4 THE VISIONARY MONTHLY MAY.2011
Contemplations on the Moonstone Living in a Material World Knowledge for Life Pick-up Game Review of the Social Network
e provide you a perfect combination of writing experience and business adventure, our commercializationoriented strategy and rewarding system guarantee you a whole new working ideology. We are still building our dreams, and we sincerely invite you to join our venture! Hello everyone, I’m Echo Tsao, the founder and chief-editor of Visionary. Visionary, I believe, is still a stranger to most of you, just like when I first picked up this name from thousands of choices available out there, with the help of Juju, Visionary finally became the word that echoed again and again in my mind. What galvanized me to start this business is an occasionally encounter with one of my friends from Nirvana, who asked me to establish an English version of his magazine, which is a Chinese one with a quite successful development by then. I agreed on his plan and started to build out from nothing; without many information and requirements, I ‘digressed’ and dissatisfied my boss, whom uttered deny upon my design and ideology about the fledging magazine, which is supposed to be his English version according to our initial plan. But how can I give up all the progress and designs that had toiled me and of course, delighted me all these days. So l came up with an idea, why can’t I have one on my own? There is no students-run English magazine as far as I knew. I mean periodical publication here. Without too much hesitation and vacillation, I determined to make it a newborn baby, rather than to kill it by quenching the hope inside my mind. I began to start this business first by recruiting members that can at the lowest level satisfy a magazine’s requirement. I found Kimi, whom in my later interaction with convinced me that he is a genius with the merit of both humbleness and diligence. And simultaneously, passages needed to be found both by my own hands and my dear authors’. However difficult, our business trudged through this period of time faltering and floundering. It is so unbelievable that Kimi never get mad on me, and he just groaned sometimes when passages or pictures malfunctioned, which I would appreciate forever. Money is another big thing. I decided to not sacrifice quality because of the cost. So we used 120g copperprint-papers for all the pages, except that the covers that are made with even better and more costly materials. The money is planned to be gathered from my patrons,
Staffs but because of our ZERO popularity and publication in history, no company agreed to give us a cent. So I paid it.
A little bifurcation here, when I first stepped into my high school, I felt everything lagging behind. Although I got decent score in exams, I felt inferior intellectually, partially because of limitations on my scope and confidence. But as I exerted to catch up other people, I felt more confident and cognizant every single day, and this is what I touched again during the development of Visionary. I grew with her, together, physically, mentally and intellectually. After our first not-that-successful adventure, we at least made it. I began to learn who would be my optimal partner, thus our team enlarged. Maggie, Cindy and Xmiss joined us. And I began to think about recruiting more people from senior one, which is full of dream-carrying boys and girls, waiting to be found and gave a chance to shine. With the help of our new teammates, our second column was under construction… Alas, with limitation of words, I cannot provide you a thorough recount of Visionary’s childhood, which I guarantee that I will compensate you in the next volume. With the left space, I would love to talk more about my anticipations and expectations of Visionary. As our third and fourth volume had been crafted, my time staying in China enters the so-called counting down. My intention of setting Visionary was not to write for novelty or being the useless first. But rather, I first want to establish a platform where ideas are set free and minds collide sparking; second I intended to make it a business, with a money entangled, spirit prodded and efficiency reached team model. By far, our capital flow has surpassed ten thousands RMB per volume, because of the enlargement and development of our magazine, money is hot and never stays too long. But I’ more than convinced that someday my dream will became truth, even if not by myself but other Visionarians! Visionary is willing to be your friend, what about you? Echo Tsao
Editor-in-chief Echo Tsao
After my team and I worked for several months, our first edition was brought to printing eventually. But when other people felt relieved, I perceived my shoulders heavier. How are we going to sell all the magazines once they arrived? Magazines are made not to entertain myself, or our team, but to amuse and educate other people. In order to dispense our ideas and endeavors, we’ve got to find a way to bring our magazine to our readers’ front. Sure no one will come to find you, but you can catch eyeballs by your design and contents, and this is what we did. High quality and careful making, this is what we’ve been doing and are still striving for till today.
CONTENTS Senior Advisor Gregory Robbins
The Kinds of Coffee 4 The Logo of Starbucks 6 The Name of Starbucks 8 Starbucks Talk 10
COLUMN Senior Advisor Farzaan Kassam Advisors Shawnron Ju Lil Max Alive Xiao Editorial Da Ying Ina Yang Maggie Bi Cindy Xu Leo Chou Brian Zheng Design Director Kimi Luo Design Editors Andy Lee Vannessa Van Art Editor Triffy Wu Administration Nicole Dingz.x. Waiting Zhong
13 Contemplations on the Moonstone
POLISHED HOUSE Word Speak 14
ESSAY 15 17 18 19
A mini introduction to Macroeconomic Analysis Plain Fun Living in a Material World Touched to Give
Wake & Love 20 Knowledge for Life 24 There She Goes 25
26 Seven reasons for a strong relationship between William and Kate
NOVEL The Legend of Irving Echo's Bookstore Chapter 2 30
REVIEW 36 Movie Pick-up Game the Social Network 38 I'm Doctor Hannibal Lecter the Silence of the Lambs 40 Music Little by Little 41 Dao Xiang
PHOTO GALLERY Shenzhen Middle School Golden Bell Youth Choir 42
COVER STORY 1 The kinds of coffee 2 The logo of Starbucks 3 The name of Starbucks 4 Starbucks Talk
1The Kinds of Coffee Americano An instant classic, the Americano is straight, black coffee topped up with water. In many coffee outlets you can choose to have it with either hot or cold milk on the side. This is potentially one of the lowest-calorie coffee options. Depending on what you're used to, what size you order and how much milk you have it can have a fairly strong taste. You can drink an Americano black, with hot or cold milk or with pouring cream.
your o o d in t s r e v ou e ing the H a v e y e house ponder cino uc ffe local co between a capp d a e an c differen e , o r a m o c h a t t . la and a out here to? Find ia h c c a m ance, ul subst f r e d n o ifficult is a w Coffee sometimes be d n recise but it ca s t a n d t h e p rent er e n d if f e s e e to und w t e b ces tho d if f e r e n . D i s c o v e r s e i t varie ns here. distinctio
Cafe Latte Although it contains more calories than an Americano, luxurious Lattes are a popular choice the world over. A Latte is prepared by making an espresso shot in a large cup or mug and topping it up with aerated hot milk, generally arriving to your table an alluring hazelnut color. Lattes are perfect for adding flavored syrups to and can be made with semi-skimmed, skimmed ("skinny") or soya milk.
Cappuccino The Cappuccino is perhaps the most famous and popular coffee. Made similarly to a Latte, the espresso shot is topped up by half with aerated hot milk, and half by a more solid, foamed milk. Many outlets also add chocolate powder or flakes to add an extra delicious twist. Flavored syrups can be added to Cappuccinos and they can be made with whole, semiskimmed, skimmed ("skinny") or soya milk.
Espresso is the simplest and strongest form of coffee you can get. Served in small quantities of either one shot ("Single") or two shots ("Double"), it is the perfect morning pick-me-up. Be warned, however, it is very strong. Espresso is also the perfect postmeal coffee; full flavor, minimal intake after a big meal.
A truly indulgent treat for lovers of coffee and chocolate alike, this sumptuous drink contains the two. Made similarly to a Latte, chocolate is mixed with espresso and topped up with aerated warm milk. Many outlets also add chocolate sprinkles to this one, to give it an extra naughty edge.
Taking the edge off an Espresso, this one consists of an espresso shot, topped with a small scoop of more solid aerated hot milk.
In most coffee outlets, a decaffeinated option is available for any coffee-based drink.
A "skinny" version of a drink is one made or served with skimmed rather than semi-skimmed or whole milk.
Different flavored syrups are often available to add to coffee in many outlets. Some flavors include vanilla, caramel, gingerbread, hazelnut and cinnamon, although there are many others.
Different Sizes and Extra Shots Coffees come in different sizes; usually a smaller size has one shot of straight coffee in, while a larger may have two or even three. A Single Espresso is a single shot, and a Double Espresso is two. In many coffee houses you have the choice of adding an extra shot for a small price, to make the coffee stronger, or to have a single shot in a larger size, making it weaker.
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1 Original brown Starbucks logo
he original logo, conceived in 1971, was fashioned after a 15th century Norse woodcut, the image of a mythical two-tailed mermaid siren. The siren, as you may recall from Greek mythology, was an alluring and irresistible female figure, typically half-fish/half-women (the mermaid variety). The siren's objective was to seduce the seagoing mariner with a powerful enticing song most often to the unfortunate demise of the susceptible sailor who could not resist temptation. With a coffee brown color scheme, the circular ring surrounding the mythological mermaid figure contained the text "Starbucks - Coffee - Tea Spices". The overall image was designed to resemble a cigar band label. The symbolism of the mermaid siren was not intended to suggest the demise of the customers who bought the coffee, but rather, to represent the irresistible and seductive quality of the coffee itself. Over the last thirty-five years, the logo has undergone several significant changes, while still adhering to the original theme. The original version remained in use until 1987 when Howard Schultz raised sufficient capital from local investors to purchase Starbucks from the founders for 3.7 million. Schultz had previously left Starbucks in 1985 to pursue his vision of a European style espresso cafe when he started the Il Giornale coffee house. The Il Giornale logo reflected a theme of speed with the head of Mercury, the swift messenger god of Roman mythology, at the center. The theme of swift speed fit well with espresso. Espresso translates to a "fast and express" coffee in Italian.
The logo of Starbucks
Starbucks is the largest coffee house retailer in the world today, with over 15,000 stores in over 42 countries. With a Starbucks store at almost every corner, millions of people see the famous Starbucks logo every day.
The distinctive Starbucks logo has achieved broad visual recognition, equal in familiarity to the Starbucks brand name itself. At the same time, a certain mystique surrounds the trademarked image and the unusual mermaid like figure at the center of the logo. What exactly does the mythical looking figure symbolize or represent, and what does it have to do with coffee?
2 Second Starbucks logo, 1987 to 1992
fter the purchase of Starbucks in 1987, the Starbucks logo was cleaned up a bit, a little more befitting of a new corporate image. The bare breasts were covered up by the mermaids flowing hair, although her belly button was still visible. And the color scheme was changed from a coffee brown in the original logo to the familiar green established by the Il Giornale logo. The text in the surrounding circular band was changed to simply "Starbucks Coffee".
3 The Starbucks logo used from 1992 to 2011
third revision of the Starbucks logo in 1992 crops the image of the mermaid with a close-up view. Her navel is no longer visible. The mermaid's tails on either side are mostly obscured which creates some mystery and question for those not familiar with the earlier logo.
4 New Pike Place Roast Logo - Retro 1970
ecently, with the April 2008 introduction of the new Pike Place Roast blend, Starbucks has re-introduced a version of the original logo. While this is not a replacement for the current Starbucks logo, you'ill find this retro-logo on the Pike Place Roast cups, and Pike Place Roast bags of coffee beans. This new logo version is similar to the cigar motif of the original logo from the 1970’s with a few differences. The phrase around the perimeter of the old logo was “Starbucks - Coffee - Tea - Spices”. The new logo retains the familiar “Starbucks - Fresh Roasted Coffee”. And the bare breasts in the original mermaid image are not covered with her flowing locks of hair. The marketing objective in bringing back this version of the original logo compliments the campaign slogan "Roasting coffee since 1971. The best cup then. The best cup now”.
5 The new logo used from 2011
rom 2011, a ameliorated Starbucks logo appeared.
In January 2011, Starbucks announced that they would make small changes to the company's logo, removing the Starbucks word mark around the siren and enlarging the siren image itself.
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religious movement that enveloped the island during that time. When Edward died, his son Nathaniel took over the fishing duties with the help of his Quaker wife Mary Coffin (Quakers are known to have good business sense). The Starbuck family went on to profit so much from their port facilities that they eventually became a whaling dynasty. Yet, at the very same time as this was going on, around the mid 1600s, another notable family name, embarking from England to Massachusetts, reared its head. It was the Folger family, the very same family who became famous for Folgers Coffee. And as luck would have it, years later in 1720, Anna Folger married William Starbuck, a straight descendant from Nathanial and Mary Coffin Starbuck.
Moby Dick and Quakerism
The Name of Starbucks
Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick is steeped in references to the religious qualms and tragic shipwrecks surrounding Nantucket Island. He even stated that the inspiration for the novel was related to the hunting of sperm whales, which mostly originated in that area. So he obviously did not create the StarbuckQuaker character out of thin air either. In fact, Melville mentions in the novel many other historic names of the time, one being Mary Morrill, who was the wife of pioneer Peter Folger.
Who is the lady with the river hair streaks, Anointed with a pentagram crown? She looks dead and lovely like a coffin queen, And even more famous than she is now…
Starbucks does not mention anywhere in their supposed history is that the name “Starbuck” was indeed a real and prominent family name on the very same island of Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Mary Morrill had so many kids that she was the great grandmother of Anna Folger (the one who married William Starbuck), and the grandmother of one Benjamin Franklin. Following the chain, Benjamin Franklin ended up living in Pennsylvania for most of his life, and later became the President of that Colony. Not surprisingly, the Colony, with the help of its founder William Penn, became known as the “Quaker State.”
The Starbucks Coffeehouse has handled the hordes of Fast Food Nation, becoming its own cultural emblem of North American living. However, do not base its freshly brewed success on any gemstone of a coffee bean. The Starbucks name goes further back than the company's inception in 1971, perhaps so far that it may give a few people the caffeine jitters…
The History of the Starbuck Name
Putting it into Historical Context
The name Starbuck became well known once Edward Starbuck, a proprietor in the region of New England, was appointed manager of the fisheries in the Massachusetts Bay Colony around 1644. Part of that Colony was Nantucket Island, which was eventually purchased by 9 men, most notably Tristram Coffin in 1659, as part of the British settlement over the Indians.
During the 17th and 18th century, the world was undergoing massive changes associated with commerce, mostly controlled by European merchants. With the rise of the British East India Company in 1600, and their exploitation of exotic commodities, such as spices, tobacco, tea, coffee, sugar, and textiles, a major transition for European life was set in motion. Domesticated tea drinking and coffee houses became a
The company is said to have adopted the Starbucks name from a secondary character in the 1851 novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville. The character in the novel is described as a Quaker from Nantucket Island, the first mate aboard the ship Pequod. But, what
Later, Edward’s son, Nathanial Starbuck, married Tristram’s daughter Mary Coffin, a lady who grew to be one of the leading members of Quakerism, a mystical
posh habit, inventing a new social pastime for the elite class. Of course, with their ever-growing monopoly, transatlantic trade culminated with the chaos of the Boston Tea Party in 1773, leading to the American Revolution. The impact Nantucket Island had during this time was equally as important. The whaling industry flourished there, because whale oil was a much stronger illuminant than previously made lamp oils or candles, sparking a drastic change in the nightlife for the Western and European world. Before the Folger Family became associated with coffee, however, they did contribute as whalers, most likely because of their ties with the Starbuck Family. The roaring demand for whaling continued, until around the mid 1800s, which was the very same time the Folger family began planning their Coffee Mill Company. Although Coffee was readily available in America it was still considered a luxury, and Folgers brought it forward all the way out west in California, obviously not wanting to deal with the troubles they saw firsthand surrounding Massachusetts and Britain.
Reeling it in Today, the most widespread coffee house in the world is Starbucks, yet they hold no affiliation with Folgers Coffee, or with the Starbuck fishing family. Yet, knowing now the history between the two families, the fish related symbolism in Starbucks Coffee starts to seep through. For one, the company opened its first location in Seattle Washington, in the fishing district known as Pike’s Place Market. And their original logo depicts a mythical mermaid known as the "Twin Tailed Siren", while the updated one we see today has a woman holding on to two faint fish tails. There is no telling why Starbucks would hide behind a mere novel, essentially watering down the cream of its own heritage. Is it just easier for a company to act independently, rather than deal with centuries of accumulated wealth? Could the woman of renown gracing the Starbucks logo actually be Mary Coffin, as a tribute to the legacy she built on Nantucket Island? Whatever the answer is, such a fish-coddling aroma should help you wake up and smell the coffee!
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by Echo Tsao
hen mentioned “Starbucks in China,” what would jump into your mind?
To me, it would be a scene like this: People crowed in a small well-decorated room with several uniform dressed stuff proficiently doing cashing and introducing all kinds of good-looking cakes and breads behind the shop window. Clients, decent clients, who looks decent at least in Starbucks, listened to the introduction from the stuff nodding, but actually their minds have been adjusted to these redundant words, just a form of formality, at least in Starbucks. These transactions happened thousands of times in Starbucks, and only in Starbucks.
The popularity of Starbucks around the globe When you see the green catchy brand of Starbucks maybe three blocks away, would you feel an impetus to walk into the cafeteria and order a latte or cappuccino? Although you may feel the prices amazingly high, and you may deplore that the flavor of your work coffee isn’t bad anyway, but may be tomorrow or several days later, you would step into the coffee shop again with bucks of money and walk out holding a cup with the famous green logo gleaming. People always feel controversial towards their attitudes to Starbucks, a world-wide renown coffee company, with more than ten thousands coffee shops spreading across more than 50 countries and profiting billions of dollars each year, Starbucks has been the first choice of people who are finding places to write or read, to chat or meet friends, to just relax or have a rest after a day’s work. But why is Starbucks so popular? Many may explain the Starbucks phenomenon through discussion of herd mentality or even the caffeine, but that is just some trivial aspects that serve no important role in explaining the popularity of Starbucks around the world. From my personal experience, the obsession of Starbucks can be examined from these points: coffee, atmosphere, music, accessibility and general feeling. When you want to find a place to sit down and enjoy the leisure of reading or just watching the people walking by, Starbucks would just be the optimal choice of many people. I personally would choose Starbucks as well if my money allows, the pricy coffee somehow daunts many people. While sitting inside a meticulously decorated Starbucks coffee shop, sipping a cup of Latte and enjoy the jazz music haunting the whole place, you can pick breads or sandwiches or salads or fruit juice if you get hungry, well, after all these, can you resist the temptation of coming back days later? People always felt comfortable and well-served in Starbucks, partially because they enjoy the atmosphere and the feeling of service in Starbucks coffee shop dispersed around the 50 countries, and the decoration and music and stuff are all arranged according to a strict standard, which specified the impression Starbucks is going to leave to its customers from whichever Starbucks shop at wherever place. And that can explain most of the reasons why Starbucks is so bloody welcomed and profitable despite its high price in China. But things differed a little bit in its Chinese market, and also the selling strategy of Starbucks can be perceived specially designed in China, where coffee is something not the mainstream compares to tea, but also where Starbucks has won a huge success and gained a bunch of fans!
Starbucks in China During the past ten years, Starbucks has opened more than four hundreds coffee shops in China, from the opening of its first Starbucks store in Beijing in 1999. Starbucks’s CEO Howard Schultz said that China is set to surpass Japan as the biggest market outside North America, including US and Canada. The reaction from the Chinese market has been out of the expectation of the executive board of Starbucks, which galvanized their enthusiasm towards the prospect of developing faster and bolder in China. But they are quite sure of the importance of thinking clearly and considerately, due to the complicated Chinese market and its customers rooting with a history of more than five thousands years. In order to gain a win-win situation for both Starbucks and its Chinese counterparts, more tactful and careful strategy is required and need to be implemented wisely. Since the first Starbucks outlet on the Chinese mainland opened in Beijing in 1999, Starbucks has become one of the most popular brands among Chinese white-collar workers aged between 25 and 40, surveys have shown. Recently, the Starbucks in Japan has been undergoing a strategic change due to the deflation competition and its high prices; many efforts have been exerted to help keep its customers’ loyalty. Just as we can perceive through these years’ more frequently found Starbucks shops dispersed among many big cities, Starbucks has been one of the many destines of young people and white-collar workers in urban areas.
Starbucks to me In Starbucks, everyone carries a story, and each of us becomes part of other people’s stories as well. @ Dongmen Starbucks 04:45.pm 03/04/2011 I ordered a fruit cup, chose a seat and set my laptop immediately after I caught a glance of a couple sitting right in front of me. The man is middle aged; big-framed sunglasses on, and his actions showed that he is tired of conducting any movements. While the woman is a little younger from her appearance, and her facial expression vindicated that she was apparently more anxious than the man, exhausted but composed, even if there is still possibility that his inertia fettered any movement from his body. The two people just sit there without moving for ten minutes, and their sunglasses blocked my eyes from catching any moving of their eyeballs. Are they in trouble? Or are they a couple of prisoners recently escaped? I will never know because we are just unknown people in
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COVER STORY elegant tie seen, silver ring gleamed from the light came from the windows above. They each ordered their choice, but their faces never relieve from the release of their coffees, was the caffeine no more galvanizing to them? Or are their faces already accustomed to its current rigidity and stubbornness through these years? By noon, many people entered and many left, people bought their coffee and breathed the air in Starbucks, although the air here is nothing but the ordinary air, maybe a little bit more dense and smoky, but people just enjoy the buying and breathing, relentlessly. The last people that still lingered in my memory is another young boy, with a MacBook pro on his lap, a notebook and a pencil spreading in front on the desk, eyes always finding its target, sometimes our eyes met, and just for a second or less we digressed simultaneously. His appearance reappeared thousands of times in my mind, like a mirror, but more like a metaphorical acquaintance. Oh, I forgot to mention, that the boy is always smiling, and noting… Starbucks.
You may have seen me elsewhere, but here I'm Ray Xiao, writer, thinker, mentor, learner all rolled into one. My life experience has allowed me to gain a global perspective of the ongoings around us, and I wish to share those thoughts with you in the written word. There are tons of things that interest me, and I love writing about them, whether its international relations, political economy, cultural diversity or even literature & poetry. Hopefully you'll agree that they're fascinating, but if you don't, just watch me convince you!
@ Coco Park Starbucks 11:55.am 03/24/2011 There walked in two girls, both dressed in sexy short pants with high heels pounding the ground with striking sound, upon their hands were two Gucci handbags, the design that you can find anywhere in the street. Their way of walking resembles the chimpanzee in the zoo, the style that requires your hip to vacillate from the centerline regularly and consistently, in order to leave an impressive curve in the air. They bought two cups of Latte, Venti, and chose a seat nearby the French window towards the street, seldom seen cars driving by though. In case my targets found me watching them, I pretended to be looking at my laptop’s blackout screen. Occasionally I would stop to write down my observation, but most of the times I would fix my eyes on them, being afraid of letting any joyful moments slipped by. They are still playing with their iphone 4 and taking photos of themselves, the popular activity young girls nowadays. Bantering, chatting, smiling repressively and constrained, awkward but not surprising. All of a sudden, I felt tired of these. So I closed my laptop, and lied on the desk. “I just need a nap, a little rest would be fine,” I whispered to myself. @ Diwang Starbucks 10:25.pm 04/11/2011 Let me sum up the people I met in Starbucks today: This morning I met two students walking in with heavy school bags on their backs. They finished their breakfast; while at the same time, they finished a rough review of one of the books crammed in that little bumpy school bag. How assiduous are they! Hours later, my eyes fell on a couple of businessmen, nice suit on,
Contemplations on the Moonstone
ecognized by T.S. Eliot as “one of the earliest and best English novels”, the Moonstone has long enraptured readers in its serpentine plot since its publication. Perhaps the pinnacle of detective novels lies the masterpieces of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but the Moonstone wins eminence from its meticulously planned plot and revolutionary nature. Many later detective novels follow the overall structure designed by Collins, an extremely innovative discourse at the time, to convey a sense of reality and vividness. It was among the earliest novels to employ different perspectives in describing events that occasionally overlap. Moreover, instead of relaying back and forth between the accounts of different characters as popular novels do before the integration of multiple storylines, the Moonstone follows the progress of a single inquiry through the eyes of several witnesses and participants with fewer changes than the modern multiplestoryline novels. This design was not, as many assume, simplistic in that a multitude of rhetorical devices were applied to an outstanding effect. Compared to the hazard of illogic in relating between two or more storylines and the slight platitude in a simple plot, this structure is more of a compromise between these two fundamental structures. The primary difficulty in adopting this structure is the selection of perspectives and the extent of revelation concerned with each viewpoint. In this aspect, the Moonstone is truly a masterpiece, because its combination of narration by different characters contributed immensely to the accumulation of suspense and insight. Another prominent characteristic about this novel is the drastic
change of tone that follows the change of perspective. For example, the style of writing employed by Mr. Betteredge has a distinct personal and informal edge, especially in the inferences to Robinson Crusoe, while the diary excerpts of Miss Clack have a strong religious flavor. The occasional inclusion of inner sentiments added detail and granted us further knowledge on the psychological activities the narrator was undergoing. By applying the differentiated styles, the author not only achieves the effect of building a 3-dimensional plot but also enhances the development of characters. One other distinction in the Moonstone is the general rhythmic changes caused by different characters. The acceleration and deceleration variations that occur throughout the story are somewhat comparable to a series of build-ups and releases of emotion. Sometimes it’s suspense, other times joy or anger, but they adhere to the same pattern. Syntactic fluctuations signify the dramatic change in tempo, and thusly readers experience the story more vividly. Generally speaking, the Moonstone has refreshing characters and a breathtaking plot, not to mention a twisting ending, but the aspects for which it is most highly recognized are associated with structure rather than content. It’s without a doubt a revolutionary work, which laid the foundations for countless suspense novels.
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Polished House Want Professor Robbins to make your words speak and your essay polished? Send your essay to us at VisionaryMonthly@gmail.com! Your elaborated essay may be lucky enough to be published in our next volume. (Anonymous articles are acceptable)
Words Speak He was a tiny, sliver of a man that always seemed to wear a smile on his face. He was a leading professor in my field of study; I was a young graduate student that thought I knew more than I actually did. He was patient and kind - a teacher. I was impatient and impulsive, an ignorant pupil. He understood the power of words that I am still only beginning to learn even after so many years have come and gone. After a particularly scathing written review (by me) of the work of a fellow student, this tiny little giant of a man pulled me to the side and offered to me what I offer to you now: “Take time to think through and measure what you say in life. Words speak. Words have the ability to inspire, motivate, uplift, empower and move we human beings. Words also have the ability to cut, bruise, belittle, harm and destroy too. Words speak. Since words speak, we must make sure that we take the time to think them through because once spoken or written for public review, words can never be taken back.” It is important that when you write, the words you choose speak what you want to say. Start simple, and then step back to think about what you have written. Ask yourself, “Do these words really communicate what I want?” Have you chosen words that allow the reader to close his/her eyes and see the picture you have painted? Can they smell the smells, hear the sounds and have you moved them as a human being? Did the reader laugh or cry; sing or shout; understand pain and misery or triumph and joy? Words speak and so I offer this advice to you – make sure they always say what you want them to say by taking the time to work with them. Words speak – but they speak through you and you through them. This new section of the magazine is an exercise in me looking at the words of a student and offering advice on how to say the same thing while expanding, contracting or choosing words that may offer a clearer, more distinct picture of what the author intended to communicate. I hope it helps you as you seek to improve your writing and make your words speak with power, beauty and clarity.
Leading English teacher at Shenzhen Middle School Senior Advisor of Visionary Magazine 14 VISIONARY
Essay A Mini Introduction to Macroeconomic Analysis
week ago, my bank sent me a message that went like this: “the CPI in this March has a 5.4% increase comparing to the last one. This forces the central bank to keep monetary policies tight. The stock markets fall right after the release of CPI data.”
“What on earth is that about?” would be my response to this message a year ago. But now, after hundreds of hours’ study on economics, I can understand this with more certainty. Why don’t we go through the internal logic of this short message – as well as that of general economic analysis? Economics, to many people, is not only interesting but also practicable on decision making. First of all, “it is the study of how people, firms, and societies use their scarce productive resources to best satisfy their unlimited material wants.” Just kidding – I won’t make the article full of long and complicated definitions. But let’s first understand two major divisions in this subject– Micro- and Macroeconomics. Simply put, the former emphasizes on behaviors of individual firm and house hold while the latter deals with behaviors of the entire – namely, national or global – economy. Here we are going to focus our discussion on the latter – Macroeconomics. After this introduction, we can find that the bank’s message is but a description of cause (a CPI increase) and effect(s) (Central Bank’s reactions and stock markets’ response).
the reserve ratio again.” So there is a big word, “monetary [policy].” Again, we are going to make these concepts as easy and clear as possible. One can simply regard monetary policies as policies to control money supply – the total amount of money available in an economy. For example, an 100-yuan loan provided by a bank can be money supply. Correspondingly, there is money demand – when I borrow 100-yuan from a bank, I demand that amount of money. Fair enough? Now, we know that, keeping “monetary policies” tight can mean keeping “money supply” limited - there is less money available, and money becomes “scarce”. So what? The Chinese saying explains the supplyand-demand relationship excellently: “something that is scarce is precious.” But how can money be precious? Well, this can be manifested by higher interest rate. When I borrow 100 yuan from a bank, it’s likely that I have to return 105 yuan one year later – with the 5 yuan being the bank’s interest. But now, with tight monetary policies, money becomes “precious,” or expensive, maybe I have to pay 7 yuan for bank’s interest – the annual interest rate rises from 5% to 7%.
Although we are but exploring in an immense universe, what’s important is that we are exploring.
Living in a country of constantly increasing CPI, many of us can easily tell the meaning of the acronym – Consumer Price Index, or the average price level of goods. Increasing prices of goods may suggest a country’s economic prosperity. However, as social problems such as low average income and enlarged inequality (income disparity between the rich and the poor) are concerned, higher price level can only result in people’s lower living standards. If this situation is no good for us, the country’s central bank – People's Bank of China – must do something to help. As the message mentioned said, the bank chose to “keep monetary policies tight and [increase]
In this way, both investment and consumption are harmed. How? Provided high interest rate, factory owners find it more costly to borrow money from bank to buy new machines (in order to invest and produce more products), and will definitely borrow less – or not borrow at all. So they choose not to buy the machine as an investment. Similarly, consumers may no longer want to borrow money to buy fancy cars because of higher interest rates. With less investment and consumption – the two largest components of GDP, or Gross Domestic Production – GDP decreases. Eventually, lower GDP leads a lower price level. The central bank’s policy helps us enjoy cheaper goods again. Prudent readers cannot wait to ask, “but how comes a fall
May 2011 15
by Leo Chou in stock markets?” The question requires us to go a little deeper. Above all, we should understand that stock price is determined by various factors – company growth, news, inflation, oil prices, for instance. As one factor, a rise in interest rate – in response to tight monetary policies, as illustrated above – can cause a fall in stock markets, but not necessarily vice versa. Why? Personally I think it is a direct route to focus our analysis on supply and demand of stock – the fundamental determinant of stock price. On the one hand, an increase in interest rate makes companies borrow less from banks. However, companies still need money to invest on production, research and development, etc. A good alternative method for companies to raise money is through equity financing – which means, to sell their stock shares to the public. Guess what? Yeah, the supply of their stock increases. And on the other hand, investors – stock buyers – who want to make money by trading stocks find that, putting their money in banks now can generate higher profits than before because of high interest rate on deposits, and this is absolutely less risky than struggling in stock markets. When these investors on the demand side of stock withdraw their money from stock
markets and put it into banks, the demand of stocks increase. An understanding of supply and demand curves can make the above process analysis obvious. But unawareness of those won’t prevent you from getting a clue. Again, remember the well-established Chinese saying: “something that is scarce is precious.” On the contrary, something that is abundant is inexpensive. This is what happening here in stock markets: more supply and less demand, leads an “abundance of stocks,” and eventually, a fall in stock markets. The world’s economy is fickle. However, despite the caprice, it always makes sense for us to have a better understanding of the rationale of things happening. Although we are but exploring in an immense universe, what’s important is that we are exploring. May this mini analysis embellish your exploration.
by Yuhao Du
have been a soccer fan since I realize my talent of playing football with a Cola bottle cap. I am a fan . . . by which I do mean fanatic.
Or, maybe I should say I am an Arsenal fan rather than a pure football fan. I would choose to watch a meaningless game of Arsenal rather than a rivalry game between Real Madrid and Barcelona (we call it the “National Derby”!) – One of the several differences between football and marriage: you would never cheat on your beloved. Retired politicians write memoirs to record and consume their political careers; I would rather recount my unforgettable moments in my fifties, relating them to Arsenal’s highs and lows. (Nick Hornby did a good job in his Fever Pitch: A Fan’s Life.)
from my bed to watch Arsenal beat Chelsea on a Wednesday morning. My mother would not let me watch a midweek match but she was too negligent to notice my unusual act of wearing a full-body Arsenal kit to bed; Arsenal took the lead against Liverpool in the 03-04 seasons when Robert Pires curled an exquisite shot that dipped, spun, swerved wickedly in the light air of Anfield and finally hit into the top right corner. . . These are the highlights I customarily drift towards in the bathroom or in the middle of a morning class. Arsenal is more than those fantastic moments or, what Hornby called, “a sense of belonging”. Arsenal is more than a place where I no longer have to explain to myself why I am here or why I had not been somewhere else. Arsenal is even more than a privilege that comes from the exclusive love for something that others regard unlovable. Arsenal is part of me. When I bounce up from the sofa and shout like crazy, I am not celebrating others’ good fortune but celebrating my own. When agony engulfs me after Arsenal “snatched defeat from the jaws of victory”, I am not feeling sorry for the gloomy situation of the club but in effect, self-pity.
One of many
between football and marriage: you would never cheat on your beloved.
To one who knows nothing about football or Arsenal, the salient thing he might need to know to understand my fever is that Arsenal is not one of those perennial champions; we Gunners are suffering a five-year trophy drought. I learned the truth “process is more important than outcome” being an Arsenal fan. As a result, I am used to walking into the classroom on Monday morning pretending not to see and hear the disturbance of giggling, jeering boys, some of whom do not even like football! (Is that how I become cheeky?) I feel personally responsible for Arsenal’s poor performance because I believe I can affect the results. If I wear Arsenal’s home uniform and the retro stripe scarf for dinner, Arsenal is more probable to win the match that night. Sometimes where I sit on the sofa can also affect the outcome of a match. My desire to direct the game grew even more uncontrollable when Arsenal was one goal behind West Ham with less than 10 minutes left; I prayed to the “football gods” that if Arsenal could score twice before the final whistle I would offer up the math test I took yesterday. Arsenal won 3-2 at last and my test failure duly came, but I felt the bargain a fair one!
I feel sorry if I fail to move or excite you but please, be tolerant of those who gaze at the television with bloated red eyes at 3 o’clock in the morning. We do not lack imagination, we neither lead barren, pathetic lives; it is just, as Hornby says, “the real life is paler, duller and contains less potential for unexpected delirium.”
“Entertainment as pain” was an idea entirely new to me but as Hornby said in his autobiography “the natural state of a football fan is a bitter disappointment”, I simply watch the game, curse, sleep before rolling around for half an hour and then come back next Saturday to suffer all over again. It is unfair to say that Arsenal brings nothing but depression to me. There are wild raptures I can easily recollect: I snuck
May 2011 17
Living in a Material World
pon arrival in Beijing on my first trip to Mainland China in 2006, I remarked that I could have been in the US – apart from the fact that almost everyone I saw looked Chinese. Before I made this trip, I had an impression of what China would be like which turned out to be pure fantasy. The enduring thought that has remained with me long after I made this trip and after living here for over two years is that China has lost its spiritual and mystical heritage and is now at the top of the league of materialistic societies, where money has replaced a deity as the thing to be worshipped. A line from the Madonna song “Material Girl” goes “’because the boy with the cold hard cash is always Mister Right.” As she goes on to sing “We are living in a material world”. And like Madonna the great majority of girls are “Material Girls”. The contrast between romance in China and romance in Western countries can be observed simply by comparing Internet dating web sites. In China, for a man to stand a chance of success in the dating game he must demonstrate property and car ownership and very little else. In Western countries, looks and romantic qualities are highly important. In most Western countries, there is little or no financial barrier for a man to overcome in order to date a woman. So why are Chinese girls so much more materialistic in their outlook? Perhaps it is lack of security, based on China’s rapid advance from poor to developed country. Perhaps it is culturally inbred from centuries of history. I have never found the real answer.
by Adam Hunter
early 1960’s that materialism began to prosper. In the UK the phrase “keeping up with the Jones” was born. This meant that if your neighbour bought a new refrigerator, car, or whatever, you had to buy one as well. Peer pressure. The advertising gurus played and still continue to play on the fact that you were not cool or fashionable if you did not own or use their product. The people, naïve to the tricks that advertisers used, bought into the idea and the consumer age was born. As consumers became wiser, the advertising inventors became ever more inventive and tricky in order to keep the consumer boom going. And now we have very smart computer software throwing subtle adverts at us while we browse on the internet, based on content that we have previously searched for. Look around you, there are advertisements everywhere. Try to stand anywhere in any major city where there is not an advertisement in sight. Impossible! China has more advertising than any other country I have been to.
How many readers own an iPhone, an
What happened to spiritual China? Traditionally most values came from Confucianism and Taoism. This gave China a unique personality on the world stage. These values have increasingly become less and less important and, as they have done so, China has lost its uniqueness and has become part of the homogeneous globalised world, where the basic culture, or lack of it, is American. The Big Mac, Starbucks, Nike world in which we live has managed to erase individual cultures at an even faster rate than it has managed to cause ecological disasters around the planet on which we live. Very few countries have managed to stem the tide of globalization. As common people start to revolt against it, by forming “green” movements, the advertisers develop methods to make their clients appear ecologically friendly even when they patently are not. Take the recent example of BP, promoted as being the “green” oil company but able to cause a huge ecological catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.
iPad, an LV handbag, Nike trainers…? The boom in famous brands i s mu c h g re a te r i n China than in any other country that I have ever been to
How many readers own an iPhone, an iPad, an LV handbag, Nike trainers…? The boom in famous brands is much greater in China than in any other country that I have ever been to. There is a lemming like quality to the hordes of Chinese shoppers and the “must have” goods that they want. In Western countries people crave to be individuals. Often a brand’s success can actively work against it, as to be seen with something that everyone has does not make you an individual, just one of the crowd. Small high quality producers of fashion goods prosper as they make only very limited quantities of their products, allowing owners to feel like individuals. Fashion statements can be made by young girls with little money, but an active sense of which individual components can be put together to blend and achieve “the look”. Again, the Western observer finds it difficult to be able to work out why Chinese consumers strive for uniformity and conformity rather than individuality. Perhaps it goes back to the days of the Cultural Revolution, when the same uniform had to be worn by everyone. As Yang Shuo wrote “No famous brand’s fashion today can match the Cultural Revolution’s military uniform with its stylishness and sense of status.” Although some would argue that the LV handbag, whether genuine or copy, has almost done so. Let’s examine what has caused the whole world to become more materialistic. There is little doubt that materialism started almost simultaneously with the birth of “the American Dream” in the 1920’s. However it was not until the birth of the advertising industry and the widespread ownership of televisions in the late 1950’s and
It is unlikely that China will ever return to its spiritual past. For this to happen a whole generation of shopping hungry city dwellers would have to change their habits. Every year millions of young people join the exodus from the countryside to the cities in search of what they perceive is a better life. They will join the legions of shoppers looking for bargain LV handbags, Nike trainers and other Western branded goods. Their belief that ownership of these goods will enrich their lives to a point where they reach Nirvana cannot be stopped because they have been told by television, radio, newspapers, the internet, billboards, adverts on buses, subway trains and a million more ways that this is the new Brand religion. Thus they come to worship money which can buy them everything that they need to reach this state. We all do live in a material world, which will cause our race to implode as we are fast using up available resources. We need to return to more spiritual times where conservation becomes more important than economic expansion, where people are rewarded for using less, rather than praised for using more and where governments take action to curb consumerism. Otherwise our hopes for our children and grandchildren may never be realised.
Touched to Give
would never forget the day that she taught me how to read, letter by letter, word by word.
There in the library, surrounded by formidable shelves of books, I felt the warmth and strength from her melodious voice, as she slowly articulated every word from the brightly illustrated Green Eggs and Ham to me. She said: “Ham. H-A-M. Ham.” Having heard her loud and clear, I was asked to repeat the word. Being as timid as an Asian girl could ever be, I was afraid to open my mouth, as if only garbling fragments of words would come out. Fearful of embarrassment, I consciously began shrinking back into the shadows of the shelves, wanting to disappear, but only to find shivers of cold. No way, I told myself, I had to get out, even if it meant facing a possible humiliation. So I inched forward towards her like a cat wanting to cuddle by the fire, and slowly opened my mouth. Fumbling with my tongue, I tried to say the word “Ham” just like she did. It was difficult at the first try, but as she patiently helped me over and over again, the word slipped out of my mouth as if pronouncing it was the most natural thing to do. Etched onto my heart were the encouragement and confidence she gave me through her black sparkling eyes. The scene described above happened in the fall of 2001, when I was 6 years old and first moved to Champaign, Illinois with my parents. I sat by myself on the school bus and arrived at school nervously, as I did not know a single soul there, nor did I understand the language that came out of their mouth. To me, it was all nonsense. Every Thursday, our second grade class would be in the school library. The affable librarian would read us a story, and then she would dismiss us to find books on our own. I knew not a single letter on those beautifully illustrated book covers, so I just wandered around. My delight in discovering a section of Chinese books quickly faded as a teacher ushered me away from my mother language section. On that fateful day, a black-haired girl came up to me and asked, “Do you want me to teach you English?” Her voice was sweet and soothing, and somehow I understood she wanted to help me. I nodded my head. So we sat on the carpet and she opened a beautifully illustrated book. That was how she taught me to read. After that encounter, the girl whose name was Hira became my best friends for life. Once I came across a sentence while reading, “To give is always more pleasant than to receive”, by Golgi. I thoughts immediately flew to Hira, who taught me how to read. Her actions were exactly as those words described them. She
was happy in seeing my progress, and she never refused a question I had for her. Today, I not only thank her for giving me the key to the door of the English language, but also for teaching me how to give. That one determined look Hira gave me many years ago spoke to me of her resoluteness in teaching me English, and left me wondering in awe what impact one human being can have on another. At that point in my life, Hira had planted a small yet significant seed deep into my heart and mind. As the seed matured, it began to take up a more and more substantial part of my heart, and its effects slowly showed in my ordinary life. In the summer of 11th grade, as I was still adjusting to the difference in time and life in China, a close friend of mine nudged me to sign up for AFS volunteering with her. “Because we’re AFS people now”, she gave me a simple reason. I reluctantly agreed, wondering how much time will be deprived of me. AFS was the organization behind my foreign exchange year in the US, and being an AFS volunteer meant that I needed to act as an ambassador for my city and help the arriving exchange students fall into their new life. To my surprise, I ended up liking this job very much. I saw my own shadow on those brave kids, and emotions swelled up my heart as I tried to help them adjust. “Did you know I had this problem too last year?” I took familiarity for confidence as I started problem tackling together with my student: “Communication is very important, so first, you talk with the family…” My heart was filled with something warm that was a mixture of satisfaction and kindness, as I realized there is one less troubled AFS student because of me. Again, I did my job as a part of a giving cycle, and passed on the AFS spirit: in volunteering do we move forward. I now saw it as part of the reason to live my life to the fullest, that I should embrace the world to make a tender difference, because our helpful fingerprints do not fade from the shoulders that we have kindly touched. I have been touched by Hira, and now it is my turn to pass on the magic of giving and caring. Since then I have always believed that giving is a blessing to both the giver and the receiver. Gandhi once said that whatever you do in life will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it, because nobody else will. So I did, and I will.
May 2011 19
by Mable J
Inner Voices Yubo Di 200 km from Guangzhou, a place you should know. Wenhai Yang Our actions, your smiles, we’ll never forget. Chuling Jiang Change is never something you say; it’s something you do. Sizi Chen It’s not just about your resume; it’s about self-rediscovery. Xiaoyan Huang They’re locked in a jail by nature, and the key is education. Jing Ran On their sun-tanned face, I saw the impeccable smiles which reveal the real meaning of life. Zhenghao Qian This is China, This is real. Jingyu Li I’ll be back… Hui Zhu Before the night ends, The dawn of a new day dawns, And out of this endless blue, Somehow I will find you. Before the night ends. Someday I will come again, and the song will never end. Xunuan Chen I LOVE THE CHILDREN!
Wake & Love A CLUB FOR LEFT-OVER CHILDREN
58,000,000 left-behind children across the country, the number still growing rapidly. About 40,000,000 left-behind children are below 14years old About 25% of all the children in China are now left-behind children
80% of all the left-behind children have mental disease, including autism or psychological reactance. 70% of the left-behind children are in the lowest 25% of their class 32.1% of the left-behind children are ill-treated 29.9% of the left-behind children report that they’ve been 'slandered or humiliated’ 16.5% of the left-behind children report that they are always 'beaten' by others
What called Wake & Love? We hope that thourgh our actions, both the self-consciousness of the left-behind children and the love of all the members can be awakened. The core of Wake & Love is 'Mutual Inspiration'. While bringing the outside world to the children in mountains, we rediscover ourselves. What make us different? 4 days' experience. Not too far, not too close. Designed especially for high school students with commitment to the society, Wake & Love differentiates from the common countrytutoring. Here, everyone is the designer of his curriculum/seminars and further can develop his/her own interest to the children during ExtraCurriculum Free Time. We don't actually divide the position of organizers and participants; we encourage any idea inspiring. Long-term and one-to-one if you can stick on to us! Each member is selected carefully by our admission board. So it is definitely worth making friends with these people who you'll remember for your life! and where? We now have 2 schools in Yangshan and planning one in Yingde! What if time does not permit? We have several activities per year! You’ll find the one for you for sure! Who is in our team? We have people going to top-notched universities in China, the US, the UK and France, students going to the best high schools in Guangdong, and professional volunteers. Our admission criteria? With enthusiasm and unique understanding on community service. Patient and tolerant. With experiences of volunteer and personal specialty will be factors of preferences. Join us! Welcome to apply via email(containing self-introduction and resume) to our public email address, or find us on Weibo and Renren.
For questions or inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org 唤醒 . 爱 20 VISIONARY
唤醒爱 - 支教行动 May 2011 21
by Mable J
Wake & Love
May 2011 23
by Charlotte Chiang
Knowledge for Life Something changed between then and now. I realized it during my first semester in graduate school, when I found myself pressing my International Trade Theory professor for a real-world application of the theory we were learning in class.
read Frankenstein huddled from my top bunk on the train from Qingdao to Xi’an during a hot summer many years ago. I had hurriedly stuffed the book in my suitcase for some slight reading to distract me from the long and arduous train rides I knew I would be taking during my two-month long trip to China. At the time, I was studying the activities of Chinese student environmental organizations, and my research had hit a wall. I remember how distinctly different I felt from the main character of the story, Victor Frankenstein. Rather than the horror story that Western media often portrays it, Mary Shelley’s classic is actually a heart-wrenching exploration of how the blind pursuit of knowledge can yield tragic consequences. The story was a sad one to read not only for its obviously devastating ending, but for myself personally, because I simply could not sympathize with Victor. His passion for learning, for not only discovering but for comprehensively dissecting every aspect of the world around him, was foreign to me. I realized then that despite how much I wanted to, I would never share Victor’s intellectual curiosity. I think I had subconsciously accepted that my knowledge had plateaued, and hence brought me certain apathy toward any learning endeavor – including my research that summer. Something changed between now and then. I realized it during my first semester in graduate school, when I found myself pressing my International Trade Theory professor for a real-world application of the theory we were learning in class. (I left class dissatisfied, and I suspect he did as well.) Something about that experience ignited within me a sense of unbridled curiosity that has manifested in so many other spheres of knowledge that I have come across in the past several months. From political assassination to soufflébaking, from women’s empowerment to design and architecture, my interests have expanded beyond what I ever would have imagined a just a few years prior. The most important effect of this change for me is that the world has become an exponentially more
fulfilling place to live in. I look around me these days, simultaneously humbled by how little I know about my surroundings, and excited to understand more around them. I find fascination with the chemistry behind flavor combinations, and I feel a deep appreciation for the incomprehensible size of the universe each time I look into the starry night sky. What then, accounts for this change? I owe it surprisingly, not to any of my endeavors as a student, but rather to my experience teaching in Shenzhen from 2009-2010. I approached the job not knowing what to expect. And what I did encounter, exceeded my wildest dreams. For, I was privileged to be put before a group of students who never stopped questioning. From a teacher’s perspective this was at times, exasperating. I was forced to carefully defend each statement I made; I was chased down after school to indulge the curiosities of students; I even needed to defend the use of the 12-point, Times New Roman font to my students. But above all, I was inspired by the students’ curiosity. I was astonished by how much energy they brought to our classroom activities, never quieting their questioning minds until they were satisfied. It would be presumptuous of me to think that I ever satisfactorily answered their questions, but at the very least, I hope I didn’t shut any intellectual doors. Prior to having taught in Shenzhen I was complacent with my identity. I accepted that my interests and passions were basically limited to environmental justice, animal rights, and the occasional extreme sport. But what my students taught me is that it’s never too late to keep learning and to keep questioning, to approach any subject with an open mind and conscientious attitude, to be an active participant in the world around me, regardless of academic or careeroriented consequences. For this gift they’ve given me, I will always be grateful …so long as it doesn’t lead me to the same sorry fate as Victor Frankenstein.
There She Goes We might not meet again, unless our paths converge again in college, but for the time being, I'm already grateful for having such a friend and couldn't be more selfish if I asked for more.
igh school life always passes more quickly than one would like. A friend of mine is about to go abroad to study the International Baccalaureate in England, which I believe, is a golden opportunity for her to absorb more of western culture. Several of my friends have already left to pursue an education in other countries, and I'm about to join them in a year or so, but the following words are dedicated to her. Our first encounter was in a preparatory MUN conference. Somehow I represented Croatia, and became acquainted with her, the USA. I guess our Secretary General thought we were pretty good and thus chose us to be the dual delegation of Indonesia in the Security Council in a regional MUN conference. It came as a surprise to us that we were able to dominate the conference, but I have to admit that we had superior command in English as well as undying passion, her undying passion, actually. Of course, we also met several other exceptionally strong delegates whom we later became friends with. She was always positive and took the initiative at every opportunity, an attribute I deeply appreciated because I was somewhat reticent. However, this, believe it or not, was just the beginning. During the next semester, we were chosen to be the dais of our school's conference, which later proved to be yet another unforgettable experience. We had to make preparations that literally swallowed my entire winter holiday, but I knew she was probably even busier collecting our data and merging them into a comprehensive background guide. Even though she compiled the guide, she was designated to be the chair while I was the director. Fortunately, we managed to collaborate much better this time, although I did make a few mistakes because we were chatting. This time I knew more about her personality, including her sense of justice, her pride, and most importantly, her vulnerability towards getting hurt.
recruitment. A person she consistently evaded had appeared for an interview in which he performed particularly well. After finding out, she was literally driven to tears, and we all surrounded her to calm her down. Then I did probably the stupidest thing ever: I tried to give her a more rational view of this entire issue, but my analysis only made her cry even harder. Of course, these events were merely the tip of the iceberg, and there were numerous other moments that will settle in my memory, from the MUN conference in Peking University to the melodramatic English festival. She always maintained a positive outlook even if she was against the most daunting tasks, and some images of her will always be imprinted in my mind. Her midnight willowy hair flowing freely in the wind, her cherry lips curled up in a sweet smile, her passion perennially radiated from her clear eyes. No wonder she played Aphrodite in that Greek play. We might not meet again, unless our paths converge again in college, but for the time being, I'm already grateful for having such a friend and couldn't be more selfish if I asked for more. Hope she'll have fun in England, and wish her all the best in every one of her endeavors. Lastly, a song called There She Goes...
This feature of hers, possibly her greatest weakness, was exhibited further in an incident in our club
May 2011 25
Seven Reasons for a Strong Relationship Between
William and Kate
1. The bride is religious: Kate was confirmed into the Church of England in March, apparently at her own insistence, while William was confirmed at the age of 14.
married for 30 years.
honors degree from St Andrews.
3. There are no children of previous partners in the household.
2. The bride’s parents did not separate: Michael and Carole Middleton have been
4. They both have high levels of education – both William and Kate graduated with a 2:1
5. William and Kate own their own home – no fears about getting on the property ladder certainly, with a large detached property in SW1 eventually awaiting them.
6. They have received marriage preparation, which is known to improve the quality of relationships. (William and Kate had classes with the Archbishop of Canterbury.)
youngest married adults, aged 16-24 in 1991, were less likely to be living with the same partner in 2001 compared with older cohabiting adults.
7. They are not too young. Kate is 29 and William is 28. The last census shows the
All this is in contrast to Charles and Diana’s marriage, where the bride was just 19, had
no higher education, and came from a broken home. (Incidentally, forgive the tasteless question, but if we all get a day off today for the royal wedding, do we have to work an extra day if they divorce?)
NOVEL The Legend of Echo Irving’s Bookstore Chapter 2, A day of Christina’s (one/two)
hen the first beam of sunlight splashes into Christina’s dorm, the alarm clock wails relentlessly, always this alarming, thought Christina. The dormitory begins to be filled up with chaos, there are people brushing teeth, ending with the practice of their German pronunciations by torturing both their throats and ears; some are dressing up for the brand new sunlight outside the dorm, and their imagined courting-everywhere boys, of course; Christina lies on the bed until the turmoil subsided as time pressed on, she pretends to be clearing her mind of all the fancied germinated during the night, but she is more than understood that she will never get the idea of finding her Mr. right out of her mind ever since she is still single. She can still remember her mother’s words that have been a routine of their conversation, and her father’s admonitions about the side effect of falling in love with those bad boys, who stand against her future accordingly. But Christina has always kept a naïve imagination of love, which is different from those tear-earning films or popular love novels. She wants a boy to be met by chance, each other stares directly into each
I other’s eyes, and simultaneously they smiled to each other. How beautiful and vulnerable these could be! Every time when she begins to frame the details of her coincidence, the ringing bell would pulled her back into reality, and she would in three minutes finish her preparations and rushed out to catch the first class. However, she has never been late for a single class, which is impossible for any Chinese public high school, but she is one of the lucky ones, whom are nurtured by a school called Shenzhen Middle School. Christina has always been thinking what her life would be if she has chosen any other high schools one years ago, right after her finishing the entrance examination. But life bears no chance of reverting, so is the time thought her, but we can somehow be optimistic towards our life, isn’t it? At class, she would stretch out her little notebook and write down those ideas jumped into her mind abruptly and surprisingly, sometimes even to her own amazement, she would be daunted by her inclination of expanding the limits of her imagination and implication restlessly. English class is her paradise of free study
and reading, since Mr. Qu is a very understanding person, who has permitted Christina to do whatever she want under the precondition that she will not be lagged in the class and the rules of the class will not be violated. So Christina would always be reading English classics and books that embodied a large amount of information, which results her being called encyclopedia by her classmates. She loves reading with diverse subjects and deep insights; she loves writing down her ephemeral thoughts and examines them later, probably as self-introspection; she loves watching films and oil paintings, which she spent countless time reading and immersing in the center bookstore where she can read willfully and she would always take notes on her little lovely notebook. Every time she discovers a newly displayed book, she would be smiling like a child with being granted with a huge lollipop, and another journey that is full of happiness and gainful joyfulness will always delights her. Christina has a good friend, Lucy, who shares lots of common interests wit her. They grew up together in the same class from primary school to high school, and they are both in the school choir, Shenzhen Middle School Golden Bell Youth choir, which is a wellknown organization for its international reputation and numerous recognized prizes in its history. When Christina and Lucy hang out together, Christina used to joke Lucy with her fanciful encounter that will lead her a fabulous boy. And Lucy will always reply her:
by her ear that they will be best friends forever, nothing can separate them apart. In her mind there is nothing more precious the friendship between Lucy and her, she can still vividly depict the moment when they first met in the opening ceremony of their primary school, when they were both little kids with not much understanding of the world and everything was still transparent and shining with merriment. What a wonderful memory it is! How merciful it would be for the god to bequeath them with the every necessity to keep that an eternal treasure in their hearts. But time is a willful child of god who would seldom listen to his father, although Lucy and Christina are still good friends now, but by choosing different class and systems, their time spent together dwindled. However, there is no reason to regret or moan, Christina has been learning and practicing how to cherish the happiness in her life, there is always an end attached to everything, bad or good, sorrow or joy, friendship or animosity, the way you treat them decides how long it would spend to welcome that end. By interacting sincerely with her friends and parents, she find out that the end is not deemed to be miserable, because what you take for granted for will accompany since your heart still saves a place for them. Oh, time slips by unconsciously, Christina used to exclaim to herself when a class was spent fancying and thinking, but such is a gainful and worthy habit that she is willing to keep as long as she is still optimistic about her future, no matter if the world sucks or delights.
-May that boy never show up, or I will lose you. But Christina would stop walking and hug her tightly, whispering
May 2011 31
II ‘Hi, Christina ’ says Lucy when Christina steps out of the classroom with those whimsies haunted. ‘Hi Lucy, ’ without too much words, they walk towards the school gate. True friendship premises a tacit understanding through a gesture, through an exchange of eyes or even just seeing other’s faces. True friends prerequisite a space where their privacies and sharing coexisted, that is what we called privity. If Christina and Lucy are not the true friends that we have defined above, then they must be sisters since only hereditary bondage can help explain their intimacy and characters alike. They walk through the buildings and stop at the sculpture that signified this school, the oldest school in Shenzhen, built when the cities was still a hibernated bird waiting to spread its wings in decades. Two people upholding a key, with flowers around the base, every student here is so acquainted with it that no one would pay attention to it unless they left the school, where everything is worthwhile in terms of both education and growing up. They walk by the path towards the school gate, trees on each side flourishing and caring the school and its students all these decades, watching the vicissitudes and evolvements of the campus silently. But when they walked out from the school, some differences can be perceived; maybe the air is smokier? Or the trees can no longer look after them?
To Christina, the school is not merely a place gathering students to study and live, but a laboratory for a bunch of kids to experiment sentimental education, to love, to hate, to laugh and to… Some people said the sun would someday devour the earth but I don’t take that for granted since nothing out of my reach is to my slightest concern when my primarily purpose is to deal with myself first the school is good only when people think it good when I walked into the campus I would think of my teacher I would think of Lucy and my parents my teacher taught me how to read and is still teaching me more Lucy experienced love and hatred with me all along our childhood to adulthood my parents sent me here because they have expectations on me I felt no stress when I failed exams my teacher is kind to me and exams never cheat I take the responsibility whether to fail it or not and I can always find someone who is willing to listen to me when I need one because Lucy is always the backup for that one when I first stepped into the school I felt scared because I thought people here is better than me and I must be bullied intellectually as least but the result turn out to be less bellicose I started to felt happy about my decision to came here and my parent’s support of choosing this school although I didn’t know much about it when I was making my decision but I can felt a tacit bondage that is always calling me to come here so I came my uncle who graduated from one of the best university in China agreed on my decision for he thought I can build better social network or resources according to his words and my aunts
who thought downtown is absolutely more beneficial than rural areas I cant say who is better but I believe they were contributing factor as least in my oh my cousin he is so nice for bring me here to testify my presumption about this place anyway I chose this school and buried the first step leading my next four years journey the school is free and the students here is free I thought of my country which is not that free according to someone but I don’t think so no absolute free existed I can choose what to study and whom to study with in my school students can have love affairs they take charge of themselves and school provides versatile resources that enable you to fall and rise I witness many affairs here that are supposed to be in an adult society but we are always being regarded as too mature well so I take it as it is without much effort or something many activities are available to practice what you’ve learned and help you find your future commitment but I suspect the validity of all the things on earth that are called educational some activities can only be… “Christina? Where are we going to have lunch?” asked Lucy. Being suddenly pulled back into reality, Christina paused for a second to rearrange and adjust, “Momo tea?”
“Don’t bother to think about it, every student should not have wasted time considering this problem, so many choices, but none appealing”, Lucy sighed. The situation is so controversial with so crowded a place numerous eating places are available comparing to other schools’ choices here is like a paradise but how is the result ever happened maybe some places is worse than the canteens maybe students are not prodigious or the places are still not enough for a bunch of people hanging around all three years long They walk towards the street, waiting for the red light. Among the people across the street, an outstanding face captures the eyeballs of theirs. A handsome boy, I am no kidding, walks face-to-face passing by them when the green light shows up. Had I met him before why his face looked so familiar I must have known him but when and where and who he is?
“Well, if you insist it would be ok for me,” Lucy whispered. “It sound you are reluctantly agreeing,” said Christina smiling, “although the place is no novelty I know, but what else?”
To be continued…
May 2011 33
by Maggie Bi
Review · Movie
Review of “The Social Network”
ou don’t have to study! You don’t have to study!” “Why are you keep saying that I don’t need to study?” “Because you go to BU(Boston University)!” What kind of date says that? Well, Mark Zuckerberg does, a super computer geek who can build up a website, which caused Harvard’s internet to crash at 4am in the morning, over one night, while blogging his progress in programming with a bottle of beer at hand. “The Social Network”, directed by David Fincher, unravels the implausible rapid rising of Facebook. Both the film “The Social Network”and the book “The Accidental Billionaire” described Mark as a socially awkward prodigy whose face is always devoid of expression. He lives in his own computer world, perceives everything through his own eyes and interprets everything thoroughly like a professional psychologist. When in court, he was asked whether he hated the Winkleovoss, he responded emotionlessly, “I don’t hate anybody, the Winklevii aren’t suing me for intellectual property theft. They are suing me because for the first time in their lives, things didn’t work at the way they were supposed to for them.” Even so, no man can escape from his inherent nature, nor can Mark Zuckerberg, an unusual genius. Everything starts with a girl, just as how the film begins.
starts with a
girl, just as how the film begins.
Getting laid, the number one standard used to measure a college guy, is presented as the strongest drive and biggest concern on campus in “The Social Network”. Eduardo struggled his way into the Phoenix to hang out with girls from “Fuck Truck”; Mark worshiped Sean Parker for his style as a playboy; Mark’s first night with an unknown Victoria’s Secret Model marks the success of Facebook. “This is what drives life in college. Are you having sex or aren’t you. That’s why people take certain classes and sit in where they sit and do what they do.” Erika, the girl in the very beginning scene, threads the entire film. Mark launched Facemash because of her; Mark expanded Facebook to other colleges because of her; Mark was once again that anxious kid in the end of the film because of her. Sitting in a courtroom, refreshing his Facebook page over and over again, waiting for her response to his friend request. Suddenly, Mark is no longer a billionaire. When interviewing tycoons, most hosts search for the initial motivation of their giant enterprises, and the answers are always complex and identical: soaring aspiration. Relatively, the
motivation of Facebook is different in a much simpler way: a girl. However, this is what makes “The Social Network” appealing to me. I appreciate the honesty of David Fincher. He did not attempt to embellish the founding of, but instead merely presented it as straightforward as possible. To be frank, Mark was merely nineteen when he started Facebook. What could possibly be a better reason for a nineteen-year-old boy urging to “do something substantial” than a beautiful girl? Maybe simple is the key word of our generation. Like Sean Parker, who founded two groundbreaking companies in the first three years he left high school, has said to Mark in the film “Not this time, this is our time.” No planning, no colluding, no scheming. It is simply pure idea. Facebook changed people’s social lives for better and for always. Job interview for Facebook was a playful contest designed by Mark himself, and the whole thing was converted into an intense game. When the start-up company moved from Boston to California, all they do was get wired in programming. Every member in the team lived and breathed in Facebook. Mark had always followed his intuition and persisted on doing what is right for him, and more importantly, for Facebook. Apart from the plot itself, David Fincher elevated “The Social Network” from good to extraordinary. The utterly fitting cast, high-paced plot development, remarkable film editing, fine background music, gifted performance, narration interspersed with flashbacks, everything just seemed to be right. The core belief of the production of “The Social Network” is that people who watch movie are at least as smart as people who make movies. As Aaron Sorkin, who won the Golden Globe Award for his script of “The Social Network”, remarked in his awardwinning speech “David Fincher is a national treasure, who is able to make scenes of typing look like bank robbery.” Not to mention Jesse Eisenberg, nominated for Oscar Best Actor at the age of twenty-six. With his long narrow face, equivalently weird looking and insanely fast speaking, he turned “The Social Network” into a make-belief “autobiography film”. Most people were confused at first with the complication caused by alternations of earlier and later scenes. So did I. However, up until now, I have watched the film for over ten times and read the book “The Accidental Billionaire”, which was adapted to the film script. I believe everyone knows the feeling of wanting to prove oneself in front of a particular person, more specifically for teenagers, the person one likes. I admit it is naive to certain point, but can definitely be rationally justified for a teenager. And Facebook is simply the most prominent and influential product of that ubiquitous behavior. I wonder when Mark Zurkerberg erased “I’m CEO, Bitch” from his business card. PS. Both <The Accidental Billionaire> and <The Social Network> are fictional.
May 2011 37
by Echo Tsao
Review · Movie
I’m doctor Hannibal Lecter
Review of “The silence of the lambs”
hen I cannot sleep at night, I used to count lambs; one lamb, two lambs, three lambs, four lambs, five lambs… and always before I get to one hundred lambs I would be falling asleep.
Lambs are always silent, they never yield or scream, no tumult or screeching, but they can always arouse other people’s sympathy due to their mildness and vulnerability, which deepens the emotional recognition from their viewers. Clarice Starling is one of those who confirm my prosecution above. Her childhood is a memory of miserable and lacerating happenings; the death of her father who is her only guardian because of her mother’s absence in her childhood, the horrible encounters at the slaughterhouse of one of her relative’s, the desperate effort to save one of the lambs from the slaughterhouse. But she conceals these from me; she didn’t show me the real memory but a faked one, just like the second-class shoes on her foot and the real luxury handbag dangling beside her. When we first met in the cell, I was attracted by her presence, although I’m clear about her purpose and the boss behind her. But I couldn’t help to capture her image again and again in my mind, for she is so charming, and for a person like me who has been in a confinement for as long as eight years, I have to say that she is different from all other people who has came here to try to find useful information from me. But I have to be sane, I don’t want to be in this place for one more minutes and I would sacrifice anything if possible to get me out of here, she would probably be contributing, in the future. Buffalo Bill is killing more and more people, up to five till now. And the senator’s daughter is one of those missing, the senator is very anxious to save her only daughter, and she is willing to buy me a better treatment if any useful information can be provided by me. But when I heard the deal from Starling, I knew it’s fake, and I knew that she is luring me out of nothing! But I will not let this chance go, because I want to play with her, she is different from others, and I have to be courteous, be polite and tactful, for she is smart and vigilant. This kind of quid pro quo is one of my old friends, but this time one more person joined us, Chilton, the one who is in charge of the facilitate that held me. To him, I was a valuable source that he is hoping to dig more than scientific result but extra profit. He plans to sell me to the senator and I know this plan is the real one, not like Starling’s, but I will play a little game with him that is going to make them embarrassed, you will see. Aha! The face of the senator is so embarrassing, but they will find out that my information is accurate and helpful, but only in the end will they unravel that! How careful are they, what a beautifully crafted mask, I hope I could possess it after I get out of the prison.
But the people depicted me as so vicious and whimsical, in fact I’m just a flat people, just well educated, psychologically prepared and with nothing to justify my actions. Someday, someday I will. Everyone is going to pay their debt to me; I kill people for reasons unspeakable, the cruelty and atrocity bears no affection for me. Buffalo Bill kills people and uses their skin to fulfill his job as a tailor, but I have no work to justify my killing the people. He put a moth into every victim’s mouth, indicating his innermost desire of changing, this could only degraded him as an isolator and loser in this society. But I’m not a loser or anything like that, I not only intend to win, I also play with everything I’m interested, in a polite and decent way. It’s not funny at all to play with the policeman, they are too stubborn to adjust to my changing strategy, but however forceful they seemed, I could always get my way out from their control. Looking into the minds of human, I understand the importance and omnipotence of being psychologically educated. If anyone who is well-prepared and perceived commits to crime, like me if I define myself as a criminal, a great many people is deemed to be harmed by that psyched person. Anyway, I think people’s minds are easy to read, to me, they are plain manifestation on paper, discernible and undeniable. But not many people have the ability to read this sheet of paper, which is full of useful information. I don’t need to talk to someone, instead, I read their eyes and faces; but when I talk with them, I can always understand them from their childhood to adulthood, grasp some pieces of information that can help shape them as developing people, this is how I interpret people, namely read them. Well, I’m doctor Hannibal Lecter! Sorry to introduce myself so late, but I hate being recognized as the one in that famous movie, you know, the one won five Oscar prizes. Alas, pretty cool umm? But the people depicted me as so vicious and whimsical, in fact I’m just a flat people, just well educated, psychologically prepared and with nothing to justify my actions.
May 2011 39
Review · Music
Little by Little By Oasis
I think this “coming-of-age” song is mainly about defining who we are, acknowledging what we want, and discovering our reason for existence.
We the people fight for our existence To me, dreams are essential to life. We have our dreams and we spend our whole life pursuing them: that’s a reason for existence. The other reason would be to love and to be loved. We don’t claim to be perfect but we’re free No one is perfect, though people often tend to be. Perfectionists are bound by their struggle to be perfect all the time, and they get frustrated when they make a little mistake. They’re stretched too tight and therefore more vulnerable and easier to snap. We dream our dreams alone with no resistance Dreams are personal things. Fading like the stars we wish to be As time goes by and people grow older, sometimes their dreams fade away. People work for a living, as a routine, and as they become so absorbed in the daily monotony of life, they don’t realize their dreams are fading away like stars. I didn’t mean What I just said Sometimes we tend to blurt out things that we don’t mean; or we do things without realizing the consequences. But no matter what was the reasoning behind all those wrong-doings, we are the ones ultimately responsible for our actions. As we grow, we’re learning to accept the responsibilities of our actions.
(meaning the fragrance of rice fields) By Jay Chou
If you have too many complaint of this world If you stumble and don’t dare to keep on walking Little by little Wheels of your life their slowly fallin of When a kid grows up and strives to achieve their dreams and goals little by little, they will eventually come to a point where you finally get what you want. But at that point, you don’t have goals anymore. Goals (like wheels) are the things that keep you going, they are reasons for existence. What to do then?
Why do people have to be so vulnerable and degrading? In my life I hear people complaining all the time. Why are they never satisfied? These people will never experience the joy you can get from simple things in life. Please turn on the TV and see for yourself
You have to give it all in all your life Working hard to reach the goals in life is not an easy thing. Sometimes you would have to set priorities, give up certain things and commit a lot.
How many people are fighting for life bravely and diligently There will always be people fighting on and on, for their life. Have you ever stopped and thought how many more opportunities you have than those who are struggling just to live and feed themselves? Sometimes people living in happiness find it harder to be content with their life.
I ask myself why
Shouldn’t we be content with what we have?
You’re really here
Cherish everything even those you don’t posses Cherish everyday of your life, even if the one you love doesn’t love you, even if you didn’t achieve your goal for the day. If people are more tolerant, the world would be a much better place
Little by little
True perfection has to be imperfect I know that that sounds foolish but it’s true ‘Tis very true indeed. A perfectionist is more vulnerable and can not accept their failure--therefore they are considered to be “imperfect”. True perfectionists accept failures and are stronger at heart.
(Chorus) Do you remember what you said? Home is the only castle
The life inside your head we give to you
The river runs along with the sweet fragrance of rice fields Childhood is the happiest period of a person’s life. When you’re still young and innocent, you are always happy with even the tiniest thing; and you’re so much easier to be content.
(Chorus)Little by little
You know I didn’t mean
Smiling sweetly as I recall my childhood dreams
We gave you everything you ever dreamed of I interpret this line as parents gave their child everything to help him live his life, they provided him with the necessities of life and taught him how to be a better person---“everything he ever dreamed of”---so that he can pursue his dreams. But now the child has to learn to live on their own
What I just said
Don’t cry the fireflies will help you escape
But my god just woke up on the
The village ballad is our forever dependent
Wrong side of his bed
Go home and return to the initial beauty Technology is leaping ahead, but people are not happier than they were when there was no technology. Why not return to the initial stage of happiness and beauty?
But my god woke up on the wrong side Of his bed And it just don’t matter now
The day has come And now you’ll have to accept
And it just don’t matter now (Chorus)
This song is all about cherishing your life, being optimistic about life, and enjoying happiness which might come from those little things in life.
Don’t give up so easily Just like I said If you can’t reach your dream Then change a dream Color your life with ecstatic colors Color love with your favorite color Why not smile? Life is too short to complain, why not change your perspective and be more optimistic? Being famous is not the goal Being happy is what should be done I feel sorry for people who trade their happiness or fame and money; and also those who live for others, who pretend to be someone they are not just to cater to a certain person’s taste. The paper airplane from childhood has flown back again The so-called joy, Is chasing dragonflies in the fields Until you’re too tired Is secretly picking fruits and getting bitten by the bee Until you’re too afraid. I lean against the scarecrow, Wind is blowing, I’m singing and falling asleep oh oh ~ The guitar sounds clearer amidst the call of the insects oh oh ~ As sunlight sprinkles on the road, I don’t fear being brokenhearted Cherish everything even those you don’t posses (Chorus)
May 2011 41
by Christina Xu
Shenzhen Middle School
Golden Bell Youth Choir
Sining in Stamford
May 2011 43
3 1 Visit Hollywood in LosAngles 2 Universal Studios in LosAngles 3 Disney in LosAngles 4 In front of the Parliament Hill of Wa... 5 Calabasas
May 2011 45
1 Have concert in Newyork 2 We have a concert in Linclon center 3 Have performance with Calabasas in LosAngeles
May 2011 47
1 John Havard with three lies 2 In Havard!! Boston 3 Have Newyear dinner in Canada 4 Beautiful snowscape in Toronto 5 Niagara Falls in Canada 6 We are unexpected interviewed by Can...
May 2011 49
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