Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Chinese People Are Leaving

The Chinese People Are Leaving

I didn't really know them well.
But they seemed alright enough to me.
They lived just across the way.

We shared some interesting moments.
The night of the tornado they discovered that the carpet layers had sealed up their crawlspace.
They were headed to our place for shelter when another neighbor offered shelter too.

Like any traditional Chinese family they tried to stay close.
The eldest daughter had moved out and I guess shacked up with an American.
She became pregnant, but they never married.
They had the most beautiful little Amerasian baby.
The little baby is now a little toddler romping around.

The younger daughter graduated from High School last year.
She was quite popular and had a nice little graduation party.
She is quite heavily into smoking the Mary Jane - or so I've been told
by someone who shouldn't know these things, but does.

The elder father never spoke a word of English - except maybe Thanks - in my presence.
I believe he thanked me the day I helped him change his tire.
It was very cold, and in the snow we worked together - Chinese and American.
To get his family back on the road.

He was always kind of fun to watch in the summer time.
He has an electric lawn mower.
He would go out and try to mow his lawn when his lawn was still wet from the rain.
I saw him do this over and over again.
I kind of thought it was funny that he didn't seem to get it.

Sometimes I'd go out and mow my lawn in front of him.
There I was the big American with a gas mower (thanks to Dave of the 11th hour)
With no trouble at all while he was there trying to get his mower to work.

My secret is how high I set the mower - and years of experience mowing.
But I didn't believe he knew any English so I never really went over to give him tips.

The mother worked at the Mall I believe - in a restaurant.
She spoke English quite well. She told me she was from Taiwan.
Native Taiwanese - not so much Chinese.

She wanted my daughter to baby set her little baby grand daughter.
But it never seemed to work out.
She brought us hamburgers at least once from a cookout - nice lady.

She told me she didn't like the Chinese food at Buffet City, or several of the other Chinese restaurants in town because they added way too much sugar.
Everything there is too sweet - this is not authentic Chinese cooking - she told me.

They dug up nearly their entire backyard, and side yard too.
They planted these incredible gardens. Such dedication.
The mother showed me her gardens with pride.
She was also a chain smoker.

I photographed their daughter's graduation ceremony.
The mother was very proud, but she was honest about how teenagers do what they want.
She was a bit disappointed that her eldest daughter didn't go directly to college.

I don't know if her youngest is in college - maybe.

For the last several days they've been packing a large moving van.
The younger daughter and her boyfriend. The older daughter and her boyfriend and father of their little child (I believe they have two now).

They are Chinese in the sense they are pitching in together as a close family.
They will move together and stay together as a Chinese family would.

But the girls are completely Americanized - rebellious and American.

And off they will move to Florida.

Sunny Florida where it is warm, where there are jobs.

I believe they'll be moved out by the end of the weekend - maybe even tomorrow morning.
They must have decided to let their lease run out at the end of April.

I never really knew them, but I did like them.
You will be missed Chinese Family!

Best of Luck!
And may you experience no more snow, and no more tornadoes.
May your daughters mature, and turn out as you have dreamed.

And watch out for the hurricanes!

Oh yes, and make sure to raise the wheel height on your lawn mower so you can mow when the grass is a bit wet - that's a modern American secret.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ignorance - It's Hard To Understand

Ignorance - It's Hard To Understand

I have lived in a peculiar time. As I write this the vast majority of scientist on the planet are either entirely ignorant of or barely cognizant of the ramifications related to the growing experimental and theoretical knowledge base called quantum theory.

It is entirely acceptable for scientist in the social sciences to remain entirely ignorant of such incredibly important aspects of quantum mechanics as: entanglement, non-locality, the probabilistic nature of reality, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, MultiVerse Theory, the multi dimensional nature of the MegaVerse as propounded by String Theory, etc.

The discussion began just a little over one hundred years ago. Those few who dared to push past the boundaries of the classical world to reveal the underlying fundamental mechanics of reality discovered a reality so at odds with what people believe to be true, so counter intuitive, that it took most of the twentieth century for their discoveries to be formalized.

The general public has been exposed to snippets of the remarkable findings, and many wonder if any of it really matters at all - aside from the development of thermonuclear weapons, lasers, computer chips, solar cells, nano scale robotics, quantum computers, and artificial intelligence - does any of it matter?

And the answer very much depends upon whether one wants to live in ignorance or one seeks enlightenment based upon scientific research.

I for one am looking to science as a means securing an end to a cycle of war which goes back to the dawn of man.

I'm hoping that science helps to end world poverty, and hunger.

I'm optimistic that science will lead to an end of sickness, and short lifespans.

And I'm praying that knowledge will lead to an end of a world culture based upon ignorance, greed, and selfishness.

Perhaps I'm asking for too much, but we have a choice - we can make a better world through science, or we can devolve into chaos and self destruction. I guess I'm only asking for what is needed to insure a future for mankind, and the path to that future is through science.

email jp






Wired News: Top Stories