2016 Olympics Waterfall in Rio de Janeiro

Reblogged from... my mom. Not sure if this is for real, but it looks cool!

Solar Tower for the 2016 Olympic Games - Rio de Janeiro

The challenge was to design a vertical structure on the island  of Cotonduba that in addition to serving as an observation tower would become a symbol of welcome to newcomers in Rio either by sea or by air once it has been host city of 2016 Olympic Games. 

Designed by RAFA firm headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, it is called Solar City Tower, chosen in  response to the initial proposal and it has the potential to generate enough energy not only for the Olympic city, but also for part of the city of Rio.  Its design makes it store solar energy during the day, while the surplus energy produced is piped to pump sea water within the tower giving the effect of a waterfall outside.  This water is reused simultaneously by turbines which are designed to produce energy during the night. These characteristics give it the epithet tower generator which is intended as a continuation of some of the resolutions taken during the Earth Summit United Nations in 1992 that took place in Rio and also promotes the use of natural resources in energy among these people.

The tower also has an amphitheater, an auditorium, cafeteria and shops accessible on the ground floor where you can take an elevator that leads to various observatories and a retractable platform for the practice of bungee. At the top of the tower, it will be possible to appreciate the scenery around the island where it will be erected and its waterfall will become a benchmark for 2016 and the city of Rio de Janeiro. 

Matthew Vaughn + X-Men = Match Made in Heaven

I guess I must have been living under a rock, but I just found out that Matthew Vaughn will be helming the next installment of X-Men, one of my favoritest superhero franchises evar. At long last, this super talented director may finally get the kind of marketing treatment he so richly deserves (I blogged a while back about how his other excellent movies have had the unfortunate fate of terribly inappropriate marketing).

I'm glad someone in Hollywood is paying attention and realizes just how good Mr. Vaughn is. AND they cast James McEvoy. I can't wait for the release!

Yearly To-Do List: 2011 Edition

The first Sunday of the month, the pastor at Cornerstone Church said a few things that made me think. It was about the importance of starting the new year off well, and even the importance of how that first week could set the tone for the rest of the year. While it's taken me some time to put my 2011 list together, I still think it's still a worthwhile exercise. Some nuggets of wisdom from the sermon:

  • Strive to build a house with wisdom, on foundation of understanding, and fill the rooms with knowledge.
  • How do we use our time? Are we properly assessing our options before making decisions, thinking through our commitments and priorities, and living a reflective life so that we can live our lives purposefully?
  • Do we finish what we started, or do our lives become a pattern of abandoned endeavors?
  • Does my life, as I'm living it, reflect my priorities and principles?

I dislike vague new year's resolutions like 'drink more water' because I think it's harder to keep them/easier to rationalize them. I prefer to write down very specific things I'd like to do/accomplish in a year, things I can check off.  But I also want to be sure that each thing I'm committing to paper reflects how I'd like to be living my life beyond the progress I've already made in the last few years.


  • Asia: Visit Japan and/or one other Chinese province I haven't been (SichuanXinjiang, Tibet, Fujian)
  • Exotic: The Maldives (before they disappear), Costa Rica, Spain/Morocco, OR Greece/Italy/Turkey
  • Domestic: Baltimore/DC Area, New Mexico, New York City, Austin, Los Angeles at least once/quarter (and visit Magic Mountain)
  • Local: One summer weekend in Tahoe, one camping trip to the Desolation Wilderness OR Point Reyes

Spiritual/Personal Growth

  • Start journaling again (at least 1x/week)
  • Continue to pray for others, do quiet time at least 2x/week (better than never...)
  • Find a smallgroup to attend 2x/month
  • Give 10%


  • GET MORE SLEEP. Sleep less than 7 hours no more than once in any given workweek. This should force me to limit random Internet surfing and pointless online window-shopping to less than 2 hours/day.
  • Get serious exercise at least twice/week, with one outdoorsy outing per month. Strengthen my bum knee to 20 pounds resistance
  • Get a new personal computer
  • Get work e-mail inbox to 20 or less at the end of each day
  • Move to an apartment with a bigger kitchen, a dishwasher, some space to entertain, and preferably in-unit laundry.
  • Take a self defense class
  • Send out Christmas cards
  • Attend at least one concert in a large venue and one concert in a small venue
  • Learn to drive stick shift
  • Find a new doctor and schedule a physical check-up. Find a new dentist.
  • Finances: Get all accounts straightened out, learn more about investing, and INVEST!


  • Limit ModCloth spending (I have a number in mind but don't want to publish it) and buy at least one non-ModCloth item per month (if buying at all).
  • Buy clothing made of at least 50% natural materials (wool, silk, cotton, tencel, hemp, linen), exceptions for manmade materials of high quality, and limited to no more than 1-2 pieces per month
  • Buy: One serious designer piece (preferably Alexander McQueen), one pair of decent sunglasses, a pair of classic black pumps, and a decent new wallet/purse for everyday
  • Do 1 major closet cleaning per season (starting with January), including clothing and shoe repairs, dry cleaning, and "re-imaginations and re-purposings"
  • Develop a more cohesive style and be brutal about what I buy/keep in rotation

Personal Projects

  • Get married without going crazy planning the event.
  • Volunteer at least once a quarter
  • Cook: French macarons (preferably chocolate), Julia Child's Beouf Bourguignon, Grant Aschatz' Black Truffle Explosion, Thai crab curry
  • Write: One short story and one script outline
  • Read: The Far Pavilions, Malcolm X, Confederacy of Dunces, BluebeardThe Master & Margarita, Into Thin Air, finish Moby Dick
  • Watch: Buffy: Season 7, Rocky, Chariots of Fire
  • Sew: Get sewing machine fixed, learn to read patterns, learn 3 new techniques, make one summer dress, and make an obi-style belt
  • Work on one project outside of work (details TBD)
  • Transfer to digital copy that play I produced in college and send it to all the cast/crew
  • Do 1 'different' activity I've never done or haven't in a while (ex. taiko drumming, dance, ceramics, Doc Wong's driving clinic) every quarter

Now that's a Tumblr I can get behind.

A Tumblr that enumerates the many, many reasons we HATE restaurant websites. I'd say this also applies to really uppity, high-fallutin brand retail websites.

Some excerpted gems:
  • “I love downloading PDFs. Even if the menu is totally out of date, it’s worth the thrill.”
  • “I enjoy clicking on separate menu links to view the Appetizers, Salads, Meat Entrees, Fish Entrees, Pastas, and Desserts.
  • “I want to know more about the personal life of the person who is preparing my food.”
  • “I wish this website would devote a lot more space and effort to a ‘welcome to this website’ paragraph that no one will ever read instead of prominently listing their hours of operation.”
  • “Why would anyone want to skip this intro? I think I'll watch it again.”

From Thrillist:

Launched just before the New Year, this passive-aggressively awesome Tumblr skewers the loads of horrible restaurant websites, offering up facetious quotes that praise bandwidth-sucking splash pages, broken links, outdated essentials, and music that blasts as soon as the site loads, also, in other circumstances, a totally different phenomenon that's actually quite nice.

Man that is some oldschool Burmese entertainment

I performed this dance, or something like it, to this very classic Burmese song, "Hmone Shwe Yee," which translates to something like "fragrant gold water," at my first grade talent show. Everything was fine until the skirt of my traditional Burmese besequined outfit started slipping down and my mom had to rush on the stage to try to fix it for me.  In front of the whole school.  I thought I'd die of embarrassment.  This girl is much cuter than I was: