Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Science and Art of Practicing

After practicing hard on your guqin 古琴, if you have ever wondered:
  • Why is it better to practice every day for an hour, instead of seven hours on one day of the week?
  • Why didn’t it help much to play that hard passage 20 times in a row?
  • Does mental practicing actually work?
  • I practice so hard, why does my playing sound mechanical?
The article, The Science and Art of Practicing: with Molly Gebrian and Shelly Tramposh, written by Laurie Niles just might shed some light on the subject. Enjoy.

Please post your comments and share your thoughts. Thanks! *smile*

Friday, June 13, 2014

Cosmos - Pale Blue Dot, by Carl Sagan

The following is the transcript of Carl Sagan's moving speech in the final episode of Cosmos. Enjoy.
That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you’ve ever heard of, every human being who ever was lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings; thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines; every hunter and forager; every hero and coward; every creator and destroyer of civilizations; every king and peasant, every young couple in love; every mother and father; hopeful child; inventor and explorer; every teacher of morals; every corrupt politician; every supreme leader; every superstar; every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there—on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena.
Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings; how eager they are to kill one another; how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity—in all this vastness—there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. It underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot -- the only home we’ve ever known.
- Carl Sagan

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Doodles by my 5 year old daughter

My 5 year old daughter's interpretation of a traditional Chinese painting. I asked her to copy it from a book. Lol

Ladybirds doodled by my 5 year old daughter on warm humid Singapore morning. Cheaper than going to McDonalds or Sentosa. Hahaha