Sunday, September 28, 2014

Today is Confucius’s Birthday; in the ROC, it used to also be a national holiday, Teacher’s Day, until politics was deemed more important than education.
No matter what, take a moment to day to consider what you have learned since last Confucius’s Birthday. Mentally thank your teachers. You may not have been standing on the shoulders of giants, but even standing on the shoulders of a midget, you can see further than you could just standing on the ground.
Now get off that midget, find some great books to read, keep learning, and keep growing.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pearls of Chinese wisdom
英譯:He has no duck beside his heart.



Thursday, September 25, 2014

A primary goal of education is to teach you how to think: how to concentrate on the subject at hand to reach a solution. This requires… well, what do you know? concentration requires concentration, that you focus on your object and ignore extraneous data.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that what you do regularly influences your thinking and thus your mind. If you keep your mind active, your mind is active; if you live on soap operas and singing shows, you probably think Dubya was a great president.
Studies in Britain show that second screening, or watching tv while surfing the internet and facebook, may alter the brain, cause brain damage, and even cause depression and emotional problems.
LINK a very interesting article, worth reading.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014



Monday, September 22, 2014

I should have become a surgeon. LINK This guy sent in a bill for US$117,000 for just standing by the operating table. Heck, I don’t even have to become a surgeon, I’ll just stand there for US$20,000. You get the same results, and what a bargain!

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Saturday, September 20, 2014

My mother lived on a farm in Baca County, Kansas, and yup, they were right there when the Dust Bowl hit.
But they had some good years before that. Everybody worked hard, and  everybody had chores to do. Mom’s included feeding the animals, during harvest waking the hired help, helping with the cooking, and so on.
For help with the harvest, they hired big strong young men who worked hard for their pay. They would start the morning’s work, eat breakfast, do more work, eat lunch, work more, eat supper, work more, eat dinner, work more, and drop into a dead sleep. They were usually too tired to even change clothes before they went to bed, or rather, dropped onto the bed. They were probably asleep even before they reached the mattress. It wasn’t always easy to wake them in the morning.
One evening, Mom realized her kitty cat was missing. She searched everywhere for it, but couldn’t find it. Finally, it was getting late, so she decided she’d just have to go to bed and worry about it the next day.
Early the next morning, she went to wake up the hired hand. He was dead to the world, but she shook him for a while, and he managed to sit up in bed. 
When he sat up, Mom found her kitty cat: apparently it had been snoozing on the man’s nice warm bed when he hit the sack. The cat was flattened out, like a pancake. The hired hand saw Mom’s expression and then saw the cat. He had been so tired that he slept on top of the cat the whole night without even noticing it.
As they watched, the cat slowly pulled itself back into a three dimensional shape, shook itself a few times, and wandered off, a bit unsteadily.
Mom said it was like something you’d expect to see in a cartoon. She said, he was a good worker, but you could tell he was no princess.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Passengers waiting for a connecting flight were told that the plane hadn’t arrived, because of the weather. The airline staff told them they might have to wait from two to five hours.
The passengers complained, “Can’t you be more specific? When will the jet get here?”
The airline people shrugged and said, “It’s up in the air.” 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014




Saturday, September 13, 2014

The American Bar Association Journal ::link:: reports that an atheist soldier in the US Air Force was not allowed to reenlist because he declined to swear an oath with the words “so help me god.”
This intrigues me. If you don’t believe in god, you aren’t permitted to kill your fellow man.
Dunno why, but Alice's Restaurant keeps running through my head.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Qimpahu:龜殼花:Trimeresurus mucrosquamatus: pit viper
連續三個晚上回家時,在水缸遇到這位小鄰居,恐怕是等著青蛙吧。也許吃飽了,因為後來沒再出現。For three nights in a row, when we came home we found this little neighbor perched on one of our urns. It was probably waiting for frogs, got one, and didn’t come back.
景公出獵,上山見虎,下澤見蛇。歸,召晏子而問之,曰:「今日寡人出獵,上山則見虎,下澤則見蛇,殆所謂不祥也?」晏子對曰:「國有三不祥,是不與焉。夫有賢而不知,一不祥;知而不用,二不祥;用而不任,三不祥也。所謂不祥,乃若此者。今上山見虎,虎之室也;下澤見蛇,蛇之穴也。如虎之室、如蛇之穴而見之,曷為不祥也?」(In the 6th century BC,) Duke Jing of Chi was out hunting. In the mountains he saw a tiger, and in the wetlands he saw a snake. Returning, he called for his great minister Yen Ying and asked, “These must be unlucky omens, right?” Yen replied, saying, “There are three unlucky omens for a country, and these do not count. The first unlucky omen is there are able and virtuous people that the government doesn’t know about. The second unlucky omen is that the government knows about able and virtuous people but doesn’t use them. The third unlucky omen is that the government uses these able and virtuous people but doesn’t give them a free hand. These are the three unlucky omens, and that’s all there is to it. If you see a tiger in the mountains, the mountains are the tiger’s home; if you see a snake in the wetlands, the wetlands are the snake’s home. If you see a tiger or snake in its home, what can be unlucky about that?”

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

很可憐:怎麼跟親朋好友解釋是誰把他打的鼻青臉腫?How can this poor guy possibly explain who beat the stuffings out of him? Hahahaaaa!!!!

Monday, September 08, 2014

用龍眼碳燒端午水泡普洱、鐵觀音,與太座賞月、吃月餅,人生如此自可樂!We enjoyed the moon along with some of our best tea. All the best for the Moon Festival!

Sunday, September 07, 2014

No matter how much you like barbecues, this is taking
active participationtoo far!

Friday, September 05, 2014

Our friends the Japanese are cheerfully wiping out whales and calling it “research” ::LINK::. I guess sort of like the “research” they did on citizens in northern China during WWII ::link::. 

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Meet Laniakea. LINK
Let’s round out the figures and say a typical long-distance passenger jet flies at a speed approaching 1000kph. At that speed, you can fly across the Pacific in about nine or ten hours, from Taiwan to LA. Once I flew from Hong Kong to New York and back, about 16 hours non-stop each way (which is really longer than you want to sit on a plane). 
If you could fly to the sun at that speed, without stopping, you would reach the sun in about twenty years. Think of all the inflight movies, and shudder!
How big is our sun? If you take all the mass in our solar system, the sun is about 99.8% of all that mass, and Jupiter is about 0.18%, so you and I, Mars, Venus, the asteroid belt, all that, are what’s left over.
It takes light about eight minutes to reach us from the sun. Okay? And it takes light four years and four months to reach the next star over.
Light from the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, travels 25,000 years to reach us, and the Milky Way is about 100,000 light years from side to side, give or take a few weeks. 
Our sun is just an average star, not too big, not too little. Let’s say there are a hundred more times stars in the Milky Way than there are people on Earth.
Our galaxy is just an average galaxy, not too big, not too little. It belongs to a larger group, called a supercluster, the Laniakea I just introduced you to. There are about 100,000 galaxies like ours (galaxies, not stars) in Lankiakea, and it has 100,000,000,000,000,000 (100 quadrillion) times the mass of our sun. 佛說「恆河沙諸佛」,不是隨便說的,天星比恆河沙多以億倍計。
Laniakea is Hawaiian, and means “immense heavens.” Immense indeed. 

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

While we are busy wiping out species right and left, we are also realizing that the ecosystem is far more complex, and holds far more variety, than we had imagined.
Off the coast of Australia, scientists have found “deep sea mushrooms” which do not fit into any known category of animal life. 
This article ::LINK:: was issued “as a cry of help,” so if you can figure out where these deep sea mushrooms belong on the tree of life, do take some time to relieve the anxiety which these scientists are undergoing. 

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Bet you’ve never heard of Washtub, either. You weren’t supposed to.
In 1950, the US was so worried that the USSR would invade Alaska that the FBI trained SBA: stay behind agents, those who would stay in Soviet occupied Alaska and feed intelligence to US forces. 
A fascinating look at a very tense time: LINK::

Monday, September 01, 2014

Bye bye Martha. Martha was the very last passenger pigeon. She died one hundred years ago today. LINK
Remember that only a few decades before, there were billions of passenger pigeons. John James Audubon wrote about a flock in western Kentucky that took three days to pass overhead. Flocks were so big that simply by perching in trees, their weight broke thick branches.
And then they were all killed, all except Martha and George in a zoo. George died, then Martha, and none remain.