Sunday, September 30, 2012

a happy Moon Festival to all!

Friday, September 28, 2012

"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


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

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.
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.

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


Friday, September 21, 2012

If you can eat pork after watching this, the next step for you is eating babies.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

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

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


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


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?


Monday, September 10, 2012


Saturday, September 08, 2012

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.
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

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.

Today is the 200th anniversary of the battle of Borodino, Бородинское сражение, Napoleon's pyrrhic victory over the Russians. Described in War and Peace as "a continuous slaughter which could be of no avail either to the French or the Russians," the battle is also the subject of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. Listen to it today, in commemoration of all the brave souls who struggled there, and in the hope that such wars are never fought again.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


Sunday, September 02, 2012


Saturday, September 01, 2012

Apparently we are learning now what a hero we had in Neil Armstrong.