Archive for the 'Knick Knacks' Category

My Tweet Cloud


Tweet Cloud via @sarasteinmd

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Test Your Thinking

When researchers put the following three problems to 3400 students in the US, only 17 per cent got all three right. Can you do any better?

1) A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

2) If it takes five machines 5 minutes to make five widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?

3) In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of it?

The answer is here: Clever fools: Why a high IQ doesn’t mean you’re smart – life – 02 November 2009 – New Scientist


The Rise of Power Jeans –

…now, in the tech world, dressy pants can be viewed with suspicion. "When someone shows up to an interview or meeting in anything other than jeans, it shows inexperience and a lack of confidence," says Andrew Dumont, vice president of marketing for text-messaging company Tatango.

The Rise of Power Jeans –

I have never found jeans to be comfortable especially in hot and humid Singapore. Denim is too thick and often too stiff. Granted, I’ve never owned a pair of jeans from a high-priced boutique so they might be different.

If given a choice, would you wear jeans or something else?


Nihongo Jouzu!

Very true. At least in my own personal experience from my 4 1/2 years in Japan.

That is: in France and Japan, the deep-down assumption is that the language is pure and difficult, that foreigners can’t really learn it, and that one’s attitude toward their attempts is either French hauteur or the elaborately over-polite and therefore inevitably patronizing Japanese response to even a word or two in their language. "Nihongo jouzu! Your Japanese is so good!"


The American attitude towards English is: everyone should get with the program, there are a million variants and accents of the language, all that really matters is whether you can somehow get your meaning across. Because there are so many versions of Chinese in use within China, my impression is that the everyday attitude of Chinese people toward language is similar: You’re expected to try to learn it, no one will spend that much time mocking your mistakes, mainly they are trying to figure out what you’re trying to say.

Ivory Coast = France = Japan, in language habits at least – James Fallows

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HUGO Matters

My latest project has launched! HUGO Matters, the official blog of the Human Genome Organisation, is now live. Come check it out:

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What mug do you use?


I grabbed Marv’s very old, very unfashionable Thermos mug for work. It keeps my tea amazingly hot but it is soooo boring.

What kind of mug do you use at work or at home?

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Stick Figure Family

Stick Figure Family at
Make your Stick Figure Family at

via The Domus Academy

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I Need Sleep

From How to be an idle parent by Tom Hodgkinson:

Sleep-deprived people lack reason. They are dark shadows of gloom. They become tetchy and irritable. Everyone seems an idiot, and the world is hostile. One friend says he gets into a sort of murderous rage, and he doesn’t realize that his fury is directly caused by his lack of sleep until he finally gets some rest.

We should be overjoyed when our partner naps: She is not slacking off, she is being merely sensible. We need sleep!

Damn right.

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Hello, Red Fox

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This morning we found this little red fox asleep at our front door. My mother-in-law says it’s good luck because foxes belong to the Canidae family. Cats, on the other hand, are bad luck. I’m unable to confirm what she says but says that seeing a lone fox is good luck.

NB: Hello, Red Fox is an Eric Carle book.


Soap Hooks

soaphookThis is very odd. I saw these kinds of soap hooks (the one pictured is from Apartment Therapy) for the first time at Stephen’s school in London. Of course, the soap wasn’t pristine and gorgeous like this. It was gray, cracked, and GROSS!!

At first I thought it was a weird soft plastic container the kids were to squeeze for liquid soap until I realized they simply rub their hands on it. The following year, they replaced these soap hooks with wall-hanging liquid soap dispensers that I think are far more hygienic.

via Bluelines