DrLP takes on Superman — 16:05

Or at least defines how we should talk about multiple Metropolises whenever the many worlds theory collides with the man of steel.


Man, I’m Dumb

Filed under: music,news @ 16:17


I just bought a song off iTunes. A song I already had. That’s ninety-nine cents (three tacos minus tax) down the drain. All for a stupid Jimmy Eat Flippin’ World song.

Why they hell didn’t I bother to search my library before buying, you ask? Because what kind of douche bag owns “Sweetness”? I mean, it’s hella catchy, and the subject’s fair, but, let’s be honest, it’s a little repetitive.

Well now it’s even more repetitive, since I have two copies. I’m listening to them back to back now.



Born into Brothels

Filed under: a group of folks,movies,thoughts @ 13:29

Holly and I went to see Born into Brothels on Wednesday. The documentary follows a photographer, Zana Briski, who originally went to Calcutta’s red light district to shoot the lives of the prostitutes but eventually became attached to the women’s children. She began giving them photography lessons. As Holly notes, the kids become really empowered by their new means of creation and communication. And some of their pictures are really freakin’ good. One of the kids, Avijit, was invited to Amsterdam with eight other children from around the world to exhibit their works internationally.

It’s really an amazing story. Here are these kids that live in a brothel; about twenty people all living in one apartment, each family with its own little room. When their mothers work, they pull a curtain across the bed, so the children don’t see anything that goes on. The sounds, I imagine, are harder to filter out. To escape, the kids go play on the roof or in the streets, but they themselves work most of the day too: washing dishes, going to the market, cooking. These kids are like ten years old and they work long days, see there mothers abused, beaten or burned to death, (more or less) go to school, and still manage to have fun. They play games, fly kites, laugh with each other. That’s what amazed me most watching the movie; there were times these kids were genuinely happy. I probably would have withered away a long time ago if I’d grown up in similar circumstances. Maybe the ones like me already have, and we’re only left with the strongest. It really shows how resilient little kids can be in terrible conditions, but makes you wonder just how psychologically damaged they’ll end up.

Photography, for some of these kids, is their way out of their abusive, drug riddled environment – a way out of prostitution. Through photography and the monumental efforts of their teacher, many of them were able to attend boarding schools (that is, were able to leave the red light district) and pursue a real education in a healthy environment. What’s sad is that this woman spent years of her life with about eight kids (at least that’s the story of the documentary). Eight. There really needs to be massive organizational change in order to help more than handfuls of children at a time.

Holly speaks more on these issues. I’d suggest going to her site for discussion.


Dual Head Action

Filed under: a group of folks,slice,useless @ 12:19

I mixed things up a bit today and took a shower in Greg’s today. Wow. That is one tricked out shower. I got in, turned on the water and immediately began twiddling the positioning of the two shower heads. That’s right, two. It really makes for a much different showering experience to be sprayed with water from two angles. What those angles should be is left to the showerer; with four articulating joints and three valves, the contraption offers quite the range of possibilities.

Greg’s also got the shower radio thing going, though it’s a little hard to tune. I turned it on, and what else should be playing but Hollaback Girl of blogwaffe infamy.

Got mah grĂ¼v on.


Dinner from Paul

Filed under: a group of folks,photos @ 19:44

Two photo posts in a row? Paul.za cooked dinner for a bunch of people on Tuesday Wednesday.


Bert’s Candidacy Party

Bert passed his candidacy exams on the twenty-first, but we didn’t get around to celebrating until the twenty-fifth. Here’s some random pics from the event (which included a power hour) graciously shot by Michelle.

PS: If you can’t see the pictures, you’re probably using Internet Explorer. Don’t. Get Firefox.


She ain’t no April Fool

Heidi passed her candidacy exams yesterday, to the joy of all who joined her in celebration at Amigo’s. My claim to fame concerning the event is that I responded so quickly to her announcement email, that, due to some asynchronicities (don’t bother to look it up) in Caltech’s network, my reply is time-stamped before her original. Take that causality.

Michelle wondered to me whether these announcements and subsequent, or supersequent as the case may be (don’t bother to look that one up either), congratulatory notes will get boring by the time they would be applicable to either of us. I wonder whether there will be anyone around by the time such announcements concern me.

But Amigo’s was good at any rate. Katie (bless her) made a delicious chocolate cake (recall, now ISO standard) for the occassion which Heidi kindly offered to the always happy staff at Caltech’s favorite geek bar. I bailed on the party early, though, as it was also Quantum Margarita Night; at about 9:30 I moved to the table next door and talked shop for the next… many hours over margaritas. I hope QMN doesn’t get permanently moved to Thursdays, though. I TA lab this term on Fridays at 8:00am.

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