so cute! kawaii! ^___^
Citizenship vs. Nationality
Membership of a nation in the sense of ethnic group (a group of people who share a common ethnic identity, language, culture, descent, history, and so forth). This meaning of nationality is not defined by political borders or passport ownership.
Citizenship is determined by jus soli, jus sanguinis, or naturalization, which affords the state jurisdiction over the person and affords the person the protection of the state. The most common distinguishing feature of citizenship is that citizens have the right to participate in the political life of the state, such as by voting or standing for election.
This is the first time for me to watch the Olympics since becoming an Amercian citizen in 2009. This allows me to view the Olympics from prespectives I never had before. I simply realized that citizenship DOES NOT equal nationality. The decision to become an U.S. citizen was really a practical one for me. I was a greencard holder/permanent resident alien prior to becoming a citizen. For me, the biggest reasons to become a citizen instead of a permanent resident are:
- I do not wish to pay the U.S. government a significant amount of money to renew my greencard every ten years.
- I do not wish to pay the Chinese government money to renew my Chinese passport every five years.
- I do wish to vote in the U.S.
I never really thought much about nationality. The truth is obvious since I started to watch the Olympics that just because I’m technically an American citizen doesn’t mean I feel 100% like a natural born American. After I heard much bad news regarding the Chinese men’s gymnastic team’s qualification round performance, I felt disappointed and was not expecting them to do well in the final round. However, after I found out they won the gold medal, I was EXCITED to watch their performance on the premiere time NBC programming. I told my husband who’s a naturally born American that I was excited about the Chinese winning the gold, he asked how did the Amercians do. Truthfully I did not pay attention. I said I don’t know and he remarked “Did you want to change your citizenship back?” I was hurt by the comment. I dug deeper as why I felt that way. I guess it’s because he was suggesting that I was disloyal to the country of my citizenship. Then I suddenly realized why people as famous as Maria Sharapova never changed their citizenship. None of the practical reasons for me (maybe except the last) to become a U.S. citizenship is really applicable in Maria’s case. She wants to align her citizenship with her nationality so she wouldn’t feel split when it comes to matches where she represents more than just herself.
This however doesn’t mean I’m not proud of Americans. It’s when the Chinese and Americans go head to head, my heart still goes to the Chinese. Will this feeling ever change naturally? Only time will tell.
Medal Count Rant
So much of the medal count competition is purely political. China claims the rest of the world except U.S. order medals by number of gold, silver and then bronze. This may have some truth as I see that’s how they were ordered on google. I can tell U.S. is getting some pressure regarding this since Bob Costas has to mention the comparison in the number of golds as well as the total now. Although it would not mean a difference how you order the medals this year, either way U.S. is #1 in medal counts. It’s the 2008 Olympics where this was a huge debate.
Eight women were disqualified from the doubles tournament in this Olympics.
Why did this happen? From a technical perspective the Chinese wanted to maximize their chance of winning both the gold and silver medals. The way Badminton works in the Olympics is that you’d play earlier rounds to decide your seeding in the knockout stages. The knockout stages start with quaterfinals. You get one shot and you are out. Each country may only enter two teams for each badminton event. This rule was added recently as more or less an anti-China affirmative action rule. China has traditionally dominated this sport since it became official in the Olympics so in order to give other countries a fair chance of medaling, each country may now only enter two teams. In the group stage of this year’s women’s double, one of the Chinese teams unexpected lost. This lowered their seeding so instead of meeting the other Chinese team in the finals, they would have met each other in the semifinal. In order to maintain the seeding to allow the two teams to meet in the final, the other team must also lose a match. I did not look deep into the Korean team’s motivation for also wanting to lose that match. It’s possible that the Koreans just did not want the Chinese to get what they want. I really don’t know. But the result was both teams made it EXTREMELY obvious that they both tried to lose the match.
I was furious and disgraced when I watched the throw away match. Even after I learned its motivation, I still believe it was fundamentally wrong. But I want to entertain different perspectives in this story.
First, is there nothing wrong with the badminton tournament system that would encourage such match losing “strategy”? Should we question the design of the system as how & why would anyone GAIN from losing?
Second, are the players purely to blame for such acts of disgrace? To tell you the truth, I find it extremely hard to believe that the players WANTED to lose a match they trained all of their career to win. I researched by reading many Chinese online articles on this topic. The articles complained that it’s the Chinese coach 李永波’s “tradition” to execute such game losing strategies. Because he wants to show that he is the medal winning coach. Many badminton players previously had left the team due to the fact they were told to lose matches on purpose to work the system. From a political point of view, China will never admit that they were trying to gain advantage by working the system. If they actually do get political pressure for such acts, I can see them firing the coach and using him as a scapegoat. So the players may be doing the losing for two major reasons. They may have truly believed they were being patriotic. They did it to help China to win the gold and silver medals in the event. Such brainwashing in China is quite commonplace and easy to understand. On the other hand, they may have done it in the hope to expose such “corruption” in the system and coach to help putting it to an end.
Gymnastics (China’s torture)
Someone on my facebook friends list recently shared a photoshoped photo from this article from a facebook group titled “Some Amazing Facts”. The author of “Some Amazing Facts” photoshoped three of the worst photos from that article and then that photoshoped version spread all over facebook. People who don’t bother reading the original article would comment stuff like “China should be stripped out of all of its gymnastics medals for such torture!” Well, I went a little above and beyond the average facebook users and did some critial thinking. First we start with 1+1=2. Let’s examine the origin of these photos. They came from The Daily Mail. The Daily Mail is a CONSERVATIVE, British daily middle-market TABLOID newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. Oh you mean those publications with gigantic ugly celebrity photos on the newsstands you try to ignore while waiting at a grocery store checkout line? But HOLY SHIT! Once the source photos are photoshoped into one and shared under a facebook group titled “Some Amazing Facts”, how can you question its authenticity? So now we know these photos are at best questionable but knowing China, I would not be surprised if the photos are authentic. The truth is the parents of these children are well aware of the amount of discipline it takes for their children to succeed and are willing to go through the scarifice. Just because no American/Western culture will understand or accept this doesn’t mean it’s TORTURE. Discipline is a part of China’s thousands year old culture. Right? Wrong? This is purely a question to the civilization. Slavery was socially accepted until the civil rights movements, right? Read the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother to get more extreme examples. A basic example of discipline would be that all Chinese students have summer homework and they actually DO THEM. There are many other photos of happy children in that article which were completely unshown on the facebook group because the facebook group is basically promoting a campaign. They are showing ads for the message “China is unworthy of medals! Look at all of the tortured kids!” which reminds me of the anti-abortion campaign “Abortion is bad! Look at all of the mangled fetuses!”
Table tennis is definitely one of the sports I miss dearly after moving to the U.S. To be able to watch it on a world stage is a great treat. While watching these matches, I’ve noticed something obvious. A lot of smaller countries seem to have Chinese “export” players to represent their countries. While I was watching the women’s quarter final between China’s Li Xiaoxia and Netherlands’ Li Jiao, I noticed during the breaks the conversation between the coaches and players on BOTH SIDES were in Chinese. I found that rather ironic. I suppose from a business prespective it makes sense. Why bother raising a table tennis player from scratch when it’s easier economically to allow an older Chinese player to be an immigrant to represent your country? I do not know if any money has been exchanged in such immigration process. I’m sure it’s attractive to many Chinese table tennis players to go through such immigrations. After all, you are constantly being replaced by younger and better players in China. The “career” in the sport of ping pong in China must be pretty short. So if you want to remain a ping pong player all of your life, I can see the better alternative is to go to a different country. That’s why often the Chinese players representing other coutries are older. That being said, I highly question the alignment of patriotism in these older players. Even if their skills allow them, do they really want to win and hinder their mother country’s chance of getting the medals? I wonder…
My husband Andy made these meatballs last night. They were soooooo good. I had to share the recipe since it’s his ORIGINAL creation with inspiration from Robert Irvine.
½ lb Ground Beef
½ lb Ground Pork
1 Bratwurst Patty (approx. 1/3 lb ground bratwurst)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup fresh chopped green onion
½ cup fresh chopped parsley
½ cup fresh chopped cilantro
2 large cloves garlic diced or minced
¼ cup chopped Basil
Preheat Oven to 375 degrees – combine all ingredients and mix well. Form into 1.5” balls and place in a greased baking pan. Bake covered for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes.
Yesterday I attended Ted Neward‘s game design session at nofluff. It inspired me to begin to implement the game sequence in an ajax app. It will be a private app since I only plan to play it with some friends. But it will be hosted somewhere on my website so it can be accessed from anywhere.
Sequence is a board game my husband and I often played with two of our friends. It’s their favorite game. When I started thinking last night about potentially creating a web version so we don’t need to be physically at their house to play, I became very excited. I believe I may create something that will work with the help of php, mysql + jQuery (ajax).
Why this idea excites me
- Before I started as a professional Java developer, I always coded in php & mysql (somewhat a LAMP developer on the side). However most of my old applications and sites are down. I no longer have the desire to maintain them. Now this is a great opportunity and incentive for me to go back to php & mysql and write something I enjoy.
- PHP has a special place in my heart. Just a while ago, a coworker asked for my help to create him something to help with the manual text file processing he has to do every month. It only needs to be quick & dirty app. I threw together a php app in half an hour for him. It was super cool. He loved it.
- I can also involve my husband on this project. Even though he’s not a programmer but he knows this game as well as I do. Normally he doesn’t have much of stake in my apps but this time he can be my lab rat
- With this project, I also get to play with UI. I started as a web designer. So CSS & HTML have been my passion. There will be quite a bit of UI involved in the designing of this game.
- It’s fun because it will be very useful. I very much look forward to the day that I can have our friends joining the game.
- I can blog about it! I may not share my final product with the public but I will definitely share my progress & experience. Hopefully there will be challenges where I can learn some new stuff.
Last night I started brainstorming with my hushand as how I want the game to work. I started table designing and UI designing. This morning I put together a very prototype version of the UI.
I leveraged jQuery’s “redmond” theme. This way I can use all of the cool jQuery UI widgets and benefit from reusing its css for elements I want to style and create a semi prof looking app in no time.
I spent a lot of time last night looking for the chocobo air garden on ePSXe emulator playing the final fantasy IX.
The chocobo air garden is the last location for the chocobo hot and cold game and before you get there for the first time, it could be randomly at one of these five locations.
While your flying golden chocobo is above the black dot (shadow), if you feed her a dead pepper, she will go soaring in the air and finds the air garden. I wanted to find the air garden so I could fight the game’s toughest optional boss Ozma.
Everything was in place but I could not find the darn black dot at any of the locations. I finally found some information saying in the ePSXE emulator version of the game there is NO BLACK DOT.
So what I did to find the air garden is to park my chocobo outside of Alexandria. If you look at the location at the lower right of the map, it’s at the Alexandria plateau. Basically I just fly my chocobo at the location where the black dot WOULD HAVE BEEN if it showed, feed her a dead pepper. If the air garden is there, she lands in the garden otherwise she drops back down. If you don’t find it the first time, go back inside of Alexandria. Then come out of Alexandria and repeat the same step. Once I tried this route, I found the air garden on my second try. Who would have known?
Fortunately after you have found the chocobo air garden, it will also be marked on the map. Thank god!
For the past a few weeks, I’ve been replaying final fantasy IX on the playstation emulator epsxe. I really love this game because it’s my very first final fantasy game. Sure you may argue it’s not the best final fantasy game but it definitely has a special place in my heart. While replaying the game, I did not want to start from scratch. I have played the game from scratch on the playstation console and have beat it quite completely before (except for the run for Exculibar II). So I started with an early save from gamefaq.com that has 99 of all items from disc one. Now I have a save I would like to share that is on disc four.
This save is in mcr format and can be used on the epsxe emulator. You may also convert it using MemcardRex.exe. Although it’s on disc four, there is still quite a bit playing potential. I think I took care of most of the tedious work and you may use it to complete much of the side quests in the game.
Placement in the game
It is saved after getting the invincible on disc four prior to lifa tree. The save is outside of chocobo forest on the world map with your golden chocobo and the air ship next to you. Choco’s beak level is at 99. I have acquired all of the chocograph but didn’t finish all of them. I just hunted the ones that upgraded my chocobo. I have just visited the Mognet Central and Alexandria and is ready to deliver Kupo’s letter to Atla in order to start finishing the Mognet Central side quest. I have also finished feeding all of the friendly monsters while I was leveling up so it’s ready for you to fight Ozma – the toughest optional boss in the game.
This save contains almost 99 of all items. This includes all armors and weapons. Therefore all of the characters have their ultimate weapons. And yes Steiner has Exculibar II.
Abilities: All learned, all equipped except auto-potion
Skills: All learned
To do: His Thievery magic still only does around 1800 damage because I never used his steal ability much in the game given I’ve already had 99 of all items there wasn’t much incentive. If you wish to work on this, I recommend that you go you Ispen’s castle because you may get up to 6 successful steals against the enemy Gargoyle.
Abilities: All learned, all equipped except boost, healer, auto-potion (feel free to equip if you wish)
White magic: All learned
Summons: All learned
Note: Summoning Atomos does 9999 damage to all Yans
Abilities: All learned, all equipped except auto-potion
Sword art: All learned
Note: Climhazzard does 9999 damage to all Yans
Abilities: All learned exception millionaire and healer (does not seem like they are needed), all equipped
Blue magic: Goblin Punch, LV5 Death, LV3 Def-less, Doom, Roulette, Aqua Breath, Mighty Guard, Matra Magic, Bad Breath, Limit Glove, 1,000 Needles, Night, Angel’s Snack, Frog Drop, White Wind, Auto-Life
Note: Frog Drop does around 9200 damage
To do: Continue to raise his level to try to max out his Frog Drop ability. He’s also missing a few blue magic.
Abilities: All learned, all equipped
Black magic: All learned
Abilities: All learned, all equipped
Dragon abilities: All learned
Note: Dragon’s Crest does a guaranteed 9999 damage.
Abilities: All learned except healer, all equipped
White magic: All learned
Summons: All learned
Abilities: All learned, all equipped except healer and auto-potion
Flair Abilities: All learned
Note: Throw great weapons to do 9999 damage.
Please check game faq side quest FAQs to see how they can be accomplished.
Finish all chocograph
Revive the Mognet Central
Stellazzio: Zodiac Coins
Many more side quests
Obviously finish the game and watch the awesome ending
=== Download the save ====
Added two more saves on the memory card 7/21/2010
1) Right before you may fight Ozma on Alexandria Plateau. Check the map to see where Chocobo Air Garden is. I guarantee you may beat Ozma in less than 2 rounds. Just do Zidane Thievery, Freya Dragon Crest, Amarant Throw Ultimate Weapon, Quina Frog Drop. Enjoy
2) Right before the last boss fight. Beat the game and watch the ending.
As a bonus, I’ve been looking around for a screenshot of all of Stellazzio coins labeled in Queen Stella’s house. Since I did not find one, I created my own. Feel free to use it to figure out which coin(s) you are missing.
I’ve been a Colts fan for ~6 years now. Perhaps more than a Colts fan, I’m a Peyton Manning fan. This year’s Superbowl to me was the matchup I absolutely wanted. #1 seed in the NFC vs #1 seed in the AFC. Can’t be more perfect than that. I also respect Sean Payton and Drew Brees a lot. Therefore I thought if the Saints beat the Colts, it really will not affect me that much.
After the Colts’ loss, I had maybe 4 hours of sleep. I woke up this morning with Peyton’s interception being replayed in my head. I took the day off work and have been on the Colts official forum since I woke up. There is a lot negativity among the Colts fans. There are many who pointed out multiple turning points of the game:
- Playing conservative at the end of the 1st half
- Hank Baskett dropping the onside kick
- Austin Collie running the wrong way on a screen pass
- Pierre Garcon dropping a 3rd down catch in the 2nd quarter
- Tracy Porter’s pick six
- Reggie Wayne dropping the pass on the 4th and goal
Everyone has an opinion on which play really cost us the game. To me, it’s really not that important. We got outplayed as a team and lost because of that. However, with this loss, the dreaded GOAT (greatest of all time) conversation must now be blown out of proportion by the media (and fans). I will start to hear comments such as Peyton Manning choked again during the game that matters.
The GOAT talk is very annoying. I really love Peyton. I don’t know that much about NFL history. I came from China and only got into football a few years ago. I really love Peyton as a person and a football player. He’s fun to watch and he runs an unique offense. He always works and studies hard. He does not talk smack and is always respectful toward other players. In the most competitive professional sport, it’s hard to always maintain your composure. He talks like a politician and is very smart and a great role model. His commercials are the funniest. Personally I hope it could just stop at that.
But of course not. Because football is a business. Everyone needs to make money. If the media doesn’t talk about GOAT, how do they fill up their programs? Since the media runs this country, everyone is exposed to that.
When I first came to this country, I would have given a rats ass about football. I found grown men hitting each other was the the dumbest thing in the world. Until I actually learned more about the rules of the game and followed players like Peyton, I then understand why people can be crazy about it. But everything has two sides. The media debate is probably my least favorite aspect of the game. You have to put up with many idiotic analyst/commentators’ (cough Deion Sanders) “professional” opinions. But unfortunately it’s a part of the game that will always be there.
I think because Peyton is such a likable person born in a football family, he gets more coverage than a lot of other players. This will follow him to the end of his career. I’m just glad I get to watch him play. Hopefully even after he retires, he coaches or stays with football somehow.
This is funny if you are a Colts fan like me
Obviously, the title is a joke, but the joke is indeed courtesy of Colts rookie cornerback Jerraud Powers. Like many of us this past Sunday, Colts players Jerraud Powers and Pierre Garcon were watching the Jets play the Bengals in Cincinnati. However, unlike the good old days, when people would call and talk to one another during the course of the game, “Jpeezy25″ and “ShowTimeP85″ decided to use Twitter to talk trash about each other, their Colts teammates, and about other NFL players.
Of course, the winner in all this is us, the fans, because the entertainment value of Pierre Garcon calling Jerraud Powers as slow as Peyton Manning cannot be measured in mere dollars. Just entertainment is priceless. Here is there Twitter conversation from this weekend:
Jpeezy25 how is that a flag….Revis is locking this clown down and they calling some cheap stuff…
ShowTimeP85 Revis holds 95% of the time….don’t be bias
Jpeezy25 agggghhh u WRs these days are babied..we can even touch yall but u can push us all day and dont get calls. Revis is not holding
ShowTimeP85 it goes both ways yall hold we push off
Jpeezy25 Garcon…u cant be serious…i know a guy name Austin Collie…nuff said
ShowTimeP85 lol thats him…I don’t push off..yall be so far off I don’t have to push off…my speed push yall off far enough…
Jpeezy25 haaaa u funny..we can race tomorrow..me and lace the fastest dudes on the team besides Taj
ShowTimeP85 don’t put your money on it…
ShowTimeP85 your about as fast as Peyton…
Jpeezy25 now that was jus disrespectful man…take that back, im hurt
Jpeezy25 now everybody retweeting that man..haaa
The Twitter party was later joined by Seahawks running back (an former Colts back) Justin Forsett, who was also watching the game. Garcon is quite the Twitter maven, with chatty friends like Redskins linebacker London Fletcher, Bengals defensive tackle Pat Sims, 49ers linebacker Takeo Spikes, Colts cornerback Jacob Lacey, and Bills wide receiver Terrell Owens in his Tweet roll.
Of course, the absolute master of Twitter from the Colts locker room is Raheem Brock. When he’s not Tweeting updates on Dallas Clark doing a cover of “Juicy” he’s posting pictures of the bill at Ruth Chris Steakhouse (Tip to LovinBlue)for the annual rookie d-line dinner. When it comes to Twitter, it is Raheem Brock’s world and the rest of us are loving it! I mean seriously, how can you not love a Colts player who Tweets this after the Patriots lost their first Wild Card Playoff Game under Bill Belichick:
Peace out patriots!nd we have no room on the bandwagon for patriots fans yall can kick rocks….barefoot! Lol bout to study these ravens!
There was also this little Tweet from Brock, made just prior to the Ravens v. Patriots playoff game:
I’m cleanin up the house this morn nd some papers fell on the floor in front of me..my study notes from playn bmore…think its a sign.lol
The hilarity of Powers complaining about Austin Collie pushing off and Raheem Brock telling Patriots fans to kick rocks barefoot all provide the kind of honest, unfiltered dialogue that we fans are often denied. Press conferences are too scripted and locker-room interviews too bland for the access to feel real. Here, on Twitter, the interaction feels real. Sometimes, it can backfire and make you look like a crass, immature fool, like Chris Johnson’s Tweet this weekend did.
Here, it just makes the players seem like human friggin beings, not the mindless, “blah blah blah” stiffs we see plastered all over ESPN and the like.
And while a significant amount of the Tweeting is silly in nature, one constant theme is pushed by the players when they are Tweeting either during or after work:
RaheemBrock Feels good to be working in jan!
Jpeezy25 Just got to work, preparing for Baltimore…gotta b great this time of year.
Again, hard not to like guys who think and Tweet this way. Go Colts!
i got sick last week and it got worse this tuesday. for a few days i’d fall asleep around 9 just to wake up later because my throat hurts so bad. and i have to blow my nose and sneeze. it hurts to talk and to clear my throat. maybe i’m not just having a cold, it’s flu or something. i really don’t know. but aside from not having a fever, i’ve been pretty miserable. ;_;
the most amusing part is the review by D. Sterling (Dallas, TX). s/he apparently knows something we don’t.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Prescient, February 1, 2008
By D. Sterling (Dallas, TX)
What a wonderful and insightful book! The whole story of this incredible season is laid out with amazing detail, wonderful anecdotes, and personal vignettes that really touch the heart of every football fan.
The final chapter, detailing the Super Bowl, is especially worthwhile. After Brady’s now famous debilitating hang-nail on his left hand in the first quarter, the world waited with baited breath as the two backup QB “Matt’s” flipped a coin to see who would play. We all watched as the quarter hung on its side, eventually falling the way of Matt Gutierrez. While he did not complete a pass the rest of the way, the 6 “statue-of-liberty” plays, for a combined 275 yards, set a Super Bowl record for both the number of statue-of-liberty plays, and the total yardage from that special bon-mot of a play.
I digress…..get the book….it will change your life.
LMAO this person seriously has some hallucination issues. maybe s/he had a fever when s/he wrote that.