[Day 165] Why American cafes have to-go as default

Today, I had a great chat over a cup of coffee with Jon Gauthier, who is, by the way, a delightful human being. When our coffee arrived, Jon remarked:

“It’s a shame that here, in California in general, you have to tell the barista that you want it here, else they’ll default that you want it to go. In Europe, if you don’t tell them anything, they’ll default that you want your coffee in a nice cup.”

Continue reading “[Day 165] Why American cafes have to-go as default”

[Day 165] Why American cafes have to-go as default

[Day 95] How two penniless backpackers produced an award-winning travel show and got Anthony Bourdain on it

Two years ago, two backpackers came to me with an ambitious proposal. They were two American guys who just quit their high paying, Bostonian jobs to pursue the dream of having their own travel show. They had no money and no connection. Like all protagonists of rag to riches stories, all they had was an idea, load of enthusiasm, and–this and is different–an “eye candy.” Ray, the aspiring director, playfully pointed at his friend Mark, who was tall, lean with tousled hair and a sun-kissed smile. They wanted to have Anthony Bourdain on their show. They needed Anthony Bourdain on their show. The entire existence of their show banked on the participation of Anthony Bourdain. I didn’t quite understand their reasoning at that time–I didn’t even know who Anthony Bourdain was. But I figured it was some sort of fanaticism, and I’m drawn to fanaticism like a moth to a flame.

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The two backpackers with a big plan

Continue reading “[Day 95] How two penniless backpackers produced an award-winning travel show and got Anthony Bourdain on it”

[Day 95] How two penniless backpackers produced an award-winning travel show and got Anthony Bourdain on it

[Day 93] Who is the best professor in the world

Another of my answers on Quora went viral. It got 300k views and 10k upvotes in 3 days. My friends saw my answer and messaged me “congrats” and I was like: “why?” Are those upvotes going to improve my life in anyway? Can I brag about them on my resume or use them to buy foodstamp?

I like writing answers on Quora. It’s a nice feeling when somebody thanks you for your answer. It’s like, okay, I might suck at life but at least someone on the Internet finds me useful. I just don’t think I deserve any merit when one of my answers accidentally goes viral.

Continue reading “[Day 93] Who is the best professor in the world”

[Day 93] Who is the best professor in the world

[Day 54] Things that Mykel Kochenderfer says

Mykel Kochenderfer is my professor for the course “Building Trust in Autonomy” and he’s hilarious.

“Our policy function depends on whether our time horizon is finite or infinite. For example, if you knew that the world was going to end tomorrow, you wouldn’t just go to Tesco and buy green bananas. You would be buying the candies we had at the zoo yesterday instead.”

Continue reading “[Day 54] Things that Mykel Kochenderfer says”

[Day 54] Things that Mykel Kochenderfer says

[Day 48] Tamypu

We are now at the age when we have to decide whether we should settle down to be an ordinary person or we should continue being special.” – Tamypu

I don’t know any other person who could possibly say that without appearing pretentious. Pu is special, the kind of special that makes you want to crack her brain open with a fine axe to see what is really going on inside her head.

Continue reading “[Day 48] Tamypu”

[Day 48] Tamypu

[Day 47] Things that you find unbelievable that are true

My professor Mykel Kochenderfer wrote me this awesome email, and I thought I should share it with you.

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One little exercise that I did a while ago was to list the top ten things that I find completely unbelievable that are true. I used to keep this list in my wallet, but I can’t seem to find it anymore. Here are some of the items: Continue reading “[Day 47] Things that you find unbelievable that are true”

[Day 47] Things that you find unbelievable that are true