July 16, 2010

what is a billion dollars?

to be honest, i have a difficult time comprehending any number greater than 23, so by the time we get to billions, i'm pretty checked out. luckily, the fine folks at informationisbeautiful have posted the billion dollar-o-gram -- a fascinating infographic that puts into perspective all those obscenely large numbers the media throws around.

interesting takeaways:

  • half of the U.S. defense budget could lift a billion people out of extreme poverty (a billion people? this is like a meta-stat.)
  • for the price of the iraq war, we could eradicate AIDS globally
  • bill gates' net worth is roughly equivalent to the revenues of the worldwide porn industry

(click to enlarge)

July 13, 2010


sunset in kedonganan.

the streets of bali.

trek through the bush to see the balinese graveyards, waterfalls, tiered rice terraces, supak irrigation canals, local village life, a cock fighting stadium, and a guy hunting fire ants.

highlight of the trip was the bali zoo, where the country's lax enforcement of liability laws was greatly appreciated.

mom and a lion share the animal equivalent of the awkward side hug.

most amusing part of the day?  there was a guinea pig (wizard variety) in the petting zoo.


"coffee with a dance" at the moobaan sammakorn weekend market:

discovery while perusing the market:  thai maxi pads look like spaceships.

shoes come off to enter the temple of the emerald buddah.  

inside, the woman next to me bowed to the buddah, praying in her crystal-studded "$ is king" t-shirt.  her cell phone rang.  lady gaga's "bad romance" echoed through the hall, disrupting piety and antagonizing the heat.

the vertigo bar is 60 stories up atop the banyon hotel in downtown bangkok.  there are a surprising number of lizards up there.

July 12, 2010

beyonce is not an ambiturner

(reposting of my latest contribution at bridge over troubled lyrics)

To the left
To the left
To the left
To the left
Mmmm to the left
-Beyonce, Irreplaceable

Beyonce, in the context of the pop/dance genre (arguably your purview), it really seems like you're just going in circles. That, or you're trying to torture Derek Zoolander.

I realize that the next lyric is "Everything you own in the box to the left." But to the left of what? The front yard you're standing in? Wouldn't that just be the neighbor's yard at some point?

July 7, 2010

tea party in the desert

"people who have swimming pools don't need state parks.  if you buy your books at borders, you don't need libraries.  if your kids are in private school, you don't need K-12.  the people [in arizona], or at least the ones who vote, don't see the need for government."

-arizona public servant on the tea party's influence on politics there, harper's magazine, july 2010