Jun 30 2014

Out for Blood

Fortune’s cover story by Roger Parloff on Elizabeth Holmes and her company, Theranos (its worth more than $9 billion at the moment), did not used the word, pretty and or beautiful, which is so refreshing. Holmes is clearly more than those two words combined.

 

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Jun 20 2014

Lafite-Rothschild in China

Published by under View from Bottom

Lafite-Rothschild ’07 Bordeaux Rises to Two-Month High of $8,500 in July 2013

After dinner at I spotted wrapped wine bottles. Asking around and finally someone at the restaurant said to keep it fresh.

The following day randomly I saw the wrapped bottles at a wine store in Xintiandi. Incredulously, I asked again.

The staff explained its to protect the label.

“Let’s face it, the label is the most important thing.” He knowledgeably lectured.

“Not the wine itself?!” I asked.

He gave me a blank look.

2004 ¥20,800.00 ($3351 @ ¥6.21) , $926 on Wine-Search
2007 ¥19,800.00, $931 Wine-Search

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May 19 2014

Published by under Horticulture

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May 19 2014

CoQ10

Some vitamin supplement (CQ10) that’s popular in China. Remembered went to Costco more than a decade ago helping a friend’s mom buying it. Now it has liquid form.
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Apr 30 2014

Have you donate your blood this month yet?

I went to do a routine blood test (nowadays even the rubber band that ties up your arm is disposable!) and struck up a short conversation with the technician who said donate blood is, actually good for your health because replenishing blood makes your organ health .. as if the blood might get mold? I got curious and the following is what I found on the Internet:
Different type of blood donations:

  1. Blood (or Whole Blood) the most common
  2. Double Red Cell
  3. Platelets
  4. Plasma
  • In addition, there are two special donation types that have to do with who is making the donation:
    Autologous
    Directed

Here are some the benefits of donating your blood:

  1. Reduces the Risk of Cancer: High levels of iron have been implicated in cancer.
  2. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease: Regular blood donations help to keep the levels of iron in the body in check, especially in males. More on American Journal of Epidemiology.
  3. Burns Calories: One time blood donation helps you shed 650 Kcal (each donation takes a pint of blood, about 370 ml).

When you donate, you’ll receive a mini physical and blood analysis, may includes:

  1. blood pressure
  2. HIV 1 and 2,
  3. West Nile Virus,
  4. Syphilis,
  5. Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, T.
  6. Cruzi or Chagas as well as the Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus 1 and 2

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Apr 27 2014

He said, she said

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Sister Ping’s death is reported by World Journal under the title 移民造英雄-慷慨義氣-萍姐留傳奇.  I checked on the NY Times, by 11am, there is nothing. More on Chinese smuggling.

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Apr 20 2014

Becoming a Christian 基督徒

Published by under View from Bottom

The 45th Baptismal Service of CCGN is held this afternoon. A friend of mine’s one of the 12 converts – they range from age 11 to 51 (the program).

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A friend decided to take the plug. Reportedly she can still drink and consume meat. So that’s good to know. No offense to those who believes in a religion. I’m just a heathen and like to joke. Guess no god with a redeeming value would want me in his or her camp. The converts share the same tub of warm water. (The testimonies are way too long, more than two hours, the water got cold. A few guys tried to add hot water to make the customers more comfortable.) Happy for my friend who found her calling. The upright badly needs a tune up.
I have trouble to distinguish Christian or catholic (calories and proteins, so I give up. Not knowing isn’t too bad). This church used to be a synagogue and had a Japanese Rabbi. I played badminton here for a few years and when they failed to recruit me and any of the players, they shut down the program.
Ran into Margret who looks so good.
The heavy food smell permeated the side (where I used to play badminton.)
Two persons give the speech in English and Chinese, in this order. The testimony is painfully long. Some used paper for their speech while others used their phone.
The teenagers tend toward, ‘my family brought me here .. ‘ while the four adults have

  1. the 24 years old basically antagonized everyone around her by canceling gatherings at the last second ..
  2. two mothers have medical problems, one had half her face in pain with splitting headache .. they all made a bargain with the devil: If I get to be healthy, I would ..
  3. a new Hangzhou immigrant with a daughter who’s husband is back in China tending to the business ..

The god must be really busy. The kids (English) are ok but the adults (speak Chinese) are decidedly problem-loaded and come to seek relief, redemption and help. They all know they’re sinners 我知道我是一个罪人.

 

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Mar 22 2014

The utility guys

Published by under View from Bottom

gridThe utility companies are terrible in the USA.

National Grid – I’ve been with them for ages and never looked at the bills. I would not notice the following if were not for the large amount wrongful charge:

  1. how could a residential account uses over $300 gas per month?
  2. the payment due date is April 9 but they auto deduct on April 1 – see the two red circles.

Our water guys, still uses antiquated system that they can’t even handle the auto payments. When we first bought this house, we got a bill that was for the previous owner. Not a lot of money but it shocked me when I told them the mistake, and their reply?

I have to deal with it or pay it up.

I just can’t believe it.

 

 

 

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Mar 18 2014

美国空气质量不好

imageThis one is posted on the WeChat,

“《看看无赖与无耻是个什么样?》美国驻华大使馆不断发表北京空气质量低劣的报告,为此中国外交部发言人姜瑜表示:“根据国际公约,众所周知美国使馆区是美国领土,他们在那里监测到的数据只能说明美国空气质量不好。”经证实,这个是姜瑜从发言台上说出口的,不是网友杜撰”

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Mar 10 2014

Replacing a NY driver’s license

If you don’t change anything, like name or address, it’s relatives easy. Get a ticket R724 @ 12:21 and wait to be called. Today is a Monday, when I got the ticket, R712 was being serviced. We waited for 45 minutes. The process of replacing it took only ten minutes, cost $17.50.
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CNN: Two mystery passengers add to intrigue in airliner’s disappearance: Tickets linked to stolen passports for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 were purchased by an Iranian man, authorities say.

At least two people on board the plane were traveling on passports stolen from an Austrian and an Italian.

According to Thai police officials, an Iranian man by the name of Kazem Ali purchased the tickets for two friends who he said wanted to return home to Europe. While Ali made the initial booking by telephone, either Ali or someone acting on his behalf paid for the tickets in cash, according to police.

WSJ: AI-CH193A_MALST_G_20140310065415Stolen passport on MH370 raise security concern, this listed a few figures:

    • 1,000,000,000 # of times passenger boarded planes in 2013 without their passports being checked against Interpol’s database
    • 800,000,000 annual searches against the stolen and lost database on average per year
    • 40,000,000 mil travel documents registers as lost or stolen in Interpol’s database
    • 60,000 the # of ‘hits’ generated by the Interpol database on average per year

In light of this, I asked the DMV agent if the lost license is cancelled. She said no, there is no mechanism to do so.

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Feb 24 2014

My typing skill

I learned typing on an old mechanic typewriter (would be considered an antique by now) during my school days in Beijing. Back then we did not have after school program and I often spent free time lingering at the Zoology Institute where my mom used to work. Other than boredom, the well insulated office building provided warmth in the winter and chill in the summer. On one of those frequent and bother-some visits, one of mom’s colleagues offered to teach me how to type. I gladly accepted it, only because it beat out doing nothing. Little did I know that it would so be put to use and I’ve been using it ever since.

During the 1970s, part of school curriculum was to send students to field trips, called 学工学农 拉练 Learn from the Workers, Farmers and Soldiers. Those re-education exercises aim at introducing us to the virtues of plain living 培养艰苦朴素的美德. Those trips varied in length and locations. Some were away that lasted weeks month while others might sandwich between classes if the school had a workshop.

untitledOnce we went to a week long field trip. Due to my weak health and passable calligraphy, the classroom teacher Lin assigned me to the printing office with few classmates. Most work units used  mimeograph 油印 to satisfy the print need, with either waxed paper 蜡纸 with hand or Chinese typewriter typeface 中文铅字打字机  that required memorization of the location of each character, which was an actual job. Hand written waxed paper used a specialized needle pen 钢针笔 with a 钢板 plate. Each stroke, the needle pen would cut through the waxed paper and leaving two white trails. The trick to have a clear print, each stroke needed the same force which was impossible to achieve. When a mistake was made, we used extinguished match to repair, either lightly burn it over or used a small piece waxed paper to paste on it.

The printing office was headed by an old man who probably was sent there for reeducation too. On the first day, I spotted an typewriter and played with it for a moment. First he was not pleased and then when he saw me could actually type, he promoted me to the typewriter. I was flattered and motivated to do well. However, other mates in the office were eager to try the new toy, which made my little job more difficult because I did not know how to say no and they often made unnecessary mistake. After the week long field trip, my typing skill had improved tremendously. At the time, I had no idea what I would be doing when I grew up but typing became one of skills that I use on daily basis shortly after.

After came to New York, I went to school to learn English. It was 1986 and the computer had been widely used. For my first class assignment of composition I typed it up and found it was much easier than hand writing. The teacher was very surprised to see a neatly typed and printed homework. My English was deplorable but my effort deserved an A+.

Chinese typing has been a pain since I didn’t know how, only learned when I joined QQ, an old chatting tool used by my classmates and now migrated to WeChat. It’s really the easy to type made me writing this blog in English rather than Chinese.

 

 

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Feb 04 2014

The new Mona Lisa

Peng liyuan
China’s first lady Peng Liyuan’s oil painting portrait has a story:

彭丽媛神奇的“座.江.山”油画,价值过亿 !

1984年,我国著名油画家,靳尚谊,找中央音乐学院的一位女大学生当模特画了一幅油画。画中背景只有三样东西,座.江.山。
沒想到三十年后这大学生竟成了第一夫人,当初的“座·江·山”现在竟然成了现实。
这幅油画,现被中央美院收藏,据说著名股神巴菲特要岀3000万美金收藏,但被中央美院拒绝。
毫无疑问若干年后这幅油画将是中央美院的镇馆之宝。

这幅留下了著名歌唱家彭丽媛青春形象的画作无疑是当下备受关注的艺术作品。这幅作品是靳尚谊先生(中央美术学院院长)上世纪80年代写实风格转折时期最成功的作品之一。与一般的肖像油画不同,《青年女歌手》用了北宋山水画家范宽的《雪景寒林》做背景,在真实传神的西画笔触中又透露出中国传统的意象与韵味。作品的特别之处在于,靳先生别出心裁地将一个现代人物与中国北宋的山水画通过西方油画形式融为一体,使中国几千年的文化传统与现代生活相联系,色调把握和节奏控制处理得天衣无缝。

靳尚谊说画彭丽媛完全是一次偶然,1984年,彭丽媛的老师是他的邻居,说要介绍几个班上的学生给他当模特,于是就介绍了三个中国音乐学院的学生过来,其中就有彭丽媛。她是个北方姑娘,扎着简单的马尾辫。这幅画把彭丽媛含蓄而质朴、沉稳而自信的人物特点表现的淋漓尽致。彭丽媛成名后找到靳尚谊要这幅油画,靳尚谊不同意给这幅原作,在彭丽媛再三要求下,靳尚谊复制了一幅送给了彭丽媛,成为一段艺术佳话。

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Jan 14 2014

The cockroach

Published by under View from Bottom

I’m reading Bud, Not Buddy, a fiction (part of it is based on true story..) by Christopher Paul Curtis. One of Bud’s friends is called Bogs because a cockroach has crawled into his ear. Today I heard this news in the radio ..

By Alexander Smith, NBC News contributor
Doctors had to surgically remove a 0.8 inch cockroach from a man’s ear after it crawled inside while he was asleep, according to Australian media reports Friday.
It’s purely coincidental that I’m reading Bud Not Buddy by

Hendrik Helmer told the state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corporation that he had unsuccessfully tried to suck out the insect using his vacuum cleaner.

“I was hoping it wasn’t a poisonous spider. I was hoping it didn’t bite me,” he said.

Having been woken in the early hours of Wednesday morning by an excruciating pain in the side of his head, Helmer convinced his roommate to drive him to the hospital near their home in Darwin, in northern Australia.

The doctor put olive oil into Helmer’s ear but that merely drove the cockroach down further. After 10 minutes the creature began to die so the doctor pulled it out with forceps.

Helmer said his friends were so concerned by his experience that they had started going to bed wearing headphones, Sky News reported.

Before I moved to Hong Kong, I had never seen a cockroach before. One day at school, in a boring class, the windows were all open, and suddenly I saw a thing flying in. I screamed. The whole class erupted or reacted to my out burst. Then one mate said,
“Omg, it’s just a cockroach for Pete’s Sake.”
The class busted out laugh.
Sorry mates, I’m afraid of bugs。
In Beijing we have the scary bug 土鳖 ground beetle (it often refers to hillbilly too). I was so glad to leave that behind … only to find a new species.

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Jan 01 2014

New Year kimchi

Published by under View from Bottom

3 lb napa cabbage 白菜,1 lb radish 白萝卜
Porridge:
2 cup water
3 table spoon sweet rice flour
1 table spoon sugar

Mix:
4 table spoon salt (app.)
2/3 cup fish sauce
2 cup pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic

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Dec 23 2013

The art of selling

Published by under View from Bottom

IMG_2069Two bags made by two different company. I was at the store whose bag is to the right after purchasing the one on the left. I asked the sales girl which one suits me better. She said, without thinking her bag, because its compact. But she then added a compliment to the one I purchased: it is nice too.
It’s a rhetorical or facetious but she makes the effort.
In Flushing, many times the store clerk would say,
Your hair looks awful ..” That’s quite right because, the fact is I don’t comb my hair and like it that way.
Your face looks terrible ..” .. desperately need a facial.
Are we Chinese so uncouth blunt?

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Nov 29 2013

A dragon ..

Published by under View from Bottom

a dragon on display at Joe’s .. changing neighborhood or what ?

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Nov 29 2013

Christmas Cactus

Bought this cactus from Trader Joe’s on 11/18. A diver? A swan?  More Zygocactus on FB, taken with T2i
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… but I still much prefer the orchids ..
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Nov 22 2013

At the grocer – New York Mart

Published by under View from Bottom

On LIE in Little Neck. (My hot pot beef encounter on Yelp..) Grocery shopping is a never ending chord.

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