Updates on my Moleskine search

It’s like a mix of envy and curiosity. I still don’t know what’s so good about the Moleskines, but I am now attracted to them (probably only due to the shear popularity of them online). They are still way too expensive for me. I probably won’t find anything to write on them (Although I am writing a novel).

I had just discovered that Neil Gaiman is a lover of such goods. I am currently reading his Anasi Boys. Perhaps I will let my preference of his words to sway me of his taste in his stationery.

Also, I had come across this website. There is a wealth of beautiful drawings made in Moleskines. This reminds me of my drawing made on my journey around Italy. I guess, next time I make a solo journey, I will get a Moleskine.

I had also spent some time today reading up on GTD. And here is a Moleskine hack to accommodate the GTD system. Interesting stuff. I had recently bought a leather cover for the tiny notepad that I carry around. Now I will put GTD into practice.

GTD, according to Wikipedia:

GTD rests on the principle that a person needs to move tasks out of the mind by recording them somewhere. That way, the mind is freed from the job of remembering everything that needs to be done, and can concentrate on actually performing those tasks.

Man, this Moleskine research is turning into an Obsession.

Hair Loss Research

Man, I have been having rather severe hair loss recently. I have been doing extensive research into my condition. Currently, it’s looking like I am stuck to a stupid hat for the rest of my life.

Here is a summary of my condition: (If you are a dermatologist or an endocrinologist, and have any insight, please let me know…)

  • In 33 blood relatives, going back 3 generations, with the 4 grand parents still alive, and oldest being 82, they all still have hair!!!
  • I started losing hair at 25.
  • The pattern of hair loss is not male-patterned. I am not getting the M-shaped receding hair line, or the bald patch at the back. It’s currently more like female-patterned with a general loss of hair on the top.
  • I haven’t lost too much weight.
  • I seem to lose more when I lose sleep.
  • I have been constantly under stress since 25… (How much stress is sufficient stress?)
  • Thyroid function normal.

I have been doing some extensive research into hair loss treatment, and here are some promising clues.

  • Stem cell research is yielding results. According to Wikipedia, new treatment may be on the market soon.

    Hair multiplication

    Looking forward, the prospective treatment of hair multiplication/hair cloning, which extracts self-replenishing follicle stem cells, multiplies them many times over in the lab, and microinjects them into the scalp, has been shown to work in mice, and is currently under development, expected by some scientists to be available to the public in 2009–2015. Subsequent versions of the treatment are expected by some scientists to be able to cause these follicle stem cells to simply signal the surrounding hair follicles to rejuvenate. See Baldness treatments

    In October 2006, UK biotechnology firm Intercytex announced they have successfully tested a method of removing hair follicles from the back of the neck, multiplying them and then reimplanting the cells into the scalp (Hair multiplication). The initial testing resulted in 70% of male patients regrowing hair. This treatment method is expected to be available to the public by 2009.

    In January 2007, Italian stem-cell researchers say they’ve come up with a new technique for curing baldness. Pierluigi Santi of a Genoa clinic said stem cells could be used to “multiply” hair roots. He said the clinic would be ready to perform its first hair transplants on priority patients – those who have lost their hair in fires or other accidents – within a few months. After that, he said, “we’ll open our doors to paying customers”. Santi’s approach works by splitting roots and growing new follicles.

  • Vitamin D receptor deficient mouse develop alopecia (also here). So, maybe it has to do with VDR deficiency, or even vitamin D deficiency.
  • Celiac disease (intolerance of gluten) is associated with alopecia (but only alopecia areata)

I have been hoping that my diffused hair loss is due to telogen affluvium, but it’s appearing more and more non-transient.  I have also been using Minoxidil 5%, and Ketoconazole shampoo to overcome the itch associated with Minoxidil…  I hope it gets better soon, or I am going to look like my favorite captain soon.

    Cool Tip

    Turn A PENCIL Into A LIGHT ! – video powered by Metacafe


    Three days ago, the hard drive on my MacBook suffered a complete failure.

    Dear Readers, please consider this an obituary for my hard drive.

    When I received my MacBook, I had mixed feelings towards it. It was paid for by my work, so I didn’t feel as much attachment as my other hardwares which I had bought. It was initially unloved like an adopted child, sans labour and carrying it for nine months.

    It was a clever child though. And it soon grew on me. Its ability to turn to the dark side (i.e. Windows) was certainly a convenient trait to have. Tiger, the version of the OS running on it, was snappy and great to use. The number of great applications running on Tiger soon made it part of my life. I converted from Quicken to iBank, Dreamweveaer to Coda, and I paid for OmniPlan project management.

    But now it’s dead. One morning, it just refused to wake up. It made the familiar and dreaded clicks, indicating total head crash. Now it’s gone. Like having had a stroke. All its memories are gone.

    In a few weeks, a repaired MacBook will come. It will come with fresh memories. But it will be a different MacBook.

    What’s so good about Moleskines?

    I don’t get it.

    After going through other people’s bags, I paid extra attention to the Moleskine notepads at the book store today. This would be my fifth or sixth time picking up a demo Moleskine, trying to fathom why so many people use them.

    I still don’t get it.

    It’s just a note pad, with a hard back. It’s stylishly minimalist. It’s also expensive, at about 10 times the price of a normal note pad. Being a Mac user, I can understand why some people would pay for a beautiful yet functional device. But at ten-times the cost?! I don’t know…. Also, I find the cardboard hard back adding unnecessary weight to the package.

    I had also come across some Rhodia notepads, which are also twice the price of normal note pads. Admittedly, the Rhodia notepads have an ingenius fold on the cover, which allows the cover to fit snugly over the spine of the notepad. I like its simplicity, but I don’t think I will pay extra for that little bit of convenience. Even with a Paul Smith designed colour stripe at the bottom.