• New Yorker staff writer(also the bestselling author of "the tipping point" and "Blink") Malcolm Gladwell presented his latest post ,regarding the Running dominance of Kenya middle-and-long-distance runners.He came up with a NUMBER G...
  • Hollywood producer and screenwriter Mr Mark Byers(credits includiing Gua Sha/treatment;Dragon squad) wrote to me today giving very encouraging words regarding my writing skills.

    Here is the quotation:

    "I am honored that you would speak of me as a scree...
  • 2007-09-28

    Kerouac Redux

     

    Here are a  few entries from Jack Kerouac's freewheeling journals,which he was said to start keeping since he was 14.The following entries span the years from 1948, when the twenty-five-year-old Kerouac had recently returned to New York from a cross-country trip, to 195...
  •  

    In 1932, a group of American fashion manufacturers found themselves beset by a proliferation of cheap knockoffs. Designs, then as now, were not protected by patents or copyrights, so the manufacturers decided to take direct action to stop the copying. They set up the ...
  •  

    I'm attempting to write and contemplating writing a couple of screenplays(Teleplays).I suddenly find screenwriting a good way to hone my writing skills and enliven my imagination.

    The screenplay on the go(about 5 or 6 scenes finished) is inspired by a book,a New york Times bestseller actually ,and...
  • 2007-09-13

    Successful men



    The most successful men will tell you that they are only successful
    because they are able to accept 'no' and not take it personally. Again,
    unsuccessful men take a 'rejection' as a personal assault on their inner
    child. Don't make this mistake.

    Do take this ...
  •   Dear Jacob:         I wrote this letter extremely slowly because I know you are a ...
  • Prison Break season 3 is due to hit airwaves this September 17th.

    Every PB fan is keeping their eyes wide open for this latest installment,to which new characters are said to have been added, and which sorta takes a life of its own since the conspiracy plotline that drives the season one and two of the show is pretty much over.

    A whole new story that happens to the old...
  • I guess the criteria lies in what TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD and HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY have in common.

    Both of which I'm reading on and off recently.

    Great books,and I use the word 'GREAT' in its truest sense.



    TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD,a book by Harper Lee, will ...
  • only on computers.

    The other day I was looking for some cool stuff to Upgrade my blog.After browsing a couple of peer bloggers' sites,I start to realize mine is just so Un-cool and dull.No fancy decorative items,no background music,no catchy tagline,no pictures(for both privacy and aesthetic considerations),nothing but words, and pretty boring ones at that.

     So I...
  •  

    According to Matt Weiland,the deputy editor of The Paris Review,the reason is as follows(Nicely captured and put I'd have to admit):

       "Above all, “On the Road” matters for its music: its plaintive, restless hum. In it, Kerouac perfected a melancholy optimism and a yearning for solace a thousand times richer and subtler ...
  • As per my dear friend Max's suggestion,I'm going to write something about oursourcing.

    Outsoucing is a fairly new phenomenon,especially when it comes to cross-border,international collaborations.

    To illustrate it,I'm going to give an example in the modern business context.A company is floundering in the competition against foreign producers who are apparently benefiting ...
  • 马克 白尔斯先生简介: Mark Byers先生是好莱坞职业剧作家,导演与制片人.作品涉及众多领域,并多次获得艾美奖提名.他还积极参与中美影视合拍片的推动与促进工作,为大中型影视项目进行国际融资,项目优化,剧本改良,海外发行等.其在中国的代表性影视作品包括著名电影"刮痧"和动作影片"猛龙".

        Note: For confidentiality reasons,I can't disclose the treatment of the movie which Mr Byers has kindly sent me for suggestions a few days before.So it might be a little difficult for you guys to ...
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  • Good news for those of you who are looking to sharpen your language skills.

    I'm now officially offering english tutoring services,effective today.

    If you are a student(Though I seriously doubt it since I haven't yet counted any student among my blog readers),I can offer courses that will not only foster your examination-taking skills,but also enhance your over...
  •   When companies run into deep trouble,they all too often look as far as their workforce.In their eyes,The people,the employees are a major dead-weight on corporate bottom line,whose payroll amounts to a factor that keeps offsetting operating profits.So when financial crunches hit,they invariably fall back on the same "silver bullet"- Massive job cuts.

      And in some he...
  • On March 16, 2007, the National People's Congress of the PRC adopted the New Property Law (wuquan fa
  •  A movie review of sorts:

  • 2007-04-02

    Smart Walmart

      I wrote the following article(essay) modeled after the ones written by James Surowiecki in New yorker's Financial Page column,in style I mean.Trying to "dumb down" and "spice up" high and boring material and tranform it into readable and thought-provoking piece with the finest possible clarity.I've been enjoying reading Surowiecki's ...
  • I never thought this witty quote was from President Lincoln.I assumed it was a fairly modern one that gets bandied about.

    "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."
  • 2007-03-22

    Paid to play Boss!

      Yesterday this guy sent me a text message out of the blue,inquiring about the going rate of the english-chat/tutoring services I offer.I think it's the ads I posted on some local community sites that directed him.

      Anyway this guy was very eager to enhance his oral english capability,which is not uncommon,since there're more and more young people who learn the im...
  • China has become one of the latest outsourcing hotbeds for biotech industry in the states,according to this dialogue conducted by a panel of industry insiders.

    Cost is a big issue that looms large in all of the business considerations about outsourcing to China.One discussion participant,an attorney with...
  • 2007-02-21

    Big Life Surfing

    Today I met this guy called Jake from Hawaii on skype.And we had a nice chat.He is professional surfer.I mean PROFESSIONAL.In other words,he just surfed for a living.

    It's the first time I met and talked to a real surfer,online or off.So I as...
  • According to South China Morning Post's Special New Year Insert(http://totallyhk.scmp.com/thkarts/cny2007/index.html#),  my fortune for the coming new year(Chinese lunar new ...


  • Sun Nien...
  • Never buy into those fashion messages propagated by the Chinese Fashion companies.Especially those touted as having solid working ties with a foreign(ideally US) fashion firm.Their corporate intro never fail to mention they get the latest fashion trend,"Dripping with freshness and In-ness"  all the way from the forefront of world fashion Mecca(The likes of New York and London).They play up their images as the exclusive Chinese interface with and gateway to the world's high fashion,spoilt for fashion info and tip-offs,all apparently thanks to their good working relationship with that certain foreign firm with presumed proximity to the world's fashion centers.

    No,the problem is not at the source,not always,but rather,on the receiving end.

    The fashion stuff they acquire from abroad is genuine,and sometimes very valid.It's just that THEY JUST DON'T GET IT.Why?Because of the translation.Or more precisely,what gets lost in Translation.The translators they hire are all just unable to discern and tackle the nuance you always see in fashion info.They just chose to convey the simple message and content themselves with that,which is apparently easier to do.For instance,the edge as in "an edge of feminine style" almost always gets dropped out in Chinese translation.The "edge",as intended by the info packager,means "a dash of"(一丝), a not-so-dominant,yet not-so-subtle-either demonstration of some elements(my translation,though a bit ponderous,nonetheless hits the mark:几丝女性风格的锋利介入).You can't expect to observe the nuance and subtlety of this in the Chinese version.No,not simplicity.But awful,gross,deliberate,irresponsible and downright unprofessional betrayal of FACTS.The only reason it never raised an alarm yet is that in fashion,what's the worst that could happen?The worst-case scenario is that the designers failed to get the true fashion message or idea and come up with half-baked themes and schemes.Customers would be worse-served,but never to the point of rebellion.For they are hardly any better-informed.

      A fashion layman,I hardly know anything on the professional side.But I do know this for a fact: In China The fashion as introduced from abroad is so corrupted and unreliable it is not worth the while to assimilate any and act on. Until it begins to get serious about,yes,translation.

    Again,I speak from first-hand experience and you may quote me on this...

  • I watched Jia Zhang-ke's STILL LIFE the other day and I was greatly intrigued and tiny bit moved.

    And I'm still puzzled by the title he chose to give his movie.Still life.In art realm,it's an art form.According to Answers.com,it means " Representation of inanimate objects, such as flowers or fruit, in painting or photography".Something we call JIN WU in Chinese.But as is always the case with english,or any other language for that matter(except for French perhaps,which is the self-proclaimed most beautiful language in the world),there're easily multiple meanings for pretty much every phrase.Still life could also mean a quiet life,a tranquil life,an uneventful life and the like.Or it could be just some words taken directly from a sentence like "well,it's still life",which goes to show those unsavory aspects of life you'd have to lump and the paramount need to move on.

    Whatever you choose to interpret the movie title would guide you in a specific angle to interpret this movie and the subject matter it aims to tackle.

    In my opinion,Jia chose the title STILL LIFE with all the above contemplations in mind.

    Two pairs of lovers.one set to get together,the other about to break up.And they all chose to put on this special act of their lives in an ancient city soon to be submerged beneath the Yangtze River.Fengjie,a city with thousands of years of history,will give way to the grand Three Gorges Project of China which is well underway.Thousands upon thousands of people are displaced,dispersed and relocated to far-flung areas of China.Old city blocks are demolished,obliterated forever from the memories of people,history and map.So the fact that those two pairs of lovers(or ex) chose to meet in this town takes on a symbol significance stronger than randomness of life.Something have to go,something will never leave.The same is true of love and life.

    Jia's choosing Still Life as the movie title also points out the artistic stance he takes toward his subject matter(in this case,the mundane lives of ordinary people) and even filmmaking as a whole.He filmed their lives as if he was doing a still-life drawing.From afar,not interrupting,keenly observant,meticulous in capturing details,trying to dig out significance,however subtle,to delight and engage the audience.I recalled telling my sis when I was about halfway through the movie,"Jia's movie watches more like a documentary,not a feature film."And the feeling is genuine,and well,perhaps valid as well.

    And Jia is right in choosing to tackle it this way,this Still-life-drawing way.For a movie like STILL LIFE ,there's little need for you to contrive,to plot and to embellish as a director.All you need to do is to hint,to allude,to point and to inspire.You serve as the director quite literally.You just give people the direction,people go explore on their own,and they reach the artistic destination you intend them to reach on their own appreciative capabilities and merits.

    And it's a marvelous thing the subject matter of the movie happens to relate to the still life,the ordinarily,typically quiet life every ordinary people seems to be leading.And it also entails the consequences of people's life decisions,good or bad,bleak or promising.Either way,when the dust settles,it's Still life,isn't it?

    Good movie and good title,indeed.

     

  • Shenzhen is renowned for its dazzling prosperity and the seemingly easy way of achieving it.And shenzhen's hospitals,public and private,reflect this all too well.

    They grossly,outrageously overcharge their patients.Sometimes so much as to sound ludicrous.Like some downtown hospital charged one patient daily service fee the equivalent of 25 hours' rate.As if there's one more hour that specific day.Shenzhen doctors certainly are well-rounded.They set out to challenge the accepted wisdom of astronomical timing measurement.

    It's a good thing shenzhen is also an incubator town for democratic thinking.Which is presumed to be just related to the prosperity it accumulated and the talent pool its big fortune never fails to draw.(Please read my previous post entitled "times on shenzhen" for details).

    So people complained violently and fought back.The Central gorvernment paid attention.Some unfortunate hospitals got singled out and made an example of.

    Things went back to normal? If only!

    Life experience:My sister is pregnant and she went to see an Ostetrician at a local hospital.The way they charged still give us a start.This all after the overcharging scandal got exposed and tackled by central government,or so it seems...

    People tend to call lawyers greedy.Doctors,it seems,are no better.Here in Shenzhen some doctors even go so far as to exaggerate the gravity of your medical problems and intimidate you into opting for inpatient treatment,which invariably costs way more.And if you smartly demur and ask for prescription drugs instead,he will manage to prescribe the most expensive medicines(not necessarily the most efficacious) so as to maximize the hospital's profit margin.They cast their code of ethics faster than their contaminated gloves after operation.Faced with medical conscience and material temptation,they all too often go after the latter,alarmingly without guilt and remorse whatsoever.

    And that's the problem.In ancient Chinese wisdom we have an old saying: One begins to know manners and morality as soon as he gets his barn full.

    Shenzhen's got an overflowing barn,but the manners and morality?Only in rapid decline.Isolated case?Or a trend yet to be witnessed the country over,with Shenzhen being the precursor,as it always is?

     

  • 2007-01-01

    Happy 2007!

    Happy New Year,guys out there!

    May we all have a most pleasant,prosperous and protected new year!

    Let good luck,hearty laughes and complete peace of mind be always

    with us!

    Best wishes to you and yours,everyone!!!

                                                                             From Dane Cao

  • The values of things are quirky.There's no hard and fast rule as to what constitute a truly valuable thing or what condemns one into permanent oblivion.

     It is all in a flux.And what at one time may be a worthless thing could one day turn into a highly-sought-after item,all depending on the angle from which people suddenly choose to look at that certain thing.

    Like those rubber ducks from China.

    You may have heard about those legendary ducks.Since the container they were carried in tipped over into the Pacific Ocean back in 1992,they've been drifting on the sea for over 14 years.They commenced their cross-oceanic voyage upon the breaking of the containter.Up to now,Some of them have traveled to as far as the coast of America and Eruope.They are basically doing a global circuit,without pilot and guidance whatsover.They just floated,breaked the tide,and forged on.No wave could ever possibly sink them,since they are,well,just rubber ducks.Gravity and tremendous tides are rendered powerless in this case.When they crossed the icy Bering strait,got frozen on ice and floated en masse with the moving glacier,they stuck together and simply won't let go.When the ice mass reached The Atlantic and thawed,they freed themselves and continued their brave voyage.It looked as if their desire to see the world knows no bounds,and no dangers.Decades of 'Swimming' in water have bleached most of them,rendering them bone white(they are originally bright yellow),and some experts argue,they may even already be too brittle to sustain even a tiny squeeze.

    In other words,these ducks are hardly presentable in terms of appearance,but when it comes to symbol significance they come to take on,they are truly invaluable toys.

    People tend to emphasize the symbolic part of items when they choose collectibles.Artificial beauties,however magnificent,are generally easy to achieve.The items that have tremendous significance yet wrought by forces beyond human control and manipulation are among the most ideal. Just Like those globe-trotting rubber ducks. The ever-higher bidding prices for those duckie warriors on Ebay reflects this all too well.

    And it's a good thing that they are originally from China.Their surviving tens of thousands of storms at sea seems to speak volumes about their good quality,which translates to good news for China as the global manufacturing hub.