måndag, december 26, 2011


Reeperbahn in Hamburg appears to be more Hornsgatan than Götgatan. Café Lehmitz under the lens of Anders Petersen is nowhere in sight, or is it still extant? Passersby stood rapt as a group of Bier Bikers slid down the avenue with jocund teasings. "The times they are a-changin'." Or not.

Retro Posters

Random finds -

tisdag, december 13, 2011


There was once a very lovely, very frightened cat. She lived alone except for a nameless lady. As if greeting me with her usual curiosity wasn't enough, apparently she wished to impress me more by leaving me a gift the other day: a dead mouse at my door side she had captured somewhere nearby.

Hello, how I miss you now, my old neighbor. (instagram.com/p/L1Uj7hqQkD/)

Edward Hopper

In an Edward Hopper exhibition held by Swiss Fondation de l’Hermitage last year, you could have the chance to watch Hitchcock films, so here's an idea, why not having a Sven Nykvist retrospective with Ingmar Bergman film screenings here in Sweden?


måndag, december 12, 2011

Umberto Eco in Stockholm


Italian author of 'The Name of the Rose', Umberto Eco, signing his new book 'The Prague Cemetery' this evening at Kulturhuset. (http://bit.ly/pg5cNI) An erudite scholar, he told the audience that, in human chemistry, "I'm not interested in geniuses." I took the occasion to ask him about a mystery I've long harbored: why the Kabbalah text in Hebrew was printed upside-down on opening page of the Swedish translation of 'Foucault's Pendulum'. "Since no one seems to have noticed it, was it entirely intentional, with some hidden religious meaning to be inferred perhaps?" "No, no, it appears so only after the Dutch version made a mistake ..."

Nordic literature evening


Short story is called "Smásaga" in Icelandic, which literally means "small saga". So I asked Gyrðir Elíasson, a leading short-story writer from Iceland who also won Nordic Council's Literature Prize in 2011, during his guesting in Nordic literature evening arranged by Stockholm city library, if he considered his writings more of modernized Norse sagas than of elaborated poetry sketches as some interviewers earlier suggested. His response: the body of his work indeed reflected his long-standing love for poetry. An orientation in spirit towards that field wouldn't surprise him. My last question was if he himself was going to pick a favorite book he had written, which one it would be. "Sandárbókin", he paused for a moment and then gave me the answer. (the German translation recently released: http://bit.ly/p8GVNA)

söndag, september 11, 2011

Sigtuna Market Fair 2011

besökte Sveriges första och kanske mysigaste stad i helgen. (Aug 28, 2011)

▶ Slideshow:
Sigtuna Möte - en marknad i 1912 års anda

lördag, september 10, 2011

Rachmaninoff concerto 1

Rachmaninoff piano concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor, Op. 1- Ashkenazy-Previn-Tempo 2

Rachmaninoff composed this Concerto at age 19. I personally find it his most precious piece, if not his most sophisticated composition. Like an unbridled confession, it touches my unsettled self deep down inside. Every time I listen to this, I think of a passage in Boris Vian's novel L'Écume des jours (1947). Exactly why I don't know ...

"À l'endroit où les fleuves se jettent dans la mer, il se forme une barre difficile à franchir et de grands remous écumeux où dansent les épaves. Entre la nuit du dehors et la lumière de la lampe, les souvenirs refluaient de l'obscurité, se heurtaient à la clarté et, tantôt apparents, montraient leurs ventres blancs et leurs dos argentés."

onsdag, juli 13, 2011

"Before I think where I go"

"Far, far in the forest, before I think where I go,
Solitary, smelling the earthy smell, stopping now and then in the silence,
Alone I had thought —"

From Walt Whitman (1819–1892) Leaves of Grass (1900)

Stockholm i mitt hjärta

söndag, juni 19, 2011

Midsummer in Husby

- Eritrean twin girls celebrating Midsummer in Husby, a suburban area of Stockholm mainly inhabited by immigrants.

I didn't pose them, but upon hearing my request to take a photo, one of them rested her hand on the shoulder of the other girl, with a simple smile that appeared to me most disarming. So everything went on naturally. I was fortunate to witness this unguarded innocence. Just beautiful.

torsdag, juni 09, 2011

Après le cubisme

Après le cubismeAprès le cubisme by Ozenfant

Never a fan of the majority of Le Corbusier's creative works, I personally find him to be greater in articulating rhetoric than practicing architecture. But still, always powerful rhetoric, admittedly... This book is but one example, it almost reads like a manifesto for the emerging spirit of a modern man. So after I finished the book, though it didn't at once convert me to his grand visions, it certainly left me considerably charmed.

View all my reviews

söndag, maj 22, 2011

World's Second-Hardest Easy Geometry Problem

This is my solution in response to "World's Second-Hardest Easy Geometry Problem".

Henceforth I use symbol ≅ to indicate triangle congruence.


In graph 1, suppose that triangle ΔIEH is equilateral, i.e. IE=EH=IH, and if ∠DIH=∠DHI=40°, then we conclude line DE bisects the angle ∠IEH, i.e., ∠DEI=∠DEH=(1/2)*∠IEH=(1/2)*60°=30°.

Proof: From point D, draw an altitude of the triangle ΔDIH which intersects line IH at point O. Since ∠DIH=∠DHI, and ∠DOI=∠DOH=90°, DO=DO, therefore triangle ΔDOI ≅ triangle ΔDOH, so IO=OH. Connects points O and E with a line OE, because IO=OH, OE=OE, IE=EH, therefore triangle ΔIOE ≅ triangle ΔHOE, so ∠IOE=∠HOE. Since ∠IOE+∠HOE=180°, it follows that ∠IOE=∠HOE=90°. So ∠DOH+∠HOE=180°, therefore points D, O, E lie on a straight line. Since line OE bisects the angle ∠IEH, we conclude that the same line DF bisects the angle ∠IEH, too.

Now back to the original problem. Draw a line HB counter-clockwise 20 degrees from line CB and line HB intersects line AE at point I, ∠IBA=∠IBD+∠DBA=∠CBD-∠CBI+∠DBA=30°-20°+50°=60°. Since∠IAB=60°, so triangle ΔIAB is equilateral, AB=AI=BI. Since ∠CAB=∠CBA=80°, triangle ΔCAB is isosceles, so AC=BC, ∠CAE=∠HBC=20°, ∠C=∠C, therefore triangle ΔCAE ≅ triangle ΔCBH, so CH=CE, triangle ΔCHE is also isosceles, line HE is parallel to line AB, ∠EHI=∠HEI=60°, hence triangle ΔHIE is also equilateral, therefore ∠HIE=60°.

Since ∠DAB=80°, ∠DBA=50°, ∠BDA=180°-80°-50°=50°, so triangle ΔADB is isosceles, AD=AB, but AB=AI, so AD=AI, therefore triangle ΔADI is isosceles, too. ∠DIA=(1/2)*(180°-∠DAI)=(1/2)*(180°-20°)=80°

Therefore ∠HID=180°-∠HIE-∠DIA=180°-60°-80°=40°

∠AHB=180°-∠HAB-∠HBA=180°-80°-60°=40°, i.e., ∠DHI=40°=∠HID, and we know triangle ΔHIE is equilateral. From the lemma we proved in the beginning, we conclude that line DE bisects the angle ∠AEH, i.e., ∠DEA=30°

Thus angle x is equal to 30 degrees.

World's Hardest Easy Geometry Problem

This is my solution in response to "World's Hardest Easy Geometry Problem".

Henceforth I use symbol ~ to denote being "similar" between two triangles; symbol ≅ to indicate triangle congruence.

Draw a line that bisects the angle ∠CBD - let it intersect line AE at point I and line AC at point P, so ∠CBP=∠PBD=(1/2)*20°=10°. Draw another line that is 10 degrees down clockwise from line AE and intersects line BD at point H. Because ∠IAB=70°, ∠IAH=10°, so ∠HAB=70°-10°=60°, and because ∠HBA=60°, so ∠BHA=180°-60°-60°=60°. Therefore triangle ΔABH is equilateral, meaning that AH=HB=AB.

Draw a line between point D and I. Because ∠DAI=∠IBD(=10°), it follows that the four points D, I, B, A lie on a circle, therefore the inscribed angle ∠IDB=∠IAB=70°, and the inscribed angle ∠DIA=∠DBA=60°. Line PDA and Line PIB are intersecting circle secants, therefore triangle ΔPDI ~ triangle ΔPBA, ∠PID=∠PAB=80°; ∠PDI=∠PBA=70°

and PI/DI=AP/AB (1)

Because ∠CAB=∠CBA=80° triangle ΔCAB is isosceles, CA=CB, likewise because ∠IAB=∠IBA=70° triangle ΔIAB is isosceles, IA=IB. Draw a line that connects points I and H, because AI=IB, and AH=HB, so triangle ΔAIH ≅ triangle ΔBIH, so ∠AIH=∠BIH=(1/2)*∠AIB=(1/2)*(180°-70°-70°)=20°. Draw a line that connects points C and I, because CA=CB, IA=IB, CI=CI, so triangle ΔCAI ≅ triangle ΔCBI, so ∠ACI=∠BCI=(1/2)*∠ACB=(1/2)*(180°-80°-80°)=10°. By symmetry both points I and H lie on the same line that bisects the angle ∠ACB. Also because ∠CAE=∠CBP=10°, ∠ACB=∠BCA, CA=CB, therefore triangle ΔCAE ≅ triangle ΔCPB, so PB=AE, since IA=IB, so PB-IB=AE=AI, ie, PI=EI. Then ∠PCI=∠ECI, PC=CE, CI=CI, so triangle ΔPCI ≅ triangle ΔECI, ∠CIP=∠CIE=∠APB-∠ACI=∠ACB+∠CBP-∠ACI=20°+10°-10°=20°.

Since ∠PDI=70°=∠IDH. Because ∠PID=80° and ∠HID=∠AIH+∠DIA=20°+60°=80°, so ∠PID=∠HID, DI=ID, so triangle ΔPDI ≅ triangle ΔHDI, therefore IH=IP=IE. Further, since ∠PCI=∠IBH=10°, ∠CIP=∠BIH=20°, and IP=IH, therefore triangle ΔCPI ≅ triangle ΔBHI so CE=CP=HB=HA=AB

Since triangle ΔPDI ~ triangle ΔPBA, and triangle ΔPDI ≅ triangle ΔHDI, so triangle ΔHDI and triangle ΔPBA would be similar as well,

in other words, AP*DH=PB*HI (2)

Because ∠PCB=∠HIB=20°, and ∠CBP=∠IBH=10°, so triangle ΔPCB ~ triangle ΔHIB,
It follows that PB/PC=HB/HI, therefore PB*HI=CP*HB=HA*AB (3)

Compare (2) and (3) we have AP*DH=HA*AB, so HA/DH=AP/AB, but according to earlier conclusion (1), we know that AP/AB=PI/DI=EI/DI,

Therefore HA/DH=EI/DI
Since ∠DHI=180°-60°=120°, ∠DIE=∠DIP+∠CIP+∠CIE=80°+20°+20°=120°, so ∠DHI=∠DIE

Therefore triangle ΔDAH ~ triangle ΔDEI

Therefore ∠DEI=∠DAH=∠PAI+∠IAH=10°+10°=20°

Thus, angle x is equal to 20 degrees.

tisdag, maj 03, 2011


Det fanns en tid som var varken vinter eller vår. Tiden, som bara hade strömmade ur de gamla tankarna, stod still denna isländska natt i början av maj månad. Under en mycket klar himmel troddes temperaturen utomhus ligga nära fryspunkten. När man kastade en blick åt blånande berg vid öppna havet längs horisonten, plötsligt kändes ens egen existens futtig och osäker. Sen började man erinra sig en världsbild vars innehåll berättade att allting kunde ju inte bli färdigt hädanefter. Den tiden försvann då, men jag fortfarande har dessa tankar i minnet.

Nu saknar jag Island ändå.

torsdag, april 21, 2011

Go green

What do people think of Earth Day, now that it's been a yearly ritual all over the world? Living in an environment-conscious country, when I go to a local fast food chain MAXI, I'm reminded by the burger menu how much CO2 emission would be associated with each meal. I think it's a better call this way than putting forward all the PR-stuffs and diverting the attention from the environment impact of their core product, which is food. On the other hand, isn't the fact that, in term of the amount of greenhouse gases caused by its production, meat ranks the worst offender in all types of food, posing an inherent challenge to a burger restaurant, just like forcing the Tobacco companies to add a health hazard note to each cigarette pack sold would do?

Also, remember the Earth Hour? In 2009 the dairy maker Arla had started a public campaign in which their milk packages were painted all black to raise the awareness of the EH message that lights be switched off for one hour on the event day. What I found interesting was what happened after the campaign just ended, and here's one visual testimony in a grocery store the day after:

I'm supporting all the green initiatives, just people need to understand it's not about merely wearing politically correct tags and feeling good but our everyday lifestyle that can make a real difference to tackle the environmental challenges the world is facing. Like now, in springtime, I believe every day is an Earth Day, and everyone can be a TreeHugger. These are my Easter prayers.

P.S. In case you'll take a ride when visiting Stockholm in the summer, aside from taking more rented bikes for transportation, you may wish to try the Eco "Car" that has been introduced to the Swedish capital:


TechCrunch reported this week that, on Flickr, Apple’s iPhone 4 is set to overtake Nikon D90 and become the most popular camera used. I'm an Android user, the only thing I envy about the iPhone is its Hipstamatic app which I find great fun to play with. But today I finally found an Android app that could do a similar job as Hipstamatic: FxCamera. It's a free product from Android Market, so worth a try. Here is my first phone camera shot processed by this software. -> Check out the complete gallery: pbase.com/tsienni/mobile

onsdag, april 13, 2011

Au commencement

Au commencement l'homme créa son Dieu. Puis il fut tellement déçu de lui qu'il voulût l'abandonner. Il est maintenant seul, voulant rien qu'un espoir qui le berce, sur la terre comme au ciel.

La fin.

måndag, mars 21, 2011


Random encounter in Kungsholmen today. Meet the current owner of Café FIX, Stockholm's oldest café - Razai, an Arabic-speaking immigrant originally from Syria.

söndag, mars 13, 2011


小時讀過魯迅的《在仙台》, 今天生平第一次看到發自仙台市的電視畫面竟然會是這樣, 海嘯漩渦恍如世界末日。 讀著這裏各位日本友人的無事報告, 突然想起早已失掉聯系的道子, 好想能對她說聲保重, 気をつけてください ...

måndag, februari 28, 2011

Design Week 2011

During the Design Week 2011 this month, there were a lot of activities going on for Nordic design in the Swedish capital city. The main event, Stockholm Furniture Fair, is said to be the world’s biggest meeting place for Nordic design. If you are interested, here's the slideshow of what I experienced at the furniture fair:

I was also at Design House Stockholm's special evening event at the company's Norrmalmstorg headquarter when I happened to stand by the side of Amanda Dameron, from San Francisco-based Dwell Magazine, who was at the time doing a small interview with a young talented Swedish designer Fredrik Färg. They talked about the ongoing exhibition at Biologiska Museum, with a theme aptly called "Design in the Swedish Nature", of which Fredrik was one of the creators and the curators. To check out more of this gorgeous exhibition, take a look at this presentation by Dwell (Link). Out of curiosity, I asked him, since his family name "Färg" really means "color" in Swedish, if Fredrik likes working with colors aside from his obvious professed love of form plays. He answered that, until his latest design product, which is in red, he basically was a black and white guy. Hmm, I guess that preference is perhaps reflective of certain core values of Nordic aesthetics: chiefly, to stay simple, respectful and essential.

Biologiska Museum at Djurgården, inspired by the medieval Norwegian stave churches:

onsdag, februari 02, 2011


今天終于看到小R的阿毛, 小R挺著大肚子在一起吃飯也就一年半載前, 一下著就多出一個新的生命, 而且生長速度之快真讓我大吃一驚。 小家夥看上去好象和我很有緣, 拉著我的手不放, 那表情我無從去琢磨^^ 生命真的是多麽神奇, 只是有一天他感受到喜悅的時刻, 離也明白不開心的滋味不遠矣。 古時蘇子說水與月, 逝者如斯, 而未嘗往也; 盈虛者如彼, 而卒莫消長也。 其實是以不變者觀之。 生之須臾, 人面變異而不自知。 不過假如可以回到過去, 那些抛擲的流光我想我會一樣放手。

歸心似箭的說, 在這個歲暮。

måndag, januari 10, 2011


Je l'ai lu et je l'ai adoré. Peut-être que Socrate aurait pu être un bon économiste? "Si bien que la recherche d'une beauté empruntée fait négliger la beauté naturelle..", comme il le dit. Et si l'on remplace le mot "beauté" par "argent", cela veut-il dire que "l'argent emprunté porte tristesse"? Eh bien, n'est-ce pas sage, cet avis, franchement, sur lesquel l'Etat grec actuel devrait réfléchir un peu?


Ännu ett år, igen. Dagen har gått i lugnets tecken medan den djupaste själsliga skräcken lurar i mörkret. Ingen fara, för evigheten är blott ett närvarande.

Gallery "City & Nature"

lördag, januari 08, 2011

Umbrella Story

Dunno why, but I thought about this song the whole day. One unjustly forgotten classic from the London Suede, the single wasn't included in Suede's latest compilation "Best of" from 2010. (See Amazon.com listing)

Track No.3 on the single "Obsessions" (CD 2), written by Brett Anderson and released in 2002.

Rainy Day Girl

Photo taken at Ung08 summer concert at Kungsträdgården. Summer! Arhhhh.