Archive for February, 2008

A Stripper Won Oscar!

February 25, 2008
This is true, and this happened just minutes ago.

Diablo Cody (true name Brook Busey-Hunt) won 80th Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for 2007 film Juno. She worked as a stripper in Skyway Lounge at Minneapolis from I-am-not-sure-of-when to I-am-not-sure-of-when. Hopefully wikipedia will give out more information afterwards, or hopefully I would have time to dig it from her blog.

Some of her websites:

The Pussy Ranch
Diabo Cody at Myspace


The End of A Time: The Death of Netscape

February 24, 2008

It was born with unanimous applaud, now it dies in silence.

I was surprised to know Netscape Navigator will not be supported from March 1, 2008.
And I still remember the joy it gave to me when I first navigated the Internet in around 1995.



Why Obama beats Hillary?

February 21, 2008
It is phenomenal for a rookie senator to beat down the ex first lady. Of course there will be explanations from various perspectives. Here is my considerations.

1. People are just tired of seeing the face of Hillary. Yes she has 35 years of experience, which to me means she has been exposed to the public for 35 years. Yes, highly exposed 35 years. Why Bill Clinton had affair with some young chick? A simple explanation is that he got tired of seeing Hillary after 20some years. The rewarding center in the brain needs some new stimuli. In the case of Bill Clinton, it was Miss Levinsky; in this case of Hillary Clinton, it was B. H. Obama.

2. The media are biased. But that is their nature. McCain will be the GOP nominator without any doubt, and the media will have no "news" about him and he will get away from the public. This is bad, both for the media and for Sen. McCain, and maybe that’s why they give out the sex scandal. For the media, they would have felt thrilled to have a new fresh face to contest Sen. Clinton. With more and more viewers of the news report, every medium wins; who cares about who will win? They just need these topics, and since Sen. Hillary seemed to be so powerful and so doubtless to become the nominee, now comes the best news for her to be beat, or almost beat.

3. I have reported my discovery of B. H. Obama’s possible fluency problem. After watching tonight’s debate in Austin, TX, I still hold this point that he may have some fluency problem, or, at least at the fluency continuum, he is in a much lower point compared to Hillary, Bill Clinton, Huckabee, and McCain. He showed a lot of interjection, hesitation, and first sound repetition; and when he became fluent, he was reciting his rhetoric rhyming words, and using excessive hand gestures. But still people like his speech. Why? His speech rhymes, his rhythm soars, his words are simple and short, and he shows more resolution in chanting these hope and change words. On the contrary, Hillary’s speech is more monotonous and without good rhythm. It is like the difference between singing a black rap and a country song: the former beats fast though simple, makes listeners rock; the latter slow and prosaic and only people in a specific mood enjoys.

4. And pay attention to what they say. B. H. Obama basically said two things: either he agreed with Hillary on this and that with small difference, or he offered this and that, such as the $4,000 to school kids, the health care to everyone, and changing Washington. But he only talked about the tasty side- he drew a beautiful picture without giving answers such as where will be the money, what will do if some people reject to buy health care, and how come to change a system by becoming a part of it. On these points, the fault of Hillary was that she talked about both sides, which of course, sounds not charming. Everyone wants to enjoy the fruit, everyone hates to think of the pain, and people are notoriously short-sighted to see the future as indicated in Daniel Gilbert’s book Stumbling on happiness discusses. So, one appeals, the other sucks.

5. Yes, words are cheap, but plans are also cheap. B. H. Obama may have plagiarized his speech, and may copied economic plans from Hillary, but so what? Plans are just plans, it needs executive power to put it into reality. In this case, the power to move people is horribly powerful and Obama may have more chance to launch these plans, except the risk may be too high. In other words, Obama may do better than Hillary, but also the risk for him to flunk is much bigger.

Why Obama should claim a history of stuttering

February 20, 2008
Debates exist about the stuttering of Winston Churchill. The only direct evidence I have ever seen is in the documentary of John Paskievich Unspeakable, where a video segment of about 10 seconds is included.

And I guess, years and years later, after Barack Obama said goodbye to this world, people who stutter, and self-help organizations for stutterers, would be eager to claim that he is a stutterer to become a powerful presidency candidate, if not president, of U.S. Oh he would become a role model for so many kids suffering from stuttering. See, B. Obama stuttered, but he became a great orator, and used his speech power to challenge the presidency.

So, he can, why not you?

And of course there will be some video evidence, like the victory speech I saw last night, after he won Wisconsin. Obviously he stumbled a lot on many first syllables of sentences, and showed numerous hesitation and secondary behaviors. Those dysfluent moments are no worse than those of Winston Churchill’s and sure will serve as strong evidence to support his stuttering problem.

I expect the forthcoming of another great great stutterer.

The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America

February 18, 2008
This is the 3rd Bill Bryson book I have read, in succession to A Short History of Nearly Everything and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. There were some other Bill Bryon books that I have read a few pages but did not finish, e.g., The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way, which seems like a little bit hard for me and contains too many details that only a linguistics, or an amateur linguistics would read every page; I’m a Stranger Here Myself, which is a collection of his column to British reader after he moved back to USA and probably best for those born in 1950s in USA or in British; and In a Sunburned Country, which seems like an easy reading but I just don’t have time to keep reading these days.

This book is not a serious traveling  book- sometimes I even had problems to differentiate whether the descriptions were true or imagined, every time he talks about the weirdness of this town or that. But anyway, it is humorous and light-hearted, with some elements not exactly like those in American humors- I have to guess it is a mixture of British and American sense of humor. I did not believe I could like to read a book most of which is talking about how bizarre, weird, and isolated are these towns, I could not believe someone could turn this kind of complain into a laughing factor, but Bill Bryson did. And for that reason, maybe next time I should take a trip to Bryson City, NC, only 400 miles away.

Amazing CSF!

February 15, 2008

I am surprised to see the web page of Human communication studies, California State University, Fullerton. Their faculty profiles are so fashionable and unique that I have to mark it here.

Here are some grabbed pictures of its page.

Isn’t it great to have Halle Berry and Angelina Julie as department secretary and George Clooney and Sean Connery as teachers?

Uno the Beagle

February 14, 2008
I think the reason Uno the Beagle won "best in show" trophy at the 132th Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York is:

He is the perfect puppy and just a little better than ours.

V-Day: a conspiracy theory

February 14, 2008
You can explain everything using a conspiracy theory.

Like why there is a V-Day and how come it becomes so popular.

Of course, there should be a person with a name similar to Valentine, say, Valentino (and I am sure there must be one, and, Oh! Just say this name like in Italiano. Does it sound like music?), who happened to live in a place well known but not visited by most and should carry a flavor of romance, say, Florence, Venice, and this Valentine or Valentino’s love story must be so unprecedented and touching, that people like to talk about at that time, and in all the following years, until when it becomes a legendary and people know more about what to do in V-Day than who this Valentino was and what he or she did and what his or her love story meant for all these years.

But this is not the point. The conspiracy theory (probably mine) states that the evil group (basically, the girlfriends, wives, and business people) can always find such a person who loved with extraordinary suffering that his or her name deserves a day in a year- to remind others how painful love can be.

Nowadays, probably every man with a girlfriend or a wife understands how painful love can be, especially in a day in the name of love. His duty and responsibility in V-Day is clearly stated and easily understood: Rose, Chocolate, Wine, Candle dinner in a fancy restaurant, and, of course, Gifts. Simply put, to throw away a lot of money on things with much inflated price.

I happen to know a guy who celebrated his 20th birthday months ago. He is a 2nd year college boy. His car is so old that sometimes I wonder if anyone could ever drive it. He  would not, or could not work, and his daddy, who runs a cleaning business in a ghetto pays his bill every month. This kid has a girl friend. A clever, smiling 19-year old. They got to know each other about 6 months ago and fell in love suddenly. And now it is V-Day.

The night before V-Day, he asked some people to see his gifts. We went down his apartment and came into another, which belongs to some girls. There is a spare room. He opened the door, and we saw, right on the bed, there were a puppy the size of a horse, a bag like the biggest in supermarket, a balloon with a big red heart, and a few small bags. One contained an iHome, an accessory for iPod (of course the young chick is an iPod fan), the other was some kind of card, with all the sweetest words and the ugliest handwriting I have ever seen.

I did not know if that would be good enough or not. What I saw was this boy may have saved a few months’ money to buy these stuff. I began to wonder why this boy not to spend that money to seek treatment for his tic (though of course not enough). Will his girl be happy to see a better boy?

I think there might be something deviant in today’s world about love. That so many people begin to think that love can be measured by money. So, the more you spend on V-Day, the more you love the girl. Is this the idea that the sanctified Valentino tried to deliver? Maybe not. Yet still there is something true- that love may be measured by pain, and the more pain you suffer, the more you love. Maybe that is the logic men are asked to spend such a sum of money large enough to make them feel the pain, and feel the love.

I hope this could be true. See, anything that repeats 1,000 times becomes true. But I do believe that love should not be tested, and should not be measured by the pain it caused, or the money the guy spent. Love is, to me, a thing that is totally depended on trust and belief, and nothing else.

Some Rants about Barack Obama

February 6, 2008
Super Tuesday. Clinton and Obama traded the victory. Obama won more states, but Clinton had big ones. Still a few weeks to go.

I don’t like to vote for Obama, provided that I have the right to vote.

My reasons:

1. I don’t like to be "inspired" or anyone that "inspires". I tend to see those inspiring leaders as dangerous- they may be able to accomplish big ends, good or evil. Take a look at Hitler. Was he a super-inspiring person? Was that a whole generation of cold-minded, humorless German turned on by his speech? And almost everyone who did not agree with him got killed or had to flee to America. Yes, there were also the Indian Saint Gandhi and numerous heroes in the history. But don’t tell me to look at MLK, JFK, or Mother Teresa.

2. I don’t think people should "unite". This is why I don’t like to talk about MLK or JFK. Strong evidents suggest that MLK received his doctorate with a plagiarized paper, and JFK had a wonderful love affair with Marylin Monroe. But nowadays they are revered as Gods and nobody could throw any rant toward them, or the angry listeners would tear the evil-speaker apart. This is another form of oppression or censorship. Some Americans may like the lefter idea, but I come from a communism-dominated country and I don’t like the lefter ideas. Not a bit. I think the essence of democracy is to accept and respect the fact that everyone has the right to dissent. And I wonder why Obama got as high as 95% percentage in the black race? Is that he has the capability of uniting the African-American? Or simply this is a reflection of racism?

3. I don’t like the racism in Obama’s supporters. More than 80% of African American voted for Obama, sometimes even 95%. I don’t believe it is because they all agree with Obama’s opinions. Let’s use Occam’s razor here. The simplest is the most beautiful. How about racism? It is understandable that African American united and voted for Obama because this is the first time that they have a serious challenger to presidency. But this is racism. As a black lady in CNN interview said, first she deemed herself as black, then a woman. Oh yeah, skin color does play a role, at least in the black community, and we don’t need pretend to be unaware of it.

4. I don’t like the image that it is either "white" or "black". I am glad to see that in California, white votes split, black voted Obama, and Clinton won by the help of Latinos and Asians. The white and the black tend to emphasize the while or the black, possibly because of the slavery and civil rights movements, but America is changing. The world is not black or white. Even, how can the black equal the white? Talk about population, influence, money, or whichever else, the white is still the dominating power. Black people need to see it, and they need to see Latino is approaching in population and soon America will be like "While, Latino and Black", and later "White, Latino, Asian, and Black".

5. I don’t like some of the dumb politics analyzers in CNN. They could not refrain from their racist’s opinions and they feel proud to speak for black people. I doubt if any white person in CNN could claim he/she feel happy for having a white candidate. And their logic is: if Obama were American president, then he would not allow Rwanda massacre to happen, as President Clinton did. Great! I hope they will not see a president originated from China or India or Brazil, or that hundreds of millions poor people would be allowed to flood to America to get a better living.

6. I don’t like the body language and the fluency level of Obama. Sorry to say that, but stutterers may be more sensitive to dysfluency and have less tolerance to dysfluency of a public figure, and least to that of a leader.

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Just Before the Lunar New Year (Part 2)

February 6, 2008
It will be a new year after 1 hour and 40 minutes.

And I don’t expect it to come as when I was young, when I used to watch the dancing and singing in the Chinese Central TV show with family, after a big feast of at least 12 courses. Judged by today’s criteria, most of these courses were not well made and contained too much fat, but I just loved them so much. There was one time that I surprised many relatives and family members for having the best appetite of all kids.

I was about 10 or 12 and the day we went to a party of another relative (In China, those old people used to celebrate their 60th-year of life at home by having a big party and they invited every relative and friend). The feast had, of course, more than 12 courses. Most kids did not have the self-control; they started to eat everything from the beginning, and when the 5th or 6th course came, they were already full and flew outside the house to play with other kids while their parents enjoyed the other courses – the better half, generally containing the boiled whole chicken, pork flank, big fish, etc. I did not eat less than the other kids for the first half, and I stayed all the way till the end, knowing that better things always came later, and even when all the big people stopped, I was still waiting for the last course. The parents saw my eagerness and jokingly, they told me to have the whole chicken. I remembered vividly how big it was – at least 3 pounds. But I did not know it was inappropriate to keep eating when others stopped; all I could see was the chicken, the whole big one, boiled, looked like so delicious. I could not wait to have it; in fact, the second they told to have it, I pulled the plate to me, tore apart the poor thing, and started to throw everything into my mouth. Everyone was surprised to see such a small glutton.

But I was satisfied. I could not feel better with the stomach filled with meat and fat, and I wished I could have them everyday, every meal. Even at that night, when I could not sleep and rolled all over the bed, having the stomach pain, I did not stop dreaming to have that much of meat in the late days of my life.

At that year when I was 10 or 12, my parents could only buy meat, pork or chicken or fish, once in 2 months

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