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Category Archives: world

Random Thoughts on Taiwan


Wrapping up my trip in Taiwan, I’m struck by a thousand random thoughts… Taiwanese fashion iterates more quickly than the United States! At a breakneck pace — and even me, fashion-challenged as I am, can see this. Before, I thought it was the result of less expensive clothes that can be bought for less and […]

Tea Drinking Notes, Yuanlin


1. Oriental Beauty (fully oxidized): honey flavored, sweet and dry. light wheat notes, but mostly a strong honeyed flavor. Reminded us of darjeeling. 2. 10y aged Taiwanese oolong: quite sweet flavored and salivatory-making. Very smooth and drinkable, though a little too simple and un-nuanced for my tastes. 3. 2009 loose-leaf black puerh (puerh leaves, but […]

Taiwan vs American Culture: Public vs Private


Taiwanese and American cultures have different divisions between the trichotomy of public vs private vs intimate life. Taiwan culture seems to strictly divide public life and private life, with much more relaxed boundaries between private and intimate life. American culture, in contrast, has a more relaxed division between public and private life, while maintaining a […]



the last few weeks have been nonstop. First it was an excellent conference on computer aided language learning, hosted by the computational linguistics folks over at Ohio State University. Lots of interesting ideas gleaned and interesting people met. Perhaps more on this later Then it was 2.5 days back in Los Angeles, enough time to […]

English Teaching plus Aerobics Mashup


This surreal Japanese video combines aerobics with practical English instruction. Looks to be from about 15 years ago, but it’s a timeless masterpiece–from the rakish, bandana-wearing gaijin to the M.I.A.-esque techno soundtrack to the serene happiness on the aerobics dancers’ faces. Or… if you’re a foreigner who would like to learn Japanese…

Information, Knowledge as Art


Came across Newsmap this afternoon, a google maps mashup by Ben O’Neill today that plots locations mentioned in BBC news on a map of the world. The implementation was neat, but I can’t help but dream of what this could be like. Imagine a map of the world (perhaps OLED, mounted on your wall), with […]

AI Scaremongering


This post on boingboing, “Google: our print scan program has no hidden AI agenda”, which points to this ZDNet story cracks me up. Talk of a “hidden AI agenda” just cracks me up–it feels like scaremongering, of some lumbering, lovecraftian, inhuman intelligence, artificial intelligence. When questioned on whether a renaissance of the general paranoia about […]



Dude, Portuguese Fado has got to be the most meta music on earth.

Off to Portugal


I’ll most likely be incomunicado for the next week. Will be in Lisbon, Portugal, presenting at the Eurospeech conference. Look me up if you’re in the area ;)

Ithaca HOURS


This is really neat. Ithaca, New York, has created a micro-economy by printing their own fiat money called HOURS . Given that the county’s average hour of labor is worth $10.00, they tie their currency to this rate. Only local companies pay using HOURS, and only local stores/businesses accept HOURS as currency, so the money […]