Thursday, June 26, 2008

Greenpeace Eco Ranking

Interesting look at the environmental aspect of tech companies: Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics. Strange that such a 'cool' and 'hip' company such as Apple is in the middle of the pack. However, I guess it is better than the second to last place Microsoft lands. I am glad my Acer laptop and Sony Ericsson cell are so much greener than most other companies. And since Nokia is my other fave, I am well on my way to green tech heaven! Although my other habits might negate all of that...

Soooo, who's getting an iphone?? I'm not sure I can afford it :) but thats usually the case with any Apple product. Isn't it so green to get a new phone just because the newer one is cool, not because the old one broke?? :P yeah that's right trendy urban tree-huggers...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Political Ethics and Architecture

The NYTimes has an article about the ethics of architects who work for countries where democracy or people's rights are repressed. Daniel Libeskind (he designed the horrendous Crystal at the ROM in Toronto) says he 'won't work for totalitarian regimes' at an event in Northern Ireland. which apparently led the debate into whether it is ethically or politically correct to work for countries like Dubai, Abu Dhabi or China etc.

Basically the two sides are:
A. It is wrong to work with countries that are not nice to their own people defined by westerners. On the micro scale, the local people who actually construct the buildings are treated inhumanely. On the macro-scale some liken it to building for Hitler or things like Versailles.
B. The flip side is that the architects who work in these countries say that the buildings may inspire hope, change, new ideas etc. Also, the more pragmatic thinking is that if the regime/government/leaders like your design, it won't be changed by neighbours or rival politicians or funding cuts. Basically, the purity and true design exists as is which obviously makes the architect happy.

My view: Aren't almost all great architecture built by totalitarian regimes? Don't Kings and Queens and wealthy families build shrines, monuments, homes to impress and suppress everyone else? If you look back in history, most things that amaze or impress us were created by self-centered people who wanted the world to know how great they are, particularly buildings. It all about ego. And who has more ego than people who have control of the lives of millions of people?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Things that Perplex Me

I haven't been writing because I haven't felt inspired by anything I have read or seen lately. However somethings really annoy me...

1. Blog commenters who have no sense of humor are horrible. For example, Fashionista is a site that has lots of interesting posts such as rumours or trivia or links to better stuff but can be a little snotty about their opinions. I like it because I can get a good laugh. However, some people who comment on the site take it way too seriously. Many posts about a quote or copyright infringement lead to arguments and insults. No need to say someone is a bitch or stupid just because they disagree with you right?
A more serious site where I get annoyed is the Economist! People who comment are crazy and go off topic. Especially about sensitive current affairs. People can use the most obscure and useless facts to support their point. Basically I always considered myself very smart for reading the I realize the other readers aren't so impressive so maybe I wasn't in the greatest company. lol

2. People think they are great about organics, healthiness, environment etc but are clueless. Like the socialite and her VC husband who bought a healthy cleaning products company and started selling it to her socialite friends. People! If you or your friends put botox or restylane in your faces or whatever and you spout about healthy living then I have to laugh. As socialites who are middle-aged and stunning, I assume they have tried it at least. mind you, I like using Method brand which espouses health, environment and blah blah blah but I just like the packaging and the scents. Another example: the beauty editor of Lucky Magazine states there is a debate on deodorants among the employees at the magazine. Apparently they all agree that organic deodorants are not up to par. And since she is a "hippie" at heart (while working at a glossy paper magazine in a mega corporation), she will use a perfume by bobbi brown that is suppose to smell like a bath. LOL I guess she thinks a designer perfume "isn't" full of chemicals which makes it sooo different from any deodorant. And I love Lucky Mag so I'm not picking on them.

3. New Vogue Italia with all the black models. Beautiful models that should be used more but I am disappointed Cathy Horyn (NYT) didn't ask the EIC if the next issue has black models in it and how many. And she didn't mention if there are ads in the black issue and if those ads have black models. Or does Italian Vogue not have ads? LOL I really doubt that.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Portfolio Magazine

I dropped by Chapters today and for the first time in a very long time, browsed the magazines. I subscribe to several magazines but I wanted to read the cover article by a magazine I have never been interested in before: Portfolio. I admit I was attracted to the red shoe on the cover more than the article initially so I glanced at it but didn't bother to read it. However, last night I was watching Masterpiece Theatre (Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility Part I) and I left the TV on PBS for a couple hours. At some point very late at night, there was a panel discussion on women and the corporate ladder. The ladies had some seriously bad hair and makeup but I guess they were experts. I wish they would get a stylist expert since appearance does matter whether you like it or not. Anyways, they mentioned the article on gender equality and I thought I would like to know more about it. I read the article today but it really didn't say anything new. Women don't get top jobs and maybe it was getting better a decade ago but its actually getting worse now. It basically says it's easy to get to middle management, over 50% of managers are women but Wall Street or C-level jobs are slim to no chance. Also, they said that WSJ ranked the 50 women to watch and these women decidedly do not emphasize their feminine attributes and basically look like men. Not exactly a new concept is it?
Link to article here.

I read another article about Coach that I found far more interesting and while most of it I could read from a blog like 'Business of Fashion' it had some fresh points since it actually interviews the CEO of Coach. While I have mostly outgrown Coach products (although I really wouldn't mind a Coach umbrella) I think they are a great brand. However, I'm kinda sick of most of the logo bags. Please stop making those!!
Link to article here.

Overall, Portfolio was an ok magazine. It was very easy to read but not really substance oriented like Economist.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

WSJ Opinion: Does Obama Understand Defeat?

Some guy named Bret Stephens from the WSJ editorial board wrote something that I have been thinking for a long time:

"But here are questions for Mr. Obama: Could there be something worse than the indefinite maintenance of a flawed policy? [Referring to John McCain's 100 years in Iraq policy] What if, following a U.S. withdrawal, Iraq collapsed into chaos? What if U.S. embassy personnel have to be helicoptered to safety from the roof of the Baghdad embassy? It's not as if this hasn't happened before."

and then he concludes with:

"In his speech, Mr. Obama noted that there was no point trying to best Mr. McCain in matters of experience, that what counted was good judgment. Very true. How one can have the latter without the former is a question for the rest of us to consider."

That's a good question. Also, how is he going to get national accord in Iraq? He says that needs to be done so the American troops can leave but how will it be done??

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Shoe Break

Taking a break from doing labs and reading design report to take away the blahness.

Here are some very pretty and practical shoes. I think I can actually justify them. Well almost...

[Clockwise from top left corner: Lanvin T-Strap $740, Pierre Hardy $810, Christian Louboutin Satin Bow-tie Mules $550, Yves Saint Laurent Flats $595, Lanvin $740. Pictures&credits from]

Here are some cool shoes that are way to expensive and impractical. I guess thats why I like 'em.

[From left to right: L.A.M.B. $315, Chanel $750, Christian Louboutin $795. Pictures&credits from]

And here are some shoes to bring me back to reality.

[From left to right: Vince Camuto $110, Geox $115, Nine West $89. Pictures&credits from]

Monday, March 17, 2008

Leona Lewis

I'm really into Leona Lewis right now. Her songs are kindof generic Mariah type but since there hasn't been too much of this kind of music out lately, it's almost refreshing.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bookshelves and 90's Music

I saw these bookshelves/staircase on Apartment Therapy and it was just too cool. I would probably get dizzy going up/down these stairs but still really cool looking.

90's Music: I was streaming videos on yahoo music and I saw a channel for best of 90's music and I noticed I actually know all the songs and I actually like most of them. Am I showing my age? Is Beck oldies now? Oh no!