Friday, September 30, 2011

I want to work for these people: Counterpoint

As I'm beginning to look for a job in London, I literally searched "culture think tank london" and up came a bunch of boring organizations and then...these people, Counterpoint.  Sigh.  I'm in love.  Unfortunately, they are clear across town (and it's a big town) from where J and I are looking at living.  What to do.

In the mean time, I want to read up as much as I can on what these people do.  Their organization has produced papers on two of my favorite topics: cloud computing and the inner workings of cultures.  Lovely.  Honestly, if I could make a perfect organization, this would be it.  They research cultures in order to advise companies and organizations on trends, the impact of policies, and social movements of countries in which they are/will be working.  My favorite!

For me: links to read the articles later. (available for download onto a kindle!)
Cloud Culture
The Inner Lives of Cultures

Other organizations to check out:
Commonwealth Foundation
Chatham House
Centre for European Reform

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Day Has Come!

I'm sooo pumped that (I have found out that) Kindle can now support library loans.  This very well might have been available for ages.  The last I heard about it was an article from April saying that Kindle was going to make it happen before the year was out.  Sooo glad.

My first check-outs?  The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis (ebook) and Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (audio book for the ipod).

I'm especially excited about the latter, actually, because I've been burning through Planet Money, To the Best of Our Knowledge, and This American Life like it was my job.

For those in the St. Louis region, hop on over to  Enjoy!

I feel like Amazon did a poor job at PR on this one - the top hit for articles is from  Also, the article tells me, Amazon announced this on Sept. 21st.

Helpful Amazon page on the rules of lending (here).
I love this picture of calm in a crazy urban context.

Monday, September 26, 2011

 Coldplay went up a couple points in my opinion. I was about to leave them behind. Also, this person had FANTASTIC seats and hand-held technology is AMAZING!  This is a great cover.

The Black Keys - "Everlasting Light"

On my former blog I asked the question if anyone had heard of when Russians used to wallpaper their bathrooms with their currency because it was cheaper than actually buying wallpaper.  Well.  Not only did the blogosphere let me down but I was wrong about a couple things.  Thankfully my ignorance was corrected by NPR's Planet Money podcast "The Economic Catastrophe that Germany can't Forget" - and surprise!  It was actually Germany in the 1920s where inflation was so high that people wallpapered their bathrooms with currency.  Mystery solved!  And sympathy for Germany, of course.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

She held herself very straight, like Audrey Hepburn, whom all women idolize and men never think about.

The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides

(from the blog musings in femininity)

Three Things to Figure Out:

1. When you are driving, who has the right of way in this situation:  I going westbound and am turning right when I have a green light and someone is travelling eastbound and is turning left and has a green light but no arrow.  I have a yield sign but they do too because you yield to oncoming traffic when you are turning left with a green light but no arrow.  

ANSWER:  Thanks to New York DMV, I now know the answer.  "If drivers approaching from opposite directions reach an intersection at about the same time, a driver turning left must yield to approaching traffic going straight or turning right."

2. Would J have to give up his British citizenship to become a US citizen with post-9/11 rules?  Or can he be a dual citizen?

First of all, this is interesting from the Wikipedia article "Multiple Citizenships":
"- Automatic loss of citizenship if another citizenship is acquired voluntarily (e.g., Azerbaijan,[6] ChinaCzech RepublicDenmarkIndiaJapan,[7] Norway). In the case of the Czech Republic two specific exceptions apply: 1. restoration of the Czech citizenship (while keeping the one possessed to date) when the citizenship of former Czechoslovakia was illegally taken away in the years 1948-1990 by the Communist regime, and 2. Czechs as former Czechoslovakians that as of September 31, 1992 had Slovak citizenship causing the automatic loss of the Czech citizenship could apply to regain that Czech citizenship without losing the Slovak one thus becoming dual citizens too.
  • Possible (but not automatic) loss of citizenship if another citizenship is acquired voluntarily (e.g., Singapore[8]South Africa[9]).
  • Possible (but not automatic) loss of citizenship if people with multiple citizenships do not renounce their other citizenships after reaching the age of majority or within a certain period of time after obtaining multiple citizenships (e.g., Japan).[10]
  • Criminal penalties for exercising another citizenship (e.g., Saudi Arabia)."

  • ANSWER: "the US naturalization oath does contain a renunciatory statement which all would-be citizens must agree to make"
    However, "Many other countries do not recognize the act of renouncing their citizenship as part of US naturalization, so a new US citizen may very likely still be considered a citizen by his old country."
    Does the UK? 
    From the UK Border Agency: "You will not normally lose your British nationality if you become a citizen or national of another country."

    Wow.  Interesting.  So the US has an interesting law where it's like having your cake and eating it too.  You can keep your other citizenship but you have to denounce it.  I don't think J is going to be up for that.  So can he be a permanent resident and work without ever becoming a full US citizen?
    I will have to find out later...

    3. I forget.  Hm.

    Saturday, September 17, 2011

    You do not want to be this guy:

    From This American Life "20 Acts in 60 minutes" episode, (Act 15)

    IRA: "In the mid-1980s, right after college, David Rackoff moved to Japan.  And pretty soon ended up in this office job where he was convinced that he understood a secret about the company that nobody else, not even the big bosses of the company could see.  It was like that from the start.

    DAVID: Primarily the office was an advertising agency but what they were setting up was this thing for expatriates who were living in Tokyo at the time, or perhaps all of Japan.  And it was like a network on a computer.  And they would set up a newsletter on the network and people could, quote, log-on to the computer and talk to one another.  Or do research.  And I was just, I don't know, I just looked around the room and I saw these computers and could only think, "What kind of loser would log on to a computer (Ira Glass laughing), talk to someone."  ... And in almost the only moment of decisiveness in my entire adult life, I have never equalled this, I went in the next morning and I quit.  And all I could think was "Sayonara, suckers!  Good luck with your network!"  And we know exactly what the network was, it was the internet.
    I have a negative capacity to identify trends.  Like when, in college, I went to go see Madonna at Danceteria, which was a club downtown, in like 1982 or whatever.  And I thought, "Boy, is she lousy!"

    IRA: Other examples besides Madonna and the Internet?

    DAVID: Other than Madonna and the Internet you need another example?  Uh, when I was an editorial assistant working in publishing, I was handed a manuscript to read and I think I wrote, "Sub-literate, borderline-misogyny, easy pass" and somebody thought, "I'm just going to take a look at this anyway" - Uh, it was Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus. [Ira laughs]  These are not like, "I don't think Alicia Silverstone is going to be very good in Clueless," these are like, you know...

    IRA: Pretty big, iconic ones.

    DAVID: Yeaaah.  It's like "Have you fellows heard that crazy lunatic in the marketplace speaking against the Pharisees?  He'll burn off like so much morning fog, we'll never hear about him..."  You know, it's just like that.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    In an Age of Fops and Toys
    By: Ralph Waldo Emerson
    In an age of fops and toys,
    Wanting wisdom, void of right,
    Who shall nerve heroic boys
    To hazard all in Freedom’s fight,—
    Break sharply off their jolly games,
    Forsake their comrades gay
    And quit proud homes and youthful dames
    For famine, toil and fray?
    Yet on the nimble air benign
    Speed nimbler messages,
    That waft the breath of grace divine
    To hearts in sloth and ease.
    So nigh is grandeur to our dust,
    So near is God to man,
    When Duty whispers low, Thou must,
    The youth replies, I can.

    from The Art of Manliness blog (here).

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011