Long-form blog posts and editorials. Topics cover both personal and the world at large. 

Some people just go bowling - 10 things I think


1. Absolutely dreadful news out of Nepal. Earthquakes are terrible anywhere but especially so in third world countries. They simply haven’t got the capital or infrastructure to construct buildings that can withstand (or at the very least not crumble to oblivion) such destructive forces. I may live in an active earthquake zone (San Francisco!) but the city has proper earthquake-ready codes and regulations - Nepal, not so much. Please donate a few dollars to the Red Cross if you haven’t already.

2. A great shame that what was once peaceful protest in Baltimore in the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s murder by the police has turned ugly in the worst way. Count me amongst the skeptics who question just how productive it is to burn down a local CVS and loot from community liquor stores. Of course, the perpetrators of those acts don’t give an ounce of care for the protest and the fight to end police brutality: they simply want to cause violence and destruction because it’s good sport. Since when did wonton rioting ever persuade those in power to alter their position? If anything, it strengthens their resolve, however misguided it may be.

For the record, I’m against any and all forms of violent rioting, by people of any color. Tipping a bus over and burning it because your team just lost the championship (or won, in the case of San Francisco…) is equally inane as the chaos happening in Baltimore in recent days.

3. Rumors has it that Lotus, the great little British sports car manufacturer, is planning to produce a sports utility vehicle. Cue the Colin Chapman rolling in his grave cliché. I have zero doubts that if engineered to the renowned capabilities of Lotus engineers, said Lotus SUV would be a brilliant drive, and will sell plenty to upper-class housewives. However, is an SUV really fitting for a company whose unofficial motto is the famous quote of its founder: "Simplify, then add lightness”? If anything, I don’t think one can get more removed and opposite of the Lotus ethos than a sports utility vehicle.

The company in Hethel should first concentrate on homologating the Elise/Exige twins for American consumption once again before commencing on an SUV project. Secondly, improve its current products. The once excellent Lotus Evora has fallen immensely behind its competition, notably the Porsche Cayman/base 911. There’s no secret to why sales have been so abysmal in the U.S.

A part of me still wishes Dany Bahar remained at Lotus long enough to realize his bold five-new-models vision.

4. Those that don’t watch Agents of SHIELD regularly or at all are going to miss out on the why with Avengers Age of Ultron’s opening sequence. As I’ve said before, AOS’s tie-in with the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of my favorite aspects of the show, and the producers have done a fantastic job this time round with the second Avengers film. Viewers of show will instantly recognize just why (spoiler alert) the film launches right into the heroes attacking a Hydra base in Sekovia.  
I absolutely cannot wait to watch the Age of Ultron in theatre this weekend, and next week’s showing of Agents of SHIELD.

5. The biggest fight in boxing history is also happening this weekend, and all I’m hoping for is a great bout between Mayweather and Pacquiao. I’ve got conflicting emotions heading into the fight because while I’m definitely rooting for the Filipino champion, a gun to my head will have me picking Pretty Boy Floyd to be the victor.  

Whatever the outcome, we all know there’s going to be an eventual rematch with the two boxing greats.

6. Cecily Strong did a superb job at the annual White House Correspondence Dinner. A real win for women and women issues, and genuinely funny as well. Word of advice to the association: book Amy Schumer for next year’s soiree.

7. Ferdinand Piech being forced out of his chairman of the board role at the Volkswagen Group is a bit of a surprise. While you can certainly question his business acumen, Piech’s engineering acumen and enthusiasm for sporting automobiles is infallible. I haven’t the time to list all the great cars he had a hand in (see Top Gear’s brilliant expose), so I’ll simply present the most recently famous one of them all: Bugatti Veyron.

Shame, because there’s most certainly a mountain of non-compete papers to prevent Piech from working with any other manufacturer. He’ll probably go the way of Luca Di Montezemolo after his ouster from Ferrari, and be employed in a different industry - if he so choses.

8. Anything Google does to shake up the nascent and arguably anti-consumer wireless industry with their Project-Fi imitative can only be a good thing. The Internet is massively vital to a person’s everyday life, and must be regulated as a utility. As such, consumers should only pay for what they use. I’ve got a smartphone with a 2GB monthly wireless plan, but each month I barely breach above 1GB of actual usage. Therefore, half of what I’m paying Verizon is practically a bonus for them, a donation if you will, and that’s simply not awesome.

I hope Project-Fi’s pay-as-you-go wireless plan will achieve board enough traction to impel other carriers to change and emulate.

9. Turns out, backing up my entire music library to the cloud take a really, really long time. It’s long overdue, though. I’ve always kept a separate copy of all my songs on an external hard-drive, and that gets stored at work. The thinking is, in the extreme case the house burns down, my music will still be intact. Now that it’s also uploaded to the cloud (Google Drive, if you’re wondering), I’ve got triple-backup protection, which apparently is the standard amount of backup one should do for all their files.

That said, no way I’m performing the same duty with my movie and video files, because not only will it take months upon months to upload (we’re looking at multiple terabytes of files), surely I’ll get a sternly written email from my Internet Service Provider long before then.

10. Is the Briggs Myers personality test making a comeback all of the sudden? In recent months I’ve got asked multiple times what my results were, and every single time my reply is this: IDGAF. I believe it’s incredibly fitting to my personality, don’t you think?