Monday, August 24, 2015

problems of the super rich

Chatting with Azer.  He just had lunch with "Bob", a friend who is an executive at Google.

Azer: "Bob told me that people who have too much money are really messed-up.  He said everyone he's met who has over $200 million dollars is screwed up."

Me: "Why $200M?  That's a strange number to choose.  Wouldn't you say $100M if you were just picking a large number?"

Azer: "Maybe he has more than $100M but less than $200M, so this way he's still below the screwed-up threshold."

Me: "I wonder if next time you see him, he'll say, 'Actually Azer, you can have $200M without being screwed-up, but once you get over $205M, you become really messed up.'"

Sunday, July 26, 2015

reality show ideas

Yuichi told my brother and me to watch a reality show about Koreans clubbing in LA.

It's entertaining, but every episode takes place in a nightclub!  They all work as bartenders, dancers, or club promoters, so every episode is filled with blue dim lighting and alcohol.

I want to see a reality show about research scientists who are curing cancer.  It would still have drama, love triangles, victory, despair, and charismatic attractive people.  But while watching, we'd also learn about the latest cancer research, so we could feel good about watching it.

I'd also like to watch a reality show about atomic physicists.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Magical lyft

Today I got picked up by this awesome lyft car!  It's blue and square, covered in Dalek and TARDIS decals, and of course note the license plate.

It's wonderful when people make art for pure enjoyment, with no ulterior commercial motive.  

I got in and said, "It's bigger on the inside!"  I asked the driver if he gets that from every passenger, and he said sadly it is rare.

I wish I could request him again.  I also wish other Lyft drivers did this, so that I'd get picked up by phantom tollbooths and banana cars and batmobiles.

why do people optimize for deathbed

I often hear people say to each other, "Don't work too hard.  No one says on their deathbed that they wish they had worked harder."

I'm sure that's true about deathbeds.  But I bet students who slacked during college wish they'd worked harder, when job hunting season comes around.  I bet plenty of people in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s look at their friends with more satisfying jobs and greater financial security, and wish they'd worker harder themselves.

Why do people optimize for the one moment of the deathbed?  You should optimize for the 80 years that you're living, not the final 12 hours that you're dying.

I also hear people complaining about all the ways they're unhappy about their marriage or family, and then they say, "But at least I'll have somebody at my deathbed, so I won't be dying alone."  By the time you get to your deathbed, it's basically Game Over, so why spend any effort improving it?  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


I've been using Blue Apron to cook.  They send me the ingredients, and then I chop, saute, bake.

Tonight I had 5 people over.  I made fried chicken and a cornbread pie.  These were recipes from Blue Apron, which I expanded to serve 6 people.

Fried chicken is really hard to make for 6 people!  It took forever.  I think we finally ate at 9:30pm.  But at least it was better than the first Minted engineering steak-cooking night, when the gas went out for 1.5 hours, and we ended up eating at midnight.

Tonight, Arv to me: "The cooking -- was it hard to scale?"

Me: "Yes!"

Arv: "Yeah.  But it came out pretty good."

Me: "I was going to make a pumpkin pie too."

Everyone: "Oh my God.  No."

Me: "But I gave up on that."

Arv: "You have to ship."

Sunday, May 31, 2015

San Andreas movie in 4D with Caltech

My brother took me to see "San Andreas" in the only 4D movie theatre in the country!

4D has fog, seats rotating and shaking, wind, and mist.

Caltech featured prominently in this movie!  Tom summarized it as "What's going on?  Only Caltech knows what's happening.  Who can help?  Only Caltech can get the word out!"

I made him sit through the entire credits to see Caltech credited.  This was in vain, because Caltech was not credited.  Various trivial crap was thanked, but not Caltech, which was shown and mentioned 100 times. Tom said "Any resemblance to real persons or universities is purely accidental."

Me: "They must have paid so much to make this movie.  It was all CG."

Tom: "And they had to pay Caltech.  That can't have been cheap."

Me: "Really?" 

Tom: "Ha ha ha.  Caltech probably did it for free." 

Me: [grumbling] "There was no credit.  Caltech's seismology department is so good.  When's the next time Caltech can possibly get credited?  It's going to have to be a movie about a bio-chemical virus."

On a separate note, I had an issue with a certain person going without breathing in the movie for a very long time, like 4 minutes.  Wouldn't brain death have occurred?  I tried googling for it, but all the results are about Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.