Shanghai Restaurants that are worth-noting

无意中看到了这个片子,Rick Stein's Taste of Shanghai. 其中列举了很多值得一去的上海餐馆。我记录在下面以便下次去上海的时候按图索麒。加粗的是Rick Stein非常推荐的。

  • 佳家汤包
  • 寿宁路夜市,大闸蟹
  • 吴师傅葱油饼-法租界,茂名路159弄2号后门,近南昌路
  • 米香园-红烧肉
  • 崇明岛清蒸?鱼
  • 小米酒,上海农家酿酒有限公司
  • 富?
  • 猪杂面,黄浦区复兴中路,格林泰豪对面
  • 下午茶-和平饭店
  • 天鸿酒家- 普陀区 铜川路977号(近兰溪路),葱爆蛤蜊
  • 臭豆腐-金山?
  • 白斩鸡

 

 

Another documentary from Simon Schama

I'm a big fan of <A history of Britain> and <Power of Art>, so inevitably became of fan of Simon Schama.

Face of Britain is the new documentary from Simon Schama. I just watched the 1st part, Face of Power. It's just as brilliant as the other Simon Schama documentaries. In particular, I like Simon Schama's way of story telling. For example, here's the opening story of the first part.

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On Churchill's 80th birthday on 1954, the painting commissioned a portrait for him as a present to proclaim his contribution and leadership during WWII.

By the time the parliament is about to unveil this painting in an formal assemble, Churchill had already seen it and hated it. Here's how he remarked:

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The portrait is a remarkable example of modern art.

Churchill hated this painting so much that in the end this painting was burned.

Wikipedia has a page for this story, but it was found out rather recently that the painting was burnt soon after the event.

Simon Schama uses this story to show the "will contest" between the painter and the person being portrayed. I was fascinated instantly.

A documentary on algorithms

I guess it's not easy to get journalism and algorithm together. Finally here's comes a documentary about algorithms, made by BBC - The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms.

It's intended for general public, so it's just a gentle introduction. From Euclid's algorithm to find greatest common divisor to different sorting algorithms to traveling sales man problem to matching algorithm and eventually to machine learning. The algorithms are well illustrated and explained. It's just enough to expose the audience to the world of algorithm without intimidating them. More importantly, from what I can see, there's no misconceptions that are commonly seen in introductions of algorithms made by mass media (except maybe the comparison between bubble sort and merge sort is overly simplified and didn't take memory consumption into consideration).

One interesting scene in the documentary: President Obama was in an interview and was presented a typical computer science question:

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"What is the most efficient way to sort a million 32-bit integers?"

After some hesitation, he actually answered:

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"I think Bubble Sort would be the wrong way to go."

Not bad for a president, I must say. Some say it is staged. But it's still funny to see how Mr. President tried to circumvent the real question with a safe correct answer. You can see the interview here on YouTube.

An antidote to the so-called Chinese way of teaching

As I said before, I don't think there is a single "Chinese way of teaching". In addition, the Chinese ways of teaching are also changing. However, there are characters that are commonly agreed to be associated with Chinese ways of teaching: emphasis on discipline and order, rely primarily on repetition and memorization.

In the discussion provoked by the BBC documentary, "Are our kids touch enough: Chinese school", I've seen a lot of people praising these characters. Well, here's an antidote to the obsession of academic achievement:

Mind you, I don't see this as a full argument against Chinese way of teaching. I'd love to get more cases like Gillian Lynne from Mr. Ken Robinson. However, this talk at least challenges us, reminds us to look further, wider, beyond academic achievement, in education. I'll provide a Chinese translation to the transcript in another post.

Illusions well illustrated

The documentary Test you Brain from National Geographic is awesome!

Illusions are well known to human, but not all of them have been well illustrated in action. The problem is, some of the illusions are very  best described in experiment to shows all the intricacies. For that we need carefully designed experiments and video making. This is the first time I saw something like this is made.

As an example, here's how this documentary illustrated an attention saturation situation devised in David Copperfield's studio:

First you see a magician told you that he wanted to do something not at all legal with money. After showing you the cash, then messing around it, the silently putting it back to his pocket, you're asked, "did you notice anything?".

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Of course you didn't. Then the video rewind and show you what had happened before and after.

Then another video shot by a camera from another angel showed you these changes were made actually well you were watching. You didn't notice only because you didn't pay attention to them.

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So after you see this, you cannot help to say to yourself, aha, that's how they've deceived me. But then you have to rethink about perception and illusion.

While it's not available in Youtube, we Chinese can already watch it here:

Documentaries that worth noting

Have been watch documentaries for years now, especially BBC ones. Looking back, not every one of them left the same impression or impact. Here are the ones I'd like to share with others (With links to docuwiki.net, where you can find more information about these documentaries):

Another great documentary from Simon Schama

After "Power of Art", I'm a fan of Simon Schama now. Two weeks ago I downloaded "A history of Britain". I haven't finished it yet, but it's already ranked very high in my list. 🙂

Something in common in these 2 documentaries: In both of them, there are great music. The music in the opening scene of "Power of Art" is lovely (Moonlight Sonata?), the music in the opening scene of "A history of Britain" is also very intriguing, anyone knows what it is?

Power of Art by Simon Schama

I downloaded this series 6 moths ago. I tried watch it but seemed that the content seemed too difficult for me - This is the first time I take on a documentary that is art subject. My vocabulary is simply not enough.

In the past days, I forced myself to take notes on sentences that I didn't understand, and then lookup, and then review the video. Till yesterday night, I finished the first 4 parts. What I can say is, it worth every minute of the effort!

A lot of praise out there already for this great documentary. There's not much I can add to that. I only hope the future generation will have this kind of art eye-opening in their classroom, or I'll have to show them this great documentary.