December 29, 2007

Subway Line 5

Today I went to the Zoo with Brinley. When going back home, I deliberately took Line 5, as I had not tried it yet although I had already been back to Beijing for 2 weeks. I expected nothing other than what Line 13 had, but it surprised me. It’s much like what we have in Hong Kong – automatic doors separating the train and the platform, signal lights that show the station where the train is, elevators for passengers with bulky items; even the different kinds of notice boards were really similar. No wonder it was said that the Line 4 was co-constructed by MTR Corporation. Still there had been even more than what they have in Hong Kong, marked are: LCD screens that shows what the current/next station is, signal lights beside every automatic doors that shows the doors are to be opened. I spared some attention to the English translation of on-board broadcasting and notice boards, and they were fine as far as I know. Overall, Subway Line 5 impressed me.

December 20, 2007

The Broken DVD

Mother told me that the DVD of “The Pursuit of Happyness” is broken. I recalled about one year ago I watched it through and found no glitch of any kind. But my parents insisted that it would stop unexpectedly while playing. I tried and found they are right. The disc is broken for some undiscovered reason; I succeed in watching it through with no defect but now it’s broken.

It may have already been a year since I recommended this video to them, but they didn’t watch it until not long ago. Sometimes, you have to grasp hard one thing to make sure that you have it. If you hold for too long, it would be no longer reachable. I think.

How to download videos on YouTube

Have you ever found it disappointing that you can only watch your favorite videos online but cannot keep it in you own disk, and you always have to wait for it to be loaded when the file is on a server far away?

Now you have the utmost solution with real ease! First of all, you have to upgrade your Real Player to the latest version. If you have no Real Player on your computer currently, you can always download it for free at After your upgrading, turn up the YouTube page displaying your beloved video, or just any other similar page embedded with a flash video, move your mouse pointer on top a the video, refer to the up-right corner of the video frame, can you see the button for downloading the video? You can always change your downloading settings inside Real Player.


How to learn a second language

After years there are still people keeping asking me how to learn English well. Most of them are students who have been learning English for years, but they are still not confidence enough with their own learning methods under continuous development for years. The reason they wonder is their unsatisfactory English grades and the overwhelming of the idea of cracking the exams without learning hard.

I’ve been learning English for 13 years – This is quite a long time for a Chinese college student at the age of 18. And what I want to tell them after this long time of learning is that, when it comes to language study, time speaks. Although developing a smart learning style is as or even more important, the defect of nowadays English learners is not a methods problem. It’s just that they are not spending enough time on this.

Years ago I wrote an essay discussing this same topic, and my point has not changed. Language learning is hard labor. And you have to hold it on.


December 4, 2007

My fully customized Firefox browser

This is just my fully customized Firefox interface! It's enhanced with the Vista-Aero theme, and I changed the layout of the bars and buttons. A spitting image of IE7 isn't it?

Actually the VA theme is not only a "look", but it enhances the usability of the interface and makes it more user-friendly. It equips the tabs bar with buttons, which shortens the distance from your mouse pointer on the web page to the button you want to click. Like IE7, the buttons on the right hand side of the tabs bar is composite.

On the status bar, there are also features to discover! On the left there is a "Find in this page" button. This function is really frequently used, at least for me, and with Firefox' "Find in this page" bar, it's really convenient to search for anything you want in a page. On the right corner, there's a zoomer. Although it is not of much use to me, still such application of space on bars that almost have to be shown is a inventive and effective approach.


An Example of Bertrand Russell’s Argument against the Existence of God

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Today I would like to introduce one of Bertrand Russell’s approaches to argue against the existence of God. Although I do not fully support his idea, as I think the existence of God is not something for you to prove but something you choose to believe in or not. Thus I totally respect anyone's beliefs. Moreover there exists some minor defects in this argument, according to my understanding of it. But still, Russell is one of the wisest minds in the twentieth century, so I would really love to share this brilliant argument with you all.

The argument which Bertrand Russell argued against is called the Natural-law Argument:

People observed the planets going around the sun according to the law of gravitation, and they thought that God had given a behest to these planets to move in that particular fashion, and that was why they did so.

First of all, as we know, the law of gravitation changed to a more complicated one from Isaac Newton to Einstein. And with the advancements in observatory technology, we may one day find that the rules needed to describe the motion of planets are just too complicated and then we come to a point where there is simply no rule applicable to explain it in some organized manner. Then it’s like what we found in the motion of electrons rounding a nucleus. Actually a great many things we though were natural laws are really human conventions.

There is also the confusion between natural and human laws. Human laws are behests commanding you to behave a certain way, but natural laws are a description of how things do in fact behave, and being a mere description of what they in fact do, you cannot argue that there must be somebody who told them to do that. Even supposing that there were, then why did God issue just those natural laws and no others?

If you say that he did it simply from his own good pleasure without any reason, you then find that there is something which is not subject to law, and so your train of natural law is interrupted. If you say God gave these specific laws in order to create the best universe -- if there were a reason for the laws which God gave, then God himself was subject to law, and therefore you do not get any advantage by introducing God as an intermediary.

These are my interpretation of a slice of Bertrand Russell’s argument. If you would like to find more I encourage you to read “Why I am not a Christian” by Russell. You will find something you need there. Thank you.


Why do I choose Gmail?

- The greatest spam filtering I have ever seen in the ten plus years of my web mail usage history.

- Equipped with either Google Notifier or Google Talk (which works like Windows Live

Messenger, and even better, without any advertisement), you never need to check your inbox. Whenever there is a new mail, you will be notified in time - what's even better, you don't need to bind your mobile phone to use this function!

- With the best mail search, you never need to remember where did you store your mail or when was the mail sent to find a mail. Everyone knows Google is the greatest search engine; why not equip your mailbox with one that's as powerful?

- A great storage. It seems to me that the storage of Gmail increases according to your need. When I first registered, it was about 2GB, but now, it has been upgraded to 5443 MB now (actually I’ve only used up a fourth of its capacity)! And you can also apply to upgrade your storage if you think it is needed (but you hardly ever need to – it’s an automated upgrading system).

- You can chat within your mailbox! No need to install a separate instant messenger client anymore! Of course you can still have one for free – try Google Talk.

- There's more than you would expect! And it's specially designed with functions that meet many advanced users' needs!

Watch this promotional video if you want to.

See more of what’s special about Gmail, click

I promote Gmail totally voluntarily, and I will not benefit from successful promotion, except there are more friends that share the same privilege of using the best free email service, and the advantage of easier communication.

If you are interested, there are also other Google free services which I found surpasses other competitors. And there’s much more still for us to explore!