Time Capsule - 2010


USPS - Year of the Tiger
Bird Bully
I witnessed something quite fascinating last weekend. A crow was harassed by a band of small birds and was forced to flee. The vengeful crow later returned with a dozen of his siblings to exact revenge on his aggressors. After a brief battle, the small birds were battered and overwhelmed by the larger crows; they were forced to abandon their territory.

The crows were obviously in a celebratory mood, thinking that they were the invincible conquerors of someone’s beautiful backyard. However, they would soon encounter the biggest bird bully of all – Mr. Simon and his broom. I think you know who won that battle.

Columbus Day
Christopher Columbus is a perfect example of “falling from grace”. Some centuries ago, he was adored as the man who discovered the New World; people even created Columbus Day in his honor. A couple hundred years later, he was no longer the first person to reach America; Leif Erikson took that honor. Some decades later, he was seen as the villain responsible for the destruction of the natives. And presently, he has become nothing but an afterthought. How pitiful!

Confucius Peace Prize
When China established the Confucius Peace Prize to counter the decision by the Norwegian Nobel Committee (appointed by the Norwegian Parliament) to award activist Liu Xiaobo the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, I found it to be laughable and intellectually insulting. Then I realize the Nobel Peace Prize is just as ridiculous. I have nothing against Liu Xiaobo because he probably deserves the recognition, but I find it unjust that some political appointees from Norway (a country of less than 5 million people) are allowed to play favorites. This is the most undemocratic thing I have ever heard. If there is a United Nations, there should also be a Nobel Committee with full representation. And no permanent members with veto power please.

Earthquake
This started about 2 weeks ago. I dreamed about an earthquake. The next day, my home city (in Southern California) experienced a 4.0 earthquake. Two days after this, I dreamed about an earthquake once again. There was a 6.5 earthquake in Northern California the following day. Last Monday, I had the same dream again and the Haiti earthquake happened the next day. My next two dreams also coincided with notable earthquakes. This may just be a big coincidence, but it's a pretty strange one. I bet psychologists will tell me otherwise.

Van Gogh vs. Kinkade
Van Gogh, the Dutch master, and Thomas Kinkade, the popular American painter, share many stark contrasts. Van Gogh spent his entire life in poverty; he had to save every penny to make his art. Thomas Kinkade, on the hand, makes his millions through commercializing his art. What lesson can we draw from this? Twenty years from now, Van Gogh’s works will still be worth millions of dollars. Kinkade’s works, on the other hand, should only be worth a few bucks at best.

Buy friends, win election
I visited my sister’s house the other day and was introduced to a strange little game. My young nieces were playing a virtual board game called Tamagotchi Party On. In this game, the player will try to earn as much money as possible so he or she could BUY friends (literally). The more money one has the more friends she could buy. At the end of the game, the player with the most friends is elected president of the Tamagotchi universe. The idea may sound a little silly, but if you have followed recent elections around the world, this is actually very realistic. I wonder how many friends I can buy with $1 million.