The Thrill of Flying the SR-71 Blackbird

The Thrill of Flying the SR-71 Blackbird.

The SR-71 was an expensive aircraft to operate. The most significant cost was tanker support, and in 1990, confronted with budget cutbacks, the Air Force retired the SR-71.The Blackbird had outrun nearly 4,000 missiles, not once taking a scratch from enemy fire.

On her final flight, the Blackbird, destined for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum , sped from Los Angeles to Washington in 64 minutes, averaging 2,145 mph and setting four speed records.

Gotta love how the Blackbird outran attempted missiles.

Viagra could double risk of hearing loss

Viagra could double risk of hearing loss
| Reuters

A new US study suggests men who take Pfizer’s Viagra (sildenafil) or similar drugs for erectile dysfunction may double their chances of hearing impairment, bolstering a Food and Drug Administration warning from 2007 about this side effect.

Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development


Erikson’s greatest innovation was to postulate not five stages of development, as Sigmund Freud had done with his psychosexual stages, but eight. Erik Erikson believed that every human being goes through a certain number of stages to reach his or her full development, theorizing eight stages, that a human being goes through from birth to death.

What is unique about the stage of Identity is that it is a special sort of synthesis of earlier stages and a special sort of anticipation of later ones. Youth has a certain unique quality in a person’s life; it is a bridge between childhood and adulthood. Youth is a time of radical changeóthe great body changes accompanying puberty, the ability of the mind to search one’s own intentions and the intentions of others, the suddenly sharpened awareness of the roles society has offered for later life.

Yet another iPad review

Though there are tens of thousands of iPad reviews already, I still feel like writing one and will be brief at that. Well, first all, iPad is unlike anything I’ve used before. Why? simply the hardware form factor of it. Every other device has a keyboard, so my brain was wired to using keyboards and to type in a rapid manner. Not on this iPad, my mind actually slowed down, altered the way I would normally compute. Okay, I just need to touch on the screen, swipe/tap something. Pause, absorb information in (combination of reading and scanning—basically looking for key points in each paragraph, from top to bottom). Then I move on to the next thing, whatever that holds my interests. As a webmaster for Google, I also looked at some of webpages and see how these look on the iPad. They all look clean, structural, thanks to a defined styleguide that we have developed over the years. e.g. – plenty of whitespace, blue hyperlinks, one clear to action blue button, and page speed.

I had a VC chat with my parents recently and was showing them the iPad. My dad isn’t exactly very technical person but he grasped the concept of it right away. He likes to read comics, so I was showing different comics right on my iPad, also showed USA Today, which my dad subscribes to. Then I showed books and magazines to my mom. All within swipes and taps. The most important part of this is space. There are countless books, magazines around in my parents’ house and we’d have to haul them around, and re-organize again. There is none of that with my iPad.

Now, my mom’s thinking abt getting Kindle (says iPad is a bit too much for her), so she can read all the Danielle Steele’s books. But my dad will keep his USA Today subscriptions.

Communication in the Deaflympics

In this post, I’m going to write a bit of my experience traveling in the SE Asia (Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Hong Kong). During this trip, I attended the Deaflympics being held in Taiwan for the first time and as a person who has played a lot of sports, I’m familiar with these especially basketball.

Before I start, I wanted to share some facts on the Olympics.  The Deaflympics is the longest running multi-sport event next to the Olympics itself and was the first sporting event for athletes with a disability. It should be pointed out that no hearing aids or cochlear implants can be worn during games as to place everyone on an even field (a bit ironic since players are always looking for an edge against each other, regardlessly). Every player would have to take their aid off before they could play. I thought that was pretty interesting. I should look into what was discussed that led to the policy.

In basketball, the United States team has won the event each time since 1949. So, I was curious about that—why was America able to win every gold medal? I sat myself in the crowded gym, and watched the United States players doing their thing. They all moved beautifully thru their warm-up drills—lay-ups, dunks, passing, and shooting. A-ha, a thought flashed in my mind. Vast majority of the players have played on some collegiate level, division III, and some of them play for Gallaudet University, a member of the Capital Athletic Conference. It’s a competitive league in the DC area and they have played the sport for almost all their life.¬† By the time they’re on the court against other countries, they collectively must have at least more than 10,000 hours of playing time. So, it’s not hard to see why they’d be dominant and winning games.

One point I wanted to bring up is communication. The first thing that any person with a hearing loss has to overcome is communication. For that, we have sign language. I may be biased but I believe that American Sign Language is a well-established language, capable of expressing abstract thoughts and is easy to understand, (at least to me). So, when I looked at the U.S. basketball team in a huddle, it’s obvious to me that players readily understood their coach, getting constructive feedbacks and strategies on the upcoming plays. They had a plan after they came out of a huddle and then executed the plays. Communication was a factor, I thought. Then, I looked at the other team–Taiwan. There was minimal sign language going on and the coach didn’t know any sign language and was using an interpreter to communicate with their players. Taiwanese players had to look at both the coach and the interpreter at the same time. I didn’t see any play drawn up or discussed. From what I can surmise, the coach was just telling the players to move their feet, guard more closely, watch out for certain players and rebound the ball. That was probably the entire dialogue like what you would try to tell to your J.V. players in the middle school. They got out of the huddle, onto the court, and then got themselves blocked, screened, out-rebounded, and out-executed by the U.S. players. Final score: 82 to 44.

My argument is I think sign language is really important and I can only wish for all other players to have same kind of access that those U.S. basketball players had. There is another problem, though, they’d need to install a basketball rim in their backyard to catch up with the playing time total.

Human capital

It seems that I’m doing a lot of thinking and reading, so I suppose that’s good. One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot is human capital and I believe that is what it’s going to set us apart from others when it comes to hiring and productivity—our levels of human capital.

So I saw this article – California high-speed rail hires CEO for $375,000.

An executive for the company that built France’s bullet trains will lead California’s high-speed rail project for a salary of $375,000, making him one of state government’s highest paid nonuniversity workers.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority board on Thursday unanimously voted to hire Roelof van Ark, 58, of New York as CEO of the $43 billion undertaking being touted as the largest public works project in the nation.

Van Ark will leave his job as president of Alstom Transportation, a role he has held since 2005. Alstom Transportation is the North American subsidiary of the French company Alstom, a corporation with $20 billion in annual sales that built France’s TGV bullet trains and employs 65,000 people.

My first thought was wow, that must be a nice sum of pocket money except the pay is actually low. Van Ark, the CEO, was earning close to a million dollars at his current position. Another thought is that Van Ark only needs to bring himself to the U.S. and his relocation expenses will be covered. How nice is that? Clearly, he’s got the human capital skill that is high in demand and the board is willing to pay him the salary.

That got me thinking and how I can raise my human capital and be more productive.

Ethnic Minority Development and Asian American Identity Development Models

Phinney (1989) created a three-stage model of ethnic identity development that uses the idea of an Eriksonian ego identity as the foundation for development. Phinney (1989) pays close attention to the evolution of childhood ethnic identity, and how these beginning experiences and conceptions affect later confirmations of ethnic identity in adolescence. Phinney’s model resembles Erikson’s model such that ethnic minorities must undergo crises that later lead to a period of discovery of what it means to be an ethnic person in his/her society. A resolution is then formed as the identity is internalized. It is important to note that Phinney’s model is nonspecific in that it generalizes all ethnic minorities under one identity development process. This sort of ethnic generalization can become problematic not only for the diversity between ethnic groups, e.g. African Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, and Native Americans, but within groups as well.

Phinney’s first stage of unexamined ethnic identity is where the ethnic person’s worldview is dominated by their idealization of Whiteness, European American culture, and White institutions. Ethnic minorities can see themselves through the lens of White society, and furthermore see Caucasian people as their reference group (Phinney, 1989). She divides identification with White people into active and passive categories. Active identification with Caucasians is an underlying factor of the notion of colorblindness. In this stage, ethnic minorities do not perceive differences between Caucasians and themselves and, consequently, minimize their ethnic selves (Phinney, 1989). In comparison, passive identification is when a person realizes that they are not White, but they wish to look like Caucasians and receive the privileges that they do not have as ethnic minorities (Phinney, 1989). While Phinney briefly mentions contextual factors that could impact the reality of this phase, such as parents and ethnic community, she does not truly integrate the idea of “place” into her model. How does the racial make-up of a community, peers and relationships, parents, and schools relate to how much one idealizes White standards? This question will be explored throughout this paper as an important critique of ethnic identity development.

Phinney’s next stage of ethnic identity search/moratorium is encompassed by a situation that changes an ethnic individual’s worldview such that the person realizes he/she cannot completely assimilate into White, European American society (Phinney, 1989). As a direct result of this, the individual feels anger and frustration towards White society, and, consequently, retreats into his/her respective racial group (Phinney, 1989).

The last stage of ethnic identity achievement is when uncertainties and insecurities surrounding ethnic identity are surmounted, and ethnic identity is accepted and integrated with the rest of one’s personal identity (Phinney, 1989). In addition, the individual has made a commitment that will guide him/her in future endeavors (Phinney, 1989).

Seoul, Korea to be bike-friendly by 2010

Since I’m moving to Korea pretty soon and plan to use bike as my means of transportation, I was curious if Korea is a bike-friendly country. The last time I visited, I didn’t see many bicycle riders around.

Seoul, Korea to be bike-friendly by 2010

Good to hear!

Honda Element

Snapped some pics of my ride, Honda Element, on way to Lake Tahoe.



For some reason, I love to drink Gatorade. Not sure how I got hooked on it but probably when I played hockey and was always thirsty. Gatorade seems to be the only beverage that would quench my thrist and it has a taste, unlike water. It even tastes good at a warm temperature so that means I can drink it at any time.

So, I looked it up on Wikipedia.

Robert Cade, Dana Shires, Harry James Free, and Alejandro de Quesada were the medical researchers, at the University of Florida, who created the original Gatorade thirst quencher in 1965.[1] The Gators football coach, Ray Graves, was frustrated with the performance of his players during summer practices and asked the team doctor for his insight. The doctor referred the matter to Cade and his research team, who formulated a mixture of water, sodium, sugar, potassium, phosphate and lemon juice. The drink is now known as Gatorade in honor of the football team, the Gators. The football team credits Gatorade with their first Orange Bowl win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in 1967, and the drink became an instant phenomenon. Yellow Jackets coach Bud Carson, when asked why they lost, replied: “We didnít have Gatorade. That made the difference.

Cool history!

The personal journal of Doogie Howser, M.D.

The personal journal of Doogie Howser, M.D.

This TV show was one of my fave childhood shows and they couldn’t have found a better actor than Neil Patrick Harris. He really carried the whole TV episodes. At the end of each episode, he would turn on his computer and write about his experience or feeling. There were lots of good lessons about life, jobs, love, etc. Many of his words strike true in me. I have a DVD collection of this.


$100,000, a six-week vacation, and my own air-conditioned office vs. Hector Gonzales… No contest.

How one family consumes information

Seoul to start experimenting with subway cars with seats in the middle instead of next to the window

This is interesting. Thinks it yields more space but less seating, tho.

Page F30: Seoul to start experimenting with subway cars with seats in the middle instead of next to the window.

What happened to dinosaurs?

While I should be studying for the GRE, I keep thinking about how technology has come to be–there’s an ever battle between Microsoft and Google, also often used as a favorite topic for journalists to spin because after all, nothing attracts attention like a fight during a lunch break or a rare catfight between girls. I remember back in the 1990s, when you wanted to play PC games, you’d need to buy a PC and with Windows under it and play Freecell. So, that was cool till AOL came out, all of the sudden, people were buying PCs like crazy to be on AOL. Windows was underneath these, ofc. But now? you buy them to be on the Internet to show yourself on Facebook, to tweet away, or to Google for information.

Sometimes, I do wonder if there will be a completely new technology that will not require http because pretty much everything is transmitted through http right now. And if you wonder why http? it goes through a protocol called TCP/IP that allows every imaginable device to communicate to one another–from your PC to your pager and even a printer operates on it. Google has foreseen this and made a massive engineering to copy/store everything that’s ever existed on the web and make the information highly relevant and monetize them. Now, Google has recently announced they are going to develop a new kind of OS that will supposedly squeeze everything in between so that you can get on the web as soon as you press on the power button and then go explore on the web like a crazy monkey. Although there are people who spend their days fantasizing about Microsoft going down like the ship Titanic. I’m sorry to disappoint you but that’s not going to happen. Microsoft will remain to do business, largely in thanks to millions of users who play games like WoW, Starcraft, Quake, Counter-Strike, pokers and ofc, their beloved Microsoft Doc. My mom loves to play Freecell on Windows and that’s all it matters to her. It has no annoying pop-up ads, she said.

Once everything’s been said and done, I do have this imagination that the world will end up like the movie, A.I., where there’s not a trace of a human being left and that the only proof of us is to be found on countless hard drives from Google or maybe more like the Wall-E movie that people have long abandoned Earth because of the excessive mess they left and couldn’t be managed.

Actually, I think getting wiped by a gigantic asteroid that’s as big as the sun will more likely happen than I just describe above. Because that’s what happened to dinosaurs.


I just purchased a one way plane ticket to Seoul, Korea and that’s a little over a month from now when I will have stepped my foot over there for one more time.

Like one of my friends’ favorite maxims, “No replacement for displacement.” He’s a big fan of the LS series engine with those big V8 cylinders. At the beginning, I’d argue with him and reasoned that a 4 cylinders engine could keep up with the best of them while being efficient on fuel. He said that’s cool but when it comes down to raw power and torque, nothing can replace displacement. Yep. When you want a go in your car, you just tap your foot on the pedal and a V8 engine will gladly rev up for you without too much effort. Not quite so on a i4 engine, you’d have to bring the rpm up high, get VTEC to kick in to experience some substantial power output. To put it succinctly, he said the Corvette is the closest thing next to a Ferrari that is mass-produced and affordable. Well said, friend.

Well, as luck would have it, I will be returning to the country where I was born in but was “displaced” at the age of three. In the last few years, I have given a lot of thoughts about going back to the country especially after having discovered my family and learned that my sister is deaf too. As I thought about my life and what I’d like to do with it, I realize that I cannot, in my good conscience, leave both my sister (and her husband and my niece) and my brother behind and pretend they are a figment of my imagination. They did not have the same fortune of living in the land of opportunity, America, and get a college education. Sometimes, I wonder what really went through my biological father’s mind when he made a decision to give me up for adoption? He must have made an insight that had I stayed in Korea, I wouldn’t have had same opportunities that I was able to experience. It’d be nice to inquire him about that a bit more but it was hard to communicate with him since we had nothing in common except for the blood and Korea has such a manner that parents do not reveal much to their children.

Another desire to go back to my country is to learn a bit more of the culture and what is culture without language? The language, Hangul, as I have learned, is a very effective language and is the only language to have a national holiday based on. I’ve always got a thing for languages in American Sign Language and English and thought it’d be cool to learn another language and become fluent at it. I often have a dream that I was able to converse in any of four languages. I realize that the image I have of myself has significantly changed after I visited Korea for the first time in 2002. It validated my existence, my identity and saw where I was truly from. Even at this point in today’s society and time, we have progressed enough not to use race as discrimination but our identity still remain important. So, going back to Korea will enrich my identity at the extent of who I am. There’s no replacement for displacement.


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