Wednesday, May 02, 2018
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Relentlessly terrifying. I couldn't sleep after starting this book. I enjoyed the story, and I was captivated by the characters dealing with the realities WWII. The plight of people fleeing a city, the indoctrination of young men with no better options--- all so sad and desperate. I felt bad for everyone that had to be a part of WWII, and I understood much better the day-to-day horror that war would bring to every man, woman, and child. I'm not going to go through the plot, but it reminds me of Ken Follett's excellent Century Series. Though long, this book was good, although a bit gory- its another perspective on the great war that affected generations to come.
What is this book about to me? All the light could refer to the descriptions of how the young girl lives, and what she senses were beautiful and also overwhelming. But I think the title refers to the inner strength that exists in those who we think are disadvantaged. Young Marie-Laure, despite her blindness, she sees more about the world than those around her, and rises up to the challenges of the day. In contrast, the sighted around her, none of them can see the right thing to do, or have the courage to actually do it. The same for those who are no "mainstream" and can make the hard choices because they cannot be part of the system. Frederick, who refuses to disobey his parents because he knows they need him in the camp or they will be cast out Jutta, the younger sister of a young radio operator who warns "If everyone is doing it, it does not mean it is right for you to do it too." The light we cannot see is the strength to question what choices we have everyday.
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Friday, May 19, 2017
H and W are the initials for HotWheels. We love cars. A dream job for the eldest one is to be a HotWheels designer. We play cars, we race cars, we build homemade ramps, we have two crate-loads of tracks (official and knock-off glow in the dark stuff). H teaches me about all the different stunts that each car can do. Once in a while, we get to "unlock" a new car. My favorite so far is just learning different car features--and how they compare against other cars. Some of those HotWheels cars are pretty imaginative (e.g. rocket boosters and impossibly small engine footprints). H (age 7) has all his HotWheels memorized-- knows the name of every one, and our duplicates. W (age 3) has a family set of cars --the Purrfect Speed models. Although we've gone through many HotWheels story books and catalogs out there-- my favorite book by far is Chris Van Dusen's If I Built A Car.
The lyrics describe one kid's dream car design. Each kid takes turns marveling at the imaginative features they like (such as the conveyor belt kitchen and underwater mode). We also scrutinze the myriad engineering drawings-- isometric, exploded views, and napkin sketches. I like talking with the kids about technical concepts like retractable wings, polymer gels, and autonomous driving. (I worked as an driving robot engineer once, so I reminisce about the idea in kids media. ) So refreshing to use grown-up vocabulary and prose when we're reading together.
Van Dusen has written quite a few gems that keep us conversant about engineering design, such as Randy Riley's Really Big Hit and the similarly styled If I Built a House. There's plenty of turn-taking when it comes to discussing what one's dream design car or house would be. It can also be fun to admire the old-school style of Van Dusen's drawings. I read that he paints the pictures in huge canvases and then shrinks them into the book. No digital touch ups-- everything is painted by hand. There's a lot to gawk at-- the contextual details are very well composed on each frame. Also, each subject's features are well proportioned (no awkward looking noses or nightmare faces) and the styling is consistent throughout the book. You could definitely spend a lot of time just pointing out the different levels of detail on each page., from fixtures, to countenances, to shine spots on foreheads. We've gotten to the point where we even read the sketches on the inside cover-- and discuss the tradeoffs of different proposed concepts in If I Built a House. One thing I appreciated when the kids were younger was the word-image correspondence-- making my job of teaching literacy easier.
Of all the Van Dusen books, I think If I Built a Car is my favorite. I just love hearing the kids talk about how mechanical features like spoilers, fenders, and profile can affect performance (drift, drag, and speed). Then, seeing all the creative ways these ideas manifest in their cars and contraptions (garages, ramps, rings of danger) out of Lego, pen and paper, clay, and even recycling.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Monday, May 11, 2015
You stand at attention like ladies and gentsI appreciate how he makes the sigh at the end into an onomatopoetic phrase of happiness. These 10 lines are reminiscent of haiku and poetically haunting. The meanings embedded are highly intertwined with the story context-- Harold explores new stories by drawing them out, and usually there is an imaginative dilemma where he finds a solution. The fictional scenes are artistically demonstrated as the story plays out, and again, the double meaning of the words as reflected on the storyline are visually acted out (e.g. Harold drew up a chair to eat.)
when I mention my name at the door
And I hope that you pardon me
--see by my card, I'm finding a world we can explore.
You're in the dream I have drawn,
You're like the wings for my song,
I get a lift with your gift to know right from the wrong,
Our imagination will find this occasion to go where you know we belong...
Very meta. Very cool.
Friday, January 30, 2015
We had a great time afterwards shoveling, stomping and sliding. Here we are all bundled up!
Monday, September 15, 2014
If anyone know of other libraries with makerspaces, please let me know. I'd love to learn more about these places and see what types of machines they have. I imagine a lasercutter would be pretty useful, along with a digital photography station. Library makerspaces are totally awesome and cool! I'm going to have to come back some day to try it out.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
It has been eye opening working with Harry and I just had a great time meeting many fellow artists at the premier at the MIT Museum. Here's a few pictures of the event, courtesy of Todd Lee and Descience.
|Enjoying the event|
|Logan modeling the prototype|
Thursday, November 07, 2013
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Thursday, December 13, 2012
|Hal and his Uncle B|
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
The best feature though are the community events held by our librarians. Almost every day of the week, there is something like a toddler sing, lap sit, story hour or language exchange. Once a month there's a potluck and the neighborhood has really come together to enjoy meeting each other. The decorations are always festive and bring up lots of conversation. The O'Connell librarians are superb in their curation of books and cultural events. There are always Mandarin and Portuguese, and Spanish language books and movies around for the local population, and this branch hosts many cultural events to discuss different cultural holidays. My kid loves to see the familiar faces at the desk, and says hi to the librarians everytime. He enjoys talking to Christy about her colorful sweaters and seeing what books she's holding for us. He loves talking to Yan and getting new updates on recent library events. I think our little local library is just exceptional in its level of engagement with the community and kids of many different ages.
We try to get new books every week, and many of the books we've checked out we've ended up buying. So its done wonders for helping us develop H's interests in science, art, and storytelling. Best of all, it's free and reduces house clutter because we bring the books back. Go Public Libraries!
Monday, July 02, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
The workshop was one of the first to fill up, but here's the abstract:
"Inside-Out: How Developing Countries are Pioneering New Technologies in Health, Education and Civic Media"
While new technology is often associated with developed countries, the most radically innovative ideas are often deployed first in developing countries, where the need is greatest and out-of-the-box thinking is plentiful. The most creative technologies, business models, and emerging trends can be seen in developing countries often years before they take root in countries like the USA. In this workshop, we will briefly review a few of the developing country projects the Media Lab has spearheaded over the past 20 years and point to disruptive emerging tends in Healthcare, Education, and Civic Media that are currently transforming the world. Many examples will be given, followed by open discussion with participants. 1-hour session, repeated twice.
Dr. Rich Fletcher -- Mobile Tools for Health Care
Dr. Angela Chang -- New tools for Education
Dr. Leo Burd -- New Tools for Civic Media
Rich Fletcher teaches the MIT class "Technologies for Developing Countries," and is currently Assistant Prof at UMass Med School, Director of Mobile Technologies, Dept of Psychiatry; and is also Research Scientist at Mass General Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Global Health Division.
Angela Chang is a post-doc specializing in new technologies for literacy and is currently part of the research team creating and testing new scalable approaches to literacy in remote parts of the world.
Leo Burd is Research Scientist in the Center for Civic Media and has devoted the past 15 years to developing new communication and social media tools for use by communities and children around the world.
Friday, December 02, 2011
Hal in Miami, Ft Lauderdale Museum of Discovery, a set on Flickr.
Finally uploaded some pix from Hal's trip to Ft Lauderdale Museum of Science and Discovery. He had a great time driving a car, flying a plane and running around causing a riot.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Cynthia Lynn Breazeal
Rodney Allen Brooks
Thomas Oriel Binford
Myron Lindsay Good
Henry Winston Newson
William Draper Harkins
Robert Eccles Swain
Lafayette Benedict Mendel
Russell Henry Chittenden
Wilhelm Friedrich Kühne
Johann Lukas Schönlein
Giovan Battista Morgagni
Giovanni Alfonso Borelli
I stopped there, because my head nearly exploded from being so excited.
Source: Mathematics Geneology Project: http://genealogy.math.ndsu.nodak.edu/index.php
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Saturday, July 02, 2011
He's also a pretty fast walker now.
Running out of space on my HD and noticed I never uploaded my China 04 trip pix. First one is my favorite place: Hong Kong
We visited my gunma and had awesome food, encountering with towers of bao. We visited Lantau island and got invited to march and pray with the monks. My favorite was visiting the Star Ferry and taking the bus to see the floating restaurants.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
My heat-and-mass transfer class professor, Prof. G., once took his two undergraduates (it was a graduate level class), to lunch. He said, "Forget all this Heat and Mass Transfer stuff, its not important. Its my job, and I love it, and I am very good at it. In the long run however, what's important is this: If you meet the right one, you'll know."
I followed his advice to stay close to that "right one" and I am very happy. There were so many forces that could have pulled us apart (job offers across the world, different career paths)... Life is miraculous sometimes, you think that you're going to be fine alone, that you prefer it alone and then-- you meet the right one and the future is not complete without that person. You can't even remember life without that person. I feel this way now after 15 years with him, and even more strongly now with my son. I know that I had a life before him, but I can't remember anything really important about it other than the first time I saw him.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
A whisper in the wind,
though the night was silent.
Her breast is radiating warmth
touching every moment
Of a bittersweet melody
from an unreturned caress.
Although the rains may come,
The dandelions grow,
The winds blow gently,
sighing what they know.
Motherhood is forever
ever through sunrise and sunset.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Hal is now walking solidly and getting faster and quicker at it each day! Here he's blessing objects with his star wand as he gets to his lego box.
For mother's day, we had irises picked by Hal, a relaxing spa visit with gal pals,and the most awesome homemade dinner! Thank you for the card and calls from my family! What a treat, and here's to feeling special!
Also, this weekend was the celebration of MIT's 150th Anniversary. We saw the many beautiful projects around campus (like the Biblioptera), and enjoyed the walking around in the sunshine together. At FASTLIGHT, we really enjoyed experiencing the LightBridge and Light Drift. The highlight for us was the Liquid Archive, giant MIT letters floating on the Charles. Our lab also had an open house last week, and it was great to see so many families wandering around MIT.
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Random sighting of artist Dan Paluska at the Stata center the other day. I finally got a chance to check out his work on The Brooklyn Mobile project. He built a mobile video phone booth to allow people who ordinarily do not use video messaging to send a video message to anyone. I was touched by how many people wanted to communicate, and the wide array of people who participated. People were eager, and also excited by the opportunity to share their message. There are over 1,000 videos of regular folks saying "hello"!
People are natural communicators. Communication is in our nature, and things that facilitate communication can only help the world become a better place.
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
I also got to fly home to see my family and cousins. It was a wonderful reunion, and I was also struck by how productive my family had been. Old faces seemed new, as it had been so very long since I'd seen everyone. I was even happy to hear the noisy traffic outside, or the cats mewling in the middle of the night at home. There were new homes being nested, new jobs being performed, and little kids who have gotten bigger. It was terrific, and our own Hal was happy to meet everyone. So here's to growth and reunion, as we remember how far we've come!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
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Wednesday, December 09, 2009
a beautiful integration of movement, sound, and visual photography juxtaposed atop a semi-aware city. Gloobic is a collaboration by my friend eric gunther (dancer), and jeff lieberman. Visit Gloobic.
Monday, July 20, 2009
I definitely look forward to checking it out on my next foray to Barnes and Nobles.
In his copious spare time, he's been writing iPhone art apps (photo src: coin-operated.com).
Monday, July 06, 2009
It was great to see you for July 4th. Glad you had a great time! Happy birthday, the fireworks were wonderful this year. This cake, decorated by Mrs. G, was really spectacular. I am looking forward to finishing the rest of this beautiful cake. Also, welcome to America, Ying!