Sunday, December 30, 2012

Overheard in the Museum of Prehistory 在臺東史前博物館
婦:「哇,妳看,死豬!妹妹,趕快過來跟死豬合照!」
Lady: "Wow, look, it's a dead pig! Sister, hurry over here and I'll take your picture with the dead pig!"
http://www.nmp.gov.tw/

Friday, December 28, 2012

學歷史最根本的錯誤,迺「以今律古」。古人有古人的時代、環境、想法,不能要求他們的想法跟我們一樣。
資治通鑑、晉紀、顯宗成皇帝咸康八年:(慕容皝征高句麗)『皝將還,韓壽曰:「高句麗之地,不可戍守。今其主亡民散,潛伏山谷;大軍既去,必復鳩聚,收其餘燼,猶足為患。請載其父屍、囚其生母而歸,俟其束身自歸,然後返之,撫以恩信,策之上也。』皝從之。發釗父乙弗利墓。載其屍,收其府庫累世之寶,虜男女五萬餘口,燒其宮室,毀丸都城而還。」
次年,顯宗成皇帝建元元年,『春,二月,高句麗王釗遣其弟稱臣入朝於燕,貢珍異以千數。燕王皝乃還其父屍,猶留其母為質。』
現在用這種外交手挽恐怕不行~~
"The past is a different country.” When you read history, you have to bear in mind that they had different ways of living and thinking, so you can't expect them to act like we might.
For example, this passage from the year 342 AD, when the King Huang (of the Mujung Hsienpei, or Bayan Siberians) quelled the kingdom of 高句麗 Goguryeo (Kokuryõ) / 고구려 in what is now central and northern Korea, and parts of Manchuria and Siberia. His advisor Han Shou said, "The land of Goguryeo is indefensible. We have chased their king and scattered their people, but they just hide in mountains and valleys. When our armies leave, they will gather again, blow life into the embers, and be another problem for us. We should take the king's father's corpse and capture his mother alive and bring them back with us. When the king ties himself up and surrenders, we will return them to him and pet him and soothe him and treat him faithfully. This is the best policy." Huang took this advise. They dug up the tomb of King Chao's father, Ifuli, and carried away his corpse. They took the accumulated treasure of generations, as well as over fifty thousand men and women, burned down the palaces, destroyed the capital, and went home."
In the spring of the next year, 343 AD, "King Chao of Goguryeo sent his little brother to vow allegiance, and offered thousands of extraordinary valuables. King Huang returned his father's corpse, but kept his mother as hostage."
To be honest, I am having some trouble envisioning this as a viable policy today: got a problem with a country, go to their capital, dig up their president's father's corpse, carry it home, and wait for results. Yup.
Actually, it probably would have worked about as well in Iraq as Bush's invasion.

PS: They returned the king's mother twelve years later, in 355AD, when the king displayed appropriate remorse and loaded them down with gifts. I can visualize the Bayan king saying, Well, she was getting old anyway.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

東至過了,要想春聯。今天有一對,大概不能用:
日暮星出該入眠
狗吠蚊咬怎能睡

Sunday, December 23, 2012

This is a very important point to be considered in the debate about gun control: click here::
The key words here are muscle memory.
If someone who has studied martial arts for a couple years gets in a tight situation, most likely they will just flail, and all their training goes out the window. You have to train your body until the only moves it knows are the ones you want.
So it is logical that the same thing holds true for guns. If you shoot your gun at a range, standing carefully, with ear protection and so forth, your gun is probably going to get tangled up in your shirt when you really need it.
Please remember that police do not advocate guns for everybody. They know what it's like to use a gun for protection.
The gun lobby does not care about public safety or the welfare of the nation. All they care about are their profits, and oh did you see how somebody in Pennsylvania shot up seven people just a week after the shooting in Connecticut? That's three victims killed, three police officers wounded, and the shooter killed by police, so let's say at least seven bullets were consumed (would have been seven hundred bullets if it had been LAPD). Okay, seven bullets, plus the profit from selling the gun, you know the old saying: a penny here, a penny there, it all adds up. No wonder the NRA wants police in every school: profit! profit! profit!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Overheard in Atolan
「世界滅亡那天一定要請假。」
"On the day the world ends, be sure to take the day off."

The sun rose this morning in direct alignment with the center of the Milky Way. That happens only once every 25,800 years, so I hope you saw it. If you didn't, you're in for a long wait.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

我們剛從臺東回來,心得非常豐富,要慢慢整理,將會逐步寫出來。We've had a very rich week. Sunday afternoon I went to a class by the Tayal weaver Yuma Daru (although I spent the time taking care of her daughter Lungah Baunay and chatting with Baunay.) Then I went to a knife show and visited the bowyer Cho Hanching, after which I went to Pulima, the first annual aborigine art festival. Then I went to hear the great Puyuma/彪馬、卑南 singer, Sangpuy.
Monday morning we crawled out of bed before dawn and caught a train to Taitung on the southeastern coast, where Sawtoy, leader of the Amis Kakeng Ensemble, introduced us to artists from the Amis, Puyuma, and Paiwan tribes (renewing old friendships in some cases). Sawtoy taught us how to make the tipolo, traditional Amis bamboo flute. And so forth and so on. A lot to digest, a lot to write about. I will keep posting.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

When you read the horrible news from Newtown, Connecticut, remember that somebody made a profit from those dead children and teachers. Somebody made money by selling the guns and the ammunition. This is why the NRA is so rabidly opposed to gun control: better that innocents die than profits suffer. Amitabha.

Friday, December 14, 2012


臺北市政府舉辦「原住民文史特色采風研習班」,請Amis旮亙樂團的少多宜團長講阿美文化、音樂。托團長與周家平助教之福,我們也參加了。Amis旮亙樂團的少多宜團長示範阿美族樂器,如鼻笛、竹筒琴、膜笛。下午教我們做弓琴。

At a workshop hosted by the Taipei City Government, Sawtoy, the leader of the Amis Kakeng Ensemble, demonstrated several aboriginal instruments, including the infamous nose flute (ngusut tipolo, click here::), the bamboo kazoo, and the tiftif, a sort of jew's harp that sounds like a didgeridoo. In the afternoon he taught us how to make and play the bow harp.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

gimme a dozen
Now is 12.12.12;12:12.12. Those of you who cannot stand the excitement may be seated.
This will be the last in a remarkably inane series of posts celebrating such events as 08.08.08;08:08:08 and, for example, 050505. The reason this is the last post is not that I believe the world is ending this year, but rather that there aren't thirteen months in 2013, so I'm sort of stuck. The next good series begins in 2101, and I, for one, have no intention of hanging around until then.
In the highly unlikely event that the world does end on solstice of this year, we will be spared several days of X'ma$ carols. Look forward to it!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Kids like to play in puddles. It's human nature. I think that parents who don't let their kids get all muddy or play in puddles should be charged with child abuse.


Saturday, December 08, 2012

扗少輔院當志工一件很榮幸的事是,可以給小受刑人介紹偉大藝術:他們日常生活中完全遇不到。昨天介紹「布藍詩歌」的「命運女神」~~誰聽懂拉丁文?我印了拉丁文歌詞,中文對照,一句一句帶他們唸。我還帶他們唸拉丁文。我說,「跟我唸,以後你可以跟人說你念過拉丁文的詩。」他們反應不錯,一句一句念;命運的擺佈,他們體認極其深刻,看到兩位偷偷擦淚。
但我唸到一半時,我突然想到:我這一生有些比較特殊的經驗,而帶一群少年囚讀誦中世紀拉丁詩,應該可以排前幾名。

A great privilege of doing volunteer work at the Reformatory is that I have the chance to introduce these young men to great art. Most had never even heard of Bach or Guernica, but they respond avidly.
This week I played O Fortuna from Carmina Burana for them. First I introduced the manuscript and poems, then played the piece once without explaining it. I asked their reactions, which were vivid and right on target. Then we passed out a handout, with the lyrics in Latin and Chinese. With these kids, you have to keep a tight hold on their attention, so I had them read along with me line by line, Latin and Chinese. Who understands Latin? But we struggled along word by word, and before the poem was finished, I noticed two of them surreptitiously wiping away tears: the vagaries of fortune is something they know far more about than people their age should.
But halfway through the poem, it struck me: I have had some unusual experiences in my life, but leading a group of teenage prisoners in reciting a medieval Latin poem has got to rank pretty near the top.
O Fortuna 命運啊
velut luna 像月亮一樣
statu variabilis, 變化無常;
semper crescis 月盈、
aut decrescis; 月虧。
vita detestabilis 可惡的人生!
nunc obdurat 有時給苦難
et tunc curat 有時給幸福,
ludo mentis aciem, 隨命運捉弄人!
egestatem, 無論貧窮
potestatem 與權貴
dissolvit ut glaciem. 都像冰雪融化消亡。

Sors immanis 可怕
et inanis, 虛無愚癡的
rota tu volubilis, 命運之旋轉輪,
status malus, 你無情地轉動,
vana salus 你惡毒兇殘,
semper dissolubilis, 搗毀所有的幸福,
obumbrata 陰影籠罩
et velata 撲朔迷離
michi quoque niteris; 你也把我打敗了;
nunc per ludum 你開心,你邪惡,
dorsum nudum 我赤裸的背脊給你,
fero tui sceleris. 無情折磨我。

Sors salutis 一帆風順時、
et virtutis 美侖美奐時、
michi nunc contraria, 命運跟我作對。
est affectus 在感情中、
et defectus 或虛弱時,
semper in angaria. 我永遠不能自主。
Hac in hora 在此刻
sine mora 一定不要遲疑,
corde pulsum tangite; 好好彈琴弦,
quod per sortem 因為命運
sternit fortem, 會擊敗最無畏的勇士,
mecum omnes plangite! 大家跟我一起悲歌哭泣!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Oops…. A construction company hired to help renovate an 18th French chateau was supposed to knock down a small building on the estate. They got a little detail wrong, and bulldozed the chateau instead.
Click

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

東晉郭璞為古今卜卦高人,嘗遇光祿顏含,欲為之筮。含曰,年扗天、為扗人、修己而天不與者,命也。守道而人不知者,性也。自有性命,無勞蓍龜。
含年九十三而卒。(約卒于西元三六零年左右。)


Saturday, December 01, 2012

This December has 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays, and 5 Mondays. This happens only once ever 824 years. Enjoy it, because we aren't going to see the next one!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Overheard in 林口
甲:我讀大學的時候到北部來,吃肉粽,味道怪怪的。南部的說南部的肉粽好吃,北部說北部的肉粽好吃,常常吵架。
乙:這樣也能吵架!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

An exciting story from the 4th century, Chinese with English below:
西伯利亞,地名來自突厥語的「師比」,亦作「胥紕」、「鮮卑」,意為瑞獸(或指白虎);鮮卑後為族名,起于東胡。
鮮卑有宇文、段、慕容、拓拔諸部。前燕文明帝慕容皝有弟仁、昭、翰;仁、昭叛,至西元三三三年,翰知皝不容己,攜二子逃入段部鮮卑;段遼敗,亡入宇文部鮮卑。宇文君為宇文逸豆歸。
接下來,資治通鑑記載:
晉咸康六年,宇文逸豆歸忌慕容翰才名。翰乃陽(佯)狂酣飲,或臥自便痢,或被髮歌呼,拜跪乞食。宇文舉國賤之,不復省錄,以故得行來自遂,山川形便皆默記之。燕王皝以翰初非叛亂,以猜嫌出奔,雖在它國,常潛為燕計;乃遣商人王車(姓王名車)通市於宇文部以窺翰。翰見車,無言,撫膺頷之而已。皝曰:「翰欲來也。」複使車迎之。翰彎弓三石餘,矢尤長大,皝為之造可手(適手)弓矢,使車埋於道旁而密告之。
二月,翰竊逸豆歸名馬,攜其二子過取弓矢,逃歸。逸豆歸使驍騎百餘追之。翰曰:「吾久客思歸,既得上馬,無復還理。吾向日陽(佯)愚以誑汝,吾之故藝猶在,無為相逼,自取死也!」追騎輕之,直突而前。翰曰:「吾居汝國久恨恨(恨恨謂不捨、相愛),不欲殺汝;汝去我百步立汝刀,吾射之,一發中者汝可還,不中者可來前。」追騎解刀立之,一發,正中其環,追騎散走。皝聞翰至,大喜,恩遇甚厚。
The name Siberia, Сиби́рь, comes from sibi, or subi / senbi, a Turkic word for an auspicious animal, likely the Siberian tiger. Senbi, written 鮮卑 Hsienpei / Xianbei was the name of a mounted tribe.
There were four main divisions of the Senbi; the Yuwen, Duan, Mujung, and Toba. Mujung is probably a transliteration of Bayan, a chief, a leader. They founded a kingdom called the Earlier Yen. King Huang had a brother named Han, who was a great general and so widely admired that in 333AD, he decided to remove himself from the spotlight and go to live with the Duan. He took his two sons. The Duan chief, Liao, lost battles and his kingdom, so Han went to live with the Yuwen, under their king Idogui.
We pick up our story with records for 340 AD. Idogui was jealous of Han's talent and fame. Fearing for his life, Han feigned alcoholism and insanity. He would lie down in his own urine and excrement. He let his hair down and sang and danced in the streets. He would kneel down and beg for food. All of the Yuwen were disgusted by him, so the spies stopped following him and tracking his movements. This way, Han was free to go where he pleased, and he paid careful attention to the location of all the mountains, rivers, and terrain.
King Huang of Yan knew that Han had not been disloyal, and ran away because he was distrusted, but even though he was not with his own people, he would secretly help Yan (another long story we won't go into). So King Huang sent a merchant, Wang Che, to trade with the Yuwen, and have a look at Han. When Han saw Che, he didn't say anything, but struck his chest and hung low his head. King Huang said, "Han wants to come home." He sent Che again to receive him.
Han used a bow of 300 pounds, and his arrows were especially long with big heads. King Huang had a bow and arrows made just for Han's hand. He had Che bury it beside a road, and secretly tell Han where it was.
A month later, Han stole Idogui's finest horse. He took his sons, retrieved the bow, and ran home. Idogui sent over a hundred of his most ferocious horsemen to chase after him. When they caught up with him, Han said, "I have been a wanderer for a long time and I want to go home. Now I have a fine horse, so there is no reason for me to go back with you. I fooled you by pretending to be silly, but I still have my old skill. Don't push me, or you will be bringing on your own death." The horsemen didn't think much of him, so they charged straight at him. Han said, "I have lived in your land for a long time and I have great affection for you, so I don't want to kill you. Walk a hundred paces from me, and stick your sword in the ground. I will shoot one arrow. If it hits the sword, you can go back. If I miss, you may come at me." One of the horsemen stuck his sword in the ground. Han took his bow, fired one shot, and the arrow struck the ring mounted on the handle. The horsemen scattered.
When King Huang heard Han was back, he was delighted, and greeted Han with honor and grace.
And of course they eventually wiped out the Yuwen.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

人生很重要的一件事是:發呆。平常碌碌轉,需要一些時間把腦筋放空,胡思亂想。發呆是創意的根源。平常認真、充實,發呆就可能有奇穫(例如現在討論的這個構想,就是發呆所致。)
現代人一有空就拿手機出來,傳簡訊、打電玩。這樣的話,怎會有創意?靈感都被電子架空。難怪現代人只懂得跟隨流行、人云亦云。
An important part of human life is staring off into space, daydreaming. Your mind needs some time to idle, turn over ideas, and rearrange thoughts. This is an important source of creativity. (It goes without saying that this should not be your main activity…)
Every moment they have free, people nowadays text others or play video games. Their inspiration is stifled by electronic cheap thrills, so no wonder creativity suffers, and is replaced by blindly following trends and fashions.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Some time today, spare a moment to remember Kennedy. "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask rather what you can do for your country."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

後趙明帝石勒很了不起。羯族,少年為奴,卻成為後趙開國君;
謀略深邃,推動經濟,建立攷制,一生敗筆就是聽了母親的話,沒殺石虎。
石勒說,「大丈夫行事,宜礌礌落落,如日月皎然。」念之、念之!

(石勒生于西元二七四年, 崩于三三三年。)


Sunday, November 18, 2012

現在教書,需一直降低要求來迎合學生的程度。
Thar she blows, Moby Dick has been spotted. No, Moby Dick is not spotted,
he's all white. Moby Dick has been seen, and renamed Willow.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

司馬光生于宋真宗天禧三年,即西元一0一九年十一月十七日:今天是他老人家的生日!蛋糕滿滿的都是蠟燭,怎麼吹呀‽
既然知道是他的生日,要怎麼慶祝呢?去打破水缸吧。
We are approaching the thousandth birthday of Ssuma Kuang (Sima Guang), one of China's greatest historians, as well as an influential writer, politician, and scholar. He was born November 17, 1019.
When he was a boy, one of his playmates fell into a ceramic vat of water and was drowning. The other children scattered in panic. Ssuma Guang quickly broke the vat with a rock, saving the boy. His calm, decisive action was widely admired.
So go break a vat today in commemoration.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

One of the best headlines ever. Has anyone notified Dave Barry?
Fake Heinz Ketchup Bottles Explode
here

Monday, November 12, 2012

資治通鑑咸康元年(西元三三五年):王述性沈靜,每坐客辯論蠭起,而述處之恬如也。年三十,尚未知名,人謂之癡。王導以門地闢之。既見,唯問在東米價,述張目不答。導曰:「王掾不癡,人何言癡也!」
當今臺灣,若民眾一問,總統有所不知,則罵為「不問不聞。」總統不是辦事員,不需悉知瑣事。

Sunday, November 11, 2012

0一、一一、一一、我們到大溪,嘻嘻~

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I don't wish to honor the scum of the earth by wasting precious brain cells to remember their names. That guy in Norway who shot 77 people is in prison now, and complaining, complaining, complaining. :”here”: He doesn't like handcuffs, because they chaff his wrists. He can't turn on or off the lights in his three room suite. His biggest complaint is the pen he has been given, "a nightmare of a tool" that causes his hand to cramp, "an almost indescribable manifestation of sadism." My heart bleeds for him. If he doesn't like his prison, I suggest the Norwegian government send him to a prison in India, China, Pakistan, Thailand, Burma, or Afghanistan for the remainder of his term.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Romney gave a very nice speech conceding defeat in the Presidential election. To be honest, I'm glad he gave this speech rather than the other one.
Romney落選致詞比陳水扁當選致詞還有風度。

Sunday, November 04, 2012

前天參加卑南歌手桑布伊的專輯發表會~~~沒想到我也會參加專輯發表會吧!可是他唱的,真的就是評論家說的:「滄桑亙古彷彿來自天地太初」,連我這個鐵石心腸的人也感動。極力推薦桑布伊專輯:Dalan路。
Taiwan is fortunate in having many talented singers, dancers, and actors, and unfortunate in that the best are often barely noticed by the general public. Many Aborigines produce superb work that is neglected by the mainstream. This is a loss, because their work could contribute a great deal to the culture of society here.
Friday we went to the release of a new CD, Dalan (The Path). The singer is Sangpuy Katatepan Mavaliyw, a young man from the Puyuma (Beinan) tribe in southeastern Taiwan. He sings traditional songs in the Puyuma language, with modern accompaniment. His voice comes straight from the earth, powerful and pure. I recorded two short clips of the conference. The first is part of the song Milihuwan, The Grand Creator. The second is Malikasaw, The Cheerful Waggle Dance. I was deeply impressed by his singing, and hope to hear more from him.
If you have a chance, by all means, get his CD to enjoy these wonderful songs.


「賽夏族的也會搖!」

Saturday, November 03, 2012

an interesting comment on Aung San Suu Kyi and the situation in Burma by a Jingpo (Jinghpaw/景頗, Kachin):
"Daw Suu Kyi's popularity in Burma is not as universal as many Western admirers assume. She is adored in the lowlands, where fellow ethnic Myanmar predominates and her image adorns homes, shops, cars, and T-shirts. That reverence fades in rugged border regions, occupied by ethnic nationalities who have fought decades-long wars against Myanmar's -dominated military."

Thursday, November 01, 2012

A global poll shows that worldwide, Obama is favored over Romney in every country except one, our staunch ally in the fight against terrorism.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

再冷靜的女人,有時候也會很激動。那天我們坐車,我只不過是唸了前面車子的牌照號碼,太座就~~~
5738 xx

Monday, October 29, 2012

A large, noisy gathering of birds out front this morning. The choir included tkrat/樹鵲 (Himalayan Tree Pie, Dendrocitta formosae) and 白喉笑鶇 (白喉噪眉, White-throated laughing thrush, Garrulax albogularis).


Sunday, October 28, 2012

This afternoon Yumin kept barking his snake bark, a ways downhill. This was today's third snake. I decided to go have a look, if for nothing else, then to bring the beagle home. In a nearby vegetable patch, he was facing down a 南蛇 (Ptyas mucosus, Dhaman rat snake).
The snake struck at Yumin several times, just to keep him on his toes. Byajing circled around in back of the snake, but we managed to keep her out of the fray.
It turned to look at us, and stick its tongue out at us, then returned its attention to Yumin.

Finally, we convinced him to leave the snake alone.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Take the money and run:
Meet Leo Gao, the accidental millionaire::
going
and back

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

攷慮買相機的朋友們,不必攷慮Olympus:難用、易當機、售後服務爛透了。
If you buy an Olympus camera, you will have lots of memories; precious few good photos, but lots of memories.
I bought an Olympus TG-810 in September, 2011 because I want a camera for outdoor photography (click here). It is very slow to start up and slow to respond. The shutter is heavy and very slow. If you try to take a photo of a bird flying, what you will get is a blurry blob (unlike my previous cameras such as the Sony and Panasonic, which all gave excellent, clear-cut shots.) The super-macro is fixed focus, so you have to move your camera back and forth to try and find the focus. Usually you can't. Most super-macro shots come out blurry. It does not handle outdoor lighting very well, and indoors, you can eat a bowl of noodles between the time you press the shutter and the actual flash.
It has a very useful GPS, so when you use this function, and play your photos on the computer, you can read such constructive information as:
GPS latitude: -1.#IND -1.#IND -1.#IND
GPS longitude: -1.#IND -1.#IND -1.#IND
Trying to erase a photo in the camera is so difficult and time-wasting that it's easier to just erase them when you upload to your computer.
One day a rare bird perched on a branch not three meters from me. I took half a dozen photos. On another camera, I would have an excellent record of this remarkable event. With my Olympus, I got blurry, blotchy spots of color that you could barely recognize as a bird.
But at least it's a camera.
In August, 2012, the camera started shutting down by itself, and by September it was crashing every time I took a photo. The screen would go black or turn green.
On October 1, 2012, I took the camera to the store where I purchased it. The boss examined the camera and immediately agreed that it needed to be fixed, so he sent it to the Olympus dealer in Taiwan. I didn't hear anything until October 9, when someone from Olympus phoned and said that the camera was fine, there was nothing wrong with it. I told him it didn't work; he said I shouldn't use it in a desert; I haven't been near a desert or a beach. (This is Taiwan, and as far as I know, there aren't any deserts here.) He said that the camera should never be used where there is dust. Isn't this camera waterproof? I asked him to examine it and tell me what he found.
I posted on the Olympus FaceBook page, but they didn't respond. By October 17, I still hadn't heard anything from Customer Service, so I went to the dealer again. They promised to help, but apparently didn't do anything. On October 22, I phoned the Olympus Service and asked about my camera. They said there's nothing wrong with the camera. I told them that I have friends coming to Taiwan from abroad on October 25, so please hurry up. The next day, on October 23, I phoned again, and they said there’s nothing wrong with the camera. By this time, I had already given up, so I told them that I have friends coming to Taiwan on October 25, so please send me the camera immediately. I also phoned the dealer. He told me that Olympus would send the camera to his store on the 25th, so I could go pick it up there. His store is over an hour's drive away; I said that when I bought the camera, he promised door-to-door pickup and delivery for any repairs. This promise is also on the Olympus Taiwan website. He said that doesn't count, I had to go to his store to get my camera. Finally, after some argument, he agreed to have the camera delivered to me today, October 24. Customer Service told me they would have the camera delivered to me today, October 24.
This morning, Customer Service phoned and told me that there is nothing wrong with the camera, so they will send it to me tomorrow, October 25. I told them that yesterday they promised to deliver the camera to me today, and that since my friends are coming, I will not be home on October 24. They said it's not convenient for them to deliver today (the 24th), so they may deliver on October 26.
So, tomorrow my friends will visit, and I will not have any photos to commemorate the event. Thanks to Olympus!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What kind of trauma is this going to cause? A little girl wearing a black and white Halloween costume was mistaken for a skunk and shot. The lasting injury will not be from the bullet, but from being mistaken for a skunk.
I know you don't believe me, I didn't either, so click here:::
skunk
I have labeled these photos to prevent further confusion. I trust you will find this helpful.

little girl
But don’t you think people in the States are going a little overboard with the guns?

Monday, October 22, 2012

我扗北京時,有人問我南方人是不是很喜歡「八」這個數字?是啊,八八八、發發發,很多人認為八是吉數,所以電話號碼、汽車牌照,八字售價高。大概是吧,我們找些「八吉」的史例來參攷看看。
好,晉朝八王之亂…不大好吧。還有呢,八國聯軍?八年抗戰!王八!還有、還有亂七八糟、橫七豎八、八股文、四荒八極、八荒之外、七零八落、七上八下、七手八腳、八面受敵、八難三災、七瘡八孔,吉乎?吉乎?
誒,怎麼搞得?總該有好的!
八面玲瓏,可好可壞;天龍八部吧,八百壯士!壯烈,但有點慘。八仙過海!
正經八板!好,終于找到吉數了。下臺鞠躬。但休想要我多拿錢求個「八」字。
六!六一定很吉祥!六神無主!…六親不認!我看,算了。

Sunday, October 21, 2012

RIP to George McGovern, an honorable man, but I remember how my Viet Namese friends in Saigon hated him. He thought he was their savior, but to the Viet Namese in the early 1970s, he came across as arrogant and patronizing. He never bothered to learn about their culture, but deposited his own romanticisms and ideals on them. They did not appreciate it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

It's interesting how our eyes play tricks on us. It could be a side-effect of efficiency. Of course when you read, your eyes gallop along the page, not recognizing each letter as you come to it. But still, I was a bit surprised by the headline that I thought said
GIANT ROACH COBERTO KELLY OUT WITH CONCUSSION
I have to admit it caught my attention. I went back and read again:
GIANTS COACH ROBERTO KELLY OUT WITH CONCUSSION
Oh. Would some of the players care to comment on which is the more appropriate version?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


漢書、宣帝紀:「五鳳五年,匈奴單于稱臣,遺弟谷蠡王入侍。」谷蠡,後為北方少數民族首領之稱。(五鳳五年,西元前五十三年)
後漢書、文苑傳:杜篤:「椎鳴鏑,釘鹿蠡。」李賢注:「匈奴有左右鹿蠡王。」
顏師古曰:「谷、鹿字雖不同,而音則同耳。」可見上古音輔音群之跡。

三國、晉時鮮卑部族拓跋,李蓋提與林安慶溯自阿爾泰語系:拓=tog、跋=beg,tog者,塵土; beg者,氏族。
可見上古韻~g至三國猶存。

Monday, October 15, 2012

Does power corrupt? Or are those who seek power by nature corruptible?
Few have power thrust upon them. Nobody who doesn't love power would bother to wrestle with turds all the way to a position of power. Maybe it is the nature of the beast that they seek power in order to savor its intoxication, and are then corrupted by it.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

What kind of scum would shoot a 14 year old girl?
But the Taliban have good reason to fear Malala. If Bush had sent teachers all over the Arab world instead of soldiers, those cowards would be long gone. They fear education more than anything.
If I had been President in 2001, I would have sent all the basketball stars I could find to every village and farm, donated thousands of basketballs, and built thousands of courts. Michael Jordan is infinitely more appealing than bin Laden. By now, if you said Taliban, people would be asking, Yeah, what ever happened to those jerks?

Friday, October 12, 2012

天未亮,矇矇睡眠中聽到山中林裏狗吠,聲音非常耳熟,就是我們可愛的皮狗Yumin。追到蛇?貓?Byajing不吠,所以應該不是貓咪。只有Yumin吠,所以不是野狗:野狗會對話。
拜託,不要叫我拎著手電筒到裏面去看呀!天黑夜凉牀煖,不想去。
Yumin很配合,很快就犇回來,到ngasal Silan,好了,不是蛇,蛇不會跑那麼遠,或許是小野獸。五點。怕吵到人家,只好起牀提手電筒。
如果我叫Yumin,我也吵到人,所以我就輕輕敲鑼。山寧鑼靜音幽,一次、兩次,Yumin就不吠了,九次,我停槌,Yumin從黑暗中回到家了。
It was still dark when I heard a dog barking way off into the jungle. A very familiar bark. Who could it be but beagle Yumin? Maybe he had found a snake or a kitty cat. No, if it were a cat, Byajing would be barking too. If it were a wild dog, they would be carrying on a dialogue.
Oh no, don't drag me out of bed into the dark, dark jungle! The night was cool and the bed was warm.
Yumin cooperated. He came racing back and off down the mountain. Okay, it wasn't a snake, a snake wouldn't go that far, it was probably some wild animal. Five o'clock. I didn't want to bother the neighbors downhill, so I dragged myself out of bed, got the flashlight, and went outside. 14 degrees C. But if I called for Yumin, I would be disturbing people, too, so I lightly rang the gong, once, twice, Yumin stopped barking. Shortly after the ninth ring, Yumin trotted in out of the darkness.
Now may I go back to bed?



Thursday, October 11, 2012

五胡錄:「涼州這片貧瘠的土地,竟然成為幾十年來中國最平和的樂土‧…最後和平的土地一旦開戰,變成了最悲慘的地方。」
讀至斯,捨卷,不寒而慄。

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

自從林爽文之亂,兩百多年來,臺灣幸免于戰。宋人錢易著越娘記敘述五代亂世:「自郎官以下,廩米皆自負,雖公卿亦有菜色。聞宮中悉衣補完之服,所賜士卒之袍袴,皆宮人為之。民間之有妻者,十之二三耳;兵火饑饉,不能自救,故不暇畜妻子也。穀米未熟則刈,且慮為兵所掠焉。金革之聲,日暮盈耳。當是時,父不保子,夫不保妻,兄不保弟,朝不保暮。市里索莫,郊坰寂然,目斷平野,千里無煙。加之疾疫相仍,水旱繼至,易子而屠有之矣,兄弟夫婦又可知也!當時人有詩云,『火內燒成羅綺灰,九衢踏盡公卿骨。』古語云,『寧為治世犬,莫作亂世人。』」
案:郎官,尚書省郎中與員外郎,為五、六品官。

Sunday, October 07, 2012

看倌,你敢不養生嗎?你敢把生命委託醫生嗎?現在執業醫生也許有些醫術,切記醫學院的學生上課吃麵的事實~~看過兩句,請大家參攷:
年輕不養生
老年養醫生
還有一句:
吃藥不如吃素。
It has long been forgotten that Hippocrates taught, Let your food be your medicine. Is it a better idea to put your life in a doctor's hands, or to take the responsibility yourself? Eat well (=vegan), stay away from bad habits such as smoking, drinking, or accepting too much stress, exercise, get close to nature, regulate your life, think, think, think!
If you need more persuasion, watch this: :click:: 13 minutes

Friday, October 05, 2012

so I was like, hey, man, you guys lost my case, it should have been a slam dunk verdict but you guys screwed it up, and they was like, yeah man, but hey, we only got one bong so we gotta share so we you know, we, man, you know like so we got only one bong so maaaan it’s like you want a toke you gotta wait foreeever man, so you know like hey man whacha so uptight about man, just cool it and when you get the bong you can have a toke too, man, so why you worry about you case, man, I mean, you want a toke man? and so and so I was all like well hey sure man but hey you guys lost my case and they was all
heeeeeyyy mannnn ~~~

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

現代人很好騙。只要利用大眾盲從、愛起哄的弱點,就很好擺佈,而且人越多越好騙。一個人,也許還能理智思攷,但是一大群人搖旗吶喊,理智就消失了。
這位默默無聞的年輕人想過過「名人」癮,所以他打扮成名人,帶了幾個保鑣、攝影師到紐約時代廣場~~請看看

臺灣記者、商人、政客都很懂得這個道理,所以鼓吹大眾起哄。「這款很多人買」、「要買要快」、「心動不如行動」,都是商家屢試不爽的招術,把你口袋裏的錢移到他們的口袋裏。記者與政客最愛「憤怒」、「民眾怒吼」,因為那是一種完全失去理性的狀態,沒辦法深思熟慮,所以很容易為有心人所用。

Sunday, September 30, 2012

祝大家中秋圓滿
月餅把肚子塞的圓圓滿滿的....
a happy Moon Festival to all!

Friday, September 28, 2012

晉懷帝時,王盛少時不好讀書,唯讀孝經、論語,曰,誦此能行,足矣,安用多誦而不行乎?
今人所謂孝者,多異乎夫子所謂孝,誤以「有後」足為孝。古人云,半本論語治天下,欲修、齊、治、平者,不能不讀。
今人讀書,以多得為能事,卻不問其行諸?今只有學術,求學問者稀矣。
"No man is completely useless: he can always serve as a horrible example." There are no bad teachers, only students who won't learn.
Happy birthday to Confucius, and send some good wishes to all the teachers who have ever enriched your life.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

何曾侍晉武帝宴,退謂諸子曰,主上開創大業,吾每宴見,未嘗聞經國遠圖,唯說平生常事,非貽厥孫謀之道也。及身而已,後嗣其殆乎!
司馬光評:身為宰相,知其君之過,不以告,而私語于家,非忠臣也。
魔王斯大林死于一九五三年;一九五六年蘇聯共產黨第二十次代表大會上,赫魯曉夫講演批判斯大林的種種暴虐、罪惡。講幾分鐘,有人喊,「當年為甚麼不開口戳他?還等到現扗!」
赫魯曉夫慢慢看全場的代表,心平氣和問,「誰講的?」一片鴉雀無聲。
赫魯曉夫厲聲問,「誰講的?」一片鴉雀無聲。
赫魯曉夫臉紅脖子粗,猛拍講臺,喊,「誰!講!的?」代表連呼吸也不敢呼吸。
過了一回,大家滿臉土灰,赫魯曉夫輕輕笑一聲,說,「你們現扗了解了吧。」

Ho Tseng (199 – 279AD) served Emperor Wu of Chin. After a banquet, he went home and told his family, "Our Emperor has established a great dynasty; I have been present at every banquet, and I have never heard him discuss ruling the country or plans for the distant future. All he talks about is things he's done. This is not the way to teach his heirs to rule. His dynasty will not last long after he dies. His heirs are in great danger."
The dynasty lasted only from 266 until 316, most of it in utter chaos.
Ssuma Kuang (1019 – 1086) said, "Ho Tseng was the prime minister. He saw his ruler's errors but he did not speak up. Instead he went home and talked about it in the privacy of his home. He was disloyal."

The great monster Stalin died in 1953. At the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party, in 1956, the new leader, Nikita Khrushchev, gave a speech denouncing him. A few minutes into the speech, a voice called out, "Why didn't you say anything then?"
Khrushchev looked around the assembled delegates and asked, "Who said that?" Utter silence.
Khrushchev demanded, in a louder voice, "Who said that!?" Utter silence.
Khrushchev slammed his fists onto the podium, shouting, "WHO! SAID! THAT!?" Nobody dared to breathe.
Khrushchev glared at everybody for a moment, and then suddenly smiled, and said, "Now you know why."

Monday, September 24, 2012

其一
從山上開車,偶見蚱蜢、蟋蟀、知了一同乘車下山。或立擋風玻璃上、或于門上,任風吹、隨車晃,如列禦寇履虛乘風。
那天起程,見一蟋蟀在引擎蓋上,又一蟋蟀很自扗于擋風玻璃散步。車疾行、轉彎,二蟋蟀自如。到新店十五公里,停車,蟋蟀遁入車下。晚上歸山,才發車,見二蟋蟀于引擎蓋、擋風玻璃,回家又十五公里,二蟋蟀乃下車,躍入草叢。
其二
撒毖已用十年的筆記型電腦,命終嗚呼,因而買了一臺新電腦;螢幕是觸控式的,不必按鍵、用滑鼠。
方便是很方便,但是山上蟲多。撒毖常用電腦時,突然蹦出不相干的程式、方塊。再看,原來!小飛蟲光臨,踩著觸控式螢幕,電腦馬上反應。
one
Sometimes when we drive down to the city, we find a grasshopper, cricket, or katydid coming along for the ride. They may stand on the windshield, the hood, or the doors, and no matter how fast the car takes turns, no matter how the wind blows, they stand their ground. Or windshield.
Tuesday as soon as we started out we noticed a cricket on the hood, and another strolling about the windshield. Fifteen kilometers later, when we parked at the subway terminal, they jumped down below the car. That evening, when Sabiy turned on the ignition, we saw that the crickets had resumed their posts. They were still there when we parked at home. Then they jumped into the underbrush and disappeared.
two
Sabiy's laptop finally died, after a long, productive life. We got her a nice new all-in-one computer with a touch control screen. Nifty. You don't have to key or use the mouse, just touch the screen.
It's convenient, but we do live in a jungle. Sometimes Sabiy will be using her computer when suddenly a totally unrelated program or box appears. A second look shows some bug sauntering across the screen, setting off the touch control screen at every step.
 
#2300!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Look, you'e not going to believe this if I don't prove it, so read the link below. A man was confined to a wheelchair because he lost a leg and an arm when he got hit by a train. He lived in a special home and had a history of mental illness; whether or not as a result of the trauma of losing his limbs, I don't know, but he "would sometimes go off a bit, but you just ignore it," the owner of the home said.

For some reason, he went off a bit more than usual, the police came, and the man in the wheelchair used his only arm to wave a pen at the police. So what happens next? The police shot him to death.

I told you you wouldn't believe me. Read the link.

But you'll believe me when I tell you: this happened in Houston, Texas. Oh. That explains it. Two policemen were incapable of rushing the wheelchair, tasering him, spraying him with pepper spray, turning over the wheelchair, or any one of a number of possibilities. They had no choice but to kill him. Texas, after all.

I'm not making this up, although I wish I were:: LINK:::

Can you imagine what would happen to a regular citizen if he told the police he shot and killed a man in a wheelchair who threatened him with a pen?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

太好了,美麗灣不可以繼續破壞環境。下一步就是把這個醜陋、不仁不義的建築拆除。
click

Friday, September 21, 2012

千鈞一髮!小山羊掉進水池,腳被下面石頭挾住了,緊急關頭,是哪一位英雄來救呢?
If you can eat pork after watching this, the next step for you is eating babies.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

資治通鍵晉惠帝永寧元年:「孫惠儉而不陋、清而不介、望之頹然而不可侵也。
(孫惠這個人很儉樸但不至于簡陋,清高但不至于跟人太有距離、看起來一幅弱不禁風的樣子但其實誰也不能冒犯他。)
做人若能如斯,亦可無大過。

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Arrgh, matey, it’s Talk Like A Pirate day!

www.talklikeapirate.com

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Some speculation on the recent games in the Pacific
一、 眾所周知,一九七二年的上海通報,美國政府已經宣佈管臺灣是中國的事。
二、 亦眾所周知,美軍的長期策劃中心,十年前就認定左營必然將成為中國人民海軍的軍港。
三、 美國欠北京的債是天文數字;只要北京要美國付債務的利息,美國經濟立即四腳朝天。
四、 日本經濟靠北京。
五、 兩週前,美國宣佈,北京在太平洋擴展勢力的事,美國只會配合,不會干涉。
六、 不到兩週後,釣魚台事情又開始鬧大;這不可能是巧合。
七、 日本與北京爭釣魚台,臺灣無法插手:很簡單,實力不足。
八、 李登輝已說釣魚台是日本領土,這很可能是北京安排的伏筆,作用扗于牽制臺灣極右派的臺獨。
九、 日本很可能也是配合北京、演戲給大家看,先搖旗吶喊,再來談判,最後釣魚台一定歸中國。
十、 北韓好不容易開始改革,但年輕領袖未十分穩,也要看北京臉色。尤其最近整頓軍方,金正恩必須安頓軍心。
十一、 韓國人最討厭日本。要讓南、北韓統一,最快的方法是一起對抗日本。
十二、 倘若日本對釣魚台投入太多軍力,韓國成為日本後顧之憂。
十三、 釣魚台對日本不重要,但北京佔釣魚台,就是敞開了臺灣的門。
十四、 或許整件事,北京志扗臺灣,不扗釣魚台。
十五、 臺灣志扗內鬥,不管外面的事。
It is no secret that in 1972, the US government announced it would stand off from Taiwan, and that a the beginning of the 21st century, American military long term strategists were taking it for granted that Taiwan ports would be serving the Chinese People's Navy.
The US has not had a lot of choice in this matter, as the US debt to the PRC is staggering; if they were to call in the interest on the debt, the US economy would immediately turn belly up.
Japan's largest trading partner is the PRC.
Two weeks ago, the US announced that it would work closely with Beijing as they expanded their influence in the Pacific. In less than two weeks, friction arose over the disputed Diaoyutai Islands between Taiwan and Okinawa. This cannot be a coincidence.
Taiwan has laid claim to the islands, but does not have any power to back up the claims. Former President Lee Tenghui's astounding declaration that the islands are actually Japanese territory may have been set up by Beijing, to counter Taiwan's extreme right, the Taiwan Independence people.
I suspect that Japan is also playing a role here, yelling and shaking their scabbards as a prelude to negotiations that confirm the islands as Chinese territory.
North Korea has finally undertaken reforms, but Kim Jong-Un is still not firmly in control, especially since he purged the military. He has to take PRC support into consideration.
Both Koreas, North and South, hate Japan, so the quickest way to unify Korea would be to have one or both face off Japan. If Japan got too serious about military operations in Diaoyutai, they would have to worry about Korea on their other front.
Actually, Diaoyutai is not very important to Japan, not nearly as important as the economic might of PRC. But if Beijing can move freely around the islands, the door to Taiwan is wide open.
So maybe the whole affair is directed at Taiwan.
Meanwhile, Taiwan is too busy in-fighting to pay attention to what's going on in the world outside.

Monday, September 17, 2012

蚊子坑
從前,東北海岸有個地方叫做「蚊子坑」。不太吸引人吧。或者說,太不吸引人吧!因為其實很漂亮,小小一處沙灘,旁邊有岩石。也沒關係,因為當年從宜蘭北上的路,盡頭就在和美,才兩三百公尺之外,路也沒鋪柏油,所以沒有遊客,除了我。我從金瓜石走路去。
後來,濱海公路開了,他們大概想到,應該沒有很多客想扗「蚊子坑」渡假,所以改名「金沙灣」。是比較好聽。
又一則
我大學時常到鼻頭角、福隆一帶去浮潛。從金瓜石到和美只有一條步道,不通車,連摩托車也無法通行;從和美到福隆的路只有一個車道,因為很少有車。剛好我畢業時就開始建濱海公路。我認識這個工程的一位工程師,他說,心裏很矛盾,因為他看地方太純樸,不忍心打開他們的世界。那時沿岸的村子都很小,兩三戶一撮,六七家一處。每村到傍晚,吃完晚餐,小孩子、年輕人集中在村子的南端,大人在北端,各自聊聊天;若有車,一定從福隆方向(南邊)來,所以如果小伙子看到車要來,就會派人跑到大人的那一頭,報告消息,然後全村來等待、看看是甚麼人把汽車開到他們家園。可是一個星期難得看到一台車。
工程師說,公路開了,他們看到汽車會那麼興奮嗎?傍晚還會聚在一起聊天嗎?
果然,兩個答案都是否定的。

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I trust you remember that September 16 is the important day of commemoration, National Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day, just a prelude to the even more vital event we eagerly look forward too each year, September 19, Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Not only does junk food make you fat, but it could cause dementia." A new study warns of the dangers of eating junk food, including people as young as fifty having serious brain damage. While I wonder which is the cause and which is the effect, the article is worth reading: here::
The article also says that "teenagers who eat a diet that's high in fat and calories already show 'accelerated cognitive decline.' The researchers blame rising rates of dementia on our increasingly unhealthy eating habits and couch potato lifestyle."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

最近捷運裏的電視劇廣告:
沒有破壞不了的感情
只有不夠努力的小三
諺語雖俗,但有理:家和萬事應興。臺灣的離婚率還不夠高嗎?不需要在公眾場所提倡這種邪見。
這樣給社會大眾,尤其小孩,非常不好的教育。

那天一位父親帶兒子到補習班來報名,繳費時父親要求打折扣,已經打了八折,還嫌不夠,要打六折。父親無恥無理,但櫃員態度和善,卻不得打六折。父親很惡霸的語氣說,「叫妳的主管出來。」組長出來,說已經打了八折,不能再打折。父親囔著,「叫你們總經理出來!」 補習班打八折,已經打了折,憑甚麼要總經理出來?就是憑他的霸氣惡口嗎?或者憑他拿了幾張鈔票出來,他就有權當老大嗎?
他兒子看扗眼裏。這種教育很恐怖。這個兒子將來做人,一定自我重心、霸道、不講理。

最近香港有人抗議教育,所以臺灣就有人不加思索,別人有的我們一定要有,所以出來抗議國民教育。
當然,他們這樣抗議,多少也證明國民教育沒有教人辨別是非、民主概念、道德、獨立思攷、品德。
但請問,為甚麼矛頭對著學校教育?應該先討論家庭教育、電視教育、廣告教育、流行盲從的弊病。

Monday, September 10, 2012

一直覺得很奇怪:劉備欲帝天下,卻名子為禪讓之禪,實在奇怪,不知他老人家在想甚麼。
按:扶不起的阿斗,名劉禪。就是向曹魏投降、禪讓失蜀漢、樂不思蜀的那一位。

Saturday, September 08, 2012

我正式宣佈放棄學鼻笛的夢。去年,旮亙阿美樂團北上表演,少多宜團長說西方人的鼻子吹不了鼻笛,因為鼻孔位置的關係。我當然不服氣,表演完就很不客氣地借了鼻笛,很用心吹…果然吹不出音來。
團長慈悲,他說幫我訂造適于高鼻的鼻笛。等待已久,他今天終于帶了鼻笛來,結果我吹得出聲音!萬歲!
好了,說實話,吹不太出來,但至少有聲音。但可以感覺到大部分的氣從旁邊流出,聲音很無力…但有聲音!
我企圖把鼻笛左右搖、輪流用左右鼻孔吹,可是鼻笛的聲音蓋不過我喘氣的聲音。
好了,我知難而退了,熱淚盈眶,我正式宣佈放棄學鼻笛的夢。
可是
少多宜團長建議我學弓琴。這我就很有興趣!等我機會到臺東向他討教。
I am announcing that I have formally given up my dream of playing the nose flute.
Last year, the Gageng Amis Troupe performed in Taipei, and the troupe leader Sawtoy mentioned that Western noses don't fit the nose flute. I do not wish to go into the painful details again, so please click >here< for the full, uncensored tragedy.
But Sawtoy said he could make an improved nose flute, so I waited eagerly for months. Finally he came to Taipei again, with his improved nose flute. I put the flute to my nostrils, took a deep breath, and produced melodious music!
Well, okay, let's be honest, I produced a whiny, anemic sound, but at least I was able to coax a sound out of it (other than my own wheezing). This is a great step forward! A victory for Serbian nostrils! Although even I had to admit that most of the air escaped out the sides, rather than flowing into the flute.
Discretion being the better part of valor, I have decided to concede defeat, so with tears in my eyes, I am formally giving up my dream of playing the nose flute.
But!
Sawtoy suggested I take up the bow harp, which sounds like a great idea. So I'm planning to go down to Taitung for a couple of days sometime and learn how to play that. Consolation prize.

Friday, September 07, 2012

今天到少輔院,剛好是拿破崙與俄軍交鋒兩百週年日,所以放了1812給他們聽。我覺得能給他們介紹偉大藝術品,是我的幸。
It happened that I was scheduled for the Reformatory today, so I played 1812 for them. One of the privileges of being a volunteer there is the chance to introduce them to great works of art totally beyond the scope of their experience.
Also: here:: and there were no Russian POWs.