小北的不老歌

Monthly Archive: September 2009

美国地理

很好奇小南在幼儿园都学了些什么,知道有地理课,于是问她:

“美国一共有多少个州啊?”

“五十个。”

不错,再问:“最大的是哪个?”

“……”

“想想,美国有很大的一个州,在其它州的北面——”

“加拿大。”

In-Flight Reading

Have been doing a bit work-related traveling lately and picked up the book “Guns, Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond during one of the long waits at the airport. The UCLA professor attempts to explain in this book the reason why different peoples (i.e., different races) followed different developmental paths over the course of tens of thousands of years. His conclusion is that it had to do with the biogeography of the continents, and the unstated implication was that any biological differences (i.e. difference in intelligence, if any at all) among the several human races were not the root cause of the divergent developmental paths these races took.

It’s one of the “big-name” books I’ve been wanting to read for a while but never got around to. Now that I’ve finally read it, I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand it’s well written and carefully argued and a pleasure to read, but on the other hand it has this flavor of being so “politically correct” when it comes to racial differences that the arguments seem not entirely convincing.

In any event it’s some fun in-flight reading material, much more interesting that the “herewith,” “hereinafter,” and “including without limitation” I’ve had to read otherwise.

Decision, decision

I’ve been following the micro-four thirds system for a while, and thought the new Olympus EP1 was as close to the ideal walk-around camera as one could get.


The compact, large sensor, good looking Olympus EP1


Until the Panasonic Lumix GF-1 came out last week. Looks very nice (though in a different way from the Olympus) and I’ve always been happy with my Lumix LX-2.

A very difficult choice between these two models. However, it wasn’t a hard choice at all for me to decide to ditch the APS-format SLR. Micro 4/3 represents the best balance among size, weight, image quality and extensibility currently available on the market. I think the micro-four thirds format is a much better fit than the traditional full-frame and APS formats for most amateur photographers, especially for those who do not have an expensive collection of legacy lenses and other accessories for the 35mm/APS-sized systems.

小南的新偶像

小南的偶像最近变成了一个叫Seiji Ozawa的指挥家。自从她偶然在youtube上看见他的短片以后,每天一定要缠着把这些短片再放一遍,迷恋得很。尤其是他指挥某个乐队(好像是柏林爱乐乐团)演奏的1812序曲和胡桃夹子,小南每次听到这两个曲子更是激动不已,一定是心无旁骛地从头听到尾。

搜了一下,才知道原来这个人就叫作小泽征尔。