Wednesday, December 21, 2016


This Facebook "LIKE" has turned to a dilemma these days.  Let me show you why you should not get upset when a friend does not "LIKE" your post.

- You have 1000 friends
- Each friend posts twice a day average
- Browsing each post takes 1 second
- There are 5 of 2000 posts that might catch your notice
- Reading/watching good ones takes 2 minutes each

Now let's do the math:
(1995 x 1) + (5 x 120) = 2595 seconds = 43 minutes

So in order to see one round of all your friends' posts, you need to stay in, and focus on, Facebook for 43 minutes nonstop.  Most people do not have this much extra time (in one nonstop session) to do so.  Add to this, some people have many more than 1000 friends (I do 3000+).  And artist friends (musicians, photographers, etc) generally post more than two times a day, and some music videos may be much longer than 2 minutes.

Hence (Mathematically speaking), do not get upset when you don't see my "LIKE" on your post, my friend!  It does not mean I don't like your post (although it might be the case...individual taste, you know) or even worse, I don't like you!  No!  It just means--most possibly--I have missed your latest post. 

One more thing, probably worth to add: that "heart" does not mean one loves only means your friend really loves your post. is good!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lang Lang Played Emperor

Last evening, Lang Lang performed Beethoven's fifth concerto with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Jean-Marie Zeitouni at the podium.  Opposite to what many professionals say, he did extremely
well . . . a beautiful performance and even better with Liszt's Romance as the encore.

Vancouver Symphony was excellent as always, but the conductor was not at the level of VSO, did not succeed in getting a nice sound--as Maestro Tovey does--from the orchestra.  Many times, some string played pizzicato today, some others the day after!  And the second movement of the symphony was too slow, very boring!

A few quick notes:

- Opposite to most soloists, Lang Lang was looking at the front row audience most of the time.  He is a good actor too!
- The volume of the sound of Dale (concertmaster) was too high, almost like a solo.  He and the conductor should control it in the future.
- Nick is doing quite well in place of Brent (principal second) although Brent is really different, both in the leading role and as a gentleman.
- Jeanette was perfect in absence of Karen (assistant second) too.
- It was good to see that Jennie (assistant concertmaster) fixed the colour of her hair (it was half red half black for a few months) which was only good for a rock band! 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

VSO Played Beethoven & Mozart

I’m just back from Orpheum…another fabulous concert of Vancouver Symphony.

It was strange…after forty years of continuous concert going, I was thinking in the interval, how this habit of mine to sit in the first row started when it’s not an interesting location for the overall sound heard, nor the best place for visual purposes…the best can be viewed is the strings section and only the first rows!  Then I went back, with the wings of imagination, to my home town 40 years back, when viewing Henryk Szeryng, for instance, playing Beethoven with the Tehran Symphony Orchestra from the closest distance possible was a once-in-a-life-time chance, especially for a young 14-year boy.

Anyway, Maestro Tovey opened the concert with “Earth Songs” by Professor Stephen Chatman, Head, Composition Division at The University of British Columbia.  This piece was commissioned by the UBC in honour of its centenary four years ago (2007).  Vancouver Bach Choir joined the VSO in performance of this work.  A beautiful work...made me buy the CD at the interval!

The all-classic part of the evening started after that with the beautiful second concerto of Beethoven, totally a Mozartian type.  Opus number 19 shows it all.  The 39-year-old pianist from Vienna, Till Fellner played the solo part...very soft and pretty much beautiful performance.

First movement begins with a long introduction by tutti in the tonic key of B-flat major.  Solo enters after a few chromatic passages and a full classic conversation between the solo and tutti continues the movement. 

Adagio is one of the charming Beethoven’s movements in the subdominant key of E-flat major.

And finally comes the finale, again a totally classic 7-part rondo in a 6/8 rhythm.  A Beethoven typical musical joke can be heard right before the last appearance of the rondo theme when solo moves to a G major key by mistake but tutti guides the solo to the correct tonic key!

After the interval, the glamorous Symphony No. 40 of Mozart was performed.  The amazing sound of the orchestra of our town shows much better in symphonies far from natural mistakes of the soloists that distract the average audience.  And Maestro Tovey, as I told him once in the West Vancouver Library, is as wonderful as his guru, the late Leonard Bernstein I loved.

The first theme is just charming, although a bit dark and sad.  It starts in the tonic key of G major with the accompaniment of the lower strings.  This technique was widely used later by early romantics.  An example is the beginning of Mendelssohn’s first violin concerto.

Slow movement moves to E-flat, the submediant major of the main key.

The minuet is a true Mozartian-classic ¾ dance including a happier trio.  To me, it was performed too fast for an eighteenth century court dance...should be more elegant.  Probably Maestro Tovey wanted to finish the fastest concert (under two hours) even faster and go home!

Finale, allegro assai in the tonic G minor is a very rhythmic live movement, a happy ending for a great symphony.

This time, nothing exciting happened, no baton flew in the air, no D string of the second violins broke…nothing!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Iron Ring

Reference: The Iron Ring Website

The history of the Calling of an Engineer dates back to 1922.  Seven past presidents of the Engineering Institute of Canada (then so called) had a meeting in Montreal with other engineers.  

One of the speakers in the meeting was Professor Haultain of the University of Toronto. He recommended establishing an organization to bind all members of the engineering profession in Canada.  He felt that an obligation or statement of ethics needed be developed to which a young graduate in engineering could subscribe.  The past presidents of the Engineering Institute of Canada were very receptive to this idea.

Haultain wrote to Rudyard Kipling, who had made references to the work of engineers in some of his poems and writings, asking him for his assistance in developing a suitably dignified obligation and ceremony for this purpose.  Kipling was very enthusiastic in his response and shortly produced both an obligation and a ceremony formally entitled "The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer."

The Ritual is now administered by a body called The Corporation of the Seven Wardens Inc.  The seven past presidents of the Engineering Institute of Canada in 1922 were the original seven Wardens.  The Corporation is responsible for administering and maintaining the Ritual and, in order to do so, creates Camps in various locations in Canada.  The Ritual is not connected with any university or engineering organization.  It is an entirely independent body.  The Ritual has been copyrighted in Canada and in the United States.

The Iron Ring has been registered too and may be worn on the little finger of the working hand by any engineer who has been obligated at an authorized ceremony of the Ritual of the Calling of the Engineer.  The ring symbolizes the pride which engineers have in their profession, while simultaneously reminding them of their humility.  The ring serves as a reminder to the engineer and others of the engineer's obligation to live by a high standard of professional conduct.  It is not a symbol of qualification as an engineer which is determined by the provincial and territorial licensing bodies.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Your Hands

I see myself—without you,

All alone, lonely alone,
Wherever I go, anywhere I now step in,
I can but feel you, your image visible to me.

I can clearly remember your eyes,
Filled with pain, full of grief,
The story of your loneliness,
Was long, enough to suit tens of books.

Your memories are with me, anywhere I go,
Softly burning the days of my life…

* * * * *

You were shining like the sun for me,
In the cold, dark world of mine,
Of the always wet cheeks of mine,
Thus your fingers wiped the tears.

Where are those beautiful hands now?
Those good, kind hands of yours,
Why cannot be heard anymore,
The fairy tales from your crimson mouth?

No, I can never believe it ever,
All those lovely memories are gone,
The true lover of the blue of the skies,
Has left my heart behind the window.

The blue of the sky has turned to stone gray,
Dear God might be in deep sleep,
Not looking down from that high above heavens,
Not seeing all tears flooding on my cheeks.

Your memories are with me, anywhere I go,
Softly burning the days of my life…

A quick translation of an old Persian song

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Advice From Snopes

By now, most people are familiar with Snopes
and/or TruthorFiction for determining whether information received via an e-mail is true or false. Both are excellent sites. Below is their advice.
1) Any time you see an e-mail that says forward this on to '10' of your friends, sign this petition, or you'll get bad luck, good luck, or whatever, it almost always has an e-mail tracker program attached that tracks the cookies and e-mails of those forwarded addresses. The host sender is getting a copy each time it gets forwarded and then is able to get lists of 'active' e-mail addresses to use in spam e-mails or sell to other spammers.
2) Almost all e-mails that ask you to add your name and forward on to others are similar to that mass letter years ago that asked people to send business cards to the little kid in Florida who wanted to break the Guinness Book of Records for the most cards. All it was, and all any of this type of e-mail is, is a way to get names and 'cookie' tracking information for telemarketers and spammers--to validate active e-mail accounts for their own profitable purposes.
You can do your friends and family members a great favour by sending this information to them; you will be providing a service to your friends, and will be rewarded by not getting thousands of spam e-mails in the future.
If you have been sending out (forwarding) the above kinds of e-mails, now you know why you get so much spam! Do yourself a favour and stop adding your name(s) to those types of listings, regardless of how inviting they might sound. You may think you are supporting a great cause, but you are not. Instead, you will be getting tons of junk mail later. Plus, we are helping the spammers get rich. Let's not make it easy for them.
Also, e-mail petitions are NOT acceptable to Congress or any other organization. To be acceptable, petitions must have a signed signature and full address of the person signing the petition.
Furthermore, please remove all e-mail addresses still attached before you forward a message. It is putting everyone's name out there. Most people use a nickname for their e-mail just so their real name is not out there on the internet. But if you have listed their real name in your contacts, it will also show up next to their email address. Be a friend and delete all the names before forwarding. Even better, send everything by BCC; that's Blind Carbon Copy. That way no names will ever show up on an e-mail.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day... to all lovers around the world!
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