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Showing posts from April, 2011

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.