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Monday, January 30, 2012

Tennis: Australian Open 2012, Djokovic vs Nadal Rivalry


Novak Djokovic does it again to win his fourth Grand Slam title. What's interesting to note is that he now owns Rafael Nadal (he won his last seven matches against Nadal, three in Grand Slam finals) after starting off with a mediocre 30% win percentage in their first 23 head-to-head matches over a five-year span.

*Just added at the bottom, a video of Nadal and Djokovic about to collapse after playing for six hours at the Aussie Open Final and having to listen to the long winded sponsors and admin speeches. Pretty funny.

What's interesting about this rivalry, compared to say Federer vs Nadal is that the tide has completely shifted. Federer never owned Nadal, in fact, Nadal went from beating Federer half the time, to almost beating him every time (just like how Federer owns Roddick). Even though Federer destroyed Nadal (6-3, 6-0) in the 2011 year ending Championships in London, he hasn't beaten the Spaniard in a Grand Slam in five years.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Technology: Samsung's Transparent Smart Window CES 2012


After introducing some cool new tech like the Flexible AMOLED Screen, Samsung revealed it's Transparent Smart Window at CES this year. Dubbed by many online reviewers as the "Minority Report" screen, the screen acts as like a one-sided pane that allows you to use widgets and to block out sunlight like regular blinds on a window. It will go into mass production this year but its size seems to be a bit smaller than most windows I know of.

My question is: Will future architects start to plan their designs around these more sophisticated devices?

Monday, January 16, 2012

AWESOME FOOD: Kiss Grill (Montreal)


All "Kiss Grill" photos courtesy of Whirl256 (Josie)

We tried this place for my birthday after reading good reviews. I like grilled food so didn't think I could go wrong. The best too is that the service is REALLY fast so you get your appetizers right away and your main 5-10 mins after that. We ordered a bunch of things and here is what I tasted:

Appetizers:
- Japanese Vegetable Salad
- Spicy Julienne Salad
- Duck
- Won ton soup
- Grilled Chicken Wings

Thursday, January 12, 2012

TRAVEL GUIDE: Saint Lucia - Soufriere, Marigot Bay, Castries & Rodney Bay

Petit and Gros Piton: UNESCO World Heritage Site

What better way to escape the cold than by going to the Caribbean for some sun? Here is a travel guide for anyone considering a trip to Saint Lucia based on my recent trip.

Quick Overview:


- Saint Lucia [pronounced LOO-SHA] is a British Commonwealth country that changed hands between the English and the French 14 times since 1660
- Tourism is the main economic activity (although some sites say UK-bound bananas is still first but declining quickly)
- English the the official language but 95% of locals speak a French-based Creole (called Patois)
- Most of the cities and beaches are on the west coast. The middle of island has a rain forest and is mostly untouched by man
- Roads are extremely narrow, full of blind turns (hairpin turns up/down steep hills every 10 seconds). Drivers honk when turning a curve and although there aren't many cars on the road, it's intimidating for non-locals. The east coast road is easier to drive but parts of the road were collapsed due to landslides from last year's hurricane.
- Negotiating is part of the culture, especially with taxi drivers. In some places, all the drivers are together so it's hard to get a good price (collusion) but in the cities, you can walk a few blocks and easily find another cab. I will outline the rates we got in the taxi descriptions below for each city.
- EC$ (East Caribbean) is the local currency and pegged at 2.71EC$ = 1 USD. USD were accepted everywhere so there is no need for EC's but most people accept USD at a rate of 2.5 EC= 1 USD so you lose a bit. I will quote all prices in USD.
- Local buses cost less than $1 (2.50 EC) but there is no schedule so good luck getting one. They also don't stop unless you wave them down on the highway. They are also more like vans than buses and we tried to get on one once but every bus was filled to capacity. At that price, it makes sense that buses are always full.