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Showing posts from 2011

a means of

Means, plural, but usually treated as single. Notably, article a/the is used in front of 'means': These pledges are a means to avoid prosecution. The pigtail was imposed by the victorious Manchu-Tartars when they finally established their dynasty in 1644, not so much as a badge of conquest, still less of servitude, but as a means of obliterating , so far as possible, the most patent distinction between the two races, and of unifying the appearance, if not the aspirations, of the subjects of the Son of Heaven. <Phrases> By all means: of course, certainly (granting a permission). May I make a suggestion? By all means. By any means: in any way, at all (following a negative). I am not poor by any means. By no means: not at all; certainly not. The outcome is by no means guaranteed.

Longest Customer Service Email Address

This Customer Service Email of the Bank of China, is specially for such issues as Chinese RMB currency in circulation and anti-counterfeit reporting and complaints. oxB3F6C4C9D3EBCFD6BDF0B9DCC0EDz The username part before @ is in hexadecimal, and has two markups signs, ox means this email username is in the form of hexadecimal, and z means Chinese Pinyin, which is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet. That means, the part before z is representing for some Chinese characters, after z is for some Chinese pinyin. B3F6C4C9D3EBCFD6BDF0B9DCC0ED mean "cashier and cash management," FJPJKFB means anti-counterfeit Customer Service Department, CNYXJGL represents  "the cashier and cash management" in Chinese Pinyin.

Was an Earth year shorter in Adam's time?

According the Biblical record, Adam lived 930 years and he died, Abramham died at the age of 175. In Chinese myths, or semi-history, the first of the Three Sovereigns Fuxi lived for 197 years altogether, while Peng Zu supposedly lived 800 years. Longest-lived vertebrate on earth is tortoise or kind of fish called Koi. Tortoises are known to have lived more than 150 years. A longest-lived Koi named Hanako whose death on July 17, 1977 ended a 226 year life span. A maximum life expectancy of human being is about 120 years according with current data. There are skepticism towards the long life span, scientific evidence in biochemistry of aging and theological explanation that God intervened to shorten man's life from 900 to 120. But none of these hypothesis can actually solve the problem of  this dramatic change in human life spans. There could be another hypothesis added to current ones, that is, the YEAR in Adam's time might be shorter due to the evolution of the univer

Bonzee and Bonzary

Bonzee was a name referring to Chinese Buddhist used by Jesuit missionaries in 18th Century.  And so a Bonzary was a Buddhist convents or temple of Bonzee. A Chinese Bonzee often seen begging alms in the street with their bowls, a wooden bell which he would beat now and then to announce his approaching or attraction attention of the donor. A begging Bonzee normally kept silent and very solemn. Buddha was said to go out begging only in the morning and never beg and eat after noon. A Bonzee beggin Jesuits believed that it was necessary to become all things to all men, in order to gain over men to Christ,[1] so they in India became a Braman; in Siam a Talapoin; in China either a Bonzee, or a Confucian and philosopher; in Africa they appeared as Marabou. [2] Some times they appeared before Chinese as a Bonzee or a Confucianist. ---- [1]A Description Of The Solemnities Observed At Pe-king, When The Emperor's Mother Entered On The Sixtieth Year Of Her Age. Miscellaneous

Long s and ligature ct

Many 18th century books or newspapers have curious long s, and ligatures. Long s is used where s occurred in the middle or at the beginning of a word, except that in the combination sf  a short s is used instead. long-s Long s is derived from Roman cursive medial s, so it is also called medial s. The long s has a f-like nub at its middle, but on the left side only, thus many OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology misread the long-s as an "f". There was no nub in its italic typeform, which gave the stroke a descender curling to the left, thus it is also called descending s. Long-s Italic typeform The character c in quaint ligature ct looks like Greek letter epsilon, or a French cedila on head of c. ct ligature

Average and spread

If you have a set of data, say exam marks or heights, and are told to find the ‘average’. So what’s an average? An average indicates the typical value of a set of data, and it could be done in three different ways, which are  are mean, median and mode. (a)The median The median is the middle number. The data is arranged in order from the smallest to the largest; the middle number is then selected. This is really the central number of the range and is called the median. If there are two ‘middle’ numbers, the median is in the middle of these two numbers. (b)The mean The mean is the most common measure of average. All the data is added up and the total divided by the number of items. This is called the mean and is equivalent to sharing out all the data evenly. (c)The mode The number of items which occurs most frequently in a frequency table is selected. This is the most popular value and is called the mode (from the French ‘à la mode’ meaning ‘fashionable’). Each ‘av

Did God lie?

 Many people asked the question that if God lied to Adam and Eve, and the answer is no. God said, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." This description gives us an impression that the fruits from the tree of life are poisonous, and Adam and Eve might have died at the day when they ate it. But what if Adam and  Eve were created to live forever, i.e. the were immortal? Because they ate the forbidden fruit, they did die when they became old . So God told the truth. Then the next question: Did the serpent lie? The answer is also no. "You will not surely die,"he then serpent said to the woman. "For god knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." We may conclude from the consequence, the second part of the serpent's words were certainly true, but how about the f

Isometric drawing

When we draw a solid on paper we are making a 2-D representation of a 3-D object. Here are two pictures of the same cuboid, measuring 4x3x2 units. cuboid on ordinary squared paper and on isometric paper The isometric paper has a grid of equilateral triangles instead of square, this isometric view can be obtained by choosing viewing direction in such a way that the angles between the projection of x, y, and z axes are all the same, or 120. The dimensions of the cuboid cannot be taken from the first picture but they can be taken from the picture drawn on isometric paper. Instead of isometric paper you can also use 'triangular dotty' paper. triangular dotty paper Be careful to use it the right way round.

Shape and Space

Transforming shapes Reflection : With reflection the object and its image are congruent because they are the same size and shape. Rotation : You need three things to describe a rotation: (a) the centre (b) the angle (c) the direction (e.g. clockwise). Enlargement : The scale factor of an enlargement can be found by dividing corresponding lengths on two pictures. Reduction : Even though a shape has undergone a reduction, mathematicians prefer to call it an enlargement with a fractional scale factor. Translation : A translation is simply a 'shift'. There is no turning or reflection and the object stays the same size. Translations are described by vector. In a vector the top number gives the number of units across (positive to the right) and the bottom number gives the number of units up/down (positive upwards). Translation with a vector Tessellations : A tessellation is formed when a shape (or shapes) fit together without gaps to cover a surface, like jigsaw puzz

Bidmas, Bedmas, Bodmas, Pedmas And Christmas

This BBC GCSE Bitesize post says, BODMAS stands for 'brackets', 'other', 'division', 'multiplication', 'addition' and 'subtraction'. It's the order in which we carry out a calculation. But another article says, the order of operations in Maths called BIDMAS. BIDMAS stands for Brackets, Indices, Division and Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction. The difference is that the second substitute 'o' with 'i', and we can understand that teacher normally chooses easy way to explain whose pupils can understand, exponent or power or indices are out of reach of foundation students, so teachers uses 'other' instead. And in this article , 'o' actually stands for 'order', as far as my memory can go, my English teacher never teach me 'order' actually means 'Powers and Square Roots, etc.' In United States, the mnemonic fo Order of Operation is PEMDAS, because brackets are called pa

Frost won't start on Ubuntu

This problem identified in the support mailing list has not been solved for Ubuntu users,  this happens at "Initializing Mainframe" with about 20% of the progress bar and then stops progressing. If you check the log file, you find something wrong with the Java Internationalization (i18n) resources file, the error message says "SEVERE: Resource not found in jar file: /i18n/". The most likely solution is to install Sun Java suggested by Volodya , because Ubuntu uses GNU Java instead of Sun Java. Click Open Ubuntu Software center, search for Sun Java, then install JRE, probably you need to install add-ons too, click more information, and check all add-ons if you don't know which one to choose. After this, I get Frost up and running, but there are still some problems, I can't add active board list by importing XML file. It show successfully imported but the boards won't appear in the left pane. It seems that Frost is not so popu

A mid-summer night dinner under the Mulberry tree

It's the mid-summer night, the sun was setting down at the Brush-holder Mountain in the west, the Sheng's set out dinner table under the mulberry tree in the garden, and the plum tree. They have boiled patatoes and rice porridge for dinner tonight. The mid-summer breeze is blowing through the pine woods in front of the village, and  cicadas are singing everywhere, it's very pleasant night indeed! As they are eating, the darkness of the night closes in, and fireflies start to flashing around, the adults begin to slap their bare shoulders and legs, cursing the flies, and the children conplaining itching. Then Mr Sheng goes to fetch some special grass and lighted up to repel mosquitoes, the smoke starts to waving in the wind with a pleasant smell. The younger brother Xian the first who finished his dinner, and started running around to catch the fireflies, several minutes later he caught dozens and put in a straw, swishing like superman's laser sword.  Watching amu


A weathervane has four steady arms. Each arm bears a letter telling in which direction in points, E, S, W, or N. Above the four arms is an arrow that turn about with the wind. When the west wind blows it turns the arrow round so that its point points to the west. When an east wind blows round goes to the east. The "point" of the arrow always points to whatever wind is blowing. If you look at the arms you can tell in what direction the arrow points. If it points somewhere between the north arm and the west arm, a north-west wind is blowing. Sometimes a weathervane has a cock on it instead of an arrow. It is then called a weathercock. The beak of the cock always points to the wind that is blowing, and we can tell the name of the wind by looking at the arms. If the beak points in the same direction as the N-arm, a north wind is blowing.

Solicitors and Barristers

Both solicitors and barristers are lawyers, but their tasks are somewhat different. In the main the barrister is the advocate who "plead" before the judge and jury, and his branch of the profession is usually regarded as the higher one. The solicitor is concerned with advising clients, and he "briefs" the barrister, that is gives him all the facts about the case so that the barrister can present it properly before the judge. A barrister too, is usually specially learned in one particular branch of the law and his views may be sought by solicitor on some knotty point. In this case the solicitor will say that he has "Counsel's Opinion" and some barristers are largely occupied in this kind of works, particularly when they have specialised in some highly technical for complicated side of the law, as, for instance, Patent Law. The solicitor is more concerned with the preparation of legal deeds such as partnership agreements, transferred of property, lease

The weirdest job in the world

You can find many articles on the internet, which list top 10, top 20, or top 50 weirdest job in the world. But they seem all miss one oddest job, that's Steward of Chiltern Hundreds, an office of the crown in United Kingdom! A hundred is a traditional division of an English county, and the three hundreds of Stoke, Desborough, and Burnham are in Buckinghamshire. These three hundreds are situated in the hilly, wooded Chiltern Hills, which were once notorious as a hiding place for robbers. The hundreds have been Crown property since at least the 13th century and a Crown Steward and a Bailiff was appointed to maintain law and order in the area. In UK, an MP cannot resign, but under certain conditions he may be compelled to retire. He cannot for instance, hold an office of profit under the Crown and remain an MP. So it come about that when a member wishes to resign for health or other personal reasons he applies for the post of Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds. There are no dutie

Sans Foy, Sans Joy and Sans Loy

Sans: without The origin of sans was Old French sanz, from a variant of Latin sine 'without', influenced by Latin absentia 'in the absence of'. Sans Serif, a typeface without short line at the top or bottom of a letter. In the long poem 'The Faerie Queene' by Edmund Spenser, three dark knights  called Sans Foy, Sans Joy and Sans Loy, meaning "Faithless", "Joyless" and "Lawless",  they fought Red Cross Knight Sir George, they are brothers. sans-culotte, literally 'without knee breeches', was a lower-class Parisian republican in the French Revolution. an extreme republican or revolutionary.

Cold light

How do glow worms produce light? An New York time article, Scientists, Seeking Cold Light, Find Some Persons Faintly Luminous Phosphorous and cold light

Glorify your family name

"Glorify thy name" is the purpose of Christians.  To glorify the family name and ancestor was historically the purpose of Chinese Literati. We often find a family name become a household word through great achievement by the of one family member. Macadam road. Loudon Macadam was a great surveyor and engineer of modern road constructor. Macadam's name is still used whenever we speak of a macadam road. His principle was to cover the roadway with evenly-spread layers of hard stone broken small, which the weight of the traffic would jam together till they gave a hard, smooth surface. Newtown's Law of Gravity. Sir Isaac Newton found evoled gravitational theory by observing a falling apple. The unit of measurement of force is the newton (symbol N), which is the force required to accelerate a one kilogram mass at a rate of one meter per second squared. Halley's Comet. It was Halley who told us about the comet which bears his name. The Italian professor, Count A

Eco-friendly energy sources

With oil prices on the rise, and the worries of greenhouse effect, finding alternative and eco-friendly energy become an urgent issue. Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships. Hydro power, hydraulic power or water power is power that is derived from the force or energy of moving water. Tidal power, also called tidal energy, is a form of hydropower that converts the energy of tides into useful forms of power - mainly electricity. Geothermal energy originates from the heat retained within the Earth since the original formation of the planet, from radioactive decay of minerals, and from solar energy absorbed at the surface. Engineers have started drilling a hole 2,000 meters below Newcastle and discover a natural source of hot water - with a temperature of about 80C - below the surface of the city. S

Tornadoes, Typoons and Waterspouts

The Great Circular Storms occur in sub-tropical belt. They may be as much as 1,200 miles in diameter and in the storm ring the wind blows at 100 miles per hour. The rainfall is enormous and thunder and lightning add to the terror. In the centre is an area of dead calm in which the sun shines brightly. The Typhoon of the China seas is similar in character. Then there is a small but even more terrible type of circular storm, the Tornado or whirl-wind, sometimes no more than a hundred yards in diameter. It shows as a funnel-shaped cloud, purple-black in colour, with edges white as snow, and it leaps and dances across the country like a mad giant. Nothing can stand against its force. A Waterspout is really a tornado at sea. It is a violent whirlpool which produces a dark, funnel-shaped cloud tapering down-wards towards the sea so that it resembles a spout or trunk joining the sea to the cloud.

A Costly Joke of Richard Wilson

Richard Wilson was a landscape painter, and known as ''the Father of British Landscape". Though he achieved great fame, he died in poverty, just because of a costly joke. In 1776 he sent to the Academy a picture of "Sion House from Kew Garden", which attracted the notice of king George III., and which he thought of buying. The King told Lord Bute thought the price too high, whereupon Wilson smilingly said: "Tell His Majesty he may pay for it by instalments." Lord Bute took the laughing remark seriously and was profoundly shocked. Poor Wilson lost the little favour that the Court ever showed to artists, and for the last years of his life his income was no more than £50 a year.

Lies and Excuses

Pinocchio, the wooden puppet, often led into trouble by his propensity to lie. His nose grew with every lie. Kant believes that his moral theory prohibits lying under all possible circumstances, even those where there is a murderer at the door wondering if the innocent victim is in your house. But Confucius codemns a son who testified against his father for appropriating a sheep. He said: ' The father conceals the wrongs of his son, and the son conceals the wrongs of his father. ' A person have to lie to conceals a wrongs, and Confucius believes this is justice. Confucius lied himself, too. Once, one of his disciples Ju Pei wished to see Confucius, who excused himself on the ground of sickness, but when his messenger had gone out at the door, he took up his harpsichord and began to sing, so that Ju Pei might hear it. A mother makes excuse for her daughter not to the party on the ground of chickenpox.


Look before you leap; Too many cooks spoil the broth; Two's company, three's none; Birds of a feather flock together; A stitch in time saves nine; All that glisters is not gold; Strike while the iron's hot; Enough is as good as a feast;

Phenomenalist of Han epoch

Phenomenalist was a class of scholars, often mentioned in the Lun-hêng by Wang Ch'ung, who seem to have themselves to the study of natural phenomena and calamities, such as heat cold, inundations, droughts, famines, etc. to which, however, they did not ascribe natural, but moral causes, misled by the pseudo-science of the liking and similar works. Phenomenalist believes that natural phenomena or calamities was not the result of government or conduct, especially of the sovereign. When the sovereign is pleased, it is warm, and, when he is angry, it is cold. Heaven punishes a sovereign's wrongdoing by earthquake, inundations, droughts, and famines, etc. People could influence weather conditions, When Tsou Yen (邹衍), a scholar of the 4th cent, b.c, had been put into prison upon a trumped up charge, he looked up to heaven and wept. All of a sudden snow began to fall, although it was midsummer. Phenomenalism has influence on Chinese for many centuries. A famous tragedy, "

Chinese gamut

In music, gamut means a complete scale of musical notes. Ancient Chinese gamut has only five notes, namely: gong, shang jue zhi yu (宮商角徵羽), thus it's also called the Chinese pentatonic scale.

the circle of life

When I was watching the documentary 'the making of Elton John', I realised there are two versions of 'the circle of life', and he singed the one which so different with the theme song of the 'the lion king'. -- Some say eat or be eaten Some say live and let live But all are agreed as they join the stampede You should never take more than you give But in the Lion King, you only find two words "despair" and "hope". The ancient Chinese philosopher Wang Ch'ung taught us in his book Lun Hêng about the five elements of the nature, metal, wood, water, fire, and earth, saying: If the metal does not hurt the wood, the wood cannot be used, and if the fire does not melt the metal, the metal cannot be made into a tool. Thus the injury done by one thing to the other turns out to be a benefit after all. Is the cruelty is the origin of universe, hope derives from despair?

How was the burial place of St Patrick chosen?

When St Patrick died many communities contended for the glory of having his burial in their grounds. Tradition says that, leaving it to Providence to resolve their claims, the bier was laid on a wagon to which four white oxen were yoked: from the church that was his first foundation, the oxen with their burthen were turned and were permitted to fare on without human direction. On a slope above the river of Quoile they stayed and there, in Dwonpatrick, the body of Patrick was laid in earth. A community grew up around the burial place, and the round tower that still stands was raised. The treasury of Irish Folklore, edited by padraic Colum, P.123

Double negative makes an affirmative

Schools tell how "good English" ought to be spoken, but rarely take the trouble to describe how the English language is spoken. For example, we are all told that double negative makes an affirmative, although nowhere is there any record of an officer of law holding a man on a charge of murder on the grounds that since the prisoner had said, "I ain't killed nobody," his words were actually a confession that he had killed somebody. -- Language in thought and action, by S. I. Hayakawa

Gordian Knot Cutters

There are people who insist upon an "outright yes or no." They are the Gordian Knot cutters; they may undo the knot, but they ruin the rope. -- Language in thought and action, by S. I. Hayakawa

Marginal businessman

The marginal businessman is one who does not belong in the established profitable business of a community. He may be a fairly recent immigrant or a member of a minority group, because members of the majority don't have to go into marginal business; they can usually find employment in established enterprises. Starting as a rule with little capital or none, marginal businessmen go into neighbourhoods that are too unpromising or into enterprises that have too uncertain a future for larger, established companies to be bothered with. Small restaurants, such as Chinese, Indian takeaways, Indian-Pakistan convenient shop, shoe-repairing shops, second-hand and junk businesses of all kinds. Success in marginal business requires one or more of the following: (1) finding an undeveloped market that established businesses have ignored or overlooked; (2) having a foresight (luck) to get into a type of business that is not profitable now, but eventually will be; (3) being sufficiently aggressi
Shun, the legendary King of Ancient China,  has eye-brows with eight colors, and Yü eyes with double pupils. Double pupil was known as a "witch's eye" by the Western people.

Children's dictionary

Two definitions for a children's dictionary: Punishment is when you have been bad and they put you in a closet and don't let you have any supper. Newspapers are what the paper boy brings and you wrap up the garbage with it. --- from Language in thought and action, by S. I. Hayakawa


THE most used IQ tests do not provide just a single figure as a measure of ability but have at least two (and usually more) scores. For instance, the IQ test most commonly used by psychologists is the WISC (Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children). This has two main IQ figures, currently called index score: a verbal comprehension index (or verbal IQ) and a perceptual reasoning index (or nonverbal IQ). The verbal index or IQ is a measure of spoken language ability; the score shows how the child performed on tests of vocabulary and verbal reasoning. The nonverbal index or IQ is a measure of visual-spatial ability; here the score shows how the child performed on puzzle- and pattern-based tests. The two IQ scores may be combined to give an overal indication of ability, called general or full scale IQ.

Multisensory teaching

Multisensory teaching, which encourages the child to use sight, hearing and movement from writing, reinforces all the sensory pathways to learning. There are many good structured phonic-based schemes that use a multisensory approach - for example Jolly Phonics, Phonographix, Toe by Toe.

Itchy and Scratchy

Itchy and Scratchy clobbered each other with mallets.
"No! That seat is for Fifi!" the French woman repeated, so the GI leaned over, opened the window, threw the dog out the wondow and sat down. The French woman was too mortified to speak. She just gasped.

Peach or grass

It's quite interesting of two words, grass and peach, their origin and different usages: Peach Chang Kuo-an and of his confederates (also military officers) for conspiring to defraud by means of forged seals, and states the penalty the law indicates. They stole blank paper used for writing orders from superior to inferior official on, and two official envelopes, and set to work again. When everything was ready, one of the number lost heart and '' peached ." (Peking Gazzete Nov. 1873) Peach: verb [ intrans. ] ( peach on) informal inform on: the other members of the gang would not hesitate to peach on him if it would serve their purpose. ORIGIN late Middle English : shortening of archaic appeach, from Old French empechier ‘impede’. Grass 1 [Noun] Brit., informal a police informer. [ORIGIN: perhaps related to the 19th-cent. rhyming slang grasshopper [copper: a police officer.] ] 2 [ intrans. ] Brit., informal inform the police of criminal activity or pla
Too much knowledge is a dangerous thing. ---- Cathy Macphail, Grass You don't grass on your friends...

Bound Morpheme

In english, all roots are free morphemes except the 2nd feature of the following: certain retain detain receive conceive deceive confer refer defer The second elements of these words, what comes after the prefix, are not free morphemes. "Tain", "ceive", "fer" are not meaningful words by themselves, so aren't "free" morphemes. So, though they are the roots of the words given, they aren't free resembling most roots. So, even though MOST roots are free morphemes, some of them aren't. Some roots aren't words on their own. On a practical rank, if this is preparation for an exam, it may be a good concept to memorize the list of words above as they may be asked of you. If rote memorization is an issue for you, try a trick: I am CERTAIN they will RETAIN the DETAINee. I will RECEIVE the opinion you CONCEIVE, just don't DECEIVE me. I did CONFER near my lawyer who have me REFER to DEFERral.

Coat-of-arms of Glasgow City

The shield was decorated with the bird, the tree, the fish and the bell. Two fishes with a ring in its mouth are standing at both sides as supporters. On the crest is Glasgow's patron saint Mungo or Kentigern. An old rhyme depicted this mysterious emblems: This is the bird that never flew This is the tree that never grew this is the fish that never swam This is the bell that never rang The bird commemorates St Serf's tame robin, accidentally killed by some of his young disciples who, being envious of Mungo, their master's favourite, hoped to get him into trouble by blaming him. Mungo took the dead bird in his hands and prayed over it. Restored to life it flew chirping to its master. The tree, an oak, began its life legendary life as a few hazel twigs. As a boy in the monastery Mungo fell asleep while left in charge of the holy fire in the refectory. Again, trying to get Mungo into trouble, his companions put out the fire. However, when Mungo awoke and saw what had


O Lord, help me never to judge another until I have walked a week in his moccasins. -- This is Sioux Indian Prayer, moccasins are slippers made of deerskin or other soft leather. O thou Great Chief, light a candle in my heart that I may see what is therein and sweep the rubbish from thy dwelling-place. -- African Child's Prayer, You may notice that they call God 'Great Chief', who is their tribe leader.

God with us

A story tells that God appeared like a man and knocked at the house of a family. They took him in, but were busy people, so they showed him into the front parlour, which they never used, and they just visited him on Sundays when they had on their best clothes.

Sip at this and nibble at that

Some people may just sip at this and nibble at that and keep changing their minds and never really do anything much at all. If you feel this might be applying to you, you could consider working along a particular line for a time, concentrating all your energies on one main subject. You may feel there is one thing about which you'd like to learn more, or which you'd like to try again. You may feel you have really become quite skilled or knowledgeable in a particular subject. Or you may already have an interest or hobby and feel that progressing in that is part of your progress in one of your fields.

Be Prepared

The Wild Boar was whetting his tusks against a tree. The Fox asked why, 'there is no hunter, nor hound, nor danger in sight.' The Wild Boar answered, 'When danger does arrive, I shall have something else to do than sharpen my weapons.' (An Æsop Tale) An ambitious young man asked a rich merchant for the secret of his success. 'There's no easy secret. You must jump at your opportunity.' 'But how can I tell when my opportunity comes?'asked the young man. 'You can't,' agreed the merchant, 'you've just got to keep on jumping.'

Superman Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was not merely a great artist, but also a great genius, a sort of superman of a type that appears in the world's history only at very long intervals. He was splendidly handsome; he had such immense strength that with his bare hands he could straighten out a heavy horse hoe. He was brave to a fault, and brilliant talker. If he had not shone so greatly as a painter he would have gained worldwide fame as a sculptor; if he had never touched brush or chisel he would still have been celebrated for his inventions. In science and invention he was centuries ahead of his time. He was a clever chemist and the author of the first standard book on Anatomy. But Leonardo had no relationships with women, never married, had no children, so many believe that he was gay!

The Martyrdom of St. Ursula

St. Ursula was the daughter of a King of Brittany, whose story is that she was persecuted by a pagan prince who wanted to marry her and was told that in order to escape she must go on a pilgrimage to rome with 11,000 virgins. Where she collected this army of young women and they all sailed up the rhine to Basle and then made their way to Rome. Unfortunately, on their way back they fell into the hands of Huns at Cologne and were all massacred.

Boil the kettle and unpack the trunk

An elephant and a kangaroo got on very well and would like to go off for a picnic, but they didn't know anything about the picnics, and had not the faintest idea of what to do to get ready, so the elephant asked a child what normally he did on a picnics. The child said, they collect wood and make a fire to boil the kettle for tea. The elephant and the Kangaroo went off to the picnic-place. The kangaroo collected the wood and carried twigs and sticks back in her pouch; the elephant pushed down trees with his forehead and staggered back to the picnic-place with them rolled up in his trunk. They lit a bonfire made of whole trees. The elephant said,"Now, let's boil the kettle!" He produced a brightly shining copper kettle and very large black iron saucepan, filled the saucepan with water, and popped the kettle in the saucepan of water, and put the saucepan on the fire; for he thought that you boil a kettle in the same way you boil an egg, or boil a cabbage! When the

Hush a bye baby rhyme

Hus-a-bye baby rhyme is said to have originated from America. It was the practice of some Native Americans to place a baby in the branches of a tree allowing the wind to gently rock the child to sleep. Hush a bye baby, on the tree top, When the wind blows the cradle will rock; When the bow breaks, the cradle will fall, And down will come baby, cradle and all. You may imagine how the cradle rocks with the wind, and it's so sweet. But I met another version of the this nursery rhyme or lullaby in the book "Workhouse" by Simon Fowler (National Archives, P. 198), the verse was from Yorkshire: Hush-a-bye baby, on the tree top, When you grow old, your wages will stop, When you have spent the little you made, First to the Poorhouse and then to the grave. It seems quite offensive to sing to a baby, but it was the damn reality. A japanese Buddhist monk Sengai was invited to the birthday celebration of a rich man. The rich man asked Sengai to write something for th
Cunning may deceive kings and princes, but cannot impose upon pigs and fishes. Brute force may conquer an empire, but cannot win over the hearts of the people.

Pound, shillings, pennies, and guinea

Before 1971 the pound was divided into twenty shillings (abbreviated as s) and subdivided again in to twelve pennies (d). There were thus 240 pennies to the pound. A guinea was worth 21s. It is almost impossible to give any idea of what this was worth in modern terms A mid-Victorian labourer might hope to earn between 20s and 30s per week but of course many had to support their families on much less, particularly in times of economic distress. By contrast the minimum wage rate for workers over 22 today is well over £5 an hour. When Mary Higgs and her friend spent a week visiting lodging houses and casual wards in the north of England in the early 1900s, they each took just 2s 6d to last a whole week. It was claimed that a beggar or loafer in London and other big cities might make up to five shillings a day through a combination of begging and doing odd jobs such as holding horses or taking messages. -- Workhouse , by simon fowler

Man the divinest of all things

A hundred cares wreck his heart: countless anxieties trace their wrinkles on his brow: until his inmost self is bowed beneath the burden of life. And swifter still he hurries to decay when vainly striving to attain the unattainable, or grieving over his ignorance of that which can never be known.


Alas for the fulness and decay of human greatness! Though these are called the appointments of Heaven, truly they are the handiwork of man. It is written, "The proud shall suffer; the modest succeed." And so toil and anxiety may establish a kingdom; dissipation and ease will wreck a life. At the zenith of his fortune, among all the heroes of the age there could not be found his match. Yet when the tide turned, a few mummers dragged him to earth; the sceptre fell from his hand, and he perished, -- the laughing-stock of all. Truly misfortunes oftimes spring from trivial and unexpected causes; and wisdom and courage are often marred by foibles other than a passion for theatrical display.