It takes a few days – New Quotes I Love

Saturday, 2 April, 2011

Here are a few new “Quotes I Love” entries.

It takes a few days to get my head around how much I like a film, if I really like it a lot, and longer to start to figure out why.” – William Gibson in this tweet

When you love a film, as when you love a person, why isn’t necessarily that meaningful.” – [via tweet]

The why’s of disliking something are easier to find, and make for quicker, juicier copy.” – [via tweet]

Michael Mann’s theory: We only begin to really experience the film as we leave the theatre, in memory. And *backward*. I agree.” – [via tweet]

Benoît Mandelbrot (1924 – 2010)

Saturday, 16 October, 2010

Mandelbrot Exploration

Benoît Mandelbrot (1924 – 2010)

I am deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Benoît Mandelbrot, in fact I didn’t want to believe the twitter “news” floating around last night until I see positive confirmation from a major news source (in this case, the NYT report talking to Dr. Mandelbrot’s wife Ailette).

Long time ago when I was taking an university Algebra class in the summer with an older and kind professor, I bought to the class a book with picture of a beautiful looking and mysterious object (I later learned, a Mandelbrot set) on the cover. The professor asked me why am I reading the book? I said the images were beautiful. He asked, “Why aren’t you reading the master himself directly?” As a result of this encounter, I have since tried to read original research papers or books when I can.

To me, Dr. Mandelbrot is the man that bought arts and beauty into mathematics for me. Before him, I didn’t quite appreciate the beauty in math. Beauty and the rigour of mathematics coexist beautifully in Mandelbrot set.

Thank you Dr. Mandelbrot, may you rest in peace. (I wished I had written you a fan letter before today. I hope you know you are well loved and respected.)

Fractal Zoom Mandelbrot Corner

Here is Dr. Mandelbrot in his own words in a TED2010 talk: Fractals and the art of roughness.

A fun animated video about Mandelbrot Set. [HT Wired]

For the record, the Oct 16th NYT article “Benoit Mandelbrot, Mathematician, Dies at 85” by Jascha Hoffman.

“Benoît B. Mandelbrot, a maverick mathematician who developed an innovative theory of roughness and applied it to physics, biology, finance and many other fields, died on Thursday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 85.

His death was caused by pancreatic cancer, his wife, Aliette, said. He had lived in Cambridge.

Dr. Mandelbrot coined the term “fractal” to refer to a new class of mathematical shapes whose uneven contours could mimic the irregularities found in nature.

“Applied mathematics had been concentrating for a century on phenomena which were smooth, but many things were not like that: the more you blew them up with a microscope the more complexity you found,” said David Mumford, a professor of mathematics at Brown University. “He was one of the primary people who realized these were legitimate objects of study.”

In a seminal book, “The Fractal Geometry of Nature,” published in 1982, Dr. Mandelbrot defended mathematical objects that he said others had dismissed as “monstrous” and “pathological.” Read the rest of this entry »

Lexus/Toyota: Admired Company?

Tuesday, 23 February, 2010

I have created an “Admired Company” list for years. Today, I’ve decided to put Lexus on the “watch list” pending further research and review.

Over the years, I have only added to the list of “Admired Companies” and have never put a brand/Lovemark under review.

Sadly Lexus is the first.

(news references: CNN: “Toyota: Saved $100 million dodging recall”BBC: “Toyota admits it took ‘too long’ on safety recalls”)

21 more blog entries till my 3,000th post

Wednesday, 17 February, 2010

Recently, I have been thinking about what to write in my 3,000th post which is only 21 posts away.

– I’ve thought about inviting some blog friends to write a few words and post them, but that will take some coordinations and will take some time from the blog friends.

– I’ve written quite a bit about myself in my 2,001st post in Oct 2008, so I don’t want to repeat myself.

– May be I will interview myself to talk about how I feel about the 3,000th post? That may be fun.

Love to hear what you think and your suggestions for my 3,000th post, just leave a comment or email me. Your ideas may help to inspire me when it is time to write that milestone 3,000th post (probably days away).

You Gotta Be Here in 2010 – Super Natural British Columbia

Wednesday, 10 February, 2010

Great promo – You Gotta Be Here in 2010 – Super Natural British Columbia. Check out their Hello BC website.

P.S. I lived in BC for a few years and I miss the sea, the fresh (and affordable) seafood, the sea wall @ Stanley Park.

With Deepest Sympathy

Tuesday, 2 February, 2010

With Deepest Sympathy

A friend’s mom passed away suddenly this past Sunday. Auntie, as my better half and I affectionately call her, loved to ballroom dance and was great at dancing until her leg was hurt a few years ago. Auntie was someone that loved a good party. In fact, she was organizing another party a few days before she passed away. Knowing Auntie would have wanted it, the family made the decision to have the upcoming party go on as previously planned on Chinese New Year. It saddens me to think that a previously planned joyful occasion of a Chinese New Year dance party that is going to be the first birthday party for the grandson, is not going to have the sadness of a missing hostess.

In memory of Auntie, here is a music video “Love is in the Air” with a few dance sequences from the film Strictly Ballroom.

Frank McCourt, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Angela’s Ashes”, dies at 78

Sunday, 19 July, 2009

I am deeply saddened of Frank McCourt‘s passing.

If you’ve not had the pleasure of listening to Frank telling his stories form his books, go buy or borrow copies of his book CDs. Listen and learn from his ageless wisdom. (Because of Frank’s great story telling skills, I highly recommend the audio book.)

Frank, you are loved and will be deeply missed. I’ve never been in your classroom but you’ve taught me more than some teaches I had.

Thank you & Goodbye Frank.

Here is Frank addressing a group of Model UN Students (video posted in 2008).

And here is a detailed video interview of Frank at Oklahoma State University.

CBC Hot Type video interviewed in 1999.

Norman Rockwell

Tuesday, 28 November, 2006


After meeting and then blogging about the artist Robert Bateman, I would like to talk about a favourite artist of mine — Norman Rockwell. I’ve loved and enjoyed his works for years. I’ve treasured the two collections “Norman Rockwell’s Faith of America” and “The Best of Norman Rockwell selected by Thomas Rockwell“. I have so many favourites and here are a few that I love,

  1. 02/20/1943 “Freedom of Speech” (We need more people to stand up against the powerful and idiotic politicians in Canada, U.S., Hong Kong, and many places around the world where we have the rights to freedom of speech. [Feb 3, 2010 update: Here is a video of me asking Canadian env minister jim prentice a question.])
  2. 08/22/1953 “Soda Jerk” (Rockwell’s son was the model for the Soda Jerk and the girl would later became his daughter-in-law. Nice match-making, papa Rockwell. (smile)) [Dec 26, 2009 update: high res painting and reference photo from this blog entry at nrm]
  3. 02/13/1960 “Triple Self-Portrait” (One of my favourite ties has this image)
  4. 09/02/1939 “Knuckles Down” (Just love this ass-kicking girl)
  5. 03/17/1956 “Happy Birthday, Miss Jones” (I thought of my wonderful high-school English teacher Ms. Sharon Shiffman every time I look at this picture.)
  6. 03/06/1954 “Girl at the Mirror” (Lovely)
  7. 05/25/1957 “After the Prom” (Sweet) [Dec 26, 2009 update: Here is the reference photo.]

Each picture is a short story. Sometimes powerful story, sometimes heart-warming story. Here are more blog entries tagged with Norman Rockwell.

It reminds me of Hemingway’s six-word story which I still shed a few tears everytime I read and think about it.

“For sale: baby shoes, never used.”

– Ernest Hemingway


March 18, 2007 update: I had no idea that Steven Spielberg is a longtime Rockwell collector until I read this article.

Nov 27, 2009 update: More videos in these entries, “Norman Rockwell’s American Dream” and “More Norman Rockwell Videos

Dec 26, 2009 update: I have got a copy of Norman Rockwell Behind the Camera by Ron Schick and will be reviewing it.

Magic of Norman Rockwell - pix 1

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