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Category: Apropos

Of copyrights and privacy

Of copyrights and privacy

As banquet photographs go, it was a pretty good one. Anyone who’s ever been to a Russian restaurant party will recognize the concept. There is always an “affiliated photographer” who moves from table to table taking pictures of the party-goers. He or she then tries to sell the printed portraits…

September 11

September 11

I am ashamed to admit that I completely forgot today’s date and its significance up until the point that the public address system came on at 9:25am to say that “the firm would like to observe a minute of silence in honor of the events of September 11, 2001”. On…

September 11

On testing

Here’s the Twitter conundrum in its full glory: The simplest thing to do was to tweet something along the lines of “Took a professional test – piece of cake. Now certified in something I don’t actually expect to be focused on.” Instead, I wanted to elaborate, and link the occurrence…

September 11

That age

My wife’s brother’s wife’s sister’s daughter had her first child the other day. Yeah, I know, it’s not exactly a close relation, in-laws of in-laws, I’ve never had a chance to even meet them. Still, there is a certain implication in this new arrival. To that new baby, I happen…

September 11

Into the fifth decade

Mark Wahlberg turns 40 today. Noah Wyle turned 40 yesterday. Me, I’ve been on the other side of 40 for a few days now. I have a vivid recollection of a kitchen conversation between my Dad and one of his friends that took place some short time after my Dad…

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

I live in a house full of women, so it behooves me to remember an occasion as important as the International Women’s Day. It used to be easier to remember in my youth, when the day was marked by a non-working state holiday (for either gender), but nowadays I simply…

NYC encounters: Bicycle vs pedestrian

NYC encounters: Bicycle vs pedestrian

In many European cities (not so much in London, though) bicycle riders are provided with enough dedicated riding space to make it appear to a fascinated visitor that practically everyone in the city rides a bike instead of a motorized vehicle. Amsterdam is an obvious and well-known example, but, say,…

September 11

Afghanistan

Reading up on the details of the McChrystal debacle and its implications to the Afghan war in The Economist, I had an often-recurring thought. I did not reach the draft age until after the Soviet troops had exited Afghanistan in the 80’s. Despite that, I can count the generation of…

September 11

Daylight

I love stepping out into the bright sunlight at the end of a long workday. I love even more getting off the bus at the end of my lengthy trip home and still having daylight to enjoy. I am a big fan of Daylight Savings for that, if nothing else.

Dress warmly

Dress warmly

We were on Brighton Beach on Sunday for a visit to good friends. The area has been officially branded as “Little Russia by the Sea” since the last time I set foot there. True as ever, the vast majority of people on the streets are Russian emigrants. Natasha noted that…

September 11

Decades and centuries

It occurred to me today that it had always bothered me when people insisted that the 21st Century and the new millennium started on January 1st, 2000 (when, in fact, the previous millennium and century both continued for another year after that1), yet I am not bothered at all with…

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

To all my friends, near and far, real space or online, and to any accidental reader as well, have a very happy new year! By different measures, the upcoming 2010 will be the most boring and the most exciting year for us in a decade. I wish that your year…

National Debt clock

National Debt clock

Every day after work I walk by the National Debt “clock” on 44th Street near 6th Avenue. Here is a not very good picture from last night (damn the return to standard time! – I can’t get out of the office before it’s dark anymore and my pocketcam is not…

Brief belated Olympic selection reaction

Brief belated Olympic selection reaction

I realize that a lot more comes into an Olympic host selection than just the appeal of the leaders of each respective country whose cities are in the running. Yet I feel strangely disturbed that Obama’s appeal to the IOC turned out to be a non-factor in Friday’s vote for…

September 11

Quitting AIG: A banker’s tale

With a tip of the hat to Brian, here is a resignation letter from one of AIG bonus recipients that is very indicative of the overall mood within financial industry. I find these passages the most telling: I and many others in the unit feel betrayed that [AIG Chairman/CEO Edward…

September 11

On time travel

My brilliant brother pondered this thought the other day: If you had a time machine, where would you travel first? Assuming that you are universally invincible. He suggested several more or less obvious choices for consideration. Witnessing the Big Bang. Seeing the asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs. Witnessing the Exodus…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I don’t care much about Valentine’s Day. A commercially-driven imperative to inflate your expression of love for your significant other on a specific day of the year sounds like a wrong concept to me. I am not counting, but I am pretty sure that I tell Natasha that I love…