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< November 2015
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San Francisco, USA


Old man crossing street

An old man with dropped head was crossing a street. He held the leash to a poodle, walking a few feet in front of him. He was walking excruciating slow in side walk. I watched him through the large window of a cafe. At first I feel concerned about his safety. What if some careless driver hit him or his dog? Suddenly it comes into my mind, this is the scene from Krzysztof Kieślowski's Three Colors trilogy.

three colors old woman

It was a recurring scene in all three Three Colors trilogy. An old woman with dropped head, walked very slowly and struggled to put a bottle into a recycling bin. It is not the first thing you will remember from the films. But it not a scene you will forget either. Kieślowski has a magic touch to make connection to ordinary moment in life. Twenty years later I saw the scene again.



Thanksgiving note to mom

I want to say thanks my late mom. She has always wanted the best for me, worked hardest to keep us comfortable, picked us the best pieces from the dinner plate, and comforted me when I was sick in bed. After I am grown, she would be the shameless endorser of me, a true believer like no others.

My gratitude come rather late. Actually I have not thanked her ever. I'll make this year to be the beginning.



One Child Policy Officially Ended

China's controversial has officially ended finally. Still it is unlikely to see its birthrate, which has already fallen dramatically like other developed East Asian countries, to significantly rebound. Its repercussion in population aging will become apparent in the coming decades.

One Child Policy

This brings me back to the wonderful novel 《蛙》 Frog by Nobel Laureates Mo Yan. It seems the highly political one child policy is an unlikely topic for a novel. But Mo Yan has personify the policy and threaded it into everybody's life. The story is surprising riveting and very tragic. It presents a long struggle of the bureaucracy and the people over one of the most important element of life, the offspring. It leads to the surrealism ending where many of the ideas are reversed in present day setting.

So long one child policy.



Conzelman Bike Ride

Conzelman Road must be the most exhilarating ride from San Francisco. It takes a long climb to the top of the hill past the Golden Gate Bridge. Then a steep and winding downhill run toward Point Bonita light house.

Conzelman Road

There is great view all the way. I'm glad I've stopped for pictures!

Conzelman Road



6 Outlet Wall Plug Hack

Beside the Ikea bed, I also have a great hack for the 6 outlet wall plug. IKea sell these adaptor that converts a typical two outlet socket into six for cheap. The problem? It only fits three prong socket. If you live in an old house with only two prong socket you are out of luck. The solution? Just use a hacksaw to cut off the two grounding prong.

Plug Hack

Does it violate any code?!? Well don't do it at home then, if you don't know what you are doing. The bottom line is the house does not have ground wiring. There is no way anything can get a ground connection. In reality this is really a much safer alternative to the cheater plugs you are going to use anyway. Moreover, how is two sockets ever enough? So typically what happens is people add more adaptor to increase the number of outlets, resulting in a grotesque and unsafe bunch of adaptor over adaptor. The six outlet adaptor change all these by providing a secure and low profile outlet. I plugged a few of these to every room and it makes significant improvement to the power need.

To be extra professional, add a "No Equipment Grounded" sticker on the adaptor (surplus if you have installed GFCI plug).



Point Reyes (2015)

I have made another trip to the Point Reyes lighthouse with Ian. It is an incredible place to appreciate the enormity of land and water, see some wildlife, and for some moment, enjoy a complete tranquility when even the sound of wind and wave have subsided.

Point Reyes Lighthouse

See all picutres.



Sweet Romantic Youth

I have seen a few great movies over a number of months. What is common among them? They all tell story about young people. They all evoke romantic view and sweet memory. And they are all wonderful stories that linger in my mind long after the movie ends.

Youth Movies

In A Story of Yonosuke (横道世之介), Yonosuke arrived in Tokyo to attend college. An awkward simpleton is people's first impression. Nevertheless, Yonosuke approach every person and everything with such curiosity and positivity that you cannot help but like him. Shoko unstoppable laughter in their first meeting is unforgettable. Her energy is like a nuclear plant that makes everything glows.

At Middleton is main characters is not youth but an older father and mother accompanying their children on a college tour. College is often a transformative place where young people learn about different ideas and grow mature. During the visit, the parents Edith and George were by accident separated from their children. They embark on a college tour of their own. Together they experience that freshness and excitement once more, rekindling the life that has long become dormant and inhibited. As a middle aged man myself, I feel very touched by events.

Blue is the Warmest Color is about a young lesbian couple. Adèle was still in high school when she first meet the blue haired art student Emma. The film flows along naturally. They become committed and they eventually have to face difficulty in sustaining their relationship. All the time Adèle had undiminished devotion to Emma. I really like the house party scene. Without a word, we sense the mood change and we sense that they have enter a different stage of life. The days of naive young girls has become past memory.

Each film is slightly melancholy yet charming and delightful. I am going to make second or third viewing whenever I have a chance.



Modify Ikea Furniture

This is the Ikea Fjellse bed frame. For as low as $50, you get a solid wood bed frame. The catch is it is also the ugliest bed frame I can find. What design is it to have a few big holes in the back? I think they do this deliberately to push people to buy their more expensive bed.

Fear not. Some simple modification can turn this ugly duckling into something much nicer. I bought some wood stain and pine panel from Home depot. This is how it look transformed.

This is a view to the back of the head board. I spread the 6 vertical rail evenly so that it can support some load when people lean on it. It is not hard to cut, glue and nail the horizontal panels into the head board. Not bad for $30 of materials and a few hours of work.

There are still a lot of pine panel left. So I used some to transform another ugly duckling RAST nightstand. I added a strip to make it look more substantial.

This is the after picture. Not bad for a $15 nightstand.



Why can't you break the water

While I was washing Hang Hang in the bath tub, he used his hand trying to slash the water. He asked "Why can't you break the water?" What a Dao-ish question? How inquisitive this young mind to raise this intriguing question about our physical world? Why can't you break the water? [more...]




Popularization of Mapping

Reading Sunday's newspaper, I have found this map. What does it try to say? It turns out this is a full page ads for a windows replacement company. They are telling us that 13,011 Bay Area homeowners have chosen to use them to replace their windows. Online mapping has come a long way since they are available to the public some 10 years ago. This company could have just said they have many customers all over Bay Area in nearly every city. Instead plotting them as dots on a map looks lot more impressive. Now this becomes a Wow! rather than yet another day in business. [more...]



Cockpit and Computer Dashboard

When I was younger, I was quite amazed by the dense wall of dials and controls in an airplane's cockpit. It was so overwhelmingly complex. I always wonder how is it humanly possible for the pilots to comprehend it all and to control the components of a machinery as complex as this.[more...]



Hang Hang's New Toy


Hang Hang loves to play with his new toy - a handcuff. [more...]



Following Borgen

I find TV programms uninteresting. I have more or less stopping watching TV altogether after I grew up. I do not expect to fall for a TV drama After all these years. But the Danish political drama Borgen is exceptional! I am completely hooked after the first episode. [more...]



How Not To Play A Game

A few year ago Tatchee started playing Flying Squadron (飛行棋). He liked it so much he grabbed me to play all the time. Each player of the game has four planes. You advance the plane by a number of places determined by rolling a dice. Once a plane fly around the circular course it can land in the player's home base. Whoever landed all the planes wins. You can also shot down your opponent's place when you land on top of it. In that case the shot down plane has to start over from the launching pad. [more...]



Algorithm for the Turnpike Reconstruction Problem

I have spend quite some time to come up with an algorithm to the solve Turnpike problem. turnpike algorithm in Julia. A causal look at says the complexity is beyond 2^n. But in practice it compute instanteously for a data set of about 16,000 delta numbers. [more...]



Daddy is a TV Snatcher

The other day I have denied Tatchee TV time. I have been telling him to finish homework the first thing he return home. Instead he was fooling around, touching a bit of homework, having snack, reading comic books. Despite my constant nagging, he wasn't focus on his work. At the end it went pass the deadline I've imposed. So he lost his privilege to watch TV on that day. [more...]




Hang Hang Beard




Training for Xtracycle Edgerunner

I am excited with my brand new Xtracycle Edgerunner cargo bike. I tried it with the kids in a park last week. This week I start to carry some serious load on the street. The two boy weight 75 pounds combined. Keeping them balanced is a demanding challenge. So I have decided to do some training with myself first. [more...]



past articles »


BBC News


Poor 'left behind' at climate talks (30 Nov 2015)


Obama lays rose for Paris victims (30 Nov 2015)


Murray wins Davis Cup for Britain (29 Nov 2015)


Turkey and EU strike migrants deal (29 Nov 2015)


Cool abortion debate - Colorado governor (29 Nov 2015)


Israel suspends EU role in peace talks (29 Nov 2015)


Hamburg says no to 2024 Olympics (29 Nov 2015)


Pope calls for reconciliation in CAR (29 Nov 2015)


Russian pilot's body flown to Ankara (29 Nov 2015)


Hopes raised for Paris climate deal (29 Nov 2015)

more »


Slashdot News for nerds, stuff that matters


Israel Meets With Google and YouTube To Discuss Censoring Videos (2015-11-30T01:33:00+00:00)


Contractors or Not, Seattle Uber Drivers Might Get Collective Bargaining (2015-11-29T23:25:00+00:00)


Amazon Reveals New Delivery Drone Design With Range of 15 Miles (2015-11-29T21:30:00+00:00)


Purdue Experiments With Income-Contingent Student Loans (2015-11-29T20:42:00+00:00)


Facebook Expands Parental Leave Policy For All Employees Globally (2015-11-29T19:18:00+00:00)


Ethics: A Good Reason To Sit Further Away From Your Boss (2015-11-29T18:21:00+00:00)


Cortana Coming To iOS, For 2000 Beta Testers (2015-11-29T17:24:00+00:00)


Canadian, UK Law Professors Condemn Space Mining Provisions of Commercial Space Act (2015-11-29T16:23:00+00:00)

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TechPsychic Tech Rumors and Invented News

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SF Gate


Bay Area News (7 Jan 2012)


City Insider (11 Feb 2012)


Crime Scene (13 Feb 2012)


C.W Newius Column (10 Jan 2012)


C.W. Nevius Blog (11 Feb 2012)


Education News (10 Jan 2012)


KALW (11 Feb 2012)


Matier and Ross Blog (11 Feb 2012)


Best TVs to give (and receive) for holidays (29 Nov 2015)


Video Game of the Week: ‘Fallout 4’ (29 Nov 2015)


Vanishing executives a mystery for Hong Kong market (29 Nov 2015)


NSA halts bulk collection of telephone metadata (28 Nov 2015)


Hacker makes canceled American Express card work again (28 Nov 2015)


How Story Explorer can help Snapchat (28 Nov 2015)

more »


Asia Times Online

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