Archive: 2011

Responsibility comes with social media

There’s a video doing the rounds of a young woman on the Metro North train who gets into a verbal altercation with the conductor1. She keeps bringing up how “well-educated” she is. Her behavior is disgusting and despicable. Education has nothing to do with classy behavior. Neither does money. We’ve all seen enough examples of that.

BUT – what’s happened to her is also unacceptable. Her name has been made mud across the internet, people have posted her resume, there’s a Facebook page in her name where people are calling her a c**t. This stuff never goes away – ever. In 20 years it will still be there when you Google her name2.

Is it a violation of her privacy to take video of her without her knowledge even though it’s a public place? I am not sure, but the person who took and posted the video is equally vile and despicable and has taken an unpleasant and disgusting situation and potentially ruined her life. That’s not fair punishment.

Why is there no repercussions to that person? He/she was being surreptitious – it’s not like he/she was bold and brave – the video was taken on the sly. This is the downside of videos on cell phones and instant uploads. The person probably posted it without thinking through the consequences. And now, there is no going back.

A sad situation, made sadder. Two wrongs were done here – let’s be very clear about that.

  1. She happens to be South Asian, but that has little to do with this post. 

  2. For that reason, I will not post any links to the video or any articles. 


If you read this blog, you know that I rarely, if ever, blog about food. Living in New York, it easy to eat at great restaurants and I manage to do that every once in a while. But at the core, I’m a reluctant cook.
If there was ever going to be a site that could change that, however, it would be Yummly1. Billed as having “Every Recipe in the World”, it is incredibly well-organized and just… beautiful. I love beautiful sites – they make you feel good.

When you do a search for a recipe, the search results are well organized and each recipe is shown with a star rating, and how long it will take you to make it. For the reluctant, like me, this is excellent – it’s always a tradeoff between time it will take and yummyness. And yes, I am personally willing to trade off a bit of yummyness for oodles of time saved.

Each recipe is also ranked by flavor – Salty, Savory, Sour Bitter and Sweet. And a slider on the right side lets you specify if you want more and less and shows you options that fit your requirements. All this to say – it’s how a site should be designed. You want to find something? It has all the ways to help you refine and find exactly what you want. And since Yummly pulls in recipes from all over the web you will find a recipe for pretty much anything you want.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

  1. Full disclosure: Yummly is founded by ex-eBay friends and colleagues and I’ve been aware of it since it was a sparkling little PowerPoint presentation in the founders’ hands 


After months of talking about how our lives were more complicated than we could deal with, R and I took a step in simplifying.

Our apartment is overflowing with books. Five to six years ago, we got new bookshelves to deal with the problem. Three years ago, we just started putting the extra books in boxes that slowly started piling up. Two years ago, R was banned from buying new books and mostly bought his books in e-book format. Of course this meant he has had several e-book readers including two version of the Sony Reader and every version of the Kindle. But it seemed worth it compared to having more books enter the house.

At the end of 2010 though, we had about five thousand books in the house and we made the decision to donate most of them. R found a charity recommended by the NY Public Library (which no longer accepts any books) and off we went. First R and then I went through every book we had, making a “keep” or “give decision. We ended up keeping around a thousand books. There was a battle over some.

Of the four thousand others, we invited our friends to come take as many as they wanted (a small sample of them in the pictures below). Over the course of a week, about 9 boxes of books were scooped up by friends, including a box that will be shipped to Canada and one to San Francisco. Some of them are already in Chile. Pretty cool.

And a couple of weeks ago, the other 50 boxes were collected by the charity.

It was not an easy process, but it feels good. Over 90% of our book purchases will be electronic going forward. Which… makes me think of all the things that I need e-readers to do to live up to the wonderful, tangible, real world benefits physical books in a home offer. I’ll save that for the next post…


January one seems to come by faster every single year. We decided to be mellow this year – necessity, exhaustion and desire. New Year’s Eve is one of those holidays/events that is always a let down. Every single time I’ve planned it, it’s been a huge bust. So, we didn’t plan anything.

We had a very nice time at a small party in our building which R and I attended sequentially so that one of us could be with the sleeping kids. And then it was the big moment – I could hear the city all around me go crazy. And well after I was in bed, music was pounding from all sides of the building. New York definitely knows how to party.

A mellow evening was followed by a mellow start to the year – we sorted through thousands of books to figure out which ones are going to new homes. But more on that in another post…