Category Archives: English Blog

Blog in English language.

美国前奥运会运动员谈奥运会如同《饥饿游戏》

美国前冬奥会运动员Samantha Retrosi在犹他州长大。11岁的时候被Verizon赞助的无舵雪橇协会选中培训,到意大利图灵奥运会出事。同项目甚至有运动员丧生。

美国不是举国体育。美国政府不资助运动员和奥运会项目。所有的经费来自企业赞助。举国体制下,政府资助运动员,运动员待遇可能并不比一些冷门项目运动员差。而美国运动员要签约,比如Samantha,因为Verizon是奥运赞助商,协会内签约运动员就不能随便去代言其他公司,并且必须在各种场合表示是Verizon使得他们能够“圆奥运梦”,“谢谢Verizon”。今日更传因为三星赞助奥运,美国运动员被要求不能展示苹果产品logo。三星给每个运动员发了手机。

Samantha给The Nation杂志撰文,从她个人经历和对奥运会的观察,表示奥运会和热门小说/电影《饥饿游戏》非常相似。“饥饿游戏”盛大的开幕式,是为了掩饰游戏的惨无人道。而奥运会开幕式也是有类似的作用和目的。奥运会运动员入场,人群欢呼,称赞他们挑战人类的极限。他们挥舞各国国旗,是各国的骄傲,是爱国主义教育的活教材。他们代表的,远超过自己和运动本身。

我且认为,这没有什么错误。但是,正如Samantha所说,奥运会已经被环球精英劫持为一种政治经济上的投资。

《饥饿游戏》里,每个被选中的选手,都可以说是祭物。因为除了一个人意外,每个人都会死去:为的是证明“首都”的绝对权力。奥运会运动员在一定程度上也是祭品。即使是在不是举国体育的美国,很多选手也是从小训练,职业运动员大都也要牺牲很多:和亲人在一起的时间,普通人的童年,教育,换来可能的荣耀,一身的伤痛,往往最后被遗忘。就好像美国的大兵,虽然每场体育赛事都会赞扬他们,但是美国的退伍军人生活大多困苦:他们小时候也是多出身贫寒,不得不参军换取工资和军队资助的学费。话题跑远,但是美国大兵近年来自杀率不断上涨,军队里性骚扰性侵犯泛滥,是不争的事实;看着好莱坞大片的我们,又怎能想象?

回到美国奥运队伍,一个主要的争议话题,就是企业赞助劫持了体育项目。在经济问题上,国际奥委会IOC也何尝不是经常被批评?所以整个奥运会体系,可以说都已经腐败。

我们做科学的,能出人头地的,不多,但是比起运动员,成功率可能还是要高一些的。如果你拿不到奥运奖牌,你就不能真的出人头地。有多少运动员是这样的宿命?我不知道具体的数字,但是比例应该是很高的。在一定程度上,他们更是祭品。

I was not allowed near any camera without giving a visual and verbal statement of thanks to Verizon for making all of my dreams come true.

Verizon已经停止了赞助美国无舵雪橇协会。此协会因为长期“忠于”Verizon,没有能拿到其他企业赞助。不少运动员加入了美军的“世界级运动员项目”以换得资助。是否感觉似曾相识?

现在办一次奥运会都是要上百亿美元的资金。当然,也就有相当的revenue,和相当可观的利润。企业赞助商,奥委会,也都各有法宝,可以赚到相当可观的金额。企业赞助商,当然是赚的是口碑,赚的是logo商标上镜率,是广告效益。而最后,全世界的运动员就成为了被剥削的工人。奥运会,按照中国教科书的说法,就是一个资本家运作的工厂,这个工厂还和其他财团有理不清的关系。奥运会固然精彩,但是或许是时候发声,让大家看清楚这场戏背后的主角到底是谁。

Samantha和其他一些客人做客Democracy Now!访谈,也是值得一看

American Idiocy

Green Day has a song called American Idiot.
Not surprisingly, there are indeed a lot of American idiots. Not that I deny that there are plenty idiots in China too. But…

So I saw this news saying that two Chinese are suing Apple for patent infringement in China. Most Americans are very negative about this news. They were like, since when China has any intellectual property? Or, this is so ironic because American government has been pushing Chinese to protect IPs. That’s more or less okay coming from a normal American because yes America has more modern IPs than China. No doubt about that. But Chinese may well have invented something before Americans do, even when China is technologically much less developed.

However what’s shocking is this comment I saw:

Now here’s a lawsuit worth pursuing:
I’m a descendant of Marco Polo, and you Chinese stole the “pasta noodle” idea from him.

First of all, myth is, people thought Marco Polo learned about noodles in China and brought back to Italy then there is pasta. More convincing evidence suggest that the Arabs introduced string like food to Sicily when they took control of that area. Nevertheless, so far the oldest evidence clearly proved that Chinese were making these string like food about 2000 BC.

News like this and the comments of Americans frequently showed hostile towards China and the Chinese. Unfortunately the Chinese media have largely neglected this. It is time for the Chinese in China to know the truth. Luckily this just get started earlier this year.

Anyway, maybe the falling economy of USA and the western world would help some idiots to look at this world in a different way, soon.

Black, or White? Or Both?

Whereas tomorrow we may see the birth of the first black president of U.S.A., I thought I could write something about racial issues in the USA.

Basically, the reason why I am writing this, is because that I noticed that African Americans, which I mean descendants of Africans who were traded to north America a few hundreds of years ago, look different from those recently immigrated from Africa. Well, my explanation was, food, climate, and some introduction of white European genes are responsible for these changes. These changes did not come overnight, but gradually.

But, when I look at Black celebrities, I noticed that more and more of them resemble white people. And of course, Obama is one of them. Excuse me but I think Obama is more of a celebrity than a real politician. But his 1/2 white blood seem to have appealed to many white voters. In fact, he is more white than black judging from his background, but he has “pretended” more to be black for various reasons. However I am not going into those. He simply has much more white European facial traits than most African Americans.

To name a few popular black celebrities, I can say the following possess more white traits than average black people: Halle Berry, T.I., Obama, Beyonce. In fact, Halle Berry and Obama are half white. Here is a list about racial backgrounds of some seemingly black celebrities. Most notably, Tiger Woods, is only 1/4 black. Although many people consider him black, his actual racial background is: one quarter black, one quarter Thai, one quarter Chinese, one eighth white, and one eighth American Indian. So this is actually very interesting.

So look at this Beyonce picture.

There have been many debates online about this “lighter” Beyonce picture. It is for L’Oreal commericial. I am not sure whether T.I. has background of other ethnics other than Black, but I think he looks a lot like a mixed.

Through google, I came across this article about black models on fashion magazine. Apparently this was rejected before someone called the editors racist. And this Kanyan model apparently look more black than most black American celebrities.

So what does this mean? I think it means that, white people accept black people more if their appearance resemble white more. For sure, to be real celebrities in the USA, you have to be liked by white people. Second, if some black person look more like white, they are more likely to be successful in the entertainment industry. And this could just be a beginning of this story, because I barely found any other web page that talks about this. Maybe I was not searching the right terms maybe people don’t care, or maybe black people stick together so much that even if someone is only 1/4 black, they are still black as long as they are dark skinned.

About What to do Next

So I was watching The Starter Wife. Debra is definitely a great actress, although some traces of Grace are still in her character. She was the Hollywood ex, starting her career as a writer. Listening to what she wrote, it occured to me, that writing, is something great, again. I loved writing when I was in middle and high school. I wanted to try novel, but it was too much of a project that I was unable to manage. Nor did I have enough experience to write really good stories. Yes, writers have to have enough experience, plus some great imagination to write something great. They probably need to read a lot too. Unfortunately I may not really have time to write, or read. But one thing I have to remember is that, creative work is what I love to do. And that’s what makes me happy and feel good about myself, my creativity, and sense of art. Maybe this is what I was searching for when I was watching TV shows and surfing online. I was looking for something, new, creative, never seen before, never heard before. Yes, that’s what I want. And I know these kinds of jobs often do not pay as well, I should consider this inner need of mine when choosing my next career path. I have to do it fast, I have to do it now. I have 2 years left doing research, and I need to set aside time for my plans. This is finally a blog entry, that I actually is writing about myself, in a way, that I haven’t taken for years. And I feel good about it and would definitely come back for more.

Hollywood Boycott Beijing 2008?

Spielberg resigned as artistic adviser to the Beijing 2008 Olympic games “at China’s complicity in humanitarian crisis in Darfur”. So it is said the “boycott” theme is floating around western media now.

I always thought it is stupid to connect politics and Olympics games. But on the other hand, if hollywood boycott Beijing 2008, what will this game turn out to be if:

Chinese government boycott import of Hollywood movies.
Chinese people boycott Hollywood movies and continue to buy pirate DVD?

Who’s gonna win?

要说地道的中文,从现在开始

放眼看去,人们普遍开始担心中文英文化的问题。我决定从现在开始,写中文的时候要时刻注意中文的地道性。不过人在英语国家,难免不受影响。我以为,我这条博客里面的中文,已经很不地道了。

但是我又能怎样?时代在发展,中国人都在学英文,不可能不受影响。但诸如滥用“被”或者冠词“一个”之类的情况,还是可以尽量避免的。

Transformers: trash but “successful”

Transformers (2007, C-), has break several box office records. Although its ratings are steadily dropping on RottenTomatoes.com, IMDB, and even Yahoo, nothing seem to slow it down on its way to earn as much money as possible in the shortest possible time.

Transformers is just another example of how art of film making has gone to a place nobody cares. It also encourages other film makers in a way that bad movies can be the next fortune. Entertainment is important, but it is not always compatible with art, and probably the public would never understand that.

It is really sad that sometimes, when judged by the general public, whether a movie is successful is based on the box office. We know it is not true; or why do we need so many film festivals?

Cho Seung-hui在高中的时候也被嘲笑

This blog entry is written in two languages. The title is:
Cho Seung-hui was laughed at in high school

“Go back to China!(滚回中国去)”,同学们喊到。His classmates yelled at him because he seemingly showed that his English is not good.

美国人普遍认为今天的惨剧100%完全是他的责任,和其他人没有一点关系。
Most Americans would say that Cho is totally responsible for this tragedy and no one else should be blamed at all.

美国人认为,在高中被欺负的人多的去了,为什么只有Cho杀人了?所以被欺负不是原因。但是他们只是说被欺负(bully),不是被歧视。他们也不敢提。
Americans argue that many kids were bullied, but they did not become a crazy killer. So bully is not the reason. But they would only discuss “bully”, they are reluctant to discuss the racism or something like that.

我在MITBBS上看到这样一个高中就来到美国的中国人的帖子:
I read this on MITBBS posted by a Chinese who came to US since high school:

发信人: eeguy (lostsheep), 信区: Virginia
标 题: Re: 原来cho在高中经常被嘲笑,
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Fri Apr 20 07:31:09 2007)

小时候被嘲笑没什么所谓,长大了会忘记的
到了高中的话还被嘲笑一定会在心理上留下很大阴影
我是高中来美国的,第一堂数学课老师玩一个游戏
因为从前没有玩过所以不熟悉规则,没有做出来
当即被同班一个美国同学笑,”everyone got it except the chinese”
全班马上笑起来
其实我当时的英文不错的,他们说的什么我都听得一清二楚

虽然没有”go back to china”之类的伤人
可是当时我的心理是非常愤怒的,这一幕我以后也会记得
所以我理解cho seung-hui被长期侮辱而导致心理极度扭曲
不过这不是杀人的理由,我认为他的家庭有相当的责任,没有及时关怀

从长远来看,应该像非裔,墨西哥裔那样站起来争取自己的权益
就如niger这类的带歧视的称呼被禁止一样,chink,chinaman,ching之类的也应该教育
下一代不能说,从小事开始才可以最终提升亚裔的地位

I generally translate it to english as following:

Being laughed at when you are a kid is not a big deal, you’ll forget it when you grow up
But being laughed at in high school would leave a psychological shadow on your mind
I came to US since high school, the first Math class, teacher let us play a game
I never played so I did not know the rules, so I did not figure out
I was immediately laughed at by one American classmate, “everyone got it except the chinese”
The whole class laughed
My English was quite good at that time, I can understand them very clearly.

Although this is not as bad as “go back to china”
But I was very angry, and I will remember
So I understand Cho Seung-hui was humiliated for a long time and his mind was deranged
But this should not be the reason for killing, I believe his family has quite a bit responsibility, they did not take good care of him

我不能理解美国人的Cho的今天完全是他个人的责任的说法。
I do not understand American say that Cho’s the today(dead and criminal) is solely because of himself.

中国人的英语影响世界

Long Time No See.
是的,这个拙劣的“好久不见”的翻译,已经成为标准的英语用法。据估计 ,由于有上亿的中国人在用他们的方式使用英文,类似的影响将持续下去甚至不断增强。

即是是在美国的中国人,英文也很常常很不地道,或者说有时候是地道的美语词汇语气,加上地道的中文字母化。例如我看到的这个例子:

ft…dude, read some basic molecular biology textbooks first la

“晕”基本上是近几年的流行词。虽然美国人不说faint,中国人还是可以把晕简写成ft的。另外,美国人即是在网上要用f word,常常也会加上*(星号)。中国人用到这个词的时候,一般不会顾忌,一个字母一个字母的写出来,难道没有展现出另外一种豪爽?

Say NO to Green Peace International

In my memories, Green Peace International is a organization that cares our planet, fight against pollution and all kinds of things that endanger our environment. A recent read about their opinion on genetic engineering (GE) and genetic modified (GM) organisms changed my mind.

Green Peace International (GPI) is opposed of GE. They published articles on the web, write “paper” saying that GE is outdated and failed and should not be used; genetic modified (GM) organisms should not be released into the environment.

In this paper, “50 years since the double helix: Genetic Engineering is crude and old-fashioned”, GPI basically stated that 1) the basic theory “Central Dogma” that GE is based on has undergone so many changes so that it is not a good foundation for GE any more; 2) gene expression is far more complicated that people thought, and GE simply randomly insert a single foreign gene into the organism and it is not acceptable; 3) GM food have not been fully tested and their impact on human and environment is unpredictable.

While they might have made some strong arguments, they fail to see that GE has also been changing while discoveries being made. It is not only industry is doing GE and GM food, scientists in universities and institutes are doing it too. Who modified central dogma? Scientists in universities. And these scientists are also changing the way of doing GE. So GE is NOT old-fashioned and it is GPI and other people who blindly fight against GE are old-fashioned: in their mind, GE is the same as 50 years ago.

Introduced genes into GM organisms are also not exactly “pollution”. Maybe bacterial genes such as Bt can be considered, to some extent, “pollution”, but there are many other cases in which people introduce one gene from one species of plant to another species of plant. Also, these genes are ALL naturally exisiting in nature, none of them are artificially made (we don’t have that technology yet either). Even we don’t insert foreign genes into crops, there are many plant pathogenic bacteria and viruses who have the ability to insert their own genome components into plants and it is HAPPENING. So the “pollution” GPI defined, is even occuring in nature, and I cannot imagine they could start a campaign to stop that.

So, GE is not something completely artificial. Many techniques scientist utilize to deliver foreign genes are using natural organisms, for instance plant pathogenic bacteria and viruses because they have the ability and they have been delivering genes into plants’ genomes (for millions of years). And genes that are delivered are basically naturally exisiting genes. GE is elvoving together with other molecular biology discoveries and scientists are trying to make it safer and more efficient.

I have to say GPI is a great disappointment. I knew them since childhood, and I believe they have done a lot of good things. But any organization that goes extreme is a hazard to our world. I have mention that in the paper I just mentioned, their references are quite funny. They did cite many important papers, and many published in Science and Nature. But they also cited quite a large number of articles from New Scientist. New Scientist is NOT a scientific journal. According to Wikipedia:

New Scientist is a weekly international science magazine covering recent developments in science and technology for a general English-speaking audience. As well as covering current events and news from the scientific community, the magazine often features speculative articles, ranging from the philosophical to the technical.

It is not a peer-reviewed scientific journal, but it is widely read by both nonscientists and scientists as a way of keeping track of developments outside their own fields of study or areas of interest.

Please pay attention to the bold words in the citation above. Not only does New Scientist is not scientific journal, it is not neutral either. Their editors’ point of view decide how they are going to influence the public (without responsibility). A little google will tell you that New Scientist has already chosen their position to be NO to the GE. And you are not expected to see a REAL neutral article analysing the GE issue on such a magazine. GPI’s citing this magazine only makes their “paper” making no sense.

General public, of course, do not know much about molecular biology and what scientists are doing. And their opinions are just very easily manipulated by organization and magazine like GPI and New Scientist. While it is true that GE has potential environmental and health issues, and GE needs to be improved along the way, and also GE might not be ready for large scale commercial production, I am extremely disappointed to see organization like GPI to treat GE as it is a nuke, or a terrorist.

I will not donate money to GPI because I am not one of them.

People Die in the O.R.

People die in the O.R.
People fall in love with each other in the hospital.
That’s why some people say Grey’s Anatomy has too much “drama” in it.

Somebody woke up after 16 years of sleeping. Then he died in an operation. Why? Maybe because the doctor spent too much time worrying about their marriage and romance? Plus, why do we need to see a gay bar tender with an Asian boy friend show up for nothing?

Any way, it is a good show. Sometimes you feel you know the world better because of so many live or death. And it seems they try to put some education in every episode. “Gratitude” and stuff.

Too Much Hype for Ubuntu?

Ubuntu reported on its own website that it win 2006 World Class Award from PC World. It is ranked 27 out of 100 and the only Linux distribution. While actually most Linux distribution does not differ from each other, Ubuntu is widely believed not the fastest nor easiest Linux distribution. I have to admit that Ubuntu did greatly promoted Linux, but isn’t it a little bit overhyped?

Linux has a lot of problems at the moment. For example, Mandriva(formerly Mandrake) is easy to use, but release cycle is now a whole year and bugs in the system has turned away many people. Fedora Core seems to be actually dead because Redhat is not interested in desktop. SUSE is better and better, but still not so easy to use compared to Mandriva and have its problems, for example, openSUSE has some problems in Chinese support.

So for Ubuntu, I don’t see any reason for it to be placed 27th and the only Linux distribution in there. Note that it seems there is not even a single Linux application in the list! How could a distribution be 27th while no program in the OS is in the list?

Desperate Housewives’ world are rocked.

Desperate Housewives season 2 episode 20 and 21 totally rocked their world. For the first time I feel season 2 is finally close to season 1. Although Xiaomei still behaves like a unbelievable distorted Chinese character, these two episodes really give us something to feel excited about. A mother who tried to kill, and end up lock another son up; a son who slept with his mother’s “boyfriend” to get back to his mother; a mother finally cannot bear it any more to let his son “win”; this time it is her house that is burnt down; a man who is in love can do anything but the woman is stupid; an adopt mother lost her baby…

Yes and sorry these are a whole lot information up there. But the story writers of DH are REALLY capable of making things ugly. While season 2 is actually close to an end, let’s see what will happen. And every time I watch DH, I feel so sorry! This time, I feel so sorry for Bree, Susan and Adrew.

Compare emusic and iTunes Music Store audio quality by listening

I have been curious about how good the quality is emusic offers. There have been some articles online saying that emusic offers better quality than iTunes Music Store. So I decided to compare the quality of these two by simply listening.

I purchased Pixies’ Where is My Mind before on iTMS. And right now I am downloading music from Pixies from emusic. It is interesting that iTMS call this band Pixies, which I think is the official name, while emusic call them “the Pixies”. iTMS offers 128kps CBR AAC protected with DMR. emusic offers 192kps VBR MP3 encoded by LAME 3.92. LAME is considered the best MP3 encoder.

Software: QuickTime 7.0.4
Hardware: PowerBook G4 1.5G 12″, Sennheiser PX 200 headphone.

I play them with QuickTime and play them at the same time. Then I just close my eyes, and command+~ to switch between these windows. I do not know which one is which when I am listening.

Results:

I can sense a little difference between these two files. But because I am not audiophile I could not really tell which one is better. But the emusic one seems a little bit more lively and iTMS one seems a little bit flat. However you really need to pay very much attention to every detail. So basically they sounds very close in terms of quality, while emusic might be a little bit better.

Discussion:

My hardware is barely close to audiophile class. But keep in mind that many people don’t have a better soundcard than PowerBook has. PowerBook is designed as a professional laptop for Graphics/Audio/Video etc. professionals, it should have a relatively good soundcard compared to most cheap home PCs. And not many people would spend about $50 for a headphone. I was using a cheap Sony headphone MDR-Q33, and also iPod ear buds. I have to admit that Sennheiser PX 200 is much better than those two. So from my point of view, for most people, emusic is not really better if we are talking about audio quality.

And you must also see that AAC is 3.56 MB and MP3 is 5.69, which means AAC takes about 63% the space MP3 would take. For most people, you cannot tell the difference between music from iTMS and emusic. However, consider about the price and DMR-free emusic, it is still a very good choice.

BTW, I have also compared music from Allofmp3.com and iTMS. Both AAC, with 192 VBR from Allofmp3.com and 128 CBR from iTMS. It is clear to me that Allofmp3.com offers better quality using the same way I compare iTMS and emusic.

Ignorant American people (talking in politics)

People discuss politics on Digg.com. Most of them are Americans. While as far as I know, many people who are not from America, claim that Americans basically know nothing but their own country, it is interesting to see some ignorant Americans talk about other countries.

I chat with a few people from China on skype.

They believe Tibet and Taiwan have always been a part of China.

China never invaded Tibet.

Their prespective on Taiwan is that the US has military bases all around China and if Taiwan were independent we would put a base there, completely surrounding them.

They can get almost any DVD for $1. (Unless the movie is banned in China.- Seven Years in Tibet is banned, but they can get the sound track.)

Culturally they are very conservative: no sex ed classes, no sex before marriage, homosexuality is wrong, it’s wrong for women to drink or smoke, etc.

They don’t know anything about Tiananmen Square or the Cultural Revolution.

The sad thing is they claim to know China and Chinese people, because they “talked to Chinese on Skype”. So many more Americans and so on will believe them. Such stupid posts can get a lot of digg, while true stories will not get many digg because those people tends to believe anything that is telling them that China is evil. And now, ignorance is infectious.

I understand that this blog might bother some Americans. Actually I am also deeply bothered by so many misunderstandings Americans have. And I feel obligated to help them understand China better.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, C+

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire (2005), C+

Flawed but worthy.

Finally I watched this movies on DVD. There are some interesting things in there, but less interesting that I have expected. Besides this, this movie is quite flawed.

Let’s talk about the tournament.

First the dragon. Where have other three dragons gone to? And it is not fun for the chasing.

Second, the underwater thing. Actually it looks like some game in World of the Warcraft. However, it is too short, it is not exciting, and ended so soon that I am deeply disappointed. WOW itself would much more fun than this part!Third, the maze. It is the same as underwater scene. Nothing is really going on in the maze. Lost yourself in the maze? I could not see anything related to that. What’s more, I don’t even see why we need this maze! What does the maze test the champions? Maybe just I don’t get it.

And the fight between Harry and You-know-who is also bland. I believe many people might be disappointed, especially if they have read the book. I did not read the book, but I believe the book would be better.

At last, the acting. I could not see any acting that’s worth mentioning. Harry seem to be nervous all the time while he should not be, because he has experienced so much. Stop acting like a kid who’s never seen the world! The girl, what’s her name? She is always acting strange and weird. Where has her smart gone? Cho, well, not impressed by this Asian girl either. Ron, not even funny any more.

There are more flaws. The plot is far from perfect. So many things not well explained like previous Harry Potter movies. C+, would be my score for it.

Crash (2005) good but not great.

Crash (2005) B

The Oscar winner Crash is good yet disappointing. I received Crash from Blockbuster Online and watched it. I have to admit that it is good. The director is doing a good job. What we see is touching. However everything is TOO superficial.

– Racial confliction not really that typical racial confliction. Gangster not that typical gangster. If everything is not typical, it is NOT a good movie what talk about social problems.

– Not really touched the reason why we have racial confliction.

– If the above is right, then it also failed to propose or enlighten anyone a way to help communication between different races and cultures.

If talking about details, well, first I said this does not seem to be typical. At the same time, too many coincidences make the story unrealistic. For example the two white policemen, the black woman who’s wife of a black director, and the killed brother of a black detective. Too many things going on between them and this is totally unrealistic. When I see the seemly racist policeman saved the woman who he insulted, I was like, are you serious? But that is not all! When I see the seemly non-racist policeman killed the black boy, I know what to say, “You must be kidding me.” And the “Since when Persians are Arabs?” just make me feel that, well, OK, the robbery is wrong because they are not Arabs. If they are Arabs then no problem.

Obviously there are many problems in this movie which definitely makes it not a qualified winner over Brokeback Mountain. Despite some of these disappointing plots and whatever, it is still a movie worth seeing.

To sum up, I would give it a B. On Yahoo! movies, we can see the critics give an average of B. For Brokeback Mountains, it is A-. This happens for a reason.

Going back to emusic service

Now I am back to emusic music download service. $15 a month, 65 downloads, 192kps VBR DRM-Free MP3 encoded by LAME 3.92, the classic LAME version, although people say 3.97beta might be better.

This is probably the only legal music downlaod website located in USA that offers music compatible with iPod. Other music download service usually provide DRM wma files.

emusic usually only provide independent lable music. Well, there are still a lot for me to choose from. Like Bjork’s Live Box (4CD), now I have all of them downloaded. I also found Black Box Recorder, I can replace some of my old files with them and I am also downloading some of the songs from their “new” album in 2003. Their album Passionoia cost $17 on amazon.com. So emusic is very affordable, and you can really show your support to the artist. I would consider get some Pixies as well.

BTW, I just found out Black Box Recoder is now with One Little Indian, which Bjork is with.

Research competition

We have competition everywhere. Research is not an exception.

So we know who are doing similar researches as we do. And we are curious what they are doing. They will sure be interested what we are doing as well. In this case, it would be very interesting when we meet at a conference in May. Lots of cool people will be there, we will be able to see many posters, and of course, Arizona!

And yes. If it is a huge project, who made it first get to publish in the very best journal.