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Modern vs. Contemporary

As if I even remotely know the difference, but there is one according to the Washington Post.

“Contemporary is the latest thing. It’s the stuff of Pottery Barn. It’s current,” said Jacobsen, a Georgetown designer. “Modern is not. It is a specific movement and way of life that is rooted in a different period of time. It drives me crazy when people mix up the two.”

Well now I stand corrected.

What I do know is that I basically hate the design style of most Washington places. Dark woods, heavy colors, Victorian era everything. If I had the money I’d love to renovate a townhouse into an ultra-modern minimalist masterpiece, shocking the neighbors as they roll in yet another faux antique chair.

But to be honest, as a guy who wears the same shirts he did 10 years ago and buys the same brand/model shoe every two years (I like what I like)–I don’t think home design is high on my list of priorities right now.

Natasha’s Story – A long journey from Korea

If you have about 20 minutes, then this video from is worth watching.

It tells the story of Natasha, an Amerasian girl born in Korea and eventually adopted by a couple in the US. The story is one of a movie, so much so that I understand Francis Ford Copella’s Zoetrope studio has purchased the rights.

France24 is kicking US media on this Columbian Rescue story

I’ve not been a fan of France24 since it launched. By the fact that we live in DC, we benefit from the excellent service called MHZ Networks which has a deal to broadcast France24 over the local cable network.

France24’s website is lame. Their set is visually unappealing, and they have a lot of talking heads who don’t really say much. But in the coverage of the rescue mission in Columbia, they’ve been smashing US coverage left and right. Live press conferences from the military, interviews with the key players, coverage of the arrivals of the family and their reunification. They’ve done a really good job covering this story (which is a bit of an obsession in France).

Anyway, we’ll see if they can keep it up. Russia Today (another of MHZ’s stations) hasn’t had much, and I haven’t flipped the dish to catch Al Jazeera English service but I doubt they’ll have much interesting to say.

France 24 Special Coverage

Drug testers find female athlete shaving her beard.

You think she was guilty? From the San Francisco Paper

Tom McVay, a tester for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, told a jury in U.S. District Court in San Francisco that on March 14, 2002, he was assigned to locate Thomas at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, east of San Diego, and collect a urine sample for a steroid test. The visit was memorable, McVay said, because of Thomas’ appearance when she answered his knock on her apartment door.“It appeared to be like shaving cream on the left side of her face around her ear,” he said.

Don’t be a dick

Nice guys do finish first, according to a new study.


Common game theory has held that punishment makes two equals cooperate. But when people compete in repeated games, punishment fails to deliver, said study author Martin Nowak. He is director of the evolutionary dynamics lab at Harvard where the study was conducted.

“On the individual level, we find that those who use punishments are the losers,” Nowak said his experiments found.