49 posts categorized "Sunday Buzz (by Denny K Miu)" Feed

Don't Forget To Turn Back The Clock (by Denny K Miu)

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I remember the day as if it was yesterday, June 16, 1971.

I was 15 years old and I was on a Pan Am flight, direct from Hong Kong to San Francisco.

As I marched off the plane I was proud. I had accomplished my first conversation in English. The blond stewardess asked me what I wanted to drink and I understood her well enough to answer, "Coca Cola".

After custom and after picking up my luggage, I met my aunt and uncle who were waiting for me outside the gate. Before I knew it, I was whisked away in the back of a Chevrolet station wagon about the size of a small sampan, elegantly decorated with fake wood side panels.

Coming off the freeway we drove by the majestic Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. We stopped at a two story Spanish style flat which my aunt and uncle owned, two blocks north of the park.

I had arrived in paradise.


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Sunday Buzz: Buddha the "Experiential" Scientist (By Denny K Miu)


More than two-third of the World's population are either Jews, Christians or Muslims, with Abraham being their common ancestor. Since Abraham had only one God, logic would dictate that we must all be worshipping the same God.

So forgive me when I ask, why all the hate?


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In a dry run to sharpen his pencil for grander things to come, Albert Einstein decided to put the final nail on the coffin to prove the non-existence of aether (or ether) and that light can in fact propagate in nothingness. He wrote a paper describing the electrodynamics of moving bodies, thereby unifying Newtonian mechanics with Maxwell's equations of electromagnetism.

As the special theory of relativity, it is understood by few. However, even school children would know about one of its important corollaries which is that of e=mc2, the equivalence and interchangeability of mass and energy. This simple equation inspires nuclear holocaust as well as origin of the universe.


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Sunday Buzz: Buddha Saves No One (by Denny K Miu)


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Am I afraid of dying?

You bet I am.

Entrepreneurs like myself despise uncertainty and there is nothing more uncertain in life than death.

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Death is both certain and uncertain.

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Interestingly, throughout the history of humankind, there has never been a more lucrative entrepreneurial opportunity than the business of dying.


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Sunday Buzz: Never A Minority, But Often Under-Represented (by Denny K Miu)


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I will soon celebrate my fortieth anniversary of becoming an American citizen, having lived two-third of my life in a resource-rich first-world country.

In retrospect, I have had the good fortune and luxury of spending my last forty years being a square peg trying to find my own round hole, or as the picture above so perfectly illustrated, being able to find a place to sit even when I am expected to stand.

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There is no better experience to summarize my journey than the one faculty meeting at UCLA back in the late-80's when we were discussing affirmative action. I was a non-tenured junior professor and I was doing my best minding my own business. Then out of the blue, one of the senior professors turned to me and said, "Denny, you are a minority. Tell us what you think."


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Sunday Buzz: What if God doesn't want to be unique? (by Denny K Miu)


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During my last year as an undergraduate student, I was invited by my adviser to join his research team. At the time, Reagan was our president. While he was busy expanding our defense industry, he also knew that he was fighting our last battle with the evil empire.

So he initiated the so-called "dual use" program (later greatly enhanced by his successors) which basically tied justification for all future peacetime defense spending with potential commercial applications. This subtle shift had the unintended consequence of completely changing the funding dynamics of academia research.

My professor was a practical man. Until then, he was perfectly happy solving mathematical problems. All he had to do, once a year, was to convince his long time program manager inside the Department of Energy that his efforts in understanding wave propagation in layered elastic media were beneficial in improving the design of underground bunkers to survive nuclear attacks.


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Sunday Buzz: Immigration is Not a Right, Neither is Privacy (by Denny K Miu)


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My family immigrated to the United States in 1971. Due to some minor logistic issues, I had to fly to San Francisco on my own, a month behind my parents and my younger brothers. I remember that day well. I stepped off a brand new Pan Am 747 and feeling very proud. The stewardess had presented me with two choices, and I answered "Coca Cola". That was the entirety of my very first conversation in English and it was all good.

Upon arrival, I was ushered into a big lobby with lots of people in uniforms and I handed over a large bag full of papers that my dad had said that I needed to guard with my life. After they searched through my luggage they pointed me to an exit. Outside the sliding doors, I saw my parents, and my uncle and aunt for the first time.

We got into a huge Chevy station wagon with wooden side panels that was bigger than most sampans in Macau. We drove into San Francisco and I saw Golden Gate Park for the first time. It was an incredible experience, as if I was being driven through Champs-Élysées in my own bullet-proof popemobile.


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