Friday, February 29, 2008

the golden gate business trip

Business took me to the Bay Area earlier this week. When I left New York it was 27°F and when I landed in San Francisco it was blue skies and 65°.

In addition to the meeting, which went very well, I had the chance to visit old friends. Shane regaled me with tales of his Darfur adventures. Arturo introduced me to his new girlfriend, Idania, as we indulged in the Moron Bowl (see above). Ryan and Katherine, two friends from Caltech, schooled me on the opportunities and perils of Silicon Valley.

We laughed, we reminisced, we strolled in the sunshine. I can't wait to get back.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wide and Wild!

I hate to be a grammar freak, but there is a phrase that bothers my ears: "vary wildly". To me it should always be "vary widely". For example, in the NYTimes this morning:
Waiting lists for treatment vary wildly from place to place.
In the Globe&Mail a few days ago, they hit the double play. The headline:
Out of pocket costs vary widely by province for seniors
The first sentence:
...out-of-pocket costs paid by seniors for prescription drugs vary wildly between provinces, new research shows
I can't find a reference that says which is correct, so let's defer to Google's vote. "vary wildly" only gets 192,000 hits while "vary widely" gets a whopping 2,690,000. Correct your English accordingly!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Shane Bauer

Seven years ago I was on a long, sweltering bus ride across Greece. On board was a young Californian named Shane, wandering solo on money he'd saved from a welding job. Together we traveled into Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo for work, travel and adventure. The experience changed both of us, but while I was broadening my perspective, Shane was discovering his calling.

The photographs he took in rebel-held areas of Macedonia were simply astounding. Standing right next to him, I never saw the depth-of-scene that his camera was able to capture.

When Shane returned to the Bay Area he went back to school, learned Arabic, and has become a freelance journalist, making some amazing trips to Darfur. He's published articles in The Nation, The SF Chronicle and co-created a documentary:

Check out his web portfolio. It's a product of great talent. I'd like to think that I was there at the beginning.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

mysterious visitor

I was looking at this website's analytics (through google analytics, which is awesome by the way) and saw that I received a very mysterious visitor. This person found my website using the query:
"david marcus" arrest or bankrupt or bribe or convict or criminal or fraud or harass or illegal or indict or investigate or jail or mafia or crime or prison or scandal or theft or racketeer or embezzle or launder or defraud or felon or conspire or litigat or negligent or defendant or violate or sanction or probation or settlement
I don't know who you are, mysterious dirt digger, but you'll never catch me, especially if you forget how to spell "litigate"! I'm happy to report that checking now, the query doesn't turn up any results, although I suppose I've just changed that with this post.

Baby Stuff

Hovering on the cusp of the third trimester, we have begun preparations for the arrival of Baby Marcus. Last night we attended an eye-opening class with a "lactation consultant". My notes...
  • Breast feeding is very, very good
  • The first few weeks may freak us out
The weekend before we purchased the Cadillac of strollers, the Bugaboo Cameleon. See their silly promo video:

Or, for something truly disturbing, check out the Bugaboo Bee's interpretive stroller dance:

I was attracted to the Cameleon's powerful functionality and off-roading capabilities. Kirsten claims this is what sold her too, but I suspect she was swayed by its hip NYC urban fashion. Three cheers for craigslist, which enabled us to get the stroller plus accoutrements for half price!

You'll also notice I've redecorated the sidebar to make it obscenely baby focused. Enjoy the photos, which will be updated as our girl progresses from ultrasound to infant to teenager to contestant on American Gladiators 2030. If you're so inclined, visit our baby registry and help her on her way!

Friday, February 1, 2008

the end of the world as we know it and we feel fine

Ever wonder how people would react if some UFO laser beam froze half of us in place? The answer may surprise you.

Improv Everywhere ran the experiment at Grand Central station in New York. More than 200 travelers stopped mid-motion for five minutes. Some were reading maps or talking on their phone. One was picking up papers he dropped.

And for those five minutes, none of their fellow travelers worried. They were confused, looking to each other for guidance in assimilating this unknown situation. But for five minutes nobody grew concerned that something was wrong with the world. Many simply raised an eyebrow and carried on to their train. So now we know how we would react if half of us were stopped in place. Not one of us would freak out.