I came across this video from a Reddit post. This video is less than 10 minutes long and the explanation on 4th dimension given by Carl Sagan is very simple and easy to understand.


Youtube: Carl Sagan 4th Dimension Explanation
Carl Sagan Biography

I came across this question from the bonus question section of Jeopardy show.

The is question is:
At the same sea level, which latitude on earth will give you a lower weight?

To find out the answer, highlight this post either by dragging the mouse over the whole page or press "ctrl" and "a" at the same time.

At equator, or zero degree.

If your curious mind want to know why, go to "Ask an Astronomer" to find out!


Ask an Astronomer

Have you ever wondered how do things look to those with colorblindness? There is a flash program that allows a person without colorblind defect to view things through the eyes of those with colorblind.

And if you are colorblind, two pictures will look similar to you, but not the same. This is due to the fact that in order to simulate colorblindness for the normal vision people, certain colors from the normal photo has to be digitally altered to the effect.

In other words, for normal vision people, "normal" photo is the full color photo. Each "colorblind" photo is associated with color deficiency as associated with the colorblind people. To stimulate the deficiency effect for normal vision people, the corresponding color has to be altered from the "normal" photo.

For colorblind people, you will get a much vibrant "normal" photo when compared to the one that is associated with your color deficiency. This is because the color deficiency photo loses some of the color that you cannot associate with, rendering it less vibrant.

Vision simulator


Colorblindness Testing

To test if you have colorblind, you can use this simple test available on the same website. It is very effective, and you can know the results right away. If you suspect yourself as colorblind, you might want to get medically proven by going to the doctor.

Here is a very interesting documentary by BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) on the lifework/achievement of four famous philosophers, physicians, and mathematicians:

Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Philip Cantor

Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann
Kurt Godel
Alan Turing


Google Video

If you are interested to know what are the changes to the Artic Sea Ice level since 1979 to 2007, Global CO2 (carbon dioxide) Emissions from 1980 to 2004, Average Global Temperature since 1885 to 2007 or what will happen to your country/city if the Sea Level rises from 0m to 6m, head over to the interactive Climate Time Machine by JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab) to learn about it.

You will realize that global warming is indeed happening and not a hoax!

Climate Time Machine
I came across this useful tricks from MakeUseOf.com to help you to fully utilize YouTube features on your website/blogs etc

The most important tips is probably the trick to bypass the restriction on watching certain clips on YouTube due to regional copyright issues. Fortunately there is a way to bypass the regional filtering! Check out trick 6!

As from MakeUseOf article on 10 Youtube URL Tricks:

1. Embed Higher Quality Videos

To embed high quality Youtube videos, append “&ap=%2526fmt%3D18″ or “&ap=%2526fmt%3D22″ to the embed url where (fmt 18 = stereo, 480x270 resolution, fmt 22 = stereo, 1280x720 resolution)

2. Cut the chase and link to the interesting part

To link a Youtube video to the exciting part when action starts at XX mins and YY secs, you need to add #t=XXmYYs to the end of the URL.

3. Hide the search box

To hide the search box which appears when your mouse hovers over the embedded video, add "&showsearch=0" to the embed url.

4. Embed only a part of Video

If you want to skip the first YY secs of a Youtube video, you can just append &start=YY. For example, to skip first 10 secs of a clip, add &start=10 to the url.

5. Autoplay an embedded video

To add autoplay function to the embedded Youtube video so that it starts automatically, just append "&autoplay=1" to the embed url.

6. Bypass Youtube Regional Filtering

Due to copyright issues, Youtube detects your location from your IP Address and then determines if you have the rights to access to the video. If you are denied access to certain Youtube videos due the restriction, you can just change the url from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= to http://www.youtube.com/v/ to bypass it.

7. Download Video

If you want to download a video from Youtube but don't want to install softwares to do it, you can just replace the URL of the video from Youtube to KickYoutube to get to kickyoutube.com. It has all the options that you can choose from to download the video.


Head over to MakeUseOf comment section to learn more about the tips!

From my previous post on getting A2DP (Stereo Bluetooth) on Win XP/Vista, there is another popular software called BlueSoleil that you can use.

However, I prefer the Toshiba bluetooth stack due to the fact that BlueSoleil does not seem to have the option to change A2DP streaming quality.

However, BlueSoleil is very user-friendly in terms of getting your Bluetooth equipment paired up. However, BlueSoleil is not free. The trial version of the software has plenty of limitations. If you are very good in web searching, there are copies of full version floating around for you to download for free. *Hint: torrent sites

As an example, sometimes your built-in laptop Bluetooth adapter or Bluetooth USB dongle does not have the capability to support the high bandwidth required for high quality stereo bluetooth (A2DP). When it happens, the sound will be "cut-off" for a moment every few seconds/minutes to the point of my frustration.

With the Toshiba bluetooth stack, you have the option to change audio quality. To do so, you must have paired the A2DP-capable headphone. Then.

1) Go to
Bluetooth Settings
2) Right click the icon of your paired A2DP headphone and choose
3) Under Setting, you can choose a four options (Auto, High Quality, Standard, Low Quality) for
Sound Quality

The default setting is Auto. If your A2DP audio skips, you can try changing the quality level to Standard and the skipping should go away.


Download BlueSoleil

百万円と苦虫女 (Hyakuman-en to nigamushi onna) or also known as One million yen and the nigamushi woman was released in 2008 in Japan. If you want to convert Yen to USD, the easiest conversion would be to assume 100 Yen to 1 USD. In other words, the title of this movie would be "Ten thousand USD and the nigamushi woman".

Why 1 million yen? You have to watch the movie to know, but it is of nothing special. This is a well done movie with nice scenery (including beach and rural mountain in Japan).

This is a story about a young lady who tries to escape her life by continuing to move on the road to new places where she is virtually unknown to the local people. If you have knowledge about the Japanese society, you will realize that criminal is stigmatized by the society. Even the family of the criminal bears the same responsibility. Neighbors will talk behind your back, avoid having any relationship with you, and even gang up and bully you.

The moral of the story is that you should not be coward and avoiding life. You should bravely face the consequences of your actions, and live life meaningfully.

I hope you will enjoy the movie!

IMDB link


(Ryu ga gotoku) also known as "Like a Dragon" was released in 2007 in Japan. It is a video game to cinema adaptation and surprisingly, it is very good. I have not played the game on PS2/PS3, so I can't say if the plot follows the game exactly. But the actions are not overly done to the extent of wanting to cry out "FAKE".

However, if you haven't played the game like me, some of the story do not make sense. Within the movie, it seems too many subplots occur at the same and many characters appear out of nowhere without introduction/character building. So you will probably end up asking a lot of questions who is who.

Obviously, if you had played the game, you'll know who are they. It is the typical disadvantage of adapting a popular video game to cinema. Just like the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Many characters suddenly pop-out of nowhere in the fight against a summoned beast in the city center.

End of rant.

IMDB link


ただ、君を愛してる (Tada, kimi wo aishiteru) or also known as Heavenly Forest was released in October 28, 2006 in Japan. I would highly recommend you to watch it if you have get a copy of the movie. It is a decent love story movie.

One thing I would like to point out is that film photography is still pretty much alive in Japan as compared to the rest of the world. In this movie, the main characters are still shooting film SLR in black/white. In fact, many universities in Japan have student photography clubs with its own dark room to develop those films. However in the United States, no such thing exists.

IMDB link


Wikipedia "Picture of the Year" award was started back in 2006 and the pictures there are just stunning!


2008 winning picture is below of the horses on Bianditz mountain, in Navarre, Spain. Behind them Aiako mountains can be seen.

2007 winning picture is of the Broadway Tower, Cotswolds, England.

2006 winning picture is of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, shines above Bear Lake, Alaska.

Wikimedia: Picture of the Year

This is a controversial video. A bear's cub is frightened by a tiger's cub and monkey (& shadow) and it is considered funny. The clip is from Korea. Before you start complaining about animal abuse, this is the description of the clip.

He scared at a tiger's cub & even monkey .... The zoo keeper are trying to help the bear to find animal instinct and wild nature. ^________^ But see his scared look T_T it is so pity"

I do not know what happen to the bear's cub after this, hopefully we can get a full video of the show to conclude if the cub has gotten it animal instinct.

1st video:

2nd video:


This is the 3rd article on barefoot running movement. I talked about this increasingly popular movement in a
Barefoot Running article from May 2009 and Nike "Free" brand for barefoot running movement from June 2009.

I came across this from a Lifehacker post about an article by Christopher McDougall on Daily Mail Online. The title of the article is "The painful truth about trainers: Are running shoes a waste of money?"

I am not advocating completely running barefoot as our world is literally full of danger like broken glasses, stool, etc But we should strive to reduce the amount of padding we have for the shoes to improve/strengthen our feet.


As quoted from the Daily Mail Online:

At Stanford University, California, two sales representatives from Nike were watching the athletics team practise. Part of their job was to gather feedback from the company's sponsored runners about which shoes they preferred.

Unfortunately, it was proving difficult that day as the runners all seemed to prefer... nothing.

'Didn't we send you enough shoes?' they asked head coach Vin Lananna. They had, he was just refusing to use them.

'I can't prove this,' the well-respected coach told them.

'But I believe that when my runners train barefoot they run faster and suffer fewer injuries.'

Nike sponsored the Stanford team as they were the best of the very best. Needless to say, the reps were a little disturbed to hear that Lananna felt the best shoes they had to offer them were not as good as no shoes at all.

When I was told this anecdote it came as no surprise. I'd spent years struggling with a variety of running-related injuries, each time trading up to more expensive shoes, which seemed to make no difference. I'd lost count of the amount of money I'd handed over at shops and sports-injury clinics - eventually ending with advice from my doctor to give it up and 'buy a bike'.

And I wasn't on my own. Every year, anywhere from 65 to 80 per cent of all runners suffer an injury. No matter who you are, no matter how much you run, your odds of getting hurt are the same. It doesn't matter if you're male or female, fast or slow, pudgy or taut as a racehorse, your feet are still in the danger zone.

But why? How come Roger Bannister could charge out of his Oxford lab every day, pound around a hard cinder track in thin leather slippers, not only getting faster but never getting hurt, and set a record before lunch?

Tarahumara runner Arnulfo Quimare runs alongside ultra-runner Scott Jurek in Mexico's Copper Canyons

Tarahumara runner Arnulfo Quimare runs alongside ultra-runner Scott Jurek in Mexico's Copper Canyons

Then there's the secretive Tarahumara tribe, the best long-distance runners in the world. These are a people who live in basic conditions in Mexico, often in caves without running water, and run with only strips of old tyre or leather thongs strapped to the bottom of their feet. They are virtually barefoot.

Come race day, the Tarahumara don't train. They don't stretch or warm up. They just stroll to the starting line, laughing and bantering, and then go for it, ultra-running for two full days, sometimes covering over 300 miles, non-stop. For the fun of it. One of them recently came first in a prestigious 100-mile race wearing nothing but a toga and sandals. He was 57 years old.

When it comes to preparation, the Tarahumara prefer more of a Mardi Gras approach. In terms of diet, lifestyle and training technique, they're a track coach's nightmare. They drink like New Year's Eve is a weekly event, tossing back enough corn-based beer and homemade tequila brewed from rattlesnake corpses to floor an army.

Unlike their Western counterparts, the Tarahumara don't replenish their bodies with electrolyte-rich sports drinks. They don't rebuild between workouts with protein bars; in fact, they barely eat any protein at all, living on little more than ground corn spiced up by their favourite delicacy, barbecued mouse.

How come they're not crippled?

Modern running shoes on sale

Modern running shoes on sale

I've watched them climb sheer cliffs with no visible support on nothing more than an hour's sleep and a stomach full of pinto beans. It's as if a clerical error entered the stats in the wrong columns. Shouldn't we, the ones with state-of-the-art running shoes and custom-made orthotics, have the zero casualty rate, and the Tarahumara, who run far more, on far rockier terrain, in shoes that barely qualify as shoes, be constantly hospitalised?

The answer, I discovered, will make for unpalatable reading for the $20 billion trainer-manufacturing industry. It could also change runners' lives forever.

Dr Daniel Lieberman, professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University, has been studying the growing injury crisis in the developed world for some time and has come to a startling conclusion: 'A lot of foot and knee injuries currently plaguing us are caused by people running with shoes that actually make our feet weak, cause us to over-pronate (ankle rotation) and give us knee problems.

'Until 1972, when the modern athletic shoe was invented, people ran in very thin-soled shoes, had strong feet and had a much lower incidence of knee injuries.'

Lieberman also believes that if modern trainers never existed more people would be running. And if more people ran, fewer would be suffering from heart disease, hypertension, blocked arteries, diabetes, and most other deadly ailments of the Western world.

'Humans need aerobic exercise in order to stay healthy,' says Lieberman. 'If there's any magic bullet to make human beings healthy, it's to run.'

The modern running shoe was essentially invented by Nike. The company was founded in the Seventies by Phil Knight, a University of Oregon runner, and Bill Bowerman, the University of Oregon coach.

Before these two men got together, the modern running shoe as we know it didn't exist. Runners from Jesse Owens through to Roger Bannister all ran with backs straight, knees bent, feet scratching back under their hips. They had no choice: their only shock absorption came from the compression of their legs and their thick pad of midfoot fat. Thumping down on their heels was not an option.

Despite all their marketing suggestions to the contrary, no manufacturer has ever invented a shoe that is any help at all in injury prevention

Bowerman didn't actually do much running. He only started to jog a little at the age of 50, after spending time in New Zealand with Arthur Lydiard, the father of fitness running and the most influential distance-running coach of all time. Bowerman came home a convert, and in 1966 wrote a best-selling book whose title introduced a new word and obsession to the fitness-aware public: Jogging.

In between writing and coaching, Bowerman came up with the idea of sticking a hunk of rubber under the heel of his pumps. It was, he said, to stop the feet tiring and give them an edge. With the heel raised, he reasoned, gravity would push them forward ahead of the next man. Bowerman called Nike's first shoe the Cortez - after the conquistador who plundered the New World for gold and unleashed a horrific smallpox epidemic.

It is an irony not wasted on his detractors. In essence, he had created a market for a product and then created the product itself.

'It's genius, the kind of stuff they study in business schools,' one commentator said.

Bowerman's partner, Knight, set up a manufacturing deal in Japan and was soon selling shoes faster than they could come off the assembly line.

'With the Cortez's cushioning, we were in a monopoly position probably into the Olympic year, 1972,' Knight said.

The rest is history.

The company's annual turnover is now in excess of $17 billion and it has a major market share in over 160 countries.

Since then, running-shoe companies have had more than 30 years to perfect their designs so, logically, the injury rate must be in freefall by now.

After all, Adidas has come up with a $250 shoe with a microprocessor in the sole that instantly adjusts cushioning for every stride. Asics spent $3 million and eight years (three more years than it took to create the first atomic bomb) to invent the Kinsei, a shoe that boasts 'multi-angled forefoot gel pods', and a 'midfoot thrust enhancer'. Each season brings an expensive new purchase for the average runner.

But at least you know you'll never limp again. Or so the leading companies would have you believe. Despite all their marketing suggestions to the contrary, no manufacturer has ever invented a shoe that is any help at all in injury prevention.

If anything, the injury rates have actually ebbed up since the Seventies - Achilles tendon blowouts have seen a ten per cent increase. (It's not only shoes that can create the problem: research in Hawaii found runners who stretched before exercise were 33 per cent more likely to get hurt.)

Roger Bannister

OXFORD, 1954: Roger Bannister crosses the finish line, running a mile in 3:59.4, in thin leather slippers

In a paper for the British Journal Of Sports Medicine last year, Dr Craig Richards, a researcher at the University of Newcastle in Australia, revealed there are no evidence-based studies that demonstrate running shoes make you less prone to injury. Not one.

It was an astonishing revelation that had been hidden for over 35 years. Dr Richards was so stunned that a $20 billion industry seemed to be based on nothing but empty promises and wishful thinking that he issued the following challenge: 'Is any running-shoe company prepared to claim that wearing their distance running shoes will decrease your risk of suffering musculoskeletal running injuries? Is any shoe manufacturer prepared to claim that wearing their running shoes will improve your distance running performance? If you are prepared to make these claims, where is your peer-reviewed data to back it up?'

Dr Richards waited and even tried contacting the major shoe companies for their data. In response, he got silence.

So, if running shoes don't make you go faster and don't stop you from getting hurt, then what, exactly, are you paying for? What are the benefits of all those microchips, thrust enhancers, air cushions, torsion devices and roll bars?

The answer is still a mystery. And for Bowerman's old mentor, Arthur Lydiard, it all makes sense.

'We used to run in canvas shoes,' he said.

'We didn't get plantar fasciitis (pain under the heel); we didn't pronate or supinate (land on the edge of the foot); we might have lost a bit of skin from the rough canvas when we were running marathons, but generally we didn't have foot problems.

'Paying several hundred dollars for the latest in hi-tech running shoes is no guarantee you'll avoid any of these injuries and can even guarantee that you will suffer from them in one form or another. Shoes that let your foot function like you're barefoot - they're the shoes for me.'

Soon after those two Nike sales reps reported back from Stanford, the marketing team set to work to see if it could make money from the lessons it had learned. Jeff Pisciotta, the senior researcher at Nike Sports Research Lab, assembled 20 runners on a grassy field and filmed them running barefoot.

When he zoomed in, he was startled by what he found. Instead of each foot clomping down as it would in a shoe, it behaved like an animal with a mind of its own - stretching, grasping, seeking the ground with splayed toes, gliding in for a landing like a lake-bound swan.

'It's beautiful to watch,' Pisciotta later told me. 'That made us start thinking that when you put a shoe on, it starts to take over some of the control.'

Pisciotta immediately deployed his team to gather film of every existing barefoot culture they could find.

'We found pockets of people all over the globe who are still running barefoot, and what you find is that, during propulsion and landing, they have far more range of motion in the foot and engage more of the toe. Their feet flex, spread, splay and grip the surface, meaning you have less pronation and more distribution of pressure.'

Nike's response was to find a way to make money off a naked foot. It took two years of work before Pisciotta was ready to unveil his masterpiece. It was presented in TV ads that showed Kenyan runners padding
along a dirt trail, swimmers curling their toes around a starting block, gymnasts, Brazilian capoeira dancers, rock climbers, wrestlers, karate masters and beach soccer players.

And then comes the grand finale: we cut back to the Kenyans, whose bare feet are now sporting some kind of thin shoe. It's the new Nike Free, a shoe thinner than the old Cortez dreamt up by Bowerman in the Seventies. And its slogan?

'Run Barefoot.'

The price of this return to nature?

A conservative £65. But, unlike the real thing, experts may still advise you to change them every three months.

Edited extract from 'Born To Run' by Christopher McDougall, £16.99, on sale from April 23



I recently watched the movie Shinjuku Incident (San Suk Si Gin) [imdb, wikipedia] casted by Jackie Chan. If you have never heard of this movie, you'll be surprise that this is not his usual action/kung fu movie. In fact, he did not show any of his superhuman fighting skills at all! However, I must say that I did enjoy the movie.

The plot as explained in wikipedia:

"In the early 1990s, a tractor mechanic from a northen countryside in China nicknamed Steelhead, portrayed by Jackie Chan, enters Japan illegally in search of his girlfriend Xiu Xiu (Xu Jinglei). Steelhead and his friend, Jie (Daniel Wu) meet in the busy Shinjuku district of Tokyo and take manual labor jobs to earn money. When Steelhead finds out that Xiu Xiu has married a Japanese yakuza leader named Mr. Eguchi (Masaya Kato), he decides to remain in Japan. When Eguchi was targeted to be murdered, Steelhead saves his life. To consolidate power, Eguchi forms an alliance with Steelhead to carry out his revenge. Soon, Steelhead has become embroiled so deeply in the ways of the yakuza that there is no turning back."

It showed the dark side of the Chinese illegal immigrants in Japan during the 90s. You are probably going to be disgusted by the actions portrayed in the movies (illegal acts). There is no doubt that some, if not all did happen back in those days. But I personally believe that the same apply to not just the Chinese illegal immigrants in Japan, but generally to any illegal immigrants throughout the world. They got to do what they have to do in order to survive in the harsh new environment.

The theme of the movie is that
power corrupts. When you are powerless, everyone will stick together to support each other. When you are in power, it is often the survival of the strongest. Backstabbing among friends happen due to greed; be it power, money, women.

There is one ancient Chinese saying which loosely translate to mean "
together we stand, separate we fall".

This might be a spoiler, but here is some background information about the location etc

Yakuza- Japanese gangster, equivalent to triads of Hong Kong, or mafia.

Kabuki-cho, Tokyo-
(歌舞伎町) Entertainment and red-light district in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Hence the title of the film Shinjuku Incident. Kabukichō is the location of many hostess bars, host bars, love hotels, shops, restaurants, and nightclubs, and is often called the "Sleepless Town" (眠らない街). The district's name comes from late-1940s plans to build a kabuki theater: although the theater was never built, the name stuck. (Spoiler: You can find many East European women (ex-Soviet states) working there as hostess. Hence you will see that Jackie Chan and Daneil Wu had xxx with blonde girls in one scene.)

Pachinko (パチンコ) is a Japanese gaming device used for amusement and prizes. It is a cross between a pinball machine and a video slot machine. It is the machine where you earn silver balls as you win and exchange them for prizes. Pachinko parlor is very common in Japan!

Chinese gangster- Even though typical Westerners (American/European) might consider Chinese people as one single entity, it is wrong! In this movie, you can see that Jackie Chan's hangout buddies are called Hong-Kong-chai (香港仔-Hong Kong "Kids"). Daniel Wu's bad luck with the Pachinko's parlor boss is from southern part of Taiwan. Hence they are known as Tainan-bang (台南帮-South Taiwan Gang). As for those from China, they also have separate groups for people from different parts of China. Example: Shanghai group is known as (小白脸 - xiao bai lian, little white face) probably due to their fair complexion. Another group from China's Fujian province (福建) and Vietnamese.

Chestnut (
Japanese: クリ実-kurinomi, Chinese: 栗子-li zi) - The food sold by Daniel Wu in the movie.

IMDB link Screenshots:


I hope you will enjoy the movie!