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Monday, June 23, 2008

Happy Heroes: Chapter 1 (1)

A few words first: Survived the class in Spring!! And started teaching a class today for Summer. Since today is Monday and is the first day of the Summer term, it is a good day to start blogging regularly. I'll try to post daily starting from today. And here below is a chunk of translation:
Guo Dalu’s name fits him well. “Dalu”, in the mother tongue, is normally used to describe someone somewhat bighearted, yet reckless and careless, even muddle-headed some times, who doesn’t really care much about anything. And Guo Dalu is indeed a very “Dalu” person.
Wang Dong, where Dong means move in the mother tongue, however, doesn’t like to move.
“Dalu” people are usually very poor. Guo Dalu is especially poor, so exceptionally poor that he is completely off the chart.
In fact, he shouldn’t have been so poor at all.
In fact, he could even be considered a very wealthy man to begin with. When a wealthy man suddenly becomes dirt poor, there are only two possible explanations: 1) he must be dumb; 2) he must be lazy.
But Guo Dalu is not dumb. He knows more skills than most people and is better at them than most people. For example –
Horse-riding. He can ride the fastest horse and tame the most violent-tempered horse.
Fencing. His thrust can pierce a knight’s suit of armor; it can also pierce the willow catkin dancing in the spring breeze.
If you are a friend of his, and when he happens to be in a very good mood, he might dive into the Yellow River and catch a few carps with bare hands before leaping out from the water to snatch a couple of wild geese, so he could cook you some steamed fish and roasted goose, and watch you gulfing down the delicious dish. You won’t be disappointed once you taste them, since his cooking skill is no less than any famed cook in the entire capital city.
He can sing poet Su Shi’s “East Going Yangtze River” with iron pad and copper pi-pa[1]. He can also play a bandore and sing poet Liu Yong’s “Willow shore, morning breeze and lingering moon.”[2] Hearing him singing, you would probably have thought he had been singing for a living all his life.
Someone even believes that he knows how to do everything except giving birth.
He is not lazy, either. Actually, he is always looking for things to do and have done all kinds of work. How can a man like this be poor?
The first job he had was an escort.
At that time, he just finished vigil beside his parents’ grave, and had just got rid of the family land, sold some and gave away some. He wanted to adventure the world with his various skills.
Of course, he is not a very capable businessman and is not interested to become one, either. Hence, the farmland worth three hundred taels[3] per acre only sold for one hundred and seventy. Then after he gave a bunch of taels away to poor relatives and friends, there was not much left.
However, there were still enough taels left to buy him a fast horse, to make a sharp sword, to order a few suits of handsome robes, to live in the best hotel, and to enjoy the best restaurant.

[1] Iron pad and copper pi-pa are two ancient Chinese instruments that are commonly used to play resounding and heroic songs. “East Going Yangtze River” is a famous poem by poet Su Shi of the Song Dynasty. It was used as the lyric for a song with the same name, and the style of the song is courageous and heroic.
[2]Willow shore, morning breeze and lingering moon” is a famous poem by poet Liu Yong of the Song Dynasty. It was also used as the lyric for a song with the same name, and the style of the song is slow and gentle.
[3] Tael is a unit of weight (about 32.5 grams). It was popular as the unit for silver currency in ancient China.

"With great power comes great responsibility -- Spiderman"
"With a big yard comes lots of yardwork -- Lanny"

Picture of the Day:

Given that wife is happy and professor is happy, what it the probability of an ugly lawn?

European Cup (Started on 6/7/08)

Wife Out of Town (leaving Lanny home alone with the kid)



E W | P(b|E, W)
T T | 0.999
T F | 0.61
F T | 0.95
F F | 0.5

Ugly Lawn
L B S | P(u|L,B,S)
T T T | 0.999
T T F | 0.5
T F T | 0.88
T F F | 0.3
F T T | 0.92
F T F | 0.45
F F T | 0.85
F F F | 0.05

MCMC Lab Late
L B S | P(m|L,B,S)
T T T | 0.9
T T F | 0.71
T F T | 0.76
T F F | 0.01
F T T | 0.89
F T F | 0.7
F F T | 0.75
F F F | 0.02

Wife Happy
U | P(w|U)
T | 0.01
F | 0.4

Prof. Happy
M | P(p|M)
T | 0.75
F | 0.90