Monday, May 19, 2008

[mural] [boston] Murals in Boston (II)


This is in central square. This is actually a graffiti, and it changes over time.


Central square library. As usual, we can see people from different cultures.


Out of no where in Somerville. Close to the rail track.


Outside a boxing club in Somerville. Close to a supermarket (Market Basket).


Dali, a Spanish restaurant in Somerville.


Outside a high school in Somerville, close to union square.
It says, "The arc of history is long but it bends toward justice."--Let's hope so.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What can a baseball do?

There are some Taiwanese playing in Major League Baseball: Chin-Feng Chen in Dodgers from 2002-2005, Chin-Lung Hu in Dodgers, Hong-Chih Kuo in Dodgers, Chin-Hui Tsao in Royals, and Chien-Ming Wang in Yankees. Although they are loved by Taiwanese, these baseball stars are not the focus of this article. Here are stories about how baseballs change the life of challenged people and students in remote elementary schools.

The first story starts when a screen writer, an actor, and a director, Nien-Jen Wu left a message in Haomei's blog about Sacred Heart Home for the challenged people. Fr. Franz Burkhardt founded Sacred Heart Home in Chia-Yi, Taiwan, in 1980, and he planned to build a larger building to help more challenged people. Although the Reverend Franz Burkhardt, a recipient of presidential and papal honors for his services to Taiwan over almost half a century, died in 2002, his colleagues continue to work on this plan. Due to the funding shortage, Haomei started to blog about Sacred Heart Home and helps raise money and invite people to visit Sacred Heart Home.

An episode for these fund-raising activities is about baseballs.

Chensumi talked about how Tai-Yuan Kuo signed baseballs for a fund-raising auction:

I mentioned fund-raising for Sacred Heart Home to Tai-Yuan Kuo. He listened carefully and agreed to sign some baseballs without hesitance.[...] I asked him, “can you sign more?” He answered, “sure. There is no problem when doing good things.”

This auction raised 182100 NTD for Sacred Heart Home, and this success inspired some baseball lovers to contribute their baseball-related souvenirs to the second auction. The second auction raised 281861 NTD for Sacred Heart Home. The result is not only satisfactory for Sacred Heart Home but also for the baseball players and lovers--


In the past, when we talked about how baseball is related to money, we thought about gambling. However, this time when baseball works for money, we have accomplished something so touching.

The second story is about helping some baseball teams in remote elementary schools. Chensumi reported:


Chien-Kuo Group's plan has raised 72000 NTD.[...] We will ask couch Wen-Cheng Lan to help us choose some baseball teams that need our attention most. After this baseball game, we will send the equipments as a pleasant present to the elementary schools for the young players who pursue their baseball dream. We also thank our friends Yen-Hsi Lin and Jung-Chien Yang's help so we can get the most reasonable assessment for these equipments. The fund we raised should be able to help more than three baseball teams in the remote elementary schools.

Chien-Kuo Group's plan is based on the love for the children and baseball:

我們也許讓未來有機會站上大聯盟投手丘與打擊區的小孩們,未來要扛下國家隊第四棒或職棒中心打線的小選手們,可以有新手套,可以不必擔心練習用球不見,同時 讓他們知道,這段辛苦的棒球路,不是那麼寂寞,因為我們相信,在棒球起步的階段,曾經受過幫助的人,會一輩子都懂得感恩,不會愧對棒球之神賦予他們的使命。」

We can help these children, who may stand on the MLB field or play in the national or professional baseball teams, have new mitts and not worry about losing the practice baseballs. At the same time, they would know they are not alone. We believe that if they receive help in the beginning of their career, they will be grateful for the potential they have when they play baseball.

Redyellow described what they saw when sending the equipments to one of the elementary schools:

這 一天我回來後,心底帶著暖暖的滿足。意外變成先發登板的我,帶著大家的愛心來到汐止國小,看著天真活潑的小球員,心裏彷彿被純淨的水流洗淨一般。到底是我 幫助了他們,還是他們幫助了我,讓我找回心中久違的感動。[...]替這些勇敢追夢的孩子們吶 喊加油吧!因為這也是為我們自己加油啊!

Today I came home with warm satisfaction in my mind. I became the first one sending our love to Hsi-Chih elementary school by accident. When I saw these lovely lively young players, my heart seems to be washed by clean water. It may look like I help them. However, they help me to find the touching feeling I have lost for a long time. [...]Let's cheer for these brave children when they pursue their dream! By doing it we also cheer for ourselves! Finally I feel I am a baseball fan, but I am not a baseball fan today.

Taiwan: one world, one dream?

When China holds the 2008 Olympic Game and said “one world, one dream,” what do we expect for this dream?

Schumann explained the origin of the Olympic torch:

古代希臘人在奧運舉辦前,會按宗教儀式,在奧林匹亞宙斯神廟前的祭壇上點燃火種, [...]火炬手高舉火炬,一邊奔跑,一邊呼喊:停止一切戰爭,參加運動會。

Before an ancient Olympic Game, ancient Greek people ignited a torch before Temple of Olympian Zeus.[...] The torch holder would run and shout, 'stop wars to join the Olympics!' Where the torch went, where the war stopped.[...] Greek people went to the Olympic Game, and they forgot hatred and war. As a result, torch, which is a tool for sending signals, becomes a symbol for peace, light, and friendship.

However, Schumann said,

中國, 污辱了聖火。

This blessed Olympic torch becomes hated by so many people because of China. China stigmatizes the Olympic torch.

Many Taiwanese discuss if we should boycott the Olympic torch due to China government's records of repressing human right. AW talked what is the goal for China government to hold the Olympic Game:

China government tries to show its legal status (to be in power) by holding the Olympic Game. When people cheer in the athletic field, the human right activists may be tortured in the prisons. When the significant western figures show their respect for China government in the opening ceremony, the Communist Party of China is deciding to rule China forever.

Door and window discussed who should take the responsibility for letting the Olympic torch be tarnished?


The leaders of all the countries should take the responsibility for letting the torch be tarnished.
Where are the countries proud to be democratic?
Where are the countries proud to be free?
Where are the countries called as world police? Are they paralyzed?
That's fine. We can see how their clothe of morality diminishes before powerful autocracy.

doctor61 is surprised by how this Olympic torch is being relayed:

It is the first time that the country that holds an Olympic Game needs to mobilize oversea Chinese and their “safe guards” to “protect” the Olympic torch.

On the other hand, many people are surprised by how people supporting Tibet can evoke the boycott of the Olympic torch. forumvisitor commented,
圖博人在海外的人數應該沒台灣人數多,可是他們能爭取到的國際友人的聲援能量, 我自己覺得真的很驚人。我覺得我們要好好學習, 至少要盡量幫忙保護這個可能的盟友。

I am surprised by the support Tibetans get from foreigners, especially when the oversea Tibetans should not be more than oversea Taiwanese. I think we should learn from the Tibetans and protect these friends.

Door and window supported the boycott:

I sighed while watching the torch relay for days.
When China government was repressing Tibet, we did not hear a thing about boycotting the Olympic torch.
Singapore was even supporting China government's action. Sigh.
However, justice does not disappear after all.
After people supporting human right come forward, many leaders said they will not go to Olympic opening ceremony.
Sigh. If we do not voice through our action, there is no voice.

mobobeijing2008 thought Taiwan should join the boycott:
台灣長期遭受中國武力的威嚇[...]在2008北京奧運舉辦之前,大家應掌握這個關鍵時刻,共同參與跨國界的抵制行動[...]呼籲中國,不應「右手舉聖火、左手抓飛彈」[...]而應該公開承諾,放棄以武力解 決台灣問題。

Taiwan has been threaten by China's armed force. We should grasp this critical moment to join the cross-border boycott activity and ask China not to hold the Olympic torch with its right hand and hold the missiles with its left hand. [...] China should promise that they will give up armed force when they face Taiwan's issue.

When the boycott becomes a serious matter to China, China government asks people not to mix politics and athletics. However, this request is not sold well.

johnnio said,
中國過去有幾年都因為政治問題不參加奧運,現在反而喊很大聲,要政治歸政治,體育歸體育。中國人的雙重標準果然博大精深 。

China did not join some past Olympic Games due to political issues, but now it tells us that don't mix politics and athletics. This double standard is hard to understand.

no justice argued,
政治歸政治? 那台灣要加入世界衛生組織, 非政治機構, 他們在哭夭什麼?

Politics is politics? When Taiwan tries to join World Health Organization, which is not a political organization, why do they block us?

Boycott of Olympics 2008 is not only a politic issue. It is about what dream people all over the world want to share with each other.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Taiwan: Support for Tibet

For Tibetans' independent movement, most Taiwanese support and sympathize Tibetans, and many people changed their twitter profile figure to the flag of Tibet which represents Tibetan independent movement.

'Free Tibet' (Photo courtesy of skydaughter.)

Many artists, writers, musicians, and social movement participants held 'Bringing love to Tibet' to pray for Tibetans:


Young volunteers from Taiwan have worked overseas wherever help is needed. Now Tibet is violently oppressed by China, and these young Taiwanese identify ourselves with the Tibetans. We decided to support Tibetans, by our music and poems.

Compared to other countries, Tibetans' independent movement has a very special meaning for Taiwan. Most of the discussions are based on empathy, because Taiwan and Tibet are both threatened and manipulated by China. Terry said,


I am afraid of this country (China) due to its past records of cruelty. When I was in high school, there was Tiananmen Square protests. A lot of evidence shows that there was military oppression in Tiananmen square, and many people were killed. Facing this neighbor with blood in its hand, I am afraid and alert.


Many people said that we should not put restrains on ourselves and give up the opportunity of prosperity by doing business with this neighbor since we have the niche of using the same language. However, if the opportunity of prosperity comes with oppression and loss of democracy and freedom, I will choose to be conservative. Living a poor life is all right, if I can speak, breath, and live happily and freely.

Some people reflected Taiwan's history and compared its own oppressed past with Tibetans' independent movement. Judie said, Tibetans are in their 228 Massacre.


Tibetans are experiencing their 228 Massacre, making a difficult stand against the foreign ruler.[...] Their independent movement is misunderstood and slandered. The blood from these innocent people keeps running and the hurt is deepened.

Many people criticized the mass media in Taiwan. Jas took blocking the news about Tibet for example and said, because the sources and gatekeepers are different, this independent movement is reported differently.


(China) said there were only 'a few' people joining Tiananmen Square protests and there are only 'a few' people supporting the independence of Taiwan, and now they referred to the oppressed Tibetans as 'a few' again.

Tucci in Germany compared the news about Tibet in Taiwan and Germany, and said the news is obviously less in Taiwan than in Germany.


A country that uses its military to kill the protesters is depreciating and ruining human right.[...] I think this independent movement will be as important as Tiananmen Square protests. However, I am sorry to see the major media in Taiwan did not take it seriously, which is very different from how Germany media treats it.

Sindia in Beijing talked about the information blockage in China.


Some people asked me how people in Beijing view this Tibetan independent movement. Under this condition, most people in Beijing don't know what happens in Tibet. If some of them know, they only know that some Tibetans evoked violence and hurt innocent Han people, and Dalai Lama have orchestrated it to ruin the Olympic Games in Beijing and for their independence. This is what mass media in China said. In this condition, what do you think people in Beijing can comment?

Although China government blocks the information, due to the advance of technology, some people in China tries to use instant messanger and twitter to see people's comment about the protest in Tibet, even though they are confused or unhappy. A message in zola may show some people's opinions:


What Tibet needs is healthy development, protecting their culture, and solving political issues peacefully. For whoever says we should kill and oppress, if you have Tibetan friends, you will not say so any more.

Annpo asked Chinese friends through twitter, and one of them who has experience of working in Tibet said:


The life condition in Tibet does improve a lot. We can see the life in Tibet now is better compared to its neighbors. However, [...] can we satisfy people only by making their life better? [...] The government affords free education, but the textbooks are Han's textbooks. [...] Not all Tibetans support the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. When Lhasa becomes prosperous, my Tibetan friends keep moving out. Can't these observations explain the problem in Tibet?

There are other people caring about Tibet. Reiw in Hong Kong made a detail analysis and zola shared the summary of the news. Chao-Chen Lin, a reporter interviewing Dalai Lama and many Tibetans before, explained the problem of Tibet is due to the failure of conversation between Dalai Lama and Chinese government, and the development brought by China government that destroys their culture.

Acknowledgment: A-po made this summary first, and then I-Fan edited and translated it into English.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Discussions about NCC draft law

The National Communications Commission (NCC) in Taiwan held its second hearing on Sept. 20th, 2007, to discuss the second draft of a new communication law. This new law will integrate the three communication laws -- the Satellite and Broadcasting Law, Cable Radio and the Television Law, and Broadcasting and Television Law.

From Newstory :


"There are three perspectives of development of telecommunication and media industries after 1980s: convergence, globalization, and lifting restrictions. This new communication law is legislated by NCC based on these spirits."

On the other hand, NCCwatch, a civil group, is afraid that this trend encourages monopoly in the media industry. Since media is considered to be a carrier for culture, we must pay attention to its quality. As a result, after the second hearing, NCCwatch claimed there are some serious problems in the second draft of the law:


二、反對NCC不當開放外資:[...]此舉不但對本地影視產業發展及勞工權益並無助益,未來本地文化及我國的文化主權也將受到嚴重戕害! [...]



五、反對NCC刪除本國自製節目比例明確規定 [...]

"(1)We are against repealing of the special fee (for the government) collected from the media operators.[...] Without the special fee (1 % of the media operators' turn over), the media operators do not have social responsibility any more.[...]

(2)We are against allowing overseas investors to own a very high percentage (49%) of shares in the nation's broadcast television companies. [...] This act will not benefit local media industries and our labors, and it will damage our culture and our identity.[...]

(3)We are against lifting the restrictions that prevent corporations to run different kinds of media.[...] This act will encourage centralization of the media's ownership and will aggravate the monopolization in media industry.[...]

(4)We are against reducing the penalties drastically for the media operators for breaking the law.[...] This act cannot protect consumers from being assaulted by low-quality media.[...]

(5)We are against lifting the regulation that specifies the exact percentage of television programs to be locally produced.[...]"

Newstory also discussed some articles in the second draft of the new law raising concerns, which can be summarized into three points:

(1) "條文「頻道事業提供之節目或廣告,不得有煽動族群仇恨或性別岐視情形」,[...]如果沒有認定標準,這項條文很難執行。 "

The article 'the contents and advertisements provided by broadcast corporations should not abet conflicts between ethics groups'[...] is void if we do not have a definition for 'abetting conflicts between ethics groups.'

(2) "現行規定廣告總時間不得超過每一節目播送總時間六分之一,[...]現改為每日廣告時間不得超過播送時間的六分之一 。"

The current regulation for the length of advertisement is less than 1/6 of each program,[...] but it is changed to be less than 1/6 of the whole broadcast time.

(3) "草案新增除新聞與兒童節目外,允許置入性廣告,但必須要在畫面上呈現「廣告」或「贊助者」字樣。 "

In the draft, product placement advertisements are allowed except news programs and programs for children, but they should show 'advertisement' or 'sponsor' on the screen.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

[Mural] [Boston] Murals in Boston

The famous murals in Boston are in the Boston Public Library. The artist is John Singer Sargent.
You can take a virtual tour. We can see the description of the murals by the artist himself. The title of the murals are 'Triumph of Religion.' The artist had worked on this project from 1895 to 1916. This project in Boston Public Library is John Singer Sargent's first mural project. We can see his other work in Museum of Fine Art in Boston.

Route & Maps Generator

There are several types of murals: public murals, commercial murals, and murals in residence houses. For some public murals, the communities surrounding them are deeply involved.

There are some murals I am impressed:

===Central Square parking lot around Harvest (a co-op grocery store)===
- -

potluck mural
Potluck, painted by David Fichter in 1994.
From central square in Cambridge to Inman square in Somerville, there are people from different countries with different cultures. We can see these people in the mural, and they are happily sharing the food, chatting, and dancing. There are more details in David's website.

Route & Maps Generator

harvest mural
Since it is on the wall of Harvest co-op grocery store, I assume the 'precautionary principle' is Harvest's principle. We can see there are animals with their cubs, some children, and a mother with her child.

===Central square around Blockbuster===

Language Translations

central square mural
A Celebration of Imagination, a Tribute to Marc Chagall, painted by Pasqualina Azzarello in 1997.
Because this mural is a tribute to Marc Chagall, we can see the painter chose some colors and lines similar to what are seen in Chagall's paintings.

===Central square on the wall of Middle East restaurant and night club===

- -

middle east restaurant mural

Because Middle East is a restaurant and a night club, we can see people in the mural are playing different musical instruments. In addition, it contains a lot of oriental flavor.

===S&S restaurant in Cambridge===

Route & Maps Generator

The mural can be seen here. The artist is Joshua Winer. This restaurant has great brunch!

===Harvard square theater (of course, around Harvard square)===

English German Translation

The mural can be seen here. The artist is also Joshua Winer.

===Trader Joe (a grocery store) in Cambridge===

- -

Sunday Afternoon on the Charles River, painted by David Fichter in 2005. We can see in the mural, people enjoy the picnic besides the river. There is Harvard bridge, and people are kayaking and canoing. In the left side, we can see the old Harvard square with the trolley—now there is underground subway (red line). In the right side, there is a woman hold a Trader Joe's bag. But beyond her, there is the the main dome at MIT. In the summer time, Harvard blocks part of Memorial Drive for people to enjoy their Sunday.

===Inside Science Museum===

by English Translations

This muralt was painted by Amy Barlett Wright. Her environment-oriented style is very different from the energetic style in the murals around central square.


by English Translations

allson mural
allson aged mural

There are many asian, indian, and russian people in this area as far as I know (from the restaurants). I did not find any information about this mural.

===JFK crossing===

- -

coolidge corner mural

This mural was painted by David Fichter in 1995. I guess the man in the center of the mural is JFK. This area in Brookline is where Kennedy was born, and the locals call it 'JFK crossing.' They said there are four murals, but I only remember three: this one, another one across the street, and the other one one block away.

===Zaftigs restaurant around Coolidge corner===

by English Translations

JFK crossing mural

Coolidge corner is full of Jewish culture—there are Jewish bookstores, Jewish restaurants, and etc. Of course Zaftigs restaurant is a Jewish restaurant. In the center of the mural, I think it is the historic building in the center of Coolidge corner. In the left part, we can see the Coolidge corner theater and the trolley (green line). About the women in red dress, I guess she was the owner of Zaftigs because there is a portrait similar to these women in the restaurant.

===Newberry Street===

Newberry street is a famous shopping area in Boston, and this mural is a very famous one on Newberry street. They said there are more than 50 famous people, including JFK, Babe Ruth, Bette Davis and Isabella Stewart Gardner. It is painted by Joshua Winer in 1991.


- -

This mosaic mural is outside the Grand Lodge of Masons in Mass. It contains three panels: Greek Doric column, the motto of Massachusetts Freemasons, a plumb, and something I am not sure what it is about.



Many people take photo of this mural because it is on the wall facing the popular parking log. Although the Buddha in the center attracts our attention, this mural is about anti-smoking. It was painted by Boston Youth Fund Mural Crew in 1998.

English German Translation

This mural is outside the Chinese community center. I guess the man on the top is about the business of laundry. There are other people in this mural tailoring, cooking, working in a construction site, transporting merchandise, rowing a dragon boat (right upper part), telling stories, learning English, striking, planting. I guess because it is very close to the New England Medical Center, there is a physician in this mural.
This mural was painted by David Fichter in 1986.

- -

There is another mural painted by Boston Youth Fund Mural Crew. It was painted in 1997. It is around the Chinatown gate. We can see many characters in famous Chinese stories.

Because the involvement of the community or the local stores, I found where there is a mural, there are many interesting local stores and interesting community activities.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Taiwan: Is there a blind spot in blogsphere?--Blogblind

2007/11/20, an experimental website was born in Taiwan: 'Blogblind' (closed now, in two days). The main concept is pushing (similar to 'digg it' in 'Digg') the blogs people do not like (instead of pushing the website we appreciate) and tagging them with comments like 'copy machine' or 'boast.' When most people leave flattering comments in the blogs (or maybe the 'bad' comments are deleted by the owners of the blogs), many people consider this new website is a pertinent way for the bloggers to make a self-examination.


這個網站實在是太歡樂,太搞笑了呀。 過去有照亮黑暗部落格的明燈,他只有一個人在評論,現在有了Blogblind,可說是集眾人之力,似乎可發揮效益更大的產物 。


自己是認為,這樣的網站可以讓台灣的部落格有一番新話題,讓過去一些為人詬病的現象,在這個殿堂裡獲得公開討論,又不傷大雅的機會 。

yblog said,

This website is so funny and so kuso. In the past days, 'the light lightening the black blogphere' is the only one making comments. Now with Blogblind, get together and we may achieve more beneficial outcomes.

By different tags, the characters of the blogs formed in our minds are surfacing.

I think this website can generate a new subject in Taiwan's blogsphere that we can talk about. The phenomenons people have complained about can be discussed in a public space without hurting anyone.

However, how do the bloggers whose blogs were listed on the website and tagged with abusive language feel?

Dear John說:

因為是匿名發表評論,才過一天而已,在站上已經累積了為數不少的不堪的人身攻擊和沒有根據的謾罵。 完全沒有想過這些被罵的部落客心中有何感受? 在此,呼籲此站應該立刻關站,並且張貼對所有被罵的部落格的道歉啟示。大家也不應該再用笑鬧的態度來看待此事

Dear John said,

Because people can make comments anonymously, there are a lot of abusive comments without evidence. Did they ever think about how the blamed bloggers feel? Here I appeal that this website should close immediately and post an apology for the blamed blogs, and all of us should not take this lightly any more.


對於BBS上的鄉民來說,反正有文必推、有熱鬧必湊、有人打架我就在旁邊吶喊。但在這種鄉民現象中眾鄉民的「推」文 (抑或噓文?),大家可否曾想過一件事情?這一股股的推(噓)浪潮中,帶有著多少部落客的惡意毀謗與攻訐?

Aug9 said,

To the 'mob' on BBS, if there is an article, the mob will push it; if there is a crowd, the mob will join them; if there is people fighting, the mob will yell. However, when the mob push (or boo) an article, have we thought about how much bad intention, slander, and cheap shot coming along with the pushing (or booing)?

Although many people consider that this website was overplayed, some people still hope it can reopen one day.






yblog said,

To me, if Blogblind can solve these two problems, it is possible to be reopened:

The first is the spam robot program, and the second is the anonymous tagging with bad intention.

I think the people who want to tag must log on, and everyone can see who leaves which tag. If there is lawsuit in the future, at least we can see whose account is that.

In addition to the technical issues, maybe we need to learn more about social psychology: why people do not care to hurt others when we do not see the victims or when we think we are not the first one to stab at the victims. It is always not easy to find a pertinent way to criticize others.