Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2009:April:07 Tuesday <Monday>
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2009/4/7-13 [Uncategorized] UID:52812 Activity:nil
4/7     Minnesota Senate race still hasn't been called.  Amazing!
2009/4/7-13 [Finance/Investment] UID:52813 Activity:kinda low
4/7     Along the lines of Indiana Jones, I recently watched the two new
        Bond movies back-to-back (Casino Royale and QoS). Most critics
        liked the first and were lukewarm on the second. However, I
        thought QoS was far more enjoyable. I'm not a big Bond fan, but I
        like Daniel Craig and his brooding, reckless Bond without a lot of
        gadgetry appealed to me.
        \_ CR was one of the best Bond movies I've seen.  QoS was a meandering
           mess, with a bizarrely placed crotch shot in a PG-13 movie.
           \_ Didn't understand that shot at all, but I found CR to be
              rather boring and unbelieveable with no real villain. The
              evil mastermind's plan is to win a poker tournament and if
              he wins he gets back all the money the bad guys had to begin
              with and if he loses then he's deadmeat. Not much was at
              stake. Vesper subplot was ridiculous. She drowns herself even as
              he has forgiven her?. I admit to being confused by QoS, but
              he has forgiven her? We know M's assertion that she made a
              deal for his life is false. They spared him because only
              he knew the password.  All of the screentime in Africa was a
              complete waste. I admit to being confused by QoS, but
              the directing was much better and there was a lot more action.
              How can you not like the CIA guy being on the same plane as
              the villain or the shot of the two of them, bloodied and in
              formalwear, walking through the desert? Visually, QoS really
              grabbed me. CR was more like a typical Bond movie.
              \_ Vesper is from the book Casino Royale and in the book
                 she kills herself for the same reasons.  I did like how
                 QoS built on the story from CR and actually felt like
                 a sequel.
                 \_ Well, I realize it's based on a book and so they had
                    to somewhat stay true to the book. That doesn't mean
                    it makes sense. It seems like a contrived way to give a
                    tragic backstory to Bond and also prevent Vesper from
                    spilling all the details about the people she worked for.
              \_ The purpose of the Madagascar scene, apart from simply being
                 an awesome parkour chase, was to establish that Bond was look-
                 ing for the funding behind the bomber. The bomber's info leads
                 to Dimitrios and Dimitrios leads Bond to Le Chiffre. Le
                 Chiffre's original plan is to short the airline stock and then
                 have Dimitrios blow up their Airbus; Bond foils that, so now
                 Le Chiffre falls back on a poker game to get his clients'
                 money back. Bond's investment in seeing Le Chiffre defeated is
                 first and foremost one of pride and sadism: two qualities that
                 Ian Fleming's Bond had in spades. Le Chiffre's own clients
                 recognize that he's flailing; it's why they pay him a visit
                 at his hotel and threaten him with a machete.
                 But base defense of CR aside, I thoroughly enjoyed both films.
                 I particularly enjoyed how QoS picks up minutes after CR ends.
                 I wasn't thrilled with the Tosca montage, but the rest held up
                 very nicely. Looking forward to the third movie.
2009/4/7-13 [Computer/SW/Unix] UID:52814 Activity:low
4/7     In unix version of irc (irssi), how do I scroll back chat buffer?
        \_ page up/page down doesn't work? also try alt a/p
           and /lastlog
2009/4/7-13 [Transportation/Car, Transportation/Airplane] UID:52815 Activity:nil
4/7     A different kind of high-speed chase for stolen vehicles:
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090407/ap_on_re_us/stolen_plane
2009/4/7-13 [Computer/SW] UID:52816 Activity:nil
4/7     I found a pretty decent web site on historical prices of products:
        http://streetprices.com
        I've been eying on the Tokina 11-16mm lens prices. Are there other
        web sites that track historic prices?
2009/4/7-13 [Recreation/Food] UID:52817 Activity:kinda low
4/7     Anyone watches Iron Chef America?  How did Mark Dacascos, a karate
        and kung fu champion and action movie star, end up hosting a culinary
        show?
        \_ He succeeded William Shatner.
        \_ maybe he got tired of playing injuns who die to white treachery
2009/4/7-13 [Recreation/Food] UID:52818 Activity:high
4/7     Speaking of restaurants, I referred a friend to the Slanted Door
        based on its stellar repuation. She called it 'The PF Chang's of
        Vietnamese food'. Has it really gotten that bad or does she have
        her head up her ass?
        \_ Head.  Ass.  Up.
        \_ Ya that's exactly it. But it's so much more expensive, I think you'd
           probably be better off just going to PFC Hang's.
        \_ You want Bong Su.  3rd and Harrison, opposite cha-at cafe.
           \- BONG SU has exited the market. Try BODEGA BISTRO for fancier
              stuff, or YUMMY YUMMY for CHEEP. YY is one of my fav restos.
              BTW, SDOOR is the HIGHEST GROSSING RESTAURANT in SF:
              http://www.rimag.com/info/ca6647983.html
        \_ Pagolac is the best Vietnamese restaurant in SF and I have tried
           them all, as my wife is Vietnamese. The Slanted Door is pretty
           good and authentic, but you are mostly paying for the location.
        \_ Thanks everyone for the recommendations, but my real question
           is not "What's the best Vietnamese restaurant?" My question is
           "Does Slanted Door serve bland Americanized Vietnamese that sucks?"
           Only the last poster touched on that.
           \_ I just talked to my wife about this and she pretty much agrees
              with your friend. She says that it is not spicey enough, is too
              healthy (not greasy enough) and doesn't have the home cooked
              quality that good Vietnamese restaurant should have. She is
              also annoyed that it costs so much, but I don't think that has
              anything to do with the food quality, though it does effect her
              perception of its authenticity. So I guess my taste buds aren't
              as Vietnamized as I thought. I thought it was good, but
              overpriced.
              overpriced. -the last poster
              \- i think there is a weird bias when it comes to one's native
                 food. i think paying $10 for a dosa is insane [i have had
                 good dosas for 20cents], but i think $15 for DEEM SUM is
                 totally reasonable for a filling brunch ... while friends
                 from HKG think that meal should have been $3-5.
                 \_ Probably. I am Mediterranean. I think most Mediterranean
                    restaurants blow big chunks. However, that's not the
                    same as thinking they are overpriced. I think the
                    price is about right. It's just that the food is bad.
                    Usually when a non-Med person recommends a restaurant
                    I can be pretty sure it's going to suck despite their
                    rave reviews and I don't factor price into it at all.
                    However, authentic doesn't always mean good. I like
                    non-authentic Mexican better than authentic, which was
                    made the way it was because of the available ingredients
                    at a given price. Given access to better ingredients I
                    feel it can be improved. This is what makes a lot of
                    fusion cooking so good even though it's passe to be
                    into fusion.
                    \- yes, i know higher standards arent the same as
                       price bias. i was talking about the "price anchoring".
                       yes, it is also a "standard problem" that chinese/VN/
                       indian/etc people think the avg chinese/vn/desi/etc
                       resto is so-so because of higher standards in the
                       homeland. somewhat ironically my mother in some ways
                       is more "forgiving" than i am when it comes to indian
                       restos because 1. my atttitude is often "you can cook
                       restos because  my atttitude is often "you can cook
                       better than this at home and the food is free" and her
                       attitudes is "wow, i dont have to cook or pay".
                       i think this may in part be ingredients [for example
                       a cheap indian place here isnt going to be using
                       chez panisse quality tasty vegetables] while in india
                       a lot of those ingredients taste much better for lower
                       prices [like tomatos which havent been tweaked for
                       shipping and appearance]. but part of it is also
                       possible due to cooking talent ... there are lots
                       of ethnic family restos or amateurs going professional
                       [like a guy who was a cab driver now runs a quite
                       peopular indian eatery in SF], while back in the
                       homeland, you have a large professional pool to draw on.
                       authenticity and taste are obviously orthogonal.
                       (seriously, when i stay at my aunt's place in india,
                       95% of the routine not special occasion, not trying
                       hard dishes are better than 100% of the india resto
                       food i have had in the bay area, if we restrict to
                       comparable dishes. on the other hand, what indians
                       consider good pizza is bad, and average pizza is
                       inedible. it's amazing to see people i consider
                       quite good cooks getting excited at frozen pizza/
                       dominos level pizza. probably 95% of the (mexican)
                       mangos you get in the US would be rejected in asia).
                       with mexican food, a lot of my favorite items are so
                       simple, authenticity isnt a big factor, e.g. al pastor
                       tacos. but on the other hand, i think everything is
                       better with avocado, so i dont care whether real
                       tacos have guac or not.
                       authenticity and taste are obviously largely orthogonal.
                       conscious fusion [which tends to be a high end "chef"
                       phenomena] is a different matter than "adaptation".
                       is a cheap indian place uses celery [which i have never
                       ie a cheap indian place uses celery [which i have never
                       seen in east india] that is adapatation, i.e. using a
                       functional local equivalent [cheap filler vegetable],
                       not a case of "let's try this with a delicate celery
                       flavor".
                        \_ maybe the undergrads can write some s/w to identify
                           psb posts and index them and store them in a tomb.
                           -- psb #1 fan.
        \_ http://7x7.com/blogs/bits-bites/slanted-door-15495332-rich
           \- BTW there was a longish article about "supersize (banh) mi"
              in NYC in the NYT earlier this week.
2009/4/7-13 [Computer/Blog] UID:52819 Activity:low
4/7     I have a friend who recently started a blog posting about
        legal issues (he was a lawyer who was laid off). I'm not sure why
        he started this blog, but it's likely something he can show off
        to potential future employers. Anyway, he keeps sending emails
        whenever he's added another entry (approx once a week). Is there
        any netiquette about mass emailings to tell friends/relatives
        about new blog posts? Or can one do whatever? Thanks.
        \_ If people followed netiquette, there would be no spam. Why don't
           you tell him that you'd prefer to subscribe to his RSS feed instead
           of getting weekly emails from him.
        \- Is it Bob Loblaw's Law Blog?
2009/4/7-13 [Consumer/Camera] UID:52820 Activity:nil
4/7     http://graphics.stanford.edu/papers/dual_photography
        Dual photography. Make sure to look at the video on the bottom. You
        can infer what a playing card looks like without even seeing the card.
2009/4/7-13 [Recreation/Food, Recreation/Food/Alcohol] UID:52821 Activity:kinda low
4/7     Where can you get good food for $10? I went to an Italian restaurant
        last night. Pizza/pasta was only $13 or so, but with an appetizer and
        dessert the meal was over $50 (no drinks, 17% tip). And it was ok food,
        with homemade gnocchi but didn't taste like anything that you couldn't
        make at home with a little effort. No comparison to actual good Italian
        restaurants (e.g. Bar Bambino, Delfina, SPQR) that are in the $30-50/pp
        range... I'd rather have gone to Fuzio or Pasta Pomodoro and get
        something quick. But I find it really hard to eat (except for Mexican
        or Asian) for <$20. Even a decent pizza with a side salad runs around
        $20 these days (e.g. Zachary's, Pizzaiolo, Pauline's, Little Star)...
        \_ Good Fricken Chicken. Does Middle Eastern food count?
        \_ Most Mexican places will cost less than that. Cuban, too. In
           fact, I think you should look to ethnic cuisine of all types in
           that price range. You will not do well to find European food in
           that price range.
           \_ What part of except Mexican wasn't clear?
           \_ Even then dinner < 10 bucks a person is going to be hard.
              After tax and tip that's about 7 dollars each.  Even a
              burrito and a drink is over that and let's face it, burritos
              are good but if that's all you are eating out then you need
              to expand your palate a bit.
              \_ My girlfriend and I usually split something like an
                 enchilada or burrito plate and an appetizer and it comes
                 to less than $20 if you don't have any margaritas. We
                 are not big eaters and sometimes it's too much food even
                 when we split it. In college, we used to split the
                 burritos at La Fiesta and the hoagies at IB's. You can
                 get a pizza (easily) for less than $20, too.
                 \_ Dude, it's also not quality food by any streach of
                    the imagination.
                    \_ I didn't see the word 'quality' in the original RFP
                       but it's certainly 'good'.
        \_ How much is the "spicy chicken over rice" at TC Garden these days?
           Is that place still around? It used to be $3.25... or about $4
           with tax and a 15% tip.
           \_ TC Garden is one of the worst chinese restaurants I know of.
              They use some sort of special sauce that's like nothing I've
              ever had, and not in a good way. I say this as an asian who's
              eaten in tons of different chinese restaurants growing up.
        \_ I just got "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles", will report later
        \_ Old Spaghetti Factory has a 40% off special on Tuesdays through
           May. Which makes it about $6 before tax/tip for a complete meal.
           There are various other chains with recession specials, probably
           some at the $9.99 mark. I don't think you'll get any decent
           non-chain Western food for <$10 unless it's a burger or something.
        \_ Read Cheap Eats in the Bay Guardian.
        \- to eat under $10 you need to do the following: 1. avoid paying
           for service 2. you need to do time and/or space averaging. time
           averaging = eat a can of soup or 99cent burgers, slice of pizza
           etc for one meal and that will increase your budget for other meals.
           space averaging means split with somebody else ... ideal for cheap
           chinese to go food: since you can get 2 entrees and a soup or fried
           rice/chow mein for a littl emore than $20. next you have to figure
           out what are the best local options in a couple of categories:
           prepared food bars, sanwiches, burritos, quesillas, tacos [if you
           can find them for $1.50 or less], cheap hamburgers [nations, if you
           like mayo, as an alternative to fast food. you can go up to
           barney's level, but you cant do cafe rouge/900 grayson ... the
           right thing depends on where you live but there will be some place
           with a decent $5 burger], shawerma, indian/pakistani dives for
           kebabs and chicken dishes + cheap rice = lots of calories. you also
           can eat stuff like good bread and good buter/oil for very cheap in
           berkeley. you can buy decent cheej, decent salted meats ...
           obviously not roquefort and proscuitto [+$25/lb], but domestic
           goat or blue or cheaper hard cheeses and say coppa, salami
           [>$15/lbs]. oh and you have to avoid paying retain for alcohol.
           \_ I think the op was saying $10/meal, not $10/day.
              \- and ... ??
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2009:April:07 Tuesday <Monday>