April 2010

April 25, 2010

Goodbye Rat Tail

Categories: Kids

Andrew (12) has had rat tail for a few years; this weekend, he rather suddenly decided it was time to change his look. I think he didn't care for the attention it caused.

He went through with it without hesitation, but he was a little sad afterwards. He brought it home from the barber but threw it away once he showed Michelle.

Picture of Andrew's rat tail

Picture with no-rat tail

Posted April 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 20, 2010

Flower Close-ups

Categories: Photos

I haven't shot flowers for a long time, especially with an extension tube (which allows you to focus must closer, resulting in a better close-up). The morning we spent at the Singapore Botanical Garden gave me a great opportunity to play with my gear and get some OK flower shots.






Posted April 20, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

April 14, 2010

Shots of Diverse Singapore

Categories: Photos Travel

Singapore is at the crossroads of many cultures. Aside from it's recent history as a British colony, S'pore is between Malaysia and Indonesia; they've also had huge populations of Chinese and Indians. In addition to the national cultures, I think most of the major world religions are represented in force. In many ways, Singapore is proof to me that people can actually get along. Anyway, here some random snaps I took around the island that illustrate the richness of the culture.

A sign with all four official languages of Singapore: English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil.
Danger - Keep out! in four languages

Sultan Mosque
Sultan Mosque as seen through a neighborhood

Older building around Arab Street.
Colorful colonial buildings 

Shop sign in Arab Street
Sign in English and Arabic

Dressmaker services near Arab Street
Three colorful dresses on dummies

Outdoor, seaside dining at East Shore.
Outdoor tables lit by neon signs in Chinese

Store sign in Little India
Painted Hindi sign

Frieze on Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple in Little India
Frieze on Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple in Little India

Menu board showing Indian fish head curry, a local favorite.
Photo of fish head curry, surrounded by other curries.

Posted April 14, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 11, 2010

Insanely Great Food: Singaporean Hawker Stalls

A few weeks ago my family and another family went down to Singapore and Indonesia for Spring Break. Michelle and I went to Singapore for our honeymoon many, many years ago. Singapore is one of the best places I've ever eaten in the world thanks to their diverse culture and high standards. Everyone I've ever met from Singapore was a foodie. That said, among the embarrassment of riches in Singapore, since our honeymoon we've both dreamed about the quintessential Singaporean local dining experience: hawker stalls.

These are food centers, like a food court but standalone instead of in a shopping mall (althought there are awesome food courts in Singapore too like Food Republic.) There are dozens of stalls cooking a range of food that mirrors Singapore's diversity: chili crab, pepper crab, satays, grilled seafood, curries, roti, shaved ice, ramen, Chinese vegetables, and more. Other stalls have beers, awesome limeade drinks, and other drinks. Each table has a number on it. You choose a table and then go from shop to shop ordering and leaving your table number. They'll deliver the food, which is when you pay.

Newton Circus is probably the best known and most popular among tourists; it's convenient and very good (and nice on pleasant evenings since they have outdoor seating). However, we really preferred the more local Chomp Chomp. Aside from the obviously awesome name, the food was better and the scene less touristy/pushy. Many, many thanks to our friend Meng who recommended Chomp Chomp and other fantastic places to eat.

The entrance to Chomp Chomp.
Sign of Chomp Chomp Food Centre in Singapore

The scene at Chomp Chomp:
The scene at Chomp Chomp Food Centre in Singapore 

A master at work grilling chicken wings over a wood coal fire; he's using the fan to help control the heat.
Master grilling chicken wings, holding a fan.

Grilled (huge) prawns
Huge grilled prawns split open, with small whole limes.

The most awesome pork and beef satays as they're meant to be: hot, bite-sized, and in quantity.
Plate of skewered pork and beef satays.

This was perhaps the consensus favorite: grilled skate wing covered in sambal sauce (kind of a chili sauce). The bowl of heavenly goodness to the left is peanut sauce for dredging satays though. My mouth is watering as I write this.
Grilled skate wing covered in deep red sambal sauce.

The other thing we really all loved was chili crab, with a side of fried rolls for sopping up every drop of the mind-blowing sauce. Unfortunately, I couldn't hold myself back long enough to take a photo before diving into the messy, spicy treat. Chinese vegetables stir-fried with sambal sauce were also ridiculously good.

Hawker stalls are local food at its best -- inexpensive, a reflection of the society and land, and just plain awesome.

Posted April 11, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

April 4, 2010

Perfection: Guns and bacon

I can't believe I didn't think of this sooner -- cooking bacon on a hot gun barrel! Two awesome things combined in one! The author fired 250 rounds to cook the bacon, but thinks 150 would have sufficed.


Bacon wrapped around aluminum foil wrapped around a machine gun barrel.

Smoke coming from bacon as it cooks on the barrel.

Cooked bacon on the barrel!

Posted April 4, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 1, 2010

Google and Baidu to Form JV in China?

This is unbelievable.



Google and Baidu to form JV in China?

Apr 1, 2010 at 12:08am ET by Danny Sullivan

Apparently, Google’s recent semi-departure from China in reaction to Chinese censorship and hack attacks on its core infrastructure may not have really meant they wanted to ignore the huge-and-growing Chinese market. According to a blog post by a well-known Chinese tech blogger, Google and Baidu plan to form a joint-venture to bring the assets of the number 1 and 2 largest search engines in the world together.

They apparently plan to start first in China and other Asian markets including Japan and Korea. Unlike its relatively unimpeded success in other countries, Google has struggled to succeed in these markets where strong local competitors such as Yahoo! Japan and Naver have continued to dominate. Baidu has also previously shown ambitions to extend their business outside of China, most recently with the relaunch of their service in Japan two years ago. However, they too have failed to make significant inroads outside of their home market.

The post goes on to say that Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Baidu Chairman and CEO Robin Li have secretly met on several occasions to discuss the affair, choosing remote tropical or skiing destinations to avoid prying eyes. The two have apparently formed a close friendship over the course of the discussions. The post speculates that the new service will be named “Baidoogle”. For the record, I think the name is ridiculous and hope they reconsider. Even “Goodu” would be better.


The post by Chinese tech blogger Fuling Yu was originally published on Sina.com.cn but has since been removed, a process euphemistically referred to as “harmonizing” by Chinese netizens. I’m trying to find another full-text copy as well as more official information and will share with you when I do.


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Danny Sullivan is editor-in-chief of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also oversees Search Engine Land’s SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He maintains a personal blog called Daggle, can be found on Facebook, Google Buzz and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.
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Posted April 1, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)