Saturday, 29 November 2008

The Colours of Life

Click open the pictures and enjoy the secret colours of  jellyfish.  Have a nice weekend!

Prelude

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The Rainbow Dance

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Subitopiano

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Ending Fireworks

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Friday, 28 November 2008

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Mom is in the kitchen,
And when I take a look,
I'm glad I'm not a turkey
That's she's about to cook!
By Karl Fuchs

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Chachangtang

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(You Are What You Eat: Some weight watchers consider the food of Chachangtang not healthy for being too greasy with high caloric contents. Well, everyone needs to build up their health with junk food somehow sometimes. These two men are having a chat over breakfast alfresco style at a chachangtan.)

Yesterday, I suggested two must-do things for your next tour to Hong Kong. I have just thought of another one: a visit to a Chachangtang.

"Chachangtang" is a local word which literally means, "Tea Meal House". The origin of these Tea Meal Houses is not known to me, but understandably it probably started after the fashion of those western haute cuisine resturants during the days when the British called the shots in Hong Kong. They were meant for the majority of the Chinese in the former colony, who in those days could not afford or resist the western meals growing in popularity. They are still meant for the locals. So just try any one of the Chachangtang to feel the atmosphere on your next tour to Hong Kong.

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(Chachangtang is a popular place for the locals to take a breather in their hectic schedules.)

When will be the best time to go there? The locals have a penchant for breakfast in Chachangtang (instead of the McDonald's). Tea time is also the rush hours for Chachangtang and a good chance to see more in it.

(Mongkok: A chachangtan district) R0010645 (Large)What to try once you are in a Chachangtang? For breakfast, ask what are on offer for Breakfast Sets A, B and C (in Cantonese, A chang, B chang, C chang) which are usually macaroni / instant noodles / rice noodles with ham plus egg sandwiches plus a cup of tea. Oh, you must at least try the tea, or better known by the locals as "si mut" (literally, silk stockings) milk tea because of the way the tea was made: the tea leaves were put into the silk stockings for submersion in a big pot.

For tea time, definitely a cup of "si mut" milk tea and a "bo loll bao" (literally, pineapple bun). Do they still submerge your tea leaves in silk stockings? Do they stuff the bun with slices of pineapple? I should leave you to get the answers for yourselves.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Lonely Road

("Would people consider me feet fetish?" was the first question I asked myself when I was going to post this instalment of photos after the "Come to Rest" post. Please be assured that I am not :) )

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(The day was clear and the colours were soothing, but the passers-by were too hurried to notice. Upper: A working mother took her child to school before she went to work.  Lower: Two passers-by heading for opposite directions to to their workplace.)

I have said that I walk to work. Sometimes on the way, browsing people at a bustling road, I would think to myself, "How lonely is the road without the love of the crowd who the road carries on itself!"

Hong Kong people walk in a quickened pace with a solemn expression on their faces. We are the busiest type of species, the far-flung clansmen of the New Yorkers. A famous Chinese writer, Guang Zhong YU, once wrote about New York, "This is New York, the busiest barren land with a mixture of unfamiliar faces. With shoulders touching shoulders and toes reaching heels, passers-by on the crowded walkways are experiencing the shortest of physical space yet the farthest of spiritual distance." This rings true about Hong Kong too.

Some years ago, when my sister and I were working in Hong Kong's CBD, which is called Central, we used to take lunch together. One day over lunch, she told me, "Yesterday after lunch on my way back to the office, I was stopped by some tourists who looked extremely puzzled and worried on their faces."

"What gives?"I looked at her.

"They pointed to the crowd behind me," she continued in an amused grin, "and asked if a bad accident had happened at the far end cos everyone as I did was rushing the same direction towards them."

R0011075 (Medium)Fact is, nothing had happened. It was only that people were walking too quick a pace towards the same direction to the office area. The frowns on their faces must have made them more like scared people milling around in a quickened pace. 

R0011076 (Medium)When I was in Australia, people greeted each other g'day on the street. In Hong Ko ng, if I do this, I swear that it could be considered harassment of some sort. Probably the only occasion I may do so is in the park nearby, where people are not hurrying to work and enjoying a more leisurely pace of living.

So, next time when you come to Hong Kong, jot these down on your must-see list: a morning walk in a sizable local park like the Cherry Street Park and an afternoon walk in Central at lunchtime.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Nightshots Comparison (Round Two): G1 vs DP1 vs GX200 vs G10 vs LX3

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I love GX200 because it feels great to take pictures with a light-weight camera of a DSLR feel. It would be even better if it gives DSLR-comparable results. Is this still a wishful thinking with the coming of G1?

For its smaller size (though not by much), G1 compares flavourably to mainstream DSLRs, which many expect to be moving towards smaller sizes. With a bigger sensor that boasts better image features, it also compares flavourably to serious compacts with a 1/1.8" sensor. Proper DSLRs aside, G1 is supposed to produce much better images. Does it deliver?

sensor size

Sensor size [to proportion but actual sizes are smaller]:
Outer (blue) - Full Frame sensor 35 x 24mm
3rd inner (green) - DP1 Foveon 20.7 x 13.8mm
2nd inner (yellow) - G1 4/3 System 17.3 x 13mm
Most inner (red) - GX200, G10. LX3 1/1.8" 7.18 x 5.23mm

chi version (nightshot 2)Surely, from the many users' samples, we can safely conclude that the images are great. However, is the better quality commensurate with its better pixel density (5 MP/cm2; sensor size 17.3 x 13mm) (and a dearer price)? The following photos compare it with the higher grade DP1 (1.6 MP/cm2; sensor size 20.7 x 13.8 mm) and the most popular serious compacts [GX200 28MP; G10 34MP; LX3 24MP per cm2] (NOTE: GRD images not available, pardon me).

Naked Child, Green Leaves

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The light that plays, like a naked child, among the green leaves happily knows not that man can lie. 

                -- Robíndronath Thakur, Indian Poet and Philosopher

 

It is a bliss being able to walk in autumn, hear autumn colours singing and cool breezes ruffling leaves.  Feel the silence in your spirit and the echos in your heart.  That makes the troubles or the hard times facing us less rough for a moment.  This is actually not a good time as people are losing their jobs in the wake of the financial downturn.  If you are going through financial hardship or expecting to be so, don't despair.  I had ridden out one not long ago.  It is going to be hard, but then it is going to be through one day.

 

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If that will make you feel easier, consider what a blessing it is to us just being able to walk, be it on our feet, on crutches or on a wheelchair.  Go hear the colours sing and the rustling of the leaves.  Look up at the sky, see, blue is actually beautiful.  When the autumn goes, winter will come and finally, so will the hopes in springtime.  The process is not going to be easy.  But whatever it may take, buck up.  Find help, that's important.