is isntalling Debian from USB stick but then, if you want to run your Ubuntu from the stick (i.e. not install a Desktop system with it) the process of getting the data onto the stick is the same as this link shows
Here's a little script I wrote for recording how many writes to disk I have made, I run this script just before shutting down if I remember to.
I was using the data I was collecting for playing with the equation from the following link, Accurately judging endurance for solid-state storage.
# a script for recording writes to disk, (mainly useful for predicting the lifetime of flash memory)
date >> iostat.log
uptime >> iostat.log
echo " " >> iostat.log
iostat -p >> iostat.log
iostat -kdx >> iostat.log
echo "x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x" >> iostat.log
This script was inspired by a discussion with Patb in an earlier thread, Installing into a SSD, and Patb deserves most of the credit.
I haven't been able to prove anything much yet, except that the results seem to vary dramatically according to the kind of work the user is doing.
On a slightly different aspect of the same topic, a lot of people advise the use of ext2 rather than ext3 or ext4 for flash memory, so as to avoid file system journalling. In the following linked web blog, Archive for the ‘SSD’ - Thoughts by Ted, Theodore Tso' (the head developer of the ext series of file systems), says he thinks the benefits of file system journalling outweight the benefits of any reduction in the number of disk writes. (At least that's my interpretation of that part of his blog).
The new ext4 file system is (as far as I know), the most advanced file system at this time for flash memory, Ext4 has support for the ATA TRIM command, which most SSD drives or memory sticks themselves don't even support yet. Look for that feature next time you're shopping for a new SSD or flash memory stick though. I'm not sure how long it'll be before it's widely implemented, but it's coming. From ext3 to ext4: An Interview with Theodore Ts'o