The sole fact that Amazon has the capability to remotely delete books from all Kindles is scary enough, but the fact that this incident involved Amazon recalling all copies of 1984 and Animal Farm made it particularly, how should I put it…Orwellian.


In the truest sense of a corporate spin-off, I’ve decided to start another WordPress blog focusing on the sole subject of investing (in stocks mostly). I considered posting my investing-related entries to TWB, but I figured that both the writer and the reader would benefit from the clarity provided by two separate blogs.

So, why investing? Well, I have been intrigued by the entire enterprise of “investing”, and I still remember the time when I had absolutely no idea what investing even meant (I own a company?!). I’ve come a long ways from those days, although the more I explore investing the more I find to learn. One thing I know for sure, however, is that the ability to invest wisely is a fine skill for anyone to possess.

I invested my family’s money in a few stocks before I entered college, using a custodial account with Sharebuilder. (Now that I’m above the age of majority (18 in California), I can open brokerage accounts in my own name!) I made choices which have proven great on one hand and terrible at the other (see AAPL for the former and CYKN for the latter).

I do not claim to possess any extraordinary ability to choose investments wisely, although I figure that since I’m reading enough investment guru books, websites, and articles that I might as well disseminate the advice I think is most wise. Thus, don’t expect much original ideas from me, but rather paraphrases and perhaps some commentary on my part. Reading the lengthy disclosuse/disclaimer statements at the end of many articles on investing does scare me a bit, but I guess I’ll just say right off that I shouldn’t be held responsible if you lose money following information from my blog (if it makes you feel any better, I probably will have lost money too…). On the other brighter side, if you do make money thanks to my blog I expect nothing in return.

Without any further ado, I present, Investrophy!

I thought I’d bring your attention a fascinating article that a friend posted on his blog, Rising Stardom. I’m sure many of you have heard of the King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, perhaps because he is the longest-serving current head of state (63 years!) or due to the harsh Lèse majesté law that can be heavily enforced when anyone insults the monarchy (I better tread lightly…). The article tells us a bit about the king’s exploits as a jazz musician. You might recognize some of the musicians he’s jammed with…Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Les Brown, Gene Krupa, Jack Teagarden, Buddy Rich, and Roy Eldridge. I found this article most interesting since it revealed an entirely different aspect of a public figure who I only knew through his occasional gracious pardon to those unlucky few who criticize him or his position.

P.S. You can listen to some of his compositions here (

This question is bandied about quite liberally at Stanford, and becomes more frequently asked as the summer draws closer. Last summer, I had a quick and satisfying answer handy, which I now realize fit into a pretty common mold for answers around these parts. ” I’m [working/interning/researching/volunteering] at/in [prestigious company/academic department/tech startup/Africa].”

I unfortunately did not have such a concise answer for this summer, and I must admit seeing the annoyance/regret in people’s eyes when they realized my answer would last more than five seconds…

In any case, I promised in my last post to try to explain my rationale for my summer plans (or lack thereof), so here goes…

I realized sometime last summer that my research position greatly influenced my perceived “productivity/success/accomplishments”. I may not be articulating my thoughts perfectly, but what I basically mean is that seemingly universal desire to “get things done.” Whether my fellow bright-eyed peers will admit this or not, much work that goes on in your typical summer job/internship is tedious grunt work, plain and simple. The amazing thing (at least what I noticed in my own mindset), is that this tedious work, which would be seen as a complete waste of time in almost any other situation, becomes framed as a productive use of time simply because it takes place in the confines of a summer job/internship. While I hardly doubt the importance of internships/lab experience at getting into good graduate schools and ultimately landing a great career, this sudden shift in my (our?) evaluation of “productivity” does give me pause. This realization was one of the main reasons why I decided to pack up and go home this summer.

Between my enlightening classes and brilliant classmates at Stanford, I became convinced that there are so many more things I want/need to learn. I realized that many of these things would be best learned/experienced in my own time on my own terms, rather than under the direction of a boss, manager or professor.

So there. I hope this makes at least bit of sense. I guess I still haven’t exactly answered the question that is this post’s title, although I think you now have a better idea of what I’m not doing this summer. As for what I am doing, you’ll just have to wait and see.

I’ve taken the semi-rational/semi-ludicrous step of clearing my summer break of any long-term commitments. This is quite a drastic reversal from last summer, when I spent ten weeks working in a lab and then two weeks in the field doing more research. I’ll elaborate more in the future on my rationale for skipping out on the whole job/internship/lab routine, but in short I think I have enough plans and goals to fill a whole summer with my own self-directed activities. We’ll have to wait and see whether this determination sustains itself through the summer. One way I plan to keep myself accountable involves exactly what I’m doing at the moment: writing on TWB. With that said, I’m treating this blog more as a personal journal that just happens to be public than a desperate cry for attention, so if no one happens to read these posts that’s fine. Of course, I’d have no problem with a readership in the millions either… Until next time, I hope everyone out there enjoys a summer as didactic and productive as I hope mine will be.

Here’s be a good example why we need to be careful with electronic/Internet voting. It is also quite telling how they’ve more or less ignored these revelations (their Poll site is still up and doesn’t mention the fact the minor fact that, oh, all the results are invalid…)