Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New Book: The Power of Nice

I just finished reading "The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness" by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval. It currently has 4.5/5 stars from 32 Amazon reviewers. I enjoyed this short book. I try to remind myself of these common lessons every now and then because I figure that complacency sets in and I need the refresher. These women infuse the book with many anecdotes from their work experience, but they're equally applicable to others.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Lucky Number Sleven

I watched the movie Lucky Number Sleven last night. And I liked it. Here's the IMDB page for it, where it currently has a score of 7.8/10 from 25,445 votes. I enjoyed the many flash backs that served to explain things and fill in gaps that I didn't even realize were there. And I really enjoyed the several twists near the end.

To be fair, the movie included 3 of my favorite actors: Morgan Freeman, Sir Ben Kingsley, and Bruce Willis. So, unless the script really sucked, I was bound to like the movie.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Latest Book I Read: The Omnivore's Dilemma

I just finished reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. It scores 4.5/5 stars from 151 Amazon reviewers. In short, it was pretty interesting and I recommend it to others who have any interest in the topic. Here's a summary taken from Pollan's website:
In this groundbreaking book, one of America’s most fascinating, original, and elegant writers turns his own omnivorous mind to the seemingly straightforward question of what we should have for dinner. To find out, Pollan follows each of the food chains that sustain us—industrial food, organic or alternative food, and food we forage ourselves—from the source to a final meal, and in the process develops a definitive account of the American way of eating. His absorbing narrative takes us from Iowa cornfields to food-science laboratories, from feedlots and fast-food restaurants to organic farms and hunting grounds, always emphasizing our dynamic coevolutionary relationship with the handful of plant and animal species we depend on. Each time Pollan sits down to a meal, he deploys his unique blend of personal and investigative journalism to trace the origins of everything consumed, revealing what we unwittingly ingest and explaining how our taste for particular foods and flavors reflects our evolutionary inheritance.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Amazon Sucks

Amazon is punishing people who order items and choose free shipping. I've been seeing the same behavior for several orders now and so I'm convinced that it's not a fluke. I'm convinced that they are intentionally delaying shipments on orders where I have selected free shipping. In every single case, all items are reported to be in stock, and sold/shipped by Amazon. So there is no way for them to blame any "partner". In the most recent case, I ordered several books, that were all in stock, and all available for shipment within 24 hours (so their website indicated). I placed my order on January 8. And now, I've learned that they plan to ship (not deliver - but merely to ship) my order on February 26. And still, today, every single item is in stock. Please people, try hard to not use Amazon. They're clearly employing an untold number of manipulative schemes that do NOT help the customer.

It's no wonder that Yahoo Finance reports that Amazon's quarterly earnings growth (yoy) is -36%.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

How to Get Six Pack Abs

I stumbled across this LifeHacker post about getting six pack abs. It actually links to this WikiHow post. For everyone who reads this blog, the guide is not so much instruction as it may be a reminder. I'll confess that I currently do only 3 of the things in the list. That probably explains why I have a nice hibernation-ready layer of fat blanketing my pitiful abs.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A Gold Mine

I recently listened to an interesting podcast about tunnels. It included information about how mining engineers are taught at the Colorado School of Mines, as well as coverage of the Barrick Goldstrike mine outside Elko, Nevada. I found the podcast on iTunes, but it's hard to link to individual podcasts there, so if you're interested, here's a direct link to the podcast on another site: Science Channel Podcast - Understanding Tunnels.

The Barrick Goldstrike mine is the most lucrative gold mine in the US. Barrick's website describes a global mining enterprise. The Goldstrike mine yields around 1 million ounces of gold each year. They extract the gold from the rock at a ratio of 1 ounce of gold per ton of rock. Here's a link to a Google Map showing the Goldstrike mine. Yes, it is visible in satellite imagery.