The Arrow

There are no answers; only choices.

Archive for November, 2010

WikiLeaks Is Irresponsible

Posted by thearrow on November 30, 2010

The latest global diplomatic scandal consists of U.S. cables with candid–therefore less flattering–comments about world leaders and other countries. People with less friendly views of the United States are probably happy that it got this ugly black eye. But I think that’s wrong and I don’t always view of this country favorably; I’m aware of its flaws. It would be wrong if Romania’s diplomatic cables were leaked, or any other country’s for that matter (perhaps with the exception of North Korea, which is still an enigma).

As Defense Secretary Robert Gates said today, “the fact is governments deal with the United States because it’s in their interest, not because they like us, not because they trust us and not because they think we can keep secrets.”
(from http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101201/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/wikileaks).

Correct. Diplomacy has always been a nicely cloaked information-gathering business anyway. From its very beginnings. Why should it be a surprise that U.S. diplomats have opinions other than those expressed formally? Everyone does. As David Brooks nailed it in the head in his column today, “the quality of the conversation is damaged by exposure, just as our relationships with our neighbors would be damaged if every private assessment were brought to the light of day.” I can’t see any upside to this leak.

As for U.S. diplomats being instructed to collect DNA samples and iris scans of leaders they meet with, I agree that it’s too much. It’s a sad sign of the things to come, when everyone will do that. And who’s to say other countries weren’t already doing this? We don’t know because their cables haven’t been leaked (yet?). It’s not going to be too long before we’ll use our bodies as a password and someone will want to steal our biometric information, and not just the credit card. That’s not something I’m looking forward to, but I think it’s perfectly possible in this increasingly paranoid world.

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Posted in American Politics | Leave a Comment »

Password Your Way to the Future

Posted by thearrow on November 30, 2010

No, this is not about some secret time machine.

Have you ever scratched your head when trying to come up with a hard-to-guess-by-others but easy-to-remember-by-you password? Has the system you needed to log into tell you that you can’t choose a dictionary word? I know what you’re feeling.

Next question: Have you also heard of how, if you keep repeating what you desire, it will force it to become reality?

Well, I thought I’d give it a try and create a winning combination. I think about what I really want (say, a really big salary) and turn that into my password: rlybgslry2011.

There. Take your wishes and run with them 🙂

Posted in dream, technology | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Thanksgiving Stole My Birthday

Posted by thearrow on November 25, 2010

Seriously. Today is my birthday and everything’s closed. Ever since I came to the States my birthday gets lost in the shuffle, as people are traveling or busy stuffing their turkeys. That I am NOT GRATEFUL FOR. I don’t want to have a day off on my birthday. I want to have the choice of taking it off, but, because I don’t get to celebrate much, having that extra little attention from my coworkers is nice.

Although this year I got their attention in the form of a very original and funny “card.” I will laminate it and keep it forever. That’s my usual, frazzled look at work, on a bad-hair day.

However, to keep things in (my mom’s) perspective, Steve said on Tuesday, thinking that my birthday is on the 24th because Thanksgiving is always on the 25th (huh??), “well, in three hours you’re going to be that much closer to menopause.”

Posted in American culture, fun | Tagged: , | 8 Comments »

Portrait

Posted by thearrow on November 19, 2010

This is Marty, the instructor of a studio portraiture class I’m taking at the Smithsonian. He’s a great teacher and we’ll all miss him terribly after the three classes we have left (out of eight). Every Monday I’m going there for three hours that fly by and I feel like that’s what I should be doing for the rest of my life :): go to photography classes every week. And yes, I took the pic.

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My Favorite Comforter

Posted by thearrow on November 15, 2010

His Royal Fuzziness is very snugly now that the cold weather is here. Every morning he comes up to me for some much-needed love and stays there, almost glued to me, for about 20 minutes, with all purring engines going full throttle. And, in the evening or during the weekend, he has to stretch on my legs for more love.

On another note, it seems like I really like red boots, be they indoor or outdoor 🙂

Posted in pets | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Pig Royce

Posted by thearrow on November 13, 2010

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The Paradox of Biking in the Dark

Posted by thearrow on November 11, 2010

You didn’t think I was going to give up on this now, did you? Well, I thought I was close, but had one more option on the table before shelving the idea. It turns out what I dreaded the most was actually the best way to do it.

Now that it’s dark, I can’t bike back home on the trail, so I thought I had to put the bike on two buses instead. Last time I tried it, it took me three hours to get home; not fun. Then I thought, but who says that I have to use two buses? I could just bike all the way to the second one, on the sidewalk of a well-lit boulevard, and thus avoid traffic snafus and huge delays. It’s only six miles but I dreaded it because it’s a very uphill ride.

Well, I did it yesterday and it worked like a charm. And here’s the paradox: biking in reduced light (like street light) makes you less aware of how steep the terrain is. I’m serious. You lack the visual cues and therefore your mind doesn’t have something to react to. You just have a general idea and pedal harder but that’s it.

So I will be able to use my winter biking clothes after all and not shell out a lot of money on Metro. Ha!

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