Tuesday, December 31, 2013

黃昏從臺北回山上,先到忠治部落外的Yummy小吃店吃義大利麵、喝咖啡,真好吃!
回家過烏來部落,遇到娜魯彎,要去接她老公軋輅下班。過Ive家看到Miko與小SabiyMiko問我們要不要跨年?我們說,不玩那些。她說,回家躺在床上睡也是跨年。有道理!
沒燄火、不湊熱鬧、沒有擁擠的人群,沒有淹沒腳板的垃圾;吃的很飽,跟鄰居寒暄,回家小狗迎接,跟老婆喝茶,這是最美好的跨年。
祝大家平安,喜氣洋洋。
We came back from the city at dusk, and had dinner at a little restaurant perched over the valley at Kayu. Coming through Ulay village, we came across Naluwan, going to pick up her husband Qalux after work. Then we passed Ive’s house, where his wife Miko and daughter Sabiy wished us well, and asked how we were going to celebrate the new year. Nothing, we said. Miko said, Lying in bed asleep is a good way to celebrate the new year. Agreed.
No noisy fireworks, no pulsing crowds; a filling dinner, quiet chats with neighbors, dogs to welcome us home, and tea with the wife, this is the best new year’s celebration for me.
Best wishes to all for the coming year. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

洋猩曰,一切男子皆女生
何以說之?
易耳,
請問,
哪一個男子不是女人生的?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

行憲紀念日快樂

Sunday, December 22, 2013

最近看到有人列出「十大惡人」。一方面,狠狠地罵人,抒洩內心的惡毒,一方面,罵得越凶就越證明自己是大聖人。
我無取于斯。我不想知道他們認為其它的惡人是誰,我寧想十大善人。大善人,不必列那些捐大錢的人,因為他們已經得到了宣揚。
要我列大善人,我第一個想到一位默默無聞的少年。幾年前,他混黑道,錢來得很輕鬆;錢的來原在此不細述,但日夜花天酒地,錢用不完。經過感化,他痛改前非,離開以前的伙伴,搬到中南部找工作。工作,是在工地搬磚塊。看倌搬過磚塊嗎?工作極其辛苦,卻沒有地位,人人頤指氣使,天天低聲下氣。他每天累的不成人形,賺的錢一點點,勉強夠吃簡單的菜。
他這樣改變自己的生活,是多麼不容易的事!沒有哪一個單位給他表揚,但我心中很誠摯地佩服。

Friday, December 20, 2013

討論大陸與臺灣的青少年。法師說,

「四、五十歲的臺灣父母把孩子當寵物,只有寵愛,沒有管教。」

Thursday, December 19, 2013

臺灣的民主,被怒吼犧牲掉。

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

今天聽到:「沒有人要吃紫米,因為假的太多。政府無能,沒辦法管食品安全。」
政府要管事,那麼民眾拼命騙人,連紫米也造假,難道這些經營假貨的人沒責任嗎?我們百姓有沒有守法的義務?或者樣樣事情罵政府就盡了我們的責任?
古代的理想是「無為而治」。政府可無為,因為百姓各司其職,安分守己,不逾矩;孔子說「必也使無訟乎」就是百姓潔身自愛、誠實守法。
美國憲法的設計,說穿了就是盼望政府能力不要太強;美國人至今怕政府能力太強,因為能力強就管太多。
昔云,國家興亡,匹夫有責。

今云,國家興亡,匹夫都責備。

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My mother taught painting in a high security penitentiary. The inmates taught her, Say law, never say justice.

Monday, December 09, 2013

I ran across a magnificently euphonic phrase today: early Xochipala Olmec art.
Read that again, and listen to the vowels, the cadence. You can remove the early, and just say
Xochipala Olmec art. A mellifluous phrase, well worth repeating daily. 

Sunday, December 08, 2013

December 8 is National Brownie Day. Let’s get our priorities straight, people. I mean, really, how important can Christmas be when you’ve got a National Brownie Day?
You have to know what’s important in life.
:-目
In Taiwan, what passes for brownies, 布朗尼, is more like devil’s food cake. The best place for real brownies is cocoBrownies: here::

Thursday, December 05, 2013

臺北小市民生活歷史綴筆,投報篇
到七十年代,站扗新生南路、信義路口,可以看到觀音山、大屯山、中正山、七星山、陽明山、拇指山、以及南邊崢嶙峋的雪山山脈,無比美。
視野那麼寬廣,因為臺北房子很少超過四層樓,很少人家有電梯,爬樓梯,無形促進國民健康。
很多房子頂樓加蓋,形成另一個城市面。扗頂樓,可以看很遠,但看不到街路巷弄、看不到車輛行人、看不到幾個招牌,卻看到很多空中花園,另有天地。
由于報禁,每天報紙兩三大張,比較不浪費紙,也比較不浪費民眾的時間。送報紙的,多數是老兵,一大早騎著笨重腳踏車大街小巷送報。送到樓上怎麼辦呢?不難!把報紙一捲,手一揮,就把報紙投到陽臺上。他們奇準無比:二樓、三樓、四樓,一樓一樓投進陽臺,很少掉落。我住忠孝東路巷子裏一棟四樓的二樓,一樓空了多年,但囤積在一樓庭院的落雁報,不到十分。
早上睡意猶濃,聽到陽臺玻璃「噔」一聲,就知道報紙飛上來了。
Up until the 1980s, from downtown Taipei you had a good panoramic view of the mountains surrounding the city. You could see all the way down to 三峽 Sanhsia and the beautiful peaks marking the southern edge of the Taipei basin. This was because few buildings were more than four stories.
In the days before the press was released upon the public, newspapers were only two or three sheets. They were delivered by old soldiers, mostly, who pedaled their heavy bikes up and down the streets and alleys at the crack of dawn. To deliver papers to upper floors, they would twist the paper, cock their arms, and let fly. Their aim was astonishing. They would send their newspapers winging up to the second, third, and fourth floor balconies, with rarely a miss.
Early in the morning before the sun began to shine, a thunk! on the balcony glass doors would announce the arrival of the morning’s paper.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Udis?
You would hardly expect it, but for religious tolerance, few countries can top Azerbaijan, which is 96% Muslim.
LINK
post 2500!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

教育、國之本:a country stands or falls on how well it educates its citizens: ALL its citizens.
This is worth reading and pondering.LINK:
also worth learning about: toxic stress.LINK::

Saturday, November 30, 2013

伊能嘉矩著「平埔族調查旅行」記載大屯莊(今淡水市靠北的屯山里)的情形:
大屯社原是漢人所命名的,社蕃自稱Keipakton(圭北屯社)‧…大部分的社蕃已忘記自己的固有語言,只有一個六十一歲的老人,他是社內年齡最大的人,還記得一些蕃語:
          aohu
頭髮       aopa
耳朵       tsana
眼睛       mata
鼻子       arum
          arivun
          arei
          ahha
腹部       atten
一則感慨于語言的消失一則很懷疑怎麼那麼多a開頭的字我懷疑老人家是不是一直掏記憶鼻子。鼻子。阿~~鼻子叫做阿rum!
也許吧。
A hundred years ago, a Japanese anthropologist, Ino Kanori, recorded the last remembered words of the aborigines in northeastern Taipei:
Head = aohu; hair = aopa; nose = tsana; eyes = mata; nose = arum; mouth = arivun; hand = arei; foot = ahha; abdomen = atten.
On the one hand we perceive the tragedy of a vanished language. On the other hand, we wonder why so many words began with a? Visualize the serious anthropologist questioning the aged aborigine, who scratches his head and casts back for vocabulary that sank into forgetfulness decades before: nose, yes, yes, ah, ah, let’s see, nose, ah, ah, ah rum! and the serious anthropologist diligently records: nose = arum. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

後趙、石勒曰:大丈夫行事,宜磊磊落落,如日月皎然。
In 322AD, Shih Le, founder of the Later Chao dynasty, said, When a real man does things, that should be as direct and powerful as a rockfall, as clear and open as the sun and moon. 

通鑑九五、一

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fascinating: A young boy buried 24,000 years ago in Mal’ta, near Lake Baikal, has DNA that matches Western European genes, and also matches the DNA of about 25% of living Native Americans.

Friday, November 22, 2013

People my age will be among the last to have personal memories of the Kennedy assassination.
I was in fifth grade in Stoneman Elementary School in San Marino, California, which in those days was so conservative that the John Birch Society was suspected of having leftist sympathies. We were not only Democrats, but also named Talovich, so obviously we were dirty Russian commies: case proved. Fortunately, I was too dense to take much notice of this. (San Marino in those days was lily white, populated by good solid Republicans with good solid names like Smith, Taylor, Hunter, Miller, and for variety Vosburg. The racial minority at Stoneman was a Jewish family trying to pass under the name Bloom, and then the Yugovich twins, Eddy Godycki, and Talovich. The Yugoviches were of course highly suspicious, but at least they voted Republican, and although Eddy Godycki was a Democrat, and clearly a dirty Rusky commie, he also kept up on all the latest television shows, which removed a bit of suspicion about his loyalty, but the Taloviches read books instead of watching television, which proved that we were dirty Rusky commies.)
That day we were in class when the principal came in, whispered something to the teacher, and then both of them turned and gave me a long look. My immediate reaction was, Uh-oh, what’s my brother done now? Years later I realized they looked at me because I was the highly suspicious Democrat.
A few minutes later, a public announcement was made that John F Kennedy, the President of the United States, had been assassinated in Dallas, Texas. We were let out of class, and all the students milled about on the playground in confusion. We had never had a President assassinated before, and didn’t know what we should do. A kid came over with the news, “Eddie Godycki’s crying!” For a moment we were all stunned by the shame of a boy crying in public, and the next moment, every kid on the whole playground was crying, tears streaming down our faces, our tribute to our fallen President.
Amitabha, rest in peace.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

顏氏家訓、勉學:
梁朝全盛之時,貴遊子弟,多無學術…‧無不熏衣剃面,傅粉施朱,駕長簷車,跟高齒屐,坐棋子方褥,憑斑絲隱囊,列器玩於左右,從容出入,望若神仙。…當爾之時,亦快士也。及離亂之後,朝市遷革,銓衡選舉,非復曩者之親;當路秉權,不見昔時之黨。求諸身而無所得,施之世而無所用。被褐而喪珠,失皮而露質,兀若枯木,泊若窮流,鹿獨戎馬之間,轉死溝壑之際。當爾之時,誠駑材也。

漢唐盛世,讀書人可投筆從戎,錚錚佼佼丈夫也。至宋理後,白臉書生主世,中華力衰勢弱。但至少,古代白臉書生,望之翩翩欲仙,而今之白臉書生,低頭族耳,彎腰駝背,甚無氣勢。

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

手彈棉被已經不容易找到,但二十年前在三重李大川買的幾床被,墊被好像古代雅士的胸懷:自有山壑。講白一點,都是窟窿。最近訂了一床八斤的雙人墊被,今天去拿了。她們裝棉被套好像變魔術,一攤二綁三翻好了。新的墊被很厚很酥很想趕快關電腦去睡。It’s hard to find old-style handmade cotton blankets anymore, but Li Dachuan in Sanchung still makes them. We had a nice thick foundation blanket made, and picked it up today. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to sleep.
李大川棉被店
新北市三重區重新路一段71
02 2972 3320

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

This is hardly surprising: a white supremacist took a DNA test and found out that he’s part black. This is even less surprising: he doesn’t believe the results of the test, once they’re out.
People who hate exorbitantly generally know they have that trait themselves. So what does this tell us about those vile church people in Wichita who defile funerals howling Dog Hates Figs?

Irony is delicious. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy: “We now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption. That speakers may have influence over or access to elected officials does not mean that those officials are corrupt. And the appearance of influence or access will not cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy.”

Monday, November 11, 2013

Saturday, November 09, 2013

安皇帝隆安三年、北魏拓跋珪問博士李先曰:「天下何物最善,可以益人神智?」對曰:「莫若書籍。」珪曰:「書籍凡有幾何,如何可集?」對曰:「自書契以來,世有滋益,以至於今,不可勝計。苟人主所好,何憂不集!」珪從之,命郡縣大索書籍,悉送平城。
In 399 AD, Kui, the ruler of the Toba Hsienpei kingdom Northern Wei, asked the learned man Li Hsian, “What is the best thing in the whole world, which can improve people’s spirit and knowledge?” Li answered, “Nothing better than books.” The ruler asked, “How many books are there? How can they be gathered?” Li answered, “Since the invention of writing, books have multiplied generation after generation, so by now, there are more than can be counted. If the ruler considers this good, there is no need to worry that they will not gather.” The ruler followed his words. He ordered local officials to gather books and send them to the capital. 

通鍵百十一、二下

Friday, November 08, 2013

LINK  << Interesting information that dog breeds originated in Southeast Asia. But Byajing says this is nothing new, she knew it all along.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

custom hearse


I wouldn’t be seen dead in a hearse like this. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

我十八歲來華學中文。那時的臺灣與現在迥然不同。家父按月匯一百元美金到一家銀行,由他們轉到臺灣的第一銀行;美金受管制,不能碰,但照當時匯率,我每月得四千元新臺幣,夠用。我與幾個美國朋友在新生南路一段157巷租了一間三十坪的公寓,月租三千元,我們平分。在龍泉街吃自助餐,我胃口大,常常一餐要花十塊錢。若有餘錢,我都拿去買書。沒有餘錢,我也買書。
學國語八個月開始讀文言,一觸即癮。十九歲就讀師大國文系,讀論語、韓非子,迷上了先秦,也迷上了中華書局的古籍因為校對謹慎印刷好字型大而且最好的是沒有標點因為我一發現古書原無標點就發現標點是多餘的沒有標點就需要用心看是另一番感覺讀沒有標點的書最好看
大一買了一套中華書局的史記,八冊,大一暑假就花了三四週看完;最讓我遺憾的是,只有八冊。意猶未盡。
大二開學,我二十歲,上說文解字。我學中文,本來就是因為愛上了國字,上說文,如魚得水。
但生活出了問題:銀行說家父的錢沒送到,沒錢入帳。那時別想打越洋電話,我們班上三十七個同學,只有五、六個家裏有電話。打電報很貴,只好寫信告急,希望航空快點。少吃一點,盼望錢早點進戶頭。三兩天跑到中山北路的銀行去問(沒有電話,只好自己跑)。戶頭快見底了,還沒消息,只好跟朋友借五十塊、一百塊。能省的就是少吃一點,所以一天只吃一碗陽春麵。
偏偏在國際學舍的體育館開了書展,可能是臺灣第一個書展。肚子餓,到書展逛逛,轉移肚子的注意力。偏偏中華書局參展。有一套資治通鑑,二十冊,還打折!只有那一套,但我真的沒錢。只好常去看看有福氣的人有沒有買回家。所幸,還擺在那裏。真漂亮。書展只剩幾天就要結束,還沒人買,但我也沒錢。
大概是吃了兩個多星期快三個星期的陽春麵獨餐,一天晚上餓醒,房子旋轉,想吐。但真的太餓,我沒力氣站起來,所以只好慢慢爬進廁所,坐地上抱著馬桶吐,可是肚子空空如也,吐好久,吐不出東西來,喉嚨痛、嘴裏怪味道而已,只好慢慢爬回房間躺下,等屋子不轉。睡了。
早上,室友們看我沒動靜,很體貼敲門問,你昨晚把我們吵醒了,你死了嗎?看我躺著不動但沒死,幫我熬一碗青菜湯。我還站不起來,只好早上翹課。中午比較有體力,上學去了。同學看我早上沒上課,太意外,很體貼說,看你沒上課,以為你死了。差不多。一位好心的同學特地幫我買了一條明星的黑麵包;當年臺灣的麵包都不能吃,只有軟軟的白麵包,唯獨武昌街的明星,老闆是俄國人,懂得做麵包。我坐在英文系外的魚池邊吃了麵包,晚上同學請我吃晚餐,感覺體力好很多。
第二天,郵差送來掛號信,我媽在一封信裏藏了六張十元美鈔;這嚴重犯法,但我不管,拿到錢往衡陽路衝。衡陽路的銀樓有後室,可以偷偷換美金。我立即換了兩千多元,錢拿到手,衝出去上公車直殺信義路國際學舍體育館,緊張萬分去看:資治通鑑還擺在那兒,還沒賣掉!太好!在書展結束之前兩個小時把銀樓給我的鈔票幾乎全部塞給書局的職員,心滿意足抱著我的資治通鑑二十冊回家。書放好,我才想到,我很餓!到龍泉街自助餐花了十元飽吃一頓。
過了幾天,父親送來的錢終于入帳了。又過一段時間才知道,美國幾十年來唯一倒店的銀行就是負責匯款給我的那一家,但是美國政府很快處理,所以後來家父的錢入帳沒有問題。 

 當然迫不及待讀通鑑,讀到漢朝,課業重,沒時間看。十幾年前又從頭讀,但到了魏晉南北朝,實在太亂,搞不清楚,暫時放一邊。現在大陸史學興盛,這幾年讀「華歷血時代」、「五胡錄」等書終于開始理出頭緒。現在南北朝有了概念,我又在讀通鑑。為了方便攜帶,阿超幫我封了一個書套,不怕把書磨壞。
這套書對我多方面意義重大。買資治通鑑的那天是民國六十二年十月三十日,剛好四十年。以此紀念。
I came to Free China when I was 18 to study Chinese. Taiwan was vastly different then. Every month my father sent US$100 to a bank to transfer to my NT account here. Green was strictly controlled, but at the exchange rate then, every month I got NT$4,000, enough to live on. With some American friends, I rented a 3 bedroom apartment on Canal Street (Hsin Sheng South Road) for NT$3,000; we split the rent. I have always had a hearty appetite, so in the cafeterias on Lungchuan Street, I might pay as much as NT$10 a meal. When I had money left over, I bought books. When I didn’t have money left over, I bought books.
When I had studied Mandarin for eight months, I started learning Classical, and was immediately addicted to its beauty and economy. When I was 19, I began studying in the Chinese Lit department at NTNU. I had courses in the Analects and Han Fei Tz, and fell in love with the pre-Chin period. I also fell in love with books published by Chung Hwa publishers, because they were carefully printed with large clear characters and no punctuation Chinese books traditionally were not punctuated once you get used to it reading unpunctuated books is a lot more fun than reading texts all cluttered up with a bunch of periods and commas which are once you think of it really quite unnecessary just think more carefully as you read
In my freshman year, I bought an eight volume set of Records of the Historian, published by Chung Hwa. During the summer vacation, I finished it in three or four weeks. My only regret was that there were only eight volumes. 
When I went back to school, as a sophomore, at the age 20, I had Etymology. I took up the study of Chinese because Chinese characters fascinate me, so Etymology was just what I wanted to study.
But problems came up in my life. The bank said that no money had come from my father. In those days, international phone calls practically belonged to the realm of fantasy, and anyway, of the 37 people in my class, only five or six had phones at home. Sending a telegram was expensive, so I had to content myself with writing an airmail letter for help, and hoping the post office delivery was quick. I cut down on food, and looked forward to money coming into the account, the sooner the better. Every couple of days I would trot up to the bank, on Chungshan N Rd; there weren’t many phones in those days, so you had to go yourself. I was almost out of money, and there was no news, so I had to start borrowing from friends, fifty NT here, a hundred NT there. The only thing I had left to scrimp on was food, so I ate only one bowl of plain noodles a day.
As luck would have it, there was a Book Fair, one of Taiwan’s first, at the International House gym. I was hungry, and looking at the books could keep my mind off food. As luck would have it, Chung Hwa had a stall, and they had a set of Tzu-chih T’ung-chien, twenty volumes, on sale! Just the one set, but I really didn’t have money. All I could do was stop by every day or so to see if some lucky person had taken it home. Fortunately, it was still there. What a beautiful book! There were only a few days left before the Fair ended, and nobody had bought it, but I still had no money.
(Compiled during the Sung dynasty [in the eleventh century], the Tzu-chih T’ung-chien [Comprehensive Mirror to Promote Governing, Zizhi Tongjian] runs to over three million characters, and covers over a thousand years of Chinese history, from 403BC to 959AD.)
After two, almost three weeks on a diet of one bowl of noodles a day, one night I was so hungry I woke up. The room was spinning, and I wanted to throw up, but I was so hungry I couldn’t stand up. I slowly crawled into the bathroom. I sat by the toilet to heave, but my stomach was so empty that nothing would come up. I barfed for a long time, but nothing came up. All I got was a sore throat and an awful taste in my mouth, so I slowly crawled back to my room and lay down on the tatami, waiting for the room to stop spinning. I finally fell asleep.
In the morning, my apartment mates noticed that I wasn’t up and around, so they very thoughtfully knocked on my door and said, “You woke us up last night with your retching, are you dead?” I was out flat but still alive, so they made me some vegetable broth. But I was still too weak to stand, so I cut class that morning. By noon I had regained some strength, so I went to class. My friends said that they were surprised I hadn’t come to class that morning, and very thoughtfully said, “When you didn’t come to class, we thought you must be dead.” Pretty close. One very considerate friend brought me a loaf of black bread from the Astoria. Bread in Taiwan in those days was atrocious: fluffy, white stuff that was inedible. A Russian ran the Astoria on Wuchang Street, so he knew how to make bread. I sat by the English Department’s fish pond and ate my bread. A friend bought me dinner, and I felt much stronger.
The next day, the mailman delivered a registered letter. My mother had stapled six ten dollar US bills inside a letter. This was highly illegal, but I didn’t care, I took the money and ran to Hengyang Street. A jewelry store on Hengyang Street had a backroom in which you could illicitly exchange green. I got two thousand and some. Money in hand, I raced to the bus stop and headed directly for the International House gym. In a tizzy, I raced to the Chung Hwa stand, and the T’ung-chien was still there! It hadn’t been sold! Wonderful! Two hours before the Book Fair ended, I stuffed most of the money the jewelry store gave me into the hands of a Chung Hwa clerk, and triumphantly carried my twenty volume set of T’ung-chien home. Once I got home and put the books on the shelf, I realized, hey, I’m hungry! I went to Lungchuan Street and spent ten NT on a big meal in a cafeteria.
A couple days later, money from my father entered my account. I soon learned that for decades, the one and only US bank to go belly up was the one transferring my father’s money to me. The US government cleaned up the mess quickly, and there were no more problems after that.
I started reading the T’ung-chien, and got to the Han dynasty, when schoolwork intervened and I had to stop. I started again from the beginning about 16 years ago, but the Wei Chin Southern and Northern dynasties were so chaotic that I was stopped because I couldn’t figure out what was going on. In recent years, scholars in mainland China are doing superb work on history, and with recent publications, I have finally gotten a handle on the Southern and Northern dynasties, so I am reading T’ung-chien again, and this time I will finish. I carry the volumes around, so Sabiy has made a case to protect the books. They are already pretty old, after all.
The book is important to me in many respects. The day I bought T’ung-chien was October 30, 1973, forty years ago. This is a good day to commemorate that. 






Friday, October 25, 2013

光復節,已被淡忘,而現在很多人熱中鬼節Halloween,卻誤以為是萬聖節。
了解我們現代社會,這句有沒有甚麼啟發?


:萬聖節=All Saints’ Day,美國幾乎沒有人聽過。Halloween = Hallowed E’en (evening)萬盛節前夕,鬼節。

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I can’t be reading this right. It looks like it says the cop who pepper-sprayed those students last year got US$38,000 in compensation. Is that right?
If it is, I’m going to go out to buy some pepper spray and spray my students. It’s a lot easier to make money that way than by teaching them.
…. and more fun, too.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

教徒今天該慶祝,因為有人依據聖經推算,上帝創造天地是西元前四00四年十月二十三日早上九點半。遇到這種腦筋,我真不知道要怎麼說…
Celebrate, believers, today is the birthday of heaven and earth: October 23, 4004 BC at 9:30 AM. To tell you the truth, I really don’t know what to say about anyone who believes in that sort of thing.
What some fail to understand is that first, “truth” is the realm of religion or scientism, not science. Good science only tells us that to date, we know that this has not yet been disproved. Second, the sciences interlock: physics cannot contradict chemistry cannot contradict astronomy cannot contradict biology cannot contradict medicine. The chemicals in your cough medicine would not work if the same rules did not hold for chemistry and physics. Medicine is based on biology, and as Theodosius Dobzhansky said, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” If evolution were not valid, your doctor would have no way to stitch up a gash or perform a CAT scan. They may be several steps removed, but a jet flying through the air, a piston firing in a lawn mower engine, and 14C all work on the same interlocking principles. In other words, you nitwits, if your computer can go online, that means that, albeit several steps removed, evolution must be considered proven; not a religious truth, but as reliable as gravity or the electric lights overhead. In other words, will you please stop wasting people’s time with creationism? Evolution is for real. Get over it. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hello Kitty已經夠糟,現扗全臺灣扗瘋三歲小朋友洗澡玩的黃色小鴨子。大家好,我們可不可以長大?
為甚麼有人情願一直停留扗幼稚、懵懂的狀態?原因當然很多:商家鼓吹「心動不如行動」以便撈取更多錢;政客激起憤怒,以便操控民眾;「愛臺灣」的背後往往是「害怕世界」;等等。但教育也要負很大的責任。其中一環是,以前的教育比較硬:不管小毛頭懂不懂,不管小毛頭有沒有興趣,你現扗念,以後你就懂,你長大以後這些東西夠你用一輩子。所以小小的小孩也念大學、論語、三字經。現扗的教育軟到沒骨沒神:要把課程降低到小毛頭的程度,適應現扗的興趣、了解;很好玩,很容易懂,但保證這些東西對你以後沒有用。所以小朋友長大,無法懂大人如何思維。

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Three Boy Scout leaders in Utah intentionally knocked over an ancient rock formation and posted a video online. Now that they are facing charges for destroying a natural masterpiece, they are claiming to be selfless saints whose only concern was the public safety, because these rocks, which have stood firm for 170,000,000 years, might topple over and hurt somebody.
Assuming we believe that, we learn that they are teaching that it is not necessary to report conditions to authorities or people who know more about these things than you do, take it into your own hands. If you see a traffic light that doesn’t work, just climb right up and change the bulb. If someone falls over on the street, don’t call an ambulance, just cut him open and treat him yourself. In other words, Zimmerman was right. If you see someone you suspect might commit a crime, you just get out your gun and shoot him. 

All vandals should be responsible for their acts. I don’t care if they are sanctimonious white men, I say throw the book at them. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Okay, so two convicted murderers, sentenced to life, walked out of a Florida prison on forged papers. LINK Then they very compliantly registered with local authorities as convicts, and nobody paid any attention except the families of their victims. Now everybody is wondering how such a thing could happen.
Well, it did. Now tell me, how much do you trust the voting machines in this state?

Friday, October 18, 2013

當年我字彙班上,很驚訝發現全班一群大學、研究所高材生中,最強的居然是一位中山女中的小妹妹,就是Thais。我後來請她留下當助教。
出國念大學,不到一年發現有喉癌。好不容易征服了病魔,她還是那樣蹦蹦跳,笑容滿面。過了幾年,癌魔又回來纏她,但被她的笑聲打敗了。從來沒看過她愁眉苦臉。這麼痛苦,一定有的,但她給世界看的永遠就是精神抖擻、健談愛笑。
一段日子沒有她的消息,本不以為意。赫然得知她住臺大醫院十個月,換肺。雖然很虛,但從不抱怨,有鬥志,有勇氣,不怕。
但到最後,還是逃不過,就不再活在痛苦中,不再受苦。Thais解脫了。
好吧,這個軀殼不好用,回去換一個再來,下次留久一點,好嗎?
阿彌陀佛,Thais,妳保重。

Saturday, October 12, 2013

今天才知道,原來「參差不齊」的「參差」指的是排蕭(排笛)
處辭、九歌、湘君:望夫君兮未來,吹參差兮誰思。
一九七八年發掘曾侯乙墓得其實物。原來排蕭是國產的,歷史悠悠,而不是泊來品。
You learn something every day. It turns out that China had pipes of pan back in the fourth century BC. I hadn’t realized that. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

現在雙十節很淡。民國六十年代,很多人吃完晚飯到總統府介壽路、東門拍照;若相機有三腳架、定時快門(上發條)就很拉風。但國慶日早上,好像多數人睡大覺,電視轉播遊行才起床看。七十年代那種愛國愛鄉愛臺灣的氣氛很明顯。東門附近來逛逛的民眾都抬頭挺胸:這是我們大家的成就!所以民國八十年本要閱兵,民進黨出來大力示威,民眾不敢去~~何況總統府附近被圍起來,不得靠近。八十年代,我們住總統府附近的居民都怕民進黨來鬧,很掃興。從那時到現在,二十年來政客的爭權奪利很成功地削除了七十年代的那股團結、自尊、自信。

Sunday, October 06, 2013


通常颱風老遠扗關島成形,慢慢靠近臺灣。今年奇怪,很多突然扗附近迸出來。而且,都是週末、假期來的。Typhoons usually form way off near Guam and Yap and build as they come closer. This year they’re just popping up nearby. Weird. And they come on weekends and holidays.
Meanwhile, South Dakota got four feet of snow. 

Saturday, October 05, 2013

How the Republicans serve the United States with their shutdown: while President Obama has to cancel his Asia tour, Xi Jinping of China is taking his place. link<<
I’m sure the People’s Republic of China would like to extend their hearty thanks to the Tea Party for providing this great boost for their prestige and international prominence.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

If you’re going to fool around in politics, you should have some political sense. Seems reasonable?
The Soviet Union was a world power, but after the breakup, Russia was greatly diminished. They have had hard times, but are getting back on their feet, and eager to show that they still can swing their fists.
They are reasserting their presence in the Arctic, which makes sense strategically. Recently they sent practically their whole Navy up there to reestablish a base that had been closed when the USSR fall apart. The Russian public has apparently followed this with enthusiasm and support.
So Greenpeace picks this time to send a boatload of protestors into this sensitive region, and what a surprise, the Russians were not happy. LINK They arrested the protestors, who are probably feeling very self righteous. LINK
I am deeply committed to environmentalism, but I have never felt the need to protect the environment by making myself unwelcome or by traveling in gas guzzling boats. Perhaps I should be ashamed, but I am not.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

I don't know a lot about the issues, but to me, the idea of anybody "shutting down" the government sounds treasonous.
The Constitution defines treason as citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the US, so I know this is legally not treason, but I still think the people responsible should go to the wall for this.

Monday, September 30, 2013

There is something sardonically symbolic, and we hope prophetic, about an NRA spokesman shooting an elephant, the symbol of the G.O.P.
LINK

Saturday, September 28, 2013

為甚麼才藝班只給兒童上?上班族非常需要。
為甚麼文學名著只給高中、大學生看?成人非常需要。
我十九歲踏進論語,果真仰之彌高,鑽之彌堅;瞻之在前,忽焉在後。欲罷不能,既竭吾才,如有所立卓爾。下了多年功夫,但時日逝去,我發現要三十歲以後才開始懂孔子教我們的:孔子講真功夫,人生歷練不夠,紙上談兵是無法嚐出滋味來。
可是太多人出了社會,忙著賺錢,忙著立家,忙著創業,忙著茫然,不知道自己怎麼活的,這不打緊:糟糕的是,從來沒想過自己是怎麼活的。
悲。
孔子說,「志於道,據於德,依於仁,於藝。」為了不辜負自己的人生,我們應該這樣生活。
老師,生日快樂。
People today spend far too much effort on their jobs and careers, and when they have some energy left over, they work so hard at having fun that they have nothing left over. In The Closing of the American Mind, Alan Bloom said people “have lost the habit of reading serious philosophical books or of considering them essential.” A tragic loss. 
It’s worth learning Chinese just to read The Analects, an inexhaustible treasure trove. Today is Confucius’s birthday. Commemorate the day by making sure you are thinking and living. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

我們的功力越來越深。昨天吃晚餐時只是討論今天要不要洗車,不到兩個小時就下雨了。厲害吧!All we did last night over dinner was talk about having the car washed, and within two hours, it started to rain. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

公車司機姓名標于車後,增加路上的樂趣。有的很有意思。那天看到一位叫做
林桂土
怎麼寫?三個木、三個土。想找類似的恐怕很難吧。要在五行內,我想得出來的只有
棪火
稍做弊,可取名
林梙中
林梠口
好像只有「林」「呂」姓可以這樣玩,而呂不屬五行。但姓呂,更好發揮:
呂啉木
呂啖火
呂哇土
還有呢,
呂品口
呂唂谷 (or:呂唂八八口)
我承認,應該沒有很多人想給孩子取呂哇土~~而話說回來,桂土,土土土,這樣好嗎?

棪一ㄢˇ 一種像柰的樹,紅色,果可食。
梙 ㄏㄨㄢˋ同槵,無患子當作梙、槵。
梠 ㄌㄩˇ  屋檐

Sunday, September 22, 2013

天兔颱風雖強度,但不算太猛,而陣風有力。一支巨竹被撕成這個樣子~We had a strong typhoon, but it passed without too much trouble. Parts of Taiwan got up to 780mm, or thirty inches of rain (a bit more than they got in Colorado, where eight inches were called a “biblical downpour” or “unprecedented torrents”). We got only about 100mm, or four inches here. Some of the gusts of wind were pretty strong. How strong? Consider that bamboo has the tensile strength of steel, and see what happened to one of my giant bamboos. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

灼灼西
餘光照我衣
迴風吹四壁
寒鳥相因依
~~阮籍詩
準備過中秋!Friday is the Moon Festival. 
Brightly burning the western sinking sun
Waning light brightens my clothes
Probing wind blows the four walls
Cold birds huddle together.

from a poem by Juan Chi/Ruan Ji (3rd century)

Monday, September 16, 2013

百三年九月十六日link謎底:
勢在必行

Sunday, September 15, 2013

overheard at 素食展
鴨耕米,扗稻田養幾隻鴨子,鴨子吃蟲減少蟲害,可少用殺蟲劑;鴨糞可以代替肥料。這個作法很環保,值得鼓勵。LINK:
我們扗素食展買一包,很好吃。但我付款時,一個阿姨過來問,
「鴨耕米跟鴉片米有甚麼不同?」
攤位小姐不太想理她~~~

Saturday, September 14, 2013

overheard in 上海湯包 a restaurant in Taipei Station
老太太:我那個媳婦蠻聰明。
老先生:喔,是嗎?
老太太:是啊,博士論文快寫完了。
老先生:嗯。會煮飯嗎?
老太太:每天三餐。
老先生:嗯。我今天量血壓。
Old lady: That daughter-in-law of mine is smart.
Old man: Oh, really?
Old lady: Yes, she has almost finished writing her doctor’s thesis.
Old man. Oh. Does she cook?
Old lady: Three meals every day.
Old man. Oh. I had my blood pressure checked today. 

Monday, September 09, 2013

九月九、丑時,偶醒,星斗佈天,不得不佇足抬頭久望。由北往南飛來一群白光,乍為流星,再看,是九隻高飛白鷺鷥,從七姊妹與獵人座中南飛。詫異萬分,從未見過白鷺鷥夜飛,還沒回神,須臾回頭往北飛,又片刻看到牠們一行南飛。太稀奇,真是見所未見,決定把超挖起來一起看,但等她從夢鄉歸來,白鷺鷥已經不見了。我們觀星一回,又進去睡。
The stars were so bright that I had to go out for a look. At almost precisely 2AM  I was startled to see a line of white light shooting south between pitu ci Ya’azuonʉ no cou (the Pleiades) and Orion. The line was not a shooting star, as I first thought, but nine egrets, flying high overhead. I was astonished. I had never seen egrets flying at night before. A formation of flying egrets is a sight of haunting beauty. They flew south, out of sight, then came north again and flew out of sight. I stood there with my mouth open. Before long, they came south again, and I decided I had to drag Sabiy out of bed to see this. But the egret show was over for the night, so we stood admiring the stars for a while before we crawled back into bed.
後來,我想到我要怎麼說:天鵝湖兩排舞者想要表現的仙境,應該是如此. Later in the day, I realized what I wanted to say: in Swan Lake, when the two lines of ballerinas dance, they are trying to recreate the magic I saw in those flying egrets. 

Saturday, September 07, 2013

We often observe inexplicable behavior in others. Meanwhile…
In Two Years Before the Mast, Dana observed a funeral procession in California in 1835, and says, “the most singular thing of all was that two men walked, one on each side of the coffin, carrying muskets in their hands, which they continually loaded, and fired into the air. Whether this was to keep off the evil spirits or not, I do not know. It was the only interpretation that I could put upon it.”
A hundred pages later, describing a wedding, Dana says, “Our guns were loaded and run out, men appointed to each, cartridges served out, matches lighted, and all the flags ready to be run up….Twenty-three guns followed in regular succession, with an interval of fifteen seconds between each…. This we thought was pretty well – a gun every fifteen seconds – for a merchantman with only four guns and a dozen or twenty men.”
And for what did you fire the guns, Mr Dana? To keep off the evil spirits, perhaps? 

Friday, September 06, 2013

戈喨!掛扗屋簷下的風玲突然響了。但那風玲通常吹不到風,離地三公尺多,是誰把它撞響了?我拿著手電筒小心翼翼把頭伸出去看~~~~原來是你!

Klang! The wind chime by the living room rang out suddenly. But that wind chime is three meters off the ground, and usually the wind doesn’t blow there. Flashlight in hand, I very carefully stuck my head out the window
::
: the culprit! 
:
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:
:
:
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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

車禍,聽到救護車來,希望聽到救護車走。火災,聽到救護車來,不希望聽到救護車走
If you hear an ambulance going to a car accident, you hope to hear the ambulance leaving the accident. If you hear an ambulance going to a fire, you hope not to hear the ambulance leaving the fire.
阿彌陀佛,everybody’s safe::link::

Thursday, August 29, 2013

For some reason, for the last couple of days the San Marino High football fight song has been playing in my ears. I haven’t heard the song for decades, I have no idea what triggered this, and I didn’t even go to San Marino High School.
Now I sort of know how Kafka’s guy felt when he woke up and found he had turned into a cockroach.

…and we will win tonight!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

「鳳梨」,我高興的話,我叫它「苦瓜」,有甚麼不可以呢?誰規定「鳳梨」一定要叫「鳳梨」不能叫「苦瓜」?但我去買果汁,我跟老闆說要一杯苦瓜汁,他給我的是甚麼?我可以要求他了解我說「苦瓜」是指「鳳梨」嗎?
社會大眾對言語字句有共同認識,我們才能溝通;我們都認為那個黃黃有刺的叫做鳳梨,另一個綠綠長皰的叫做苦瓜,我們才好溝通。隨便用語言,一方面與它人的溝通崩潰,另一方面自己思路難通。所以孔子說,「必也正名乎。名不正,則言不順;言不順,則事不成;事不成,則禮樂不興;禮樂不興,則刑罰不中;刑罰不中,則民無所措手足。故君子名之必可言也,言之必可行也。君子於其言,無所苟而已矣。」道理顯淺易懂。
「我以為」,這句是臺灣目前一個大問題。太多人主觀太強,我以為怎樣就怎樣,錯的再離譜,拼命自圓其說,還理直氣壯。大家「我以為」、懶得求證、思想不嚴謹,臺灣前途堪虞。如前不久臺大、政大到中、南美洲的「青年大使」團亂穿亂跳,卻說是原住民服裝、舞蹈,被糾正還有一大堆解釋。謙虛、認錯、進步應該沒那麼難。我們不要犯同樣的毛病。
北美印地安把一種動物看做是個人或族群的祖先或守護神,他們叫做dodaem。英文沒有這個字,所以就譯音,成為totem中文沒有這個字,清末翻譯大師嚴復依他閩北方言譯音為「圖騰」,這純粹是譯音而已,跟圖沒有關係,跟騰沒有關係。如果嚴復是北方人,他可能會譯為「投丹」或「兜丹」,也都可以,因為是譯音而已。何星亮著「中國圖騰文化」解釋:「圖騰是血緣親屬;圖騰是祖先;圖騰是保護神。」
近年來,臺灣有人望文生義,看到圖騰的圖字,主觀意識作祟,以為圖騰與圖案有關係,懶得求證、思想不嚴謹,反正講一個比較不懂的片語好像很內行,就把「圖騰」當做是有民族風格的圖案。你說沒有關係嗎?我說大有關係,人與人之間的溝通依賴我們對字句的共同認識。不然,高興的話,說「圖騰」的意思就是「鳳梨汁」,也沒有關係呀!
君子於其言,無所苟而已矣,難道我們不能效法君子嗎?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

If the ancients had seen this, they would have told about a monster who lives at the bottom of the swamp who has an unquenchable thirst and eats trees whole.
Of course, once the myths passed down to us, we would sneer and congratulate ourselves on being so much more clever than the ancients. I mean really, whole trees disappearing into the bottom of a swamp? Everybody knows wood floats, it’s obviously impossible.

CLICK<<< If I were the cameraman for these videos, I would be ready to pick up my heels at any moment and sprint for solid ground, preferably in the next state. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

蒼頡篇:倄,下交切,痛聲也。
訓詁曰:倄,火故反,痛而謼也。

Yeow!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

或許我沒那麼愛權。我實扗不懂為甚麼有人想當總統。美國國父George Washington被強迫連任,就職典禮前他說心情好像要去見儈子手。
當年Jimmy Carter花兩年半競選總統,我很懷疑他的權力慾怎麼那麼多大。他雖然笑容可掬,但當總統平平,而糟糕的是,因為他的無能,接下來雷根上臺。
馬英九競選臺北市長時,已經很明顯看得出,他太「好好先生」,不夠狠,不適合從政:搞政治,一定要笑裏藏刀,卡特就是沒有那把刀,馬英九也沒有。臺灣所謂的民主,是亂罵政府、享受憤怒、一切不需要自己負責、一切都是政府的錯,即使他做得再好,也沒用。
蔡英文願意花四年競選,笑容可掬,拼命去打點民眾,大概很想要享受一下權力的滋味吧。那滋味甜嗎?當總統已經夠苦,扗臺灣當總統,苦上加苦吧。我懷疑,到時候她會不會後悔?
現在臺灣有邦交的只有二十三個國家,其中大約二十個想斷交,要跟中共建交,但北京看中華民國的面子,不接受。蔡英文當總統第二天,會有二十個國家斷交,她一定要想個對策。
最近有人喊著「拆政府」,有理:拆了,中共更好接管。

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

下雨啦~~ 
rain, we got rain. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Miracles happen: link<<<

Monday, August 19, 2013

五胡亂華,故史書字句或特難解。
太元十五年 (390 AD)
吐谷渾連遣使獻見于金城乾歸乾歸拜視連州牧白蘭王
太元十六年 (391 AD)
金城王乾歸擊越質詰歸詰歸降夏四月燕蘭汗破賀染干於牛都
太元十七年 (392 AD)
休官權千成據顯親自稱秦州牧
我最愛沒有標點的書~~