diary of a class 2006 darden student
(formerly on exchange at the hong kong university of science and technology)
presented by beau giles
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Saturday, June 03, 2006

This is damn cool.  Goldman Sachs' report on the World Cup and Economics.

Beau 5:50 PM 3

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Almost one out of seven Hong Kongers got at least 1,000 shares of BOC through the world's biggest IPO in six years.  I find this amazing.   The Bank of China has been financing poorly run state owned enterprises for years, yet the public market believes that it's a good bet that they've figured out how to run a modern bank.  The one good thing about this is that hopefully the transparency required by public scrutiny may cause other parts of China to have some accountability, but it will be a slow process. 

Beau 1:47 PM 2

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The World Cup Stock Market  ooooo.

Beau 8:35 PM 1

Just found another podcast, GigShanghai.   Devoted to the Shanghai music scene.

Beau 5:38 PM 0

A year ago I didn't really "get" podcasting.  I had heard of it, but I didn't really see the point.  Now, I'm totally into it.  It's now to the point where I spend more time listening to podcasts these days than I do the actual music on my iPod.  During the drive across country podcasts were essential.  The longer the better, anything to keep me from listening to normal radio. These were the podcasts I listened to last week:

-- Engadget  This was the first podcast I really listened to.  It's an audio program that could never find an audience on commercial radio, but works great as a niche porgram.  Plus Peter Rojas and Ryan Block have a great rhythm to their production.
-- NewsHour with Jim Lehrer This is an audio dump from the PBS TV broadcast, but is still usually enough since so much of their reports are interviews.
-- ESPN's PTI and The Big Show  For my sports fix.
-- TrancePortal This is a three hour weekly podcast of nothing but trance electronica.
-- The Economist This was a one-off podcast to go with their new media special report.  I doubt this will be a regular thing for them. (Find it via iTunes)
-- The BBC has a bunch of free podcasts available on iTunes.  I subscribe to their documentary archive, World Today Select, and Digital Planet.
-- Vintage Tooncast A video podcast with old cartoons.  
-- Ricky Gervais I loved his old Guardian podcast, but I'm not quite ready to pay for a podcast yet when there's so much good free material out there. He does still do an occasional video podcast.
-- The Guardian has a World Cup podcast (whose URL I can't find) which is pretty off-the-wall and quite enjoyable.

Beau 4:32 PM 1

Monday, May 29, 2006

The last week:

Charlottesville to Nashville
Nashville to Chicago
Chicago to Eau Claire, Wis
Eau Claire to Minneapolis
Minneapolis to Grand Island, Neb
Grand Island to Park City, Utah
Park City to San Francisco

The Nashville excursion was based on a desire to see the US Soccer team play, but I missed the game due to a huge wreck on I-40.  In Chicago I saw Pete's new place.  Minneapolis was to see a Twin's game, a place I haven't seen a game before.  Then I looked at the cost of gas and hotel rooms (even the crap motels now charge $60 a night.  WTF???) and decided get to SF as fast a possible.  The next three days I drove about 800 miles a day, which is a bit tiring when you drive by yourself.

Beau 8:37 PM 0

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Final Exercises
Originally uploaded by beaunose.
This was last Sunday. I'm all done.

California here I come.

Beau 5:52 AM 0

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Matt McBrady and Peter Rodriguez were elected our class faculty marshalls for graduation.  As a result they have to read out each of our names as they hand out our diplomas.  Some of our names are tough to pronounce.  My name is very often mangled despite its relative shortness.  Following a request from the professors, I sent them this guide to pronounce my name:

Beau: think "Bo" as in Bo Jackson, Bo Diddley, etc. (There were many nicknames as a kid)  NOT: "Byoo", "Ben", "Bean" (misreading the 'u' for an 'n'), "Beav", and a number of other mispronunciations I got during my exchange in Hong Kong ("Bu....").

Giles: Soft "g", not a hard "G" (this is the typical mistake).  Also there's only one "L" in the name so it's not the French "Gilles."  (French first name, English last name, I often go to war with myself.)  You're a baseball fan, so think of Brian Giles of the Padres or Marcus Giles of the Braves.  Also if you've watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer it's the same name as Giles the Watcher.

Beau 10:45 AM 0

Hip-Hop Jazz Dancers.

Beau 10:28 AM 0

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

No Car Day in Beijing

Beau 3:16 PM 0

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Originally uploaded by beaunose.
George Bush should ask China how well the Great Wall kept out the Mongols.

Beau 3:36 PM 0

The collective 'oooo' you hear on the internets today is from Mac-heads and wannabe Mac-heads looking at the new MacBook, especially the black one (which costs US$200 more while only giving you an extra 20 GB Hard Disk storage, but dammit IT'S BLACK!)

I don't like the shiny screen.  Shiny screens look good on first glance, but are more prone to fingerprints and I don't want to be disturbed by reflections while I'm working.

Beau 9:13 AM 0

Monday, May 15, 2006

The first time I saw the trailer for United 93 I said to myself there was no way in hell I would ever want to see it.   Today I did see it as a matinee, and it's really damn good.  It is not, as I and many people feared, a film that plays on jingoism or patriotism or a lot of the other poor responses to 9-11.  It's just two hours, in real time, of an attempt to explain what happened.   Imperfect information moves up and down organizations ill prepared to deal with what happened.  Some people can't handle it.  Some people can.  There are no judgements made on them for their reactions.  

This is a movie made with an amazing amount of skill and care, and it stays with you long after the film ends.

Beau 1:42 PM 0

Handbrake, a cool little app to convert DVD's into iPod Video ready formats.  I'm surprised the MPAA hasn't shut this down yet.

Beau 12:34 PM 0

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I have a lot of friends who graduated from Art Center so Art School Confidential had a lot jokes that I could relate too.  There's about three movies here.  One is just a series of riffs on the pretentiousness of art students, which could have centered on John Malkovich.   The second is the unrequited love story between an artist and a model in his drawing class.  The third is a series of murders in the art student population plus the police investigation of it.  The latter two are largely unnecessary and a much better movie could have been made just based on the first.

Somehow I doubt "Business School Confidential" would do as well, not that there's not plenty of mockable stuff in B-school.

Beau 6:27 PM 0

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Burrito Map of San Francisco.  Burritos are to SF what fish tacos are to San Diego.

Beau 9:33 AM 0

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

California has the most hybrids.  Virginia is 5th.  My Subaru is now ten years old and I occasionally think about getting a hybrid.  The ones I like most are the Hondas, but the two door is almost certainly too small for my body.  The Accord apparently doesn't offer any significant fuel economy gains compared to the 4 cylinder version, which is much cheaper.

Annoyingly the only vehicles that I can fit into are usually SUV's.  I don't want an SUV.

Beau 8:07 AM 0

Monday, May 08, 2006

North Korea is allowing Americans to visit.  I would do it.  What few stories I hear about the DPRK always fascinate me.

Beau 1:58 PM 0

I have to admit, this sounds tempting.

Beau 7:52 AM 0

Sunday, May 07, 2006

MBA for kids!  Hooray!

Beau 8:21 AM 0

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Last day of class
Originally uploaded by beaunose.
It's all over.

Beau 8:59 AM 0

Friday, May 05, 2006

Mission Impossible 3 is not a good movie, but I went to see it today nonetheless.  It is, as far as I know, the first big budget American movie filmed in Shanghai.  Despite that it's still been banned in China, either because it has scenes in The Vatican, which does not have diplomatic relations with Beijing, or because the movie shows US Government agents shooting their way past "former People's Liberation Army soldiers" guarding a device that could destroy world, or something.  It's never explained in the movie, and you don't go to the theater to see that anyway.   

Beau 4:02 PM 0

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I have met Mr. Jalopy once during a surreal weekend in Los Angeles, but that doesn't stop me from continually being amazed by his existence.

Beau 11:25 AM 0

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Kottke likes the new Mac ads.  I'm not so sure.  After two years as a Mac guy in a nearly all Windows environment I think it does little more than enforce the old stereotypes about Mac users.  Unfortunately these stereotypes are pretty high barriers from people switching platforms.

Beau 12:53 PM 0

A year ago for a business projects presentation I talked about starting a business that linked real bank accounts with virtual bank accounts.  I think only about half the class got it.  Now it's happening.

Beau 12:50 PM 0

Sunday, April 30, 2006

At the Darden tent
Originally uploaded by beaunose.
So Foxfields...

There are horse races at Foxfields. I saw some horses go by a couple times and a jockey fall off on one of the jumps. If didn't see anywhere that one could actually bet on the races, but I do remember giving a girl $1 to put on number 4 in one of the races and never hearing from her again. But that's all beside the point.

Foxfields is about getting all dressed up and hanging out in the sun enjoying the countryside. For Darden folks we had the official Darden tent with fully catered southern barbecue, a couple kegs of beer and stonger forms of alcohol. Beer, in my opinion, is not the preferred drink here. The portapotty lines are just too long and aren't particularly appealing to visit more than once. Vodka and Coke, or Rum and Coke will serve you better here.

Because we are dissaffected grad students, the offical Darden tent in on the periphery of the madness, but a couple enterprising Darden students reserved a couple spots in the middle of it all to park their SUV's and set up shop. Beer Pong always finds a way to show up. A non-Californian asked me if this was like Burning Man. It's more like the Bizarro Burning Man.

Beau 9:33 AM 0

Amazing and gruesome images from Mainland China.  Not for the faint of heart.

Beau 9:19 AM 2

Colbert on Bush.  Oh dear god.

Beau 8:06 AM 0

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Back Dormitory Boys of China are getting an absurd amount of press in America.  I've also seen them in Wired and The Economist.

Beau 7:42 AM 0

Friday, April 28, 2006

Tomorrow is the Spring Foxfield Races.  This is the big spring social event at UVa.  The men wear seersucker suits, or dress shirts, ties and khakis (like I will).  The women wear traditional southern spring dresses, pearls, and soforth.  I've never been to this before.  The people I've talked to say it's just a big excuse to drink outside.  Pictures are forthcoming.

Beau 9:16 AM 0

New hotness: Gnarls Barkley

Beau 8:49 AM 0

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Earth-Friendly Hand Grenades.  Wow.

Beau 6:53 PM 0

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

This idea of standing room airline seats makes me shudder.  I'm 6'6" tall (1.98m) in bare feet and my head usually is taller than the seat back headrests of most airplanes.  I could easily see the highest setting of that shoulder bar being too low, making these seats a new level of torture designed for people my size.

Beau 11:43 AM 0

Today we saw a research study of what factors most positively and negetively correlate to success in our post-Darden careers.  "Success" in this case means income, and that could be easily debated.   The test group was Darden alums from 1979 to 1981.  

Some of the interesting results:

-- The quality of the undergraduate school had very little to do with future income.
-- GMAT scores correllate highly, as does the Darden GPA.  Undergraduate GPA doesn't count for much.
-- What major one has as an undergraduate means little.  
-- Whether or not the person played high school sports was worth 160 points on the GMAT or over 6 points on the grading scale, which is impossible. 
-- The playing of musical instruments correlates negatively.
-- Student government positions don't correlate to any future success. 

Beau 7:51 AM 0

Monday, April 24, 2006

Originally uploaded by beaunose.
Last night a bunch of us met at Ron Wilcox's new house near downtown Charlottesville for some beers. He also got us free tickets (how is something I can't go into) for Wilco at the Charlottesville Pavilion.

Sadly, Ron still expected us to make it to his 8 AM Marketing Research class this morning.

Beau 7:05 AM 0

Friday, April 21, 2006

Highlights from yesterdays George Bush - Hu Jintao Summit up the road in DC:

-- People's Republic of China != Republic of China  We sometimes get them confused.
-- Falun Gong reporters probably shouldn't have been given press credentials (scroll down to the 21 April entry) 
-- Bush really likes Hu's suit.
-- CCTV provided unfettered coverage of the visit.

A day later the meeting seems to be much ado about nothing.  No new agreements were reached.  No big policy statements were made.  Nothing to see here, move along.

Beau 10:49 AM 0

This is what it's like to live with a law student for a year.

Beau 6:42 AM 0

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Government developed the iPod!

Beau 9:48 AM 0

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Today, just now, I showed a bit of the Tank Man documentary to a Mainland Chinese Darden student.  She had never seen the Tiananmen Incident before.  I had.  I had to stop it a couple minutes in when the Beijing women were pleading with soldiers using the words "Brother Soldiers!"  She burst into tears at that line.  It was like a line she used in school to refer to the People's Liberation Army.  I had to talk her through the rest of what happened as gently as I could.

I'm left now wondering if I did the right thing in showing it to her.  She, a Taiwanese student, and I have a class long presentation about modern China tomorrow.  I showed it to her so that she might understand why other students might question her about it, but now I'm going to step in a steer the conversation away from that subject if it comes up.

Beau 5:08 PM 1

Hong Kong is losing its expats.

Beau 7:24 AM 1

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Cartoons!  Woohoo!

Beau 4:47 PM 0

The student protest I mentioned last weekend did not end well.

Beau 8:45 AM 0

Grace and Mike
Originally uploaded by beaunose.
I've put up a few more videos of the Darden Theater class. This was the best of the other pieces.

Beau 6:20 AM 0

Monday, April 17, 2006

I'm giving Google Video a shot to compare vis-a-vis Youtube and so far I'm a bit upset.  Why does it take two days for them to approve my videos for broadcast?  Do they actually have someone screening this stuff?

Beau 7:08 AM 0

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Living wage protest
Originally uploaded by beaunose.
UVa is not politically active like Berkeley, Chapel Hill, or Santa Cruz. Protests are a pretty rare thing here. So when some students decided to protest the low pay of some university employees by camping out on the lawn of the administration there was some befuddlement. Things like these simply do not happen here. The administration has decided to deal with these protesters swiftly and cruelly.

They turned off the wifi around the encampment. That'll teach 'em.

Beau 1:34 PM 0

Friday, April 14, 2006

Oh boy I'm looking forward to Windows Vista.  This will fix everything.

Beau 11:10 AM 1

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Dude has nearly traded one red paperclip for a new house.  Bargaining and Negotiating professors should take note.

Beau 7:40 AM 0

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

One of the interesting things that just hit was that in three of the four classes I'm taking this quarter the students are teaching the classes.  Usually this in the form of class-long group presentations.  The professors mostly sit in the seats with the students.  Occasionally they stand up to say something, but not much.  

Beau 1:00 PM 0

A much better description of steak in Argentina than I could manage.

Beau 9:10 AM 0

I caught the last half of Frontline's new China report last night.  The unfortunate thing about it is that it focuses on Tiananmen so much.  We in the west saw so much ourselves in that protest that when we look at the rest of what China has become and that that is so different from us that we want to focus on what is familiar.

I think that last sentence makes sense.

Beau 8:46 AM 0

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