Monthly Archives: March 2009

Wilhelm Kempff plays Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata mvt. 3

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Do you have a radio at home?

Saturdays 7-8pm, the FM 96.3 would air From the Top, a features performances by soloists or ensembles ages 9-18 taped before a live audience in halls and centers across the country, combined with interviews, pre-produced features, and radio sketches. The … Continue reading

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Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata mvt. 1 by Wilhelm Kempff

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The law of God is above any human law

It is so wrong. It is so untrue. It is so out of dated. It will be out dated, soon. Let the nature takes it own course and the evolution is the way. I really don’t know anything about religion … Continue reading

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徐文达和徐家大屋

徐文达(1825-1890)字仁山,工山镇山峰村汤村徐人。 清咸丰三年(1853年)始,太平天国农民起义军多次攻打南陵县城,县城清军及县官士绅组织的团练武装与太平军开展了时久的县城争夺战,县城多次失守。徐文达审时度势,以“俊秀”(无功名的书生)出面组织民团协助清军加强县城四门守卫。他还采取多种途径,商请地方士绅、图董、富户、巨商等集粮饷,供应军需。 在清军守将陈大富围守南陵和突围战中,徐文达亲率民团佐战,曾多次立功,兼筹军粮济军食,资助清军。突围后,徐去安庆谒见两江总督、钦差大臣、督办军务曾国藩,甚得曾的器重,委檄办军械。同治元年(1862年)太平军攻上海,徐文达又随淮军、洋务派首领李鸿章赴援,随军筹运军需物资。第二年,清军攻占苏州,徐文达率清军查抄太平军库囤粮食二百余万石,碾米作军粮,因转输及时,济军食之急有功,遂又获之青睐,由九品小吏越级保晋直隶州知州,赏换花翎。同治五年(1866年)调清江支应所,专司转运饷械之官职。当时,华北各地捻军四起,声势浩大,所向披靡。曾国藩奉命“进剿”,督军济宁,军粮奇缺,急待供应。清江(属江苏)距济宁(属山东)约八百里,出境即为捻军防地,徐文达募小车数十辆,轻装重赏,亲自督催,选择僻径小道疾驱,四日即抵济宁。曾国藩惊喜慰问,赞赏徐文达“冒险出奇”。不久将徐文达调淮军支应所。同治六年,徐文达任江苏后路粮台提调,当时清军前线达一百五十营,月饷四、五十万,由徐安排转运,妥速无误。清廷敕令徐文达以道员留江苏遇缺即补,并赏加盐运使衔,兼办淮军后路营务处。同治十三年,“台湾番社不靖”,徐文达随淮军东渡进剿,转运饷械粮秣,供应不缺。清光绪元年(1875年)赏加布政使衔。光绪二年,山东、河南两省灾荒,灾民南奔扬州,徐文达集资普遍收养灾民,以行为伍,出入有证,饥者得食,病者就医,人人安居,城市无灾民。次年四月送归故里,不误农时,活命者达十余万口。光绪五年五月,亲督民工修仪征东门外河道。光绪七年徐文达任两淮盐运使。第二年运河水涨,高邮五坝堤埂危险,漕臣严令开坝放水。徐文达看下游农田收割在望,力持能保则保之议。日夜派士兵赴上游测量水位,同时,自乘一叶小舟,夜以继日地亲自查看水情,于是下游农田得以丰收。九月两江总督左宗堂,委办通洲、泰县两属范堤工程。十二月任淮扬海道,淮扬、通海地方大片土地荒芜,徐文达劝民勤种植为生计,自捐工资购桑麻秧数十万株分给农民。光绪十三年(1887年)黄河在郑州境决堤,曾国荃以淮扬地处下游,奏委徐文达开浚张福口窑河,以疏导来水,清理黄河淤垫之处,以疏河水去路。遂后又两次护理漕河总督。光绪十五年曾国荃上疏保荐徐文达“才献卓越,器识深沉,讲求吏治,堪膺封疆重寄,请旨交军机处存记”。同年十月清廷授予福建按察使。次年二月入觐见清帝光绪谢恩。三月首途去福建赴任,行至扬州,因病逝世。终年六十五岁。 徐文达对南陵县福利事业和名胜古迹的建设都能大力资助。如修魁星阁、春谷书院、黉塘书院等。逝世后,棺木水运回县,安葬于山峰村大工山,1958年墓被毁。徐文达少年读书时,因父早丧,母子相依为命,生活一度相当困难,曾在西城内大街某酒楼屋檐边搭小棚居住。据说,这酒店老板对搭棚居住不悦,嫌其有碍观瞻,影响生意,三番五次催其拆棚让基。徐文达认为无碍,忍无可忍,与之发生口角,徐怒而誓曰“如果有富贵之时,当置屋百间于此。” 果然,徐文达在两淮盐运使任上,高官厚禄,权势显赫一时。光绪年间,徐文达为其母做七十岁寿,消息传出,众商贾闻悉,竞相馈赠厚礼,台箱盈门,鱼贯不止。据传说,许多富贾抬送巨型宜兴花盆,上植盛开牡丹,下藏金银珠宝,计寿仪款数十万两。于是建造府第,征聘苏州、扬州等地能工巧匠在南陵县西街曾被酒楼老板欺侮的原址奠基,大兴土木,炫耀乡里,得一雪昔日之耻。 徐家大屋座落在现县医院一带,主体施工期达一年半之久,光绪十年(1884年)竣工,除花园庭榭外,房屋九十九间半,占地面积一万多平方米,比在扬州的总督府还要大,是南陵近代史上房屋建筑规模最大,造型古朴奇特,环境优美的古建筑。相传在清朝封建社会唯有王爷可建百间,凡臣民府第住宅如超过一百间则有欺君之罪,有满门抄斩的危险。徐文达再三斟酌,方形成此规模。 徐家大屋的建造,建材名贵,质量坚固,工序严谨,技艺精功。门楼高大临街,系黑漆铁皮铜环大门,门外左侧街道两旁砌有雕花上马石墩,门两边墙嵌有拴马石八孔,进门迎面是照壁墙。深入后进,朝南有东西大厅,厅内用精制方砖铺成图案,厅堂左右有红漆圆柱一对,柱脚垫有镂花石鼓。两大厅均为四进到后,两排两层六十六的走马楼。整个大屋范围内有大院、小院、大巷、小巷、天井、走廊,甬道相衔接。除此以外,还有亭台楼阁,布局有致,多系雕梁画栋,金碧辉煌,回廊曲槛,异常优雅。 其东西两座花园,造型古朴、奇特。假山采用浙江武康黄石塑造而成,峥嵘峭立,嶙峋多姿,参差交错,高低叠嶂,颇惬观赏。大小花坛,错落别致。园内种植奇花异草,百态千姿,五彩缤纷,一年四季,芳香飘溢。每当风和日丽或金桂飘香之时,徐氏门中贵妇、淑女在花前月下,吟诗作赋,弹琴对弈。西花园内的水榭名曰“怡亭”,亭上窗口嵌有进口彩色玻璃。亭临池畔,每当夏季,池上千百朵红莲盛开,清香四溢。在红莲环抱之中,又有几十朵白莲翘首竞放,池边砌有白石栏杆,供人们凭栏欣赏。 厅堂前均是精雕细镂各式图案的折扇门,后面立有折叠屏风。厅内宽敞,窗明几净。布置古典幽雅,两壁挂着名人字画。有扬州八怪字画,李鸿章的亲笔对联,还有芜湖铁画和湘绣精制的帛屏。其中有一幅天然“樵夫担柴”大理石“画”,栩栩如生,形象逼真。朝里正中上挂横匾“二松草堂”。下边紫檀木条桌上有景泰蓝古帽筒花瓶,中间一只宣德鼎炉燃着沉檀香。所摆列的太师椅、八仙桌、茶几,均是紫檀红木制成。有些还嵌以大理石天然画,显得幽雅恬静。 流水易逝,岁月无情。到民国初年,徐家大屋东大厅已成为空旷大院。后来成为玩灯、耍猴把戏、唱扁担戏、演倒七戏的场所。东花园的曲廊甬道只剩瓦砾废墟,后门兼更楼(传说系宰辅级门第,适清廷兵部尚书彭玉鳞南巡查询是何人府第。故连夜拆除改为后门),盖瓦稀疏露椽,墙头荒草随风摇曳。园中全盛时期群峦叠嶂的假山多已倒塌,花木凋零,荒芜殆尽。抗日战争末期,徐门后裔避难乡间,徐家大屋遭到日本鬼子抢劫、毁坏,很多珍贵文物被掳掠一空。整箱的瓷器被鬼子摔碎。后又因看屋人烤火不慎,大部分楼廓付之一炬,化为灰烬。部分文物流落民间。解放后,仅存原大厅后走马楼两进两层二十四间,因年久失修,面目全非。 回顾徐文达及其徐家大屋,自兴盛到衰落一百二十余年,相传未及四代,都湮没在奔腾不息的历史巨澜中。

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Edgar Snow

Edgar Snow (7/19/1905 – 2/15/1972), according to Wikipedia, had visited China for the last time in 1969 and “was told that President Richard Nixon would be welcome to visit either officially or as a private citizen.” This must be the … Continue reading

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Russia ready to help bring peace to Afghanistan

I’m bit amused in reading this. MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) 3/27/2009 — Russia said Friday it is ready to help normalize the situation in Afghanistan, where U.S.-led forces are battling the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban for control of the country. Russian Foreign … Continue reading

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Pretty Women Into Thin Air

A few pretty and strong women. I’ve never heard of Liu Hairu 刘海若 till yesterday when DQ brought her up. Her Baidu profile is bit over kill and petty, but does provide a window into a promising life cut short. … Continue reading

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Officer delayed Moats as relative died

The Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats ran a red light, caught by Officer Robert Powell. What’s so sickening’s Moats’ mother-in-law was dying upstairs in the hospital, the nurse came down trying to get him but the police officer just … Continue reading

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A decent public figure

Reading the interview of Charles Freeman by Robert Dreyfuss for The Nation, made me think of Ramon C. Cortines, the former New York school chancellor (1991-5) who feuded with Mayor Rudy Giuliani (1994-2001) for much of their shared tenure, that … Continue reading

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A heathen

I do not believe god created us. My parents did. IF I want to achieve something in life, I need to work hard for it. Praying to a god (not sure which one; or whatever one who’ll answer me?) without, … Continue reading

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Who thinks blondes are dumb?

An attractive blonde from Cork, Ireland arrived at the casino. She seemed a little intoxicated and bet twenty-thousand Euros on a single roll of the dice. She said, ‘I hope you don’t mind, but I feel much luckier when I’m … Continue reading

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Confucius

Chow Yun-Fat is to star as Confucius in a state-backed film to mark the 60th anniversary of Communist rule [Oct 1949 – ] in October. A recent book about Confucius’ teachings has sold more than 10 million copies [in China]. … Continue reading

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A nonfiction novel

Very good morning to you all.. *stretch* *smile* *yawn* Phew, a little break from a book I’ve been working on since the New Year. The story dropped into my lap unexpectedly. How and when it’s going to be published is … Continue reading

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Hillary’s Russian Gift Gaffe

I thought about few weeks ago, Mrs. Clinton had a gaffe when she presented a gift to the Russian foreign minister Lavrov in Brussels, a red button that was supposed to read “reset” perezagruzka in Russian – our relationship, but … Continue reading

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Narcissism 自我陶醉

The Surf’s Always Up in the Chinese Hawaii THE sun is out, the sand gleaming white, the waves rolling toward shore in clean, regular sets. At the edge of this palm-fringed paradise, the sea is a pale, minty hue and … Continue reading

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The free USB

I don’t know if others have the same problem as I do with the USB: the computers, either the desk top or the laptop would often fail to detect it. It has a strong will of its own. I would … Continue reading

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Losing her iPod

Pumpkin just told me that she lost her iPod, one of her 2007 Christmas gifts. “Oh .. .. you’re on your own.” I said, meaning if she wanted another one, she’ll have to use her own allowance. Over the dinner, … Continue reading

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