Monday, February 27, 2012

How Expats Should Lead in China

1. Understand the market, but work with the state
2.Adapt to local conditions, but implement global standards
3.Pay for performance, but build a people-centric workplace
4.Drive down costs, but maintain quality
5.Recognize complexity, but define clear priorities.

It is always hard to deal with a complex situation. The trick is to consider two aspects, while the accuracy to describe a solution is the key challenge here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

First Night-- Writing on Music

Writing about music, to analyze and articulate the non-verbal expression of human spirit has fascinated me for a long time. The ability to write, to create virtual concept out of nothing is the ability to create, reproduce and define one's depth of appreciation in life. 
Despite the disappointment and struggle in real life, there is a space of freedom and ecstasy, which created by the brilliant mind of our ancestors, waiting for us to explore and rest our spirit in the pure, relaxed, and beautiful reflections of our physical existence. 

Yesterday, while I am searching for complementary material for academic writing guide, I came across this wonderful resources form Harvard Writing Centre. It contains clear instruction on how to write about music, both in an academic maner of in an pop music review kind of approach. 

I hope this new discovery  and topic could endorse me with better passion to write in English, and express myself clearly. After all, language skill has been an important parameter to judge one's level of education, cognitive ability and capability of complex work. 

This will be the focus of my 2012. English writing! 
-----------------------------------Here is the Topics I will write about-----------------------------------  
Strategies for Writing the Papers in Assignment 1

This first assignment is a series of four exercises that ask you to analyze one or more musical passages for both aural features and cultural significance. The four short papers are short, focused exercises on specific types of writing about music, such as text-music relations, form and musical meaning. You will need to analyze a discrete section of music (either assigned or one you select), understand how the music works, and describe briefly your (or some other/histor- ical listener’s) experience of the music. The goal in these short papers is to practice various types of music writing, and you should be careful that you do not try to take on every potential subtopic or tangent that might present itself. You do have only 250-500 words.

The four topics build on each other in the skills they are meant to develop. While the specific topics may change or be adjusted during the semester, the goals of each are as follows:

Paper One: In the song “The people that walked in darkness” from Handel’s Messiah, how does the music relate to the words? How is the music independent of the words? You should concentrate on just this one piece, providing a close reading of it and proffering one clear idea. Paper One is an important diagnostic tool for your instructor. It also allows you to examine the relationship between music and text, which is an important theme in this course.

Paper Two: Give an opinion, from the point of view of an imaginary listener in 1824, on the novelties of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and their effectiveness. Paper Two builds on Paper One in that it continues the examination of the relationship between music and text. Here, however, you will expand your focus to consider other primary and sec- ondary sources, particularly those about what musical traditions people in 1824 were used to hearing. Your close reading of passages from the Ninth should be in the service of some larger aspect of the structure of the music, text, or form.

Paper Three: Describe the musical structure of the second movement of Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique (use one or more diagrams if you wish). Within this broader expanse of time there are more musical aspects to discuss, and you will need to choose what to include. Here we move away from the idea of text but continue still with the idea of larger structure.

Paper Four: Describe the various musical elements in the passage of Le sacre du printemps from Rehearsal Number 86 (fourth measure of page 76) to Rehearsal Number 89. Describe the various musical elements and show how they interact. Feel free to use diagrams and charts if you wish. This exercise will allow you to give careful detailed atten- tion to a complex musical passage. It should make you proud of what you’ve achieved in your listening and writing skills, and prepare you for the final paper in which similar careful listening and description will be an important part.

To write your papers, you’ll need to...

Define your interest.What interests you most in the assigned or selected passage? Is there a surprise, a prob- lem, a curious repetition, a particularly effective (or seemingly unsatisfying) technique or idea? Locating something that interests you but that you can’t explain simply is the first step toward a thesis or overarching idea.

Analyze the music. What specific features of the music account for the interest you’ve defined for yourself ? How do melody, harmony, texture, rhythm, dynamics—and other elements—combine to achieve the effect that most interests you? Gathering these details is the first step toward developing convincing evidence for your thesis
or idea.

Contextualize the music, where appropriate. What relationship do you posit between your inter- pretation of the music and the interpretation of the audience at the premiere? How does your claim about the music connect (or contrast) with the ideas of its first audience?

The best papers will propose a thesis or, in the case of these smaller papers, an overarching idea about the music that is true but arguable (it is not self-evidently true; it must be proven), address the likely counter-arguments, show how the musical evidence supports the essay’s claims, use appropriate technical and metaphorical language, and cite sources correctly. The best papers will also substantiate their claims about how the interpretations of the first audience differ from yours (or interestingly dovetail with them) by referring specifically to documents in the sourcepack or textbook.

[iN2015] Infocomm Singapore -- Digital Cinema

Singapore sees the importance of infocomm as an engine of growth for the economy. The building of a vibrant infocomm economy supporting the vision of An Intelligent Nation 2015(iN2015), A Global City, Powered by Infocomm.
Among the list of programmes published by iDA, digital cinema has been shaded some dime light on.

Trusted Digital Cinema Hub programme aims to establish Singapore as the secure trusted hub for the processing, management and distribution of digital cinematic content to Asia Pacific. It also aims to work with industry to put in place supporting infrastructure, such as processing facilities and network operation centres for Digital Cinema.

Singapore already has over 1 million square feet of advanced data centre space. It is one of the most connected cities in Asia with more than 16 Gbps of extensive and direct Internet connectivity to over 20 countries. This comprises 6 Gbps to the United States and over 8 Gbps to Asian cities such as Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam. In addition, Singapore's direct Internet connectivity to major ASEAN countries is at least 100 Mbps per country. Singapore's network infrastructure is also particularly well-suited for digital delivery of data.

Hurdles to Overcome
  • Costs
While there is a lot of savings to be made distributing movies digitally, it is costly to convert a conventional theatre into a digital one. Today, it costs about US$150,000 to do so. Unless movie theatres make full use of the opportunity to screen alternative content, previously not possible with traditional theatres, the digital cinema bandwagon will be a relatively empty one.
  • Restructuring
Again, while digital cinema makes a lot of economic sense on the distribution front, it would involve huge changes in the industry; namely workforce restructuring. Even if the net result of the move to digital cinema is a cheaper distribution system, the possibility of restructuring poses a hurdle.
  • Piracy
Piracy is another hurdle to the movie industry. For conventional films, a movie 'pirate' either has to hold up the delivery van containing the movie reels or sneaks a video recorder into a theatre. In the first instance, the bootleggers will have to use expensive machinery to make video copies. In the second case, pirated tapes usually have poor image quality.

However, if a movie was already in the form of bytes of data, anybody could make an exact copy by hooking into the data stream. To make broadband and satellite transmission feasible, a secure encryption system has to be in place.

Image Quality
The jury is still out on whether digital movies are up to scratch, so to speak. While digital cinema's proponents cite market research showing audience preference for the image quality of digital movies, many movie buffs still vouch for celluloid. Some purists even go so far as to denounce the pristine image quality of digital movies. Digital movies offer resolutions of 1,300 - 4,000 lines compared to the 1,000 lines of a 35mm film.

Convergence of Multi-Media Technologies
Another hurdle in the horizon is the convergence of home entertainment and professional theatre technology. While there is currently a huge gap in image quality between high-end digital projectors and home models, this may not be the case for long. As home theatre projectors improve and drop in price, digital cinemas may find it harder to pull in the crowds.

Friday, February 17, 2012

GRE Issue Topic for Jan and Feb

1.As people rely more and more on technology to solve problems, the ability of humans to think for themselves will surely deteriorate. 
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position. 

2. To understand the most important characteristics of a society, one must study its major cities. 
 Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.

Quotations by W. Somerset Maugham:

Got some feedbacks regarding my English writing from Prof. Holden, and he suggested me to check out W.Somerset Maugham's short stories. "He has a very clean style, not difficult but worth to spend some decent time with."
And amusingly, I found he is the author of the Moon and Sixpences, my favorite! It was a very eye-opening story, about self-realization of an artist.

Well, if I am sure it is the fate echo on me....
  • It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it. 
  • Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all. 
  • The artist produces for the liberation of his soul. It is his nature to create as it is the nature of water to run down the hill. 
  • It's no good trying to keep up old friendships. It's painful for both sides. The fact is, one grows out of people, and the only thing is to face it. 
  • We know our friends by their defects rather than by their merits. 
  •  Imagination grows by exercise and contrary to common belief is more powerful in the mature than in the young. 
  • We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person. 
  • In the country the darkness of night is friendly and familiar, but in a city, with its blaze of lights, it is unnatural, hostile and menacing. It is like a monstrous vulture that hovers, biding its time. 
  • The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistic, and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary, it makes them, for the most part, humble, tolerant, and kind. Failure makes people cruel and bitter. 
  • Perfection is a trifle dull. It is not the least of life's ironies that this, which we all aim at, is better not quite achieved. 
  • A man marries to have a home, but also because he doesn't want to be bothered with sex and all that sort of thing. 
  • An unfortunate thing about this world is that the good habits are much easier to give up than the bad ones. 
  • Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatsoever to do with it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


The founder of Aseem come to MNO class to give a talk about his journey of Entrepreneurship.
I like his witty lines and humorous remarks. To him, getting on the dean's list, getting a good grades in University is not a big deal. However the puzzels in real life worth more effort to resolve. 
God, why I feel quite the opposite? May it be I have been pondering on those questions do not have an answer for too long. Therefore, more or less, I have come up with a system to deal with the difficulties and frustrations that might come up constantly. Life is a symphony of randomness, who said s/he has the conductor's script ? 

But I finally realized one thing, spiritually, that is if you are born with a misson to accomplish a task, then there is no need to worry about your circumstances and your current condition. Because everything required for you to finish the task is is already provided. Can you figure out how to use the resources is the only problem. 
And you fate shall come effortless. It is a part of you and you are manifesting your thought, your dream every moment.  

It will come, effortlessly. 

Get your hand dirty in Flash

A great visual illustration video.