My Olympic Experience

I did not welcome the Olympic Games in the beginning. I worried about the tourist flooding the city and curse the Olympics cuts my ski season shorts. I never watch much Olympic Games, not even the 2008 Beijing Olympic. Before February 16, it seems Olympics is none of my business.

It turns out the Olympic Games is a huge success and somehow I caught the Olympic fever. I was glued to TV every night watching events highlights, cheering for Canadian (and Chinese) athletes. All those winter sports seems so boring in the past to watch suddenly becomes interesting. When a Canadian is fighting for a place in the podium, tense atmosphere got me and I shared the excitement. I watched Olympics with colleagues in the cafeteria at work during lunch. For some high stake events, I slack off a bit and watched the CTV online broadcast in the afternoon using my laptop while trying to get some work done at the background. We even book a meeting room to watch preliminary hockey games together when the Canadian team is playing.

The city is full of Olympic spirit and the Games indeed brings people closer with each other. I went to downtown twice to experience the Olympic events. I lined up for 5 hours just to hold the gold medal. Everyone in the city becomes more friendly and open. Strangers whom don’t look at each other in normal days now talks to each other. The Olympic seems universal catalyst to begin a conversation. Everyone has something to say about the Games.

I watched the hockey semi-final and final at a local pub. I wanted to watch it in downtown with the crowd in front of the big TV but I am turned off by the traffic and long line up. The hockey game connects everyone in the pub together. People smile at each others’ Canada goodies and we make waves during game. When there are a full room of people cheering for the same team with me, I really feel like Canada is where I belong. The mood of the whole pub is controlled by what is happening in the TV. When Canada is leading 2-0, we are all yelling and cheering. When the US tie Canada 20 seconds before the end of game, everyone is dead silence. When Crosby score the golden goal, everyone gets loud and give high fives to anyone. It’s a weird scene that the whole pub sing O Canada after we won the game full of enjoyment.

We have spent $1.67 billion to host the Olympic Games, we won’t know whether we can will break even or not. However, Canada won 13 gold medals and 25 medals in total and we gave the world a really good show. I don’t the Economical return of the Games, but it definitely raise the morale of the country and united the Canadian identity. Regardless of your background, your colour, everyone in Canada is together with Team Canada striving to win the hockey game. This is the most watched hockey game ever in Canada history, probably in the world too.

小狗懶擦鞋 – 彭志銘

相信沒有人不懂說粗口﹐可是懂說粗口並不是真正的懂得粗口。大部份人包括我自己﹐講粗口不過是鸚鵡學舌﹐對粗口的意義不求什甚解﹐甚至講錯粗口也不自知。粗口從來不能登上大雅之堂﹐讀書人總是以粗口為恥﹐更枉論把粗口視為語言學術來研究立著。次文化堂社長彭志銘﹐本著文化無分貴賤皆有價值的精神﹐寫成「小狗懶擦鞋」一書﹐研究和記錄香港粗口文化﹐讓我們知道講粗口也要講得好也是一門學問。

「小狗懶擦鞋」書名是取自粵語五個主要粗口字的諧音﹐是彭志銘報紙的專欄結集成書。雖然此書並非嚴緊學術著作﹐但參考資料豐富研究取材多樣花﹐內容並不比學術論文遜色。書本除了講解那五個粗口字的正寫和語法外﹐還邏列很多疑似和粗口變種的語句﹐追溯每個語句的來龍去脈。粗口通常以性為題材一定不雅﹐但不雅粗鄙的語句不一定是粗口﹐書中亦為厘清一般人對粗口的誤解。除了言語文化的冷知識性外﹐書後附錄有幾篇評論政府文化政策的文章﹐指出政府思想潔癖奉粗必禁的荒謬﹐可以說從社會文化的角度去為粗口平反。

書本的每篇文章也精彩獨特﹐就算讀者不認同講粗口的行為﹐讀此書也可以幫助我們理解語言和文化的演變﹐思考為什麼粗口字會成為不雅禁語﹐而我們要另創新語句去表達原來的意思呢。一般人以為門字部的那五個字便是粗口字﹐原來那是香港的自創字﹐粗口的正字源遠流長﹐可以從古藉文獻中找到記載﹐可惜電腦字庫沒有那些字﹐沒有辨法把粗口的正字打出來。

原本粗口字是形容性交和生殖器官的字﹐可是因成為罵人常用說話而淪髒話粗口。每個粗口字也有不同意義﹐“門小”是動詞﹐“門西”是女陰相信小孩也懂。但男性生殖器原來可以細分為三個字﹐“門九”是陰莖﹐“門七”是春袋﹐兩者加起來稱之為“門能”﹐我說了這麼多年粗口也不知道。知道七和九的分別﹐才明白罵人戇九和笨七的精妙所在。不應舉而舉為之戇九﹐應舉而不舉為之笨七。至於後來戇居便是從來因避諱而產生的諧音詞﹐罵人戇居其實是說粗口。

除了粗口外本書也為很多視為不雅的俗語平反。有些人視屎忽二字為不雅﹐原來屎窟才是正寫﹐窟者洞也﹐原來是言簡意賅的古語。至於常常聽到的仆街﹐躝癱﹐冚家鏟﹐並不粗口因為與性無關﹐只是對別人的惡毒咒罵。仆街正寫是仆街死﹐咒罵他人在街上猝死。躝癱是咒罵他人四肢殘癈﹐冚家鏟則是咒罵他人全家也死掉。很多疑似粗口只是轉借粗口字的諧音﹐但有些類粗口的俗語﹐卻要在香港文化背景下才來會明白﹐例如死仔包的包是古時殮葬的方法﹐爛大門的歇後語是唔頂唔得﹐俾人食左隻豬則是出自古代婚禮金豬回門﹐扑野的扑源自妓女打麻雀。這些看似無聊的典故﹐讀起來十分有趣。至少現在我講粗口時﹐知道自己到底在講什麼﹐不用再人云亦云了。

團契之內冇真朋友 – 愛的恩泉小劇場

電台節目初稿(3 – 5 minutes)

出場人物簡介﹕
小明 – 剛從基督教轉到天主教的慕道班新丁
小強 – 小明由細玩到大的朋友﹐無特定信仰背景﹐不一定要信天主教

場景﹕ 小明與小強相約出來喝珍珠奶茶聊天

小強﹕ 聽說你最近轉了教會﹐習不習慣新的教會呀﹖
小明﹕ 慕道班OK啦﹐新的教會幾好﹐不過…
小強﹕ 不過乜野呀。
小明﹕ 不過自從我轉了教會後﹐我以前團契的朋友便沒有和我來往了。
小強﹕ 有D咁既事
小明﹕ 以前我地個個星期除了去教堂外﹐還打波睇戲食飯無所不談﹐感情好得像一家人﹐還以兄弟姊妹相稱。豈不知我退出返團契後﹐竟然連電話都沒有一個。
小強﹕ 哈~ 乜你無聽過一句說話咩﹐團契之內冇真朋友
小明﹕ 此話怎說﹖
小強﹕ 看來你誤解了團契的真正意思了。團契fellowship是指一班志同道合的人fellows走在一起﹐沒有負擔沒有承諾﹐大家要開心又有共同目標才會響埋一齊。Fellowship的大前題是以個人利益為出發點﹐合則來不合則去﹐正所謂道不同﹐就不相為謀嘛。團契中的友誼是基於返同一間教會﹐你轉了教會都已經不是那個圈子的人﹐他們和你疏遠也是很自然的事。
小明﹕ 但他們不是我的朋友嗎﹖
小強﹕ 真正的友誼是無私的關懷﹐把朋友放在第一位﹐真正的朋友關心對方真正的快樂﹐希望看著對方朝好的方向成長。你團契的那些所謂朋友﹐你話佢地關心自己所謂的靈命成長多些﹐還是關心你這個朋友多些﹖
小明﹕ 講下講下﹐好似又係喎。有時同佢地講自己唔開心野﹐換來幾句行貨到死的問候﹐都唔知佢地係真係關心我﹐定係交功課做個好教徒的角色。
小強﹕ 不過又唔好一竹篙打一船人﹐fellowship也可以發展出真正的friendship﹐任何友誼也要踏出第一步嘛。不過對團契的朋友﹐唔好期望咁高﹐費時期望高大﹐失望越大喇。
小明﹕ 咦~ 咁你同我係fellowship定friendship呀﹖
小強﹕ 我同你由細玩到大﹐睇住你大睇住你壞﹐梗係friendship喇。竟然咁好朋友﹐今餐就你請啦。
小明﹕ 嘩~ 你真係夠晒好朋友咯。

Olympic gold medal

How far is an Olympic gold medal? To the athletes, it’s thousands of hours of training and many years of hard work. To me, it’s 6 hours standing in line. In the past, normal people can only see the medal on TV or behind display cases unless you happen to know a medalist. For the first time in the Olympic history, the public are allow to touch and hold an Olympic medal. The Royal Mint of Canada pavilion is probably the best free attraction in this Olympic game and always have the longest line up. Other pavilions are either tourist show case from other countries or advertisement in disguise of the corporate sponsors. The Mint gives you a once in a life chance to hold the Olympic medals, so it is a must see.

The line up is very very long. The pavilion opens at 9:00a, but when we arrive at 8:30a the line up is already one block away. I was told the person at the head of line was waiting there since 6:00a. The line is moving very slow because they only let 20 people into the medal room every 10 minutes. Since everyone in line has the Olympic mood and start chatting with each other. For the next 5 hours, I talked with two grannies, two young guys living on the West side, a mother with 2 teenage kids, a couple from HK and a lady with her dad. It is pretty interesting to hear different perspectives about the Olympic and Vancouver. It is the longest wait I ever have. I never know I can be this patient. Luckily, we can take turns go to the washroom and get coffee from the near by Starbucks. To my surprise, all the strangers I talked to are local Vancouver folks, except one family from White Rock, which is only 2 hours drive away. I wonder where all the tourist is. Maybe they are too busy watching the games and don’t bother lining up for the free shows.

The medals definitely worth the long wait. We are allow to pick up the medals, see it up close and take as many photos as we like. They give out white gloves and can only touch it with our glove hand. But we are not allow to pose any V sign nor allow to bite the medal like the athletes. There is an engineers from the Mint today to give us a brief talk about the making of the medals and answer all the weird questions. The Olympic medal is round in shape and the Paralympic medal is slightly square. The Paralympic medal has braille dots on the back for the blind athletes. The medal is heavier than I expected, each piece weight about 0.5kg. I am not going to repeat the information about the medals here. To know more about the medal, please visit mint.ca.

Other than the Olympic medals, the Mint pavilion has other cool stuff to see. There is a $1 million dollar coin made in pure gold in display. It looks like a giant loonie except the face value has 6 more zeros after the one. We can also lift up 400oz gold bar. It is exactly like the gold bars I always see in those bank robbery movies. I can feel how much half million dollars worth of pure gold weight. It’s very heavy. I had never hold something such valuable with my hand. Too bad that the gold bar is chained and guarded by armed policemen. I really want to take it home.

My legs and back is soared when we left the Mint pavilion. Originally I planned to visit three different pavilions today, but after the Mint, I have to call it a day. I am sure I will have a sweet dream about golds in my hand tonight.

The Social Panopticon And You

As a philosopher wanna-be, I always wonders why privacy seems to be good in the first place. Wouldn’t a total transparent society that everyone knows everything about everyone else at anytime minimize the transaction cost? So far my idea is just a hypothesis without any supportive argument. I need to learn a lot more about privacy theories to work out some thought experiments to test the total transparent society hypothesis.

Continue reading The Social Panopticon And You

Machinarium

很欠沒有玩電腦遊戲了。以前學生年代會打機打通宵﹐現在卻對電腦遊戲完全喪失興趣。近年的熱門遊戲我完全沒有玩過﹐人老了沒有這麼多時間去玩遊戲﹐完成一個故事性的遊戲要幾十小時﹐玩網上遊戲也要花大量時間練功﹐不然只有被宰的份十分無趣。

Machinarium是一個解謎為主的遊戲﹐控作簡單不需任何練習﹐遊戲長度只是數小時﹐而且連續性不強可以空閒時才玩數十分鐘﹐非常適合玩遊戲純為消閑的玩家。這個遊戲令我回想起多年前的Space Quest或King Quest系列的典經冒險遊戲﹐玩法也是大同小異。玩家用滑鼠操控主角行走或拿起物件﹐在畫面中找出過關的線索﹐每關不同的智力小遊戲串連起成為一個故事。

故事的主角是很可愛的機械人﹐他的任務是要保護機械城﹐和救出被壞人找去的女朋友。畫面全用很精緻的手繪卡通﹐在這3D泛濫的年代別有特色風味。配樂也很柔和悅耳﹐玩遊戲時不停聽著也不覺悶。最得意是遊戲完全沒有對白﹐玩家只需看圖會意。遊戲中的謎題有難有易﹐有些是考玩家觀察力﹐能不能看出畫面的暗示。有些則是純推理題﹐對於我來說是小菜一碟。最有趣是考玩家的聯想能力﹐看看能否天馬行空地使用道具解開謎題。我可以解開大部份謎題﹐不過有一兩個太難解沒有心機玩﹐於是便出貓偷看攻略。

遊戲開發者是捷克的一間小公司﹐遊戲十分低技術完全用flash製作﹐但榮獲多項去年度多項遊戲大獎。這個遊戲證明了一個好遊戲﹐不需要華麗的3D畫面﹐也不需要高技術的運算程式﹐甚至不需要有創新遊戲介面﹐亦不需要巨額的開發成本。回到最基本做好故事劇本和遊戲的可玩性﹐便已經是一個十分出色的好遊戲了。

兩週一聚﹕如果你能當別人一天

前言﹕這是一個叫「兩周一聚」的活動。是網友米雪兒發起。每月十五日﹑三十日﹐一班住在世界不同角落的香港人都會一起寫同一個題目。今天是第三十二次相聚,由RandomCoil出題﹐主題定為「如果你能當別人一天」。

如果我能當別人一天﹐第一件事是先要問清楚遊戲規則﹐才可以決定選擇當誰人。最重要的問題﹐是若果我去當別人一天﹐那我原來的身體會怎樣。到底是兩個人互相交換身體﹐還是我原本的身體好好地在睡大覺。若果是互換身體的話﹐我不知道別人會拿我的身體幹什麼﹐一天還後還要回到自己的身體﹐我可不想自己的身體有什麼損傷﹐所以最好還是和老婆交換﹐至少知道她一定會錫住我的身體。其實與老婆交換身體過一天﹐也是一件很浪漫的事情。

如果我的身體不會被換掉﹐只是我把別人的身體借來用﹐那便有完全不同的考慮了。一天的時間太短了﹐就算別人是天皇巨星﹐世界首富﹐國家元首﹐只能經歷他的一天實在太可惜。我的計劃是要把這一天無限地延長﹐讓我回到自己的身體後﹐還可以過著那個別人的生活。天皇巨星成功在於他的材能﹐國家元首依靠的是政治人脈﹐材能和人脈不能轉讓﹐過了一天後我會便打回原形。世界首富有的只是錢﹐一天已有足夠有餘的時間﹐將他所有財產轉到我的名下﹐這樣我便可以讓那一天無限地延長了。

為求保障自己的安全起見﹐還是要狠心點斬草除根﹐杜絕他有機會回到自己身體的可能性。那一天除了把他的財產全轉到我名下外﹐還要找律師醫生證人去立遺囑﹐將他的其他財產全部留給我﹐從法律上保障不會有任何爭產官司。然後在那一天快要完結之前﹐我要回到原來的身體那一刻﹐用他的身體去自殺。我順利地回到自己身體﹐而他則身體死了回不了去﹐這樣便不怕他來向我討回財產了。當然首富自殺把財產留給一個陌生人必定上報紙頭條﹐最多我蝕抵些學風水鴨認作小甜甜的情人﹐冒認作世界首富的秘密情人吧。

其它人的選擇: RandomCoil, 老子, 周游, Just Little Something, bakingmaniac, 菲妮媽, C9Jenni, 軍師奶, 南杏, mad dog, 石先生, maggiejoella, Sam, 火羽

若果想參加兩周一聚的朋友﹐可以參看這個網頁