Friday, October 31, 2008

U.S. Presidential Election 2008....just some thoughts...

Well, unless you are living in a cave without TV or internet, you should have been bombarded by the U.S. presidential campaign in the past few months and it has been intensified in recent weeks as Nov 4 is approaching. With many people are worrying about their financial well-being these days, looking for silver-lining of this financial black hole has become a national pastime for some people. Yes, there are other things going on: the Word Series, Halloween shopping and decoration, etc, but the election as an once every four year event has a special meaning this time. Regardless you are far away or not, in spite of the declining of the U.S. as the world hegemony, it IS STILL the World’s only superpower. So, who will become the leader of this country in the next four years still matters in many aspects. With the wars and recession that are going on, many average Joes and Janes do want to have someone to look up to for guidance or comfort in such difficult time.

For me, by playing the role of devil’s advocate, I don’t think it really matter who will be elected. Cos, what they have said won’t be translated into actions that can produce significant effects anyway. The U.S. political system is not perfect, but it works somehow for centuries. However, in these days, in particular, politicians, most of them, are somewhat like the CEOs of many companies. They only care about the quarterly return and stock prices, so they can remain in power and get their fat checks. For politicians, they only care about their voters and special interest groups, particularly the latter that got them in office. Do they care about the long-term well-being of their district or the country as a whole? Well, they sure will say they do, but actually you want see that from their actions when there are conflicts in choosing what is good for them and what is good for the country. Presidents are no different, just the interest groups that can tilt the election one way or the other are just bigger and more powerful. So, whoever got elected, it is payback time! Also, there are many committees behind that really pull the strings. Those are the people who really rule the U.S. which in turn affect the life of millions around the world. You think American troops would in Iraq just because Bush wanted it? If you do, go back to watch Oprah and SNL then.

Therefore, President Obama will provide some freshness to the national media and to the public. We will know what will be the first pet, Obama’s favorite tunes, cuisine, movies, etc. Same thing for the first lady, first family, etc. But, to the lives of regular folks, same o same o. The Medicare and Medicaid reform, Social Security problem, national debts, trade deficits, war on terror, war on drugs, etc, they won’t go away. The problems of this country are just too big to be solved by a new president with his new cabinet. Spin docs can spin all they want, the depth of those problems are not going away. The President will keep talk and talk with rheorics, liking campaigning all the time, but he will keep his eyes on 2012. If he is eating his lunch, he will try to stay for dinner, regardless, he will say thank you very much, and the bill will stay behind for the next. Yes, he will take on W.’s humungous bill, he may trim a bit every now and then. He will put those numbers back up and up during the payback time. U know what I mean?

So, what can be done? If I know, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing then. I just want to say that President MaCain or President Obama can’t solve the problems the U.S. is facing. You can turn on as many lights as you can, but you can’t help the day is getting dark. Should we be pessimistic? No, we as bolts and screws of the social machine, are too small to make significant difference. Not that we shouldn’t try and shoulder our social responsibilities. At the end of the day, who our children and our family members rely on the most is NOT the President, the government, or any public figures, but us. So, just cherish our freedom to say what we can and do what we should to protect our family and our livelihood, if we can do that, we are already doing our job and we should proud of that.

As an extension of what JFK said: “Don’t ask what the Government can do for you, ask what you can do for the Government”, I would say the latter should be: “ask what you can for yourself and your family.” Nough said. Peace! And God bless us all!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

EQ in Financial Tsunami

When I tried to find a picture about EQ in Google Image Search. The picture above was shown. It stroked me with an 'Ah HA' right the way. It is so true about the relationship of EQ and IQ. Everyone has EQ and IQ, it is just a matter of high or low which is also a matter or relativity. Surely, they can be objectively measured if you believe in those methods. What make a person or I should say how a person is being perceived by others has a lot to do with what a person does and says. IQ can add a lot of 'meats' to that, but how those actions and words being delivered has a lot to do with the person's EQ.

In the recent Financial Tsunami, does IQ matter any more? Sure, it always matter. However, many people's behavior really demonstrate their EQs, especially those public figures: opinion leaders, government officials, CEOs of the financial institution's, regular investors, etc. You can see that all sorts of dumb things that they said in the media which showed what kinds of person they really are. You can tell whether some folk's personal interests are being affected or not easily when they talk, cos they can lie with their high IQ in normal days, but their EQ which is relatively hard to control do make their inner beasts come out to the light. During normal days, many folks can use their IQs to wrap themselves up before presenting to the world, but EQ does have its day to shine. No wonder leader recently claimed that 'logical discussion on a public issue has been hijacked by public emotional appeal of the issue'. The ironic thing is that such statement is coming out of the mouth of a leader who is famous for bad temper and low EQ!...
Certainly, there are people who demonstrate their sincerity and affection to others including strangers too. The recent economic environment is really a very good opportunity to learn about human behaviors, psychology, social behavior, etc. I'm sure there are still lots more to be seen and heard, cos I believe that the current rough environment is still searching for its peak, we still have long way to go before we can see the tsunami really retreats.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My View on 'Ghost'

Halloween is coming. The Ghost season is getting popular year by year for commercial reasons. For the background of Halloween, certainly here will provide more information than I could possible write, what I want to talk about is my then and current views on ‘ghost’ .

Human beings have general curiosity for things that we don’t know. When I was a kid, certainly ghost is one of them. What we heard from adults or peers was that the livings have body and soul. When they died, souls still exist without the body, and they are defined as Ghosts! We were told that ghosts are supposed to go somewhere – hell, heaven, reincarnation. If they stick around because they can’t go elsewhere, they just don’t wanna leave, then they usually are not good spirits. I.e. they want to take revenge of someone who hurt them when they were alive, or wanna make someone die to become their ‘replacement’, so they can leave. With our fear of the pain that we may suffer when we are going to die, and so much unknown after death, certainly we were scare when we were kids. Many ghosts were described as scare beings with amazing abilities, like they can fly; go through walls, possessing bodies, etc. When we were kids, we just don’t want to see them by any chance, so any religious things or practices that can repel spirits were learned and heard. Such as holy cross (but later on we thought that it is more for dispel vampires), biblical texts, Buddhism hymns, holy water, etc.

Also, any thing that related to ghost were found scary by kids, like cemetery, funeral, even just dark places. I remember that with our kids, we would ran into some places which were perfectly fine during the day, but it would be very dark at night. We might hold an electric torch and ran there to ‘explore’. When someone in the front suddenly shout ‘Ghost’ (though he didn’t see anything, just wanna scare younger kids behind them), we would just turn our back, ran and scream at the same time. It was very silly but we did feel scare at that time. Some kids may even fall on the ground and those ran the slowest will even cried hysterically.

Then, there were ghost stories, supposed to be ‘real’ life ghost encounter stories, ghostly places, urban legends, ghost movies, etc. All became things that were fascinating and became part of our youth culture. Of course, nothing is scarier than ghostly matters that are close to home, like the death of our love ones or even neighbors. The worst were occurrences of murders or suicides near our homes, thank God that didn’t happen. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to deal with. You know, back then, there were no social workers or shrinks to help kids to deal with post-dramatic symptoms that were caused by those kinds of death. Even if they were available, it would still be tough on kids.

Well, as I grow and learn more things, I found that many things that the livings do are hundred times scary than ghosts. Also, while accepting the concept of karma, I believe that if I did something back in my past life, then I will need to pay back somehow, whether seeing a ghost, having to deal with a ghost or else, that will come if it supposes to happen. There are more important real-life things that need to be taken care of. So, ghosts became more a pastime as a topic in conversation, or just one of the paranormal matters that I’m still interested in, but just no time for.

Would I be scare to see a ghost? I’ve never seen one for real myself, I think I would be a bit scare and anxious the first time, it will depend on the environment, but I wouldn’t be too concern about that. I think I would simply take it easy as if I see a stranger on the street. The only different thing is that the ghost was human before, so he/she will know what we are capable and going through as human, we can’t claim the same thing. So, they have their own way to live, so do we. Something likes that…..

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Window shopping at Prada

What you see is what you get......

It looks like this is the place.....

Friday, October 24, 2008

Illusions 2

Just wanna share with everyone second batch of funky pictures that I got! Enjoy and have a nice weekend!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Apple is so smart!

Apple is so smart, Steve Jobs is such a visionary. Sure, technology development and market does play important roles in the development and success of iPhone. But I can't appraise enough of Apple and Steve Jobs on their intuition of development of iPhone- what a genius product!

First of all, I own an wife does...well I pay for hers. Anyway, so I can speak from first person on the usage of it. This is not what I want to say in this post. What I'm trying to say is that Apple is so right on what consumers want from their mobile phones. i.e. the relationship of human and mobile phone; how we communicate through and live with our Mobile phone; how mobile phone be part of our digital life.
First of all, what a mobile phone can offer?
Answer: Visual info, audio info, and 2 way communication.
For visual, that includes movie, tv, text, info in web, pictures, podcasts and games.
For audio, that includes music, audio books, and podcasts.
For 2 way communication, that includes upload/download of info on web, interactive games, phone call, video call, etc.

So, most of the services and functions above are more or less covered by iPhone. Certainly, iPhone does better in some areas, but still have plenty of rooms to improve in the others. I don't think iPhone will do outrageous thing, like becoming a bottle-opener or something. Surely, they will continue to improve in other 'peripheral' or 'supporting' hardware that can make the performance better, such as storage capacity, better lens, better battery life, etc. Cos, just the areas above would be enough to get their hand full in coming decade.

In terms of mobile phone development, Apple is so right on about the importance of software. They just know that software makes the phone. Hardware matters, but up to this stage, I doubt hardware will really make or break the success of a mobile phone. Certainly, there are quantum leap in hardware development in past decade or so. From just numeric display to monochrome screen, then to color screen and touchscreen, from just keypad to keyboard, adding a camera, plus blue tooth, etc. All that are nice, unless you want to make the mobile phone into a Swiss army knife. There are not much you can add to a mobile phone continuously in future to produce ''wow' but 'practical' effect. Therefore, after Apple went through years of design which is they are very good at, they kinda finalize what the hardware of a perfect phone should be. Like, the size, the thickness, screen size, buttons location, etc. Yes, they still twit the marginal things like rounding the corners and edges, multicolor, metal or plastic, that kind of minor stuff. But, I believe that 90% of what a perfect mobile should be has already been finalized.

So, what's left? The cream of the cake is software! The make or break factor of mobile. Apple owns and controls its OS platform. Is it bad? They integrate their software and hardware just like they did a quarter century ago in the case of Mac vs IBM. Well, we all know what happened then. However, it is different this time. They are going for market share with speedy improvement of its strategy, and leveraging from their success in iPod. The spread of iTunes to PC users is a breakthrough, and the release of their SDK is another milestone. With the App store, Apple completes its own ecosystem that live and breathe really well. Apple folks are smart, but the SDK+App store catches all the talents in the world to make programs for iPhone, and Apple is make reasonable money (30%) on it. It is just a genius move. Yes, Google and RIM are working on similar stuff, but the problem for them is... Google doesn't dictate the hardware development. Nokia, Samsung, LG, they want to do different things on their hardware, yes, Andriod is what matter inside, but still, for consumers, that still cause confusion among them when it works via the hardware design. Blackberry is nice, but I think iPhone can cover most of their functions. Few more years of development on the corporate users' side. Blackberry may run its course in history....well, just a wild guess. Therefore, with Apple still speeding its development and doesn't even look at how its competitors are catching up, Apple will continue to strive in the mobile market as a trendsetter and benchmark maker. That's my current take of Apple and its cash cow - iPhone.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Well, my medical test results are out. Things are so far so good, though there are things that I need to be a bit conscious, it is that I need to eat a bit healthy than what I've been doing. So, many foods that I love, I don't need to stop eating them completely, but a bit conscious to cut them down in portion and frequency is necessary for long term health sake. Thank God that I'm not very picky in food, veggies for me are more than fine. I don't eat internal organs anyway. Just need to cut down on fat, or high cholesterals food a bit. So, seafoods, egg yolks, fried foods, etc......yummy! but
When I told my wife and my family about my test results, they all told me to eat oat meal for breakfast. Man, that's not my favorite at all, but I wouldn't turn down trying that. Cos, it is not only healthy, but cheap as well. I will take on that after my cereals are all eaten. Also, I need to begin doing some light excercise as well. I've not done much workout for long time, but doing something easy and quick frequently should be a good habit to pick up.
Well, these are still just 'ideas' until I carry them out. Well, let's see how things will work out.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Babel in 21st Century

Nakheel Tower
Location: Dubai
Completion Year: 2020
Stories: 1,000-plus
Height: 3,281 ft.-plus

Came across an interest article in BusinessWeek today. I'm amazed by the aggressiveness of some businessmen on developing those hyper-skyscrapers all over the world, particularly those in China and Dubai, actually most of them are there. I just think that do we need to build buildings that higher up? Especially in countries or cities that have some much land? Then, it makes me think about the statement....'Just because we can do it, it doesn't mean we should!'.....That reminds me of.....BABEL!....Hmmmm........

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My View on 'Death' (Part II)

Death is critical point of human life. If you believe in karma. It is when your good deeds and sins got waited to determine when will you go. For the livings, Death is a natural process that a person has run its course.

I think for most folks, these are what people think if we ask them the question: What do you think or your feeling about Death?

- People scare, because they don't know what is going to happen afterwards.

- People scare, because of their religious belief that, some bad things may happen to them.

- People scare, because what usually lead to death are painful, like accidents, diseases, etc.

- People feel sad, because they can't let go what they have: materials stuff, relationships, fame, etc.

- People feel sad, because they don't want to miss what they are going to get.

- People feel uncertain, not just because what will happen next, but also don't know how they will die? and how people will remember them? what happen to his/her possessions?

As nobody can really answer those questions or they can prove their answers are correct and make them acceptable to everyone, so I think the mystery, fascination, and horror of Death will remain with human beings for foreseeable future.

For the livings, just need to accept the reality that, with every day passing, we are one day closer to our death. That's not pessimistic or sarcastic, just telling the truth. I think we should thank God for letting us to stay alive each day and try our best to make the best of it each morning when we open our eyes for that day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My View on 'Death' (Part I)

Death, according to Wiki, is the termination of the biological functions that define living organisms. It refers both to a specific event and to a condition, the true nature of which it has for millennia been a central concern of the world's religious traditions and philosophers to penetrate; in particular, the possibility or otherwise of what is known as life after death.

Death can be one of the recurring topics in my blogs, similar to others like 'Time' and 'Dreams', Death is part of life. The ironic part of that Death is cutoff point of Life, so whether it is 'part' of life, then it is up for debate. The important thing is that Death is something no living being can escape from, and Death itself is still full of mystery. That's why it is a fascinating topic that can be talked over and over again especially when we get older with more life experience and knowledge.

Death is always considered as an 'end' or 'conclusion' or life. Though it is inevitable, the time of occurrence is usually unknown unless you kill yourself or you are suffering from a long-term fatal illness. Therefore, people usually views their own death as either in a passive way just to let it happens when it is due, or prepare for it ahead.

For most people when they are young and healthy, death is usually not on their mind, they will think about marriage, entertainment activities, works, fame, family, etc. So, the only thing that they will do about their own death is buying insurance, so their surviving love ones can have some financial supports upon their death. One more step would be drafting their own will, so other materials belongings will be distributed peacefully in most cases. However, they rarely think about what kind of 'legacy' that they are planning to leave behind. Forget about the death as a result of committing suicide of which I blogged before. For God sake, if you die in an accident, first not talking about what you have regretted of not getting certain things done, what sort of things you want your love ones to remember you for. Cos, money left behind is the least memorable items though most 'useful' and 'practical', other material things if they are not for sale, their values are for people to remember you when they see and touch them. But what do they remember you for? I'm sure nobody want to remember for the bad and sad things that they did. Unless someone like to 'mentally self-abuse' themselves, otherwise, their memories are inclined to remember the happy and good things about the departed ones.

So, if you want to be remembered, using the logic above of 'reversal thinking', we better do more goods and express our love to the people around us when we are alive, also, that should be done continuously and persistently. Cos, good deeds need to be accumulated to generate good feelings, and that takes time. As we don't know when we will die, so it is better to do that everyday. Without mentioning the Death part, is that what we teach our kids what to do and what we learned when we were young at school or from adults? What make it such a discovery by someone us that need to read those 'life-inspirational' books or pay to attend those lectures to recall such simple wisdom?

Of course, some people said they don't give a **** on what the livings remember them for. They just choose they way they wanna live. To be a bit responsible, they may financially pre-arrange their own affairs on how to take care of their dead body, funeral, burials, etc. That's fine to some extents. It is only a matter of how you view your life. Someone may not agree with that, but I think everybody wants to be loved, those who claim the opposite are usually because they are not loved.....well, it can be another blogging topic.....

When we look at history, usually the death of important people are remembered and recorded. for regular folks like most of us, we usually only remembered by our immediate family members. After 2 generations, then our death will usually mean 'names' in our family history. There is nothing wrong with that. However, I still believe that trying to make more big positive impacts to the love ones when we are alive would be a right thing to do.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Medical Checkup

Over the last weekend, I went to have my medical checkup, thanks for the reimbursement of my current employer, otherwise, I would not spend almost US$500 for such checkup. Well, I'm getting old, so far I don't feel any problem with my body. Certainly, if I can feel something, that usually won't be good, cos it usually means something is really bad. Still, at my current age, I think I should be more health-conscious than before. I said I 'should' but not I 'am' is because I know that there are things that I 'should' do, but not really doing. Like everybody know workout is good for the body, but do I? Not anymore since I got married. Should I eat less fat, sure! but do I? I still love chicken wings and roast pork every now and then. I know for sure that I won't go excessive in those things that I crave for. But, I should do better to stay healthy. I still have a family to take care of. When I play with kid in the park, man! I do feel old.

Many people take their health for granted, for them, being healthy is a given. So, they don't care as much as they should, that's why they abuse it, like picking up smoking, binge drinking, doing drugs, etc. We don't find being healthy that valuable until we are sick. That's something that I keep reminding myself every now and then. Cos, there are still so much I should and want to do that can be achieved without good health. Like eating nice stuff, go traveling, etc. Many people are skeptical of the future or so. For me, I'm more taking the road of take-it-easy, see what's coming, whatever gonna happen, just like it happen that sort of attitude. In short, I still wanna see the future, be in the future times. So, I've to try my best to stay healthy to be there. Especially, seeing my kid a bit older, to talk to and be with him. Also, to be with my wife living gracefully till old age would be nice as well.....Don't want to be like Michael Keaton in the movie 'My Life' with Nicole Kidman, though great movie, but sad. In that movie, Michael Keaton filmed videos for his unborned kid because he has only months to live. It was a sad but uplifting story, still he died. Don't know why I suddenly recalled that movie, just that movie left me a great impression about health, I guess.

Anyway, I won't know the medical checkup results for another week or so. We will see.....God Blesses!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Financial Tsunami

Being an average folk, a small potato of a financial corporation, I'm no different than most folks on the street in the current financial tsunami that swamp almost everyone. My personal fund and stock holdings are mostly in red. As I don't believe that I should sell anything to realize the loss, maybe I'm dumb (won't know till someday I look back), I'm going to ride it through and stay being trapped for years to come. Thank God for few things:

1. I'm not going to retire in next few years.
2. Still have a job (touchwood, knock knock!)
3. Not all my assets are in stocks or funds

So, I will try to look at this current situation unfold as just like most previous financial turmoils. Though I really doubt this one is like the others, cos the extent of damage of this one is gonna be the larger than most of the previous, like most folks say "Once in a life time, once in a century". However, the more news that I read or heard, the more I learn about the causes of this tsunami, that's really something everyone should learn: Don't spend more than you earn! Don't borrow more than you can repay! So simple right? but Greed and short-term enjoyment just cover our eyes. Then, shit happens and we are in this hell-hole.....

I'm no expert, but based on what are said in the media, plus a bit of person 'feeling'. I think the following is gonna happen :-
- Local economy is gonna turn really really bad in next 2 years
- Goods will be on sales really soon, as they merchants want money and will dump whatever they can sell.
- Shops will close, companies will go bankrupt as they can't afford the rent though the sales revenue in the coming season should not be bad.
- We will start hearing layoffs across the board in all business - tourism, restaurants, banks, retails, real estate, etc.
- Some folks will commit suicide because of financial difficulties
- Political scene will be chaotic between the legislative and executive branches, and there will be more and more protests
- Unemployment rate will rise as graduates can't find jobs, and more people will need to rely on social welfare.
- The poor will become poorer and the rich will still be ok

People may say what I mentioned above are nothing new. But, I think the pain for this tsunami will be unlike anything before. Yes, people say that we have the backup and support from the 'North', but I don't think there is so much they can do, cos this problem is global. When the existing engines stall, and the 'newer engines' have not been completed and run well. There is no real driving force that we can see in the horizon. Unlike in SARS, we know that there would be cure and was more or less regional. The tech bubble in 2000 was more for tech industry, so it was fine in other industry. However, this is one is about credit for the whole financial industry, which is the key or driver of all. Like a patient is suffering from both blood cancer and stroke! It is gonna be really bad and it will take a long long time to recover.

At personal level, I will just do my job, take care of my family, continue to invest monthly, hopefully dollar cost averaging will play the trick down the road, and hopefully my portfolio will see the light at the end of the tunnel someday. Oh more important is that I need to maintain my physical and mental health for myself and my family. I think that's all I will do...all I can do...I guess!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Nobel Prize Winner

"One Japanese and two American scientists have won this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for taking the ability of some jellyfish to glow and transforming it into a ubiquitous tool of molecular biology for watching the dance of living cells and the proteins within them.
The fluorescent proteins are now routinely used for observing the growth and fate of specific cells like nerve cells damaged during Alzheimer’s disease.

The winners are Osamu Shimomura, 80, an emeritus professor at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., and Boston University Medical School; Martin Chalfie, 61, a professor of biological sciences at Columbia University; and Roger Y. Tsien, 56, a professor of pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego.

Each will receive a third of the 10 million krona prize (about $1.4 million) awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences."

The above few paragraphs were extracted from New York Times on Oct 8, 2008. Certainly, from the Chinese media, what they really focus is Mr. Roger Tsien. He is a nephew of a Chinese Scientist who has the nickname of 'Father of missile' for the PRC. So, in Chinese media, this relationship was being highlighted as well.

Well, for me I only think of one thing. He is going to be pursued after in future when one of the top local universities need to find a president. I don't know why they have to do that, cos begin a Nobel Prize winner doesn't mean he is gonna be a great university president. Cos, the skill set is totally different. You could be a genius in the lab or doing research, but what an university president needs to be is someone who is a great communicator, good PR person that can talk to riches and government to get fundings, or manage the university politics. His ethnicity, nationality are not that important indeed. Certainly, that's not most local university's board committee members think. Just share my thought!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Reading personal doc on iPhone

Last night, per my wife's request, I was trying to figure out how to put a word document on her iphone for reading at her leisure. Certainly, everytime I do this kind of research. I learn something new. Before doing any of that, it is known to me (through reading news) that there is no copy and paste function in iPhone. Yes, it sucks and I know that there are genius out there are working on it. Hopefully soon, it will be added to the firmware. But before that happen, besides using its keyboard to retype everything and put them on Notes. What can I do? The answer that I got last night is 'Ereader'.

Yes, there are other similar programs out there on App Store, like 'Stanza'. For me, I just need to find one that work. So, how Ereader work is that. First of all, it only ready '.pdb' format files. So, I need to get a convertor. I got one from CNET and able to convert .doc to .pdb. However, at the end of the day, I found that the output isn't good, too many funky non-sense symbols in the .pdb file. So, I use .txt as a base file instead. So, after converting the .txt to .pdb. Then, I need to login the Ereader's website, upload my .pdb files and then go to Ereader in my iphone to connect to their site to download my file. Well, it works, the bottomline is.

However, I just don't think it is just too much works to make such simple things to go through such a complicated process. As my wife's .txt will be updated. I'm sure I will need to help her to run the above process everytime she needs it. Yes, my wife is not tecky at all, but I can't help but complaining that iPhone is just not very user friendly for such simple task of copy-paste an existing doc on iphone for reading purpose. Well, I still have faith in iPhone, I'm sure it will improve that soon. But for now, I'm stuck with this process.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Quality of Sleep

I don't sleep well lately. Yes, I've been a bit ill lately, but with medicines and tiredness, I should sleep like in a coma. But, I'm not. I woke up easily, not just because of the amount of water that I drank, but also quite alert with sound. In the middle of one of the nights last week, I heard weird sound in our studying room. I woke up, went there, turn on the light, and saw a big cockroach running back and forth. I killed it of course. I thought it must be flying in through the windows. But, amazingly, I was waking up by the running sound of a cockroach on our hardwood floor in the middle of the night?!

I used to be able to sleep through the night, but now, I can't. I'm ok during the daytime. Don't need coffee or tea, things like that. Just....maybe I don't 'dream' that well that bother me a bit. Cos, unlike others, who find dreaming 'tiring'. I like dreaming, regardless I remember them or not. Just knowing that I dream, I feel that I had enough of sleep. Cos, my feeling is that I dream only in deep sleep. I don't need those scientific experience to count my R.E.M. to tell me that. However, I don't think I have dreamed enough lately. I only remember 2 dreams that I had is being throw a grenade by a terrorist group in Singapore (ha, you can tell it must be a dream), the second one was that somehow my fingers were bleeding while I was wearing 4 finger rings (must be a dream also!). Weird dreams (got to be a separate subject in my future blogs) is very normal for me, and the significance of them to me is about their content which could be very interesting in interpretation, but they usually memorable. That made me feel that I had a good night of sleep.

I hope things will be improved soon. Cos, to me sleeping is not only important but enjoyable. With a good night of sleep, it sucks!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Silent Rave

A silent rave was organized in Union Square by a British exchange student at Packer Collegiate Institute.

I first heard of the term 'Slient Rave' on my podcast from NPR.ORG this week. I found the concept is quite interesting, so I dug into wiki and find the following:

The concept of a silent party, Silent Gig or silent disco involves party-goers dancing to music received directly into headphones. Most commonly, this will be music provided by a DJ who will broadcast via an FM transmitter with the signal being picked up by wireless headphone receivers worn by the silent party attendees. Another type of silent party involves the gathering of a group of people in an unconventional location to dance to music which they provide themselves via an MP3 player and conventional wired headphones.

The idea has been around since the 1990s espoused by eco-activists who found that the easiest way to get large numbers of people to certain areas, such as a forest that was being logged, was to put on a party. However, this could cause distress to animals living in the area, so a compromise solution was needed for particularly sensitive areas.

Since then the concept has evolved into the guerilla-type gatherings as seen at London's Victoria Station in 2005 and also into commercial ventures across the UK, Europe and worldwide.

The following is a translation of what Silent Rave is in Chinese.

Rave Party一般給人的印象都是吵吵鬧鬧,而且一定要選在晚上在偏僻的空曠地方舉辦,上個週末的紐約市就舉辦了一場完全不Rave的Rave Party,這場被稱為是無聲的Rave Party(Silent Rave),儘管沒有播放任何音樂,卻吸引了超過一千名民眾參加,他們戴上自己的iPod(或其他MP3隨身聽),舞動身軀,跳出自己的節拍,場景相當壯觀。這整個活動依循快閃族的啟動模式,由18歲的Jonnie Wesson在Facebook中發起,然後在網路上得到數以千計的回應,雖然最後真正參加的只是這數以千計的一小部分而已,卻也十分可觀。對於不熟悉快閃族活動的路人,經過時看到他們似無旁人瘋狂跳舞的景象,可能有點摸不著頭緒,但是參與的民眾仍然十分盡興的跳到天黑才結束。而這起活動除了再次證明網路的號召力之外,也顯示了一件事-紐約市民已經知道如何在不違反噪音管制條例的情況下,開場大家都開心的派對了。

I'm wondering when will local folks start picking up this trend here. Cos, I think it is gonna be great. Cos, people can dance and have fun. It won't bother other people with noise or music that you don't like. Also, it is supposed to be cheap. Without picking up what is raved in places like London and NYC, and claim itself an international metropolitan city in terms of culture? What a joke!