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Dust settles, and lessons are learned. September 24, 2006

Posted by J.P. in Travel.
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After several evenings of frantic internet searching, every detail of our hawaii itinerary is finally planned out. We have tried our best to get the best bang for our buck, and learned our lessons and tricks.

Lesson 1:

Do not go to Hawaii in the winter. You would think summer is the peak season for beach resorts. Wrong! The peak season of Hawaii is the time when everywhere else is bitterly cold. Not until we booked our flight and started looking for lodging, did we realize how expensive this trip will be.

Lesson 2:

Do not count on your airline mileage, unless you know there is no blackout date or any other kind of restriction what so ever. We have planned to have two free flight tickets using the 70,000 mile Delta SkyMiles that we have diligently saved. It turned out the 25,000-point SkySaver tickets were so scarce and well booked out a year ago. To have unrestricted SkyChoice tickets, we need to use 50,000 points for each ticket. We end up having only one free ticket and flying separately.

Nevertheless, we also discovered a couple of tricks to squeeze a couple of nichles out of our pockets.

First, it is relatively cheaper to stay in B&B or rental apartment in stead of hotel. Of course it probably be right on the Waikiki beach. But you got to spend the whole day on it, why not have a nicer place to rest during the night. The apartments are usually bigger than hotel rooms and have kichen, which you don’t have to spend money eating out everyday. Plus, you will have a better taste of local flavor. This website is a good place to look for apartment vacation rental around the world. We also use it plan for our Europe trip in next year.

For our stay in Oahu, we really like Paradise Palm B&B ($85/night). Unfortunately it is all booked out. But the hosts kindly recommended several other places: ALI’I BLUFFS , BEACH LANE B&B , J & B’S HAVEN, THE MANOA VALLEY INN, MANU MELE B&B, MARIANNE’S B&B, and PILLOWS IN PARADISE. We eventually booked at MARIANNE’S B&B, which costs $75 per night. On the Big Island, we will stay in a cozy cottage at Garden Villa in Hilo ($80/night).

We stumble on the second trick when we are looking for rental car. For some reason, if you go to Avis website via the link on Island Air, you may be able score a deep discount. Our 5-day rental on a compact car only cost about $120, while all other websites ask for at least $200. It seems, when you use that particular link, a Avis worldwide discount code “D802300” and a travel agent only ARC/ATIA number “0182383G” are automatically filled into the reservation form. I suspect this is rather a bug on their website, and they probably will fix it once more people know about this secret. So you milage might vary. Use it while it lasts.

A coup in Thailand? Almost amusing? September 19, 2006

Posted by J.P. in Monkey thought.
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The coup in Bangkok seems almost amusing to me. I can’t imaging a coup in the country where buddhism prevails and people have such mild temper.

In BBC report, it is described as “But overall the mood was amazingly calm, considering that a coup had just taken place to oust the country’s charismatic leader …” To me, the most amusing part is seeing a picture of two Danish tourists smiling to the camera and saying “To see this is a once in lifetime opportunity.“, as if they are in a local festival parade, not a coup.

American policy making. September 15, 2006

Posted by J.P. in Monkey thought.
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Recently, those proposition 87 ads had caught my eyes. I am not particularly sensitive to political or economic matters. But in the eyes of a foreigner, the progression of the campaigns is quite interesting.

I first noticed this proposition when on night I came across a TV ad, a yes-to-87 ad, saying how big oil companies pay billions of drilling fees to Texas, but not to California. And it also stated how 87 will benefit the search for alternative energe. It reminds me that when I was in China, I have never seen a TV ad, an ad on any media for that matter, that promotes a goverment policy.

Of course this is not the end of the story. Those no-to-87 folks don’t just sit around. Soon, they brought out an ad showing a mid-age woman, kind of regular house wife image, pumping gas at a gas station. And she says “So now they want to increase oil taxes, really a four billion dollar state tax increase on oil, ouch”.

I have to say, compared to the narrative yes-to-87 ad, this on is much better. I guest the housewife image is more persuasive to regular people. I almost concluded that 87 is bad before I did my own reading and research.

The yes-to-87 camp must felt the threat, because today they released a new ad, in which, they are calling everyone’s attention to the fine print on the no-to-87 ad. The fine print shows that the no-to-87 ad is sponsored by Chevron.

The whole thing makes me laugh. It looks like two kids telling on each other in front of the teacher. What’s more, it makes me wonder if we have this kind of transparency on policy making in China. I am not sure that the american way is the correct way, but it seems reasonable. And at least I know what is going on. Althougth what I know is limited and might not be the truth.

Miscellaneous. September 13, 2006

Posted by J.P. in Houseism.
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“Like I always say, there’s no ‘I’ in TEAM. There’s a ‘me’ though, if you jumble it up”

“There is not a thin line between love and hate! There is in fact a Great Wall of China with armed sentries posted every twenty feet between love and hate. “

Dr. Cameron: Who (thinks he’s sick)?
House: His wife.
Dr. Cameron: The woman you used to live with.
House: That’s her Indian name. On her driver’s license it’s “Stacy.”

Dr. Cuddy: I want to run something by you.
House: I will not have sex with you! Not again! It was miserable the first time – your desperate administrative need!

Dr. Cameron: Foreman! Are you going to contribute, or are you too tired from stealing cars? (everyone stares) I’m being House. It’s funny.
Dr. Foreman: I know. You made milk come out my nose.

Cameron: Men should grow up.
House: And dogs should stop licking themselves, but it isn’t gonna happen.

“Hello, sick people and their loved ones! In the interest of saving time and avoiding a lot of boring chitchat later, I’m Doctor Gregory House; you can call me “Greg.” I’m one of three doctors staffing this clinic this morning. This ray of sunshine is Doctor Lisa Cuddy. Doctor Cuddy runs this whole hospital, so unfortunately she’s much too busy to deal with you. I am a board certified diagnostician with a double specialty of infectious disease and nephrology. I am also the only doctor currently employed at this hospital who is forced to be here against his will. That is true, isn’t it? But not to worry, because for most of you, this job could be done by a monkey with a bottle of Motrin. Speaking of which, if you’re particularly annoying, you may see me reach for this: this is Vicodin. It’s mine! You can’t have any! And no, I do not have a pain management problem, I have a pain problem… but who knows? Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m too stoned to tell. So, who wants me? “

“Who the man? I the man! .. I always suspected …”

House: So, we’ve got pride, anger, envy, gluttony….That’s four out of seven deadly sins in two minutes. Do you people keep records of these things? Is there a Cathlympics?
Eucharist: They say you have a gift.
House: They like to talk.
Eucharist: You hide behind your intelligence.
House: Yeah, that’s pretty stupid.
Eucharist: And you make jokes because you’re afraid to take anything seriously. Because if you take things seriously, they matter, and if they matter –
House: And when things go wrong, I get hurt. I’m not tough, I’m vulnerable.
Eucharist: I barely know you, and I don’t know if I’m right. I just hope I am. Because the alternative is, you really are as miserable as you seem to be. [pause]
House: You know, from the way you’re looking at me right now, I’d say you just hit number five: lust.

Season 3 from official site. September 13, 2006

Posted by J.P. in Houseism.
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“Is this an intervention? You’re a little late, since I’m not using drugs anymore. I am, however, still hooked on phonics.”
– Cane and Able

“The kid is having nightmares. Only happen at night. It’s right there in the name.”
– Cane and Able

“She was being metaphorical. She was trying to sound like me. I have no idea what you meant, but I could smell what the Rock was cooking.”
– Cane and Able

“Why don’t I have high-def in my office? I’m a department head.”
-Cane and Able

Cuddy: “Why did you…”
House: “Why does a dog lick its workplace-acceptable euphemism for testicles?”
– Meaning

“Oh, I stuck that primo! How rad am I?”
– Meaning

Cameron: “You’re lucky he didn’t die.”
House: “I’m lucky? He’s the one who didn’t die.”
– Meaning

Season 1 from official site. September 13, 2006

Posted by J.P. in Houseism.
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Stacy:”He’s scared of you.”
House: “Sure. The ex boy toy. It makes sense.”
– Honeymoon

“We should do things. Throw a ball around or something. Guy stuff.”
– Honeymoon

Cameron: “Previous tests revealed nothing that could’ve caused the abdominal pain or the mood swings.”
House: “Then we’re done. Ball game? Zoo? I don’t care, I just want to hang with you guys.”
– Honeymoon

Cuddy:”Dr. Reilly is throwing up. He obviously can’t lecture.”
House:”You witness the spew? Or you just have his word for it? I think I’m coming down with a little bit of the clap. May have to go home for a few days.”
– Three Stories

“On average, drug addicts are stupid.”
– Three Stories

“The great thing about telling somebody they’re dying is it tends to focus their priorities. You find out what matters to them. What they’re willing to die for. What they’re willing to lie for.”
– Three Stories

“Keep talking. I’ll finish your exam with a prostate check.”
– Love Hurts

“Ramona, you naughty girl. Either you’ve got yourself an 18-year old boyfriend or an 80-year old with little blue pills.”
– Love Hurts

Foreman:”Hey, I’ve been on the scene more than you recently.”
House:”Way ahead of you. I got a case of malt liquor stashed in the trunk, Mr. Marvin Gaye on the CD. We are going to get all the way down.”
– Love Hurts

Cuddy:”Dr. House! Need you here.”
House:”No thanks. Lotta sick people. I might catch something.”
– Kids

Cuddy:”You. In the lobby. Now.”
House:”I hurt my leg. I have a note.”
– Kids

Cuddy:”I’m working. I got hot. Stop acting like a thirteen year old.”
House:”Sorry. It’s just you don’t usually see breasts like that on Deans of Medicine.
– Kids

House:”Sorry. Up late. Internet porn.”
Chase:”Why aren’t you in your office?”
House:”There’s a computer in my office. If I log on, romance will ensue. My wrist might fall off.”
– Babies & Bathwater

“She has gone from the 25 th weight percentile to the 3 rd in one month. I’m not a baby expert, but I’m pretty sure they’re not supposed to shrink.”
– Babies & Bathwater

“Did you make a pass at Cuddy? I told you, she’s only got thighs for me.”
– Babies & Bathwater

Chase:”House never gives speeches.”

House:”But when I really believe in something, gosh dang it, I gotta chance to make a difference here.”

– Role Model

“By rush, I meant fast. Stat’s the word you doctors use, right?

– Role Model

“Are you comparing me to God? I mean, it’s great, but so you know, I’ve never made a tree.”
– Role Model

“You are the most naïve atheist I’ve ever met.”
– Role Model

Cuddy:”In the Senator’s condition, a spleen biopsy could easily cause sepsis and kill him.”
House:”Why do you do this to me? Now if I kill him, I can’t tell the judge I had no idea of the risks involved.”
– Role Model

“Have you ever seen an infected pierced scrotum?”
– Heavy

Wilson :”The ultrasound and biopsy confirmed our worry. The tumor’s extremely large. At least thirty pounds.”
House:”It’s actually a personal record for this clinic.”
– Heavy

Mrs. Hernandez:”I’ll have a huge scar. I won’t be able to wear a bikini.”
House:”You wear a bikini now?”
Mrs. Hernandez:”Yeah, you have a problem with that?”
House:”No, but I’ve never gone swimming with you.”
– Heavy

House to Cuddy:”Jail. You’d like that. No more naughty schoolgirl. Conjugal visit — that’s her new fantasy.”
– Mob Rules

Bill:”His name’s Joey. He’s my only brother.”
House:”He’s important to you. Got it. No placebos for him. We’ll use the real medicine.”
– Mob Rules

“He’s a 30-year old mobster. He doesn’t have a job that results in accidental exposure to toxins. He has a job that results in intentional exposure to toxins. Someone’s poisoned him.”
– Mob Rules

Chase:”You can trust me.”
House:”The problem is, if I can’t trust you, I can’t trust your statement that I can trust you. But thanks, you’ve been a big help.”
– Mob Rules

“Your brother has Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency. You want me to write it down? Good, because it takes awhile.

– Mob Rules

“She’s the CEO of Sonyo Cosmetics. Had three assistants and fifteen VPs check out who should be treating her. Who the man? I the man. I always suspected.”
– Control

Cuddy:”I need you to wear your lab coat.”
House:”I need two days of outrageous sex with someone obscenely younger than you. Like half your age.”
– Control

Wilson :”And a very bad omen for you. There’s not much money in curing African sleeping sickness.”
House:”No, I have seen every scary movie ever made. Six-year old twins in front of an elevator of blood, boys choirs, those are bad omens. This is much more mundane — a billionaire who wants to get laid.”
– Control

Wilson :”She was uncomfortable doing any more tests. I had to convince her just to do that one.”
House:”You get that often? Women who’d rather die than get naked with you?”
– Control

House:”Haven’t done the MUGA.”
Wilson :”Then how do you know she needs a heart transplant?”
House:”Got my aura read today. Said someone close to me had a broken heart.”
– Control

Cuddy:”Twelve year old male, spiking fever, congested chest, coughing up green sputum, shortness of breath, pain in breathing…”
House:”Baffling. Though I vaguely recall a disease called moonomia..noo-mania…?”
– Cursed

“A secret club. What’s the secret, they’re all morons?”
– Cursed

Chase:”How would you feel if I interfered in your personal life?” House:”I’d hate it. That’s why I cleverly have no personal life.”
– Cursed

Cameron:”If it’s cancer, he can’t pitch again. If this was a regular guy who broke his arm lifting a box you’d pack him up and send him home.”
House:”My God, you’re right. I lost my head. All life is equally sacred. And I promise you, the next knitting injury that comes in, we’re on it like stink on cheese.”
– Sports Medicine

“Foreman, how are you fixed for cash? Steal any cars lately?”
– Sports Medicine

Lola:”Even if real human contact is something you don’t have, or even want, or need, you should at least be able to see it in other people.

House:”Right. True love. That’s just how we match organs these days. There’s a couple in France, high school sweethearts, they’re trading brains.”
– Sports Medicine

“Let me talk to shipping. I speak their language. Foul.”
– Detox

Cuddy:”You know, there are other ways to manage pain.”
House:”Like what? Laughter? Meditation? You got a guy that can fix my third chakra?”
– Detox

“You always trust me. It’s a big mistake.”
– Detox

House to Foreman: “Go check out the ‘hood, dog.”
– Histories

Foreman:”A tuberculoma doesn’t give you a temperature of 105.”
Chase:”Then it’s a tuberculoma and something else.”
Wilson :”The ‘something else’ is going to melt her brain.”
House:”Poach. Better metaphor.”
– Histories

Foreman:”You assaulted that man!”
House:”Fine. I’ll never do it again.”
Foreman:”Yes you will.”
House:”All the more reason this debate is pointless.”
– DNR

House:”That paralysis thing. Guy can’t walk for two years, nobody knows why. It seems mildly interesting.”
Cuddy:”Forget his paralysis.”
House:”Tell that to the rest of his bowling team.”
– DNR

“Like I always say, there’s no ‘I’ in team. There’s a ‘me,’ though, if you jumble it up.”
– DNR

“I’m extremely disappointed. I send you out for exciting new designer drugs, you come back with tomato sauce.”
– Poison

Dr. House – “I assume ‘minimal at best’ is your stiff upper lip British way of saying ‘no chance in hell.'”
Chase:”Actually, I’m Australian.”
Dr. House:”You put the Queen on your money, you’re British.”
– Poison

Patient’s mother:”Who are you?”
Dr. House:”I’m the doctor who’s trying to save your son. You’re the mom who’s letting him die. Clarification. It’s a beautiful thing.”
– Poison

Dr. House:”Mr. Adams, would you step outside for a moment?”
Adams :”Why?”
Dr. House:”Because you irritate me.”
– Poison

“Candy canes? Are you trying to mock me?”
– Damned If You Do

“Don’t worry. Many women learn to live with this parasite. My own mother, for example. Forty-five years and she only complains about it now from time to time.”
– Maternity

Dr. House:”How are we doing on cotton swabs today? If there’s a critical shortage, I could run home.”
Dr. Cuddy:”No you couldn’t.”
Dr. House:”Nice.”
– Occam’s Razor

“Her leg hurts after running six miles. Who knows? Could be anything.”
– Occam’s Razor

Dr. House:”Unfortunately, you have a deeper problem. Your wife is having an affair.”
Patient:”What?!”
Dr. House:”You’re orange, you moron. And it’s one thing for you not to notice, but if your wife hasn’t picked up on the fact that her husband has changed colors, she’s just not paying attention.”
– Pilot

“Treating illness is why we became doctors. Treating patients is actually what makes most doctors miserable.”
– Pilot

Season 2 from official site. September 13, 2006

Posted by J.P. in Houseism.
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House: “Where are you going?”
Foreman: “You’re an ass.”
House: “I know. Where are you going?”
– No Reason

“I always say if you’re going to get shot, do it in a hospital.”
– No Reason

Jack: “I don’t want to hear semantics.”
House: “You anti-semantic bastard.”
– No Reason

“She looks just like you. You have the same fro.”
– Who’s Your Daddy?

“Pretentiousness is hereditary. Just because they haven’t found the gene yet…”
– Who’s Your Daddy?

“I’m a really good secret keeper. I’ve never told anybody Wilson wets his bed.”
– Who’s Your Daddy?

“Tonight, L Word marathon.”
– Forever

“Unless Chase broke his neck falling off his polo pony, he had no reason to be in the ER.”
– Forever

“I ask you, is almost dying any excuse for not being fun?”
– Forever

“Ideas are not soda cans. Recycling sucks.”
– Forever

“Oh, Level Three. Have you called Jack Bauer?”
– Euphoria, Part 2

Wilson : “You’re accessing a webcam?”
House: “Cuddy’s shower. You a fan of the Brazilian?”
– Euphoria, Part 2

“You’re upset that I’m doing clinic hours? Wow, that is so like rain on your wedding day.”
– Euphoria, Part 2

“Everybody’s great when they’re half-dead.”
– Euphoria, Part 1

“Saying there appears to be some clotting is like saying there’s a traffic jam ahead. Is it a ten-car pile up, or just a really slow bus in the center lane? And if it is a bus, is that bus thrombotic or embolic? I think I pushed the metaphor too far.”
– Euphoria, Part 1

“No, if you talk to God you’re religious. If God talks to you, you’re psychotic.”
– House vs. God

“It’s either that or I start going to church every Sunday. And that’d mess with my bowling league.”
– House vs. God

“Cuddy said you should do it. You’ve got a gift. People thank you for telling them they’re going to die.”
– House vs. God

“I’m a night owl. Wilson’s an early bird. We’re different species.”
– Sleeping Dogs Lie

“Gotta hand it to Foreman, though. He knew you were a suck up and I don’t give a crap. He successfully exploited us both.”
– Sleeping Dogs Lie

“Hey! How’s that anal fissure? Did it heal yet, or is it still draining? Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you’d come back for seconds. I figure after that girl in the stairwell, you’d be done for the night.”
– All In

“No, let them watch. I do my best work on the big stage.”
– All In

“The parents are mad because their kid is dying. It’s understandable. If he doesn’t die, they won’t be mad anymore.”
– All In

“Heart transplant. Immune system’s in the toilet, Mommy builds her little angel a John Travolta-quality bubble.”
– Safe

“Only way to confirm this, inject the rat with her blood and wait for it to get all botulistic on your ass. In the meantime, I’m going downstairs to browbeat a scared, dying teenage girl until she breaks down like a scared, dying teenage girl.”
– Safe

“Why do you wanna sleep on a couch anyway? You got money. At least until the divorce is finalized.”
– Clueless

“Awesome. A sex fiend with a swollen tongue. Think of all the places I can make Foreman search.”
– Clueless

“Lungs, skin… skin, lungs… sklungs?”
– Clueless

Foreman – “His right testicle is almost twice as big as his left.”
House – “Cool.”
– Sex Kills

“Norwegian chocolate. Frankly, you buy that stuff, the terrorists win.”
– Sex Kills

Wilson – “How’d you get here?”
House – “By osmosis.”
– Skin Deep

“Catfight and cataplexy on the catwalk. Cool.”
– Skin Deep

Cameron – “What are you looking for?”
House – “Same as you. Love, acceptance, a solid return in investment.”
– Distractions

Weber – “You can’t test anything on an abnormal brain.”
House – “That’s so close-minded, He’s not ‘abnormal.’ He’s special.”
– Distractions

Cameron – “Could pain medication cause an orgasm?”
House – “I wish.”
– Distractions

Cameron – “His brain is like a waiter that’s got too many…”
House – “Hey! I do the metaphors.”
– Distractions

“Wow. It’s a big jump from ‘Infidelity is wrong’ to ‘Do her.'”
– Need to Know

“Mommy does everything for her family these days. Even swallows their pills.”
– Need to Know

Chase – “We’ve got an MRI scheduled in twenty minutes. Earliest Foreman could get the machine.”
House – “I teach you to lie and cheat and steal and the second my back is turned you wait in line!”
– Failure to Communicate

Wilson – “Did you know your phone is dead? Do you ever recharge the batteries?”
House – “They recharge? I just keep buying new phones.”
– Failure to Communicate

Foreman – “She a regular at OTB. Somehow I don’t see her holding down a nine-to-five and going to PTA meetings.”
House – “I was there and I have a nine-to-three job.”
– Deception

“What else turns you on? Drugs? Casual sex? Rough sex? Casual rough sex? I’m a doctor, I need to know.”
– Deception

“Sorry I missed that. White count’s been down since the Ricky Martin concert. Some cholo kicked me in the head.”
– Deception

Stacy – “Where’s Chase?”
House – “He’s too busy to service you until after work. I’ve got a few minutes, though. Feel free to say something like, ‘What’ll we do with the time left over?'”
– The Mistake

“One caveat: I’ve now moved past threesomes. I’m into foursomes.”
– The Mistake

“Steve McQueen without hair? It’s a blessing he died young.”
– Hunting

“Dying people lie too. Wish they’d worked less, been nicer, opened orphanages for kittens. If you really want to do something, you do it. You don’t save it for a sound bite.”
– Hunting

“You know me. Hostility makes me shrink up like a… I can’t think of a non-sexual metaphor.”
– Spin

“What makes a guy start drooling? Chase, were you wearing your short-shorts?”
– Spin

Cameron – “Who was that?”
House – “Angelina Jolie. I call her mom. Who thinks that’s sexy?”
– Daddy’s Boy

Foreman – “You have no evidence to support a poisoning diagnosis.”
House – “Which is why it’s going to be so cool when I turn out to be right.”
– Daddy’s Boy

“You — Intravenous broad spectrum antibiotics. You — Get cervical, thoracic and lumbar T2 weighted fast spin echo MRIs. And you — Track down all the other Richie Riches who went to Jamaica. See if any of them have the shocks, the trots or the hots.”
– Daddy’s Boy

“Welcome aboard the good ship ass kisser. Nice day for a sail.”
– TB Or Not TB

“You ever notice all of the self-sacrificing women in history, Joan of Arc, Mother Theresa…can’t think of any others, they all die alone. Men, on the other hand, get so much tang it’s crazy.”
– TB Or Not TB

“If I tried a scheme like this, you’d get that nasty wrinkly face and screech like a hyena. Very sexy, I admit.”
– Humpty Dumpty

“Hey, I can be a jerk to people I haven’t slept with. I am that good.”
– Humpty Dumpty

“I’m happy to report that we are now so in sync, we’re actually wearing each other’s underwear.”
– Humpty Dumpty

“Union rules. I can’t check out this guy’s seeping gonorrhea this close to lunch.”
– Autopsy

Chase – “If she’s never kissed a boy, it’s a fair bet she’s never had sex.”
House – “Tell that to all the hookers who won’t kiss me on the mouth.”
– Autopsy

“Is it still illegal to perform an autopsy on a living person?”
– Autopsy

“What’s with hiring a male secretary? J-Date not working out?”
– Acceptance

“Talk to Cuddy. She’s got me going to Mercer State Prison, Capital Sentences Unit. She’s trying to impress her new sex-retary.”
– Acceptance

Stacy – “If you didn’t want me working here, why didn’t you just say so?”
House – “I don’t want you working right here. In my office. But anywhere else in the building is fine. It’s a really big hospital.”
– Acceptance

Foreman – “Blood gas came back with a pH of 7.28, and a decreased HCO3.”
House – “Which means two things. Most importantly, Cameron was wrong about the bi-carb. Less significantly, we have a brand new symptom. Who’s chubby?”
– Acceptance

A collection of online Greek learning resources. September 13, 2006

Posted by J.P. in Monkey thought.
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http://aspiringpolyglot.wordpress.com/2006/07/14/language-spotlight-modern-greek/

An interesting reading list. September 13, 2006

Posted by J.P. in Monkey thought.
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To “celebrate your freedom to read”. Google today put up a webpage titled “Celebrate Your Freedom to Read – Explore Banned Books“.

Unsurprisingly, I haven’t read none of the books on the list. But I guess I will start reading them. I post the google webpage here, incase they are gone invalid in the furture.

Challenged this year:
To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee
“A first novel of such rare excellence that it will no doubt make a great many readers slow down to relish more fully its simple distinction.” – Chicago Tribune

Books about To Kill a Mockingbird
Lolita
Vladmir Nabokov
“[An] authentic work of art which compels our immediate response and serious reflection — a revealing and indispensable comedy of horrors.” – San Francisco Chronicle

Books about Lolita
Challenged throughout the years:
The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald
“It is humor, irony, ribaldry, pathos and loveliness…A curious book, a mystical, glamorous story of today.” – The New York Times
Books about The Great Gatsby
1984
George Orwell
“[T]he most contemporary novel of the year and who knows of how many past and to come.” – The New York Times
Books about 1984
Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger
“[A]n unusually brilliant novel…the unconscious humor, the repetitions, the slang and profanity, the emphasis, all are just right.” – The New York Times
Books about Catcher in the Rye
The Lord of the Flies
William Golding
“This brilliant work is a frightening parody on man’s return … to that state of darkness from which it took him thousands of years to emerge….Superbly written.” – The New York Times

Books about The Lord of the Flies
The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck
“Steinbeck has written a novel from the depths of his heart with a sincerity seldom equaled.” – The New York Times
Books about The Grapes of Wrath
Beloved
Toni Morrison
“A masterwork… Wonderful… I can’t imagine American literature without it.” – Los Angeles Times

Books about Beloved
The Color Purple
Alice Walker
“[A] work to stand beside literature of any time and place.” – The San Francisco Chronicle
Books about The Color Purple
Ulysses
James Joyce
“[O]ne of the most significant and beautiful books of our time.” – The Nation
Books about Ulysses
Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck
“[A] thriller, a gripping tale running to novelette length that you will not set down until it is finished. It is more than that; but it is that… .Steinbeck has touched the quick in his little story.” – The New York Times
Books about Of Mice and Men
Catch-22
Joseph Heller
“A monumental artifact of contemporary American literature, almost as assured of longevity as the statues on Easter Island.” – The New York Times
Books about Catch-22
Brave New World
Aldous Huxley
“Mr. Huxley is eloquent in his declaration of an artist’s faith in man, and it is his eloquence, bitter in attack, noble in defense, that, when one has closed the book, one remembers.” – Saturday Review
Books about Brave New World
The Sun Also Rises
Ernest Hemingway
“No amount of analysis can convey the quality of The Sun Also Rises. It is a truly gripping story, told in a lean, hard, athletic narrative prose that puts more literary English to shame.” – The New York Times
Books about The Sun Also Rises
As I Lay Dying
William Faulkner
“For range of effect, philosophical weight, originality of style, variety of characterization, humor, and tragic intensity, [Faulkner’s works] are without equal in our time and country.” – Robert Penn Warren
Books about As I Lay Dying
Song of Solomon
Toni Morrison
“It places Toni Morrison in the front rank of contemporary American writers. She has written a novel that will endure.” – The Washington Post
Books about Song of Solomon
Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
“Heart of Darkness has had an influence that goes beyond the specifically literary… one of the great, if troubling, visionary works of western civilization.” – Joyce Carol Oates
Books about Heart of Darkness
Their Eyes were Watching God
Zora Neale Hurston
“Their Eyes belongs in the same categorywith that of William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingwayof enduring American literature.” – Saturday Review
Books about Their Eyes were Watching God
A Clockwork Orange
Anthony Burgess
“I do not know of any other writer who has done as much with language as Mr. Burgess has done here.” – William S. Burroughs
Books about A Clockwork Orange
A Farewell to Arms
Ernest Hemingway
“[S]eldom has a literary style so precisely jumped with the time… a moving and beautiful book.” – The New York Times
Books about A Farewell to Arms
Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell
“This is beyond a doubt one of the most remarkable first novels produced by an American writer. It is also one of the best.” – The New York Times
Books about Gone with the Wind
Go Tell it on the Mountain
James Baldwin
“Baldwin… has really unusual substantive powers but conventional ingenuity in form…[a] beautiful, furious first novel.” – The New York Times
Books about Go Tell it on the Mountain
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Ken Kesey
“A work of genuine literary merit. What Mr. Kesey has done in his unusual novel is to transform the plight of a ward of inmates in a mental institution into a glittering parable of good and evil.” – The New York Times
Books about One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Slaughterhouse Five
Kurt Vonnegut
“Highly imaginative, nearly psychedelic…It is very tough and very funny; it is sad and delightful; it is very Vonnegut; and it works.” – The New York Times
Books about Slaughterhouse Five
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Ernest Hemingway
“This is the best book Ernest Hemingway has written, the fullest, the deepest, the truest. It will, I think, be one of the major novels in American literature.” – The New York Times
Books about For Whom the Bell Tolls
The Call of the Wild
James Baldwin
“Baldwin… has really unusual substantive powers but conventional ingenuity in form…[a] beautiful, furious first novel.” – The New York Times
Books about The Call of the Wild
All the King’s Men
Robert Penn Warren
“Mr. Warren has employed vivid characterization and strong language combined with subtle overtones to write a vital, compelling narrative.” – Booklist
Books about All the King’s Men
The Jungle
Upton Sinclair
“When people ask me what has happened in my long lifetime I do not refer them to the newspaper files and to the authorities, but to [Sinclair’s] novels.” – George Bernard Shaw
Books about The Jungle
Lady Chatterley’s Lover
DH Lawrence
“Nobody concerned with the novel in our century can afford not to read it.” – Lawrence Durrell
Books about Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison
“It is a resolutely honest, tormented, profoundly American book.” – The New York Times
Books about Invisible Man
In Cold Blood
Truman Capote
“The best documentary account of an American crime ever written… The book chills the blood and exercises the intelligence… harrowing.” – The New York Review of Books
Books about In Cold Blood
Satanic Verses
Salman Rushdie
“Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Voltaire’s Candide, Sterne’s Tristram Shandy… Salman Rushdie, it seems to me, is very much a latter-day member of their company.” – The New York Times
Books about Satanic Verses
Sons and Lovers
DH Lawrence
“There is probably no phrase much more hackneyed than that of ‘human document,’ yet it is the only one which at all describes this very unusual book.” – The New York Times
Books about Sons and Lovers
Naked Lunch
William S. Burroughs
“A masterpiece. A cry from hell, a brutal, terrifying, and savagely funny book that swings between uncontrolled hallucination and fierce, exact satire.” – Newsweek
Books about Naked Lunch
A Separate Peace
John Knowles
“[An] engrossing tale of love, hate, war, and peace…Intense, mesmerizing, and complelling.” – School Library Journal
Books about A Separate Peace
Cat’s Cradle
Kurt Vonnegut
“A free-wheeling vehicle…An unforgettable ride!” – The New York Times
Books about Cat’s Cradle
Women in Love
DH Lawrence
“No other writer of [Lawrence’s] imaginative standing has in our time written books that are so open to life.” – Alfred Kazin
Books about Women in Love
The Naked and the Dead
Norman Mailer
“The best novel to come out of the… war, perhaps the best book to come out of any war.” – San Francisco Chronicle
Books about The Naked and the Dead
An American Tragedy
Theodore Dreiser
“Mr. Dreiser is not imitative and belongs to no school. He is at heart a mysticist and a fatalist, though using the realistic method. He is, on the evidence of this novel alone, a power.” – The New York Times
Books about An American Tragedy
Rabbit, Run
John Updike
“Brilliant and poignant….By his compassion, clarity of insight and crystal-bright prose, [Updike] makes Rabbit’s sorrow his and our own.” – The Washington Post
Books about Rabbit, Run
Tropic of Cancer
Henry Miller
“One of the most remarkable, most truly original authors of this or any age.” – Saturday Review
Books about Tropic of Cancer
Native Son
Richard Wright
“Certainly, Native Son declares Richard Wright’s importance… as an American author as distinctive as any of those now writing.” – The New York Times
Books about Native Son

Now all we need to do is waiting … September 10, 2006

Posted by J.P. in Travel.
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Hawaii Map

Flight booked, hotel reserved, car rented, the only thing left is waiting, endless …

We will take off from San Francisco in Dec. 23rd afternoon, and be back home in Jan. 1st morning. Yes, by the time we are home, it will be next year. For the first three days, we will stay in Oahu, like other millions of tourists there, working on our tan. 🙂 I guess, we will spend most of our time on the beach or in the water. Then we will fly to Hawai’i, the Big Island, spend the rest of our vacation in the relatively quite Hilo district, where we will immerse ourselves in the tropic fishing town atmosphere, farmer’s market, afternoon shower, and trade wind. Of course, the volcano national park is a must see.