Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Choices, choices

[...grumble...] Save me from the CNN onslaught of talking heads. Sorry.

Pretty much after Nov. 4th, I'm simply sick of the political "analysis" that I see on TV. It's more second guessing Obama's choices coupled with political posturing than any real analysis. Cease...!(okay, the sound is off.)

Now to the topic.

I've decided that I'm out of here: "out of here" meaning finally leaving South Korea. At least that's what I thought I had decided until I got two interview requests back to back today. To balance out the two interview requests, I'm also literally between two paying writing assignments one from back home and the other from Hong Kong. It's an interesting juxtaposition. I chose not to renew my current contract, and I've been nothing but half-assed in applying to new jobs. I've been much more excited looking at the job boards back home, shopping for apartments online and anticipating my return to the States.

That's for a few reasons, but mostly it's because I want to go home and get on with the rest of my life on both a personal and professional level.

But there is that tension: the safety of the certain and predictable vs. the presumed danger of the uncertain and unpredictable.

I'm not really seeking advice as much as thinking it out as I type. I just know I'm certain to get a job offer. Once I've gotten through the evaluation process, it's truly rare that I don't get the offer. So either I cancel the interviews or go to be "safe". If I go then I'm faced with the decision of saying "yes" or "no" at a later date.

I just know that in the next few days I'll have to make a choice that will lock things down one way or the other. That's both exciting but also quite scary.

Choices, choices.


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Monday, November 24, 2008

I have no idea what's happening here ;)

Why are they in pink and silver spandex space outfits? Why are they dancing around in various areas of Seoul (including one of my favorites, Myeongdong)?

Is it a Korean take on group performance art? I'm just not sure.


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Sunday, November 23, 2008

The 2008 Flu Shot Chronicles

On Friday I got my yearly flu shot. Although medical professionals recommend that diabetics get flu shots yearly, just a few years ago I'd not gotten into the habit of it. During my 2003 winter vacation, I was one day from getting on a flight to Paris to spend a month taking a French course. The problem was I felt absolutely awful. I went to the doctor to see what was wrong and the doctor told me I had the flu! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

However, that was the first time I'd ever had the flu. Being ignorant of the real dangers, I took my prescription medicine and I chose to get on the plane anyway. I mean this was Paris! It ends up that the day I flew in, it snowed in Paris. So we had to spend the night in Frankfurt. I felt awful, and it was just a crazy mess. The next day I almost missed the flight to Paris because I had my laptop plugged in to access the net from my hotel room. I'm assuming that when they rang the line was busy and no one thought to send someone to get me. I finally got to my destination and, for the first few days I was there, I didn't feel well. My gracious host was astounded that I had la grippe. It was probably connected to having the flu and just being out of it, but I was so tired one afternoon that I took an insulin shot and ended up falling asleep before I ate anything. My blood sugar, of course, dropped to a dangerous level. I went into convulsions, someone heard it, called the paramedics, and I was rushed to the local ER. That was scary!

Lesson learned. Now I get a yearly flu shot.

This year, I waited until mid-November, so the hospital where I usually go was already out of vaccinations. Instead I went to Soonchunghyang University Hospital's International Clinic. I went there because it's close and, these days, I'm too busy to run across town when I don't have to. I'm glad I didn't because the people there are both efficient and friendly. I had a brief consultation with Dr. Byung-wook Yoo and he was great. The clinic's efficiency and friendliness along with Dr. Yoo's great "bedside" manner probably has a lot to do with great training coupled with the medical center being in the Hannam section of Seoul. For those who don't know, Hannam-dong is the area where diplomats and high income foreigners reside. There is a level of care these people expect. It did have that feel about it. So, here is another option for international care. You can contact them at 02-709-9114.

I figure the more health care choice options foreigners are aware of here, the better.


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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Podcasts Picks of the Week - 11/23/2008

I've been a subscriber to the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day feature for a few years now, literally.

I just noticed that they've updated it. In addition to the definition, an example sentence and the other stuff you'd find in a dictionary, they now have an audio podcast section. You can go to iTunes and subscribe, but I'll just keep letting it arrive in my email box daily and listen to it from there.

With all the excitement that the election brought, I honestly just neglected to listen to the This American Life podcast. I'd been subscribed to it for awhile, but chose to skip it to listen to politics. I've been catching up this week, and oh wow, I've missed some good ones. Home Alone, this week's episode was just so touching and quite sad in some episodes (if you've not listened to their broadcasts before, they break the hour into an introduction and three acts). The first act of Home Alone was so sad and touching that I was close to tears on the subway.

I tracked back to listen to some other episodes. You can listen to the older episodes by going to their website. David Sedaris features prominently in This American Life, and that's fine. I just don't think he's all that funny. He makes me laugh from time to time. With that sort of lukewarm attitude for him, I just scroll over his parts most of the time. However, if you like him, then you ought to become a regular listener. If you don't like him, then do what I do, just fast forward ;) In contrast, I wish they'd feature Sarah Vowell more than they do. Hearing an episode she'd done for This American Life is actually what inspired me to subscribe. So more Sarah!!! Maybe she's just too busy being brilliant all on her own. Who knows?

Slate's Cultural Gabfest, the Identity Crisis edition, was really good this week. I got a bit heated when they discussed Rebecca Traister's recent piece on the mommification of Michelle Obama. I won't get very deep into what I think except to say I'm always very disappointed that feminists feel the need to attack another woman's choices. Maybe I'm misreading Traister's perspective, but reading what she wrote gave me the impression she just doesn't get it when it comes to how hard it can be to grow up black in America. I say that as someone who had many perks and I don't say that to imply that other children, including white children, don't have difficulties.

I just don't think Michelle Obama has been strong armed in any way to make her daughters her primary focus. It strikes me as cynicism in overdrive to read her actions as soley to benefit her husband's bid for president (yes, that was part of it), but I also truly believe her daughters are her number one priority. I know and I think any other black woman knows, if they've managed to get into and out of college and grad school and into a professional career that support is crucial. Anyway, Traister's framing of the issue is offensive in that if it's a smart woman that chooses to put her kids front and center that it's something to be questioned.

Last is a great fashion podcast and website I discovered this week. WhoWhatWear.com is the creation of two L.A.-based fashion journalists. I don't care too much about what celebrities wear. I just have a deeply ingrained resistance to celebrity worship in any form. However, I do like their trend analysis and how they present the looks they discuss. Here is the link to WhoWhatWear on iTunes.


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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Myeongdong - Holiday Lights at Shinsegae Dept. Store

Like I've written before. I love the Myeongdong area of Seoul. The main Shinsegae Department Store always puts up the same light display during the winter months. I just love it. It's very pretty.

After coffee and the sausage o' death I was walking to the bus stop to go home and decided to record some of it just so you can see a bit of Seoul how I see it.

Oh, in the first video that's me going "oop!" I was walking and a guy waved at me. I waved back and then stumbled. Yeah, I gots it like that ;)

The vids are real short, but it's a brief look at Seoul literally from my point of view. (BTW, I'm too lazy to edit, so I'm uploading straight from my camera.)


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Seoul Street Food: Heart Attack on a Stick ;)

For some reason when it gets cold, I love to go to Myeongdong and wander around.

A couple of nights ago, I was there. I was en route to a coffee shop and passed one of the street food stalls.

I had to stop when I saw what looked like a sausage, which is very common, wrapped in bacon.

Huh?!!! That's a new twist.

Usually, it's sausages that are plain or covered in some sort of sauce, but bacon wrapped sausage on a stick?!!!

I HAD to snap a pic.

It's not heart attack on a plate, but it's most definitely heart attack on a stick.

Maybe I'll go and make myself some cheesy butter fried eggs now.


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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

World Community Grid - Mash Up

I've got both my home and work computer signed up to the World Community Grid.

They've created a video mash up of various grid participants saying why they do it.

All you have to do is download the software and when your computer is idle it basically processes data for very important experiments. I've been a member since around 2005 when an office mate told me about it.

'I Dedicate' – World Community Grid Members Video Montage

In October 2008, we asked members to send in their personal video dedications. There were many great submissions, and while we couldn't include all of them (even though we wanted to), we hope that you will enjoy this mash-up that we've put together.

And tell everyone about the new video! We share the same passion about making the world a better place, so let's show more folks how simple it is to make a real difference!


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We Feel Fine

I don't talk about my feelings much. How I feel when it comes to this or that issue, yes, but my emotions, no, not really. That's true of this blog and it's, pretty much, true in real life.

However, I guess I've talked about it enough to be indexed by the search bots and found by We Feel Fine because they contacted me today via email.

Since August 2005, We Feel Fine has been harvesting human feelings from a large number of weblogs. Every few minutes, the system searches the world's newly posted blog entries for occurrences of the phrases "I feel" and "I am feeling". When it finds such a phrase, it records the full sentence, up to the period, and identifies the "feeling" expressed in that sentence (e.g. sad, happy, depressed, etc.). Because blogs are structured in largely standard ways, the age, gender, and geographical location of the author can often be extracted and saved along with the sentence, as can the local weather conditions at the time the sentence was written. All of this information is saved.
That actually made me feel good (and that won't be indexed because it's not written in a way that their system will pick it up.)

Click over and check it out. It's really interesting, not to mention pretty ;)

Searching for everything.

Searching for "happy".

Searching for "loved".

The screen that shows all the feelings.


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It's That Time...again: 애교 Overdrive

It's that time of the year where even though it's been growing cold pretty consistently that suddenly it's REALLY cold now. So everyone, is walking around shivering, rubbing their hands together and otherwise going on about how cold it is.

"Cho!" or "Cold!" is the frequent refrain heard when you're wandering around. (Note: My Romanization of the term might be completely off...if so, correct me...thanks.)

My thing is I didn't grow up in this country or in a place that is consistently quite cold during the winter. I was born and raised in consistently temperate state of California. I've grown to love the colder months and the distinct changes of season. In fact, this year, the changing of the leaves seems to be particularly beautiful, or I'm just consistenly hormonal. Maybe it's both. This, yes, in spite of the fact that I think Koreans stress too much the "we have four seasons" talk, but the country does have a distinct change of seasons which I've enjoyed experiencing. You can literally feel it when the heat and humidity switches off, and, like today, you can literally feel it when it's time to fire up the humidifier and unpack the winter gear.

Stories of how cold it can get here is something you'll learn if you read even a brief summary of the Korean War.

The Korean winter I've seen described as both "brutal" and "savage". I can't say I disagree with either when winter hits its peak. And, I know that being further south on the peninsula means that I've still not seen the worst of it.

Knowing that there is a clear cycle that means I know that when the leaves start turning and the wind kicks up that I ought to break out the warm coat, warm hat, gloves and a winter scarf. Maybe part of that is because being an insulin dependent diabetic I get sick much more easily than someone without a compromised immune system, but, whatever the reason, still I know to bundle up.

This morning I bundled up and headed out for the day. The cold isn't the only part of this yearly cycle.

The near consistent whining about it is also part of the cycle. I think this is part of the culture. There is a distinct way of communicating here called 애교, egg-yo (thanks to Jen for giving me the term.) My crude explaination is this: whining to get what you want. Both men and women do it here, but it is more predominant with woman. However, I've heard men also turn it on pretty heavy in some situations. Granted, people talk about the weather everywhere. It's the default conversation of choice if it's just time for small talk or there isn't really much to talk about with someone. However, here it feels like it's more predominant, and my untested and, based purely on anedotal evidence is 애교 is a big part of what is going on.

This is a yearly thing. I'm doing my thing bundled up all nice, warm and going about my business, and then I see people who seem to have not bothered to look out the window before opening the door and who didn't notice the cold swoosh of wind when they opened their door. These are adult Koreans I deal with, for the most part, so I always wonder what the surprise is.

I don't get the shock and awe that cold brings to the people who've lived here their whole lives. Photobucket

It's a yearly occurrence! Beyond the culture of 애교, egg-yo, maybe I'm missing a nuanced understanding of the significance of bonding through whining. Maybe today there was a precipitous dip in the temperature, but, even then, it's mid-November. 'Tis the season for precipitous dips in them temperature.

I say just bundle up and enjoy the cold. And, if you're one to get sick more than you ought like me, don't forget to get yourself a flu shot too ;)


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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Only in Korea 3: Go Stop in your taxi

I was on my way to work via taxi. I noticed that at the stop lights my driver would fire up a digital version of the card game Go Stop on his taxi's GPS system.

I just thought it was funny and, again, had to snap a pic.


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Konglish Moment: Eye Remover

I was at work grabbing a snack in the convenience store when I saw the clerk reading this:

I had to snap a picture.

Like all fashion magazines, it had a feature on beauty products. This was about various types of eye makeup removers, but, well, this being Korea I guess "makeup" was just too difficult to put into the description.

At least it gave me a laugh.


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Podcast Picks of the Week - 11/16/2008

I've got to start taking notes on the podcasts that really get me going. I can only remember a few. But maybe that's it. If I can't remember it, then I ought not post it. Okay, that dilemma is solved.

Here they are for last week.

Bill Moyer's Journal: Bill Moyers essay on the loss of Studs Terkel and John Leonard. - I think I'll go out and get one of Terkel's books.

The Onion News Network gets stupid again ;): With the economy sliding deeper into a recession, panelists discuss whether it's time to stop throwing our money into a massive pit out in the desert. - Just plain funny.

Salon.com - Glenn Greenwald talks to Anthony Romero from the ACLU: What are the priorities for the restoration of civil liberties under an Obama administration, and how can they most effectively be achieved? - long and detailed and, thus, maybe best suited for those a bit more serious. But it was good to listen to during a commute home where there was more traffic than usual.

The Fashion Update: This weeks Fashion Update is all about Vintage! Kylie Norman catches up with Celebrity Stylist Bay Gurnett and pops along to Vintage Heart for a bit of shopping advice! - It's much cooler if you're in London and can get to some of the stores they talked about.


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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Operation Survivor - Survivor Corps and TroopTube

I got an email from Dani Sevilla of Survivor Corps, which is "a global network of people helping each other to overcome the effects of war and conflict and give back to their communities."

They want me to help spread the word about their program for U.S. veterans and service members, Operation Survivor. That's a no-brainer, of course.

Here is the info on their Operation Survivor program:

Social Media News Release

Donate Today to Help Our Returning Troops! Donate Now! Survivor Corps

Survivor Corps Supports Returning
Troops and Their Families!

American Flag

You Can Help!

Operation Survivor

Ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are creating a generation of veterans in the United States from all branches of the armed services and all 50 states who are struggling to overcome physical and psychosocial injuries. Most combat veterans convalescing in military hospitals across the country will survive physically, but getting on with their lives after returning home to their families and communities is proving a significant challenge for hundreds of thousands. Among the 1.6 million who have served since 2001, suicide is on the rise, as is unemployment and incidents of substance abuse and domestic violence.

Captain Scott Quilty

The successful reintegration of returning service members is an issue that will have a long-lasting impact on American society, and may become the single defining struggle facing this new generation of veterans. Survivor Corps and its partners are determined to avoid the mistakes made when veterans returned from Vietnam, which resulted in tens of thousands of post-war suicides and over 200,000 men and women living on the streets.

To head off this tragic outcome, Survivor Corps will build peer support programs at the community level that will bring service members and veterans together for mutual support and encourage both individual responsibility and collective action to help others in need.

Survivor Corps is offering an alternative “treatment” that can be made readily available in all communities, regardless of proximity to traditional military or government centers of support. Our approach is nimble enough to address the needs of individual survivors, while still broad enough to build a coalition of survivors and service providers working to effect long-term positive change.

This new program will help the recovery and reintegration of hundreds of thousands of returning U.S. service members at a critical time for them and their country.

Also, here is a link to Troop Tube. I saw a report on it last night on CNN. Basically, it's the US military's response to YouTube. So many families are separated and this is a great way to keep in touch. They have it broken down by the different divisions of the armed forces and they even have a section for troop supporters for people who want to just send messages to let all the troops know how much we appreciate what they're doing.

So I highly recommend clicking on both links.


More -
InternetNews.com - Realtime IT News: Social Media for the Military


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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

[Regina Walton's Expat Interviews] A style icon visits Seoul

Yipee! Today the Korea Herald's Expat Living section published my interview with style and fashion icon, Diane Pernet. That was really exciting. I saw her on the second day of Seoul Fashion Week when she got out of a vehicle. I was talking to a few attendees at the front door of SETEC.

I'd read that she was coming and I was like "Wow! There she is!" I had to explain who she was because, for people who don't know about her, all they see is her appearance: black beehive hair topped with a black veil, vintage sunglasses, layers of black skirting with a pale face and red lips. Her appearance is a mysterious constant in the ever changing world of fashion and trends. I was pleased to discover she's simply a very nice lady because I got the privilege to meet and interview her at Daily Projects in Apkujeong during Seoul Fashion Week.

My editor did a great job with images from her compilation of films on style and fashion, A Shaded View on Fashion Film (linked below). It's not really captured well on the webpage. However, like always, I've attached an Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) version of the actual page as it appeared in the paper today.

Before you head in, here is the link to a Q&A I did with Diane for the DeepGlamour website.


[Regina Walton's Expat Interviews] A style icon visits Seoul

It's not every day you get to sit down with someone who is routinely described as a fashion and style icon. That happened to me a couple weeks ago during Seoul Fashion Week. It was my second time covering Korea's biggest fashion event.

In addition to Korean designers, the event planners brought in a handful of fashion experts.

Diane Pernet was one of these experts.

She has been in the fashion business for years, and has an impressive resume. For over 13 years she had her own New York City-based fashion label. Her designs were featured in high profile magazines from around the world, including Vogue, and worn by supermodels, such as Janice Dickerson.

But before all that she was a photographer and in college she studied filmmaking.

Pernet has been a fashion journalist and critic for heavy media like Elle.com and VogueParis.com. She is an associate editor for Zoo Magazine. She is also a consultant and editor for the biggest online fashion network, Igons. She also works as a curator and fashion and photo scout for the d'Hyeres festival.

Most important, to those plugged into the internet and fashion, she is probably best known for having one of the most influential fashion websites: Her blog is named A Shaded View on Fashion (ASVOF). It draws upon her iconic look: towering dark hair, black cat-eye shades, a black veil with layers of black clothing, which contrast with her pale white skin and dramatic red lips.

Pernet's blog is known for featuring new fashion talent and locations that help to keep fashion edgy and interesting. What's interesting about her look is its evolution. On Pernet's website you can see photos of her before she developed her look and you can also get a feeling for how she got there. You can get wrapped up in her image, but essentially Pernet is a creative and sensitive soul with interesting, and sometimes quite sad, events in her life. Thus, she's taken on a static look while working in an industry where looks change season by season.

You can say that in the midst of the dynamic world of fashion, Pernet's look remains a constant, adding an air of mystery.

In addition to her very popular website, she has another project - A Shaded View on Fashion Film (ASVOFF). This project merges her knowledge and love of fashion with her interest in images and film. ASVOFF started off as a project named You Wear it Well with photographer Dino Dinko in 2006. The project is currently in its third year and Diane is now its head. ASVOFF launched at the esteemed Jeu de Paume in Paris.

As someone who has had so many roles in fashion, I asked her what had been her most satisfying role. "It's two things, actually, because I was a designer myself for 13 years, which of course was very satisfying, because I was creating something. And now that I'm doing my own film festival ... I make low-fi films," she said. "But the whole idea (is to put) together what I believe is the strength of the future: directors, designers and a new way of presenting fashion.

"Traveling around the planet with my festival and meeting people and hoping, like from this trip, I would love to find new Korean directors that want to collaborate with Korean designers. And we have one film in the festival from Steve and Yoni."

Pernet said she would like to expand the international aspect of the festival.

When speaking with her about fashion, you're talking to someone who is well-versed and knowledgeable. You also realize she's someone who doesn't just keep up with the established designers. She's also someone who makes an effort to see new designers. whom she features on her blog.

When I asked her which designers she was excited about, she gave me a list that differs hugely from the standard names most people discuss. "Well, I like Gareth Pugh a lot. I really like Marios Schwab a lot. And people that are a bit more established like Raf Simons ... Christopher Kane. I think London has the strongest creativity, in fact."

When it comes to Korean designers, of course, she has a list of some that she admires. "Well, I also like Steve J and Yoni P, but I've seen them in London and I saw them here. Jin Lee at her shows in Paris. The collection we saw last night, Woo Young Mi," she said. "I liked KIIIM. I liked the two collections we saw the second day at Daily Projects (JAIN by JAIN SONG and Suh Sang-young). I also liked the first collection that was shown at the Next Generation show."

Pernet continued, "I'm not into destroying people. If I don't like collections I just don't report on them. It's not my way. For one thing, I was a designer myself for 13 years, which most critics have not been. And I know, even if you do a horrible collection, there were probably months of work and a lot of people involved in creating it.

"I'm just not about destroying people. ... I know that's what sells. I do know that, but I'm not going that route."

Regarding her film career, Pernet said it had started nine years ago when she wanted to put together a festival, but that there wasn't the material for it. Mark Eley - half of the design team Eley Kishimoto - had a hand in her beginnings when he asked her to make a road movie for him. "There was lots of runway on video but that's not interesting to me. So I forgot about it for awhile." She said that Eley asked her to do a movie for the Gumball 3000 rally - a car race. The result of filming Mark and the Gumball 3000 was a film named "Adventure of Pleasure."

"So I had a collaborator in L.A. and he was a contributor to my blog. ... I sent him 'Adventure of Pleasure,' which was the road movie and he said 'Do you want to screen it in L.A.?'

"Then my other contributor in Mexico City had sent me a film which I really liked. ... Then we (all) just decided to do a film festival, a fashion film festival." Last July she decided to work on the film festival as a solo project and "that's when it became A Shaded View on Fashion Film."

When asked how it feels to merge her two loves, fashion and film, Diane answered decisively. "It's great. That's why I did it," she said. "It feels really good and I want it to keep growing. I just want to build it and I think it's the future."

"It's a new way to present fashion."

You can keep up with Diane, her travels and the fashion that she likes at her blog: A Shaded View on Fashion, ashadedviewonfashion.com and you can keep up with her film project at A Shaded View on Fashion Film, ashadedviewonfashionfilm.com
Diane's link to my article...yeah! And thanks!
Get your own at Scribd or explore others:


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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Time To Take The White People’s Guns!

Heh...hat tip to my college buddy Jeff, who is white, and to Ken Layne of Wonkette, who is white too ;) I'm disclosing their race so that you shell shocked "you're playing the race card" freaks don't invade my comment section. White guys shared the video and get the humor, so it's okay, right?


When you see over the top posts like this the day after such an historic election where the margin of victory was clear (a 7 point lead in the popular vote, one the hugest electoral victories ever, and a Congress that is now a nice dark blue) it really makes you wonder about some people.

BTW, I'm not saying this ill conceived response to the election was made because the president-elect is black.

I honestly have no idea why it was likened to Pearl Harbor by its title, but, whatever the reasoning, it's pure hyperbole. And hyperbole masked as free speech is an American right, so have at it.

To the creators of this video, thanks for making a funny short, and, since I've got a right to free speech too, I can reply by using it.

Because really, is the fact that he's black THAT serious? I'm glad Obama's race wasn't for 53% of the voters on November 4th.

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.

Original link: Get Your War On: New World Order


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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Podcast Picks of the Week - 11/09/2008

It's been a busy two weeks, and I've been listening to quite a few podcasts. I've just not had the time to share them.

I won't reach back too far. However, I will say Rachel Maddow's show I love. I'm subscribed and download it religiously now. She's smart and funny. And an elitist like myself likes smart and funny analysis ;)

Slate V's election summaries are great:

The Onion:

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters to Realize How Empty Their Lives Are. It's cute. The zombie angle dims the point a bit, but it's still very funny.

This timing is so.not.a.coincidence. Narciso Rodriguez's NY Fashion Week Spring/Summer runway show gets uploaded by the Fashion Network as a podcast after Michelle Obama wears one of his dresses the night her husband makes his historical acceptance speech.

Coincidence? Not... ;) BTW, I thought the dress was a fierce fashion choice. You haters can kiss it.

And here is one that has not a tinge of the political. Men.style.com: Adam Yauch - Beastie Boy turned director talks about his documentary, Gunnin' for that Number #1 Spot.

It's all video right now because I'm at home, and I've got my iPod plugged into my TV. I've not doubled back to listen to the audio podcasts yet.



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Obama and the Front Pages

It's Sunday morning here and I've got a bit of a post-party headache. That makes it a good time to reach back and get to some stuff I've been meaning to post.

The day after president-elect Obama's victory, I left my digital camera at home. Duh! Considering I always have it in my purse that was a brilliant move. So I had to snap photos of South Korean newspaper front pages with my cell phone camera.

Forgive the blurriness.

Here is another link called Obama Grabs Headlines. It has covers from all around the world and they're nice and clear ;)

If you keep clicking the next links at the bottom there is a great picture of two little boys sitting on their respective father's shoulders. It looks like they were in Chicago's Grant Park to hear Obama's victory speech.

One, a young white boy, has an Obama-Biden sign and the other, a young black boy, doesn't have a sign. The black boy looks back at him in the first shot and in the following shots you see the white boy hand his sign to the other. Then there is the last shot where they're both holding the sign with one hand and make the peace sign with their free hand.

The title, A New Hope, warms my geeky Star Wars dork heart.

It's very cute in that overly saccharin "this is a new hope for tomorrow" kind of way, but there is nothing wrong with being saccharin when the moment merits it. Someone was watching and snapped photos through the whole process and managed to capture a great moment. I'm intentionally silencing my impulse to make a sarcastic remark about any possible future interaction between these two boys. I'm not the only one trying to roll back the cynicism...well, he's not really, but that's what the title says ;)



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Thursday, November 6, 2008

diaTribe - A Great Resource for Diabetics

As regular readers of my blog know, I'm a type 1 diabetic. Type 1 means I have the type of diabetes that you treat by taking insulin. From my understanding of this version of diabetes, most people with type 1 get it when they're very young. I was luckier and didn't develop symptoms until I was in university. I say "luckier" because I do feel spared in some way that I didn't have to be a child burdened with a fear of hypoglycemia, which is also known as insulin reactions or low blood sugar. Even though the various forms of the disease are generally known that doesn't mean that people are necessarily well-informed. There are even some diabetics who ought to take a more active role in managing their disease. In fact, active management is key to being healthy.

I started insulin pump therapy a few years ago and, I admit with a fair amount of shame, that I've still yet to master it. It takes a lot of time and recording keeping. This is a bit ironic as in my 20s I was a model patient.

I'm glad I found diaTribe and, so far, it's pretty informative. Here is what they have to say about what they do:

Diabetes is a large and complicated field - from multinational pharmaceutical companies to sprawling clinics, from prestigious academic centers to remote research labs. It is filled with exciting breakthroughs and heartbreaking disappointments, but ultimately it's about patients like you and me who want to live long, healthy lives.

That's why we started diaTribe. Our mission is to leverage our knowledge and experience to give our readers the information they need to to live the life they want.

Each year, our team travels all over the world to gather the latest information on diabetes; we have access to Americas leading diabetes researchers and clinicians, we attend all the conferences and we've developed unmatched expertise in the business of this disease.

Unlike other newsletters, diaTribe is not just straight reporting, and it is not for everyone. As the name suggests, we have an opinion. We might rant, we might rave, we might lament or celebrate, but we will always inform and enlighten. We hope to reach that tribe of readers who are smart about diabetes, who believe in intensive management, and who are eager to learn more for themselves, perhaps, or a loved one.

In every issue of diaTribe, we bring you focused information, including:

  1. Conference Pearls - what we consider the biggest news from major and-under-the-radar-screen conferences that we attend;
  2. Logbook, a look at the human drama of diabetes by best-selling author James S. Hirsch;
  3. Learning Curve, a closer look at the science behind the news;
  4. What We're Reading, our column that highlights the top 5 percent of our monthly reading on diabetes (we review 25 magazines and journals per issue) ;
  5. diaTribe dialogue, excerpts of our conversations with key clinicians that we converse with regularly, who share with us lessons from their offices and labs;
  6. Test Drive, our personal, no-holds-barred experience with new drugs and devices.

We do all the homework, so you don't have to.

What I like is the end because I've got a lot of homework to do and I'm glad to have a bit of help sorting through all the information.

So far they have published 12 issues. You can download the .pdf files at their website. I've also put them here. It's moreso for me because I can get them easily this way, but I can share them with the Internet at large too ;)

If you have diabetes or know someone who does, take some time to check out the site.

Issue 1
Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Issue 2
Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Issue 3
Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Issue 4
Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Issue 5
Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Issue 6
Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Issue 7
Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Issue 8
Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Issue 9
Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Issue 10
Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Issue 11
Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Issue 12
Get your own at Scribd or explore others:


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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wave the Stars and Stripes

A picture of the Stars and Stripes with the Blue Angels flying above it (the Blue Angels are an elite Navy flying team. They perform across the USA. I used to go see them every year when they'd come to San Francisco. They're great.)

This idea started when Lisa from Santa Barbara made a comment on Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, a NYTimes op-ed piece by Frank Rich. I heard about the comment on an online forum.

She said:

If Senator Obama wins the election on Tuesday, on Wednesday I will go and buy an American Flag and hang it in front of my home. It is something I have never done in my 50 year old life.

— Lisa, Santa Barbara, CA
In contrast to Lisa, I do have an American flag. I've hung it before. I solemnly hung it the day after 9/11. I was living in a suburb of Daegu, South Korea at that time. Of course, I did that to commemorate the lives lost and changed during those attacks. I was inspired seeing the world console a grieving USA. Unfortunately, after 9/11 my government chose to act in the worst way possible while showing the no respect for rules, standards and institutions our country had, ironically, been central in creating.

However, the polls are getting ready to close on the east coast of the USA and as the hours go on, we'll know the results.

I've placed the Stars and Stripes next to my big front window. It's ready to go. It just might see some action soon.

If you think it's a good idea too. Spread the word.


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Nerves and Anxiety...Finally

I've been so very cool during most of this campaign. At least, when it comes to the discussion of Obama winning because I believe he will. By this time tomorrow, we'll know.

It's morning in the States now. Polls are open on the east coast and I was watching news coverage of people lining up a couple of hours ago.

I'd decided to get some grading out of the way because tomorrow I will be an excited and distracted mess. I was plugging away when suddenly I felt overwhelmingly nauseous. I had something pretty plain for dinner, so I know it's not what I ate. It seems I've finally gotten a case of pre-election stress disorder ;)

So to feel like I'm helping in some way being so far away, for you folks in the US check out these steps from MoveOn.org for election day 2008.

Election 2008 Voting Information

Today, November 4th, is Election Day! Remember to vote--not just for Barack Obama, but for Congressional, state and local candidates as well.

Where and when do I vote?

Find your polling place, voting times, and other important information by checking out these sites and the hotline below. These resources are good, but not perfect. To be doubly sure, you can also contact your local elections office.

What should I do before I go?

  • After you've entered your address on either Vote For Change or Vote411, read the voting instructions and special rules for your state.
  • Voting ID laws vary from state to state, but if you have ID, bring it.
  • Check out all the voting myths and misinformation to look out for: http://truth.voteforchange.com/

What if something goes wrong?

  • Not on the voter list? Make sure you're at the right polling place, then demand a provisional ballot.
  • If you're voting on an electronic machine with a paper record, verify that the record is accurate.
  • Need legal help? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE
  • Try to get video of the problem and submit it to VideoTheVote.org

Want to do more?

  • Text all of your friends: "Vote Obama today! Pass it on!"
  • Volunteer at your local Obama office. Find an office here or here.
  • Make calls from home for Obama.

Now everybody go vote!!!

Barack the Vote ;)


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