Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Winder Day in London

Broke my record for museums.
9:30am: set off, passed by Pret for breakfast
9:48am: left Pret
10:15am: arrived the British Museum (by walk)
1:30pm: had lunch
2:00pm: resumed my journey
5:33pm: kicked off from the museum. no rest in the museum except the half an hour lunch.
5:40pm: Coco bubble tea shop
6:00pm: on the bus back to the hotel
6:20pm: left the hotel
6:30pm: had dinner at Barbican Centra
6:40pm: purchased a ticket for the concert from London Symphony Orchestra
7:00pm: concert

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Political Conversations

Coffee breaks during NuPhys...

Stefan: (speaking of his appreciation of iPhone) Ah, I am showing iPhone again...
Me: You better buy iPhones before Trump moves the manufacture back to the US....

Me: Where is Manchester?
Stefan: It's in the north of England, but in the central of the UK.
Me: ....when Scottland is still with the UK....

I am with politic minds these days....

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

與保守派論戰同性婚姻

我的朋友中反對同性婚姻的是少數。一時好奇之下看了反對同性婚姻的論點,原來他們認為「婚姻」這個名詞只能適用於「傳統價值」的婚姻;他們支持同性伴侶可以立法締結伴侶關係,其內容可以與法律上的婚姻關係無異,但是反對同性伴侶使用「婚姻」這個詞彙。

我實在很好奇他們眼中「傳統價值」的婚姻是什麼;因為「傳統」本身就是很模糊籠統的概念。「傳統價值」的婚姻到底是哪個地方的傳統?哪個時代的傳統?一百年前?一千年前?五萬年前?我目前沒有得到清楚的解答。有個學弟說可以是制憲那個時代的傳統,或是孔子時代的傳統。那我的問題是孔子時代有媵妾制度,請問你支持媵妾制度嗎?匈奴的傳統是子烝繼母,請問這算不算傳統價值? 基本上我是不期待能改變反對方的想法啦,可是反對方對於自己堅持的價值講得不清不楚,實在很難繼續討論下去啊。

根據反對方的論點,我提議把「傳統價值」的婚姻稱之為「神聖的婚姻」,然後在「傳統價值」之外的婚姻稱之為「婚姻」。傳統價值是什麼隨便你定,反正我完全不在乎也不認為婚姻是神聖的。這個提議學弟說他會考慮。(我剛想出這個提議時覺得很有創意,不過跟米國同事聊了一下才發現他完全對這個提議不意外。The difference between this proposal and the law of civil partners is that the proposal makes an inclusive definition of marriage, which is relevant.)

嚴格來講,「神聖的婚姻」與「婚姻」的區別並沒有解決歧視同性婚的問題,而且對於同性戀基督教徒並不公平。我的提議只是想反映出對我而言,堅持「傳統價值」的婚姻有多荒謬,但是對他們而言,這就是他們想要的。

Friday, July 1, 2016

早朝

今天的APE (Astrophysics and Exotic Physics) meeting讓我腦中浮現出連續劇的畫面:皇帝早朝朝臣一片祥(ㄔㄣˊ)和(ㄇㄛˋ),皇帝說:
有事出班啟奏,無事捲簾退朝。

不過我是那個皇帝.......囧r2

梁羽生小說(一)

梁羽生的小說在我心中一直有個特別的位置:他寫狂俠名士入木三分,簡直就是世說新語武俠版。而且梁老筆下的女性角色很精彩、有主體性,放到今天也毫不落伍(甚至還超前一大段)。所以即使小說結構鬆散,老梗超多,很多民族主義和迂腐觀念,我還是三不五時(尤其是坐飛機時)會拿出來亂翻一下。

前陣子隨便翻了一下冰河洗劍錄——金世遺徒弟江海天的故事。感想只有一句:江海天他藥檢沒過......

(江海天的超高功力是吃了天心石而來)



既然說到梁羽生,就要提一下我最愛的角色張丹楓啦!我覺得龔自珍寫給黃蓉石(不是黃蓉)的詩完全就是形容張丹楓啊:
不是逢人苦譽君,亦狂亦俠亦溫文。照人膽似秦時月,送我情如嶺上雲。

梁羽生自己的形容是「亦狂亦俠真名士,能歌能哭邁俗流」。

有人說張丹楓的原型是納蘭容若;我覺得不像。納蘭容若是走憂鬱小生路線,張丹楓比較開朗。

另外梁羽生的詩詞功力很深厚,他的小說回目和書中的詩詞都寫得很好。

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Brexit Impact at MicroBooNE

My British colleague Andrew Lexington Furmanski is stepping down from his run coordinator position. He announced at the status meeting on Friday, the day right after the Brexit referendum. Regarding what would change to him, he replied, "my salary will decrease."

LOL

(I think this has to be added to the minutes of the meeting...)

轉世暗號、暗號之二

結論:衛斯理你這個白癡,人家挖了坑你傻傻地跳下去還自以為贏了。結果壞了二活佛和喇嘛教的大事,你切腹吧。

「轉世暗號」和「暗號之二」是我很喜歡的衛斯理小說。我覺得題材選得很有趣:西藏(圖博)對於我這種接受中原史觀教育長大的世代來說,是一個有點遠又不會太遠的地方、有點瞭解卻又處處充滿神秘氣息的文化。這樣的距離特別適合當作奇幻小說的題材、而密宗喇嘛教的許多傳說與神秘習俗也很好發揮。

這兩本書圍繞著真假二活佛之謎。我查了維基百科,原來班禪十世(1990年左右過世,這兩本書就是寫於九零年代)有結婚有女兒,還有一些爭議比較大的言行,怪不得班禪十世是假活佛的流言甚囂塵上。而被達賴十四世(目前的達賴喇嘛)所認證的班禪轉世靈童下落不明,目前的班禪十一世是中國政府扶持上位的。總之,就班禪喇嘛的身份鋪展的小說結合了神秘的法物與儀式、複雜的政局、陰謀、失蹤的衛七、各方勢力縱橫捭闔勾心鬥角,滿精彩的。

至於轉世的「科學」解釋,衛斯理認為如果人死了之後記憶存在時空中的某處,轉世靈童靈智大開是因為這組記憶進入了靈童肉體。算是相對合理的假說。至於大活佛二活佛的「神會」,大概又是某些外星人遺留下來的某種訊息傳遞方法吧。

整個故事的缺點是冒險的成分不多,很多場景都是在衛斯理家的客廳和強權的「人形工具」——美女特務黃蟬——嘴砲。黃蟬設了連環計拼命挖洞讓衛斯理和白素跳,千方百計想從他們口中套出秘密,而衛斯理和白素(還要加上衛七)傻傻地中計還自以為反將了黃蟬一軍,最後壞了二活佛大事,我實在看得很不是滋味。衛斯理還是一樣討人厭,逼得二活佛透露出太多秘密,然後一方面口口聲聲說討厭強權、特務,一方面又口嫌體正直無法拒絕黃蟬的糾纏,我都覺得不耐煩了。Or2


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Lake Tahoe Day 3 - May 30th 2016

早餐依舊是房東準備的香蕉muffins和自己泡的咖啡。我們邊打包邊跟房東太太Rhonda、印度太太閒聊。Abby悠閒地在屋裡晃來晃去,不過我跟在牠後面牠就會跑走;Rhonda說Abby不喜歡被人抓到。

前一天我們留意到房間牆上掛著許多United States Marine Corps的徽章,包括Tomcat、Black Sheep、Bulldogs(印象中還有Ace of Spades和Tigers,不過不確定),Rhonda說John之前是飛行員,後來退役了才去當銀行行員。Rhonda本人是會計師,他們在聖地牙哥相識,不過聖地牙哥治安不好——John有一次在公司隔窗目擊街上的搶案,決定搬離聖地牙哥。當二十一年前他們決定搬到Incline Village的時候,許多朋友鄰居都很訝異:這樣你們小孩子的教育怎麼辦?因著對自然環境的喜愛,他們還是過得很愉快——現在Rhonda依然是會計師,John似乎是在海灘區收門票服務觀光客,而他們的二兒子剛剛拿到獸醫學位,Rhonda說終於可以有比較寬裕的經濟享受生活了。(另外,John七十歲了,完全看不出來——我以為頂多五、六十歲!)

而牆上那些徽章呢,Rhonda說那是John的寶貝,搬家的時候打死都不肯丟掉,一搬完家馬上掛出來。XDDD

春水共長天一色

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Lake Tahoe Day 2 - May 29th 2016

早餐是房東準備的香噴噴藍莓muffins,我用咖啡機泡了咖啡,還燒熱水泡茶。房東的muffins雖然稍微甜了些不過很好吃,我一連吃了三個。我們邊吃早餐邊和Rhonda聊天,也和另一對房客——從Sunnyvale來的印度工程師夫妻——太太見了面。印度太太說她先生早上有固定的儀式(我原本以為是宗教儀式,後來才知道印度先生有椎間盤的問題所以要做一些伸展),所以她不急著出門。我們和Rhonda提起要去Tahoe Rim Trail的計畫,Rhonda說那個方向有個景點視野很好,建議我們下車看看。我問說那個景點在哪?Rhonda說:
「你走往Reno方向的公路,看到很多人停車的地方就是了。」

結果,我們在很多人停車的地方下車,看到的景色卻是......


教堂。

這才想起這天是禮拜天,剛好是鄉民上教堂的時間......Or2

上了車繼續走,終於找到了Rhonda所說的景點。從這個制高點看下去,只見環湖皆山,上下天光,一碧萬頃。心胸不由得為之一爽。


(至若春和景明,波瀾不驚,上下天光,一碧萬頃。)

DOE SAFE Training

I am taking a DOE safe training for the possibility that I will work overseas more than 30 days. One of the safety training is about overseas driving, and the transcript states,

"If the drivers in the country you are visiting drive on the opposite side of the road than we do in the US, it may be prudent to practice driving in a less populated area before attempting to drive in heavy traffic. Left turns into oncoming traffic are bad, trust me, I got that t-shirt in Japan. Here’s another tip for countries where cars are built wrong, I mean, with the steering wheel on the right side of the car; when, not if, when you accidentally get in the passenger seat because you forgot the car was built backwards, immediately open the glove box and pretend to look for something very important. The locals may not notice, but your friends will for sure."

LOL!



June 13 at 10:09pm

Continuing my DOE SAFE training, I was whining, "I've passed the counterintelligence (spy) and the hostage survival modules. Still three modules left...."

"Are those nuclear meltdown, alien invasion, and doomsday modules?" Gianluca replied.

LOL

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Lake Tahoe Day 1 - May 28th 2016


五月底Memorial Day的長週末,決定去Lake Tahoe走走。由於Gianluca和我平時都很忙沒有提早規劃、出遊前一兩個禮拜才上網看住宿費用,因此經濟實惠的選擇不多;超貴的South Lake Tahoe基本上是不考慮了。而Gianluca說網路上對於腳踏車道和健行步道的評價是North Lake Tahoe比較好,因此我們決定住北岸,也決定試試看Airbnb。

最後選了東北岸的Incline Village。一開始Gianluca在他的Airbnb帳號放了張喝啤酒的照片,結果被兩位房東發好人卡;我建議他換一張比較像乖孩子的照片,而他決定走愛米國路線,放了張背後有米國國旗的照片,然後就順利被第三間房東接受了。

星期六早上,Gianluca的飛機十點到舊金山;而我前一天還在趕review slide deadline,當天早上收行李時才發現自己漏東漏西因此晚了半小時才到。我們先「路過」位在Berkerly的85度C(Gianluca的加州御用行程)吃早午餐,也喝足了奶茶,這才前往Incline Village。沿路有些路段塞車,不過終於在下午五點到達村子裡。

Incline Village很像溪頭度假村,是個在山南水北的小村落。我們從沿湖公路開進去,錯過了該左轉的路口,反而在下一個路口看到謎樣生物——開得稍近一點就看到是一隻小熊!和我們錯車的一車遊客也特別叫我們去看。這隻小熊徘徊在兩戶人家門口;其中一家屋裡的狗一直狂吠。看完小熊,回轉不到二十公尺,就到達我們的宿處了。

房東John和Rhonda是一對非常友善的米國老夫妻,他們在Incline Village已經住二十一年了,給了我們不少建議。聽到我們在附近看到小熊之後,他們說在這條街上熊出沒是很罕見的,一邊通知鄰居,一邊告訴我們不要擋在小熊和母熊之間就沒什麼問題;另外,也告訴我們有食物味道的東西——不管是食物還是垃圾——都要冰在冰箱裡。John跟我們開玩笑說,如果我們需要武裝,他只有弓箭可以借我們。另外,房東夫妻有一張表列出他們房客的國籍,Gianluca是他們第一位義大利房客,而之前已經有過台灣房客了(加州不意外)。

我們趁太陽下山前到附近走走。可惜的是,Incline Village的湖畔全都是好野人的別墅和私人沙灘。本來希望走遠點看看能不能有地方可以看湖景,沒想到走到村口了都還在別墅區,只能悵然而返,回到住處開車到村中心吃晚餐。晚餐吃的是tapas,很特別不過份量很少也有點貴。

飯罷回到住處開始研究次日的路線。AAA的旅遊手冊和我們房東都建議開車環湖,看到漂亮的景點就下來走。而Gianluca想去北邊的Mt. Rose看看;在Incline Village和Mt. Rose之間有個叫Meadow Trail的步道,屬於Tahoe Rim Trail的一部分,不過旅遊手冊上的難易度是easy,適合我們兩個廢柴。於是我們決定早上去北邊看山,下午去南邊看湖。Gianluca還說到Mt. Rose讓他想到義大利的Monte Rosa,那是阿爾卑斯山的第二高峰,離他的家鄉Turino很近,與我去過的La Thuile滑雪研討會粒子物理研討會也不遠。好奇之下我咕狗了Monte Rosa,發現這座高峰屬於瑞士而不是義大利——

"Cheater! They told me it belonged to Italy!" Gianluca complained.
"Well, I was told the highest mountain in my country was Everest." I replied.
".... you win."

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Make Shower Great Again

I could not refrain from posting my tech note of shower reconstruction on the SLAC meeting agenda with the title "Make shower great again."

My colleague Tracy Usher concluded my shower reconstruction and the following neutral pion mass reconstruction as follows,
"60 years after the neutral pion discovery, we now measured its mass!"
XDDD

Sunday, May 22, 2016

My Next Job?!

I met a senior Asian guy while pumping my bike in front of the public library. (The pumping area becomes the only place I could talk to locals.)

"Do you speak Korean?" He asked.
"No, I'm from Taiwan." I replied.
(I guess I'm getting fat recently and having a Korean-style face... :S)
"Are you a student?"
"No, I'm a postdoc researcher."
(yay! that means I look young! :D)

We chatted a bit more, and finally he asked,
"Are you going to stay in this area after school?"
"It depends on where my next job is...."
"You have a female president; four years afterwards it will be your job!"

OK, I'm preparing my CV and reference letters.....XDDDD

Make Taiwan Great Again.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Make Filter Great Again

Conversations between my colleague Michael Mooney and me have become --

Me: Hey!
Me: you are not in your best office.
Me: nor the best meeting
Mooney: i'm in the best meeting
Mooney: making meetings best again
Me: Yes you can.
Mooney: yes *we* can, YTT.
....
Mooney: after this meeting we should talk
Mooney: about Big Plans
Me: yes!
Me: building a wall?
Mooney: listen, we are going to build a wall, so high
Mooney: that calorimetric measurements will pay for it themselves.
Me: between signals and noise?
Mooney: exactly
Mooney: the noise is getting into our country
Mooney: its bringing drugs,
Mooney: molesting signals,
Mooney: and we are just not gonna do that anymore
....
Mooney: let me get for you some amazing FHICL file parameters
Me: terrific
Me: make filter great again

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Features in PUBS

What are the features in PUBS that people using PUBS really like?

On behalf of the scientific computing division, Kirby was polling us. PUBS stands for Python/php/PostgreSQL UBooNE Software; it is a data processing software framework designed by drinking Kazu, and each step of data processing is defined by a project.

Below is my reply,

The current PUBS, and it is really great PUBS, it really is. It relies on projects -- and we have the best projects, you know, we use the best projects in our PUBS.  It really is quite amazing just how great the project is, but I'm not really, in fact -- it is a project. A really good one and I've talked to people and, lots of people actually, and they all think what I said. It has a lot of appeal. It's really just all there and what it is. If people, you know, losers and whatever, if they don't get it, then what are you going to do? It's not like the idea isn't there and that, you know, it's what it is. I have to shake my head. Everyone is just shaking their heads. It really is.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Multi Faith Church

Our GPS card on the DAQ machine had been on the freewheel mode for a month. Today Eric Church swapped the spare card with a fix to the production machine.
Eric: thank jehova
Eric: well, we havent cut over to the run config that's actually using the GPS yet, but okay
Eric: Ra, Yahweh, ....
Me: are you religious today?
Eric: whatever it takes. add yer Eastern gods there. Sorry if I was ethnocentric
Me: not sure if your God would be offended since it’s his territory ;)
Eric: I am equally invested in all of ‘em
Me: 南無阿彌陀佛
Kazu: did someone die?
——————————————
When I told Gianluca the story tonight, he commented:
You have a multi faith church.

Friday, April 1, 2016

DAQ Audible Alarms for April 1st

I prepared special DAQ audible alarms for today --

1. when a run crashes without knowing what next run is:
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert DAQ



2. when there are three runs crashing in a row within 10 minutes:
Yeah, let it be, let it be
Let it be, yeah, let it be
There will be an error, let it be



...and surprised the day shifters, Leon and Mary, and the evening shifter, Ben Carls.

Thanks Michael Mooney, who will be the "executive committee member of 24-7-on-call Data Taking Trouble Shooting Task Force" of MooneyBooNE until his grave with our fully support, for suggestions, Matt Bass for skyping me so that I could see people's reaction, and Kazuhiro Terao for a great proposal and a lot of fun!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

高陽的曹雪芹系列

高陽到底是在有名什麼啊?我快速翻完了「曹雪芹別傳」、「三春爭及初春景」及「大野龍蛇」,連同之前看完的「茂陵春」「秣陵秋」「五陵遊」「延陵劍」,算是把曹雪芹系列看完了,不過整個系列應該他喵的改名叫「繡春系列」,因為主角根本就是繡春嘛!

繡春是誰?她是震二奶奶(曹震之妻,也就是紅樓夢裡的鳳姐)的丫鬟,在本系列中主角威能大開花見花開人見人愛——
- 主子的老公曹震:有一腿不過最後墮胎,十多年後相見又繼續死纏爛打
- 主子的老公的表叔李鼎的遠房兄弟李紳:李紳最後被別人仙人跳所以沒在一起
- 哥哥的把兄弟馮大瑞:本來要提親了不過身在漕幫的馮大瑞此時捲入漕幫謀反案被充軍
- 曹雪芹本人,也是故主子的老公的堂弟:睡在一起上下其手不過緊急煞車
- 故主子的老公的表叔李鼎,也是故主子的......姘頭:疑似在一起不過沒有直接證實

除了異性愛慕者外,曹雪芹的媽馬夫人也處處關心,連繡春因情傷出家都一直拼命勸她還俗......更別說其他幾個本來就跟她有交情的大丫頭秋月、錦兒、夏雲了。

劇情根本是鄉土劇等級,我邊看邊吐槽,看完了之後差點砸螢幕。我覺得看高陽小說的樂趣是他的文筆還不錯,然後就是邏輯與批判力測驗了。我認為最大的問題有二:

一、人物的言行舉止和角色設定不合。我壓根不覺得曹家的大丫頭會如此舉足輕重。固然曹家的主子們會有倚仗的左右手,不過一朝天子一朝臣,服侍曹老太太(賈母)的秋月(鴛鴦)在曹老太太歸西之後仍舊在曹家有重要地位還滿不合理的。繡春則在出家前根本沒幫震二奶奶(鳳姐)處理什麼家務,出家後卻突然變成馬夫人(王夫人)不可或缺的左右手,一整個莫名其妙。身為全家地位最高的女主人,馬夫人似乎沒有自己的人馬,只能倚重秋月和繡春,二十幾年了還是只有秋月,根本不合理。書中還寫到馬夫人和家中女人們因為顧慮到曹雪芹的妾杏香,而沒有積極幫曹雪芹娶妻。這是啥邏輯啊啊啊?!!到了二十一世紀女性地位大大提升的今天,我自己都沒覺得受到這麼多關心了,怎麼可能在十八世紀大家族的女人會這麼體諒一個妾(在當時根本不算人)啊?!!

二、人物完全沒有吸引力可言。我覺得高陽根本是人物魅力殺手啊!紅樓夢中每個人都有每個人的優缺點,優點多的人總有幾個令人皺眉的缺點,缺點多的人也有可愛的地方,所以讀者不太會完全討厭或是喜歡一個角色,也因此每個角色都很立體很真實。高陽小說裡的震二奶奶、春雨、小蓮分別對應到紅樓夢中的鳳姐、襲人、晴雯,可是高陽的角色完全沒有原來的優點,而原來的缺點放大一百倍,以至於我覺得這三個角色都相當討厭。「主角」繡春根本是個瑪麗蘇,完全不知道其他角色是愛她哪一點,然後理論上的主角曹雪芹,是個膽小的色鬼,一天到晚色授魂與又不敢真的吃下去,婆婆媽媽的超煩的。賈寶玉雖然也是意淫,也是有點婆媽,但是相比之下寶玉有靈性多了,比高陽筆下的曹雪芹可愛一萬倍。然後高陽寫了這麼十本書,書中的曹雪芹根本還沒開始動筆寫紅樓夢啊啊啊!連準備取材都還沒開始是怎樣?!

傳說中看高陽小說可以學習很多人情世故,我真的完全無法認同。通篇我只看到每個角色絞盡腦汁把溝通弄得複雜無比,比賽誰可以把話講得比較漂亮,可是講出來的話完全不合自己的身份,而另一方的反應也不合角色設定。所以說,別再相信沒有根據的說法了!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

How many Chinas?

Today when I was in Gianluca and Kirby's office, Gianluca said his chair was gone.

Gianluca: Did you eat my chair?
Me: I am not Chinese.
Kirby: But you are from Republic of China.
Me: I'm from our China, not their China(*). (crap, why do we have China in our country name?!)
Kirby: How many Chinas are there?
Andy: It depends on whom you ask.
XDDDD

* The world according to Ronald Reagan