Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A couple things to ponder

1. I was watching 60 Minutes on Sunday, and one story was on messy desks at the workplace. If I remember right (which I think I do), workers with messy desks (as opposed to neat and clean) were 36% more effective at their jobs. I am trying to find the story on their website, but I can't right now. I have a messy desk (and apartment!), and people laugh at me all the time, but now there may be something good about it. I always knew that, but now I have proof. And wasn't it Einstein that said if someone is messy they are smarter? ;)

2. I think my Spanish is slipping.... but not much of course. I just speak Turkish so much now that I feel like my mind is so mixed and jumbled... today I went to the Costa Rican welcome dinner for the group that is in Tally for 2 weeks, and when I went to say "si", it almost came out as "evet". It took me half a second to realize "oh wait, SPEAK SPANISH IDIOT!". I don't know what that means, but it's good that my brain is working that much I guess. :P

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Why can't we do this in Mexico? I'LL GO!!

EU to start African job centers to promote legal migration
POSTED: 10:02 a.m. EST, January 25, 2007

BRUSSELS, Belgium (Reuters) -- The European Union will open the first job center for legal migrant workers from Africa next month, the EU's justice chief said on Thursday, while appealing to EU states to provide resources to combat illegal immigration.
The experimental center in Mali would be the first of a planned network aimed at matching the supply of legal migrant labor for low-skill sectors such as agriculture, public works and tourism to demand in EU states, Franco Frattini said.
"People can have guaranteed periods of work and illegal undeclared labor will be combated in a very stringent way," Frattini told a European Parliament committee.
"We want migrants to come here legally then go back to their countries of origin when their contracts have ended," the EU commissioner for home affairs and justice said.
The centers are part of an EU drive in 2007 to control a big surge in illegal migration to Europe while meeting a need for low-skilled labor. It also seeks to increase jobs in Africa by promoting investment in labor-intensive sectors there.
The legal migration effort required EU states to declare quotas for the migrant workers they needed, Frattini said, adding he hoped for progress in ministerial talks next month.

Thousands of Africans die trying to get into Europe
The EU has been struggling to contain illegal migration to Europe by Africans searching for jobs and a better life.
More than 31,000 sub-Saharan migrants reached Spain's Canary Islands last year, six times as many as in 2005. Malta and Italy faced similar problems. Thousands of would-be migrants are believed to have died during their perilous journey.
The executive European Commission sees quotas as leverage to persuade African countries to take back illegal migrants.
Some EU states are wary of such a system, but Frattini said that in ministerial talks this month in Dresden, EU states showed a "concrete availability ... to give us the political leverage to negotiate, so I have some hopes".
He said he could not say how many migrants might be involved in the legal scheme. "In my own country, we talk about 400,000 people -- that's for Italy," he said. "But I don't know how many migrants are expected in Germany or in Belgium and so on."
He called on the 27 EU states to announce by a mid-February ministerial meeting how many boats and helicopters they would provide to help the fledgling EU border agency Frontex.
"I strongly hope that ministers will respond in a very positive way," he said. "If not, a blaming and shaming exercise will be possible in this case."
"If we wait until next summer, I think there will be problems ... We will go into the summer completely unprepared."
Frattini said Frontex was currently a tiny operation with just 60 members of staff. "We do need more resources that need to be provided by the member states."
Copyright 2007 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Here is the link:

More annoyances

1. When people are getting onto a bus, I hate when they don't wait for people to get off FIRST before they get on. Then it creates havoc.

2. Some people think my last name is my first. Easily screwed up? I don't think so-even my email has my names in order on it.

3. When people walk on the wrong side of the stairs, hallway, sidewalk, etc. Walk on the RIGHT!
3a. When people see friends or whoever and stand in the middle of the stairs or hallway or sidewalk and keep their conversation going. Another hallway/staircase/sidewalk, etc. traffic jam.

Wow, a lot of these have to do with transportation issues.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Pet peeves

As I was riding the bus home today, I was thinking of things that annoy me. Here are some:

1. Sneakers + khakis
2. People that sit on the bus on the OUTSIDE seat, as if they are too good to have someone sit next to them. They hog the entire row, and then the person who needs a sit b/c all the rest are taken feels bad that they have to "inconvenience" the outside sitter, when really the outside sitter should have anticipated the move they would have to make.
3. People that say they will do something and don't do it. Don't promise if you won't be able to deliver!
4. When people are trying to speak to someone that speaks a different language, and that person isn't seeming to understand, the other person speaks LOUDER. As if that will help! Speak SLOWER, not louder. Sheesh.
5. People that talk on their cell phones at the gym. While running. Can you not take a break for an hour?
6. People who let their dogs poop everywhere and don't bother to clean it up.

I have to go to dinner, but those are just the beginning. :P

Friday, January 19, 2007


So I set my alarm today for 430 AM. Why? TENNIS. The Aussie Open. The time difference is rough, but I do it every year. (Askim, hope you are ready for that hahaha). : * Roddick was playing Safin, who is one of my favorite players. I fell asleep and woke back up at 530 and watched the match until I had to take a shower. I was mad b/c I missed the end of the 4th set... Roddick won, which makes me happy too b/c I have liked him since he started (but I still love Safin). Plus the Connors/Roddick duo is awesome. It was raining at one point during the match, and the roof had to be closed. Safin complained that the court was too wet to play (especially the slippery lines), but the chair umpire (one that umps a lot) said you still have to play. I sided with Safin-what if he fell and twisted his ankle just b/c they wouldn't dry the court? Stupid. Safin got warned b/c he swore, but I don't think anyone cared b/c that is the way he is.

Federer will still win the Open, and win his 10th grand slam title. 4 away to tie Sampras! I can't believe I am priviliged enough to be watching one of the all-time greats in the making!

On the women's side, I am hoping for Clijsters before she retires after this year, but I think it may be Mauresmo or Serena. Hingis would be great too. I would love to see her win.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Why I love languages

Being bilingual can delay onset of dementia
Study: Keeping parts of brain active can stave off Alzheimer's up to 4 years

Updated: 2:52 a.m. ET Jan 14, 2007

OTTAWA, Canada - People who are fully bilingual and speak both languages every day for most of their lives can delay the onset of dementia by up to four years compared with those who only know one language, Canadian scientists said Friday.

Researchers said the extra effort involved in using more than one language appeared to boost blood supply to the brain and ensure nerve connections remained healthy — two factors thought to help fight off dementia. “We are pretty dazzled by the results,” Professor Ellen Bialystok of Toronto’s York University said in a statement.

“In the process of using ... two languages, you are engaging parts of your brain, parts of your mind that are active and need that kind of constant exercise and activity, and with that experience (it) stays more robust,” she later told CTV television. The leading cause of dementia among the elderly is Alzheimer’s disease, which gradually destroys a person’s memory. There is no known cure.

Bialystok’s team focused on 184 elderly patients with signs of dementia who attended a Toronto memory clinic between 2002 and 2005. Of the group, 91 spoke only one language while 93 were bilingual. “The researchers determined that the mean age of onset of dementia symptoms in the monolingual group was 71.4 years, while the bilingual group was 75.5 years,” the statement said.
“This difference remained even after considering the possible effect of cultural differences, immigration, formal education, employment and even gender as (influences) in the results,” it added.

Delays but does not prevent dementiaBialystok stressed that bilingualism helped delay the start of dementia rather than preventing it altogether. Psychologist Fergus Craik, another member of the team, said the data showed that being fully bilingual had “a huge protective effect” against the onset of dementia but he added that the study was still a preliminary finding. The team plans more research into the beneficial side-effects of bilingualism.

The Alzheimer Society of Canada described the report as exciting and said it confirmed recent studies that showed that keeping the brain active was a good way to delay the impact of dementia. “Anything that staves off the time when the risk factor (for dementia) overcomes the defenses is wonderful news,” scientific director Jack Diamond told Reuters. The society estimates that in 2000 -- the latest year for which data is available -- Canada spent C$5.5 billion ($4.7 billion) taking care of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.

: )

Friday, January 12, 2007


I am back. Believe it or not, I did try to post on this a few days ago, but it wasn't working (imagine that). So now that work has calmed down, I am doing it now.

Turkiye was something I will never forget.... everyone reading this blog knows about that anyways, so I don't need to repeat it. : ) I have the man of my dreams forever.

I do have one aggravation: while I was in Turkiye and NY, I submitted a request online at to have my mail held and to have the postman deliver it when I got back. Well, when I got back into town, there was no mail in my mailbox, and not in the bigger locked boxes either. I said, hum, no mail for 3.5 weeks? Must be something weird going on. So I call and call the local post office and keep talking to different people who can't tell me anything. Finally I talked to the supervisor who told me that what happened is that I have a new postman. Apparently the postpeople bid on routes, and my old postman (who was great) won another route, and my route was empty. Nice. So it probably got screwed up because of that, and also because the request was submitted online and sometimes the local post offices don't get the requests.

To make a long story short, my mail from 3.5 weeks has disappeared. Anyone who sent Xmas cards may have them sent back to them, or they may not-I have NO idea. I love it! (NOT) I am pissed as hell. The supervisor told me to check my apt. complex office to see if maybe the mailman gave the stack to them, but they said no. Watch, I will be like those stories you see on the news when people get postcards 45 years later. : /

Next time, I will pay someone to get my mail every few days. It would be worth the money rather than go through this crap again! Maybe if I complain enough, I will get free stamps. Or better yet, free shipping to Turkiye. ; )