Everyone who knows me knows I have little love for Microsoft. In general, their products are low quality, poorly designed, crammed with useless features, overpriced and bent on preserving their monopoly status. Well, today I’m forced to rethink my image of Microsoft.
Surface is a table-top multi-touch computer. Now, that’s nothing that hasn’t been seen before, on YouTube videos and science fiction movies. We all knew it was coming. What is really refreshing to see with Microsoft’s version is the interface. It’s clean, it’s smart, and it’s obvious. They did a really, really good job. I am, quite honestly, floored that this coming from the same people who brought us Office. Congrats, Microsoft — good work! I really hope this technology takes off — it really will revolutionize a lot of the everyday aspects of our life.
Now if we find out that once it comes out that it’s also secure and uses open protocols and standards, I’ll really be blown away.
This is to remember and think about how we’re treating elderly people today. People forget that they know a lot and they’ve been through a lot.
It’s a British band with 40 people with more than 90y/o, singing “My Generation” from The Who.
The documentary maker Tim Samuels brought together the 40 old people, including pensioners tired of life in old age homes and those suffering from social isolation in their own communities
The Zimmers, performing “My Generation”. Absolutely amazing
They say the best way to learn a foreign language, short of dating a native speaker, is to watch TV in the language you’re trying to learn. Since I’m in the process of learning Portuguese (only 25 days until I’m in Brazil!), I managed to track down the webcast, Brazilian version of MTV.
I’m on my second day of programming, and I’ve already learned the following words: domingo, segunda, terça, quarta, quinta, sexta, sábado (the days of the week — I then also learned that the weekdays are actually followed by -feira), bunda (ass), maratona (marathon), assine e ganhe (sign in/subscribe and win), quebra-galho (literally “twig breaker” — it seems to mean a resourceful penny-pincher with connections, but I’m not completely sure), lei (law), aborto (abortion), corno (seems to mean a stupid, slutty guy who cheats on his girlfriend/wife), batalha (battle), modelo (model). I’m sure there are a bunch more that I’ve subconsciously taken in as well.
Also, there have been a few really, really good web resources for helping me out with Portuguese stuff:
My former coworker and funnyman, Henry, just arrived in Beijing as part of a 3 month work exchange. He kept track of the events leading up to the big trip (learning the language, readying his stomach, coming up with get-rich-quick schemes), and has been blogging since getting over there. It’s full of hilarity… check it out.
The biggest news in my life right now is the big trip I have planned for this summer. From the end of June until the first week of August I will be in the lovely country of Brazil. Specifically, I’ll be in São Salvador da Baía de Todos os Santos, or Salvador for short, helping wrangle Ali as Tanya wraps up her Spanish-Portuguese degree with an immersion program.
Based on the Wikipedia article, the GlobeTrekker episodes from my library, and random travel guides, I’ve learned that Salvador is the third largest city in Brazil, best known as being the first capital of Brazil, a major city for the early sugar and slave trade, and the birthplace of samba. It sounds like a city with a very rich history and vibrant culture, and I’m really excited to spend six weeks there.
My favorite part so far of this “getting ready” period is the Portuguese I’m learning. I’ve amassed a pathetic amount of the language so far, but I think I’ll really get the hang of it once I’m down there. The parallels with Spanish are readily apparent and quite convenient for the condensed amount of learning time I have. I’ll probably attempt a few posts here and there in Portuguese just to force myself to learn new words. Sorry to my non-Portuguese readers in advance :)