The Wine Trials

The Wine Trials is an upcoming book that describes of a series of blind tastings that I took part in last year. The tastings were great fun. We were encouraged to come up with creative, uncensored descriptions of wines. I thought one of the wines tasted like cat pee. The book recommends 100 wines under $15 that beat $50-$150 wines in the tastings.

I’m all about the cheap wine, like the 3-buck chuck from Trader Joe’s, or the 4-dollar Spanish table wine I got from JUSCO when I lived in Japan. These days, I get my cheap wine from Fresh Direct. They have a great 7-dollar vinho verde and an 11-dollar cava that are regular fixtures of my wine stash.

This week’s issue of Newsweek has an article about the book on page 12 of the magazine, the text of the article is also online.

You can pre-order copies of The Wine Trials from

Pandora Internet Radio


Check out Pandora, an Internet Radio Station that lets you create your own radio stations based on songs or artists that you like and introduces other songs and artists into the mix based on their musical similarities.  Words don’t do it justice, so give it a try and you will be hooked!

Thanks to Iain for the tip.

Helvetica vs. Arial


From Helvetica vs. Arial

Helvetica was developed by the Haas Foundry of Switzerland in the 1950s. Microsoft distributed a typeface called Arial, a very similar typeface, that comes bundled with every desktop computer

Thus Arial has now overtaken Helvetica as the standard font in practically everything done by those who don't know better.

[click here to read more]

From The Scourge of Arial:

Arial is everywhere. If you don't know what it is, you don't use a modern personal computer. Arial is a font that is familiar to anyone who uses Microsoft products, whether on a PC or a Mac. It has spread like a virus through the typographic landscape and illustrates the pervasiveness of Microsoft's influence in the world.

Arial's ubiquity is not due to its beauty. It's actually rather homely. Not that homeliness is necessarily a bad thing for a typeface. With typefaces, character and history are just as important. Arial, however, has a rather dubious history and not much character. In fact, Arial is little more than a shameless impostor.

[click here to read more]

First Avaaz Campaign Member Comments

Here is a PDF file with a sampling of member comments on the 1st campaign, which opposes Bush's plan to increase American troops in Iraq.

The comments have been edited for spelling and to protect the privacy of the individuals who wrote to Avaaz

Click below to download the PDF:

Comments taken down for the time being while Avaaz has an internal discussion about privacy and blogging issues. 

Birthday Lunch at PT212

Today for lunch, my co-workers Rachel and Galit took me out to lunch at a Thai/Japanese restaurant called PT212.  The food was good and the space was gorgeous.  I had a lobster, jicama and green apple rice paper spring roll and some mee grob.  For dessert, we shared a baked pear with lemongrass, anise and chardonnay, and friend bananas with ice cream.  Yum!  Thanks guys!