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Category: buffalo

04/30/10 06:10 - 74ºF - ID#51481

Aggressive sisterhood.

A couple days back, my friend and I were getting in his car and driving away, when two rather cute women approached us on Linwood. They asked us if we would like to exchange cards. Turned out they were not really hookers but were out proselytizing.

I thought it was a very interesting strategy. Pick fairly attractive young people to spread your virulent message and target a younger population - not with the traditional "could you spare a minute for us" but rather "hey there! would you like to exchange cards/numbers with us (broad suggestive smile)?!"

You have to wonder at what drives these nutters to pound the pavement and attempt to convince random strangers that the strangers' families are in mortal danger if they don't belong to such and such a religion/cult-group. Maybe we should take their cue and roam the streets yelling at random people about how smoking will kill them and their friends and why they should eat more fruits and vegetables.

What really worries me is do we already sound like this? Do people listen to us politely and then go home and shake their heads about how unlikely they ever are to change their lifestyles? What does it take for people to stop, think and change? I wonder if the tipping point towards religious commitment or adopting scientific lifestyles are similar. Do personal inexplicable losses lead to a more religious outcome while scientifically explained losses lead to conscious changes in lifestyle - for the better?

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Permalink: Aggressive_sisterhood_.html
Words: 252
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: goals

04/28/10 10:01 - 51ºF - ID#51469

Less things. More space!

I gave away my corner table and two chairs today. I am 3 steps closer to my absolute-minimal clutter-free goal.

My next elimination target is the pile of books, magazines and notes - about 3/4th of which I have digitized. I don't think I have ever re-read any of my class notes from mandatory coursework. I wonder why I have kept them so long. All my really useful notes and ideas are online or on the pages of books and pdfs I scribble on.

I love the wonderful feeling of living and breathing floors without those annoying chairs or that table that I didn't need anyway.

Yeah, if you wondered, that evil clutter fairy is banned from my flat. She better quake at the sight of my curtainless windows.

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Permalink: Less_things_More_space_.html
Words: 130
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: flat hunt

04/22/10 07:21 - 50ºF - ID#51438



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Permalink: _.html
Words: 2
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: opinion

04/12/10 08:28 - 50ºF - ID#51389

We really don't have an excuse.

My advisor sent out the latest CDC statistics on obesity to our group today. This is not just true for the US. It's true for countries around the planet. In India, children who are 13 years old have myocardial infarctions and plaque-induced coronary artery disease. By 2015, India will surpass US in the number of people with Type II Diabetes and atherosclerotic diseases.

How did this happen? I can't, for a moment, believe the excuse that greater than 30% of the population is genetically prone to obesity or have comorbid conditions making us obese. Our genes have not changed that much in the past 25 years. A good proportion of us just want to believe that we are helpless because it's easier to blame genetics than take personal responsibility for the environmental inputs that we have consciously selected.

Why can't we stop this epidemic?! Is it SO hard to cultivate and maintain healthy habits? Do we always have to blame advertising and prices? Why are we waiting for a magic pill or that "one weird trick" to make it go away?!

Can't we just take one small step at a time and just say no to constant splurging on carbohydrates, snacks and processed foods? Can't we avoid buying whatever processed crap that is on display and use our discretion and good sense for once? Can't we walk a bit more and faster rather than always fire up our cars and whatnots to get anywhere and everywhere?

The one thing that we are always ready to do is spend a fortune on every new weight-loss fad that comes along. And of course, make excuses about how costly healthful food is - which it is NOT. You only have to take a stroll in the produce section of pricerite to get a general idea of how much a meal without processed food would cost.

I fall almost in the lowest earning income group in this country and I still manage to eat ALL the healthy food I want and still save. You could argue that I don't have kids and other expenses and that would be true. However, even factoring in kids and expenses, fresh food costs less than processed because processing is an overhead cost. And don't even tell me that eating fast food is cheaper - because that is another flawed perception. One "combo meal" on an average costs around $4 with taxes. For that price, you could get 1lb of carrots, 4lbs of apples, a serving of oatmeal/bulghur AND a serving of lentils. $4 can go a LOOONG way if you really want to eat healthier.

Yes. I think smoking and overeating are pretty much the same. We know the risks. We know the costs. Yet, we don't care. We are addicted AND we won't take any steps to cure the addiction. We have become a bunch of weak-minded people who comfortably get everything we want. We just can't make any resolve and stick to it.

We love food and smoking too much. We constantly feel the need to justify our addictions and assert that life isn't worth living without "little indulgences". The cost our "little indulgences" are incurring are conveniently ignored. There is no such thing as a free lunch. What it really means today is that free or not, that super-serving lunch is going to zoom right into our adipose stores, because we didn't need so much to start with and additionally, we haven't really done anything to burn it.

I am ranting because this makes me sadder than anything else. Our conceit and excuses are leading us to a catastrophe in terms of health. How can we change if we don't want to face this problem and examine our lifestyles??
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Permalink: We_really_don_t_have_an_excuse_.html
Words: 621
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: eating in

04/11/10 09:00 - 48ºF - ID#51377

Super-tasty and easy cabbage stir fry

I think this is the tastiest cabbage stir fry I have EVER had in my life. It's also probably the easiest and the quickest to make. I made it from scratch in around 20 minutes - the time it takes to steam the lentils and bulghur.


Before I forget, the exact recipe:

1. Steam brown lentils and bulghur in the rice cooker: 1:1
2. While they are steaming, add a generous amount of olive oil to the fry pan, add a pinch of cumin seeds, finely chopped garlic, green thai chillies and dried red chillies (crumbled into the oil).
3. Saute till garlic turns almost light brown. Scrape everything to a side.
4. Add chopped zucchini, sprinkle salt on it. Stir-fry for 2 min. Scrape to the side. Mix with garlic et. al.
5. Add chopped carrots, pour minimal amount of soy sauce over it. Stir fry for 2 min. Mix with everything else.
6. Add green chopped cabbage. Toss and saute with everything else. Add a little more soy sauce.
7. Add the steamed bulghur and lentils. Stir and toss till evenly mixed.
8. Turn off heat while cabbage is still crunchy.

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Permalink: Super_tasty_and_easy_cabbage_stir_fry.html
Words: 184
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/13/12 04:25

Category: i-tech

04/11/10 09:35 - 47ºF - ID#51370

Absolutely essential software. Take 2.

In descending order of can't-do-without-it...

  • Chrome
  • Skype
  • Google Video and Chat plugin

  • Q10. Writing at its core.
  • Some LaTeX client and BibTeX manager
  • Some PDF client with ability to highlight and annotate (don't care which one, currently have PDF Xchange viewer)
  • Some PDF printer driver
  • Sadly, M$ Word. :/ (None of my academic advisors are comfortable reviewing PDFs.)
  • Sadly, M$ Powerpoint (I am learning LaTeX Beamer class but progress has been slow. Like S.L.OOO.W)

  • Paint.NET
  • myPaint

  • Winkey
  • 7Zip
  • Vistaswitcher (yep, it works on WinXP)
  • CCleaner

  • R

  • Foobar
  • VLC
  • SRS Audio Sandbox

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Permalink: Absolutely_essential_software_Take_2_.html
Words: 102
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/26/13 09:05

Category: the odes

04/11/10 02:06 - 52ºF - ID#51367

One carefree moment...

When you find out that your credit card has been used fraudulently:

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Permalink: One_carefree_moment_.html
Words: 14
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: flat hunt

04/10/10 10:33 - 40ºF - ID#51362

Help! NYC flats?

Okay, flat hunting in NYC for my brother has not been going so well. Thanks, (e:Heidi) for putting me in contact with Lisa! I have sent her an email.

My brother and I are visiting NYC to check out flats from Thursday to Sunday this coming week. It's making us really nervous. He needs to move to NYC in the second week of May. We have been looking at craigslist and for prospective places. Craigslist, NYC is like 100X dodgier than any craigslist I have looked at! Are we missing any good sources such as artvoice for NYC or something?

Do you know of any friends/contacts who are leasing out places in the range of $900 - $1500 a month? We have been told to hire a broker but I am inclined to take (e:lauren)'s advice and directly talk with people who are leasing their own places out.

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Permalink: Help_NYC_flats_.html
Words: 152
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: i-tech

04/09/10 09:04 - 36ºF - ID#51359

My next computing solution...

Will definitely NOT be a boring old laptop or an ipad. Both lack the flexible stylus/tablet based solution I need. Though this is M$, you have to agree that the concept interface is pretty sweet.

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Permalink: My_next_computing_solution_.html
Words: 38
Location: Buffalo, NY



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