5 Noteworthy Reads

in Design, Education, Great Articles, Sports, Technology

I’m back from a long road trip/vacation! I read so many articles, you guys. So many. Just thought I’d share some of the stuff that I loved the most: 1. Blunt “networking” tips. Made me laugh out loud. 2. Mindy Kaling on earning your confidence. This article has been shared a lot already on the interwebs, but it’s because it really is very good. 3. How a lacrosse program (yes, of all sports) is helping at-risk kids in Harlem stay in school. Written by Buzz Bissinger, the king of heart-warming sports stories. “Harlem Lacrosse and Leadership is living proof of why sports matter in schools, a shocking number of which are dropping athletic programs because of budgetary constraints or school districts charging student athletes exorbitant fees. It is proof of why the program should at every public school in New York City, and not just New York City but every… More

Books I Read: 2014

in Education

When I was in high school, I had a subscription to Seventeen magazine. One month, there was an article titled “25 Books to Read before You’re 25.” Being ambitious as well as a total book nerd, I remember tearing out the list so I could save it and use it as a reference. I am 25 now, but sadly, I have no idea where that article went. (I just did a quick google search to find out that the original Seventeen article was written by Laura Bush – the then-former First Lady, and former librarian. You can see the original list here.) I couldn’t help thinking about it, though, because I made it a goal in 2014 to  read at least 25 books by the end of the year. 25 books isn’t a crazy high amount, but it still seemed like a high enough number that it would require some… More

A brief tangent on digital content and media.

in Technology

I’m fascinated by the way content is represented online. I think Pinterest is one of the few that is “getting” it – or “gets” it. It’s all about this thing – I swear it’s about this thing – called TAGGING. In the broader scheme, it’s about context. Remember how big a deal hyperlinks were? They basically MADE the Internet. Tagging, to me, is the way that makes content on the web leaps and bounds ahead of content in physical printed form. And yet, not enough sites seem to leverage it. Archiving, man! It’s the modern day library. People today are super concerned with cranking out content – every week they’ll create or post new content. Well – what happens with all the stuff they made before? On way too many sites, that stuff just disappears. * It’s like posts older than one week don’t even exist anymore. And I think… More

On Mentorship.

in Education

I actually talk to a fair share of stressed 18-year-olds. But I used to be a stressed 18-year-old myself – and it’s still close enough to me that I always tell these 18-year-olds what I wish someone had told me then. Here is (some of) what I say. Don’t put too much stock into how much you “like” a subject you are learning in college. In the end, what does “liking” mean? A lot of the time, you “like” learning about something, or learning to DO something, because you feel like you are good at it, or could be good at it. The same is true when applied to the opposite. What does it mean to “dislike” a subject you are learning? You sit in a class, and the professor seems to be scribbling Greek. Scribbling it SUPER FAST maybe – and he wants you to understand it by the… More

Taiwan, Part One: Eating.

in Photos, Travel

It was the morning of July 5th, around 6AM, and we had just landed in Taipei, Taiwan. Our suitcases were in the back of the van, and we were all staring out the window at a city that we hadn’t seen in 5 years. “This looks…different,” I said, and my brother chimed in, agreeing, “Yea…this looks different!” “This doesn’t look like where Grandma lives.” Our car rolled to a stop and our uncle was helping us out the doors before we realized – we weren’t at Grandma’s at all. We weren’t dropping off luggage or taking naps yet. We headed towards a nondescript building that looked like a drab, hidden shopping centre, and saw a line that snaked out the front doors. At the end of the line stood two Japanese girls who were dressed to the nines. “This is where to get the best doujiang and youtiao [Taiwanese breakfast… More

What do the things you like to use online say about your personality type?

in Technology

I think it’s interesting how different aspects of people’s personalities come out in different social media/online platforms. Or maybe: how a person’s preferred social medium could potentially reveal something about their personalities. Here’s another way to think of it: different people are naturally drawn to different physical environments. I am a naturally introverted person – I like small cafes where I can be left alone. Bookstores are like sanctuaries for me. I actively stay away from places with big crowds, as they tend to make me stressed. Some people love dive bars, while others prefer nightclubs, or biergartens, or speakeasies. The places people choose to be often say something about their current values and personalities. I think the same thing is starting to come across in the virtual world. On Facebook, I come off as a certain person. However, most likely, I don’t come off as anything at all, as… More

On Roger Ebert.

in Film, Great Articles

Over the course of this weekend, I found myself reading every article I could find on Roger Ebert, who passed away on Thursday. I wasn’t previously aware of his work. This almost seems crazy, as I am a massive movie fan. Growing up, my go-to persons of expertise were Richard Corliss (in the earlier years of my life), and, more recently, David Edelstein. It’s still in my habit to google a movie title and “+ david edelstein nymag review” whenever I finish watching something**. I suppose if I had grown up on the Chicago Sun-Times, this would be different. I learned that Ebert had struggled with cancer for many years, and that it had rendered him unable to speak or eat. His response to this was to start writing online, more prolifically and personally than he had ever done before. He wrote more movie reviews in a year than he… More

On the Surprising Deepness of GChat Conversations.

in Technology

Now, I have to say this. I work in tech because I love tech. But when I leave work, having relationships that don’t involve a screen is really important to me. You’d be surprised at how often access to technology makes it easy to be lazy about hanging with others in real life. However. Despite all my grumpy rants about technology and how it affects relationships, I am a major fan of GChat. I have incredible, fascinating, thoughtful conversations with people on GChat. Most of my blog posts/projects have been inspired by conversations I’ve had on there. My conversations tend to be with the people I am closest to in real life (aka: people that I already have a lifetime of meaningful, face-to-face conversations with), but I believe that GChat actually enables us to have conversations – deep, long, intellectual conversations – that would not have existed face-to-face. I’ve thought… More

Therese Desqueyroux: Audrey Tautou at Rendezvous With French Cinema

in Film

Went to see Audrey Tautou and producer Annie Miller discuss their latest movie, Therese Desqueyroux, at IFC Center in NYC. Could not pass up this opportunity, as Amelie and L’Auberge Espagnole both rank in my favorite movies of all time. Photo credits: Imp Awards, Emmanuelle Riva in the original 1962 movie version via Tout le Cine, film still via Globe & Mail. IFC and screening photo my own.

Social Media and the Anti-Audience

in Great Articles, Technology

Last week, someone linked me to a fascinating NY Times blog post that was rather succinctly titled: “Most Facebook Users Have Taken A Break From the Site, Study Finds.” It doesn’t escape me that this could be construed as a trolling article. (Alternative Title: “Most Popular Platform is Not As Popular As You Might Think.”) The results of the study in question should also be taken with a grain of salt, as they are based entirely on user survey, and no hard data from Facebook. However, the article did prompt me to think in depth about the effect of “audience” on social networking platforms. Here’s a quote from the article: “Facebook’s biggest challenge revolves around figuring out how to continue to profit from its rich reservoir of one billion users — and a large part of that involves keeping them entertained and returning to the site on a regular basis.… More