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<br /> <b>Strict Standards</b>: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method unfancy_quote::strip_quotes() should not be called statically in <b>/home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/plugin.php</b> on line <b>166</b><br /> Martin Gordon's Blog / travel

Tab Dump - Long Overdue Edition

Too many tabs sitting open for far too long. Here we go:

Hugh Macleod on Applying "Creativity" to Your Professional Life Etc. Some nice tips, especially for those of us just starting our professional lives. Not really much to say about this, but a lot to think about. I'll probably keep this open and glance at it every once in a while despite having linked to it. (Note: This was posted on January 9th so I've had it sitting in my browser for a month!)

Andre Torrez's first Django app is a simple random color generator that is absolutely amazing and beats any other "Hello, World" I've ever seen. I'm a Rails guy and this is so cool I might just try writing my own just for kicks.

Today Is The Day is a really weird and creepy one-post blog about a day in the life of a styrofoam man. Really can't say much else about it, but it's worth checking out.

Air Traffic Controller Don Brown on air traffic safety vs. capacity. Quite an interesting and enlightening read, though probably not the best thing to read two weeks before boarding a 17-hour flight (granted I read this before I knew I'd be going back to South Africa).

I will keep doing this periodically, but it's worth noting that I'm sharing a lot more of what I come across over on Google Reader. Check out my link blog or add me as a friend directly from Google Reader/Google Chat (martingordon at gmail).

Coke Light Sango

Coca-Cola Light Sango

On my latest trip to South Africa I flew through Paris where I discovered the best variation on Diet Coke (Coca-Cola Light in most other countries) I've ever had - Coke Light Sango. It's Coke with blood orange flavor (sango as in sang, the French word for blood) and much better than the Diet Coke with Lemon or Lime we have here in the States. A little bit of Googling revealed the Wikipedia page for the drink which states that Sango was the first variation on Coke developed outside of the company's Atlanta headquarters, in Belgium, the country with the largest Coke Light/Diet Coke consumption per capita. If a half-liter bottle didn't cost me €3.80, I would have brought some back with me. For now all I can do is hope that Coca-Cola decides to bring this over to the states.

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If You Want a Wii, Come to South Africa

Plenty of them in stock here. Only R2999 (about $440).

Notes from Joburg

I'm leaving South Africa today after a week-long business trip to Johannesburg and I've finally had some time to collect my thoughts. In no particular order:

  • Security is a big deal here. All residences from middle class up are surrounded by 8 foot fences upon which are electric fences. Signs announcing "armed response" are all over the place. Radio advertisements for homes note electric fences as attributes of a home as matter-of-factly as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • I posted about Vusi Mahlasela recently but I didn't appreciate his lyrics (the ones in English anyway) until visiting Soweto (the South Western Township where blacks were forced to live during apartheid) and reading about the anti-apartheid struggle.
  • Soweto was not quite the ghetto I pictured. I did see the tiny 100 sq ft homes and tin shacks (comparable to Brazilian favelas) I was expecting, but I also saw larger homes with BMWs and Mercedes parked in front of them. There is much more social stratification in this so-called slum than the names used to describe it suggest.
  • The weight of an empty Coke can is so deeply ingrained that I keep thinking there's soda left in the heavier SA cans when there's not.
  • Before my plane left the US, flight attendants sprayed the plane. I still haven't found the reason behind this.
  • The 16 hour flight here wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Whether my fatigue was due to jet lag or waking up at 6:30 every day is debatable. Regardless, the 7 hour time difference makes any sort of discussion with people back in the US extremely difficult. SA is almost a full business day ahead of New York and since things start winding down at 4:30 here, it makes any overlap in work hours miniscule if not nonexistent.
  • My iPhone gets no service here. When I took my Treo to Spain last winter, I was able to roam there with no problem. A possible explanation might be that international roaming was disabled when I switched to the iPhone but something more nefarious might be at work.

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De 7 A 11 Y De 15 A 17 H

De 7 A 11 Y De 15 A 17 H

De 7 A 11 Y De 15 A 17 H

Originally uploaded by Martin Gordon.


2007

I'm back and settled in for my last semester of school. Needing only two credits to graduate, I am only taking two classes, which means I have class only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I realize many people would kill to have this much free time, so I'm forcing myself to take advantage of it.

My first project for this semester will be sorting through, processing and uploading the 1500+ photos I took on our 10 day trip to Spain over the holidays. It was an action-packed trip, and we were exhausted most of the time, but we saw a ton of stuff, had a wonderful time and met some great people! Definitely something I won't forget for a long, long time.

Being free five days a week means I'll have little excuse to not blog. FWIW, here are my blog stats for 2006 and 2005 (thanks to Alex King for the SQL queries).

					2006		2005
					====		====
	Number of posts: 	 	 162 		 100
	Posts per day:			 .44		 .27
	Days between posts:		2.25		3.65

	Average post length: 		1428 		1362
	Total length of all posts:   231,413  	     136,295

I almost doubled my frequency on 2006 and I think I can definitely double it in 2007.

More goals/projects as they come up. Talk to you soon!

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First Wii Kiosk Is In South Florida

Well how about that! A Gamestop in practically my backyard (well, some 20 miles from my backyard) is the first Gamestop in the country to set up their Wii Kiosk. It's too bad I won't be back in Miami until Thanksgiving, after the Wii comes out, or else I'd go check it out.

Now to convince myself that taking the Wii home for Thanksgiving is a good idea, despite the hassle TSA might give me ("Uh, sorry, sir, this is a, uh, banned substance. We're gonna have to confiscate it." Five minutes later: "Hey, Bob! I just scored a Wii! It'll go great with my collection of 50,000 lighters and 20,000 bottles of shampoo!"). Although it would be great to get some impressions from my family - who are far from being even casual gamers (well, except my mom, who loves FreeCell).

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Child of the Corn



Child of the Corn

Originally uploaded by Martin Gordon.

This is one of my favorite pictures from the corn maze outside of Boston we went to when I visited over fall break a week and a half ago.

Very creepy and very fitting for Halloween IMHO.

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10 Days!

It's been 10 days since I posted. Last weekend was fall break so me and my roommate, Adam, drove up to Boston for the weekend. Boston is a pain to navigate, and the recently released Google Maps for Palm OS was a real time saver — when I got cell phone service. It's astonishing how such Cingular doesn't provide adequate service in such a large metropolitan area. I get great service anywhere else I've been but Boston seems to be a black hole of Cingular coverage.

A bunch of things just bunched up on this short week, including a reaction paper to Fred Brooks' The Mythical Man-Month (which coincided almost perfectly with 37signals' release of a free online version of their software development book, Getting Real). and a bunch of group meetings. I've been re-inspired by Marc Canter's post on "the amount of automation, modernization and catch-up that the health and medical professions require," as it relates to one of my group projects related to his conclusion (which I won't disclose publicly in case we decide to take it further than just a pedagogical exercise).

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Checking In

Posting from inside T.S. Ernesto. It's not quite as bad as the news was reporting (and as I expected), but we prepared everything just to be safe. I was here during Katrina which was stronger than Ernesto and we only lost power for less than 24 hours, but the Category 3 Wilma was the last one to hit Florida and that was in everyone's minds.

As expected, my 10am flight tomorrow was canceled but I managed to get onto a 1:40pm flight to get me in to Philadelphia at 4:20pm.

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