Friday, June 13, 2008


Very Sad News

Tim Russert passed away today. Very sad news indeed. I have much respect for Mr. Russert. He will be greatly missed...

"Tragic Loss for Journalism"

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Where in the world...

...was the What Not To Wear Memorial Day marathon? I was oh so disappointed that TLC did not have a WNTW marathon :(

Wish I had more interesting things to write about at this time...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Hmm... Interesting developments in the Obama campaign regarding the Reverend Wright. I have a suspicion that he really has not broken ties with him or "denounced" him. This is a strategic move on the campaign's part to appear to be distancing themselves from the now harmful association with Wright. Probably an understanding that this must be done in order for Obama to secure the nomination.

Or, maybe not...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Good thing...

We did NOT try to make it to the SEC tourney this weekend. I contemplated buying tickets, but changed my mind about mid-week.

Dang! Tennessee is the lowest 2 seed in the NCAA tourney :(

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Man Named Scoobie

(photo from

Fallout from the February 5th primary results. Scott "Scoobie" Moore has decided to step down as Knox County Commission chair after his slaughter in the Republican primary for Knox County Clerk.
Read the comments to the article. Very entertaining...

Moore resigns as County Commission chairman

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Yee Haw

This is kinda funny...

Friday, November 23, 2007

My Bloody Valentine

Not sure if any of you are familiar with this group, but at one time, they were at the top of my faves list. Looks as if they are going to re-release their 1991 album, Loveless, via the internet and also on vinyl? How interesting.


Go Razorbacks! What a crazy game -- Arky knocked off LSU in a wild triple OT game!

Now, hopefully the Tigers can open up a can of whoop ass on Alabama tomorrow in the Iron Bowl (or "Arn Bowl" as they say in these here parts!)

Friday, November 16, 2007

casa degli orrori

What a very sad story -- the horrible murder of a British exchange student in Italy. The story is here.

This really hits close to home for me as we were just over in Italy with a group of university students in May. We stayed in Siena, which is about 65 miles west of Perugia.

I guess shocked best sums up my thoughts/feelings about this.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Goin' Campin'

This evening, Eli and I will be camping. I hope to take some pix with my new phone and maybe try to blog from the phone. Uh, whatever. You know how terrible I am with keeping up with the blog ;)

I am sure we will have a great time :)

Friday, October 12, 2007

-- Live, from high atop the Hotel Palomar --

Just arrived in DC yesterday afternoon. The hotel is absolutely fabulous and is in a great location -- Dupont Circle.

This morning I went for my morning walk down to Georgetown -- gorgeous weather!

Even had time to get in a little bit of shopping. Today I had the pleasure of shopping at the Burberry store :)

Tomorrow we are going to see some book learnin' in action -- I mean, we are going to a few museums. My favorite is the Air and Space.

Signing off for now.....

Sunday, October 07, 2007

How well did I do?

Here are the final scores of the SEC games I picked this week (actual scores are in red):

SC 38 UK 23
SC 35 UK 34

UF 24 LSU 28
UF 17 LSU 28

UT 35 UGA 14
UT 27 UGA 24

AU 35 Vandy 7
AU 34 Vandy 17

Bama 30 Houston 24
Bama 42 Houston 21

Ole Miss 24 La Tech 0
Ole Miss 45 La Tech 14

MSU 30 UAB 13
MSU 37 UAB 21

Thursday, October 04, 2007

UK vs. the other USC

This has been a fairly interesting SEC game to watch. Of course, I must disclose that I am a Spurrier fan. *GASP* How can a UT fan be a Spurrier fan? First of all, I think Spurrier is a pretty good guy and he does not take himself too seriously. Love that. Also, he has a lot of confidence -- gotta love that as well.

My picks for SEC games for this week:

SC 35 UK 34

UF 17 LSU 28
UT 27 UGA 24
AU 34 Vandy 17
Bama 42 Houston 21
Ole Miss 45 La Tech 14
MSU 37 UAB 21

Office Linebacker

Blah, blah, blah. I have been a bad blogger and have neglected my blog :(

Once soccer season is over, I have major plans for this blog. Just you wait and see ;)

For the meantime, I will post some silly YouTube videos.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I am so far behind with posting :( My goal this weekend is to post more photos and stuff. I do know you are awaiting with bated breath.....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

From Popular Mechanics

(image from

Bladerunner at 25

This article takes a look back at the brilliance of this film. OK, I know, I am a bit biased since this is one of my favorite movies of all time. The sets are amazing; the spaces look as if Frank Lloyd Wright designed them; and the videography is wonderfully futuristic yet does not look as if it is a film from the early 1980s.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Week No. 2 of the summer basketball league

Unfortunately we could only stay for 30 minutes of the first game and my camera battery only lasted for a few photos. Former UT player Ron Slay was pretty funny this evening -- he did a few cute showboating moves after he made a shot. Am I allowed to use "cute" to describe a basketball move? Anyway, I think he was on the First Tennessee team. Here are a few photos from the first game:

China boosts African Economies, offering a 'second opportunity': Trade between China and Africa reached a record $55 billion last year, much of it coming from oil and metals.
The Christian Science Monitor

By Danna Harman

This article caught my attention. Get this:

Sudan's experience is hardly unique. There is more trade going on today between China and Africa than ever before. In the late 1980s, trade between the country and the continent was $12 million. Last year, according to official Chinese figures, it reached a record $55 billion. In 1991, Chinese direct investment in Africa was less than $5 million a year. In 2006 – China's official "Year of Africa" – it reached $1.25 billion, according to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Sudan is the No. 1 recipient of that investment.

"The Chinese have big machines and factories and they work day and night ... and at the end of the day this means we can go shopping," says Jacob Marial, a rebel-leader-turned-bicycle repairman in Rumbek. "My wife likes green tea toothpaste."

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Pac Man Jones

To paraphrase a local sportscaster, if you are in a stripclub and you see Pac Man Jones walk in, LEAVE!

Everytime there is a story about him, it always involves him being questioned about some bizarre event. Everytime he was never at the scene, just a person of interest. Now he has been charged with a crime.

It will be interesting to see how the NFL and the Titans will deal with him. I am sure it is all about the legal language of his contract.

Stay tuned.....

'Being' versus 'Having'

A very interesting article about how the concept of luxury is evolving. It's not just about the Bvlgari sunglasses, but more about the experience of being somewhere. The emphasis is more about "luxury service" rather than luxury goods. But remember, this is primarily for the rich, by the rich. Having said that, I do think there is something to learn from this concept. I hope to find and embrace all of the meaningful experiences in my life.

Secret Habits of the Super Rich: The best things in life aren't necessarily flashy objects but discreet, meaningful experiences.

Rana Foroohar

Sevierville/Pigeon Forge

This afternoon we took Eli and his friend, Alex, to play minature golf near the Five Oaks/Tanger outlets in Sevierville. They even went into the arcade. I think they had a great time. Here are some photos :)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Images from Carr Street (Chattanooga)

Here are some photos from our trip to Chattanooga. We were checking on the progress of the Howard High School students and the UT Architecture students. This summer they are building two houses that the Howard High School students designed in the spring (yes, the high school students).

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Monday, June 18, 2007


The past two days have been great! Yesterday we went for a hike up to Abrams Falls in Cades Cove. Although the weather was hot, we had a great hike. We made sure to bring along plenty of water.

This evening we went to the first games of the Pilot Rocky Top basketball league. The games are held at Bearden High School in West Knoxville. The place was packed and rather warm but we had a great time anyway. Coach Pearl was in attendance -- he had the gaggle of sportswriters/casters hanging around him.

Here is the story from the KNS about the league:

Summer league to feature top players

Vols could be part of basketball at Bearden

May 2, 2007

A summer basketball league featuring current and former University of Tennessee men's players is coming to Bearden High School in Knoxville.

Andre Whitehead, an enterprising journalist who runs a Tennessee High School basketball Web site, put the Pilot Rocky Top League together with sponsorship from Pilot, appropriate sanctioning from the NCAA and the blessing of Vols' coach Bruce Pearl.

Whitehead, 42, said the model he used for the league is Iowa's "Prime Time League,'' which has been in existence some 20 years.

"That league has gotten so big that some of their games are shown on television and the statistics appear in the newspaper,'' Whitehead said. "I just felt this was something Knoxville needed with the emergence of basketball.''

Admission and parking for the games is free. The games will be played at Bearden High School on Monday and Wednesday nights from June 18 through July 16 at 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.

There will be six 10-member teams made up of current collegiate players from schools' within a 100-mile radius of Knoxville, along with former local players and current and former high school players, Whitehead said.

NCAA rules dictate that there be no more than two Division I players on the same team. The league will hold a draft to disperse players to the teams, each of which has a different sponsor.

The News Sentinel is one of the businesses sponsoring a team this summer.

Whitehead said that in addition to current Vols, UT signees Cameron Tatum and Brian Williams could play. Former UT players CJ Watson and Jon Higgins are being courted to play, as is former Bearden standout Tony White Jr.

"It helps UT because some players, like Ramar (Smith) might have gone home to play in Detroit in a summer league,'' Whitehead said. "Now, he can stay here and play in a competitive league.''

Whitehead said the list of head coaches for the league includes (with former affiliation in parenthesis): Steve Adams (Tennessee Wesleyn); Rick Campbell (Lincoln Memorial); Chad Smith (South-Doyle); Andy Rines (Heritage); Pat Walden (UT) and Kevin Feltner (Carson-Newman).

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Monday, June 11, 2007

"Boomburbs" seek to create urban living in suburban settings

Interesting article at about the new trend in suburban community development/planning. Sounds like developers are inserting "urban" typologies into a suburban context.

What a difference.....

It has been so long since I have posted on this blog. Guess it's time to start again. And why not change the template? So here it goes.....

I plan to post some recent photos from my trip to Italy. Currently I only have a few from the train ride from Florence to Venice. As I get more photos, I will post them.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Wow! What a great basketball game last night! We went to the UT/FLA game at Thompson-Boling Arena and it was worth every bit of what we paid for those tickets. The coaching was great and the players were great and well, everything was just great :) Glad we went. Even stayed for the Coach Pearl radio show.....

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Sporting Life

Since today's theme has been sports, I will continue this theme by adding a link to an interview with Tennessee's men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl (in City View Magazine online). I was impressed with him as early as last spring when he showed up at a final four game to show support for Lady Vols Coach Pat Summitt and her team. He seems to be a down to earth guy who loves what he does and it shows! He is really a great teacher and that, in my opinion, makes a great coach!

Can't wait to go see a game in the near future.....

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Shopping, and well, even more shopping - really!

This evening I ventured out to the mall near where I live in our fair city. I had a premonition that the scene would be busy when I saw one of the main left turn lanes backed up for almost 3 cycles of the traffic light. But when I went straight and over the hill, I had absolutely no problem turning left at the next entrance. The parking lot was pretty much full and I was unsure if I would find a decent spot. Fortunately I found a spot in the second row from one of the main mall entrances. The experience was not as horrific as I had thought. For almost two hours I wandered through stores looking for gifts. I found most of what I was looking for but still need to do more shopping. After my adventure at the mall, I still had to go to Target. I love Target! It is the antithesis of Wal-Mart! Yes! Target knows merchandising and good design. What a difference from my experience at Wal-Mart yesterday.

Monday, December 19, 2005 9.30 P.M.?!?!?!?!

Oh, this photo was taken at 9.30 pm in the Paris ex-urbs back in June. Wow! My hair was really blonde!

Drug testing in India

I recall finding this bit of information during Spring semester when I was doing research on a S.W.O.T. analysis/Industry analysis for my Business Intelligence course

Sunday, November 06, 2005

iBook G4

Just got my new toy - an iBook G4 laptop. It is so cute :) I still need my PC laptop in order to download certain files that will not work on a Mac but alas, that is life and I have pretty much adjusted to it.

Still working on the thesis. Things are going well but all of my projects are due around the same time and I feel just a bit overwhelmed. Hope to make some progress on all of them later this week.

I can not believe what is going on in Paris. I was just there in June.....

Friday, October 28, 2005

Had a pretty good week although it went by fairly quickly. My new 60 gig iPod finally arrived at the computer bookstore at campus. I really like it but I am surprised that no charger adapter was included with it. My previous iPods included this. Another complaint is the cheap case that was included with it.

I have been watching the CIA leak investigation. Pretty interesting information. Perhaps I will drink a Guinness in honor of Patrick Fitzgerald. He did conduct a professional investigation based upon the law! At least that is my opinion and I am sure there are so many out there in cyberspace who will rip me to shreds over that one, but hey, that is the chance I will take.

Looks like Mail Call will be on soon. I love that show! I have been so inspired by it that I am looking to learn how to shoot skeet.....

Friday, October 14, 2005

My New iPod

I am so excited! Yesterday I purchased my new toy - the iPod 60 GB that has video capability. Can't wait until it arrives. My other iPod is two years old and only has 15 GB. It has been pretty great except for the battery issue, which has yet to be resolved.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Sitting outside enjoying a nice Autumn afternoon. Forgot about being able to hear the canon and fireworks from the football game. I only live a few miles from the stadium, which becomes a small city during a game.

Nothing exciting to report at this time.....

Monday, August 22, 2005

Redefining Historic Preservation.....

Watched this interesting piece on Sunday Morning (CBS News) about how the concept of historic preservation is changing.

Friday, August 12, 2005


The final major of the season - The PGA. Looks as if Phil Mickelson is doing extremely well. Hope he can continue to do well through Sunday.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Increasing Fuel Prices.....

Just filled up my car this morning and the grand total was $40 - and this ain't California! That is a first for me and looks as if it will not be the last. Fortunately my car gets pretty good gas mileage for a turbo - averages around 27 mpg on the highway. The mileage for the last tank of gas (which included the drive from Charleston, SC) was 470 miles. Most of my driving to work is on the highway but one drawback is the long commute - approximately 30 miles one way. BUT I do like the drive as I have the opportunity to listen to my iPod with no objections.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Hall of Fame Game

OMG! I can not believe it is time for the pro football season! This is Nick Saban's debut as head coach of the Dolphins. I wonder if former UT player Eddie Moore is still with the Dolphins. Guess I could find out using the internet as a research tool ;) Lemme check and I will get back to ya.....

***UPDATE*** Moore is indeed with the Dolphins - check here.

ACM SIGCOMM 2005 Turing Lecture.....

Too bad I will have to miss this lecture.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Washington Post article

Found this link to an article at at Slashdot. Extremely interesting.

Building Cells on the Web

In the last two years, a small number of cases have emerged in which jihadist cells appear to have formed among like-minded strangers who met online, according to intelligence officials and terrorism specialists. And there are many other cases in which bonds formed in the physical world have been sustained and nurtured by the Internet, according to specialists in and outside of government.

For example, Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers burst into the Ottawa home of Mohammed Momin Khawaja, a 24-year-old computer programmer, on March 29, 2004, arresting him for alleged complicity in what Canadian and British authorities described as a transatlantic plot to bomb targets in London and Canada. Khawaja, a contractor with Canada's Foreign Ministry, met his alleged British counterparts online and came to the attention of authorities only when he traveled to Britain and walked into a surveillance operation being conducted by British special police, according to two Western sources familiar with the case.

British prosecutors alleged in court that Khawaja met with his online acquaintances in an Internet cafe in London, where he showed them images of explosive devices found on the Web and told them how to detonate bombs using cell phones. The first person jailed under a strict new Canadian anti-terrorism law passed after Sept. 11, Khawaja is not scheduled to have a preliminary hearing on his case until January.

The transit attacks in London may also have an Internet connection, according to several analysts. They appear to be successful examples of "al Qaeda's assiduous effort to cultivate and train professional insurgents and urban warfare specialists via the Internet," wrote Scheuer, the former CIA analyst.

In a posting not long after the London attacks, a member of one of the al Qaeda-linked online forums asked how to take action himself. A cell of two or three people is better, replied another member in an exchange translated by the SITE Institute. Even better than that is a "virtual cell, an agreement between a group of brothers over the Internet." It is "safe," extolled the anonymous poster, and "nobody will know the identity of each other in the beginning." Once "harmony and mutual trust" are established, training conducted and videos watched, then "you can meet in reality and execute some operation in the field."

Friday, August 05, 2005

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Isle of Palms (Charleston, SC)

Finally made it here around 7.30 pm. Hotel has free wireless connection - nice. Overall it was a great trip, although we had a later than anticipated start. Stopped at The Beacon, where the menu offered only artery clogging fare so I opted to have sweet tea. I actually liked the sweet tea - this is rare as I do not drink sweet tea.

This morning I did indeed leave the house by 5.45 am! Made it to work around 6.20 am. Completed both of the reports that were due by 10.00 am. Fortunately I parked close so I did not have to walk forever to my car and left around 10.05 am. Finished packing stuff when I arrived and was ready to leave by 11.15 am BUT I had to wait on David - he had to turn in grades for his second session students, so he had to go to campus. Then he had to finish packing as well. We left the house around 12.50 pm. The weather was great and traffic was okay. I am totally surprised the Volvo C70 which passed me was not pulled over. I am sure it was going between 100-105 mph.

Looking forward to spending a day at the beach :)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Architecture Must Burn

This is perhaps one of the most influential books I read during my first thesis experience (gotta find my bilbiography and post it so as not to misplace it in the future). Of course the title is rather interesting. It has been three years since I last read this book but I do recall using quite a bit of information from it. The author is Aaron Betsky, director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam.

***Another secret confession - I was once an architecture major as an undergraduate. I loved the design and drawing but did not like the model building part. This was before the widespread use of Microstation, Form Z and Maya.
Yesterday I worked a half day, then went out of town. First stop was business but after that was done, we all went to Chattanooga to visit the new exhibit at the aquarium. Eli wanted to see the sharks. The new addition to the Tennessee Aquarium looks like a smaller version of the original building. It is hard to believe the aquarium was built in the early 1990s - seems like yesterday BUT I guess that is what happens when you get older.

Monday, July 25, 2005


Interesting conversation about WWII with colleagues at work. My father-in-law flew from India to China over the Himalaya Mountains (also commonly known as "The Hump") during WWII. One of my colleagues mentioned her father was in New Zealand/Australia during the war. My other colleague told of his father fighting in the European theatre.

Saturday, July 23, 2005


I did install Tiger OS on the G4 this afternoon. So far, I really like it. Definitely need more time to become familiar with it.

Now my PC laptop is having issues, such as the DVD/CD-ROM drive. Guess I will have to use the iBook again. I like it but it is really slow - I believe it is almost 3 years old and only has a 700 MHz processor! At least I am not working on any digital video/multi-media project at the moment, so I should be able to survive.

My day.....had breakfast at one of the usual spots near downtown. Eli accompanied me to my allergy shot - of course he gets the cool Ninja Turtle stickers and I get the shots -who gets the better part of that deal?! Cleaned house and folded clothes..... Then Eli and I went to the pool and had a great time! He is still learning to swim but has progressed quite a bit since the beginning of summer.

The burning question on my mind is.....will Michael Vartan's character on Alias (Agent Vaughn) be killed off early this next season since Jennifer Garner once dated MV and is now married to Ben Affleck? Will have to wait and see.....

Debating on whether or not to have a Guinness this evening.....From the sound of this post, one would think I have already had one ;)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Perhaps a better name for this blog should be The Autoblog since I have been writing about cars as of late. I will admit it - I do like really nice cars and have since high school. Today I had to drive through the 'burbs to go to a big box retailer. Along the way I had the opportunity to see some nice cars.

Cool cars spotted today::

'05 Mercedes-Benz SLK350
:: not thrilled by the front styling of the car (too much like the Mercedes-Benz 2005 MacLaren SLR, but love the performance of the Mac :: 0-60 in just 3.8 seconds!!!!!) but nevertheless has quite a presence on the road.

'05 Acura TL
:: ooh la la - 270 hp; sweet ride!

'05 Acura TSX
:: love the drive-by-wire technology - test drove one last year - great car!

Infiniti G35 sedan
:: 280 hp - test drove one last year as well.....

***one of the most intriguing cars I have seen around town over the past 6 months was a black Maserati Spyder GT speeding down the interstate.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Another Paris photo.....

CIA Covert Operative Fiasco

Keeping up with the CIA/Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson/White House/Karl Rove "stuff".....

Washington Post
Washington Times

And lastly, the MTP transcript.....

Hurricane Emily

Go here for NOAA updates on the storm.

Sex and the City?

Yet another secret confession.....I have been watching season 3 of Sex and the City. Never watched it while it was in production but for some reason I have become addicted to it - thanks Laura!!!!! Gotta love the fashion! Too bad there is nowhere to go around here and wear those kinds of clothes :( Although I admit I try to be fashionable regardless....

I forget that
Kyle MacLachlan was on the show. Must admit I really liked him in Twin Peaks. Guess I will watch the last DVD later this week.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

British Open

Of course, Tiger made the big comeback today to win. At least Fred Couples tied for 3rd!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Today I have successfully avoided doing any work on my thesis. Tomorrow I will have to do more research as I have an extremely important meeting on Monday morning.

This afternoon I took Eli swimming and we had a great time. For the past two hours I have been watching the third season DVD of a show to which I have recently become addicted.

Wish I were going here next week. I would love to get my private pilot's license but right now I really do not have the time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The British Open

I am looking forward to the British Open this week. St. Andrew's is my favorite British Open course. Should be interesting.....

What a wonderful evening! Just returned from walking by the river on the boulevard. That is one of the things I enjoy about my neighborhood – living two blocks from the river. An interesting aspect of it is the park which is woven into the fabric of the neighborhood. Almost 1.5 miles along the river is public access. Also, a tree lined boulevard is a rarity in this town. The history dates back to the 1930s.

Blah, blah, blah.....

I have officially started the research for my thesis. Wait! I think I have been through this process in the past. Yep – two years ago BUT it was for my MFA in graphic design. During that process I realized I was in the wrong discipline as I enjoyed the research more than the design process. Whereas the first thesis focused on the built environment and suburban communities, this thesis will focus on the intelligence community, open source information (such as scientific and technical reports) and homeland security. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to interview several members of the intelligence community and go from there. So far so good with the literature search – just not as many resources as I had anticipated.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Nanotechnology Initiative Report

Found this report at

Bibliotheque Nationale de France


Flowers, originally uploaded by zeroeffect.

Taken in Krakow at an outdoor cafe near Kanonicze Street.

Layer Cake

I have wanted to see this film. Not sure if it is still showing at Cinema Art/Downtown West. Here is an excerpt of the review at

"Layer Cake" has the same ingredients as a host of other recent films about the British underworld, but it still manages to seem fresh.

It's not as frenetic as "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" or "Snatch," which is telling, since Matthew Vaughn, making his directing debut here, produced those two. It's not as menacing as "Sexy Beast" or as antisocial as "Gangster No. 1."

What most of those films have that "Layer Cake" does not is attitude. Instead, like "Sexy Beast" - though not quite reaching the same heights - "Layer Cake" has atmosphere and insight.

I have seen "Sexy Beast" and menacing is an interesting way to describe the film.

Interesting Stuff

Just checking out Geointelligence.

Will this really make a difference?

For those who are interested.....check out the latest on the new BCS formula. I do agree with eliminating the pre-season polls. For some reason, UT is ranked as second in the nation in a pre-season poll released sometime last week - not sure which one as I did not pay too much attention to it.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Meet The Press

Unfortunately I missed MTP this week. Very interesting conversation about terror and homeland security. This book seems interesting.....Perhaps I will read it next.

I finally finished up The Pentagon's New Map by Thomas P.M. Barnett. I am looking forward to his next release due out this fall.

iPod Playlist.....

:: a very short list ::

Heaven or Las Vegas – Cocteau Twins
What If - Coldplay
Bullet Proof…I Wish I Was – Radiohead
Canary In A Coalmine – The Police
I Can’t Remember – Peter Gabriel
Coffee & TV – Blur
Counting Backwards – Throwing Muses
Cuts You Up – Peter Murphy
Different Day – DJ Icey & Jen Lasher
Ecstacy – New Order
Edge of the Ocean – Ivy
Life in TokyoJapan
Come On Closer – Jem
Getting Away With It – Electronic
From Rush Hour With Love – Republica
Glorious Day – Weezer
Something About Us – Daft Punk
Southern Sun – Paul Oakenfold
I’m Not Scared – Pet Shop Boys
Glory Box – Portishead
Ways & Means – Snow Patrol
Superfabulous – BT
Basement Jaxx- Red Alert
After – dZhihan & Kamien
Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand
Hate to Say I Told You So – The Hives
Higher Than the Sun – Primal Scream
Do It Again – Steely Dan
I Fall For You – Fleming and John
Jetstream – New Order
Cross the Border – Icehouse
Break It Down Again – Tears for Fears
Judy Staring at the Sun – Catherine Wheel
Lips Like Sugar – Echo & the Bunnymen
Spitting Games – Snow Patrol

Friday, July 08, 2005

Zero Effect

Great quote from one of my favorie movies - Zero Effect:

"I can't possibly overstate the importance of good research. Everyone goes through life dropping crumbs. If you can recognize the crumbs, you can trace a path all the way back from your death certificate to the dinner and a movie that resulted in you in the first place. But research is an art, not a science, because anyone who knows what they're doing can find the crumbs, the wheres, whats, and whos. The art is in the whys: the ability to read between the crumbs, not to mix metaphors. For every event, there is a cause and effect. For every crime, a motive. And for every motive, a passion. The art of research is the ability to look at the details, and see the passion."

Paris Exurb

Paris Exurb, originally uploaded by zeroeffect.

Yet another image from the La Defense train stop in Paris.


Just going through my photos from my Krakow + Paris trip. I totally love this photo.

And now for something completely different.....

Latest update on Hurricane Dennis here.

Interesting image loops here.

I am totally diggin' this free mp3 website - and it is sponsored by Mercedes-Benz.


London Terrorist Attacks and Blogs

Check out this. Interesting stuff about the coverage of the attacks via blogs....

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Hurricane Dennis

Here is the NOAA link....

Thursday, June 23, 2005

HIV/AIDS Vaccine Information

Found this article about a change in India's generic HIV/AIDS drugs due to WTO requirements.

VAX 3(3), March 2005

IAVI Report

India changes law regarding generic medicines

India’s parliament recently passed legislation that amends the country’s 35-year-old patent law regarding the manufacture of patented medicines by generic companies, in order to allow the country to join the World Trade Organization. Indian companies will now have to pay a licensing fee to the patent holders to continue producing the currently available copied drugs, known as generics. The new law also limits the ability of generic manufacturers to copy patented drugs in the future.

Since Indian companies are a major supplier of discounted antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, many fear that the law could prevent newer and better medicines from reaching the majority of people with HIV. Companies like Cipla and Ranbaxy supply affordable ARVs to millions of people in several countries. This new policy could mean that newer generics, if available, will come with much higher prices.

“It is unclear how these drugs will be made available in the future. It could hamper access to medicines because India has played such a huge role in providing drugs throughout the developing world,” says Rachel Cohen, a US advocacy liaison at Doctors Without Borders. Cohen credits the actions of activist groups for influencing the Indian parliament from passing further limitations on the production of generic medicines.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A little research on the side.....

Recently I have been acting as research assistant for my husband. He is in the process of writing a book about why cities are segregated. Anyway, I started thinking about the meaning of the term "Exurb". I guess I should since I used it as the title and part of the url for this blog. I recall reading Edge City by Joel Garreau back in the early 1990s just because I wanted to read it. My undergraduate study was in urban planning and this book had not yet become part of the required reading - if it is not, then it should be! But that is just my opinion. If I recall correctly, Garreau mentioned the term exurb. I am intrigued to observe how suburbs, in addition to urban areas, will evolve over the next 10 years.

Another reason I have been contemplating exurbs must be my experience in Paris several weeks ago when we went to La Defense. This place is at the end of one of the major rail lines. As you are riding up the escalator to the plaza, the entire scene is just so surreal. Once you reach the top, you can not help but notice the extremely odd shaped arch - actually it is an office building with monumental stairs leading up to it. Concrete is everywhere - like a suburban wasteland. On the other side of La Defense is an interesting cemetary that does not look like a cemetary. At first glance it resembles some sort of maze or large scale park, which is what cemetaries were originally. It is closed in by a highway and highrises and you can look down into it. Another strange feature of the area is a pedestrian bridge that goes to nowhere. This bridge is surrounded by cement spaces that are just there. No thought behind why these spaces exist.
Honestly, surreal is the only word to describe this place.

Pimp My Ride?

Secret Confession - I totally love this show! I am not one who would ever do this to my own car. Actually I take extreme care of my car and do not put any decals or stickers it although I did put several on my Lexus (such as my NASA and Mac/Apple stickers). Well, I guess I could put a white Mac/Apple sticker on the Volvo. Gotta think about that one.

Now back to the show..... The guys at West Coast Customs are extremely talented. There is an "art" to their work. The guys appear to love what they do. That is one of the secrets in life - love what you do and do it well!

Can't wait to see the new season!

Pimp My Ride

Monday, June 20, 2005


There we are! From left to right: Eli, David, me and my mom.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Krakow Square

Eiffel Tower

La Defense

La Defense.....again

Friday, June 17, 2005

My S_60

Just thought I would post a photo of my S_60 (courtesey of the website) I must admit I am extremely impressed with how safety and styling come together in this car. Safety is of the utmost importance.

I am also considering buying a roof mounted bike rack. I already have one but I would need to install a hitch. One problem with that is if a Volvo dealer does the installation, then the price would be high. The other problem is if I get another type of hitch installed, it could really screw up the clearance and I really do not want that. So I guess I will ponder this situation.....

On the topic of bikes....I purchased a Specialized Hardrock last fall.

Listening:: Metric_Dead Disco

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Which Housewife Are You?

Just took the new Desperate Housewives "Which Housewife Are You?" quiz. This time I was Gabrielle - which is funny to me as I am not attracted to younger gardener guys. The last time I took that quiz, I was Edie. I really do not think I am any of the Desperate Housewives but I do love the show because of it's dark humor and the fact it is well written.

So silly! Sometimes I love trivial and shallow things - sometimes.

Shopping and well, more shopping

This is a blast from the past - 2 years to be exact. Thought I would post my MFA thesis statement. I should have a link to my multimedia thesis project in the near future. Enjoy!

Watching television is the most popular activity in America. Shopping
is second, yet in terms of public activity, it ranks first. Most shopping occurs in malls and big-box,suburban shopping centers. The mall replicates and replaces downtown as the physical and social focus of civic life. Malls embody urban characteristics yet they exist within a suburban context. These spaces react to the suburbs while embracing the idealized memory of Main Street. This condition blurs the notion of urban and suburban space. Thus, it creates an in-between, or liminal, condition. Liminal spaces slip between public and private and define a new, entirely different spatial experience. This thesis explores the aspect of control within this liminal condition and questions the assumptions we make when we shop in suburban malls.

The thesis begins with how one is controlled within a mall. Because the essence of a mall is control, how does this experience effect the physical environment of mall space? Malls are very calculated and scientific systems characterized by parallels to television. In this new medium, social and public activities seemingly thrive. But by controlling what one can say, do or see (no skate boarders or homeless people) the mall removes baggage common to the "real" downtown. Though shoppers feel safe and secure in this environment, they have ceded many liberties to participate in this new collective.

Shopping is interpreted as an activity where the consumer has the freedom to choose. Yet in a mall space consumers actually forgo freedoms so they may participate in the collective act of shopping. Designers fabricate physical and mental landscapes scientifically calculated to simultaneously increase sales and experience a false sense of freedom. This paradox is graphically explored in this thesis as control.

Mapping is an excellent way to understand this "control" space. Understanding
the underlying structure of a mall evokes the intent of the mall designers. Maps create wonderful interfaces for humans to see and react to the environment. This project maps both the physical and the experiential aspects of the mall by recalling the literal and conceptual notions of liminal space. Within each piece, the user has the freedom to make decisions (as one does when shopping in the mall), yet one must follow the structure dictated by the piece. Especially in the digital interface, the concept of the mall is experienced in a larger context (like television). Because consumers experience a barrage of images and information while shopping inside the mall, the interactive medium solicits the user to experience similar shifts of perception of time and space. The clicking between screens and sections mimics the clicking of the remote control: a monotonous and mind numbing experience. Shopping in a mall space is akin to experiencing television in the third dimension. Here, in the liminal fog of what is real and not-real, controlled and free, is the essence of my thesis.


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

US Open

Tis the season for the US Open. I am looking forward to this Major. I must admit I do enjoy the Major tournaments of the PGA. Next up - in July - is the British Open. The British Open is second only to Augusta - but that is just my opinion.

Good luck to Fred Couples. I hope he plays well this week.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Intelligence News....

More intelligence news.....

***Thanks to InstaPundit for the heads up on this story***

Of course, I am skeptical of this story.....

Business Intelligence


HIV/AIDS Vaccine Industry

Rating the Five Forces of the HIV/AIDS Vaccine Industry (5 = strong, 1 = weak)

1. Threat of New Entrants - 3

a. Barriers to Entry

· High front-end capital investment costs in research and development (R&D).

· Difficulty in raising private funds for capital investment due to risky and expensive scientific uncertainties, especially in the area of understanding the virus (Ainsworth and Batson, 2001).

b. Experience Effects

· Five companies dominate the landscape with 93% of the market share:

Aventis Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Wyeth, Merck and Chiron (Kalorama, 2004). These corporations have the infrastructure and consortia in place thus creating other cost advantages over new entrants.

· HAART (highly active anti-retroviral therapy) has been successful in decreasing HIV/AIDS mortality rates yet HIV/AIDS cases are still on the rise (Savopoulos, 2004). The opportunity for new vaccines for other facets of the disease are always in demand.

· Although the dominant companies have compounds and vaccines in several stages of the pipeline process, success is not guaranteed. The pipeline process may take from 15 – 20 years from the R&D phase until the approval phase (HIV R&D, 2001). Recently a new strain of HIV, known as HIV 2, made headlines on February 12, 2005 (MSNBC, 2005). This new strain is resistant to all HIV/AIDS vaccine and medications. The vaccines at various points in the pipeline may become obsolete. These companies will have to take previous data and create a new strategy allowing for this new strain of the virus. During this time, new companies have the opportunity to enter into the market.

· Shift from technological based acquisitions toward production based acquisitions thus allowing an opening with in the market for companies with production capabilities (Van Arnum, 2003).

c. Distribution Access

· The company securing the patent on the HIV/AIDS vaccine should not have difficulty in distribution in the United States. The FDA approval process may be delayed at times therefore delaying distribution into the market place.

· The problem lies within getting access in other countries where the governmental regulations and cultural differences have the potential to create a barrier for entry into those foreign markets (Kalorama, 2004).

d. Government

· Changes in government regulation has created an increase in research costs from the late 1990s that have quadrupled from $80 million to $100 million dollars up to $350 million dollars per each product. This increase results from the increase in the requirements of necessary data for approval by federal standards (Navarro, 1997).

e. Product Differentiation

· Product differentiation does not pose any barrier to entry at this time. HIV/AIDS is a life threatening disease that has no proven cure at this time. Marketing is not needed for this type of vaccine.

2. Bargaining Power of Suppliers – 4

a. Concentration

· No substitute available for capital equipment (or laboratory equipment) as the technology is extremely sophisticated and specialized. In order to conduct R&D in-house, the companies must purchase this equipment from these suppliers at the price they dictate in addition to having the capability to utilize the technology.

· The top four companies have in-house R&D capabilities. Smaller companies working on HIV/AIDS vaccines do not have the capacity and must rely on smaller academic institutions and companies to provide “bioprocess development and manufacturing” (IAVI, 2005).

· High costs result from clinical trials. The average cost for a single trial begins around $30 million (Ainsworth and Batson, 2001). Patient pools must be rather large, up to 10,000 patients, as to yield proper results in the testing. Since 2000, the number of candidates in trials has doubled.

b. Organization

· Protection of intellectual property factors prominently as the top manufacturers produce the viruses, processes and chemicals in-house. Outsourcing is not an option for these top manufacturers as they are seeking patents for their product (Feliza, 2003). Higher margins and higher pricing are possible as a result.

· According to organizations such as the IAVI (International AIDS Vaccine Initiative), if a company receives funding for R&D, then they must set the price of the vaccine to be affordable in developing nations (

c. Government

· Shift in demands since 9|11 results in the focus to meet needs for critical vaccines to save lives (Wechsler, 2002). This shift affects FDA policy development, which affects the emphasis of federal government funding for R&D. The development of HIV/AIDS vaccine falls under this category.

· Patent suppliers and FDA approval costs have increased significantly. After the Vioxx case (recently taken off the market), the FDA recently requested more funding for the post-approval monitoring process.

3. Bargaining Power of Buyers – 1

a. Differentiation

· Guaranteed market for these vaccines creating a “seller’s market”.

b. Importance

· Buyers will purchase the vaccines based on need, not on price.

c. Importance of Quality

· Buyers will pay the price dictated by manufacturers if the vaccine is effective and of high quality.

· The focus will be on issues of quality along with manufacturer liability.

· Patent protection protects intellectual property thus allowing the manufacturer to dictate price of vaccine in most cases. So far only certain processes and chemicals have been patented, not a vaccine. Once a manufacturer obtains this patent that particular manufacturer will dictate the price. But as previously stated, manufacturer may be obligated to set the price of vaccine at an affordable price.

4. Threat of Substitute Products or Services - 4

a. Relative Price/Performance Trade-Off

· Currently the only options available for the prevention of HIV/AIDS are condom use and abstinence. Condoms are not 100% effective in the prevention of HIV/AIDS (IAVI, 2005).

· Although five companies dominate the current landscape, many more are vying for a position in the pipeline (Scrips, 2002). The first company to secure the patent for the vaccine will dominate the market.

· The arrival of the HIV 2 virus changes the dynamics of the landscape and creates uncertainty for products and services.

b. Switching Costs / Profitability

· The Bush Administration is pushing for a generic version of an HIV/AIDS vaccine to be made available for victims in underdeveloped nations such as Africa. Generics will affect the company that holds the patent. Intellectual property becomes an issue (Pharmaceutical Today, 2005).

5. Rivalry Among Existing Competitors -3

a. Market Growth

· The market is expected to increase 9 – 11% compounding annually (Scrips 2002).

· At this time, only five companies dominate the market. The market can sustain future growth as none of the companies has produced a successful HIV/AIDS vaccine, either therapeutic or prophylactic.

Company Market Share

Aventis Pasteur 30%

GlaxoSmithKline 18%

Wyeth 17%

Merck 17%

Chiron 11%

(Chart: Kalorama 2004)

Chiron is the newest company to become a major contender in the landscape. As recently as 1999, the top four companies dominated.

b. Barriers to Exit/Switching Costs

· Low barriers due to high entry capital costs. The top five companies have diversified product lines that create low barriers.

c. Diversity

· The trend shows an influx of companies moving toward the HIV/AIDS vaccine industry. Available opportunities are abundant in this area of vaccine research. Many unknown companies have an opportunity break into the vaccine pipeline.

Conclusion: The HIV/AIDS vaccine industry is undergoing a major shift in the landscape. Although the costs for entry into the market are high and uncertainty surrounds the scientific research and understanding of the virus, the market is poised for growth. There is a great need for development of both therapeutic and prophylactic HIV/AIDS vaccines yet the pipeline process may take a decade or more. The primary forces affecting this industry include the emergence of companies vying for the creation of an effective vaccine, government and private funding, application for patents and the issue of intellectual property rights in addition to the recent discovery of the newest strain of the virus, HIV 2.