April 5, 2017

Travel Roundup: Thailand, Day One (Hello)

Posted in Go, Look tagged , at 10:03 am by onetinyacorn

Traveled for 10 days in Thailand, 5 days in Tokyo. Here’s my write-up.

Bangkok

  • What I heard about Bangkok: it’s dirty, loud, chaotic, and smelly. Get out of there as soon as possible.
  • What I thought: It didn’t seem any dirtier, louder, or more chaotic than any other city. I did encounter an unpleasant raw sewage smell at varying times (in the city and on the islands), but nothing terrible. Once I was in rural Ohio and the nose-searing smell of pig feces (a fertilizer) has haunted me ever since. That was way worse. Get over it.

Landed at 11 pm in Bangkok, after 22 uneventful hours of flying halfway around the Earth. Was able to buy a SIM card and exchange money at that time: score. Got a cab easily, showed him my poorly-translated-into-Thai address of hostel #1: Siri Poshtel. The Google Translated text didn’t help, but the Thai map did (I had read that cabbies often don’t know much/any English, so I came prepared). He dropped me off a block away from the hostel, insisting that this dimly-lit building was my hostel. I knew we were near the actual hostel, so I thanked him and got out. I proceeded to wander around in a confused, sleep-deprived daze until a prostitute helped me find the hostel. Nice! And who should happen to be checking in at the exact moment that I arrived but my friend Josh, who has been living in Thailand for the past two years! We got settled in, cracked a few beers, and reminisced while waiting for the third member of our traveling trio to arrive. An hour or two later she showed up with an irate cabbie (takeaway: don’t use Google Translate to transliterate addresses from English to Thai).

Despite the fact that it was now 1 or 2 am, we set off for nearby Khao San Road. This place has a reputation for being a wild destination for backpackers. By this time of  the night, it was mostly intoxicated Thais and street vendors. I had my first of many, many snacks on this trip: grilled chicken for about 30 cents. It was delicious. Sated, we wandered back to the hostel and fell asleep at about 4 am.

Ate breakfast on a beautiful, open-air patio with tropical plants overhead. Roosters crowing in the background, we had papaya, melon, tart and delicious orange juice, and rice with a chicken broth poured over it.

First thing that I noticed that Thailand does better than the U.S.: bathrooms. They have sprayers that you use to clean yourself, and sometimes toilet paper to dry off which goes in a trash receptacle. It’s all very sanitary and logical.

Stumbled across Wat Ratchabophit, a Buddhist temple meaning “Marble Temple” according to the internet.

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Orchids growing wild in the park between Wat Ratchabophit and Wat Pho:

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Wat Pho, with the massive Reclining Buddha:

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Then I had the best Tom Yum of my life. Thai iced coffee. Fried bananas. Wontons with an egg in the middle. If you go hungry in Bangkok, you are doing something wrong.

Took a tuk-tuk ride, with a fun bit where our driver made a u-turn into the path of oncoming traffic. Exciting!

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Watched the sunset from Sky Train Jazz Club, which was a delightful, mellow rooftop bar.

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Caught the train to the airport, and flew to Krabi Town. Arrived at the White Pearl Hotel around midnight or so and crashed.

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January 24, 2012

Washington Park

Posted in Go, Look tagged , at 4:12 am by onetinyacorn

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December 13, 2011

Another reason why you should visit me

Posted in Go, Look tagged at 4:07 am by onetinyacorn

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I got a membership to the Botanic Gardens yesterday, good for me and one other person. And it’s 3 blocks from my place. AND it’s all gussied up with Christmas lights and ice sculptures right now.

December 1, 2011

Consider:

Posted in Go tagged , , , at 10:35 pm by onetinyacorn

One more reason to love my new job: they have a tradition of donating gifts to children in foster care, rather than having a gift exchange for each other. I love this idea so much, and think it would be great if more workplaces adopted it instead of trotting out the tired old White Elephant/gift exchange. Consider: do you need a Twilight-themed board game more than a child in foster care needs a pair of socks? Yeah.

Speaking of charitable causes, have you seen VolunteerMatch? Put in your location and interests, and it will find volunteer opportunities out there for you. I cross-referenced it with Charity Navigator to ensure that any organization that piqued my interest was well-run (though organizations run on a local level may not be indexed there).

September 21, 2011

Neat Things: Google Ngrams

Posted in Go, Look, Make tagged , , at 6:08 am by onetinyacorn

Google labs has produced Ngrams, a very awesome, customizable way to chart cultural trends over centuries. I wanted to track the ebb and flow of political ideologies through time, so I input the terms for various political constructs into Ngrams, and it gave me this nifty chart, based on the OCR of its digitized corpus of English-language books (click on image for full-size view):

Politics Ngram

So we see a clear decline in mentions of the term “monarchy” in books since 1800 [I’ve since learned that you can track verbiage back to around 1550!], and a spike in the term “democracy” around World War II. Futher, I can search by decade and term in Google books to locate precise mentions of my specified terms. Think about how interesting it would be to track epidemiological trends this way! You could also run side-by-side comparisons on the same terms in different languages, for a cross-cultural perspective. Dreamy, isn’t it?

March 23, 2011

What is Consciousness?

Posted in Go tagged , , at 2:08 am by onetinyacorn

Information is Beautiful is one of my very favorite sites, and it is devoted to information visualization. Check out this awesome study they’re conducting: you choose your conception of consciousness, and they’ll crunch the numbers and send you the results! This made me so happy, I can’t even tell you.

What is Consciousness?

February 28, 2011

Yes, You Are

Posted in Go, Look tagged , , at 8:21 pm by onetinyacorn

feminism n (1895) 1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes 2 : organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests — feministn or adjfeministicadj

“Above, the dictionary definition of feminism — the entire dictionary definition of feminism. It is quite straightforward and concise. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.

Yes, you are.

The definition of feminism does not ask for two forms of photo ID. It does not care what you look like. It does not care what color skin you have, or whether that skin is clear, or how much you weigh, or what you do with your hair. You can bite your nails, or you can get them done once a week. You can spend two hours on your makeup, or five minutes, or the time it takes to find a Chapstick without any lint sticking to it. You can rock a cord mini, or khakis, or a sari, and you can layer all three. The definition of feminism does not include a mandatory leg-hair check; wax on, wax off, whatever you want. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.

Yes, you are.

The definition of feminism does not mention a membership fee or a graduated tax or “…unless you got your phone turned off by mistake.” Rockefellers, the homeless, bad credit, no credit, no problem. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.

Yes, you are.

The definition of feminism does not require a diploma or other proof of graduation. It is not reserved for those who teach women’s studies classes, or to those who majored in women’s studies, or to those who graduated from college, or to those who graduated from high school, or to those who graduated from Brownie to Girl Scout. It doesn’t care if you went to Princeton or the school of hard knocks. You can have a PhD, or a GED, or a degree in mixology, or a library card, or all of the above, or none of the above. You don’t have to write a twenty-page paper on Valerie Solanas’s use of satire in The S.C.U.M. Manifesto, and if you do write it, you don’t have to get better than a C-plus on it. You can really believe math is hard, or you can teach math. You don’t have to take a test to get in. You don’t have to speak English. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.

Yes, you are.

The definition of feminism is not an insurance policy; it doesn’t exclude anyone based on age. It doesn’t have a “you must be this tall to ride the ride” sign on it anywhere. It doesn’t specify how you get from place to place, so whether you use or a walker or a stroller or a skateboard or a carpool, if you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.

Yes, you are.

The definition of feminism does not tell you how to vote or what to think. You can vote Republican or Libertarian or Socialist or “I like that guy’s hair.” You can bag voting entirely. You can believe whatever you like about child-care subsidies, drafting women, fiscal accountability, Anita Hill, environmental law, property taxes, Ann Coulter, interventionist politics, soft money, gay marriage, tort reform, decriminalization of marijuana, gun control, affirmative action, and why that pothole at the end of the street still isn’t fixed. You can exist wherever on the choice continuum you feel comfortable. You can feel ambivalent about Hillary Clinton. You can like the ERA in theory, but dread getting drafted in practice. The definition does not stipulate any of that. The definition does not stipulate anything at all, except itself. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.

Yes, you are.

The definition of feminism does not judge your lifestyle. You like girls, you like boys, doesn’t matter. You eat meat, you don’t eat meat, you don’t eat meat or dairy, you don’t eat fast food, doesn’t matter. You can get married, and you can change your name or keep the one your parents gave you, doesn’t matter. You can have kids, you can stay home with them or not, you can hate kids, doesn’t matter. You can stay a virgin or you can boink everyone in sight, doesn’t matter. It’s not in the definition. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.

Yes, you are.

Yes. You are. You are a feminist. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist. Period. It’s more complicated than that — of course it is. And yet…it’s exactly that simple. It has nothing to do with your sexual preference or your sense of humor or your fashion sense or your charitable donations, or what pronouns you use in official correspondence, or whether you think Andrea Dworkin is full of crap, or how often you read Bust or Ms. — or, actually, whether you’ve got a vagina. In the end, it’s not about that. It is about political, economic, and social equality of the sexes, and it is about claiming that definition on its own terms, instead of qualifying it because you don’t want anyone to think that you don’t shave your pits. It is about saying that you are a feminist and just letting the statement sit there, instead of feeling a compulsion to modify it immediately with “but not, you know, that kind of feminist” because you don’t want to come off all Angry Girl. It is about understanding that liking Oprah and Chanel doesn’t make you a “bad” feminist — that only “liking” the wage gap makes you a “bad” feminist, because “bad” does not enter into the definition of feminism. It is about knowing that, if folks can’t grab a dictionary and see for themselves that the entry for “feminism” doesn’t say anything about hating men or chick flicks or any of that crap, it’s their problem.

It is about knowing that a woman is the equal of a man in art, at work, and under the law, whether you say it out loud or not — but for God’s sake start saying it out loud already. You are a feminist.

I am a feminist too. Look it up.”

– by Sarah D. Bunting. I found it here.

January 13, 2011

New Belgium Brewery Tour

Posted in Go, Look, Shop tagged , , , , at 3:54 am by onetinyacorn

I recently drove down to Fort Collins, Colorado to exchange Christmas gifts with one of my favorite people in the world. While down there, we also toured New Belgium brewery, sampled some brews by Odell, and took in a gallery crawl. These photos are from New Belgium (since I’ve migrated my blog, the quality of the thumbnails has diminished. Click on any for a better shot) :

I didn’t know much about beer until I moved within striking distance of New Belgium, having generally associated beer with that mass-produced, dirty-sock-water stuff. I’m still learning a lot, which has been fun.

Along our tour, we got to sample their Abbey, Dunkelweizen (a new one that will be released soon with limited distribution), La Folie, 2 Below, and…a few others. There were chocolates, and a ride down a curly slide. The building is adorned with lots of fun art, and their commitment to environmental causes is evident. In short, if you’re going to be in Fort Collins, make sure to reserve a spot for a tour.

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