I was first introduced to this place 12 years ago by a good friend of mine. I re-visited Men Tei (literally means “noodles hut” in Japanese) last week during the Inbound 2012 conference, and was happy to discover that it hasn’t changed since the last time I was there. I guess it is something you can expect from a family-owned small business. The quality (usually) stays consistent throughout the years.
I visited Men Tei twice during my time in Boston, and on both visits the food was excellent. The kimchi was nice and spicy, and the quantity of the main dishes (see pictures below) was more than I could handle, which says a lot because I do like food and I do normally finish what’s on my plate. :)
The prices are (very) reasonable for a place located two steps off Newbury street, and in fact I’ll go further and say that this place is really inexpensive. I guess I lived in Princeton, NJ for too long that I am used to pay $20 for a bowl of chicken-noodle soup, I’m not sure, but overall prices in this restaurant are cheep.
If you are in Boston and looking for a nice Japanese place, Men Tei is a good option. Keep in mind that this place is geared toward students (I would assume), so expect fast service, casual dressing, and not that many seats. In and out…
One thing I would have liked to see in this e-book though are more visual examples. The author provides some sample photos for each type of light, but I think more examples would help the reader conceptualize what each type of light does, and how to identify it.
Overall I think it’s a great book every begineer photographer needs to read. It certainly helped me understand light better.
As a rule of thumb you should change your workout routine every three to four months. You can choose various methods to go about it, methods such as: changing the number of reps (high versus low), changing exercises (bench press versus dumbbell press), changing days of the week that you work out, and doing HIT instead of steady cardio. All of these methods can, and should, be included when designing a new workout.
I have to admit that the last time I changed my workout was a while ago. So long that I forgot about the outcomes of changing a workout. I don’t talk about results though. Rather, I talk about aching muscles, feeling lethargic and an overall feeling of weakness. All of these symptoms are normal and should expected.
The first thing you need to understand is that these are positive signs. Signs that indicate that the change you made affected your body and forced it to adjust. This adjustment is what makes your muscles grow and fat to incinerate (on a side note, you need to take the term “muscle grow” very loosely. Muscles don’t grow that fast. Especially with a poor diet). With this in mind there are few rules you need to keep in mind:
Always listen to body
Changing your workout is great. It makes you feel empowered, but as I mentioned earlier it can also make you feel tired. When this happens your body is signaling stress. Listen to your body and give yourself an extra day or two to recover. Remember that shifting into over-training can only result in negative consequences.
First week is the hardest
I cannot stress this enough. Your body is in a transition mode. It’s adjusting to the new weight, exercises, routine and stress. It is important that you keep this in mind before getting demoralized and quitting your new routine. The first 10 days are your “adjusting period”. Make sure to listen to your body during this period.
Don’t over do it
The older you are, the longer time it will take for your body to adjust (read: recover). Understand it, and accept it. The tendency of most untrained trainees is to jump head first into the pool without testing the depth of water first. Take it slow, and again listen to your body.
Not all changes work 100% the first time
There is a good chance that the new workout you chose to follow is not the right workout for you. If after 10 days you still feel lethargic (and extra sore), you probably need to rethink your new routine. For example, reducing the number of sets or days you train during the week will be a good (and safe) start.
In sum, changing your workout is important, and by keeping these few rules in mind you can keep your body injury-free and enjoy a safe transition. On a personal note, I really enjoy the new routine I created. I did feel lethargic and sore during the first three days, but by listening to my body and taking a day off on the fourth day I now feel rejuvenated.
We watched an excellent movie last night titled “Free Men”. It is hard to describe it extensively without revealing all the twists in the plot so instead, here is a short quote from a detailed review I found on the web:
“Inspired by true stories,” as the opening credits claim, Free Men follows the travails of a young Algerian immigrant, Younes (Rahim), who at the start of the film tries to make a dime peddling black market goods during the Nazi occupation. When he’s arrested and threatened with torture or worse, Younes accepts to spy on the elite community hidden with the pristine walls of the Mosque of Paris, whose rector, Ben Ghabrit (Lonsdale), is suspected of providing Jews with false identification papers.
I like movies that offer twists in the main story and this movie certainly offers lots of twists. On a personal level, I never knew that North African Muslims helped Jews escape the Nazis. In all the years I was taught about the holocaust stories when living in Israel, this was never mentioned to me. It is a shame, because I am sure most of Israelis Jews don’t even know it happened.
One of the main characters in the film is singer Salim Halali. I am not going to give any spoilers here, but just say that his voice was amazing. Check out the video below to here a sample of his voice:
Storyline aside, the movie itself is very pleasant to watch in terms of scenery and videography. The director did a brilliant job with filming some of the Parisians sites. Some of the scenes made us want to book a ticket and fly to Paris, which we’ll probably will anyway :). Nicely done!
Overall it is a great movie to watch and I highly recommend it. Watch the trailer below:
One of my true joys when I travel abroad is to walk around and experiment the local cuisine. Granted, I won’t try all types of food (for example fried spiders, or a bowl of stir fry worms don’t appeal to me :) ), but I do try to enjoy most dishes that the locals have to offer.
In Edinburgh it was a dish called Haggis-a kind of savory pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs) minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach and simmered for approximately three hours. I know it sounds repulsive, but I can assure you it tasted very good.
On my previous post I mentioned how expensive the food was, and on most occasions not really what you’d expect from such an expensive meal. However, we did come across a restaurant that is definitely worth mentioning. The name of the restaurant is Hanam’s. It offers Kurdish/Turkish dishes for a reasonable price. The portions are generous and satisfying, and the ambiance is absolutely beautiful. It cost about ￡50-60 for two people to get a full meal (appetizers, main course and a dessert). The meals are absolutely delicious. Highly recommended!
The desserts are what you’d expect from European style bakeries. Small and to the point, as I like to call it. Especially the mini chocolate croissants, which I have to admit were absolutely addictive! The only odd ingredient, if you can call it odd, is the whip cream they use in cakes. Here in the States we are used to a somewhat sweeter whip cream, which is entirely the opposite in Europe, or at least in the UK. The cream is just cream, with no particular flavor associated with it. They do, however, look very good. Some pictures I took:
Of course we had the traditional fish and chips, and some other local snacks, but what was engraved in mind was a little store called: The Fudge House. Have you ever tried a Whiskey fudge, or Raisins and Rum fudge? Or maybe: Pecan and Chocolate Swirl; Butterscotch; Marzipan and Amaretto; Lemon Meringue Pie? The list goes on and on. If you are in Edinburgh make sure to pay a visit to this small (somewhat hidden) store. It is located on the Royal Mile. Check out their collection of fudge.
In sum, Edinburgh offers a collection of flavors from many regions in Europe and the middle east. Make sure to experiment them all.
Last week we flew to Edinburgh, Scotland. Irm presented a paper at the BISA conference, so we decided to take this opportunity and turn it into a mini vacation.
We ended up staying in Edinburgh for 5 nights, which proved to be enough time to explore all the tourist attractions the city has to offer. From Edinburgh castle to Holyrood park. From the old town to the new town, Edinburgh is a beautiful place to be.
Beautiful, but also expensive. Plan to spend around £50 a day per person for meals. This excludes visiting the tourist attractions which range between £10-£20 per person (per attraction). Most (national) museums in Edinburgh are free and worth the visit. Other attractions, such as the castle and the whiskey tour will cost you money, but they are all worth it. Definitely pay a visit to Holyrood park where you’ll get a chance to climb Arthur’s Seat. According to the locals, if you haven’t climbed Arthur’s Seat, you haven’t really been to Edinburgh. If you do decide to climb, and I hope you do, make sure to bring proper shoes with you. A good pair of athletic shoes will be fine (climbing shoes will be ideal as it tends to rain most times). A backpack is also recommended.
The weather in Edinburgh was not what we expected (or wished, depends how you look at it). It rained most of the time, and the temperatures were in the low 50s during the day dropping to high 40s at night. Not the kind of weather you’d expect during the month of June. We had two consecutive sunny days, which we’ve be told was a rare occasion. We felt lucky.
As I mentioned earlier, the food is quite expensive in comparison to the States, even fast food such as falafel sandwiches (£7-£11!). There are many grocery stores in the area, which I recommend to use to buy water and other snacks. You’ll save money this way.
Overall it was a great trip. Edinburgh is such a European gem, and we’ll definitely go back there. Check out some of the pics we took below (Click image to view in slideshow mode)
Ever since I was invited to a Persian dinner at my best friend’s house in Israel (yes, there are plenty of Iranian Jews in Israel), my obsession with this rich cuisine has grown immensely. NYC is known for its culinary diversity, and exploring this diversity was always on top of my list ever since I started working in the city.
A few weeks ago our friend Roni traveled from London to visit her family that lives in the city. Irm and I thought it would be a great idea to meet over dinner and have some great time together, which we did. I checked Yelp for the closest Persian restaurant in the vicinity and came up with Ravagh Persian Grill. Sure, why not. We were hungry, and didn’t feel like taking the train (rush hour) or walking too long (too hungry).
One thing I always look at when going to a restaurant that serves specialized food is how authentic the diners that sit around the table are. As a rule of thumb it is always good to see people from the same ethnic group dining at the restaurant. It shows (in most cases) that the food is closer to ‘home’. It certainly true for our favorite Turkish place. This place had plenty Iranians dining in that looked like they were having a good time.
The food was good. I ordered the sultani kebab and Irm ordered the Koobideh kebab. Both were good. The rice was good as well, but in retrospect I should have asked for the “green rice” (dilled rice cooked with fava beans). I love (a good) Persian rice and this would have been a great opportunity to taste something I really like. Our friend Roni ordered the lamb shank, which by the way looked great.
Overall it was a pleasant experience. We will come back.
The images below is something I found on the web.
As a side note, one of my favorite Persian dishes is the Gondi dumpling (see image below). This is a dish I had at my friend’s house, and only recently found out that:
Gondi is said to have originated in the Jewish ghetto in Tehran, although Jews from the other Iranian cities also claim to be its inventors. Gondi was a special food prepared only for Shabbat because ground lamb or chicken was expensive. While Iranian Jews have over the centuries eaten the same types of foods as otherIranians, Gondi has been one of their few culinary innovations that they can claim their own
If you don’t consume any protein shakes to supplement your training, I suggest you skip this post. I write it mainly because I think it can help some readers of this blog save some money and also get a good product :).
Over the past decade+ I ‘ve consumed many types of protein powders from different brands to supplement my post-workout meals. Some were okay, some were meh and some were horrible. To be frank, I never really found the right formula that left me with a”wow” feeling. All brands were pretty consistent with how they tasted, as if they were all made by the same factory ( hmm, that’s an interesting point…).
Today, while I was grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, I came across a brand that pioneered the MRP industry, MET-Rx. I was short on protein shake and decided to give it a chance. I picked the chocolate flavor container and hoped for the best. To be honest, I didn’t really have high hopes but since I needed a protein shake, and this one was right there, I decided to purchase it . And I am glad I did!
The chocolate shake tasted like ice cream, and it was thick and very tasty. Delicious actually! In fact, my first reaction was to pick up the container and re-read the ingredients/nutrition facts label. I was sure I made a mistake and accidentally selected a MRP (a powder loaded with fat, carbs and protein) instead of a protein powder. I didn’t. It was a regular protein powder, which was low on carbs and fat, and high on protein.
This is how I prepared my shake:
8oz of 1/% milk
8oz of cold water
1 scoop of MET-Rx chocolate protein powder
I highly recommend this powder! It is by far the best protein powder I have ever tried.
“So, how is your new job?”, I got asked numerous times since I left Princeton. I think the best way to describe my new job is this: if someone came to me and asked me to write down the ideal job (in terms of things I want to do), I think it would have come out similar to what I do now. I get to do inbound marketing, which I love, but I also get to be creative and I am encouraged to stay innovative. For those of you who know me, creativity and innovation are the essence of me.
And then there are the people, or the NCLD team as we like to call it. “Team” is indeed the correct word to describe the collegiality, friendship, common interests and overall positive vibes that flow in the office. From the Executive Director to the intern level, we all get along, we all laugh together, we all enjoy what we do and every person brings a unique set of skills to his or her position. There are no overlaps. Our executive director, James Wendorf , told me during my interview with him that “everyone in NCLD is like family”. I couldn’t conceptualize what he meant back then, but I do now. It is true. Everyone at NCLD IS indeed like family.
Working for a nonprofit (at least at NCLD) is like working for a Startup, minus the profit. The excitement, the pressure to perform, the exhilaration when your community reacts to your effort and the feedback you get from the founders. These are all there, on a daily basis, and it is something that is very addictive. I like it, some won’t, which is fine. That is why we are different :)
I am hoping to slowly get back to writing on my blog again. The transition to a fast pace, fast-think environment required me to use a lot of brain-power, which meant that something had to give. Now that I (hope) have things under control I can try and blog again. Some marketing stuff, some personal stuff.
Today is my last day at work. Five years of working at Princeton University are coming to an end. I have been offered, and have accepted, a managerial position at the National Center for Learning Disabilities in NYC. I am both excited and sad to leave. I feel sad because I am leaving behind a great group of colleagues with whom I connected, on both a professional level and a personal level. However, I feel excited because I will be joining an amazing team of talented people who are passionate about making a positive change in the lives of children and adults with learning disabilities.
My position will require the application of a vast spectrum of Inbound Marketing approaches. I will be a part of the online-marketing and engagement department and will be using methods such as SEO, content-creation, email-marketing, social media, lead-nurturing, and much more, to establish NCLD.org as a hub of information for parents, educators and children who seek information about Learning Disabilities. I always wanted to use my inbound marketing skills for a good cause, and now I get to do just that.
Of course, my new job will require me to commute to New York, with the help of NJ Transit rail system. I read, and heard, of all the horror stories about NJ Transit (stories such as standing all the way to NYC, delays, and whatnot), but I have also heard good accounts of NJ transit. I am hoping that my experience will contribute to the latter accounts and not the former. I hope that using the early morning express trains will somehow reduce the chances of getting stuck inside a metal car with other angry commuters. Regardless what might be said about NJ transit, I think it will be a great way to catch up on my reading, unwind, or simply process ideas in my mind.
I am very excited about starting my new job tomorrow. There are a lot of challenges facing our team, but that’s what makes this opportunity so thrilling. This is particularly so since I am a person who thrives in a challenging environment!
Let me give another example: we are all familiar with the Arab-spring that began on December 18, 2010. Aren’t these people who decided to stand up against decades of dictatorship by ruthless, corrupt, ‘leaders’ and fight for their freedom the strongest men in the world?
This goes back to the question I asked in the beginning: how do you define strength? You can argue that strength can only be defined by sheer power, but I beg to defer. I think strength can also be defined by how courageous one can be. Standing in front of a tank in the middle of a chaotic situation shows a different type of strength. The type of strength most of us will never have the chance to reveal.
I would love to read your opinion on this one. Comments are more than welcome.
Landing a job in this tight market is very difficult. Thousands of candidats send their résumés every day, hoping to hear back. Some do, but most don’t, which is why using a tool such as resunate may actually increase your chances of landing a job that fits your experience (disclosure: I never used this tool myself. It received good reviews on some of the social media websites, so I thought of sharing it with you).
Before You Start
I am sure there are dozens of tools out there that can help you build your résumé to match almost any position, which is all fine. However, I think there is one important thing you ought to keep in mind: applying to jobs that you are under-qualified, or even over-qualified, is not going to do you any good. Most likely you will find the position to be either boring, overwhelming or both. Before you use any résumé building tools, make sure you are 100% passionate about the position. Passion should be the main drive to get the position, not money.
What is Resunate
Resunate is a tool that scores your résumé against the job description. This is how it works:
The higher the score, the more likely your résumé will pass the screening. Again, I have never used this tool before, but it looked interesting enough to share. The video below does a good job describing the service. Good luck with your search!
conceptual analysis of radical Islamist rhetoric drawn from temporally and contextually varied Islamist extremist groups, challenging the popular understanding of Islamist extremism as a product of a ‘clash-of-civilizations’. Arguing that the essence of Islamist extremism can only be accurately understood by drawing a distinction between the radical Islamist explanations and justifications of violence, the author posits that despite the radical Islamist contextualization of violence within Islamic religious tenets, there is nothing conceptually or distinctly Islamic about Islamist extremism. She engages in a critical analysis of the nature of reason in radical Islamist rhetoric, asserting that the radical Islamist explanations of violence are conceptually reasoned in terms of existential Hegelian struggles for recognition (as fundamentally struggles against oppression), and the radical Islamist justifications of violence are conceptually reasoned in terms of moral consequentialism.
Why am I so thrilled about this book you ask? One good reason is because Irm is my wife. I was there throughout the process of writing this book. I watched her spend hours at Widener library (Harvard University), and later Firestone library (Princeton University) conceptualizing her ideas, reading hundreds of articles and books and devoting her entire life to finishing this masterpiece. There were many obstacles along the way, but she didn’t give up. She kept fighting. I am so proud of her!
The book itself introduces a fresh approach to the Islamist Extremism discussion. A lot has been said, some more racist than others, but no one really provided an analysis of the real big pink elephant in the room. The Essence of Islamist Extremism does just that!
The new WordPress 3.3 upgrade offers some nice features, no doubt. The team at WordPress did a great job polishing their CMS. But there was a cost, for me anyway, to this upgrade. Apparently, ALL the Google+, retweets, and Facebook sharing that my posts accumulated over the years are now gone. Vanished. Man, I thought to myself, that sucks! Nothing I can do about, right? I wonder if anyone else suffered the same problem. hmm…
Anyway, a friend sent me this video that made me feel a little better. It features some astounding moments (hence the name…) that I am sure will make you smile. It is too bad Yahoo doesn’t offer the option to embed videos. The most astounding moments of 2011. Enjoy!
Today was a very exciting day for all marketers around the world. Today was the day Twitter reinvented itself with a new design, updated its iPhone app AND launched (limited to a few companies) the most anticipated feature of the year: Twitter brand pages for businesses. I spent most of the day in NYC so I was late to read all this exciting news (and maybe it is better this way), but when I did get to read it I was so thrilled. Especially the last part, Twitter brand pages for businesses.
The feature that I think is the most exciting one is the embedded tweets feature. Giving your readers the ability to reply, follow, favorite and re-tweet without even leaving the web page is a huge advantage. I cannot wait to see how companies and bloggers are going to leverage this one. Below is an example of what I am talking about:
Just saw it now (out all day). This is SO exciting! Twitter Launches Brand Pages for Business Accounts ow.ly/7TDo4
I finally had a chance to test google’s new changes to SERP with a blog post I wrote yesterday. I wanted to test how ‘fresh’ content that appears in SERP really is. I was taken aback. I typed “Pro HDR App”–the title I used for the blog post–in the search box 12 minutes after I published the post, and lo and behold, it was right there! 12 minutes!
This is really a no-brainer. Blog more often. Pick good keywords. Be relavant. I know it sounds simple, but to do so, as a marketer, you’ll need to develop a good content-creation strategy. Personally, I really think a good content-creation strategy is one of the hardest thing to do as a marketer. Don’t get be wrong, you can create crapy content and publish dozens of articles each week, but what do you think is going to happen? Nothing! No conversions. Low to none CTR. A total disaster to your brand. There are many ways to create a good content-creation strategy, but that’s is a topic I’ll need to cover some other time. The point I want to emphasize though is that Google’s new changes to SERP do work, and as a marketer you need to learn how to turn these changes into an advantage over your competition.
How Do You Do It
There are a few ways you can use these changes to your advantage. These are just a few examples I can think of, but feel free to add yours in the comments:
Product launch: if you are a blogger, you can take advantage of a new product launch event (let’s say iPad 3, for example) by creating content around this event, and strategically choosing your keywords.
Breaking news: do you have a new product you are planning to announce? Good. Now get to work and start creating content around this product.
The new iPhone 4S is known for its great camera ( 8 megapixle resolution, f/2.4 apature, improved backside illumination sensor, excellent auto white balance, advanced color accuracy, face detection, and reduced motion blur), but in order to take a picture that will include all these great features you need ‘something’ that will give you an edge. You need an app.
I was a bit skeptical before I purchased the $1.99 Pro HDR app. I didn’t want to pay money for something I either won’t use, or worse, find to be a piece of junk. The Pro HDR app ended up to be a success, and after a few tries I managed to master all of its functionalities.
There is a Learning Curve
There are a two things you’ll need to keep in mind when using this app:
It is more about the photographer than it is about the app. Yes, the app will do some amazing things, but you need to keep in mind your part in the process of taking the picture. For instance, it is important to stay motionless during the two second period shot. Doing so will result with some nice photos.
If you are planning on taking a penalty kick during the next FIFA world-cup, you can scratch it off of your list (until you invest in a good DSLR camera that is). Instead, try to focus more on portraits, or outsides photos (sunsets, forests, etc). I found it to work the best.
Below are two samples of before and after photos I took the other day. I really like the sharp colors of the after photos. I think the app did a great job with balancing light and exposure. Also, you’ll notice that the after photo is framed. This is one of the built-in features the app offers.
I love the Siri feature on iPhone 4S. It is easy to use, it can save time, and most importantly it is innovative. But what about having a Siri on your Mac? It would be nice to be able to add an event to iCal, or check your emails by just speaking a command to your mac, wouldn’t it? Well, apparently the smart minds at Apple thought about it, and the new Lion OS does in fact have this application built in. The video below shows how to set it up.
Use Speakable Items To Bring Siri’s Functionality To Your Mac
I finally purchased the new iPhone 4S, and I could not be happier. This meant I had to switch my T-Mobile account to an AT&T account, which I had no problem doing. I selected the plan I thought will serve me best, and just like that my two year ‘relationship’ with AT&T has begun. In the past few days I logged into my AT&T online account numerous times in order to familiarize myself with all the new rules (mainly phone usage, and data usage). I found the experience to be much more user-friendly than the T-Mobile account experience, but that’s beside the point. What caught my eyes was a plan named Rollover Minutes. A simple plan that let subscribers carry over minutes from one month to another. I thought it was only fair, especially with customers, myself included, who don’t use all of their minutes.
And then it hit me
When I was in the process of finalizing my decision about which mobile carrier to select, the one thing I kept comparing was the data-plan each of them offered. They were all pretty much the same. Shocking, I thought to myself. All are competing for the same market, but none of them offer any special, groundbreaking, incentive to pick their service over the other.
The major phone companies, Verizon and AT&T, offered pretty much the same data-plan, and phone services. What surprised me the most was that in a world where everything is controlled by data, both companies did not manage to reach some sort of a customer-incentive plan that will make customers jump and say “wow, now that’s worth it”.
And then it hit me. Why not have a plan, such as the rollover-minutes plan I mention earlier, that will allow subscribers carry over their unused data? They can call it a Rollover-Data plan. I don’t work for AT&T, but if I were one of the company’s strategic planner, this is something I would have suggested.
If you are an AT&T customer, I’m curious to hear your thought? I added the @ATT twitter name in the title, so if you Re-tweet this post it will (hopefully) catch AT&T’s attention and maybe they can do something about it ( a one in a million chance, but hey..:-)
Like many other Apple fans around the globe, I was impacted by Steve jobs’ death. Somehow I had this growing feeling that the world had lost more than just a man, it had lost a genius who truly changed–and would have continued to change–the way we live our lives.
I recently finished reading Walter Isaacson’s book, “Steve Jobs”, which details the story of Steve Jobs over nearly 600 pages, and after reading it my admiration to him has risen to a new level. But this post is not about the book (which I highly recommend). It is about a movie that came out days after Steve jobs’ death, a movie called iGenius. A 43 minutes about the man who changed the world.
A disclosure: The movie is not a good supplement to reading the book. The book puts Jobs’ story in a whole different light.