Kung Hei Fat Choi from President Obama

Happy Chinese New Year, all!

Roll on, the Year of the Tiger.


Robin Hood: Taxing the Banks to Help the Poor

Check out this campaign by Richard Curtis and Bill Nighy:

Come be a part of the world’s biggest bank job.

Why women withdraw

Original post: August 1, 2008; update: January 30, 2010. Still holds true. 🙂

A while ago, Yeti posted a blog on “Why Men Withdraw.” Apparently, it’s one of the most-read entries on her site. Apparently, women would like to know why men withdraw or become distant or whatever. Well … I’m almost certain that it works the other way as well. Whether it’s because of the gradually-diminishing distance between perceived gender roles in Western society, or maybe just because we’re all human beings and we’re sometimes more similar than we think, women withdraw, too.

It’s a reality that can bemuse and bewilder, frustrate and foil. I know because I’ve spoken to friends who’ve had similar experiences to me: one moment, life couldn’t be more perfect and she couldn’t be more interested; the next moment (or the next week), you’re the last person in the world that she wants to see or hear or be around or know.

Maybe she has her own issues to work through. Maybe she likes you, but not quite that much (yet); (and maybe you need to give her time and space to work that out, or maybe you need to just give her time and space … for ever). Maybe she’s just coming out of a relationship and she’s not ready for another one. Maybe she just got really burned and is scared of getting hurt again. Maybe you’re not her type. Maybe she doesn’t know what her type is. Maybe she thinks she knows what her type is, and it isn’t you, but you think her type is really stupid. Maybe she’s just not that into you.

Or, on the flipside, maybe she has a history of doing this kind of thing and you need to steer clear of her. Maybe you’d be better off without someone who withdraws and doesn’t communicate why. Generally speaking, I’d agree that women are better communicators than men. But there are always exceptions. (I tend to meet all the exceptions. Which is awesome.)

In the end, my answer comes down to not knowing. It could be nothing. It could be something. It could be her. It could be you. It could be a disastrous development (and it often feels like it). It might be the best thing in the world to happen to you (even though it might take you the longest time to be able to understand that).

And then the question is “What do we do about it?” Or … “What can we do about it?” Again, I’m afraid I’m going to be as helpful as … well, something not very helpful. [On a side note, if you can come up with an analogy for something that’s helpful, maybe you’ll get a mention in my next blog. Yay.] It depends on the circumstance. It depends on you and where you’re at in life. It depends on her. It depends on how you interact with each other. And a hundred other things. I can’t give a blanket statement of advice; because with relationships, we’re dealing with people, and people are unpredictable.

So … sorry.

Shakespeare, the Muppets and the Internetz

A couple of sweet vids from YouTube.

First, actor Brian Cox teaches Shakespeare’s most famous soliloquy to 2½ year-old Theo:

Second, the Muppets meet the Internet. Freakin’ hilarious:

NASA’s view of Snowmageddon

This is from last weekend’s snowstorm, aka Snowmageddon–that’s what the President called it, so I’m gonna go with him.

Currently, I’m watching the blizzard conditions outside for what some are calling “Snow-verkill.”

A whimsical tale, told by a kid, in French

Your weekly dose of CUTE.

I wonder if French people think English-speaking kids are cuter than French-speaking kids.

Better than my favorite Super Bowl commercial?

Okay, I was a little disappointed with most of the ads that aired last night, especially considering it cost $2.5 million per 30 second spot (so you’d think they’d put a little more creativity and innovation into them). The Tebow ad wasn’t as controversial as everyone was making it out to be–at least, I had no problem with it. There were ads that were far more offensive: misogynist and just plain yuck, denigrating women and portraying men as emasculated by relationships/marriages. And what was with all the sans-pants action? Seriously … THIS is what you think 93 million people are like?

That said, my favorite Super Bowl ad was the simplest one, and also the most effective. Google’s simple storytelling underlined not only the power of understated simplicity but also the importance of story. And it didn’t turn off half the population. (And it’s not even as if Google needs the publicity! Maybe that’s why … many of the other advertisers were trying too hard.)

And then, this morning, I came across this, from the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership in the UK. It’s beautiful, poignant, effective, simple. I wish more commercials eschewed the American tendency for making everything overblown.