October 31, 2006

"Earth" uses iPod

Just for fun, a few months ago I ran an experiment (it was really more something for me to do on the subway besides sleep), where I would count the number of people listening to portable devices, and out of those, count the number of them using an iPod.

I took about 30-35 different samples, and ended up with an average of 7 out of 9. 7 out of every 9 "mp3 listeners" were using iPods. That's pretty incredible.

The picture above is a satellite image take in Alberta, near Medicine Hat. Pretty freaky isn't it? The URL is HERE.

October 29, 2006

October 26, 2006

2006-2007 NBA Predictions

Champions: Dallas Mavericks
NBA Finals: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Dallas Mavericks
Most Valuable Player: Lebron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Runner Up: Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowtizki, Tim Duncan
Playoffs MVP: Dirk Nowitzki
Runner Up: Lebron James, Josh Howard
Rookie of the Year: Brandon Roy, Portland Trailblazers
Runner Up: Renaldo Balkman, Rajon Rondo, Andrea Bargnani
Sixth Man Award: Fred Jones, Toronto Raptors
Runner Up: (no idea)
Most Improved Player: Gerald Green, Boston Celtics
Runner Up: Kris Humphries, Francisco Elson, Darko Milicic
Coach of the Year: Scott Skiles, Chicago Bulls
Runner Up: Pat Riley, Jeff Van Gundy, Greg Popovich
Scoring Champ: Lebron James

Playoff Seeds
Eastern Conference:
1. Miami Heat
2. Chicago Bulls
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Detroit Pistons
5. Indiana Pacers
6. New Jersey Nets
7. Washington Wizards
8. Toronto Raptors, 42-40

Western Conference:
1. San Antonio Spurs
2. Dallas Mavericks
3. Houston Rockets
4. Phoenix Suns
5. Sacramento Kings
6. LA Clippers
7. LA Lakers
8. Denver Nuggets

Other predictions:

1. Sam Mitchell will not be fired.
2. Renaldo Balkman will be good, but Isiah Thomas will be fired.
3. Steve Nash will not be the best point guard in the league.

October 24, 2006

Best Show

As some of you know, I watch a lot of television. But those who don't.. well many of you think I play video games all day long. I stopped playing. I now devote 40% of that video gaming time to television (the other 60% goes towards my Perspectives homework).

So, back to the issue of television. I've caught just about every new show this season and have been able to decide within an episode or two (or three or four) whether or not the show is worth watching, or rather, whether or not it deserves my undying week-in-and-week-out loyalty.

Some shows have already been cancelled, and in all cases, I whole-heartedly agreed with the networks' decision. Mind you there are still a few survivors (shows like Justice, Vanished, Studio 60, 30 Rock, The Nine, Brothers and Sisters, Men in Trees, Rumors), but it's only a matter of time. 30 Rock surprised me the most in its suckitude. Tina Fey is a wonderful writer, but she sucks as an actor. Her character is the most boring out of the entire show. Very disappointing. The latter 3 I have never seen before. I hate Calista Flockhart and Anne Heche so those were no-brainers (not that I really want to waste my time watching prime-time soap opera's anyway).

Out of the shows I do like:
- Prison Break (not new)
- Heroes
- House (not new)
- CSI (not new)
- Jericho
- LOST (not new)
- Standoff

Which of these would I classify as the best show? Well first of all, I only watch Prison Break, Heroes, Jericho and LOST. Standoff is a cop show, no continuation therefore no reason to tune in every night. Same for CSI and even though House is not a cop show, it is still different week-to-week and unless you really care about the recovery of his leg, there is no real edge to watching every single episode.

You may notice that Smallville is not on this list. The reason is that I've decided to put this show on hiatus and watch it with my brother in the winter/summer, whenever we're both free. Thursdays are a no-no for me since I have class, and well, I just hope Malice is able to hold off, if anything, to save himself time to study.

This leaves 4 shows, all of which are continuous.

LOST is on the brink of annoyance. With the writers not knowing where they are headed, I feel like I'm being cheated out of an hour each week because nothing has really happened. They ended last season in a cliffhanger that, 3 week later still has not been resolved. Keeping viewers in the dark is one thing, but I have the distinct feeling that the reasons they weren't resolved was because the writers are hoping we forgot about the details because they couldn't think of a good way to resolve them. Still, the mystery keeps me coming back, even though I know that the writers are just messing with us. LOST's ratings have taken a significant hit this season, they are well below their averages from last year. Hopefully that will encourage the producers and writers that they should have an episode where SOMETHING ACTUALLY HAPPENS.

JERICHO is a show about a small town that apparently may contain a handful of the few remaining americans alive after what appears to have been a nuclear attack on the US. What keeps me watching? I want to find out who did this to them. And in kind of a 'survivor' kind of theme, I want to see how they can make it, when they run out of fuel, electricity.. resources. There is heart to this show, and compassion, and also desperation and fear. I guess this show basically has a soul and it's very interesting and compelling to watch.

PRISON BREAK. The twists, the turns, the escape. Here is another show that keeps me coming back just because of the whodunit? aspect of the storyline. You want to see the government plot exposed, and you want to see the characters escape from the grasps of these bad guys (the FBI). Yea I kind of just spoiled it for you but what did you expect.

Which leaves finally the best show on television today -- HEROES.

HEROES is in my opinion, without a doubt, the best show on television. It has everything that I could ask for. First there's the superhero aspect of it. People trying to save the world but they are not from another planet. They're real people like you and me. Then there's the mutant/special abilities aspect to it. People discovering new things that couldn't do before, and testing them out. There's an evil villain.. you don't know what he wants or is trying to accomplish but boy he looks pretty mean and nasty. The show is well written and acted, and things ACTUALLY HAPPEN. There's a guy who can fly. Yes. Fly.

You know I've got nothing against the other shows, surely I would like Prison Break a lot if Michael Schofield could fly, but if he could, there wouldn't be much of an escape there. He'd be in Panama now and the story would be over.

October 21, 2006

Big Meat

If only Google would fix their uploading of pictures for Beta Blogger, I would be able to show you the roast lamb I made for Thanksgiving.

I've discovered that I like to cook big meats. First I did the chicken last Thanksgiving, and then I've done several beef briskets, and then a roast lamb and now..

I bought a rack of ribs today and will try to make "fall off the bone" ribs, likely tomorrow, but more likely sometime during the week, which really means next Saturday if I'm lucky.

I really like cooking meat. I think it's because I really like meat.

October 18, 2006

The Nintendo Wii

I am, by all means, a Nintendo fanboy. I lined up on Monday morning at 7:15am (just as the sun speak out above the horizon) in front of my local EB Games store in the hopes of getting a pre-order for the new console by Nintendo, the Wii. 7:15am is nothing as the people in the front of the line had been there at 9pm the night before, and I'd count myself lucky because only 2 more people behind me got a Wii pre-order that day, everyone else went home empty handed.

Here is a great article about the Wii that surely should inspire your imagination.

October 16, 2006


I've been racking my brains for the last couple of days. You see, our church finally decided to have us (Longlac team) share as part of a sunday school session. Each of us have around 5 minutes to say something. If you'll recall, I went to Longlac 3 months ago. Three months.

It's been tough for me to try to remember events of that trip that were particularly meaningful to me. Because it's just been so long. I've been asking around what people would be most interested in hearing. One guy told me, that most people just share about the funny stories. But, that doesn't really do much, the point of sharing is to let people know what God has been doing, and how to motivate people to go on missions. One other guy told me to tell the funny stories. So..

I kind of want to share about my spiritual walk, and where the Spirit's been leading me after the trip. About me taking Perspectives, planned trip to Urbana, me wanting to go to China, things like that -- but that doesn't really talk about the trip, it's just about me. And were there any significant events during the trip that made me want to take missions more seriously? I don't know.. I think it was a more gradual thing. I almost didn't take Perspectives because I wanted more time for myself, but in the end enrolled and now I have no time for myself, but am loving the course..

So what should I share about?

October 12, 2006

For What It's Worth

There's something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there telling me I got to beware

I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound, everybody look what's going down

There's battle lines being drawn, nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Young people speaking their minds, getting so much resistance from behind

What a field-day for the heat, a thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs, mostly say, hooray for our side

Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

Before, we fought wars to defend something, there was innocence and people didn't know why we were fighting. People were afraid. You can see it right here in the lyrics by Buffalo Springfield. Hence all the "give peace a chance" and hippy culture. Great songs were written to inspire our people, to encourage awareness and for us to stand up and fight for what was right.

Why isn't there stuff like this anymore? Are we not hunting down Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan? Trying to uphold peace in Iraq?

The world has changed. Today we fight, but no longer is it between right and wrong. It's for politics, for money, revenge. There's no longer a driving force for the war, it's completely politically driven, leaving the general people powerless to make a stand. There's nothing we can do but sit back and wait for it to pass. Gone are the days of rally's, protests, burning effigies. The young people of today have no passion, they're aware but disconnected from the rest of the world.

Look at what John Mayer says about it:

Me and all my friends we're all misunderstood
They say we stand for nothing and there's no way we ever could
Now we see everything that's going wrong with the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don't have the means to rise above and beat it

So we keep waiting, waiting on the world to change

It's hard to beat the system when we're standing at a distance

Now if we had the power to bring our neighbors home from war
They would have never missed a Christmas no more ribbons on their door
And when you trust your television what you get is what you got
Cause when they own the information, oh they can bend it all they want

It's not that we don't care, we just know that the fight ain't fair
One day our generation is gonna rule the population

One day..

October 06, 2006

Rock and Roll

When I was young, like really young because in truth I am pretty young right now. Anyway, as I was saying, when I was young, as in back in the day, I had friends that were really into rock and rock, and being the naive, good boy christian, I scoffed at that stuff.

That stuff was beneath me. I mean, you have to remember I was a good kid, a model son, the kind that all the parents at church would sigh when they looked at me, wishing their kid had turned out like me. I think for that reason a lot of kids must have resented me, probably often getting the ol' "Why can't you be like Brian" speech. In retrospect, that might explain why I was excluded whenever all the kids were off doing some mischievious deed and I was left alone to do my own thing.

I guess that also explains why when I watch the people on Rockstar do covers on these songs, they all sound new to me, even though they are, in fact, classics.

Now when I look back on those days, I realize that I missed out on a whole lot of good rock and roll. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Van Halen, Metallica, Guns N Roses, Cream, (okay, maybe that was before my time, but) the point is -- I missed out on all this great music while I was busy being a good boy and making my parents proud. And now, going back on that, it is really pure gold that I missed out on, musically these songs sound fantastic, and lyrically, they are meaningful and poetic. At least, unlike the crap you hear these days.

October 04, 2006


So here is what happened. In the blogger settings you can choose to publish via ftp to an external non-blogspot website. This is exactly what I did, switching to http://www.brianyao.com/blog. I did this to experiment.

What happened next will explain why you haven't seen any posts here for the past few weeks. I went to blogger and tried to switch it back to ebrian.blogspot.com. Only when I did this, it told me that "ebrian" was not available.

At first I thought someone had stolen it, but as you know this site has remained here the entire time. I then went through the Google help groups and finally found out that this is a bug that they were working on. Any time you switch your subdomain out to ftp, when you go back it is locked and unreachable. The purpose for this was to prevent spammers from snatching up existing subdomains and posting spam everywhere.

So finally I'm back here again.