Julia J.

Level 4 Contributor

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About Me

Never as educated as I would like to be.

27 Reviews by Julia


The best professional reviews of top restaurants - Michelin, the venerable European restaurant guide, has recently come under considerable criticism for being elitist, snobby, and just plain wrong. Much of this criticism was directed at its first guides to America and Japan. I cannot vouch for its Japanese guide (although my Japanese friends do not believe European Michelin critics sufficiently appreciate the intricacies of Japanese food, which I could believe) but I have found its US guide to be excellent.

Not everyone likes critical reviews - Zagat and Yelp have become quite popular. But I find those guides to be too noisy. It's hard to tell which reviews you can trust (even when aggregated). But I do feel like I can trust Michelin. My primary experience has been in the South of France, New York and San Francisco, but all the 1 and 2 star restaurants I have been to have been amazing experiences. I would highly recommend the Michelin Guide to anyone who is serious about dining out (it's a great gift idea too =)


The Daily Beast is hit or miss - Former Vanity Fair and New Yorker editor Tina Brown started Daily Beast, a somewhat self-indulgent collection of original articles and syndicated work which calls itself, ". A speedy, smart edit of the web from the merciless point of view of what interests the editors."

Some of the articles are great. Funny original work like this article on David Gergen. Also, Tina Brown has called in such heavy-weights as the always brilliant Michael Kinsley. But for every excellent author, Tina Brown throws in a Randi Zuckerberg, the sister of the founder of Facebook, who is a poor writer and doesn't seem to have much to say of any importance.

So while I might be inclined to follow individual authors, I cannot find a compelling reason to keep coming back to the site. I just don't know what it's for.


Does Fox News make the world worse off...? - I think it might. The argument for Fox News could be:

(1) it's entertaining
(2) it provides balance to an overly liberal news media

And those points are fair. But I would still suggest Fox News might still make the world worse off. The troubling bit for me is that Fox News presents political opinion as "news." I think poltical opinion is fine but really needs to be presented as such, so viewers are not confused. This is also done to some extent in the NY Times, or even on NPR, but I believe the biasis in their reporting is much less than what is seen on Fox News. The American people deserve better news coverage than what Fox News offers.


My favorite movie community - I used to have Netflix, and one of my favorite features was Netflix.com where I could write little movie reviews and share them with my friends. But I got too busy and canceled my Netflix account, so I nowhere to write reviews. Then I got spammed by one of my friends on Facebook by some app called Flixster. But I'm a sucker for movies, so I clicked on it, and now I'm hooked. All my movie addicted friends joined too, and now we all share reviews and pictures. It's great. I also like their movie quizzes. My only complaint is that I waste way too much time on this... I think I need help!


Max Richter composes beautiful music. Er, ring tones - Obnoxious ring tones have sadly become a part of life. Max Richter aims to change all that. Here on his site you can listen to music composed specifically for your cell phone ring tone. The surprising bit is, it's really good.

On the website you can view postcard images while you listen to each ring tone - the combination is beautiful and evocative. These ring tones are already on sale in Europe, but are not available in North America until September 23rd.

It's an amazing thing when a utilitarian object as a cellular phone becomes a medium for real art. Let's hope we see more of this.


Paris Review for author interviews and young poets - Made famous by its famous founders (including George Plympton) and its fabulous author interviews: http://www.theparisreview.com/literature.php the Paris Review remains a great literary magazine and source for fresh new writing from people you have never heard of.

The website offers an amazing "audio" section: http://www.theparisreview.com/audio.php

More about the magazine here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Review


Politico offers an excellent insider's perspective on the political news of the day. I read it as a supplement to the New York Times and the Washington Post, and I check it every day when I wake up to check the political mood of the day.


Sad but beautiful pictures of geeks in costume - Land of the Free - Steve Schofield is a great photographer, and he shows it in his collection entitled "Land of the Free"

There is a beauty and a sadness in his pictures... people looking for themselves... filled with loneliness... a portrait of an America that lacks community and purpose.


A community like no other - My mom used to take me to Rainbow Gatherings when I was a kid, and I loved them. But looking back, they were kind of wild. In this counter-culture gathering in the wilderness (the location always changes) you will find friendly and unusual people. Families, computer programmers, stoned hippies (sometimes naked), wild dancing, and much much more. The Rainbow Gatherings are NOT for everyone, but if you are an unusual person looking for other unusual people, you should check it out.


Wish you could be reading a book instead of working in your cube? - Now you can - and without your boss knowing! Read At Work is an amazing website that simulates windows and powerpoint presentations. The cool thing is, the powerpoints are all classic short stories, poems, novels! So when you're reading Emily $#*!inson your boss will think you're working on that marketing presentation.


Beautiful and worth your time - Jamie Livingston, a photographer in New York, took a single Polaroid picture each day of his life from the age of 22 in 1979 until the day of his death in 1997, aged 51, from cancer. Some pictures capture his engagement, birthdays. But others are simple. Playing music with friends. Napping. Laughing.

The site is a story of a life. Picture by picture and moment by moment. The quality of the Polaroids evokes sadness and beauty. Jamie's life was beautiful. And you realize how similar his life was to your own.

The internet is an immature medium. Filled with utility but lacking in art and emotion. This simple website has both.



Neat way to see crime stats - Other than an assaulted cab driver two weeks ago, my upper east side neighborhood looks safe! I feel like this map might be missing some info...


Calculate your carbon footprint and buy green gadgets - You input how much you drive, fly and spend on energy and then calculate how much CO2 you emit (I emit 50,000 lbs! - eek). It's really interesting to think about. This number also omits thing like how much stuff I buy (bottled water, food, plastic anything, etc.) but it is still scary. The site also allows you to buy carbon offsets that go towards environmentally friendly projects. It's a neat idea, but how do I know my carbon offsets are going to be put to efficient use?

There are also a bunch of neat "green" products that are great gift ideas. My favorite is the solar powered device recharger that works with cell phones, iPods, etc.: http://www.terrapass.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=USBCELL-AA2&Store_Code=TerraPass


Everyone still loves Google, but for how long? - I have loved Google since 1999. Google was friendly, well-meaning, and they had a great search product. However, more recently, Google has seemed more and more like a normal, big company. And with each new product they roll out, I feel like Google would like to take over another little part of my life. And to top it off, Google search has not really gotten much better for the past several years. Now, for health, blogs, news, and other topics, I find Google to be inferior to more specific vertical search engines. Unless Google proves me wrong in the near future, I will be looking to diversify my web service consumption elsewhere. Yahoo, anyone?


Depressing and funny t-shirts and gift ideas - Finally -- a site that tells it like it is and puts it on t-shirts, calendars and other great depressingly funny gift ideas. My favorites include the "more people have read this shirt that your blog" t-shirt: http://despair.com/viewall1.html

I also enjoy the failure poster:


Good social network for books - Goodreads is a simple way for you to keep track of books you've read, share them with friends, and find new books to read. You can review books, see what your friends are reading and even meet new people based on book interests (if that's your thing). The site's not spectacular, but it gets the job done.


Interesting art site - Quirky art. I love it.


Lifestyle mag from the Economist? - I love the Economist, but I'm not sure I quite get the idea behind this site. Since I already read Vanity Fair, the New York Times, and the New Yorker, where is More Intelligent Life supposed to fit in?


Most impressive photography you will ever see - The Hubble Space Telescope has had its problems, but the images it has produced of our solar system, galaxy and universe are nothing short of the most impressive images ever produced by man. Images include quasars, black hole candidates, close-ups of Saturn's rings, and interstellar nebulae. Check out the gallery here: http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/


Amazing pictures of galaxies, supernovae - Harvard's Chandra X-Ray Observatory produces some of the most spectacular images of galaxies, supernova remnants, nebulae, and other deep space phenomena.

Julia Has Earned 143 Votes

Julia J.'s review of Flixster earned 22 Very Helpful votes

Julia J.'s review of Rainbow Family earned 5 Very Helpful votes

Julia J.'s review of Google earned 7 Very Helpful votes

Julia J.'s review of Tiny Showcase earned 2 Very Helpful votes

Julia J.'s review of Harvard University Commencement Office earned 2 Very Helpful votes

Julia J.'s review of Politico earned 8 Very Helpful votes

Julia J.'s review of The Frick Collection earned 4 Very Helpful votes

Julia J.'s review of TerraPass earned 3 Very Helpful votes

Julia J.'s review of 101 Cookbooks earned 3 Very Helpful votes

Julia J.'s review of The Daily Beast earned 3 Very Helpful votes

Julia J.'s review of SpotCrime earned 3 Very Helpful votes

Julia J.'s review of FoxNews earned 6 Very Helpful votes

Julia J.'s review of DrudgeReport earned 3 Very Helpful votes

Julia J.'s review of Gofugyourself.typepad earned 4 Very Helpful votes

Julia J.'s review of michelinguide.com earned 3 Very Helpful votes

Julia J.'s review of FoxNews earned a Well Said vote

Julia J.'s review of Apple earned 3 Very Helpful votes

Julia J.'s review of Photooftheday.hughcrawford earned 11 Very Helpful votes

Julia J.'s review of 1843 Magazine earned 2 Very Helpful votes

Julia J.'s review of Steve Schofield earned 2 Very Helpful votes

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