I love Thai food. When I first moved to Boston, I lived across the street from Khao Sarn, and for a recently-gradutated college student that barely knew how to cook, their Pad See Ew became a staple dinner. After Khao Sarn closed, I transitioned to picking up from Dok Bua, a restaraunt that made up for the farther walk by including a mean hot sauce with every order. Dok Bua gave way to Equator and House of Siam as I moved across the city, and I even came to know Topaz Thai and Top Thai during the six months I lived in New York.
Ben. Jackie. Brian. John. Meg. The other Ben. Emily. Aunt Karen. Over the past two months, each of these contestants entered a singularly intense competition to determine, once and for all, who has the deepest understanding of childrens poetry. It started in 2004, when Will E. Hipson and Saif Mohammad laid down the gauntlet by collecting a dataset of over sixty thousand poems written by children in grades 1-12.
It turns out that people still watch DVDs. That was the first unexpected surprise which awaited me as I began to sift through Boston Public Library’s checkout data, and I am still torn on whether it adds or subtracts from the general esteem in which I hold humanity. On the one hand, there is something depressing about trying to figure out what book genres are most popular only to discover that the #2 slot - beating the entirety of “Fiction” - is claimed by the likes of Spotlight and Finding Dory.
US congressional candidates received over $1.7B in donations for the 2018 midterm elections. If you break that down by party, Democrats outraised Republicans - the tally was about $1B to $700M. Incumbents alone raised a whopping $800M. And this doesn’t even touch elections for the Senate, where a single candidate - Beto O’Rourke - took in over $80M. Any way you cut it, that is a lot of money.
Growing up, I loved baseball. I lived a twenty-minute walk from Wrigley Field, and my dad and I would go to Cubs games throughout the summer. Spring afternoons were meant for playing catch and (on Thursdays) games with my little league team. I learned to read from the latest box scores in the Chicago Tribune. The saddest part about loving baseball - for me, at least - was that my hand-eye coordination never quite lived up to my dreams of going pro.
About twice a week and at least once on the weekend, I get lunch or a coffee at Flour. For anyone not living in Boston, or for anyone in Boston who has not experienced one of their chocolate chip cookies, Flour is a bakery, coffeeshop, and lunch destination all in one. With 8 locations across the Boston area, including one near my home and one near where I work, it is near-inescapable in the best possible way.
June 12, 2008 was a memorable day. That’s the day I watched my very first episode of the NBC hit show “Heroes”. Nobody remembers Heroes - mainly because Seasons 2-5 were miserable. But I’ll stand by Season One. It was terrific, and as a somewhat (very) nerdy recent middle school graduate, it was everything I was looking for in TV. On June 13, I saw three more episodes of Heroes.
Over the past three years, I’ve sent and received a lot of texts. Over 110,000, to be exact. I’ve texted with over 250 different people, though about 75% of those texts (over 80,000 texts!) are with a sum total of 10 people. I learned all of this after discovering the hidden bounty of iMessage data on my computer. Because I have the messages app, each time I send or receive an iMessage, it gets recorded in a SQL database on my laptop.