Another earthquake

We were just hit with another large earthquake aprox. one hour ago. Reports state that the earthquake measured 6.8 and was centered off the coast of Hualien. While it appears at present that this one was not as powerful as 921 it was for me a more violent experience. I am still shaking and experiencing vertigo. During this shaker alot more objects came crashing to the floor and at one point I wasn’t sure if the building was going to stand. We lost a number of nice pottery from Thailand, though obviously I could give shit about objects. I just want to survive and thrive. So far the news reports haven’t started a death toll. Lets hope they don’t.


NYTimes:”As the Web Matures, Fun Is Hard to Find”

An article in the NYTimes is prompting allot of response and discussion. The article states that web is no longer cool and fun. It’s old hat and lacks a sense of wonder.

I agree to a certain extent but there are still many great things being developed and many cool web sites to visit. The main problem I find is actually being able to filter through all this mass of data to find what I truly want or need. In the past this seemed less of a problem because there was simply less data. Sites like Google and Metafilter help but somehow I feel that relying on them exclusively is not the answer.

You can read the article here and read the responses at Metafilter and Powazek


When is there time for fun?

During my Chinese class last night we practiced a simple conversation about what we liked to do on the weekend. Many of my classmates responded with the typical answers like, ” playing tennis, going to Taipei to go clubbing, listening to music, and sleeping”. When it came to my turn I was at a loss for words, not because I had trouble with the language but because I don’t do anything. All it seems that I do is work or at least what used to be fun I consider laborious and boring.

I seem to remember when I lived in Canada this simple concept that we I think inherited from the Americans, whereby you work five days a week and play for two. Friday night was night out. Saturday was for recovering from Friday night, some fun, and perhaps household chores. Sunday was for family, God, and sleep. Working on anything else on Sunday was a big cultural taboo. This simple concept seems to have disappeared from my life.

Now its not because I have been busy these past few years. I have. But there


How times have changed

Culled from MacIntouch
“Connick Gets Patent: entertainer Harry Connick, Jr. has received a patent for an electronic sheet music distribution system that he created and uses for his own big band; the system runs on G3 Power Macs, and was developed after Harry and his band played an outdoor concert; the sheet music was being blown around, and he figured why not have his band members read their music from computer screens instead; Harry first used the system for his 1999 big band tour, and each member has their own work station; here’s a photo
photo of the system, courtesy of Connick Big Band trumpeter Leroy Jones.”


False Promises

Why is it when the read me file says,… this script is very easy to set-up … it shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes to get it up and running… you end up spending 2 full days trying to make it work?


Life in Taiwan 5

Ban Pin Shan
Once upon a time, when Ban Pin Shan was still undivided, a small village existed at the foot of the mountain. One day, an old man who was selling dumplings came to the village. He had white hair and a white beard and his clothing was very old and worn. He carried a heavy load of hot dumplings which looked and smelled deliciously good to eat. However, everyone in the village thought the old man was stupid because he yelled, ” Hot and delicious dumplings! One for ten cents, two for twenty cents and three for free!”

” What is going on? ” the villagers asked surprised.

” Hot and delicious dumplings! Red beans and sesame. One for ten cents, two for twenty cents and three for free!” the crazy old man yelled again.

More and more villagers began to gather around. They whispered in low voices, ” Can this be true? Three dumplings for free? Is this old man tricking us?”

Continue reading at the Folk Stories of Taiwan site.


Personal websites

I often comment to colleagues about how I love personal web sites. The freedom to design and create something for yourself coupled with the ease of publishing on the web is a powerful thing. Sometimes you find web sites that just click with you. Cyn’s web site is one of those for me. Cyn reveals so much of her personal life (with limits) that sometimes I feel like some kind of weird snoop. That aside following the stories of her and her husband ‘m’ is much like a soap opera with no bad endings. It’s an entertaining read.

While I have absolutely no idea what is actually being said on her web site Anita deserves cudos for her shear enthusiasm. No other colleague I work with devote so much energy to personal web projects. I look forward to helping her with her planned redesign.

Also recommended: Reinvented, acts of volition, and the very popular Harrumph!.


Crashes

While I guess I shouldn’t be I can’t help but be suprised with the problems I am having with my relatively new Motorola T191 cell phone. On a number of occaisions now the phone’s operating system (if that is what it’s called in a phone) has crashed. The screens characters go all out of control and the phone becomes unresponsive. I have certainly come to expect this behaviour from computers – I just unloaded a huge amount of cash on a new laptop only to have word and powerpoint crash once every session – but appliances? With the increasing sophistication of computers built into what are considered everyday essential tools what will the future hold? God forbid that my fridge, stereo, or coffee maker start exhibiting the behaviour of a windows pc. It might be rather expensive to have your freeze crash in the middle of the night thawing out all the food in the freezer or the stereo deciding in was time to play Taiwanese pop in the middle of the night. I don’t want windows in my toaster. Perhaps this is all a good excuse to buy a new phone. I rather like the new Treo.


Ikea pictures

How exciting! Pictures from the Ikea Taipei store. Part of a continuation of a discussion of the “I.A” of Ikea started by Kate Hagedorn some time ago. It’s interesting and important to apply “real world” metaphors to what we create on the web. Obvious but often not investigated.


Sleep

Sleep or the lack there of has become a big issue for me. Since I keep coming to work with larger and blacker bags under my eyes people have started to notice. They ask if I am under a lot of stress and if everything is ok. I’m not entirely sure why I don’t get enough sleep. It has nothing to do with pressure or too much work. I am used to dealing with stress and I always go to bed by midnight (well almost always). The answer eludes me. One thing I have come to realise is that sleeping alone is more conductive to a restful night than sleeping with someone else. But that is not a long term solution – one mustn’t be rude. I am looking at perhaps a new bed. Perhaps one like this but in a king size. I think one should be able to play touch football in your bed with three other people. Those undersized queens just won’t do for that. Maybe it is simply time to start drinking myself unconscious every night except that that would bring up other issues. I’d like to try having sex with 6 different swimsuit models every night but then there would be that problem of sleeping afterwards – I mean what if they all snored.
I guess I’ll keep tryinng to figure out a solution.


Study Time

The last two weeks have witnessed a dramatic increase in the amount of work I have to complete on week by week basis. This year I started the long march towards completing a graduate degree in visual communications at a


Hello World!

The wonders of technology. I recieved an email with the title Hello to Clark telling me to send money. It certainly wasn’t spam but a note sent from my Mother and Aunt while they were checking out the new iMac at a local store in Charlottetown. Apples got quite the thing going. Hats off to the owner Dave Moses and his wonderful store the LittleMacShoppe. Unfortunately I am pennyless after just purchasing one of these.


The Beginning of Canadian History

The Beginning of Canadian History
“Canada is fine. It’s good. And in Canada, our nil magnum nisi bonum*s keep us warm at night. In the identity we have created and maintained as uniquely Canadian, who we are is good, but, well, not particularly great. That is the only zeitgeist by and for Canadians that is articulated with any regularity in the magazines, television and billboards, or in the streets and schools and homes and offices. “