Nice, I ordered a "radioactive" t-shirt from Assault last week and it was just delivered. Here's the design:

Looks like a pretty nice piece of fabric, doesn't it?

The shirt is made by American Apparel -- usually I don't like AA, but I gave them another try. Why I don't like them? Because the shape of their shirts is kind of weird, and they are usually way too small: In particular, when I get an M it fits pretty well the first day, but once I wash it, it shrinks far enough to resemble a small, making it a perfectly fine... cleaning rag. A colleague of mine once got a Women's S and after when it arrived, it turned out so small she passed it on to her 7-year-old daughter (!). They even offer women's XS and XXS. These must be either baby clothes, or they want to cater anorexic hollywood stars. Either option weirds me out.

So anyway, judging by this logic, I ordered an L, which is just a little too big on me right now -- let's hope it shrinks to a perfect M when I first wash it. If it shrinks further than that (and no, I am not washing it on "hot"), I'll have to take it to the office and put it up for grabs--somebody sure has a kid at home it'll fit.

For none of my other shirts I ever needed such elaborate considerations, so I am sorry but American Apparel sucks. While they are perfectly aware of their shirts "running small", it will probably forever remain their secret why they don't just go ahead and make shirts in the right size from the get-go...

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Yay! Apparently, the Euro 2008 soccer games are going to be broadcast on ESPN. Lucky me that I just moved into my new place that comes with a full cable package :) Phew!

Looks like I now have an important appointment today at 2:30pm!

Update: Jean Pierre mentioned that actually also offers a live stream of the Euro 2008 soccer games on the web. Awesome! So far I haven't been able to try out if it works in the US too though, as my internet connection is not quite strong here.

Update 2: Well hello, there's a live stream for the US too on (Thanks for the link, Tim!) And it even seems to have quite a bit more games on it than the German stream which only covers Germany's games. Tomorrow afternoon, I'll check it out!

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If there's one word that can summarize US Visa applications, it's fees...

Today I already had the pleasure to pay three of them:

  • SEVIS fee (= a database entry in the student exchange database), USD 100.-
  • Visa appointment scheduling fee, USD 10.-
  • Visa application fee, EUR 89.08 which is about USD 140.-

So before the application form is filed, you are already spending 250 Dollars in fees (not to mention the cost of driving to the embassy in Frankfurt). What eases the pain a little is the good euro-to-dollar exchange rate at the moment.

But of course unlike last time I don't seem to be required to prove my proficiency in English so that saves me another few hundred dollars. Looks like it's my lucky day.

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Wow. I just unsubscribed from a Barnes and Noble promotion mailing list (that I didn't even subscribe to in the first place...) and they literally ask for 10 business days to unsubscribe me from the list:

Barnes and Noble take 10 days to unsubscribe from mailing list

If they delivered their books as "fast" as they manage their mailing lists they'd probably have lost all their customers by now...

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Awesome: Later this year, I will spend a few months doing research and writing my masters thesis as a grad student in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

It took a few months to get a handful of question marks out of the way, but now I am quite confident that it will work out just fine.

A lot of people may have heard the name Carnegie Mellon before, but for those who haven't, CMU is a private university with a good computer science program. According to Wikipedia, the college is pretty decently ranked and was "named one of the "New Ivies" by the magazine Newsweek in 2006".

Having been to the American East Coast only once before (on vacation to New York City), I am excited to see what the differences and similarities are between life there and what I experienced in Oregon and California. Oh, and if you happen to know Pittsburgh and around and would like to suggest something I certainly shouldn't miss out on when I'm there, please drop me a line :)

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A little video from the Animaniacs TV show featuring a song about the nations of the world.

Funny how they sing "Germany now in one piece" -- of course some things are outdated too, such as "Czechoslovakia". Needless to say that "Yugoslavia" is also a thing of the past. These facts, by the way, date the song somewhere between 1990 and 1993, if I am not mistaken.

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"Another Difficulty for a Microsoft-Yahoo Marriage: Recruiting"

-- an interesting NYT article about how big companies become an increasingly less popular workplace for young engineering talent, in favor of smaller companies, where they have more impact and some of which have the potential of making them rich if they take off.

(Thanks for the link, Paul)

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I stumbled across Stanford on iTunes U today, which seems to be a great resource of fine academic materials and other gems worth listening to and watching, conveniently in the software you may use for your media collection anyway.

Then I found Steve Jobs' commencement speech from 2005 that he held for the Stanford graduates of the year. It's really inspirational and very worth watching, check it out:

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Oh, that almost slipped through my radar: On January the 10th, Wikipedia's featured article was the Oregon State Capitol in Salem, OR.

The Oregon State Capitol The Oregon State Capitol, picture off Wikipedia.

Which made me notice that I never got to go there, even though I lived barely a half-hour away for a year. However, I guess I made up for it by visiting the Idaho State Capitol in Boise, ID :)

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Fred ‘08 Shirt

Wow, one of the US presidential candidates has a whole store full of Fred merchandise. I totally want a Fred shirt. Or what about a Fred cap (that incidentally comes with a fancy star-sprangled banner on the back, what more could you ask for, really? :) )?

I am still considering buying something (but international shipping may be expensive :( ) because over here in Germany nobody will think I am trying to send a political message when in fact I just dig the shirt.

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