentially billions more). Richard Nixon travelled to this same part of the Great Wall in his trip to China in 1972, I guess I never would have thought we had the same travel tastes.

Bicycling through Beijing, is awesome. While dangerous and a bit frightening at times, I would highly recommend this to anyone who can handle themselves on a bike. The hostel we stayed at actually offered free bike rental, and I saw this as an opportunity to experience Beijing as much of the population of Beijing does everyday.

At Wangfujing there is a snack street, which is famous for having grilled scorpions, starfish and other exotic things on sticks, in fact offers many tasty treats for the more westernized tongue. I ate candied pineapple and grapes, along with grilled squid, lamb and chicken and some others. All in all the place has a variety of tasty things to try, and a great place to pull back some of your food inhibitions. We found lots of good food in the streets all around Beijing. All that said, I realize going to an open eatery loaded with tourists the same day a swine flu case was confirmed in China, is probably not the safest thing. But at least I have lived to blog about it.



video

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

AHEAD OF THE CURVE

I try not to make boring entries of each book I have read recently, but its still fun to self indulge in a bit of that. This book fascinated me almost instantaneously due at least in part to my University BYU-Idaho (almost anyone reading this blog already knows this of course) recieving Dean of Harvard Business School Kim Clark as University President in 2005. I was increasingly fascinated by the school (Business school and every other school attached to the Harvard name) and materialized itself more and more as a real institution as I saw the personification of the qualities it represented in Kim Clark during many meetings and events I attended on campus.

The concept the title is demonstrative enough--- HBS students are at the top end of the curve, so even the lowest performers (bottom 25th percentile) are far ahead of nearly all students at other business schools. The book is focused on what its like for a non-business/journalist to go struggle through 2 years of rigourous business training in classes with image crazed over achievers.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cocio

I noticed this chocolate milk called Cocio at Target, I was in the mood for some so I bought it. Its all naturual milk, chocolate and sugar freshly made in Denmark. In 1950 a Danish guy named Anker Pallesen came to America and tried chocolate milk during his visit. He returned to Denmark and tried a bunch of formulas and discovered the secret was in using fresh ingredients.

It was different at first, but by the I was actually what I found other people were saying on their website "its the best chocolate milk I have ever had"

and they have some really fresh ads and vids right here: http://cociousa.com/index.html