I recently discovered that it is possible to make scrambled eggs in the microwave.
For many other people this may be hardly surprising. But for someone who has more often than not used his microwave as a kitchen timer instead of a cooking appliance, this was worthy of a Eureka! moment. You see, I have a tendency to burn, fry, or overcook my eggs by not being attentive enough. The microwave is also a few minutes faster. Continue reading
I have to admit that when my friend Susie first told me about Duolingo, I was skeptical. I have tried numerous methods to learn a foreign language—for example, high school classes, continuing education courses, two-week study abroad schools, Pimsleur, Michel Thomas, Rocket Languages, Living Languages, Destinos, and French in Action—and it seemed to me I didn’t need yet another one.
But Susie sent me a link to Duolingo along with a TED Talk explaining how it was created, so I took a look. I’m glad I did. I can honestly say now that Duolingo has changed my life. Continue reading
We were standing inside a Starbucks in Golden, Colorado, peering out the window at the light fog, the scattering of snow and a blanket of grey clouds thick enough to obscure the sun in its entirety. Our smartphones were proclaiming current temperatures below freezing. But after the clocks struck noon, we headed back up to a parking lot above the Coors beer plant, fully intending to climb the golden rock walls sitting on top of North Table Mountain like mohawk haircut.
We figured the sun was about to scatter the clouds and radiate its warmth among the south-facing cliffs soon, and we were right. It turned out to be a spectacular February afternoon to climb eight routes of the Brown Cloud Rocks. Continue reading
It turned out Super Bowl XLVIII was a super bore despite featuring the most prolific passer in the history of the NFL and a Stanford-educated cornerback who likes to talk a lot right after he had walked the walk. I was doing some computer work during the game, and every time I looked up, the Broncos were backed up all the way back into their own endzone, fumbled the football, or punted; or the Seahawks made an interception, run a kickoff for a touchdown, or completed a pass over a several dozen hashmarks. The game was so lopsided that the game might as well featured a junior high school football team versus the Crimson Tide.
At least the commercials were pretty good. As always, there were some good commercials for beer (like Budweiser’s Puppy Love) and cars (like Jaguar’s British Villains and Maserati’s Strike). But a surprise standout was for a ginormous blue-chip tech company that, remarkably, had never produced a Super Bowl commercial before and whose marketing department had been derided for ad campaigns featuring dancing girls that did little to prevent an iconic new product from requiring a $900 million write-down. Yep, Microsoft. Continue reading
I grew up watching Knight Rider, studied at Stanford University while pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering and working on the Stanford Solar Car, and currently drive an Audi TT dubbed Teeter. It brought a smile to my face, then, to see Shelly—Stanford’s autonomous Audi TTS—on YouTube ripping up California’s Thunderhill Raceway at 120 MPH with no human intervention required. Continue reading
When broken down into its basic elements, running as fast as Stanford alumnus (and U.S. half-marathon record holder) Ryan Hall seems pretty simple. Running speed is the product of merely two factors: stride rate and stride length. Emulate Hall’s to the tee and, voilà—you’re a world class runner.
Of course, it isn’t quite as easy as this, or we would all be world-class. One surprising thing to me, however, is that one of the two factors is not at all difficult to achieve. Can you guess which one I am referring to? Continue reading