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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Finally, The Beginning

Hello there, and welcome to my blog. I had wanted to start this blog a year and a half ago, hence the title. And for all those who I have told about my intention to start the blog, here it is, finally!!

As described in the title above, Lannyland is a land of imagination. I strongly believe that one cannot live without imagination. Children are always blessed with the gift of imagination. As we grow older, we tend to get bogged down by choirs, daily routines and fixed schedules, and forget that we still are capable of imagination. I sure hope reading my blog provides inspiration for you to use your imagination again, which leads to creativity and passion. In this blog, I will share with you things I am VERY passionate about, things that always inspire my imagination and creativity. Maybe after reading my posts, you will become passionate about them too! Then maybe I've contributed to making the world a better place!

So what kind of things am I passionate about? I have to admit that I have many hobbies and am passionate about many things. However, in this blog, I will focus on two subjects: AI Robotics, and Wuxia (武侠) novels.

Ever since I was little, I've always being a great fan of science fiction novels. Specifically, I have always been fascinated by the many varieties of robots. That passion grew throughout the years as technology advances rapidly. Eventually the passion grew so strong that I quited my job and went back to school. I am currently a PhD candidate student at BYU (under Dr. Goodrich) researching Artificial Intelligence in Robotics. In this blog you can read about many cool robots that have been developed, great ideas people are working on, and ideas I have relating to my research. I'd love to read about your opinions and bright ideas, so don't be shy in commenting! One thing I can promise is that it won't be boring. Come on, how could robots be boring? :)

I have read many books in the past. However, one book clearly stands out as my all-time favorite book, ever. In fact, I enjoyed this book so much that after reading it over 20 times, I simply had to own it. It is called "Smiling Proud Wanderer" (aka "State of Divinity", and "笑傲江湖" in Chinese) and is
a Martial Arts fiction novel written by the great Hong Kong author, Mr. Louis Cha (aka "Jin Yong", and "金庸" in Chinese). This is one famous book in China (also Southeast Asia). Many movies (including one featuring Jet Li) and TV series have been made based on the story. If you have any Chinese friends, ask them about this book. Chances are that they have read it and watched it on TV or in a theater, and immensely enjoyed it. The book falls under the genre called "武侠" (meaning Martial Heroes). Books in this genre are like fairy tales for adults and normally tell stories about Martial Heroes who are great martial artists who uphold justice with their amazing Kung Fu skills.

I guess one main reason why I liked the book so much is because I see myself reflected in the main character of the story. Of course the great story and the great writing skills of the author also had great impacts. I liked the book so much that I wanted to share it with all the non-Chinese speaking people in the world. That's how the translation project started. During the project, I met many friends from all over the world (Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, to name a few) who also enjoyed the story immensely and had a great time reading it. I got as far as half way through (20 chapters and over 1000 pages). However, life got busier, and the project was put on hold. Ever since then, I have received hundreds of emails from fans inquiring about the status of the translation project, but I have kept many of the waiting. Sorry! One reader suggested that I translate just a little bit everyday to keep the momentum going. I think it is a good idea. That is also the reason why I am doing this blog. I hope that by posting smaller chunks of the translation, I will continue on with the project and eventually finish it. For all those people out there who got hung up with the story, I sincerely apologize. The good news is: I am back working on the project again! For all those of you who have not heard about this book, trust me, you will enjoy reading it! So here is how it works: I will post small sections in this blog once in a few days. By the time I have a good chunk translated, I'll still post it at the translation web site where you can find all finished chapters.

I also would like to post translations of two other "武侠" novels by great Mr. Gu Long. They are: "Happy Heroes" (欢乐英雄) and "Full Moon Crescent Saber" (圆月弯刀). I hope you'd enjoy them too.

Occasionally, I will share my random thoughts on things too. Once I took an online IQ test out of boredom, and the result indicated that I should really be a "Visionary Philosopher". So if I sometimes get too philosophical, don't be surprised.

It is 3:45 am right now, but I would still consider it Monday! Good night! (And shout out for Boyce!)

The hardest part to make dream come true is to gather enough courage and actually start doing it. I quit my job and went to Grad School; I finally started this blog. What do you want to do?

Picture of the Day:

To mow or not to mow, that is the question!

Have not had the time or energy to mow my lawn. (Compare mine to neighbor's lawn in the background!) They are actually seeding now. And what's shown here is only 1/20 of the workload.... This picture was actually taken on June 4. It is even worse by now.