Western media are reporting on this politically-sensitive incident and on how both sides would deal with the potential diplomatic fallout.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
I hadn't been following the NHL's 2011-12 season, but with the surprised entry of the Ottawa Senators into Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, I too got caught up in the hype, esp when the Sens became the last Canadian team standing after the Vancouver Canucks' loss to the Los Angeles Kings .
Alas, this is not Canada's year and our home team lost 2-1 in Madison Square Garden, NY on April 26, 2012 in the last of seven games.
While fans were disappointed and there would be no more "Go Sens Go!!" for the rest of this hockey season, they nonetheless are happy with the Sens' performance, esp Team captain Daniel Alfredsson. Alfie, who was born in Gothenburg, Sweden and has been with the Sens since the 1995-96 NHL season, scored the last Canadian goal before being shut out of the Stanley Cup.
And the Canadian team that last won the Stanley Cup?
The Montreal Canadiens, in 1993 !!!
Monday, April 23, 2012
There is something abt a child's mind which "sees" things very differently from that of an adult. Perhaps as we grow old, we learn to see trends, familiarize with patterns, accept family and societal values, & conform to govt, institution, and authourity's ways of seeing things. We internalize acquired skills and experience into our sub-conscious thereby making life more efficient.
There is no need to think before putting one foot in front of another cuz we already learnt how to run when we were little (that's one of the challenges when I was a "learn to run" instructor with adults).
Unlike the student driver who needs to think abt putting the signal light on before turning, we pretty well auto-pilot in rush-hour traffic, zipping in and out passing lanes while the brain is processing hundreds of sensory signals and other non-related thoughts, such as what grocery we need for tonight's supper.
Efficiency is gained when our sub-conscious has established auto-piloted processes that filter info and thoughts based on past skills, experience and pre-conceived criteria. Just ask any old couple (married, straight, or otherwise) who not only tastes salt when the other cries, but also blanks out all the nagging from the better-half :O
Unfortunately, this efficiency that is so essential in everyday living also closes our minds to new ideas, new ways of doing things, and more importantly the upbringing of our children.
Just look at the tiger moms and dads who insist on destroying the innocent, carefree childhood of their cubs by forcing the latter to undertake endless violin and piano lessons, dancing and princess competitions, extra tutorials to gain 95+ school marks, and in one odd case, by forcing a child to run naked outside in freezing cold temperature.
So the next time your child stops and stares at something "ordinary", a rock, a butterfly, or a dead bird, put yourself in his/her innocent mind and recall how simple your life was back then. Share and enjoy with him/her the short but happy and care-free period of childhood. Instead of yelling "C'mon let's go, I don't have all day", remember this:
The first few metres of a hurried child does not guarantee his/her accomplishments in a life-long journey of marathons.
Sent from BlackBerry
Thursday, April 19, 2012
PART 1: What is "Hitting the Wall" (aka bonking")?
According to Wikipedia: "..... In endurance sports such as cycling and running, hitting the wall or the bonk describes a condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, which manifests itself by sudden fatigue and loss of energy....."
The sight of a runner "hitting the wall" might seems "funny" to an outsider, but the situation can be medically dangerous to the athlete and may even lead to injury or death. Below is a YouTube video of two Ironman competitors who were suffering from a near shut-down of their bodies whether they wanted it or not.
Bonking will happen to men and women, young and old alike, if the conditions are ripe. The YouTube video below shows a young man "hitting the wall" during a 5 kilometres cross-country running event. So, it doesn't really matter whether you are doing an Ironman-distance triathlon or a 5 km event. When your glycogen runs out, your body will shut down. As shown in the video, the poor chap could no longer stand up and it was only by sheer determination that he crawled the last yards and collapsed in a heap at the finish line.
Even elite Ironman-class tri-athletes, such as Paula Newby Frazier (YouTube video below), could not escape hitting the wall when she had depleted all her glycogen. Her body forced her to come to a stand-still and there was little she could do. At one point she was seen lying on the ground, apparently dashing all hope of finishing the race. But you know what? True to her iron-will and competitive nature, she refused to accept a DNF (did not finish), got up and continued, knowing full well she would most likely lose her chance to win first place.
In Paula Newby Frazier's case, her experience as an elite triathlete probably enabled her do a quick self-assessment and make a decision that you and I would have regretted. Despite her support team's advice to quit, she got up and continued with the race. It is also possible she was experiencing a relatively "mild" bonk that was recoverable (for Paula Newby). Indeed, Wikipedia suggests that: ".... Milder instances can be remedied by brief rest and the ingestion of food or drinks containing carbohydrates...."
Stay tuned for ..... Part 2: How the body fuel itself (Glycogen vs Fat burning) during a marathon.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
It is abt an employee who, while on maternity leave, posted a message on her colleague's Facebook and accused the latter of stealing her job and the employer of sexual harassment/discrimination, etc. She was fired and subsequently lost her appeal to the Ontario Employment Standard Tribunal.
Based on the conclusions of the Tribunal as reported by the Sun, two lessons can be learnt from this case:
1. An employee can still be fired if his/her conduct outside of her workplace and work hours (in this case on Facebook, during her "private" time while on maternal leave) is deemed inappropriate.
2. Freedom of speech has limits and consequences. The Tribunal sided with the employer's decision to terminate the woman's employment with just cause and concluded that the employee ".... attempted to bully other employees and was hostile and intimidating in her dealing with them .... and generally 'bad mouthed' her employer on a website ... etc"
I still recall reading on the news several weeks ago abt some companies requesting access to potential employees' personal Facebook accounts to presumably evaluate their characters. While you can refuse the request as a job applicant (and equally the company can refuse offering you a job), but once you are hired as a worker, your duty to your employer is now extended to go beyond your workplace and work hours.
Thus: If you have a beef, arrange a meeting with your employer and talk it out. Try leaving workplace issues off Facebook and other social networks, or be prepared to face the consequences.
Sent from BlackBerry
Monday, April 16, 2012
And Cassidy, who was introduced to wheelchair racing about a decade ago through the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club, did it all by himself with a little fine-tuning from the National Research Council Canada’s wind tunnel.
A month after visiting the research venue near the Ottawa International Airport to refine his pushing technique and reduce his times, Cassidy, 27, won the men’s wheelchair race during the Boston Marathon Monday in world- and course-record times.
Cassidy, who is a double leg amputee as a result of being diagnosed with neuroblastoma (cancer in the spine and abdomen) shortly after his birth, blitzed the hot, fabled Boston course in one hour 18 minutes 25 seconds, which beat both records by two seconds and rocketed him to the top of his field.
“Without a shadow of a doubt,” Cassidy’s agent, David Burdus, said in a telephone interview. “He didn’t just win, but he demolished the field by himself. He powered his way to victory. He did it all by himself. It’s huge to do it without help. “He has worked so hard. He spent New Year’s Eve in the gym, he’s so determined. Everyone says he’s good and he just proved it. Now, he’s a world beater.”
Cassidy, the 2010 London Marathon champion and an employee of a fitness club in Guelph, seized the lead at about the four-kilometre mark, pulled away and won by more than three minutes. The old records were set by nine-time Boston champion Ernst Van Dyk of South Africa in 2004 at 1:18:27 for the 42.195-kilometre distance.
Cassidy, who has little sponsorship and must pay for most of his own travel, training and equipment, collected $15,000 U.S. for winning the men’s wheelchair title and a bonus of $10,000 for setting a world record.
“He got an early break (in the race) and got away, and that, combined with him having done analysis on his pushing position at the Ottawa wind tunnel in the last month, made him three per cent more efficient,” Burdus said.
Cassidy also unveiled a new style racing helmet, which likely proved aerodynamically beneficial. Instead of the traditional oval-shaped and ribbed bicycle helmet, Cassidy wore what appeared to be something like a football or motorcycle helmet with a large, attached sunglasses-style visor. The design markings on the helmet gave him the appearance of comic book character Judge Dredd. When Cassidy isn’t racing on the track (he’s Canada’s top athlete from 800 to 10,000 metres in the men’s T54 class and holds national records in the 1,500 and 5,000 metres), he’s a freelance illustrator.
“My head was blowing up, vision getting narrow … but just don’t think about it,” he told WBZ-TV at the finish line, where the temperature was 26C when he stopped.
At the mid-point of the race, Cassidy was timed in 37:37 and was 22 seconds ahead of the world-record pace. However, as he approached Heartbreak Hill at 32 kilometres, he was 17 seconds off the record pace. “Once I got to the top of Heartbreak, I knew I would win the race,” said Cassidy, who got his start in wheelchair racing with Bob Schrader and Amanda Fader of the Ottawa Lions. “So I went, battling on my own the rest of the way, to see if I could get the record.”
Australia’s Kurt H. Fearnley, who is considered the Marathon Man of wheelchair sports, having won the 2004 and 2008 Paralympic Games marathon gold medals, was a distant second in 1:21:39. Japan’s Kota Hokinoue was third at 1:23:26. Diane Roy of Quebec City was third in the women’s wheelchair marathon division.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Sidney Leslie Goodwin (9 September 1910 – 15 April 1912) was a 19-month-old English boy who died during the sinking of the RMS Titanic. His unidentified body was recovered after the sinking by the Mackay-Bennett, and for decades referred to as the unknown child; the body was identified as that of Goodwin in 2007. He is the only member of his family whose body has been recovered and subsequently identified.
* Wikipedia / 鐵達尼號
* Wikipedia / The Unknown Child
Thursday, April 12, 2012
|18–34歲||3小時 5分鐘||3 小時 35分鐘|
|35–39歲||3小時 10分鐘||3 小時 40分鐘|
|40–44歲||3小時 15分鐘||3 小時 45分鐘|
|45–49歲||3小時 25分鐘||3 小時 55分鐘|
|50–54歲||3小時 30分鐘||4 小時 0分鐘|
|55–59歲||3小時 40分鐘||4 小時 10分鐘|
|60–64歲||3小時 55分鐘||4 小時 25分鐘|
|65–69歲||4小時 10分鐘||4 小時 40分鐘|
|70–74歲||4小時 25分鐘||4 小時 55分鐘|
|75–79歲||4小時 40分鐘||5 小時 10分鐘|
|80歲以上||4小時 55分鐘||5 小時 25分鐘|
For the 2013 Boston Marathon, in addition to the new “rolling admission” process for registration which will be in effect for the 2012 Boston Marathon, the B.A.A. will adjust the qualifying times by lowering them by five minutes from the times which have been in effect in recent past years. The adjusted qualifying times will go into effect on September 24, 2011. Unlike previous years, an additional 59 seconds will NOT be accepted for each age group time standard. Registration for the 2013 Boston Marathon will begin on Monday, September 10, 2012.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Origin of Boston Marathon's Unicorn
According to the Boston Athletic Association: ".... While it is popular belief that in 1887 the BAA founders chose the Unicorn as the organization’s symbol due to its place in mythology (Chinese and other mythologies regard the figure as an ideal and something to be pursued but which can never be caught), it is more likely that the Unicorn was borrowed from the coat of arms from one of the BAA's first families. Still, the now iconic Unicorn stands for striving for excellence.... even it can never be achieved...."
According to ultra runner Ryan Anderson's blog: "..... Chosen by the founding members of the BAA in 1887 -- ten years prior to the inaugural Boston Marathon -- the Unicorn is believed to have been chosen as the organization's symbol due to its place in mythology. In Chinese and other mythologies, the Unicorn represents an ideal: something to pursue, but which can never be caught. In pursuit of the Unicorn, however, athletic competitors can approach excellence (but never fully achieve it). It is this pursuit to push oneself to his or her own limit and to the best of one's ability which is at the core of athletics. And for this reason, as the marathon matured, that the BAA also decided that the Unicorn would be the appropriate symbol for the marathon ..... "
According to Wikipedia: "..... The nickname "Heartbreak Hill" originated with an incident in the 1936 race. On this stretch, defending champion John A. Kelley caught race leader Ellison "Tarzan" Brown, giving Brown a consolatory pat on the shoulder as he passed. His competitive drive apparently stoked by this gesture, Tarzan Brown rallied, pulled away from Kelley, and went on to win — in the words of Boston Globe reporter Jerry Nason, "breaking Kelley's heart....."
Monday, April 09, 2012
References / Photo credit:
* Wikipedia / Vimy Ridge Day
* Wikipedia / Vimy Ridge
* Wikipedia / Vimy Ridge Memorial
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Miss Universe Canada finalist 潔娜塔拉科娃 Jenna Talackova 23 has been reinstated (Apr 3, 2012). The Vancouver woman was disqualified (~Mar 27, 2012) by the pageant organization headed by Donald Trump for not being a "naturally born female", despite the fact that her birth certificate, driver's license, and Canadian passport all officially identify her as female.
The 6'1" transgender beauty never hides the fact that she started taking hormonal treatment at age 14, underwent gender reassignment surgery at age 19, and more importantly is living her life as a female.
So who is Donald Trump to tell Jenna Talackova (figuratively ;) "You are fired !!"
1. Wikipedia / 變性
2. Wikipedia / 跨性別
跨性別者可能會也可能不會進行醫學性別重整治療（Medical gender reassignment therapy），而且他們可能會也可能不會對這種步驟感興趣。有些跨性別者不主張透過手術來改變，而有一部分透過手術改變自己的生殖性別，也就是我們常說的變性人。...."
Monday, April 02, 2012
文化衝擊，又叫文化震驚、文化休克。(英語：culture shock)，是指一個人或者一個組織身處不同國家的文化或不一樣的環境中而經受的一種困惑、焦慮的狀況，未必會產生嚴重後果。該辭在1954年由Kalervo Oberg首先提出。Michael Winkelman等其他學者隨後展開了對文化衝擊的研究工作。文化衝擊的研究領域是跨文化交際。最近有研究者宣稱，文化衝擊對跨文化旅居者的確有許多正面影響，如提昇自信與自我激勵等。文化衝擊的原素常出現於電影題材，例如《表姐，你好嘢！》。Below is the video doc entitled "Culture Shock - Chinese Americans in China" uploaded onto YouTube by StephyChung8 on Nov 20, 2011:
3. 適應/融入期： 經歷了低潮一般的掙扎期，體驗者開始逐漸接受了新環境和新的思維方式。他/她可以意識到其實人都是社會的產物所以當他站在一個新的文化和歷史的視角看問題，穿着當地人的鞋走當地的路時，他/她對於在第二階段產生的偏見逐漸消除。同時，語言的進步，人際關係的加強也會讓受到文化衝擊的體驗者更加自信起來。最後，體驗者能夠為「新家」作貢獻也被「新家」的成員所接受。這樣就開始了建立新生活的良好周期。大部分人在這個階段自我定義為多元化人因為他們能夠同時從多個文化背景出發看待，解釋和處理問題。
Young Chinese-Americans are coming to China in increasing numbers, some 30 years after their parents made the reverse journey to America. Why is that? Is it a pragmatic response to the recent economic downturn? Is it a wistful search for identity? Or is it something more?
Stephy Chung sits down with fellow expatriate Chinese-Americans including writer, musician and Director of International Communications for Baidu, Kaiser Kuo, to get their stories on why they've chosen to live and work in China. She also speaks with Professor Jinzhao Li of Beijing Foreign Studies University about her recent study on the identity transformation of Chinese-Americans in China.
Producer: Stephy Chung
Script: Stephy Chung, Steve George
Below is an article posted on blog.hiddenharmonies.org (a pro-China org)
“Culture Shock – Chinese Americans in China” April 5th, 2012 by DeWang
This is a thought-provoking two-part documentary, titled, “Culture Shock – Chinese Americans in China,” produced by Stephy Chung featuring Chinese Americans’ experiences in China with Beijing Foreign University Professor Li Jinzhao (Center for Diaspora Studies) providing analysis from an identity point of view. Professor Li says that Chinese Americans in China are “constantly weighing the values [Chinese and American] and trying to decide which is better.” The documentary also features Kaiser Kuo, who explains how these Chinese Americans could channel their energy and perhaps embrace this idea of dual culturalism, which then allows them to bridge China and America.References:
Kuo is Director of International Communications for Baidu and spends part of his time engaging Western journalists covering China. Given the lack of scathing coverage by Western media about Baidu (with so much junk about everything ‘China’ and ‘Chinese’ in general), perhaps Kuo’s dual culturalism has merits. It seems to work for Baidu after all.
Chinese Americans who felt torn between the two sets of values or felt discomforted by any of the dimensions in the identities Professor Li speaks of, Kuo offers a solution. The challenge there is of course where to draw the line – how much of the values from the Chinese experience and from the American experience does one embrace?
For example, the American (and European) experience was one of tyranny by the monarchies, and hence distrust for governments. Their colonial domination of the world shielded them from pillage and exploitation, so they lack appreciation for the need for a strong government to repel foreign invaders. That’s precisely the Chinese experience in the last few centuries. The Chinese experience desires stability and unity, and above all, a strong government to block external meddlers. How does one draw the line?
For the most part, the Chinese Americans featured in the documentary generally seems to be embracing the Chinese culture while in China whereas while in America they were pressured to distance from their first generation Chinese parents. They are all working in China now due to growing economic opportunities there, and in order to maximize career success, they naturally must learn more Chinese culture and values.
My personal conclusion is therefore simple: the strength of Chinese culture and values on the global stage really comes from China’s economic might. Water flows because of gravity. China’s economic might is the gravity.
(I should point out that this general topic of identity has been visited before in the article, “What does it mean to be Chinese?” by Buxi and is part of our Featured Posts section.)
2. 中国博客: “探索和谐-為中國說句公道話” Blog.hiddenharmonies.org's April 5th, 2012 article by DeWang
3. YouTube: List of videos posted by 中国博客: “探索和谐-為中國說句公道話”
(Disclaimer: Posting of info from other sources does not constitute direct or indirect endorsement from lotusandcedar)