Warning Label Translations

We just ordered a DDR mat that's supposed to actually let us play our old DDR games in the PS3. It came with instructions written in an interesting translation of English.
An excerpt from the warning section:
V, matters needing attention
1, do not be please in the high temperature, moist and under the multi-dust environment to use
2, Please not will dancemat to put the place which iwll expose to the sun in the solar storm.
3, guarded against uses the non-neutral solvent to clean this.
4, please do not have to make an effort to twist, pulls the electric cable line, in order to avoid the ties damage.
and my favorite:
5, the child, the old person and bodily illness carry on the game, avoids the period of revolution excessively being long.


A Question For Maupin

Q: What else is going on?
A: I'm really excited about the "Tales of the City" musical slated for Broadway. It's in the hands of very talented people. Jake Shears and John Garden of Scissor Sisters are composing the music and lyrics. I've been listening to the songs and offering comments on the script. There's a raunchy whorehouse number, "Ride 'em Hard and Put 'em Down Wet," a tune called "You May Be the Last Good Lay He'll Ever Get" and some gospel-singing A-gays (as in A-list). Jeff Whitty, who won a Tony for "Avenue Q," is writing the libretto. It's brilliant. He managed to be faithful to the story and make it work for the stage.
AHHHHH!!!! - I can't wait!!!


California Senate Passes Budget

The Senate had been one GOP vote short until Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria (Santa Barbara County), changed his mind to support the budget plan, but only after Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders agreed to his demands.

"I know there will be dire political ramifications for me, but I know the ramifications for the people of California would be more dire (without this budget)," said Maldonado. "This budget is about shared pain and shared sacrifices."

Glad you finally figured that one out, Maldonado - everyone else came to that conclusion, oh, about 4 days ago - BEFORE the deadline. Thanks for your sacrifice.

What's even crazier, though, is that I agree with ONE of Maldonado's demands:

Maldonado's demands included the removal of a proposed 12 cents a gallon gasoline tax, suspending hikes in pay and per diems for lawmakers when the state is facing budget deficits, and a ballot measure in June 2010 that asks voters whether they want open primaries.

A 12 cent/gallon gasoline tax? Now? Right - because that doesn't hit the families that need the most help or anything. Historically, particularly in California (except for the Bay Area), the people in the most dire circumstances are the people who have to drive the farthest. That's because they can't afford to live in the cities, so they live farther out and have to cross longer distances to find work. So increasing the gas tax almost immediately hits the people who are already struggling the most. I can't believe the democrats supported that one. I mean - 2 or 3 cents maybe, but 12 cents?!?

But Maldonado's other demands? NOT suspending hikes in pay during budget deficits? If a public company is in bad shape, employees don't get raises. Why should it be different for lawmakers? Might actually get them to work to close the budget deficit. But Maldonado doesn't want to have to come up with solutions in order to get a raise. What I will agree to, though, is that this really shouldn't have been tacked on to the budget in the first place. This isn't part of the budget, so why does it matter in face of the deadline? Same thing with the primaries. I don't really understand everything behind it at this point - I know it's a big deal - but why does it need to be tacked on to the budget?

So anyway, I'm actually kinda happy with the results of the delay. Craziness.

Regarding the original budget plan, I do have to comment on the sales tax increase. This doesn't help the economy. I propose a plan more like some other states (Minnesota comes to mine), with sales tax eliminated on necessities (food, school supplies, children's clothing). Then maybe we could increase the sales tax more on other items. Perhaps you just do a moratorium for a year, which would boost the economy by encouraging people to buy more of those necessities now while there is no sales tax on those items. At the very least, we shouldn't be increasing the sales tax on food. How is that helpful at all? People will just be able to afford less, which means food banks will have more demand, which means the government will have to provide more in food stamps and aid. Not smart people.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could get our officials to think past the next election?


Rally Against Overreaction

SFist has the scoop on the Bay 2 Breakers rally. My favorite part:

God forbid SFist should tell you how to prioritize your battles, San Francisco. But, a rally to keep public pissing, nudity and drinking in a race? Really? Huh.

I love this city.


Fabio's English

On Top Chef, Fabio has consistently been an excellent source of translation humor.

On last night's Top Chef, Fabio broke his finger. The medic asked if he wanted to go to the hospital. He said (paraphrasing), Hospital? I ain't going to no freegin hospital. I'll chop off my finger and sear it on the hot pad so it stops bleeding and deal with nine fingers tomorrow.

That was good, but my favorite - the one that had me rewinding and watching again - was this:
"I got so many kick in my ass that sometimes when I'm in the bathroom I still pull shoes out my ass."

Now add a thick Italian accent and read it again.


I Love San Francisco

And right now, that's why I hate ING.

Everyone knows that Bay to Breakers instituted a Zero Tolerance alcohol policy for this year's race, but does everyone know they also eliminated all floats/carts/vehicles of any kind AND nudity? NUDITY? Who does that hurt?

While I'm not entirely sure any of this really matters, I thought I'd try my hand anyway, so if you want to take some action, here's what you can do:
Write an email (email address below, along with the email I sent).
If you are a fan of Bay to Breakers on Facebook or MySpace or such, remove yourself.
Join the protest groups on said sites. Facebook:
Boycott this year's race.
Boycott ING.


My Email:
To Whom It May Concern,

Bay to Breakers is one of the many reasons I worked so hard to move to San Francisco. The fact that a city supports an annual event where people can run nude, dance on floats, and drink their little hearts out from one end of the city to the other is such a beautiful statement of openness and community. Bay to Breakers is (was) the epitome of what San Francisco is all about. And now that's gone?

The organizers of Bay-to-Breakers have valid concerns over the issues of floats, alcohol consumption, public nudity, and other iconic aspects of the event. However, as loyal registrants of past B2B races, we feel a "zero tolerance" policy is in complete opposition to the spirit of the event and therefore we will not support the organizer's new policy by paying registration fees until a more reasonable solution is in place.

In addition, if this decision is not reversed by the date of the 2009 Bay to Breakers, I personally will be removing all funds from ING and closing my accounts, and I will advise others to do the same.

Sincerely, ...


Risk Aversion

In finance we are discussing risk aversion, and how most people are fairly risk averse. Today I found this story about the most dangerous road in the world. It's in Bolivia, and it looks like something out of a cartoon. What does it say about me that as soon as I read this article, I added driving this road to one of the things I want to do before I die...

Check out all the amazing pictures!


Real Global Warming Options

As someone who finds myself fascinated with simple mechanisms scientists think might help (like painting roofs white, or sending a giant bomb up into the atmosphere to deflect radiation), I am even more fascinated by a recently released ranking of the various methods.

We hear so many options in different contexts, and they all sound good, so how do we know which ones to actually try?

I am often struck by the fact that many people, when faced with something they are told is a "good cause", react with some sense of obligation to goodness. People not in the field, or not associated with the field, often justify drunken galas or excessive auction spending (guilty!) with the "good cause" clause. As long as it's going to charity, it's good, and I get to feel good about myself...right?

In philanthropy, it's an entirely different world. Because there are so many "good causes", we not only have to determine which issues are most important (to our boards, to our missions, to the world), but also which organizations address those issues best. It's a crazy competitive world involving impact rankings, financial efficacy, and some relationships thrown in for good measure. We never take a good cause as simply that - always delving into it further before supporting it.

The green movement, however, throws most of us back into the uneducated category. We all want to do something good for the world. We want to address the issue, so we grasp at anything we can. We step up our recycling, we promote windmills, we install solar panels, and we might even paint a roof or two white. But are we really doing the right things?

Well, Wired Magazine just featured a recently published scientific paper that collects the different ways in which we could address global warming, and how effective each of these methods would be. VERY informative article with some great graphics and a pretty comprehensive and easy to understand list of potential solutions.

Here are a few of the more interesting ones, with rankings:

1. Inject enough sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere to reflect the small percentage of sunlight necessary to offset increased warming caused by carbon dioxide. This scheme is akin to the cooling induced by large volcanic explosions.
2. Manufacture sea salt spray to change the way clouds form over the ocean to increase their reflectivity.
3. Cover the earth's non-sandy deserts with a material composed of a white polyethylene top and an aluminum bottom. That would increase the albedo of those surfaces, cooling the earth.
4. Use chemical processes to pull carbon dioxide out of the air and sequester it in geological reservoirs.
7. Create charcoal from biomass, effectively sequestering the carbon in the plant matter, and bury it.
9. Breed or genetically engineer shinier crops to increase the reflectivity of the world's farmed land.
12. Plant massive amounts of trees across the Earth and count on them to sequester more carbon dioxide naturally.
16. Cool down huge amounts of water with large pumps to form and thicken sea ice that would in turn cool the sea water. That water would descend to the depths, taking a bit of extra carbon with it.
17. Make cities considerably more reflective by, say, painting roofs white.

Check out the complete Wired article, including awesome graphics.

At the very least, I feel a bit less guilty about not secretly splashing white paint on all the roofs of the city.