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San Francisco, USA

 

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.

2015.06.21 comments

 

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?

"Well because it is not solid" I said. "You can only break things that are solid". We went on to enumerate solid things that can be broken. That's the best I can answer. Still let's keep these great questions coming!

2015.05.20 comments

 

Fortress

fortress

fortress

We have some fun building the fortress at home :)

2015.04.26 comments

 

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.

Windows Ads

The first time people put their data on a map, it looks as if they have discovered some hidden pattern. Some time ago someone has created a map to explore the relation between tech shuttle stops and the opening of restaurants and cafes. He has a theory about the "Clusters of Affluence" and the newspaper covered the story. Unconvinced, I pulled some unrelated data like crime location and plotting another map overlaying violent crime and tech bus stop. It just look much the same as the restaurant map.

Tech Bus and Crime

My explanation is these maps are simply showing a pre-existing population pattern, not necessary a discovery of some unknown relation. Many dots on the map may make it looks like a Wow! But it is simply yet another day in business.

2015.04.19 comments

 

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.

Cockpit controls

Now that I work with computer system, I have to look at pages and pages of dashboard to keep tab on many different aspects of the computer systems across a cluster of machines. We also have some of these dashboards showing in a large screen on a wall. Does it reminiscent of the wall of meters on a cockpit?

Computer Dashboard

I think our computer system actually have far more control than a airplane. Each computer have tens to hundreds of tools (like basic Unix tools and other software). Compares to the switch and knobs on an airplane, each computer tools can support a wide array of parameters so that you can do complex things than just turning it on or off. Thinking about it this way, perhaps the cockpit control isn't so complex after all.

2015.04.17 comments

 

Hang Hang's New Toy


handcuff

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

2015.04.06 comments

 

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.

Borgen

Political party leader Birgitte Nyborg has accidentally become Denmark's the first female Prime Minister. It takes an intense wrangling for her to pull the unstable coalition together. In every episode there is a new struggle, new crisis and new personal dilemma. What makes Borgen special is the moral challenge it poses. Those questions linger on my mind long after story ends.

2015.03.31 comments

 

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.

flying squad

Tatchee was only a few years old then. The funny thing is he did not really grasp the objective of the game. He knew how to roll a dice and to make a move. But he has also invented funny rule like giving away a dice roll of "6" to the opponent, who needed the "6" in order to launch a plane. When you have a long steak without rolling any "6" and all your planes are stuck in the hanger, it is really great that he will give you what you need. Since he was so nice, I have also refrained from shooting down his plane when I have a chance. Somehow we have subverted a game that is competitive in nature and turned it into a cooperative game. He was so innocent then. But it was also refreshing to play the game in such new way.

He has grown up and learned of course. Now he plays to win, just like everybody does. No more giving advantage to the opponent. Why would anyone do that? But the extend he would go to be the winner bugs me. How about playing game because it is fun? Is winning really so important. Sometimes it really bothers me when I see him tried so hard and he also incline to cheating and sabotaging. Sometimes he insist to make invalid moves to advance his position. Other time when he is facing a losing position, he simply swept all the pieces or the board and decided he don't want to play anymore.

Today he has asked me to download a new mobile game. Initially he was enthusiastic about the new game. But after awhile, he couldn't figure out what to do in the game. Soon the 15 minutes time I rationed him has ran out. He erupted into an emotional outburst, calling the game stupid and that it cheated him the 15 minutes of game time. He went on raging for a while and even dropped tears over that.

Games just do not seem to be much fun sometimes.

2015.03.14 comments

 

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...]

2015.02.03 comments

 

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...]

2015.01.12 comments

 

江湖大佬

Hang Hang Beard

2014.11.09 comments

 

 

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...]

2014.10.18 comments

 

I Hate Ikea

Once upon a time, Ikea is my furniture palace. Their design is fresh and chic. Their price is low. The flat packaging is easy to carry home. But as I grow, I find their design does not cut it anymore. The construction is flimsy. The materials are cheap. And the design look fake. Their price is not even that low compare to other furniture with better quality. [more...]

2014.09.30 comments

 

Hang Hang's Mummy

Mummy

This is how Hang Hang wants his toy figures. Wrap them in bandages like mummies. I did that with paper stripes. Then he ask them to be placed in the boxes (coffins). This shows how it is done to his satisfaction. [more...]

2014.09.27 comments

 

California Beautiful

I was cleaning up my stuff. There is a large stash of maps I have collected. Everytime I went to a park, I picked up its brochure. Over the years, I have visited just about every major parks in the San Francisco Bay Area. There are wonderful mountain vistas, tranquil redwood forests, incredible coastlines in Point Reyes, gorgegous view of Golden Gate Bridge, the urban oasis Golden gate Park. Some of these places are within jogging or biking distance from me. [more...]

2014.09.26 comments

 

教行行寫字

Learning writing

哥哥自己教行行寫字,寫得好有一個貼紙。 [more...]

2014.08.29 comments

 

New York Loves California

A Moveable Feast

I often heard how productive and how innovative California's agriculture producers are. Perhaps this is best illustrated in National Geographic's story on food import. The picture are fresh produce from four upscale markets in Manhattan. They traveled a long way from where they grown to the New York city. The origin with most varieties? California contributed 21 kinds of food out of the 60. This is more than 3 times the rest of United states. Actually California has produce more varieties than all other major region combined, with 6 from United States, 6 from Mexico, 5 from Italy and 3 from Costa Rica. [more...]

2014.08.04 comments

 

New York U-Lock

I'm shopping for a new bicycle U-lock. If a regular U-lock is not strong enough for you, there is a product line known as the Kryptonite New York U-Lock. These are extra heavy U-Lock made of hardened steel. Presumably people who need extra security would go for this. It also cost about double compare to a regular U-Lock. [more...]

2014.07.10 comments

 

Automation and Safety

The National Transportation Safety Board release a draft report on the Asiana Airlines plane crash last year, which result in 3 death. Commenting on role of the autopilot auto throttle system, they said, [more...]

2014.06.24 comments

 

past articles »

 

BBC News

 

Greece needs even more money - IMF (02 Jul 2015)

 

BP to pay £12bn for Gulf oil spill (02 Jul 2015)

 

US gunman's sister in wedding appeal (02 Jul 2015)

 

Militants 'kill 150' in Nigeria (02 Jul 2015)

 

Palmyra statues 'destroyed by IS' (02 Jul 2015)

 

First US measles death in 12 years (02 Jul 2015)

 

US makes Fifa extradition request (02 Jul 2015)

 

Eight held over Tunisia gun attack (02 Jul 2015)

 

French woman jailed for baby murders (02 Jul 2015)

 

Feuding ukulele bands in court (02 Jul 2015)

more »

 

Slashdot News for nerds, stuff that matters

 

UK Government Illegally Spied On Amnesty International (2015-07-02T21:34:00+00:00)

 

Google Hangouts and SMS Integration: A Mess, For Now (2015-07-02T20:50:00+00:00)

 

Microsoft Research Open Sources WorldWide Telescope (2015-07-02T20:04:00+00:00)

 

Cameron Asserts UK Gov't Will Leave No "Safe Space" For Private Communications (2015-07-02T19:20:00+00:00)

 

Angler Exploit Kit Evasion Techniques Keep Cryptowall Thriving (2015-07-02T18:30:00+00:00)

 

Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Passwords Transmitted As Cleartext? (2015-07-02T17:42:00+00:00)

 

Solar Impulse 2 Breaks Three Records En Route To Hawaii (2015-07-02T16:53:00+00:00)

 

Watching People Code Is Becoming an (Even Bigger) Thing (2015-07-02T15:53:00+00:00)

more »

 

TechPsychic Tech Rumors and Invented News

more »

 

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)

 

State to consider adding electricity surcharge for energy ‘hogs’ (2 Jul 2015)

 

14 questions (or statements) that get snarky replies from Siri (2 Jul 2015)

 

Daily Briefing, July 6 (2 Jul 2015)

 

S.F. to create city office to enforce Airbnb law (2 Jul 2015)

 

Daily Briefing, July 2 (1 Jul 2015)

 

Business News Roundup, July 2 (1 Jul 2015)

more »

 

Asia Times Online

 

China ramps up charges against Zhou (Fri 20 Mar 2015 11:00:00 GMT)

 

'100 dead' in Myanmar fighting (Fri 20 Mar 2015 11:00:00 GMT)

 

Tunisian president vows no mercy (Fri 20 Mar 2015 11:00:00 GMT)

 

SPENGLER Israel's 'referendum' on 'two-state solution' (Fri 20 Mar 2015 11:00:00 GMT)

 

Russia, S Ossetia sign 'integration' pact (Fri 20 Mar 2015 11:00:00 GMT)

 

US military plunges Aquino into crisis (Fri 20 Mar 2015 11:00:00 GMT)

 

Rahmon celebrates Tajik democracy (Fri 20 Mar 2015 11:00:00 GMT)

 

THE BEAR'S LAIR Being old in 2040 no fun (Fri 20 Mar 2015 11:00:00 GMT)

 

China grant boosts Nepal ties (Fri 20 Mar 2015 11:00:00 GMT)

more »

 


Site feed Updated: 2015-Jul-02 15:00