Thursday, January 27, 2005

[muse] Stock investing and horse racing

I have long believed, that investing in individual stocks, is like betting on horse racing.

- You get past race/earning results, which give you the illusion of knowing future performance.
- You find all kinds of information about the horse/company, which give you the illusion of knowing what the horse/company is up to.
- The performance of the horse/stock can flip and change overnight (often followed by SEC investigation), without any prior indications.
- And finally, everyone talks about how they won. No one ever talks about their losses.

Yet despite my firm belief in this, I haven't liquidated my shares in individual stocks, and am still constantly tempted by Why?

Maybe it's because I like to gamble? Well, no, not really. I do like making small bets on football games, but that's only because that makes watching game so much more enjoyable when you are passionately cheerleading for someone. That's about it.

However I found this article today that sure explains a lot. About what we choose to remember, what thrills us, and how we tend to make long-term decisions based on short-term data. Interesting read.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

[muse] Intuitive user interface

In my acting class last week we did an exercise, which I thought was a accidently a great study in user interface (yes, my nerd hat is always on).

Here is the setup: Five "performers" line up next to each other. A "conductor" stands facing them. When the conductor points to a performer, the performer say his name. However, the conductor can gesture and hint how the performer should say his name.

For example, if the conductor raises his arm, and the performers pitch will go up. If the conductor does a very brief pointing motion, then the performers says his name very quickly.

As I watched them, I see how much the "conductors" are enjoying themselves. Of course, making your friends do goofy things like saying their names in funny voices is always cool, but there is an aspect of play and ease of use, that I wish I have when I use the computer or search the web.

Only if I am still working at the Media Lab! This would be a really cool user interface study.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

[news] How to get burned in real estate

Everyone's talking about the Vegas real estate these days. This story here is a good reminder to make sound, rational investments, and do it slowly. This couple bought 19 houses in Sun City, with the builder and mortgage lender working together to make it easy for them to spend the money.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

[find] California real estate data

Great site for up-to-date and historical real estate stats in California.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

[find] Los Angeles county tax assessor map

I'm continuously amazed by what you can find on the internet.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

[find] Tutorials in Law

Law is definitely something I don't know anything about, and something that I need to know more about. I came across these sites for newbies in law.

Law for Laymen (

Abraham Licoln Univeristy (

Sunday, January 02, 2005

[recipe] One chicken and two pots of soup

Soup is so great for rainy days. We made two pots of soup out of one little frozen spring chicken (which was on sale for $1.50)

Sake Mushroom Chicken Soup
- Rinse the frozen chicken clean
- Stick the whole chicken into a pot of water
- Bring to boil then simmer. You can let it simmer until the chicken self-disintegrate, or, if you miss high-school dissection classes like me, you can separate the meat from bone yourself. But the idea is to take out all the bones and leave the meat in there.
- Once the bones are removed, pour in sake. Probably a cup or two to taste.
- Throw in shitake mushrooms and whatever other veggies you like. I found bamboo shoots in the pantry, but I think carrots would be nice.
- Add salt and soy sauce to taste.
- Now the trick is to not eat the chicken meat, since boiled chicken meat is simply not pleasant. Cook some noodles and pour over only the soup and veggies.

Creamed Corn Chicken Soup
- Now that you are left with a pot of boiled chicken meat. What to do? Why, make another pot of soup!
- Add the chicken meat into 1/2 pot of water
- Blend the chicken meat using a hand-blender (aka ThunderStick) until chicken is in drink-able state.
- Add 4 cans of creamed corn
- Blend the soup a little more to the preferred consistency.
- Bring to boil and serve!

Not bad for one little frozen chicken.