Dracil’s BlogJournal

July 17, 2008

SF smoking ban proposals

SF Gate Article

As a person who hates smoke, I say, yay!  It’s about time!

There’s basically 2 laws they’re thinking of passing in San Francisco.  Newsom is proposing banning cigarette sales in pharmacies.  Daly is proposing banning smoking from smoking 20 feet from business entrances.

The first law makes perfect sense.  It’s kinda hypocritical for pharmacies to sell treatments for tobacco-related symptoms while selling tobacco at the same time.  Some people (smokers) complain that that the remaining stores would raise cigarette prices.  That just sounds even better.  That means people will be less likely to smoke (or smoke as much).

The second law, well… the first obvious problem which I agree with is that smokers should at least be allowed to smoke inside smoke shops.  The second is enforcement.  I’ve never seen any “no smoking with x feet of y object” ever enforced.  Which means this is more like a feel-good law than a practical one.

Also, apparently people may still be allowed to smoke marijuana in the streets, which is just stupid and the feeling of discrimination by tobacco smokers is justified.

Personally, I wouldn’t be so annoyed at smokers if they aren’t always standing UPWIND from people at bus stops and stuff.  Seriously, that’s inconsiderate because they’re forcing everyone else to move to get out of their smoke (or passively suffer its effects) because they’re too lazy to move themself.

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May 25, 2008

Blogging is good for you

Filed under: Blog, News, science — Tags: , , — dracil @ 7:15 am

I’m sure any sort of venting probably helps reduce stress though.  Except instead of the normal venting to close friends, you vent to random people on the Internet.  :P

Self-medication may be the reason the blogosphere has taken off. Scientists (and writers) have long known about the therapeutic benefits of writing about personal experiences, thoughts and feelings. But besides serving as a stress-coping mechanism, expressive writing produces many physiological benefits. Research shows that it improves memory and sleep, boosts immune cell activity and reduces viral load in AIDS patients, and even speeds healing after surgery. A study in the February issue of the Oncologist reports that cancer patients who engaged in expressive writing just before treatment felt markedly better, mentally and physically, as compared with patients who did not.

Read the article

May 24, 2008

Wii Fit makes $60m on Day 1

Filed under: games, News — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — dracil @ 7:15 am

VGChartz Article

Pretty cool, except after Day 1, it will probably hit a huge sales cliff.  It may not even hit 1 million units sold by week 1. After all, you can’t sell what you don’t have. :P

May 23, 2008

Acquiring Wii Fit

Continuing from my last entry on Wii Fit. After camping the ToysRUs site for that one Wii Fit they were selling every hour yesterday, I finally managed to get one. After a brief celebration, they emailed me several hours later and said it was backordered. WTF. Then why the hell were you playing that stupid stupid 1-Wii Fit-every-hour game and wasting people’s time? Urgh. That’s just false advertisement/scamming. And I had already opened my copy up ’cause I thought it was finally settled.

Well, this morning, while checking the Wii Fit tracker I noticed that Amazon had it for sale. Ordered one immediately then called my friend who then ordered one. Canceled mine after that (as well as the stupid ToysRUs order) once I got confirmation from my friend. It’s actually cheaper than ToysRUs and doesn’t seem to have that stupid 2-3 day processing time too. Though it looks like the one sold on Amazon is actually being sold by Target, which is also selling a Wii+Wii Fit+Wii Wheel+Sports Pack+rechargeable batteries bundle for $400, which is kinda decent, except for the Sports Pack (and the wheel’s useless if you don’t get Mario Kart).

My friend ended up getting Wii Fit through Craigslist this morning after making the order though. Craigslist prices actually aren’t that bad either. The lack of shipping and sales tax makes the lower-end prices comparable to ordering it online. Gamestop/EB Games preorders should also be released pretty soon if people are still looking for it.

Anyway, since the Amazon/Target deal couldn’t be canceled, my friend will have an extra copy, which you may find for relatively cheap next week on Craigslist. :P

May 21, 2008

Wii Fit

Filed under: games, personal — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — dracil @ 9:55 pm

Well that was a disappointment.

Today’s the release date. By 10:30, Circuit City and Best Buy in the city was sold out. By 12, pretty much the entire bay area was done. I even went back and borrowed a Costco card to hoping they might have some left (their website never got updated), nope, it was “sold out quickly.”

I actually got one though (which is sitting on a chair in the living room, mocking me, taunting me), since I preordered from EB Games, and though mine was the second shipment, they actually received it today. But that one will probably be going to a friend, who needs it semi-urgently. *sigh* The things I do…

The thing about Wii Fit is that, although the makers themselves actually claimed it’s not meant to make you fit (then why are you marketing it that way?!), it does seem to work. On the other hand, it seems to be about on par as Wii Sports, so unless you just want a fresh experience, it’s not strictly necessary. Of course, jogging outside or going to a gym is probably more effective, though not nearly as convenient, safe, or cheap (for gym memberships), which is probably why it’s selling so well (too well unfortunately). The only really unique thing it kinda has is the balance training, which most people don’t really get to do in their normal exercise routines. Watch the video for examples.

May 3, 2008

WHO for Taiwan

I attended the walk at the Golden Gate Bridge today to help get Taiwan into the World Health Organization.  The issue is that Taiwan is not allowed to join because China claims Taiwan is one of its provinces.  If that is true, then Taiwan should have access to resources at the WHO, but it is denied access.  Ironically, Taiwan is allowed to participate in completely unimportant things like the Olympics (disagree?  When’s the last time not attending the Olympics caused people to die?)

Anyway, I was one of the first ones there, partly because I wanted to take pictures.  There were two buses, one from the South Bay and one from the East Bay, and there were a dozen or so people from SF.  The walk lasted about three hours including picture taking and lunch and just general waiting time.  On our way back, we passed a 4-car pileup, including a limousine.  The second car from the back had the most damage, but I don’t think anyone was hurt.  The support for our cause was pretty decent from the people around us though we did have one guy flip the bird at us.  He probably thought we were causing the traffic jam from the crash (which would be stupid).

The group makeup was mostly older, middle-aged folks.  The number of people younger than 30 was probably about a dozen, and most of those were from UCSF or came with their parents.

For lunch, there was sushi and dorayaki for the people who didn’t come by the bus.  The bus people also got some home-made zongzi by one of the people there though I did get one too (I think they were intrigued that a “young person” like me had come here by myself to support this :P)

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