Another Typhoon

Another typhoon is coming to Taiwan. It will land wednesday or thursday. That makes 4 Typhoon in 2 months. Interestingly, US is getting hit pretty often this year too. Hurricane Katrina has been all over US Google News. I wonder if these disasters have anything to do with the way human beings alter the climate? Then again, maybe I am giving us too much credit, maybe what we do are insignificent and doesn't affect the big picture.

Dungeon Siege 2 is a slight disappointment. It uses the same graphic engine as the original game from years back and the plot is the same old story of good vs evil. It was good when diablo first came out with it, but since then it has been done to death. I might also have out grown video games, which I hope not. Video games provide me with much enjoyment, they are like old friends. Is it possible to out grow old friends? yes, yes it is possible, and it is an arkward and unpleasent thing.

I saw Van Hellsing last night. It reminded me a lot of Vampire Hunter D. I now have an urge to create an evil character and make him the hero. It is kind of boring to see good triumph all the time. I can do this either by making the world even more evil than the hero. Sort of a lesser evil vs greater evil. Or I can make it evil vs good and make the evil come out on top. I don't propose to make a horror piece of work though. The closest example I can think of is Revenge of the Sith. I would have to think more about my evil character. For research I am starting on Anne Rice's 10 book vampire series. Should be fun reading.


I have recently gotten Dungeon Siege 2 and Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines. I expect to sink quite a few hours into those games. I am also pretty excited about Age of Empires 3 coming out in October. The previous Age of Empires series was entertaining, it is likely the tradition will continue. X-Box 360 and PS3 are also coming out in a couple months, it would be hard to choose which to buy. I would probably go with PS3 because the new Final Fantasy series promised to be among the line ups. In order to accomidate all these new games, I have finally updated my graphic card driver, which fixed a critical error that will disable video input when I am playing games that calls DirectX 9.0c. On another technical note, Google released their version of AIM called Google Talk. It requires a gmail address to sign up which luckily I have. The unfortunate side is that I don't know anyone who is interested in using Google Talk service. My US friends all us AIM and Taiwan friends use MSN. Hopefully Google Talk will be more popular later, because I would love to see Google beat out Microsoft (the evil empire).

Further Thoughts

Reading back on my last post. I was surprised to discover how strong the wording turns out to be. It was interesting how something seem true just 24 hours ago can become alien. It then got me thinking, maybe that was not the whole reason why religion made me uneasy. The arguments in the last posts weren't false, but it had a slightly too loud volume, like someone desperate in an argument trying to win by upping his voice. So i thought, maybe I was uneasy because of another reason.

Maybe I was uneasy because I am going to hell. That would also account for my lack of belief in religion. After all, if by believe in gods I also have to believe in their punishment, then it would make sense for me to try and deny that existence. No one likes ever lasting punishment in the arm pit of the world. Purely looking at the issue from a psychological point of view and not on the merit of each religion, it would seem that my reaction could be partly from my denial. The only way to test out which issue holds sway I would have to isolate one of the variables. That means I would either have to find proof for religion or become a good person not destined for hell. Both seem unlikely. Although I suppose I will keep trying to do both. After all, it is the eternal struggle that makes life interesting.


I think I finally figured out why religion makes me uneasy. I generally have no problems with whatever god people worship, those gods usually have something interesting to say or preach. Further more they tend to be good at what they do and have something I can learn from. What disturb me are the followers.

Even thought god might be all knowing and powerful and set down his teaching in a book, the followers are not perfect. In fact, 49% of the followers are less than average intelligent than the overall 100% faithful - basic math. Yet, the faith that they cling to so tightly and unquestioned (can you imagine? stupidity coupled with the tendency of not questioning?) is interpreted by human beings that has made many many many mistakes. We wage war in the name of god. We kill in the name of god. We say earth is the center of the universe by the teaching of the book. We believe god caused the great flood that killed babies and other life forms just for the sin of men. What the animals ever did to god? Why did they deserve to be punished along with us? We don't know, the story is not complete. God might have all the answers, but the disciples who wrote it down sure didn't have everything figured out. We are told what the disciples wrote, who are human, who make mistakes. Yet, the book is the closest we have to the word of god. So we treat it as word of god. Really, it is the word of disciples. Further more, no one can agree on what the book really teaches.

Is it not scary? a book that so many people believe are taught drastically different from place to place, country to country. And everyone believes they are right. That is what terrifies me. People who think they are right without proof and will do anything in the name of that righteousness.

*This article is resulted from conservative US evangelist Pat Robertson's remark to assinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.


I have added a couple links to the side bar.

  • Manga News is an automatic feed on current manga scanlation published.
  • Google News is an automatic world news feed.
  • Slashdot, News for Nerds, Things that Matters.
  • is a quotation database for IRC.
  • Emule is the best p2p downloading software.
  • Firefox is an alternative to Internet Explorer, which I use.
  • Spybot Search and Destory is a free anti-spyware software, it keeps your computer clean.
I also added a new section called "Foot Prints" which are the blogs I visit.


I have just about finished the Vorkosigan series. I didn't just read the books; I simply swallowed them whole. 14 books in 7 days probably indicate some kind of addiction problem but I would have to work that out with my therapist...if only I have one.

Miles Vorkosigan is the main protagonist for the majority of the series. He was born a cripple due to chemical warfare lunched against his parents while he was conceived. The poison was stopped in time by an antidote; however, the cure causes calcium depletion, which is not exactly a good thing for a developing fetus.

Miles is born with extremely weak bones that shatter a lot during his mischievous adventure. Also, due to the stunt growth in bones, he possess a head the size for a 6 ft tall man but a body of mere 5 ft. In short, he is a little person with shatter glass bones. Even more, he was born in a military culture that prejudice against mutations and emphasis upon physical perfections. It makes for wonderful plots to see how Miles discovers his place in the world and set out to prove his worth.

Below are the books in chronological orders

Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan -01 - Falling Free
Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan 00 - Shards of Honor
Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan 01 - Barrayar
Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan 02 - The Warrior's Apprentice
Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan 03 - The Mountains of Mourning
Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan 04 - The Vor Game
Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan 05 - Cetaganda
Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan 06 - Ethan of Athos
Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan 07 - Labyrinth
Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan 08 - The Borders of Infinity
Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan 09 - Brothers in Arms
Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan 10 - Mirror Dance
Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan 11 - Memory
Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan 12 - Komarr
Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan 13 - A Civil Campaign
Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan 14 - Winterfair Gifts
Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan 15 - Diplomatic Immunity

Miles is born in Book01, titled Barryar. Book00, Shard of Honor is a prequel that talks about Miles' parents and how he became who he is physically. Falling Free is a pre-prequel, set 200 back from when Miles was born. It is one of Bujold's first books and doesn't add much to the main Vorkosigan story line, I skipped that one myself so I read 14/15 books so far.

The below time line is taken straight from Bujold's webpage

Miles Vorkosigan/Naismith:
His Life And Times

Originally created for Baen's website in 1996, later additions by Michael Bernardi from the books.

Approximately 300 years before Miles' Birth
  • Quaddies are created by Genetic Engineering. (Falling Free)
During the Beta-Barrayaran War
  • Cordelia Naismith meets Lord Aral Vorkosigan while on opposite sides of a war. Despite difficulties, they fall in love and are married. (Shards of Honor)
The Vordarian Pretendership
  • While Cordelia is pregnant, an attempt to assassinate Aral by poison gas fails, but Cordelia is affected; Miles Vorkosigan is born with bones that will always be brittle and other medical problems. His growth will always be stunted. (Barrayar)
Miles is 17
  • Miles fails to pass a physical test to get into the Service Academy. On a trip, necessities force him to improvise the Free Dendarii Mercenaries into existence, he has unintended but unavoidable adventures for four months. Leaves the Dendarii in Ky Tung's competent hands and takes Elli Quinn to Beta for rebuilding of her damaged face; returns to Barrayar to thwart plot against his father. Emperor pulls strings to get Miles into the Academy. (The Warrior's apprentice)
Miles is 20
  • Ensign Miles graduates and immediately has to take on one of the duties of Barrayaran nobility and act as a detective and judge in a murder case. (The Mountains of Mourning in Borders of Infinity)
  • Shortly afterward, his first military assignment ends with his arrest. Miles has to rejoin the Dendarii to rescue the young Barrayaran Emperor. Emporor accepts Dendarii as his personal secret service force. (The Vor Game)
Miles is 22
  • Miles and his cousin Ivan attend a state funeral on Cetaganda. Miles collects trouble, of course, but proves he is a contender. (Cetaganda)
  • Miles sends Elli Quinn, who's been given given a new face on Beta, on a solo Mission to Kline Station. (Ethan of Athos)
Miles is 23
  • Now a Barrayaran Lieutenant, Miles goes with the Dendarii to smuggle a scientist out of Jackson's Whole. Miles's fragile leg bones have been replaced with synthetics. (Labyrinth in Borders of Infinity)
Miles is 24
  • Miles plots from within a Cetagandan prison camp on Dagoola IV to free the prisoners. (The Borders of Infinity in Borders of Infinity)
  • The Dendarii fleet is pursued by the Cetagandans and finally reaches earth for repairs. Miles has to juggle both his identities at once, raise money for repairs, and defeat a plot to replace him with a double. Ky Tung stays on Earth. Comander Elli Quinn is now Miles's righthand officer. Miles and his Dendarii depart for sector IV on a rescue mission. (Brothers In Arms)
Miles is 25
  • Hospitalized after previous mission, Miles' broken arms are replaced by synthetic bones. With Simon Illyan, Miles undoes yet another plot against his father while flat on his back. (Borders of Infinity)
Miles is 28
  • Miles meets his clone brother Mark again, this time on Jackson's Whole. (Mirror Dance)
Miles is 29
  • Miles hits thirty; thirty hits back. (Memory)
Miles is 30
  • Emperor Gregor dispatches Miles to Komarr to investigate a space accident, where he finds old politics and new technology make a deadly mix. (Komarr)
Miles is 30
  • The Emperor's wedding sparks romance and intrigue on Barrayar, and Miles plunges up to his neck in both. (A Civil Campaign)
Miles is 31
  • Miles and Ekaterin's wedding. (Winterfair Gifts) [1]
Miles is 32
  • Miles and Ekaterin's honeymoon journey is interrupted by an Auditorial mission to Quaddiespace, where they encounter old friends, new enemies, and a double handful of intrigue. (Diplomatic Immunity)

If I have the time and energy, I will do a book by book review of this whole series. I would love to analize how she writes such wonderful story too, given time. I adore her writing. I would give my left pinky to write like her except that would make it very hard to type "a", "q", "z" or press "shift" on my keyboard.

One word of advise (okay, not one word, a lot of words), if you wish to start the series, go with Barrayar first. Although you will miss little links from not having read the prequel, the book is designed as a stand-alone and I dare say slightly more interesting than the prequel.

p.s. I know I still owe you a 2005 ComicConvention update. Yet with an average of 3 hours of sleep in the past week I have to weight my health over an update no one is going to read.


Mageiricophobia is word of the day. It means "the intense fear of having to cook".

2005 Comic Convention

It was pure chance that I saw the annual comic convention (2005 世貿漫畫博覽會) advertisment while standing on a bus, looking down at a 30 year old man who manages to secure a seat of his own. The event was a 5 day madness from Friday to Tuesday. I went on Sunday and was impressed by it. The convention was held at Taiwan's largest center, better known as Taipei World Trade Center, right behind the world's tallest building Taipei101. Luckily I live only 10 minutes away, so I took a little walk Sunday. The admission for the convetion is only 100 dollars, or about 3 US dollars.

The first thing I notice is that the place is packed. Just imagine the chinese fire drill without the panic, everyone seems to be smiling. The place is tiled with bodies, we cover the floor bodies to bodies. Interestingly, taipei military defense choose this time to hold a free exhibit right next to the comic convention. Makes me wonder if they are targeting some of the comic viewers. The place is basically split in half; to the right you see excited kids age 12-30, often dressed up in anime customs; to the left you see people in shirts attending "Taiepi Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibit". Unfortunately I dressed not casually enough that day, khakis and a shirt with no pictures. The other comic addicts were looking at me like I went into the wrong exhibit (shock, the horror, going to comic convention with no graphic of any kind). One helpful lady even told me where to go for the aerospace and defense exhibit. In the end, I went to both. It was an interesting experience. I will write more on the comic convention once it ends on Tuesday.

Google Search

When you type word(s) into google for searching, they let you know how many results they found and the time took for execution. Here is the result of my boredom.

bored: 18,200,000 (search results) in 0.10 (seconds)
love: 460,000,000 in 0.11
god: 165,000,000 in 0.05
pain: 90,100,000 in 0.05
google: 335,000,000 in 0.18
microsoft: 252,000,000 in 0.12
hate: 59,700,000 in 0.20
sex: 951,000,000 in 0.06
life: 631,000,000 in 0.07
death: 166,000,000 in 0.04
shit: 58,800,000 in 0.04
science: 419,000,000 in 0.28
gay: 458,000,000 in 0.14
baby: 305,000,000 in 0.10

Below is my brief attempt at bringing some light to the data.
  • Death and Shit came the quickest.
  • Science takes a long time, in fact, the longest time.
  • Sex is the most important thing to human, it has the most results. If fact, it seems sex is twice as important as love or science. 951,000,000 vs 460,000,000 vs 419,000,000.
  • Being in love and being gay are equally important. 460,000,000 vs 458,000,000. Yet gay comes out later.
  • god and death ranks the same. 165,000,000 vs 166,000,000. In fact, they come at the same time too, 0.05 vs 0.04.
  • Google is about twice more important than god. 335,000,000 vs 165,000,000.
  • Hate is the same as Shit. 59,700,000 vs 58,800,000.

finally the overall ranking: sex>life>love>gay>science>google>baby>microsoft>death>god>pain>hate>shit>bored

*Ha, I found someone made a webpage based on the same concept. The official game is called "Google Fight". Check it out.

Entrapment and Tears

Entrapment is an entertaining movie.

I don't normally describe someone I don't know as beautiful, but Catherine Zeta-Jones would have to be an exception. In the movie she plays a strong and capable character. A refreshing change from the helpless-rescue-me routine spew from Hollywood. Yet at one point, she cried. My immediate thought was that she was breaking character. Then on second though, I realize I am equation crying with weakness, which is not entirely right.

Maybe strong people are strong because they feel much. The overwhelming feeling prompt them into action, making them who they are. Would it be so odd for her to cry having that under-torrent of emotion? Also, do you think it is odd I keep asking questions I have a definite personal answer to? Thinking back to most my writings, I think it is a bit odd. Anyhow, crying when there is no need to repress it is more honest. Honesty is definitely a strength. The result of shame and inability to over-come fear is what keeps us from releasing our tears. So maybe her crying is not breaking the character. Maybe it takes a strong person to cry.

Random Thoughts

Walking home today I saw a restaurant full of pretty girls in tight outfits filled with patrons. I wonder if I can start a similar version with guys. Have waiters dress up in business suits and serve food. The target would be mostly women. Of course, certain men might desire to see someone in suit scrap and bow too. I think the idea is feasible. I also would like to host mandatory classes for the waiters. These classes might include English conversation, social graces, and tips on how to dress yourself...all for men. It is, I realize, just another way to sell personal appeal but this time I think would be fair to cater the female audience. Besides, the male waiters can learn a thing or two and be more metrosexual.

p.s. "a restaurant full of pretty girls in tight outfits filled with patrons", i must clarify it is THE RESTURANT filled with patrons and not the other noun in this sentence....and stop asking me where it is. [albert sweat nervously]

Fish in Water

The fish twists and turns wishing for change and freedom and a better life. It sees light coming above its head so it chases the rays in curiosity.

Reaching for the light it jumps out of the water. It feels the air burning its lungs and the sun warm on its back, then gravity pulls it back down into the lake with a splash.

Believing itself having found the change and freedom, the fish jumps again out of the water that has served it all its life.

Again the burn and brief sense of freedom, wind at the back, and warmth coming from above. Again, the fish falls. So there it lives, jumping up and down the lake believing itself to be making a difference, while bystanders standing at the shore wondering why the fish keeps jumping up and down.

Thoughts on Discovery landing and the human capacity for change.

Nothing in Particular

TOEIC class went really well, it is now my favorite job out of the three. The discussions are always exciting. Then again, I spent a lot of time planning them out. On the topic of "Is love a religion?" I started with 1 believer and 10 non-believers. Mainly, I was the only who believe in the validity of that statement since I had a couple more hours to think over the issue. By the end of the class I had 5 believers, 3 undecided, and 3 non-believers. Near 1 in 2 ratio but oddly all the converts are girls. The conversion rate seems high considering Buddhism only has 1 in 6 followers on earth and Christians only have 1 in 3 according to statistics.

Word is out though; there is this teacher who discuss philosophy for business communication class. Last two classes I got about 15 people. Usually, the occupancy is 5-6 people for this kind of class. I just figure if they have to train up on English listening skill, they might as well learn something interesting in the process. Largely I don't expect them to accept everything I say, I enjoy it more when they think for themselves and disagree with my points. Even better if they can back it up with reasons. Problem with Taiwanese students is that they aren't used to think on their own. The learning method is mostly force and fed. Teacher say one thing then students will just note it down for remembrance. It troubles me. More often than not I have to play both sides and lead them to see my weaker arguments. Other times I have to map then point out the stereotyping most people take for granted. More people are speaking now, which is encouraging.

In the end, if students don't think for themselves, even if they learn everything I have to teach, the most they will be is me. Which is not much. Then of course, I am assuming they are only learning from me, the one source. Yet even if they are learning from multiple sources, blind sponge learning won't get them very far. I wish they would ultimately understand the big lesson I am trying to show - learning how to learn.

The boss has officially asked me to use the TOEIC book to teach though, so I can skip preparing my own material for the first hour. The book they provide is full of mistakes, I usually prepare my own lessons to teach English on the first hour, print out the papers with my own money. Second hour I hold discussion to help listening and speaking. I suppose this way I don't have to spend an hour preparing for the first half of the class - the book would be easier for me. I guess it is only to be expected, 15 students walking downstairs asking to return the textbook for refund will attract some attention. Personally I think they should pay me to make a new textbook, or at least let me proofread the darn thing before printing it. Oddly, they weren't really upset, more amused. They even offered me 2 more TOEIC classes and 1 intermediate communication class to teach. Sounds like fun but I already have another tutoring job for SAT and another 8am-6pm job doing technical translation, I had to pass on the extra 6 hours per week. 68 hours a week is enough for me. If you include the commute time, 74 hours a week.

Keeping busy is all well and good. I just wish I have a little more time to sleep, write, and jog.

Trojan Horse

Below is a quick 60 second play made by faithfully yours. It combines a couple issues and concepts. Some examples include: the absurdity of smoking being legal, cell phones and infertility, alien invasion, trojan horse, lead piping in roman bathhouse, intelligence design, and conspiracy. If you couldn't figure how this story might fit together, don't worry about it, you are more than likely normal. I don't even know how I made all those ideas fit in one piece. If you want to find out what the actual story is about. Seek and you shall find.
...Read more

"You are a genius!"
    Exclaims Alien Invader 1.
"Yes I am,"
    Says Alien Invader 2 as he glows happily.
"Remember the good old days when we introduced lead piping into Roman bathhouses?"
    Alien Invader 1 says dreamily.
"How can I forget? I thought you went crazy when you taught those barbarians personal hygene."
    Alien Invader 2 replies.
"Ha, yeah, too bad they didn' realize it was a trojan horse. They never learn do they?"
    Says Alien Invader 1
"They were getting entirely too civilized, it was a necessity on our part to stall their technological advancement until our army arrives."
    Alien Invader 2 speaks patrioticly.

"Yeah, bathhouse only exists in major cities where the Roman elites congregate. By introducing lead piping, we eliminates their best people's fertility. Then add a little nudging of neighboring barbarians - We have a nice recipe for the Dark Age."
    Says Alien Invader 1 as he recalls the past triumph.

"But now, now I have done it again!"
    Exclaims Alien Invader 2 happily.

"You sure have! As if the voluntary introudction of tobacco by this planet is not enough, we have given them cell-phones!"
    Alien Invader 1 has awe in his voice.

"Ha! And you were so worried when i try to show Mr. Bell how to transmit sound through transmission lines. We have to think deep and plan far, my little green friend. After all, there is another couple thousand years of waiting."
    Alien Invader 2 says preachingly.

"I couldn't agree more. The radio wave frequency from cell phone is doing nice work on current human sperm DNA structure. Further more, only the more elite population carry it, so we are effectively weeding out the best of their kinds again. I couldn't believe they are stupid enough to carry one around without shielding. The best part is, they even carry the cell phone at their hips, near their genetic storing organ!"
    Alien Invader 1 says with glee.

"I can see the next Dark Age coming soon, I can use another vacation for the next couple hundred years."
    Alien Invader 2 says with quivering anticipation.

"Where do you want to go this time? Last time we went to the Vega System and came back too late. Humans were already in industrial stage."
    Alien Invader 1 says worriedly.

"We won't go far this time, just to the Gemini System, a couple dozen light years away. We will be back in time before they rebuild the civilization this time."
    Alien Invader 2 says reassuringly.

"Nice! I hear they have nice hydro-gaseous based intoxicator"
    Alien Invader 1 concurs.

"Let me just speed up the process a bit first, this plan of introducing "Intelligence Design" into their science class room will sure set back their civilization by centuries."
    Alien Invader 2 says with authority.

"Oooooh, nice, maybe we can have some more witch hunts and teach them about Earth being the center of the universe."
    Alien Invader 1 says enthusiasticly.

"Let's get to work! The sooner we are done the sooner we can take a vacation!"
    Alien 2 rubs his hands excitedly. Then they get to work.

Religion and Love

This article started with a simple question. Is love a religion? In mathematical terms, I am trying to equate love and religion. Therefore, I must define then attempt to quantify both. Then once having established love as a religion, i will try to establish the number of its followers.

Religion by various dictionary definitions means the following:

  1. Belief in supernatural beings (gods).
  2. A distinction between sacred and profane objects.
  3. Ritual acts focused on sacred objects.
  4. A moral code believed to be sanctioned by the gods.
  5. Characteristically religious feelings (awe, sense of mystery, sense of guilt, adoration), which tend to be aroused in the presence of sacred objects and during the practice of ritual, and which are connected in idea with the gods.
  6. Prayer and other forms of communication with gods.
  7. A worldview, or a general picture of the world as a whole and the place of the individual therein. This picture contains some specification of an over-all purpose or point of the world and an indication of how the individual fits into it.
  8. A more or less total organization of one's life based on the worldview.
  9. A social group bound together by the above.
Love by interpretation from a religious stand point:
  1. Love has its gods, usually a male and female. They rule and they judge – the Supreme Beings that exist undoubtedly. In this case, the Gods are more Greek-like, fallible and imperfect. It might be necessary at this point to define lightly on what constitutes as a god. God rewards, punish, set out codes of conduct, inspire awe, act as an object of worship, and an object of supreme regard. Indeed, the gods in the religion of love fit all these descriptions. You might argue god must be responsible for the creation of life, universe, omnipresence, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. For one, love is definitely and greatly responsible for the creation of human life if not all life. There are many other established gods recognized historically that is not responsible for the creation of universe. In fact, many religions doesn't even offer explanation of where the universe came from. Buddhism, a major world religion with 350 million followings, is just one of the examples. Rather, some religions act more like philosophy of life. This single point probably merits another post all by itself. Also, not all gods are omnipresence, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. Omnibenevolent is the easiest one to argue. If you won't take the pain and suffering in this world as a first hand example then I would recommend you look into Greek and Hindu religion to find evil gods. If fact, just looking at Greek gods you can find that they are not all wise, all together, or all powerful. This one single point probably merits another whole post or two just to sort out a general outline and lay down the most basic examples. We will stop here for now.
  2. While in love, some object are more sacred than others, examples includes pictures of relevant god and goddess, correspondence letters, relic seasonal offerings (past gifts), perfumes associated by gods or goddesses, and sometimes clothing.
  3. Some ritual acts associated with love focus on sacred objects might include prayer and meditation. One might also carry the sacred objects (picture) for good luck and for spreading the message (showing pictures to other people exclaiming how great he/she might be). At the very least, carrying the sacred picture is a way of proudly proclaiming your faith. Some more examples might include offerings on valentine's day, birthdays, major holidays, plus anniversaries. At later stage, some rituals include marriage ceremony, wearing a metallic ring for life, and sleeping in the same bed. Although rituals are not universal, we can certainly see the connection and agree that rituals do exists in love. In fact rituals in other religions are not performed universally either, followers sometimes pick and choose which ones to adhere. Examples from other religions include dietary restriction or going to church on Sunday. Not everyone follow all the rituals. The above listing is just a brief and general ritual from love.
  4. Moral code believed and sanctioned by the major branches of love includes some of the followings. Faithfulness, intimacy, passion, adequate communication, anticipation of god's and goddess' needs. Cheating is frowned upon by followers of love universally. Other offenses might include spending too little time worshiping, too little time communicating, lack of offering during major 'religious' holidays. More serious codes might include that child birth would be better when done under marriage with both couples present...although that code seems to be broken more often than not these days. Other more controversial codes involves genders of the couples, male male gods, female female goddess', and male female goddess ideology is responsible for many branching of the religion of love.
  5. Love inspires awe, sense of mystery, adoration, guilt...just take it word for word, it fits.
  6. Prayer and communication is very very important in the religion of love. In fact, without a standard sacred writing oral instruction is what spread the religion since the beginning of human history. The lack of standard sacred writing does not mean the lack of writing. In fact, love is a factor and subject in most non-scientific research article and sometimes even in some. Studies on chocolate, hormones, color associations, facial reorganizations, are some of the interesting scientific research done on love. In fact, the lack of communication is usually the first sign of losing faith in the religion of love.
  7. Does love provide a general worldview? I think it does. It preaches how people should behave. In fact, other religions often use love as one of its tool. "Love one another" is a common saying and an encouraged worldview. "Love makes the world go around". "All is fair in love and war". The list goes on and on and on.
  8. A more or less total organization of one's life is resulted from love every hour. People move their living locations for love. People changes job for love. People give up food, air, money, physical comfort for love. People die for love. People change their belief systems for love. I think "total organization" is a slight understatement.
  9. A social group bound by love. Family for one. Couples for another. Love of the country. Love of the justice. The saying even goes, "love binds us together and make us stronger".
Above is a very very short list on why I think Love is a Religion. If you agree with me, we can now proceed to estimate the number of people following this faith. One of the biggest reason I claim love has the most following as a religion is because of its universal viability. You can be a Christian, Buddhist, Islam, and still be catagorlize as a follower of love. In fact, many religion incorporates the spirtuality, code of conduct, and moral guidline of love into their own system. Anyone who has actually gone through the marriage ceremony is at least once a convert of love. Have you ever perform the rituals of giving gifts on valentine's day? Gone out with another person? Changed your way of life for another god or goddess? Think of it this way. If you changed your life for Lord Jesus Christ, then by most standard you would be a christian. Now I am simply saying, if you change your life for Love then you are a follower of Love. Simple logic, easy to follow. If fact, I go as far as saying marriage is the baptism of the religion of love. It is a gate of no return. Yet at the same time, many people consider themselves christians without baptism, so i claim the same thing is possible for love. You don't have to be married. You simply have to believe.

Now a very very modest estimate of 50% of people gets marry (i can't find a stastic on it). That would put 3 billion people as baptised follower of Love walking around earth. The second largest religion would be christianity at 2 billion.

Now you might argue, then divorce would constitue as giving up your faith in love, then those numbers must be subtracted. I argue that love is a polytheistic religion. There are multiple gods. Just because you give up faith on one doesn't mean that you stop loving period. It is very similar to asian religious philosphy like hindu. You may choose to ignore or disbelieve one of the many god or goddess and still be a practioner of that faiths..

Another problem that may be raised is the issue of monothestic religion co-existing with polythestic religion. How can a religion that claim to only have one (or 3, if you think trinity) god co-exist with a religion like love which allows multiple gods? Now let me explain the logic. The key issue here is how all the monothestic religion defines god. The way monothestic religion define god is different from the general defination of god. Monothestic Gods are generalily flawless, all powerful...basically omnipresence, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. The reason being there is only one god, so he have to do all the work and be that much more powerful. Yet, I have already stated not all god must necessary be that (think Greek gods). Therefore, there is no conflict of ideology, because the gods and goddess of Love are not omnipresence, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent so they do not fit the defination of monothestic religion. Therefore they can co-exist with monothestic religion.

You see how this works? In fact, monothestic religion not only not recognize the gods and goddesss of Love, they don't even recognize any other religion's supreme being. However, there are now branches of Christianity and people who claim to be christian who adhere to polythestic belief. In fact, if you claim science as a religion, that number is even greater. There are now debates on whether science is a religion and frankly looking at the way people trying to fight the theory of evolution with theory of intelligent design it would seem at least some of the religous people are equating them as equal. So that would mean, if they are right, science is religion and religion is science and they should be taught side by side. This could be another post all by itself.

If you can point out anything that needs clarifation or just tell me why this line of thought is flawed, I would be glad to listen. If nothing else, it is an interesting line of thinking and deserves some further research on my part.

since it is such a long post i am going to recap.
1. I defined religion by dictionary definations.
2. I equated love with religion, checked them point by point to validate love as religion.
3. I estimated conservatively 50% of people on earth gets marry which puts Love with a modest following at 3 billion. Second largest following of religion is Christanity and came in at 2 billion.

By step 1,2, and 3 i hope i have established how "Love is the most widely followed religion on Earth." Now feel free to flame away, pick at the holes, comment, let me know if you agree or disagree.

Chicken Sandwich

I had an internal debate on what to post. Urgency of sleep vs desire to write had a conflict of interest. Between the 3 topics of "I seem to operate better under a little stress", "religion and love", and "my favorite chicken sandwich, the sandwich won out. It is fast, easy, and tasty. Hopefully you enjoy it just as much as I will enjoy my 7 hours of sleep.

My Favorite Chicken Sandwich (Makes four sandwiches)
  • One long loaf sourdough French bread (a brown-and-serve style works best)
  • Boursin (or other garlic and herb flavored spreadable cheese)
  • Mayonnaise (reduced-calorie is fine)
  • Lemon juice (err, I usually skip this)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Sliced roast chicken (or - fried slightly crispy, a little breading is good)
  • Fresh watercress from a stream, or assorted tender lettuce.
  1. Cut sourdough French bread into four 6- to 8-inch crosswise sections. Cut each section in half and pull some of the extra bread from the middle of the top part to make room for the filling. Place in a 350 degree oven (or toaster oven if making a smaller amount) and toast just until lightly brown and crisp.
  2. Spread Boursin cheese and mayonnaise that you have seasoned with the extra lemon juice, and a bit of Dijon mustard on the cut sides of the bread. Fill sandwiches with chicken and watercress or lettuce. Serve while the bread is still warm.
  3. For Albert, add another slab of mayonnaise. Serve and enjoy.

Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Five translated documents and 7 exported Outlook Express later I was left by myself to do my own thinking. The most pressing concern on my mind is this - how could this one office lady have 7 Outlook Express account under her name? Then the distant second voice cried out - how could I who studied electrical engineering be exporting Outlook Express?

The second voice is neither as loud nor as persistent as it once was. I was slightly saddened by that. The poem by Dylan Thomas sprung to mind. "Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light." Perhaps a bit too dramatic on my comparison, yet how many little deaths does it take to add up into one final destruction? I am not talking death in the physical sense here, but death in the spiritual sense doesn't seem much better. Of course, there will be my slightly biting sarcasm to carry my day through - and the grateful smile of that old office lady.

Section 7

I first saw her through the reflection on a window in section 7 while commuting to work. Her image caught my attention out of a sea of morning crowd rush. It was not that her skin tone was naturally whiter than the Asians I normally see. Nor was it because of her wakeful contemplation in a train full of sleepy travelers. It was the stillness which she brought to the space around her. Her way of seemingly making time slow its step and examining all the details life has to offer. She seems alive in a crowd of half dead office workers. That is what attracted my attention to her reflection on the glassy surface of MRT window.

My boss would be disappointed to learn that I did not brave the morning train rush, the long office hours, and the mind numbing triviality which they called work for the love of my company. Everyday, it was the thought of a simple glance on the train mirror that helped me get out of bed. It was the hope that maybe today I will learn what has kept her so alive, maybe I will unvail the secret of her quiet contentness - and if not, I will admire her simple joy from a far, preparing myself for the worse that is to come in this business day.

This stranger that I have never spoken to kept me going. I have never even looked at her straight on. It would be odd if not rude to fight through the crowd, approaching her just to say hello. Nor would it be appropriate to stare at a young lady like a normal 22 year old. Now-a-days, being 22 is almost a crime. The in-experience in life, the low earning income, and the awkward social approach. Yet, she seems 22 too, what made her so different? All I knew was that she must have work the same time as I do. For I always manage to find her reflection from a sea of crowds in the morning in section 7.

One day, out of pure reflex at her inviting smile, I smiled into the mirror at her. She noticed. Then as natural as the flower open to receive the sun, she smiled back. I am not sure what that smile meant to her, perhaps a polite hello. To me, it was a polite hello, and more. It was an acknowledgement of my existence. It made me feel human. In this society of concrete and steel, of money and profit, I can't remember the last time I felt like something bigger than a piece of gear in the giant machinery of society.

It was a smile and nothing more. Yet, it was also everything. It was the beginning of a new routine. I smile more now, commented by my co-worker. I seem to work harder, commented by my boss. I feel more myself, silently I said to myself. So it was that, every morning, Monday to Friday, I would look into section 7 of MRT mirror and smile - then be greeted in return.

One Saturday day, on a particular hard week, I had an urge to look into that familiar face and smile once more. So I boarded the MRT and walked into section 7. It was easy to scan the station then, for it was deserted. It was absurd to think she will be on the train on a Saturday, let alone at this exact time. It was nothing more than an urge after all.

With no one to fight for a spot on the train I walked calmly into my morning corner, simply wanting to recharge my soul through the long practiced ritual. Holding on to the hand lifts I closed my eyes and let my feet feel the bump and grind of the train tracks. I smiled at the simple joy of having Saturday off. I dreamed of a different life - the maybe's, the what could have been's. Then I opened my eyes and see the familiar reflection of content smile looking back at me. Only this time, as I can see from the reflection, she is sitting on a seat behind me.

Her simplicity never fails to astound me. Her outfit is never flashy nor the latest fashion. Yet there it is, her quiet content smile that I recognize anywhere. I couldn't resist the urge. I turned around hoping to say a proper hello. I found only emptiness staring back at me. Puzzled, I looked into the glassy window once more and found that familiar smile staring back at me. Only, her eyes looks more curious now and her smile closer to a giggle. Like a mischievous and innocent child caught with a prank.

Understood finally of her secrets, I can't help but smile back at her. Final stop, I mouthed a wordless "thank you" and "see you later" into the mirror as I walked off section 7. I walked with light foot steps and a lighter heart, knowing someday I will acquire that content smile as eternal as hers.

Prologue: Rain

They met on a 1954 locomotive. It was a more simple time. Water was not restrictive and rain falls free from the sky for the taken.

Their love itself was as simple and primitive as the locomotive they were riding. Amanda didn't know he was a renowned doctor in world ecology; Leland didn't know she was a lawyer respected in the deepest circle. They were honest; they admitted it was the pure physical attraction that led them together. His hello led no room for doubt of his interest and her smile back was equally straightforward. Yet, if it was their mutal good look that brought them together, it would be their common intellectual interest that kept them in love. In the end, just like the 1954 steel train that still travels from New York to Long Island, their love is just as strong and lasts just as long. Simple things work; simple love blossom. Then again, there is the great disaster to bind people together.

The Great Disaster that led to world water crisis got its unassuming name because of its uniqueness in history. No other disaster came close. Like The Great Depression, it needs no code name. People recognize this great calamity like great singers who doesn't require a last name. A single bomb did it. A single bomb that was turned away at the last second and landed in the ocean. In 30 seconds, the chain reaction and heat evaporated a quarter of the world water supply. The rush of hydrogen and oxygen was more than the atmosphere can contain. "From the stars they came and from the stars they return" was how the new religion describes the event. Poetic perhaps. Yet, it does not change the fact that Rain no longer falls from the sky.

Great adversity is the best aphrodisiac known to humankind. On top of the lack of water, more children than at any other time were conceived. It was the world version of American Baby Boomers. It was the beginning of the end.

It was said rain brings people together under one umbrella. It drives people away from the street and reduces people’s distance – people huddle together closer in rain; under roof, over the station platform, inside the coffee shops. It cools the land and refreshes the spirit. For the new generation of baby boomers, they will never know the truth of that for themselves. Their birth will be greeted by the bright yellow sun and perhaps the tear and shame of parents.

"How could this have happened?" was almost the new way of greeting from man to man. War came and did not seem inclined to leave. Crying is now universally discouraged. It wastes water. Shedding of blood on the other hand, seem to be of common practice. "More water to go around now" is the more sarcastic way of sending a man off.

The initial surge of birth rate did not last. With the shortage of water mothers are commonly dehydrated. To say the least, the rising of core temperature and elevated level of sodium in body is harmful to the fetus. Sometimes the mother doesn't make it, other times the fetus, more often both.

The new religion arose trying to cope with common despair was unprecedently popular. Yet like all new religions it’s teaching is controversial to local governments. For one thing, it teaches its disciples to cry. From the rhymes of street children we hear its simple wisdom:

"Sometimes a little rain is good for the soul.
That which washes away the sin, settles the dust, and cleanses the past.
So cry if you wish.
Sometimes a little rain is good for the soul."

Children have a way of conveying more truth than they know. The rhyme is poetic perhaps. But it doesn't help Dr. Leland who is pacing outside the hospital room. Waiting hopelessly for the outcome from his beautiful pregnant wife.

16 hours later, the train of 1954 moved on, the people on it didn't. Arriving at the platform of Long Island. Dr. Leland held on to the little life form in his arms, vowing to make a difference to this god-forsaken world that made his little girl motherless.

It will be noted later historically and religiously of the meanings her name holds. The audacity to name a child by the most desired resource, the purest form of substance, and the cause of so much violence for humankind. It will be debated over and over, “does the Lelands knew the appropriateness of the name? Do they know how the world is about to be changed?” It might never be known at the time that Dr. Leland and Amanda simply did what came natural to them.

They named her by the most precious thing they knew, they named her Rain.

The World Is Not Enough

The lack of sleep has finally caught up with me. Thanks to Matsa Typhoon (麥莎颱風) that visited Taiwan I got a 3 day weekend. Of that 3 days I slept for 45 hours. It was a record for me. Beginning Thursday I fell into my bed and was unconscious from 9:00pm to 8:00am. 11 hours later I woke up with a refreshed world view and a funny feeling in my neck.

I set out to conquer the world that day but settled for 2 technical articles and finished reading a book. At 2:00 pm I promptly and shamlessly took a nap till 6:00pm. It was a good 4 hours.
...Read more

It is now friday midnight, I have 15 hours of sleep under my belt. A more normal person would stay up and party; enjoy all that life has to offer. Not me. I turned pumpkin at midnight like cinderella and next day light found me at 8:00am. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, another 8 hours of sleep. The count is now at 23 hours and it is only early Saturday morning.

I felt slightly guilty that my extra day off came at an enormous price of this nation. Just 2 weeks ago I got a day off from Typhoon Hatan (海棠颱風). 13 people dead and 2 missing, plus 3700000000 of Taiwanese Dallar in damage (about 112000000 US). I vow to use this day to its fullest to show appreciation and gravity of the situation. So I worked on a little writing that got no where, then at 2:30pm took another nap till 5:30pm. I got up because I had to tutor someone for SAT. Typhoon is typhoon; job is job. Unlike my other 8am-6pm job, this one only pays if i go and teach, so i braved the eastern wind and went to my 3 hour teaching post.

7pm-10pm went by fast. We laughed, we cried, we learned a little. I was home by 10:30pm. In fact, the lesson went so well I thought I would conquer the world...again. Faithful reader(s) might remember my plan on taking over the world last time only resulted in 2 articles and a book. So it is to no one's suprise my impromptu action resulted in something less than the world.

Let's just say I left a message, she responded, we talked, then I went crazy and told her I liked her. Keep in mind she is an ocean away and barely knows me so saying any of these couldn't possibly do any good. Yes, way to sabotage your life Albert. Who in their right mind try to take over the world now a days anyways? silly albert...

i went to bed feeling slightly silly and awkward, like a teenager. Went to bed? yes, the count is at 26 hours and I went to bed at 2:30am. Some people would stay up feeling sorry for themselves, I say the hack with it and went to bed - like a normal person. At least, I think this is how a normal person would behave.

I woke up at 12:30pm. Which, translating for the mathematically lazied to be another 10 hours. The total is now at 36 hours. Which bring us to Sunday, August 7th, just a day before Taiwan's Father's day. Did I mention I bought flowers for my dad after class on Saturday? No, I did not. They were roses too, my father look at me like i was crazy and give the flower to my mom. Regardless, I know he liked the flower. Partly because everyone likes flowers and partly because I can't stand to think my 150 big green unit infantary sacrificed themselves for nothing.

Anyhow, since I have work on Monday, like every normal person. We went out on Sunday to celebrate Father's Day. Long story short, happy dinner, good food, I paid. Came home looked at my writing but did nothing to it. Yes, I just read it over and over again. I wonder if that is considered a form of narcissism. Then I went to bed at 9:00pm only to wake up at 6:00am for work. Thus ending a lovely 3 day weekend with 45 hours of blacked-out space.

The rest? That was it. The rest has yet to happen. Come back later if you want more.

Posted by Author Names

It would be nice to see who has commented on an article without going into the comment itself. It is also a nice positive feed back for people who make comments by seeing their name appear on the bottom of the article. Without the posted by author names hack, the bottom of your post would look like below.

With a little light coding it could look like this.

The code is simple, first find em and change its text-align from right to left, like this "text-align:left;"

Now right after <p class="post-footer">
<em>posted by <$BlogItemAuthorNickname$> @ <a href="<$BlogItemPermalinkUrl$>" title="permanent link"><$BlogItemDateTime$></a><$BlogItemControl$></em><br/>

Put the following code.

<!--Start List Commenterss Names on a Post-->

<a class="comment-link" href="<$BlogItemCommentCreate$>"
comments</a> from:

<script type="text/javascript">
if (<$BlogItemCommentCount$> == 0)
document.write("(no one yet)");


<!--End List Commenterss Names on a Post-->

That is it, easy and simple. I made some changes to the out-line of this hack to suit Rounders 4. The original code and reference can be found at Blogger. You can take a look to learn more.

Random Quotations

Have you noticed the text under my webpage title "Once Upon A Dreamer"? If you are a returning visitor you might notice that the quotation is different everytime you visit my site. Some people might think I just update like mad, but the truth is I used java to generate a code to randomly pick 1 of 7 quotations and place it under the title. It is a small thing and not many people might notice it. The biggest adventage might be that it makes me happy.

The code itself is suprisingly simple.

<!--start of random quote in sub-header-->

<p id="description">
<script language="javascript">
var asText=new Array(
'Quote 01',
'Quote 02',
'Quote 03',
'Quote 04',
'Quote 05',
'Quote 06',
'Quote 07'

<!--end of random quote in sub-header-->

The parts highlighted is the actual quotations itself. If you count them I have 7 in all. If you want to add more simply put another comma at the end and then use single quote to close up the sentence.

the part


is for when people's java is not turned on, then it will grab the quotation you have set for your profile. Obviously it is a function only for Blogger. If you are using another kind of Blog service simply leave that 3 lines out. In my case, if java is turned off the header title will revert back to "My words, my life, my space - this is where I come to talk with myself."

You can put randomly generated quoatation anywhere you want. Header, footer, or in your stories. It is one way to make your website more dynamic. For more information you can check out this source from Blogger Hack.


StatCounter is one of the best way to gather statistic about your website. It lets you know how many people visited your website, which page they visited, and how long they stayed. It is a way for you to pin-point what the audience is interested so you might create similar products again. Simply sign up for a free account and attach the code they generated for you at the end of your code above /html.

The downside is that StatCounter only keeps the last 100 stat happening on your website. Each reload, each visit, and each exit will take up one of that spot. The newer information simply pushes the older ones down and into oblivion. So in reality, you only get a really small snap shot of website activity. If you are wiling to pay anywhere between 9.99 to 19.99, you can upgrade your log size.

You can also choose to setup a 'Guest View' of your web stat. The guests that goes through this link can see the stat of your site but can't made any modification to your StatCounter settings. Here is how it would look like.

Lastly, like every stat tracker, StatCounter uses javascript and cookies. Cookies is used to track "returning visitors", it can tell you how many times that person has came back. Javascript can tell you the previous site that person came from, indicating how that person found your site. Most people has cookies disabled because so many advertisment track you through cookies, I recommend you turn your cookies off or set it not accept third party cookies.


Chatterbox is a shoutbox, very similar to a group chat function of AIM or the chatroom of IRC. It is a way for friends to leave a quick comment that doesn't have anything to do with your articles or website. For example, "dinner would be ready at 6" or "the movie i saw last nigth is great". It is an alternative to email or phones. Mainly it acts like a portal that brings people together, because usually phone and email only reach one person at a time. It is even more true when you have friends spreading across nations. You can take a look at the lower right hand corner of my main page for the actual application.

Here is the official Chatterbox website. Simply sign up and you will get an easy code to copy/paste onto your website. The code is given freely, but comes with 2 links at the bottom that you can't hide "get a free chatterbox" and "a randomly generated link", in this case on the above picture - "How the world was really created".

The reason those two links can't be hidden is because they are generated from the server side that hosts the chat function. When you sign up for chatterbox you get an unique ID number, which would be associated with the path of your chat log on the server. Below is my code with my 7 digit ID numer replaced with 1111111 and my ID name replaced with idname

<!-- Flooble chatterbox for idname start -->
<script language="javascript"> var chatterbox = 'no'; </script>
<script language="javascript" src="">
<a href=";amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;popup=true&w=480&h=400"
onClick="'about:blank','flooblechatterbox','toolbar=no,location=no,directories=no,status=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=yes,resizable=no,copyhistory=no,width=480,height=400');return true;">
<img src="" border="0"
in my <a href="">flooble chatterbox, a free javascript chat tag board / shoutbox / tagboard program for your xanga, diary, blogger or weblog</a> |
<a href="">logic problems, math puzzles</a>
<script language="javascript"> if (!chatterbox || chatterbox != 'ok') {
document.write('This <a href="">flooble chatterbox</a> is');
document.write(' temporarily unavailable. It will be back up shortly.'); } </script>
<!-- Flooble chatterbox for idname end -->

Now if you read deeper into the code, you would realize that chattebox puts up two links on your webpage even when the sever is down, which doesn't seem fair since they are not providing a service yet still clutter up your webpage. The code in this case is not server side, so let us go in and take it out.

<h2 class="sidebar-title">Chatterbox</h2>

<!-- Flooble chatterbox for idname start -->
<script language="javascript"> var chatterbox = 'no'; </script>
<script language="javascript" src=""></script>

<a href=";amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;popup=true&w=480&h=400"
onClick="'about:blank','flooblechatterbox','toolbar=no,location=no,directories=no,status=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=yes,resizable=no,copyhistory=no,width=480,height=400');return true;">
<img src="" border="0"
align="absbottom"> Talk here:</a>
It is a javascript chat board - <a href="">flooble chatterbox</a>

<script language="javascript"> if (!chatterbox || chatterbox != 'ok') {
document.write('This <a href="">flooble chatterbox</a> is');
document.write(' temporarily unavailable. It will be back up shortly.'); } </script>
<!-- Flooble chatterbox for idname end -->

Basically, Chatterbox comes with 3 forms. One when the server is working that has 2 extra links you can't get rid of. One when the server is down. One when the java script is turned off. What my code is doing is making a seperate side bar for chatter box by using <h2 class="sidebar-title">Chatterbox</h2> then I went in and took out the extra links.

The result is a more clear and concise layout which i hope you enjoy.

*update: After installing the code I realize Chatterbox gives pop up, so I have taken it off my website.


Did a survey yesterday in class on what makes an excellent man and what makes an excellent woman. Including me there were 3 men and 3 women in class so the distribution was even.
Excellent Men
(f) Dilligent
(m) Polite
(f) Funny
(m) Respectul of Others
(m) Smart
(f) At least of average figure
(f) Optimistic

Excellent Women
(f)lady-like (elegent)

(m) and (f) denotes what gender came up with the item. I was amused but not suprised to see thin came up on the list for women. Yet once I brought up the issue hoping to show them a steretyping, one of the student Judy came up with a suprising reply. You see, it used to be that women were attractive when they are chubby. The reason being back then food is harder to come by, so having a little fat means that you have the extra ability to feed yourself while others don't. Yet now a days when food is plentiful, being chubby doesn't mean you are special, it denotes a lazy person who doesn't excerise. So being thin is not just about a look, she claims being thin is about how a person lives. I thought that is something pretty neat. It might be also interesting to note that everytime I hold a discussion or debate, I usually learn a thing or two myself. I like that.

Once Upon A Time

Do you know it is considered socially rude in Taiwan to randomly talk to a stranger on the street? It is true, I have asked every one of my students and the unanimous consensus is that saying hello to a stranger is an odd behavior. Perhaps it is the high density of this concrete jungle. We try to mentally shut out other people and meld into the background. Most of the people walk with eyes down cast or looking far away to avoid eye contact. Perhaps the greeting pulls them back from reality and breaks them from the camouflage. No one likes to feel vulnerable.

There is an exception to that rule. A boy may talk to a girl when she is working. It is considered romantic. Where as westerners would feel like you are rude in interrupting the work, an Asian girl would welcome the distraction. This, I realize, is the power of fairy tale. Trapped in her work (castle), the prince must risk the dragon (boss), in order to rescue her [from her boredom].

Another way to look at it is that the girl has a more socially acceptable excuse to turn down a boy. She might say "go away, I am working". Where Asian cultures has functioned for 4000 years on arrange marriage there is a mentality of impoliteness to turn down a guy (purely speculation on my part). Where as if a boy walk up on the street to talk to a girl, he is not just exposing her to the crowd around her, he is also cornering her with no socially polite way to turn him down. You may ask, then how come western girls will generally feel annoyed? They have fairy tales too. The answer is immunity; do you have any idea of the childhood stories used in Asian cultures? Believe me you, there is no prince to rescue you and being chosen by a dragon is of great honor. It is arrange marriage at its finest. Fairy tales are fairly new to Asians; we came in contact but for a couple hundred years. It is, I realize, an odd way to interpret fairy tales but I can't deny the grain of truth i sense in it.

Once upon a time there was a lovely princess.
But she had an enchantment upon her of a fearful sort which could only be broken by love's first kiss.
She was locked away in a castle guarded by a terrible fire-breathing dragon.
Many brave knights had attempted to free her from this dreadful prison, but non prevailed.
She waited in the dragon's keep in the highest room of the tallest tower for her true love and true love's first kiss.

That was the beginning of Shrek and the end of an old age. Many stereotypes were sifted, examined, and then sorted for values that still apply for today. We laughed and cried through the movie (okay, I didn't cry, that was just an expression) but ultimately we learned hero doesn't have to be handsome nor perfect; princess doesn't have to be helpless nor the dragon terrible; we see true love occur to two imperfect beings each with shame and sorrow. In the end, we are left with a better working model of what might benefit children more in the long run. Life is not perfect, and you don't have to be ashamed to have a less than perfect body. The strength and weakness in fairy tales are their simplicity. The black and white mentality. You are either good or bad there is no middle ground. It is a nice little box that exists far far away that bears little resemblance to the present world.

Now having said that, would you be surprised that I would like to live in that black and white world? The ability to see at a glance who is the hero or villain. To know your station in life and how to act with clarity. Above all, no lies. Not even the villains lie. They might kill or imprison or disguise, but no one look you in the eyes and say that which is false. It is an attraction to me. Yes, it would be a waste of free will. Yet isn't free will mine to give away?


Blogger is the bastard child of Google. It is true. Not many changes were made after Google bought out Blogger. There are many basic functions intuative for other blog site that is simply not implimented in Blogger. Here are some examples:

1. Reverse Archive Link List: most service has the abilty to put oldest to newest or newest to oldest on your archive link list. Blogger doesn't. Even worse, it chose to pick 'oldest' archive lists on top. Acting like someone who just bump into your site would be intested in what you said 10 years ago on your first post, instead of your most recent archive one month ago. It is possible to do a blogger hack and change that, but such a simple function should be basic and part of settings.

2. Reverse Post Order: now, once the readers click on the archive and go into that month's post. It would make more sense to start at the beginning, showing the oldest post of that month to the newest of that month. The reason is simple. Within the monthly archive, many newer posts would refer or connect to older posts. If I have wrote a series of 12 technical articles that month, the readers would now have to read 12, 11, 10, 9...all the way with my introduction to that series last. Does it make sense for them to design Blogger this way? no, it does not. Even worse, there is little to no information on any hack to put the wrong to right. This is the only information i can found on Reverse Post Order.

Once I figure out how I might write a little walk through.

3. I couldn't find a way to make a simple counter or simple poll. The only incremental counter it seems to keep is how many comments were posted. I wanted to do a style rating system and it is proving difficult.

4. The comment function is not integrated into the blog post. in order to post a comment you are wisk away into another page, interrupting the flow.

5. Lastly, I hope to see some sort of automatic save function while you are typing up the post. I lost count of the times blogger/web browser/computer crash on me, thereby loosing a post i have worked long and hard on. Something like auto save after every 25 words would be nice. I could save draft manually but it is just a lot of hastle because more often than not i get caught up typing the blog and forget to save.

Above is the lament of the 'what could have been' from faithfully yours.

Now I am Just Wasting Time

Like the great anne once said "I've never update four times in one day before. This is terribly exciting. Whew, I think I have to lie down."

Except, I updated eight times.

Lying down now.