So were men consulted when mother’s day was invented? Did they agree to the deal or was it simply a unilateral contract? Maybe it seems unfair to some that they have to be on their best behavior the whole day?

What’s up with “I” have to do everything around the house? The whole 24 hours?

I imagine a tiny voice grumbling.

I expect the same thing on father’s day then.

Maybe it will work better if the mother is removed from the environment of the house then there’s no hard feeling going around about who’s doing what on the day when all the commercials make you believe that we’re all supposed to be waited on hand and foot without lifting a finger, that all our whims are catered to, etc. It seems such a drag for all involved. The crushing weight of expectations. A stifling cloud of unspoken, unjustified disappointment hanging.

Maybe it should just be mother’s morning? Mother’s luncheon? Till after lunch? And then everything goes back to normal? To be honest, I can’t wait for this day to be over myself so I can go back to doing things per life dealt me instead of having to wait until Monday.

Most likely this is just another whining episode of first world problems when so many mothers out there genuinely deserve and need a break. I wonder whether you would consider joining me in making donations to non-profit organizations that land a helping hand to women, especially mothers? From Heifer International, Women to Women, to Help A Mother Out (Did you know that the simple act of donating diapers can help change somebody’s life for the better?)

Have a truly happy, contented, mother’s day!


Minard 600x286 The Brutal Eloquence of an Infographic

(Click on the flow map to see the larger version on Wikipedia)

This flow map was recently touted by Dr. James Grime on Numberphile as “The Greatest Ever Infographic”. It’s created by Charles Minard, a French civil engineer and a pioneer for “information graphics”.

So, yes, Internet, I was just as startled as you’re now to realize that Information Graphics are not new, and that they used to actually demonstrate useful information and sometimes even tell a gripping story, such as this masterpiece published by Minard in 1869, depicting, in its chilling reality, in graphs nonetheless, Napoleon’s 1812 disastrous March through Russia to Moscow.

All you really need to know to appreciate the totality of Napoleon’s defeat and the enormity of suffering and loss is that the width of the beige colored band represents the size of Napoleon’s army on their way to Russia (442,000); the width of the black colored band, that of his army retreating after Moscow (10,000).

Dr. Grime spoke with great compassion of the point on the flow map where a second black-colored band joins the main one. It tells the story of the Battle of Bérézina, spanning four days in November 1812. The retreating French Army suffered unspeakable loss – the number goes from 50,000 before the Bérézina River to 28,000 afterwards.

I’d never shed a tear looking at a graph. Until I saw this one.


…defy the pen of the historian by its brutal eloquence.   — Étienne-Jules Marey


14 1 1 600x431 Surprises from Germany!


Best find in Germany: Kinder Eggs (Kinder Surprises). I was indeed pleasantly surprised that the toy is a Lufthansa plane. And the pieces all fit together nicely. (Remember those horrible experiences with your sobbing, disappointed kid because the cheap toys broke or could not be put together even with Super Glue?) My son said, “Duh. That’s called German engineering!”

You can’t find these in the U.S. because the toys inside pose choking hazards. I just learned of the brouhaha of Kinder Eggs in the U.S. – Not only can you not find them in the stores, the U.S. Customs will confiscate them if they search your luggage and see them. Sometimes even a fine is imposed: My Google search turned up a 2012 story of $2500 fine per egg.

It’s overblown and ridiculous esp. considering how we refuse to even talk about stricter gun laws here in the U.S. The irony is killing me right now.

They say when you are from outside looking in, you learn new insights about yourself. Kinder Surprises. Yup.


Der Rambling über Berlin [sic]

March 3, 2014 through the looking glass

I spent 7 Euro for the privilege of going inside the Berliner Dom. Money so well spent.   So… This happened. I walked into the hotel and there’s this giant aquarium about 25 metre tall in the middle of of the lobby.       A room with a view.     What happens when […]


Snowman Cookie GIF

January 12, 2014 a picture is worth a thousand words

I love this GIF so much. Courtesy of Google+ Autoawesome and Android magic.


Polar Vortex vs Tardis

January 8, 2014 no manual for parenting

Many would be mightily disappointed by the misleading title of this post. My apology. By Tardis, I mean the awesome Tardis fleece blankets found on ThinkGeek. Each of the boys got one for Christmas. I was blue with envy as soon as I touched it. So soft and fuzzy. AND it’s bigger on the inside! […]


Help! Cuteness is everywhere.

December 29, 2013 through the looking glass

I had the privilege of flying on one of Eva Airlines’ Hello Kitty planes today.   Everywhere you turn on the plane, you see signs of Hello Kitty: from the pins on the flight attendants’ uniforms, their pink aprons, the pillow covers, to the air freshener in the lavatory.   I started chuckling as I […]


Already started…

December 29, 2013 random

My plan to eat nothing until I reach Taipei completely failed. Thanks to Asiana Airlines.  


Flying home. Musing.

December 28, 2013 random

On ASIANA plane less than 5 minutes I’ve Already noticed vast differences. First of all: Flight attendants’ smiles & willingness to help. 3 flight attendants offered to help me with lifting my carry-on to the overhead bin despite the fact that I’m bigger than all 3 of them combined! They’re also all very young, thin […]


The Ducks

December 25, 2013 imho is just a polite way to say I know you don't give a hoot what I think but I'm going to say it anyway

According to my computer it is December 26 already and therefore I guess it is safe to talk about why I STILL insist on not wishing strangers Marry Christmas in the U.S. unless I am absolutely certain that they celebrate Christmas: Because Christmas in the U.S. remains a religious holiday. One’d thought that Christians in […]