Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2010:January:21 Thursday <Wednesday, Friday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2010/1/21-25 [Uncategorized] UID:53650 Activity:nil
1/21    star trek convention is in SF this weekend
2010/1/21-2/4 [Recreation/Dating] UID:53651 Activity:nil
1/21    I have never been to the Caribbean. My gf has been to Puerto Rico
        and the Dominican Republic only. We'd like to vacation there as
        we'll be in Florida for another reason anyway and it's a quick
        flight over. Does anyone here have recommendations for which
        island to visit? Barbados? Aruba? Virgin Islands? I realize timing
        is bad with the disaster in Haiti, but I can't help that.
        \_ Jamaica in general: nice air, overly and eager people who
             can get you ANYTHING you want (hint: you can get stuff
             that would otherwise get you into trouble in the US).
             Very unsanitary but you want an authentic 3rd world
             country experience right?
             \_ I've always had problems bringing the crates back in to the US
                got any tips?
           Grand Caymen: waaaay too nice and too clean, and I mean
             the entire island is too nice. The Brits really made
             it look more like... Great Britain than any other
             place in the Carribeans, which kind of ruins that
             authentic feel. The good side is you don't have to
             worry much about safety or food.
           Cozumel: ok maybe not Carribeans but this is a super high end
             shopping and resort place. It is Mexico, but it is way
             nicer than most cities in the U.S.
2010/1/21-25 [Transportation/Car] UID:53652 Activity:nil
1/21    The brakes on my bicycle lose a lot of braking power when they are wet.
        How come I don't feel the same problem with brakes on my car?  Do car
        brakes sense the braking power and automatically increase the brake
        pressure when there is less power than normal?  Thx.
        \_ Car brakes don't touch the road and the pads are much wider.
        \_ Car brakes don't get wet in the rain. At least not disc brakes.
           Older drum brakes do, but they are pretty rare these days.
2010/1/21-29 [Reference/Religion, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:53653 Activity:nil
1/20    So I want to give some money to Haiti relief funds and my employer
        \_ SOCIALISM
        is willing to match it, but I am not really that big a fan of
        The Red Cross (they take your donations and then spend them
        however they like, not neccessarily on what you gave it to them for).
        Who else is a good charity? UNICEF?
        \- I believe after some criticism the Red Cross is better about
           handling earmarked funds. That being said, at this point the big
           global agencies [Red Cross, MSF etc] are asking for unresticted
           funds because 1. they have already depleated unrestricted reserve
           in Haiti early 2. they have rec'd a lot of restricted Haiti funds
           and more is in the pipeline 3. govt are spending money there too
           etc. If you go to the RC web page, it does let you semi-earmark.
           Although not clear you can do so if you go through other channels
           you may need to for matching etc. Also I was unhappy the RC requires
           you to give them your email address. I think there is an argument
           to be made that if you find a reputable agency which goal aligned
           to your philosophy [e.g. georgraphically where do they work, what
           do they focus on ... disaster, routine medical/health, microfinance,
           literacy, infrastructure (clean water etc)] you should give
           unrestricted funds. So I think in this case with a big tide of
           money going to Haiti, it's reasoanble to refurbish say the MSF
           coffers for work in Africa ... of course this doesnt apply if
           your goal is to pipe your dollars to Haiti, as oppose to respond
           to a "shock" requiring more resources, or if it seems like down
           the road Haiti is out of the news or govt have renegged on pledges
           and oranizations you trust are making Haiti-specific appeals again.
           Anyway, without a longer detour into philosophy, consider MSF.
           Those guys stay in some really fucked up places through thick and
           thin and that buys a lot of credibility in my book.
           BTW, here is the restrict/unrestricted info for MSF:
           (Hmm, I guess MSF requires an email too).
           Just dont donate to Wyclef Jean :-)
           \_ Don't donate to Kars 4 Kids either.  I almost donated my car to
              them, until I found out that they are actually a religious
              group that uses the donations for spreading the regigion.  I'm
              not religious but I don't mind donating to religious groups (like
              my kid's Christian school) for geunine charity work.  However,
              Kars 4 Kids is too skewed.
        \_ The American Red Cross has one of the lowest overheads among large
           charities.  For example, the overhead for Hurrican Katrina funds is
           9%.  (In comparison, the American Cancer Society overhead is 95%.)
           (Sources: Wikipedia)
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2010:January:21 Thursday <Wednesday, Friday>