槍牌

相信大部份男性對槍械也情有獨鐘﹐是小時候看槍戰電影時 ﹐總會幻想自己像主角一樣是槍神手﹐放學與朋友拿玩具槍﹐口中高呼砰砰彭彭的駁火。很多年前我在美國試射過真槍﹐一直以來也很想玩射擊運動。在香港射擊是一門十分冷門的運動﹐全港大約只有二千人持有槍牌。一般市民想擁有槍械十分困難﹐除了要負擔高昂的槍會費用﹐還以通過重重關卡才獲發槍牌﹐射擊只是富貴人家才能享受的高尚玩意。在美國的情況則是另一個極端﹐差不多任何人也可以購買槍械。市面槍械泛濫﹐所以久不久新聞就有狂徒開槍連環殺人的報導。加拿大的槍械法案則取兩者的平衡﹐保障市民安全之餘﹐又不過份限制市民參與射擊運動的自由。

在加國擁有槍械必需要考取槍牌﹐並向政府證記所擁有的槍械﹐防止槍械落入不法之徒手上。考取槍牌的資格十分嚴格﹐考試分筆試和應用試兩部份。筆試要回答一百條關於槍械安全知識的問題﹐應用試要在考官面前示範如何安全操各種槍械﹐更要即場回答有關槍械的問題。通過了考試後﹐還要再等二十八天冷靜期﹐通過保安檢查後才可以買槍﹐防止精神有問題的人買槍。購買火力強大的自動步槍 ﹐裝彈數量大的彈匣在加國是犯法﹐因此殺手不能大開殺界﹐釀死美國的槍擊屠殺慘劇。槍械存放有嚴格的保安規定﹐減低槍械失竊的機會。帶槍械出街要運輸許可證﹐不像美國般人手一枝槍。因此加拿大的槍械問題並不嚴重﹐每年平均只有一千三百宗槍殺宗﹐而其中超過八成是死因是自殺。事實上在靶場中槍的機會﹐比在游泳遇溺的機會還少﹐所以射擊是一項十分安全﹐適合任何人仕參加的運動﹐

加拿一向大甚少槍械罪案﹐我一直以為加拿大與香港一樣很難擁有槍械﹐除非從美國非法走私進口。早陣子剛巧和一位玩槍的同事說起﹐得知原來要擁有槍械也不是太過困難﹐於是我便下定決必要擁有自己的槍械﹐報讀加拿大政府認可的槍械安全訓練班。訓練班的課程十分集中﹐在一星期內上總共十二小時的課﹐在第三晚的課程完結後就是槍牌考試。上課的同學各色人等也有﹐很多人的家人或朋友已擁有槍械﹐他們考槍牌的主要原因是可以一同去打獵。還有一個從中東來的同學﹐上堂時常認叻說自己以前開機關槍﹐實習時把槍械舞來舞去。幸好最後他不及格﹐否則如果他有了槍牌﹐為保人身安全﹐以後見到他可要繞路走。

課程分理論和實習兩個部份。槍械理論教我們認識槍械的歷史﹐法律﹐原理﹐構造﹐上彈方法﹐安全閥﹐子彈分類等等﹐一枝槍可以分三個主要部份﹐每個部份在長槍和短槍中的名稱也不相同。長槍有六種上彈方法﹐短槍有四種。安全閥有超過八種﹐某些安全閥只應用於某類槍。子彈分類最複雜﹐子彈口徑有沒有統一的量度分法。扶槍口徑號碼越大﹐子彈就越大﹐散彈則剛剛相反﹐口徑越大號碼越細。彈頭有超過十種﹐有些合法有些不合法﹐有些可以合法購買但不能合法進口。 量要命的還是槍械法律﹐那些什麼年期的長短﹐什麼口徑的槍不合法﹐彈匣藏彈最大數目﹐全部也是沒由原因只能死記的數字。一下子要把大量槍械的專有名詞﹐一大趕沒有關連的數字塞進腦袋﹐理應要讀得很幸苦才對。可是說起來奇怪﹐以前返學考試背書我總叫苦連天﹐但今次學槍械理論卻能差不多過目不忘﹐不知是否有興趣的知識特別容易記憶起來。

實習部份當然不會讓我們開槍﹐說到底這是槍械安全課程﹐讓沒有槍牌的人開槍是一件十分危險的事。課程內我們用來實習的槍械不是玩具槍﹐而是封死了不能發射的真槍。長短槍加起來超過二十枝﹐如果可以發射的話﹐簡直是個小型軍火庫。實習的重點是要我們熟習槍械安全措施﹐熟到連下意識也懂正確的做出來。槍械安全有四大天條﹐考試時犯任何一條也立即肥佬。第一條是不論何情況下拿起槍械﹐就算別人告訴你是空槍也好﹐都必須立即打開槍膛﹐親眼確定槍中沒有上子彈。第二條是除了射擊時﹐手指不可以按在機板上。第三條是不論任何時間﹐槍管也要指向安全的方向。若不小心指著別人﹐會被立既逐出靶場。如果指著別人的槍上了彈﹐更會屬犯刑事罪行。第四條是除了在射擊時﹐槍械必需保持空彈狀態。每天上課在教練不講書時﹐我們就不停地反覆練習上彈和退彈的技巧﹐直至熟習十種考試會考的槍械為止。放學時雙臂很累﹐真槍很十分重。連晚上睡覺發夢時也聽見﹐卡嚓﹐卡嚓的上膛聲。不過說起來那些的上膛聲﹐倒也十分美妙悅耳﹐我最喜歡是雷明登鳥槍拉後上彈的那一個聲音。

經過一星期嚴格的訓練後﹐我成功地考獲槍牌﹐只要把文件寄回槍械管理處﹐再等一個月我就可以實現擁有槍械的夢想。希望剛剛可以趕及八月前收到﹐可以買枝新槍送給自己作生日禮物。我的第一枝槍打算購買Glock 17﹐這槍是香港和加拿大警察的標準裝備﹐價錢也不太貴才不過八百加元。我己經例出了我夢味以求的槍械清單﹐當中自然有我最愛的雷明發鳥槍﹐城市獵人用的Colt Python﹐占士邦用的華特PPK﹐當然也少不了省國旗兵最愛的紅星黑星。不過這可要一步一步慢慢來﹐先練好槍法的基本功夫。留待有什麼升職加人工喜慶日子時﹐才買枝槍獎勵自己。別人喜歡收藏名表﹐名牌衣飾﹐紅酒古董﹐我的嗜好則是收藏槍械。槍械除了觀賞價值外﹐當然還有實際的用途﹐在靶場練習固然是有益身心的運動﹐但更加好玩的是去野外打獵。打獵這項運動﹐可以親近大自然洗滌心需﹐可以有實彈射擊的緊張刺激﹐最後還有野味大飽口福﹐一次過滿足晒三個願望。

Guns 一字排開的各類長槍

Antique pristol 古代要用人手點火的手槍

Gun exam 長短槍俱全的槍牌考試

Lucky draw

Normally, I don’t have luck in lucky draws.  I guess the stars must be right, I am the monthly winner of gift pack from Waterloo Alumni for updating my contact information.  I got an email notified me I had won the winner of June.  I totally forget about it until I recieve a call from the post office to pick up the package.  I won a backpack, a baseball cap, a keychain, a water bottle, note pad and an useless sticker, all of them come with the Waterloo logo.  The backpack is really nice, with comfortable shoulder padding, lots of compartments, clip on cell phone bag and a special pocket to store iPod, which leave an opening for the headphone.  Well, statistically speaking, no winning any prize in lucky draw is the norm, winning is the exception.  The only way to increase of your chance of winning is to enter more lucky draws.  Therefore, I update my contact information in the alumni website again right away, hope to win another gift pack next month.

Tried.

No wonder I am tried like hell when I got home today. I have a full day of work, plus 2 hours of driving and 4 hours of classes. That is almost like working a double shift. Fortunately, I only have one more class left on Friday.

At first, I just pick up firearm as a hobby. The more I read about firearm, the more I appreciate the reasons behind America’s forth amendment. In Canada, people are only allow to shoot as hobby, but firearms really should be intended for self protection and preservation of liberty. The argument is not intuitive, but elegant when lay out properly. I read two reports from the Fraser Institute, compare the crime rate in gun control countries before and after the regulation. The conclusion is gun control does not lower the crime rate. The criminals still have guns, but the victims now deprived of their means of self defense. If every people is rational and law binding citizen, then gun actually make the society safer. The only problem is there are crazy people shooting others once a while. This problem can be deal with if everyone carry a gun and learn to disarm the crazy guy at any sight of trouble.

Arguing in the scope of political philosophy, gun actually protect the liberty of the citizens. Without any means of self protect, good citizen can only rely on the police to protect themselves from criminals. In order to effectively protect defenseless citizens, the government have to increase the authority of police. Everyone knows increasing the police power will erode the liberty we enjoy in the society. Gun ownership promotes a smaller government, which is good for the economy and liberty. This pro-gun argument is still a very rough idea, I should give it more thought and write an article exploring it with further details.

Project management

There are two kinds of project, one use proper project management techniques and the other has absolutely no project management. Managers in my old department are the firm believers of the first kind. We try our best to do project planning, estimate the scope of work, resource requirement and schedule. We have objective matrix to to measure project progress and individual performance. So, the projects are running quite smoothly and in general people are compensated fairly.

On contrary, people in the new department, from top to bottom, lacks any viable project plan. No wonder the project is in a mess and people feel like being slaved. The leader and manager have no clue whether the schedule is on track, since they don’t have any estimations to begin with. There is no way to keep track of progress, they don’t even know what the scope of work should be. All they have is just a date and the mentality is to meet that date at all cost. The task assignment is vague, you have no idea what is the real amount of work you have signed up for. You don’t see the light at end of the tunnel, you don’t even know how far you are from the finishing line. To make it worse, people refuse to do proper planning, using lack of time as an excuse. Here is a catch 22 situation. If you didn’t plan ahead of time, it is guarantee you will run of of time at the end. How can you meet the schedule if you don’t even know what is the scope of your work? Then the busier you are, the more excuse to ignore planning, hence formed a downward spiral all the way to the doomed land.

When it comes to evaluation, since there is literally no data on how well you perform, it all comes to the boss’ impression of how hard you work. In project management, evaluation should be result oriented instead of effort oriented, lots of effort does not always mean good result. Result is what delivers to the custom at the end of the day, not the effort you spend in making the result. Measuring on effort will tempted people to creates artificial effort out of thin air which is not tend to any result, with sole purpose of leaving good impression to your boss. Luckily, my intermediate boss of the project is a nice guy, so its not a big issue for me. However the boss one level up lacks visibility of my work, how can he evaluate me fairly?

Responsibility and expectation of the deliverable has to be clearly define, otherwise it will only lead to the tragedy of common. Being flexible does not mean refusing to laying out any job boundary. Dynamic adjust the job boundary to cope with the need is perfectly fine, as long as at a certain moment, everyone knows who is responsible for what. Theoretically speaking, anyone can do anything given enough time. The question is whether the time is spent efficiently. For example, the verifier can dig out the required information from the design if necessary. But the time of verifier is not best use in document hunt, it takes much less time for the designer to update the document in the first place. It is the designer’s job to provide adequate document to the verifier. Busy is not an excuse for the designer not doing his job right, since verifier is equally busy.

People are willing to walk a few steps further when they are working with friends. However, friendship cannot replace the need to define job boundary. It is OK when things are working fine, but sometimes things may get edgy. In this case, the job boundary definition comes in handy, it prevents friendship turning sour from misunderstanding. Just like no matter how good the friendships you are, money matter always have to deal with absolute clarity.

If any project management courses wants counter examples on productivity. I think I have a textbook case of poor project management. Enough bragging for today.

Firearm license course

I am totally exhausted today.  After work, I drove 30 minutes into Surrey to take the Firearm license training.  It is 4 hours of lectures and practice after a long day of work.  In Canada, it is required by law to acquire the firearm license in order to own a gun.  The license exam is on safety and regulations.  It has two parts written exam and partical exam.  In the course, we are not allow to discharge any weapon, but there are lots of disactiviated real gun for us to practice proper handling.  We are taught all the new terminologies used in firearm and hunting, different parts of guns, types of guns and bullets, shooting and carrying position, etc.  Although there are tons of new materials I have to memorize, I found the lecture is very interesting, even the history of guns section.  The instructor even perform a small expreiment, show us the difference between lighting black powder and smokeless powder.  Now I know the real gun powder doesn’t look like anything they use in the movie.  Technically speaking, gun powder is not explosives but propellent, which push the bullet down the bore and shot out from the barrel.

In the pratical exam, we have to demostrate we can handle 5 types of rifle and 4 types of handguns safely by follow the ACTS and PROVE procedure.  So, after the classroom time, the instructor let us play with the guns.  We are not really playing with the guns.  We are just repeatly unloading every gun, inspect all the check points, then load it back, pretend to fire, unload the gun once again before putting it down.  Putting your finger into the trigger or pointing the gun to anyone is an instant fail in the exam.  Gun has to handle with great care.

Contrary to popular beliefs, firearm is actually very safe if you know what you are doing.  In Canada, only 1300 death from firmarm, much lower than the toll of death from automobile or cigerrates.  As a sport, shooting has a much lower death ate than swimming.  Many people’s phobia to guns are unjustified, and it mostly rooted from the myth created by all those Hollywood movies.

Coffee shop in Tibet

This world is full of interesting people.  I just know a guy from Hong Kong, Pazu, open a coffer shop in Tibet.  Well, actually I don’t exactly know him, he is the webmaster of a site I used to visit a lot back in university days.  This guy is quite legendary, after he graduated from university, he became a full time traveler for the past 7 years.  I was following his foot steps on and off from the travel journals posted in his site.  He spent 3 years backpacking the every  in China, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan(!), visiting places I would not even visit in my dreams.  After he come back from his long journey, he begin another even crazier journey in 2004.  He spent another 3 years going back and forth between Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia in bicycles!  Finally, his long journey comes to an end.  He decided to settle down and open a coffee shop in Tibet after biking there all the way from Thailand.  There is a saying that travel ten thousand miles is better than reading ten thousand books.  This guy traveled ten times more roads than I will ever travel in tens of my life time combined.  I can imagine talking to Pazu would be full of eye opening stories.  Too bad that I don’t have the patient to follow his trip day by day in his travel journal.  If he write a book about his years long journal, I will get one at once.  Maybe HK’s television station should interview him and produce a hour long special program.  That would be more interesting than the usual brainless entertainment shows.

Blink – Malcolm Gladwell

Blink 若要找一個詞語來形容Malcolm Galdwell﹐我想最適合的詞語大慨是一代宗師(Guru)。他只出版過兩本薄薄的小書﹐但他為社會帶來革新性的影響﹐被時代週刊選為全球百大最有影響力人物之一。我讀完他的第一本著作Tipping Point後﹐原本認為他有點名過其實。畢竟那是幾年前的舊作﹐當年有見地的新思想﹐在今天只不過是常識﹐令我感受不到他想思的振撼力。可是當我拜讀過他網站上紐約客的文章﹐我對他刮目相看印象完全改觀。他不光靠兩本流行讀物吃老本撈名氣﹐而是一個真材實料的學者﹐為社會帶來全新思維模式的先知。這次我拿起Blink來閱讀時﹐與抱著半信半疑地閱讀Tipping Point的心態大不同﹐我懷著尊敬的心去欣賞偉大思想家的重要著作。不單吸收作者書中的思想內容﹐還學習他小故事配合科學理論的寫作風格﹐好讓我拉車邊沾點他說話的感染力。

Blink這書探討人類瞬間思考力的問題。很多時候我們會花很多時間思考一個問題﹐可是做出決定卻只是瞬間的事情。有些專家可以用瞬間思考力﹐得出來的答案比整隊人化三個月時間研究還準確。很多時候這個瞬間思考力被認為是第六感﹐擁有這個能力的人答不出憑什得出這樣的答案﹐沒有詳細的推論也沒有數據支持﹐答案好像一瞬間從腦中忽然冒出來一樣。作者引用切片理論(Thin slicing)去解釋瞬間思考力從何而來。專過長年累月經驗告訴他們﹐如可在極短時間內﹐在大量的數據中﹐找出關鍵的那一小薄片數據。這個思考過程是腦子的潛意識反應﹐像運動員不需思考﹐就可以揮拍迎擊飛來的球一樣。

當然瞬間思考也有誤導我們的時候﹐沒有受過長時間訓練的人﹐他們瞬間思考與瞎猜無異。最特別的是這個瞬間思考力﹐是會受到潛意識的影響。一些看似與要考慮的問題沒有關係的雜念﹐不單會影響瞬間思考的正確性﹐甚至會把答案引導上錯誤的方向。作者引用美軍中情局的模疑軍事演習﹐和芝加哥急症室的醫生斷症作為例子﹐指出過量的資訊有決策明顯的害處。要善用瞬間思考力﹐就需要過濾無用資訊的雜音。

要知道那些資訊有用﹐那些無用是一門大學問。作者在這章引用著名的百事口味大挑戰作為例子﹐亦解答了我這個可口可樂忠實擁躉多年的疑團。話說當年百事可樂的口味大挑戰﹐倒兩杯蒙著牌子可樂給受訪者試飲﹐大部份人也喜歡百事多於可口可樂。原本這只不過是百事的廣告策略﹐但在可口可樂私下進行的口味測試中﹐受訪者也是多數喜歡百事。於是可口可樂推出改良口味的新可樂應戰﹐新可樂的下場如何大家也記得﹐最後這一役成為商管課本中的典經失敗例子。只是百事可樂真的比可口可樂好飲嗎﹖原來答案在於試飲的設計上﹐試飲只給受訪者飲一小杯可樂﹐對於味道較甜的百事有優勢。但是現實中沒有人只喝一口汽水﹐一飲就是飲一整罐。由於百事偏甜﹐飲完整罐後的殘留在口腔感覺﹐並不如可口可樂般好飲。作者最後用警察和管弦樂團的例子﹐指出防止作出錯誤決定的最佳的辨法﹐就是防止我們置身於錯誤的資訊中。

這本二百多頁的小書﹐我只用了兩程短途機的時間就看完了。通常大部份人看書會略過注釋不理﹐不幸地我在飛行半途中剛好看完全書。反正左右也沒事幹﹐便把書後附錄的注釋也仔細閱讀。書中作者隨便引用了很多故事﹐乍聽起來那些故事像是道聽途說﹐與本書學術性的主題關係不太。可是在注釋中我發現﹐書中的每個故事也是有根有據﹐全部引用自學術期刊發表的論文或是專門的學術書藉。書中講道理看似在輕鬆地說故事﹐那其實並不是作者無料吹水﹐而是作者文筆功力深厚﹐把艱深難啃的學術知識消化﹐再化成淺白文字讓讀者容易理解﹐作者現代賢者的稱號絕對並非浪得虛名。

Engaged

I would like to announce to all my good friends that I am now official engaged.  My days of being single is numbered, I am moving on to the next stage of life.  The date of my big day is not yet confirmed.  It depends on the availability of the church, the booking of the restaurant for banquet at night and fortune of day in the Chinese calender.  In Chinese calender, each day is categorized being good for certain events and being bad for some other events.  The pattern of the good days and bad days are pretty random, I wonder how the good day / bad day is determined.  The calender publisher must use some kind of ancient equation.  Today is already in the 21st century, this good day /bad day scheme sounds so superstitious to me, yet the older generation still follows this non-sense rule in the Calendar fortune telling book.

Maybe I should revise that ancient equation to make it suits better of modern civilized way of living.  Then I will publish a new Chinese calender with my new good day / bad day scheme, so setting a day will be much more convenient.  Every weekend is a good day for getting marry.  Every weekday is a good day for opening business.  The scheme should take public holidays and season patterns into accounts.  For example, Christmas day is a bad day for wedding, since your guest will be busy for their own holidays and probably you can not book any church for the ceremony.  Of course, I will steer the good days away from the traditional bad days that everyone knows, like the ghost festival.  Other than those few obvious bad days, who can tell scientifically the difference in effectiveness between my calendar from the old one?

熱氣球

自從上次女朋友說過想乘坐熱氣球﹐我就計劃給她送上這份驚喜。原定週未才飛﹐時間比較鬆動﹐可是天氣預測說會下雨﹐只好趁好天氣放工去升空。通常熱 氣球只會在黃昏前的時段載客升空﹐下午太陽猛烈加熱地面的空氣﹐地面與天空的溫差大形成氣流﹐飛行時氣球會很顛頗擺動得很勵害﹐不適合體驗飛行樂趣的觀光 搭客。今天下午特別提早放工﹐接了女朋友就駕車往離溫市一小時的小鎮。途中女朋友不停問我帶她去那兒﹐我說是神秘驚喜不回答她﹐她想破腦袋也估不中﹐還以 為我賣她去鄉下。

集合地點是小鎮的飛機場﹐泊好車在會合其他搭客﹐聽過安全指示﹐簽了生死狀後﹐就坐小巴前往起飛地點。原定飛行路線是在上風處十幾公里外的農地起飛 ﹐順著氣流在空中漂浮返回飛機場降落﹐全程約需個多小時。熱氣球的飛行原理很簡單﹐熱空氣的密度比冷空氣低﹐所以氣球就會浮起來。氣球底下吊落我們坐的籃 子﹐籃子中儲有數樽天然氣﹐用來點火把氣球加熱﹐機師不停開關點火來控制氣球的高度。我們乘坐的氣球十分巨形﹐充氣後有十多層樓那樣高﹐單是充氣也用了半 小時。

balloon 1 未充氣的氣球躺在地上

balloon 2 點火把氣球充氣

balloon 3 充氣後的氣球

balloon 4 七彩賓紛的氣球內部

在熱空氣注滿氣球後﹐我們慢慢漂浮升空﹐順著風勢飛行。坐熱氣球十分平穩舒適﹐沒有搭飛機起飛時的加速壓力。唯一有點不習慣地方﹐就是每隔十數秒機 師就會點火一會﹐火舌飈進氣球內高達幾米﹐噴火機很嘈吵﹐頭頂也感覺到陣陣熱力。平常坐飛機給關在機艙內﹐只能隔著細小的窗觀看機外的景色。坐熱氣球則擁 有三百六十度無敵全景﹐乘客與下面的世界沒有任何隔離。府身往吊籃外看﹐腳下離地千米﹐沒有任何支撐﹐不禁有一點兒心驚﹐害怕鬆手相機掉下去。從天空往下向﹐我們看到連綿的農地﹐與相隔農地的樹林﹐也看到成群在放牧的牛馬。向西方遠眺﹐在落日的襯托下﹐可以看見溫哥華市中心的高樓。快要降落低空飛越住宅區時﹐還可以看見下面的人向我們友善地揮手呢。

balloon 5 從高空看熱氣球的倒影

balloon 6 農地與樹林

balloon 7 鄉郊小鎮的住宅區

balloon 7 公路上的汽車小如玩具

balloon 8 原定降落地點的機場

在輕鬆愉快的心情下﹐不知不覺已飛行了一小時﹐快要到原定降落地點。可惜今天風勢不穩定﹐我們偏離原來的航線。機師改為在機場附近的空地降落﹐下降途中忽然一陣強風把氣球加速﹐讓我們險些撞上空地後面的樹林。機師在最後關頭放棄降落﹐點火把氣球升回安全高度。我們只好飛遠好幾公里到友好農場再次嘗試降落。氣球降落時我們不許拍照﹐雙手要捉緊吊籃的扶手﹐以免掉出氣球外。在著陸的那一剎有點震蕩﹐氣球還彈跳幾下才停頓下來﹐也有一點兒的驚險刺激。從氣球出來後﹐我們走了整公里深長及膝的草地﹐才到達接送我們回機場的小巴。在飛機場﹐熱氣球公司為我們準備了香檳慶祝歸來﹐還派發每人一張證明了乘坐過氣球的證書。乘坐熱氣球是一個難忘的經驗﹐有機會的話也一定要試試﹐在天空在無苟無束地漂浮﹐享受這自由自在的美妙感覺。

balloon 9 熱氣球功成身退放氣

燈光不是污染

earth night map

電燈是廿十世紀的最偉大發明﹐它照亮著人類的文化。讓人類征服黑暗﹐不用再依靠日光﹐脫離日出而作﹐日入而息的原始生活。我們終於可以取回屬於我們時間主權﹐晚間不用給無盡的黑夜支配。燈光是人類文明誌標﹐也是一個城市繁榮的象徵。從太空中回看地球﹐看到陸地上一個一個的光點﹐見證著人類進化的歷史。人類擁有自己光源﹐社會才能夠更有效率地運作﹐人們可以繼續辛勤地工作﹐也可以外出娛樂玩耍﹐晚上不用再無所事事。現代的城市二十四小時全天候運作﹐把黑夜照量得象白天一樣。地球不是平的﹐與其他地方工作有時差﹐朝九晚五不再是必然的上班規律。再者讓大量社會資源在晚上丟空﹐也是一種浪費﹐不若物盡其用﹐把黑夜變為過去的名詞。把黑夜照亮成為白天﹐不單只方便人們生活﹐更改善可以城市的治安。美國紐約八十年代罪惡橫行﹐市長朱尼安尼上任決心要整頓市容﹐他的其中一項措施就是改善晚間照明。今天大蘋果是美國治安的典範﹐也是一座繁華美麗的不夜城。

可惜一些環保人士﹐不能與時並進﹐反行文明之道﹐宣揚光害污染的歪理。他們認為大城市的燈光污染黑夜﹐五光十色的燈火取代點點星空﹐光線更加會影響大自然的生態環境。他們要在大城市到看星空的訴求﹐就如暴發戶旅客要在鄉間小鎮找大商場購物一樣可笑。若想抬頭滿天星空的話﹐何必強求在城市中觀看﹐而影響千萬人的生活質素呢。大可以放假時外出旅行﹐到遠離人煙的國家公園露營。體驗一下躺在星空下的樂趣﹐細數夜空中畫破天際銀河裏的星星﹐向從外太空掉進大氣層的流星許願。在國家公園是有燈光管制﹐在那兒光線的確是一種污染﹐因為會破壞大自然的景色。在大城市的燈光並非污染﹐而是人類現代生活的必須品。反過來在城市中黑暗才是污染﹐污染了我們燈火通明不夜天的美麗。正如我們去歌劇院要肅靜﹐可是沒有人會去看足球賽﹐ 卻投訴球場內吶喊的球迷在製造嘈音吧。

誠然環保人士的說話也不是一無是處﹐他們對燈光浪費電力的指控倒是有根據。現今很多照明採用發光效率奇差的鎢絲燈泡﹐大部份電力轉化成熱能而非光能。採用光管式的慳電膽可以節省多達一半的用電量﹐若進一步改用最新科技的LED燈﹐更可以把用電量再大幅降低。照亮黑夜是需要的電力﹐大部份是從化石能源生產出來。眾所週知化石能源不是再生能源﹐地球上只有既定的存量﹐用光了就沒用。照明系統應該改用再生能源﹐如太陽能或水力發電等。在外國很多街燈裝有太陽能電池﹐白天把電力儲起來﹐晚上就用來發光照明﹐不用浪費供電網的電力。未來的科技發展會讓我們不用再依靠化石能源來照明﹐也許在太空中建造巨大的反光鏡﹐或用光纖把白晝地區的光線引導給黑夜地區使用。珍惜善用地球的資源十分重要﹐但解決能源問題的唯一方法是創造和發展﹐而不是龜縮回去黑暗的中古世紀。